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.

Monday, December 19, 2016

A Taste for Monsters by Matthew J. Kirby

Summary on Goodreads.

"It is London 1888, and Jack the Ripper is terrorizing the people of the city. Evelyn, a young woman disfigured by her dangerous work in a matchstick factory, who has nowhere to go, does not know what to make of her new position as a maid to the Elephant Man in the London Hospital. Evelyn wants to be locked away from the world, like he is, shut in from the filth and dangers of the streets. But in Joseph Merrick, the Elephant Man, she finds a gentle kindred who does not recoil from her and who understands her pain. When the murders begin, however, Joseph and Evelyn are haunted nightly by the ghosts of the Ripper’s dead, setting Evelyn on a path to facing her fears and uncovering humanity’s worst nightmares..." [+ more]

This is kind of historical fiction without dwelling too much on the historical part. The Elephant Man did exist (as Jack the Ripper), and Evelyn's disfigurement due to the use of white phosphorus was a real issue back then. However, the story is not about that. It is about the Elephant Man and Evelyn's relation, and... some ghosts.

It was interesting at the beginning but I am really the type that don't like ghost stories. So when the paranormal aspect in the plot kicked in, I lost interest.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis

Summary on Goodreads.

"Alex Craft knows how to kill someone. And she doesn’t feel bad about it. When her older sister, Anna, was murdered three years ago and the killer walked free, Alex uncaged the language she knows best. The language of violence.

While her crime goes unpunished, Alex knows she can’t be trusted among other people, even in her small hometown. She relegates herself to the shadows, a girl who goes unseen in plain sight, unremarkable in the high school hallways..."
[+ More]

I hate preaching books, but this one preached in a way that didn't feel like preaching at all.

I liked Alex, and Jack, and PK. Told in those three voices, every voice had its own nuance.

I like happy endings and this ending might not have been for me. But it was the ending this book needed nonetheless. he ending was good nonetheless.

I loved. I loved the romance...I loved everything.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Coloring Book: Chibi Girl by Jade Summer

Title: Chibi Girls: An Adult Coloring Book with Japanese Manga Drawings, Magical Fairies, and Cute Fantasy Animals

Artist: Jade Summer

Pages: 110

Publisher: CreateSpace (self-published on Amazon)

Art Rating: 4-Stars

Paper Quality: 3-Stars

Available: Amazon

Oh! How I love Chibis! When I saw this book I ordered without bothering to see what was inside.

110 pages of Chibis! I am in Chibi land.

The illustrations are a little too thick for my taste but they are cute. If you are good at coloring (which I'm not) you'll be able to produce amazing results. The thick lines remind me the work of Hannah Lynn's Enchanted Halloween coloring book.

The paper quality is not too good but the back of the pages are black so you can't see through and if you use markers the ink might not bleed through.

And I don't know why I chose to color the same illustration as on the cover!

Monday, December 5, 2016

The Leaving by Tara Altebrando

Summary on Goodreads.

"Eleven years ago, six kindergarteners went missing without a trace. After all that time, the people left behind moved on, or tried to.

Until today. Today five of those kids return. They're sixteen, and they are . . . fine. Scarlett comes home and finds a mom she barely recognizes, and doesn't really recognize the person she's supposed to be, either. But she thinks she remembers Lucas. Lucas remembers Scarlett, too, except they're entirely unable to recall where they've been or what happened to them. Neither of them remember the sixth victim, Max. He doesn't come back. Everyone wants answers. Most of all Max's sister Avery, who needs to find her brother--dead or alive--and isn't buying this whole memory-loss story. "

It's not that I didn't like it; it's more that I didn't like it that much. I feel like something was missing. The concept of the plot is good and, thank God they didn't disappear because some... wait, would that be a spoiler? Then I will just say that I'm glad that they didn't disappear because of what I was thinking.

The explanation for the disappearance satisfied me and I liked the concept but there's something that I can't put my fingers on that bothers me with story.

We have different and distinct POVs, Char being the voice more different from everybody. I think that what the author did with Char, like writing in very small fonts when she was feeling suffocated, or leaving a page blank when her mind went blank was a good technique to make me feel what the character was feeling in that moment.

Overall, the book is intriguing and liked it.