Tag: #newreads

The Boy from the Woods by Harlan Coben

The Boy from the Woods was my first Harlan Coben experience. Unfortunately, I think it’s going to be my last as well. To be honest, I don’t have many positive thoughts on this one.

Years ago, Wilde was found living in the woods with no memory of his previous life. No one could find his family so he was turned over to a foster home. Now he is living on the outskirts of town. When a girl goes missing, he must return to the community to help find her.

After reading the synopsis I thought the girl went missing in the woods. I thought Wilde would use his knowledge to help the community find her. That was not what I got at all.

Wilde gets involved when his godson, Matthew, becomes concerned about the missing girl from his class. The next thing I know the search for the missing girl turns political. Very political. Like dirty presidential candidate political. That was not what I signed up for. I am so dang tired of politics. I don’t even know why I finished this.

Between the lack of woods, a dirty politician, and a half baked kidnapping I was so over the whole thing. I guess I kept reading because I liked Wilde as a character. I wish he had have been more involved.

The ending was almost painful. It was disjointed and half hearted. If read several reviews that say that the entire book doesn’t even feel like Harlan Coben wrote it. I was definitely expecting more.

If you have read anything you liked by Harlan Coben let me know. I want to give him a fair chance.

My Rating: 1/5

Purchase


BAM! Books-A-Million

A Short July TBR

July is always a busy month for me, so I probably won’t have a ton of reading time. I also decided to start a massive book at the end of June. I imagine it will take up a big chunk of my time. I’m hoping I have more time to read than expected, but I’m keeping it simple this month in case I don’t.

Synopsis:

Thirteen-year-old Billy Williams enters a man’s world in the Welsh mining pits…. Gus Dewar, an American law student rejected in love, finds a surprising new career in Woodrow Wilson’s White House…. Two orphaned Russian brothers, Grigori and Lev Peshkov, embark on radically different paths half a world apart when their plan to emigrate to America falls afoul of war, conscription, and revolution…. Billy’s sister, Ethel, a housekeeper for the aristocratic Fitzherberts, takes a fateful step above her station, while Lady Maud Fitzherbert herself crosses deep into forbidden territory when she falls in love with Walter von Ulrich, a spy at the German embassy in London….

These characters and many others find their lives inextricably entangled as, in a saga of unfolding drama and intriguing complexity, Fall of Giants moves seamlessly from Washington to St. Petersburg, from the dirt and danger of a coal mine to the glittering chandeliers of a palace, from the corridors of power to the bedrooms of the mighty. As always with Ken Follett, the historical background is brilliantly researched and rendered, the action fast-moving, the characters rich in nuance and emotion. It is destined to be a new classic.

I started Fall of Giants in late June. It is a tome that is going to take me awhile to read. I have made it to page 184 and I’m still only 18% in. It’s an amazing read though. I can’t wait to get further in.

Purchase

Synopsis:

At the dawn of the Renaissance, Alfred – the eponymous second son – must discover the special destiny foreseen for him by his grandfather. Now, the unthinkable has happened: Alfred’s brother is king. And it isn’t long before everyone’s worst fears are realized. Traditional allegiances are shattered under a style of rule unknown since the grand bargain that formed the kingdom was struck over two hundred years ago. These will be the most dangerous years of Alfred’s life, forcing him to re-examine his duty to personal honor and to the kingdom, while the threats posed by his brother constantly remind him of his father’s final words of advice. What choices will he have to make to try to protect the things he holds most dear?

I’m so excited to read this! I will be participating in the blog tour on July 25th, so keep and eye out for that. I was excited to read it anyway, but then I found out the author’s father used to be a pharmacist at a local drugstore my family frequented. I have included the blog tour poster if you want to learn more.

Purchase

So that is my simple tbr for this month. I hope to read more, but if not then so be it. What are you reading this month?

Coupon: 10% off $25


Bestselling Books at Booksamillion.com

Home Before Dark by Riley Sager Review

Home Before Dark was one of my most anticipated books of the year. Riley Sager continues to be one of my favorite authors. Home Before Dark did not let me down.

Maggie Holt is tired of living in the shadows of House of Horrors, the book her father wrote many years ago. Maggie doesn’t remember her time at Baneberry Hall. If it was as terrifying as the book says wouldn’t she remember? Houses can’t be haunted because ghosts don’t exist. Twenty five years later, Maggie inherits Baneberry Hall after her father’s death. Maggie moves in to remodel it. She soon finds that the stories from her father’s book might be true after all.

As always, Riley Sager’s ability to create an eerie, complex atmosphere amazes me. It could feel the walls of Baneberry Hall surrounding me. It was spooky and unsettling. I could feel the tension building.

I loved the inclusion of excerpts from House of Horrors. It perfectly paralleled the events that were happening to Maggie, which added to the suspense. It was impressive that Sager could change his writing style enough to make House of Horrors seem like it was written by someone else. I have read books with faux excerpts of other books where the author’s style bleed over and takes away from the contrast between the two. That wasn’t a problem here. Honestly, I wish House of Horrors was an actual book because I would love to read it.

Sager’s endings are always shocking. I thought I had anticipated the plot twist, but then he added another twist in. The ending was not as jarring as the endings of The Last Time I Lied or Final Girls. I did miss that wow factor, but it was still a solid twist. I can’t wait to see what he writes in the future.

My Rating: 4/5

Purchase

Coupon: 10% off $25


booksamillion.com: books, toys, tech, & more.

*I am a Books a Million affiliate. I will receive a small commission from a purchase through my link at no extra cost to you. Thanks for the support!*

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens Review

I can’t believe I hadn’t wanted to read this. For some reason, Where the Crawdads Sing wasn’t on my radar. My husband was shopping one day and he picked it up for me because it sounded like something I would like. I am so glad that he did.

Everyone in Barkley Cove, North Carolina has heard about the “Marsh Girl.” In 1969 when Chase Andrews is found dead everyone suspects Kya, the Marsh Girl. Misunderstood Kya is intelligent and strong. She has survived for years in the marsh alone. Then two young men become interested in her and it changes her world forever.

For some reason when the book was first published I read the synopsis and assumed it was a romance. It shocked me when I read the synopsis again. I can’t believe how much I missed. It is part murder mystery, part coming of age story, all wrapped up in a book dedicated to the love of nature.

I have to say this came very close to beating My Dark Vanessa out of my favorite of the year spot. The writing was stunning. I felt like I was in the marsh with Kya.

The depictions of Kya’s early years were absolutely heartbreaking. I can’t ever imagine a child going through what she lived through. We watch her grow from a frightened child to a strong adult who makes a life for herself in her beloved marsh.

The murder mystery is told in snippets throughout the book. It is woven into the parts about Kya’s childhood. When Kya finally reaches the age that the murder took place the two timelines blend and goes from there. To watch the town’s prejudice against Kya is sickening. The people judged her just because she lived differently.

I so loved the way Owen’s ended the book. I wasn’t shocked by the plot twist, but I adored it nonetheless. I am so glad my husband picked up this book for me.

My Rating: 5/5

Purchase


booksamillion.com: books, toys, tech, & more.

Whammy by Ted Akin Review

Whammy was an interesting adventure. It was part mystery, part comic book. It was a lot of fun.

In Lily Grove, Texas two things keep the town moving, farming and the oil field. When an accidental death happens, Klive Anderson tries to find out why it happened. Stacey Karlise owns a coffee shop by day as a front for her other, less legal, business. She has lived in Lily Grove her whole life and small town life is wearing her down. But something is about to shake up her small town.

The story starts out by alternating between real life and the comic inspired book that Klive is writing. Klive started writing it to help relieve the pressures of his job at the oil field. When a death occurs that seems a bit suspicious, Klive’s book begins to turn into a mystery.

While Klive is researching a real life mystery, Stacey begins to read Klive’s journal. She starts giving him feedback and encouragement. When Stacey begins to get involved with the real life mystery it triggers the events that happen in the next part of the book. That’s really all I can tell you without spoiling the rest.

This book is a lot of fun. It is a quick read that I flew through. Klive is a likable character, but Stacey was hilarious. I loved her.

About halfway through the book there is a major shift in the events. Stacey becomes the main character. My only complaint is that there is no closure at the end. When Stacey becomes the main focus that is the last we hear of Klive. I wish he was included in the end to make it all come together. It made it feel a bit disjointed.

My Rating: 4/5

Not Available for Purchase Yet

Disclaimers: Thanks to the author for providing a copy in exchange for my honest review. I am a Books a Million affiliate. If you purchase from my link I will get a small commission at no extra cost from you. Thanks for supporting the blog.


BAM! Books-A-Million

Questions of Perspective by Daniel Maunz Review

I didn’t know I needed this book. It is so different from what I usually read. Peaches the cat was probably my favorite part of this whole story. I have a soft spot in my heart for little gray cats.

April 19, 2011, was the most important day in the world and only Dave Randall knows why. His friend John Manta disappears without a word. Without his friend there to distract him, Dave throws himself into his unfulfilling law career. Once Dave really understands what happened to his friend he set off with Peaches the cat to find more meaning to life. Soon Dave discovers that his journey to learn more about his existence will change more than his own life.

I wasn’t sure that reading about a man going through an existential crisis would be a good idea right now. Surprisingly, it brought peace to my heart. When Dave was working at the law firm I could feel the boredom and discontent that he was experiencing.

When Dave left the law firm I was so excited. Then he moved to a little cottage in upstate New York, where he hiked daily with Peaches. His life became more centered during his time in the woods. He started to figure out part of his purpose in life. It made me want to take my cat on a hike. Somehow though I believe that would bring more unnecessary stress to my life. My cat is not as mild mannered as Peaches.

I am not going to give anymore details because I want to keep this spoiler free. This book gives great life lessons that can be applied daily. The best lesson I came away with was at the end. The actions at the end of the book made me realize that people who are going through hard times need encouragement. It can literally change their life and the lives around them. Sometimes we need to step out of our comfort zone and reach out to people.

I think this is a book everyone should read. There are so many great lessons to take away from this. The authors writing and descriptions are great. I plan to read anything else that he writes.

My Rating: 5/5

*I was given an arc in exchange for my honest review.*

Pre-order


booksamillion.com: books, toys, tech, & more.

My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows Review

My Lady Jane is unlike anything I have ever read before. It had been awhile since I read the synopsis so the inclusion of animal shifters took me by surprise. I have mixed thoughts on this read, so let’s discuss.

King Edward is dying at sixteen. He needs an heir to take his throne. Through the advise of his council he decides to have his cousin, Jane, marry Gifford Dudley to secure the throne. Unfortunately, no one told Jane that Gifford is a horse. As if marrying a horse isn’t enough to deal with they uncover a conspiracy that has left Jane the title of Queen of England. Little do they know that is just the beginning of their problems.

The thing that hooked me into reading this is the fact that it was a retelling of the story of Lady Jane Grey. However, it is very loosely based. It is meant to be a satire so there is no historical merit to it at all. If that is what you are looking for this one isn’t for you.

The narrators are hilarious. That is the best part of the story. It is an easy read and perfect if you need a laugh.

My major complaint is that it seemed entirely too long. When I had about a hundred pages to go I just wanted it to end. It just felt like too much time was spent on unnecessary parts. I think if the story had have been a bit more concise I would have enjoyed it more.

My Rating: 3/5

Purchase


booksamillion.com: books, toys, tech, & more.

Mountain Climbing with Dinosaurs by Doug Goodman

I was given a chance to read this in exchange for my honest review. As soon as I saw the word dinosaur in the title I was hooked. I read Jurassic Park several years ago and really like it. I wanted to give another dinosaur book a try. Don’t compare this to Jurassic Park. The only similarity is the dinosaurs. I actually liked this better than Jurassic Park.

Twin brothers, Brady and Travis, are known world wide for their mountain climbing skills. Their world is shattered when they survive a mass shoot that took the lives of thirteen of their classmates. After that day, they set a goal to climb thirteen mountains to honor their friends. New Profanity Peak is next. It is their most dangerous climb. Not only is it a restricted area, it is a dinosaur preserve. This climb will change their lives forever.

I loved the motivation behind climbing the mountains. Adding the mass shooting in was an interesting twist to the story. To see the impact of that through the view of a teenager is horrifying. I knew going into this that it is a horror story, but I still got attached to the characters, against my better judgement.

This is a fast moving story that flashes from past to present. It fully develops the story within a short space of time. It helps to understand the characters motivations and mindsets during the climb. The dinosaurs are always in the background of the climb, but then they come in and attack full force. I think I would have liked to seen them included just a bit more.

My Review: 4/5

Purchase


BAM! Books-A-Million