Saturday, April 29, 2017

Review: The Girl Before

The Girl Before The Girl Before by J.P. Delaney
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This audiobook was tough going--I kept getting the "then" and "now" confused, but I guess the women were supposed to be similar, so I'm sure I wasn't the only one. I really would like to see the house--it was the most interesting thing in the novel!

There is a twisted, domineering man thing going on during the whole book--enough to make me feel uncomfortable while listening. I don't like how all these psychological homey mysteries have "girl" in the title either--I think it's time to start boycotting them from my personal reading list.

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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Review: Difficult Women

Difficult Women Difficult Women by Roxane Gay
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow. Can't believe I haven't read anything by Roxane Gay before. If I were teaching a college lit course, I would be all about adding one of these stories into my curriculum. Breathtaking and powerful and so truthful it sometimes hurts! Some were not my favorites, but then I thought about why they weren't, and that made me like them more. This book make me remember how much I love GOOD short story collections. There doesn't seem to be one story out of place in this book.

My favorites: I Will Follow You, Difficult Women, North Country, Break All the Way Down (I really did break down while I read this one), and A Pat.

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Monday, April 24, 2017

Review: Traffick

Traffick Traffick by Ellen Hopkins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So glad Hopkins continued this series, because I was hoping for good things for the characters who were in Tricks. Of course, it's never easy to get out of the life of prostitution, but I appreciated the stories of these teens as they attempt to survive. Heart-wrenching.

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Friday, April 21, 2017

Review: Police at the Station and They Don't Look Friendly

Police at the Station and They Don't Look Friendly Police at the Station and They Don't Look Friendly by Adrian McKinty
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

McKinty is a genius--I love his mysteries. It helps that I usually listen to the audio version, so as I read this paperback original, I could hear the Derry and Belfast accents in my mind. And it was lovely. Detective Sean Duffy is a member of my guilt-free three, thank you.

Once again, Duffy is caught up in an impossible murder case in the middle of the Troubles. IRA, corrupt RUC, and girlfriend problems plague Duffy, but, as always, he solves the case and survives. I'm glad that it seems like there will be at least one more book in the series. Looking forward to it!

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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Review: Perfect Little World

Perfect Little World Perfect Little World by Kevin Wilson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Enjoyable adult novel about a young mother who decides to join the infinity family project, a 10 year study of raising 10 children in a communal fashion. It's all psychologically based, and not a cult, but Izzy does join the commune, er, family, because she's afraid that she doesn't have the support system (and money) to raise her baby. The audiobook was an easy listen, if a bit slow in the middle, and the ending was too wrapped up and "perfect" for me.

And I really had an issue with Izzy. She has an affair with her high school art teacher, and then ends up falling in love with another older man who is an authority figure? Ewwww.

But Kevin Wilson really gets families--I loved The Family Fang and I was on the Alex Award committee that selected Tunneling to the Center of the Earth: Stories. His way with words is outstanding! I'll keep reading his books.

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Review: Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions

Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I wish my friends were still popping out babies--this is a book I would give to mothers at a baby shower! Adichie may have written these letters to her friend, but I'm so glad she published them. Quick and powerful read about how to raise your daughters (and inadvertently, your sons). I'm adding A LOT of quotes to Goodreads so I can keep track of my favorites.

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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Monday, April 10, 2017

Review: A Taste of Honey

A Taste of Honey A Taste of Honey by Kai Ashante Wilson
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in a Goodreads giveaway.

I love the concept--gay romance in a fantasy world, but the writing style is just not for me. Flowery and overwritten at times, and then abruptly the opposite. I stopped on page 53, a third of the way through the small novella.

Sentences like this don't appeal to me: "Ah, this was why his wayward gaze alit so often on whom it shouldn't, going back to peek howevermuch snatched away: those taut bellies and hard thighs of men heroically scrawled in scars."

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Sunday, April 9, 2017

Review: Why Mermaids Sing

Why Mermaids Sing Why Mermaids Sing by C.S. Harris
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Book #3 in the Sebastian St. Cyr series--great for historical mystery buffs like myself. Fast, easy read with a poetic killer who wants justice for some nasty stuff that happened after a ship mutiny. Plenty of romantic drama, too. No high literature here--just great weekend reading for me! Looking forward to reading what happens to Lord Devlin in the next book.

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Review: Tricks

Tricks Tricks by Ellen Hopkins
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I've always been a fan of Ellen Hopkins--she writes what teens want to read. Years ago, I won an author visit from her to my high school, back when Crank was a bestseller, and it brought much needed awareness to meth use and abuse in my community. Here she's done it again with a topic that no adult ever wants to talk about--human trafficking and teen prostitution. From the point of view of 5 teens, we hear their story and their slow descent into prostitution. It's never on anyone's to-do list, but it just happens sometimes, when teens feel like they have no other choice. Or when their boyfriend convinces them it's the sexy thing to do. Or when their parents kick them out of the house. Or when they escape from the crazy religious cult camp. Ugh. This was a hard listen in audiobook format--I wanted to find these kids and adopt them.

I never want to live in Las Vegas.

And I'm going to be more aware about this kind of abuse now--it happens everywhere, including central Illinois. I'll never forget the conversation I had with a cop who said sex trafficking wasn't a thing in this area. Um, teens might not be tied up in the back of semis (that we know of--but I bet they are on I-70 occasionally), but this stuff is happening. And it needs to stop. And now I'm off to donate money to my local sexual abuse non-profit.

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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Review: Third Strike

Third Strike Third Strike by Zoƫ Sharp
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Man, I love this series. It's really one of the best mystery series I've ever read, and I've read a lot of them! Charlie Fox is still in America, living with her boyfriend/spy/kickass hot guy, and recovering from her injuries that occurred in the last novel. When her English parents begin acting even more formal and horrible than usual, she discovers that her mother is being held hostage, and her respected surgeon father is being publicly humiliated. And thus the ball gets rolling. The medical mystery/conspiracy was a tad out-of-hand, but I didn't care--I enjoy Charlie and Sean, and can't wait to read the next book!

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