The first thing that grabbed my attention was the cover in it's beautiful simplicity. Then I read the blurb, noticing that it would be told from a males perspective, I was instantly hooked. There is something about reading from a males point-of-view that just makes me so incredibly giddy.
Travis is a unique voice, he's blunt, and like mentioned in the blurb, he has a dry sense of humor and his sense of honor is amazing. I fell in love with Travis Stephensen the instant he walked off that plane and into my life, as a reader. He's suffering from post-traumatic stress, something that can happen to anyone. He's extremely fleshed-out, he's so real that he could be any of the real-life Marine's walking around on this planet. In fact, each and every character is real, they have qualities that are real, struggles that are real and a camaraderie that is real. Trish Doller does an exceedingly great job of NOT romanticizing the relationships that Travis maintains, be it with his mom, dad, brother, Harper, Paige, a fellow Marine or whoever else. They just are, they just happen, and everyone and everything flows together with perfection.
Something Like Normal has a raw gritty truth staring you in the face, impacting the emotional level up an infinite magnitude. Trish Doller doesn't gloss over the abrasive facts, she doesn't breeze by the embedded layers. This is deeply intense, I had tears dripping down my face the whole time I was reading, even in the happy moments. Heart-wrenching and uplifting at the same time. The romance between Harper and Travis lends a sweetness to the unyielding harshness that is Something like Normal. Trish Doller rose above by choosing to write in Travis's voice. His thinking wasn't hidden behind lyrical, descriptive prose, it was straight to the point, simplistic bliss. It was brilliantly genius. There wasn't any mystery to wade through, the story was laid out right from the beginning, yet another wise choice from Trish Doller. Something Like Normal, didn't need the extras, it was just a story that needed to be told.
I recommend Something Like Normal to every single reader of both genders(well, maybe 16+), it is a book that needs to be read. There is some mature content, but in this book it is a necessity. Also, highly, highly recommend to anyone who has family, friends, loved ones in any military. This is an extremely eye-opening novel that shouldn't be missed.
I've been to Doller's blog (Absolutely gorgeous!) and I've read the little snippets (one or two sentences) that she has placed all over of her next projects. I will tell you now that Trish Doller is going to be a HUGE hit among readers. She exudes natural talent when it comes to writing and those snippets, they have me anxious to read everything and anything that flows from that beautiful mind.(less)
There are so many great things that Anne Greenwood Brown did with Lies Beneath that kept it refreshing and origin...moreAs seen on -> Reading By The Beach
There are so many great things that Anne Greenwood Brown did with Lies Beneath that kept it refreshing and original. I was instantly blown away and eager to read every word as the story unfolded.
First, male point-of-view, do I need to say anything more? Probably not, but I will. I am so damn, unbelievably happy that male pov's are on the up rise. Oh, but that's not all. Usually we get saddled with the humans side of the story while the 'paranormal' person is cast in a dark, mysterious light (not a bad thing, I might add). Well, meet Calder. He's dark and a little mysterious and most importantly, he's a merman. And the story is told through his voice, which was absolute perfection. Also, this is the non-romanticized version of merpeople and I absolutely loved it. Brown casts them in a completely different light that portrays them in a much different way. It was fascinatingly eerie.
I loved the fact that Calder questions the nature vs. nurture thing. Am I a product of nature or nurture? It's such a profound question for him and it simply added to his depth, forming more of a connection. Lily was fabulous. Slow to trust, fights her attraction towards Calder and is just plain human(in a good way, fleshed out). I felt like I knew her.
I don't often need pretty words to transport me into a story, but Brown has a natural knack for writing that the prose was beautiful in itself. Descriptive. Vivid. Brilliantly flowing from sentence to sentence. I was mesmerized.
I'm recommending Lies Beneath to everyone. It was such an adventure that I was reluctant to say good-bye, but at least I (or we) can be mollified that there will be more to come. (less)
One word. Intense. One Moment had me in a constant anticipation mode, but not the eager anticipation, the nervous...moreAs seen on-> Reading By The Beach
One word. Intense. One Moment had me in a constant anticipation mode, but not the eager anticipation, the nervous anticipation. I was stuck with a perpetual free-falling feeling. You know the one, jittery nerves, rapid heartbeat, stomach jammed up into your throat while you wait for it to drop out from beneath you. Like I said, intense. You want to know what happened, you want to know the secrets that were being kept, but you just know that they will be devastating, especially because Joey is so damn likable.
Thick in mystery, Kristina McBride leads us on an adventure that will throw suspicions all over the place. I loved that we got information as Maggie got information, it allowed me to connect to her and feel with her. The writing also added to Maggie's character because it was almost desperate, depressed, and a little bit hopeless until that little flicker of light reveals itself to help lead Maggie out of the dark. To say I was captivated is an understatement. I was eager to finish, but also reluctant because I fell in love with so many of the characters. There is no way possible for you to read this and NOT feel the powerful emotions behind this story. They were sometimes suffocating, but only because Kristina McBride successfully portrays each emotion and character to the T. She has amazing talent that has made me a fan for life.
If you want real characters, an intense plot and completely entrancing writing then check out One Moment. Just make sure you have tissues near-by and are prepared to read until the end because this book was simply unputdownable.
*Received my copy of this book from NetGalley*(less)
There was plenty of mystery within The Shapeshifter's Secret that fueled my intrigue and kept me interested, but...moreAs seen on -> Reading By The Beach
There was plenty of mystery within The Shapeshifter's Secret that fueled my intrigue and kept me interested, but I was just not wholeheartedly invested in the characters.
For one, I felt that the romance aspect was greatly lacking. I felt that the characters both fell in love too simply and this may be due to the fact that they weren't together very often. Plus, the whole time I was reading, I kept getting this feeling that this is only a prelude to the real romance which will take place in future books. I may be completely off base with that assumption, we all know what happens when you assume, right?
I was not a huge fan of Julia, but she did have great moments. She was completely unrelatable to me and I'm usually a reviewer that can relate to a lot of characters. The big thing that bothered me was Julia's obsession of the evil entity. I just didn't find it natural or normal as she kept trying to find a connection. I'm hoping that this was a process to show Julia's growth and to strengthen her resolve in the books to come. I don't blame her for being curious, but it was just too much for me.
However, the wheels in my head were in constant motion as little clues were strewn every so often, revealed at perfect moments to keep my interest piqued. The world that Heather Ostler created was beyond fascinating and even though I didn't love the characters, I loved the world and plot enough to be curious about the next book. (less)