“The girl with all the gifts” M.R. Carey

Rated 3 stars *** 2015. Orbit (Hatchette). 431 p. (Includes “Interview [with the author],” “Reading group guide,” and a chapter from an upcoming book.)

The girl with all the giftsA strange type of spore has invaded the world, changing most of the population into zombies. Mindless “hungries” are left to wander the ruined land seeking blood. There are just a few pockets of normal civilizations, who shut themselves behind barricaded walls guarded by soldiers. Ten-year-old Melanie has grown up in such a place with other children, strapped into wheelchairs by soldiers for school, and kept in cells at all other times. Her mind is eager for knowledge, and she longs for the times when Miss Justineau, her favorite teacher, visits the classroom.

After hungries attack her secure area, Melanie, Miss Justineau, an evil doctor and two soldiers are left to make their way South towards one of the only remaining civilizations left in Great Britain knowing that hungries lie in wait on every crumbled street in every forsaken city. It is the ingenuity of little Melanie, and the love she has for her teacher, which powers the book towards its inevitable ending. I wasn’t a fan of that ending, but it seemed to make the most sense given everything else that happened in the book.

At first I was bored, and couldn’t get into the book. It wasn’t until the hungries invaded that I became more invested. Though it had a slow start it raised a lot of thinking about what happens when an Apocalypse occurs, but it also left quite a few unanswered questions. The Q & A with the author at the end was very enlightening.

I recommend this book for Adults.

“The lions of Fifth Avenue” Fiona Davis

Rated 5 stars ***** ARC. ebook. Penguin Random House. To be published July 21, 2020.

The lions of fifth avenueIn 1913 Laura Lyons struggles during a time in history when women were expected to be complacent with their roles as wife and mother.

In 1993 Sadie Donovan hasn’t gotten over her long ago divorce and is insecure about everything in her life. She has sealed herself off from getting hurt again, so the only thing that gives her joy is answering reference questions and working with rare books at her NYPL job.

Laura lived with her superintendent husband Jack and two children in an apartment hidden away in the recently built New York Public Library. Her dream was to go to school to become a reporter, but she soon learned that women who dreamed faced uphill battles. The more she got involved with free thinking women in the Heterodoxy Club, the more she realized it would take great courage to risk everything she held dear to be truly happy.

Sadie’s career and job is in danger when rare books continue to be stolen from under her nose and she becomes a suspect. It doesn’t help matters when her research into her grandmother’s life discovers that her grandfather was accused of stealing rare books from the same library in 1913. Sadie will have to learn to work with others who share similar goals if she wants to clear her name and, in the process, unveils 80-year-old secrets about her own family.

I enjoyed the dual voice narratives of Laura and Sadie, and how Davis tied the stolen books to both of their stories. I also enjoyed learning about the history of the NYPL, its collections, immigrant babies, and free thinking women of the early 20th century. This is a great book for those who enjoy historical fiction, and who want to learn more about what it was like to be a woman who had dreams in 1913.

Highly recommended for Adults.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

 

 

 

“All of us” A.F. Carter

Rated 4 stars **** ARC. ebook. Mysterious Press. To be published June 2, 2020.

All of usCarolyn Grand’s father was a monster. For years he abused her physically, mentally, sexually and emotionally. When she was finally put into foster care, her foster parents continued the sexual abuse. For years Carolyn’s body was not her own, forcing her mind to find a way to protect itself. The end result was that Carolyn’s mind split her into different people. Each of her personalities had their own unique way of dressing, talking, and acting to help her get through particular situations.

The comfortable life Carolyn and her personalities built for themselves for ten years began to unravel when Eleni, the promiscuous one, propositioned a cop. Now they had to attend mandated counseling sessions with a therapist who had no interest in helping them. Then Carolyn’s father was released from prison and, though ordered to stay away, he began stalking them. When he showed up dead, Carolyn became the prime suspect, and only a friendly detective keeps them from total despair.

Told through the voices of Carolyn’s six personalities (Eleni, Martha, Victoria, Tina, Kirk and Serena) readers are given flashbacks of what Carolyn endured at the hands of her father. We see the inner workings of a splintered mind that found a way to survive horrible abuse. As the narrative continues, and no one admits to the murder, this whodunit keeps you wondering.

Recommended for Adults.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

 

 

“Trinity” by Luke Romyn

Rated 3 stars *** ebook. Published by Luke Romyn. 2016.

TrinityChance Ripley can’t recall anything about his past, but dreams about women in the act of being murdered. In his dreams he becomes the women, feeling their pain and seeing their killers, but is unable to stop the crimes. The dreams are extremely realistic but, because he’s a patient in a mental institution, his doctor is convinced he’s psychotic – until he names a victim who really was murdered, which gets a member of the FBI involved in the case.

As the episodes continue they leave Chance straddling the line between reality and fantasy, teetering on the edge of total insanity.  He knows he has to find out why he’s having these visions and suss out the identity of the three murderers before he truly goes insane, but how is he supposed to escape a mental institution for the criminally insane? In time Chance discovers shocking information that will turn his world upside down.

The author had a very good imagination to come up with a storyline about murderers with psychic abilities and their impact on those with similar abilities. Though I wasn’t a fan of the ending, and thought Chance’s constant flitting about was a little too much, I will still recommend this book for its originality.

Recommended for Adults.

 

“Mirror me” by Rachel Sanderson

Rated 5 stars ***** ebook. 2018. Amazon Digital Services, LLC.

Mirror meWhat do you do when your mother forces you to leave your best friend behind in the big city to move hours away to a broken down hovel in the middle of a forest – far away from wifi and civilization? How do you act when everyone at your new school avoids you like the plague – except for one douchebag? Who can you talk to when you feel so alone?

How do you act when you find out you look exactly like Becky, a girl killed a year ago in this same small town? When you start receiving notes telling you to get out of town, what should you do? Where do you go and what do you do when you find yourself dreaming about Becky’s murder, and feel as if you HAVE to find out more about her and why she died?

These questions and more plague sixteen-year-old Abbie as her life is suddenly meshed with Becky’s life. Though her obsessiveness with finding out more about her is driving everyone crazy, Abbie feels as if something HAS to become clear. However as the truth about Becky’s last night on earth is revealed, it’s done in a way that’s more terrifying than anything Abbie had ever experienced. It seems as if the killer hasn’t finished his job…

I absolutely LOVED this book. The author did a great job stringing me along, with clues placed deliciously about, waiting to be chewed and digested. I had my ideas as to who did what, and was glad to have my suspicions verified.

I don’t want to reveal any more of the exciting plot, so will end this review by saying you need to read “Mirror me” ASAP. You’ll love it just as much as I did.

Highly recommended for ages 16 and older.

“Darling Rose Gold” by Stephanie Wrobel

Rated 5 stars ***** ARC. ebook. To be published March 17, 2020. Berkley (Penguin Random House).

Darling Rose GoldRose Gold had been a sickly child. Patty, her mother, took very, very good care of her. She made sure to get her to all the best doctors, and sacrificed her whole life to make sure Rose Gold had the best care. After almost 18 years of severe illnesses, her online boyfriend helped her realize Patty had been poisoning her over the years. With her mother in prison for 5 years, Rose Gold struggled to find a purpose for her life. Everyone saw her as a victim, but she wanted to be something more in their eyes.

When Patty was released from prison she had nowhere to turn, so Rose Gold made herself available. She needed to make sure her dear mother knows how much she loves and trusts her, because Rose Gold has a plan. It might not seem like anyone understands why she wants to be with the woman who ruined her life, but hadn’t she learned how to lie from the greatest liar in the world?

In alternate voices Patty and Rose Gold tell their complicated stories of revenge, love and hate going from past to present to fill in the missing gaps in the story. The author had me on the edge of my seat as I tried to suss out who was lying, who was telling the truth, and who was planning what to whom. I’ll have to admit she totally blindsided me, as I never saw Rose Gold’s plan coming AT ALL!

Highly recommended for Adults.

“The poppy field” by Deborah Carr

Rated 2 stars ** ebook. 2018. HarperImpulse.

The poppy fieldAfter fleeing a failed relationship, Gemma ends up in a small French town to renovate a farmhouse that belonged to her father’s cousin. There she meets handyman Tom, and they set about getting the house into shape. Within a short time she finds herself falling for him but, despite all the hints he drops, feels that he’s not interested. When they find an old box with letters written a hundred years earlier, Gemma finds herself immersed in the life of a nurse named Alice Le Breton.

Alice worked as a volunteer nurse in France during World War I where, despite the rules of not forming relationships with patients, she fell in love with an injured soldier. The more Gemma reads of Alice’s life and her romance with Ed, the more similarities she finds to her current life. Ultimately, Alice enables Gemma to finally make a difference in her own life.

I had problems with this book. As Emma and Alice told their stories in alternating chapters there were times when they were too wishy washy, but Gemma was more annoying. I thought Tom, and especially Ed, were much stronger role models than the women. In addition there was much comma misuse and poor sentence structure. A blatant editing error occurred in chapter 22. Gemma was upset that she’d have to leave Alice’s letters behind when she left the farmhouse. Tom showed up, hugged her, and was referred to as “Ed” instead of “Tom.” I’m not sure how all this made it past the editor, but these indiscretions conspired to make me go down a star in my review.

Though I had issues with this book, I will leave it up to you Adults to decide if you want to read it or not.