THROWBACK THURSDAY PICK OF THE WEEK

throwbackthursday

I began this Throwback Thursday meme as a way to share some of my old favorites as well as sharing books that I’m FINALLY getting around to reading that were published over a year ago. You know, the ones waiting patiently on my TBR list while I continue to pile more titles on top of them:)! I like that these older books are usually much easier than new releases to get a hold of at libraries and elsewhere.

If you have your own Throwback Thursday recommendation feel free to jump on board, you’re welcome to use my pic as well. If you’d like to link back to me that’d be great as I really try my best to include everyone who’s participating week by week at the bottom of my post so all my readers can enjoy all the awesome Throwback picks!

My PICK this week is:

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Published Jan 2016 By Minotaur Books

The Nowhere Man is a legendary figure spoken about only in whispers. It’s said that when he’s reached by the truly desperate and deserving, the Nowhere Man can and will do anything to protect and save them.

But he’s no legend.

Evan Smoak is a man with skills, resources, and a personal mission to help those with nowhere else to turn. He’s also a man with a dangerous past. Chosen as a child, he was raised and trained as part of the off-the-books black box Orphan program, designed to create the perfect deniable intelligence assets—i.e. assassins. He was Orphan X. Evan broke with the program, using everything he learned to disappear.

Now, however, someone is on his tail. Someone with similar skills and training. Someone who knows Orphan X. Someone who is getting closer and closer. And will exploit Evan’s weakness—his work as The Nowhere Man—to find him and eliminate him.

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When I picked up the sequel to this book (The Nowhere Man) at the library the other day, I realized I haven’t featured this high impact fun action thriller on my Throwback Thursday. I’m not sure how this one slipped by me but now’s the time to spotlight it for sure. What’s unique about this thriller is the author took an idea…orphans recruited and trained to be assassins…and really put his own spin on it. Of course, right from the start I felt a connection to young Evan, the poor kid had no choice in the matter, and to say his childhood was like none other would be an understatement. When he breaks with the program and uses his assassin skills to help others in need, I just couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. Not only did I really want to know more about Evan and find out if the new personal connections that were causing him great distress would materialize into something more, but when it becomes clear that someone is after him, the suspense was almost too much!  I highly recommend this one if you’re in the mood for an action packed thriller with substance that also features some pretty fun and creative uses of gadgets. I hope to share my thoughts on the sequel in the coming weeks as well!

HAPPY READING!

Everyone, I can’t tell you how thrilled I am that SO many people are jumping on TBT every week! It’s so fun to read everyone’s picks and share all of these old favorites….your TBR may very well explode each week (mine sure does) but as we readers always say…what’s one more book…or 10!! Enjoy! 

More Throwback Thursday Picks Around the Blogosphere…

Jill at Jill’s Book Cafe

Deanna at DeesRadReads and Reviews

Amanda at Literary Weaponry

Cathy at Between the Lines

Julie at Novel Thrills and Chills

Susan at Susan Loves Books

Cathy at What Cathy Read Next

Noriko at Book Fiend

Amy at NovelGossip

Holly at Dressed to Read

Claire at I’m a Coffeeholic Bookworm

Lynne at Fictionophile

Nicki atThe Secret Library Site

Amy at Book Snail Reviews

Sam at Clues and Reviews

Abby at Crime By The Book

Mischenko at Read Rant Rock and Roll

 

 

REVIEW: BLIND SIDE By Jennie Ensor

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Published July, 2016 

Can you ever truly know someone? And what if you suspect the unthinkable?

London, five months before 7/7. Georgie is living a good life when one night of drinking with her best friend Julian leads to actions she will regret. 

When Georgie meets Nikolai, a former Russian soldier, in a pub while out alone, sparks fly. While Julian struggles to deal with her rejection, Georgie realises how deeply war-time incidents in Chechnya have affected Nikolai. She begins to suspect that the Russian is hiding something terrible from her.

Then London is attacked…

Blind Side explores love and friendship, guilt and betrayal, secrets and obsession. An explosive, debate-provoking thriller that confronts urgent issues of our times and contemplates some of our deepest fears.

******

I mean this in the best possible way…this book wasn’t what I expected. I was even hesitant to read it initially because it’s touted as a psychological thriller and this past year psych thrillers haven’t been my favorite. I’ve actually been avoiding books that fall into that sub-genre but there was something about this one that intrigued me. I love that it’s set in London, one of my very favorite settings for crime fiction and I love that one of the main characters, Nikolai, was a Russian soldier who somehow ended up in London. With hints of love gone wrong and obsession, I felt I couldn’t pass this story up.

We initially meet Georgie and Julian, best friends for many years, who seem to live by the belief that men and women really CAN be just friends….or can they? When too much wine is mixed in with an underlying desire on one of their parts, one thing leads to another and when all is said and done Georgie is left, not only with a hangover, but massive regret. Initially, she believes they can still be friends despite knowing Julian’s true feelings but Julian has other plans in mind and little by little he becomes a man unhinged. What I really enjoyed was along with that storyline, Georgie continues to live her single and carefree life and she meets Nikolai at a pub one evening. He’s edgy, a musician, and very handsome…what more could she possibly ask for?  She is immediately drawn to this Russian, although he very much gives off a vibe of having secrets.

Who Nikolai really is and how he’s come to be in London makes for some very engaging storytelling as I was never really sure if he was on the up and up. He’s clearly hiding something and I couldn’t figure out if it involved his intentions toward Georgie or if he was personally dealing with too many inner demons as a result of fighting in the Russian army. Something was amiss and I was feeling tense about it! Couple this with the escalating troubling behavior by Julian and you’ve got an obsessive triangle that more than hints of drama, suspense, and danger.

Not only is there a compelling love/hate relationship going on but with the attacks on London as a backdrop, Ensor expertly explores terrorism and immigration, highlighting the inner workings of loyalty and betrayal. For these reasons, I would describe this book as part romantic suspense, part political thriller which is why I was so pleasantly surprised by it. I loved the variety of angles and the way the author brought all these threads together in the end. One criticism I do have, however, is that I don’t feel like I really knew Georgie and what made her tick. Being the main character and narrating the story I really wanted to feel more of a connection with her and I felt like she remained below the surface. For me, Nikolai was more fleshed out than her and I would’ve preferred it to be the other way around. Minor issue. Overall, this was a strong debut and I think if you’d like to try something different that’s also very timely, this might be a great choice for you.

Many thanks to Jennie Ensor for my copy

 

IT’S MONDAY WHAT ARE YOU READING?

cheers!

Hosted by Kathryn at Bookdate

I have to say, I think last week was a great reading week overall. I finished 2 books which may not seem like a lot but since one was almost 600 pages, I’m happy! I started several others last week searching for something that would draw me in within the first several pages…this is curse of being a picky mood reader….and I would say the book that most drew me in was Tennison by Lyndia Laplante. I was fully prepared to keep reading this tome (about 600 pages) but then my approval for a much anticipated new release (see below) came through on Edelweiss so I dropped everything to read that one. I will absolutely return to Tennison though, I was really liking Jane. Also, the third book in this series releases in the US in Sept. so I need to get reading to be caught up with the series.

RECENTLY READ…

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The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter was the book that I dropped everything else for last week! This standalone mystery/thriller was fantastic and if you missed my review you can read it here.

Blind Side by Jennie Ensor is touted as a psychological thriller which at first made me hesitant due to my not having the best luck with that genre lately but I found this to be more a combination romantic/political suspense which I was very pleasantly surprised by…my review will be coming soon.

CURRENTLY LISTENING TO….

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According to a Source by Abby Stern is proving to be one of the best audiobooks I’ve listened to since YOU by Caroline Kepnes, narrated by Santino Fontana. For me, the narrator makes ALL the difference and Therese Plummer is amazing. Plus, I’m a People Magazine & Entertainment Weekly junkie so this book is just plain fun! I have to thank Susie at Novel Visits for sharing this audiobook with me via Audible…I owe you one Susie:)

CURRENTLY READING….

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I just started this last night so it’s early but so far the story has really drew me in…it’s creepy yet action filled in the first few pages and this book is getting lots of great reviews so I’m excited to see how it progresses. (Published Aug.1)

UPCOMING POSSIBILITES….

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I’ve read the preview excerpt of Gone To Dust (Netgalley) and it’s SO good…witty and atmospheric! I’m dying to get my hands on this one when it releases tomorrow...it’s by a writer of the tv show Seinfeld AND as my good friend Joe from  BookReporter.com said..”It’s an ACTUAL mystery!” All of us die hard mystery lovers can appreciate this excitement! I’m also super excited to read John Boyne as well(another new to me author)…plus I want to get back to Tennison…is it possible I can completely shut out everything else and read ALL of these this week?? I’d sure like to try! I hope you all have a wonderful reading week and be sure to let me know what’s on your must-read lists this week…

HAPPY READING!

 

REVIEW: THE GOOD DAUGHTER By Karin Slaughter

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Published Aug.8th, 2017 by William Morrow

Two girls are forced into the woods at gunpoint. One runs for her life. One is left behind…

Twenty-eight years ago, Charlotte and Samantha Quinn’s happy small-town family life was torn apart by a terrifying attack on their family home.  And it left the family fractured beyond repair, consumed by secrets from that terrible night.

Twenty-eight years later, and Charlie has followed in her father’s footsteps to become a lawyer herself — the ideal good daughter. But when violence comes to Pikeville again — and a shocking tragedy leaves the whole town traumatized — Charlie is plunged into a nightmare. Not only is she the first witness on the scene, but it’s a case that unleashes the terrible memories she’s spent so long trying to suppress. Because the shocking truth about the crime that destroyed her family nearly thirty years ago won’t stay buried forever…

******

This book should really come with a warning…BEWARE…once you start reading this small town secret filled thriller, you will likely avoid your friends, family, exercise and oh yeah, sleep! I should know because I pretty much ignored everyone and stayed up until after 1:00am because I couldn’t possibly sleep without knowing how this puzzle turned out. I do have to say I was a little hesitant to start this because my last Slaughter book was Pretty Girls which I found just too violently graphic and all who know Karin’s wonderful writing know that she writes so realistically that it’s often hard to get those images out of your head. That’s not to say there isn’t violence in this story, there is, and quite a lot, so if you’re a reader that struggles with that you should take note.

If you haven’t read Karin Slaughter before I think this would be the absolute perfect book to pick up to experience a level of writing that is really so far above so many others in terms of characterization and making readers FEEL that they know these characters. In the beginning of this story we meet Samantha, her sister Charlotte and their parents, Gamma and Rusty Quinn, and within the first few pages I felt like they were real people and I was witnessing their conversations and their heartache over having to move because their home had been firebombed due to Rusty’s job as a defense lawyer in town. I mean, this is where I think Karin Slaughter is light years above other writers…how did she manage to make me feel SO invested in these people so quickly?? Sorry, I digress from my actual review….

The story is structured in such a way that we get to know the characters starting in 1989 in their small Pikeville, Ga town. Before this section closes Slaughter will have managed to toss in a twist that caused me to virtual buckle up for what I predicted was going to be a wild ride. The narration then shifts as we fast forward 28 years and Charlotte is now a defense attorney in the same building as Rusty (who’s still practicing) and trying to navigate the rocky waters of her marriage. I found Rusty to be an absolutely fascinating character. On the one hand, I felt like shaking him for being abrupt and emotionally unavailable for his daughter and on the other, I found him funny and witty. That’s top notch writing for you…characters who are FLAWED are characters we can relate to, root for, and mourn when we close the book and realize their story is over.

I haven’t even touched on the the crimes in the past and present and that’s because the less you know starting out as far as the plot, the more surprises you’ll get to experience!  To put it simply, there’s a devastating crime (home invasion) committed in 1989 and there’s an equally devastating one (school shooting) committed 28 years later; both occurring in Pikeville and both involving the Quinns. BUT, here’s what you need to remember…no matter how things appear on the surface, nothing is as it seems dear reader.  I felt my anxiety rising in so many places trying to figure out what happened, who might be involved, how does it all fit together…that I finally took the advice of my  friend Annie (The Misstery) who said…”don’t even try to figure it out!” So I’ll pass this good advice on to you…just sit back and enjoy being enthralled by some of the most gripping writing you’re likely to read all year. If you’re in the mood for a character driven story that includes plenty of mystery and quite a few thrills, I think you’ve found your next read!

Many thanks to William Morrow via Edelweiss for my copy, I’m happy to provide an honest review  

 

 

 

 

THROWBACK THURSDAY PICK OF THE WEEK

throwbackthursday

I began this Throwback Thursday meme as a way to share some of my old favorites as well as sharing books that I’m FINALLY getting around to reading that were published over a year ago. You know, the ones waiting patiently on my TBR list while I continue to pile more titles on top of them:)! I like that these older books are usually much easier than new releases to get a hold of at libraries and elsewhere.

If you have your own Throwback Thursday recommendation feel free to jump on board, you’re welcome to use my pic as well. If you’d like to link back to me that’d be great as I really try my best to include everyone who’s participating week by week at the bottom of my post so all my readers can enjoy all the awesome Throwback picks!

My PICK this week is:

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Published June 2004 by St. Martin’s Press

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

Something Borrowed tells the story of Rachel, a young attorney living and working in Manhattan.

Rachel has always been the consummate good girl—until her thirtieth birthday, when her best friend, Darcy, throws her a party. That night, after too many drinks, Rachel ends up in bed with Darcy’s fiancé. Although she wakes up determined to put the one-night fling behind her, Rachel is horrified to discover that she has genuine feelings for the one guy she should run from. As the September wedding date nears, Rachel knows she has to make a choice. In doing so, she discovers that the lines between right and wrong can be blurry, endings aren’t always neat, and sometimes you have to risk all to win true happiness.

Something Borrowed is a phenomenal debut novel that will have you laughing, crying, and calling your best friend.

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I’m shocked to realize I haven’t featured one of my all time favorite summer reading authors, Emily Giffin, and one of my very favorite books by her!! Seriously, I remember picking this up on a whim and thinking I’m going to HATE that Rachel girl, I mean how can the author have a main character betray her very best friend in this way and think we readers will like her and/or the storyline?? Then I started reading…and reading…and reading and I couldn’t put this book down. And not only did I not hate Rachel…I liked her…alot! In fact, I rooted for her to get what she wanted. Crazy considering my pre-judgements of the book before I picked it up. There’s just something so utterly readable about Emily Giffin’s writing and the moral predicaments she put these characters in that makes you really want to keep reading to find out how it all turns out. There’s even interesting secondary characters in this story!  This book holds the title of being one of the only books I’ve actually re-read twice AND I watch the movie every summer, so needless to say I remember the story pretty well and it’s just the perfect book to read with your favorite summer cocktail…and really, what more could a reader ask for?:) If you’re in the mood for a fun read with substance I highly recommend giving this one a try.

HAPPY READING! 

Everyone, I can’t tell you how thrilled I am that SO many people are jumping on TBT every week! It’s so fun to read everyone’s picks and share all of these old favorites….your TBR may very well explode each week (mine sure does) but as we readers always say…what’s one more book…or 10!! Enjoy! 

More Throwback Thursday Picks Around the Blogosphere…

Jill at Jill’s Book Cafe

Deanna at DeesRadReads and Reviews

Amanda at Literary Weaponry

Cathy at Between the Lines

Julie at Novel Thrills and Chills

Susan at Susan Loves Books

Cathy at What Cathy Read Next

Noriko at Book Fiend

Amy at NovelGossip

Holly at Dressed to Read

Sam at Clues and Reviews

Claire at I’m a Coffeeholic Bookworm

Lynne at Fictionophile

Nicki atThe Secret Library Site

IT’S MONDAY WHAT ARE YOU READING?

cheers!

Hosted by Kathryn at Bookdate

I had an interesting reading week last week, finishing 3 books…one that was ok, one I didn’t like at all and one that I enjoyed so much I REALLY needed at least 50 more pages from the author! All in all, I’m feeling much more positive about all my upcoming reads as I’ve gotten some potentially great upcoming netgalley reads along with a phenomenol library haul this past week. On the movie front, we saw Girl’s Trip which I absolutely loved and even my husband, who resisted my movie choice, said he liked it!

RECENTLY READ….

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The Wife, The Maid and The Mistress was my Throwback Thursday pick last week and although it was an interesting story and I liked the characters, it overall didn’t blow me away.

Fierce Kingdom was a spur of the moment pick based on some super positive reviews and my curiosity about a thriller set in a zoo. There were several pivotal plot occurrences that made this story SO unbelievable and were so distracting that I ended up completely disengaging from the story. This just didn’t work for me

Young Jane Young was the breath of fresh air that I desperately needed. I was really looking forward to this one after loving The Storied Life of AJ Fikrey so much and while I don’t think it’s quite as good or as moving as that one, this was still a really great story. In fact, If I could beg the author for at least 50 more pages I would!

TRIED BUT PUT BACK DOWN…

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I can’t tell you how long I’ve been waiting for approval for this book, so when I finally got it on Edelweiss Friday I was so happy. I requested it based on the fact that I read 1 comment on Goodreads that compared it to A Little Life and I just had to have it. Twenty or so pages in, I wasn’t prepared for the darkness of the story and the detailed child sexual abuse that occurs and felt that I don’t want to continue with it at this time. I may revisit this one.

UP NEXT….

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Yesterday is one of my top library picks this week and has such an original murder mystery premise that I’m so interested to see how it plays out

Tennison is a recent purchase that I knew I just had to buy after my friend Annie’s awesome review . This seems like a really compelling mystery story and it’s the first book in the series which I think only has 3 books as of now. Plenty of time to catch up on this one!

How was your reading week? Have you tried or want to try any of these?    

 

 

 

REVIEW: SAFE By Ryan Gattis

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Published Aug 1, 2017 by MCD

Ricky Mendoza Jr. (aka Ghost) is trying to make good. As a teenager, he was a ruthless gangbanger, addict, and killer until he got out and met Rose. As an adult, in recovery and working as a safecracker for the DEA, Ghost is determined to live “clean” to honor Rose’s memory—until he stumbles upon an opportunity to repay the debts of his past. All he has to do is crack a safe and steal drug money from under the noses of the gangs and the feds without getting caught. Or killed.

A propulsive, engaging thriller by a novelist whose writing David Mitchell called “audacious, unflinching and subversive,” Ryan Gattis’s Safe drives readers toward a shocking conclusion while exploring deeper questions about what it means to be “good.”

******

For some reason I’m finding this book hard to review. On the one hand, there is so much I liked about it and up until about 60%, I felt it was ticking along quite nicely. I loved that it started off with a safecracking scene and felt that until that point I was really invested in the story. After that, however,  it started to slip for me and by the end I feel like I had disconnected from the story just a little which is very strange considering how much I started off liking it.

The story starts off action packed as we are introduced to Ricky, aka Ghost, a safecracker who freelances for the DEA. He’s been called to a house of the DEA’s most recent drug bust and then left alone (yes alone!) to open the safe with instructions to call the DEA agent in charge after he gets it open. Here’s what’s so interesting about this scene….we learn from Ricky’s first person narration that in his past he was an addict and criminal who did some very bad things but for the past several years he’s tried to do right and now has a plan to really help some people who need it. His plan involves taking the cash in that safe and using it to help others in need.  And with this current safe, he hits the jackpot. Time is ticking though because the safe he has just cracked and the money he has stolen belongs to one of the biggest drug lords in LA and you just know things aren’t going to go well when he finds out his money is gone.

Here is where the story alternates narration and we then meet Rudy Reyes, aka Glasses, the top associate of the drug lord who’s safe Ricky just cracked. Glasses has his own story to tell and soon a very interesting tale is weaved that will connect him and Ricky in ways that ended up being very surprising and in several instances quite suspenseful. The author’s style certainly shines with his use of language and dialect for both of these characters.

On paper, this is the perfect story for me and I found the author’s writing to be so wonderfully authentic. The dialogue was perfect and I really felt the characters were unique and multi-dimensional. Where it started to go downhill for me is the repetitive number of times Ghost was driving in a car and playing various songs on the mix-tape that his past girlfriend, Rose (she had died), had made for him. As narrator, he would then reminesce about times together (in detail) and repeat over and over how much she meant to him. I got it, I really did but by about 65% I’d heard enough because what that effectively did was break up the pace of the story and cause me to become bored which isn’t at all how I felt starting out and during the safe cracking scenes. Couple this with an ending that I just don’t feel made sense for what we knew of the characters and I was left slightly disconnected.

Many thanks to MCD for my copy via Netgalley, I’m happy to provide an honest review 

 

 

 

THROWBACK THURSDAY PICK OF THE WEEK

throwbackthursday

I began this Throwback Thursday meme as a way to share some of my old favorites as well as sharing books that I’m FINALLY getting around to reading that were published over a year ago. You know, the ones waiting patiently on my TBR list while I continue to pile more titles on top of them:)! I like that these older books are usually much easier than new releases to get a hold of at libraries and elsewhere. If you have your own Throwback Thursday recommendation feel free to jump on board, you’re welcome to use my pic as well. If you’d just link back to me I’d so appreciate it.

My PICK this week is:

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Published Jan 2014 by Doubleday

One summer night in 1930, Judge Joseph Crater steps into a New York City cab and is never heard from again. Behind this great man are three women, each with her own tale to tell: Stella, his fashionable wife, the picture of propriety; Maria, their steadfast maid, indebted to the judge; and Ritzi, his showgirl mistress, willing to seize any chance to break out of the chorus line.

As the twisted truth emerges, Ariel Lawhon’s wickedly entertaining debut mystery transports us into the smoky jazz clubs, the seedy backstage dressing rooms, and the shadowy streets beneath the Art Deco skyline.

******

Well, I’ve officially began tackling my looming backlist with this read this week and I have to say, I really enjoyed reading something that’s not new or upcoming. Plus, I got out of my comfort zone (somewhat) with historical fiction, although still with a mystery component. I’m a complete sucker for any book that starts off with the premise… so and so was last seen doing ______ and was never heard from again! I should say, I love that premise knowing it’s a true story. So, I jumped into this without googling anything about the case because I just wanted to have this author’s story in my head.

The story takes place in 1930 New York City and alternates with present day snippets with Stella and Jude, a detective on the case. We meet Stella first as she’s with Joe at their vacation house in Maine and right off the bat we discover she’s got Joe’s number as far as his cheating ways and she’s not particularly keen to sit back and let him get away with it. In New York City, we meet Maria, Joe and Stella’s maid as well as a renowed seamstress who’s husband Jude is a NYC police officer who gets assigned to Joe’s case when he goes missing. Webs begin to get weaved when Maria walks in on something at Joe and Stella’s apartment that she really wishes she hadn’t. Finally, there’s Ritzi, a feisty showgirl and Joe’s mistress who’s gotten herself tanged with the likes of a very dangerous gangster. As the story alternates between all 3 women I was left wondering if it could possibly end well for any of them!

I was really invested in the characters, time period, and setting of this book. I thought the author did a fantastic job of piecing together long ago facts and details and imagining how the story might have unfolded as to what happened to Joe. I do, however, think there were several lulls in the story which caused me to start to skim. When it happened several times, I felt that took away a little intensity in terms of the pace but I really have to say that overall, I enjoyed this story! It ended up having a couple surprises that I found interesting and bittersweet as well. If you’re in the mood for a detail oriented historical mystery set in NYC, I say definitely grab this one and give it a try.

HAPPY READING!

More Throwback Thursday Picks Around the Blogosphere 

Jill at Jill’s Book Cafe

Deanna at DeesRadReads and Reviews

Amanda at Literary Weaponry

Cathy at Between the Lines

Julie at Novel Thrills and Chills

Susan at Susan Loves Books

Cathy at What Cathy Read Next

Noriko at Book Fiend

Rebecca at BoofsBooks

Amy at NovelGossip

Lynne at Fictionophile

Nicki at The Secret Library

 

JULY READING WRAP UP

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July turned out to be a much better reading month for me in terms of quality which I’ll take over reading lots of 3 star books like my June ended up being. That being said, I did only finish 7 books this month but I’m really happy with all of them except one. I’m so excited for some of my upcoming August/Sept reads and I’m also really making an effort to read 1 backlist book off my TBR every week or 2 for my Throwback Thursday posts. I think it’ll be fun to go back and read some of the books that at one point I said ‘oh I’ve gotta read that’ but then it’s fallen down the tbr black hole. Moving on…

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BOOKS READ IN JULY 

Goodbye, Vitamin By Rachel Khong ( This was an engaging, quirky read with a super likable main character that made a perfect one-sit read, 4.5 Stars)

Slightly South of Simple By Kristy Woodson Harvey ( This was my bookclub’s July pick and while I thought the setting and dialogue was a plus, overall the story was just ok for me, 3 Stars)

The Force By Don Winslow ( A mammoth door stop of a book that I read in a day and a half because it’s just that good! This had everything I loved and will be on my top 10 of 2017 for sure, 5 stars)

Hum if You Don’t Know the Words By Bianca Marais (  Reminiscent of The Help with wonderful setting details and compelling characters, this had mystery, drama, and humor, and even though I’m not thrilled with the ending, I highly recommend this, 4 Stars)

All the Wicked Girls By Chris Whitaker ( One of my new favorite authors, I love the writing, mystery, and characters that inhabit the pages of Whitaker’s books. And his mysteries fool me every time. Just fantastic! 5 Stars)

Safe By Ryan Gattis ( My review will be up later this week but this was a case of loved it early on and the love went downhill as the story progressed…)

The Jealous Kind By James Lee Burke ( This was an audiobook which seemed to check all my boxes for what I would like, but I found myself so irritated with the main character Aaron that the whole story fell apart for me…Will Patton as narrator was awesome though, 2.5 Stars)

TRIED BUT COULDN’T GET INTO…

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READ HALF… BUT HAD TO PUT IT DOWN….MAY REVISIT

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I absolutely love Don Winslow’s writing and the action, suspense, and characterization were fantastic, HOWEVER, it was so realistically violent…I’m talking beheadings, torture, burning, and murder after murder that I had to stop because I couldn’t get the images out of my head at night. That’s some exceptional writing…but I need to sleep! It’s going to be a movie in 2018 so I may try to revisit this at some point

 

 

FAVORITE BOOK OF THE MONTH 

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Another month come and gone! Am I the only one who can’t believe we’re going to be talking about our AUGUST reads soon?? It seems like it was just January yesterday. As always, I’d love to hear if you’ve read any of my July reads as well as YOUR favorites of the month so feel free to dtop me a line in the comments. Here’s to another month filled with fabulous reads!!

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HAPPY READING!

 

 

REVIEW: ALL THE WICKED GIRLS By Chris Whitaker

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Publication date Aug 24, 2017 by Bonnier Zaffre

“Raine sometimes complains that nothing exciting is ever gonna happen in Grace again. Daddy told her careful what you wish for.”
Everyone loves Summer Ryan. A model student and musical prodigy, she’s a ray of light in the struggling small town of Grace, Alabama – especially compared to her troubled sister, Raine.
Then Summer goes missing. Grace is already simmering, and with this new tragedy the police have their hands full keeping the peace. Only Raine throws herself into the search, supported by a most unlikely ally.
But perhaps there was always more to Summer than met the eye . . .

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First things first, if you love crime fiction and well-plotted mysteries and you haven’t read Chris Whitaker yet…what are you waiting for?? I first discovered his wonderful writing when my friend Annie at The Misstery introduced me to his debut novel Tall Oaks last year. Months later, I still think about Manny, one of my favorite fictional characters ever! Needless to say, I was so excited to get a copy of All the Wicked Girls…could Chris Whitaker create more memorable characters and another mystery that would fool me? Often we readers go into highly anticipated second novels with high expectations to love it as much as we loved the first…sometimes it works out and sometimes not so much. So, read on to find out if All the Wicked Girls lived up to my high expectations.

In Grace, Alabama , a small southern town brimming with secrets, poverty, domestic violence, substance abuse and grief, five of their own”Briar” girls have gone missing over the recent years. All are church going girls who seemed to have vanished without a trace and except for a possible suspect they call the “Bird” there’s been no leads. The latest girl to go missing is Summer Ryan, the question is… did she run or was she taken? It seems Summer left a note and packed a bag and well, we soon learn Summer had some BIG secrets she was keeping from her parents and her closest friend and twin sister Raine. Raine enlists the help of two teenage boys in town, Noah and Purv, and the three of them conduct their own investigation into what happened to Summer. Now, I’ll admit, that sounds like a fairy simple and straightforward plot but I’m here to say it’s anything but and if you’re like me, you’ll quickly fall under the spell of these tragic, yet endearing, quick-witted characters. I loved Noah and Purv, both had stories that will break your heart and along with Raine I was fully invested in the lives and outcomes of these characters.

At the heart of this story is an intricate mystery that put every single detective skill I think I have to the test and guess what?…I failed miserably. Chris Whitaker completely fooled me (again) and I couldn’t be happier. In the end, this is a story filled with tragedy, heartbreak, redemption, and yes hope and I highly recommend it to everyone who’s a fan of mysteries and memorable characters! So, yes it definitely lived up to my high expectations.

P.S..Fun Flashback….As a former Blockbuster Video employee in my college days (remember Blockbuster & VHS?) I loved the part when Purv is talking about getting he and Noah’s (VHS) movies from “that bastard Goodwill lady…Ain’t never at the start neither. She never heard of be kind, please rewind?” Too funny! This totally took me back to spending hours putting those little stickers on the VHS movies and then having to rewind most of the movies anyway when lazy rewinders returned them:) 

Many thanks to Bonnier Zaffre via Netgalley for my copy. I’m happy to provide an honest review

**If you don’t want to wait for Amazon to have available you can order from Book Depository. I’m not affiliated, just providing the link**