Thursday, September 19, 2019

In the Shadow of War by Patrick M. Garry



Glen Kinsella has just finished opening all his high school graduation cards proclaiming him to be on the doorstep of an exciting life. But as the summer of 1970 begins, Glen is living with his deluded grandfather and an array of desperate residents in a Midwestern prairie town that has withered to near-extinction - a town populated primarily by the sagging shells of long-abandoned houses. Hope is not one of Glen's traits. In high school, he was known as the retard's brother. He never had a date, nor even tried to be on speaking terms with someone as sophisticated as Suzanne. But as his grandfather always said, anything is possible in Corcoran. And in the summer of 1970, that prediction appears to be finally coming true. After decades of planning the revival of his beloved town, Glen's grandfather convinces a group of women whose husbands have been sent to Vietnam to live in Corcoran. Soon they begin renovating an old ballroom, where Suzanne will perform for the grand opening. But all this new life is threatened when a disgraced war vet arrives, harboring a secret about one of the husbands that will thrust the town into the center of political controversy.

My Thoughts

While this is not really my style of book, I can appreciate the writing and the story that was told.  I can see that some of the phrasing and subject matter could possibly be problematic nowadays, but when you consider the time period that it is written in, it fits the time.

There were times when I felt like I couldn't get into this book like I had hoped.  I'm not sure if it's because of the book itself of if I was just somewhat distracted.  I did enjoy this novel and would be open to reading more from this author.

*Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Death by Diploma and Poison by Punctuation by Kelley Kaye

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Death By Diploma

Emma Lovett leaves her philandering husband and crosses the country to begin her teaching career at a high school in Pinewood, Colorado.There, she meets Leslie Parker, a fellow teacher given to quoting Shakespeare to fit all situations, and the two become fast friends.

Arriving at work early one morning, Emma discovers the body of the school custodian, a man who reminds her of her late father. When the police struggle to find the killer, the ladies decide to help solve the murder. Their efforts lead them to a myriad of suspects: the schizophrenic librarian, the crude football coach, the mysterious social studies teacher, and even Emma’s new love interest.

As Emma Lovett discovers the perils of teaching high school, she and Leslie learn more than they ever wanted to know about the reasons people kill.

Poison by Punctuation

High school teacher Emma Lovett is finally recovering from her first year of teaching when she discovers another dead body. As if that wasn’t bad enough, this time, someone has killed a student, Kisten Hollis.

Emma and her best friend, Leslie, are desperate to solve this murder. But suspects abound. The perpetrator could be a teacher, an administrator, a member of Kisten’s zealous church community, or even another student.

Emma must juggle her teaching responsibilities, her new romance with handsome Hunter Wells, and interest from a hunky second suitor, all while searching for evidence to bring a killer to justice before someone else dies.

My Thoughts

Death by Diploma and Poison by Punctuation are both good, cozy mysteries.  They're not super deep or intense in any way.  I liked them both well enough.

I'm not sure how to say this... I certainly don't want to sound negative.  I guess what I am trying to say is that I didn't love these books but I also didn't NOT love them.  They were both just simply ok.  They had things that kept me somewhat interested and wanting to know what comes next but there were also things that annoyed me.  For instance, I understand that she has a southern accent but the way it was written drove me a little crazy.

I do think that I would be open to reading more books in this series and more books from this author in general.  My opinion is that these books are great for a relaxed, cozy read.  I am glad they were sent my way.

*Note: I received copies of these books in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

The Girl of All My Memes by C. S. Johnson


He didn't "meme" to do it ... 

Tenth grader Tommy Baher has always lived in the shadow of his older brother Johnathan, and he has always hated it. Determined to set himself apart from his brother, Tommy puts all his efforts into securing the highest grades in his class. There's just one problem standing in his way: Kara Metaxas, his longtime academic rival, who has always made his life at school difficult. 
When Tommy and Kara are invited to participate in the Junior Science and Technology Symposium, an academic competition hosted by a prestigious college, Tommy sees it as a chance to prove himself to his parents and his peers. Tommy feels even more sure of himself as he begins to make funny memes using a picture of Kara. Everything is coming together for him. 
But when Tommy starts to change his mind about Kara - and subsequently, nearly everything else about his life - his memes go viral, and threatens to destroy everything Tommy has worked for. 
Can he find a way to make things right with Kara before he loses everything?
With themes of cyberbullying, teen romance, sibling rivalries, and the importance of family, The Girl of All My Memes is a light-hearted read that packs a subtle punch.

My Thoughts
This was definitely a great read.  A bit unexpected, if I'm being honest.  I thought it was going to be a lot less deep and a bit more "young" than it turned out to be.
The Girls of All My Memes is told from Tommy's perspective.  He's very smart and a bit of an overachiever.  I usually enjoy reading from a female perspective but I did enjoy reading from Tommy's perspective.
This book turned out to be a light, fun read while sending a really good message.  A big thanks to the author for sending it to me.
*Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Angel's Mission by Pamela Nerren


Is love really enough?

Angel became an instant millionaire when her abusive husband died. She uses her newfound future to make the world a better place by starting the Angel Foundation, but her emotional scars have yet to heal.

Kevin is an actor fleeing from his fame. When Kevin and Angel meet, they are instantly mesmerized. When Angel doesn’t recognize him, Kevin keeps his fame a secret. Meanwhile, Angel encloses herself in an emotional wall.

On an emotional journey wrought with danger, they cling to one another. Twists. Turns. Attempted murder. Abduction. But when they unmask, what secrets will be revealed? Will those secrets destroy their connection?

My Thoughts

I did enjoy Angel's Mission well enough.  It was a bit predictable, but still enjoyable.  This book is a very quick read, perfect for a vacation/beach read.

A big thanks for sending it my way!

*Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The Coordinate by Marc Jacobs


Logan West and Emma James grew up together but are now high school seniors going in totally opposite directions after graduation. When they are assigned to work together on one last history project, they hardly expect the monotony of high school life to change. Instead, as they decode a series of unexplained clues hidden within their history project itself, Logan and Emma manage to unfold an ancient mystery that has baffled scientists and archeologists, one that has powerful implications for the present day. As they embrace the adventure they’ve stumbled upon, and a growing romantic attraction to each other, Logan and Emma find themselves caught up in a dangerous, high-stakes race across the globe to decipher mankind’s past in order to save humanity’s future, not to mention their very own lives, with a mystery that just might reach towards the stars…

“A thrilling cross-continental Dan Brown-style action adventure that blends sci-fi and ancient conspiracies seamlessly into an intriguing plot…” — IndieReader

“Two teenagers embark on a school project that turns into an exciting, dangerous, and globe-trotting adventure in this YA sci-fi novel…. In his debut novel, Jacobs tells a Dan Brown–style adventure story — one that’s full of puzzles to decode and bold, perilous actions… Jacobs keeps the plot moving throughout by introducing unexpected twists… Entertaining on several levels, and sure to win fans for a planned series.” — Kirkus Reviews

“Marc Jacobs’ novel, The Coordinate, will not disappoint your high expectations. With action and unsuspecting twists throughout the story, you’ll be viewing the wonders of the world in a completely different way than before and will be reevaluating your thoughts about the state of our current world. Jacobs’ writing reads very similarly to that of Dan Brown and Robin Cook…” — San Francisco Book Review

"The idea that there are hidden secrets about humanity’s past will continually fascinate readers, and it is done to great effect in The Coordinate. ... The novel is a great work of adventure, as if we’re following a team of Lara Croft and Indiana Jones as teenagers. ... Despite the target audience of this book being YA readers, it also holds an appeal for older readers, simply because of its accessibility, rapid pace, and intriguing subject matter. ... A highly entertaining read where you rarely see the twists coming. ... The Coordinate is a thrilling adventure from an ambitious and creative author." -- Self-Publishing Review

My Thoughts

Let me gather my thoughts...

I'm not completely sure how to explain how I feel about this book.

First of all, if I had picked this book up during on of my "try a chapter" moments I probably wouldn't have finished it.  The first chapter was just not enough to keep me wanting to read.  Luckily, I picked this book up with the full intension of reading the whole thing.  So, I powered through and kept going.

Now, with that being said, it did get much better!  As I kept reading I became completely wrapped up and was fully enjoying the storyline.  That lasted for several chapters.

However, the book then went back into a few chapters that I found to be hard to follow and stay interested.  This is how the book was for me.  A bit back and forth, interesting/not so much, exciting/not so much...

I honestly feel like this book would be a great movie!  Seeing some of the scenes rather than reading the over explained scenes might make it better for me.  I honestly don't think I've ever said that before... I always like the books better!

Overall, I did enjoy this book and I'm glad it was sent my way!

*Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, August 2, 2019

Creek Bait by Richard Lutman


“Creek Bait” is a collection of fourteen stories exploring a range of genres. Each story portrays the world of characters who escape from life. Some succeed, others face heartbreak and the lucky ones find redemption. From the isolation of a husband and wife to a magician who offers a ray of hope reading these stories is a journey that is passionate, surprising and sometimes tragic.

Lover, friend or enemy, for each the attraction to a woman was different; her laughter, voice, eyes, hair, perfume mingled with the night air or the portent of a dark shape leaning from a darkened doorway.

The film I’d always dreamed of making about a bait shop would open with the establishing shot of a flat-bottomed boat tied to a dock and herons poised on yellow stilts in the estuary.

Cass Franklin spent the first few days after his release from prison preparing his charcoal kilns.

What had he done to deserve such a fate when his future had been before him and Theresa’s body waited for him, warm and desirable, in bed?

My name is Miller, Corporal Thomas W. Miller, II I’m the only one left to search and destroy.

Today I saw a magician die.

Something would happen tonight, he was sure of that.

When she asked him about the blueberries, several shoppers stared at him then at her, wondering at their relationship.

At last, he would show his wife and her therapist, Dr. Sloane, he’d had enough of being married.

Wes hoped the long drive through the cold December rain would be worth it.

Colonel Hidalgo of the Ninth Regiment wasn’t a drinking man, but today was different.

Today I’m thirty-five years old; last year I received another necktie from a distant cousin in Joplin, Missouri.

Is it too much to ask to catch a glimpse of the pure, clean stars against the sky?

The doctor expected The Padre at the birth of this child, the first son to Ruiz the carpenter.

My Thoughts

Ok.  I typically really love to read anthologies.  Sometimes I like to be able to read a short story in between other books.  Other times I'll just read straight through.  This one, I just read the whole book in one sitting.

Most times, I enjoy the more of the stories than not.  I regret to say that really wasn't the case here.  I didn't hate them all!  I'd say it was about 50/50.  And, they honestly didn't feel like they were all written by the same author.  I guess that threw me a little.  All in all, not all bad, but not all good! Lol!

*Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

85 Fresh Life Quips & Quotes for the New Millennium by Riya Aarini


Quotations have inspired humanity for hundreds of years, guided us and made light of the trying situations of life. In a few words, quotes have served many of our lives well.

In this book, you are presented with brand-new, unheard of and 100% original quotations and quips that refer to present day scenarios, from modern day technology to familiar scenes in life that only the 21st century recognizes.

Included are unique quotes about love, friendship, life issues, health and more topics.

My Thoughts

I love reading quotes, tips, facts, and things like that!  So, when this book was sent to me I was pretty happy!

It is a quick, fun read that I really have no complaints about!

So glad it was sent my way!

*Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.