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Tag Archives: Book Review

Book Review: Jar of Hearts

4 Oct

You know what I should never ever do? Start a book at 11:30pm. Why should I not do this? Because if it is a good book I will keep reading and next thing I know it is 3:30am and I should be in bed. Oops?

I have zero regrets though, I like reading, it was a good book, I had nowhere to be the next day, and the entire time I was reading the cat was lightly snoring on my legs, so we were both happy. πŸ™‚ And really, isn’t it about making the cat happy?

The book Jar Of Hearts is by Jennifer Hillier and is definitely worth your time. πŸ™‚

jar of hearts

I don’t want to give anything away so let’s see if I can figure out a way to talk about the story while keeping all the good stuff secret…

The story’s point of view alternates between Geo and Kaiser – can I just say, on a random note, I don’t care for the name Kaiser, but that doesn’t have anything to do with the story so I’ll move on from that.

They knew each other in high school, along with their friend Angela. Back when they were all still in high school Angela went missing and things were never the same. Kaiser and Geo stopped being friends, the mystery of Angela went unsolved, eventually people moved on. Now, fourteen years after the disappearance, Angela’s remains have been found and the book starts at a trial where Geo is testifying about what happened to Angela all those years ago and Kaiser is a detective involved in solving the case.

The story jumps back and forth between current time and fourteen years prior, both from Geo’s pov and Kaisers. It is interesting to see how each perceived things back when they were teenagers and how they handle things now.

Five years after the trial Geo and Kaiser are brought back together when new remains are discovered that have a strong resemblance to how Angela’s were when found.

There are twists in the book that were very well written, and yes some things I figured out before they were revealed, but I didn’t figure out everything, and some things got resolved in a way I didn’t see coming. It was a nice mixture of curiosity, suspense, surprise, and general enjoyment while reading.

Oh, and according to an author note left at the back of the book she uses the same fictional town in other books she has written so if you have read her other books you will have recognized past characters popping up. I love when authors do that! Gives a sense of familiarity and comfort, and for me anyways, it makes it seem like those characters are still out there, doing their thing, not just forgotten by their creator…but that’s probably just me being a tad crazy, shrug.

I liked this book enough I’m going to go hunt up more by her, I’ll just have to make sure to not start them at 11:30pm if I have anywhere to be the next day!

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Book Review: What Remains Of Her

27 Sep

I spent a lovely afternoon with the cat sprawled on my lap, a cup of tea on the table beside me, and the book “What Remains Of Her” by Eric Rickstad in my hands.

what remains of her

Can’t really go wrong with that combo. πŸ™‚

Someone I watch on YouTube mentioned the book so I borrowed it from the library and have had it sitting on my desk for about a week, waiting for a chance to dive in.

It’s a super easy read, took me about 4 hours give or take, not hard to follow, not taxing on the brain, which is good because I have a cold and lemme tell ya, the brain fog is real!

The story swaps between the point of view of Lucinda, a child at the beginning of the book who through the magic of the words “25 years later” is all of a sudden an adult, and Jonah, the father of Lucinda’s best childhood friend Sally.

Jonah’s wife and daughter go missing, there are random little clues, little lies told by multiple people, secrets not shared that may help the investigation, ya know, all the stuff you expect from a mystery novel.

The repercussions to Jonah, Lucinda, and Lucinda’s father (the town Sheriff) are massive, setting them all on new life paths that none of them particularly care for.

On the 25th year anniversary of Sally’s disappearance another little girl, who is roughly the same age and physical description as Sally, goes missing and has Lucinda (who is now a town deputy among other things) finding correlations between the new disappearance and her best friend’s disappearance.

Like I said, it is an easy read, enjoyable even, but it is fairly predictable. Sure there is a twist at the end that might not be expected, but it isn’t so shocking or out of the blue that you’re all that surprised when you read it. Also, and this could just be me, but I swear lately a lot of books and tv shows have so many similar scenes that what was creepy or suspenseful the first time now just has me flashing back to all the other books I’ve read with similar scenes.

A creepy man in the woods, kids sneaking off to a section of the woods that is forbidden by their parents, a child encountering the creepy man in the woods, tampered evidence, clues from the past resurfacing at just the right moment, the same sort of who-done-it twist…

None of those are bad, I think I’ve just been unfortunate to read quite a few books lately that all seem to have some combination of those scenarios, and even seen a couple tv shows that have them, so they no longer seem like an organic extension to the story.

I realize that the way I am writing this review makes it seem like it isn’t a good choice of book, and that isn’t the case! If you like easy reads, maybe you need a book to take on vacation, or to read on a lazy afternoon, this is a good choice, just don’t plan a book club meeting around it. πŸ˜‰

Dear Amy by Helen Callaghan

28 Aug

dear amy book

I just finished this book and wanted to chat about it, while trying to not give away any spoilers…let’s see how well I do! lol

If you just want a quick yes or no, I vote yes. Is it the best book I have ever read? Well, no, but it was good, an easy read, bit of a mystery to solve. I enjoyed the main character, her name is Margot. She is a bit of a spazz, due to her history, which I can’t get in to without giving things away, but trust me, she is the way she is because of legitimate reasons.

In some ways it is a very stereotypical story. Margot is going through a big life change she doesn’t want at the beginning of the story, something happens to her which gives her the choice of action or inaction, she takes a deep breath and chooses action, meets a guy she likes but for many reasons she doesn’t approach in that way, people doubt her, she doubts herself, personal life trouble rears its ugly head to complicate things, her resolve eventually strengthens but perhaps a tad too late to solve the big story arc problem…or maybe not!

There was a twist, isn’t there always? Only thing was, I figured out the twist before it was revealed. Either I’m especially intuitive or just cynical and well read enough to see where the story was going. Figuring it out first didn’t ruin it for me though, and probably won’t ruin it for you if you figure it out first, because it is well executed.

Something I didn’t realize when I borrowed the book from a friend is it is set in England, which doesn’t actually matter, I’m just so used to books being set in the States that when I clued in where the story was happening it took me a page or two to adjust my thinking and give all the characters appropriate accents in my head…am I the only one who does that?

This was a book that took a while to read, not because it was hard or boring or I didn’t want to read it, but because it is so perfect for carrying around and whipping out of my bag when I am in a waiting room, or have a couple minutes to kill because I got somewhere early, that I kept not reading it at home so I would have it for various outings. Life being what it is though, whenever I remembered to take it I ended up not having the waiting time I anticipated having so I never pulled the book out. Figures right? In the end I decided I wanted to finish the book more than I wanted to save it for the next time I was going somewhere so I sat and finished it at home, comfy in the living room, cup of tea at my elbow and the cat on my lap. Which for me is a fairly perfect way to spend some time…the cat doesn’t seem to mind either! πŸ˜‰

 

Book Review: Before We Were Yours

13 Feb

I did that thing that pisses me off when other people do it. I got a book from the library that sounded good, didn’t just snatch it from the shelf but took the time to request it and then go pick it up once my name got to the top of the list. Then I bring the book home and…don’t read it. I Just kinda put it in a pile with other books I want to read and left it there. sigh.

Then when the book is due and I try to renew it only to discover I can’t because 22 other people are waiting for it I don’t immediately return it, I keep it another couple days and finally read it.

I get so irritated when I’m on a waiting list for a book and people have over due copies and yet, this week, that person was me. *rolls eyes*

On a good note, I read the book today and am taking it back tomorrow, so others can stop cursing me lol

On to the book review!

before we were yours

I can’t remember where I heard about “Before We Were Yours” by Lisa Wingate but I’m glad the book popped in to my radar.

It is a fictional story based on a true event, something I tend to find fascinating, well, if it is written well, which this book is.

The story is told in two timelines. We follow Avery in present day who is part of a prominent family, has her life all mapped out for her, she stumbles across what might be an old family scandal so she goes digging to find out more. Then there is Rill, her story starts back in the late 1930’s, she is the oldest child in a poor but happy family. All the children are taken to a Tennessee Children’s Home Society orphanage even though they aren’t orphans and experience horrible things over the coming months all while trying to figure out how to get back to their parents.

The story of Rill and her siblings intersects with Avery and her family in ways I won’t detail since I don’t want to spoil the story for you. Suffice to say you are left to do some detective work alongside Avery as you try to sort out the mystery, while suffering alongside poor Rill and her siblings as they go through things no children should.

Avery, Rill, and the other children and family members in this book are fiction, the orphanage, woman who ran it, and the way children were sold as commodities, are true. A woman named Georgia Tann ran a bizarre organization that flourished thanks to bribing various officials, having a large spotting network to help her find suitable looking children to kidnap, and the lack of regulation within the adoption system at that time.

It really is amazing, in a horrible way, what she was able to get away with for so long.

Despite how dark I am making it seem it isn’t a depressing book. It is an easy read, it all just sort of flows along. I liked a lot of the characters, even the annoying ones lol, I don’t want to discuss the ending because I don’t like giving spoilers but it won’t make you unhappy…probably…how would I know what ending you would prefer? πŸ˜‰ lol

So there you have it, my first book review…hopefully I get better at this! πŸ˜€

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