This was a classic boy meets girl story, with the added frills of some not-so-perfect back-stories. Nothing unexpected happened and as expected, girlThis was a classic boy meets girl story, with the added frills of some not-so-perfect back-stories. Nothing unexpected happened and as expected, girl marries boy in the end, despite misgivings on her part - she has trust issues. Her daughter's determination to make the mach happen isn't overdone.
I've given this 2 stars becuase it does what it sets out to do and is competently written. I hope Lisa Mondello goes on to write books with more depth that explore more of the emotional life of her characters.
I did like that we weren't subjected to the obligatory falling out that usually occurs in this type of book. I read this at a time when I needed a bit of feel good escapism, which is why my rating and feelings towards this book is higher than it might have been at another time. It doesn't hurt that I downloaded the book for free for my kindle....more
I didn't fully understand all the baseball talk - but I'm not an American, and I'm sticking to that excuse! However, I don't think that my lack of undI didn't fully understand all the baseball talk - but I'm not an American, and I'm sticking to that excuse! However, I don't think that my lack of understanding spoiled the book, since the explanations that went along with the descriptions helped and the point wasn't so much the play, but what happened around the play.
Safe at Home is not an easy read for someone who has grown up in a reasonably integrated society (I realise it's not perfect, however, I argue that all societies are works in progress), this story brings home some of the daily details of what segregation means and just how hard and unfair it makes life for those on the "wrong" side of the line. On a more positive note, looking back like this allows us to recognise how far we, as a society, have changed in our attitudes; this should give us hope that further improvements will happen.
The book is very well written and edited, and extensively researched. In places, the level of detail threatened to swamp the storyline, but shied just short of than sin. There is an extensive bibliography at the end of the book, and Richard Doster's commitment ot the subject is very clear.
I would recommend this as a set text, if that didn't mean it would be automatically hated for being forced upon people! I think Safe at Home should reach a wide, wide audience....more
This was an entertaining, quick, "brain-out" read. I didn't expect a great deal from it: no great romance and no deep insights into life and love, soThis was an entertaining, quick, "brain-out" read. I didn't expect a great deal from it: no great romance and no deep insights into life and love, so I wasn't disappointed when it trod a well-worn "boy meets girl" path. It is about as realistic as any Mills & Boon/Harlequin book, so if, like me, you were reading it for some complete escapism, it does the job admirably. It helped that it was a free download on Amazon; I doubt I would have read it otherwise. The writing style was good, so if Lucy Keith ever decides to change to writing "heavier" books, that will stand her in good stead. Some proof reading for spelling errors would be useful though....more
Not really the sort of book I generally read, but it was free on Amazon and the blurb is intriguing. The story lived up to the blurb, even if I foundNot really the sort of book I generally read, but it was free on Amazon and the blurb is intriguing. The story lived up to the blurb, even if I found the violence depicked a bit gruesome at first, not so much for the descriptions, but the fact that someone could (think of) do these things to others; the knowledge that mankind does is rather depressing. By the end, the escalation became almost funny in its over-the-topness. The ending was in some was inevitable, but not certain; the will he/will she question was ket open until the last moment. The book is brilliantly executed and very satisfying. If you enjoy The Hitcher, you enjoy this story.
It's a short story taster for the authors' collaboration (Jack and Blake Crouch), written with each of them taking one of the characters and writing scenes alternately, like a tag game. I only found this out when I read the notes at the end. Whilst reading it, I couldn't tell there were two separate writers and that they were approaching the writing as a kind of game/challenge/competition. The result is well worth the effort....more
I quite enjoyed this. I haven't read a great deal of YA, I have not read Twilight...oh wait! I was forced by circumstances to read one of them (it wasI quite enjoyed this. I haven't read a great deal of YA, I have not read Twilight...oh wait! I was forced by circumstances to read one of them (it was the only book available for 2 weeks); it was kinda funny; they are supposed to be comedies, right? And I can't stand the rip off that is Harry Potter (having seen the first film, I spent most of my time trying to remember from which stories the various subplots had been stolen). Anyhoo...back to Evernight. Various bits were daft, but if you accepted the set-up (hardly original, the newcomer to the boarding school being the outcast), with a top dressing of...other stuff...well, it was quite entertaining. One thing I liked best is that the love interest didn't work out. It was as if they thought trhey ought to get it together, but the chemistry wasn't there. Or the author thought they should, but the characters had other ideas. It's been several months since I read the book, and I didn't take notes (if I like a book, there are no notes; if I say I've written lots of notes...don't expect a pleasant review!), so I don't remember the details. I think the kindle formatting was ok. I don't think there were crashing typos or grammatical errors. There were some odd plot gaps. I got the book in a free kindle sweep. I wouldn't mind reading the rest of the series, but I won't be hunting the down to pay for them....more
It was ok. As with a lot of free kindle books, the plot outline and premise are good, but the lack of writing craft means the book doesn't live up toIt was ok. As with a lot of free kindle books, the plot outline and premise are good, but the lack of writing craft means the book doesn't live up to the promise. I'm writing this review several months after reading the book, and as it's a kindle copy, I can't flick through and randomly read bits and remind myself of more detail. There were plot holes and non-sequitors, there were less than optimal dialogue exchanges and characters acting in very odd and unlikely ways.
Lots of reviewers have liked it, so if it's still on the free list, I'd say go for it. I'm not sure I'd pay full book price for it though....more
It ticked all the M&B boxes, so it did its job and amused and entertained me for a few hours. Not sure if this was one of the freebies or from theIt ticked all the M&B boxes, so it did its job and amused and entertained me for a few hours. Not sure if this was one of the freebies or from the paid-for parcel....more
It does all the things a M&B book should. Good for a little light fantasy and escapism. Not sure if this was one of the freebies or in the paid-foIt does all the things a M&B book should. Good for a little light fantasy and escapism. Not sure if this was one of the freebies or in the paid-for parcel....more
Quite a large font used, so the book at 312 pages looks longer than a standard M&B...but probably isn't in terms of word count. That's annoying. PQuite a large font used, so the book at 312 pages looks longer than a standard M&B...but probably isn't in terms of word count. That's annoying. Plus, there was a prologue and first chapter of another book at the end, padding the book further. I really dislike "taster" sections.
The plot is a fairly standard sci-fi/time travel one...and nothing unexpected happened. There was the standard M&B love story. The book does what it sets out to do, and ticks all the M&B boxes. It doesn't explore any of the larger themes often found in true sci-fi.
I can't remember if this came in my free introductory parcel or in the set of books that arrived because I didn't cancel my subscription straight away. Of course, if they don't supply you with a phone number/address, it's a bit difficult to cancel! The phone number appears on the bill that arrives with the pay-for set ;-) I've since discovered one can email through the website...but no phone number there either!!...more
It's been a while since I read this and it took me a while to remember it. The premise of the story is good, but I think the author needs to do some poIt's been a while since I read this and it took me a while to remember it. The premise of the story is good, but I think the author needs to do some polishing for the book to live up to that promise. The crime side of the story was well thought out and had a number of twists and turns, however, the characters were not altogether believable and the conversations often stilted. The main characters often seemed more wrapped up in themselves that the search for the missing teenagers. This is an interesting summer read, which I got during one of my free kindle book trawls on Amazon....more
An excellent, fast-paced read. I was enthralled throughout. I thought the characterisation was excellent and the relationships realistic. The descriptAn excellent, fast-paced read. I was enthralled throughout. I thought the characterisation was excellent and the relationships realistic. The descriptions of the various incidents were very vivid.
Poltergeeks absolutely races along, sometimes leaving the reader almost out of breath; there are few points where the reader thinks “Ah! I can put the book down knowing all are safe for a bit”. I admit that partway through, I worked out who – but I didn’t see the why. This looping interweaving sleight-of-hand part of the book was wonderfully woven.
[2012-06-28] Read this after work tonight. Like the wine at the wedding in Cana, the best was saved till last in Matthew's giveaway. At the beginning,[2012-06-28] Read this after work tonight. Like the wine at the wedding in Cana, the best was saved till last in Matthew's giveaway. At the beginning, I wondered if I would enjoy this story; I couldn't see the question behind it (Matthew's stories start from a question which he answers for himself by writing). When I got to the end, the question I asked myself was not the one with which Matthew started. I don't want to say more here, for fear of spoiling the story for others. When time allows, I may write a blog post discussing it.
As ever with Matthew's books, the story is excellently crafted. The descriptions are so well done that you walk with the seven through The Bleak and face the monsters with them. The ending was both surprising and obvious: surprising when we got to it, but obvious when looking back at it.
I think I had better stop before I give too much away...so I will finish my saying "Go Buy This Book". You won't regret it....more
[2012-06-28] Actually rating 3.5 stars The story is good and fairly well plotted. I think it's probably written for 8 - 13 (ish) year olds, and the lan[2012-06-28] Actually rating 3.5 stars The story is good and fairly well plotted. I think it's probably written for 8 - 13 (ish) year olds, and the language is suitable for that age group. I got a little fed up with the repetitive nature of the "she missed him like..." and "Dex paced and growled, wanting to get back to her".
There are some sudden jumps in the plot and not all of the psi-ops personnel's abilities are explained up front, which makes the end of the book rather confusing.
[2012-07-03] Yay!! my book arrived today - with a lovely bookmark :-) I couldn't resist and so started the book when I got home. It's a lovely story,[2012-07-03] Yay!! my book arrived today - with a lovely bookmark :-) I couldn't resist and so started the book when I got home. It's a lovely story, well written.
[2012-07-04] I finished this book sitting in the car after my hospital appointment! A fuller review will follow, when real life lets me, so ust to say now how much I enjoyed the story, with just a few niggles about plot holes and daft character reactions (the German Police would have contacted British Police & Interpol, so a link would have been made earlier). Now I need to read the second in series, which is due out soon.... Thanks to Glyn and Goodreads Giveaways for the copy of the book and the opportunity to discover a new author :-)...more
[2012-06-23] Downloaded (thanks Matthew for the six-day giveaway!) and read within the hour. Fantastic story! Entirely complete (excuse the tautology)[2012-06-23] Downloaded (thanks Matthew for the six-day giveaway!) and read within the hour. Fantastic story! Entirely complete (excuse the tautology) and with lots to think about. I also enjoyed reading Matthew's thoughts on the book that are bundled with the story (I would have liked a blank page between to the two, just to allow my mind to close from the story).
Fanatastic word-smithing, superbing plotting and excellently drawn characters in such a short time. A real "find"...more
:-) I downloaded this book when Nadine offered it free on Amazon..because it was her birthday!
This is not an action book - it's a book about people, fr:-) I downloaded this book when Nadine offered it free on Amazon..because it was her birthday!
This is not an action book - it's a book about people, friends, relationships, and how they and we change - and don't - as we grow up and grow (and move) away. This is an amazing piece of story-telling, I really wanted to know what happened to this group of erstwhile friends, even while I didn't particularly like them. They grew on me to some extent and by the end of the book I realised how much I had enjoyed the book and how cleverly it was constructed.
Thoroughly recommended. I'm going to look for more of Nadine's books....more
Actual rating: 3.5 stars Read this in just under half an hour. Just what I needed after a very fraught evening. I'm not a fan of lots of expletives in aActual rating: 3.5 stars Read this in just under half an hour. Just what I needed after a very fraught evening. I'm not a fan of lots of expletives in a book...but there were so many here that they ceased to have much meaning. Very funny book, and nicely put together. I liked the chopping and changing of narrator - it added to the pace of the story. Excellent start to a series and I shall look out for the rest of them and other work of Naomi's...more
I received a kindle copy of Shattered after responding to an announcement on goodreads by Donna Ball that she was looking for reviewers for her latestI received a kindle copy of Shattered after responding to an announcement on goodreads by Donna Ball that she was looking for reviewers for her latest book. Having read (and reviewed) several of Donna's other books, I was delighted when Donna accepted my offer.
Shattered lived up to my expectations and is a tense “who-done-it” with lots of twists and turns. I felt the psychological effects on the victims were extremely well portrayed.
If I have any niggles about Shattered, they are minor. I felt that, in the first part of the book, we were told too many times, in almost the same words, how animosity-filled had been Carol and Guy's divorce: I got it the first time; I was fed of hearing about it by the third time. I didn't feel retelling it added to the story but rather slowed down the pace of the beginning of the book.
The various threads of the characters' – major and minor – lives are beautifully interwoven, resulting in a tapestry of a story that needs to be read more than once to find all the clues as they first appear.
I particularly enjoyed that the story changes viewpoint regularly – that way the reader gets to see much more of the action. This technique adds to the tension for the reader as we can see the pitfalls and traps ahead of characters and thus will them not to fall in, whilst suspecting that they will do so anyway.
So in summary: buy Shattered! It is a little slow to start, with an element of repetition, but once the suspense starts to build and the status quo is challenged, it is a tense page-turner.
Thank you, Donna, for giving me the opportunity to review this book. I hope that Shattered gains the critical and commercial success due to it.
[2012-05-29] Arrived today! Will be in this weeks IML on my blog :-)
[2012-07-09] Finished this morning before going to work. I often read Mills&Bo[2012-05-29] Arrived today! Will be in this weeks IML on my blog :-)
[2012-07-09] Finished this morning before going to work. I often read Mills&Boon/Harlequin books and recently caught up with some overdue reviews of some. I found I was writing the phrase "it ticked all the M&B boxes" quite a bit. I fully expected Alaskan Hearts to get the same sort of review.
Instead, I found a well written story that, whilst indeed ticking all thos M&B/H boxes (girl meets boy, they fall for one another, there are difficulties which when overcome means they can declare their undying love), contained so much more! This was a fully rounded story, with a good supportng cast and excellent background/surroundings/activities descriptions.
The front-and-centre Christian message may be off-putting to some readers, but I found it was ok as it stayed within the story; the author wasn't (at least not overtly!) trying to preach to the reader.
Thank you Terri for sending me this book, I shall look out for more of your work...and I will try adapting the blueberry muffin recipe to be gluten free...it sounds very tasty ;-)...more
This has the honour of being the first kindle book I paid money to get. I quite enjoyed the book, with a couple of irritations: "Exhume" means to dig uThis has the honour of being the first kindle book I paid money to get. I quite enjoyed the book, with a couple of irritations: "Exhume" means to dig up a previously interred body...I think the author meant "exuded" whenever "exhumed" was used...I never heard of an object exhuming energy...;-) And what on earth is a tonsil stone????
I thought the story ended rather abruptly, but with a perfect set-up for the next book.
I enjoyed this book - it's got a good premise. There are quite a few points where I had to remember that this is a YA book, written by a young author. There are a few non sequiturs and plot holes, but overall I enjoyed the book and will be looking for the next instalment.
A longer review appears on my blog from 07 June 2012.
[2013-01-10] It's been ages since I read this, and even reading the spoiler-type reviews hasn't brought the book back to me. That's pretty odd for me,[2013-01-10] It's been ages since I read this, and even reading the spoiler-type reviews hasn't brought the book back to me. That's pretty odd for me, since usually, once I read the synopsis, I can remember most of the book. I guess that sums the book up: I didn't dislike the book, but it is brain-off fluff. Enjoy the distraction!...more
[2012-05-14] The book arrived today! Yay! As a bonus, a copy of Dark Lane Quarterly (www.darklane.webs.com) was also enclosed! Thank you!
[2012-07-06][2012-05-14] The book arrived today! Yay! As a bonus, a copy of Dark Lane Quarterly (www.darklane.webs.com) was also enclosed! Thank you!
[2012-07-06] I read the Quarterly the day my parcel arrived...dark and interesting. I read all of the nine stories this evening. This is an excellent book - well written, well edited (exceptions below) and beautifully laid out. The order of the stories is a delicate balance of length and subject. These aren't zombie, monster horror stories. These are horror stories on a human scale...and thus all that more terrifying.
There were a few editing/typo/grammatical errors in the last story. "It's" instead of "its"; missing speech marks; me instead of my (one of my recurring typos!) but that's the worst I can say about this book.
I will be looking out more of Tim Jeffrey's work...it is exquiste.
Thank you for choosing me to receive this book through Goodreads First Reads. It is a blessing....more
[2012-06-19] Yay! My book arrived today :-) It's a glorious old-fashioned hardback, with dust jacket over a red cover with gold lettering. How absolut[2012-06-19] Yay! My book arrived today :-) It's a glorious old-fashioned hardback, with dust jacket over a red cover with gold lettering. How absolutely perfect :-D It'll be a little while before I can read it...I'm rather backed up on reviews! Thank you Walden Pond for sending me this book.
[2012-07-07] I am so glad I won this book! I thought the cover looked fun in the thumbnail. As you see above, it was even better in real life - and things got even better when I opened the book. The quality, weight and colour of the paper is just right: it reminds me of the children's books I read as a child, the ones that felt precious.
The persona of the storyteller is held consistently throughout the book...I particularly liked his comment "I probably should have said 'spoiler alert' just then". The humour throughout is exquisite; I'm not sure if the children will get it all, but it will keep the parents amused...and no, none of it is in the least 'inappropriate'. Things like "...the knights donned their armour, rangers grabbed their bows, and the swashbucklers buckled their swashes..." will have readers of all ages giggling in appreciation. Throughout, all the rules of fairy tales were observed; some were slightly bent, but always with explanation that the bards got it wrong! Haha! Christopher Healy's descriptions are fantastic...I could really see each of the characters and the way they moved and could hear them speak. I knew exactly how Prince Liam would toss his hair and how Gustav looked when he crossed his arms and looked at Frederic. And the trolls! The trolls were wonderful. The silliness hit all the rght notes, at exactly the right points in the story.
The illustrations also deserve a big mention...they are lovely and they are perfect. Every character, creature and place looked just like I imagined it, which is to say, just like Christopher Healy described it. Their placement amongst the text worked really well, both from a layout and a timing point of view.
Huge congratulations to all involved in producing this book. It is one of those perfect books and it deserves to be a hit; a quiet, unexpected hit that sneaks up on the public and surprises them and suddenly it is in every child's book bag!
If there is a small (or not so small) child in your life and you're unsure what to get them for birthday or Christmas, then get them this book. They will thank you for it :-) and so will their parents.
Thanks again to the algorithm that chose me to win this book - and thanks to Walden Pond for sending it. Most of all thanks to Christopher Healy for writing it.
[I hate gushing reviews, don't you? Trouble is, I couldn't find one thing to niggle about with this book. Maybe that it's not a series?? There wasn't a bookmark included?? Rapunzel was a spare bit part?? Nah. None of those things matter. It really is a Good Read!]...more
Spoiler alert: there are a few plot reveals in this review; I have tried to keep them to a minimum and they are only there to explain my points.
This wSpoiler alert: there are a few plot reveals in this review; I have tried to keep them to a minimum and they are only there to explain my points.
This was an excellent story with lots of tension and plot twists. The story moves along at a good pace; sometime a small pause in the headlong rush to make an important aspect clearer to the reader would be useful, I think. A little polishing to the writing style would turn Dancing with the Boss from a good book into a great book.
There were a couple of problems with the kindle formatting, but I put these down to this being a NetGalley ARC – time to iron out such issues before publication. For the record, I found that the chapters ran into one another and that the word was printed “chaPTer” each time. The first letter of the first paragraph of each chapter was lower case and printed on its own line.
Whilst talking about style and formatting, there were a couple of other points I wanted to mention: I found the direct speech internal monologue inserts clumsy and distracting; finding another way to include these elements would improve the book for me. There was a classic spelling mistake: at one point Mr Hernandez became Mr Fernandez, but quickly reverted. Was this a typo or a previous incarnation, I wondered!
For me the book was somewhat spoiled by a couple of, to me, daft plot happenings. These made the main character, Annie, appear, in my eyes at least, rather stupid.
In the first place, having done some quite clever sleuthing and discovered not one but two vital pieces of information into the crime, she heads off, for an indeterminate time, and leaves both pieces of evidence behind! I'm not sure how she planned to investigate (her intention) without at least copies.
Secondly, towards the end of the book, when Annie and her sister are ensconced as investigators, she suddenly produces a huge amount of information from here friend, Rhino, who died some months earlier. No previous mention of this data was made...and given the desperate nature of their need to solve the crime and find those responsible, why would Annie sit on this information?? Non sequiturs like these really annoy me in books.
Despite these areas which I believe can be improved, I enjoyed reading Dancing with the Boss. I found the characters for the most part reasonably well drawn; the polishing I mentioned earlier would include refining their description and bahviours a little, removing a touch of the stereotype that tends to creep in. I mostly cared about what happens to the characters; in some cases, the minor characters were in better focus that the major ones!
I recommend this book to ladies who love thrillers and mysteries. I suspect most of the men who read this genre would not enjoy the romance aspect. Personally, I feel this adds to the book, but thought it could be a little less front and centre, but rather a little more subtle. In some ways, I thought Dancing with the Boss couldn't make its mind up if it were a thriller or a romance: I guess I was looking for it to be a thriller first and foremost! Dancing with the Boss is an enjoyable, entertaining read and I would pick up other books by Clare Gutierrez without hesitation.
I thank Clare Gutierrez and her publisher for making this book available to me through NetGalley. This review appears there and a longer one appears here...more
Rating: 3.5 stars...although I don't think "like" is quite the right word. The book is very well written and packs a massive punch in just 30 pages. IRating: 3.5 stars...although I don't think "like" is quite the right word. The book is very well written and packs a massive punch in just 30 pages. In that short space, I felt I got to know - and like - Eddie. From the blurb, I thought I would enjoy this book. The ending, for me, came out of nowhere...and wasn't what I was expecting at all. It was very cleverly, eloquently and vividly written...and left me feeling most uncomfortable and with questions about what happens next to Joy.
Trying to write my thoughts on this book without giving away the plot is difficult!
In summary: excellent, accomplished wordsmithing, but a disturbing story. If you like dark, you'll like this story.
Thank you to Travis for choosing me as a winner in the First Reads Giveaway.