Sunday, October 24, 2021

Steelstriker by Marie Lu is Great!


Steelstriker
by Marie Lu is the sequel to Skyhunter (which I have not read).  This story is told by Talin and Red who are trying to free their land that is ruled by the Premier  Talen better obey the Premier because her mother's life depends on it.  

I liked both Red and Talin, but it is Talin that really drives this book.  Marie Lu's books are always good and this is no exception.  (Gerard's review, 5++ stars)  

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Monday, October 4, 2021

We Both Liked "Hostage" by Clare Mackintosh

Hostage by Clare Mackintosh is a thriller about an airline stewardess.  Too make it even more suspenseful, her 5-yr.-old daughter and her husband are going through a trauma of their own at home.  The hijacker threatened to harm her daughter if she did not let him into the cabin to fly the plane.  This was full of suspense and had a crazy ending I did not see coming.  (Karen's review, 5 stars)

Gerard's review:
In Hostage by Clare Mackintosh, Mina is an airline stewardess going on a non-stop flight, the first between London and Sydney.  It comes at a good time as she needs time away.  Her life is in a tailspin.  She is trained to handle a lot of things that could go wrong, but now she has to decide between the safety of her 5-yr.-old daughter or the people on the plane.  This book is told by many people which helps build the suspense.  In enjoyed it throughout!  (5+ stars)

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Monday, August 9, 2021

"All The Time In The World" by Caroline Angell

In All the Time in the World by Caroline Angell, Charlotte takes a nanny job to get her head back on straight.  She is actually good at it and really takes to the two small boys she is looking after.  When the mother dies in a tragic accident, Charlotte knows that she is needed now more than ever, but can she give up her musical dreams to look after the two boys and their dad?  

This book goes back and forth in time at an alarming rate!  I liked Charlotte and the two boys very much which kept me reading even though it went on a bit too long.  The ending was good though so worth reading.  (Gerard's review, 4 stars) 

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Sunday, August 1, 2021

"Mountain Made" by Max Brand


In Mountain Made by Max Brand, Winsor Glanvil has a plan to marry Louise Carney.  When Jack Rutledge finds out, he makes sure that is not going to happen.  He also plans to make sure Winsor never marries anyone!  What does Jack do and can Winsor ever find love again?

This book started out really good and the last part was pretty good, but the middle part fell flat to me.  Winsor was a good character and I enjoyed King Silver, the wolf, very much!  You will have to read the book to find out about King Silver!  (Gerard's review, 4 stars)

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Sunday, July 25, 2021

"The Push" by Ashley Audrain

The Push
by Ashley Audrain is a psychological drama about motherhood.  Blythe will never win a mother of the year award, but it runs in the family.  She becomes convinced that her daughter is not like other children, but her husband disagrees.  Blythe is already on the edge.  When an incident happens to her son, will it push her over the edge for good?  

This was a wild read to say the least!  I was a fan of Blythe, good stuff.  (Gerard's review, 4 stars)  

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Saturday, July 17, 2021

We Both Liked "This Tender Land" by William Kent Krueger

This Tender Land
by William Kent Krueger takes place in 1932.  Four young children, brothers Albert and Odie, their Indian friend Mose and Emmy, escape from Lincoln Indian Training School in Montana where they were treated badly.  There has to be a better life for them!

I thought this book was really good.  I loved all four kids!  This book kept my attention throughout.  I never knew what was coming next and it has a great ending!  (Gerard's review, 5++ stars)

Karen's review:
This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger is historical fiction during the depression.  Four orphans escape from the Lincoln Indian Training School in Montana and head down the river in a canoe to get to the two brothers' aunt who lives in St. Louis.  Odie is Albert's younger brother, almost 13, who narrates the story.  In the book, Odie is a storyteller who plays a harmonica--his most prize possession that his dad gave him.  Albert's purpose in life is to keep Odie safe, but also is a skillful mechanic.  Their best friend is Mose, a Soux Indian who is very big, strong and easy going.  Emmy, the daughter of one of the teachers at the school who loved Odie's stories and whose mother died in a tornado goes with them because the head of the school who took her in is mean.  

This was a great adventure story.  It reminded me sort of Huckleberry Finn since much of it involved traveling in a canoe down a river.  Along the way they encountered many different people and each grew in their own way.  I liked all the kids.  The author did a good job keeping me guessing how this would end.  (5 stars)

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Wednesday, July 7, 2021

"The Four Winds" by Kristin Hannah is One We Both Liked a Lot!

You can count on Kristin Hannah books being good and The Four Winds is one of them!  In this one, she highlights the Great Depression and Dust Bowl era.  Elsa is kicked out by her family after she got knocked up by a farmer boy.  They got married and lived with his parents on their farm.  Elsa learned farming and loved her husband, but when the drought came with the dust storms, he couldn't handle it and left her and their two young children to try to find work in California.  

This book is really good!  I loved the character interaction all the way through.  Elsa was a great character who carried the book.  She had low self-esteem but turned out to be very brave for her children.  I would have liked a different ending, but still loved the book.  (Gerard's review, 5++ stars)

Karen's review 7/7/21:
The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah is historical fiction about the struggle of farmers in America during the Great Depression and the big dust storms in the plains.  Many farmers left their land to try to find jobs in California where they thought they could find work.  Elsa, Rafe and her two kids Loreida and Anthony work on a farm in Texas with Rafe's parents.  When a long drought comes causing the crops and animals to die, Rafe leaves on his own for California.  When circumstances get even worse, Elsa has no choice but to leave with her kids as well.  Will Elsa find work?  Will she and her kids make it to California?  Will she find Rafe one day?  Will Rafe's parents be able to save the farm?  

This is a good book that made me appreciate all I have and how easy my life is compared to what people had to deal with during the Great depression.  I felt the characters were real people and cared about them.  This is a sad story about what love is and its importance.  I couldn't help but wonder how this book would end and was satisfied with the ending.  This book certainly opened my eyes and heart to the poor people who live in poverty.  I highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys historical fiction dealing with survival. 

This book reminded me of The Children's Blizzard because both dealt with children trying to survive the elements, but I liked this one better because of the writing and because there is more action in it.  (5 stars)

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Wednesday, June 30, 2021

"Her One Mistake" by Heidi Perks

In Her One Mistake by Heidi Perks, Charlotte and Harriet are friends.  When Charlotte is looking after Alice, Harriet's daughter, she is fine with that until Alice turns up missing!  How could that have happened?  This book is told by both Charlotte and Harriet.  I thought this book was very good.  The story line kept things interesting and what I thought I knew, I really didn't!  This is a very enjoyable read that I highly recommend!  (Gerard's review, 5++ stars) 

Karen's review:
Her One Mistake by Heidi Perks is about two friends and a missing child.  Charlotte finally convinces Harriet that it's okay to let Charlotte take Harriet's little girl, 4-yr.-old Alice, to the fair along with her own kids.  Unfortunately, when Charlotte's kids come off the ride, Alice isn't with them.  They look everywhere but can't find her.  The police and many people also searched for her but she is gone!  

The surprise turn of events captured my interest.  This one had me fooled! It was narrated by both Harriet and Charlotte.  This might make for an interesting book club read.  I found myself first feeling sorry for Harriet and then for Charlotte.  I was wrong about what I thought happened to Alice as well!  (4 stars)  

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Sunday, June 27, 2021

"Mother May I" by Joshilyn Jackson


Mother May I
by Joshilyn Jackson is about Bree, a hands on mom.  She is there for her kids.  One day while watching a school play both of her daughters are in, her infant son is taken.  Bree is told to go home.  Orders will come and she better follow them if she wants to see her infant son alive!  What will Bree have to do?  How far will she go?  Who took her son and why?

This is a good book.  I found myself caring about the characters and the story line kept me involved.  (Gerard's review, 5 stars)  

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Tuesday, June 22, 2021

"The Wolf and the Woodsman" by Ava Reid


In The Wolf and the Woodsman by Ava Reid, a wolf girl, Evike, and Gaspar, the woodsman, form an alliance to stop Gaspar's brother from taking over the crown!  I thought this fantasy novel was really really good!  I loved the byplay between Evike and Gaspar.  It has good action and the storyline kept me interested throughout!  I also liked the ending.  (Gerard's review, 5+ stars)

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Saturday, June 19, 2021

"The Answer Is . . ." by Alex Trebek


The Answer Is . . .
by Alex Trebek is a collection of his personal reflections on his life.  The chapters are very short so it's a book you can easily read during short periods of free time.  I learned a lot about him that I didn't know before as well as some things about the show Jeopardy!.  I liked it because I was interested in learning more about Alex Trebek.  (Karen's review, 4 stars)

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Friday, June 18, 2021

"The Ride of Her Life" by Elizabeth Letts


The Ride of Her Life
by Elizabeth Letts is a true story that is amazing!  Annie is 65 years old.  The doctor told her she had two years to live.  She had no family left, no money and just lost her farm.  The one thing she did have was a will to see the Pacific ocean.  She lived in Maine so how would that even be possible?  Annie, her dog and an old horse set out across the country on foot.

I enjoyed this story very much.  I liked Annie, her horse and her dog very much!  (Gerard's review, 5 stars)  

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Saturday, June 12, 2021

"Seven Perfect Things" by Catherine Ryan Hyde

In Seven Perfect Things by Catherine Ryan Hyde, 13-yr.-old Abby sees a man dump a bag that has something moving in it into a river.  Abby gets the bag and finds seven puppies inside.  Now what to do?  Home is not an option because her dad is abusive to her mother and would never allow dogs in his house.  

The characters in this book were brought out very well.  I liked Abby the best.  The story was paced well, but there were some parts that were hard to read.  That being said, I still enjoyed it.  (Gerard's review, 4 stars)

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Wednesday, June 9, 2021

"The DH" by John Feinstein

The DH
by John Feinstein is about a high school baseball team and the main character, Matt Gordon.  Matt is an outstanding player.  He is a very good pitcher and even better hitter!  The story centers around Matt hitting a batter in the head with the ball in a fit of rage.  His friend, Alex, has a dad who is a lawyer.  In an effort to restore a good relationship with his son, the lawyer defends Matt in his suspension case.

This book was okay, but I enjoyed the football book much more.  (Karen's review, 3 stars)

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Tuesday, June 8, 2021

"Girl A" by Abigail Dean

Girl A
by Abigail Dean is based on a true story.  Lex and her siblings grew up in a "house of horrors."  When the parents die, Lex and her sister want to turn their house into a house of goodwill.  

This book goes back and forth in time which got tedious after awhile; however, the strength of the story is good enough to overcome that.  I think this would make an ideal Lifetime movie for sure!  (Gerard's review, 5 stars)

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Saturday, June 5, 2021

"Stolen Child" by Jane M. Choate

In Stolen Child by Jane M. Choate, Grey's little girl has been taken and he will do anything to get her back!  He understands that he needs help to do this so asks a former FBI agent for help.  The FBI agent is Rachel, but she has issues with this type of case and is not sure she wants to go down this road again.  This is a short book that was okay.  The story moved along well with some action and a good ending.  (Gerard's review, 4 stars)

Karen's review 6/20/21:
Stolen Child by Jane M. Choate is more about the romance that developed between the father of the child and Rachel, the ex-FBI agent, who helps him find her.  I did not care much for this book.  First off, I felt no connection to the child.  The child was never in it until the end.  It also seemed odd to me that the police weren't even trying to solve the case.  There were a lot of failed attempts to kill the father and Rachel.  It just didn't feel believable and even became a bit boring.  I had this one figured out pretty early on.  (3 stars)   

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Saturday, May 29, 2021

"Alone" by Megan E. Freeman

In Alone by Megan E. Freeman, Maddie is having a secret sleepover that turns into a disaster when she awakes and finds that she is all alone.  I mean really alone, no people anywhere!  Now what?  I liked this book a lot for the following reasons:
  1. It is told in verse so goes fast!
  2. The story moved along and does not go back and forth in time.
  3. Always looked forward to getting back to it to find out what would happen next.
  4. Maddie is a great character!
  5. I loved George, her dog!
  6. It has a good ending!
(Gerard's review, 5++ stars)

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Tuesday, May 25, 2021

"Lost in the Never Woods" by Aiden Thomas

I had high expectations for Lost in the Never Woods by Aiden Thomas and it lived up to them and then some!  Wendy and her brothers went into the woods one day and only Wendy came back.  After five years Wendy still has bad dreams and dreams of a boy.  One day she meets her dream boy.  He needs her help to rescue her brothers and other lost kids.

I liked this book very much!  The story flows along well and Wendy is a great character.  Plus it has good action and a great ending!  What more could you want?  (Gerard's review, 5++ stars)

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Thursday, May 20, 2021

"The Walk On" by John Feinstein

The Walk On by John Feinstein is the first of The Triple Threat series about a high school freshman quarterback, Alex Myers.  There are two QBs ahead of him in the depth chart, the starter being the coach's son!  Alex is a very good passer though and the coach's son is not.

I thought this book was good and enjoyed the dynamics on the football team as well as the insight in play calling during games.  I liked Alex and his girlfriend who was a reporter for the school newspaper.  I thought the story line was good, although predictable.  The only thing I did not like was ending.  I would have liked to have seen how the Championship game played out!  (Karen's review, 4 stars) 

Gerard's review of 5/16/21:
In The Walk On by John Feinstein, Alex Myers is a very good Freshman quarterback.  He is starting at a new school and wants to play for the varsity football team.  The problem is that the quarterback they have is not only good, but also the coach's son!  I thought this book was good for a children's book.  It goes fast but is predictable.  It is light reading which is a break from normal.  (4 stars)

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Wednesday, May 19, 2021

"The Scent Keeper" by Erica Bauermeister

In The Scent Keeper by Erica Bauermeister, Emmeline lives with her father on a remote island.  This is all she knows.  Then one day the unthinkable happens.  She wakes up and her father is gone!  How sill she survive?  I thought this book was good. I enjoyed the story and all the characters were brought out very well!  (Gerard's review, 5 stars)  

SPOILER ALERT:  I especially liked when she went to school and interacted with other kids her age!   

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Thursday, May 13, 2021

"One by One" by Ruth Ware is Really Good!

In One by One by Ruth Ware, a company decides to have a ski and bus meeting weekend.  Tensions are high going in and when a buyout is put on the table, tensions rise to a higher level!  Then the unthinkable happens.  They get snowed in, cut off from the outside world and one of their members is missing!  They have no phones, no electricity and food is low.  

I thought this book was really good!  The story was paced well.  From page to page I did not know what was coming next!  I enjoyed the characters and liked the ending very much!  (Gerard's review, 5++ stars)

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Saturday, May 8, 2021

"A Matter of Life and Death" by Phillip Margolin


A Matter of Life and Death
by Phillip Margolin is about Robin, a defense attorney who represents two men charged with murder but who she believes to be innocent.  She feels a lot of pressure to not make any mistakes in defending them because their lives are on the line.  

This is a very good murder mystery novel because it's not just one case, but several.  It has lots of unsavory characters and moved along at a good pace.  The investigation was never boring and it had some action as well.  (Karen's review, 5/8/21, 4 stars)

Gerard's review:  

In A Matter of Life and Death by Phillip Margolin, Robin Lockwood is a young attorney who signs on to defend a homeless man charged with murder who she believes was framed.  I enjoyed this book because it went fast and had some good action.  It kept me guessing with lots of characters and the twists mad for good reading.  (5 stars)  

 

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"Good Girl, Bad Girl" by Michael Robotham

In Good Girl, Bad Girl by Michael Robotham, Cyrus is a forensic psychologist.  He befriends a girl who was found hiding in a room in a house where a terrible crime took place.  It's been six years and they still cannot figure out who she is.  Cyrus is also called on to help find a killer of a young high school girl.  Can the no-name girl help solve this crime?

This book is good stuff.  The characters are brought out well and the story line has a good flow to it!  Cyrus is a great character as is "Angel Face" aka the No-name girl.  (Gerard's review, 5 stars)

 I forgot I read this before in 2019.  Didn't remember it.

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Monday, May 3, 2021

Must Read "The Red Address Book" by Sophia Lundberg

The Red Address Book
by Sophia Lundberg is about Doris, a 96-yr.-old woman.  When Doris was a little girl, her father gave her an address book to write down the names of the people that came into her life.  As Doris tells her story, you find out about the people who were a part of her life.  Doris led quite a life including being a maid in Sweden, a model in Paris, and fleeing to Manhattan at the beginning of WWII!  This book was so good that I found it hard to put down.  Doris is a great character and the story is told very well!  Do not miss this one!  (Gerard's review, 5++ stars)

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Saturday, May 1, 2021

"The Good Sister" by Sally Hepworth

The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth centers on Rose and Fern, twin sisters that are very different from each other.  Rose has Diabetes, mood swings and is very manipulative while Fern has sensory issues but a good heart.  They see the world very differently.  Rose wants a baby but her marriage is on the rocks.  Fern works in a library and comes up with a plan to make Rose happy.

I enjoyed this book because of Fern.  She is an interesting character and very likeable, unlike her twin, Rose.  I didn't like Rose much from the start.  I also enjoyed Rocco aka Wally, Fern's boyfriend.  Both Fern and Rocco seemed to be on the spectrum for Autism and were great together!  I recommend this to anyone who enjoys stories about families or people with Autism.    (Karen's review, 5 stars)

 Gerard's review 4/20/21:

The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth centers on Rose and Fern, sisters who both look after each other.  Rose wants to have a baby in the worst way, but it does not look like it is going to happen.  Fern, being the good sister, decides to come up with a plan to make Rose happy.  What is that plan?  Will it work?  You will have to read the book to find out!  

Fern was a great character and drives this book in my opinion.  The book moved along well with a surprise ending.  I enjoyed The Mother-in-Law more, but this book is good too!  (4.5 stars) 

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Thursday, April 29, 2021

"The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V. E. Schwab

In The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V. E. Schwab, Addie runs into the forest to get away from a planned wedding.  She wants one thing in life--to cut off all ties to everyone and for no one to remember her.  Her wish is granted, but it comes with a cost.  You will have to read the book to find out what that is.  Life is good until one day a young man does remember her!  How can that be?

 I loved the original concept of this book!  I never read a book like this one before so enjoyed it a lot.  It is well written even though the story does go back and forth in years.  I also liked Addie very much.  (Gerard's review, 5 stars)

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Sunday, April 25, 2021

"28 Summers" by Elin Hilderbrand is GREAT!

There are many different story lines in 28 Summers by Elin Hilderbrand, bu the main one is between Mallory and Jake.  Mallory is gifted a cottage by an aunt who passed away.  One weekend, her brother brings some of his guy friends with him to spend the weekend.  She is attracted to the one named Jake.  

I think this book is really, really good for several reasons:  (1) the writing, (2) lots of well developed characters, and (3) I never knew where this story was headed.  I LOVED IT!  (Gerard's review, 5++ stars)  

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Thursday, April 22, 2021

"The Honey Bus--A Memoir of Loss, Courage and a Girl Saved by Bees" by Meredith May is Very Good!

I read The Honey Bus by Meredith May hoping to learn about bees because I am terrified of them and thought it might help if I understood them.  This book lived up to my expectations.  I did learn a lot about bees but also was interested in the author's story about her family.  I felt bad for Meredith throughout the book but her life did get better as she got older.  Learning about bees with her step grandfather helped her to find comfort and cope with her mother's neglect.  It shows how child abuse repeats through generations.  (Karen's review, 4 stars)  

Gerard's review 4/4/21:
The Honey Bus:  A Memoir of Loss, Courage and a Girl Saved by Bees By Meredith May is a true story.  Meredith's parents separated when she was only five.  Then she, her younger brother (Matthew), and her mother went to live with her grandparents.  Meredith's grandpa was a beekeeper and taught her all about bees.  This book is more than just bees though.  

Meredith tells personal stories about growing up which was my favorite part of the book.  It was interesting learning about bees, maybe more than you want to know; but the personal stories more than make up for that!  There are some fun and touching moments in this book too.  I liked it a lot and recommend it!  (5++ stars)

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"The Girl in Cabin 13" by A. J. Rivers

In The Girl in Cabin 13 by A. J. Rivers, Emma finds a dead body on her porch with her name written on his hand!  Emma, an FBI agent, is sent to da small town to find out why people are vanishing.  The secrets are many and no one is talking.  This was good!  Emma was a great lead character and action flowed throughout the book with a good ending.  (Gerard's review, 5 stars) 

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Friday, April 16, 2021

"Joint Custody" by Lauren and Jackie Logsted


Joint Custody
by Lauren Baratz Logsted and Jackie Logsted is narrated by Gatz, a dog.  He gets adopted and heads for his forever home with a man.  When the man meets a woman, they become a pack of three and Gatz is happy.  Soon though, the man and woman split up and Gatz will try to get them back together.

I just did not get this book at all.  I thought the writing was bad and the story line did not work for me.  Even Gatz, the dog, was just okay.  I usually enjoy dog books, but this one is bad.  I advise you to skip this one.  (Gerard's review, 2 stars)

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Wednesday, April 14, 2021

"The Mother-In-Law" by Sally Hepworth


The Mother-in-Law
by Sally Hepworth centers on Lucy and her mother-in-law, Diana.  They are not exactly close.  When Diana is found dead, Lucy becomes a suspect.  Could she have done it?  I thought this book was very good.  I enjoyed both Lucy and Diana.  All the characters were well developed and the ending put this book over the top for me!  (Gerard's review, 5++ stars)

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Saturday, April 10, 2021

"The Umbrella Lady" by V. C. Andrews is Touching--We Both Liked This!

The Umbrella Lady by V. C. Andrews centers on a young girl named Saffron who is the narrator of the story.  She is left alone at a train stations that her dad took her to and then he just left her there telling her to wait for him.  As she waited, and waited, and waited, an old woman with an umbrella invited her to come home with her to wait for her father who never showed.  Saffron refers to her as the Umbrella Lady.   I really, really enjoyed Saffron.  The byplay between her and the Umbrella lady is great!  Also, Saffron's interaction with other kids when she finally went to public school was priceless!  I would have liked more action, but Saffron more than made up for that.  I look forward to the second book this fall.  (Gerard's review, 5 stars)

Karen's review 4/6/2021:  In The Umbrella Lady by V. C. Andrews, after a fire burns her home and kills her mother, 8-yr.-old Saffron is abandoned by her father at the train station and found by the Umbrella lady.  Saffron thinks of the lady that way because she always carries an umbrella with her, even if it's sunny.  The lady takes her home but leaves a note for the dad who supposedly would be back to get Saffron after he bought a few things for their new home.  Saffron reluctantly goes home with the nice old lady, but expects her father to show up soon to get her.  Will he ever come back?  What will become of Saffran?  Are the dad and the Umbrella lady in cahoots?  Is the dad really sending letters or is the Umbrella lady making them up?  

This was a very good book!  I loved it and thought about it even when I wasn't reading it.  I was always eager to get back to it and was sad to see it end, but happy to see there will be a sequel.  I loved the growing relationship between Saffron and the Umbrella lady (Mazy Dazy).  Mazy had lots of wisdom quotes and was constantly introducing Saffron to new words.  Mazy was a former teacher and home schooled Saffron, challenging her to learn something new each day.  I also enjoyed Mazy's white cat, Mr. Pebbles the third.  I highly recommend this one, especially to any teachers, retirees or even teens.   (5 stars)

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Wednesday, April 7, 2021

"In Five Years" by Rebecca Serle is Wild!

In Five Years
by Rebecca Serle, Dannie is a numbers person and the numbers are working for her.  She works at a well-respected law firm and has a great boyfriend.  On her engagement night, it seems she fell asleep and is with another man and it's five years later.  How can this be?  When she wakes up, things are back to normal so she thinks it must have been a dream.  The man she dreamed about shows up in her life  4 1/2 years later.  What's going on?  

I think a woman would enjoy this book more than a guy; however, I give it 5 stars!  I loved the main character.  The book had good flow and kept me engaged throughout with a wild ending!  (Gerard's review, 5 stars)

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Wednesday, March 31, 2021

"The Exiles" by Christina Baker Kline is Good Historical Fiction


The Exiles
by Christina Baker Kline is historical fiction which I enjoy reading.  This novel takes place on a ship filled with women convicts headed to Australia in 1840.  I enjoyed this book.  The author does a very good job of character development.  It moved along at a good pace and held my interest throughout with a good ending.  (Gerard's review, 5 stars)  

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"The Lost Boys" by Faye Kellerman was a Snoozer!

The Lost Boys by Faye Kellerman is one of the slowest, most boring and dissatisfying books I've ever read.  This is about several police investigations--(1) a 10 yr. old missing persons case, (2) a current missing person case involving Bertram, a man with Down Syndrome (3) a possible murder case related to Bertram.  As if three story lines aren't enough, there is also the drama with the detective's foster son's biological mom and dad, an assassin.  The primary story line is the cold case of three missing college boys who went camping together and never returned.  

First off, I kept dozing off while reading the first half of this book.  I felt like it kept leaving the main story to go down different rabbit trails.  The conversation seemed stilted between characters that seemed just blah to me.  I was ready to quit on this one but since I made it halfway and it started to pick up a bit, I decided to go ahead and finish.  That was a mistake because after continuing to plow on through, the ending was very unsatisfying.  Only one case was actually solved--the others just left you hanging.  Maybe it's just me, but I like a book that actually has an ending to it.  I would not recommend this one.  (Karen's review, 1 star)  

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Sunday, March 28, 2021

"Drown Her Sorrows" by Melinda Leigh is Blah!

In Drown Her Sorrows by Melinda Leigh, Holly's body is found floating in the water for a few days.  Her car was found parked by a bridge.  Did she jump or was she murdered?  If murdered, by whom and why?  I was so bored with this book--it was just blah.  I never got into it and did not care much for the characters.  I generously give it 3 stars due to the surprise ending.  I suggest you skip this one. (Gerard's review)
  
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Friday, March 26, 2021

"The 20th Victim" by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro


In The 20th Victim by James Patterson there are three shootings all at the same time.  Were the planned and if so, who is behind them and why?  Put your detective hat on for this one.  There is good action throughout this book, but I would have liked to seen more character development.  That being said, the story line is strong enough to carry it.  (Gerard's review, 5 stars)

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Friday, March 19, 2021

"The Babysitter--My Summers With a Serial Killer" by Liza Rodman and Jennifer Jordan is a True Story

The Babysitter by Liza Rodman and Jennifer Jordan is a true story!  The story is told by Liza and Tony.  Liza was a lonely girl brought up by her single parent mom.  Her mom was busy most of the time and got whoever she could to look after Liza.  A young boy named Tony was one of those babysitters and the other person who tells the story.  Liza liked Tony because he was nice to her.  However, there was another side to Tony that Liza didn't see.  

I enjoyed this book because it moved along and was interesting.  It was like a TV crime show on Lifetime. (Gerard's review, 5 stars) 

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Thursday, March 18, 2021

"Before She Disappeared" by Lisa Gardner

In Before She Disappeared by Lisa Gardner, Frankie Elkin, a white middle-aged recovering alcoholic, makes it her personal mission to find missing persons that the police and media have given up on.  Her 15th missing person is a smart, teenage Haitian girl who goes missing in Mattapan, a rough neighborhood in Boston named Angelique.  Frankie supports herself by being a bartender.  

I liked this novel and was anxious to get back to it.  Frankie is a witty character and was very brave and determined.  Although I thought the story a bit hard to believe, it still was interesting to me.  I liked how she was able to win people over and most of the characters were very likable.  I thought adding the "attack" cat to this story was a nice touch.     (Karen's review, 4 stars) 

Gerard's review:

Before She Disappeared by Lisa Gardner centers on a woman named Frankie who goes around trying to find missing persons that the police were unable to locate.  Frankie is a good character, but this book has little to no action in it!  I did enjoy the cat in this book though, but do not think the other characters were very well developed.  The ending was predictable too.  I was not very impressed with this one, thus I give it only 3 stars. 

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Sunday, March 14, 2021

"The Witch's Heart" by Genevieve Gornichec (Author's first book)


The Witch's Heart by Genevieve Gornichec centers on a witch left for dead and found by a man called Loki.  They fall in love and have three children; however, danger is coming.  Can this family survive?

I was lost in this world from page 1.  The author does a great job of building this adventure.  I really enjoyed the characters and the story that flowed along nicely.  (Gerard's review, 5 stars)

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Wednesday, March 10, 2021

"Dangerous Women" by Hope Adams

Dangerous Women by Hope Adams is a historical fiction novel during 1841.  180 women are on a ship heading to start a new life in a new town.  They are small-time convicts.  One woman is stabbed with a knife and is near death.  Who did it and why?  That is the mystery.  This book lacked action in my opinion, but had a good ending and it was hard to figure who the murderer was.  The ending was good so pulled it up to 4 stars.  (Gerard's review, 4 stars)

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Monday, March 8, 2021

"A Minute to Midnight" by David Baldacci

In A Minute to Midnight, Atlee Pine works for the FBI.  She takes some time off and tries to find out who took and killed her sister years ago.  I liked the action in this book.  I also enjoyed playing detective to try to discover the killer.  Good stuff!  (Gerard's review, 5+ stars)

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Saturday, March 6, 2021

"Big Lies in a Small Town" by Diane Chamberlain

Big Lies in a Small Town
by Diane Chamberlain is a fascinating story about a several artists--two during the depression (Anna and Jesse) and one in 2018 (Morgan Christopher).  Jesse Jameson Williams is a well-known black artist who likes helping young, struggling artists.  This is a story about mistakes and moving forward.  There are a lot of questions, the primary one being why Jesse would choose to insist that Morgan Christopher be the one to restore an old messed up mural painted by Anna Dale to be hung in his art museum by August 5, 2018, opening day.  Other questions include:  Why did Jesse have the mural? What happened to Anna Dale?  Will Morgan be able to finish the mural in time?  Why did it have to be done by August 5?  Questions are answered gradually in alternating chapters told by Anna and Morgan.  

I was drawn into this story right from the start and really got to liking the characters.  The book is sort of like reading a puzzle as the pieces begin to fall into place.  Issues addressed are racial relations, alcoholism, rape, and family secrets, friendship and recovering from past mistakes.  (Karen's review, 5 stars)     

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Wednesday, March 3, 2021

"Black Widows" by Cate Quinn is a murder mystery

Black Widows
by Cate Quinn is a murder mystery.  Blake's dead.  His wife killed him.  The question is . . . which one? This novel is told by three women:  Rachel, Tina and Emily who were all wives of Blake.  I enjoyed this book.  It was fun playing a detective trying to figure out which wife killed Blake.  I liked all the wives.  I enjoyed the interaction among the women and liked the ending!  (Gerard's review, 5 stars)

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Saturday, February 27, 2021

"Orphan X" by Gregg Hurwitz has Twists and Turns

In Orphan X by Gregg Hurwitz, Orphan X aka Evan has been trained and helps people who have no one else to turn to.  He does his job very well, but now someone is on his trail who wants to stop Evan for good!  I loved all the action in this book and the twists and turns leading up to a very good ending.  (Gerard's review, 5+ stars)   

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Wednesday, February 24, 2021

"Montana Bride by Christmas" by Linda Ford

Montana Bride by Christmas by Linda Ford is an historical romance that is very enjoyable!  Hugh, the preacher who just got his 4-yr-old son back seeks a wife of convenience.  Annie, having had her heart broken by Rudy, answers Hugh's ad.  She being quite a bit younger, he reluctantly agrees to a 4-week trial period.  The young boy, Evan, has been so badly treated that he won't talk, sits on the floor on a mat all day and shies away from people until Annie helps him trust.  

This is an enjoyable read.  I really liked how Annie gradually gained the boy's trust and helped him to be more normal.  The dog added to this story as well.  I enjoyed all the characters and loved watching the budding romance develop between Hugh and Annie.  I recommend it to anyone who enjoys historical fiction about families.  This is a heartwarming story!  (Karen's review, 5 stars)

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Tuesday, February 23, 2021

"Do No Harm" by Christina McDonald

In Do No Harm by Christina McDonald, Emma's son is very sick.  The treatment he needs to get better will cost lots of money which Emma and her husband, Nate, have little of.  Emma will do whatever it takes to get the money, even returning to her past life.  This is a good story that moved along well and kept me guessing what would come next.  I liked Emma and the ending surprised me!  (Gerard's review, 5+ stars)  

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Saturday, February 20, 2021

"A Life Without Water" by Marci Bolden


In A Life Without Water by Marci Bolden, Carol has had a rough life but now she at least has a pattern to it.  However, 24 years after walking out on her husband, he returns.  Why now?  What does he want?  What made this book for me was the by-play between Carol and her ex-husband, John.  The story had a good flow to it and I was into it from the beginning.  I think it would make a good movie.  (Gerard's review, 5 stars)

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Wednesday, February 17, 2021

"A Girl, a Raccoon, and the Midnight Moon" by Karen Romano Young and Jessixa Bagley

Every so often, I like to read a children's book for a change of pace, so I picked A Girl, a Raccoon, and the Midnight Moon by Karen Romano Young and Jessixa Bagley.  It is about two young girls who try to save a library from being shut down.  It's a pretty crazy book with good flow and not too kiddish.  I liked the raccoons!  (Gerard's review, 4 stars) 

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"The Children's Blizzard" by Melanie Benjamin--A Very Sad Story

The Children's Blizzard by Melanie Benjamin tells the story of two young prairie school teachers who have to find an answer not found in their school books.  How are they going to get the children left in their care home safe and sound when the weather turns from a warm day into a blizzard?  The author does a very good job of making the reader feel how it was on that day.

This historical fiction book is much more than just that one day.  You really get to know the characters!  I had high hopes for this book going in and it certainly delivered.  It was better than I expected!  I LOVED this book and even read the author's notes, which I normally do not do.  (Gerard's review, 1/31/21, 5++ stars)

Karen's review: 

The Children's Blizzard by Melanie Benjamin is based on a true event but with fictional characters.  This is a very sad story with lots of death and guilt.  Just reading it made me feel cold!  Knowing this actually happened made it interesting and even sadder.  It revolves around two sisters who both were school teachers and one of their students.  Both teachers were only 16 and 17 or 18, Raina and Gerda.  Raina made a right decision and Gerda, a terrible one.  This is a story about immigrants and homesteading in the 1800s and survival.  It has adventure and much heartbreak.  Reading this for me was like plowing through a blizzard myself.  (4 stars)

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