“Awake” Natasha Preston

August 26, 2015 Leave a comment

Rated 3 stars *** ARC. Ebook. Sourcebooks Fire. Published August 4, 2015.

AwakeWhen sixteen-year-old Scarlett met handsome Noah she had no idea how her life would change. Within a week they were in love and, after a month, they were inseparable. He wanted to know everything about her life, and she loved showing him new things. When she mentioned being unable to remember anything that happened before she was 4 years old, he encouraged her to try and recover those lost memories.

As Scarlett’s not-so-pleasant memories began to surface she discovered her normal life was just a sham, because her parents had stolen her away from a cult called Eternal Light. The cult leaders were her real parents. They had never given up looking for her as they had specific plans, which had been waiting for her for 12 years.

Unfortunately it doesn’t take long before Scarlett allows herself to fall right into their hands. With time running out, she will have to face the biggest challenge of her young life while Noah will have to make a decision, which may cost more than he’s prepared to pay.

I enjoyed the thrill and mysterious feelings in “Awake,” but felt cheated at the end when the author made it very obvious there would be a part two to the book with her open ending. I don’t like that “Awake” wasn’t advertised as being part of a series, as I wouldn’t have read it since I don’t like to wait years for book sequels. Without giving away too much I was also annoyed with Scarlett for being so head over heels in love with Noah that within a week she was willing to take his word for everything – something she would live to regret. Why is it that teenagers in books are always walking around with their eyes open but don’t see anything of substance?

I will recommend “Awake” for readers ages 14 and older because it was an okay read, but I’m disappointed it didn’t end with a bow around the present instead of with the wrapping paper still having to be bought at the store, among other issues.

I received this ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

“Trust no one” Paul Cleave

August 25, 2015 Leave a comment

Rated 5 stars ***** Ebook. ARC. Atria Books. Published August 4, 2015.

PaulCleaveJerry Grey, author of 13 best selling crime novels, has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Within a short time Captain A, as he calls the disease, has turned his days into foggy memories, blank spaces where life happened without him remembering any of it, and brisk moments of reality. During one of these foggy memories Jerry remembers committing murders that he wrote about in his books.

No one believes him, but Jerry soon finds himself waking up next to murder victims or hiding bits of evidence from recent crimes. How he escaped from the home for each of these murders remains a mystery, but Alzheimer’s has so scrambled his brain that Jerry is left with more questions than answers. Is he really the murderer everyone makes him out to be, including himself, or is there more to the story?

Cleave took me on a ride that had me eagerly turning pages to find out what would happen next to Jerry. Adult readers of crime novels, mysteries, whodunits and thrillers will love “Trust no one.”

Recommended for Adults.

******SPOILER ALERT********

I was not happy with the ending, as it left me with more questions than answers. I really expected the overall mystery of what had been happening to Jerry would have been solved, and that the “bad guys” would’ve been caught. Jerry’s diary entries at the end made me even more confused as I wondered what really happened to Susan with a “z.”

“We never asked for wings” Vanessa Diffenbaugh

August 21, 2015 Leave a comment

Rated 5 stars ***** ARC. Ebook. Ballantine Books. Published August 18, 2015.

WeNeverAskedForWingsLetty Espinosa never learned to be a mother to her fifteen-year-old son Alex and six-year-old daughter Luna. Ever since she got pregnant at the young age of 18, she left them with her mother so she could get drunk and go out on the town. When her parents decided to move back to Mexico, Letty is desperate. Certain her children will come to harm with her in charge, she realizes she will have to grow up and learn how to be a mother before it’s too late. However getting mixed up with undocumented immigrants, and Alex’s first love crisis will strain her resolve and make her realize she is not alone in the struggles of motherhood and life.

“We never asked for wings” is a heartfelt look at the struggles of a single mother as well as those of undocumented immigrants. Once I started reading, I couldn’t put it down.

Highly recommended for Adult readers.

“The Shore” Sara Taylor

August 19, 2015 Leave a comment

Rated 2 stars ** ARC. Hogarth (Random). Published May 26, 2015.

TheShore“The Shore” is a collection of short stories loosely following the lives of several families from 1876 to 2143 who are all related to each other in some manner and who live on a group of islands, nicknamed The Shore, on the Chesapeake Bay near Virginia. Though experiencing poverty, murder, abuse and more, these families struggled through the harshness of Island life, with their love for the land shining through each generation.

I wasn’t a fan of the book mostly because each story took place during such different timeframes that I struggled to figure out the relationship of each character to the ones I had read about earlier, and was constantly flipping back and forth through the chapters. The author planned to include a Family Tree at the beginning of the book but, since it was an ARC (Advanced Reading Copy), the tree wasn’t yet printed. That might have helped me to figure out each character’s time and place, but I still might have liked it better if the stories had been written in chronological order with a little more explanation as to that character’s relationship to the main family.

Though I wasn’t a fan of “The Shore”, I will leave it up to you to Decide if You want to Read it or Not.

“Little black lies” Sharon Bolton

August 17, 2015 Leave a comment

Rated 5 stars ***** ARC. Minotaur Books (St. Martin’s Press). Published May 19, 2015.

LittleBlackLiesThe day Catrin Quinn’s two children, Ned and Kit, were killed was the day she let her marriage and grip on reality slip away. Callum Murray left his home in Scotland to escape demons in his head after fighting in the Falklands War, deciding to relocate to the Islands. His PTSD had gradually seemed to get better until the day Catrin’s children died. Rachel Grimwood had been Catrin’s best friend, but everything changed forever when the children died.

In the intervening years since Catrin’s children died, several other children have gone missing from the Island. When a third child disappears from the Island close to the third anniversary of the Quinn deaths, the three of them are drawn into the ensuing drama and hysteria. Their flashbacks of the events of three years ago, along with what is currently happening, made for fascinating reading.

As the police work to find out what happened to the missing children, guilt shifts from one person to another. This whodunit kept me guessing as to what could have happened, and when the truth was revealed it left me reeling.

Highly recommended for Adult readers.

“The world before us” Aislinn Hunter

August 14, 2015 Leave a comment

Rated 2 stars ** ARC. Hogarth (Random House). Published March 31, 2015.

TheWorldBeforeUsJane Standen, a 34-year-old archivist, has spent her life berating herself for losing Lily, a 5-year-old girl who was supposed to be in her charge when she was babysitting her at the young age of 15. The young girl was never heard from again.

Jane has dedicated herself to live through the memories of others in her work as an archivist, finding herself drawn to the lives of patients in a mental institution outside of London in 1877 when a girl named N— disappeared. Interspersed with Jane’s daily musings are recollections of what happened the day Lily disappeared. Joining the mishmash of happenings is a cast of motley characters from 1877 who share their own version of memories about N— and their roles in the institution, which oftentimes left me scratching my head in confusion.

It took me a long time to read this book because I couldn’t “get into” it. I found it very boring, found Jane to have a complete lack of backbone, and seemed to be missing the connection between what happened to Lily and what happened to N—. Thus I will leave it up to you to decide if You want to Read it or Not.

“Legend: A Harrowing Story from the Vietnam War of One Green Beret’s Heroic Mission to Rescue a Special Forces Team Caught Behind Enemy Lines” Eric Blehm

August 9, 2015 Leave a comment

Rated 5 stars ***** ARC. Crown (Penguin Random House.) Published April 28, 2015. (Includes “List of Characters,”Military Terms, Acronyms, and Abbreviations,” an “Index,” and various maps.)

LegendOn May 2, 1968 Roy Benavidez, then a Staff Sergeant with the Army’s Green Beret Special Forces unit stationed in Vietnam, willingly jumped onto a helicopter to enter no-man’s-land in Cambodia where 12 men from his team were pinned down by enemy fire, sustaining heavy loss. Without thinking of his own safety, Benavidez jumped from the helicopter and into Special Forces history with his daring rescue of the surviving 8 men despite suffering devastating wounds. “Legend” tells his story, along with the years long battle to award him the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Using eyewitness accounts, archival and military records, among other sources, Blehm gives readers insight into Benavidez’s home life and what led him to become a member of the Green Berets, along with minute-by-minute accounts of the events leading up to the Special Forces unit’s foray into the supposedly neutral country of Cambodia which had been giving support to the North Vietnamese. At times the narrative becomes bogged down with technical lingo, but the urgency of battle and the story of the heroic men who suffered that day, shines through the technicalities.

Highly recommended for Adult readers.


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