Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Vox
by Christina Dalcher

Publisher: Berkley
Pages: 336
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  On the day the government decrees that women are no longer allowed more than 100 words daily, Dr. Jean McClellan is in denial--this can't happen here. Not in America. Not to her.

This is just the beginning.

Soon women can no longer hold jobs. Girls are no longer taught to read or write. Females no longer have a voice. Before, the average person spoke sixteen thousand words a day, but now women only have one hundred to make themselves heard.

But this is not the end. 

For herself, her daughter, and every woman silenced, Jean will reclaim her voice.


Kritters Thoughts:  When I heard the concept of this book, I was ready to read it immediately, although it didn't quite go where I thought it would, I still enjoyed it.  The part that I had heard before going in was that women were literally being silenced by wearing a contraption on their wrists and it would shock them if they went above a certain word count.  Yes, this is in the book and what a concept, but the book goes somewhere I wasn't expecting.  

The book focuses on Dr. Jean McClellan who was close to discovering something that would help reverse a brain injury in the Wernicke's area of the brain that had people talking in gibberish, but she was halted by the new regime.  First let me say that this book made me do some googling and I was excited and surprised to see that this area is truth and does impact one's ability to compute and understand language.  I love that at the heart of this crazy story was truth.  The focus of the book was her discovery and how it could impact society in a possibly negative way.  

Although I was disappointed that the contraption and the literal silencing of women wasn't the complete main focus, the thing that hit me hardest was seeing this female doctor raise both genders and be limited in her words.  I think the family scenes really made me think about how any gender would be limited if they were limited to an amount of words per day.  I know we can all joke that women speak more, but this book made me think about how many words EACH of us says in a day and if we had to limit them how that would impact us on the job, at home and in all of our relationships.  

I love when a book makes me think and this one did and is still making me wonder about things.  I hope that Christina Dalcher has another book in this vein up her sleeve!


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 Berkley.  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, September 18, 2018

We All Love the Beautiful Girls
by Joanne Proulx 

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Pages: 336
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  One frigid winter night, the happily prosperous Mia and Michael Slate discover that a close friend and business partner has cheated them out of their life savings. On the same night, their son, Finn, passes out in the snow at a party -- a mistake with shattering consequences.

Everyone finds their own ways of coping with the ensuing losses. For Finn, it's Jess, a former babysitter who sneaks into his bed at night, even as she refuses to leave her boyfriend. Mia and Michael find themselves forgoing tenderness for rougher sex and seeking solace outside their marriage: Mia in a flirtation with a former colleague, whose empty condo becomes a blank canvas for a new life, and Michael at an abandoned baseball diamond, with a rusty pitching machine and a street kid eager to catch balls in Finn's old glove. As they creep closer to the edge -- of betrayal, infidelity, and revenge -- the story moves into more savage terrain.



Kritters Thoughts:  Mia and Michael Slate are going through something when their son Finn has a tragic accident.  This accident ends up affecting a lot of people and for me this book was watching how one night can change the course of many people's lives.  

Most of this book I didn't enjoy, but I kept reading and finished it because I really wanted to figure out what would happen with Finn after his accident.  His character arch was what kept me reading after the crazy drama from his parents.  This would have been a book that I would have quit if I didn't love Finn so much and want to know where he would end up.  

I liked the drama that Mia and Michael Slate were facing, but I felt as though it took a back burner to  how crappy they were as people and parents.  I didn't enjoy seeing them purposefully screw up things and would have instead loved to read more about the lawsuit and the financial and work drama that was lurking over their heads.  I didn't like where this book went in that regards.

This was my first Joanne Proulx book and although I didn't like it, when I don't like a book for its plot I am completely willing to read another book by this author.  It is when I don't like the writing where I feel as though I couldn't enjoy another book by the author.  


Rating: enjoyable, but didn't leave me wanting more

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Grand Central Publishing.  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, September 17, 2018

In Her Bones
by Kate Moretti

Publisher: Atria Books
Pages: 320
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Fifteen years ago, Lilith Wade was arrested for the brutal murder of six women. After a death row conviction, media frenzy, and the release of an unauthorized biography, her thirty-year-old daughter Edie Beckett is just trying to survive out of the spotlight. She’s a recovering alcoholic with a dead-end city job and an unhealthy codependent relationship with her brother.

Edie also has a disturbing secret: a growing obsession with the families of Lilith’s victims. She’s desperate to see how they’ve managed—or failed—to move on. While her escalating fixation is a problem, she’s careful to keep her distance. That is, until she crosses a line and a man is found murdered.

Edie quickly becomes the prime suspect—and while she can’t remember everything that happened the night of the murder, she’d surely remember killing someone. With the detective who arrested her mother hot on her trail, Edie goes into hiding. She’s must get to the truth of what happened that night before the police—or the real killer—find her. 

Unless, of course, she has more in common with her mother than she’s willing to admit…


Kritters Thoughts:  I have read almost all of Kate Moretti's books and they are all unique and such good reads.  Lilith Wade was arrested for killing six women and usually a mystery/thriller would completely focus on her serial killing and her victims, but not this book.  This book focuses on her son and daughter that are left out in the world trying to live with the consequences of what she did.  

Edie Beckett was such an interesting character to follow.  She was on the cusp of being unreliable and I liked that I was wondering if I should trust if she was a good person in the middle of all of the chaos.  When one of the surviving victims of her mother's past is murdered and she was in the middle of it, Edie goes on the run and must solve the murder to prove her own innocence.  

I judge most mystery/thrillers on who ends up being the killer and if I feel like I missed some clues or if it is from left field - I HATE when it is from left field.  This one surprised me but in all the good ways.  I always say if I want to reread to see if I can find the killer faster the second time that is a good sign for a mystery thriller read.  I could have started this one the minute I finished to see if I can find the clues!


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


Ebook 2018 Challenge: 74 out of 100


Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Atria 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, September 16, 2018

A quiet weekend at home made for some great reading time.

A
 meme hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. 

Finished this past week:
Leave No Trace by Mindy Mejia
In Her Bones by Kate Moretti
We All Love the Beautiful Girls by Joanne Proulx
Vox by Christina Dalcher

Currently Reading:
What My Sister Knew by Nina Laurin

Next on the TBR pile:
Shadow Child by Rahna Reiko Rizzuto

Friday, September 14, 2018

Leave No Trace
by Mindy Mejia

Publisher: Atria Books
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  There is a place in Minnesota with hundreds of miles of glacial lakes and untouched forests called the Boundary Waters. Ten years ago a man and his son trekked into this wilderness and never returned.

Search teams found their campsite ravaged by what looked like a bear. They were presumed dead until a decade later...the son appeared. Discovered while ransacking an outfitter store, he was violent and uncommunicative and sent to a psychiatric facility. Maya Stark, the assistant language therapist, is charged with making a connection with their high-profile patient. No matter how she tries, however, he refuses to answer questions about his father or the last ten years of his life

But Maya, who was abandoned by her own mother, has secrets, too. And as she’s drawn closer to this enigmatic boy who is no longer a boy, she’ll risk everything to reunite him with his father who has disappeared from the known world.


Kritters Thoughts:  Maya Stark is a speech therapist working in a psychiatric facility.  An interesting case enters the place and Maya is placed as the responsible person to bring this young man out of his shell and tell them what happened to him.  You see, he showed up after going missing in the woods with his father 10 years ago and his reentrance into society was quite dramatic.  At the same time, the reader knows that everything in Maya's life isn't exactly all sunshine and rainbows and its going to be a journey to find out.

I was on board with this book and liked most parts of it until one thing happened 2/3 of the way through - don't want to give too much away to spoil anything.  At that point I just shook my head and was disappointed as to where I thought and realized the book was going to go.  

I still liked Maya as a character and found her past to be the most interesting part of the book.  I loved learning about how she became who she was in the present and how that affected how she treated her patients.  At the same time, I also loved the chapters from the past of Josiah, the glimpses into how and why this father son ended up in the woods was the heart of the story for me.  

I wish I had held onto this book to read on a cold wintry weekend.  The location in Minnesota and the time of year made this book a good wintry read.  I maybe would have enjoyed the setting of the book more if I was snuggled in a warm blanket.


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


Ebook 2018 Challenge: 73 out of 100


Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Atria 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.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

The Fallen
by David Baldacci

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Pages: 421
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Amos Decker and his journalist friend Alex Jamison are visiting the home of Alex's sister in Barronville, a small town in western Pennsylvania that has been hit hard economically. When Decker is out on the rear deck of the house talking with Alex's niece, a precocious eight-year-old, he notices flickering lights and then a spark of flame in the window of the house across the way. When he goes to investigate he finds two dead bodies inside and it's not clear how either man died. But this is only the tip of the iceberg. There's something going on in Barronville that might be the canary in the coal mine for the rest of the country.

Faced with a stonewalling local police force, and roadblocks put up by unseen forces, Decker and Jamison must pull out all the stops to solve the case. And even Decker's infallible memory may not be enough to save them.


Kritters Thoughts:  Amos Decker is supposedly on vacation and of course his vacation is interrupted by a few murders and him and his journalist friend Alex Jamison are pulled into the thick of it and vacation turns into a murder investigation.

This book is the fourth in a series and I have not read book one through three.  I am assuming that this is like other mystery series where you can mostly pop in and out and you are missing some of the main character development, but each mystery is self contained in each book.  

At this point, I have read a few David Baldacci books and after every one so far I have been meh about the book.  After finishing this one and talking to my mom, I have finally realized why I am not a Baldacci fan and maybe why I may quit reading his books.  

In his books there is a male main character and in the books there gets to a point where the main character seems like they are mansplaining things and at least in this particular book he completely repeated all the facts that the reader knows from reading the entire book.  Even to a point where I said I KNOW out loud because I was ready for the review to end and to get to the conclusion of the book.  

So at the same time I have seen David Baldacci speak twice and he seemed a bit pompous during his talks so I have his voice in the back of my mind when I read his books and I can't put two and two together and enjoy the book.  I say all of this because I have decided to quit reading him.  I would like to read books where there are more female main characters and they are leading the investigations.        


Rating: enjoyable, but didn't leave me wanting more

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Grand Central Publishing.  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.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

A Little Bird Told Me
by Marianne Holmes

Publisher: Agora Books
Pages: 277
Format: ARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  As the heatwave boils on, tensions in the town begin to simmer. Everyone is gossiping about her mum, a strange man is following her around, and worst of all, no one will tell Robyn the truth. But this town isn’t good at keeping secrets…

Twelve years later, Robyn returns home, to a house that has stood empty for years and a town that hasn’t moved on, forced to confront the mystery that haunted her that summer.

And atone for the part she played in it.


Kritters Thoughts:  Robyn and her brother are returning home after twelve years and Robyn wants to know the whole truth.  She wants to know about the secrets of her parents and those surrounding her.  While the reader is reading about her diving in the past, the book also goes into the past to give the reader the whole view point and what Robyn lived and maybe what she is seeing through different eyes.

I always love a story with a past and a present.  For me the two timelines seemed muddy and confusing.  I had a note sheet and I still felt like I was all over the place and couldn't keep things straight - this is strange for me and thus was really frustrating.  

I liked Robyn and her brother as characters but I couldn't get connected to them.  I can connect to unlikeable characters and want to know their journeys but I just couldn't with these two.  

I was bummed that this book didn't live up to my expectations, I wanted so much more from this.  It didn't turn me off completely from the author, I may have to try another from her.


Rating: enjoyable, but didn't leave me wanting more

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Agora 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.

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