“The love she left behind” Amanda Coe

July 3, 2015 Leave a comment

Rated 2 stars ** ARC. EBook. W.W. Norton & Company. To be published July 6, 2015.

TheLoveSheLeftBehindNigel and Louise are all grown up but have never forgotten their mother, who abandoned them for another man when they were just children. Her defection from their family created Louise’s lifelong insecurities and Nigel’s aloofness, leading to a rift in their relationship. Having grown apart through the years, they are thrown together when their mother suddenly dies and they are called to the home she shared with her new husband Patrick.

As they forge through the cluttered remains of their mother’s life, and try to make sense of why she left them so many years ago, they each drift into flashbacks of their younger years not realizing that the past has a way of becoming the present in unexpected ways.

I had a very hard time making it through this book, as it kept boring me. I could never “bond” with the characters, and had more fun trying to figure out the meaning of British words than I had in reading Nigel and Louise’s story. I was determined to finish it for this review, but will leave it up to you to Decide if You Want to Read it or Not.

“Local Girls” Caroline Zancan

July 1, 2015 Leave a comment

Rated 2 stars ** ARC. EBook. Riverhead Books. Published June 30, 2015.

LocalGirlsThe summer night their lives changed forever Maggie, Lindsey and Nina had gone to the Shamrock bar in their boring town outside of Orlando Florida to torture Lila and her group of insignificant friends. Before they could get properly started on the insults they had planned for the night they met Sam Decker, the actor they loved in every one of his movies and who they drooled over in magazines. In a town where nothing exciting ever seemed to happen, this was a monumental occurrence. As the three girls and Sam drank, exchanged stories, and dissected their lives Maggie goes back in time to educate readers about her friends and explain how they went from loving to hating Lila.

As the group dynamic is revealed, readers are taken through long rambling scenarios and flashbacks while leaving many unanswered questions. Though their night with Sam Decker would change their lives, “Local Girls” changed my life too. It took away 3 days of my life I will never get back.

I didn’t care for it, but will leave it up to you to Decide If You Want To Read It Or Not.

“Secret of the Sevens” Lynn Lindquist

June 27, 2015 Leave a comment

Rated 5 stars ***** ARC. EBook. Flux. Published June 2015.

SecretOfTheSevensEighteen-year-old Talan Michaels is about to graduate from the Singer School for poor, unwanted and troubled children. Having been there since he was 7 years old, his housemates, house parents and friends are the only family he’s ever known. Upon graduation he will face a future of homelessness and uncertainty, which fills him with fear. Thus when an invitation comes to join the Sevens, a secret society at the school, Talan is ecstatic. He is sure the Sevens’ promise of riches will be his ticket to freedom after graduating.

Talan knew that William Singer’s wife, founder of the school, had died under mysterious circumstances. He also knew that William Singer and five of the original Sevens had also died, with the Sevens accused of his murder. He and his house sister Laney embark on a series of secret missions destined to save the school from someone who knows what really happened to William Singer, his wife and the original Sevens. Talan and Laney will have to be careful, or they will share the same fate. With time running out, the two will have to pull out all the stops to save their school before it’s too late for everyone.

The plot twists and mysteries hidden in “Secret of the Sevens” had me mesmerized. I couldn’t wait to find out what happened next to the new group of Sevens. Lindquist will keep readers on the edges of their seats.

Highly recommended for ages 14 and older.

“Luckiest girl alive” Jessica Knoll

June 24, 2015 Leave a comment

Rated 5 stars ***** ARC. EBook. Simon & Schuster. Published May 12, 2015.

LuckiestGirlAliveAni FaNelli is a successful writer at the very prestigious The Women’s Magazine in New York City. She is engaged to be married to Luke Harrison, a very rich man from a prestigious family, and has perfected the right way to dress, walk, and talk. Ani has the money and the lifestyle she’s always wanted, but she is not happy.

To explain Ani’s present situation you have to understand her past, so readers are taken back in time to when she was fourteen years old and a new transfer student at the very elite Bradley school. TifAni (as she was known then) came from the wrong side of the tracks and was determined to make her mark at Bradley. Her desire to get “in” with the popular crowd led to a series of unfortunate events which would haunt her for the rest of her life. In her own way Ani has tried to deal with what happened when she was 14 years old but she will soon find out that facing up to her past is the only way that she can have a future.

Through flashbacks and the present day Jessica Knoll peels back the layers of Ani’s life, revealing her vulnerability and endearing her to readers. As life at the Bradley school is mixed with Ani’s NYC life, I was glued to the pages to find out what had happened to Ani and to cheer for her to make the right decisions.

Highly recommended for Adult readers.

“The Last Passenger” Manel Loureiro

June 20, 2015 Leave a comment

Rated 5 stars ***** EBook. Published January 1, 2015 by AmazonCrossing (first published in 2013).

TheLastPassengerWhen reporter Kate Kilroy’s husband Robert is killed by a drunk driver, she feels like her own life has ended. To give her a new lease on life her editor suggests she take on an assignment researching the Valkyrie, a Nazi ghost ship discovered in 1939 with no one alive on board except for a baby, and which has lain untouched for 70 years. Within a short time she has met the eccentric millionaire, Isaac Feldman, who purchased the ship for millions of pounds and renovated it for some obscure purpose.

Eager to learn more for her story, Kate agrees to accompany Isaac and a group of scientists to recreate the Valkyrie’s last journey. Soon, strange things begin to happen and they begin to realize there is a malevolent spirit on board who wants to recreate what happened in 1939. With time running out, Kate will be called upon to reach deep into her soul for the strength to combat an evil determined to destroy everything and everyone in its path.

Each cliffhanger chapter ending of “The Last Passenger” drew me deeper and deeper into its mystery, keeping me glued to its pages until I reached its satisfying conclusion. It was a wonderful read.

Highly recommended for Adult readers.

“My Sunshine away” M.O. Walsh

June 19, 2015 Leave a comment

Rated 3 stars *** ARC. EBook. Amy Einhorn Books. Published February 10, 2015.

MySunshineAwayThe summer of 1991 in the small town of Woodland Hills in Baton Rouge Louisiana was a summer that would never be forgotten, when everything in life turned upside down. It was both a beginning and an end.

An obsession with Lindy, the fifteen-year-old love of his life, begins our narrator’s reminiscing of his youth. As readers go through the inner workings of small town life, we realize the narrator is telling a story which shaped and molded him into the man he has become. That summer was as much his story as it was Lindy’s, forever changing everything and everyone.

While Walsh’s narrator uses flashbacks and reverts back to the present time to tell his story, he also waxes philosophically about that summer and goes off on tangents. The constant back-and-forth motion of his story may cause some readers confusion as they try to piece together what happened to Lindy.

Recommended for Adults.

“Forgetting Tabitha: The story of an orphan train rider” Julie Dewey

June 19, 2015 Leave a comment

Rated 4 stars **** Ebook. 2013. JWD Press.

ForgettingTabithaIn 1860 Tabitha Salt was just 10 years old. When her father was killed in an accident, her mother sold their farm in Westchester N.Y. and moved them to Manhattan where she hoped to find work as a laundress.

This section of NYC, known as Five Points, was filled with poor immigrants and homeless orphans roaming the gang-filled streets. When Tabitha’s mother suddenly died, Tabitha found herself out on the street as one of these orphans. With nowhere to turn, she was befriended by the Sisters of Charity who sent her and dozens others on an orphan train to be adopted out West. There she will have to draw on her strong character, courage and perseverance to survive the unknown and make a future for herself. “Forgetting Tabitha” is her story.

Before reading this novel, I knew about the terrible poverty facing NYC immigrants, but didn’t know about the orphan trains. Julie Dewey makes Tabitha’s and the orphan’s stories come alive, making me eager to find out more about them as I read.

Recommended for ages 14 and older.

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