Posted in Book Reviews, Up and Coming Releases

DNF shame: The Best Kind of People, Zoe Whittall

the best kind of peopletitle: The Best Kind of People

Author: Zoe Whittall

pages: 449

Genre: general fiction with mystery aspects

Is this part of a series?  No.

Publish date: September 19, 2017

Blurb from Amazon’s website:

A local schoolteacher is arrested, leaving his family to wrestle with the possibility of his guilt, in this exquisite novel about loyalty, truth, and happiness.

The Woodburys cherish life in the affluent, bucolic suburb of Avalon Hills, Connecticut. George is a beloved science teacher at the local prep school, a hero who once thwarted a gunman, and his wife, Joan, is a hardworking ER nurse. They have brought up their children in this thriving town of wooded yards and sprawling lakes.

Then one night a police car pulls up to the Woodbury home and George is charged with sexual misconduct with students from his daughter’s school. As he sits in prison awaiting trial and claiming innocence, Joan vaults between denial and rage as friends and neighbors turn cold. Their daughter, seventeen-year-old Sadie, is a popular high school senior who becomes a social outcast—and finds refuge in an unexpected place. Her brother, Andrew, a lawyer in New York, returns home to support the family, only to confront unhappy memories from his past. A writer tries to exploit their story, while an unlikely men’s rights activist group attempts to recruit Sadie for their cause.

Provocative and unforgettable, The Best Kind of People reveals the cracks along the seams of even the most perfect lives and the unraveling of an American family.

Thank you to Netgalley and Ballentine Books for the chance to read an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.  I fear it just wasn’t for me.  I try to never do this, but after struggling through half the book I am throwing in the towel.  The premise caught my attention immediately- I love books like this where you get a deep look into a family.  The drama, the intrigue… it’s my catnip.  I can’t decide where this one fell flat, all I know is that it never caught hold of me.  I was bored and forcing myself from page to page waiting for a character to make me feel.  Even the opening, which should have been very exciting, seemed dull to me.  I guess I simply didn’t care for the execution.

On the adult content- there’s a lot.  Language, drug use, sexual content…. while none are very graphic, it is there.  Since this is a book I can see appealing to teens, I feel like I should put that warning out.  Again, it isn’t graphic, though, so I give it a five.

The book comes out tomorrow (9-19-2017).  I would be interested to know your thoughts.

Link to book:

Amazon

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Posted in Book Reviews, Uncategorized

The Little Bakery on Rosemary Lane, Ellen Berry

the little bakery on rosemary laneTitle: The Little Bakery on Rosemary Lane

Author: Ellen Berry

Pages: 368 pages

Genre: cozy romance

Is this part of a series?  Yes, book two of the Rosemary Lane series.

Published: September 7th, 2017

 

Roxanne Cartwright has it all- the high-power job at a fashion magazine, a boyfriend she adores and a flat in London…. Until it all starts to unravel.  Heartbroken, she returns to her hometown and her sister.  Burly Bridge is not as she remembers.  Della’s gorgeous cookbook shop (see The Little Bookshop on Rosemary Lane) has breathed new life into the town.  Now there are tourists, boutiques, a greengrocer and an adorable bakery-with the handsome Michael at it’s head.  The longer she is here, the more she loves it, and begins to question her life in London.  Can the fast-paced fashionista find peace in the country?

My thanks to Netgalley and Avon publishers for allowing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  I loved the first book of the series, and being able to get a better look at Roxanne was great.   I loved her, craziness and insecurity and all.  These are rich, charming characters that make you long for Burly Bridge.  While not always fast paced, it never seemed to drag, and the descriptions of the places were charming.  Like any book, it isn’t without it’s faults.  I often got annoyed at her interactions with Sean.  I understand that for this was necessary for the story, but I hated their relationship.  Even still, this is a four star book for me.

On the adult content scale, it has a bit of language and sexual content though neither are at all explicit.  I would not worry about age here.  This is maybe a three.General.svgFour Stars

The book is out, have you read it yet?

Link to book

Amazon

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Posted in Book Reviews, Up and Coming Releases

Love and Other Consolation Prizes, Jamie Ford

love and other consolation prizesspolier alertTitle: Love and Other Consolation Prizes

Author: Jamie Ford

Pages: 320

Genre: historical fiction, romance

Is this Part of a series?  No

Publish Date: September 12th, 2017

Summary From Goodreads:

Inspired by a true story, this is the unforgettable story of a young boy named Ernest, set during the 1909 Seattle world’s fair called the Alaska Yukon Pacific Expo. It is a time when the magical wonders of technology on display at the expo future seems limitless. But for Ernest, a half-Chinese orphan who found his way to America through a last desperate act of his beloved mother, every door is closed. A charity student at a boarding school, he has never really had a place to call home. Then one day, his wealthy sponsor announces that if a home is what he wants, then that is what he will have: Ernest will be offered as a prize in the daily raffle at the fair, advertised as “Healthy boy to a good home for the winning ticket holder.” The woman who “wins” him is the madam of a notorious brothel who was famous for educating her girls. He becomes a houseboy in her brothel and is befriended by the daughter of the madam, as well as a Japanese girl who works in the kitchen. The friendship and love between these three form the first real family Ernest has ever known.

My thanks to Netgalley and Ballentine Books for allowing me an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.  I have to admit that it took me a few days to process and come to terms not just with the content, but the layout of the book.  We first meet an older Ernest standing in front of the World Fair in the 60’s and thinking about a jumble of things from his wife, Gracie, to the poor record keeping of Chine, and then to radio waves bouncing off Cassiopeia.  Honestly it was a mess, and if I were someone that just reads the first page to decide if I want to read a book this one would have been tossed. That would have been tragic.  As the book progressed, moving from Ernest’s earliest childhood memory- the last time he saw his mother in China- to 1960’s America, it quickly found it’s pace and I was riveted.  There were moments of such haunting sadness, but also sweetness and childlike innocence in the oddest places.  I adored the characters and found them touching and well developed.  The fact that the general ideas behind who is “in the right” and “good” was often blurred and even in question here.  Mostly I was left broken yet charmed by a world  I can’t even imagine.  Due to the issues I had with the start of the book I thought I would give this one a lower rating, but I can’t.  It’s still a five star book for me and I will be searching for a hard copy of this one for my shelves.  (And as a possible gift for one of my aunties- this is right up her alley).  Five Stars  If you loved the lyrical beauty and poignant sadness of Memiors of a Geisha, then you will like this one I think.

On the adult content scale…. well there’s a lot.  Sexual content, though done with care and respect, language and violence.  It hits a lot of hard subjects, but I would still let my niece read it.  I give it a five.  Parental Guidance

The book comes out Tuesday- go get it!!!!!

Link to book:

Amazon

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Posted in Book Reviews, Uncategorized, Up and Coming Releases

The Future She Left Behind, Marin Thomas

the future she left behind.

Title: The Future She Left Behind

Author:  Marin Thomas

Pages:352

Genre: women’s lit, contemporary

Is this part of a series?  No.

Publish Date: September 5th, 2017

Delivered divorce papers by her cheating husband, Katelyn Chandler wants to pack up and head home to Little Springs, Texas.  She wants to reconnect with her mom, rediscover her art, and heal in the pleasant town.

There’s just one problem… Shirly Pratt, Katelyn’s mother-in-law, is not ready to give up the only one that has cared for her in three years.  Hijacking the road trip, she goes along to Texas all the while acting her domineering, manipulative self.  As Katelyn finds herself again she has to face some hard truths and decide where her life is headed.  The reappearance of her ex-boyfriend Jackson Mendoza doesn’t make things any easier as old feelings come back and she finds the new, more mature Jackson even more attractive.  This is one woman’s quest for peace, happiness, and a future forward.

My thanks to First to Read for an eARC of this book.  There was a lot I liked about this book.  For the most part it was a sweet, fast read with an interesting premise and fantastic characters.  On the other hand, I sometimes felt like  I was being beaten over the head with things that got repeated perhaps too often.  The mothers are polar opposites, I got that the first twelve times…. After a while it detracted from my enjoyment.   I liked that Jackson was imperfect, fighting with his view of himself, being a recovering alcoholic, and trying to forge a relationship with the mother that left him and his father.  He was an honestly good man that wanted the best for everyone else and I could not help but love him for that.  All in all, I found the book enjoyable and would recommend it.   Four stars!  Four Stars

On the Adult Content Scale, there’s some language and sexual content.  I would give it a five.  Parental Guidance

The book comes out 9-5-17.  Go check it out!

Link to book:

amazon

 

 

Posted in Book Reviews, Up and Coming Releases

A Tale of Two Kitties, Sophie Kelly

a tale of two kittlesspolier alertTitle: A Tale of Two Kitties

Author: Sophie Kelly

Pages: 336

Genre: cozy mystery

Is this part of a series?  Yes, this is book 9 of the Magical Cats Mysteries.

Publish Date: September 5th, 2017

With the arrival of two towns members- twin brothers that haven’t been back to their hometown in years- a twenty year old scandal is dredged up.  When one twin is discovered murdered it’s a race to catch the killer.

Cats Owen and Hercules have helped their owner discover things in the past with a well placed paw on a keyboard or a pointed stare.  Kathleen has long since come to terms with the fact that they aren’t “normal” cats, with the ability to comprehend what she is saying and make themselves understood through gesture (and with their other unique abilities).

Many thanks to Netgalley and Berkley Publishing Group for allowing me an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.  While I had not known it was in the middle of a series when I requested it, I was still able to fall in love with the characters and follow the story.  There is a lot of back story referenced, though, and I recommend reading those books-I have bought the first one and will be doing the same.  Still, this seems like a series that can be started from any point.

I liked the premise here- two cats and their human trying to solve crimes- kind of a Nancy Drew/ Scooby Doo thing.  The characters were well developed and easy to love, I actually miss them now that the story is over.  There were times when I feel like Kelly went a bit far with explanation (magical kitties- got that the first three times it was said),  but the writing style was good and it was a quick, fun read.  Really, I just thought this was adorable.  Four and a half stars.  Four Stars

On the adult content scale, there is very little.  There’s a bit of violence and I think someone cursed a couple times.  I give it a one at most.  This is a book I would hand a young teen without issue.  General.svg

The book comes out on the 9-5-17, have you read the others?

Link to book:

Amazon

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Reincarnation Blues, Michael Poore

reincarnation bluesspolier alertTitle: Reincarnation Blues

Author: Michael Poore

Pages: 384

Genre: fiction, humor, sci fi

Is this part of a series?  No.

Published: 8-22-17

 

We all live our lives, moving forward everyday until death, where rebirth awaits. Always learning, growing, and striving for perfection.  Milo understands this, after nearly 10,000 lives he feels like he’s become very wise… but not perfect- never that.  In each life he tries to be a good man, a wise man.  He loves and he lives, and then he comes back to the afterlife and his great love, Suzy.  Then the rules change.  You only get so many lives to reach perfection- and he only has a handful left.  If you reach perfection you become part of everything- the whole.  If you do not…. you become nothing.  Just… gone.  The rub?  Either way, no Suzy.  As we move back and forth between his lives and after lives we learn why reincarnation can really bring the blues.

Oh… My… God.  A million thanks to First to Read for allowing me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.  What a ride.  Beside Milo I was a caveman, a king, a criminal- an innocent man imprisoned- a milk maid, a wise man and a fool.  I loved the flow of the book, taking us from life to life and beyond.  The premise of the Afterlife struck me as unique as well and one that I adored.  Death was a trip.  I loved Milo and his crew, and found myself rooting for him through it all.  Five stars all the way.  Five Stars

On the Adult Content scale, there’s a bit.  Sexual  content is there, and a bit high in places.  Then there’s foul language and some violence.  I give it a six, but will still be letting my teen niece read it if she wants.  Parental Guidance

The book is out- what are you waiting for?!?

Link to book:

Amazon

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Posted in Book Reviews

The Art of Hiding, Amanda Prowse

dfthe art of hidingspolier alertTitle: The Art of Hiding

Author: Amanda Prowse

Pages: 290

Genre: contemporary fiction, women’s lit

Is this part of a series?  No.

Published: July 18th, 2017

 

Nina McCarrick lives a great life far and away from the poverty in which she grew up.  She has an amazing husband, giant house, two wonderful children, living an easy, well-heeled life.  This all changes when a car crash takes husband Finn from the family.  Suddenly Nina is bombarded with truths that she knew nothing about.  Her husband’s company- gone- the money-gone-the house…. you guessed it.  Having to rely on her sister Tiggy for help she moves her boys from their posh school in bath to her old stomping grounds, a world away from everything they have ever known.  As each McCarrick fights to come to terms with their new reality, both without their security and without their figurehead, Nina must also invade the job market and figure out how to keep her family together.

My thanks to Netgalley and Lake Union Publishing for allowing me a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.  I loved this book, in fact, I stayed up all last night finishing it.  Nina is a fantastic character, loving and doting but with hidden steel.  It was great watching her find her stride.  Declan was everyone’s dream son, sweet and kind and funny.  Connor was an interesting blend of man and child.  It was interesting to see the way all the characters interacted with one another and how family ties played throughout.  The writing style was fantastic and had an easy flow between present and past memories.  For me, this was a five star book.  Five Stars

As far as the Adult Content Scale goes, there is some language but that it’s minimal.  I would barely give this a two.

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The book is out now, have you read it?

Link to book:

Amazon

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