Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Review: The Beautiful Bureaucrat by Helen Phillips

The Beautiful Bureaucrat by Helen Phillips
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Josephine Jones has just move to the big city and is in need of a job. She finds one where her job is to input information into a database. She will sit in an office with smudged pink walls, in a building with no windows. Her only job is to enter the information and don't ask questions. But curiosity is a part of human nature. Will she be able to continue the job when she discovers what it is she is really doing?

Thank you to NetGalley and Henry Holt for the opportunity to read and review this book.

Josephine and Joseph Jones have left the hinterland(the place they call home) for the big city. I'm not sure what city they are in or what kind of people Josephine and Joseph are. Sometimes Josephine calls Joseph by a number 041-74-3400. They jump around their new city from sublet to sublet, each with one disgusting trait or another. Like black bubbling coming from the bathtub and gray sheets on the futon that were at some time in their life white.

This was a short story that captivated my attention, but also had me confused. There didn't seem to be enough time to tell the background of the story or develop the characters enough to really get to know them. There wasn't a name to the city they were living in and Josephine constantly refers to her boss as "The Person with Bad Breath". Overall this book was pretty good and I would read more by this author.

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Review: The Other Side of the Pillow by Zane

The Other Side of the Pillow by Zane
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

For most of the relationships Jemistry has been in, they have been abusive and she ends up hurt, physically and emotionally. After so many years of this she decides to take the rest of her life into her own hands and builds a wall around herself and stay single only have a few friends with benefits, to fill her needs. That is until she meets Tevin Harris. Will he be able to tear down the wall Jemistry has built around herself or will she repeat her past patterns of bailing on a relationship just when things seem to be going well?

I have read quite a few of Zane's book in the past, but it has been few years since I have read one. This I will say is now one of my favorites. The Other Side of the Pillow was a great love story that most women dream will be a part of their lives. To meet a man who is understanding of your past, butwill love you because of the future you will build together. Jemistry meets Tevin after she finishes reciting a poem called "Bitter". Shortly after they meet, though, she drops the two men she's been having casual sex with for the past couple of years.

The thing I liked best about this book, is that is gives you the hope that there is love out there for everybody sometimes in the place you leastexpect it. Learning to trust is not the easiest thing to do, but when you find someone you can trust completely then it's a magical thing. Tevin helped Jemistry to break down the wall she had built and learn to love again, but will the love and trust last.

Each chapter started with a quote about love, here are a few of my favorites:

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Monday, March 20, 2017

Review: Rich and Pretty by Rumaan Alam

Rich and Pretty by Rumaan Alam
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

2.5 Stars

Lauren and Sarah have been best friends since they were eleven years old. Now that they are adults, they don't seem to be as close as they used to be. With Sarah's upcoming wedding, will they be able to revive the friendship they once had?

Reading the description for this book, I was so excited to read it as I thought I would be able to relate to the characters, but unfortunately, I couldn't.

The story focuses on the long relationship between Lauren and Sarah and takes place in New York mostly during the months leading up to Sarah's wedding to Dan. There are things they share and secrets they keep from each other. Lauren is living her single life and Sarah dreams of something different for their future lives together. Lauren appears to be happy for Sarah, but internally she doesn't really care. I thought something more dramatic may have happened during this book, but overall it was underwhelming. The two never seemed to work through the issues they were having just glossing by life. Several times I thought about putting this book down, but I had to see how it was going to end.

Not a book I would recommend.

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Monday, March 13, 2017

Review: The Things We Wish Were True by Marybeth Mayhew Whalen

The Things We Wish Were True by Marybeth Mayhew Whalen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Things We Wish Were True takes place in a small town in North Carolina during the summer of 2014. It's a very close knit community and most residents have lived there most of their lives. From Zell, the neighborhood matriarch to Jancey the "prodigal" daughter returning after making a quick escape after high school. Each character has their own story and each story intertwines with each character. It includes twists and turns that will make you need to find out what is going to happen next.

Thank you to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for the opportunity to read and review this book.

I will admit that at the beginning of the book, there was a little confusion with all the different characters, but after getting into the story, everything soon became clear. Each character carries a secret. Some secrets are small and others could be catastrophic.

Zell - has been limping around all summer and has stopped running, why/
Cailey - is growing up faster than she wants to or should, but with a single working mother is there anything that can stop that.
Bryte - doesn't want to have a second child, the first time was so difficult, she doesn't want to go through that again.
Jencey - Returns home after being away for so long. Will she stay for good this time, or will she run again like she did in the past.
Lance - has recently become a single father, but how long will that be the case?
Everett - Married to Bryte and ex of Jencey has a few of his own secrets that could tarnish his relationships.

There is one story about a summer in North Carolina, told from each persons point of view. Each character has their own side to the story centered around the neighborhood pool. It dives into the past which helps to progress the present. At the end of this summer the whole neighborhood will be changed from the secrets that are revealed.

This is the first book I have read by this author and I look forward to reading more of her books.

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Thursday, March 9, 2017

Review: Nine Women, One Dress by Jane Rosen

Nine Women, One Dress by Jane L. Rosen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Every woman needs a LBD(Little Black Dress). This book tells the story of one such dress. You get to follow the life of the dress at it is born until it meets it's demise. Max Hammer is the designer. Along the way, we meet the dressmaker, the runway model who first shows the dress to the world and the other women who have come in contact with the dress and the way it has affected their lives. The dress of the season has made it's way around New York City and the world.

I listened to this book over the past couple of weeks to and from work. It's a cute story about "the" dress of the season. Throughout the life of the dress you meet a host of characters that each have their moment with the dress. We have Natalie the Bloomingdale's sales girl, who uses the dress to help an actor get negative press away from his name. Then there's, Felicia who has been Mr. Winters assistant for the past 20 years and has been in love with him for just as long, she gets the dress in the best/worst mix-up ever. Then there's an actress in a Broadway play, the French girl who is normally only in a berka, the private eye who snoops out cheating husbands, and the runway model from Alabama making her debut in the dress. The whole story is centered around the Bloomingdale's where the dress is being sold and the employees who work there are just as pertinent to the story as the women who wear the dress.

Overall this was a cute story that made me laugh out loud at parts.

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Monday, March 6, 2017

Review: Broken Promise by Linwood Barclay

Broken Promise by Linwood Barclay
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Promise Falls is a small town that is slowly losing itself. The amusement park has shut down along with the newspaper. Because of this latest incident, David Harwood is forced to move back in with his parents along with his son, Ethan. Eager to find a job he helps his parents with whatever they need around the house. As he takes some food to his cousin, Marla, he makes a startling discovery. She has a baby that she insists an angel has brought to her house. When the mother of that baby is found murdered, David does all he can to protect Marla despite her sorted past.

Thank you to NetGalley and Penguin Random House for the opportunity to read and review this title. Broken Promise is the first in a new trilogy by Linwood Barclay. This book wasn't necessarily action packed, but it held my attention completely. By the end of the book there were 23 dead squirrels, 5 dead people, 2 unsolved murders and one strange adoption case. There is a cliffhanger at the end of the book that made me immediately go out and get the second book in the trilogy Far From True. Linwood Barclay is a great storyteller who keeps the reader wanting more.

This book had me asking many questions at the end and wanting to know what is going to happen next. Marla, who is David Harwood's cousin lives alone and posts reviews online for various companies. Less than a year earlier, she had lost her child and her life will never be the same. David was working for the Boston Globe, when he became a single parent, and decided to move back to Promise Falls so that his parents can help him with his son, Ethan. Detective Duckworth is celebrating his 20th year on the force, when these incidents take place. These characters along with the other residents of Promise Fall will spend the three days trying to solve the mysteries that are taking place in their small town. Will Marla be charged with murder? How did this baby really come to be in her possession? Will David be able to get to the bottom of the mystery before he becomes a part of it?

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