Thursday, September 25, 2014

Review: The Secret Journal of Ichabod Crane By: Alex Irvine

Review: The Secret Journal of Ichabod Crane  By: Alex Irvine            4/5

Based on the Characters from Fox's Hit TV Show SLEEPY HOLLOW


Written as a journal in Crane's voice, filled with photos, sketches, news clippings, and more this is a great addition to any fan of the Fox series. It will take you through the season, but only through the inner mind of Crane. You, the reader, will be privy to some new thoughts, to some clues (something up ahead), to some funny observances of our modern culture, and his simple brilliance. You feel the desperation, the frustration, he releases his failure onto the paper and his need to win this battle against evil.
Welcome to the fandom, step right in and grab a book. You will enjoy this, it isn't simply the retelling of stories of the season, it is the opening of the characters mind and heart on paper - and quite frankly, it's that depth that will make the show even more enjoyable for me to watch.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for a review.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Review: Every Little Secret By: Laura Lippman

Every Secret ThingEvery Secret Thing by Laura Lippman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Two white girls, Ronnie and Alice, came across a black baby abandoned in a stroller in a upscale neighborhood of Baltimore. It was a decision. Four days later the infant was found dead in a secluded shack in Leakin Park. The girls were sent away to juvenile facilities, the mother of the infant (a Judge's daughter) never forgot and never forgave, and time went on.
That is until seven years later and they were released. Ronnie's parents now living in a new home and Alice back in the same with her single mother. A child has now gone missing. Three years old. Blood has been found with the child's clothing in the garbage. And both the girls are close enough to the proximity to Value City and the Mall where it happened that it is possible that lightning has just struck twice.
A race against time for detectives Nancy (Porter) and Infante that have a missing child case on their lap and the political breath of Cynthia Barnes breathing down their neck with her accusations of 'knowing' that the children that did this to her baby did this again. As they delve deep into the case, what the uncover can send chills even up the spine of the seasoned detective - and really makes the reader question who is the criminal.
This was a really good book. Each page reflected on how on incident flows into another and how many lives it effects and intercepts. Long after I have put this book down, I am even asking myself about who really is the true criminal in this case - who is the one that really deserved the just punishment. A book that makes you think afterwards and want to discuss it - really I think best for book club, and trust me you will be debating this. Enjoy.

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Review: Heroes Are My Weakness By: Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Heroes Are My WeaknessHeroes Are My Weakness by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Annie Hewitt came back to Peregrine Island to fulfill the stipulation of the agreement of the sixty days on the island in order to keep the house and to find out about the cryptic message her mother gave her before her death saying that the legacy could be found there. Doing puppet shows certainly didn't pay for her mother's bills and now drowning in debt, this is the only place she can run to and hopefully find the answers that she has been looking for.
She wasn't expecting the cold winter wind to blow from Harp House the boy from the past, the one that now stood brooding and out of a fantasy and novel. Too bad they have a not too pleasant past of sweet first love, sweet kisses along the beach followed by torture and irrational behavior - under those perfect hooded eyes lies a psychopath - at least that is how Annie remembers it.
Theo Harp needed to hide away, brood in his guilt. Unfortunately for him a woman emerged from the girl he once loved, puppets in hand, strength and too many questions. She brings happiness with her - to others, with him she is cool and frustrating, and makes him feel alive.
A series of break ins and threats occur against Annie, at first she suspects Theo, but after someone takes a shot at her, she has no choice but to trust him. When the two come close the sparks come and the unraveling the the past makes wounds bleed - hopefully, they have enough to heal.
There is also a nice secondary story that comes into play with the puppets and puppet therapy with a small child that won't talk because of the domestic violence that she has witnessed - this story is wonderful, integral also for the character development, but I found, personally, so touching.
I really enjoyed this book. It has a part gothic feel, part mystery/thriller, part romance. The fact that this takes place on an island in winter gives the desolate feel throughout the book, the attacks and who and why lasted all the way (and normally I am very good at picking out the whodunit, everyone I thought I was wrong - pleasantly so), the complication of the characters - their past, the years that have gone by, who they are now, and all the secrets revealed - give a depth to the relationship. This book is great as a personal read, book club read, and everything in between - I really think you will enjoy.

Oh, Annie, Heroes Are My Weakness too - so glad I got to read your story.

*****This is A First Reads, Thank You Goodreads*****

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Friday, September 12, 2014

Review: Just Friends With Benefits By: Meredith Schorr

Just Friends With BenefitsJust Friends With Benefits by Meredith Schorr
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Stephanie Cohen's life has been unfolding slowly in the romance department. She stills hangs out with her college friends, even though the all live in separate states, she still holds a strange crush on 'the one that got away'. As the storyline continues, sooner than later an understanding between Stephanie and 'the one' Craig Hille develops - that it's friends with benefits.
What I don't get is that Stephanie seems like a smart girl afterall she holds a very smart job, why is she still 'hanging' with these people? Why does she subject herself to such abuse, like 'benefits' from the likes of someone that clearly doesn't show much interest in her or the sex part? When she finds a totally awesome wonderful guy,Ryan - why is even a question of what she feels? Her friend Suzanne had more depth than her college friends and her combined - and she had maybe five pages in the book.
I held high hopes for this one based on some reviews and the blurb, unfortunate - it didn't live up to any of it.

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Review: Doctor Who Silhouette By: Justin Richards

Review: Doctor Who  Silhouette   By: Justin Richards                         5/5

A Wonderful Adventure With The New Doctor - A Must Read For A Whovian

A spike has been read and the Tardis has landed near the Frost Fair in Victorian London. The Carnival of Curiosities has brought together not just The Doctor and Clara, but Madame Vestra, Jenny, and Strax all on separate investigations. It seems that some people are being killed in alley ways, being left like dry husks; another death can be linked to origami birds; and the most dangerous has yet to be uncovered.

There is a man behind the curtain, so to speak, Orestes Milton. He is wanted by the Shadow Federation and has a plan to show off the greatest weapons that he has created. Time is ticking against the timelord.

A great novel to lose oneself in. I enjoyed the storyline, the characters were very true to themselves. It is a quick read and a quick fix. I highly recommend this book.
I received this book from Blogging for Books for a review.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Review: Thorn Jack By: Katherine Harbour

Thorn Jack (Night and Nothing, #1)Thorn Jack by Katherine Harbour
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

First, if I could give this book more stars I would! This book was amazing, I could not believe that this was the author's first novel. The imagery, the vivid way that she wrote brought the characters, the place of Fair Hollow to life, I was enveloped by this book and I sank in - I did not want to leave. This book is a keeper to explore at least once a year.
There are the stories, those beings, the creatures that come from Nothing and Night. Very few know about them, know where they live, how they behave. Serafina Sullivan has come to Fair Hollow with her father after the loss of her sister to live in her ancestor's home. A new start filled with mystery, filled with the past, filled with a strange guy that is drawn to her as much as she is to him. Jack has no heart, at least he didn't, now he bleeds. There is danger everywhere, even 'family' - they are even more dangerous then anyone's imagination.
Filled with adventure, fantasy, fairy and folk tale/lore, and a splash of romance this is an amazing combination. I loved this book, even found I was dreaming about it. Looking for something to escape in, something perfect for autumn, perfect to crawl into a chair with - this is the book. I hope that the author is working on more, because I can not wait!

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Review: Not Cool By: Greg Gutfeld

Not Cool: The Hipster Elite and Their War on YouNot Cool: The Hipster Elite and Their War on You by Greg Gutfeld
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When did truly bad, wrong behavior become 'cool' and the right things to do become 'not cool'? Gutfeld in his wonderful voice dares you to listen, to question, to pose that question to others, and be the 'not cool'. Come on if you bought his book and read it you are already on that path, and since I am there and reviewing it, might as well and jump in with both feet.
I like the fact that I am not the only one looking around wondering WTF happened, how, and this is ridiculous. One great quote from the book "That may be the ultimate consequence of cool: that a life of obscurity is viewed as somehow inferior to a life of infamy. Being a good person who lives quietly but valiantly on a pretty ruthless planet, but manages to find grace in every day things, no longer means much." Since when did sex, hate mongering, shaming, et al become the 'cool', the norm. No longer are words like illegitimate allowed to be used, yet patriarchal are in the Associated Press- who made these rules up! When did it become so important that when budget cuts happen at University of Tennessee, rather than the importance of scholarships, books, even the health of cafeteria food, an organization protested because of the - oh, so, important Sex Week on campus. Let me get this, children in America are starving, there are homeless, people without jobs, but despite child abuse the real cause is Sex Week on campus to rally for and fight for your right for - no wonder the people out of college are not getting jobs and are living out of mom and dad's basement.
But I digress - for this is only supposed to be a review, and I truly recommend this book! Buy a copy for yourself and one for a friend so that you can talk about it. Trust me - you will want to discuss this one.

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Review: A Paris Apartment By: Michelle Gable

A Paris ApartmentA Paris Apartment by Michelle Gable
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

April Vogt is looking to escape her own place, her own life, the one where her husband has just recently confessed to a one night stand with a co worker, the one where she doesn't have a strong family relationship, the one where the walls are crumbling - when the opportunity comes in the form of work. She is a furniture specialist for Sotheby's and a very special apartment in Paris, seven rooms, locked up for the last forty years, has just become hers to go through.
The moment she walks through the door of the apartment and a Boldini painting awaits her, she knows that the wonders in this horders home is going to wonderous. Especially after finding the owners journal. It is in the journal that April is introduced to Marthe De Florian, an orphan who has risen to demimondaine, one who has a love hate relationship with the artist Boldini and pure hatred for Victor Hugo's granddaughter. No longer are the gilded ostrich eggs an interest to April, this woman is, and the lawyer to the heir to the apartment provides a distraction.
April is an almost vapid and unlikable character, whereas the life of M de Florian flows off the page with vivid bright energy that I almost couldn't absolve the fact that the two were written in the same book yet by the same person. Is it through the journals that April comes alive, that she resolves her life... wouldn't that be too easy, that maybe she is so bland that she finds her own life in that of the diary has has to choose just which man is her Boldini... too easy.
Oh, did I mention, an easy read.

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Review: The Lost City of Z By: David Grann

The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the AmazonThe Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon by David Grann
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Has history ever been written so well - I don't know when I was last so engrossed in such a tale and mostly in part by the way the author writes this amazing exploration.
The Lost City of Z has claim lives from the time explorer Percy Fawcett first hints at the possibility of it's existence on one of his treks into the Amazon. Like a fever, he must return. Part biography of this complicated man, part history of the amazing time of exploration - especially that of the Amazon begins this book. Somewhere along the way, as the reader, you can understand the 'Fawcett Fever' that has given way to many that long since the original 1925 expedition entered the jungle searching and few have come back. The author included. Mr. Grann immersed himself and thereby you with long ago notes and private letters, with diaries from those that knew these men or the men themselves.
This book is so beautiful and adventurous, so well written and gripping - one would think it was fiction. Fawcett's obsession lead to his disappearance and the disappearance of many after him, but what has been recently found was a greater treasure then I think he even could have imagined. Definitely worth reading!

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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Review: Unwept By: Tracy Hickman and Laura Hickman

Unwept (The Nightbirds, #1)Unwept by Tracy Hickman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Ellis Harkington finds herself confused with a nurse on a train. She doesn't know where she has come from, where she has been, where she is going. It seems like the nurse is trying to fill her in and that it has already been done before. She is returning home, to Gamin, to be cared for by Uncle Lucian (aka Dr Carmichael), and stay with cousin Jenny at Summersend. Her dreams bring her somewhere else, and bring someone else to her.
There is something strange about Gamin and something off about most of the people - especially Merrick and his home, Ellis knows something that brings her dread. She also knows something about a gate. The people around tiptoe, yet want something from her.
This book in all the spins almost makes you feel a little funhouse in the same way as the main character. At times it is almost like there is too much going on, and the reader should not feel as insane as the main character is left to feel like. But it is good, a great start on a series, a new and original storyline that I know I will enjoy.

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Review: Dear Daughter By: Elizabeth Little

Dear DaughterDear Daughter by Elizabeth Little
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Janie Jenkins has just been released from prison on a technicality. After doing ten years being convicted for killing her mother, I guess it is a good thing that someone in the crime lab was guilty of manipulation of evidence. One problem in all of this, not only was Janie there when her mother died, not only did her mother writer her name in blood as she was dying, but Janie can barely piece that evening together. Janie knows there was someone at the party, someone that threatened her mother, someone that brought up a name of Adeline.
Janie has people hunting her down, with help from her attorney she begins her get away and starts to go underground, but even starts to go into hiding from him - to a place - Adeline. It's a long shot, she knows, but it is all she has to grasp at, especially after ten years.
It is here in a small town that she uncovers secrets that have been long buried and people that would go to every length to keep them that way. She starts to unravel a past that leads her to what once was the mother that she never knew, that no one knew, and the danger is sealed within her.

I didn't put this thriller down. Picked it up and got swept into it and that was it - the ending though, oh, that last little bit on the page -- how could the author do this to me. But I guess that shows how invested I got into the story. A great book to lose yourself in.

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Review: Raising Cubby By: John Elder Robinson A Tale of Father's Love

Raising Cubby   By: John Elder Robinson                   
A Tale of Father's Love                                                                                    4/5

Mr. Robinson has let readers into his world of Asperger's with previous novels, this time he gives us a more 'intimate' glimpse into parenting. He has Asperger's which is a high functioning on the autistic spectrum and so is his son, Cubby.
From the moment Cubby is born, there is no doubt there is a deep love, but there is a deep fear - like drawing a sharpie mark to make sure that the right child will come home with him. After signs begin to develop, Robinson, who lacked an understanding or community of learning took his son from public school and enrolled him into Montessori. He encouraged learning, field trips that often involved getting past security, he understood the obsessive drive that his son developed in learning all there was in chemistry. It is that obsessive drive that lead the ATF and FBI to their home and charges pressed against a teen boy with needs that deemed him dangerous. We go through the trail - which I personally am appalled even occurred, it shows a lack of education in our Judical system and a waste of tax dollars.
Throughout the book a universal story emerges, the story of a father wanting to do what is best for their child, wanting better than they did, hoping it was and that it makes a difference.

Because Mr. Robinson does have Aspberger's his writing can be tedious and weighty, very detailed - overtly so and sometimes you have to take a break from the book - but you want to finish this one, it's worth it.

I received this book from Blogging For Books for this review