Friday, March 31, 2017

Review: Mug Shot

Mug Shot Mug Shot by Caroline Fardig
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A really fun mystery with a lot of antics and action. I enjoyed the characters and the mystery.

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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Review: The Last Chance Matinee

The Last Chance Matinee The Last Chance Matinee by Mariah Stewart
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Review: Last Chance Matinee by Mariah Stewart

What this book is about: This story follows the lives of three woman who discover that they are sister after their fathers dies and leaves behind a dying wish, a family legacy and a big family secret. When Agent to the stars Fritz Hudson passes away he leaves behind a will that draws together his three daughters, from two wives who never knew the other existed, and gives them a challenge to gain access to their inheritance, something they each need for different reasons. To earn their inheritance they must work together to restore an old theater that is part of their family legacy.

What I thought: I adored this book. The characters were well done, each with vastly different personalities and problems and the plot was well thought out. I enjoy stories that feature building renovations and this one was well done, including just enough about the renovation and building to keep things interesting but not over doing it. I also loved the budding romances and the complicated lives of each of the supporting characters. Just enough background to give them depth but not so much that I lost interest. Overall I found the book to be charming and lovely. I am looking forward to the next book in the series!

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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Review: Once and for All

Once and for All Once and for All by Sarah Dessen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There is just something about a book from Sarah Dessen that will give you all the feels. I have read and loved so many of her books that I go in knowing that I will probably laugh and cry and have a book hangover at the end. This book is no different.

This story has some truly magical elements and I want to tell you all about them. I'm not going to though. I don't want to spoil anything about this. There are weddings, shenanigans, love, heartbreak and some pretty profound moments. I love the main characters and all of the supporting ones to. I enjoyed the wedding aspect and all the stress and sillyness that went along with it. One of my favorite things about her books are the familiar faces and tiny little details that show up from previous books. I love hearing the names of characters I have connected with in the past, it makes me smile every time I find one.

If you enjoyed any previous Sarah Dessen novels, you will love this one. If you haven't read any of her books and you enjoy ya books (though really these are so much more than a genre might lead you to believe), then you should read this book and check out her previous books. All of them are standalones so no worries about order.

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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Review: Murder at the Fortune Teller's Table

Murder at the Fortune Teller's Table Murder at the Fortune Teller's Table by Janet Finsilver
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Murder at the Fortune Teller’s Table is the third book in the Kelly Jackson Mystery series but Janet Finsilver and although I haven’t yet read the first two book I still thoroughly enjoyed the book. It was a great example of what a cozy mystery is. The story takes place in a small town in Northern California and is based primarily in a small bed and breakfast. I enjoyed the quirky characters and found the main character to be quite likeable. The mystery was realistic and multi layered with a great cast of suspects that kept me guessing until the end. Overall I gave the book 3.5/5 stars and would recommend it to other fans of cozy mystery novels.

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Friday, March 3, 2017

Review: The Roanoke Girls

The Roanoke Girls The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Roanoke Girls tells the story of Lane’s life from the time she is fifteen to when she is thirty and grown. The story is told in two different timelines. Then, when as a teenager Lane came to live with her grandparents and cousin, who she never knew existed. And Now, when at the age of 30 Lane returns to find out what happened to her cousin, who has vanished.

Right away it is obvious that something isn’t quite right on the sprawling family estate. The big family secret around which the entire story is based is evident fairly on and is very disturbing. As another reviewer put it – ICK! That being said, the subject is handled well by the author and the story is told in a way that forces you to keep reading. It is hard to put the book down with so many unanswered questions floating around.

Overall, besides the disturbing subject matter, I enjoyed the book and the mystery was well done. Lane was an interesting character, though a bit messed up. If you like a good mystery, with dark family secrets and don’t mind a bit of taboo subject matter then you would probably enjoy this story.

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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Review: Bad Housekeeping: An Agnes and Effie Mystery

Bad Housekeeping: An Agnes and Effie Mystery Bad Housekeeping: An Agnes and Effie Mystery by Maia Chance
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Bad Housekeeping is story of 28-year-old Agnes Blythe who has just been dumped by her fiancé of 8 years and now has nowhere to live, no current job and basically nothing to her name since she somehow managed to leave it all in his apartment. So, now that she is completely down on her luck she agrees to help her eccentric aunt Effie renovate a crumbling old Inn. Before they have even gotten a chance to start though the body of a woman they both have had recent arguments with turns up dead in the inn. Both now suspects they set about trying to clear their names.

And thus begins a very long novel about these two slightly obnoxious characters driving around in a stolen car, and questioning everyone under the sun. It’s a good mystery, complete with lots of family drama and secrets but for me it was lacking a few things. For one thing Agnes was more than obnoxious about her weight. I felt like it was mentioned every few pages. Her low self-esteem also started to get on my nerves after a few chapters.

One of the reasons I was excited to read this book is that the main characters were renovating an old inn. I love stories where people are doing renovations and they often discover old secrets hidden in the building! There was little to no renovation in this book and I found that to be depressing. Hopefully the author will include a little more about that, and maybe a hidden secret or two, in her next book.

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Review: The Bone Witch

The Bone Witch The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco is a wonderful story that was told in a not so great way. The story begins when a girl name Tea accidently raises her brother from the dead through sheer force of will and then starts off on a journey to become a bone witch. Fascinating, right? And it is. Only the author takes a lot of the enjoyment out of the telling of this tale by over describing nearly every detail of the setting and fashion. Only a few chapters in my eyes began to glaze over whenever I got to the descriptions of what people were wearing.

The other issue I had with the book was how slow it was. Tea is a bone witch in training but spends the first year of said training being basically a maid and it was boring to read about. In addition the novel constantly jumps back and forth between the past and the future. It is told as though the main character is being interviewed and is telling the interviewer (in this case a bard) that story of what happened. These interludes were more interesting than large parts of the story and I can see how they were put in to tease the reader with what would happen in the future. For me though I didn’t enjoy trying to learn about the future world Tea lives in while still imagining the past. It pulled me out of the story instead of making me want to read more.

Overall I give the book 2.5 starts out of 5. I liked the writing style and I think the author had some unique ideas. I hope that the sequel is written with telling and far more showing.

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