Monday, May 29, 2017

Title:  A Monster Calls
Author:  Patrick Ness
Publisher:  Walker Books
Available:  Now

Source:  Purchase
Genre: MG/YA

Rating:  7 thumbs up

The monster showed up after midnight. As they do.

But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting. He’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the one he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming…

This monster is something different, though. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor.

It wants the truth.

Wow, this was an incredible ride on a very sensitive subject.  But it is so relevant.  It's hard to watch our parents wither in front of us and maybe not know exactly what is going on or where to turn.  The art work is amazing, worth the cost of picking up this book in paperback edition.  Totally loved it and our family read this book in like 3 days for everyone (5 of us) and then went to see the movie.  While the movie diverted slightly from the book, it still brought out the tears.  Looking for something a bit darker, a bit more scary?  Pick this up.  Highly recommend!

Bram Stoker Award Nominee for Best Young Adult Novel (2011)Kate Greenaway Medal (2012)Galaxy British Book Awards for Children's Book of the Year (2011)Los Angeles Times Book Prize Nominee for Young Adult Literature (2011)Red House Children's Book Award (2012)

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Title:  Mistborn
Author:  Brandon Sanderson
Publisher: Tor
Available:  Now
Series: Mistborn #1
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Source:  Purchased

Rating:  7 thumbs up!

Brandon Sanderson's epic fantasy trilogy overturns the expectations of readers and then goes on to tell the epic story of evil overturned in a richly imagined world.

A thousand years ago evil came to the land and has ruled with an iron hand ever since. The sun shines fitfully under clouds of ash that float down endlessly from the constant eruption of volcanoes. A dark lord rules through the aristocratic families and ordinary folk are condemned to lives in servitude, sold as goods, labouring in the ash fields.

But now a troublemaker has arrived and there is rumour of revolt. A revolt that depends on criminal that no-one can trust and a young girl who must master Allomancy - the magic that lies in all metals.

A word of mouth success in the states the Mistborn trilogy has, this year, broken onto the New York Times Bestseller list. The time is ripe for its success to cross the Atlantic.

This book hit all the right places for me, the page turning action, the magic system, the romance, the great characters, the plot driven story.  There is so much going on in these pages that it is just great!  I loved this book and can't wait to pick up the second book.  Sanderson is one of my only 3 auto buy authors!  Pick this up if you are in the mood for some great fantasy world building with a killer magic system and a little bit of time, it is quite large!

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Title: Duplicity
Author: Sibel Hodge
Available: Now
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Publisher:  Thomas and Mercer
Rating: 4 stars

There are three sides to every story: Yours. Mine. And the truth…

Max and Alissa have a fairy tale life—newlywed, madly in love and enviously rich. Then Max is brutally stabbed to death at their home and Alissa, miraculously, escapes with her life. But why was she spared?

The hunt for the killer begins, uncovering a number of leads—was Max’s incredible wealth the motive? Had his shady business practices finally caught up with him? Or was it a stalker with a dangerous obsession?

Devoted friends rally around gentle, sweet Alissa as she is left to mourn the loss of her husband and pick up her life. But not everyone is who they seem…Deep-rooted jealousies, secrets and twisted love lie just beneath the surface, and not all fairy tales have a happy ending.

Duplicity is a suspenseful thriller from the bestselling author of Look Behind You and Where the Memories Lie

Wow, a complete mind blower.  Just when I thought it couldn't get more twisted, I find out I'm wrong.  It was a definite page turner and I lost much needed sleep to find out the next thing.  The switching between two characters threw me a little at first, but once I realized what was going on, it made sense.   Never knowing who to trust or what the truth is leaves the reader at the mercy of the author.  kudos! I'm looking forward to reading more psychological thrillers from Sibel Hodge!  Thanks to Netgalley and Thomas and Mercer for the opportunity to read in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Title:  Sugar
Author: Kimberly Stuart
Available:  now
Source: netgalley
Publisher: Skyhorse

Rating:  3 stars

After realizing her coworkers at L’Ombre, a high-profile restaurant in NYC, will never appreciate or respect her, Charlie Garrett allows her ex-boyfriend, Avery Michaels, to convince her to work for him as executive pastry chef at his new Seattle hotspot, Thrill. She’ll have her own kitchen, her own staff—everything she ever wanted professionally.

When she arrives at Thrill, however, she realizes that Avery wanted more than a pastry chef for his restaurant—he wanted a costar for the reality show they’re filming about the restaurant and its staff. Charlie is uncomfortable with the idea at first, but she soon realizes that this is her chance to show the world what women in the kitchen are capable of. She sets some ground rules with the film crew, signs a non-disclosure agreement, and promptly meets the man of her dreams, Kai, off-camera.

The show, and her demanding work schedule as head of the pastry kitchen, makes it nearly impossible for Charlie and Kai to spend time together. Drama on and off the set soon take a toll on Charlie’s well-being, forcing her to choose if life in front of the camera is worth sacrificing life behind the scenes.

Sugar is a contemporary romance, set in the high-pressure commercial kitchens of New York and Seattle. A funny and clever story of how a female chef learns to thrive in the ruthless world of premier restaurants.

A delightful quirky romance that is sweet and not over the top. It's a clean read and refreshingly fun. It's great for a quick summer romantic read if you are in the mood for a little love, a little humor, a little meddling family and friends and a lot of reality. The desserts seem amazing and I only wish we could have recipes!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Title: Root Beer and Roadblocks
Author: Susan M. Braganza
Available: now
Publisher: Prism

Rating:3 stars

Synopsis: When God strips away all your hopes and dreams can you trust Him to give you something better? 

Johnny Marshall’s cancer is back . . . and so is the girl who broke his heart seven years ago. As Johnny struggles to find the will to live and fights his second round with the disease, he finds hope comes in small packages with an energetic little boy named David.

Having bought in to her parents' narrow view of finding a man worthy of her, years ago, Katie abandoned the one man she'd ever loved. In all the years since, no one has ever compared to Johnny. Now as a single mom of a young boy, she wonders if their reunion right on time or is it too late for a future together?

Discover healing, forgiveness and second chances in Root Beer & Roadblocks, book four in the Orchard Hill series.

Review:  I really liked the idea of this book.  I found myself drawn into their stories and wanted to see what would come next.  However, the dialogue was just off.  Didn't always flow and felt like there were a lot of inconsistencies within the characters, for instance a child that speaks like an adult suddenly didn't know the meaning of 'easy' words at times.  Things happening much faster than would ever be possible in real life.  
It was a good faith based contemporary romance, but I think it could be so much more if a few of the storylines were left out and focused on a few important ones.  
If looking for a sweet romance pick it up. 
Thanks to Netgalley for the opportunity to read this in exchange for honest review.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Title:  Just One Damned Thing After Another
Author: Jodi Taylor
Available:  Now
Genre:  Fantasy
Publisher:  Night Shade Books
Source:  Library

Rating:  5 star

"History is just one damned thing after another."

Behind the seemingly innocuous fa├žade of St Mary's, a different kind of historical research is taking place. They don't do 'time-travel' - they 'investigate major historical events in contemporary time'. Maintaining the appearance of harmless eccentrics is not always within their power - especially given their propensity for causing loud explosions when things get too quiet.

Meet the disaster-magnets of St Mary's Institute of Historical Research as they ricochet around History. Their aim is to observe and document - to try and

find the answers to many of History's unanswered questions...and not to die in the process. But one wrong move and History will fight back - to the death. And, as they soon discover - it's not just History they're fighting.

Follow the catastrophe curve from 11th-century London to World War I, and from the Cretaceous Period to the destruction of the Great Library at Alexandria. For wherever Historians go, chaos is sure to follow in their wake...

This book is a treasure of fun and time travel and a little romance and hilarity and a page turning can't wait to see what happened...what?  There's a second book?  kind of a book!  This book left me satisfied yet wanting more all at the same time  It's a great way to while away a summer afternoon (you may want to have the whole series at hand) binge reading.  There were so many times when I was laughing so hard and I seldom do that with any books.  Ms. Taylor has now become an auto buy author for me (and I don't do too many of those)!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Title: Liar
Author: K. L. Slater
Publisher: Bookouture
Pub date: June 16, 2017
Rating: 4 stars

Single dad Ben is raising his two sons alone, with the help of his parents.  He meets Amber and everyone but his mother, Judi thinks it's a great match. The two women dislike each other immensely and no one can figure out why. Secrets start to emerge and someone is going to get hurt.

Psychological thriller that exceeds expectations.  Your brain doesn't know who to root for, the back and forth kept me in suspense even as the story played out to the bitter end.  While I was able to discern some truth during the story, there was always something small that shook my beliefs and made me question those truths.  Very much a page turner with the POV being between the two women in the story.  Never had a problem figuring out was 'talking'.  Great read and would recommend if you are a fan of mind game books.

Thanks to Netgalley for review copy in exchange for honest review.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Catching the Wind

Title: Catching the Wind
Author: Melanie Dodson
Publisher: Tyndall
Pub date: May 9, 2017

Stars: 4.5
Genre: Christian Historical Fiction

That question has haunted Daniel Knight since he was thirteen, when he and ten-year-old Brigitte escaped the Gestapo agents who arrested both their parents. They survived a harrowing journey from Germany to England, only to be separated upon their arrival. Daniel vowed to find Brigitte after the war, a promise he has fought to fulfill for more than seventy years.

Now a wealthy old man, Daniel's final hope in finding Brigitte rests with Quenby Vaughn, an American journalist working in London. He believes Quenby's tenacity to find missing people and her personal investment in a related WWII espionage story will help her succeed where previous investigators have failed. Though Quenby is wrestling her own demons--and wary at the idea of teaming up with Daniel's lawyer, Lucas Hough--the lure of Brigitte's story is too much to resist. Together, Quenby and Lucas delve deep into the past, following a trail of deception, sacrifice, and healing that could change all of their futures.

Review:  What a wonderful historical fiction tale based on the realities of WW2 and those who weren't all that they may seem.  The way the stories were woven together made for an enjoyable read.  Even though the story went back and forth between the past and present, it wasn't hard to keep the stories straight.  The suspense was built up gradually, just enough to keep the pages turning.  This is a great showcase of God's answering or not answering prayers in His timeline.  The research that went into this novel is beyond comprehension, Ms. Dobson proved once again she can deliver a great story with a message!

Thanks to Tyndall and Netgalley for the book in exchange for a honest review.  This is on my to buy list for sure though!