Saturday, July 21, 2018

Dear Carolina by Kristy Woodson Harvey

"My belly might've reached dern near to Tennessee when I faced west, but that didn't mean that I couldn't think a boy was cute."

"Pauline came in carrying Alex, and I could tell by the way her lips were moving that she was praying harder than a sinner on his deathbed."

I rate this book 4 stars based on the fact that I was highly amused through the whole book. I thought this feel-good story was predictable which is why I couldn't give it 5 - everyone knows I don't like predictable - but I did like the characters and the story plus I chuckled throughout which is a plus.

I'm going to recommend this one to anyone who likes feel-good southern fiction.

Here is the link to my review on Goodreads.


When The Lights Go Out by Mary Kubica

I first requested this book on Netgalley and never heard back from them... then I entered a contest that Mary Kubica was having on Twitter and I ended up winning an ARC - thank you, Mary!  I'm a huge fan so I was thrilled.  Then, about two weeks later, I unexpectedly heard from Netgalley that I had access to read this book.  I had to read it right away.

There's no doubt that I love Mary Kubica and once again, she did not let me down.

After Jessie's mother, Eden, passes away, she begins to build a life of her own trying to fulfill her mother's last wishes to find herself by applying to college and renting a new apartment.  It's not until she gets a call from the college (and subsequently, an online search for answers) that sends her in a tail spin not knowing what to think causing many sleepless nights in a row.  Constantly wondering who her dad is, she tries to find him, she needs to know but as her body wears down from lack of sleep, Jessie can't tell what real or just figments of her imagination leaving the reader just as vulnerable.

The story is told in alternating POV between then and now, between Jessie and Eden.  It's one that I think you'll enjoy.

Thank you to Netgalley and Ms. Kubica for the chance to read this one early!

Expected publication: September 4th 2018.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

That Night by Chevy Stevens

I really liked this book. I like how the mystery unfolded in this book at a slow and steady pace - much better than Always Watching where the ending seemed to just explode with one more detail, one more plot twist, one more secret until you realize that the meat of the book was in the last 25%.

Kids are mean and there are some really mean ones in this book. Toni and Ryan are trouble maker teens who get arrested for murdering Toni's sister because they are easy targets. Years later, now out on parole, Toni wants to fit back into society, make a life for herself but her past is haunting her. After having to go back to jail, Toni vows that she will find out what happened That Night - she will clear her name, as well as Ryan's.

I love love love how Chevy Stevens included a rescue shelter in this book and how she gave Toni, Captain, an abuse pit bull to love.

A big thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for letting me read this book in return for a review.

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Heist by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg

This book did not work for me. I admit I had a hard time not comparing it to the Stephanie Plum series (that I adore).

Kate O'Hare is a badass FBI agent and Nick Fox was a 'mission impossible' kind of criminal. Kate has been trying to catch/arrest Nick for years... and they have that kindergarten kind of relationship where they think each other are attractive and Nick flirts but Kate hates Nick.

The biggest issue I had with this book was that every single aspect of the book was outlandish. So let's give this a proper review:

Kate eventually catches Nick for stealing the Crimson Teardrop (a diamond) but what Nick doesn't know is that Kate was on top of her game and knowing that Nick would go after it, she replaced it with a cubic zirconia and to catch him, she hit him with a bus.

On the way to the courtroom, Nick asks to use the restroom to which he ends up escaping and fleeing to Mount Athos - "a mountainous, inhospitable, rocky peninsula that is thirty miles long, ranging from 4 to 8 miles wide, and pounded by the Aegean Sea on three sides" - a part of Greece that is inaccessible by land and who hasn't accepted woman for thousands of years -not even female creatures are allowed. Assuming he is there, Kate jumps out of a plane in the middle of the night to catch her man - and guess what, he was there and so are her bosses!! However, instead of arresting him like they've wanted to do for years, they decide to join forces with Nick to perform a con to catch a bigger criminal. They enlisted a bunch of nobody's to work with them who don't mind breaking the law, going to jail indefinitely or being killed in the process - every person they approached agreed immediately to these terms. Including Kate, the badass FBI agent.

They set the stage for said con and then act on it by immediately kidnapping and holding a hostage while using scare tactics to make him talk - and he does. So they set off to find their man who is hiding out on an Indonesian island and rent a yacht to sail the seas in hopes of catching him. Along the way there are pirates and many other outlandish happenings... it was all too far-fetched for me to even enjoy.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Burial Rites by Hannah Kent

This was a tragic story about a woman, Agnes, who was sentenced to death (beheaded) for killing Natan, the man she loved. She was locked in a little cell with no light, little food, no clean clothes, no shower, no fresh air and a lot of stench before she was taken to a farm to live out the rest of her sentence. While she was at the farm she slowly opened up and little by little told her story, at first to her spiritual adviser, Toti, and then to Margaret. By the end of the book, I grew to love Agnes and her story moved me. I don't want to give away any of the ending but I will tell you that the end of this book was written so well, I don't think I'll ever forget it. Two days later after I've finished reading it and I still find myself thinking about it.

I did have a hard time with the names in this book; the names of the farms, the towns, the people. It's much easier for me to read about Austin, TX than it is about Hvammstangi, Iceland (which I don't believe was in the book but since I couldn't think of a single name I could spell haha, I googled).

This is a definite recommend.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Covet by Tracey Garvis-Graves

I wish I could give this 3.5 stars.  I went into this with very high expectations...  I loved On the Island and couldn't put it down, I also loved Uncharted so naturally I should love this one but I didn't.  It was good but I didn't love it.  I thought the first 1/2 was a little slow while the 2nd 1/2 dialed up the drama quite a bit.

The book is about a family, a happy family, that becomes strained and tested when Claire's husband, Chris, loses his job.  When Chris finds a job, it requires travel and he's gone a lot which leaves Claire lonely and longing for her marriage but emotionally, Chris is spent.

Getting to read a little bit from everyone's perspective worked for me and I found the main characters all likable - not so much the neighborhood couples who I didn't connect much with and found confusing at times (I just couldn't keep them straight).

I was able to really connect with Claire and understand her perspective so much. And it must be said that I melted when Chris got in the shower with her - I truly felt his love for her in that moment.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Six Years by Harlan Coben

If I had stopped reading this book 1/2 way through, I would've given it 5 stars (I gave it 4).  Up until 1/2 way through, I couldn't put the book the down; I was holding my breath, worried about Jake and utterly confused about what the heck happened.  Then sometime after the 1/2 way point details started to emerge and by the end I felt confused again because there were so many details that it was becoming hard to follow.

I do like Harlan Coben's sense of humor in his writing even when it's not a funny story.