Friday, June 22, 2018

Missing Pieces
by Laura Pearson

Publisher: Ipso Books
Pages: 277
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  What if the one thing that kept you together was breaking you apart?

All Linda wants to do is sleep. She won’t look at her husband. She can’t stand her daughter. And she doesn’t want to have this baby. Having this baby means moving on, and she just wants to go back to before. Before their family was torn apart, before the blame was placed.

Alienated by their own guilt and struggling to cope, the Sadler family unravels. They grow up, grow apart, never talking about their terrible secret.

That is until Linda’s daughter finds out she’s pregnant. Before she brings another Sadler into the world, Bea needs to know what happened twenty-five years ago. What did they keep from her? What happened that couldn’t be fixed?

A devastating mistake, a lifetime of consequences. How can you repair something broken if pieces are missing?


Kritters Thoughts:  A story told in two parts and I didn't realize how much I was glad to make the jump to the second half to see how this story really evolved.  In the first half, we have a family that has endured a tragedy and are living not just day to day but moment to moment and at any second things could really fall apart.  The reader doesn't find out what truly happened until the second half, but you don't need to know the details to know that this family is falling apart.  The second half makes a huge time jump and you see the family and how each member has evolved and even how they are still stuck in things.

What a fantastic story and what a great way to tell it.  I was surprised by the time jump, but it was so worth it to make the story to feel full and complete.  I loved these characters and was hoping for their best from the very beginning, so it was satisfying to see them years later and see how their worlds were after many years had passed from the tragedy.  The way the reader finds out the details was genius and worked so well. 

I was excited to learn after reading it that this book was a debut.  I love finding a new author with their first work and it adds to the excitement to see what may come next.  I will be on the lookout for the next Laura Pearson, I hope it is another family drama with a lot of heart in the middle just like this one!  

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 Ipso 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, June 21, 2018

The Widow's Watcher
by Eliza Maxwell

Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Pages: 283
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Living in the shadow of a decades-old crime that stole his children from him, reclusive Lars Jorgensen is an unlikely savior. But when a stranger walks onto the ice of a frozen Minnesota lake, her intentions are brutally clear, and the old man isn’t about to let her follow through.
Jenna Shaw didn’t ask for Lars’s help, nor does she want it. After he pulls her from the brink, however, Jenna finds her desire to give up challenged by their unlikely friendship. In Jenna, Lars recognizes his last chance for redemption. And in her quest to solve the mysteries of Lars’s past and bring him closure, Jenna may find the way out of her own darkness.
But the truth that waits threatens to shatter it all. When secrets are surrendered and lies are laid bare, Jenna and Lars may find that accepting the past isn’t their greatest challenge. Can they afford the heartbreaking price of forgiveness?

Kritters Thoughts:  Jenna Shaw feels like she has lost everything and because of that feels as though there is no reason for her to go on.  She picks a place to end it all, but is interrupted by the person who lives on the land and from there her life takes a wild turn.  Lars, the man who finds her, has a past of his own and when his past becomes a part of the present and Jenna gets involved wheels start spinning and this book is such a great ride.

It takes a bit for this book to really pick up and for the reader to find out what all we are dealing with, but once the reader is up to speed this book doesn't let up.  There are just a few glimpses into the past into Lars' back story and I almost wish there was more of that and maybe even a glimpse back into time into Jenna's story.  She tells about her past, but I would have loved to have been taken there.  

I will warn that it was weird to read this one during the summer at the pool.  With a Minnesota setting and snow and ice, it felt a little weird to be reading at this time of year!  I would suggest getting this one and holding it for a cold wintry weekend!

After finishing this book, like I do with most authors that I have read for the first time, I go on Goodreads and check out their backlist and I was so excited to read that Eliza Maxwell has three other books for me to check out.  I will have to add those books to my ever growing TBR pile!


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, June 19, 2018

Heaven Adjacent
by Catherine Ryan Hyde

Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Pages: 316
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon


Goodreads:  Roseanna Chaldecott spent her life as a high-powered lawyer in Manhattan. But when her best friend and law partner dies suddenly, something snaps. Unsure of her future, Roseanna heads upstate on one tank of gas and with no plans to return.
In the foothills of the Adirondacks, Roseanna discovers the perfect hideout in a ramshackle farm. Its seventy-six acres are rich with possibilities and full of surprises, including a mother and daughter squatting on the property. Although company is the last thing Roseanna wants, she reluctantly lets them stay.
Roseanna and the young girl begin sculpting junk found around the farm into zoo animals, drawing more newcomers—including her estranged son, Lance. He pleads with Roseanna to return to the city, but she’s finally discovered where she belongs. It may not provide the solitude she originally sought, but her heart has found room for much more.

Kritters Thoughts:  Do you ever want to just run away?  As an adult the idea of running away seems more difficult than exhilarating!  With all of the responsibilities and such it doesn't seem as freeing of an idea.  Roseanna has recently endured a life tragedy and decides that the only solution is to pick up life and start over with a little less daily commitments, she leaves her partner at a law firm job and ends up in the country on a farm and that is mostly where this book begins.

This was one of those stories where I often asked myself, "Could I do this?"  I wondered if I could push the reset button and leave it all behind.  I love books that make me think about life and wonder what if.  Catherine Ryan Hyde showed the full picture with positives and negatives to a life reset and what you gain and what you miss.  The way she writes the book is easy to read but it in no ways would be considered fluff in my mind.  Her books have full characters who are struggling with something and have full stories in their books.  Like most of her books, I feel as though the secondary characters almost feel as full and realized as the main character out front.  

I love her writing, plain and simple.  I don't have to read the synopsis when pitched a book by Catherine Ryan Hyde, I am 90% sure I will love it no matter what her characters are up to!


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


Ebook 2018 Challenge: 53 out of 100


Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Little Bird Publicity.  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, June 18, 2018

California Summer
by Anita Hughes

Publisher: St Martin's
Pages: 304
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon


Goodreads:  Ben and Rosie are Hollywood’s newest director/producer dream team. After hitting it big at Sundance, it seems that their ten years of love and hard work are finally paying off. Rosie is happy making independent films, but Ben wants the A-List celebrity package: a house in Beverly Hills, fancy cars in the driveway, and his name on the biggest blockbusters. He’s willing to do anything, even sleep with the most famous producer in town, to get them.

Rosie is devastated by Ben’s affair, and she decides to take a break from show business. She accepts her best friend's invitation to spend the summer at her parents' estate in Montecito. It's far away from L.A., the perfect place to start over.

In Montecito, Rosie meets a colorful cast of characters including Rachel, who owns a chocolate store, and Josh, a handsome local who splits his time between surfing and classic cars. Suddenly Rosie has new friends and a new purpose. She starts a business in the village, and her luck seems to be turning around. But Rosie knows all too well that success comes with a price, and the price might be losing love...again.


Kritters Thoughts:  To start let me say that I have a history with Anita Hughes books.  I either absolutely love them or really dislike them, there is no middle with me and her books.  I read the synopsis really close before I accept a Anita Hughes book for review and this synopsis sounded so so good.  I was so excited to read this, but my experience went downhill with each page.  

I loved the premise of Rosie escaping Hollywood and the fallout of a relationship for a small California town and trying to rebuild herself.  And the bits of the book that centered around Rosie working on herself and rebuilding her life were so fantastic.

It is the bits that were around Rosie and Josh that were beyond frustrating.  Maybe it is my own personal preference in men, but reading a man that runs after ever disagreement bothered the heck out of me.  I just couldn't see him as this manly man that Rosie could fall in love with AND with that they went from chatting and getting to know each other to in love and Rosie talking marriage WAY too fast for me.  The term instalove is used in YA fiction and I would have used it with this book, it was like relationship whiplash!  

But even after not loving this Anita Hughes, I still have hope for the next book with this author.    


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


Ebook 2018 Challenge: 51 out of 100


Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from St Martin's Press.  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, June 17, 2018

It was a busy week all around, so not as much reading happened.

A
 meme hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. 

Finished this past week:
The Last Ballad by Wiley Cash
Heaven Adjacent by Catherine Ryan Hyde
The Widow's Watcher by Eliza Maxwell

Currently Reading:
Missing Pieces by Laura Pearson

Next on the TBR pile:
In a Jam by Cindy Dorminy

Friday, June 15, 2018

The Last Ballad
by Wiley Cash

Publisher: William Morrow
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: HarperCollins

Goodreads:  Twelve times a week, twenty-eight-year-old Ella May Wiggins makes the two-mile trek to and from her job on the night shift at American Mill No. 2 in Bessemer City, North Carolina. The insular community considers the mill’s owners—the newly arrived Goldberg brothers—white but not American and expects them to pay Ella May and other workers less because they toil alongside African Americans like Violet, Ella May’s best friend. While the dirty, hazardous job at the mill earns Ella May a paltry nine dollars for seventy-two hours of work each week, it’s the only opportunity she has. Her no-good husband, John, has run off again, and she must keep her four young children alive with whatever work she can find.

When the union leaflets begin circulating, Ella May has a taste of hope, a yearning for the better life the organizers promise. But the mill owners, backed by other nefarious forces, claim the union is nothing but a front for the Bolshevik menace sweeping across Europe. To maintain their control, the owners will use every means in their power, including bloodshed, to prevent workers from banding together. On the night of the county’s biggest rally, Ella May, weighing the costs of her choice, makes up her mind to join the movement—a decision that will have lasting consequences for her children, her friends, her town—indeed all that she loves.

Seventy-five years later, Ella May’s daughter Lilly, now an elderly woman, tells her nephew about his grandmother and the events that transformed their family. Illuminating the most painful corners of their history, she reveals, for the first time, the tragedy that befell Ella May after that fateful union meeting in 1929.


Kritters Thoughts:  Wiley Cash is known for writing books set in the heart of North Carolina and not showing all of the beautiful pieces but the nitty and the gritty.  He doesn't shy away from real life both in the present tense and the past.  This book jumps from different points of view, but stays solely in the small towns of North Carolina that at times were barely surviving with the mills in town.  

All centered around the mill strikes in 1929, the reader sees how this affected many different types of people from those working in the mill to those who owned the mills.  It was also interesting to read from both the perspective of a Caucasian person getting involved with the strike and the exclusion of the African Americans from the strike.  I learned so much about this time in North Carolina and how it really tore up the state.  

I have said this many times, but my favorite thing about historical fiction is learning something without feeling like I am taking a class.  This was an indepth view of just a few days, weeks and months of time in these small North Carolina towns and how their worlds were revolving around this industry.  

There were some slow parts and some characters and their chapters that I didn't love as much, but overall it was just so interesting.  

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.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

The Escape Artist
by Brad Meltzer

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Pages: 416
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Two hours outside of Washington, DC is the mortuary for the U.S. government's most top-secret and high profile cases. America's most important funeral home. To work there, mortician Jim "Zig" Zwicharowski has one rule: never let a case get personal. But when a new body arrives--of young female sergeant Nola Brown, who was a childhood friend of Zig's daughter--Zig can't help himself. Looking closely at Nola's body, he realizes immediately: this isn't Nola. Indeed, his daughter's friend is still alive. And on the run. Zig's discovery reveals a sleight of hand being played at the highest levels of power--and traces back through history to a man named Harry Houdini. "Nola, you were right. Keep running."


Kritters Thoughts:  This book takes place very near my house.  In Dover, DE there is a place where the fallen go for them to get special treatment before their families bury them.  "Zig" is known to be one of the best and can put someone back together so their family can give them the burial they wish.  When a body comes in with a name he recognizes this one hits close to home and he must make sure she is taken care of completely.  But things aren't as they seem and he is swept up into government lies, secrets and some drama from the past.  

As told above, the body that comes into his building isn't the one from his past and through an interesting note he puts himself into the investigation.  I love political mysteries.  Especially ones that involve the government and special projects.  Reading these books make me think I am reading something I shouldn't and maybe I am learning something that isn't public knowledge!  

This book was just ok in my opinion.  I liked the idea of what was going on, but the execution didn't always work for me.  There were quite a few times where the story was just dragging and the pacing just didn't work for me.  So I liked the content just not how it was presented.

Out of Brad Meltzer's big collection of books, I have only read two, so I am not going to count him out, but I may think twice before reading the next one.  


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

Ebook 2018 Challenge: 52 out of 100


Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from St Martin's Press.  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.

Related Posts with Thumbnails
 

Copyright 2010 Kritters Ramblings.

Theme by WordpressCenter.com.
Blogger Template by Beta Templates.