Friday, October 31, 2014

What is your Halloween book of choice?  

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Last Train to Babylon
by Charlee Fam

Publisher: William Morrow
Pages: 352
Format: ARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Who put the word fun in funeral? I can’t think of anything fun about Rachel’s funeral, except for the fact that she won’t be there.

Aubrey Glass has a collection of potential suicide notes—just in case. And now, five years—and five notes—after leaving her hometown, Rachel’s the one who goes and kills herself. Aubrey can’t believe her luck. 

But Rachel’s death doesn’t leave Aubrey in peace. There’s a voicemail from her former friend, left only days before her death that Aubrey can’t bring herself to listen to—and worse, a macabre memorial-turned-high-school reunion that promises the opportunity to catch up with everyone… including the man responsible for everything that went wrong between she and Rachel. 

In the days leading up to the funeral and infamous after party, Aubrey slips seamlessly between her past and present. Memories of friendship tangle with painful new encounters while underneath it all Aubrey feels the rush of something closing in, something she can no longer run from. And when the past and present collide in one devastating night, nothing will be the same again. 

But facing the future means confronting herself and a shattering truth. Now, Aubrey must decide what will define her: what lies behind… or what waits ahead.

Kritters Thoughts:  Aubrey returns home to bury a friend that maybe wasn't the best of friend in the end and there is a reason why this friendship didn't make it to adulthood, but the reader is left in the dark for a bit to wonder what happened to these two friends.  

Switching between present time and past stories, this book takes the reader on the journey of two friends and maybe isn't the most positive of friendships!  Without completely ruining the core of the book, I loved how the reader finds out what really happened to make this friendship unravel and it made my thoughts change about both Aubrey and her "ex" best friend Rachel - it is kind of fun when your opinions change on characters.  

Although the book is definitely biased in Aubrey's point of view, I still felt like I saw a true picture of Rachel and the other "friends" in their semi group.  I adore when authors send their characters to their hometowns to confront things from the past and it's even better when their hometowns are small and everyone knows everyone and everything!

This was definitely a debbie downer book which made me glad to read it during the fall season and not in the bright sunshine of spring or summer.  If you have read many thriller books, then this book is definitely different then the rest and I would recommend picking it up.

Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from TLC Book Tours.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Certainty by Victor Bevine

Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Pages: 320
Format: ARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  When you're fighting an injustice, can it be wrong to do what's right?

Inspired by the scandalous true story that shocked a nation at the close of WWI.

With America's entry into World War I, the population of Newport, Rhode Island, seems to double overnight as twenty-five thousand rowdy recruits descend on the Naval Training Station. Drinking, prostitution, and other depravities follow the sailors, transforming the upscale town into what many residents—including young lawyer William Bartlett, whose genteel family has lived in Newport for generations—consider to be a moral cesspool.

When sailors accuse a beloved local clergyman of sexual impropriety, William feels compelled to fight back. He agrees to defend the minister against the shocking allegations, in the face of dire personal and professional consequences. But when the trial grows increasingly sensational, and when outrageous revelations echo all the way from Newport to the federal government, William must confront more than just the truth—he must confront the very nature of good and evil.

Kritters Thoughts:  A new look at men in the Navy and while Prohibition was happening, there was also a stigma against a certain population and the Navy weren't quite welcoming to them amongst their ranks.  

A book that focuses on accusations of a priest of homosexual tendencies to the men he was ministering to that were stationed in Newport, RI.  The accusations may be true, but the actions of the officers in the Navy were repulsive and their witch hunt was just crazy to read about.  I am not sure I knew when I started how true that this story was, but after finishing the book and doing some research, I couldn't believe the truth and wanted to read the book again to take the details in.  

Whatever your feelings are towards same sex marriage or homosexuality this book is such a good view of the historical aspect of this debate.  And it is interesting to see what was said back then and compare it to what is being said now.  If you are a historical fiction fan and especially of this time period, this is a book worth picking up and reading about the behind the scenes of the Navy while not in war time.

Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from TLC Book Tours.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Until You're Mine
by Samantha Hayes

Publisher: Crown
Pages: 368
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  You're alone. You're vulnerable. And you have something that someone else wants. At any cost.
Claudia Morgan-Brown finally has it all. Pregnant with a much-wanted first baby of her own, she has a happily established family of two small step-sons and a loving husband with a great career. But she is also committed to her full-time job as a social worker, and her husband travels often. So when Claudia hires Zoe to help her around the house in anticipation of the baby’s arrival, it seems like the answer to her prayers. But despite Zoe's glowing recommendations and instant rapport with the children, there's something about her that Claudia cannot trust.
Moreover, there has been a series of violent attacks on pregnant women in the area, and Claudia becomes acutely aware of her vulnerability. With her husband out of town for work and her family far away, who will be there to protect her? And why does she feel unsettled about Zoe? Realizing appearances can be deceiving even in her seemingly perfect world, Claudia digs deeper into Zoe’s blurry past and begins to wonder – how far would someone go to have a child of her own?

Kritters Thoughts:  A psychological thriller with such a fantastic twist that throws the reader for the best loop!  The prologue sets the scene with a woman who has been earning to be a mom for the longest time, but the reader doesn't know who this character is - not until the end!  Claudia is pregnant and her husband will be headed out to sea with the Navy, so they decide to hire a nanny to help with the twin boys and the upcoming arrival.  Zoe is the nanny and the reader gets to read from her perspective as well - so glad!

I loved that as a reader I was kept out of the dark at times and some chapters I didn't even know the character who was doing the talking - sometimes it is nice to be left out in the dark!  I also loved reading about the two investigator's home lives and how that affects them during the investigation into the murders.  It was nice to see that they had a home life beyond the job.  

Obviously I can't talk about it, but the twist in the ending just made the book for me.  I was enjoying it so so, but when the twist twisted - I was hooked and was ready to pass this book onto other mystery/thriller readers.  

After reading this book, I will be on the lookout for Samantha Hayes' previous and future books.

Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Blogging for Books.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

This was probably the craziest week of reading!  A quiet week of work, a quiet week at home and a great weekend reading outside with the pups.

A meme hosted by Sheila at BookJourney. 

Finished this past week:
Last Train to Babylon by Charlee Fam
Proof of Angels by Mary Curran Hackett
How to Bake a Man by Jessica Barksdale Inclan
Letting Go by Molly McAdams
Bleeding Heart by Liza Gyllenhaal
Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

Currently Reading:
The Daughter by Jane Shemilt

Next on the TBR pile:
The Vineyard by Michael Hurly

Friday, October 24, 2014

Killer WASPs
by Amy Korman

Publisher: Witness Impulse
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, is a haven for East Coast WASPs, where tennis tournaments and cocktails at the club are revered traditions. Little happens in the sleepy suburb, and that is the way the Lilly Pulitzer–clad residents prefer it. So when antiques store owner Kristin Clark and her portly basset hound stumble upon the area's newest real estate developer lying unconscious beneath the hydrangea bushes lining the driveway of one of Bryn Mawr's most distinguished estates, the entire town is abuzz with gossip and intrigue.

When the attacker strikes again just days later, Kristin and her three best friends—Holly, a glamorous chicken nugget heiress with a penchant for high fashion; Joe, a decorator who's determined to land his own HGTV show; and Bootsie, a preppy but nosy newspaper reporter—join forces to solve the crime. While their investigation takes them to cocktail parties, flea markets, and the country club, they must unravel the mystery before the assailant claims another victim.

Kritters Thoughts:  Kristin Clark is a quirky, antique store owner in a fancy suburb of Philadelphia, PA.  She becomes quite the sleuth and tries to find out who is attempting murder and the connection between the victims.  At the same time, she is trying to decide between two very handsome men as suitors.  

Kristin was sweet!  I fell in love with her immediately and loved how she was living in this hoity toity neighborhood, but was still an outsider.  I loved her as the narrator and main character.  The secondary characters were just as good as Kristin - they were exaggerated characters, but still so good.  With fun characters put into interesting situations, this book read fast and fun.

Because of this book, I am creating a new sub genre in the mystery/who dun it world and it will be called cheesy who dun its - not a negative, just an observation.  There was just some cheesiness to the characters and how the victims were killed and it was kind of fun to have a sweet and cheesy mystery for fall.

Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Ebook 2014 Challenge: 59 out of 100

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from HarperCollins.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Halfway to Nowhere
by Steena Holmes

Pages: 137
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Nikki Landon walked away from her small town, Halfway, Montana, ten years ago, with no intentions of setting foot there again. But, when her mother dies unexpectedly, Nikki has no choice but to return, and this time with the child she was trying to hide—ten year old, Ryan.

Becky Jennings is living her happily-ever-after. She’s married to the man of her dreams and even though that means being the wife of a Christmas tree farmer, she’s happy. There’s only one thing missing from her fairy-tale life: a child to hold in her arms. After countless miscarriages, she’s struggling to accept that might be one dream that will never come true.

As teenagers, Nikki would have done anything to protect her best friend, Becky from heartache, which is why she left. But ten years later, there’s nowhere to hide in a small town where everyone can see the truth of the secret she can no longer keep. 

Could Nikki’s son be the child Becky has always longed for? And if he is, can the already fragile bond between the two friends, withstand the heartache?

Kritters Thoughts:  Three is always a company and these three friends find that out the hard way after many years apart.  Nikki Landon leaves her very very small hometown and escapes when she finds out she is pregnant.  She leaves her best friend and her best friend's boyfriend very suddenly and with no explanation.  Ten years later, her mother has passed away suddenly and she has returned to take care of business as quickly as possible and get back out of town - of course this doesn't happen!

The book is told in two perspectives - Nikki and Becky, their polarizing views helped create great depth to this book, with points of view the reader has a harder time taking sides and instead can see this big issue from both sides and have empathy with both women.  At some point, I did wonder if we should have heard a bit from Matt, Becky's husband who is crucial to the story.  

This was a concise book at just 137 pages and what a quick read!  I actually completely enjoyed that it was on the shorter end, I loved seeing the authors pull together a full story in such a short amount of time.  

Finally, let me just say that I adore Steena Holmes and sent her a note after I finished this book and she advised that the sequel is on its way and should arrive in December!  

Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Ebook 2014 Challenge: 58 out of 100

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