Treat Yo Self Day. And that is exactly what this book was. A complete and utter treat.
Forty-one year old English teacher Lucy never expected to find herself single with a couple of young sons, but when her husband not only spent all of their money, but did so on drug dealers that he let into the house, it was kind of her only option. She also never expected to find herself in some sort of entanglement with the 20-something butcher’s assistant, but . . . .
“When a black guy goes out with a forty-year-old white teacher, people talk.”
“Even with everything going on in the world?”
“Especially because of everything going on in the world. Who wants to talk about that?”
May/Decembers aren’t generally my bag and as a woman the same age as the female lead in this book, even the idea of actually bringing home a 22 year old (assuming I had offed my husband in order to do so rather than the three of us sharing the bed together in some sort of hellish nightmare three-way) is 100% terrifying, but sometimes it’s all about right place and right time and this was just what I needed to brighten my mood. Sort of a How Stella Got Her Groove Back for a new era with a lot less focus on the slap and tickle and more about actually getting to know each and figuring out just how such a relationship could successfully function. With characters who talked about things and were so aware of the fact that there was an almost guaranteed expiration date to them being together, but that it would all be okay no matter what the outcome. And the humor!!!!!!
“Oh, shit. This is Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.”
“You’ve lost me.”
“It’s an old movie. Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn. Their daughter is going to marry Sidney Poitier.”
“I’m guessing there’s someone black in this movie. Or white.”
“He was the most famous black actor ever for a while.”
“So this nice white girl is going to marry Sidney Whatsit.”
“What’s that got to do with us?”
“Well . . .”
“That was a joke as well.”
“Oh. So he’s marrying this white girl, and her parents are liberals, but the dad doesn’t want her to marry him because of all the prejudice in the world. But this film was made in 1967. And here I am, thinking about it in 2016.”
I could have lived without the (very minimal) subplot of Joseph wanting to become a musician because really it only served the purpose of being the jumping off point for a small argument between the two leads that stemmed from a “you people” sort of comment that they then nearly immediately discussed because they weren’t complete effing assholes and got over like grown-ups in functional relationships are known to do – and then later served as the catalyst for another not-so-great thing that I won’t spoil. I mean really if dude wanted to be a famous DJ he should at least like go out to a club once in a freaking while or at least run a turntable (ha – I’m old – turntables) at a wedding or a bar mitzvah or something.
I also could have certainly lived without the Brexit talk because – let’s face it – we’ve all been living in a turd sandwich recently and with the upcoming election here in the U S of A I need more politics in my fiction like I need a bigger ass. That being said, I’m all in favor of authors writing whatever topic they need to propel their stories along and obviously Brexit was a big deal to Hornby that he needed to vent about a bit. I’m also for authors using whichever characters they feel are necessary to deliver their stories and leaving it up to the reader whether their choices were the right ones. Now, please don’t get confused and think I’m not in favor of the #ourvoices movement and diversity when it comes to reading material in general (whether author, characters, genre, style, etc.), but should Nick Hornby chosen to follow that directive he would have clearly had to cancel this book entirely (as he is neither a female nor a black male). If that had happened his fans would have missed out on something pretty delightful (especially after the meh-ness of Juliet, Naked *snore*)....more
I went into this book completely blind. Basically it had a good title and an even better cover. I’m a real cheap date like that. I didn’t read a blurb and I didn’t pay any attention to who the author was. I simply waited for my turn at the library, downloaded this sucker and was instantly grabbed by that opening paragraph.
For those of you who aren’t so willing to take a risk, I’ll give you a brief rundown of the basics. Ten years ago a girl named Trumanell went missing from her family’s farm with only a bloody handprint left behind as a clue as to her whereabouts. The most obvious suspect was her brother – although without a body no one could ever pin him down with the crime. But now . . . .
Wyatt Branson has a girl out there.
And it’s up to the town’s young female police officer Odette to figure out what’s going on. That’s the jumping off point for reopening old wounds, revealing past connections and a whole mess of WTFery come the halfway mark.
I was finished with this book before I realized that this author had previously given us some Black-Eyed Susans. This go around it was all about the . . . . .
This may have “summer” directly in the title and take place during that magical time of childhood where kids are set free from the confines of the school house for a few months, but lemme tell you it is the perfect read for . . . . .
When Tubby Cooke goes missing on the last day of school, the rendering truck seems to be chasing people down, a fella dressed as a olde timey soldier begins wandering the streets and a long-forgotten bell rings in the dark of night, it sets off the hinky meter of a group of 12-year old pals. Mike, Duane, Dale, Harlen and Kevin (and little Lawrence, can't forget Lawrence) soon discover it’s up to them to save their town before they all fall victim to the rising evil.
There’s nothing quite like reading a book set in a fictional location near the town where you grew up (complete with shoutouts to said hometown along with references to things like War Memorial Drive that only local yokels would recognize) – even more so when that town is in the middle of nowhere farm country. And although this took place in the 1960s - the free reign until the streetlights came on or your mom came out hollering it was time for dinner was very much the vibe of my youth in the 1980s as well.
The obvious comparison of Summer of Night will be to King’s It, but it is my opinion that Summer is far superior and rich in both characters and setting with an ending that doesn’t shit the bed. (Maybe Simmons wasn’t totally whacked on the booger sugar when he wrote his version *shrug*) The simple fact that I breezed through all 60 pages of this puppy squisher in one day should speak for itself. I was enraptured (and frequently on the edge of my seat with anxiety) with this story, these children (especially sweet Mike - the most perfect child fiction ever created) and solving the mystery of what was behind Tubby’s disappearance and all of the other creepy goings on. YMMV if you are a reader who gets bored or bogged down in the details and don’t want to lose yourself completely in the environment and atmosphere....more
Fourteen years ago the Beck’s daughter went missing and they never gave up hope of finding her alive one day. But when a young woman matching Lena’s description (down to a scar on her forehead) turns up in the hospital it is not she who Herr Beck recognizes. It’s the thirteen year old girl with her who claims that is her mother.
This is a book to pick up if you are looking for something where the pages practically turn themselves, but want to have an experience like this while reading it . . . .
While not as emotionally compelling as Room or as totally O.T.T. batshit like Gone Girl, the comparisons are fair and this made for a pretty good mashup that didn’t let me put it down until I was finished.
ARC received from Macmillan in exchange for an honest review....more
I’m not going to waste much time on this review because it was simply a case of this just wasn’t for me. I’m not a huge graphic novel reader to begin with and when I do pick one up they aren’t often superhero/save the world types of stories. Buuuuuuuuuuut my kid totally geeked out and binge watched the new season of this when it debuted awhile back to the point where I thought he might get a bedsore, so I decided to give it a whirl. And also, that one illustration. You know what I’m talking about . . . .
Little did I know that only about 12 seconds would be spent providing an “origin story” regarding 47 women simultaneously giving birth like some sort of awful TLC program where none of them even knew they were knocked up. Seven get adopted by a Daddy Warbucks and that’s pretty much all you ever get to know about that. Then they save the world . . . . twice and rather than ever experiencing life in any sort of “Academy” like I was hoping for, the children I was so looking forward to getting to know are all instantly groweds up and look like this instead . . . .
But per usual I didn’t ever post anything. To briefly sum things up, this is a little picture book that goes over the basics of what you might see at a Gay Pride Parade. At the end it features a “glossary” of sorts explaining in more detail the historical markers or symbolism contained on each page for parents who aren’t educated on the subject. I’m sure it was challenged due to the fact that . . . .
The Old Man isn’t my typical genre, but thanks to Archer returning to FX for another season I caught a commercial for the television series and, as you may have guessed, opted for the print version rather than pretending I could sit week after week watching an hour long program that didn’t involve heavily make-upped, big-haired housewives screeching at each other and flipping tables.
The premise here is that "Dan Chase" has lived a quiet life in Vermont for the past 35 years. Before that, however, he was a member of the special forces assigned the task of turning over millions of government dollars to some rebel forces. When it comes to his attention the money isn't making into the hands it was supposed to and instead has been kept by the middleman in the transaction, Chase pulls a double cross and steals it back. Unfortunately, the powers that be in the states weren't officially on board with that plan, making him a marked man and now . . . .
Like I said, I can’t remember the last time I picked up one of these cat and mouse/manhunt/government conspiracy/whatever you want to call this type of book. I just figured if Jeff Bridges signed on, there’s a decent chance I would enjoy it. And I was right. This took about 12 seconds to read, the action was good, the story easy to follow, the dialogue solid with a delightful tinge of humor to it (the “Old Man” and the female lead had a great banter that reminded me of Robert B. Parker’s Spencer - and it really made me wish Burt Reynolds were still around to provide the narration on the audio version of this one).
Strange Planet snips had been all over my Instagram so I decided it was high time to check out the entire book out from the library. It was delightful. If you are looking to turn your frown upside down, this may just be the ticket . . .
This is the cautionary tale of three different girls who each fall into the same “bad boy’s” web. Truth be told, I was looking for more of a “John Tucker Must Die” vibe or at least for it to get around the school that this fella had a tiny pecker or something, but sadly that was not meant to be. Basically this was . . . .
I’m clearly not the target demographic, so teenage girls might really find this relatable. As an oldster I found the characters to be severely one-dimensional and the pacing to be on fast-forward. ...more
If you know me, you know I’m not much for smarty books and tend to lean toward the porny and the stabby. I have no idea why the Booker Prize became selections I started choosing. I just know that it happened years ago, I certainly don’t feel compelled to read all of them, but that getting through a handful has pretty much become my . . . .
(See that? Smort. Moby Dick references and errrrythang.)
Anyway, I didn’t know anything about this book before beginning aside from the fact that I wasn’t super keen on the cover and that it had a lot of pages so if I hated it, I was going to be in the slog for more than a minute.
Imagine my surprise when I found my “child of the year” recipient. (Again, if you know me, you know I kind of avoid children characters like the plague because children are assholes.) From the author notes at the end, it appears this was inspired by his own life story, but if you’re like me and don’t usually read those notes, you’d never know that. All you need to know is this is the story of Shuggie’s upbringing by a barely functioning alcoholic mother living on the dole in government housing. If you’re not a fan of accents, this may be a slog because dialogue is written as would be spoken by the Irish. And if you prefer your novels on the lighter/happier side of life, you probably better steer clear of this one because it might make you want to . . . .
(You just might have to wait your turn if Shuggie’s mom is already in there.)
But if you have a solid stockpile of Kleenex and the ability to wade through some serious misery, you’ll also find a surprising amount of love and acceptance . . . . .
“If I were you, I would keep dancing.” “I can’t.” The tears were coming. “You know they only win if you let them.” “I can’t.” His arms and fingers were still outstretched and frozen, like a dead tree. “Don’t give them the satisfaction.”
And the most delightful little boy . . . .
Shuggie heard the nurse say to a male attendant that she thought for sure Agnes was a working girl. “She is not,” said Shuggie, quite proudly. “My mother has never worked a day in her life. She’s far too good-looking for that.” ...more
This is THE. BEST. first love/first time story I have ever read. It made my old Boomer heart grow three sizes and I even squirted out a couple of tears for nostalgia sake. It was either that or the alternative . . . .
The story here is about Claude. Ready to graduate high school with the rest of her life ahead of her, she hopes to road-trip with her bestie and hook up with her longtime crush before heading off to college in the Fall. But life doesn’t always work out as planned and instead Claude finds herself spending her Summer on a remote Georgia island after her parents separate. With no WiFi, no motorized vehicles and nothing to do except continue working on her neverending puppy squisher novel draft, Claude eventually ventures out and discovers the local teens – in particular Jeremiah Crew. The remainder of the book is about their 28 days together. About falling in love. About becoming an adult. About adapting to change. About the reality of what happens when you meet the love of your life a decade too early . . . .
I realize I am one of the very few dissenters in the ranks, but the book says it all . . .
“Worst hostages ever. You’re the worst hostages ever.”
So the whole premise here is about a failed bank robbery and how said bank robber ends up with the worst hostages ever and it all takes place after the hostage crisis has been averted and the would-be robber has become MIA and it’s all six degrees of separation and somehow also is about a super serious subject like suicide and it all gets delivered in a quirky little package full of obtuse police interviews and absurdities like giant rabbits and piles of blood that need to be accounted for and things that are supposed to make you feel all of the feelz that gets tied up with a pretty little bow of “awwwwwwww” at the end and OH. MY. GOD. IT. WAS. EXHAUSTING.
I loved Ove. And I mean looooooooooooooooooooooooved. Almost unhealthily. Like there’s a 12% chance it might come to fisticuffs after I tell you to “cash me outside - how 'bout dah” if you tell me you hated it and I’m having a bad day. But after failing at yet another Backman new release that I was highly anticipating I need to admit he is just not for me. There’s nothing wrong with being a one-hit wonder. Karens all over the world can attest to that fact with their favorite sing-along . . . .
"Don't you wish you had a sack full of good days, Betty? Whenever you were havin' a bad day you could reach into the sack and make everything better."
Between the ‘Rona being errrrywhere and homeschooling (both high school and college versions) and entirely new systems at work despite no one being at actual work, I haven’t been on here in a hot minute. Buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut I’m still reading like a maniac and had to say a lil’ summin about Betty. Pause for a brief synopsis . . . . .
Srsly. Oh poor Betty. My notes are full of “holy shits” and “make me stop feeling things, you fucker” (that last one was specifically for Tiffany McDaniel). In case you aren’t familiar with this novel, it’s a fictional biography inspired by the life of the author’s mother that spans from 1901 to 1973. It’s about family and race and class and prejudice and evils of men (and women) and life in Appalachia and a little folklore and a spot of ‘shine. And it is a nearly 500 page kick in the face. But somewhere in all that misery is a little hope and humor as well. Hope in the form of the best daddy I've ever met and humor in Betty herself . . . .
"I've never seen a colored before."
"And I've never seen a butt for a face before but if you don't turn around right now, I'm gonna take my daddy's pocketknife and cut you up into tiny pieces to mail to your momma in a heart-shaped box."
I’ve had The Summer That Everything Melted on my Kindle as an advanced copy since well before its release date, but continue to avoid it like the black plague due to fear of disappointing either My Bestie or My Nemesis when I read it wrong. I’m not going to make any promises that I’ll bump it up the TBR anytime soon, but after reading Betty I think I would likely lean more toward Shelby’s side of the fence.
This book is not going to be for everyone. In case you aren’t familiar with me, I don’t shy away from dark subject matter and when I say this one is brutal, I’m not kidding. Absolutely no punches were pulled so if you are of the sensitive nature or require your reviews come with a trigger warning, consider this your notice that EVERY trigger will be triggered.
4.5 Stars rather than 5 because it was just a weeeeee bit long in the tooth and not every page was necessary....more
When 16-year old Emmie Blue released a balloon with a note tied to its string, she never knew that a boy her own age would discover it on a beach in France, or that the two would become besties and have a friendship that would last well over a decade. But that’s just what happened. Now on the cusp of Lucas’ upcoming nuptials, Emmie has to decide if she’s ready to tell her true feelings or simply be his “Best Woman.”
The blurb doesn’t lie that this book certainly followed on the heels (and popularity) of others that have come before it in starring quirky leading ladies. From Eleanor Oliphant to The Cactus to The Grown Up to The Helpline and on and on and on, these gals are the new thing. This one adds a bit of fun with the addition of a My Best Friend’s Wedding vibe.
First things first – I want it to be made clear that I am super squicked out by sexual assault becoming a tired trope and I wish it would stop happening like YESTERDAY. I literally made a note on page ONE of my Kindle version that said “please don’t let this be another rape book.” Second things second – magic penises don’t “fix” broken women. That’s why doctors were invented and we no longer go to the local barber for our brains to be looked at. That being said, despite those aforementioned thorns in my side that make me really want to Hulksmash some shit, I couldn’t help but kind of like this damn book. It’s a shame Emmie couldn’t have just been a bit eccentric (even though that’s getting pretty tiredly tropey itself) or that the daddy issues weren't also thrown in to the mix or that more of the focus wasn’t on her growing as a person in general rather than so much being on getting her freaky deaky on with the leading male.
I’m going with 3.5 and rounding up for the pure readability of this story and the fact that I think I am just the resident . . . .
But for realsies, between the fact that I’m a Boomer who does not enjoy any of the things and that all the hipsters on the Instagram were loving this - not to mention a face cover (that somehow I kind of enjoyed this time because . . . . fickle?????), I thought my chances of this being a success for me were slim to nill. Buuuuuuuuuuut, EV.ER.Y.THANG. kind of worked with this one. Ella Berman’s voice is fresh. Her plot? Timely, but in like the best way imaginable because despite being a seriously #metoo sort of tale, it all happens before the movement was even conceived. Not to mention the leading lady Grace herself. Oh state of arrested development, you are kind of my jam. And everyone in her life assuming she’s in this state due to being an entitled asshole former child star rather than being someone with some actual superbadawful reasons was sort of squickily delicious (and yes I know how horribly creepy and terrible that makes me – I sometimes like to read disturbing stuff, just go with it). And also that nothing with regard to said superbadawful was laid out in detail for titillation or emotional manipulation, but disclosed just enough to make you sympathize with this poor girl . . . .
I freaking created LIFE (on accident) in our compost heap. But look how perfect it is!!!! I’m pretty sure the ‘Rona has given me superpowers and this is just the first I’ve discovered so you better stay on my good side.
For me, Autumn also signifies the start of Cozy Mystery season. Sure, you can read cozies all year long, but the entire term “cozy” conjures images of fireplaces and snuggly blankets and those thoughts in July or August here in flyover country? Well, when the temps are like this . . . .
The last thing you want to think about is a blanket.
But come September 1st I just crank up the AC and let ‘er rip. Hahahaha! I keed I keed. Come September 1st we usually get a teaser 60-something degree day around my neck of the woods that gets you breaking out the sweaters and picking a light and cozy to read . . . only to discover the next day is going to be back to Satan’s ballsack degrees outside with one trillion percent humidity and a bonus negative one trillion air quality due to the combo of ragweed and forest fire. Yay Fall!
Anyway, I was all over this release as soon as the idea of it was mentioned and made sure to get my grubby little mitts on it as soon as it was seasonably acceptable. If you aren’t familiar with the Winstons . . . well, you’re really missing out because they are absolutely splooshtastic . . . . but this could probably work as a standalone. It certainly would benefit you to read Cletus/Jennifer’s book prior simply for their backstory, but hell it’s a porny not rocket surgery so you could probably decipher what’s going on with little to no brain power.
Anyway x2, this spinoff is the start of a new series where Cletus and his fiancé Jennifer are apparently going to become small-town sleuths. This time it’s about all the local farmers being sabotaged by someone for some reason. If you are addicted to the Hallmark Murders & Mysteries like I am, you’ll love it. I wasn’t a Jennifer fan (to say the least – poor gal probably still is feeling the smackdown I gave her fictional ass back in the day when I read their book), but she’s okay in this one and the rampant case of blueballs both Jen and Cletus have going due to various interruptions was pretty fun. I’ll certainly be first in line for the next one of these....more
Here’s an embarrassing confession: I noticed this book sitting on the “new release” shelf behind the counter at Barnes and Noble while I was waiting in line to pick up my pre-ordered copy of Midnight Sun by Sparkles the Vampire. Since I had already blown my book budget on that sure to be Pulitzer winner, I had to go home and get this one from the library.
I didn’t know anything about Shiner before beginning aside from the fact that the cover didn’t make me want to gag since it didn’t have a face on it, there was no “girl” in the title so it most likely wasn’t a thriller, and shiner probably meant there was either going to be moonshine or someone getting punched in the face - which are both generally good times when it comes to me and fiction.
The story here is about Wren and her coming of age as the daughter of a snakehandling preacherman in Appalachia. Basically, as soon as I started this I was pretty much like . . . . .
I did question where things were going right about the thirty percent mark, only to discover the narrator was set to change (and then change again and again) and rather than turning me off the story I became even more invested. This was another heartbreaker of a tale – although not quite the gut punch that Betty was. If you were a fan of Where the Crawdads Sing, I certainly don’t feel I’d be steering you wrong to point you in the direction of this story. ...more
The Girls in the Garden follows sort of a Liane Moriarty path as it begins with a possible superbadawful having happened to one of the neighborhood children followed by the reader actually getting to know the neighbors as we wind our way back to post potential superbadawful. Around sixty percent marks the actual present present and we wind our way back a second time to the goings on of the night before’s summer block party and the big reveal of the frequently mentioned potential superbadawful.
It ticked all of my buttons. First, house cover . . . .
Next, neighbors. Please if you are one of mine who happen to stumble upon this, don’t confuse my enjoyment of reading about neighborhoods with actually wanting to interact with any of you because that is most certainly not the case. However, I am a voyeur at heart and I love sneaky peaks into various family dynamics so stories like these feed my fetish without the risk of me going to jail for being a creeping peeper. Also, any time you give me a place where you can look into multiple dwellings courtesy of a shared courtyard (or in this case garden) I can’t help but think of . . . . .
This starts off with Ty and Zane having the sexiest sparring match in the history of pornography only to find out it is going to be the tropiest yum yum of all tropey yum yums and the only thing better than a fake relationship trope which is the:
WE ARE IN A SECRET RELATIONSHIP, BUT NOW HAVE TO PRETEND TO BE IN AN ACTUAL RELATIONSHIP FOR OUR JOBS!!!
And in case you aren’t familiar with these books, that means these two alpha male special agent Feds are going undercover as a married gay couple to catch some sort of potential art thievery ring and the whole thing takes place on a cruise ship. I don’t think my heart can take it. Or my underwear drawer. I was flying through panties faster than a toupee in a hurricane!
I will absolutely be reading the other books in this series....more
Have you all met my friend Jilly???? If not, allow me to make a quick introduction here. You see, Jilly reads ALL SORTS of trash fine works. She’s also hilarious so she makes you want to read them too despite the fact that they often have simply terrible covers . . . . or titles . . . . or shapeshifting/alien main characters . . . . or plotlines. Basically, she’s this . . . . .
When I saw her reviewing this series last week I was super interested since I had actually heard of these before and discovered the pornbrary was all ready to hook me up with a checkout. (Confession: I really only wanted book 3 because it was tropey yumminess which I’ll talk about over on that review in about two seconds, but after reading about 7 pages of Fish and Chips I knew I didn’t want to skip the meet-not-so-cute between Ty and Zane). Previous sentence being written, these do work pretty well as standalones, but speaking from my own experience Cut and Run is not one to miss because about the thirty percent marker you’ll find yourself . . . .
The sleuthing is about on par with any other “light” mystery – you get introduced to like 6 characters total so you know kind of right away who the bad guy probably is. Also these guys spent a lot more time banging in the shower than actually attempting to find a serial killer so you definitely need to have some serious leeway when it comes to whether a 40-hour work week is a requirement in your smut. But if you want to see if you can make your underpants combust simply via the written word, I highly recommend this series : )...more
The entire theme of this year’s Summer Reading Program at my library was a bit confuzzling to me, so I guess it makes perfect sense that this was one of the selections. “Live the Fantastic” was the idea and reading suggestions ran the gamut from graphic novels to tales of the Norse gods. It was . . . . eclectic to say the least and apparently was simply designed to help readers find good storytelling . . . .
Baba Dunja is probably not someone I would have ever met were it not for this challenge. This quirky little story was about a community who has returned to a post-Chernobyl village and find themselves in a bit of a pickle when a stranger comes to town. It was a perfectly okay way to spend a couple of hours (due to its compact size), but I’m obviously once again a wrongreader because I don’t get all the 5 Star reviews whatsoever. I’ll remember it simply for being such an oddity and for its enjoyable ensemble cast characters – and obviously because it was my final hurdle to jump for free swag . . . .
When Emily finds herself unemployed, about to be evicted and cut off from her family’s pocketbook due to asking for assistance one too many times, she has no clue what will save her tail. Enter former boss Scott. Emily may have been a terrible receptionist at his company, but she has a good personality and might just be the perfect fit as a personal assistant for his wife at their French estate. Gardening, home decorating and helping keep an eye out on their solo child coupled with great food, drinks and lounging by the pool? Sounds almost too good to be true.
Okay, so really the only problem with this was . . . . .
If you have ever read a mystery or thriller – like EVER, even once in your life – you should be able to guess what the big reveal of this one is going to be loooooonnnnnnnnnng before it ever gets there. That being said, somehow this was still really readable so I’m going to round my average rating up to a three. ...more
At this point in my life I’m not much of a reader of the classics (and certainly not many smarty classics that would have been assigned back when I rode my dinosaur to school every day), but I’m pretty sure you get your mystery lovers club membership revoked if you haven’t ever read a Hercule Poirot. That being said, this was only my second Poirot story (the other being the obvious selection - Murder on the Orient Express) and this time around it was our favorite P.I.’s THIRTEENTH go ‘round. (Also of note the only reason I read this was because Peter Swanson told me to in Eight Perfect Murders.)
At the start of The ABC Murders M. Poirot (as he is so often referred) finds himself realizing he’s getting a little long in the tooth and contemplating potential retirement, but upon receipt of a letter informing him of an upcoming murder – going so far as to name the date and place – he figures it’s nothing a little Just for Men can’t fix so . . . .
What follows is a romp from cities A to D containing victims with the same initial as their murder locale. There appear to be no other connections and the method of killing varies as well. How will Poirot ever put the pieces together on this tricky puzzle???
This was simply a good time and I can’t believe how well Christie’s stories have aged over the (80+) years. The mystery was a fun one to chase and I’m glad Swanson twisted my arm enough that I gave it a whirl. If nothing else, it gave me a break from the one thousand and fourteen reincarnations of And Then There Were None that I read every year. ...more
The Wife Stalker took its place at the top of my TBR over the eleventy other library books I have checked out due to the fact that after reading Your House Will Pay I was suffering a severe book hangover and needed some sort of buffer before moving on. These fillers can come in the shape of romcoms, thrillers or chicklit and trust me when I say I read a lot – and I mean A. L.O.T. – of “trash” and absolutely dig it most of the time.
The premise here was one that I should have loved. Husband and wife have a couple of kids and things are going well enough until a new chick comes into the picture. That’s all you get because between that one sentence and the title you probably can figure out where it goes from there. The low rating here comes from me whining to myself and making snarky notes on the Kindle the entire time I was reading it until the twist came near the end to make sense of things. These characters were totally undeveloped and the timeline was sooooooo fast-forwarded that I just couldn’t let myself get taken away by the over-the-top storyline like I usually can. Not to mention the extra twist that got thrown in (why authors???? why?????) And the dialogue? We’re talking a literary merit of something like . . . . .
Upon receipt of a disturbing letter from her cousin claiming she is being poisoned by her husband and trapped in a house full of rot and evil, Noemí is sent on a bit of a fact-finding mission in order to get Catalina any help she may need. Her arrival reveals a house on a hill a bit like . . . .
Apparently this wasn’t a big hit for everyone. Color me surprised because I thought it was exactly as advertised - Lovecraft meets the Brontës. That cover alone is worth the price of admission. And yes I know I know I complain about face covers all the time, but these “ladies in pretty dresses” covers are simply the bees knees. I will say this is a slow roller that builds itself up to a frantic pace for the climax, so if you aren’t sucked in by the atmosphere, you definitely aren’t going to have a great time. Also, I apparently wrongread even when I think I’m reading it right so take my rating with a grain of salt.
“I’m happy the dog chased the cat that chased the rat.”
So am I Jake! So. Am. I.
I am super late to the Elin Hilderbrand party and am pretty sure this is only the third book of hers that I’ve read. I started with the first book in the “Paradise” series due to its timely release date during a Snowpocalypse when I wanted nothing else but to escape to a place like St. John. Oh wait, immediate edit because this is my fourth book of hers. DUH I read the other “Summer” book which is the entire reason this one pinged my radar. I assumed this book would be some sort of spinoff of that one and didn’t bother reading the blurb at all – just immediately added myself to the loooooooooong library wait list.
So it wasn’t any sort of a spinoff at all, but an “inspired by” type of selection instead where Mallory and Jake meet every Labor Day for . . . . you guessed it, twenty-eight summers in the fashion of . . . .
Which is 100% an exception to the rule when it comes to me not seeking out stories about cheating and/or cheaters. Sometimes it happens, sometimes I even give it a pass if the fictional circumstances are good enough, but it’s not usually my cuppa. Except when it’s Alan Alda and Ellen Burstyn. Or now Jake and Mallory. Oh my glob did I love this book. It even made me cry my own actual human tears despite being told at the very beginning what the ending was going to be. And speaking of the ending. The actual very last page ending?????
I don’t know if everyone will love this as much as I did, but the nostalgia factor of Same Time Next Year combined with just a solid good tale regarding these characters and how their lives changed over the decades (with ZERO of the “tragiporn” elements I was so afraid were going to get thrown in) was just what I needed to sink into as an escape. Not to mention the “What Are We Talking About In ____?” chapter openings. My lack of television viewing was very apparent because I recognized hardly any of the character names (aside from people who I feel are my kinfolk at this point like the Bluths and the Sopranos), but I could sing all of the songs referenced and luckily I knew almost all of the actual newsworthy names and events. It was a little bit of a bummer to see how many things are still being discussed and how many years later those discussions have continued with little to no change, but at this point I think we all need to be slapped in the face with our complacency.
Elin Hilderbrand, you get all of the stars. It was a billion and a half degrees where I live on Saturday and I was stuck sweating my fat a$$ off at baseball games all dang day. The break in the weather and this book all queued up and ready to go on Sunday was a perfect way to end the weekend. I cannot wait for your next release. ...more
Can I take a minute to address the absolute brilliance of an author who refuses to EVER use a quotation mark writing a book entitled Conversations With Friends that almost completely consists of conversations . . . . .
Anyway, this one wasn’t quite as mind-blowing as Normal People, but at this point I feel pretty confident saying if Rooney writes it, Imma probably read it. I like broken people and not-really-okay romantic entanglements the way she delivers them. Sometimes it’s just nice to read something where you don’t have to like the characters or their actions in order to still become fully invested in the story.
I started this while waiting for my kids’ nine millionth baseball game of the year to start because I had a paper copy and the glare was so horrific there was no way I could read any of my Kindle options. I figured it would pass the hour warm-up period and I would put it away easily. That was not the case. Instead I read this cover to cover and someone had to give me a shove whenever my kid came up to bat because I was pretty much in a trance.
Not for everyone, but it was certainly for me . . . .
But I finally broke down because this was a recommendation for the library’s summer reading program and would get me one step closer to obtaining free shit – which sadly rates higher than all of my friends’ recommendations due to the fact that I am trash.
And speaking of . . . .
“Go brush your teeth, comb your hair, put on dry clothes, and get the guns. We’re going to Wal-Mart”
You had me at the Wal-Mart. Why the eff didn’t anyone say “please ignore that cover, I am well aware that it is fug, but note that this is all about trailer parks and white trash and everything that makes you, you so you’re probably gonna like it and just STFU and read it already.”
Or that the dang thing opens with meeting Grandaddy in the backyard who might just be a little . . . .
Everyone was right about this book. Magic, a handsome nobleman, a mystery to solve. What’s not to like? I’m not sure when/if I’ll read more of the series after falling down the Sookie Stackhouse rabbit hole a million years ago only to suffer a severe disappoint that kind of turned me off reading anything past first books, but this was a fun start and there’s a solid chance I might break my own rule....more
Pizza Girl is definitely not going to be for everyone (ACTUAL SPOILER SO BEWARE: (view spoiler)[Pizza Girl has a pretty sever drinking problem along with her emotional problems and is pregnant (hide spoiler)]), but boy do I love broken people and daring storylines written by authors who are willing to take risks and realize they are going to turn a lot of people off with their chosen subject matter, and coming of age stories, and I definitely loved that I got these types of vibes . . . .
But only in a bleaker way since I sort of live for fictional misery. It also helped that I went into this with suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuper low expectations after really not enjoying Convenience Store Woman (which this is compared to in the blurb) and then being surprised that I actually did like it.
Guaranteeing a nearly perfect rating from the masses and broadcasting my wrongreader status far and wide. The premise here starts off fairly simple . . . .
“A cloudy September afternoon in 1969. That’s the day the old deacon, known as Sportcoat to his friends, marched out to the plaza of the Causeway Housing Projects in South Brooklyn, stuck an ancient .38 Colt in the face of a nineteen-year-old drug dealer named Deems Clemens, and pulled the trigger.
What follows is a story about the neighborhood surrounding the Five Points Baptist Church and the various characters who reside near there. Church ladies, maintenance men with a government cheese side hustle, bumbling hitmen, a mobster known as the Elephant, and on and on. Serious messages are delivered with humor (sometimes to the point of being the annoying slapstick variety) as you meander through the interconnected tales of a possible missing treasure and missing Christmas club cash.
This was my second go around with McBride and at this point I feel comfortable saying my lack of stars comes from a place of enjoying the tale but not the telling. I just don’t connect with his writing. This had a lot of potential, and maybe it fell victim to the hype train for me....more