Monday, August 3, 2015

Review: The Innocent

The Innocent The Innocent by David Baldacci
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Even though I've listened to umpteen Baldacci audiobooks now, the gunshots still always make me jump! I swear, those things come out of nowhere in the narrative....

I accidently listened to Book #3 in this series first, so I had to go back with #1. We are introduced to Will Robey, the #1 assassin that the US government hires (secretly, of course). But when he's ordered a hit on a kid, he can't pull the trigger. Turns out that his handlers are corrupted--people start dying around him, and everything revolves around some men who served in Iraq together in the First Gulf War. What made this one good is that Robey develops a relationship with a teenage girl--he's never had to care for anyone before, but that smart whippersnapper has him saving her life all over the place.

Awww, the killer man has a heart!

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Review: Love May Fail

Love May Fail Love May Fail by Matthew Quick
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Stopped on page 214 (halfway through) and then skimmed around the end.

Portia is a pretty, rich, wife who catches her porno-maker husband playing with one of his actresses. Um, duh. In an attempt to save herself, she finds her favorite high school teacher and tries to save him (he's disillusioned since one of his students broke his legs with a baseball bat). And that's where I stopped. Some of the banter was witty, but I never grew attached to any of the characters. When the section started from the POV of the teacher's mother, I quit reading. I won't give up on Matthew Quick though, since I've enjoyed so many of his other books.

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Friday, July 31, 2015

Review: What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding

What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding by Kristin Newman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Just what I needed to read today!

This travel memoir made me laugh out loud--some things seemed eerily familiar to my own travel experiences. I'm jealous of her travels--she is more of a people person than me, and she's able to make good friends easily and bum her way across New Zealand staying in people's houses.

Love the title, but I was surprised that she didn't travel much by herself--she always seemed to need/want a travel buddy. Her international romance tales were the best.

Now I need to go to Brazil.

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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Review: The Valley

The Valley The Valley by John Renehan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I had nightmares last night after finishing this book. At 2:07 am, I woke up standing next to my window with my heart pounding--no idea how or why I was there. Then an hour or so later, I woke up after having a dream where I was running blindly through woods with someone chasing me.

So, um, yeah, I say this is a very realistic mystery thriller novel set in Afghanistan.

Lt. Black is working a fifteen-six at COP Vega, at the heart of an Afghan valley close to the Pakastani border. It was just warning shots fired into the air, so he figures it'll be an easy write-up after interviewing the soldiers involved. The convoy only arrives on Sundays, so he thinks the week will be a break from living on the FOB.

(I really liked learning all the military jargon--yes, I'm a geek)

But the soldiers don't want to talk and he catches them lying. There have been many KIA at this outpost and the sergeants aren't helping. And so Black gets sucked into the mystery. He is great at digging into things, figuring things out, and, well, he does mess up occasionally.

Lots of shooting, soldiering, intrigue, and beautiful parts of Afghanistan. I'd love to hear from someone who served in Afghanistan to see how accurate this is--the author was Army infantry in Iraq, and it seems like he did his research.

My nightmares proved it.

I'm looking forward to the next book by this first-time novelist.

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Sunday, July 26, 2015

Review: Another Man's Moccasins

Another Man's Moccasins Another Man's Moccasins by Craig Johnson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Best Walt Longmire book yet.

When a young Vietnamese woman ends up dead in his county, Walt starts having flashbacks to when he and Bear were in Vietnam. And things aren't pretty. He was a MP back then, and caught up in a twisted world of drugs, sex, and lies--all always common during war, right?

Enjoyed the mystery in this one, but really loved getting to know more about Walt and Bear back when they were young.

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Saturday, July 25, 2015

Review: A Lasting Impression

A Lasting Impression A Lasting Impression by Tamera Alexander
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this author's To Whisper Her Name, but this first book in a series was flat to me. I found myself rolling my eyes and reading a few sentences aloud to people around me because of the corniness. And that's exactly what I DIDN'T see with the other novel I read by her! Sigh. I'll give it one more shot and try one more from her.

This had things I liked--post-Civil War Nashville, girl trying to make it on her own, artwork, rich people, and class warfare. But the whole Oh No I Can't Let Them Find Out About My Past Thing was stretched too far. The romance wasn't a surprise either. I won't read the rest in this series.

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Review: The Good Girl's Guide to Getting Lost: A Memoir of Three Continents, Two Friends, and One Unexpected Adventure

The Good Girl's Guide to Getting Lost: A Memoir of Three Continents, Two Friends, and One Unexpected Adventure The Good Girl's Guide to Getting Lost: A Memoir of Three Continents, Two Friends, and One Unexpected Adventure by Rachel Friedman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Great travel memoir about traipsing through Ireland, Australia, and South America. I related to Friedman traveling alone and her reasons for doing so, but I'm not sure I could go off for months on end. Maybe when I retire? I've never stayed at a hostel anywhere, and I think I may be too spoiled and old to do so now! If I could get a private room--maybe I could handle a shared bathroom. Maybe. Ha! I'm so selfish. Not as many quotable moments as in Without Reservations: The Travels of an Independent Woman, but it's more like I learned what I DON'T want to do!

No Bolivia for me. No biking down Death Roads.

Although I wouldn't mind meeting the love of my life in another country like this author did....

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Review: I'll Meet You There

I'll Meet You There I'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Skylar is trying so hard to get out of her middle-of-nowhere town in California. Art scholarship is lined up, but her deadbeat mom might make her stay home--who else can make sure she pays the rent? Skylar's job at the local pay-by-the-hour motel is all that keeps food on the table, but her job is the last thing on her mind now that Josh is home from Afghanistan. Josh is missing a leg thanks to the war, and suffering from PTSD and hot/silent/brooding/popular stud syndrome. Skylar doesn't want a relationship to mess up her virginity or her future college career, but sometimes things get complicated.

Great love story, coming of age story, and traditional families sometimes suck story. Luckily Skylar has other supportive people in her life. Perfect read for high school seniors and new college students contemplating life changes.

This one reminded me of really good old Sarah Dessen books.

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Review: Binky: License to Scratch

Binky: License to Scratch Binky: License to Scratch by Ashley Spires
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

No one is ever too old to read Binky.

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Review: The Irish Princess

The Irish Princess The Irish Princess by Karen Harper
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I'm a sucker for anything Irish, especially if you throw a Tudor into the mix. Gera is an Irish princess--a pissed off one because King Henry VIII has killed off most of the men in her family because of rebellion. Since she's a mere young lady (a pretty one, though, of course), she becames a lady of the courts of future and current queens, all the time plotting how she can kill the king of England. The plotting was a little overdone--can some Irish princess be that independent while flirting with young men and helping other ladies dress?

But it was a fun vacation read.

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