Monday, July 30, 2018

November 9 by Colleen Hoover

This was my first Colleen Hoover. I picked it up on Book Outlet because I've seen her books all over bookstagram and this was the one that interested me the most. I figured it would be a perfect summer read and it hit the spot in that regard.

Overall, I don't really know how to feel about this book. It was a young adult type romance. It's about a girl and a boy who meet on the day she is moving away. They decide to meet up every November 9th for that day only. She can't fall in love till she's 23 and he is willing to wait. I'm making it so much simpler than it is because I really don't want to spoil anything.

I loved the idea though. It went along how I was hoping it would. There was some drama, some hot and heavy bits that I was so there for. It was good. I just don't know if I like how it all ended up.

What started out for me like a sweet book about two young people who are trying to be themselves and live their lives without changing for a serious relationship turned into something else. There's a whole other level the author added in that just kind of threw me and I don't know how I feel about it.

It was an okay book, but it didn't wow me in the same way other people have been saying it's wowed them. I think I would read more of her work, but I think it would have to be something I get from the library.

Honestly, this book was a out of character for me as far as what I read. I'm not a huge fan of romance to begin with and I typically stay away from all contempory young adult books as well because I know I won't love them like I'd love something else.

It was an easy read that I finished in a couple hours while out at a cabin enjoying some relaxation time. This book is totally a summer read, it's easy, it's got romance, and it's nothing too serious.

Recommendation: For the fans of Colleen Hoover of course, for fans of love stories, for triumphing over strife, fans of easy romantic type of reads, this is for you!

Saturday, July 28, 2018

The Crow Trap by Anne Cleeves

This is the first book in the Vera Stanhope series. I was not aware of this series or the author before reading this book. I've since learned that it was made into a t.v. series and it's part of a bigger series.

I picked this book up on my Kobo with a coupon, I believe. It was one of the oh so many recommendations that Kobo loves to give, and seeing as it's a British mystery (spoiler alert: I love British mysteries) I picked it up for next to nothing.

This book took me quite a long time to read. I tend to read e-books at work on my lunch break and occasionally late at night when I can't sleep. Because of this, I was reading this book for quite a long time.

Parts of it felt a little long winded and a little too detailed about things I didn't feel were important to the main story. It did pick up at the end though and I enjoyed the twists and turns the story took to solve the mystery.

I was a little surprised to learn that this was the first one in the series, because that is when you first meet the detective that will become the centre point of the series and I felt like I didn't get enough of her to connect with, that she wasn't the centre of it for me, that she didn't thrill me enough to make me run to the library for the second book.

This book follows three women who come together to do an environmental survey on some land. For one of the woman, the owner of a cottage on this land is a friend, and upon arrival, she finds her friend dead. There are secrets, lies, and many things that are not as they seem.

It's definitely a complex book, and even though it wasn't my absolute favourite, I do think I might pick another book up in this series at the library if I come across one. I will say that a lot of my feelings about this book might have to do with how I read it in little fits and starts here and there over a long period of time.

Recommendation: Check this out for yourself for sure, especially if you've got a hankering for British mysteries like I do.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

I'm actually really surprised that I haven't posted my review for this book yet! The next one is already out and I haven't yet got my hands on it, but I hope to fix that soon!

For those of you who haven't grabbed this one up yet, it's a little like Alice in Wonderland if it was written for a more grown up audience, full of intrigue and secrets, with a little bit of real life pain and romance thrown in.

It was so clear that we don't actually know everything even though it was perhaps supposed to feel like we did. We are told things aren't like they should be, but do we listen? I found myself thinking logically and getting totally surprised (which I love). There's so much more waiting under the surface of this story that needs to be unveiled. I am so glad there's a second one because by the end of this, I had so many questions and I need to know more!

There were moments that felt a little long though, mostly about how long it took the main character to actually get things together and find her own power within herself, but once she did, it was great. Totally a book you need to go into with the goal of finishing it because it's really worth it.

The ending was not what I was expecting, but because so much of the nature of Caraval is not what it seems, there's no real way you can go into this book expecting anything. You just have to be ready to go for a ride and take it how it comes. That being said, even though the end wasn't what I was expecting, it was still really neat.

I think it was really well written, it accomplished all it set out to do and its totally worth a read!

Recommendation: Read this. It's different and weird and cool all at the same time. For fantasy readers, the ones who like everything to be a bit weird and secretive, for those who just want to be swept away for a little while.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

The Black Box by Michael Connolly

I have been meaning to post my review on the whole Lincoln Lawyer series by this author. In the mean time I'm going to talk about one of his other books focusing on Detective Harry Bosch, the other main character who appears in most of the other writings by Michael Connolly.

As a fan on Robert B. Parker I am no stranger to the hard luck detective type who is rough and gruff and out there to help the distressed. I dig it. But.... I am a little tired of the always-in-trouble-can't-handle-authority-everyone-is-out-to-get-me cop thing. Sadly, Harry is the poster boy for that whole literary plot line/device. 

This book was okay. It picked up by the end actually, and I really liked how the mystery turned out. My biggest problem was with the beginning and a good chunk of the middle. It felt like it was a lot of worrying and dragging your feet kind of thing happening that didn't really keep my attention.

I do enjoy this author and I do enjoy his writing style, it's just hard sometimes to connect to his characters. They just feel so stereotypical sometimes! 

This story was about a woman who was murdered years ago, but the case wasn't solved. New clues resurface and Harry gets a chance to make things right and solve the murder. There's a lot of covering up, some military secrets, some undercover investigation, all the good stuff of an American cop mystery. Wasn't half bad.

Recommendation: If you enjoy American cop stories about the "bad boys" of the law who solve the tough mysteries, then I think you'll like this. 

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

I might live under a bit of a rock. When it comes to having read the popular books before they end up being made into t.v. shows and movies, I am way behind. I am never on top of these things till way after everyone else has read and watched them.

Case in point: Big Little Lies. A big chunk of the reason I only just got to watching the show was because I was confusing it with the name of some other show I really didn't want to see. It wasn't until I realized that Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman were in it that I had any interest.

While I was on vacation in North Carolina, I picked up this book on sale in a Barnes and Noble (which was totally cool to finally go to one of those book stores!!) and I figured I would give it a try.

Well, let me just tell you I read the whole thing in one sitting. Took me around 3 hours. Then I went right to my t.v. and binged the entire first season, all in one day.

The book is good. It's weirdly interesting. It's just a story about some people and what's going on in their lives. It's a bit of a mystery, it's a bit of a drama, it's a bit of suspense. Pure, honest, and real drama on the page.

Like if you break the book down in it's barest parts its just a few weeks in the lives of a group of women. So basic, yet so rich and colorful and riveting.

I was stuck to the page. I needed to know what was going to happen next. I needed to know who got murdered, and what that was going to mean. It was not really like a lot of other books that I've read before and I am really glad I snapped it up when I did.

The t.v. show, however, was a little lacking for me. Obviously, that's because we all know the book is better. How could it not be? Some of the choices with adding in extra storylines and then how the ending was executed left me a little sad, but overall, I think it was done well. I'm guessing some of the additions and such were done because they wanted to feed the flames for a second season. Which I know I'm going to watch because I'm in it now. There's no going back.

Recommendation: For fans of this author, for fans of murderous stories about average people, for the lovers of drama. This is for you. Sidenote: If you've watched the show and didn't love it, read the book. The book is always better!

Friday, July 20, 2018

Better Off Wed by Laura Durham

I grabbed this one for free a couple months ago as an ebook. I am a huge fan of BookBub and I always look forward to the deals that appear in my inbox. Especially when I'm trying to save money.

Anyway, this was a super cute looking cozy mystery that I snapped up and read fairly quickly.

It's about a wedding planner named Annabelle Archer who finds herself involved in murder. During a wedding she had planned, she finds the bride's terrible mother dead on the floor under suspicious circumstances and her friend and sometimes business partner is the one who ends up under  investigation!

There's humour, romance, intrigue, and of course good old fashion mystery in this one. It's totally a cozy mystery, so it's easy to read but involving at the same time.

I really liked this one. It was a little different than some of the other cozy mysteries that I find myself reading. A lot of the cozies I read revolve around someone and their family with a love triangle and a little shop on the small town street. Since this one only had one romantic interest and didn't involve family of the main character, it was different.

I liked this one, and I think that if I came across more of these at the library or as a super cheap ebook I would pick it up. Like most cozies, I tend to read through them quite fast and it makes more sense for my bank account if I don't collect them as real books on my shelf.

Recommendation: For the lovers of cozy mysteries with a bit of humour. This one is for you.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

The Jackaby Series by William Ritter

This series was a total cover buy from Book Outlet a while back. I feel like I knew about this series but forgot about it along the way. The covers though, are just so cool.

The series is the Jackaby series, but it's told from the point of view of his new protege Abigail Rook. Abigail Rook is a girl just looking for adventure in 1892. She travels around the world and crosses paths with a man who goes by R. F. Jackaby, completely by accident shortly after she arrives. She's looking for work to fund her new life and he's got a job on offer.

Jackaby is a private detective that solves cases that involve the supernatural. Jackaby is like a cross between Sherlock Holmes and Newt Scamander. There's ghosts, trolls, fairies, shape shifters, and everything else you can imagine. He's as awkward and strange as Sherlock, if Sherlock could see all manners of the supernatural.
This series follows a pattern of events that all coalesce into the fourth novel with the need to stop the mastermind that's been behind what's been going on in the town of New Fiddleham. They cross down into the underworld to help a very dear friend who happens to be a ghost, attend a dig and stop a dragon. All good and wonderful things. Of course,  the culmination is the usual save the world type of mission, but who doesn't love that.

There's a whole big cast of interesting creatures and people who show up and help Jackaby and Abigail stop the danger from getting out of control that appear throughout the series. There's a little bit of romance, a little bit of dealing with a broken heart, and the whole third floor of their building looks like a local park complete with a water feature and a resident duck.

I enjoyed this series. It was easy to read, interesting and kept me coming back for more. It's a young adult series, but it didn't feel like I was reading a young adult book, which I always love.

I gave the first three books 4 stars, but I only gave the last one 3. It was the ending. It was a good ending but everything got flipped on it's side and then it just ends. Like it was a good ending, but there's so much more room for more now and it kills me that the series ends here. Well, as far as I know it's done. If it somehow turns out not to be done I will be overjoyed. The author just put a whole bunch of really cool things in motion in the last like 10 pages of the series and then it's just over. I want more! Still good though!

For fans of Sherlock and Fantastic Beasts. If you like supernatural things and mysteries, you'll love these!

Monday, July 2, 2018

June Wrap Up!

This month felt like it was a big reading month, but it was actually pretty average for me. Most of these books were read in one day or in two days which possibly made me feel like I read more than I did.

I was on a bit of a thriller and easy read hunt this past month and I made it through 4 books.

My Husband's Wife ⭐⭐⭐⭐
This was a thriller I came across about a year ago but just picked up recently. It's a slow burning one, but one that kept me stuck to the page. I read this in two days.

Behind Closed Doors ⭐⭐⭐
Definitely an interesting thriller. You know right from the start a lot of the main details so it's not much of a twist to the ending, but it's still a page turner

Big Little Lies ⭐⭐⭐⭐
I enjoyed this one. Read it in one day, then went and binged the whole first season of the show that night. Not my usual read, but I liked it. And yes, the book was better!

November 9 ⭐⭐⭐
This was part of my need to read new things and break out of my reading habits. I've never read a Colleen Hoover before this, and although I was glued to the page, it was an okay easy read, I read it in one sitting. Didn't wow me like I was hoping.

Full and detailed reviews will be up soon (hopefully!) if you'd like to know more!