Thursday, August 31, 2017

American Housewife
by Helen Ellis

Publisher: Doubleday
Pages: 208
Format: audiobook
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Meet the women of American Housewife: they wear lipstick, pearls, and sunscreen, even when it's cloudy. They casserole. They pinwheel. They pump the salad spinner like it's a CPR dummy. And then they kill a party crasher, carefully stepping around the body to pull cookies out of the oven. These twelve irresistible stories take us from a haunted prewar Manhattan apartment building to the set of a rigged reality television show, from the unique initiation ritual of a book club to the getaway car of a pageant princess on the lam, from the gallery opening of a tinfoil artist to the fitting room of a legendary lingerie shop. 


Kritters Thoughts:  I don't listen to that many audio books, but I thought this was the perfect one to do, with a collection of short stories I could listen to one and "put the book down" and come back to it later when I was cleaning the house or driving somewhere.

I had heard about this book before I listened and knew that it was a fun collection about different housewives and experiences and I completely agree with that depiction.  I liked that the stories had variations in length.  I liked that there were short itty bitty ones and then there were some that had some pages to it.  

In all short story collections there are some that stand out and some that take a back seat and this one was that.  There were some stories that literally made me laugh out loud and stop what I was doing to listen and others that were just ok.  The ones that were just ok didn't affect my reading, we can't all like everything.  What stories I love could be stories that you dislike and vice versa.  

Being a book nerd the one story that stood out was the one about bookclubs.  I belong to two book clubs and it was hilarious how she described the people and the quirks and the dynamics, that one was absolutely my favorite and I wouldn't have minded if that one had been longer!

I had never read Helen Ellis before and I looked at her backlist and nothing seemed similar to this, have you read anything by her?  If I liked this, what should I try next?


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 Netgalley.  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, August 29, 2017

The One that Got Away
by Melissa Pimentel

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

Goodreads:  Ruby and Ethan were perfect for each other. Until the day they suddenly weren't.
Now, ten years later, Ruby is single, having spent the last decade focusing on her demanding career and hectic life in Manhattan. There's barely time for a trip to England for her little sister's wedding. And there's certainly not time to think about what it will be like to see Ethan again, who just so happens to be the best man.
But as the family frantically prepare for the big day, Ruby can't help but wonder if she made the right choice all those years ago. Because there is nothing like a wedding for stirring up the past. 

Kritters Thoughts:  Is there one person in your life that things didn't work out and you wonder where they are or what could have been?  This book is completely about the what if life had gone a different route and these two characters get to meet up and maybe discuss why it didn't and maybe it could now!

Ruby and Ethan dated briefly and things combusted and now they are brought together to celebrate the wedding of his best friend to her sister and they will get the chance to confront the past.  They both had secrets and it was interesting when and how they shared them and the reaction to those secrets and maybe those secrets would have changed the past.  


I absolutely adored this book.  It reminded me of my favorite romantic comedy movie and I loved having these Americans in a Scottish town making ruckus and causing drama in a small town!  If you don't read books that happen abroad, be warned that it does happen abroad, but it is all Americans so there aren't too many abroad terms and jokes and such. 



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 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.

Monday, August 28, 2017

A Mother Like Mine
by Kate Hewitt

Publisher: Berkley Books
Pages: 384
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Welcome to England's beautiful Lake District, where a reluctant reunion forges a new bond between a daughter and her wayward mother....

Abby Rhodes is just starting to get her life on track. After her fiance's unexpected death, she returned with her young son to the small village where she grew up and threw herself into helping her ailing grandmother run the town's beach cafe. Then one evening, her mother, Laura, shows up in Hartley-by-the-Sea and announces her plan to stay. After twenty years away, she now wants to focus on the future--and has no intention, it seems, of revisiting the painful past. 

Laura Rhodes has made a lot of mistakes, and many of them concern her daughter. But as Abby gets little glimpses into her mother's life, she begins to realize there are depths to Laura she never knew. Slowly, Abby and Laura start making tentative steps toward each other, only to have life become even more complicated when an unexpected tragedy arises. Together, the two women will discover truths both sad and surprising that draw them closer to a new understanding of what it means to truly forgive someone you love.


Kritters Thoughts:  The third in a series where the books all take place in a great small town, but all center around different characters.  This one focuses on Abby Rhodes who moved back for many reasons, one to help her grandmother who raised her with the small cafe and also to have a place to raise her young son and put her life back together.  Her mother who has been estranged for many years returns with literal and figurative baggage and wants to reconnect and figure out who her own life.

I love a good mother daughter drama and this one was so good.  It wasn't easy and all sunshine and rainbows, there was heartache and difficulty and just the right amount of drama!  The chapters bounce back and forth, so both ladies get an opportunity to tell their point of view and each get the chance to move the story forward.  

With this series you can start with this book or at the beginning, I started at the beginning and I liked it, but I wouldn't think you were missing out on anything if you started here.  I like when series are like this and you can hop back into the small town, but you get to see the town through others eyes.

I hope that there are more to come in this series, this is a fun small town to visit every summer!


Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

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.


Sunday, August 27, 2017

I totally failed on this one.  This week I was getting ready to go on vacation and then traveling and it was just a little more nutty than I thought it would be, so my reading was less than steller, it was so bad I stopped tracking it!  So here are the books I finished this week:

The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter
Something Like Happy by Eva Woods

I am not doing a monday reading post, so this will take place of that post.

Friday, August 25, 2017

A Beautiful Poison
by Lydia Kang

Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Pages: 350
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Just beyond the Gilded Age, in the mist-covered streets of New York, the deadly Spanish influenza ripples through the city. But with so many victims in her close circle, young socialite Allene questions if the flu is really to blame. All appear to have been poisoned—and every death was accompanied by a mysterious note.

Desperate for answers and dreading her own engagement to a wealthy gentleman, Allene returns to her passion for scientific discovery and recruits her long-lost friends, Jasper and Birdie, for help. The investigation brings her closer to Jasper, an apprentice medical examiner at Bellevue Hospital who still holds her heart, and offers the delicate Birdie a last-ditch chance to find a safe haven before her fragile health fails.

As more of their friends and family die, alliances shift, lives become entangled, and the three begin to suspect everyone—even each other. As they race to find the culprit, Allene, Birdie, and Jasper must once again trust each other, before one of them becomes the next victim.


Kritters Thoughts:  When I read the synopsis for the book I was extremely excited to be a part of the tour, it has two things that are right up my alley - historical fiction and who dun it, I was so excited!  To get straight to the point, this one didn't work for me.  Usually I can pinpoint to a T what in a book I don't love, but this one doesn't stand out for me.  

Let me back up and say what I did love.  I did love the time period and the is it flu is it murder aspect.  I enjoyed that a murderer or two got away with some things for awhile because of the time period and all of the drama that was going on.  

I think the biggest thing for me that I didn't love was the pacing of the book.  There were moments where the book was go go go and I was flipping pages and loving it and then there were moments where concentrating on it took effort and I didn't care what happened next (I always care what happens next, its the noisy lady in me!)

So I am not on the fence about this book, but its hard to describe my feelings and that is unusual for me.  The writing was fine, the plot was fine and the characters were ok, but nothing was amazing and nothing was horrible.  I don't love the feeling of indifference and always love to give recommendations on here of the things I love and why I love them and the things I don't love and why so if you love those things then you can bypass my negativity and get it, but I am having a hard time with this one.


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

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, August 24, 2017

I'll Have What She's Having
by Erin Carlson

Publisher: Hachette
Pages: 304
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  In I'll Have What She's Having entertainment journalist Erin Carlson tells the story of the real Nora Ephron and how she reinvented the romcom through her trio of instant classics. With a cast of famous faces including Reiner, Hanks, Ryan, and Crystal, Carlson takes readers on a rollicking, revelatory trip to Ephron's New York City, where reality took a backseat to romance and Ephron--who always knew what she wanted and how she wanted it--ruled the set with an attention to detail that made her actors feel safe but sometimes exasperated crew members. 

Along the way, Carlson examines how Ephron explored in the cinema answers to the questions that plagued her own romantic life and how she regained faith in love after one broken engagement and two failed marriages. Carlson also explores countless other questions Ephron's fans have wondered about: What sparked Reiner to snap out of his bachelor blues during the making of When Harry Met Sally? Why was Ryan, a gifted comedian trapped in the body of a fairytale princess, not the first choice for the role? After she and Hanks each separatel balked at playing Mail's Kathleen Kelly and Sleepless' Sam Baldwin, what changed their minds? And perhaps most importantly: What was Dave Chappelle doing ... in a turtleneck? An intimate portrait of a one of America's most iconic filmmakers and a look behind the scenes of her crowning achievements, I'll Have What She's Having is a vivid account of the days and nights when Ephron, along with assorted cynical collaborators, learned to show her heart on the screen.


Kritters Thoughts:  Nora Ephron was known for many things, but the two most common was by her movies and her writing.  I knew her only due to her films, so I was excited when offered this book to review to learn more about those films and more about her.  

The book was so much more than I expected.  It did spend many pages telling Nora Ephron's story and behind the scenes of her biggest three movies, but it was more.  There were so many stories about the development of the movies and about the stars involved in the movies.  I loved how she used many of the same actors in her movies, she knew what she liked and didn't mind using actors over and over again if they performed well.  

While reading the book, I took breaks and watched the trailers on youtube and any other videos or interviews, it was fun to add these into my reading to remind me about the movie and the actors and such.  I was on a reading crunch because of prepping for vacation or I would have loved to watch each movie in between reading the chapters about them.

I would love to have this book replicated for another filmmaker who has a string of movies like this and learning the stories that happened before the movies even started filming.  Do you know someone they could do this for?  My first thought was Adam Sandler!


Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel (or a book about another filmmaker!)

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, August 22, 2017

Before I Knew
by Jamie Beck

Publisher: Montlake Romance
Pages: 354
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  On the second anniversary of her husband’s suicide, Colby Cabot-Baxter is ready to let go of her grief and the mistakes made during her turbulent marriage. Her fresh start comes in the form of A CertainTea, the restaurant she’s set to open along Lake Sandy, Oregon, with help from her family. But when her executive chef quits just weeks before the grand opening, Colby is pressured to hire old family friend Alec Morgan. His award-winning reputation could generate buzz, but their friendship has withered since her husband’s reckless dare cost Alec’s brother his life.
Distracted by guilty secrets concerning the tragedy that changed his and Colby’s lives, Alec self-destructed and lost his famed restaurant. With his career in tatters, he’s determined to use this opportunity to redeem his reputation and to help the woman he’s loved from afar find happiness again.
But secrets have a way of coming out. When Alec’s do, they might destroy the new life he and Colby have rebuilt together.


Kritters Thoughts:  Colby Cabot-Baxter has had a trying few years and she is making some personal changes to hopefully turn her life in a new direction and change.  She is opening a restaurant and with that she needs a chef and in walks someone from her past and is a part of those trying years and the past will return, but hopefully there is a future.

What a great book!  The reader is easily told the events of the past, but the story doesn't sit there long and quickly and easily moves into the future and I loved that.  I loved how the author gave us all the details, but it didn't slow down the pace of the story.  

I also loved that there were secrets between the two main characters, but the reader actually knows before the characters do and it isn't over done about all the secrets.  The way she unfolded the story just worked right.  

I know the story was completely contained within this one book, but I wouldn't mind a sequel or another story set with these characters in this town.


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


Ebook 2017 Challenge: 34 out of 50


Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from PR By the Book.  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, August 21, 2017

The Other Girl
by Erica Spindler

Publisher: St Martin's Press
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Officer Miranda Rader of the Hammond PD in Louisiana is known for her honesty, integrity, and steady hand in a crisis—but that wasn’t always so. Miranda comes from Jasper, just south of Hammond, a place about the size of a good spit on a hot day, and her side of the tracks was the wrong one. She’s worked hard to leave the girl she used to be behind and earn respect in her position as an officer.

However, when Miranda and her partner are called to investigate the murder of one of the town’s most beloved college professors, they’re unprepared for the gruesomeness of the scene. This murder is unlike any they’ve ever investigated, and just when Miranda thinks she’s seen the worst of it, she finds a piece of evidence that chills her to the core: a faded newspaper clipping about a terrible night from her long-buried past. Then another man turns up dead, this one a retired cop, and not just any cop—Clint Wheeler, the cop who took her statement that night. Two murders, two very different men, two killings that on the surface had nothing in common—except Miranda. 14 years ago.

And when her fingerprints turn up at the scene of the first murder, Miranda once again finds herself under the microscope, her honesty and integrity doubted, her motivations questioned. Alone again, the trust of her colleagues shattered, Miranda must try to trust the instincts she’s pushed down for so long, and decide what’s right—before it’s too late.



Kritters Thoughts:  Miranda Rader has outgrown her wild days and is now an upstanding citizen and police officer, but when a murder in the small town starts bringing up pieces from the past, she must confront it head on.

There are only a few chapters that take place in the past, but they were perfectly timed and just enough to get the glimpse of what happened to Miranda and why she is who she is now and even a peak into the people who were around then and now.  I loved them, but didn't need any more than were provided.

I have to say although through it all I loved it, I was disappointed in the main character because I feel like she didn't go down a route of questioning until late in the book and not to give much away but the title of the book was a semi giveaway!

I still loved the book and the writing and how the whole book came together and I would completely read another book by Erica Spindler and will be passing her praise to all my friends and family who read the mystery/thriller who dun it genre.


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


Ebook 2017 Challenge: 33 out of 50


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, August 20, 2017

Bout of Books starts on Monday, August 21st and goes through Sunday, August 27th. 

My goal for the Bout of Books 20 TBR pile is to read 250 pages per day, which amounts to 1,750 pages for the whole week.  

 
Doing another round of Bout of Books, we shall see how it goes.  I love participating because there are really no rules, you are just challenge yourself to read more than you typically do.  So I am hoping for a great week in books!

I am excited that I will be on vacation for 4 out of the 7 days of this bout of books, so I should be able to read away those days!

Let's see how this goes!

1. A Beautiful Poison by Lydia Kang (350 pages)

2. Something Like Happy by Eva Woods (384 pages)
3. The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter (528 pages)
4. The Long Way Home by Kevin Bannister (348 pages)
5. Good Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton (272 pages)

This is a total of 1,882 pages!


For those that don't know what Bout of Books is... here you go:


The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 5th and runs through Sunday, January 11th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional.For all Bout of Books 12 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team
This was a GREAT week of reading.  The office was quiet and the weekend was semi quiet!  The end of next week starts a great vacation and I am so ready!
A meme hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. 

Finished this past week:
Girl Last Seen by Nina Laurin
The Other Girl by Erica Spindler
Before I Knew by Jamie Beck
American Housewife by Helen Ellis
I'll Have What She's Having by Erin Carlson
The One that Got Away by Melissa Pimetel
A Mother Like Mine by Kate Hewitt

Currently Reading:
A Beautiful Poison by Lydia Kang

Next on the TBR pile:
Something Like Happy by Eva Woods

Friday, August 18, 2017

Girl Last Seen
by Nina Laurin

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Two missing girls. Thirteen years apart.

Olivia Shaw has been missing since last Tuesday. She was last seen outside the entrance of her elementary school in Hunts Point wearing a white spring jacket, blue jeans, and pink boots.

I force myself to look at the face in the photo, into her slightly smudged features, and I can't bring myself to move. Olivia Shaw could be my mirror image, rewound to thirteen years ago.

If you have any knowledge of Olivia Shaw's whereabouts or any relevant information, please contact...

I've spent a long time peering into the faces of girls on missing posters, wondering which one replaced me in that basement. But they were never quite the right age, the right look, the right circumstances. Until Olivia Shaw, missing for one week tomorrow.

Whoever stole me was never found. But since I was taken, there hasn't been another girl.

And now there is.



Kritters Thoughts:  Laine is working two jobs and trying to support herself and it is revealed early on that she had a hard childhood with a major experience that forever changed who she was.  While working one of her jobs, she sees a missing report, but this one seems different from the rest and pulls her in to figure out what happened to this girl.  

I loved the premise of this story and the first half worked so well for me, but somewhere half way thru I got lost and couldn't really get back into it.  There was a big thing about her past and what happened to her and how it happened that I just didn't get nor enjoy.  I actually rolled my eyes and got frustrated with the book because I just didn't think it worked with the rest of the story.

With all of that, the plot of the story was unique and there are details that I don't want to spoil that made this different from other missing girls books and I liked that.  I just wanted a few of the other things that happened to go a different way - sorry to be vague, but I don't want to ruin someone else's experience by revealing major plot points.  

I enjoyed Laine's present day life and I enjoyed her connection to the Olivia Shaw case.  I even enjoyed who ended up bring the kidnapper and liked their connection to all of it.  


So I am officially on the fence on this one.  There were major parts that I loved and how the plot unfolded, but there were also big parts that didn't work for me at all.  I will say this was a good debut and I would be interested in reading more for this author, but hope the next story is completely solid and a good book from beginning to end.


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


Ebook 2017 Challenge: 32 out of 50


Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Hachette.  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, August 17, 2017

If the Creek Don't Rise
by Leah Weiss

Publisher: Sourcebooks
Pages: 320
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  In a North Carolina mountain town filled with moonshine and rotten husbands, Sadie Blue is only the latest girl to face a dead-end future at the mercy of a dangerous drunk. She’s been married to Roy Tupkin for fifteen days, and she knows now that she should have listened to the folks who said he was trouble. But when a stranger sweeps in and knocks the world off-kilter for everyone in town, Sadie begins to think there might be more to life than being Roy’s wife.


Kritters Thoughts:  In the hills of Applachia, there are towns that seem like they haven't aged and life is still primitive and this book explores one of those towns as a new teacher has come to town to teach the children and will maybe stir up things.  

With only a few chapters and each chapter narrated by a different character and only a few chapters had repeats, it was an full view because you saw life through the pastor, a woman who was abused by her husband, her grandmother and her aunt and so on.

I lived in North Carolina in two parts for quite a few years and North Carolina has a special place in my heart because it is where I was first an adult and I am not naive to say that there are towns like this both in North Carolina and in many if not all other states in the United States, but this book just didn't work for me.  It felt like a caricature of this lifestyle and just disingenuous.  I was cringing a few times not because I didn't think it was true, it just didn't feel right.  I feel like I am talking circles, but its hard to describe what I really didn't love about it, but I felt it through the whole book.

I would read another book by this author, only if it wasn't set in this area because it wasn't her writing her per say it was more her portrayal.  


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


Ebook 2017 Challenge: 31 out of 50


Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Sourcebook.  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, August 15, 2017

The End of Temperance Dare
by Wendy Webb

Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  When Eleanor Harper becomes the director of a renowned artists’ retreat, she knows nothing of Cliffside Manor’s dark past as a tuberculosis sanatorium, a “waiting room for death.” After years of covering murder and violence as a crime reporter, Eleanor hopes that being around artists and writers in this new job will be a peaceful retreat for her as much as for them.

But from her first fog-filled moments on the manor’s grounds, Eleanor is seized by a sense of impending doom and realizes there’s more to the institution than its reputation of being a haven for creativity. After the arrival of the new fellows―including the intriguing, handsome photographer Richard Banks―she begins to suspect that her predecessor chose the group with a dangerous purpose in mind. As the chilling mysteries of Cliffside Manor unravel and the eerie sins of the past are exposed, Eleanor must fight to save the fellows—and herself—from sinister forces.


Kritters Thoughts:  A fantastically creepy book that has a little historical element and maybe a few ghosts.  Eleanor Harper was previously at Cliffside as a reporter when the car accident happened that took two lives and now she has returned to become the director and from the beginning things have been a little creepy.  

I spoil the book a little mentioning the ghosts, but I am not revealing too much.  I wish I had known about it ahead of time, I still loved the book, but I roll my eyes at a few moments with ghosts involved!

I loved the historical aspect so much.  To get an inside glimpse into a home that was used for TB patients and to see how those patients were treated was many things, but interesting is the only word I can come up with.  

I enjoyed my first Wendy Webb experience and I own one of her other books and after reading this one, it has moved to the top.  I loved how she slowly but surely gave the reader little bits of knowledge and the way she unpacked it was so perfect.  I will have to add that this was definitely a creepy book and I was home alone when I finished it and maybe that wasn't the best idea!


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


Ebook 2017 Challenge: 31 out of 50


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

Related Posts with Thumbnails
 

Copyright 2010 Kritters Ramblings.

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