Monday, November 12, 2018

Audio Book Review: I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

Release Date: April 3, 2012
Publisher: Hatchette Audio
Format: Audio
Length: 9 hours 32 minutes
Narrator: Charlie Thurston
Genre: Law/Crime/ YA
Buy: Audible | Kindle 

Synopsis: 

It was a beautiful day. It was a beautiful field.
Except for the body.

Jazz is a likable teenager. A charmer, some might say.

But he's also the son of the world's most infamous serial killer, and for Dear Old Dad, "Take Your Son to Work Day" was year-round. Jazz has witnessed crime scenes the way cops wish they could--from the criminals' point of view.

And now, even though Dad has been in jail for years, bodies are piling up in the sleepy town of Lobo's Nod. Again.

In an effort to prove murder doesn't run in the family, Jazz joins the police in the hunt for this new serial killer. But Jazz has a secret--could he be more like his father than anyone knows?

From acclaimed author Barry Lyga comes a riveting thriller about a teenager trying to control his own destiny in the face of overwhelming odds.

Review:

My daughter has been pressuring me to read this for years and I just kept putting it off.  When I found a free audio version of it on Scribd, the time had come.  I was instantly hooked. Jazz was raised by the country's most notorious serial killer Billy Dent. Being raised in this unconventional way has given Jazz a unique perspective into serial killers.  He knows how to manipulate people, and has recurring dreams of death and killing. Jazz's biggest fear is turning into his father so he tries to use his talents to help the police solve crimes.

Jazz, his girlfriend Connie and his hemophiliac best friend Howie are wonderful characters. Well developed and funny. Where Jazz is dark, Connie and Howie balance his morose outlook on life.  Howie with his dark sense of humor about his condition and Connie who doesn't let Jazz slip into his fear.

I really enjoyed this book and can't wait to get my hands on the next one in the series. I read on the authors website that he would like to write a new series featuring the same cast of characters set about 5 or so years later. I really hope that comes to fruition.



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Friday, November 9, 2018

Book Review: White Fragility: Why its so hard for White people to talk about race by Robin J DiAngelo

Release Date: June 26, 2018
Publisher: Beacon Press
Format: Paperback
Pages: 126 pages
Genre:  Race, Racism,
Buy: Kindle | Paperback | 

Synopsis: 

In this “vital, necessary, and beautiful book” (Michael Eric Dyson), antiracist educator Robin DiAngelo deftly illuminates the phenomenon of white fragility and “allows us to understand racism as a practice not restricted to ‘bad people’ (Claudia Rankine). Referring to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially, white fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and by behaviors including argumentation and silence. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and prevent any meaningful cross-racial dialogue. In this in-depth exploration, DiAngelo examines how white fragility develops, how it protects racial inequality, and what we can do to engage more constructively.

Review:

This book should be on every white persons TBR list (to be read). DiAngelo looks at race as not just good or bad but as more fluid. She states that our society is racist therefore it is impossible to escape racism and having bias. To acknowledge our own prejudice and intentional or unintentional racist views we first have to be open to hearing that we may hold racist views. It is the anger, fear, justifications and denial that we may have racist behaviors that holds us back from change. No matter how liberal or open minded you may think you are I can guarantee that you have probably said or done something unintentional that had racist undertones. The point is it doesn't matter that it was unintentional what matters is addressing it, looking at it and changing your behavior. We are all works in process and when we feel threatened, or invalidated we react with anger, frustration etc...deflecting from actually turning within to see how what we just did may have impacted others.We have to be aware that when someone gives you feedback its more about how what you said or did affected them. So being open to feedback and self reflection will help create change. Instead of being defensive maybe ask how you could have said something differently or what you could have done differently.

There were so many good pieces to this book I can't even pick them all out. Well done and thought provoking.








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Wednesday, November 7, 2018

ARC Book Review: Broken Ground (Karen Pirie Book 5) by Val McDermid

Release Date: December 5, 2018
Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press
Format: ebook
Pages: 432 pages
Genre:  Mystery/ Thriller
Buy: Hardcover Paperback | Audio

Synopsis: 

Six feet under in a Highland peat bog lies Alice Somerville’s inheritance, buried by her grandfather at the end of World War II. But when Alice finally uncovers it, she finds an unwanted surprise—a body with a bullet hole between the eyes. Meanwhile, DCI Pirie is called in to unravel a case where nothing is quite as it seems. And as she gets closer to the truth, it becomes clear that not everyone shares her desire for justice. Or even the idea of what justice is.

Review:

DCI Karen Pirie heads up the historical case unit in Scotland. Karen is still suffering from the loss of her significant other and seems to be having a hard time trusting anyone around her.

Karen is out chasing leads on a series of historical rapes when she is asked to divert to Wester Ross where a body has been discovered, buried with some Long sought treasure. The body is well preserved by the peat and has more modern shoes leading the forensic specialist to call Karen.

I haven't read any of the other books in this series so it works well as a stand alone. McDermid's narration is flowing and really moves the story along. She describes the landscapes so well you can almost smell the peat and feel the wind on your face. This is a really good police procedural that has many components to keep you reading.

Karen seems to have caught the attention of her boss but not in a good way. Knowing that the woman wants to take hurt her position Karen doesn't trust the new arrival to her unit. With her faithful other detective in tow they dive into the mystery of the man buried in the peat, whose mystery reaches back to WWII.

I really enjoyed this novel and I'm putting these on my radar to keep up with any new ones!





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

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Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Audio Book Review: Hello Forever by Sarina Bowen

Release Date: July 14, 2017
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Format: Audio
Length: 6 hours 12 minutes
Narrator: Teddy Hamilton, Dake Bliss
Genre: Romance/ LGBT
Buy: Audible | Kindle 

Synopsis: 

When they were only teenagers, Axel and Caxton were caught making out in the woods at church camp. And afterward, Cax had disappeared from all the youth group activities.

Six years later Axel is astonished to spot his first love's face in the crowd of a college basketball game he's watching on television - at a school that has just offered him a job. It's a thousand miles away, in a tiny rural town. But suddenly he can't wait to get there.

Cax can't believe his eyes when Axel appears in the same Massachusetts town where he now lives. And he's still just as drawn to him as ever. But he can't let himself go there again, because loving Axel will mean giving up everything else he holds dear.

Both men have so much to lose. But as far as their love is concerned, it's Hello Forever.

Review:

Cax and Axel can't seem to get together.  After that fateful day at camp so many years ago Cax and Axel lost touch and it wasn't until Axel spotted him on TV that they had another shot.  But Cax is deep in the closet. He tried to hide his feelings so that he can continue to see his brothers and help them get through their time living with their abusive father.  Axel understands but can't help pursuing Cax anyway.  When things take a sinister turn, though, Cax needs to decide between the love of his life or family.  Either way, he stands to lose more than he can bear.

The author has created very believable characters each yearning for each other. Cax's story is sad and unfortunately the way so many gay men and women feel when they have intolerant parents. The secondary characters are from the Goodbye Paradise, Josh and Caleb who escape cult life to find love. I really enjoy this author and look forward to reading more by her.



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