Thursday, February 4, 2016

Insomnia by J. R. Johansson

Summary on Goodreads.
Title: Insomnia (The Night Walkers, #1)
Rating: 2-Stars

"After four years of sleeplessness, high school junior Parker Chipp can't take much more. Every night, instead of sleeping, he enters the dreams of the last person he's made eye contact with. If he doesn't sleep soon, Parker will die.

Then he meets Mia. Her dreams, calm and beautifully uncomplicated, allow him blissful rest that is utterly addictive. But what starts out as a chance meeting turns into an obsession; Parker's furious desire for what he needs pushes him to extremes he never thought he'd go. And when someone begins to terrorizing Mia with twisted death threats, Parker's memory blackouts leave him doubting his own innocence."

Decent, original idea. But I had three issues with the plot.

So, Parker lives the dream of the last person he makes eye contact with before going to sleep. Cool! But:

1) What about sleeping in the afternoon? Parker hasn't slept in four years which means that his brain is about to give up and Parker is going to die. What I didn't get was, why couldn't parker nap in the afternoons? Oh! Once he told his friends about this curse, they found a way for him to sleep for half an hour between classes. I just don't get why the hell he couldn't sleep in the afternoon and then be the darn Watcher at night!?

2) The villain, as always, came out of no where. All of the sudden there was this guy who had an inferiority complex that never manifested until it was time to solve the plot.

3) When Parker told his friends about his condition, he had to tell his friends about their previous dreams so they could believe him. For instance, before telling Addie, he watched her dreams for a few days and then told her what she dreamed of. My issue here is, who remembers what they dreamed of three nights ago, not to mention six years ago? Because Parker told Finn about dreams Finn had had six months ago! And Finn was like, "dude! how do you know that?!" Really, Finn? You remembered what you dreamed of six months ago? I can barely put together my dream from last night!!!

Now, is not like I don't have a general sense of what I dreamed last year. For instance, I know that couple of times in 2015 I dreamed of making out with Channing Tatum, but the specifics of those dreams? Nah! But here, this teenagers were able to remember what they dreamed a year and six months ago. So for me, that was so unbelievable that I just rolled my eyes and kept on.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Broken Dolls by Tyrolin Puxty

Summary on Goodreads.

"Ella doesn't remember what it's like to be human; after all, she's lived as a doll for thirty years. She forgets what it's like to taste, to love.

She watches the professor create other dolls, but they don't seem to hang around for long. His most recent creation is Lisa, a sly goth. Ella doesn't like Lisa. How could she, when Lisa keeps trying to destroy her?..." [+ more]

Lovely! A new idea nicely executed. I loved every moment of it. Who was Ella? Why is she a doll? Well, the answers were not what I was expecting at all. The book is well written and I was engaged in the story. It has intrigue and mystery.

My copy had an excerpt of the second book in the back. I read it and I can tell it is equally interesting.
I will definitely read the next book in the series.

I can't remember which one of the blogs I follow recommended this book with five flying stars and that's how I got to read this one, but you were right! The book is quite...cute [?]

Thank you Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this title.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Seventh Mother by Sherri Wood Emmons

Summary on Goodreads.

"A young girl searches for a mother's love amid unfolding secrets, in this riveting and emotionally complex novel from acclaimed author Sherri Wood Emmons.
The summer that her father falls in love with Emma, Jenny Bohner is just turning eleven. Jenny was three when her mother died, and since then Brannon Bohner has traveled with his daughter from one seasonal job to another..." [more +]

Don't read if you don't want spoilers.


This book is soooo retarded. It started okay but then the father turned out to be a serial killer out of nowhere. Excuse me? Six women who had dated him had gone missing and the police is not asking him?

How was he found out? Well, besides the obvious confession in the last pages, it turns out that after killing those women he kept their driver's licenses and other memorabilia. Why? Apparently, so his daughter could find the box with the incriminating evidence.

What was his MO? None, he pretty much killed those women by chance, like, they would speak in a tone he didn't like to his daughter so they had to go.

At the end, his daughter asked him if he killed them and he is like "I had to." Aha...

Really, nothing really happens in here and that plot was totally lame.

Monday, January 18, 2016

14 Days to Die by A.B. Whelan

Summary on Goodreads.

"Stay-at-home mom Sarah Johnson has the perfect family—a handsome, hardworking husband and two healthy and beautiful children. At least, that’s what she’s been telling herself for years. After the tragedies in her youth, Sarah deemed living a lie easier than dwelling on the past and facing her everyday failures. To avoid any kind of confrontation at home she doesn’t read her husband’s emails or spy on him like most jealous wives do. She wouldn’t jeopardize her comfortable but dull life for anything..." [more +]

This book definitely had a weird inconclusive ending. Not what I was expecting.

Over all, I didn't like Sarah because she complained too much that her husband sucked the life out of her; that he took her career, her youth, and her beauty. I mean... He didn't force you to be a stay-at-home-mom, so I don't know why complain about that so much.

So she receives a phone call from a hit man that her husband hired to kill her and she doesn't take the time to look into it and analyze it. Go to the police? Of course not, what can the police possible do if you tell them that a guy is calling you asking for money and - now - he says he would kill you and your husband both? Obviously, the cops are trained to do nothing.

Sarah repeat over and over that she is going to kill her husband bad does nothing until, FINALLY, I saw her act on it. Mostly, the story is about Sarah complaining and plotting to kill her husband and changing her mind. But I did like some other things that took place with Sarah. Like, how he became a more independent person once she made up her mind to live a little and not care about her husband.

Things turned out differently that were I saw it going and I didn't like it because that is not the usual way that I see a story finish. But I guess this was a valid ending too if just frustrating.

Thank you Netgalley for providing with a free copy of this title.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Summary on Goodreads.

"Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can't pull it off alone..." [more +]

Definitely not for me. I completely missed the point of this one. It started so good, though. I was all wrapped in Joost and Anya when Kaz came along. For me, Kaz was... an arrogant character that just killed my interest in the book.

After the first chapter with Joost, we are quickly introduced to Kaz and all other bandits-good guys. Unfortunately, I couldn't keep up with who was who or why of what. So I DNF the book because the prospect of Kaz making $30 million kruge in exchange for retrieving... something or someone from this super secure place didn't appeal to me. I rather watch Ben Stiller and his crew rob a high-rise residence in Tower Heist (2011).

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter

Summary on Goodreads.

"More than twenty years ago, Claire and Lydia's teenaged sister Julia vanished without a trace. The two women have not spoken since, and now their lives could not be more different. Claire is the glamorous trophy wife of an Atlanta millionaire. Lydia, a single mother, dates an ex-con and struggles to make ends meet. But neither has recovered from the horror and heartbreak of their shared loss—a devastating wound that's cruelly ripped open when Claire's husband is killed..." [more +]

I had read many reviews of how good this book was but never felt inclined to read it until I read a 1-star review by a blogger who DNF the book because it was to detailed and gruesome for her. Vivid and detailed? I'm in!

For me, it wasn't gruesome. I mean, if you have read some BDSM before there's nothing left to surprise you anymore.

I wanted more of Paul...

Damn good. Perhaps a little bit shorter? I felt it was dragging at one point.

Different POVs some times work and some times don't. This was one of the times that it worked for me. I loved the voice of Julia's father. I'm sure they'll make this book into a movie.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Blood Trails:Follow Your Medical Lab Work From Beginning To End With Everything That Can Go Wrong In Between by Dr. Ralph Giorno

Summary on Goodreads.

Buy from Amazon.

"Blood Trails offers in depth understanding of things that can go wrong with every medical laboratory test. Blood Trails focuses on high volume tests such as TSH, potassium, Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D and other tests to provide detailed analyses of issues specifically pertaining to those tests..." [more +]

Well, way to make a woman paranoid about blood tests Dr. Giorno. I had never paid much mind to the way blood tests are handle, although I had thought about the effectiveness of storing blood samples in those containers outside medical offices. Alas! Here is my answer.

This book offers little hope in terms of the validity and accuracy of blood tests. However, they must be done.

Things I will have to consider when getting future blood tests after reading this book:

1. What time of the day should I get my blood drawn for optimal results?
2. Did I have a restful, good night of sleep?
3. Did the blood drawer wait for the alcohol used to disinfect the area to dry before drawing?
4. Did the drawer ask me to flinch my fist?
5. Did the drawer use one of those butterfly needles?
6. Was blood drawn from my arm or my hand?
7. Did the blood drawer place the tub straight, upside? Or did he carelessly place it vertically on the table?
8. Did the blood drawer fill the tubs in the right order?
9. Were the tubs filled to the mark, or were they under filled?
10. Was my sample waiting in that little box outside the medical office in cold/hot weather?
11. How long has my sample being waiting in that box?
12. When did my sample actually make it to the lab?
13. Did they spin my sample at the right speed?
14. Did the lab use a FDA approved machine?
15. Did somebody actually check the results or was it just all computer generated?
16. Is my doctor looking at me or writing in the computer?
17. Have I been over or under diagnosed?

I think those 17 are enough to make me crazy. I will carry this list with me to my next testing.

By all means, do read the book and discover how your lab work can (and will) go wrong.

Thank you Netgalley for providing me with a copy of this title.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The Escape by Hannah Jayne

Summary on Goodreads.

"When two boys walk into the woods, and one comes out covered in blood, what would you believe?
Fletcher and Adam venture into the woods for an afternoon hike, but when day turns into night and neither boy returns, their town is thrown into turmoil. Avery, the detective's daughter, is the one to find Fletcher—dishelved, disoriented, and covered in blood. He has no memory of what happened, but Avery can't shake the feeling that something's off. When Adam's body is finally found, Avery is determined to uncover the truth. But if she stands by her gut, and Fletcher, is she standing by a friend, or a murderer? The answer might cost her her life."

Well, obviously, this author likes to write about things the MC can't remember and then they do. I thought The Escape was going to be different but it is as lame as The Dare. I'm going to have to remember the author's name so I don't pick another book by her.

So Fletcher and Adam go into the woods (as it seems to be woods in every YA town setting) and only one comes back alive. Fletcher is badly hurt and can't remember anything.

The entire book is about Fletcher having glimpses of what happened that night. And how many times did he black out? Jeeeezzz!

One thing good about this book is that Avery, the Chief of Police's daughter, went to his father to tell him about the rumors and everything she found out. Avery was not like other YA characters that take upon themselves to find out the killer.

A couple of cliches:

1) Fletcher was a weirdo, a nobody, but after the accident he becomes famous and students now love him and talk to him (if for a while).

2) Hot girls are flirting with Fletcher because he survived in the woods. Apparently, in YA literature there is something about a boy who almost died but didn't that arouses teenagers.

3) Fletcher's fame is short lived as now the entire high school thinks he is the one who killed his friend.

4) Is Fletcher happy he is alive? Of course not! That wouldn't be normal YA. He thinks he is the one who should've died because he is a nobody and Adam was the loved one.

*****Spoilers Spoilers Spoilers*****

Well, it turned out that Fletcher was indeed the one who killed Adam. And why? "because the voices made me do it." Yeap, the guy has schizophrenia. And where did that come from? Nowhere, really. Throughout the story we get glimpses of Fletcher hearing voices; but that could had been caused by the injuries he suffered in the woods.

By the way, who the hell injured Fletcher? If he killed Adam, who beat Fletcher half to death? Was it Adam defending himself? That was never explained.

Also, Fletcher has schizophrenia and he never had any symptoms. Nobody suspected anything but one day, out of the blue, he just killed Adam because of it.

At the end, Fletcher ask Avery to go into the woods with him to help him remember and she goes. Half way through their expedition, she feels things are not right as Fletcher is acting weird. So Avery keeps telling Fletcher "this is a mistake. We should go back." And "Let's go back" but never actually goes back (as always).

*** End of Spoilers End of Spoilers End of Spoilers ***

I personally didn't like this book. I finished to find out who had killed Adam, that was it. But I didn't feel anything at all for the characters or the story, and I wouldn't suggest it to avid readers as there's nothing substantial or worth noting here.

Monday, December 21, 2015

The Two Levels by Jonathan R. Miller

Summary on Goodreads.

Available on Amazon.

"When a possible outbreak leads to the quarantine of an urban shopping mall, its inhabitants quickly divide themselves into two opposing camps.

One on the first level. One on the second.

As each group scrambles to gather resources to ensure its own safety and comfort, seven-year-old Jasmine — a mixed-race girl — finds herself trapped in an unfamiliar place in every sense of the word, searching for allies in a conflict she doesn’t fully understand. With her mother injured and without a safe haven to call her own, Jasmine is forced to navigate the two levels alone until outside help arrives..." [+ More]

Lovely, really, even if at times I was exasperated with Jasmine's rambling.

How do children manage racism? When you tell a child "you are not one of us," do they have any idea what you mean? Jasmine is half black and half white.

I enjoyed seeing the way we take sides with people of our own color through Jasmine's eyes. I could feel her hesitations and not being sure of what to do, who to trust in the situation she was.

Lovely voice and portray of a seven-year old.

As you know from the summary, Jasmine and her parents were coming back from Africa when in the airport was discovered that an African sick passenger (with what I later assumed was Ebola) made it to the US.

So all hell break lose and people start running and police shooting. Jasmine and her mom ended up sheltered in a mall. The problem was that the first floor of the mall was occupied by white people and the second floor by blacks. So the mall was quarantined because they could not let contaminated people out.

It is in this mall that Jasmine goes back and forth between the first and second floor and comes to face what it means being half white and half black.

Thank you Netgalley for providing me with a copy of this title.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

The Widow by Fiona Barton

Summary on Goodreads.

Available on February 16, 2016.

Buy from Amazon.

"When the police started asking questions, Jean Taylor turned into a different woman. One who enabled her and her husband to carry on, when more bad things began to happen...

But that woman’s husband died last week. And Jean doesn’t have to be her anymore.

There’s a lot Jean hasn’t said over the years about the crime her husband was suspected of committing. She was too busy being the perfect wife, standing by her man while living with the accusing glares and the anonymous harassment.

Now there’s no reason to stay quiet. There are people who want to hear her story. They want to know what it was like living with that man. She can tell them that there were secrets. There always are in a marriage..." [+ More]

I was obsessed reading this book and couldn't put it down. I love reading how the police put the pieces of a crime together.

The story has different POVs and goes back and forth in time. I think it is tricky writing this way because you could lose (or win) the reader. Sometimes this technique works for me and sometimes it doesn't. Obviously, this time it did.

I was furious with Jean sometimes. How could she be so stupid and simple? I really can't understand women who build their lives around a man and do everything they say. Jean was a weak woman this way. But then again, maybe it was just more convenient for her to be so?

The story doesn't really have a twist, per se... and if you read that blurb comparing it to Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train just forget about it. Now any story with unreliable characters seems to be compared to those two books.

I really liked this one and was totally hooked.

Thank you Netgalley for providing with a copy of this title.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Seven ways we lie by Riley Redgate

Summary on Goodreads.

Available on March 8, 2016.

Buy from Amazon

"Paloma High School is ordinary by anyone’s standards. It’s got the same cliques, the same prejudices, the same suspect cafeteria food. And like every high school, every student has something to hide—whether it’s Kat, the thespian who conceals her trust issues onstage; or Valentine, the neurotic genius who’s planted the seed of a school scandal.

When that scandal bubbles over, and rumors of a teacher-student affair surface, everyone starts hunting for someone to blame. For the unlikely allies at the heart of it all, the collision of their seven ordinary-seeming lives results in extraordinary change."

I don't know whose idea was to make this book YA just because it is about teens. Not everything involving teens is appropriate for teens and I feel this book is one of them.

Olivia sleeps around. Yes, she would have sex with anyone just because it is her body and she can do with it what she wants. However, she gets mad if her friend or sister ask her why she's sleeping around so much.

Matt smokes weed. In fact, he goes to class stoned. Even more in fact is that Olivia herself said that he goes to class reeking of weed. Excuse me? Teachers don't notice that?

So this book is about teenagers with normal teenagers problems, right? I did not finish the book so it is possible that at the end everybody realizes how wrong they are coping with their issues (sleeping around, doing drugs, etc.) Probably Olivia will realize that giving up her vagina as if it was free water is not the way to deal with her mother's abandonment. Perhaps... but I won't know because I'm not going to read it.

I would definitely NOT suggest this book to any teen. I am liberal but I think that teens don't need more ideas about sex, drugs, and illegally selling alcohol in high school.

Thank you Netgalley for providing with a copy of this title.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The Creeping by Alexandra Sirowy

Summary on Goodreads.

"Eleven years ago, Stella and Jeanie disappeared. Stella came back. Jeanie never did.
Now all she wants is a summer full of cove days, friends, and her gorgeous crush—until a fresh corpse leads Stella down a path of ancient evil and secrets.
Stella believes remembering what happened to Jeanie will save her. It won’t.
She used to know better than to believe in what slinks through the shadows. Not anymore."

I think I really don't know the definition of horror because I did not feel any reading this book.

I have mixed feeling about this book because of such horrible ending. The ending is your typical the-culprit-confesses-everything because it is obvious that the MC will not be able to figure it out.

Yes, Stella remembers everything at the end... from when she was six years old. Is that super memory or what?

I was supposed to like Zoey (Stella's best friend), I think [?] but I didn't. While Zoey is a... hmmm... while Zoey sleeps around. A LOT. Stella doesn't. I don't see the need of authors making YA girls sleeping around like it is some kind of prize.

Anyway, poor Sam is pathetically after Stella all his life. Sorry, is that true love? In love with the same girl since age six? No, I don't think it is love but an unhealthy obsession that I have only read in YAs.

Stella was a decent MC. I didn't care much for her, though.

I was interested in finding out what happened to Jeanie (the missing little girl). I was hoping the story would keep the supernatural plot. You know, like a real monster lurking in the woods. Well, I didn't see that end coming because I was really believing the monster stuff.

And EXCUSE ME.... Jeanie disappeared 11 years ago and not even the police was able to find traces of her. But now, Stella, Sam and Zoey go back into the wood and find the very spot where everything happened. I mean... really? Wow!

Saturday, December 5, 2015

The Sand Prince by Kim Alexander

Summary on Goodreads.

Purchase on Amazon

The Sand Prince (The Demon Door, #1 or Powers of the Air, #1)

"Rhuun, the Prince of Eriis, uncovers a sultry book written by a human, sparking an obsession with the other world. When he is forced to flee Eriis, he must travel through The Door or pay the price in blood.

Divided by a door

The humans of Mistra are not what Rhuun was expecting—and one insufferable young woman in particular is about to find out that the demons of Eriis are not mythological after all...

Well, on Goodreads, this series is called Powers of the Air, and on Amazon is called The Demon Door. Soo.... I don't know what name is going to stick.

Anyway, for once, I agree with the majority of bloggers who had DNF this book.

Up to 20% I was really liking the story. After that, it became monotonous and I lost interest.

So there's a door separating the world of humans and... the other kind with magical powers. The door is closed by humans and only human blood can open it. Rhuun is "ugly" and has no magical powers but I never felt sad for him. You are different, snap out of it. For no reason he wants to go to the human world to live an adventure.

Suddenly, I'm presented with new characters in the human world. Characters that right now had nothing to do with the story but that later on will become part of it, no doubt. Unfortunately, I did not get interested in these new characters.

The only thing I was liking was Hellne, the Queen. Every other character was uninteresting. The world building or Eriis was interesting too and I liked it.

I think that what got me lost was the jumping in time and having to become familiar with new characters out of the blue.

For instance, I would be reading a scene when Rhuun was 20 years old, and then a new chapter would be when he was 14. The back and forth in time was not quite working for me.

I also think that the story in general became too trivial and a lot of blah blah blah dialogue was going on.

Thank you Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this title.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes

Summary on Goodreads.

"The Kevinian cult has taken everything from seventeen-year-old Minnow: twelve years of her life, her family, her ability to trust.

And when she rebelled, they took away her hands, too.

Now their Prophet has been murdered and their camp set aflame, and it's clear that Minnow knows something—but she's not talking. As she languishes in juvenile detention, she struggles to un-learn everything she has been taught to believe, adjusting to a life behind bars and recounting the events that led up to her incarceration. But when an FBI detective approaches her about making a deal, Minnow sees she can have the freedom she always dreamed of—if she’s willing to part with the terrible secrets of her past..." [more +]

Well, I didn't LOVE it bu I liked it alright. The story has the usual elements found in a cult: cruel punishment and ancient men marrying 16 year old girls, for example.

Minnow is clever, but for someone who didn't know how to read, never watched to tv, lived in the wilderness with 100 people or so, and all her literary, creative, and all critical thinking source came from the Prophet, she was way too smart with words.

Anyway, Minnow was faithful and believed in the Prophet until this had the big revelation from God to marry her. Here we have a different God from what I have usually read. I mean, this man, the Prophet, invented a whole new religion. And that was interesting, the way the author came up with that.

The story is more about Minnow in her present situation (in juvie) than her life in the mountains with the cult. I think that was alright, after all, I didn't want to read all the absurdities that the Prophet could come up with. I already know that a cult is extreme.

In the present time, we follow Minnow adapting through her new life and learning to read (something that women were not allowed to do in the cult). So we are back and forth between Minnow's present and past.

One thing that I didn't get was the big emphasis in finding out who killed the Prophet (or how he really died). I mean, the man was Satan in sheep's clothes, what was the big deal? He was dead. Period. But then again, maybe this was just a scheme to help Minnow open up and heal.

I did like the writing style and the story. I think this is a wonderful debut novel.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Doll's House by M. J. Arlidge

Summary on Goodreads.

The Doll's House (Helen Grace, #3)

This title will become available February 2, 2016

Purchase on Amazon

"A young woman wakes up in a cold, dark cellar, with no idea how she got there or who her kidnapper is. So begins her terrible nightmare.

Nearby, the body of another young woman is discovered buried on a remote beach. But the dead girl was never reported missing - her estranged family having received regular texts from her over the years. Someone has been keeping her alive from beyond the grave..." [more +]

I almost didn't like this one. It didn't have the... novelty of the first one. This one is heavy on job jealousy and trying to get Helen out of the game. New characters around Helen are introduced and too much of the story is about these new people  bureaucracy (again) that it took away from the actual investigation.

Something rare in Helen's character happens here: she becomes friends with the father of one of the victims and confines in him. I just found this out of character and was wondering what the point was.

It was also odd that detective Helen Grace kept a diary. Hmmmm... As I said, very out of character.

Helen is still visiting Jake and that is that. She gets bit and the more it hurts the more she likes it (just like before). I suppose that eventually those two will develop a relationship although I don't know where Jake's love was coming from... I mean, they haven't even been on a date and he is already jealous and following her.

Once again, at the end Helen faces death but survives....I feel this series is becoming your standard crime novel so for me this was the last book of Helen Grace.

Thank you Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this title.