Saturday, October 29, 2016

Review: Try Not to Breathe by Holly Seddon

Try Not to Breathe by Holly Seddon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Amy Stevenson was seriously injured 15 years ago. The person who attacked her has never been caught. Alex Dale is a journalist who has suffered a lot of loss over the past few years, but she is determined to get her life back in order and try to help to find out who hurt Amy. Will Alex be able to solve the mystery? Will she be able to keep her health under control long enough?

There are so many unanswered questions when it comes to the night Amy was attacked. With the help of her ex-husband, Matt, a police officer and Amy's ex-boyfriend, Jake, will Alex be able to find out what really happened to Amy.

This is Holly Seddon's first book and she hit it out of the park. This mystery had you guessing who could have done it. There were a couple of times, when I was certain I knew who the culprit was, but at the end, I was wrong. I was shocked at the end by the turn of events. Alex, dives deep in to Amy's past to find out what is going on. She investigates the case more than the police did when they had the case.

This book had me intrigued from the very beginning. I was invested in Ale and was routing for her to accomplish her goal of helping Amy and the world find out who attacked her. I got worried when she hit a setback in the case, hoping it wouldn't be a setback in her quest to try to get healthy. When her doctor gives her a health update, that isn't quite what she hopes to hear, it puts a fire under her in my opinion, that makes her work harder on the case. Whether it's to beat the inevitable, or to prove that she can still do the job she loves, I'm not sure.

Working with Jacob(Jake) who has his own issues he is going through, proves to be most helpful. Jake has visited Amy quite a bit over the past 15 years. Unfortunately, his wife, Fiona has no idea. With his first child on the way, Jake has to make a decision about whether or not he can keep up this charade, but will Fiona find out before he has a chance to help Alex solve the mystery.

Overall, this was one of the best books I have read this year. It was hard to put down and it kept me captivated throughout the entire book. Highly recommended.

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Thursday, October 27, 2016

Review: Leaving Time: A Novel

Leaving Time: A Novel by Jodi Picoult
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Jenna Metcalf is thirteen years old and more than anything, she wants to find her mother, Dr. Alice Metcalf. Alice is a doctor who studies the behavior of elephants, specifically, grief. She goes missing when Jenna is just three years old and there was a tragic accident at the Elephant Sanctuary where they lived and that her parents owned/worked. Jenna doesn't believe that her mother would have ever left her behind, so she enlists the help of Serenity Jones, a once famous psychic who helped to find missing people and Virgil Stanhope, a private detective, who was on the police force and was a part of the investigation of the accident at the Sanctuary. With their help, will Jenna be able to find her mother? And when she does, will she be disappointed by what she finds?

I have enjoyed reading Jodi Picoult novels for a long time. They always leave me with different kinds of emotions. Some happy, some sad, sometimes confused. Leaving Time was no exception. I felt a connection to each character. With Jenna, I felt sadness of the loss of her mother and her plight to find her. For Alice, a felt compassion for her work and the situation she was living in. For Serenity, I'm not quite sure my feelings about her, but she was a caring force in Jenna's life. For Virgil, it was pity, that he was unable to get his life together and accomplish his goals.

Listening to this book I was intrigued by the subject matter. Based on the idea that "an elephant never forgets" it was fascinating to learn about how elephants interact with humans and with each other, especially after they suffer a loss. A lot how we as humans grieve. This is another book that will make you think and keep you on your toes, covering subject matters of wildlife, mental illness and supernatural abilities. In the last 5% of the book there was a twist that I didn't see coming and it made me rethink everything I had just read/listened to. This is why Jodi Picoult is one of my favorites.

My favorite line from the book: "...there was a tear in the fabric I was made of and he was the only color thread that would match to stitch it back up."

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Friday, October 21, 2016

Review: Falling by Jane Green

Falling by Jane Green
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Emma Montague has just left the hustle and bustle of life and work in New York City and has moved to Westport, CT. She has left her job as a banker, to slow down a bit and try her hand at interior design. It's something she has always been passionate about and has a great eye for it as well. She finds a house that has a lot of potential, on the beach and the landlord, Dominic is willing to compromise on the changes she has in mind for the cute cottage. Emma sees something in Dominic that she has never seen in any man before. But, they come from two totally different worlds. Emma is from England and left there to pursue a life in the United States and Dominic has barely left Westport. A relationship between these two would never work. Would it?

I love Jane Green books. They are always so emotional and I can always find a way to connect the story and characters to something that is going on in my life. This book was no exception. It was very emotional and the last few chapters had me crying like a baby.

Emma and Dominic have the type of relationship we all wish we could have. They met and had an instant connection Their love for each other and for Dominic's son, Jesse is almost instantaneous. When an unexpected visitor comes to town, Emma thinks that her relationship with Dominic will be over just as quickly as it started. But Dominic is firm in his feelings for Emma and nothing will change that.

Another book for me that was impossible to put down. I may get in trouble from the library for the tear-soaked pages I left behind, but it would be well worth it. If you have never read a book by Jane Green, you don't know what you're missing and I suggest you pick one up right away.

Some of my favorite lines from the book:
This was so me as a kid!

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Thursday, October 20, 2016

Review: Hunted by Dominique L. Watson

Hunted by Dominique Watson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Thank you to the author for a copy of this book in exchange for my review.

Detective Scarlett Fry is taking a much needed vacation with her husband in Spain, but she just can't seem to escape work. When two dead bodies are discovered in the room across from hers, she has to find out what happened. But this isn't her jurisdiction, so she continues her vacation, but it's hard to get it out of her mind. Upon returning home, she gets a case of a murdered man and a missing family. Ironically her case at home and the murders in Spain are connected. Will she be able to find the killer or killers and will she be able to find the missing family?

This is the first book I have read by Dominique L. Watson, but I will definitely read more. I'm really looking forward to reading Murder for Justice, which is the first Scarlett Fry book. I devoured this book in a few days.

Detective Scarlett Fry can't seem to get a break. Even on vacation, as a homicide detective, work seem to fall at her feet. Or right across the hall from her hotel room in Spain. She could never imagine that thousands of miles away in her jurisdiction, a murder was taking place there as well. And a kidnapping. I was on the edge of my seat as Fry traveled the southwest part of the country from San Diego, California to small town Arizona hunting the killer. Twists and turns all along the way make this book very hard to put down. I highly recommend this book for anyone looking for a great fast paced thriller.

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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Review: Serpents in the City by H.N.Wake

Serpents in the City by H.N. Wake
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Thank you to the author for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I enjoyed this book so much, I also purchased a copy from Amazon.

Mac Ambrose just wants to start living a normal life, but getting away from the CIA is not an easy task. Asked by one of her closest friends to investigate a leaked sex tape of a U.S. Senator, Mac is reluctant to take the case. When she finds something not quite fitting the description of what she was looking for, she regrets her decision to take this case on. The Senator isn't telling the whole truth about this tape and now that Mac is involved, she has to find out why.

Mac Ambrose seems like the kind of woman we all could be friends with. She cares about those who are close to her and those she works with But, don't cross her because you don't want to be on her bad side. The thing I liked most about this boo is how quickly it drew me in It was a hard bookk to put down and a book I would recommend firsts to all of my female friends. Mac Ambrose will make you fell empowered and in fact, she does make another female in the book feel empowered.

There were a few twists and turns in the book that made you wonder what was going to happen next. I would have given the book five stars, but there were a few times when there were new characters introduced that I had to go back to figure out who they were and how they fit into the story. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the book and I look forward to see what will happen to Mac next.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Review: Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Nick Young and Rachel Chu are both professors at NYU and have been dating for a couple of years. With the summer off, Nick invites Rachel home with him to Singapore to attend his best friend's wedding and spend the summer exploring the place he grew up. Nick hasn't told Rachel much about his family and she has only met his cousin, Astrid, but she is ready to take this next step in their relationship. What Rachel doesn't know is that Nick's family is among some of the wealthiest in Singapore and when Rachel steps off that plane, her life will never be the same.

I feel as though I cheated myself a bit when I read this book because, I had already read the sequel China Rich Girlfriend (Crazy Rich Asians #2) by Kevin Kwan so I knew what was going to happen. Although it was very interesting at this point to get the back story. I'm not quite sure what I would do if I were in Rachel's shoes. Nick didn't tell her about the status of his wealth, because he was sure she would be able to handle it. But after being constantly asked about her family and where she comes from and finding fish guts in her hotel room, Rachel decides that she might not be cut out for this kind of life. She loves Nick a lot, but having to deal with his family is a whole other ballgame.

I really like the characters Kevin Kwan has created in this series. The book made me laugh out loud and cry to myself. It make me want to travel to Singapore or China and see this first hand. Although, with my financial status, I would never be able to come close. I hear there are talks of a movie for this and I would definitely go to see it. Not sure if there are more books to come for this series, but I'm looking forward to reading more by Kevin Kwan.

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Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Review: The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Cora was born into slavery as her mother before her was. When the offer to run North was first brought to her attention, Cora wasn't interested. After a few instances happened on the plantation, Ceasar asked her again and this time she decided to say yes. Planning their route very carefully, they are able to make it away from the plantation, but will they be able to avoid the slave catchers forever?

This is one of Oprah's latest picks. I had a lot of high hopes for this book since previous Oprah selections have really held my attention But this book, just didn't do it for me. I was very disappointed It took me nearly a month to read this book and I felt as if I had to finish it to find out if it was going to get any better. There were parts that I got through faster than the rest of the book, but for the most part, I had not desire to pick up the book the way I usually do with whatever book I am reading. It seems this year Oprah's theme for her selections have been the same theme as previous selections in the 2.0 Book club.

I think the idea behind this book was great, and normally, I enjoy this type of historical fiction but this book just didn't do it for me. I got excited when I first heard about this book. Having the Underground being an actual railroad instead of just a "trail" made it seem more believable and more understandable on how the slaves traveled from the horrible conditions of the south to the freedom offered by the north. I wish this book would have been more enjoyable, but it just wasn't. Maybe others will get more from this story than I did. I'm not sure if I will read more from Colson Whitehead or not.

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