August 1, 2019

Review: The Warehouse by Rob Hart

Product Description:
Cloud isn’t just a place to work. It’s a place to live. And when you’re here, you’ll never want to leave.

“On the surface, The Warehouse is a thrilling story of corporate espionage at the highest level, but dig a little deeper and you’ll find a terrifying cautionary tale of the nightmare world we are making for ourselves.”—Blake Crouch, New York Times bestselling author of Dark Matter

Paxton never thought he’d be working for Cloud, the giant tech company that’s eaten much of the American economy. Much less that he’d be moving into one of the company’s sprawling live-work facilities.

But compared to what’s left outside, Cloud’s bland chainstore life of gleaming entertainment halls, open-plan offices, and vast warehouses…well, it doesn’t seem so bad. It’s more than anyone else is offering. 

Zinnia never thought she’d be infiltrating Cloud. But now she’s undercover, inside the walls, risking it all to ferret out the company’s darkest secrets. And Paxton, with his ordinary little hopes and fears? He just might make the perfect pawn. If she can bear to sacrifice him.

As the truth about Cloud unfolds, Zinnia must gamble everything on a desperate scheme—one that risks both their lives, even as it forces Paxton to question everything about the world he’s so carefully assembled here.

Together, they’ll learn just how far the company will go…to make the world a better place.

Set in the confines of a corporate panopticon that’s at once brilliantly imagined and terrifyingly real, The Warehouse is a near-future thriller about what happens when Big Brother meets Big Business--and who will pay the ultimate price.

My Thoughts:
The Warehouse is one of those books that absolutely sucked me in from the vey beginning. I wanted to call in sick at work just so I could sit at home and read all day. The best thing about it was I can see our future in this book. Replace Cloud with the current "biggest online retailer" we all know and love and this is us in the near future. Horrifying...

I recommend this to anyone who loves futuristic suspense thrillers. 

Release date - August 20, 2019

July 6, 2019

Review: The Escape Room by Megan Goldin

Product Description:
Welcome to the escape room. Your goal is simple. Get out alive.
In the lucrative world of finance, Vincent, Jules, Sylvie, and Sam are at the top of their game. They’ve mastered the art of the deal and celebrate their success in style—but a life of extreme luxury always comes at a cost.
Invited to participate in an escape room as a team-building exercise, the ferociously competitive co-workers crowd into the elevator of a high rise building, eager to prove themselves. But when the lights go off and the doors stay shut, it quickly becomes clear that this is no ordinary competition: they’re caught in a dangerous game of survival.
Trapped in the dark, the colleagues must put aside their bitter rivalries and work together to solve cryptic clues to break free. But as the game begins to reveal the team’s darkest secrets, they realize there’s a price to be paid for the terrible deeds they committed in their ruthless climb up the corporate ladder. As tempers fray, and the clues turn deadly, they must solve one final chilling puzzle: which one of them will kill in order to survive?

My Thoughts:
The Escape Room is a fantastic suspense thriller. The characters stuck in the elevator are the kind you love to hate. The mystery playing out keeps you on your toes through out the entire book and even though I had an inkling of what was really going on the entire time but it didn't matter, I was still hooked. 

My Recommendation:
I recommend this to anyone who loves a good, fast-paced suspense thriller. 

Release date - July 30, 2019

June 29, 2019

Review: Caitlin's Song by John A. Heldt

Product Description:
Love, courage, and commitment take center stage as the Carsons, a family of time travelers, continue their saga in the great American West.

For the Carson children, ages 19 to 29, an unplanned stop in 1962 is a chance to grow. Adam, Greg, and Natalie begin lives with new spouses in Boulder, Colorado, while twins Cody and Caitlin get their first taste of college. All plan to resume the search for their missing parents as soon as they can.

For Tim and Caroline Carson, a planned stop in the rendezvous year of 1972 is a nightmare. While reading about their children's lives in 1962, they learn that one has crossed paths with a killer. Faced with limited options, they race back to the past to reroute history and prevent a series of murders.

In CAITLIN'S SONG, the fourth novel in the Carson Chronicles series, members of a modern family find romance, adventure, and terror as they seek answers and each other in four memorable eras of American history.

My Thoughts:
Caitlin's Song is book 4 in the Carson Chronicles series. You definitely should have read the previous 3 books in the series to get the most out of the story. Still searching for their parents, the Carsons travel to Colorado and the twins Caitlin and Cody enroll in college. Although excited about being in college Caitlin is barely getting over her heartbreak from the lost chance at love in book 3, Indian Paintbrush

Now trying to live the life of a normal teen, she quickly settles in to college life and is soon dating a handsome frat boy. But as perfect as he seems, there's a shocking truth her parents learn from their research in the future. Will Caitlin see beyond his charming facade and will she ever find the same kind of love her siblings have found? 

Once again there isn't a huge historical event happening in this book but it still gives us a pretty good glimpse of history.

I recommend this to anyone who loves time traveling, romantic fiction. 

May 26, 2019

Review: Something Like Gravity by Amber Smith

Product Description:
Chris and Maia aren’t off to a great start.

A near-fatal car accident first brings them together, and their next encounters don’t fare much better. Chris’s good intentions backfire. Maia’s temper gets the best of her.

But they’re neighbors, at least for the summer, and despite their best efforts, they just can’t seem to stay away from each other.

The path forward isn’t easy. Chris has come out as transgender, but he’s still processing a frightening assault he survived the year before. Maia is grieving the loss of her older sister and trying to find her place in the world without her. Falling in love was the last thing on either of their minds.

But would it be so bad if it happened anyway?

My Thoughts: 
I picked out Something Like Gravity specifically because it was billed as being similar to Eleanor & Park which I absolutely loved. I didn't read the full description so I had no idea this was a story about a transgender teen. I most likely wouldn't have selected it if I had known but honestly it wasn't a bad story. The only reason I didn't rate it higher was that the story is kind of choppy. 

Chris takes off running in the beginning of the book and his parents and best friend have a major freak out for what seems like no reason. Then the back story behind Maia's sister Mallory's death seems more sinister than it turns out to be so everything just seemed a little off kilter when I was reading. 

My Recommendation:
Overall I enjoyed the story and I'm glad I read it but at the end of the day I probably wouldn't recommend it when asked for my opinion.

April 15, 2019

Review: Come and Get Me: A Caitlin Bergman Novel by August Norman

Product Description:
At Indiana University, someone’s been studying the female student body: their dating customs, nocturnal activities—and how long they can survive in captivity.

When award-winning journalist Caitlin Bergman is invited back to campus to receive an honorary degree, she finds an opportunity for a well-earned victory lap—and a chance to face the trauma that almost destroyed her as an undergrad. But her lap becomes an all-out race when a student begs her to probe an unsolved campus disappearance: Angela Chapman went out one Friday night and never came back.

To find the missing woman, Caitlin must join forces with a local police detective and the department that botched her own case so long ago. But while Caitlin follows the clues behind Angela’s disappearance, someone else is following her…

Unearthing secrets hidden beneath an idyllic Midwestern college town, Caitlin must expose what really happened to Angela—before she herself becomes the newest addition to a twisted collection.

My Thoughts:
I am a huge fan of suspense thrillers but as much as I tried I could not get into this book at all. From the very beginning I just wasn't pulled into the story but I was committed to a review so I kept reading. About a third of the way in I just said screw it and skipped the whole next third of the book and picked up at about the last third. Honestly other than some minor details of what went on, I wasn't at all lost and just kept right on reading. Luckily the last third had a little more action to sustain the book but at the end of the date the book isn't one that I'd recommend. 

My Recommendation:
Sadly, I say pass on this one. There are way too many books out there to waste time with this one. 

March 12, 2019

Review: Secrets of a Charmed Life by Susan Meissner

Product Description:
Current day, Oxford, England. Young American scholar Kendra Van Zant, eager to pursue her vision of a perfect life, interviews Isabel McFarland just when the elderly woman is ready to give up secrets about the war that she has kept for decades...beginning with who she really is. What Kendra receives from Isabel is both a gift and a burden—one that will test her convictions and her heart.

1940s, England. As Hitler wages an unprecedented war against London’s civilian population, hundreds of thousands of children are evacuated to foster homes in the rural countryside. But even as fifteen-year-old Emmy Downtree and her much younger sister Julia find refuge in a charming Cotswold cottage, Emmy’s burning ambition to return to the city and apprentice with a fashion designer pits her against Julia’s profound need for her sister’s presence. Acting at cross purposes just as the Luftwaffe rains down its terrible destruction, the sisters are cruelly separated, and their lives are transformed...

My Thoughts:
Secrets of a Charmed Life has now become my favorite book of 2019. It is an amazing suspense story. It reminds me a little of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford in that I kept wanting to jump to the end of the book to check if everything works out in the end. 

Two sisters separated by war in a story told over a current day's afternoon. I really couldn't get through the book fast enough. Truly wonderful.

My Recommendation:
I recommend this one to anyone who loves historical fiction.

January 1, 2019

Review: Indian Paintbrush (Carson Chronicles Book 3) by John A. Heldt

Product Description:
Arizona, December 1943. After surviving perilous six-month journeys to 1889 and 1918, the Carsons, five siblings from the present day, seek a respite in their home state. While Adam and Greg settle down with their Progressive Era brides, Natalie and Caitlin start romances with wartime aviators and Cody befriends a Japanese family in an internment camp. The time travelers regroup, bury some ghosts, and continue their search for their missing parents. Then old problems return, new ones emerge, and a peaceful hiatus becomes a race for survival. In INDIAN PAINTBRUSH, the sequel to RIVER RISING and THE MEMORY TREE, several young adults find love and adventure as they navigate the home front during the height of World War II.

My Thoughts:
By this third book in the Carson Chronicles I feel like the characters are some of my favorites to read about. They all have their distinct personalities and I feel invested in what happens to them. In each of the books there have been emotional ups and (surprisingly low) downs and I think this is what helped solidify that relationship for me. 

In Indian Paintbrush the family travels to 1943/1944. Here the men have to deal with the WWII draft, newly acquired brides and the continued search for their parents. The ladies both meet dashing men that sweep them off their feet but then they face the ultimate decision... to keep their secret or risk sharing it and put their family's safety on the line. 

While this book in the series covers some of the events in World War II and gives us a look into a Japanese internment camp, it doesn't have as much historical knowledge as other time travel books I've read and absolutely loved by Heldt. With that being said it's still a fantastic story that leaves me anxiously awaiting the next book in the Carson Chronicles. 

My Recommendation:
I recommend this for anyone who loves romantic time travel books. 

Books I've Read in 2019

  1. Winter's Web by Jennifer Estep
  2. Witch is How The Tables Turned by Adele Abbott
  3. Frill Kill by Laura Childs
  1. Whoops! We’re In Big Trouble Now by Adele Abbott
  2. You Dropped a Blonde on Me by Dakota Cassidy
  1. Witch is How The Drought Ended by Adele Abbott
  2. Murder with All the Trimmings by Elaine Viets
  3. Witch is How the Dice Fell by Adele Abbott
  1. Burning Down the Spouse by Dakota Cassidy
  2. Murder On Account by Adele Abbott
  1. The Fashion Hound Murders by Elaine Viets
  2. Death Swatch by Laura Childs
  3. Something Like Gravity by Amber Smith
  1. Caitlin's Song by John A. Heldt
  2. The Warehouse by Rob Hart
  1. The Escape Room by Megan Goldin
  2. Witch is How The Biscuits Disappeared by Adele Abbott
  1. The After Days by Amy Ginsburg
  1. The Passengers by John Marrs
  1. Witch Is How Dreams Became Reality By Adele Abbott
  2. Ashlords by Scott Reintgen
  3. Randomize by Andy Weir
  1. Witch is How Bells Were Saved by Adele Abbott
  1. A Night at the Movies by H.A. Price
  2. Camp Lake by John A. Heldt
  3. Little Secrets by Jennifer Hillier

  1. Shoe Dog by Phil Knight
  2. Lock in by John Scalzi
  3. Only Human by Sylvain Neuvel
  4. Circe by Madeline Miller
  5. Killing Floor by Lee Child
  6. Sellevision by Augusten Burroughs
  7. Year One by Nora Roberts
  8. Dead on Arrival by Matt Richtel
  9. The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker
  1. 48 Hours by William R. Forstchen
  2. The Third Wife by Lisa Jewell
  3. The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton
  4. Connections in Death by J.D. Robb
  1. Die Trying by Lee Childs
  2. Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney
  3. Of Blood and Bone: Chronicles of The One, Book 2 by Nora Roberts
  4. Head On by John Scalzi
  5. Secrets of a Charmed Life by by Susan Meissner
  6. Then She was Gone by Lisa Jewell
  7. Off to Be the Wizard by Scott Meyer
  8. The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
  9. Run Away by Harlan Coben
  1. The Malta Exchange by Steve Berry
  2. On Turpentine Lane by Elinor Lipman
  1. Spell or High Water by Scott Meyer
  2. The Stars Below by David Baldacci 
  3. The Chef by James Patterson & Max DiLallo
  4. Redemption by David Baldacci 
  5. The Forever Ship by Francesca Haig
  1. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
  2. An Unwelcome Quest by Scott Meyer
  3. Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
  4. Killer Chef by James Patterson
  5. The Scribbled Victims by Robert Tomoguchi
  1. Fight and Flight by Scott Meyer
  2. Daisy Jones and The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  3. Protect the Prince by Jennifer Estep
  4. The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo
  5. The Hypnotist's Love Story by Liane Moriarty
  6. The One by John Marrs
  7. Wild and Crazy Guys by Nick de Semlyen
  8. Lady in the Lake by Laura Lippman
  9. Nyxia Uprising by Scott Reintgen
  10. Invisible by James Patterson
  1. The River by Peter Heller
  2. Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane
  3. The Farm by Joanne Ramos
  4. The Red Address Book by Sofia Lundberg
  5. The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
  1. The Fallen by David Baldacci
  2. Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman
  3. Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
  4. Miracle Creek by Angie Kim
  5. Vendetta in Death by J. D. Robb
  6. Polar Vortex by Mathew Mather
  1. One Good Deed by David Baldacci
  2. Dances with Wolves by Michael Blake
  3. The Liar by Ayelet Gundar-Goshen
  4. The Holy Road by Michael Blake
  5. Quantum by Patricia Cornwell
  6. Undeath and Taxes by Drew Hayes
  7. The Tenth Girl by Sara Faring
  1. Coached to Death by Victoria Laurie
  2. Out of Spite, Out of Mind by Scott Meyer
  3. Scandalous Behavior by Stuart Woods
  4. The Institute by Stephen King
  5. The Crossing by Michael Connelly
  6. Home For Erring and Outcast Girls by Julie Kibler
  7. Nameless by Dean Koontz
  8. The Dinosaur Four by Geoff Jones
  9. Twisted Twenty-Six by Janet Evanovich
  1. Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky
  2. Long Road to Mercy by David Baldacci
  3. The Rise of Magicks by Nora Roberts
  4. The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
  5. A Nearly Normal Family by Rachel Willson-Broyles
  6. Full Throttle by Joe Hill
Grand Total: 104

Here's what I've read in previous years:

Top 5 Books I've Read in 2019

  1. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
  2. Secrets of a Charmed Life by by Susan Meissner
  3. Circe by Madeline Miller
  4. Dead on Arrival by Matt Richtel
  5. Only Human by Sylvain Neuvel - The entire trilogy is a must read!

Books I Didn't Finish in 2019

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

    1. Vicious by V.E. Schwab 
      • I only got a few chapters in but I couldn't concentrate long enough to care about any of the characters so I bailed pretty quickly on this one.