Friday, August 28, 2015

Emma: Part One (Outpost Nine #1)

Emma: Part One (Outpost Nine Book 1)Emma: Part One by Lolita Lopez

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Hmmm. I saw this was on someone else's list and it was highly rated. Romance plus zombies? Sounds good to me.

This book (really the first segment in a serial) is ok. Some sex, (2 boys--simply shocking *eye roll) but even with that added flavor it's very tame. I like Emma, mostly. I mean, I want to like her. She has been living all alone in her stockade surviving the zombies. Plus there are cyborgs, and I have never ventured down the cyborg / human romance path. But something was missing, and it kept it from getting to the "3 star good book" rating for me. I think it was because of the serialized format. We don't get enough insight into Emma, her life, really any of it.

Small taste of what could be good with lots of interesting pieces to it. Overall, underwhelmed. 2 stars, but since I am a masochist I will read the second installment.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Crushed (Fredrickson Winery #2)

CrushedCrushed by Barbara Ellen Brink

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Good lord, this book was terrible. The characters were shallow and underdeveloped. The drama was ridiculous. The romance was trite and the dialogue eye-rollingly bad. However, I can put up with a lot, and what loses me faster than anything is poor editing. Tons of typos / errors that a professional editor would catch, for example, the line "too large for any small boy to swallow hole". No. Just no.

I found nothing redeeming about this book except that it finally ended. I would rather read a stack of Barbara Cartland romances than this book. Dame Barbara, please don't go. I take back every bad thing I've ever said about your silly heroines and overly masculine men. Love you always and forever now.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Moor (Mary Russell #4)

The Moor (Mary Russell, #4)The Moor by Laurie R. King

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

More adventures with Russell and Holmes, and this time they are revisiting an old mystery, The Hound of the Baskervilles.

King does a nice job weaving in the details of Doyle's classic mystery while putting a new twist on Dartmoor, Baskerville Hall, and Holmes. I just love this series. Mary is a great character--smart, brave, yet always human and vulnerable. She is the perfect match for "retired" Holmes. I enjoy their relationship and the trust and respect they have for each other.

Another solid entry in the series. On to book 5!

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Friday, August 21, 2015

Among the Hidden (Shadow Children #1)

Among the Hidden (Shadow Children, #1)Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Finally getting around to reading this. It's one of my daughter's favorite books and she has been hounding me to read the series. Good start.

Luke is a shadow child--a third born in a world where only two are allowed. He lives his lit hidden in his family's attic, until he sees another child in a window. Add in a scary government, young angst, and the universal desire to fight the power and live free and you've got the formula for an interesting young adult series. It definitely skews younger adult, but it's still a good story and a fast read. I'm excited to discuss with my daughter and will be tracking down book two.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

A Monster Calls

A Monster CallsA Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book! So many feels. I have a knot in my chest a day later just thinking about it.

I run the risk of spoiling this story if I say too much, but it's about a boy who is coming to terms with his mother's cancer. It's amazing. The illustrations are haunting and perfect. The balance of grief, anger, and hope is perfectly struck. It seems like a children's book, but wait! It's so much more. Layered and deep and nearly perfect. Mothers will relate. Anyone whose life has been touched by cancer will relate. Read it. Read it slowly, immerse yourself in the illustrations, and then grab a box of tissues and read it again.

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Monday, August 17, 2015

Love in the Highlands

02 Love in the Highlands02 Love in the Highlands by Barbara Cartland

My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

More eye-rolling nonsense from Dame Barbara, this time with a battle royale between a Prince and a Marquis. Oh, calamity! Suspend your disbelief for a moment and imagine a plot where Queen Victoria (the Queen with a capital "Q") sets up a marriage with English lady and a Balkan Prince. And Lady Lavina thinks this is ridiculous, so she sets up a fake relationship with a Marquis. Hilarity ensures, because Dame Barbara is the master at contrivance and fake relationships that turn real.

And they all lived happily ever after, except the Prince, because he was a bad person who really needed a bath. The end.

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A Call of Love

101. a Call of Love101. a Call of Love by Barbara Cartland

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Another stinker by Barbara Cartland. I--must enjoy--the torture because--I--keep reading them! Her stuttering heroines make my brain bleed. I read them because they remind me of growing up. My mom had all of them and they were my first romance novels, and I still love historical romances because of these books. My 12-year-old self devoured them. However, this storyline was a stinker. Dumb girl, sexist men, and a ridiculous kidnapping plot. D- for this one.

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N is for Noose (Kinsey Millhone #14)

N is for Noose (Kinsey Millhone, #14)N is for Noose by Sue Grafton

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Kinsey, Kinsey, Kinsey. You are such a independent, stubborn woman. I love it. You leave Dietz (sob!) to go after a case that has no good ending. A cop has died and his widow wants answers. Was it a heart attack or murder? And why was he acting so strange before he died? Kinsey, of course, can't back down. She ends up in serious danger (as usual). Pretty satisfying mystery overall, and I totally didn't guess the who or why behind the crime. Plus, we are back to the "Respectfully submitted, Kinsey Millhone" wrap up that I missed at the end of "M".

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Sunday, August 16, 2015

Big Little Lies

Big Little LiesBig Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My sister recommended this book to me, and I really ended up enjoying it. It was part mystery, part chick-lit, and a voyeuristic dive into the characters' private lives. We follow various families all tied together through their children's elementary school, and it examines the lies we tell others and ourselves, both big and small. The subject matter hit really close to home with a couple of characters' story lines. It makes you think about your life, your friends' lives, and how things aren't always what they seem.

I really didn't guess at the ending and it really kept me engaged throughout. Good stuff and not my typical read. I will read others by her.

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Friday, August 7, 2015

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Chasing Charlie (The Texas Two-Step #1)

Chasing Charlie (The Texas Two-Step, #1)Chasing Charlie by Kathy Carmichael

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Not my typical genre. Really not a fan of contemporary romance. While I didn't hate this one, I didn't like it much either. If this is your thing, you will probably like it.

Davis is one of Dallas's most eligible bachelors. Charlie is a smart, pretty librarian. When Davis needs a fake fiancée he decides Charlie is the perfect fit for the role. Why she plays along, I have no idea. Of course it turns into a stereotypical rom-com. Which is fine for my movies, apparently, but not for my books.

Or maybe I just wasn't in the mood for it. Either way, 2 stars.

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