Monday, August 22, 2016

Review: Firestorm

Firestorm Firestorm by Nevada Barr
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Anna, Anna, Anna. You continue to surprise me.

On an assignment from Mesa Verde to assist with the firefighters in Northern California, and she uncovers a killer. Don't worry, my boy Fredrick Stanton attempts to ride in on his white horse, but Anna doesn't need that. She's still not sure what she needs. She's a marshmallow inside, sure, but she's walnut hard on the outside.

Anyway, everyone's a suspect and they all seem shady, except Harold Black Elk who just seemed awesome. And Anna solves the case, puts herself in harm's way, and makes it home mostly in one piece. Can't wait to read book 5. Stanton, I'm pulling for your quirky self.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Review: The Eighth Guardian

The Eighth Guardian The Eighth Guardian by Meredith McCardle
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Loved this! Fantastic start to a new series for me. Doing a happy dance. Spies? Check. Time travel? Check. Stubborn, flawed heroine? Check. Good stuff.

Amanda, code name Iris, goes to a kick-ass spy training school. Color me jealous, because I SO want to go there. She's recruited early to a top secret branch of the government. And get this: they time travel. Remember the short-lived show from the 80s, Voyagers? I feel like the author and I are the only two people who watched it, because it is like Phineas Bogg and Jeffrey were the grandfathers of this program.

Did I mention that I loved it? Because I did. Subtracted a star because Abe annoyed me and I'm not sure how the next book will continue on without hitting the reset button somehow. But hey, it's time travel so anything is possible.

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Monday, August 15, 2016

Review: Forevermore

Forevermore Forevermore by Lauren Royal
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Cameron Leslie, I love you. Clarice is one lucky lady.  I love this series.  Stop judging me.

Sweet, short novella told from Clarice and Cameron's point of view after Cait and Jason's wedding. I want more of their story, but this will have to do.  Are you expecting a HEA?  Yes, you are.  Are you going to sigh a little at the end?  Yes, you are.

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Sunday, August 14, 2016

Review: Ill Wind

Ill Wind Ill Wind by Nevada Barr
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

New book, new park. Anna's at my old location, Mesa Verde, so I loved reading this one. I sold a ton of this book in my stores when I worked there. It's interesting to be able to visualize each location while you are in the park. Minus the dead bodies, of course.

Shoved into seasonal housing, prickly Anna is winning friends and influencing people, as usual. But she starts to settle in, and quickly gets embroiled in sabotage for the pipeline threatening to ruin one of my favorite parks, and then murder. I have to admit I thought I had it figured out a couple of times, but was wrong. And then our old Fed Stanton comes, and Anna is off to the sparring races. I'm interested to see where they take this quasi-partnership in book 4.

I love this series because Nevada Barr allows us to armchair travel to our National Parks. They are my among my favorite places. Take care of them, visit them, and leave no trace.

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Saturday, August 13, 2016

Review: Where'd You Go, Bernadette

Where'd You Go, Bernadette Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

True confession time: I'm a bit socially awkward like Bernadette. Like 2 steps removed. So I can relate to the cringe moments and had to laugh. Plus, who hasn't dreamed about escaping for a while? Just me? Oh, ok.

I enjoyed how it flowed, with the letters, emails, and inserted thoughts from Bee. I think the odd format just worked really well for the storyline. The family was flawed, the neighbors and school moms were flawed. It just hit a lot of really real notes with me.

I found it curious to see some of the reviews. I have to assume you are all well-adjusted people who couldn't relate to the ridiculousness happening in parts, but it all resonated with me. BRB while I pack warm clothes for Antarctica.

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Review: Let It Snow

Let It Snow Let It Snow by Heidi Cullinan
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

M/M love story set in cold Minnesota. Lots of stereotypes, and I found the main character to be pretty annoying with his whining and pity party, but hey, sexy lumberjacks in a cabin. The second star is because I am a marshmallow who loves a HEA. Shut up. 2.5 stars overall.

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Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Review: Tell the Wolves I'm Home

Tell the Wolves I'm Home Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My heart is hurting over this book. I need a tissue. And a hug.

This book hit all of the right notes with me. Coming of age story with a quirky, misfit heroine. Dysfunctional family dynamics that seem true-to-life. Love. Introspection. Grief. What can I say? I like a few tears in my books (sometimes).

Set way back in ye old 1987 (gads, I was in high school, folks. This isn't historical fiction!), AIDS was a scandalous, secret "gays only" disease. Times were different then. June loved her uncle, and after he dies she finds out she only knew parts of him. Walk with June as she tries to discover who he really was, who she really is, and bring some tissues, because you will need them. Unless you are a robot, then you will be fine.

Loved it. 4 stars. Going to hug my kids now.

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Monday, August 8, 2016

Review: The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories

The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories by Marina Keegan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Marina Keegan was only 22 when she was died in a car accident. Newly graduated from Yale and ready to continue her budding career as a writer, we are left with a collection of work from her short life. Half of the book is short stories, and the other half essays. You can see glimmers of what she would have potentially grown into as a writer. Her voice, as you would expect, is very young. She's in college; her life has barely started. I liked some of the stories, didn't like some others. These are stories that wouldn't have been published under other circumstances.

Overall, three stars, but I'm having a hard time separating the tragedy of a life cut short from the actual work, so actually 2.5.

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Sunday, August 7, 2016

Review: Mrs. McGinty's Dead

Mrs. McGinty's Dead Mrs. McGinty's Dead by Agatha Christie
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Poirot, my friend. Together we exercise our little gray cells and solve the case. Always a pleasure. And as usual, you get to the solution before me.

Another Christie mystery where I point the finger in my mind at all of the wrong people. I think I solve the crime over and over, only to be wrong at the end. But luckily for all of us, Poirot was there and saw what we did not.

Mrs. McGinty is dead. Her lodger is accused of the crime, but several other suspects seem to have the big three: motive, means, and opportunity. Can you guess the answer before Poirot? You can't, but don't feel bad, because he's the best. Three stars.

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Saturday, August 6, 2016

Review: Mortality

Mortality Mortality by Christopher Hitchens
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Life is short. Cancer sucks. Please remember that, my friends, and make the most of every moment.

Regardless of whether you agreed with Christopher Hitchens or not, this is a powerful read. Disease can strike anyone, anywhere, anytime. We can do all of the right things--exercise, eat healthy foods, get enough rest--and still get sick. We can do the wrong things--smoke, drink, overeat, eat unhealthy foods--and stay healthy. The body is a mystery at times. And you aren't guaranteed tomorrow.

Diagnosed with esophageal cancer that had spread to his lungs and lymph nodes, Hitchens chronicles his mortality in this short read. If cancer has touched your life in some way, I think this book will speak to you. It's worth the hour of your life. 4 stars.

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