Thursday, August 10, 2017

The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter

Title: The Good Daughter (The Good Daughter, #1)

Rating: 5-Stars

Summary on Goodreads.

"Two girls are forced into the woods at gunpoint. One runs for her life. One is left behind…Twenty-eight years ago, Charlotte and Samantha Quinn's happy small-town family life was torn apart by a terrifying attack on their family home. It left their mother dead. It left their father — Pikeville's notorious defense attorney — devastated. And it left the family fractured beyond repair, consumed by secrets from that terrible night..." [+ more]

First, a reviewer gave this book 1-star because, according to him, of graphic violence against children... Wtf? Grow a pair man; you are an adult and this is an adult book. Didn't you read the blurb? If you are sensitive about the subject of the book because you experienced it or whatever other shit, don't read it.

Now, with that out of the way....I couldn't put this book down. Damn! How well thought, organized and written it is. I think that Slaughter publishes too many books in a year so she obviously hires ghostwriters; and although I usually stay away from famous authors who use ghostwriters, this time I didn't mind at all.

By the way, I've seen some Stephen King's books now that say "with such and such author." I think it is wonderful that he is giving other people the chance to make a name out there instead of taking all the glory (after all, he is still being well paid for having his name on the book).

But back to The Good Daughter, this book is not what I thought it was going to be about. I doesn't matter what I thought the book was about, what the plot actually is about is equally good. I am completly satisfied with this book. Yes, I obviously never saw the culprit coming.

This book is part of a The Good Daughter series so I wonder who the good daughter actually is. Is it Sam or Charlie? Which one of them would the future books be about?

Monday, August 7, 2017

How Dogs Love us by Gregory Berns

Full title: How dogs love us: A neuroscientist and his adopted dog decode the canine brain

Rating: 1-Star

Summary on Goodreads.

"After his family adopted Callie, a shy, skinny terrier mix, Berns decided that there was only one way to answer that question—use an MRI machine to scan the dog’s brain. His colleagues dismissed the idea. Everyone knew that dogs needed to be restrained or sedated for MRI scans. But if the military could train dogs to operate calmly in some of the most challenging environments, surely there must be a way to train dogs to sit in an MRI scanner..." [+ more]

I wish I could give this book 5-stars because I understand the work involved in doing a MRI on a dog's brain. The book is 248 pages; up to page 180 it is all about how the idea of the book/MRI came to be and how they trained the dog to be still during the MRI. It is not that these parts were not enjoyable, but personally, I didn't care about them. I wanted to go right into what the MRI revealed about what a dog thinks (if that was possible to learn through MRI).

So finally, by page 181, the first results are in: dogs' brains have a reward system, and dogs understand hand signal. I'm sorry, but, didn't we know that already?

Do dogs love us? Well... yes, and I don't need MRI scan to prove it. So, to address the title of the book, How Dogs Loves Us I would say that by letting us scan their brain to find out if they have feelings.

At the end, this book did not tell me how my puppy loves me (other than by letting me feed him, wash him, pet him, take him to walks, sleep with him, pick up his shit, wipe his ass, and yes - even rinse his mouth).

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Right Behind You by Lisa Gardner

Right Behind You (Quincy & Rainie #7)

Rating: 5-Stars

Summary on Goodreads.

"Eight years ago, Sharlah May Nash’s older brother beat their drunken father to death with a baseball bat in order to save both of their lives. Now thirteen years old, Sharlah has finally moved on. About to be adopted by retired FBI profiler Pierce Quincy and his partner, Rainie Conner, Sharlah loves one thing best about her new family: They are all experts on monsters. Is he a killer?..."[+ more]

First, you can totally read this book by itself without reading the previous 6 which is what I did. After trying to read to other books bu Gardner and not being able to finish them, I couldn't put this one down. I finished in one day because I was obsessed!

As you know, Gardner is a New York Times best selling author so there's nothing to say about her writing style or anything like that. The plot was interesting and the delivery was perfect.

No lose ends. Everything explained (although I think the epilogue was not needed). This book got with the prologue and it kept me interested all through the book.

Was Telly on a rampage killing or was he being framed? Would this story have a happy ending? I am very satisfied with it.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

The Bride Price by Buchi Emecheta

Rating: 4-Stars

Summary on Goodreads.

"A Nigerian girl is allowed to finish her education because a diploma will enhance her bride price, but she then rebels against traditional marriage customs..."[+]

I so enjoy book about another culture! At some point I could even identify with some of the customs described here. This book reminded me of The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives which made me laugh out loud. The Bride Price cracked me a few laughs too. I was definitely cracking up with the scene at the funeral!

Full of superstitions this is another book that takes inside the world of Nigerian culture. At 15, Aku-nna is waiting to be given in marriage to the man who pays the higher bride price. The problem is that she is in love with someone else. Also, according to culture, if the man doesn't pay the bride price, the bride will die while giving birth to her first child.

So what is Aku-nna to do? And how strong is the psychological hold over the mind? Would you really die if the bride price is not paid? I guess you will have to read the book to find out!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

The Ex by Alafair Burke

Rating: 4-Stars

Summary on Goodreads.

"Widower Jack Harris has resisted the dating scene ever since the shooting of his wife Molly by a fifteen-year-old boy three years ago. An early morning run along the Hudson River changes that when he spots a woman in last night’s party dress, barefoot, enjoying a champagne picnic alone, reading his favorite novel. Everything about her reminds him of what he used to have with Molly. Eager to help Jack find love again, his best friend posts a message on a popular website after he mentions the encounter. Days later, that same beautiful stranger responds and invites Jack to meet her in person at the waterfront. That’s when Jack’s world falls apart..." [+ more]

I liked it enough to give it 4 stars. I love these type of thrillers and anything that has to do with the law.

At first, it was so obvious that Jack was framed that I thought if the author was really going to make it as simple as that. Then, as I was reaching the end, Jack didn't seem innocent anymore and once again, I thought if the author was going to actually make him guilty! The point is, that the plot kept me guessing and I never saw coming who the real culprit was.

I will never get tired or ranting about this stupid comparisons to Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train. Why God, oh why? The MC in this book was someone completely different!!! Arghhh.

Okay, back to the book, I so enjoy all the tricks of collecting evidence and court jargon (even if I don't understand it).

So yeah, the ending was unexpected, specially with the romance that was thrown in there in the last page (it made sense though).

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

All is not forgotten by Wendy Walker

Rating: 5-Stars

Summary on Goodreads.

"Until one night when young Jenny Kramer is attacked at a local party. In the hours immediately after, she is given a controversial drug to medically erase her memory of the violent assault. But, in the weeks and months that follow, as she heals from her physical wounds, and with no factua..." [+ more]

Damn! This book was so good. If you have problems with rape, descriptive language, or you are extremely moralist don't read it.

There is a reviewer who called this book repulsive. My question is, why did you keep reading it?

Moving on, I loved everything about this book, especially the narrator. The format this book is written... I think I hadn't seen it before.

For a moment there, I hated the narrator just because I believe in justice, fairness, and ethics. But what the hell, this is a work of fiction.

I just loved the psychological tangles of this plot. I thought the author must be a psychiatrist or something like that; but no, she is (or was) an attorney.

I must say this is a well thought plot. I hope she keeps writing and I wouldn't mind reading another book with the same narrator.

I simply abhor plots that are about memory loss that have the character to remember everything at the end. When I started reading this book I thought it was going to be like that. I am glad I didn't stop reading it because I was able to enjoy an amazing book.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Weregirl by C. D. Bell

Rating: DNF

Summary on Goodreads.

"Eager to escape her small hometown, high school junior Nessa Kurland is focused on winning a college scholarship for cross-country running. A chance encounter with a trapped wolf while out on a run leads to powerful and frightening changes, and one day, Nessa is transformed into a full werewolf. Now Nessa must navigate the challenges of high school while coming face to face..." [+ more]

On page 117, I couldn't take the simplicity of this book anymore!

So Nessa is bitten by a wolf and becoming wolf herself. How is she dealing with it? By the most common means there is to changing into a wolf: seeing a shaman. Luckily for Nessa, in her town there is a 23 year old boy who happens to be a shaman. Isn't that what you normally find in America's towns?

So I ask, why wolves in this town, why shamans? It would be perfectly okay if you first explain that the town is (or is near by) a Native American settlement or x y z people live there. But nope, it just happens that shamans live in this town... Okay, moving on from the shaman.

Oh! Apparently, Nessa must have also watched her share of Law and Order because she is well versed in criminal jargon when she said "You can't keep Nate, or me against our will. You will become an accessory to felony kidnapping two minors" (pg. 356).

The writing is very simple which I guess is good because 12 year old could read it.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Kids of Appetite by David Arnold

Rating: DNF

Summary on Goodreads.

"Victor Benucci and Madeline Falco have a story to tell.
It begins with the death of Vic’s father.
It ends with the murder of Mad’s uncle.
The Hackensack Police Department would very much like to hear it.
But in order to tell their story, Vic and Mad must focus on all the chapters in between.

This is a story about:

1. A coded mission to scatter ashes across New Jersey.
2. The momentous nature of the Palisades in winter..." [+ more]

1) At the beginning this book gives you a cast of characters, as if this is a play... which tells me that a lot of characters are involved in this book... which means I will have a hard time remembering who is who. *Sigh*

2) Every chapter has a title and a subtitle, which means that this author likes to write MORE than it is normal for any author. I guess there are people out there who like reading a lot of irrelevant crap related to the actual story.

3) Then you go from one thought to another in just one sentence, and a character explaining what he/she is NOT talking about when talking about something... yeah! Lost of words here.

Really not for me.

Friday, June 30, 2017

The Last Place You Look by Kristen Lepionka

Title: The Last Place you Look (Roxane Weary, #1)

Rating: 4-Stars

Summary on Goodreads.

"Sarah Cook, a beautiful blonde teenager disappeared fifteen years ago, the same night her parents were brutally murdered in their suburban Ohio home. Her boyfriend Brad Stockton - black and from the wrong side of the tracks - was convicted of the murders and sits on death row, though he always maintained his innocence. With his execution only weeks away, his devoted sister..." [+ more]

I liked it very much because the ending was different. This is pretty much your regular crime/mystery plot where the culprit turns out to be the one you least expect. Darn it, I like that.

It was an easy read and I finished it in one day. I liked the ending because the story didn't end with the killer dead - being killed by the cops or other force of nature. No, he is alive and he is going to get what's coming to him.

This seems to be a thriller series headed by Roxane,  a private investigator who took the case of finding a missing person and ended up solving a murder mystery. I didn't know that this book was the beginning of a series because, as always, publishers would not indicate son on the cover. I just found out after reading the book and heading over Goodreads to write a review.

Anyways, I will definitely read more books by Lepionka about Roxane.

Monday, June 26, 2017

The Education of Margot Sanchez by Lilliam Rivera

Rating: 5-Stars

Summary on Goodreads.

"Mami, for destroying my social life
Papi, for allowing Junior to become a Neanderthal
Junior, for becoming a Neanderthal
This supermarket
Everyone else" [more]

We need more books like this one. Real in so many levels. I loved the setting and the glimpses into the lives of a Latino family. I felt Margot was a real teenager that teens in NYC can relate too. She knew she was wrong but she did it anyways; just like we do.

The book reminded me of Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick your Ass by Meg Medina

Friday, June 23, 2017

Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick your Ass by Meg Medina

Rating: 5-Stars

Summary on Goodreads.

"One morning before school, some girl tells Piddy Sanchez that Yaqui Delgado hates her and wants to kick her ass. Piddy doesn’t even know who Yaqui is, never mind what she’s done to piss her off. Word is that Yaqui thinks Piddy is stuck-up, shakes her stuff when she walks, and isn’t Latin enough with her white skin, good grades, and no accent. And Yaqui isn’t kidding around, so Piddy better watch her back..." [more]

I liked the diversity in this one. For once, no white people! This book comes strait out of Queens, NY (being a Queens resident, I know). At first I was mad at Piddy for being such a wimp and giving her mom a hard time because she wouldn't tell her who her father was. But, I guess that since I've known my father all my life I wouldn't really know how it feels to grow up not knowing who your father is.

I would have liked more confrontation between Piddy and Yaqui, but on another level, the story is good the way it is. Not everybody had the guts to confront a bully. I also like the cultural traits of Hispanics covered in the story.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Final Girls by Riley Sager

Rating: 3-Stars

Available on July 11, 2017

Summary on Goodreads.

"Ten years ago, college student Quincy Carpenter went on vacation with five friends and came back alone, the only survivor of a horror movie–scale massacre. In an instant, she became a member of a club no one wants to belong to—a group of similar survivors known in the press as the Final Girls. Lisa, who lost nine sorority sisters to a college dropout's knife; Sam, who went..." [more]

I liked the plot and how and who the killer turned out to be, but I didn't like anything else. I didn't like the characters, the dialogue, the writing... nothing at all.

I forced myself to keep reading because of the good reviews, I wanted to see what the big end was about. That said, once I knew who the killer was, many obvious questions came to me. Do not keep reading because what follows are spoilers.

***Spoiler. Spoiler. Spoiler***

So Coop was the real killer but the police never noticed that he had too much blood on him when he found Quincy. Yes, he held her in his arms, but that wouldn't count for the amount of blood described on him. On the same note, if the alleged killer didn't actually killed anybody, then he didn't have any blood on him. Didn't the police notice that either? Hmmm...

Friday, January 6, 2017

Coloring Book: Equinox by Stephen Barnwell

Title: Equinox

Artist: Stephen Barnwell

Pages: 124

Publisher: Antarctica Arts, 2016

Art Rating: 5-Stars

Paper Quality: 3-Stars

Available: Amazon

Are you tired of coloring fairies, flowers and faces? Then this is the book for you. So different to other books out there. I looooveee it!

The paper is okay but place a blank sheet in between if using markers.

If you visit the artist's Website, you can get some free pages (check for copyright). Also, he has section with coloring tips and techniques that will help you A LOT. I have improved my coloring tremendously thanks to him.

You can see a video of a flip-through of the book here by Coloring Addict.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Coloring Book: Lacy Sunshine's In The Land Of Fae and Whimsies by Heather Valentin

Title: Lacy Sunshine's In The Land Of Fae and Whimsies Coloring Book Volume 22: Big Eyed Fairies Whimsical Sprites Coloring

Artist: Heather Valentin

Publisher: CreateSpace (self-published on Amazon)

Pages: 74

Art Rating: 4-Stars

Paper Quality: 2-Stars

Available: Amazon

I like this book because the illustrations are simple and little detailed. I find that when I am coloring and the illustrations have too many details, I get bored and run out of ideas and color combinations.

I don't find the artwork to be all that (maybe it is a printing issue) but they are cute.

The papers is your regular CreateSpace cheap paper; therefore, you should use a blank page between pages to avoid markers (if used) bleeding through the page. Also, because the paper isn't thick, you can see through the pages which for me is distracting when coloring. Thus, place a blank page in between.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Afterward by Jennifer Mathieu

Summary on Goodreads.

"When Caroline's little brother is kidnapped, his subsequent rescue leads to the discovery of Ethan, a teenager who has been living with the kidnapper since he was a young child himself. In the aftermath, Caroline can't help but wonder what Ethan knows about everything that happened to her brother, who is not readjusting well to life at home. And although Ethan is desperate for a friend, he can't see Caroline without experiencing a resurgence of traumatic memories. But after the media circus surrounding the kidnappings departs from their small Texas town, both Caroline and Ethan find that they need a friend--and their best option just might be each other."

Stories about healing are not for me. I prefer the chase, they why, the who and how. This book is about Ethan's recovery after he was rescued. It is also about Caroline dealing with her life after her bother was kidnapped and found. So here we go through those stages of recovery.

I frankly didn't like it just because "fictional healing" is not for me. This is a work of fiction, thus emotional recovery here is fictional. I know the author did research and all, but for me is just made up.