Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Book Review - Breathless by Amy McCulloch


Breathless by Amy McCulloch
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Synopsis: Journalist Cecily Wong is in over her head. She's come to Manaslu, the eighth-highest peak in the world, to interview internationally famous mountaineer Charles McVeigh on the last leg of a record-breaking series of summits. She's given up everything for this story--her boyfriend, her life savings, the peace she's made with her climbing failures in the past--but it's a career-making opportunity. It could finally put her life back on track.

But when one climber dies in what everyone else assumes is a freak accident, she fears their expedition is in danger. And by the time a second climber dies, it's too late to turn back. Stranded on a mountain in one of the most remote regions of the world, she'll have to battle more than the elements in a harrowing fight for survival against a killer who is picking them off one by one.

 My Thoughts: Not a bad story per say but it was just to slow moving and predictable for me. I thought maybe I just wasn't in the mood for it so I even laid it down for a bit and came back but still just couldn't get into it.

The cover is absoultely gorgeous and some of the mountain climbing know how was really interesting but Cecily tore me up and annoyed me to no end. She was like one of those little gnats that you can't get rid of. Actually I had no real interest in any of the characters and just wanted to get thru the book.

I found it interesting how the author used her own climbing expertise in creating this book and as I said those parts were pretty nice but the book was just not what I would call thrilling sadly.

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Saturday, August 27, 2022

Book Review - Nightcrawling by Leila Mottley


Nightcrawling by Leila Mottley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

 Synopsis: Kiara and her brother, Marcus, are scraping by in an East Oakland apartment complex optimistically called the Regal-Hi. Both have dropped out of high school, their family fractured by death and prison. But while Marcus clings to his dream of rap stardom, Kiara hunts for work to pay their rent--which has more than doubled--and to keep the nine-year-old boy next door, abandoned by his mother, safe and fed.

One night, what begins as a drunken misunderstanding with a stranger turns into the job Kiara never imagined wanting but now desperately needs: nightcrawling. Her world breaks open even further when her name surfaces in an investigation that exposes her as a key witness in a massive scandal within the Oakland Police Department.

My Thoughts: An amazing debut telling us the story of Kiara and her brother Marcus. Two young kids trying to survive on their own after life has thrown some hard hits there way. With the rent going up and coming due along with needing to buy food and supplies, decisions have to be made so they don't get thrown in the streets. Add in Kiara taking in the neighbors young son because his mother abandons him and my heart pours out to her.

Marcus is the oldest and supposed to be supporting Kiara but instead doesn't seem to be helping at all what with not being able to hold down a job and never has any income to bring to the table. I know he had some issues of his own but still I was angry with him because I feel like had he stepped up as he should have and made better efforts things may have turned out far different for Kiara.

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Book Review - Chaos by Hayley Anderton

Chaos (Apocalypse #3)

Chaos by Hayley Anderton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Synopsis:  Just as things seem to be calming down, the members of the farm are about to face their biggest challenge yet. As a horde approaches, the team must fight in order to survive another night. But with their group vastly outnumbered and cracks beginning to show among them, survival seems to be slipping through their fingers.

Meanwhile, not everyone is banding together to save the world. With evil minds let loose and power imbalances beginning to surface, those with good hearts are about to realize that nice guys finish last.

The ranks of the dead are piling up.

My Thoughts: Was really excited to continue this series and reconnect with my favorite characters from the first two books. Chaos opens with fighting right from the start and the action never lets up as our gang takes down hordes and hordes of zombies. Edge of your seat scenes.

A very fast read however as this is the third book of the series I feel you would benefit by reading them in order to get a good understanding and character connection. I myself had to go back and refresh a bit to remember who was who and where they were located.

I'm super anticipating the next part....

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The first two books of the series are:

Book 1 - Apocalpse

The virus has arrived.
A deadly virus that destroys humanity.
A virus that replaces the living with creatures that crave human flesh.
As the human race dwindles, an unlikely group of young survivors battle against the odds to stay alive and avoid joining the ranks of the undead.

Follow Cassie as she desperately searches for her brother; Heidi as she tries to cope with the consequences of her actions; and Ginge as she takes on a new role of keeping everyone alive.







 Book Two - Fallout

A week has passed since the world turned upside down. Help isn't coming, communications are down, and a group of young teenagers remains stranded on a British farm, waiting for signs of rescue.

As they adjust to their new reality, the teenagers must learn to fend for themselves. But with trouble brewing all around them, they're are about to discover that humans might be just as terrifying as the rotters plaguing their world.

Tensions are rising.

Alliances are forming and enemies are being made.



Thursday, August 25, 2022

Book Review - The Woman On The Bench by Eliot Stevens

The Woman on the Bench

The Woman on the Bench by Eliot Stevens
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Synopsis: At last, Mark has found the perfect woman. There’s just one small problem – his wife.

Married couple Mark and Cecilia seem to have it all – looks, wealth, love. But behind closed doors, things are very different – they live in silent resentment, their marriage broken by the shattering loss of the child they so desperately wanted.

Enter Alice – Mark’s idea of the perfect woman. She appears from nowhere and offers Mark the chance of a new life filled with love, passion, and – finally – the joys of parenthood. Everything he’s ever dreamed of.

But there’s a catch.

Mark can’t leave Cecilia because she knows a dark secret from his past that would ruin him if it was revealed. And he’s sure she'd be more than happy to use it against him if he betrayed her.

Mark’s future with Alice seems doomed. Until one night, in a secluded cottage on the Dorset coast, they hatch an unspeakable plan that might bring devastating ruin, or life-long happiness…

But who is Alice, really? And can love ever begin with murder?

My Thoughts: Holy smokes what an amazing debut! I almost read this in one sitting because I just could not put it down! MORE PLEASE!

I have to say that although I didn't really find myself "pulling for" any of the characters... what with the cold wife, the cheating full of himself husband, the snobby whispering friends, and the mysterious "other" woman who would I choose? LOL but it was the story itself that reeled me in and held me captivated. I do love me a good revenge story and The Woman on the Bench reeks with it along with loads of deceitfulness and betrayal.

That ending was like WOW!!!!!!

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 Thanks to Netgalley for providing this copy in exchange for my honest review. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Book Review - Sundial by Catriona Ward


Sundial by Catriona Ward
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Synopsis:  All Rob ever wanted was a normal life.

Nothing like her childhood, growing up in the lonely, wild Mojave Desert on her family's ranch, Sundial. Surrounded by dogs, coyotes, and research assistants.

For a while, it seemed like Rob got her wish: A husband, two daughters, the white picket fence, and margaritas with the neighbors. But when a frightening accident in her home reveals a disturbing secret in her oldest daughter’s bedroom, Rob knows her luck has run out. What's buried out at Sundial could never stay a secret forever, and Rob must risk one last trip out there to protect her family’s future.

My Thoughts: Story started out great. Weird strange little family but it was interesting for me until Rob took Callie off to Sundial for an intervention of sorts and there was page upon page of dog/animal abuse. Admittedly, I skimmed a great bit after this happened. After completing the book I do understand now that certain things involving the dogs/animals had to be told but wow there were one or two pretty graphic scenes that could have been toned way down. I kind of guessed a big part of what had/was going to happen about midway thru but it didn't really take away anything from the story. The ending was great!

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Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Book Review - Hide by Kiersten White


Hide by Kiersten White
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

 Synopsis: A high-stakes hide-and-seek competition turns deadly in this dark thriller from New York Times bestselling author Kiersten White.

The challenge: spend a week hiding in an abandoned amusement park and don’t get caught.

The prize: enough money to change everything.

Even though everyone is desperate to win—to seize their dream futures or escape their haunting pasts—Mack feels sure that she can beat her competitors. All she has to do is hide, and she’s an expert at that.

It’s the reason she’s alive, and her family isn’t.

But as the people around her begin disappearing one by one, Mack realizes this competition is more sinister than even she imagined, and that together might be the only way to survive.

Fourteen competitors. Seven days. Everywhere to hide, but nowhere to run.

Come out, come out, wherever you are.


My Thoughts: Not as good as I thought it would be but still it was alright. My biggest issue with it was it had way to many characters to try to keep up with. I started to make a list of them just to keep them apart but some weren't in the story long enough to even be bothered with so I ditched the list and just kept reading.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Book Review - The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

The Glass Castle

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Synopsis:  The Glass Castle is a remarkable memoir of resilience and redemption, and a revelatory look into a family at once deeply dysfunctional and uniquely vibrant. When sober, Jeannette’s brilliant and charismatic father captured his children’s imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and how to embrace life fearlessly. But when he drank, he was dishonest and destructive. Her mother was a free spirit who abhorred the idea of domesticity and didn’t want the responsibility of raising a family.

The Walls children learned to take care of themselves. They fed, clothed, and protected one another and eventually found their way to New York. Their parents followed them, choosing to be homeless even as their children prospered.

 My Thoughts: I usually don't read much non-fiction or memoirs but as this one has been on my bookshelf for so very long and the opportunity arose for me to read it for a reading challenge I decided to jump on it and wow it was so very interesting observing Jeannette's life and bringing up.

My heart poured open for her and her siblings as it was a daily task for survival for them... never knowing where or if they would have a next meal or where they would be sleeping from night to night. She tells us stories of her alcoholic father and a mother who pretty much only cared about art supplies over caring for her family.

I was happy with the way she divided everything up into sections and then each part or segment was only a few pages long. I hate long chapters and so forth so this was awesome.

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Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Book Review - One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston

One Last Stop

One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

 Synopsis: For cynical twenty-three-year-old August, moving to New York City is supposed to prove her right: that things like magic and cinematic love stories don’t exist, and the only smart way to go through life is alone. She can’t imagine how waiting tables at a 24-hour pancake diner and moving in with too many weird roommates could possibly change that. And there’s certainly no chance of her subway commute being anything more than a daily trudge through boredom and electrical failures.

But then, there’s this gorgeous girl on the train.

Jane. Dazzling, charming, mysterious, impossible Jane. Jane with her rough edges and swoopy hair and soft smile, showing up in a leather jacket to save August’s day when she needed it most. August’s subway crush becomes the best part of her day, but pretty soon, she discovers there’s one big problem: Jane doesn’t just look like an old school punk rocker. She’s literally displaced in time from the 1970s, and August is going to have to use everything she tried to leave in her own past to help her. Maybe it’s time to start believing in some things, after all.

 My Thoughts: I loved Jane and August's budding romance. It was very much an enjoyable and weird read at the same time because of Jane's situation bless her big heart. This book gave me all the "feels"! I laughed, I got angry, I cried, and so much more all while cheering these two on and hoping upon hope they'd find a way to make things work out.

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Book Review - The Children on the Hill by Jennifer McMahon

The Children on the Hill

The Children on the Hill by Jennifer McMahon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

 Synopsis: A genre-defying new novel, inspired by Mary Shelley’s masterpiece Frankenstein, which brilliantly explores the eerie mysteries of childhood and the evils perpetrated by the monsters among us.

1978: at her renowned treatment center in picturesque Vermont, the brilliant psychiatrist, Dr. Helen Hildreth, is acclaimed for her compassionate work with the mentally ill. But when she's home with her cherished grandchildren, Vi and Eric, she’s just Gran—teaching them how to take care of their pets, preparing them home-cooked meals, providing them with care and attention and love.

Then one day Gran brings home a child to stay with the family. Iris—silent, hollow-eyed, skittish, and feral—does not behave like a normal girl.

Still, Violet is thrilled to have a new playmate. She and Eric invite Iris to join their Monster Club, where they catalogue all kinds of monsters and dream up ways to defeat them. Before long, Iris begins to come out of her shell. She and Vi and Eric do everything together: ride their bicycles, go to the drive-in, meet at their clubhouse in secret to hunt monsters. Because, as Vi explains, monsters are everywhere.

2019: Lizzy Shelley, the host of the popular podcast Monsters Among Us, is traveling to Vermont, where a young girl has been abducted, and a monster sighting has the town in an uproar. She’s determined to hunt it down, because Lizzy knows better than anyone that monsters are real—and one of them is her very own sister.

My Thoughts: Holy smokes I loved this book! I enjoyed it from the first sentence until the last and flew thru it like a mad woman!

I have read at least one other book from this author and she is famous for her dual time line stories and is one author who can really make them work in her favor. I'm not able to pinpoint which I enjoyed the best however in this particular story because at different times they both had a different type appeal that drew me in and made me want to stay up into the night to finish the story.

Frankenstein has always been one of my favorite childhood monsters and I love what Jennifer did with it here amongst the three children. As bits begin to become apparent as to what has happened to Iris the story begins to open up and build and build until the twists start appearing and flooring me and once it was all said and done I could have kicked myself for my mistake in the reading that was so darn clever! Kudos to Jennifer for another fine tale!

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Book Review - Like a Lily Among the Thorns by Karen S. Bell

Like a Lily   Among the Thorns

Like a Lily Among the Thorns by Karen S. Bell
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

 Synopsis:  Gabrielle Bernstein, the MC of Like a Lily Among the Thorns, is a woman in her twenties and has started her career as a librarian at a NYC public library. Abandoned by her father as a young girl and now orphaned by her deranged mother, Gabby longs for a family connection. Coincidentally, she finds this connection at the same time she inherits a B&B in Vermont from her estranged and now deceased father. This enchanted inn is under the watchful eye of goddesses of myth and legend who have been tasked to save mankind from destroying itself and this planet. These goddesses will use their powers to try and stall the onslaught of the effects of droughts, floods, and rising temperatures. But as a safety net they have collected human saviors all over the planet to erect safe havens at high altitudes away from flood waters and blistering temperatures.

My Thoughts: I'm not quite sure what I was expecting when I started reading this story and although it wasn't really what I think I had anticipated I still "liked" it enough to finish reading it. It was just long enough for me to not get overly bored though.

I found the writing beautiful for the most part but I feel like I would have enjoyed the story more had it just been a regular type story without the fantasy woven in because I was enjoying tagging along with Gabby's life and all she had been through and the burdens it had placed on her and how she chose to adapt in lieu of letting life get her down. However that is pretty much all I can say kept me reading and interested because the other characters just fell flat for me....some of them even perhaps as if they had no real reason for being there?

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