Monday, September 26, 2022

Ruth Ware: The It Girl

Ruth Ware brings to question how well do you truly know your friends and loved ones:

Hannah Jones knows that she is out classed by most of the people at Oxford especially after meeting April for the first time. But April makes her feel special and Hannah knows that they are going to be best friends forever. That is until April is murdered in their dorm one night. Hannah is the key witness in the case and while she does not know what happened that night she does state that there was a porter who had been showing stalking like behavior. On the event Hannah presents John Neville is convicted of the murder and has just died in prison, where he has always claimed his innocence. With his death is the resurgence of media trying to get Hannah's POV and one reported is convinced that many stones were left unturned in her murder and now has questioning everything she thought she knew. Could a murderer still be out there?

This is the third book that I have read by Ware and well I made it through the book. Honestly, I only did that to see if I was right about who I thought murdered April and I was right. Did I waffle a bit while reading? Sure did but I knew the person I thought had killed her was involved some how.

To put it bluntly this book was just boring, with nothing happening especially in the present timeline. There was no suspense or atmospheric aspect that Ware has had in other books by her that I have read. Granted this is only the third book I have read by her  and I keep wanting her to capture what she had in The Turn of the Key. And just so readers of this know, I enjoy alternating timelines in books, it's one of my favourite writing styles when done right, but it felt like the present POV was not needed until the last 10%.

I think if this book was just along the last timeline and stuck to a who done it, with police interviews, friend pointing fingers at each other and how horrible April was to everyone would have been a more interesting story.

So I’m pretty sure I’m in the minority with this review, so make sure to read others if you are thinking of reading this book. I’ll probably try another book by Ware as I keep holding on to hope that the next one will be better. 

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Monday, September 19, 2022

Rachel Griffin: Wild is the Witch

Rachel Griffin, take readers to the wilderness chasing a curse that was never supposed to be released:

When Iris was forced to leave her old home, she vowed never to let anyone know that she was a witch again. This made her a loaner and isolated at the animal sanctuary her mom now owned but she was okay with that as she had her animal friends. When a student intern named Pike started working at the sanctuary it suddenly did not become the haven it had been before. In order to vent her frustration surrounding Pike she crafts a curse against him that she has no intention in casting, but at the last minute the curse is stolen by a bird. Now Iris must find the bird and remove the curse from within it or more than Pike will be in danger from the curse she cast.

This book is not my typical read as it is YA and more on the contemporary romance genre side, and really in a nut shell it is about a teenage girl who makes a decision that she instantly regrets. Now Griffin adds the aspect of Witches and Magic into the mix and makes it all into an intriguing story. It also helps that I think that this book was beautifully written. I felt that Griffin was able to bring me into the world and story with each word written.

I enjoyed the world that Griffin created and the idea that witches specialize in certain kind of magic and what a witch can influence; Humans, Nature or Animals. This allows them to influence those aspects in either positive or negative ways. They cannot right out command it but with the right amount of influence it can seem that way. The also have the ability to write spells and curses by this is not fully explored in the book, other than the plot aspect of it.

Iris specializes in Animals and this is perfect as she works at a nature sanctuary as it allows her and her mom to really connect with animals. Iris is a typical teenager that has suffered a loss of family and friendship and in order to protect herself she does not let anyone in, even the cute boy who teases her nonstop. She does not want anyone to know that she is a witch for fear of the hurt that it will bring her. This is especially felt when  Iris and Pike are alone in the forest searching for the Owl. All Iris really want is to belong.

While the suspense is not great in the book, I never felt like I was on the edge of my seat, you can feel how much Iris wants to make right for what she did. Also I was surprised at the path that Griffin took in the story

I really enjoyed this story, much more than I thought I would and I would recommend it to someone who would like an easy witchy read. If Griffin decides to continue Iris' story I would read another book with her as the main character, and if Griffin decides to revisit this world in another book I would read that too.

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Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Hannah Mary McKinnon: You Will Remember Me

Hannah Mary McKinnon shows how far people will go to make sure the one they love gets their memory back:

He wakes up on a deserted beach, and does not know who is or how he ended up on the beach, survival instincts take over and he knows he has to get off the beach and get warm. Lily wakes up and realizes that her boyfriend Jack never made it over last night and starts to panic when she is unable to find him. Maya has been hoping her step-brother Ash would come home one day after disappearing two years ago. Her hopes are raised when she receives a mysterious phone call. The problem is that Ash cannot remember anything, not even his name and he has two people who love him, but one is wanting him to make sure that some memories stay buried.

This is the first book that I have read by McKinnon and I enjoyed the book, I am a bit confused as to whether I was supposed to have it figured out within the first quarter of the book. I found it pretty obvious what was going to happen, so that is where my confusion is, like we were as the reader supposed to figure it out and wait for the other characters t catch up? If yes, this really took the suspense out of the book for me.

I really liked the format of this book, with having the three POV and that it worked better in the beginning before Ash got his name back as he was just the Man on the beach. I think that it hindered the book the farther into the books as it let the reader know what all of the characters were thinking and wanting to achieve, which took some of the suspense out of the book

The level of manipulation is off the charts in this book and I think that each of the characters take part in some form of it, whether they are aware of it or not. It was hard to read at times to read about what one of the characters were willing to do in order to get their way. It was interesting to see when Ash did not know who he was at the beginning listening to his instincts and what came to his mind right away.

This was going to be a 3 star read for me but I totally upped it to 3.5 just for the ending. Yes, McKinnon that is how you delivery an ending. I totally want to read more by her just for that ending and going a different road and not being the norm.

I'm excited for what McKinnon may be bringing to the table within the thriller/suspense genre and I look forward to reading another book by her.

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Thursday, September 8, 2022

Anne Bishop: Crowbones


This is the third book in a spin off series, so if you are wanting to start this series from the very beginning you will want to start with Written in Red (Also it is a fantastic book). This book will also set up the world that these book are in.

Anne Bishop is back in the world of the Other, and there is one Other out there that makes sure that the Others & Humans are behaving nicely:

If you cannot tell I have been reading this series for a long time, so that must mean that Bishop is doing something right to have me come back year after year to continue to read in this world, even in a spin off series. I think what I like most about this book and series, is the Badassness of the Others. They are at the top of the food change and are not afraid to hide it. Humans are referred to as meat several times in each book, and lets say some human bodies disappear along the way too. And the creepy voice that kept saying "Money Man Monkey Man, Crowbones is going to getcha" is probably the stuff of nightmares.

 I feel like Bishop toned down the multiple POV in this book, or I am just used to all the characters now. I personally like the well rounded view that this provides the book especially as there are so many different types of Others as well as a few good humans. It was interesting to see have some of the Elders have chapters have 

I will say that Bishop’s books in this series do follow a formula that works for it, but what I liked in this book that it was more than just humans trying to overthrow the Other with use of force, There was manipulation that was occurring and that minds of Others could be affected as well. The manipulation is done in such a way that you do wonder where the Humans got their information from, maybe something more is a foot that will be expressed in future books..

I really enjoyed this book and series, I was happy to be back in The Jumble but I do wonder how Bishop with bring The Jumble and Bennett together, as I really enjoyed Police Officer Jana in the second book. Though there is reference to the second book in this series as well.

I think fans of this series will enjoy this book as it does have elements that are similar to the ones before it, but yet it felt fresh at the same time. I look forward to the next book that Bishop creates in this series.

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Thursday, September 1, 2022

Megan Goldin: Stay Awake

Megan Goldin shows how precious sleep and memories are when murder is a foot:

Every time Liv falls asleep, her memory is taken away from her, but she does know where she lives. So when a Taxi drops her off at her place she knows that Amy will explain everything that is going on. But when she arrives at her house, strangers are living there and Amy is gone. She tries to find her phone but it is gone too. That is when she starts to notice writing on her hands, telling her to Stay Awake, trust no one and other messages. When she catches the news later that day, there is a murder in a building with the words Stay Awake written in a red liquid on the window, the same words on her hands, that is cannot be a coincidence. Liv cannot remember anything from the day before, but could she have murdered a man. Could this man have held the key to her memory loss. Liv needs to retrace her life and steps in order to figure it out, but there is someone who knows everything and they want to make Liv forget permanently.
This is the third book that I have read by Goldin and I liked that it is a very different concept that the other two but has the storytelling element I enjoy of two timelines getting closer and closer together. If you have seen the movie Memento (by Christopher Nolan...highly recommended movie), and this is book has very similar elements in it, with Liv loosing her memory every time she falls asleep. Due to the fact that Liv looses her memory every time she falls asleep the book can read a bit chaotic (and redundant) at times, as Liv goes through several of the same thoughts and moments each time. I am happy that Goldin decided to introduce another time frame as well as character to help balance the chaos.

I enjoyed that there were several cat and mouse aspects throughout the book; You have Liv and her memory, Liv and Det. Halliday, as well as more information is revealed to the reader you realize that there is a third cat and mouse game afoot as well. However, I did think that Goldin revealed some information too early on in the book, and I was able to predict the twists that were coming.

I really enjoyed Det. Halliday's POV. I thought that it was well thought out and her as a Det. did not want rush to any judgement, even when pushed by a more senior detective to change her mind. While Det. Halliday was pressured to make some moves that she did not think was right she always challenged the order, in a respectful way. I liked that she was not a push over. I will say the shooting scene would never ever ever happen in real life. That is not what any officer, military training or not is taught. I would read another book that had Det. Halliday either as the main character or in the mix some how.

This was a good book and I have enjoyed all three of the Goldin books that I have read so far. I am very much looking forward to what she comes up with next.

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