Saturday, March 27, 2021

Suzannes Diary for Nicholas by James Patterson

Suzanne's Diary for NicholasSuzanne's Diary for Nicholas by James Patterson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I am a long time reader of James Patterson mysteries and I love his writing - but had never read this one. I recently received as a christmas gift from a friend. I wanted to love this book, she loved this book. I did like the story but as I was reading I kept thinking about how some (most) of the statements made by Suzanne in this Diary for Nicholas were inappropriate for a mother to tell her son. And while the story was interesting, I struggled to get past this idea. It really wasn't until the end of the book, in that final twist where the book got to me.

That said it was a nice, sweet and tragic love story that I don't regret reading.

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Sunday, March 21, 2021


The Ten Thousand Doors of JanuaryThe Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Personal Rating: 5/10 C+

The premise/idea of this book was perfection, and I very much wanted to fall into the world of Doors with January and Love this story. But, in the end it didn't pull me in the way I expected and it didn't keep me the way I needed it to. The imagination to come up with this premise is genius, but the execution of the story took way too long to pull me in. I was not pulled in until at least page 150, and that's just too long. I know many people loved this story, including a good friend of mine. But it just wasn't for me.

I also read this with my husband who couldn't finish the story, he is not much of a reader and this just wasn't the right book for him. But I thought the adventures of January would be fun for us to read together.

I ended up rating this book 3 stars, I gave the premise 4 stars, the ending 3 Stars but the slow beginning 2 stars. If I wasn't reading the book with my husband I probably wouldn't have finished it honestly but since I stuck in and finished it, the ended was better than the beginning.

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The Girl from Widow HillsThe Girl from Widow Hills by Megan Miranda
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Personal rating: 7/10 - B

This is book that was not on my radar at all until my someone from my work BookClub picked it. It was published in june of 2020 and it seems to have premiered rather silently and my an author that I haven't heard much of BUT has so many books with good ratings. Not sure how this author has escaped me before now. The premise of this book sounded good, so we ended up picking it for our March 2021 group read.

I was very pleasantly suprised by this book. There were some good twists and turns, it had a solid story line and the final twists pushed the rating up a bit for me. It definitely had me wanting to read more and find the truth.

This is a solid suspense/thriller and I look forward to reading more by Megan Miranda.

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Saturday, March 06, 2021

RECURSION by Blake Crouch

RecursionRecursion by Blake Crouch
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Personal Rating: A+

AMAZING! This Book Absolutely BLEW MY MIND! and then the last line of the book just ended me, so completely!

Blake Crouch is now officially one of my favorite authors and I can't wait to read more. What an introduction to an amazing mind.

I don't want to give a single spoiler to this book. I was kept up nights working through the logic trying to find flaws in this story - it's flawless! It kept me in a whirlwind where I didn't know which way was up - in the best possible way.

BRAVO - More Blake Crouch PLEASE!!!

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Saturday, February 27, 2021

SNAP by Belinda Bauer

SnapSnap by Belinda Bauer
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Personal Rating: C

I don't have too much to say about this one. It was hard to follow at first and then Catherine was just such an unbelievable character that I lost interest. The most interesting part of the story was Jack's survival intincts but there wasn't enough believe things in the book to make it work for me.

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Sunday, February 21, 2021


The Book of LongingsThe Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Personal Rating: A+
I cannot gush harder about how much i adored this book!!!

When my friend suggested we read the book I wasn't sure what to think. I was immediately intrigued by the spicy take of Jesus having a wife, it gave me vibes of THE RED TENT by Anita Diamant (which I LOVED), and I think Sue Monk Kidd is an amazing author (See THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES). So I jumped at opportunity to dig into this one.

Let me start by saying that I'm not a religious person but I grew up in a strict religious christian household and my husband is catholic - so I do have a background of understanding what this book means to some. My husband was offended by the concept, so I get it. However, I am also someone who understands that fiction is fiction, and no matter what your beliefs - sometimes taking the "what if" can be fun - even if you believe it couldnt be true.

What I didn't expect was that this book would be so respectful of religion and so acurate to the historical time period. She didn't step into the areas where different religions conflict. She stuck to the story of this brave and amazing woman, and while Jesus was important to the story - he was also not the focus. It was so beautifully written and everything that i didn't know I needed in my life right now.

Being brought up in a Christian household I was not aware of any Jewish traditions or terminology and this book had me so intrigued that i spent the first few chapters googling everything to get proper background. What I read on google about the timeline of the story was accurate to historical events (and where she changed things she noted in the authors notes).

The characters were so well developed and their stories were touching and vibrant and tragic. I even cried during the scenes leading to the crucifixion of Jesus. This book made me feel so many amazing feelings, i cannot say enough good things about this wonderful book.

If you are even remotely interested in the idea of this book - READ IT. You will not be disappointed.

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Friday, February 19, 2021


The Daughters of ErietownThe Daughters of Erietown by Connie Schultz
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Schultz did a great job of getting the feel of the generation that she was writing about. When I realized that this book was actually published in 2020, I was amazed. When reading this book, regardless of the Era that you were reading about, you really felt like you were back in that time and place.

I read this with friends for a book clud and I didn't really know what to expect from this story. I was pleasantly suprised that I liked it more than I thought I would going in. I thought the Characters were as well developed as the time period but what missed for me was that the story was predictable (as it was probably meant to be). It actually read more like really good Non-Fiction to me, which I believe is telling of the authors talent, but being predictable is just not what I want out of my reading these days - so it missed a little something for me. That said - I can see where others would give it 5 stars.

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Saturday, February 13, 2021

THE FIVE: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper by Hallie Rubenhold

The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the RipperThe Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper by Hallie Rubenhold
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Personal rating: B-

Let me first say that this book was very well done and super interesting. Hallie Rubenhold made it very clear that simply labelling these women as protestutes is short-sighted and incorrect (in several of the cases). I learned so much about London in the time of Jack the Ripper, as well as about these women themselves and at times it didn't feel like Non-Fiction. These women's lives were very interesting, each one unique and tragic in their own way. But i have to admit by the time I got to Mary Jane I was a bit burned out on information. And this is why I do believe that my rating may reflect more about how I read it and I will read it again one day - what I think is the right way - and update my review at that time to reflect.

To Explain:
There is a TON of information to absorb, all relevant and important to the time and these women's lives that it deserves proper time and reflection. when I re-read this book I will read it a chapter at a time over a longer period of time. Taking time to absorb and reflect before moving on to the next woman. when I re-read I will purchase a physical copy so that I can highlight, note, tag as needed within the book itself. I don't think that I will ever go back to the highlights in the kindle book for reflection.

I am still very happy that I read this book and were introduced properly to these interesting women.

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Tuesday, February 02, 2021

The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon

The Winter PeopleThe Winter People by Jennifer McMahon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Personal rating: B+

I was looking for Creepy, Scary, all the eerie vibes that I could find when I suggested this book as a buddy read with my friend. And although, the Creep factor never fully developed, there were some glimpses of it, and I thoroughly enjoyed this read without it. Especially the parts of the book that were from Sara and Martin starting in 1908. I could have read the whole book about them and Gertie - so good.

This book was more supernatural and less scary than I thought going in, but still an excellent storyline with a great dark atmospheric vibe. There were a lot of characters in this book and I struggled at times to keep them all straight - i do think a couple of them could have been dropped from the story (Candace) and it would not have negatively affected the story.

Jennifer McMahon is now a go-to author for me. I plan to read the Drowning Kind this year and I am so excited to read more by her.

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Sunday, January 31, 2021

The Survivors by Jane Harper

The SurvivorsThe Survivors by Jane Harper
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Personal Rating: C+

I received this book on Audio from NetGalley for a fair and honest review.

This is my first book by Jane Harper, I have heard wonderful things about her ability to create a vivid atmosphere in her books. This by far is the #1 attribute of this book. The setting of Evelyn Bay, a small coastal town on the Tasmanian Coast, was so beautifully written - i felt I was seeing it first hand. The descriptions were vivid and beautifully done.

As for the storyline and pace, these I was a bit disappointed in and I didn't feel invested in the characters at all. This book was a miss for me. However, I will give Jane Harper another try because I've heard so many good things about her other books, but this one is just not one I would recommend - even with the amazing atmosphere.

#Macmillan Audio #NetGalley

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Tuesday, January 26, 2021

The Late Bloomers' Club by Louise Miller

The Late Bloomers' ClubThe Late Bloomers' Club by Louise Miller
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I picked up The Late Bloomers' Club because I was in the mood for a feel good Hallmark Movie type of book and it ended up being much of what I wanted and expected. This isn't a book that you pick up if you want to be blown away, but if you want a feel good small town redemption story with some highs and lows and a sense of community along the way (the Hallmark trait) this one will do the trick for you.

I felt like all the characters were relatable (except for Kit), and you could root for them all (in the end even Kit!).

Some of my favorite quotes:
"The antidote of envy is to rejoice in the good qualities of others."

“There is no path to happiness. Happiness is the path.”

"I cried for myself, for all the years I had lost wishing for something to be different, and for all the wasted time not seeing what I had."

I also had the pleasure of being part of the Modern Mrs. Darcy Book Club with Louise and she was such a joy to chat with. I will read more of her books when I am in the mood for a cozy type read for sure.

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Sunday, January 17, 2021


The Girl with the Louding VoiceThe Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Daré
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
My Letter Rating: C, AVERAGE

What Adunni went through was tragic and her spirit is lovely. So, while I can appreciate this story for what it is, the overall temperature for this book was very mild for me. I liked it, but didn't LOVE it like some others have. There were a few scenes that stuck out to me as good scenes, but generaly I didn't get excited to pick the book up and read more of Adunni's journey each day. In fact, i believe that if it wasn't for the fact that this is a book club read for me - i may not have continued to read on. Saying that my 3*'s seems to contradict that statement but I stick by it. I am glad I finished it but it was a very average book for me.

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THE WIFE UPSTAIRS by Rachel Hawkins

The Wife UpstairsThe Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
My letter rating: C- BELOW AVERAGE

I received this book on Audio from NetGalley as an Advanced Readers Copy for a fair and honest review.

Psychological Thriller has been my go to genre for some time because I love surprises and twisty turns in a book. However, recently this genre has been fading for me and I feel like a nitpicky customer when it comes to the genre these days, but it's being over run with books that are just 'meh' and this book is just another on the list for me.

None of these characters are likeable, and a good book needs one likeable person to cheer for. But - even so, i continued to read on. Yes, there were twists, but this book does some stretching of the imagination to pull it off and I just couldn't suspend belief in several areas, and this ruined the book for me.

This is where if you haven't read the book and don't want spoilers you should not read on:
1) There is a panic room upstairs that the people inside can't get out. Panic rooms are built for people to not be able to get in NOT to keep people in. If it was built with the intention to keep people in, that is one thing - BUT, in the end it was shown to be a normal panic room - it would have made more sense if Eddie was the "bad" guy and built it with this intention.
2) How can someone shower in the panic room and no one in the house hears running water through the pipes or the water heater kicking on?
3) I get that "Jane" is making a new start but how in the world is she able to take on the inheritance (including Bea's business) from Eddie and Bea with an alter ego, it's not like they left her cash. Wouldn't she need to prove who she was? (SS#,bank accounts, birth cert?)
4) If Bea and Eddie are not dead, how do they move on when "jane" has all their money and now owns Bea's business? it's not like they planned to run away and were able to put money in an account for this.

There are more but these are my top 4.

It had potential with the premise, but it really missed the mark for me - like so many Psych thrillers have these days.


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Saturday, January 09, 2021


The House in the Cerulean SeaThe House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

THE HOUSE IN THE CERULEAN SEA is one of the sweetest and warmest books that I have read in a very long time. It was a feel good story with a fun and endearing group of magical children who you can't help but root for. This was not what I expected but it was exactly what I needed. The characters were fantastic and lovable to the very end. I'm very happy to have this one as my first book of 2021. The author has noted that this is a story of Kindness and this is very clear. Given the craziness of the United States right now, it was definitely the right book at the right time.

My favorite quote: "Hate is loud, but I think you’ll learn it’s because it’s only a few people shouting, desperate to be heard. You might not ever be able to change their minds, but so long as you remember you’re not alone, you will overcome."

I haven't seen anything that officially claims this book is YA, but it reads a bit like YA to me. Trust me it's just very sweet and loveable.

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Friday, January 01, 2021


As 2020 comes to a close, I look back at what worked for me and what didn't last year. I read the most books that I've ever read in a year (at least since tracking) but I feel like the quality has gone down and I have less A reads than ever.

My 2020 Top 10 Countdown
10. One by OneONE BY ONE by Ruth Ware - 4 stars (B)
9. The Last FlightTHE LAST FLIGHT by Julie Clark - 4 stars (B)
8. The Sun Down MotelTHE SUN DOWN MOTEL by Simone St.James (B)
7. Home Before DarkHOME BEFORE DARK by Riley Sager - 4 stars (B)
6. Athena's ChoiceATHENA'S CHOICE by Adam Boostrom - 4 stars (B+)
5. HomegoingHOMEGOING by Yaa Gyasi - 4 Stars (B+)
4. The TestamentsTHE TESTAMENT'S by Margaret Atwood - 4 stars (B+)
3. The Year of the WitchingTHE YEAR OF THE WITCHING by Alexis Henderson - 4 Stars (A-)
2. The ShiningThe Shining by Stephen King - 5 Stars (A)

... And my FAVORITE book of 2020 was ....

1. The Chestnut ManThe Chestnut Man by Soren Sveistrup - 5 stars (A+)