Monday, August 29, 2016

Learning to Swim (Troy Chance #1) by Sara J. Henry

Learning to Swim (Troy Chance, #1)Learning to Swim by Sara J. Henry
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This adult mystery held me captive with the first page; imagine seeing something fall in the water and you think it may be a child---Troy Chance (love that name) dives from a ferry into cold Lake Champlain and rescues a young boy. What she does after will keep the reader turning those pages; she does not immediately contact the police but becomes totally attached to this little boy and sets about trying to find out from him (Paul) what happened. He does not speak English well and they communicate in French. I loved Troy's life, her perseverance, her pluck and her humanity. I thought she was going to be perfect, but alas, she is flawed and as the book continues she makes mistakes, blames herself, and learns the hard way she is in danger too. I can't wait to read the 2nd book and enjoy the perils of Troy Chance!

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After You by JoJo Moyes

After You (Me Before You, #2)After You by Jojo Moyes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The grief in this book was so palpable; I ached for Louisa and the loss of the love of her life, Will. But I loved Moyes' continued humor with her family and others Louisa interacts with; from Lily to Will's parents and finally Ambulance Sam (loved him). There are many starts and stop in this book, but I think it shows Lou's own inability to move on and be happy like Will wanted her to be. She tries and those efforts are commendable. I think Moyes did an awesome job with the grief Lou could not get away from and the characters in the grief group were really true to form and helped Lou more than she thought. It is so difficult to move on and I think Moyes' did an excellent job portraying this. Loved the ending!

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Sunday, August 28, 2016

Beautiful Maids All in a Row (Iris Ballard #1) by Jennifer Harlow

Beautiful Maids All in a Row (Iris Ballard, #1)Beautiful Maids All in a Row by Jennifer Harlow
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Thank you to Net Galley, Random House Publishing Group – Alibi for the ARC, Beautiful Maids All in A Row by Jennifer Harwood. This first in the Iris Ballard Series is a sure fire winner and I look forward to more books in this mystery series. Two years ago Iris Ballard was the supreme serial killer profiler with the FBI before she lost her husband and her grip on life. She is now a pill popping professor suffering from PTSD. When a new serial killer, known as The Woodsman is kidnapping, torturing, and killing young mothers, Iris’ old partner, Luke, and the FBI, ask for her help. As she begins to probe this killer’s mind, Iris quickly adds more facts and details to the serial killer profile with her own brand of forensic pathology and insight. For a rocking roller coaster ride that begins with page one, the mysteries keep unfolding as the tension mounts. You will root for Iris, she is determined, knows her business, and keeps on digging until she totally outs the killer. This is a highly recommended psychological thriller, I can’t wait for the next Iris Ballard mystery!!!

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Sunday, August 21, 2016

The Passenger by Lisa Lutz

The PassengerThe Passenger by Lisa Lutz
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This mystery was a great audiobook for me while exercising and on vacation- I totally enjoyed Madeleine Maby's narration as she wove a tense, psychological thriller that kept me hanging on by a thread! Tanya's husband is dead and she is a suspect...and so begins the drama of the many identities Tanya takes to elude being arrested (she did not do it but she can't be found) and as she is hunted; I felt the angst and hardship of being someone on the run; as she meets Blue a bartender and trades emails with someone from her past, the reader meets a woman who can trust no one and must live from hour to hour as she tries to find out what happened as a passenger. If you like mysteries with a twist ending; this is the book for you.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Every Exquisite Thing by Matthew Quick

Every Exquisite ThingEvery Exquisite Thing by Matthew Quick
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I absolutely adored the character of Nanette O'Hare; she was strong but vulnerable and took the pains to try to figure out who she really is (with disastrous results), more than once, in this authentic, character driven YA novel. Quick's Nanette reminded me of Amber Appleton from Sorta Like A Rock Star - plucky, rebelling, and trying to find out who she really is... While Nanette is an accomplished athlete, best friends with Shannon, good daughter, and she likes to eat lunch with her favorite teacher every day. Once he gifts her with his favorite book, Nanette tumbles into a whole new world, falling in love with everything exquisite thing in the book, especially, the character of Wrigley. Nanette even gets to meet the author, Booker and he introduces her to another teen who loves his book as much as Nanette, Alex. I rooted for Nanette, Alex, and Oliver as they endeavor to grow up, navigating bullies, life, and love. Such an insightful book with a strong female protagonist, delving into choices and consequences. Highly recommended- another winner by Matthew Quick!

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Thursday, August 11, 2016

Exit Pursued By A Bear by E. K. Johnston

Exit, Pursued by a BearExit, Pursued by a Bear by E.K. Johnston
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Narrated flawlessly by Jeorjiana Marie, Hermione is a senior cheerleader squad captain, has a best friend and boyfriend and is attending her last cheerleading camp. What she looks forward to becomes mute when she is drugged and raped. With a strong cast of cheerleaders, parents, police officer, and therapist the reader will be right by Hermione's side as she tries to recover without losing it and live in the NOW that has changed her forever. I liked her sassiness, cockiness and down to earth teenage snarkiness. She was believable, likable and I rooted for her recovery and sense of self. Highly recommended.

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And I Darken by Kiersten White

And I Darken (The Conquerors Saga #1)And I Darken by Kiersten White
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

OMG, I loved this historical fiction book, characters and plot! Imagine antiheroine, Lada Dragwyla, during the Ottoman Empire. She is the opposite of her brother, Radu, who is sweet, kind, and soft-spoken - constantly terrorized by his sister but also loved deeply by Lada. When they are given over as prisoners to the Sultan, Lada only wants to return to her homeland, Wallachia. But once they meet, Mehmet, the heir to the Ottoman empire and a kindred spirit- these three form a very strong bond of friendship. I loved White's characters, even minor ones like Kumar. I loved/hated Lada, Radu and Mehmet- you will too. I can't wait to see what happens as more war, passion, atrocities, and betrayal continue to play out in this 2nd in The Conquerors Saga.

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