Wednesday, October 16, 2019

"Every Note Played" by Lisa Genova

Every Note Played by Lisa Genova centers on two people:  Richard and Karina.  They were married but separated and divorced.  Karina is having trouble moving on.  Her only child, Grace, has gone to college and has little interaction with her mom.  Karina has no one.  Richard is an accomplished concert pianist, but now he has ALS.  Soon he is going to need someone to take care of him 24-7!  He is not close to his family and has no one.

WOW!  I really enjoyed reading this book.  I liked both Richard and Karina.  Lisa  Genova does a great job with the story line.  I have loved all her books and this one is as good as the others!  I laughed, smiled and cried.  It is my book of the month so far!
(Gerard's review, 5++ stars)

Teaser from page 27:  Her stomach floods with emotion, her inner streets crowding fast as fervent protest stands upon its soapbox in her center, outraged that she has to deal with this, that Pam especially can't be more sensitive to her.  Richard's canceled tour isn't her concern.

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Monday, October 14, 2019

"REBEL" by Marie Lu

REBEL by Marie Lu is told by two brothers, Daniel (Day) and Eden. Eden is the younger brother and Daniel aka Day is a legend. They now live in Ross City, Antarctica in 2142 AD where the higher level you are, the better standard of living you have. Eden gets mixed up with a mob boss who would like nothing better than to get rid of the levels and run things his way. Daniel is an Antarctic Intelligence Service agent who goes after the criminals. The deeper Eden gets involved with the mob, even Daniel might not be able to save him! This book is so good! I loved being back with Day and June again from The Legend series. This book had a good flow to it and had plenty of action.
(Gerard’s review, 5++ stars)

Karen's review:
Eden, at an illegal drone race in the undercity. Eden is trying to become his own person and establish his place in the world away from his brother’s shadow. Daniel is still seeing Eden as his little brother who needs his protection.

I enjoyed this book, it just didn’t grab me like the others did. It was fun seeing the brother’s relationship develop as they both move into adulthood. The romance between Day and June picks back up and was kind sweet. I think if you enjoyed the prior books in the Legend series, you will enjoy this one as well.  (4 stars)


Teaser from page 13: Me? I’m the nerd with bad eyesight who likes building things and framing flowers. When I speak, my voice is higher and softer than my brother’s. He is the hero who never has nightmares anymore. I am the odd, quiet one that he still treats like a kid.



Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Saturday, October 12, 2019

"Good Girl, Bad Girl" by Michael Robotham

In Good Girl, Bad Girl by Michael Robotham, a girl is found in a secret room.  Who knows how old she is?  She will not tell and there are no records of her birth!  She is given the name Evie.  She demands to be free from the secure children's home.  A forensic psychologist, Cyrus, is call in.  He has never met anyone like Evie.  In addition, a young high school girl is murdered.  Cyrus is called in to help find the killer.  Are these two girls somehow related?  Who is Evie really and who killed Jodie?

This is a wild book to say the least!  Something is always going on!  This book is told by Cyrus and Evie.  I enjoyed it!
(Gerard's review, 5++ stars)

Teaser from page 12:  "Evie has made an application to the court to be released, but she's not ready to leave Langford Hall.  She's dyslexic.  Antisocial.  Aggressive.  She has no friends.  Nobody ever visits her.  She's a danger to herself and others."

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

"The Good Father" by Diane Chamberlain

The Good Father by Diane Chamberlain centers on Travis and his 4-yr-old daughter, Bella.  Robin was very sickly and fragile when he got her pregnant and did not want the baby so Travis got full custody.  When his mother's house burns to the ground, he finds himself and Bella homeless.  Then he loses his job and moves to Raleigh to follow a job lead.  He meets a woman at a coffee shop, Erin, who is still grieving over the loss of her child but hits it off with Bella.  His job is not what he thought it would be and finds himself mixed up with drug dealers.  He left Bella with Erin while he went to work, but didn't come back!  What will Erin do with Bella?  Will Travis get out alive and see his daughter again?  What about Robin?  These are all questions answered when you read the book.

I enjoyed this book, although it started off a bit slow.  It really has three story lines about the three main characters, Travis, Erin and Robin.  This book looks at parenting and grieving.  This would be a good book for a book club to discuss.  It has discussion questions in the back.
(Karen's review, 4 stars)

Teaser from page 8:  The only thing was, she might be too good.  The kind of person who'd call the cops on me.  I just had to trust her not to.

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Saturday, October 5, 2019

"The Pale-Faced Lie" by David Crow (True Story)

The Pale-Faced Lie by David Crow is about his terrible childhood, his abusive parents, and his struggle to be free from his father’s control and the guilt and shame he felt most of his life. He also had an older sister and a younger brother and sister. This is a sad story and one that is hard to believe families like his actually exist. It sheds light about life on an Indian reservation and how much damage can be caused by abusive parents. His dad was an ex-con who got away with murder and expected David to help him in his criminal activities. The only times David’s father was pleased with David was when he did mean things to people that his father thought was hilarious. Although David had a lot of obstacles to overcome, including his upbringing, hearing loss, poverty and dyslexia, he had a lot of determination and mental toughness. He barely graduated high school and went on to graduate college, majoring in political science. This book made me want to keep reading to see what was going to happen next and how he succeeded (I knew he did since he wrote the book). This was heartbreaking, but at the same time, extremely interesting.
 (Karen’s review, 5 stars)

Gerard's review 9/25/19:
The Pale-Faced Lie by David Crow is the true story about his family.  He had three siblings and they idolized their dad who told them stories about his World War II feats.  But, there was another side to Thurston Crow, the dad.  David tells the story of growing up with his dad and his mentally ill mother including plenty of action!What I enjoyed most about this book is that I really never knew what was going to happen next.
(5++ stars)

Teaser from page 8:  Other days, Dad tied me to the pine tree in our front yard.  He'd wrap a thick, scratchy rope around my chest and ankles and tug on it hard to make a tight know.

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

"You Owe Me a Murder" by Eileen Cook

In You Owe Me a Murder by Eileen Cook, Kim is headed to London on a class trip.  Good time for it because her life is not going very well.  She really needs this!  She meets a stranger on the plane and they have an instant connection.  In London, things go south in a hurry and Kim finds her life is at a crossroad!

I enjoyed this book!  Kim is a great character.  The pacing of the book is okay and I especially liked the last part of this book.  If you liked "Stranger on the Train," you will also like this!
(Gerard's review, 5+ stars)

Teaser from page 15:  I was a walking black cloud of doom.  I hadn't bothered to get to know anyone else coming on the trip and now I was going to be miserable and alone.

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

"Just After Midnight" by Catherine Ryan Hyde

Just After Midnight by Catherine Ryan Hyde centers on two women--Faith and Sarah.  Faith escapes her abusive husband, for now.  While at her friend's beach house, she befriends a young girl, Sarah.  Sarah is going through a rough time.  Her mom just died unexpectedly but the death is suspicious.  Also, her dad sold her house without saying anything to Sarah.

This book was pretty good.  I enjoyed Faith and especially Sarah.  I would have liked a little more action though.  (Gerard's review, 4 stars)

Teaser from page 17:  "Faith.  What if it works this time?  What if I ride her and make her look really good, and it works, and somebody buys her?  Then what?"

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Saturday, September 28, 2019

"The Hive" by Barry Lyga and Morgan Baden

The Hive by Barry Lyga and Morgan Baden tells the story of Cassie, a young teen girl who knows all about "The Hive."  It is social media that hands out punishment if need be on people who post what they consider to be "out of bounds."  One day Cassie makes a joke and is smack in the middle of Hive justice!

This book was pretty good.  I enjoyed Cassie, but the other characters were not brought out very well.  That being said, I still give this book a solid 4 because it had some good action.
(Gerard's review, 4 stars)

Teaser from page 39:  "But it's a joke," Sarah added.  "Only the popular people ever trend positive.  Each week, a certain crowd decides who will be the targets, and everyone just follows along.  It's not even real justice.

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Friday, September 27, 2019

"Outlaw" by Ted Dekker

Outlaw by Ted Dekker is a novel that takes place in the jungle of Irian Jaya. It is about how Julian Carter and her 2-yr.-old son Stephen left America because she felt called to go to New Guinea to be a missionary through a reoccurring dream. She found herself shipwrecked on the way and captured by an unknown tribe of cannibals, the Tulim people who lived in the jungle in 1963 and obviously had a very different culture than she was used to and did not know their language.

I was looking for a change of pace and this book gave it to me. I enjoyed learning about the culture of cannibals and jungle tribes. This book is packed with adventure and is written by a man who was born and raised by missionaries in the jungles of Irian Jaya. This is a pretty amazing story and although some parts didn’t quite make sense to me, I still enjoyed it. This is a wild book! (Karen’s review, 5 stars)

Teaser from page 5: I cried out and frantically searched the foaming water but there was no sign of the captain. The ocean had swallowed him whole and shoved the boat far from where he’d gone overboard.


Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Saturday, September 21, 2019

"Making a Play" by Abbi Glines

Making a Play by Abbi Glines teen fiction about the romance between 18-yr.-old Ryker, an outstanding high school football receiver who uses girls and the quarterback's twin sister, Aurora, who is deaf and just starting at the school.  Ryker is immediately attracted to her and she finds him attractive and nice.  Although her brother and her friend warn her about him, she is determined to get to know him and make up her own mind.  The fact that she is white he is black does not bother her at all, but her dad has a different opinion. 

I liked this book better as it went along.  As Ryker changes to become more worthy of Aurora, the language improves.  I would have enjoyed more football action but that was just a backdrop.  The main story was about Aurora adjusting to a new school and fitting in even though she was deaf and how Ryker changed and started really caring for her.  Her brother was sweet to in how he wanted to protect her and look out for her.  I liked that chapters alternated between Ryker's point of view and Aurora's.  It went fast.
(Karen's review, 4 stars)

Teaser from page 32:  She knew he wouldn't accept me when he found out about my being deaf.  I was disappointed, but it was an emotion I knew well.  I would survive.  

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Friday, September 20, 2019

"The Unwinding of the Miracle" by Julie Yip-Williams

The Unwinding of the Miracle by Julie Yip-Williams is the true story of how Julie overcame so much. She was born blind in Vietnam.  Her grandmother wanted her killed just two days after she was born. With 300 other people in a boat, she made it to Hong Kong and then America where she attended Harvard and became a very good lawyer. She married and had two daughters.  But unfortunately, she could not overcome colon Cancer.  She wrote this book for her daughters to remember her.

Julie tells her story and pulls no punches.  There is some humor also.  Rest in peace, Julie.  Job well done!  (Gerard's review, 5+ stars) 

Teaser from page 8:  But also as your mother, I want you to feel the pain, to live it, embrace it, and then learn from it.  Be stronger people because of it, for you will know that you carry my strength within you.

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

"Shamed" by Linda Castillo

Shamed by Linda Castillo is a murder mystery centered around a kidnapping of a young, special needs child in an Amish community. The entire novel is about the murder/kidnapping investigation with no real character development at all.  It is all told from the Chief of Police's point of view.  I enjoyed other books by this author more than I did this one.
(Karen's review, 3 stars)

Teaser from page 32:  Again, I feel the minutes ticking by and I struggle for patience, with the need to be gentle, to not frighten this child who has already been so traumatized.  All of those things are in direct conflict with my need for facts.

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

"Walking with Henry" by Rachel Anne Ridge

Walking With Henry--Big Lessons from a Little Donkey on Faith, Friendship, and Finding Your Path by Rachel Anne Ridge is a true story about Rachel and her donkey, Henry.  One day, Rachel decides her donkey, Flash, needs company in the pasture.  So, she rescues a small donkey and names it Henry.  Rachel has plans, but Henry will teach her lessons that she never expected!  I enjoyed this short book very much which is just about 200 pages.  Rachel tells the story very well and I loved Flash and Henry!  (Gerard's review, 5 stars)  

Teaser from page 5:  Then, when I least expect it, a small beam of light breaks through the darkness and offers a glimpse of goodness.  A reminder, perhaps, that I am never really alone.
Grace is present.
And if grace is present, then God is too.

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Friday, September 13, 2019

"Alone At Dawn" by Dan Schilling & Lori Chapman Longfritz

I always enjoy true stories that I am not up to speed on.  Alone at Dawn by Dan Schilling and Lori Chapman Longfritz is the story of a true hero--John Chapman and the untold story of the world's deadliest special operations force!  

The writing is so good that it made me feel I was in the battle!  This was a good read for the week of 9/11.  I want to thank all the men and women who have served and who are serving in our military forces.  I appreciate your sacrifice!  (Gerard's review, 5+ stars)

Teaser from page ix:  It's also the story of one man, John Chapman, who would earn the nation's highest honor for bravery when he saved the lives of twenty-three comrades at the willing cost of his own.  Finally, it is the history of John Chapman's fellow Combat Controllers during Operation Anaconda, America's first major operation in its ongoing Global War on Terror.

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

"Hearts of Fire" by the voice of the martyrs--8 co-authors

Hearts of Fire is a compilation of the stories of the faith and persecution of eight women in the Underground Church. This is non-fiction and eye-opening, thought provoking and inspirational. I didn’t realize before I read this book the persecution of Christians is so prevalent around the world. The stories were heartbreaking but al showed how costly it is to be a Christian in some places and how we take so much for granted here in the USA. I would recommend this to any Christian.
(Karen’s review, 5 stars)

Teaser from page 21: Once more Adel realized she was the only hostage in sight. She didn’t dare imagine how many of the others had been killed. At that moment she didn’t know which was worse—to be dead or to be held captive by these vicious madmen.


Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

"Soul Dog-A Journey into the Spiritual Life of Animals" by Elena Mannes

Soul Dog by Elena Mannes tells a true story.  Elena lives life with order.  She knows what she is going to do at work and it carries over into her life away from the office.  Order rules!  Now, she wants a companion and decides to get a dog.  Her world of order is soon to change.

If you are dog owner, you will enjoy this book!  The part of this book I enjoyed most was the interaction between Elena and her dog.  There was also a spiritual aspect to this book that I found interesting.
(Gerard's review, 4 stars)

Teaser from page 9:  I stood there paralyzed, unsure what to do beyond grabbing the newspapers and soaking everything up.  My fight-or-flight response took over and I picked up the phone and dialed the breeder.

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Saturday, September 7, 2019

"Life and Other Inconveniences" by Kristan Higgins is Heartwarming and Touching


Life and Other Inconveniences by Kristan Higgins is a heartwarming, touching novel about family, love, grief, marriage and personal relationships. This is not a book with action but about life issues such as brother rivalry, unwed mother, marriage, suicide, single parenting, death, wealth, self-esteem, illness and family relationships.

 It started out slow for me and I was a bit confused at first because of so many characters to keep straight. I even set it aside and almost gave up on it but am glad I finished it.  I liked the dogs though and Luigi, Miller's cat.  The ending was very touching and made me tear up. I chose to read this one because I saw a book club recommended it and I saw it also recommended other books I enjoyed. Discussions questions are included in the back for book clubs. (4 stars)

Teaser from page 5: A few years ago, I’d told Riley the facts: Genevieve London of the adorable purses was my grandmother, and I’d lived with her for ten years after my mother died because my father couldn’t take care of me. I explained that Genevieve wasn’t the nicest person, so we didn’t talk anymore.


Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

"Wicked Fox" by Kat Cho

Wicked Fox by Kat Cho centers on Miyoung who has a secret that is better kept. One day she saves a boy's life and the secret is revealed to only the boy.  Will he keep this secret?  Will they have a relationship?  I give this book a solid 4 stars.  it is inspired by Korean folklore.  Once I got the Korean down, I was able to follow it better.  Looks like a book 2 is on the way.
(Gerard's review, 4 stars)

Teaser from page 25:  The dokkaebi's legs flailed as if the girl were choking him instead of the other way around.  Her eyes were unblinking, dark, and depthless.

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Thursday, August 29, 2019

"The Escape Room" by Megan Goldin is SO GOOD!

The Escape Room by Megan Goldin is a wild thriller about ruthless investment bankers who are controlled by greed. Four find themselves trapped inside an elevator for what they think is an exercise in team building. Sarah Hall is ecstatic to get hired and become part of this team, but when they turn on her when she tries to do the right thing, her life goes south fast.

This is a contemporary thriller that kept my interest. I liked Sarah Hall and Lucy, but did not like Sam, Jules, Sylvie or Vincent. I would strongly recommend that you do not read the prologue because it sort of gives away the ending. I liked the ending to this one in some ways, but think it is also sad in a way! I finished this in two days!
(Karen's review, 5 stars)


Gerard's review 8-20-19, 5++ stars:
The Escape Room by Megan Goldin is about a group of investment bankers.  Their firm only hires the best of the best!  One day, this group has to meet for a team-building training exercise.  They are a competitive bunch and discover that the exercise becomes a test for survival!

This is such a great debut thriller!  The pacing of the book is excellent!  The characters were brought out really well and it is very believable!  I had to keep going to see how it all played out.  You must read this one!  I LOVED IT!


Teaser from page 154:  It all gave me temporary amnesia, or perhaps willful blindness, at the damage we'd wrought on the lives of the nameless people at the factory in Michigan, or a hundred other places affected by our decisions.  We used profit as justification for shattering lives.

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

"A Nearly Normal Family" by M. T. Edvardsson

A Nearly Normal Family by M. T. Edvardsson is set in Sweden. It tests a father’s faith, a mother’s ethics when Stella, their 18-yr.-old daughter is charged with the murder of a 32-yr.-old man on a playground. Stella and Amina are unlikely best friends since Kindergarten (or preschool). Stella is impulsive, seeks adventure, and is a skilled liar who feels her parents are too controlling. Her father, Adam, is a pastor and her mother, Ulrika, is a criminal defense attorney. Amina is a good student, plans for her future, and likes and understands Stella. They were both on the same handball team and were good players, but Stella quit because she got bored having to follow all the planned plays! This book asks the questions, “How well do you know your own children?” and “How far would you go to protect them?”

This book was pretty interesting although it moved along a bit slowly and doesn’t have much action. It touches on issues of ethics, rape, and family. The is presented in three parts: part 1 is from the father’s perspective, part 2 is from the daughter’s perspective (the most interesting), and part 3 is from the mother’s perspective.
(Karen’s review, 4 stars)

Teaser from page 13: With an eighteen-year-old daughter you have two options: either you drown under the constant worry or your refuse to think about all the risks she seems to love taking. It’s simply a question of self-preservation.


Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Thursday, August 22, 2019

"Under Currents" by Nora Roberts

Under Currents by Nora Roberts is a very interesting read about overcoming domestic violence. Zane, 14, who dreamed of becoming a pitcher for the Orioles, and his younger sister Britt are physically and emotionally abused by their well-respected parents and comprise the main story line which follows them into adulthood.

 I really liked Zane and his sister as well as their aunt Emily. Another subplot is Darby who divorced her abusive husband pretty quickly and after her mother died in an automobile accident, moved to Walker Lakeside Bungalows in North Carolina to buy her own home and start up her landscaping business. Darby took self-defense classes after her divorce so knows how to defend herself. (Zane and her are my favorite characters so was happy when they became an item.) The third subplot is about Clint and Traci Draper, another domestic violence situation where Clint’s family lives all around and spies on Traci constantly. This book has bright spots though too, it is not all fighting. I enjoyed the addition of Zod, the ugly dog and liked learning some about a landscaping business. I also enjoyed the happy family interactions.

I liked this book a lot because it was interesting to me how people helped those who were in the abusive situations. It has some violence, action, love, family, romance and mystery. It is contemporary fiction and one I’d recommend to anyone who enjoys reading about relationships and family issues. It could also be considered inspirational for anyone who is suffering from domestic violence or abuse.
(Karen’s review, 5 stars)

Gerard's review:
Under Currents by Nora Roberts centers on Zane Bigelow.  Zane has a rough childhood as he has an abusive father who gives beatings to everyone in the family!  Zane feels he has to do something to put a stop to this.  He also deals with this when he grows into manhood.  The book is divided into four parts.  The first part is very good and action packed.  The fourth part is also very good and has good action in it. 

The second and third parts I did not enjoy as much.  The author has a good flow to this book and keeps things moving along.  I liked Zane, Darby and Zod the best!  On the strength of the first and last parts, I give this book 5 stars.

Teaser from page 390 (Large print version): “All of them, every one, had played a part in ruining his life, in humiliating him. He would ruin theirs, every one.”


Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Saturday, August 17, 2019

"The String" by Caleb Breakey

The String by Caleb Breakey is about a very creepy, mean guy who calls himself  "The Conductor" who creates a string of people he controls to do bad things through manipulation and threats.  I almost gave up right at the start when he abused a dog, but kept reading and he didn't do it anymore after that.  People do not have any choice if they are chosen to be on his "string" although Haas, one of the Trenton University cops is determined to break the string.  Can he do it?

I was eager to see how this dark thriller would end but did not like the ending.  It has quite a bit of action, suspense and mystery.  It is written so the reader does not find out who the conductor is until almost the very end!  In some ways this reminded me of The Chain.  I thought The String was even creepier, a bit too much for my taste.
(Karen's review, 4 stars)

Gerard's review:
The String is about a man who gets people to do things they would not normally do because he has something on them that makes them have to do it or their loved one will have something bad happen to them.  He calls himself "the Conductor."  I could never really get into this book.  I never had the moment that would get me caught up in it!  The premise was good enough, but I  do not think the writer brought out as much as he could have and I did not like the ending.  (3 stars)

Teaser from page 23:  "You catch on fast, you officer, SWAT team, professional, you.  One moment you're ready to unwind and let all that stress melt away.  Then the next you're making a deal with the devil, yes?  That is the power of the will." 

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Thursday, August 15, 2019

"The Night Before" by Wendy Walker

We have a new family member!
The Night Before by Wendy Walker deals with two sisters, Laura and Rosie.  Laura goes on a date with a man she met on the internet.  When she does not come home the following morning, Rosie is worried and the search begins.  Should she be more worried about Laura or the man who she is with because she knows what Laura is capable of?  I enjoyed both of the sisters very much.  The story line was okay, but I needed more action!  It still earns a solid 4 from me!
(Gerard's review)

Oh, to learn about our new dog, Roxy, read her blog post about her first few days with us on our other blog:  I'm Out of the Shelter!    

Teaser from page 22: I find my reflection in the tiny oval mirror and give it a look of admonishment.  My brown eyes and mousy hair.

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Monday, August 12, 2019

"The Nickel Boys" by Colson Whitehead

The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead is based on a real story.  This book takes place in the early 60s.  Elwood is a young boy who makes a mistake and is sentenced to a reform school called "Nickel."  There he meets a young boy named Turner.  Nickel is a rough school, but especially for young black boys.

This is a short book so a quick read.  I liked the contrast in thinking between Turner and Elwood and how they handled their time in Nickel, a school with very corrupt officials. 
(Gerard's review, 4 stars)

Teaser from page 17:  He'd been so proud of his ability, dumb and simple as it was.  He never settled on one conclusion until he got to Nickel, which made the truth of the contests unavoidable.

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Friday, August 9, 2019

"Three Days Missing" by Kimberly Belle

In Three Days Missing by Kimberly Belle, Kat is divorced and has few, if any, real friends.  Her life revolves around her son, Ethan.  He leaves to go on  field trip and his teacher will look after him.  Kat hopes he has a good time and makes some friends.  When the police show up on her door step in the middle of the night, she knows that is not good!  Ethan is missing!

The story line is okay in this book and the characters were brought out pretty well.  I would have loved a little more action so this is a solid 4 stars for me.
(Gerard's review)

Teaser from page 27:  Maybe it's the lack of sleep or the shock or the terror, but my brain can't process his question.  "What?"

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Thursday, August 8, 2019

"The Gifted School" by Bruce Holsinger

The Gifted School by Bruce Holsinger centers on four moms who live in the same community.  They all have children about the same age.  A new school is going to open and only the best and brightest will be able to get in!  The moms want what is best for their children.  How far are they willing to go to make sure their kids get in?  What about the dads?  Finally, do the kids even want to go to this school?

I enjoyed this book very much.  The author did a great job of bringing the mom characters out.  The kids were good too, and out of the dads, I enjoyed Beck best.
(Gerard's review, 5++ stars)

Teaser from page 31:  Everyone was rooting for her, or so Azra claimed.  Rose wasn't so sure.  Samantha in particular seemed to take a guilty pleasure in watching for latent signs of Tessa's next catastrophe.

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

"The Accomplice (Theodore Boone series)" by John Grisham for teens

The Accomplice by John Grisham is a contemporary teen fiction story of Tony, a 16-yr.-old and his brother, Woody, a 13-yr.-old who are charged with being accomplices to armed robbery! Both are actually innocent, which the reader knows from the start. They made a poor decision one night and were arrested and put in jail. This story gives some insight into the youth court system and also shows how things are not always fair. Theodore Boone, who aspires to be a judge or lawyer one day, helps his friend, Woody, and is instrumental in helping raise bail for him.

This is geared to teens and may help them see the importance of school and making good decisions. I enjoyed it because Theo Boone is a good kid and a main character. It’s a quick, easy read.
(Karen's review, 4 stars)

Teaser from page 25: From the back seat, Woody heard the words he would never forget. A cop said loudly, “Stop right there, kid.”


Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Monday, August 5, 2019

"The Rising" by Heather Graham and Jon Land - Science Fiction

The rising by Heather Graham and Jon Land has two main characters:  Alex, a star high school quarterback who looks forward to being a QB in college and the pros; and Samantha who has big future plans, but for now is a tutor to Alex.  She would love to have a future with Alex.  Alex gets hurt in a game and is rushed to the hospital.  The test results are like nothing the doctors have ever seen and a secret that has been hidden for many years will come out!

This thriller is pretty good.  I loved Alex and Samantha and the story line was good too!  This is well worth reading.
(Gerard's review, 4.5 stars)

Karen's review:
Well, I disagree with my husband's review on this and his rating.   The Rising by Heather Graham and Jon Land is the first in a science fiction series about Alex who is human, but al from some other planet far, far away which he remembers nothing about since he came to earth when just a baby. He was the star of his high school football team, but when he got clobbered in the head breaking up a tackle, his life changed! He and is tutor, Samantha, find themselves on the run.

 I did not care of this book and was very happy when I finally reached the end. No way will I continue with this series. Absolutely nothing made any sense to me. I just thought the story line was very dumb and the characters were just okay, not very well developed. The only reason I continued reading to the end was because I thought things might make sense if I read it all, but I was wrong. I didn’t enjoy this at all and certainly would not recommend it to anyone! (2 stars)

Teaser from page 37:  Then Alex realized it wasn't just that he couldn't get up, he couldn't even move.  Started to suck in a deep breath when he realized he couldn't breathe, either.

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Saturday, August 3, 2019

"Never Look Back" by Alison Gaylin

In Never Look Back by Alsion Gaylin, two teenage girls went on a killing spree before they killed themselves, so, the story goes.  But 40 years later, a podcast producer want to dig into this story to make sure it checks out.  Mean while, Robin has to deal with a husband who maybe fooling around, and could her mom have been one of those teenage girls who killed those people?

This book was okay.  I had no trouble with the story line and Robin was a good character.  It just seemed to drag in some places.  A lot of words and nothing was really going on.  I did like the ending though which was a big surprise! 
(Gerard's review, 4 stars)  

Teaser from page 24:  I made myself touch Gabriel.  I put my hand to his cheek and felt a tear.

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

"The Wife Between Us" by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen has incorrectly been compared to Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train in my opinion.  I think it's laughable!  Those two books were way better!  The three main characters in this book are Richard, who has tons of money; Vanessa, who was his wife for a while; and Emma, his soon-to-be-wife.  This book had its moments, but needed more action for me.  The story line was okay and the ending was very good which surprised me!
(Gerard's review, 3.5 stars)

Karen's review:
The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen is a slow moving psychological thriller with twists I didn’t see coming. Richard appears to be the perfect husband, but when his “perfect” wife doesn’t meet his high expectations, he loses his temper. It’s almost as if he is two different people, very caring and affectionate at times, and then abusive and mean at other times. When Vanessa feels guilty about her manipulating, she actually tries to save Richard’s finance from marrying him.

This book was very slow moving for me about a bad marriage and the only reason I kept reading was because it was recommended to me by a friend. It does pick up and becomes more interesting eventually, but I had to plow my way through it. Some things just made no sense to me in the beginning. If you don’t mind a long road to a satisfying ending, then you would probably enjoy this one. If you prefer a fast-paced, action packed book with adventure and twists and turns, skip this one. It’s not for you. I only liked one character, Samantha, who was not a main one. (3 stars)

Teaser from page 19: Richard is engaged. My husband is actually going to marry her.


Teaser from page 10:  Morning is the worst time because, for a brief moment, my brain is clear.  The reprieve is so cruel.

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

"The Chain" by Adrian McKinty is a Page Turning Thriller

The Chain by Adrian McKinty is about a chain of kidnappings by a lot of different people!  Normal people find themselves becoming kidnappers when their child is kidnapped in order to save their child!  The chain continues because of fear and intimidation while lots of money goes to the creator of this scheme. 

This was a page turner for me.  It definitely kept my attention and made me see how "good" people could be made to do very bad things.  The mystery of who organized the chain was also incentive for me to keep reading; however, I was able to figure it out pretty early on in Part 2.  The ending was hard to believe, but I liked it.  I'd recommend this to anyone who enjoys thrillers and suspense.
(Karen's review, 5 stars)

The Chain by Adrian McKinty is about a mother's worst fear--the kidnapping of her daughter.  The mother is pushed to limits that she did not think were possible to try to get her daughter back.  This book is told in two parts--the main part is first and that is really, really good!  I was hooked from the first page!  The pacing of the book is very well done and it is action packed!  The second part is short and wraps up the book.  That part was just okay.  On the basis of the first part being so good, I still give this 5 stars and recommend it.  It is well worth reading!
(Gerard's review, 7/17/19)

Teaser from page 9:  Kylie lifts her head but keeps her eyes tightly shut.  She's still trembling.  The state trooper has seen that something is amiss.

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Monday, July 22, 2019

"Tempests and Slaughter" by Tamora Pierce

Tempests and Slaughter by Tamora Pierce is about three young people, two boys and one girl, going to a school to improve their magical abilities.  This book had ups and downs to me.  I enjoyed the three main characters well enough but think the writing and story line could have been better.
(Gerard's review, 3 stars)

Karen's review:
I did not finish this one.  I read about halfway and wasn't invested in it because there was no action!  It just didn't hold my interest at all and there really was no plot going on by the halfway point.  Although I liked the three main characters enough, I did not want to plow through it any longer so gave up on it.

Teaser from page 6:  "The other man seized Arram by the collar and lifted him into the air.  'If you're a mage, spell me, then,' he growled.

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Friday, July 12, 2019

"Gone Too Long " by Lori Roy

In Gone Too Long by Lori Roy, Imogene is the daughter of the head of the Ku Klux Klan, but now her dad is dead, and she hopes all the Klan stuff is over. She never was a fan of it! When she finds a small boy, who knows her name locked in a room on her property, it is not over by a long shot!

The problem I had with this book is that it went back and forth in time which bothered the flow of the book for me. Other than that this book was not too bad at all. It kept me engaged for the most part!
 (Gerard’s review, 4 stars)

Teaser from page 13:  "I can't call the police," Tillie says.  "I known Robert and Edith Robithan most all my life.  And I ain't going to be the one to tell them their son is a thief."

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

"Marooned in the Arctic" by Peggy Caravantes (non-fiction)

Marooned in the Arctic by Peggy Caravantes is the true story about Ada Blackjack, a desperate mother of a sick young boy who agreed to go on an Arctic expedition for two years to Wrangel Island to get some extra money for her son.  Wrangel Island is north of Alaska and Siberia!  She agreed to go along with three men as a seamstress to sew warm clothes for them during the two years. Although she was told some Eskimo families would join them, none did. During her time there, out of necessity, she learned to hunt, trap, kill, and even build a small boat! She and Vic the cat out survived the men!

Her story is quite remarkable, and I enjoyed the tidbits about the cats, walruses, polar bears and the Arctic Fox.  I can't imagine a day 50 degrees below zero like this expedition crew had to deal with.  No one could pay me enough to live like Ada did in the Arctic!  If you like adventures in tough conditions, read this!
(Karen’s review, 4 stars)

Gerard's review:
Marooned in the Arctic by Peggy Caravantes tells the true story of Ada Blackjack, a young Eskimo girl who goes along with four men on an expedition to Wrangel Island in the Arctic, a remote uninhabited territory.  She goes along because she needs money to help care for her ill son.  

I thought this book was pretty good.  I enjoyed the parts that dealt with the animals that she encountered.  This book is very short, but it kept my interest for the most part.  (4 stars)

Teaser from page 13: Cats and sailors have had a strong bond throughout history. Felines destroy rats and mice that could cause havoc on a ship in various ways: getting into a cargo of grain, chewing on the ship’s mooring ropes or woodwork, or carrying diseases. Cats do not like water, but they adapt to travel on it and become companions to lonely sailors.


Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Sunday, July 7, 2019

"Renegade Ranger" by James J. Griffin

Renegade Ranger by James J. Griffin took me on a wild, dangerous ride.  When Tom Foley, a Texas Ranger, kills the Captain Ranger at headquarters, shooting him in the back, Ranger Jim Blawchyzk gets shot twice by his friend Tom too when he went back to give the Captain some cookies.  Jim's son, Charlie plans on joining the Texas Rangers as soon as he turns 18, but an exception is made for him to join up early so he can ride along to track down his father's shooter and former friend.  The big question is why did Tom do it.

There is a lot of dialogue and the chase is stretched out with more shootings along the way.  I thought the plot was interesting, but the writing was very simplistic and the dialogue corny and stilted.  I really got tired of the line "Bet your hat on it" which was way over used.  I like westerns now and then, but this was far from a favorite.  I expected better.
(Karen's review, 3 stars)

Teaser from page 28:  Tom Foley was just emerging from the corridor leading to Captain Trumbull's office, his smoking six-gun in his hand.  An expression of surprise mingled with disbelief crossed his face when he spotted Jim.

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Friday, July 5, 2019

"Someone Knows" by Lisa Scottoline

Someone Knows by Lisa Scottoline is about young teens who decided to play a prank.  It turned out tragically wrong!  Now Allie, after 20 years goes back to where it all began and she will get to the truth about that night.  I thought this book was pretty good.  It is told by a lot of people which I thought added to the story.  The part I did not like is that it sort of took forever and a day to get to the real action.  That being said, I still give it 4 stars.  This is not one of her best books, but I'm still glad I read it.  It just took some patience to get to the good part.  (Gerard's review)

Teaser from page 54:  Sasha was only kidding, but the more she thought about, the more she wanted to move the gun. 

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Thursday, July 4, 2019

"Refugee 87" by Ele Fountain

Refugee 87 by Ele Fountain is about Shif's journey to flee his country.  His father was a professor who disappeared and was never heard from again after he said teachers should be paid more when asked how the government could improve the job for teachers.  Shif was then considered the son of a traitor who would be treated poorly if he went to military school for two years like was expected after his normal schooling.  When soldiers were taking kids in his neighborhood, his mother and his best friend's mother made arrangements for them to leave the country.  Unfortunately, the soldiers came for them before they could leave!

This is a quick-paced story of Shif's life as a refugee.  I liked Shif a lot because he was a nice and smart kid.  I liked that it moved along and wasn't dragged out.  This one reminded me of Salt to Sea which was very good.  If you liked that one, I'm pretty sure you would like this one as well!
(Karen's review, 4 stars)

Teaser from page 19:  I haven't done anything wrong, but everyone avoids the military.  I break into a run, skidding as I turn the corner to my street.  I can hear heavy boots crunching quickly down the road I just turned off.

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

"Two Weeks" by Karen Kingsbury

In Two Weeks by Karen Kingsbury, Elise just needs to get by one semester of high school with no problems.  Then she can get on to her adult plans.  Cole has big plans too after graduation, but when he meets Elise, love is in the air!  When Elise discovers she is pregnant, both hers and Cole's plans are up in the air!  Her big decision is whether to keep the baby or put it up for adoption.

I thought this was pretty good.  I enjoyed all the characters and even thought I guessed the ending I was happy about it!
(Gerard's review, 5 stars)

Teaser from page 7:  Whatever happened next in her life, Elise made herself a promise that day.  She wasn't going to talk to her mother about it.

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

"Blood Sisters" by Jane Corry

Blood Sisters by Jane Corry is a slow moving psychological thriller about Alison and Kitty, two step sisters. Vanessa though, being an only child, is envious of Alison and talks Kitty into making a pact to be blood sisters. One little act causes big trouble for all of them all and secrets are abundant. The day of the accident, Vanessa, Kitty's best friend, dies and Kitty suffers brain damage and is unable to speak. Alison feels enormous guilt and begins cutting herself.

This book shows how people are not all good or all bad and is about loyalty, friendship, relationships, special needs, prison, revenge, betrayal and lots of lies. I liked it but found it hard to really connect with the characters. They were so conniving!
(Karen's review 4 stars)

Teaser from page 10: She didn’t have a speech impediment, the doctor had explained to Friday Mum, as if Kitty wasn’t there. Her brain just wouldn’t translate her thoughts into words.


Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Thursday, June 27, 2019

"Never Alone" by Elizabeth Haynes


In Never Alone by Elizabeth Haynes, Sarah lives with her two dogs in a farm house.  She has money problems, but when an old friend moves into the guest house and pays a very generous sum, her problems seem to be over!  However, nothing is ever as it seems!  This book is like a slow burn.  You know something is going to happen, you just do not know to whom or what it will be.  This book reminded me of a soap opera with such little action, but somehow it worked for me!  I really cared for Sarah and wanted things to go well for her!  The writing was good. 
(Gerard’s review, 4 stars)

Teaser from page 23:  She won't admit to it, if you ask.  She won't tell you.  It doesn't matter; you know better than to push someone when they're in that vulnerable state.


Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!
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