Friday, January 27, 2017

ARC Review: The Good Daughter by Alexandra Burt

Release Date: February 7, 2017
Publisher: Berkley Publishing
Format: Kindle
Pages: 400 pages
Genre: Mystery
Buy: Kindle | Paperback


Synopsis: 

What if you were the worst crime your mother ever committed?

Dahlia Waller’s childhood memories consist of stuffy cars, seedy motels, and a rootless existence traveling the country with her eccentric mother. Now grown, she desperately wants to distance herself from that life. Yet one thing is stopping her from moving forward: she has questions.

In order to understand her past, Dahlia must go back. Back to her mother in the stifling town of Aurora, Texas. Back into the past of a woman on the brink of madness. But after she discovers three grave-like mounds on a neighboring farm, she’ll learn that in her mother’s world of secrets, not all questions are meant to be answered...

Review:


This is not a quick book, its slow to build and a bit disjointed.  You know something isn't right from the beginning, since Dahlia talks about not having the right paperwork for most jobs.  The book picks up a bit around half way but still feels like its all over the place and not sure what it wants to be, is it a mystery, a thriller, a fantasy book? And it could be all of those if it was woven together a bit more. The ending wasn't completely satisfying. It felt rushed and off but most of the book felt off as well so I guess its fitting.

The story itself was pretty good, a bit repetitive and not woven as well as it could have been but it was an interesting plot.  When Dahlia Waller finds a woman half buried in the woods you think it will be a main theme tying things together but it seemed to just be there not very necessary or important other than it spurs Dahlia into questioning her mother about the past and her mother being weirder than she already was. It just didn't seem necessary, more like a prop that once put out you're not really sure what to do with anymore.

I wouldn't say I hated this book but I also wouldn't put it in my loved it category.  It was ok but there are so many more entertaining things to read out there.

 



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

Monday, January 23, 2017

Audio Book Review: Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah

Release Date: November 15, 2016
Publisher: Audible Studios
Format: Audible
Narrator: Trevor Noah
Length: 8 hours 50 Minutes
Genre: Biography
Buy: Audible | Hardcover | Paperback


Synopsis:

Trevor Noah’s unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents’ indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa’s tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle.

Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. It is also the story of that young man’s relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother—his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life.

Review: 


I was really excited about getting this book and I toyed around with either buying the book or listening to the audio.  Once I realized that Trevor Noah actually narrated the book I had to get the audio.  To hear him tell the stories of his childhood and apartheid with his South African accent and to listen to him speak Zulu, and Xhosa, Afrikaans and other South African dialects is worth the listen. I'm not sure they would have had the same impact if I had just read the words on the page.

This book is about growing up at a time when he could have been taken away from his mother due to his very biology.  The way they had to walk down the street, the times when his mother denied being his mother to protect him, even though he may not have understood and ultimately the strong bond between a mother and a son.  His stories are of South Africa and not fitting in anywhere, of Apartheid, and the brilliance of how the government divided a country that is still struggling against it, and of just being an awkward kid and trying to find his way through the world.   His stories had me laughing, crying, gasping and I found it difficult to stop listening.  I was totally enthralled by his story telling and I could have listened to him go on and on.




Friday, January 20, 2017

Book Review: A Time of Torment (A Charlie Parker Novel 14) by John Connelly

Release Date: August 2, 1016
Publisher: Atria
Format: Kindle
Pages: 480 pages
Genre: thriller, supernatural
Buy: Hardcover | Kindle | Paperback


Synopsis:

Jerome Burnel was once a hero. He intervened to prevent multiple killings, and in doing so destroyed himself. His life was torn apart. He was imprisoned, brutalized.
But in his final days, with the hunters circling, he tells his story to private detective Charlie Parker. He speaks of the girl who was marked for death, but was saved; of the ones who tormented him, and an entity that hides in a ruined stockade.
Parker is not like other men. He died, and was reborn. He is ready to wage war.

Now he will descend upon a strange, isolated community called the Cut, and face down a force of men who rule by terror, intimidation, and murder.

All in the name of the being they serve. All in the name of the Dead King.


Review:

I love these books they keep getting creepier and more mystical.  I'm not sure where they are leading but Charlie is not a normal PI and ever since his last encounter with death he has changed. If anything he seems more deadly which is hard to believe.

In this book we learn a tiny bit more about his daughter as well. We knew there was something different about her but this one really shows that there is a whole lot more to this girl than anyone thought.  But not being normal might be a good thing when you are Charlie's daughter.

The Cut is an isolated community within a small county they don't like outsiders and are pretty much self sustaining, but if you cross any of them there is no where you can hide that they can't find you and once they do its unpleasant.  They have a leader but they really follow the Dead King of which most people know little about.

As usual this is a well written book with some interesting characters.  Charlies mission it seems is to avenge the dead or the wrongly accused.  His sidekicks Angel and Luis don't have there usual lively banter in this one but their presence is always fun to watch as they interact with other people.

I am utterly enamored by these books and they just keep getting better. They are almost difficult to review because they are just so fabulous. Connelly has really created a very interesting supernatural world that lives within our world.  They look just like us but hide something deeper.





Wednesday, January 18, 2017

ARC Review: 20 by Vatsal Surti

Release Date: December 18, 2016
Publisher: Hybrid Texts
Format: Kindle
Genre: Fiction
Buy: Kindle


Synopsis: 

One night as she is driving back home from a show, she almost runs over someone. She holds her breath, and through the fog they see each other for the first time. Love begins to form in the space between them, in precognitions and thoughts, lights and intimacies. Seasons change. They come to know more things about themselves and each other. Life wraps them in its embrace like a haze, in a vacant space bigger than their eyes can see.

Review: 


This is a story of loneliness and love and finding yourself.  This novel is almost a poem in its lyrical and atmospheric writing.  Its haunting, beautiful and left me scratching my head wondering what I had just read but feeling better having read it.  Its one of those books that is hard to describe and even reading it leaves you a little lost but needing to go on.  Beautifully written but not for everyone.


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

Monday, January 16, 2017

ARC Review: The Fifth Petal by Brunonia Barry

Release Date: January 24, 2017
Publisher: Crown Publishing
Format: Kindle
Pages: 448 pages
Genre: Thriller & Suspense
Buy:  Kindle | Hardcover


Synopsis:

When a teenage boy dies suspiciously on Halloween night, Salem's chief of police, John Rafferty, now married to gifted lace reader Towner Whitney, wonders if there is a connection between his death and Salem’s most notorious cold case, a triple homicide dubbed "The Goddess Murders," in which three young women, all descended from accused Salem witches, were slashed on Halloween night in 1989. He finds unexpected help in Callie Cahill, the daughter of one of the victims newly returned to town. Neither believes that the main suspect, Rose Whelan, respected local historian, is guilty of murder or witchcraft.

But exonerating Rose might mean crossing paths with a dangerous force. Were the women victims of an all-too-human vengeance, or was the devil raised in Salem that night? And if they cannot discover what truly happened, will evil rise again?

Review:

Rose was once an acclaimed academic but after a fateful night and the murder of three women she has lost everything, even it seems her mind.  Callie was just a child when her mother was murdered and she thought Rose was dead until a news story brought everything back. Now she is on a mission to save Rose from being charged with murder again after the death of a young man.

This is a great atmospheric novel filled with folklore, Salem history and women who are much more than they seem. I loved this book, it grabs you from the beginning and takes you on a long ride.  As things twist and shift you can't quite get a grasp on who to trust and what exactly is happening to all these different people, is it witchcraft or something even more deadly? Is Rose the Banshee she claims or is someone else pulling the strings? Old money, new money and long held family feuds give this Salem mystery even more to sink your teeth into.

Apparently this is the second book in this series but it can totally stand alone. The characters are well developed and believable and the plot just gets deeper and deeper like the roots of a family tree.




Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher through netgalley.com

Friday, January 13, 2017

ARC Review: The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovet by Chelsea Sedoti

Release Date: January 3, 2017
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Format: Kindle
Pages: 400 pages
Genre: YA Romance
Buy: Kindle | Hardcover


Synopsis: 

Hawthorn wasn't trying to insert herself into a missing person's investigation. Or maybe she was. But that's only because Lizzie Lovett's disappearance is the one fascinating mystery their sleepy town has ever had. Bad things don't happen to popular girls like Lizzie Lovett, and Hawthorn is convinced she'll turn up at any moment-which means the time for speculation is now.

So Hawthorn comes up with her own theory for Lizzie's disappearance.  A theory way too absurd to take seriously...at first. The more Hawthorn talks, the more she believes. And what better way to collect evidence than to immerse herself in Lizzie's life? Like getting a job at the diner where Lizzie worked and hanging out with Lizzie's boyfriend. After all, it's not as if he killed her-or did he?

Told with a unique voice that is both hilarious and heart-wrenching, Hawthorn's quest for proof may uncover the greatest truth is within herself.

Review:


Everyone love Lizzie Lovett except Hawthorne.  Hawthorne feels like a square peg being forced into a round hole.  Her mother is a hippie who changed her name to Sparrow, her brother was a football player who once dated Lizzie.  When Lizzie goes missing Hawthorne becomes obsessed with Lizzies life.  She immerses herself in Lizzies life. In doing this she tries to find her place in the world.  This book is less about Lizzie than it is about a coming of age novel of Hawthorne and finding your way when you don't quite fit in.

When Sparrow's hippie friends come to town and camp in Hawthorne's back yard she finds that sometimes not fitting in can sometimes be freeing.  Between her investigation into Lizzies life and learning that she may not be as different as she thinks Hawthorne starts to find herself and her inner strength.

Very well done, quirky and filled with interesting characters. This book reminded me a bit of the Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky which I also really enjoyed.  The writing was excellent and the voices of the characters believable. Very well done.


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



Monday, January 2, 2017

Happy 2017


I hope everyone had a wonderful relaxing holiday season and got a new stack of books to read.

Did you get a new book you love? Share it with me! Leave the title in the comments

Do you have a recommendation for 2017? Share it with me.

I'm staying away from the TV for the next 4 years to keep my sanity so I have lots of reading time.


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