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Monday, December 26, 2016

Read All The Things, Reading Recap Vol 4!

This is one of those classics I can't believe I've never read. It is a compelling novella filled with suspense and intrigue characteristic of H.G. Wells' style. I'm very curious about the upcoming movie based on the story. I realize it has been done before; however, this is a timeless tale and made for the big screen.

Final rating: 4 out of 5 stars

A pretty typical romance centered around a marriage of convenience but ultimately turning into a happily ever after.  I didn't love it, nor did I hate but. That being said, there wasn't much that was overly unique or memorable. Mostly, it filled a space for me in between other books.

Final rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

I wouldn't normally pick up a historical fiction book such as this except that I needed to read Circling the Sun for a book club.  I'd never in my life heard of Beryl Markham--surprising since she had success as a horse trainer in Africa and is the British equivalent to Amelia Earhart.

The novel kept my interest even though I found Beryl frustrating as a character based on fact. The writing is well composed but I agree with the book group that there was lack of depth and a sense of disconnect between parts of the narrative.

Final rating: 3 out of 5 stars

I hated this and would have never bothered except I wanted to fulfill the Oprah Book Club spot for my reading challenge. I just couldn't engage in this memoir of self discovery as the author rambles about excessive drinking leading to unplanned pregnancy, a shotgun wedding and subsequent surprise and devastation when said marriage isn't perfect and her husband cheats. But wait! Go meditate by the beach, take some yoga and therapy and then go back to the guy because 'you are a love warrior!'

No thank you! Not for me but I can see why this is an Oprah pick. It definitely fits her book club mantra.

Final rating: 1 out of 5 stars

Wells' science fiction and fantasy writing was certainly ahead of its time, which is why these are classics and still palatable to audiences today. The Time Machine is perhaps my favorite of his tales (plus I like the movie!). I love the blending of past, present and future and the general discussion about the potential future of the human race and the planet, especially what knowledge might remain and what baser instinct always re-emerge.

Final rating: 4 out of 5 stars

And Then There Were None is another classic that I know I should have read long ago. I enjoyed this suspenseful, traditional mystery by Christie. She truly is the queen of the genre.  The story is fantastic as is the pacing. I think that is why so many others have copied the style.  Finishing this makes me want to watch and play Clue!

Final rating: 4 out of 5 stars

On a decidedly different note, Sleeping with Strangers is the first book I've read from urban fiction author Eric Jerome Dickey and part of my 2016 reading challenge. Gideon is a for hire hitman with a mysterious and troubled past. Fleeing the U.S. after a new job turned particularly violent and way too public, he arrives in London to a whole new set of complications.

I can't say that I liked or disliked the book as a whole. The new writing style from Dickey made it hard for me to adjust. However, I'll agree that it was fast paced and held my attention, especially the cliffhanger that still has me wondering what happens.

Final rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Madison's The Vegas Diaries was a bit of a let down after finishing Down the Rabbit Hole. I still found it interesting; however, much of it felt repetitive based on what the author explored in her previous memoir.  There is much more detail about her stint on Dancing with the Stars as well as her role in Peep Show on the Vegas strip. Madison is a competent writer and I enjoyed the Wizard of Oz tie-in to her chapters.

Final rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Andres is a young man who has lived most of his life fighting depression and anxiety. Just about to give up hope, he meets a charismatic stranger named Roman. He follows Roman and his friends to an underground party only to be kidnapped and whisked away to a supernatural world where darkness and deceit prevail and human are no more than slaves meant to endure horrific torture. Andres seeks to unite his fellow prisoners in order to escape while also discovering that he might also be the prophesied savior to end the darkness for good.

Dark, fantasy and horror. This was an interest debut from Henriquez but ultimately not my cup of tea.

Final rating: 2 out 5 stars

Triangles is the parallel telling of Hopkins' YA novel Tilt. This narrative in verse follows three mothers:

Holly - filled with regret as a stay at home mom, she sheds excess weight and delves into a life of extramarital affairs which threaten to break apart her family.

Andrea - Holly's single best friend who watches her seemingly throw away a good husband and life she would do just about anything to have.

Marissa - Andrea's sister and mother to a young girl with a terminal illness and a host of other family challenges so extensive that she has forgotten to life for herself.

Triangles is very much a story of connections and disconnections told in Hopkin's riveting style which draws the reader into these characters and their lives.  It is hard, erotic, realistic and at times, overwhelmingly sad but truly a book to remember..

Final rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Book 12 of the Otherworld series, Shadow Rising continues to tale of the D'Artigo sisters and their quest to discover seals and keep them out of hands of an evil demon lord.  Each book is told from a different sister's POV, this one by Menolly, a Fae turned vampire, devoted to her family as well as consort to a powerful vampire lord and finance to werepuma, Nerissa.  To put it mildly, Menolly's love life is complicated.

Will she and Nerissa decide on the details of their promise ceremony? What is happening to the local witches? Can they defeat Telazhar, a malevolent necromancer, dispatched by Shadow Wing?

I enjoyed it; however, the Menolly books are never my favorites.  I'm behind in the series and really need to catch up.  Great characterization and overall plot developments with that nice blend of sexy romance and urban fantasy.

Final rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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