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Monthly Archives: July 2012

Review – The Missing – Chris Mooney

The Missing
Author: Chris Mooney
Series: Book 1 in the Darby McCormick series

Narrator: Bernadette Dunne
Run Time: 8hrs 23 minutes

Book Description:
Darby McCormack was in high school when she first encountered the killer: someone murdered a woman in the woods where Darby and her two best friends were partying. His race to silence the witnesses was sure-footed and violent – but somehow Darby survived.
Twenty-five years later, Darby is a crime-scene investigator for the Boston Police Department, and a chilling case – a woman’s late-night abduction – has her uncovering strange leads to missing women, past and present. As forensic clues lead her closer to a psychopath called the Traveler, Darby must finally resolve the nightmare of her past and come face-to-face with a killer who is determined to keep the missing – and the horrors they endured at his hands – from ever coming to light.

Review
I likely never would have picked up this book if I hadn’t been playing around with a book recommendation book online. The Missing showed up as a book that readers who enjoyed Shadow Man by Cody MacFayden and since I enjoyed that one, I figured that I would try it. It also worked well because I am making it a goal of mine to try a wider range of audiobook narrators rather than sticking to my tried and true favorites and I had never listened to the narrator before.

Similar to Shadow Man, The Missing focuses on a female mc who has suffered a tragedy in her life – this one when she was a teenager. (But as a random thought, why is it that so many female main characters in these mystery/thriller/suspense books have suffered some kind of massive tragedy that makes them a crusader for good, why can’t they just choose to do that…but that is a thought for another time). Anyways, back to the book – Darby is now a crime scene investigator and solving current crimes as well as the one from her past.

At first I thought I had figured out who the bad guy was going to be, but I completely discounted the person who it turned out to be – you know, one of these days, i’ll start listening to the little voice on my shoulder. I am kind of tempted to re-listen in the future and see if I feel differently.

This was the first time that I had listened to Bernadette Dunne as a narrator and it likely won’t be the last. I felt that she had a good range of vocal inflections for the various voices – but at the same time – the cast of the book was rather limited as compared to other ones I have listened to, so I don’t know how she would have done with a wider range of characters, but I’ll be looking out for more done narrated by her in the future.

 
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Posted by on July 31, 2012 in Book Review

 

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Recommend A….First Book in a Series

The Name of the Star – Maureen Johnson
September 29, 2011 from Putnam Juvenile
Hardcover – 372 pages
Available from Amazon here: The Name of the Star (Shades of London)

The day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London marks a memorable occasion. For Rory, it’s the start of a new life at a London boarding school. But for many, this will be remembered as the day a series of brutal murders broke out across the city, gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper events of more than a century ago.


I love books that use Jack the Ripper as a plot because even now over a century later, the mystery behind him hasn’t been solved – although there are many hypotheses. So for me reading a YA book with a Jack the Ripper twist was interesting and I was immediately drawn into Rory’s story. Unfortunately, the second book in the series isn’t scheduled to be released until 2013 (although it is supposed to be early in the year). But I am tracking on its release and can’t wait to see what the author does next.

 
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Posted by on July 30, 2012 in Blog Hop, Recommend A...

 

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Feature & Follow (1)

Q: Summer Reading. What was your favorite book that you were REQUIRED to read when you were in school?

I did my best to boycott many of the assigned reading books in high school – I hated them with a passion…in fact, I remember being placed in a remedial group at one stage because I hadn’t read the assigned book – even though I could discuss it…to this day, I haven’t read that book and don’t know if I ever will. (FWIW the book was I am David by Anne Holm). That being said, I had a hard time deciding on which was my favorite, so I’m putting two (heck, I’ve always been a rule-bender…)

The Diary of Anne Frank is what kicked off my interest in the Holocaust and studying different aspects of it – after completing it, I wrote 2 major high school assignments (English and History) on the Holocaust as well as taking an elective history college in college on it. It is a time period in history that I continue to be interested in to this day

Mr Atticus…need I say more ;) But seriously, TKAM was just one of those books – I can’t describe why I enjoyed it as much as I did, but I did.

 
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Posted by on July 27, 2012 in Blog Hop, FEature & Follow

 

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The Book Reviewer is in

Accepted Books / eBooks for Review:

The Gingerbread House – Carin Gerhardsen – Review Copy from Netgalley

In a short space of time, several bestial murders occur in central Stockholm. When criminal investigator Conny Sjöberg and the Hammarby police begin to suspect that there’s a link between the murders, Sjöberg goes completely cold. There is a killer out there whose motives are very personal, and who will not be deterred.The Gingerbread House by Carin Gerhardsen is the first in the Hammarby series, thrillers with taut, suspenseful plots and unexpected twists and turns.
 
 
 
Dead Ringer – Allen Wyler – Review Copy from Publisher

While speaking at a Hong Kong medical conference, neurosurgeon Dr. Lucas McCrae slips the cloth off a cadaver’s head during a routine medical demonstration, and is overwhelmed with the shock by what’s staring back at him: His best friend, Andy Baer.
Stunned, McCrae races back to Seattle to discover that Andy is in fact missing and may have been murdered by a gang of body snatchers who operate a legit funeral business and make a fortune by selling recovered body parts to medical researchers.
McCrae teams up with an unlikely pair—a beautiful but hardnosed female cop and a gang member whose family was victimized by the body parts ring—to try and expose a macabre web of corruption that involves law enforcement, politicians, funeral home curators and murdered prostitutes.
 
 
Timeless Desire – Gwyn Cready – Review Copy from Publisher

Two years after losing her husband, overworked librarian Panna Kennedy battles to distract herself from crushing Grief, even as she battles to deal with yet another library budget cut. During a routine search within the library’s lower levels, Panna opens an obscure, pad-locked door and finds herself transported to the magnificent, book-filled quarters of a handsome, eighteenth-century Englishman.
 
 
 
 
Cold Comfort – Quentin Bates – Review Copy from Audiobook Jukebox Solid Gold Reviewer Program

Officer Gunnhildur, recently promoted from her post in rural Iceland to Reykjavík’s Serious Crime Unit, is tasked with hunting down escaped convict Long Ommi, who has embarked on a spree of violent score-settling in and around the city. Meanwhile, she’s also investigating the murder of a fitness guru in her own city-center apartment. As Gunna delves into the cases, she unearths some unwelcome secrets and influential friends shared by both guru and convict. Set in an Iceland plagued by an ongoing financial crisis, Gunna has to take stock of the whirlwind changes that have swept through the country—and the fact that at the highest levels of power, the system’s endemic corruption still leads, inevitably, to murder.

 
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Posted by on July 26, 2012 in Meme, The Book Reviewer Is In

 

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Recommend A… Book You Read This Year

Forbidden – Tabitha Suzuma
November 27, 2006 from Simon Pulse
Hardcover,
ISBN: 978-1442419957
Available from Amazon here: Forbidden

She is pretty and talented – sweet sixteen and never been kissed. He is seventeen; gorgeous and on the brink of a bright future. And now they have fallen in love. But… they are brother and sister.


I likely never would have picked up this book if it hadn’t been a voted on group read in YA-MA rated group on Goodreads – although it finally came into the library almost 3 months after the group had read it, so I was a bit behind. I’ve lost track now of how many times I have recommended this book to different people for different reasons. As of right now, I haven’t read any other books by Ms Suzuma, but when I can reduce Mt. TBR to a less significant pile, I am going to seek out some more.

 
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Posted by on July 23, 2012 in Blog Hop, Recommend A...

 

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Review – A Secret Affair – Mary Balogh

A Secret Affair
Author: Mary Balogh
Series: #5 in the Huxtable series

Narrator: Anne Flosnik
Running Time: 11 hrs 22 minutes

Book Description:
“The Devil was about to be tamed.” Her name is Hannah Reid. Born a commoner, she has been Duchess of Dunbarton ever since she was nineteen years old, the wife of an elderly duke to whom she has been rumored to be consistently and flagrantly unfaithful. Now the old duke is dead and, more womanly and beautiful than ever at thirty, Hannah has her freedom at last.

And she knows just what she wants to do with it. To the shock of a conventional friend, she announces her intention to take a lover—and not just any lover, but the most dangerous and delicious man in all of upper-class England: Constantine Huxtable.

Constantine’s illegitimacy has denied him the title of Earl, so now he denies himself nothing . . . or so the ton would have it. Rumored to be living the free and easy life of a sensualist in his country estate, he always chooses recent widows for his short-lived affairs. Hannah will fit the bill nicely.

But once these two passionate and scandalous figures find each other, they discover that it isn’t so easy to extricate oneself from the fires of desire—without getting singed. For the duchess and the dark lord each have startling secrets to reveal, and when all is said and done, neither will be able to say which one fell in love first, who tamed whom, and who has emerged from this game of hearts with the stronger hand.

Review
When we were first introduced to Con in the earlier books in the series, I couldn’t wait for his book to come out – or at least, hoped that his book was one day going to be released. I eagerly read the books about his 3 female cousins, and his male cousin – although, the book prior to this was a huge let-down and I very nearly didn’t pick up this last book in the series, for fear of the same – that the author would take a character I had waited patiently to see get his HEA and have it all go to hell…thankfully, she didn’t…so i am just going to pretend that book 4 was never written and wipe it from my memory ;)

I loved Con as a character, he was so damaged – the illegitimate son who missed out on being legitimate by all of 2 days (silly man, actually arriving early instead of late like most)…and then living in the shadow of his brother all his life until his death and the arrival of unknown cousins. If i was put in his situation I don’t know what I would have done. And then, there is Hannah – married at a young age to an old codger…ewww, but who is now a widower, rich and still young enough to start over…it was for me a perfect pairing. I really enjoyed the dynamics between them, as well as seeing Hannah integrated into Con’s family – his female cousins (with the exception of Vanessa) taking her in and accepting her. But it was also refreshing to see that she wasn’t the meek, mild woman that seems so often to be portrayed in regency romances. Seeing Con make up with the estranged side of his family – of course, which resulted from stupid actions taken by him – was also a bonus in the book. I was honestly starting to think that the author was going to end the series with them still not talking to each other.

When it came to the narration, I was really leery at first when I saw who the narrator was. In fact, I had been known in the past, to bypass any books done by Ms Flosnik because of a previous bad experience. But then I was reading a Speaking of Audiobooks column and saw how she had taken various critiques and criticism to heart and was trying to adapt her narration, so I figured I would give her a chance. I was pleasantly surprised. I liked the tone and intonation of her narration, as well as the various voices for the different characters. In fact, I really don’t have a lot of bad things to say about the narration in general – which is surprising for me – I really enjoyed it. I don’t know if I will go back and re-listen to any of her older stuff in the future, but at the same time, I won’t shy away from her newer stuff either.

 
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Posted by on July 23, 2012 in Book Review

 

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Review – What I Didn’t Say – Keary Taylor

What I Didn’t Say
Author: Keary Taylor
Publisher: Self-published/Createspace

Review Copy Provided by Author via NetGalley

Book Description:
Getting drunk homecoming night your senior year is never a good idea, but Jake Hayes never expected it all to end with a car crash and a t-post embedded in his throat.

His biggest regret about it all? What he never said to Samantha Shay. He’s been in love with her for years and never had the guts to tell her. Now it’s too late. Because after that night, Jake will never be able to talk again.

When Jake returns to his small island home, population 5,000, he’ll have to learn how to deal with being mute. He also finds that his family isn’t limited to his six brothers and sisters, that sometimes an entire island is watching out for you. And when he gets the chance to spend more time with Samantha, she’ll help him learn that not being able to talk isn’t the worst thing that could ever happen to you. Maybe, if she’ll let him, Jake will finally tell her what he didn’t say before, even if he can’t actually say it.

Review:
The first thing that caught my eye about What I Didn’t Say was the cover – I found the picture of the boy and girl facing each other, looking like they were whispering to each other to be intriguing. It made me want to know more, and then when I read the description, I was drawn in.

Drunk driving as a topic in YA books is always hard for me to digest because while I was growing up, my father was a fireman for the local fire service and he was often called out to car crashes, many of which involved drunk driving and while he didn’t often talk about it, I was able to gather enough information normally to form a picture of just how bad it was. So the images presented in What I Didn’t Say were really highlighted for me, I could visualize what happened to Jake when the car crashed and he was stabbed through the throat…and this is probably not an image that I want to see in my mind again anytime soon…

I loved seeing the characters grow and make mistakes through-out the book like normal teens do – it was refreshing to see. While I have been on a bit of a YA kick lately, it seems that either the teens in those books either have the appearance of being perfect or are so screwed up that nothing changes during the course of the book…so seeing Jake and Samantha develop and change over the course of the year was fun. I felt that the author did a good job developing the secondary characters – Jake’s parents, his siblings, friends at school…the only one that I truly wanted to bitch slap was Nora, the student body president – why is it that the popular kid that does a crappy job is always the one elected and not a quiet one who could do the job – I would have loved to have seen Samantha in that role.

However, no book is without its weaknesses, for me it was the fact that Jake was entering his senior year of high school and we knew that he wanted to join the AF and be a pilot…ok, well, from the descriptions within he was going to enlist…why was he not pushing to go to the Air Force Academy or ROTC…something which he would have had to have established prior to his senior year and that being said, why was he taking woodshop…that isn’t a class that would endear him to any college program where a strong science focus is needed – which is the way that most military programs are heading today (and yes, I say this from experience, I was in one of the last year groups where it was easy-ish to get a scholarship with a non-technical science degree..)

But that being said, after the accident and once the AF was out of the equation, I felt that the book was strong and engaging. I will definitely be looking for more books by the author in the future.

 
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Posted by on July 22, 2012 in Book Review

 

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Group Read/ Buddy Reads

Ok, so I’m a dork (but anyone who knows me already knows this), but I was thinking about maybe doing a series read/re-read of the Anne of Green Gables books (although I’ve already done the first one) and thought I might throw the idea out there of doing a group read.

It wouldn’t be anything serious – you can just read if you want, I’ll happily come up with some discussion questions if people want to discussion…we can spread it out over the course of a month or so (re-evaluate based on the book).

Would anyone out there be interested?

 
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Posted by on July 19, 2012 in Musings

 

Wishlist Wednesday and W…W…W…Wednesday – 18 July


Unwholly
Neal Shusterman
Release Date: August 28, 2012

Unwind by the same author was one of my favorite books in 2011 and one of the best YA dystopia’s I have read to date, so I was really excited to see that the sequel to it was due out in August of this year (since Unwind originally came out in 2008). Thankfully this means I only have another month and a bit left to wait until I get my hands on it ;) I hope that Shusterman can live up to Unwind, but it could be really hard to top it. Fingers crossed on it coming out close to a day off work so I can have a day of relaxation and reading


W…W…W.. Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by should Be Reading….

What are you currently reading? I am currently reading Never Fall Down (Patricia McCormick) and Code Name:Verity (Elizabeth Wein), as well as What I Didn’t Say (Keary Taylor)
What did you recently finish reading? I just finished reading Anne of Green Gables (LM Montgomery) , Ride With Me (Ruthie Knox) and XVI (Julia Karr)
What do you think you’ll read next? I have Moonglass (Jessi Kirby) and Kiss the Morning Star (Elissa Janine Hoole)
next on the pile

 
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Posted by on July 18, 2012 in Blog Hop, W W W Wednesday, Wishlist Wednesday

 

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Recommend A… Book by a Male Author

Unwind
Author: Neal Shusterman

Book Description:
The Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights. The chilling resolution: Life is inviolable from the moment of conception until age thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, parents can have their child “unwound,” whereby all of the child’s organs are transplanted into different donors, so life doesn’t technically end. Connor is too difficult for his parents to control. Risa, a ward of the state is not enough to be kept alive. And Lev is a tithe, a child conceived and raised to be unwound. Together, they may have a chance to escape and to survive.

Why I Recommend This Book:
When you look at the variety of YA books available nowadays, there is an abundance of dystopia type books, but for the most part, they don’t get as in depth into the various issues as adult books in the same genre do, with the exception of Unwind. I picked this up randomly based on a new recommendation search engine that I was trying out and was blown away. The level of detail and development that Shusterman put into the world is unlike anything I have come across recently, and there is one chapter that will blow any reader away. A co-worker of mine recently picked it up and asked me if I had read it – I told her yes and then just said, there is one chapter that is soo screwed up, but didn’t say anything more…when she got to it, she knew exactly what I was talking about. This is a book that I hope more kids read – I ended up staying up all night reading it (which made for a very long day at work the next). I can’t wait for the second book to come out in September (after a near 4 year hiatus) and hope that it will live up to the first

 
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Posted by on July 16, 2012 in Recommend A...

 

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