Wednesday, September 28, 2016

ARC Review: Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig

Release Date: October 4, 2016
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Format: Kindle
Pages: 336 pages
Genre: LGBT, Mystery
Buy: KindleHardcover

Synopsis:

Flynn's girlfriend, January, is missing. The cops are asking question he can't answer, and her friends are telling stories that don't add up. All eyes are on Flynn―as January's boyfriend, he must know something.
But Flynn has a secret of his own. And as he struggles to uncover the truth about January's disappearance, he must also face the truth about himself.

Review: 


Flynn's girlfriend is missing and Flynn is determined to figure out what happened.  By interviewing her new friends and co-workers Flynn discovers that he might not have known as much about his girlfriend as he had thought.  In addition Flynn comes to terms with a secret that has been plaguing him for a while.

This is not only a coming of age book but also a good mystery with an interesting take on how perception is not always what it seems.  There is also an underlying message of be happy with what you have, because money is not always the answer.

The writing is superb, and the characters very believable to a point. January still remains an enigma to me and I'm not sure where all the cops were while Flynn was running around putting all the pieces together.  While I get that teenagers might be more willing to talk to Flynn I have a hard time understanding why he didn't run into the cops while doing his investigation.

Putting that aside though I have to say this story held my attention and kept you guessing all the way to the end. Flynn's big secret is handled well and felt very honest.  I really liked this book.


Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher through netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review. 


Monday, September 26, 2016

ARC Review: Little Boy Blue (A Helen Grace Thriller) by MJ Arlidge

Release Date: October 4, 2016
Publisher: Berkely Publishing Group
Format: Kindle
Pages: 400 pages
Genre: Mystery/thriller
Buy: Kindle | Paperback | Hardcover


Synopsis: 

In the darkest corners of the city, there is a thriving nightlife where people can let loose and cross the lines of work and play, of pleasure and pain. But now that sanctuary has been breached. A killer has struck and a man is dead.

In a world where disguises and discretion are the norm, one admission could unravel a life. No one wants to come forward to say what they saw or what they know—including the woman heading the investigation: Detective Helen Grace.

Helen knew the victim. And the victim knew her—better than anyone else. And when the murderer strikes again, Helen must decide how many more lines she’s willing to cross to bring in a devious and elusive serial killer...

Review:

This series is definitely growing on me.  I am intrigued by Helen, her past and her extracurricular activities.  This installment finds Helen once again investigating murders that seem to have ties to her and her past.  This time the murderer is a little more cunning and the motive and outcome are not apparent until almost the very end.  As this series goes on Arlidge is really finding her rhythm with these characters.

I was slightly disappointed with Charlie in this installment.  She didn't seem as strong in this one, very uncertain in not only her work but in her relationship with Helen. I'm hoping that this changes in the next book.  She is usually such a strong character and I found her very weak in this one.

As usual Helen's nemesis, reporter Emilia has her sites set on taking Helen down. With the help on someone on the inside she may just do it this time.

Faced paced, well written thriller.




Disclaimer: I was provided an advanced copy of this book from the publisher through netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review. 

Friday, September 23, 2016

Book Review: Concrete Wings by Beverly Gandara

Release Date: March 11, 2016
Publisher: Beverly Gandara
Format: Kindle
Pages: 304 pages
Genre: Fiction
Buy: Kindle | Paperback


Synopsis: 

A na├»ve teen sent out of Cuba to retrieve smuggled family jewels on the eve of the Bay of Pigs invasion comes of age in New York City at the height of the sexual revolution and earns his political and economic freedom. By a twist of fate, he begins to lose his liberty when his oppressive parents arrive and refuse to assimilate into American Society. Take the journey and discover why success isn’t always measured by what one becomes, but often by what one overcomes.

Review: 


The cover of this book threw me off and I wasn't sure if I was going to like it but from page 1 I was hooked.  I felt like I was reading a biography not fiction.  I was completely sucked into Julian's life.  How life was in Cuba before Castro and what happened to it and the people afterwards.  The history in this book and the examination of a young man who has to navigate two worlds is beautifully written.  You felt Julian's struggle. I had issues with his parents while they were in Cuba and even once they got to America.  I felt for them as they entered into a new world, struggled with living in America but there were times I just wanted Julian to walk away and not look back.

This is a well written story that really speaks to the culture, and struggles of new immigrants and their struggle with a new world.  How communism can change you and how being a child who has to resort to being the caregiver can take its toll.

The only things I wish were different in this book were the cover and the ending which I felt was very abrupt but it is well worth your time.


Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 



Wednesday, September 21, 2016

ARC Review: Just Juliet by Charlotte Reagan

Release Date: September 16, 2016
Publisher: Create Space
Format: Kindle
Pages: 222 pages
Genre: YA, LGBT
Buy: Paperback


Synopsis:

Lena Newman is 17, her best friend’s a cheerleader, her boyfriend’s a football player, and as far as everyone is concerned, her life is sorted. But that’s before she befriends the new girl. Juliet is confident, slightly damaged, drop-dead gorgeous and a lesbian.
Lena realizes that her interest goes beyond just friendship. She sets off on a path of self-discovery where the loyalty of those closest to her will be tested.

Review: 


Lena struggles when she realizes she is attracted to the new girl in school.  She dives into a journey of self discovery which leads her to realize sexuality isn't so black and white.  While most coming out books only focus on being either straight or gay, this book looks at what its like to be bisexual.  What does that mean? Is it just a stopping point before you realize you really are gay? As a bisexual woman I can tell you it is one of the most misunderstood labels.  I loved that this book didn't feel the need to make Lena one or the other but really delve into her feelings to discover who she was.

The struggle Lena has coming out to her parents and the story behind Juliet's cousin Laykin are well done and honest.  Even the way her friends react when they find out is very real. The characters in this book are likable and the story fun and relatable.


Disclaimer: I received an advance copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. 



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