Thursday, August 13, 2020



It is my birthday!  It is an interesting one.  
Going to spend it reading, gardening and boating!

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

The Friendship List
by Susan Mallery

Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  [ ] Dance till dawn

[ ] Go skydiving

[ ] Wear a bikini in public

[ ] Start living

Two best friends jump-start their lives in a summer that will change them forever…

Single mom Ellen Fox couldn’t be more content—until she overhears her son saying he can’t go to his dream college because she needs him too much. If she wants him to live his best life, she has to convince him she’s living hers.

So Unity Leandre, her best friend since forever, creates a list of challenges to push Ellen out of her comfort zone. Unity will complete the list, too, but not because she needs to change. What’s wrong with a thirtysomething widow still sleeping in her late husband’s childhood bed?


Kritters Thoughts:  Two women feel as though their lives may be stuck going in the same circle year to year, so they challenged each other to complete a list to possibly move their lives in a forward motion.  Ellen Fox has been a single mom since her teenage years and has slowly built a life that she is happy with, but it has always revolved around her life as a mom.  She missed those wild single years, so she may need to focus on how her life will look after her son goes to college.  Unity Leandre's husband died years ago and she still lives in his childhood home, with even the decor from those years.  She hasn't moved beyond what life should have looked like in the dreams she had with him.  

From a tattoo, to dates, to phone upgrades, these ladies challenged each other to do small and big things to move themselves forward and it was so fun to watch them complete the lists.  For me the sad thing was that they weren't completing the lists together as Ellen was on a road trip with her son visiting possible colleges.  This reminded me of my recent read by Abbi Waxman, but still felt different enough to enjoy both books.  

With a few sexy scenes, there was a definite need for romance for both of these women for two very different reasons and I enjoyed watching women of my age fumble through dating.  I loved how each woman challenged the other because they were both having the same issue but in a different context, it was fun to watch them help the other better than they helped themselves!

I typically enjoy Susan Mallery's stand alone books and I liked this one, but it wasn't my favorite.


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

Ebook 2020 Challenge: 75 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.



Monday, August 10, 2020

Hidden Bones
by Vivian Barz 

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Pages: 240
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Two months have passed, and the horrors of Death Farm still torment police officer Susan Marlan and college professor Eric Evans. Susan struggles to regain her zeal for fighting crime, while Eric is slowly coming to terms with his newfound “gift” of seeing the dead.

Seeking much-needed rest, Susan and Eric follow their musician friend Jake and his band to Washington State. But once they reach the cheerless town of Clancy, Eric’s murderous visions start again. Something seems wrong about the town and its aloof citizens—and suspicions turn to dread when members of Jake’s band go missing.

Eric, Susan, and Jake search deep in the dark forest of the Olympic Peninsula, where many have disappeared. But the harder they search, the less cooperative the locals become. As the case begins looking more like a murder investigation, the trio must work together to locate the lost and uncover chilling town secrets buried in the darkest of places.


Kritters Thoughts:  The second in a series and as always in mystery series the case is solved within each book, but there is character development of the investigators and the characters that carry from book to book, so I suggest going back and starting with book one in this series before going ahead and reading this one.

Police officer Susan Marlan and professor Eric Evans return and in this book they are fully in a relationship and still trying to come down from the excitement that took place in book one.  They get invited on a road trip along with a band to help cart around equipment, but drama will begin after the first concert on this intended road trip.  Band members go missing, this small town gives off weird vibes and professor Eric Evans starts having the horrible visions that he had in book one.  

I am liking this series as it feels different from the many other mystery/thrillers that I read.  They can be a little gory with the professor's visions having dead people in it "talking" to him, but it is by no means the goriest thing I have read.  This one felt as though it came together a little too quickly in the last few pages, but I still liked it.

I will read the next one in the series when it arrives.  


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

Ebook 2020 Challenge: 73 out of 100


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.


Friday, August 7, 2020

The Woman in Red
by Diana Giovinazzo

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Destiny toys with us all, but Anita Garibaldi is a force to be reckoned with. Forced into marriage at a young age, Anita feels trapped in a union she does not want. But when she meets the leader of the Brazilian resistance, Giuseppe Garibaldi, in 1839, everything changes.

Swept into a passionate affair with the idolized mercenary, Anita's life is suddenly consumed by the plight to liberate Southern Brazil from Portugal -- a struggle that would cost thousands of lives and span almost ten bloody years. Little did she know that this first taste of revolution would lead her to cross oceans, traverse continents, and alter the course of her entire life -- and the world.


Kritters Thoughts: Anita Garibaldi was a woman trying to break the mold of what women were supposed to do in 1839.  Born in a time and place where women's worth was wrapped in their husbands, Anita wanted more.  In walks Giuseppe Garibaldi who is on a mission and doesn't mind if Anita is along for the ride and ends up so thankful that she is the woman beside him in battle.    

What I loved about this book was it took me to a different time and place than what I typically read.  With so many historical fiction books taking place during World War II, I could appreciate a read that took me somewhere else.  

While I appreciated the time and place for the story.  The writing for me fell short.  The writing felt stunted and staccato.  I couldn't get connected to the character due to the writing and it made the reading hard and I felt as though it slowed down my reading and not in a good way.

After finishing the book, I found out this was a debut, so I could try another from the author in hopes that I could get draw into her next 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 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.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

The Girls of August
by Anne Rivers Siddons

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Pages: 223
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  For fifteen years, four "girls of August" would gather together to spend a week at the beach, until tragedy interrupts their ritual. Now they reunite for a startling week of discoveries.

The ritual began when they were in their twenties and their husbands were in medical school, and became a mainstay of every summer thereafter. Their only criteria was oceanfront and isolation, their only desire to strengthen their far-flung friendships. They called themselves the Girls of August. But when one of the Girls dies tragically, the group slowly drifts apart and their vacations together are brought to a halt.

Years later, a new marriage reunites them and they decide to come together once again on a remote barrier island off the South Carolina coast. There, far from civilization, the women uncover secrets that will change them in ways they never expected.


Kritters Thoughts:  Four friends get together every year for a girls getaway, but they end when one of the wives passes away suddenly.  A new wife enters the mix and she pushes the wives to try it again at a home that her family owns on Tiger Island, so they go and oh the drama that follows.

I love a story that revolves solely around friendship, especially female friendships.  I enjoyed the dichotomy of old friendships and new ones and how it can be hard to merge the two.  This book made me think about the females in my life and made me want to book a vacation with just some girls to get away!  

For me the book didn't end well.  I don't want to spoil, but I just didn't love how and where and when it concluded.  It felt as though it just stopped half way off a cliff and I just wanted a bit more to make it feel conclusive.  This wouldn't keep me from reading more from this author, I just hope the next one I read from her feels complete.  


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.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

What's Your Enneatype?
by Liz Carver and Josh Green

Publisher: Fair Winds Press
Pages: 176
Format: eARC 
Buy the Book: Amazon 

Goodreads:  Pronounced ENN-EE-UH-GRAM, stemming from the Greek words ennea (nine) and grammos (a written symbol), the Enneagram is a centuries-old categorization tool that classifies human personalities into nine interconnected personality types. It is a powerful tool for self-observation, maximizing your strengths, and improving your relationships.​

Learn—through in-depth descriptions, illustrations, and more—how to assess how you think, feel, and experience life, so that you can correctly identify which of the nine types you are.
Type 1: The Improver/Reformer/Perfectionist (Life Strategy: "I must be perfect and do what is right.")
Type 2: The Helper/Giver/Befriender (Life Strategy: "I must be helping, caring, and needed.")
​Type 3: The Achiever/Performer/Motivator (Life Strategy: "I must be impressive and look accomplished and successful.")
​Type 4: The Individualist/Romantic/Artist (Life Strategy: "I must be understood uniquely as I am.")
​Type 5: The Investigator/Observer/Theorist (Life Strategy: "I must be knowledgeable and equipped.")
​Type 6: The Loyalist/Skeptic/Guardian (Life Strategy: "I must be secure and safe.")
​Type 7: The Enthusiast/Optimist/Epicurean (Life Strategy: "I must be enjoying myself and avoiding pain.")
Type 8: The Challenger/Protector/Advocate (Life Strategy: "I must be strong and outside the control of others.")
Type 9: The Peacemaker/Mediator/Reconciler (Life Strategy: "I must maintain peace and calm.")
Authors Liz Carver and Josh Green, creators of the hugely popular Instagram account @justmyenneatype, help you discover how knowing your type—and the types of those around you—can affect your daily life, your decisions, and your relationships with others, and how to use this wisdom to live life with more clarity, peace, and insight than you ever thought possible.

So what's your enneatype? Find out today and get started on the journey to better understand your world, yourself, and your place within it.
 


Kritters Thoughts:  I am and have been for a long time a huge fan of the "personality type" genre of books and learning devices.  I love when I can learn more about myself and how I relate to others who are alike and different from me.  

I have read a few books about Enneagram and by far this one has become a favorite of mine.  The way they lay out how they will describe each type and the detail on each type is just outstanding.  I love that within each type they start with a generalization about the personality behind the type and then show positives and negatives and then the things that each type should do for self care.  This for me was of course interesting to read about my type, but was even more enjoyable for the types that are different from me.  I almost appreciated the chapters that I didn't define as myself more than the ones that hit close to home!  

I would recommend taking an enneagram test before reading this book, so you know your type and you can read all the chapters to see how you relate to each type, but really find the details about your own type.  


Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

Ebook 2020 Challenge: 62 out of 100


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 4, 2020

Paris Never Leaves You
by Ellen Feldman

Publisher: St Martin's Press
Pages: 368
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Living through WWII working in a Paris bookstore with her young daughter, Vivi, and fighting for her life, Charlotte is no victim, she is a survivor. But can she survive the next chapter of her life?

Alternating between wartime Paris and 1950s New York publishing, Paris Never Leaves You is an extraordinary story of resilience, love, and impossible choices, exploring how survival never comes without a cost.

The war is over, but the past is never past.


Kritters Thoughts:  Two time periods alternating in this story, but the years aren't that far apart.  Charlotte has lived through the unspeakable and in the current storyline is living in New York, working in publishing, and trying to raise her child without revealing secrets from her past.  In the past storyline, we are in the middle of the war and Charlotte is trying to do anything to stay alive in a bookstore where the enemy comes way to close for her comfort.

This was one of those books that I liked, but didn't love.  The thing that I loved most about the book was that the two storylines took place so close together, so you almost got a what happened after while also reading the story that took place during the war.  There are many times while reading stories, especially that take place during a war that end and I want to know more than what the book presents.  This book had the chance to answer the questions of what happens to a person after war interrupts their life. 

After finishing the book, I read the reviews and saw many comments about the love storylines and that they didn't feel authentic and I could agree.  They felt forced and in my opinion they didn't add so much to the full story.  There were aspects of them that were needed, but overall they were just ok.  

I liked this book and would read the next by this author.  If you like to read ALL the World War II books, then I would add this one to your TBR.


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.


 

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