July 20, 2014

Review: Landline by Rainbow Rowell

Product Description:
Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble. That it's been in trouble for a long time. She still loves her husband, Neal, and Neal still loves her, deeply—but that almost seems beside the point now. Maybe that was always beside the point.

Two days before they're supposed to visit Neal's family in Omaha for Christmas, Georgie tells Neal that she can't go. She's a TV writer, and something's come up on her show; she has to stay in Los Angeles. She knows that Neal will be upset with her—Neal is always a little upset with Georgie—but she doesn't expect to him to pack up the kids and go without her. When her husband and the kids leave for the airport, Georgie wonders if she's finally done it. If she's ruined everything. 

That night, Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past. It's not time travel, not exactly, but she feels like she's been given an opportunity to fix her marriage before it starts. . . .Is that what she's supposed to do? Or would Georgie and Neal be better off if their marriage never happened?

My Thoughts:
Who wouldn't love to have a way to connect with a loved one in the past? This book got me thinking about who I would call and what I would say to them. It gave my reading experience an added bit of whimsey and fun. 

The characters were so well done that I could totally picture them as part of my family. They were quirky and had real life drama that worked well with the contrast of the fantasy aspects in the book. 

The only thing that irked me a little was Georgie's relationship with her friend Seth. It was too predictable and didn't tie together with the ending. I wish the twist with Seth that Rowell put in at the end was completely left out but overall it didn't take away from me loving this book.

My Recommendation:
I recommend this one to anyone who loves contemporary fiction with a little bit of fantasy thrown in.

July 13, 2014

Review: A Woman of Fortune by Kellie Coates Gilbert

Product Description:
Texas socialite Claire Massey is living the dream. Her world is filled with designer clothes, luxury cars, and stunning homes. But her Neiman-Marcus lifestyle comes crashing down when her charming cattle broker husband is arrested for fraud. Suddenly, she finds herself facing attorneys, a media frenzy, and a trail of broken hearts. Betrayed and humiliated, Claire must start over against incredible odds to save her family--and discover a life worth living.

Poignant and emotionally gripping, A Woman of Fortune reveals the many ways we deceive ourselves and how resilience of the heart is essential to authentic living. Drawing on her experiences as a legal investigator, author Kellie Coates Gilbert delivers emotionally gripping plots and authentic characters. Readers will love Claire's unbending determination as she strives to keep her family from falling apart and learns to embrace the kind of fortune that lasts.

My Thoughts:
This one really sucked me in at the beginning. The prologue was so powerful that I just kept reading and reading until I got a little more than halfway. At that point I could clearly see what was coming and I lost a little interest. The characters were too shallow and their actions just seemed a little too overdone and I wasn't rooting for anyone anymore. The rest of the story from then on was just blah with an awkward ending. 

Overall I would still say that I did like it just not as much as the beginning made me thought I was going to love it. Being Christian fiction it was really light and a little change of pace for me but wasn't over the top religious. 

I recommend this for anyone who loves Christian romance. 

July 7, 2014

Review: Witch Ball by Adele Elliott

Product Description:
Truly Moore loves to spend time with her Great Aunt Fleur, a larger than life, quirky old lady who makes a living selling magic charms. The townspeople know Fleur is “different”, a sin in this “Buckle of the Bible Belt”, and many suspect that Aunt Fleur is a witch. The serenity of the town is shattered by the murder of a respected high school track coach, and as the murder becomes more and more difficult to solve, a witch hunt begins. But not all demons have pointy horns and tails, and not all angels have wings. 

Witch Ball asks us to be careful who we deify, and who we vilify.

My Thoughts:
The main reason I didn't like Witch Ball was because I felt the story was a too choppy. There were major reveals that were just passed over like if nothing extraordinary just happened. When one plot point reveals a major family secret, Truly thinks to herself, "Mom must have thought I already knew this. I didn't." then the story rolls on like nothing shocking was just shared. 

In another chapter Truly learns the real story behind her parents marriage and instead of wanting to talk about it, after her mom finishes her story and says, "Let's go to bed. It's Sunday morning." the chapter ends. What?!? You can be darn sure that if that were my family I would be all over that story with questions. Maybe I'm just too curious?

There were a few more of these instances throughout the book that just had me shaking my head. 

My Recommendation:
I understand that this is a YA book but there is plenty of YA out there that is very enjoyable for adults and this isn't one of them. I do honestly feel that a teen would be able to overlook what I couldn't and they would possibly enjoy it more.

July 5, 2014

Review: Inkslingers Ball by Sheila Lowe

Product Description:
A teenage girl, brutally murdered and left in a trash dumpster; a young man, killed in a firebombing attack; a soccer mom, shot in the living room of her home; vicious thugs whose job is to protect a suspected criminal. Just another week on rotation for LAPD detective Joel Jovanic...until he uncovers a connection between the disturbing series of vicious crimes and Annabelle Giordano, who is in the temporary custody of his soulmate, Claudia Rose. 

Annabelle is a troubled and traumatized teen who suffered the tragic loss of her mother and later witnessed the brutal murder of a beloved mentor. Neglected by a father who scarcely acknowledges her existence, it’s little wonder the girl makes some disastrous life choices. 

But she has one staunch ally in Claudia, a highly regarded forensic graphologist who digs into the darkest of human secrets through the study of handwriting. When Annabelle involves herself with a questionable tattoo artist she re-opens a door to the grim side of life and goes down a path that could get her killed. A distraught Claudia will do anything to save her, even if it means jeopardizing her relationship with Jovanic. 

My Thoughts:

After reading and loving the first three books in the series, I somehow missed the next two books but happily it didn't matter. Inkslingers Ball had the same familiar characters and even though aspects of the stories from the books I missed were referenced, I don't feel that I lost anything by not reading them. Now don't get me wrong, I'm still going to go back and greedily read every last word because I love a fresh, well planned mystery. 

What I also love about the book is that the characters have progressed. There's nothing more frustrating in a series than the characters doing the same things over again. I'm talking to you Janet Evanovich (Stephanie Plum)!  There's been growth for Annabelle and movement in the relationship between Claudia and Joel. It's perfect. 

My Recommendation:

I highly recommend series or even just this book for anyone who loves mysteries that are a step above cozies.