Wednesday, September 11, 2019

ARC Review: The Nobody People by Bob Proehl

Release Date: September 3, 2019
Publisher: Del Rey
Format: ebook
Pages: 465 pages
Genre:  Sci Fi/Fantasy
Buy: Kindle | Hardcover | 

Synopsis:

Avi Hirsch has always known his daughter was different. But when others with incredible, otherworldly gifts reveal themselves to the world, Avi realizes that her oddness is something more—that she is something more. With this, he has a terrifying revelation: Emmeline is now entering a society where her unique abilities unfairly mark her as a potential threat. And even though he is her father, Avi cannot keep her safe forever.

Emmeline soon meets others just like her: Carrie Norris, a teenage girl who can turn invisible . . . but just wants to be seen. Fahima Deeb, a woman with an uncanny knack for machinery . . . but it’s her Muslim faith that makes the U.S. government suspicious of her.

They are the nobody people—ordinary individuals with extraordinary gifts who want one only thing: to live as equals in an America that is gripped by fear and hatred. But the government is passing discriminatory laws. Violent mobs are taking to the streets. And one of their own—an angry young man seething with self-loathing—has used his power in an act of mass violence that has put a new target on the community. The nobody people must now stand together and fight for their future, or risk falling apart.

Review: 

This took me way too long to read and I'm not sure why.  I love the X-men so this type of book is up my alley.  I think there were so many characters that it started to make my head spin a bit and there were things that just didn't suspend my disbelief totally.  

Avi Hirsch is addicted to adventure and danger.  He has traveled the world as a reporter until an IUD took his leg. When he discovers the world of Resonants he finds his new calling.  However there comes a point where they turn on him and I'm still not quite sure why. Emmeline his daughter is a resonant, and a powerful one, no one really says what exactly she can do until late in the book and still I'm not quite certain of how it works.  Then there are all the other Resonants that play a significant role in this story and the main antagonist who is a resonant who literally just devours people and things.  He feeds them to what is termed the null but he is following the wishes of someone else - a dark entity in his head. 

Of course after the Resonants go public the government goes into a frenzy and there are hate crimes galore and military camps set up, people snatched off the streets, and talk of registration and legal internment camps. 

This is the first book in at least a 2 book series.  So it will be interesting to see how this plays out. I really hope that Proehl can tie some of these lingering questions together in the next installment. I almost think that if he had made this series longer and delved a little deeper into each character but making it more books it would have been better. 








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

Discover other books or products I like: https://www.amazon.com/shop/readinggrrl 

Friday, September 6, 2019

Audio Book Review: My Sister the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

Release Date: November 20, 2018
Publisher: Random House Audio
Format: Audio
Length: 4 hours 15 minutes
Narrator: Adepero Oduye
Genre: Fiction
Buy: Audible | Kindle | Paperback

Synopsis: 

Korede is bitter. How could she not be? Her sister, Ayoola, is many things: the favorite child, the beautiful one, possibly sociopathic. And now Ayoola's third boyfriend in a row is dead.

Korede's practicality is the sisters' saving grace. She knows the best solutions for cleaning blood, the trunk of her car is big enough for a body, and she keeps Ayoola from posting pictures of her dinner to Instagram when she should be mourning her "missing" boyfriend. Not that she gets any credit.

Korede has long been in love with a kind, handsome doctor at the hospital where she works. She dreams of the day when he will realize that she's exactly what he needs. But when he asks Korede for Ayoola's phone number, she must reckon with what her sister has become and how far she's willing to go to protect her.

Review: 

I heard good things about this book so I had to grab it. Short, dark and well written this book is a wild ride. Ayoola is the "pretty" sister, the one who everyone talks about and always attracts the boys, Korede is her sister who isn't as noticeable but the "responsible" one. Korede is a nurse and is attracted to the doctor she works with but once he notices Ayoola, Korede is just a way to get to her sister. Korede knows that the men Ayoola dates all seem to wind up dead.  Who do you protect, your sister or the man you want to be yours?

Set in Nigeria this short book is fascinating in a dark way.  Well crafted with relatable characters and an interesting take on family and how we treat each other. There is a wealth of family dynamics lessons in this book that I'm sure could be torn apart and examined.  Excellent read.





Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Audio Book Review: Brain on Fire (my month of madness) by Susannah Cahalan

Release Date: November 13, 2012
Publisher: Highbridge Audio
Format: Audio
Length: 7 hours 48 minutes
Narrator: Heather Henderson
Genre: Medicine/autobiography
Buy: Audible | Kindle | Paperback

Synopsis: 

In 2009, Susannah Cahalan woke up in a strange hospital room strapped to a bed, under guard, and unable to move or speak. Her medical records - from a month-long hospital stay of which she had no memory - reported psychosis, violence, and dangerous instability. Yet, only weeks earlier she had been a healthy, ambitious twenty-four-year-old, six months into her first serious relationship and a sparkling career as a cub reporter.

Susannah's astonishing memoir chronicles the swift path of her illness and the lucky, last-minute intervention led by one of the few doctors capable of saving her life. Weeks ticked by and Susannah moved inexplicably from violence to catatonia. Over one million dollars worth of blood tests and brain scans revealed nothing. The exhausted doctors were ready to commit her to the psychiatric ward, until the celebrated neurologist, Dr. Souhel Najjar, joined her team. With the use of a simple - yet ingenious - test, he was able to make a lifesaving diagnosis - revealing a newly discovered autoimmune disorder in which the body attacks the brain.

Review:

Terrifying, intriguing and brilliantly written, Brain on Fire is the true story of Susannah Cahalan who developed an autoimmune disorder that attacked her brain causing her to seem to go insane.  As doctor after doctor couldn't figure out what was wrong, misdiagnosing her again and again, Susannah suffered in the hospital.  Her families and friends fought to keep her out of a mental health facility and tried desperately to "save" her. Even once she was diagnosed her road to recovery wasn't an easy one, leaving her with big gaping holes in her memory of this time, not to mention the months it took to regain the motor coordination, and cognitive function she once had.

This book was pieced together through journals, discussions with her parents, her boyfriend, doctors and video that was taken of her while she was in the hospital. Its tragic that this young driven writer was reduced to one word sentences, psychotic outbursts, and seizures with no one being able to figure out what was wrong. Even today it seems not all doctors know about this disease although more and more people have been diagnosed with it.  This book is a cautionary tale to always get a 2nd and sometimes a third and fourth opinion.  Scary yet deeply moving this book held my attention up until the very end.





Tuesday, September 3, 2019

ARC Book Review: The Arrangement by Robyn Harding

Release Date: July 30, 2019
Publisher: Gallery/Scout Press
Format: ebook
Pages: 352 pages
Genre:  Thriller
Buy: Kindle | Hardcover 

Synopsis:

Natalie, a young art student in New York City, is struggling to pay her bills when a friend makes a suggestion: Why not go online and find a sugar daddy—a wealthy, older man who will pay her for dates and even give her a monthly allowance? Lots of girls do it, Nat learns. All that’s required is to look pretty and hang on his every word. Sexual favors are optional.

Though more than thirty years her senior, Gabe, a handsome corporate finance attorney, seems like the perfect candidate, and within a month, they are madly in love. At least, Nat is…Gabe already has a family, whom he has no intention of leaving.

So when he abruptly ends things, Nat can’t let go. But Gabe’s not about to let his sugar baby destroy his perfect life. What was supposed to be a mutually beneficial arrangement devolves into a nightmare of deception, obsession, and, when a body is found near Gabe’s posh Upper East Side apartment, murder.

Review: 

So many reviews compare this book to Pretty Woman but for me it was more like Fatal Attraction.  Natalie is a struggling art student who lives with 2 roommates who really want her to move out.  She can barely make her rent or pay her other bills and she knows its only a matter of time until she is out on the street.  A friend of hers tells her about Sugar Daddies and how she gets paid to be an escort, it doesn't always involve sex but can if she feels a connection.  So Nat desperate for money decides to give it a try.  What she finds is Gabe a handsome attorney who says he is a single dad. Gabe is a rich man whose wife has turned away from him but he loves her and doesn't want to end their marriage so he has turned to the Sugar Daddy website to find "entertainment" for when he is in the city during the week.

Natalie is young and naive, she quickly falls for Gabe and thinks that there is more to their relationship, even Gabe seems torn but divorce can't happen so he tries to give up Natalie and thats when things turn crazy.

This is a fast paced, well researched thrill ride.  You know from the beginning of the book that Natalie is being charged with murder but the murder of who is the question that doesn't get answered until 3/4 in and even then its a mystery, did Natalie really do it? She can't remember.  I had never heard of the Sugar Bowl before but I can see why a lot of young women fall for it and harding did her research on it, throwing out terms like splenda and salty, and also showing the darker kinkier side of the sugar bowl.  Overall this is a quick good read.






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

Discover other books or products I like: https://www.amazon.com/shop/readinggrrl 
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