Saturday, October 20, 2018

A Version of the Truth by B. P. Walter

Rating: 1-Star

Available on February 7, 2019.

Summary on Goodreads.

"2019: Julianne is preparing a family dinner when her son comes to her and says he’s found something on his iPad. Something so terrible, it will turn Julianne’s world into a nightmare and make her question everything about her marriage and what type of man her husband is or is pretending to be.

1990: Sophie is a fresher student at Oxford University. Out of her depth and nervous about her surroundings, she falls into an uneasy friendship with a group of older students from the upper echelons of society and begins to develop feelings for one in particular. He’s confident, quiet, attractive and seems to like her too. But as the year progresses, her friends’ behaviour grows steadily more disconcerting and..." [+ More]

I couldn't put it down but it wasn't because I was liking it but because I wanted to see what Julienne was going to do. God! Her son had more sense than her.

The story alternates between the past (when they were in the university) and the present. I wasn't interested in the past so I skipped most of it, mostly because I knew what was coming.

The present was interesting but I felt that the characters were bland. James seemed to have no blood running through his veins!

The concept of the story, rich people satisfying their low and dark sex appetites with the poor and underprivileged, is something I had read before but here it was played... Without emotions.

When everything comes down during a Christmas dinner, things are said and revealed as a matter of fact. This had no effect on me and I just thought that it was an inefficient way of reaching the climax.

All of the sudden, Julienne realizes that the girl she "saw" her husband having sex with in college was actually raped. Really, after 20 years that revelation just comes down on you?

And what does the title have to do with the story? I didn't see the connection.

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

Friday, October 5, 2018

A simple favor by Darcey Bell

Rating: 3-Stars

Summary on Goodreads.

"It starts with a simple favor—an ordinary kindness mothers do for one another. When her best friend, Emily, asks Stephanie to pick up her son Nicky after school, she happily says yes. Nicky and her son, Miles, are classmates and best friends, and the five-year-olds love being together—just like she and Emily. A widow and stay-at-home mommy blogger living in woodsy suburban Connecticut, Stephanie was lonely until she met Emily, a sophisticated PR executive whose job in Manhattan demands so much of her time..." [+ More].

I was really enjoying it until the end. I started reading it during lunch and couldn't put it down but the end really ruined it for me.

Mainly, I was intrigued by Stephanie; was she really that stupid or was she pretending? A few of Stephanie's actions suggested some type of intelligence but, can somebody really live their life in a bubble like that?

So just went I started liking Stephanie and was about to make up my mind that she wasn't that stupid the end kicks in and the maxim of stupidity happens.

After everything Emily has done to prove her... Deviousness, Stephanie believes her when Emily says that her husband abused her (as in beat the crap out of her "making sure he hit the right places not to leave a mark"). Ok, fine. Emily kills a guy and asks Stephanie for help to hide the body and frame her husband, Sean. Well! For somebody so rightgeous like Stephanie, it didn't take her 30 seconds to agree to the crime. Really? Not even a thought about what would happen to your incestuou child if you go to jail? Nope. Not even a reaction to the dead body.

And why exactly did you believe Emely now after she proved to be, well, a lier?

Things are nicely tied up at the end and, I guess, Stephanie went back to her previous pious life.

Oh! So I made my mind about Stephanie: at the end, she really is that stupid because the author didn't know what to do with her. Wouldn't had it been great if both of them turned out to be cruel bitches? Then it could really be compared to Gone Girl.

I was gonna go watch the movie because I like the actresses in it but now I won't even watch it on DVD.

Friday, September 14, 2018

A Patient Man by S. Lynn Scott

Rating: 5-Stars

Summary on Goodreads.

"It is 1976 and Mikey, eight-years-old and street-wise beyond his years, is looking forward to a summer of freedom, roaming the creeks and the mud-flats of Canvey Island. But violent emotions are rumbling beneath the surface, about to destroy all that he thought he knew.

When Mikey’s neighbours, the Freemans, win a great deal of money, the old couple become the targets of a criminal act that leaves Peggy Freeman dead and her husband, Bert thirsting for revenge. Believing that young Mikey’s family is responsible, Bert devises a highly unusual but devastatingly effective form of reprisal. But where does the guilt really lie, and will there be punishment or redemption?" [+ More].

Oh! How I liked this one. For some reason, I am a sucker for sarcastic, witty, British humor and S. Lynn Scott's writing is just my type of thing. I enjoyed it so much that it took me almost a week to finish it (yes, I take my time when I like a book).

From any angle I look at it, I can't find anything wrong with this story! I wouldn't mind reading more about Michael at boarding school ( like the book Spud by John van de Ruit).

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

Monday, September 10, 2018

Snowhook by Jo Storm

Rating: DNF

Available on January 26, 2019

Summary on Goodreads.

"At first, when a massive ice storm traps fourteen-year-old Hannah and her family in a remote cabin, it feels like a game to practise the survival skills she's been learning. That all changes when an accident leaves her mother desperately low on insulin. With no power and no way to contact the outside world, Hannah steals away with the four family dogs tied to an old dogsled..." [+ More].

So there is a massive storm coming and the father is called in to work to help in the storm (he must have been some type of coast guard or something). Despite of being with his family in a remote cabin, the father chooses to go to save people rather than stay and protect his own. Wow! I guess his sense of duty was bigger than his sense of family. But fine, in YA parents have to be gone for the teenager to be a hero. However, something more convincing wouldn't hurt.

So the family stays trapped in the storm and our little hero, Hannah, suggests to go for help but mom says "no" because the wind is too strong. However, a couple of hours later (or maybe just later) she is allowed to go for help because... The wind is stronger? Again, write something that makes sense!

But, what am I saying? This book is for tweens and teens so there is a chance that they will not catch these little inconsistencies.

Lastly but not least, Hannah has to save, not only herself, but also an inept adult. Was there more people to be saved? I don't know as I DNF it.

However, I see how this blqnd survival nonsense could appeal to a young audience.

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

Friday, September 7, 2018

Like Never and Always by Ann Aguirre

Rating: DNF

Summary on Goodreads.

"On a hot summer night, a screech of brakes and shattering glass changes two lives forever.

Liv wakes in the hospital, confused when they call her Morgan. She assumes it’s a case of mistaken identity, yet when the bandages come off, it’s not her face in the mirror anymore. It’s her best friend Morgan’s.

Morgan always seemed to have the perfect life, yet Liv must navigate endlessly disturbing secrets of the criminal and murderous variety—and a romance that feels like a betrayal. Torn between the boy she loved as Liv and the boy she’s grown to love as Morgan, Liv still has to survive Morgan’s last request..." [+ More].

Pretty bland and boring. So after an accident, Olivia wakes up in Morgan's body. So now everybody thinks Olivia died and Morgan survived. While alive, Morgan was dating Clay and Olivia was dating Clay's brother, Nathan. Oh oh, who will Olivia stay with?

Duh! That's no brainier because, how is Olivia in the body of Morgan choose Nathan (dead Olivia's ex boyfriend and Clay's brother)? That would be like "whaaaaat! The accident messed up with you!"

At the same time, there is a little mystery to solve that the real Morgan left for Olivia in case she died (because, you know, that is what teenagers think about and prepare in advance). Anyways, the new Morgan has to expose the real Morgan's mother ex boyfriend who probably killed her. Once again, that is what teenagers in YA do best, solve crimes that the police are too stupid to solve.

I DNF this book because new Morgan/old Olivia had no personality, the story was simple and not engaging, and I am tired of the poor-rich-girl-character (Morgan is rich but lonely). Damn! I wanna be lonely like that!

Obviously, Olivia is/was a better person so now living as Morgan, she will give this new body meaning and purpose.

And what about Olivia's family? Well, now Olivia (in the body of Morgan) is for them like the daughter they lost. She goes to have breakfast with them every morning and is constantly present in their lives. They are happy to have her because she "fells like a daughter" to them. Duh! And how can you replace a dead daughter with a friend? Only in YA...

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

Sunday, September 2, 2018

The XY by Virginia Bergin

Rating: DNF

Available on November 1, 2018.

Summary on Goodreads.

"She's been taught to fear him. He's been taught to fear her. What if they're both wrong?

In River's world, XYs are a relic of the past, along with things like war and violence. Thanks to the Global Agreements, River's life is simple, safe, and peaceful...until she comes across a body in the road one day. A body that is definitely male, definitely still alive.

River isn't prepared for this. There's nothing in the Agreements about how to deal with an XY. Yet one lies before her, sick, suffering, and at her mercy.

River can kill him, or she can save him. Either way, nothing will ever be the same...." [+ More].

This book is a complete mess and so confusing. The first page when River found the body was okay, but after that nothing made sense. Who is talking? Is it the boy? I guess... Well, not really talking but speaking in his mind. And he too is surprised by River. Why? Didn't he know they existed? I think the story would've been more interesting from the boy's point of view.

All this people acting surprised because of the boy but without a real explanation of why he was so amazing just annoyed me; I was like "it is just a person like you." But obviously he was not.

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

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

The Current by Tim Johnston

Rating: 3-Stars

Available January 22, 2019.

Summary on Goodreads.

"When two young women leave their college campus in the dead of winter for a 700-mile drive north to Minnesota, they suddenly find themselves fighting for their lives in the icy waters of the Black Root River, just miles from home. One girl’s survival, and the other’s death—murder, actually—stun the citizens of a small Minnesota town, thawing memories of another young woman who lost her life in the same river ten years earlier, and whose killer may yet live among them. One father is forced to relive his agony while another’s greatest desire—to bring a killer to justice—is revitalized . . . and the girl who survived the icy plunge cannot escape the sense that she is connected to that earlier unsolved case by more than a river. Soon enough she’s caught up in an investigation of her own that will unearth long-hidden secrets, and stoke the violence that has long simmered just below the surface of the town. Souls frozen in time, ghosts and demons, the accused and the guilty, all stir to life in this cold northern place where memories, like treachery, run just beneath the ice, and where a young woman can come home but still not be safe..." [+ More].

I liked the beginning but somewhere towards the middle I felt the story was dragging. It kept me very interested in the plot, though. I just found the writing kind of heavy for me. But I definitely liked the story. The character I liked most was the ex Sheriff, Sutter.

I also liked Audrey because she did not act stupid; and Caroline was a character that deserves a story of her own.

I am so not into paranormal things so I guess that is why I didn't enjoy the story more. Not that it is paranormal, but it has just a little bit of it here and there.

At the end, I didn't find out if they were actually murdered. Did somebody push their car into the river? I guess I missed that part as I skipped some pages here and there.

All in all a very nice story, and if you dig the writing, then you might just love it.

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

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Even If I Fall by Abigail Johnson

Rating: 5-Stars

Available on January 8, 2019 on Amazon

Summary on Goodreads.

"A year ago, Brooke Covington lost everything when her beloved older brother, Jason, confessed to the murder of his best friend, Calvin. Brooke and her family became social pariahs, broken and unable to console one another. Brooke’s only solace remains the ice-skating rink, where she works but no longer lets herself dream about a future skating professionally.

When Brooke encounters Calvin’s younger brother, Heath, on the side of the road and offers him a ride, everything changes. She needs someone to talk to…and so does Heath. No one else understands what it’s like. Her brother, alive but gone; his brother, dead but everywhere. Soon, they’re meeting in secret, despite knowing that both families would be horrified if they found out. In the place of his anger and her guilt, something frighteningly tender begins to develop, drawing them ever closer together.

But when a new secret comes out about the murder, Brooke has to choose whose pain she’s willing to live with—her family’s or Heath’s. Because she can’t heal one without hurting the other..." [+ More].

Oh! How I liked this one. And what is wrong with me? Because I cried! Again. I must have an excess of hormones or something.

Anyways, I found this book deliciously wonderful. I like the writing, the voice of the MC, the development of the romance (specially the development of the romance). I hate romance and all that insta love crap, but this story was not like that.

I liked that I knew what Brooke was thinking all the time and her reasons to do whatever she did. At first I was like, "what is wrong this family?" But I get that not all families are savages like mine.

I completely felt the emptiness that Brooke was feeling and the her need to feel a human touch. I was also thinking "why are people so stupid? His brother is murderer, not her or her family!" But I guess just a small part of the population would think like that. Most people are vicious and just waiting for an opportunity to show it.

There is nothing in this book that I did not like. Everything came together nicely; there was no quick, stupid fixes (like recording a conversation when someone confesses). This story was well thought and planned. I just loved it.

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

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage

Rating: 4-Stars

Summary on Goodreads.

"Meet Hanna.
She’s the sweet-but-silent angel in the adoring eyes of her Daddy. He’s the only person who understands her, and all Hanna wants is to live happily ever after with him. But Mommy stands in her way, and she’ll try any trick she can think of to get rid of her. Ideally for good.

Meet Suzette.
She loves her daughter, really, but after years of expulsions and strained home schooling, her precarious health and sanity are weakening day by day. As Hanna’s tricks become increasingly sophisticated, and Suzette's husband remains blind to the failing family dynamics, Suzette starts to fear that there’s something seriously wrong, and that maybe home isn’t the best place for their baby girl after all..." [+ More].

This is the second book I read where the little psychopath is a girl named Hanna. Hmmm... I'm gonna have to look into the meaning of that name.

I really like Hanna deviousness and the ways she uses to upset her mother. What I don't like is the way Hanna's mother, Suzette reacts. Hanna is only 7 for God's sake, but Suzette acts like if Hanna is an adult! I mean, slap the little bitch into sense! And if you already know your daughter is a little demon, why the fuck don't you take pictures and have your phone ready to record things? Seriously, you would think that is the first thing that a parent would do.

Okay, some parents don't believe in hitting their children... Well, good luck with that. I come from a third world country where my mom used to beat the shit out of me (withing reasonable force) and I turned out fine. No, I was not abused, I was disciplined. But Suzette is even scared of punishing Hanna because it might hurt her feelings!

Is this family relationship for real?

Alex, the husband, it is obviously oblivious to what is going on, but that is fine; he is not important in the story. He just comes home from work and spends a little time with Hanna.

I don't know what is this bullshit of apologizing to Hanna to make her feel better. Suzette, you know your daughter is a little crazy bitch, stop being so stupid.

Hanna, so careful all along, finally does something that leaves evidence behind. And what does Suzette do when Hanna finally does something that makes Alex, the father, see her for who she really is? Well, she downplays Hanna's actions! "Maybe I should apologize to her," "maybe she was upset about something and was acting out," "oh! it's nothing, I'll be fine tomorrow." Woman, hadn't you been looking for something to make your husband believe you about your bride-of-Chucky-child? And now that you finally have proof you try to dismiss it?! Damn!

I like how the author gave Hanna's behavior a setting. That is, she was only seven so she was only a child, thus she could not be evil for the same reasons adults are evil. Hanna had a fantasy, a delusion that made her hate her mother. Oh! Yes, she also lacked empathy and all that.

I liked the ending and, the way Stage left things, I would love to read another book about Hanna and her stupid mother (hopefully not so stupid next time).

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

The Lies We Told by Camilla Way

Rating: 4-Stars

Summary on Goodreads.

"When Clara's boyfriend, Luke, disappears, everyone believes that he's left her, but Clara thinks she knows the truth. Recent evidence suggests that Luke had a stalker, and Clara worries that he's been kidnapped. Then Luke's older sister, Emma, who vanished twenty years ago, suddenly reappears.

Emma wants to help Clara with her search for Luke, but she refuses to talk about what happened--even though it nearly destroyed her family when she vanished. And the deeper Clara digs into Luke's mysterious disappearance, the more convinced she is that the two incidents are connected..." [+ More].

I was fully engaged in this book! I was even biting my nails!! I enjoyed as much as I enjoyed Way's previous book Watching Eddie.

I found The Lies We Told very interesting. It is told in two narratives (past and present) and at the beginning they seem to have nothing to do with each other. But, being the smart bitch that I am (also because, why would the author narrate two different scenarios if they weren't related? Duh!) I knew the past and present were linked, I just didn't see how.

I liked the twists and I totally loved Hannah; at the same time, I wanted the psycho to pay for her... "crimes."

One of the characters was full of righteousness (at the age of 18 or 19, mind you), that despite the wonderful upbringing her parents gave her, she couldn't look pass the mistake of one of her parents and she chose to leave home and never contact her parents of brothers again. I was like, seriously? That is for your parents to fix between them, not you. But anyways, this is the only thing that I disliked.

The ending was satisfying for me and at the same time it was a cliffhanger; does this book have a second part? If it is so, it better comes out soon before I lose all interest in the characters.

All in all, a good mystery/thriller that I very much enjoyed.

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

Saturday, August 4, 2018

The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld

Rating: 5-Stars

Summary on Goodreads.

"The enchanted place is an ancient stone prison, viewed through the eyes of a death row inmate who finds escape in his books and in re-imagining life around him, weaving a fantastical story of the people he observes and the world he inhabits. Fearful and reclusive, he senses what others cannot. Though bars confine him every minute of every day, he marries magical visions of golden horses running beneath the prison, heat flowing like molten metal from their backs, with the devastating violence of prison life.

Two outsiders venture here: a fallen priest, and the Lady, an investigator who searches for buried information from prisoners' pasts that can save those soon-to-be-executed. Digging into the background of a killer named York, she uncovers wrenching truths that challenge familiar notions of victim and criminal, innocence and guilt, honor and corruption-ultimately revealing shocking secrets of her own..." [+ More].

Oh! How I loved this one. When I finished it I went to Google the author and found out that she is the same author of The Child Finder, another favorite.

Is it possible to get to love a killer on death row? In this book it is; the way Denfeld portraits the criminals really made me feel for them. Hell, I almost cried at the end! Almost - because I am a hard bitch. But damn it, I did tear a bit.

I love when the bad guy gets what is coming to him, and in this book, at least one of the bad guys, got it. Oh! How I liked that.

Some people complained about the lack of names of the characters but this is one of the things that I really liked. The Lady didn't need a name for me.

Someone also said "is this book written by a 5 years old?" Really? Wow!

And another one, "the writer seriously needs to take some creative writing classes and learn structure, flow and depth," and wow! - again.

I couldn't put the book down until I finished. It was hypnotic for me.

Some little things here and there I didn't like, but nothing to make me love the book less.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Time Bomb by Joelle Charbonneau

Rating: DNF

Summary on Goodreads.

"A congressman's daughter who has to be perfect. A star quarterback with a secret. A guy who's tired of being ignored. A clarinet player who's done trying to fit in. An orphaned rebel who wants to teach someone a lesson. A guy who wants people to see him, not his religion.

They couldn't be more different, but before the morning's over, they'll all be trapped in a school that's been rocked by a bombing. When they hear that someone inside is the bomber, they'll also be looking to one another for answers..." [+ More].

I think this book might have too many characters for me. The story starts with the rich, nice girl, then the Muslim boy, Rasheed (or Rashid?); some other boy that is being evicted (is he Black?); the gay guy (not black not white), the fat girl who is bullied, and 2 more characters that I have no idea who they are because by the 4th character I wasn't interested in learning about more people.

Well, if you wanted diversity, here it is!

I just lost interest. The story is not bad as it has a little bit of everything; I think teenager will dig it.

Me? I have read these characters before (the gay quarterback, the overweight girl....) so I didn't find anything compelling here to keep me going. They are all misunderstood, lonely, and want the world (or somebody) to notice them. they want to teach teach the world a lesson (or so it seems).

Well, at least I know that the bomber is NOT going to be Rasheed because it would be too stereotyped, right?

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine

Full title: Stillhouse Lake (Stillhouse Lake #1)

Rating: 5-Stars

Summary on Goodreads.

"Gina Royal is the definition of average—a shy Midwestern housewife with a happy marriage and two adorable children. But when a car accident reveals her husband’s secret life as a serial killer, she must remake herself as Gwen Proctor—the ultimate warrior mom.

With her ex now in prison, Gwen has finally found refuge in a new home on remote Stillhouse Lake. Though still the target of stalkers and Internet trolls who think she had something to do with her husband’s crimes, Gwen dares to think her kids can finally grow up in peace.

But just when she’s starting to feel at ease in her new identity, a body turns up in the lake—and threatening letters start arriving from an all-too-familiar address. Gwen Proctor must keep friends close and enemies at bay to avoid being exposed—or watch her kids fall victim to a killer who takes pleasure in tormenting her. One thing is certain: she’s learned how to fight evil. And she’ll never stop..." [+ More].

Holy crap! This book was good. I had always wanted to read about what happened after the serial killer/murderer/kidnapper etc. was caught, and here I have it.

I thought Gina was a little paranoid having to move around so many times but at the end it made sense.

I love all the twists in the plot. By the end I was wishing this was a series, and it is!

I really liked Gina's character (well, Gwen), and her children too.

When I started reading I got a little bored with the set up of the new home and all that, and I was thinking "oh oh, this is not for me" but because I really liked the subject of the book I kept reading it. I am glad I did because I enjoyed it a lot.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

The Hanging Girl by Eileen Cook

Rating: 4-Stars

Summary on Goodreads.

"Skye Thorn has given tarot card readings for years, and now her psychic visions are helping the police find the town’s missing golden girl. It’s no challenge—her readings have always been faked, but this time she has some insider knowledge. The kidnapping was supposed to be easy—no one would get hurt and she’d get the money she needs to start a new life. But a seemingly harmless prank has turned dark, and Skye realizes the people she’s involved with are willing to kill to get what they want and she must discover their true identity before it’s too late..." [+ More]

I really liked this book... until the end! I enjoyed the writing style, I loved the twist, and I specially liked how so call psychic abilities were handled. The only thing I didn't like was the end. So Skye recorded a conversation on her phone and gave it to the police; that is how the culprit was caught. Hell, I even liked that the real murdered got away with it!

But seriously, you hide a phone in your jacket (hoodie or whatever) and it records perfectly? I am sorry if I don't believe that because I have tried to record some conversations with my phone carelessly placed on my lap with no success. But here, the conversation carried out loud enough to be recorded. Damn! After everything was developing so credibly Cook threw this cliché. It reminds me of That Night by Chevy Stevens and the phone recording resources for solving the plot.

Oh! And I forgot to mention, at the end, Skye decides to change her name from Candi Skye Thorn to, yes, this is right, Cate Skye Thorn. Wow! What a big change!!!!

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Anger is a Gift by Mark Oshiro

Rating: DNF

Summary on Goodreads.

"Six years ago, Moss Jefferies' father was murdered by an Oakland police officer. Along with losing a parent, the media's vilification of his father and lack of accountability has left Moss with near crippling panic attacks.

Now, in his sophomore year of high school, Moss and his fellow classmates find themselves increasingly treated like criminals by their own school. New rules. Random locker searches. Constant intimidation and Oakland Police Department stationed in their halls. Despite their youth, the students decide to organize and push back against the administration.

When tensions hit a fever pitch and tragedy strikes, Moss must face a difficult choice: give in to fear and hate or realize that anger can actually be a gift..." [+ More]

I didn't like the writing style. I found the writing forced and the characters fictitious. Also, too many things were going on in this book, from panic attacks to gay and lesbian love (God forbid I'm offending anyone by not using the right term here) to racism to... I don't know I got lost.

The book is 450+ pages and the font is tiny which also made it difficult for me to read. I have read tiny fonts before, it is just that this book had so much text! that I just felt overwhelmed.

I just didn't find the conversations and character "real" but more like "made" for the story.