November 24, 2014

Review: The Murder of Adam and Eve by William Dietrich

Product Description:
In this fast-paced and thought-provoking thriller, two teens time-travel to prehistoric Africa to judge whether to save our ancestors: the genetic "Adam" and "Eve" whose descendants will go on to populate the world. 

When 16-year-old Nick Brynner explores an old fort on a forbidden island for a school history project, he stumbles onto a time wormhole. What follows is a mysteriously deserted village with a prowling sentry that looks like a gargoyle, and narrow escape with the help of fellow teen Eleanor Brynner. 

The two are hurtled into a grim series of challenges by an alien race called the Xu, which are considering a Reset of human history because of our poor planetary stewardship. If Adam and Eve are murdered, will another couple, or another species, do better? Nick and Ellie are ruthlessly deposited onto the African savanna of fifty thousand years ago, and the hunt is on. 

The Murder of Adam and Eve is a coming of age story, a love story, a war story, and an environmental fable with a deliberately provocative ending, inspired by such books as "Walkabout," "Ishmael," "Lord of the Flies," and the author's own "Getting Back." If you could change history...would you?

My Thoughts:
Admittedly I only read the first paragraph of the product description when I selected The Murder of Adam and Eve to review. If I would have read the entire description I might have passed on this one because of the alien aspect and the book being a coming of age story. I was hoping for a unique time travel mystery and what I actually got was a weird story that eventually came together in the end. 

The beginning of the book that tells the story of Nick's journey was very choppy and odd but once he meets Ellie and they travel back in time the writing gets smoother and the story line gets intriguing. I liked their time alone in Africa and the interaction with the ancient clan, especially their guide, Boy. Overall I thought the book was okay but was hoping for so much more. 

My Recommendation: 
I feel that this one would be a great read for the teen audience it was intended for.

November 10, 2014

Review: The Job by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg

Product Description:
The FBI had one demand when they secretly teamed up Special Agent Kate O’Hare with charming con man Nicolas Fox—bring down the world’s most-wanted and untouchable felons. This time it’s the brutal leader of a global drug-smuggling empire.  The FBI doesn’t know what their target looks like, where he is, or how to find him, but Nick Fox has a few tricks up his sleeve to roust this particular Knipschildt chocolate–loving drug lord.

From the streets of Nashville to the back alleys of Lisbon, from the rooftops of Istanbul to the middle of the Thames, Nick and Kate chase their mark. When they find themselves pitted against a psychopathic bodyguard and a Portuguese enforcer who gets advice from a pickled head, they decide it’s time to enlist some special talent—talent like a machete-wielding Somali pirate, a self-absorbed actor, an Oscar-winning special effects artist, and Kate’s father Jake, a retired Special Forces operative. Together they could help make this Fox and O’Hare’s biggest win yet . . . if they survive.

My Thoughts:

I started this series with the second book, The Chase which I enjoyed. I put book one in the series on my TBR list and forgot about the series until I was offered The Job to review. Now after reading and loving this third installment I went ahead and read the short prequel, Pros and Cons and am currently reading book one, The Heist. 

This book is 100% fluff. It's a light and quick read with absurd circumstances and characters but it's a whole lot of fun. If you accept that it's fluff then you can set everything aside and love the book will the crazy goings on. 

My only gripe with the book is the relationship, or should I say lack of a relationship, between Kate and Nick. Kate obviously has feelings for Nick but does nothing about it. Being that this is the third book in the series I have a feeling that a relationship will never develop and it's already frustrating to me two books in. Just sleep together and move on already. 

My Recommendation: 

Just like the second book I recommend this for all Evanovich fans and anyone who wants a fast, easy read.

October 20, 2014

Review: The Case of the Killer Divorce by Barbara Venkataraman

Product Description:
Reluctant lawyer, Jamie Quinn, has returned to her family law practice after a hiatus due to the death of her mother. It's business as usual until a bitter divorce case turns into a murder investigation, and Jamie's client becomes the prime suspect. When she can't untangle truth from lies, Jamie enlists the help of Duke Broussard, her favorite private investigator, to try to clear her client's name. And she’s hoping that, in his spare time, he can help her find her long-lost father. 

My Thoughts:
A couple of months ago I listened to the first Jaime Quinn mystery, Death by Didgeridoo, and liked it but had a hard time with the narration. For that reason I chose to read this second book instead of listening to it and thoroughly enjoyed this quick book. 

Jaime is a fun character and I love her adventures. The Case of the Killer Divorce has three main plot lines but they don't distract from each other and they wrap up nicely with one possibly segueing into the next book in the series. 

If there was one downside to these Jamie Quinn mysteries I would have to say that they're too short. I would love more mystery and investigating but I do love them as quick and short reads.

My Recommendation:
I recommend this book and the series for anyone who loves cozy mysteries.  

September 6, 2014

Review: After I'm Gone by Laura Lippman

Product Description:
When Felix Brewer meets Bernadette “Bambi” Gottschalk at a Valentine’s Dance in 1959, he charms her with wild promises, some of which he actually keeps. Thanks to his lucrative—if not all legal—businesses, she and their three little girls live in luxury. But on the Fourth of July, 1976, Bambi’s comfortable world implodes when Felix, newly convicted and facing prison, mysteriously vanishes.
Though Bambi has no idea where her husband—or his money—might be, she suspects one woman does: his mistress, Julie. When Julie disappears ten years to the day that Felix went on the lam, everyone assumes she’s left to join her old lover—until her remains are eventually found.
Now, twenty-six years after Julie went missing, Roberto “Sandy” Sanchez, a retired Baltimore detective working cold cases for some extra cash, is investigating her murder. What he discovers is a tangled web stretching over three decades that connects five intriguing women. And at the center is the missing man Felix Brewer.
Somewhere between the secrets and lies connecting past and present, Sandy will find the truth. And when he does, no one will ever be the same.

My Thoughts:
After I'm Gone is one of those books that grabs you from the first chapter and doesn't let go. It is very reminiscent of What the Dead Know also by Lippman. The story flips between several different times in the past and the book's present. During the entire book I'm wondering if they're ever going to reveal what really happened to Felix and I had to live in suspense the whole time. I zoomed through reading this one and had to shake myself awake just so I can keep reading because I had to know what happens next and couldn't afford to sleep. 

The ending wasn't at all what I expected but it was very satisfying and now I can safely say I'm a Lippman fan. After reading What the Dead Know I was super excited to read Life Sentences but that one really fell flat for me. Now I'm safely back to being a Lippman fan and will definitely be reading more of her works. 

My Recommendation:
I absolutely loved this book and am sharing it with all my friends. This is a must read for suspense lovers. 

August 24, 2014

Review: How to Fall by Jane Casey

Product Description: 
Sixteen-year-old Jess Tennant has never met any of her relatives, until her mom suddenly drags her out of London to spend the summer in the tiny English town where her family’s from. Her mom’s decision is surprising, but even more surprising is the town’s reaction to Jess. Everywhere she goes, people look at her like they’ve seen a ghost. In a way, they have—she looks just like her cousin Freya, who died shortly before Jess came to town.

Jess immediately feels a strange connection to Freya, whom she never got to meet alive. But the more Jess learns about the secrets Freya was keeping while she was alive, the more suspicious Freya’s death starts to look. One thing is for sure: this will be anything but the safe, boring summer in the country Jess was expecting.

My Thoughts:
How to Fall was easily one of the best YA novels I've read in a while. It had all the elements of a good mystery and what I always feel is lacking in other books, a believable plot line. That's not to say I didn't cringe at Jess' antics half the time because she was the typical teen making bad choices. It was because everything that Jess did was logical for an inquisitive teen dead set on investigating her cousin's death. 

The characters that shared the story with Jess were so well done that I felt like I knew each and everyone of them when I was in high school. I'm definitely putting book two in the series, Bet Your Life, on my to be read list.

My Recommendation:
I recommend this one for anyone who loves YA and mysteries.