Friday, July 13, 2018

Dear Martin by Nic Stone

Rating: 5-Stars

Summary on Goodreads.

"Justyce McAllister is top of his class and set for the Ivy League—but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. And despite leaving his rough neighborhood behind, he can't escape the scorn of his former peers or the ridicule of his new classmates. Justyce looks to the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for answers. But do they hold up anymore? He starts a journal to Dr. King to find out.

Then comes the day Justyce goes driving with his best friend, Manny, windows rolled down, music turned up—way up, sparking the fury of a white off-duty cop beside them. Words fly. Shots are fired. Justyce and Manny are caught in the crosshairs. In the media fallout, it's Justyce who is under attack..." [+ More].

Oh! I really like this book. It wasn't preachy and Jus wasn't romanticized either. It gave me a few things to think about that I already had thought about but this time from another perspective.

I think this story could've been taken from the newspaper. It felt real because it was well written.

Monday, June 18, 2018

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White

Rating: 5-Stars

Summary on Goodreads.

Available on Amazon on September 25, 2018

"Elizabeth Lavenza hasn't had a proper meal in weeks. Her thin arms are covered with bruises from her "caregiver," and she is on the verge of being thrown into the streets . . . until she is brought to the home of Victor Frankenstein, an unsmiling, solitary boy who has everything--except a friend.

Victor is her escape from misery. Elizabeth does everything she can to make herself indispensable--and it works. She is taken in by the Frankenstein family and rewarded with a warm bed, delicious food, and dresses of the finest silk. Soon she and Victor are inseparable.

But her new life comes at a price. As the years pass, Elizabeth's survival depends on managing Victor's dangerous temper and entertaining his every whim, no matter how depraved. Behind her blue eyes and sweet smile lies the calculating heart of a girl determined to stay alive no matter the cost . . . as the world she knows is consumed by darkness..." [+ More].

Oh! How I liked this book. It didn't make cry like Us against you by Fredrik Backman, and it did not send me into deep thoughts or anything profound like that. I simple liked it because it was a damn good read and well written. The plot twists were on point!

I loved Elizabeth because she was deceiving character and I knew that from the very beginning. The story of Frankenstein from a different point of view... so refreshing! I mean, I never read the original book and I don't intend too; with Elizabeth's version of it is enough for me.

I loved the author's writing as well. Nothing here seemed odd or unbelievable; words seemed to sing together... I hope the books gets translated into Spanish so I can buy it for my mom.

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

Monday, June 11, 2018

Cheaper to Keep Her #2 by Kiki Swinson

Cheaper to Keep Her #2

Rating: 4-Stars

Summary on Goodreads.

"Lynise Carter has been released from jail and she's not happy. In fact, she's ready to get revenge..." [More +].

This book was as good as the first one but I had two major concerns.

First, the story perpetuates the stereotype of women being bitches who still other women's men. Lynise wants to have sex with Bishop because she likes him; she also knows he has a woman. Does she respect that? No, her though was "maybe I'll fuck him so good he will leave her for me."

Really? Is that how women want to get a man? I mean, I know Lynise is supposed to be gettho but, come on! Maybe we could send another message?

The other thing that bugged me was that Lynise advised the detectives to say that the guy who died got killed in a gunfire with them. "Of course they jumped at the opportunity" (pg. 265). Well, don't some type of bullet test need to be done? Don't they need to mat h the bullets to the guns? I mean, I don't know anything about how the police operates but I ha e watched enough CIS and read enough crime books to know that Lynise advise didn't sound right.

So other than those two minor points, the story was good and entertaining.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

In Her Skin by Kim Savage

Rating: 2-Stars

Summary on Goodreads.

Sixteen-year-old con artist Jo Chastain is about to take on the biggest scam of her life: impersonating a missing girl. Life on the streets of Boston these past few years hasn’t been easy, and Jo is hoping to cash in on a little safety, a little security. She finds her opportunity in the Lovecrafts, a wealthy family with ties to the unsolved disappearance of Vivienne Weir, who vanished when she was nine. When Jo takes on Vivi's identity and stages the girl’s miraculous return, the Lovecrafts welcome her back with open arms. They give her everything she could want: love, money, and proximity to their intoxicating and unpredictable daughter, Temple. But nothing is as it seems in the Lovecraft household—and some secrets refuse to stay buried. As hidden crimes come to the surface, and lines of deception begin to blur, Jo must choose to either hold onto an illusion of safety, or escape the danger around her before it’s too late... [+ More].

I didn't enjoy the POV in which the story was told but that is not what killed it for me. The story is told in the voice of Jo (now Vivi) talking to her now sister Temple (but without Temple being there). For instance, "I saw you come in and my talked to your parents..."

Anyway, I found this story too slow for me. A lot of blah blah blah and no actual action. The mystery of what actually happened to Vivi was interesting, though but the way the plot was played out didn't work for me.

Vivi disappeared when she was 9, was in third grade, and was "gone" for seven years. Why was it expected that she remembered her friendship with Temple, the Lovecrafts, her teacher? Seriously, are you supposed to remember so may details of when you were nine years old? Because I don't remember shit of when I was younger.

I found Temple to be Amy from Gone Girl and I was excited thinking that the story would pick up but I was disappointed.

And Jo, so street savvy and a con artist at impersonations, turned out to be a disappointment too; bland and a goody two shoes. So much you could've done with all that "street smart" but did nothing?!

At the beginning I was like "so Vivi is back and two days later they take her to the symphony?" I don't know how people would actually behave in a situation like this, but I sure expect more emotions and real actions (and conversations too). The way the Lovecrafts reacted to her return seemed off, but given the developments of the second half of the book (and the discovery of what happened to Vivi) it now made sense (but I still didn't like it).

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Cheaper to Keep Her by Kiki Swinson

Rating: 5-Stars

Cheaper to Keep Her #1

Summary on Goodreads.

"Cheaper to Keep Her series takes you into the life of Lynise Carter and her male companion Duke Carrington living their lives in the fast lane until the day Duke decides he wants to trade Lynise in for a woman. But, he's unaware that Lynise has no plans to let him go that easy..." [+ More].

Damn! Finally something worth my time. A few days ago I was depressed wondering whether something was wrong with me or just bad books were being published because most of the books I'd been reading lately sucked!

But, Alas! It looks like I just found a new genre! As a librarian, I've been asked for Kiki Swinson's books a couple of times and, bored out of my mind two days ago, I was like "let me see what's up with this author," although that type of books are not my type. Well, they are now! They are way more realistic than the crap I had been reading lately.

Okay, back to Cheaper to Keep Her, no, the book was not perfect because at one point I was like "bitch, how can you be so stupid?" But thank God Lynise realized her stupidity too and is going to make up for it.

Urban fiction seems to be, well, actual urban language and actions. So refreshing from the "literary" staff I am used to read. Yes, descriptive sex is involved too, so I just killed two birds with one stone.

I just ordered the next book in the series and can't wait!

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Sometimes I lie by Alice Feeney

Rating: DNF

Summary on Goodreads.

"Amber wakes up in a hospital. She can’t move. She can’t speak. She can’t open her eyes. She can hear everyone around her, but they have no idea. Amber doesn’t remember what happened, but she has a suspicion her husband had something to do with it. Alternating between her paralyzed present, the week before her accident, and a series of childhood diaries from twenty years ago, this brilliant psychological thriller asks: Is something really a lie if you believe it's the truth?..." [+ More].

I knew when I read "Amber doesn't remember what happened to her" that this would be another case of the usual main character not remembering what happened, then remembering bits of it, and finally remembering everything at the end of the story. God! Why do authors keep writing this predictable plot?

This book was not for me. Amber is in the hospital and her life is told in three ways: past, a diary from when she was a child, and now- the present. I liked the present, but I was not interested in the past and definitely not the diary. I read another blogger say that the diary was the most interesting part, though.

This book was just boring for me. Period. The end.

Monday, May 21, 2018

My Whole Truth my Mischa Thrace

Rating: 2-Stars

Available on Amazon on August 2, 2018.

Summary on Goodreads.

"Seventeen-year-old Seelie Stanton never wanted to kill someone. She never wanted to be invisible in her own family, never wanted to crush on her best friend Alyssa, and she definitely never wanted to know how effectively a mallet could destroy someone’s head.

But the universe doesn’t care what she wants. Shane Mayfield doesn’t care what Seelie wants either. When the former high school basketball star attacks her, she has no choice but to defend herself. She saved her own life, but she can’t bring herself to talk about what happened that night. Not all of it. Not even when she’s arrested for murder...." [+ More].

I guess authors think that if they give unusual names to their characters, the story would be more memorable... What is the name of the MC here, Seelee, Selee? I don't know and I'm not going back to check.

Anyways, why was the MC so angry at her mother? She didn't want her mother present in anything because according to the MC, her mom was always busy at the restaurant. I think that this whole mother-daughter relationship should've been left for a story of its own. I just disliked the MC because from the very beginning she disliked her mother but I didn't see a reason why.

And why was the MC angry at the world, at large? Is like she hated or didn't care for anybody but her 4 friends.

So she killed in self-defense but then she is acting all shy and crying about it. That did not go with the strong character that she was at the beginning.

I liked that there was some type of trial going on (I love that type of books), and then the MC saved an information-bomb to throw it out during the trial. I think it didn't make sense but it did have a nice shocking effect. Who would thought that a 17 year would be so clever and know so much about the consequences of holding evidence?

The school... why were they bullying the MC when the guy she killed didn't even go to that school anymore? The guy was 20 years old! That means that nobody knew him there any longer. Ah yes, the brother; I guess he was the one vandalizing the MC locker and stuff.

Over all, I liked the plot because I had always wanted to read about the aftermath of a situation like this. Usually, a plot ends when the bad guy is killed. This story is the opposite, it starts with the bad guy already dead and then it takes us through what happened to the surviving victim.

This surviving victim, AKA MC or Seelee, I didn't like one bit. She was a strong girl who didn't want to show weakness and I got that, but she just came across like someone angry at the world for no reason.

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

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Aftermath by Kelley Armstrong

Rating: DNF

Summary on Goodreads.

"Three years after losing her brother Luka in a school shooting, Skye Gilchrist is moving home. But there's no sympathy for Skye and her family because Luka wasn't a victim; he was a shooter. 
Jesse Mandal knows all too well that the scars of the past don't heal easily. The shooting cost Jesse his brother and his best friend--Skye. 
Ripped apart by tragedy, Jesse and Skye can't resist reopening the mysteries of their past. But old wounds hide darker secrets. And the closer Skye and Jesse get to the truth of what happened that day, the closer they get to a new killer..." [+ More].

Sensitive subject; and I was looking forward to read about the aftermath of a school shooting (with all the shootings that go around nowadays, 22 so far?). Anyways, I was expecting this book to be less annoying with the obvious bullying and patheticness that Skye goes through. Can't she stand up by herself? At 22% I was wondering if the standing up for herself was being saved for the last.

Also, what's up with all this hate? Are rural kids that vicious? And her brother didn't even shoot anybody! He was holding a gun when the police shot him. I just want to see if by the end of the book it would turn out that he was holding the gun because he took it from his friend (the real shooter) so he wouldn't kill anybody. Because that would be total bullshit.

So Jeese is hurt Sky left without saying good buy, and Skye thinks that Jesse hates her because his brother died... an obvious misunderstanding that reminds me of the pitiful attempt at love in Not if I save you first by Ally Carter.

And I am not the author, but, is Jesse acting up because he is actually glad that his asshole brother is dead but feels guilty about it and don't know who to handle the feelings? Or am I super smart for catching this so early into the story?

Skye keeps being locked up in school. School staff leaves but they forget that Skye is in detention... a law suit right there! And how the fuck did students got Skye phone number to send her anonymous vicious texts and videos? And, hello! After the first message you could change the number too. But nope, it looks like her number is public domain.

And Skye was almost burned down in a room! Really, why are these students going so far? But the best part? That she thinks she saw Jesse! So, obviously, he hates her so much that he tried to kill her. Oh my! Isn't this crap totally unbelievable? So now she is convinced that Jesse is the one sending her all those hate texts.

So far, Skye is constantly hearing conversations (about her, duh!) and hearing footsteps and shit. I am soooo bored. Does anything actually rational happen here?

And just out of the blue, shouldn't victims of shooting participate in some type of counseling? Hmmm... But I'm just up to 22% and although I don't like the story I will finish it to see if the above hypotheses are proved right.

at 47% and still more of the same lame thing. I think that what this story really is about is about Skye and Jesse getting back together! They obviously "love" each other but we need to read a lot of nonsense before they confess and kiss.

77% Skye and Jesse are friends again! He told her he wasn't the one trying to kill her and now everything is good. What's left? the 'L' word. Oh! Also, Skye and Jesse figured out what the police couldn't: Luka wasn't one of the shooters (even I got that right).

Okay, I'm going to stop reading now. I'm at 80% and Skye knows his brother was just another victim/hero and she and Jesse will end up together (probably). Moving on!

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

Friday, May 11, 2018

Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan

Rating: DNF

Summary on Goodreads.

"Sophie’s husband James is a loving father, a handsome man, a charismatic and successful public figure. And yet he stands accused of a terrible crime. Sophie is convinced he is innocent and desperate to protect her precious family from the lies that threaten to rip them apart.

Kate is the lawyer hired to prosecute the case: an experienced professional who knows that the law is all about winning the argument. And yet Kate seeks the truth at all times. She is certain James is guilty and is determined he will pay for his crimes..." [+ More]

So many high reviews and I couldn't even finish it. I think that it started with the introductory chapter which had nothing to do with the actual story (except that Kate, the lawyer, seems to specialize in rape cases?). Nothing wrong with it either, it just wasn't for me.

I couldn't connect to any of the characters. So this high profile politician had an affair and now the woman is accusing him of rape. For me this is like Monica Lewinsky and Bill Clinton: you were happily fucking the man and saved a stained dress to get some money out of it. Actually, that is the book I want to read, who the fucks saves a dress stained with semen!? My president was obviously set up!

But moving on to the present, the lover of this politician is now accusing him of rape; two weeks after the affair ended. Why now and not before? I don't know, maybe it is revealed in the plot, but that just made me lose interest. I was just not interested in knowing if he raped her or not because I was not invested in James or his marriage. I didn't give a fuck that his perfect wife and life was now coming a part because an affair. I think that if you don't want shit to happen you should stay away from it... unless it rains from the sky.

I didn't like the writing either. It just didn't click with me all this... preamble to something. Oh! I feel kind of sorry that I didn't make it to the trial because I just looove trials. But you see, when I don't care about a plot, I can't bring myself to keep reading.

On a positive note, I can already see this book as a movie, and if goes to the big screen, I would definitely check the DVD out of the library to watch it.

Monday, May 7, 2018

My Name Is Venus Black by Heather Lloyd

Rating: 5-Stars

Summary on Goodreads.

"Venus Black is a straitlaced A student fascinated by the study of astronomy—until the night she commits a shocking crime that tears her family apart and ignites a media firestorm. Venus refuses to talk about what happened or why, except to blame her mother. Adding to the mystery, Venus’s developmentally challenged younger brother, Leo, goes missing. More than five years later, Venus is released from prison with a suitcase of used clothes, a fake identity, and a determination to escape her painful past. Estranged from her mother... [+ More].

What a wonderful novel! my favorite parts where about Leo.

I got excited when I read the summary of this YA novel and it wasn't like the rest of them YA out there (boyfriend and high school drama). As I started reading it, I also started building so much expectation in my head (because I was really liking it) that I was afraid to be let down half way through. But I wasn't! I enjoyed My name is Venus Black from beginning to end.

The only thing that had me rolling my eyes was that Venus didn't want to go to college because then everybody was going to know she was in juvie... I mean, in a college with thousands of students she is going to be found out... and cared. I really was put off by this reasoning. Other than that, I loved the book! Hell, I even liked Tinker!

Half way through the story I got in my mind this idea of how the novel should end... and it did. I just love realistic happy endings, and this one gave me that.

Oh! I feel like... so satisfied. After reading way too many crappy books in a row, My name is Venus Black returned my hope in YA literature.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Not If I Save You First by Ally Carter

Rating: 1-Star

Summary on Goodreads

"Maddie thought she and Logan would be friends forever. But when your dad is a Secret Service agent and your best friend is the president's son, sometimes life has other plans. Before she knows it, Maddie's dad is dragging her to a cabin in the middle of the Alaskan wilderness.

No phone.
No Internet.
And not a single word from Logan.

Maddie tells herself it's okay. After all, she's the most popular girl for twenty miles in any direction. (She’s also the only girl for twenty miles in any direction.) She has wood to cut and weapons to bedazzle. Her life is full.
Until Logan shows up six years later . . .
And Maddie wants to kill him..." [+ More].

I guess some teenager/s would/might like the simplicity of this type of YA because they keep being published. So much is changing in technology and music but still, YA books are the same boring story.

Maddie and Logan were best friends as children but Maddie's father moved to the middle of nowhere and Maddie never heard from Logan again. Mind you, she is really hurt and upset that this friendship from when they were 10 years old didn't continue... Isn't that kind of what happens in the US where parents are constantly moving around? But let's say that for the sake of this plot, Logan and Maddie's friendship was supposed to last forever... until they met again when they were 16ish and since now they are hot and teenagers they fall in love after a couple of days together because... well, all that sexual tension from when they were 10 years was there! (I hope you can read sarcasm).

Since Maddie now has the experience of living six years in the wilderness of Alaska, and since she is the daughter of an ex secret agent she is obviously capable of saving the day and defeating Russian kidnappers. Yeap, just your everyday type of heroine.

There is a lot of dialogue here which can be a good or a bad thing (depending of your taste). When Maddie started writing letters to Logan and not getting any replies I saw how the plot would turn out right away. First angry and then in love with the new hot Logan.

Oh! But Logan was also upset because her best friend moved away without saying goodbye and he never again heard again from her. You know, like Maddie was a grown up and should've said a proper goodbye before her father (the one who pays the bills) decided to move?

Really, what is this grudge that two 10 year old hold against each other because they never heard from each other again? I guess today's kids don't move on as they are supposed to.

Friday, April 27, 2018

The Woman Before You by Carrie Blake

Rating: 1-Star

Summary on Goodreads.

"Isabel: Beautiful. Talented. Bored.
Mathew: Mysterious. Handsome. Dangerous.

For Isabel Archer, dating is a way to pass the time in her otherwise safe and comfortable life. She casts herself as the Perfect Girl for every man she matches with, playing a different girl with a different back-story every night for months. It's innocent – one goodnight kiss before swiftly deleting each profile – until she goes too far.

Mathew likes playing games too. Only the games he wants to play are the kind you don’t always walk away from.

As Isabel falls hard for Mathew, his lies bring them closer to their downfall. And she won’t see it coming..." [ More +].

This story... the summary, it is all deceiving. The blurb made it sound like Isabel was this Gone Girl woman/character, but she really wasn't. She went out on a couple of dates and lied about who she was. In high school, she wouldn't say what she was thinking because she didn't want to hurt people's feeling. That didn't make her conniving or anything remotely exciting.

Then she met Matthew who turned out to be playing her. Obviously, Isabel falls in love with him and I just got annoyed when she was sad or crying over him. Aren't you supposed to be this femme fatale that play with men? So much for that. She fell for him on the first date.

The plot seemed just be an excuse to engage in heavy foreplay. Did they ever actually have sex? I don't know. I do know he taunted her and fingered her. After 50% I realized this book was just some mild erotica.

The story is told from two points of view: Isabel and Mathew, and I liked that.

There was not much sense on what was going on other than a vague plot that pro ided different cheesy scenarios to almost have sex.

Who was playing whom? Definitely not Isabel. And where was the thriller here? I guess that was me deciding if I should finish the damn book. What didn't he see coming? Because Isabel didn't live up to the premise of a bad girl.

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

Sunday, April 22, 2018

The Perfect Nany by Leila Slimani

Rating: 2-Stars

Summary on Goodreads.

"When Myriam, a mother and brilliant French-Moroccan lawyer, decides to return to work, she and her husband are forced to look for a caretaker for their two young children. They are thrilled to find Louise: the perfect nanny right from the start. Louise sings to the children, cleans the family's beautiful apartment in Paris's upscale tenth arrondissement, stays late whenever asked, and hosts enviable kiddie parties. But as the couple and the nanny become more dependent on each other, jealousy, resentment, and frustrations mount, shattering the idyllic tableau..." [+ More].

I didn't enjoy this book as much as I thought I would because Eustacia recommended it. I was looking forward to this one but I just got bored with the story.

The opening was interesting; it started with the kids already dead (or dying), so what was left for me to read was why had this perfect nanny done that.

Somehow I lost interest in the reasons for the nanny to go wacko; and here I am just assuming that she indeed went crazy for God's know what or why.

The plot seemed interesting but it didn't hold my attention.

This book is a translation from the French version and I didn't find anything wrong with it. It is just that some books click and some don't...

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Blood Will Out by Jo Treggiari

Rating: DNF

Summary on Goodreads.

Available on June 5, 2018.

"She wakes at the bottom of a cistern, confused, injured and alone, with only the shadowy recollection of a low-pitched voice and a gloved hand. No one can hear her screams. And the person who put her there is coming back. The killer is planning a gruesome masterpiece, a fairytale tableau of innocence and blood, meticulously designed..." [More +].

What type of crap is this? Such an interesting title for a book but nothing to do with the story. The MC (Ari?) wakes up in well or something like that because she has been kidnapped. From there, up to 40% where I could manage to read, NOTHING happens.

Nobody is lookinh for her. Hell, nobody even knew she was missing. Pages go on and on about Ari remembering her life and back to the present to "where am I?"

Back to remembering happy timea with friends and shit. Back to the same hole and shit. Back to remembering... you see my point. I could not continue torturing myself with story.

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

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Orphan Monster Spy by Matt Killeen

Rating: DNF

Summary on Goodreads.

"After her mother is shot at a checkpoint, fifteen-year-old Sarah--blonde, blue-eyed, and Jewish--finds herself on the run from a government that wants to see every person like her dead. Then Sarah meets a mysterious man with an ambiguous accent, a suspiciously bare apartment, and a lockbox full of weapons. He's a spy, and he needs Sarah to become one, too, to pull off a mission he can't attempt on his own: infiltrate a boarding school attended by the daughters of top Nazi brass..." [+ More]

I usually devour Holocaust stories like hot bread but this one didn't click with me. I found Sarah to be detached and couldn't feel for her. The plot seemed to be dragging. For instance, at the beginning Sarah has to run away from the Nazis, so the author keeps repeating Sarah's mother last words to her, lauf, run - over and over. I was just bored with it.

I didn't like the way the author introduced snippets of the past so Sarah could move forward (just my personal choice).

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