Monday, July 16, 2018

Burning Ridge by Margaret Mizushima

Started: 6/29/18
Finished: 7/15/18
Year: 2018
Pages: 280
Genre: Mystery
Grade: B
Reason for reading: review for MyShelf.com
Blurb (from back cover): "Colorado's Redstone Ridge is a place of extraordinary beauty, but this rugged mountain wilderness harbors a horrifying secret. When a charred body is discovered in a shallow grave on the ridge. Officer Mattie Cobb and her K-9 partner Robo are called in to spearhead the investigation. But this is no ordinary crime-and it son becomes clear that Mattie has a close, personal connection to the dead man.
"Joined by local veterinarian Cole Walker, the pair scours the mountaintop for evidence and makes another gruesome discovery: the skeletonized remains of two adults and a child. And then, the unthinkable happens. Could Mattie become the next victim in the murderer's deadly game?
"A deranged killer torments Mattie with a litany of dark secrets that call into question her very identity. As a towering blaze races across the ridge, Cole and Robo search desperately for her."
Opinion: I have not read the previous books in this series but I will be on the search for them. I was quickly swept into the story and the characters. For a more thorough review, please find it on MyShelf.com

Sunday, July 08, 2018

A Wedding in December by Anita Shreve

Started: 6/12/18
Finished: 7/7/18
Year: 2005
Pages: 325
Genre: Fiction
Grade: C
Reason for reading: participant in bookray through Bookcrossing.com
Blurb (from book jacket): "At an inn in the Berkshire Mountains of western Massachusetts, seven former schoolmates gather for a wedding.
"Bridget, the mother of a fifteen-year-old boy, is marrying Bill-who was her lover at Kidd Academy years ago-after a chance encounter has brought them together again. Nora, the owner of the inn, has agreed to host this reunion of her old friends, a group that was once close as only high school friends can be but was scattered by a tragedy that occurred just before graduation.
"It is a disparate crew that gathers in the gorgeous winter light. Bridget faces uncertainties about her health and her future that have made this wedding all the more urgent. Nora has recently had to reinvent her life following the death of her renowned husband. Harrison, who still hears echoes from the tragic event at Kidd twenty-seven years ago, has made a life and family for himself in Toronto but is now drawn to Nora even more strongly than he was in the past. These four join Jerry, now a Wall Street banker with a disdainful wife; Rob, a well-loved concert pianist, and his love, Josh; and Agnes, a history teacher at Kidd Academy who longs to tell a secret she has sworn never to reveal.
"Throughout the wedding weekend, the guests uncover the choices and chances that have transformed them in the years since high school, and delve for the first time into what really happened the night that changed all their lives. Even as these dramas unfold, Agnes tells another tale, that of the terrible explosion that devastated the city of Halifax during World War I. One young surgeon's feats of heroism during this cataclysm resonate powerfully with present-day events, as he deals with undreamed-of exigencies and makes an agonizing choice between passion and loyalty."
Opinion: The main story of the reunion of former high school classmates was okay but could have been better. There was no point at all to Agnes' story of the surgeon. I didn't understand the point as I read it and then skimmed through it from middle to end, or after letting the book soak in after I finished it.  The character development could have been stronger. It could have allowed readers to love or hate the characters instead of just floating through the story.

Thursday, July 05, 2018

Solitude Creek by Jeffery Deaver

Started: 6/1/18
Finished: 7/4/18
Year: 2015
Pages: 579
Genre: Thriller/Mystery
Grade: B
Reason for reading: grabbed off TBR shelf
Blurb (from back cover): "A tragedy occurs at a small concert venue on the Monterey Peninsula. Cries of 'fire' are raised and, panicked, people run for the doors, only to find them blocked. Some of the concertgoers die in the ensuing rush, scores are seriously injured. But it's the panic and the stampede that killed them; there was no fire.
"Kathryn Dance-a brilliant California Bureau of Investigation agent and body language expert-discovers that the stampede was caused intentionally and that the perpetrator, a man obsessed with turning peoples own fears into weapons, has more attacks planned. She and her team must race against the clock to find where he will strike next before more innocents die."
Opinion: This was a standard Deaver book featuring Dance. Some interesting twists involving Dance's family that wasn't expected. The plot was interesting in how a person used people's own fears to kill. Any fan of Deaver will appreciate this book.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Rainy Day Friends by Jill Shavis

Started: 5/30/18
Finished: 6/25/18
Year: 2018
Pages: 358
Genre: Romance/Chick Lit
Grade: A
Reason for reading: review for LibraryThing.com
Blurb (from back cover): "Six months after Lanie Jacobs's husband's death, it's hard to imagine anything could deepen her sense of pain and loss. But then Lanie discovers she isn't the only one grieving his sudden passing. A serial adulterer, he left behind several other women, each of whom, like Lanie, believed she was legally wedded wife.
"Rocked by the infidelity, Lanie is left to grapple with searing questions. How could she be so wrong about a man she though she knew better than anyone? Will she ever be able to trust another person? Can she even trust herself?
"Desperate to make a fresh start, Lanie impulsively takes a job at the family-run Capriotti Winery. At first, she feels like an outside among the boisterous Capriottis. With no real family of her own, she's bewildered by how quickly they all take her under their wing and make her feel like she belongs. Especially Mark Capriotti, a gruff, handsome Air Force veteran turned deputy sheriff who manages to wind his way into Lanie's cold, broken heart-along with the rest of the clan.
"Everything is finally going well for her, but the arrival of River Brown changes all that. The fresh-faced twenty-one-year-old seems as sweet as they come...until her dark secrets come to light-secrets that could destory the new life Lanie's only just begun to build."
Opinion: This was a refreshing and fun read. I don't read a lot of Chick Lit/Romance books but this one hit the spot and I would highly recommend it. The characters are well developed and hit me hard.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

The Perfume Burned His Eyes by Michael Imperioli

Started: 5/29/18
Finished: 5/29/18
Year: 2018
Pages: 253
Genre: Fiction
Grade: C
Reason for reading: review for MyShelf.com
Blurb (from book jacket): "Matthew is a sixteen-year-old living in Jackson Heights, Queens, in 1976. After he loses his two most important male role models, his father and grandfather, his more uses her inheritance to uproot Matthew and herself to a posh apartment building in Manhattan. Atlhough only three miles away from his oyhood home, 'the city' is a completely new and strange world to Matthew.
"Matthew soon befriends (and becomes a factorum of sorts to) Lou REed, who lives with his transgender girlfiend Rachel in the same building. The artistic-shamanic rocker eventually becomae an unorthodox father figure to Matthew, who finds himself head over heels for the mysterious Veronica, a wise-beyond-her-years girl he meets at his new school.
"Written from the pont of view of Matthew at age eighteen, two years after th story beigns, teh novel concludes with an eplilogue in the year 2013, three days after Lou Reed's death, with Matthew in his fifties.
Opinion: I love Michael Imperioli's acting but his writing needs work. Each chapter jumped time lines and story lines...basically two stories in one. For a more complete review, please check out MyShelf.com

Saturday, May 26, 2018

XO by Jeffery Deaver

Started: 12/15/17
Finished: 5/23/18
Year: 2012
Pages: 468
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Grade: B
Reason for reading: grabbed off TBR shelf
Blurb (from back cover): "Country-pop ingenue Kayleigh Towne's career is just reaching new heights with her huge hit single 'Your Shadow'-but fame is also bringing unwanted attention. An innocent exchange with a fan leads Kayleigh into the dangerous and terrifying realm of obsession, and when California Bureau of Investigation agent Kathryn Dance intervenes on the singer's behalf, she draws the admirer's ominous attention to herself. Then a member of Kayleigh's road crew is murdered in an eerie echo of her chart-topping song. As Kathryn Dance races to stop the stalker with her considerable skills of investigation and body-language analysis, she soon discovers that Kayleigh has ore than one frightening fan with a mission...."
Opinion: I have been in the process of reading all of Deaver's works, in order, no less. This is not one of Lincoln Rhyme's books but Lincoln does make an appearance. Like most Deaver's books, he includes a twist that most readers would not be expecting. I felt that the ending dragged a little too long and it was because of this twist. The twist was a good one, but I feel like it could have been done earlier and make the book more concise. Overall, an enjoyable read and most of Deaver's fans will enjoy it.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Watch Me by Jody Gehrman

Started: 3/9/18
Finished: 5/8/18
Year: 2018
Pages: 308
Genre: Thriller
Grade: B+
Reason for reading: Review for MyShelf.com
Blurb (from back cover): "Kate Youngblood is disappearing. Muddling through her late thirties as a creative writing professor at Blackwood College, she's dangerously close to never being noticed again. The follow-up novel to her successful debut tanked. Her husband left her for a woman ten years younger. She's always been bright, beautiful, independent, and a little wild, but now her glow is starting to vanish. She's heading into an age where her eyes are less blue, her charm worn out, and soon no one will ever truly look at her, want to know her, again.
"Except one."
"Sam Grist is Kate's most promising student. An unflinching writer with razor-sharp clarity who gravitates toward dark themes and twisted plots, Sam has a raw talent that Kate wants to nurture into literary success. But he's not there solely to be the best writer. He's been watching her. Wanting her. Working his way to her for years.
"As Sam slowly makes his way into Kate's life, they enter a deadly web of dangerous lies and forbidden desire. But how far will his fixation go? And how far will she allow it?"
Opinion: This book started off very strong and roped me in quickly. The story is told by both main characters and it was well written. For a more complete review, please check out MyShelf.com