Monday, March 31, 2014

It's Monday - Where did March go....

Sheila over at Book Journey has an incentive for networking so go over and have fun while adding to your 2014 Wishlist.

I'm currently reading and loving

Book Summary

Dear Dr. Owens,

If you are reading this letter, I am dead and I would be most grateful if you could solve my murder… 

Forensic pathologist Dr. Samantha Owens thought life was finally returning to normal after she suffered a terrible personal loss. Settling into her new job at Georgetown University, the illusion is shattered when she receives a disturbing letter from a dead man imploring her to solve his murder. There's only one catch. Timothy Savage's death was so obviously the suicide of a demented individual that the case has been closed. 

When Sam learns Savage left a will requesting she autopsy his body, she feels compelled to look into the case. Sam's own postmortem discovers clear signs that Savage was indeed murdered. And she finds DNA from a kidnapped child whose remains were recovered years earlier. 

The investigation takes Sam into the shadows of a twenty-year-old mystery that must be solved to determine what really happened to Timothy Savage. Nothing about the case makes sense but it is clear someone is unwilling to let anyone, especially Samantha Owens, discover the truth.

I reviewed Four Friends, just lovely, my review - 4 1/2

I also finally reviewed this one - 3

I am a mood reader, but right now I am considering reading this.

Can you believe March is over and Spring, it is a laugh, our global weather is crazy.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Review - Four Friends by Robyn Carr

Book Summary

Robyn Carr comes the story of four friends determined to find their stride. Ultimately, they'll discover what it means to be a wife, mother, lover, friend…and most important: your true self.

Gerri can't decide what's more devastating: learning her rock-solid marriage has big cracks, or the anger she feels as she tries to repair them. Always the anchor for friends and her three angst-ridden teenagers, it's time to look carefully at herself. The journey is more than revealing—it's transforming.

Andy doesn't have a great track record with men, and she's come to believe that a lasting love is out of reach. When she finds herself attracted to her down-to-earth contractor—a man without any of the qualities that usually appeal to her—she questions everything she thought she wanted in life.

Sonja's lifelong pursuit of balance is shattered when her husband declares he's through with her New Age nonsense and walks out. There's no herbal tonic or cleansing ritual that can restore her serenity—or her sanity.

Miraculously, it's BJ, the reserved newcomer to Mill Valley, who steps into their circle and changes everything. The woman with dark secrets opens up to her neighbors, and together they get each other back on track, stronger as individuals and unfaltering as friends.

My Review 4 1/2

This was a great friendship story, highly recommend if you have a book club of close friends or want a reminder to appreciate the friends you have.  I enjoyed each character and following their lives, they all had a special voice, all very different which we made it easy to follow.  Robyn Carr's writing style reminded me of a favourite author, Kristin Hannah.  This wasn't emotionally painful, just genuine female heartache with family, career and friend life. I didn't identify with any but would have been friends with them.

Sonja made me laugh the most.  She had an emotional break which I hate to say had me laughing and crying in buckets, she seriously had a meltdown but it was the funniest scenes to me.  Before she had the meltdown I was laughing saying 'she is hot mess, totally a nut'.  The thing is her friends thought this also, but it was why they loved her, it was sad to see her break but I loved how Robyn dealt with her husband, friends and the new Sonja's outlook on it, brilliant.

One thing about love and life I have found is that it is never as perfect as it may seem and you should just enjoy the moments.  The emotional wrecks the friends had to deal with, mainly marriage problems was real and most had the rug pulled from under them issues.  The story made me say enjoy life, each moment and to face the uncomfortable conversations as they may save your marriage and happiness.

Being a parent is highly overrated to me, lol, there is no damn handbook that can ever help you with the crap that you have to face but we have to learn how to do it with love.  I appreciated all the avenues Robyn Carr took to reveal the journey the women faced. Parenting, spousal commitments, adultery, abandonment, gay marriage and children, destructive behaviour and overall decisions in order not to lose yourself throughout the madness of life.

The best part was this book is for the women in their 30's pushing 40, I loved to read about women my age, the reality was more genuine and realistic to me.  I have also been really blessed with my friendships.  Two friends have been in my life since nursery school and we all go 38 this year, our friendship continues to grow, very fortunate.

I was surprised I was asked to review this as I usually go for the mystery, gory crime books but it was perfect timing, my mood called for this and I loved it.  My first introduction to Robyn Carr, I will definitely read her books again.

A favourite quote

....grandmother used to say, 'Your kids don't belong to you - they're only on loan for you to raise.  They have their own lives, their own destinies.  So you better get out of the way.'  Kindle at 70%

Can you recommend any women's fiction novels with over 30 or 40 year old women?

Friday, March 21, 2014

Review - House of Glass by Sophie Littlefield

Book Summary

Jen Glass has worked hard to achieve the ideal life: a successful career, a beautiful home in an affluent suburb of Minneapolis, a seemingly perfect family. But inside the Glass house, everything is spinning out of Jen's control. Her marriage to her husband, Ted, is on the brink of collapse; her fifteen-year-old daughter grows more distant each day; and her five-year-old son barely speaks a word. Jen is on the verge of breaking, but nothing could have prepared her for what is to come….

On an evening that was supposed to be like any other, two men force their way into the Glasses' home, but what begins as a common robbery takes an even more terrifying turn. Held hostage in the basement for more than forty-eight hours, Jen and Ted must put aside their differences if they have any hope of survival. They will stop at nothing to keep their family safe—even if it means risking their own lives. A taut and emotional tale of a family brought together by extraordinary forces, House of Glass is a harrowing exploration of the lengths a mother will go to protect her children, and the power of tragedy to teach us what truly matters.

My Review - 3

I love a great edge of your seat thriller, which this could have been more of but it was to much novel like with a touch of thriller, just not enough, it missed the edginess. I enjoyed all the characters but I found the storyline with them got to a great tension point early but stayed at that level throughout which in the end didn't meet my expectations.

I know it happens in real life and the inspiration was from a Connecticut intrusion but it still feels unbelievable to me, someone being held hostage in their own home, a whole family, good neighbourhood hmmm.  It brings up the question, do we really pay attention to family, friends, neighbours, maybe a couple of days, no.  Initially I was shocked and loved it, thought the first half of the book was strong.  Once I found out why they were chosen and they weren't professionals, it went downhill for me.  Terrifying intruders with opposite personalities became a risk for all, not only having to watch the family but not trusting each other is where it all fell apart.  Again, should have added tension but just seemed weird and out of place to me.  

Survival was the goal and I was waiting for the parents to make some decisions but the teenager daughter seemed to think for all, what a way to mature.  I was waiting for the motherly instinct to kick in and was just let down.  I think I just had expectations that unfortunately just were not met.  I also enjoyed the story of the 4 year old, he has selective mutism.  How this came together throughout the story was always 'something' that just didn't make sense to me.

The climax normally would have been brilliant for me, violence and the unexpected taken all the way, great stuff.   Again for me I was just over the story by then and didn't believe, I put the parents and intruders in the same category, dumb.  Am I being judgmental, absolutely. 

I would try another by Sophie Littlefield, this one just didn't work for me.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Monday - What I read, reviewed and will read

Sheila over at Book Journey has an incentive for networking so go over and have fun while adding to your 2014 Wishlist.

I'm currently reading and enjoying this novel

Brief Book Summary

A story of four friends determined to find their stride. Ultimately, they’ll discover what it means to be a wife, mother, lover, friend...and most important: your true self.

I reviewed this one, wow, great book - Review here

I had a small discussion here about book hangovers, how would you describe yours?

I am not sure what will be next but Harlan Coben has been many places this week and a long time on my TBR list.  Will start with this one.

What have you reviewed and currently reading?

Friday, March 14, 2014

Book Hangover - how would you describe yours?

Book Hangovers.........

How often do you get a book hangover, are you a once a week hangover, hmm mmm, book hangover read that is or just a couple a year?

How would you describe your book hangovers?

I have had the book hangovers that when you finish you can't stop talking about, like the best party ever, nothing like what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, nope, you want to have a panel discussion in front of an audience kind of hangover, being loud and to some, obnoxious.

The main book for me that comes to mind is The Manufactured Identity by Heath Sommer, I can still get excited over this book and I read it 4 years ago, now this is a great memorable book hangover. It was a trilogy, loved it, I also had an interview with the author which you can find on my sidebar.

Then I have had the book hangover that I wish I didn't have.  The book that I wished I hadn't read and wasted hours of reading for, it really just hurt my head.  The one for me is a popular one.  Still Missing by Chevy Stevens.  I had a venting/discussion post about the book - go here if interested.  I have to say Chevy Stevens did a great job because I can still remember details and get frustrated with a hangover if I let myself.

Unfortunately, these book hangovers sometimes create reading slumps for me, which are torture.

So how about you, tell me about your book hangovers and memorable ones if you choose.

Have a great weekend, and no hangovers allowed only amazing book ones :-)

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Review - Unravel by Calia Read

Book Summary

Six months ago, I was happy. I was simply Naomi Carradine. 

One month ago, I was admitted into a psych ward. 

Yesterday, Lachlan visited me. Kissed me. And told me that I’m starting to lose my mind. 

Hours later, Max haunted my thoughts, reminding me I’m not crazy and that he needs my help. 

A few minutes ago, I drifted further from reality, trying to unravel the past. 

And now...everyone thinks I’m insane. But, I know he's real, and I know he needs me. 

Do you believe me?

My Review 4 1/2

When I came across this on Amazon I just had to read it, the summary and cover draw you right in, I was completely intrigued.  This is labeled Novel Adult genre which I haven't completed figured out. (Have you?) I will recommend to all Psychological Thriller fans that do not mind a few good detailed sex scenes. Warning - there is an incest rape scene, please proceed with caution when reading this amazing book.

One of my favourite styles of a character is having the unreliable narrator, wow wow wow.  I seem to read an amazing book every year with this style, so many great books I can recommend but not during the review as it will give away delicate details, just go into the book knowing less.  This book kept me up late, totally unputdownable. It takes me a week to read a book and this took me 3 days, reading at lunch, late nights, while watching a movie with daughter (naughty I know) I just didn't want to be torn from the rock climbing book journey of the characters and miss the view at the end.

Naomi and best friend Lana.  New love Max and first love Lachlan.  I was so taken away, the characters captured my emotions and didn't let go.  Early on I was trying to figure it out, it is what I love to do, I didn't want to believe and thought it has to be the reason why but the ending still was shocking, I had a little but not the full mystery and it was brilliant.  Seriously I felt like I was floating on a cloud that was surrounded with lightning, a total living on the edge moment.

This doesn't get a 5 star because I wanted more, Calia Read answered the important questions but the supporting characters played a huge role and I wanted closure and the person that abused to receive justice.

My favourite genuine heartbreaking but amazing scene was when Lachlan's mom was talking to him and Naomi overheard it all, memorable and real. The chapters each had a word that marked the importance of the part of the story, very nice touch.

This amazing quote by Paul Auster which I think is perfect for the book but also for us as readers and book bloggers.  "When a person is lucky enough to live inside a story, to live inside an imaginary world, the pains of this world disappear.  For as long as the story goes on, reality no longer exists."

Favourite Quotes

But never does a kiss combust into something so powerful that even your heart feels it.  Every touch, every moan, every breath becomes electrified.  Kindle 20%

It's the fact that she has a level of need for you that is so intense and powerful that nothing can shake it.  I just don't think you realize how much of yourself you'll have to give to be with her.  Kindle 83%

Sunday, March 9, 2014

What I have read and reviewed - It's Monday

Sheila over at Book Journey has an incentive for networking so go over and have fun while adding to your 2014 Wishlist.

I'm currently reading and loving it

Book Summary

Six months ago, I was happy. I was simply Naomi Carradine.

One month ago, I was admitted into a psych ward.

Yesterday, Lachlan visited me. Kissed me. And told me that I’m starting to lose my mind.

Hours later, Max haunted my thoughts, reminding me I’m not crazy and that he needs my help.

A few minutes ago, I drifted further from reality, trying to unravel the past.

And now...everyone thinks I’m insane. But, I know he's real, and I know he needs me.

Do you believe me?

I reviewed Book 3, loved this trilogy - I recommend reading in order, start with Faking It

I need to review this one

I also reviewed

What did you read last week?  Do you find reviews are being commented on less than usual?

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Review - She Has Your Eyes by Elisa Lorello

Book Summary

Andi and David have settled happily into Andi's Northampton home, but David wants more.  He wants them to get married.  Their discussion is put on hold when Wylie, a fifteen-year-old girl, shows up in their backyard, bearing news that takes David's mind off the future and sends it spiraling into the past.  Reeling from David's news, Andi receives a startling announcement of her own, one that leads to a relationship with her estranged mother.  As Andi and her mother get closer and Whylie weaves her way into their lives, Andi finds solace in an old comfort: her ex-fiance.  With the past threatening to eclipse their future, the timing for a wedding is all wrong.  But if Andi knows anything about timing, it's that there's no time to waste.

My Review - 4

Published - February 11, 2014

I absolutely loved Faking It, it was on my 2013 Top Ten list.  I finished it and downloaded Ordinary World immediately to read, something I never do.  I loved the continuation of characters but Book 2 wasn't what I expected overall.  Now finishing book 3, She has your Eyes, I feel like it was a great complete story and I am happy to have read more of the amazing characters.  I love the story of Andi and David, so much more than a romance. 

This is a trilogy that can only be fully appreciated by reading in order.  The author was great on giving snippets of the story for the fans of the trilogy but not details for a new reader to really appreciate their journey.  We see Andi really come into her own, having to embrace the changes of life.  I loved that the books gave great character building with a new adult issue in each, they all felt completely different.  Andi doesn't like change, it freezes her but with numerous life issues coming at her the same time she almost turns her back on the one who she loves, David, and this causes a ripple affect of trust issues.  Sometimes looking at our past helps us to embrace our future without regrets, she had to learn this the hard way.  The end of the trilogy in one word was about Family.

Andi is a widow and David has accepted everything about Andi and Sam's life.  I was annoyed with the fact that Andi continued to live in the past and continue to think about Sam and doubt everything, comparing everything to her life with Sam.  It made sense at the end when we understood Andi's issue with change, Sam was her comfort through all the change but at times it felt infuriating.This is a great adult novel series, I highly recommend, I give the trilogy as a whole a 5. There are not many stories out there about the challenges adults face, especially the over 30 age group, when the reality of adult responsibilities hits home, that was a joy. Elisa Lorello has a great way to make you laugh out loud, just cute, genuine writing, I am a fan.  You can read this one as a stand alone but I would say to enjoy the full picture, read in order.

My Review of Book 1 - Faking It - 5 star

Ordinary World, Book 2 - 3 1/2 star (I didn't review)

Thank you Nancy for allowing me to be part of the Fictionella Tour.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Top Ten Popular Authors I've Never Read

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This meme was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!
Each week we will post a new Top Ten list complete with one of our bloggers answers. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND post a comment on our post with a link to your Top Ten Tuesday post to share with us and all those who are participating. If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. If you can't come up with ten, don't worry about it---post as many as you can!

Here are my Top Ten Popular Authors I've Never Read - what do you recommend?

I have put in order of most personal interest, they are all on my TBR list.

Jussi Adler-Olsen
known for

Kate Morton
known for

S. J. Bolton
known for

Carlos Ruiz Zafon
known for

Tami Hoag
wow, so many books

Harlan Coben
again, so many books

Laura Childs
known for

Laura Lippman
known for

Karen White
known for

Pam Jenoff
known for

Any surprises to you and I should read before mid year?