This is a story about Davey, who ran away from an abusive family. Tom, who ran away from a life he could not repair. Kate, who was drawn away...more4.5 Stars
This is a story about Davey, who ran away from an abusive family. Tom, who ran away from a life he could not repair. Kate, who was drawn away from what she had. And Priss, who is doing a whole bunch of running and pushing. They all come together in a huge, half-constructed house in the middle of nowhere and make a curious kind of living.
This book is really beautiful. The writing just made all the characters come alive. I really liked everybody, even the ones that didn't give you much to like. I'm a sucker for books where several narratives come together, so a story where broken people slowly untangle their secrets and join their lives together, in one way or another, is a really delicious treat for me. A sad delicious treat. I savored the book. Thank you for that.
I wasn't sure about the twist where it turns out that (view spoiler)[ Davey is gay and he gets in on with Isaac the same night this realization hits him (even though he's been lusting after Priss the whole time) (hide spoiler)], but Priss's reaction to it really brought it together and I was able to go along with it. Well done! The book was really ready to lose some stars for me, but Cassandra Parkin had control the whole time and pulled it off, without the foundation that I was convinced was necessary.
I really liked the pacing of the book up until the end, where it felt a little jumbled. I don't mind that several things were unresolved, I like a little mystery to be left to think about. It makes me feel extra affectionate towards a book. But the revelations came too quickly and too close together and I didn't have the time to breathe and digest them. It would have been fine in a page-turner thriller, but not in a relatively slow-paced, thoughtful book like this one. I wanted to savor it even more at the end, like the chocolate tip in an ice cream cone. I guess I shouldn't be so hungry next time I read a good book. Definitely coming back for more from this author.
-I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review-["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Richard Henley is a regular middle-aged dude with nothing much going on. And then he gets these weird hand-written notes warning him about bad guys tr...moreRichard Henley is a regular middle-aged dude with nothing much going on. And then he gets these weird hand-written notes warning him about bad guys trying to kidnap him. The creepy part? The notes are all written in his own handwriting and keep rewriting themselves, as if having a conversation with his unspoken thoughts. Ooooooh. And that's how this sci-fi adventure thriller begins!
I'm conflicted, because the story was great. I love multiverse stories (The End of Mr. Y by Scarlett Thomas is my favorite), and the non-stop action combined with the cool premise made this into a page-turner. Definitely 4 stars for the plot.
HOWEVER. The writing was, so disappointingly, quite juvenile. It had a lot of awkwardness (like a siren wailing quietly), a lot of laughably grandiose sentences ("For the first time in years, I was the master of my fate. I was the captain of my soul".) I don't think it was appropriate for me to have burst out laughing in that tense scene. The writing was consistently wrong and out of place. I'm so mad because the story was so thrilling, and the idea of the Quantum Displacement Disease and its origin was so interesting. I know not to judge Netgalley books based on the spelling or grammar mistakes. But this guy just doesn't seem to be a good writer. Great imagination and concepts, bad flow. Please learn how to carry a consistent writing style and try telling your stories then, Mr. Ward. They may be worth more than lukewarm 3 stars then.
Another positive note - I liked the sarcastic commentary on our obsession with smartphones/apps. The Decision Tree was brilliant!
-I received a free ARC in exchange for an honest review-(less)
Ugggghhh how I wanted to give this book 5 stars!! I'm angry. Because this book was amazing. Alex is a 13-year old boy with a tumor, and he h...more4.5 stars.
Ugggghhh how I wanted to give this book 5 stars!! I'm angry. Because this book was amazing. Alex is a 13-year old boy with a tumor, and he has had brain surgery to remove it. I don't know what it is, because I seem to completely connect with him. Maybe it's because I also have a tendency to put parentheses everywhere I go. His voice is very real and hysterical. Just my type of humor. Like his comparison of onions to people (some of them are French) had me rolling around, because I'm an idiot and I fell in love with Alex.
The ending was done horribly, though. I can't believe you would do this to me, Matt Greene. It was way too perfect. I hate you. I was not okay after reading it, Matt. I hope you understand that you destroyed something in me.
The one gripe I have is too big for me to overcome and give this book 5 stars. The continuity in this story is crazy confusing. I didn't know if the events were happening before or after surgery, and if they had come before or after previous events. A lot of the time I couldn't figure it out until half-way through the chapter. This confusion was unnecessary, because I didn't think Alex would write like this. He would be more conscious of the flow of time, right? It took away from my enjoyment, so it was a bit of a bumpy ride. A ride I liked, but my butt definitely hurt after(hey-o).
I want to read the next Matt Greene book. With easier flow. Thanks!
-I got a free ebook from the publisher in exchange for an honest review-(less)
This was an interesting one. Great premise of creepy twins and the moral issues that come from genetic engineering. I was into the beginning, but...moreUm.
This was an interesting one. Great premise of creepy twins and the moral issues that come from genetic engineering. I was into the beginning, but cooled off towards the middle when the character development started happening. Because it was happening wrong. Naomi, the mother of said twins, is very much a child herself. She's often hysterical and needs her husband's reassurance about stupid things often. She's consistently annoying. The husband, John, is supposed to be a renowned scientist who has an calm, cool demeanor. He mostly does, except for his completely uncharacteristic drunken spill to a hot journalist chick. Completely out of character and stupid. No wonder their kids treated them like feeble-minded babies.
The late middle picked up again, up until the last tenth of the book. I have to give it to Peter James, he knows how to drive a book forward when he wants to. He didn't want to very often, though. As another reviewer said, this book didn't have any urgency throughout most of it, even though there were plenty of things to be scared of: a mad, rich scientist, a bloodthirsty religious cult, freaky-ass children. I just felt mildly creeped out for most of this book. I wanted to be on the edge of my seat. But none of the above is as bad as the big reveal. (view spoiler)[ Completely predictable that the evil genius, Dr. Dettore, was alive all along. But if you've seen the Incredibles (yep, the Pixar animated one), you can imagine the over the top science facility/school that was camouflaged in a lush jungle and connected with pod-like monorail trains. He lives in it and nurtures other freaks he engineered and duped parents to give up to him. Yep, yep, yep. It was very laughable and took away all the tension. (hide spoiler)]
An okay ending, no big complaints there. Overall though, I wouldn't recommend this one. If you want to read a thriller about creepy twins, I'm sure there's a better one to go with. I haven't gotten my fix with this one, so if you know of one... let me know.
-I got a free ebook from this publisher in exchange for an honest review-["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
This is one creepy little story, set in both 1985 and present. It's written well enough, and there are some pretty chilling parts. I like horror stori...moreThis is one creepy little story, set in both 1985 and present. It's written well enough, and there are some pretty chilling parts. I like horror stories, but this one didn't do very much for me. There's nothing wrong with it, per se. I was still a little unclear on the whole thing about Spider (view spoiler)[ dying but not really in the coal mine tunnels in Batters. He was somehow there, but the monster was also there, and he got beaten to death by Drew, or was it the monster who was beaten? Or is this supposed to be an allegory of the horrors of child molestation? (hide spoiler)] Either way. This wasn't bad, but wasn't outstandingly good either. Solid 3 stars.
-I got this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review-["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Five main women and two pointless ones have been friends forever. Twenty years? And they have this annual picnic that they want to attend less and les...moreFive main women and two pointless ones have been friends forever. Twenty years? And they have this annual picnic that they want to attend less and less every year. This latest one is more than anyone can handle. Accusations of rape, murder, adultery, and other sordid affairs are abound, and one runs off into the night, sobbing. She ends up missing, of course.
But that's not the only mystery. There is also a secret witness to this whole ordeal, who may or may not know all the nasty details. There is the question of what happened to Sissy's husband, now dead. JoAnne's traumatic experience in America. Juliette's family secret. And other tiny little mysteries sprinkled in everywhere.
I love the small cliffhangers and changes in viewpoint in each chapter, which really kept me reading. When you think you know what happened, the truth will put that on its head and kick you in the face. The complete picture didn't come together until the very last page, and the ending is quite satisfying. It's nice not to have any loose ends for a change.
The only thing preventing this book from being a 5-star is that I found it a little hard to believe that such dramatic things happened at such a high frequency, but maybe I'm just sheltered. Also, I didn't understand the need for there to be seven friends, since Katie was completely irrelevant (she only had one short chapter all to herself, not connected to anything in particular), and Camille only had one useful role. Oh well. Great book, go read it!
-I got a free ARC from the published in exchange for an honest review-(less)
Like the goodreads rating says, this book was ok. All the elements of a good thriller were there: a pretty dead girl, dark secrets, family members who...moreLike the goodreads rating says, this book was ok. All the elements of a good thriller were there: a pretty dead girl, dark secrets, family members who cannot let her memory go, and several people out for revenge. Everybody was highly, highly unlikable and the writer could've, but unfortunately didn't, make me feel any sympathy for them. Maybe the dad, he was just so freaking sad that I couldn't be mad at him. His ghost didn't really make sense to me, though.
Too many coincidences, too many convenient connections, too little atmosphere. I think that if Dennis Lehane had written this book, he would have put more dark humor, more heart and more life into it. And I would have loved it. It was a good story, no complaints there, but I was left feeling nothing for anybody. Sorry.
-I got a free eBook from the publisher in exchange for an honest review-(less)
Beautiful stories! They really hit the spot for me. I've craved these kinds of haunting, wistful stories ever since I read Aimee Bender's books, and I was very very satisfied.
My favorties were Notes from the House Spirits (they're not very good with faces, and time blends together. They never miss anything, except for the round butter balls under the couch. They're here to protect the house, and they never miss anything. Except for the butter balls under the couch.)
Of Mothers and Little People (A grown daughter visits here mother, who has been living alone for a while. The daughter lets her life slow down just a little bit to be proven wrong.)
Countless Stones (You never know when it's your turn to stand, as a stone, on the edge of the cliff - who knows how long you will be standing there this time? Better make sure you have enough time to close the windows, pay the bills, and shut off the gas. And that's why you shouldn't pick up the phone.)
You have to be in a special mood to read these stories. And maybe go back and read Cornwall mythology. (less)
So... this books is a curious one. It's chick lit with all the romance and wacky sidekicks, and a little guy lit (if there's such a thing) with all the boobs and kinky boots all around. One thing that's brilliant about this book is all the stuff about networking in a business setting. There's several section that take your hand and guide you through it, and I think I'll actually use some insight in my own professional life, not that it's all that significant now.. So if you're looking for a how-to of networking wrapped in a fluffy chick lit, this is for you. Unfortunately, I was looking for good, junk-food kind of fun, and that was a little ruined by the lack of editing and character development. It really felt like they were pawns in a strategy game, nothing but a physical description and pretty typical character traits: Johnny, who's shy but ambitious, falling in love with pretty women, not even knowing that what he is looking for is only one degree of separation away! And once he finds her, he even secretly learns tango for her! Aww! /cough. And Cat, who's a go-getta type who likes power, but is ready to submit to the right guy. And also she has trust issues. She has a hard exterior, but is gooey on the outside.
In a nutshell, read this for the networking tips, wacky sister/networking guru sidekicks, but not for any other substance.(less)
Incredible improvement from the first book. This one has everything it was missing earlier, and finally has shaken off the weirdly serious Crimean war...moreIncredible improvement from the first book. This one has everything it was missing earlier, and finally has shaken off the weirdly serious Crimean war stuff and other examples of bad genre mixing. I have more love for Pickwick and Thursday herself this time around! Now I need to go read Great Expectations...(less)
All in the same vein of Jacky's romp through the world, but now she's showboating down the major rivers of America, befriending Indians and lots of at...moreAll in the same vein of Jacky's romp through the world, but now she's showboating down the major rivers of America, befriending Indians and lots of attractive men who love her instantaneously. Even though it's a lot of the same, it's still super fun. Jacky is a wonderfully developed character, and it's nice to finally see Jamie in action. I've already put the next book on hold at my library!(less)