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Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens Review

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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.

Thoughts on Where the Crawdads Sing

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. The plot twist didn’t shock me, but I adored it nonetheless. I am so glad my husband picked up this book for me.

My Rating: 5/5

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The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix Review

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I want to find a new vampire book that I love. I hoped The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires would be it, but unfortunately I walked away disappointed. There were aspects that I enjoyed I just wasn’t blown away by it.

Set in the ’90s in Charleston, South Carolina, house-wife Patricia Campbell is starting to feel stuck in her routine. She gave up her career to be a suburban stay at home mom, but she is getting bored. The one thing she looks forward to is her book club that focuses on true crime and thriller novels. But when an attractive new stranger moves in next door life gets a bit more interesting. Then children start to go missing and her suspicions turn toward the new neighbor. The monster she uncovers is more horrifying than she can ever imagine.

My Thoughts on The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires

Ok, we all know sometimes people in horror movies and books don’t always make the best choices. However, in this one, the bad decisions just pile up. There are two major ones that jump out at me. First, she helped the creepy new neighbor set up his bank account by signing on it. This was literally the second time she met him, and the first time she met him wasn’t a positive encounter. The author justified it as “Southern hospitality.” Well, I am from the South and while people are nice down here we aren’t stupid. Anyhow, maybe that only annoyed me because I am in the financial industry. The second bad choice was leaving her son alone on Halloween night knowing that there is a creepy child killer around.

My next problem was the way the vampire was portrayed. The first description compared the way he sucked blood to a long roach leg protruding from his throat. The local authorities thought the bite marks he left were track marks from a needle. I really just like good old-fashioned fangs, but that’s totally my preference.

In the end it was a creepy, slow burn of a horror novel. The ending took a strange twist. I guess I can summarize this review by saying nothing about this book was what I expected. The creep factor was there, but the rest fell flat for me.

My Rating: 2/5

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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.

My Thoughts on Whammy

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

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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. Keep reading for my review of Questions of Perspective.

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. Questions of Perspective gave 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.*

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Verity by Colleen Hoover Review

Verity|Colleen Hoover

If you are hunting a great psychological thriller, Verity is the book for you. I kept seeing it all over the bookish internet so I finally read it. It is completely worth the hype!

When bestselling author Verity Crawford is injured in a tragic car accident her publisher hires struggling writer, Lowen Ashleigh, to finish her series. Lowen temporarily moves into the Crawford’s home to sort through Verity’s notes. While she is there Lowen finds a horrifying unfinished autobiography that admits what happened on the day Verity’s daughter died. Lowen tries to hide the manuscript from Jeremy Crawford even as her feelings for him intensify. She knows that the truth in the manuscript is just too much for the grieving father to handle.

My Thoughts on Verity

I was hooked from page one. I can’t say very much about the book because I don’t want to spoil it, but believe me when I say you need to read this.

The thriller plot was great, but I also liked how it focused on the writing process. It showed a sneak peek inside the publishing world.I am sure I have read from an author’s perspective before but it’s still not a perspective I read often.

Reading from the unfinished manuscript was horrifying. It gave a great insight into Verity’s mind and writing style. In her best selling novel series she writes from the villain’s perspective. I really wish they were real novels because they sound amazing.

This is the first book I have ever read by Colleen Hoover. I never realized that she had written a mystery/thriller. I am going to have to research her to see if she has written anymore thrillers because I would definitely read more of her work.

My Rating: 5/5

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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.

My thoughts on My Lady Jane

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

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