Monday, January 30, 2017

Review: Murder, D.C. by Neely Tucker

Murder, D.C. by Neely Tucker
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Sully Carter is a journalist in Washington, D.C. When he starts to investigate the murder of Billy Ellison, the son of a prominent African American family in the area, he finds out a lot more information then he had planned to. With so many questions about this death and curious circumstances about talking to the family about it, Sully is determined to get to the truth, even if his own life may hang in the balance because of it.

Thank you to NetGalley and Penguin Viking for the opportunity to read and review this book. This is the first book I have read by Neely Tucker and I look forward to more that he has. I enjoy reading books in and around Washington DC as I have lived in this area most of my life.

This book had a very interesting story line and a few twists and turns along the way. Billy Ellison is gay and his family is very well known throughout the DC area. His family wants him to follow in his father's footsteps and become a lawyer, but this isn't something he is interested in. He enjoys exploring his family's rich and illustrious past in Washington, but then he discovers something very disturbing. After his death, Sully Carter, picks up where Billy left off and tries to find out what in the research could have gotten him killed. As Sully gets closer to the truth, his life is on the brink of ending as well.

In the book, Sully works for "The Paper" not sure which that would be, but I'm assuming its the Washington Post, the largest in the area. Sully is a character who you can love or hate, really. He didn't grow on me too much. The story overall had a good plot, but there were parts of it that my eyes read but my brain did not digest.

Overall the book is good and if given the opportunity, I will read more books by Neely Tucker.

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Monday, January 23, 2017

The Best of 2016

Reading in 2016 did not start out too good for me.  I read one book in January, one in February and none in March.  I was in a bad reading slump.  I finally was able to get out of it and start my year off to a bang.  The first book that help me to get out of the slump and get me back in the swing of things was
I have read a few of Kimberla Lawson Roby books in the past, but this one really struck a cord with me.  Her Christian Fiction is always enjoyable and makes you think about what is going on in your life. This was my first 5 star rated book of the year.  It helped to get me out of my reading slump.  

I'm not quite sure how I first got introduced to the husband wife writing team of Nicci French, but I have fallen in love with their Freida Klein books.  This year I read   
I have read every day of the week so far.  I started Friday On My Mind later in the year, but for some reason I just couldn't get into it.  I will try to read it again later on.  Next up for them is Saturday Requiem which was published in March 2016.  Don't know what they will do when the week ends and what will happen with Frieda, but I look forward for the opportunity to find out. 

I read my first Chris Bohjalian book as part of a book club, Midwives.  Since then I have read several of his other books and he is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors.  I love how easily you can connect to his characters.  This year I read 
This is an amazing story that will capture your attention from the very beginning.  I am now looking forward to reading
 which was released earlier this month.

One of the best books I read in 2016 was
 This is a story that completely resonates with what is happening in our country right now.  It will leave you wanting to read more of her books, which they are all great.  All of Jodi Picoult's books seem as though they are ripped from the headlines.  I love them. 

Another great book I read this year is by another author who is quickly becoming one of my favorites, Jane Green.  I was introduced to her books a couple of years ago looking for something easy to listen to on audio and I came across on of hers.  Since then I have been hooked.  
 Falling is a love story based loosely on how she met her current husband.  It will have you wanting to find love just like that.  

And finally, 
Gayle Forman is usually known for her Young Adult books, but this time she wrote one geared more to adults and I loved it!!  

I hope you will go back through the archives to read some of these reviews and pick them up for yourself to read.  

For 2017 I want to read a ton more books, I've even made my reading goal for 100 even though I only read 41 for this year.  I'm working on reading Harry Potter this year, I have never read it and there is a challenge to read a chapter every day.  I'm going to do this with my daughter who really likes Harry Potter.  Also I want to read all of James Patterson's stand alone books.  I am caught up with the Women's Murder Club series and I look forward to reading these books, I haven't gotten a chance to read yet.  That along with catching up on the NetGalley books I have left to read, should keep me pretty busy for the year.  Please let me know what you plan on reading this year. 

Friday, January 20, 2017

Review: The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney

The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Plumb family are anxiously awaiting the youngest, Melody's, 40th birthday that's when they are allowed to get "The Nest", an inheritance their father has left for them later in life, when they will be able to use it more sensibly. When the oldest, Leo gets into some trouble, their mother decides to use some of The Nest to help get him out of the jam. The time has now come for them to retrieve The Nest, but will Leo give them the money they need in order to get the amount they were expecting.

I found it very hard to connect with the characters in this book. No one grabbed my attention or made me interested to read the book. The story, overall has some interesting aspects to it, the connection to 9/11 and each individual character had an interesting enough story. The family as a whole seemed like a bunch of whiney babies that should be better able to handle their issues at 40 and over. I'm not sure if I will read other books by this author, but I'm down to try.

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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Review: In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Nora Shaw has been invited to her "friend" Clare Cavendish's hen weekend(a bachelorette party). But Nora and Clare haven't spoken to each other in ten years and if their mutual friend Nina wasn't attending, then Nora sure as hell wasn't going to go. Nora doesn't even know who Clare is marrying. Arriving a a house made completely of glass in the middle of the woods, with snow on the ground and no cell reception, Nora instantly regrets her decision to come. When disaster strikes, despite Flo(the maid of honor) trying to make this the best hen weekend ever, Nora tries hard to remember exactly what happened, but it's difficult. Will she be able to put the pieces together before she is charged with a serious crime?

This book was so hard to put down. Let's just say, you won't find me in the woods in a glass house anytime soon. Or meeting up with people I haven't talked to in a decade. I enjoy Ruth Ware's style of writing. I like how she starts the story from opposite ends and then it all comes together. It keeps you excited for what is about to come.

I would hate to be in Nora's shoes. I also don't think I would go to a hen weekend for someone I hadn't talked to in 10 years. Maybe if it was just a night out with a big group, I would consider it, but spending and entire weekend with people I barely know....I don't think so. You don't see the twists and turns that happen in the book coming at you and you will find it impossible to put this this book down. Nora Shaw is your typical 20-something. She has her career as a writer and a few close friends. When she gets the call to attend this hen weekend, she is at first skeptical. The only other person she will know besides the bride, is her friend Nina and they aren't necessarily the closest, although they are much closer than Nora and Clare.

Nora is also a serious runner. It helps her to clear her mind for her writing and when she arrives at the glass house, it helps her to calm her nerves before she sees Clare for the first time. The other guests all seem a little on edge as well and the host Flo, is just a mess. Determined to make the weekend "perfect" for Clare. Each character has their own effect on the outcome of this weekend, and none of their lives will be the same when it is over.

If you haven't read anything by Ruth Ware, I suggest you go out and grab one of her books immediately.

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Thursday, January 5, 2017

Review: The Mothers by Brit Bennett

The Mothers by Brit Bennett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Nadia Turner, Aubrey Evans, and Luke Sheppard are young adults living in Oceanside, CA. They are each going through their lives trying to overcome their individual struggles. One summer they are all joined together by unforeseen events and these events will help to mold them into the people they will be for the rest of their lives.

We all have people in our lives who know everything think that is going on in our lives or think they do whether we want them to or not. In this book, a few ladies at Upper Room Church fill this spot. They narrate the scene for most of the chapters in this book and give their honest opinion on how the story will unfold. They have known these young people most of their lives and have been in their position many years before.

I have been looking forward to reading this book or a long time. I will say that even though I read this book rather quickly it wasn't quite what I was expecting. I would have liked to seen more of a voice from "The Mothers". Other than that, this was an enjoyable read for me.

Nadia, Aubrey and Luke are all around the same age and live in Oceanside. Luke and Nadia date briefly the summer before she leaves for college. Then Luke suddenly cuts her out of his life like a bad habit. She takes a job working as the First Lady's assistant at Upper Room. There she meets Aubrey. Aubrey is quiet and shy, but is instantly drawn to Nadia. Both of them having lost their mothers, although in very different ways, have a connection that no one would have seen. The story follows the trio as they move through life and deal with their pasts in order to move forward with their futures.

This was a very good debut novel and I look forward to more books by Brit Bennett.

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