February 7, 2016

Review: The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald



Product Description:
Once you let a book into your life, the most unexpected things can happen…
Broken Wheel, Iowa, has never seen anyone like Sara, who traveled all the way from Sweden just to meet her book-loving pen pal, Amy. When she arrives, however, she finds Amy's funeral guests just leaving. The residents of Broken Wheel are happy to look after their bewildered visitor―there's not much else to do in a dying small town that's almost beyond repair.
You certainly wouldn't open a bookstore. And definitely not with the tourist in charge. You'd need a vacant storefront (Main Street is full of them), books (Amy's house is full of them), and...customers.
The bookstore might be a little quirky. Then again, so is Sara. But Broken Wheel's own story might be more eccentric and surprising than she thought.

A heartwarming reminder of why we are booklovers, this is a sweet, smart story about how books find us, change us, and connect us.

My Thoughts:
The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend is a sugary sweet story that was a little too predictable for me. I didn't connect with any of the characters nor was I rooting for them in any way throughout the story.... but it was a cute story. 

I like the idea of a complete stranger from another country pulling together the small town and helping the residents who were quickly losing hope. I just wish there were a little more twists and turns so I didn't see every plot line coming from a mile away. 

I especially love all the talk of books and how Sara shares books with the town. I think that's what saved the book from being a total dud for me. Overall it was an enjoyable read, I just feel it had potential to be a much better story. 

My Recommendation:
I recommend this one for anyone who loves light and fluffy chic-lit.

January 20, 2016

Review: The Quality of Silence by Rosamund Lupton



Product Description:
The gripping, moving story of a mother and daughter's quest to uncover a dark secret in the Alaskan wilderness, from the New York Times bestselling author of Sister and Afterwards.

Thrillingly suspenseful and atmospheric, The Quality of Silence is the story of Yasmin, a beautiful astrophysicist, and her precocious deaf daughter, Ruby, who arrive in a remote part of Alaska to be told that Ruby's father, Matt, has been the victim of a catastrophic accident. Unable to accept his death as truth, Yasmin and Ruby set out into the hostile winter of the Alaskan tundra in search of answers. But as a storm closes in, Yasmin realizes that a very human danger may be keeping pace with them. And with no one else on the road to help, they must keep moving, alone and terrified, through an endless Alaskan night.


My Thoughts:
Instead of a satisfying suspense thriller, I found myself aggravated by The Quality of Silence. It's really not believable that Yasmin would drag Ruby through all the horrors they faced because her husband kissed another woman and she didn't want to face the fact that her may now be dead. Really? You're going to "borrow" an extra large rig that is fully loaded and trek down one of the most dangerous roads ever, with a bad guy on your heels? Nope, I don't believe it. Although I finished the book, I found myself skimming through most of the 2nd half and found the ending so disappointing it was almost rage inducing. 

My Recommendation:
Pass on this one.

January 19, 2016

Review: Try Not to Breathe by Holly Seddon



Product Description:
Alex Dale is lost. Destructive habits have cost her a marriage and a journalism career. All she has left is her routine: a morning run until her body aches, then a few hours of forgettable work before the past grabs hold and drags her down. Every day is treading water, every night is drowning. Until Alex discovers Amy Stevenson. Amy Stevenson, who was just another girl from a nearby town until the day she was found unconscious after a merciless assault. Amy Stevenson, who has been in a coma for fifteen years, forgotten by the world. Amy Stevenson, who, unbeknownst to her doctors, remains locked inside her body, conscious but paralyzed, reliving the past.
 
Soon Alex’s routine includes visiting hours at the hospital, then interviews with the original suspects in the attack. But what starts as a reporter’s story becomes a personal obsession. How do you solve a crime when the only witness lived but cannot tell the tale? Unable to tear herself away from her attempt to uncover the unspeakable truth, Alex realizes she’s not just chasing a story—she’s seeking salvation.
 
Shifting from present to past and back again, Try Not to Breathe unfolds layer by layer until its heart-stopping conclusion. The result is an utterly immersive, unforgettable debut.


My Thoughts:
Wow, Try Not to Breathe really pulled on my heart strings. What a sad, sad character Alex was. I felt so much empathy for her and was genuinely invested in how everything would turn out, hoping for a happy ending. She had a great life until her alcoholism ruined everything then she struggled to pick up the pieces and somehow get through her tragic days. 

Then you have Amy. Her young life cut short, trapped in a coma for 15 years yet she still has some semblance of consciousness leaving her internally and forever bewildered. Sob!

Although nothing about the story ends in a happily ever after, both Alex and Amy make major strides in improving their lives. 

My Recommendation:
I recommend this one for anyone who loves a suspense thriller full of emotion. 


January 3, 2016

Review: The Flood Girls by Richard Fifield




Product Description:
Welcome to Quinn, Montana, population: 956. A town where nearly all of the volunteer firemen are named Jim, where The Dirty Shame—the only bar in town—refuses to serve mixed drinks (too much work), where the locals hate the newcomers (then again, they hate the locals, too), and where the town softball team has never even come close to having a winning season. Until now.

Rachel Flood has snuck back into town after leaving behind a trail of chaos nine years prior. She’s here to make amends, but nobody wants to hear it, especially her mother, Laverna. But with the help of a local boy named Jake and a little soul-searching, she just might make things right.

In the spirit of Empire Falls and A League of Their Own, with the caustic wit of Where’d You Go, Bernadette thrown in for good measure, Richard Fifield’s hilarious and heartwarming debut will have you laughing through tears.


My Thoughts:
I really didn't start liking this book until about halfway in. If I hadn't committed to an honest review, I may not have even finished the book but thankfully I did because at the end of it all, The Flood Girls was a fantastic book. 

What made me not like it initially was how over the top the characters were. I honestly couldn't believe anyone acted this way in real life and didn't feel attachments to any of the main characters. But little by little they started to grow on me (with the exception of the silver miners...them bitches be crazy!) and bit by bit I got suckered into caring about what happened.  

The book wrapped up with a shocking ending but it fit the storyline so in the end I didn't mind so much. 

Recommendation:
I recommend this one for anyone who loves over the top characters in small town settings. 

Books I Didn't Finish in 2016

Updated January 3, 2016

Below will be any books I started and didn't finish and the reason why.