Tag: reading

Book Review: Trinity Sight, by Jennifer Givhan

trinity sight
Image belongs to Blackstone Publishing.

Title:  Trinity Sight
Author:    Jennifer Givhan
Genre:  Fantasy, dystopian
Rating:  4.5 out of 5

Pregnant with twins, anthropologist Calliope Santiago is driving when an earthquake happens, driving her car off the road. When she wakes up, she’s surrounded by abandoned cars, but no people. At home, she finds her family gone, but her six-year-old neighbor, Eunjoo, is there. With the city in flames, Calliope and Eunjoo set out for Calliope’s aunt’s home, where she knows she’ll find her family.

Instead of her family, Calliope finds Zuni myth and legend come to life. As she struggles to overcome her disbelief—she’s a scientist, so this can’t be really happening—she knows she must get to safety before she delivers her babies, but is safety anywhere to be found in this strange new/old land?

Trinity Sight is an odd book. Odd, but…compelling. I enjoyed seeing such a different and vibrant dystopian tale. I’m not sure I’ve read much connected with Zuni legend, so I found it fascinating. Calliope wasn’t the most likable character:  she’s stubborn to a fault but gives up on her husband pretty quickly, but I still enjoyed her story and the setting was captivating.

Jennifer Givhan is an author and a poet. Trinity Sight is her new novel.

(Galley courtesy of Blackstone Publishing via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.)

Advertisements

Book Review: One Night Gone, by Tara Laskowski

one night gone
Image belongs to Harlequin/Graydon House.

Title:  One Night Gone
Author:    Tara Laskowski
Genre:  Thriller
Rating:  4 out of 5

When Maureen Haddaway arrives in Opal Beach, she’s a Summer Girl:  working at the carnival that sets up at the beach town during the tourist season. She makes her first real friends and decides that her destiny—and her future—is in the seaside town. But some of the people Maureen has met are hiding things, and before the summer is over, Maureen disappears.

Years later, Allison Simpson arrives in Opal Beach to housesit in the off-season as she recovers from a very messy—and very public—divorce. Soon she finds herself drawn into the details of Maureen’s disappearance thirty years before. But Opal Beach still hides secrets, and Maureen’s fate isn’t even the most surprising one.

The setting in One Night Gone is such an integral part of this novel! The beach in the winter is something I have no desire to experience and reading this novel did not change that perception at all. I enjoyed reading the dual perspectives as Maureen’s and Allison’s stories unfolded, and the intricate connections in them kept me reading a little too late at night. I definitely recommend this read!

Tara Laskowski is an award-winning author. One Night Gone is her debut novel.

(Galley courtesy of Harlequin/Graydon House via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.)

Book Review: Seeking Him, by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth; Tim Grissom

seeking him
Image belongs to Moody Publishers.

Title:  Seeking Him
Author:    Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth; Tim Grissom
Genre:  Christian
Rating:  4 out of 5

Revival isn’t just about church. Sure, it can take place in church, but it can also take place in your heart, life, and spirit. It can change marriages, friendships, families. This 12-week, interactive study guide gets to the heart and soul of matters. Using real-life examples and stories, the authors encourage readers to examine their own lives and seek God in all areas.

Seeking Him has been newly updated by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth and Tim Grissom.

(Galley courtesy of Moody Publishers via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.)

Book Review: The Speed of Falling Objects, by Nancy Richardson Fischer

the speed of falling objects
Image belongs to Inkyard Press/Harlequin Press.

Title:  The Speed of Falling Objects
Author:    Nancy Richardson Fischer
Genre:  YA
Rating:  5 out of 5

Danger “Danny” Warren is nothing like her father, a popular survivalist TV star…but she used to be. And she wants to be again. Danny lost her eye in a childhood accident and had to re-learn how to move and relate to spatial relationships. Danny knows that if she’d just been enough, she’d have a relationship with her father now.

So when her dad calls with an offer to join him on the set of his next adventure in the Amazon, Danny is all for it. She’ll get to prove to her dad that she’s still the adventure-seeking girl she was—and getting to hang out with the hottest teen actor on the globe isn’t a bad thing, either. Until their plane crashes in the rainforest and Danny finds out a horrible secret about her father—while fighting to stay alive and find safety.

I enjoyed this book so much! Danny’s feeling of never being enough is something I think we can all relate to, so that made this book completely relatable. Her larger-than-life father is kind of a jerk, but Danny loves him anyway, although finding out who he really is was a tough experience. A movie star crush, a rainforest adventure, a strong female main character—this book had it all!

Nancy Richardson Fischer used to write sports biographs, but now she plans fun adventures and writes. The Speed of Falling Objects is her newest novel.

(Galley courtesy of Harlequin Teen/Inkyard Press via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.)

The Best Books I Read in September (2019)

I read 21 books in September, for a total of 165 books so far this year.

Sadly, most of them were just “good,” not “great.”

Here are the top 3.

today we go home

Today We Go Home, Kelli Estes. This two-stories-in-one tale is about Larkin, still struggling to cope with what happened in Afghanistan, and Emily, who disguised herself as a man to fight for the Union in the Civil War. An excellent historical!

the wendy

The Wendy, by Erin Michelle Sky and Steven Brown. This re-telling of Peter Pan was fantastic! Loved all of it, and can’t wait for the next book in the series (out next week).

sword and pen

Sword and Pen, by Rachel Caine. The final book in The Great Library series wasn’t quite as good as I’d hoped, but it was still excellent. I’m sad to see these characters go.

Book Review: The Lies We Tell, by Debra Webb

the lies we tell
Image belongs to Harlequin/Mira.

Title:  The Lies We Tell
Author:    Debra Webb
Genre:  Romantic Suspense
Rating:  4 out of 5

A serial killer is after her. Dr. Rowan Dupont knows this. And she’s ready for the waiting to be over. But first, she wants answers. She was just a child when her mother took her own life, and now she realizes she didn’t know her mother at all. How well did the killer know her mother? And what secrets was her mother hiding?

When a bizarre double murder leads to even more horrible discoveries, Rowan works with her lifelong friend Billy, now chief of police, to uncover the truth. But Rowan’s childhood home—a Victorian funeral home—has seen more dark secrets than Rowan can imagine. And her desire for answers only leads to more questions.

I have not read the first book in this series, but that didn’t significantly detract from reading this one. I had no problem catching up with the backstory and settling myself into this story. Rowan is struggling with the horrors from her past—and there are a lot of them—as well as waiting for the serial killer she’s known for years to come after her. She knows he’s watching, but she can’t just not seek to find answers to her questions. This a is a solid suspense read, with just a hint of romance.

Debra Webb is an award-winning, bestselling author. The Lies We Tell is her newest novel, the second in The Undertaker’s Daughter series.

(Galley courtesy of Harlequin/Mira via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.)

What I Read in September (2019)

Books Read in September:  21

Books Read for the Year: 165/175

Topical Books/Monthly Goal Books:

Amanda, by Deborah White Smith (TBR). Found this one moderately annoying.

Seeking Him by Nancy Leigh DeMoss (spiritual). A solid read.

Wives and Daughters, by Elizabeth Gaskell (classic). Do you know how mad I was when I realized the author died before finishing this? It was slow to start, but I ended up enjoying it immensely.

What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding by Kristin Newman (nonfiction). Eh. Not a fan.

The Rabbit Girls, Anna Ellory (cultural). This was so difficult to read, but so good!

For Review:

29seconds

29 Seconds, by T.M. Logan. What would you do if you could make one person disappear—and no one would ever know? When Sarah rescues a young girl, the girl’s father offers her this chance…and she decides to take it to get rid of her intolerable boss. Nothing about this book was an easy read.

trapeze

Trapeze, by Leigh Ansell. Corey has been part of the circus her whole life, as a trapeze artist. When the circus catches on fire, she finds herself living a “normal” life in a small town, where no one knows who she is. But secrets—no matter how big or scary—are hard to keep.

The Color of the Sun, by David Almond. I don’t even know what to say about this. I finished it, but decided not to review it. I can’t tell you what the plot was, or the point, or really anything.

echoes of war

Echoes of War, by Cheryl Campbell. I love this cover, but the book was merely meh. Fascinating dystopian premise—but the execution left something to be desired, along with the MC.

widow of pale harbor

The Widow of Pale Harbor, by Hester Fox. I loved Fox’s first book, The Witch of Willow Hall, but didn’t enjoy this one quite as much. It tried really hard to be gloomy and atmospheric—and succeeded—but I guessed the killer pretty early on, and the romance between the two main characters felt a little forced to me. Still an enjoyable read, though.

9780778308720.indd

The Stranger Inside, by Lisa Unger. This was an interesting murder mystery/flashback to childhood trauma/healing from the past read.

what happened that night

What Happened that Night, by Deanna Cameron. Clara’s sister killed the neighborhood golden boy for what he did to Clara. Or did she? Clara thinks she knows why her sister did it, but the truth is far darker than she can imagine.

Six Goodbyes We Never Said_FC

Six Goodbyes We Never Said, by Candace Ganger. Naima is grieving for her father, a fallen Marine, and struggling with her crippling OCD and other mental health issues. Dew still hasn’t processed his parents’ deaths or learned how to handle his anxiety. Can the two of them help each other process?

the immortal city

The Immortal City, by Amy Kuivalainen. Part murder mystery, part scientific mystery, part myth, this wasn’t a bad read, but parts of it were a little too rough-draft for me.

coming home for christmas

Coming Home for Christmas, by RaeAnne Thayne. An enjoyable romance read dealing with mental illness.

 

a wedding in december

A Wedding in December, by Sarah Morgan. Talk about family drama! This is three romances in one book, and very enjoyable.

pretty guilty women

Pretty Guilty Women, by Gina LaManna. When four women confess to the same murder, it’ll take a while to sort out the truth. Loved this thriller!

the wendy

The Wendy, by Erin Michelle Sky and Steven Brown.  I loved this re-telling of Peter Pan, and I can’t wait to read the second one next week!

today we go home

Today We Go Home, Kelli Estes.  I really enjoyed this tale of Larkin, who fought in Afghanistan and is still reeling from the choices she made there when she finds the diary of Emily Wilson, who disguised herself as a man to fight with the Union army during the Civil War. An excellent read!

Just Because:

Sword and Pen, by Rachel Caine. The final book in the Great Library series. I wanted to absolutely adore this book, like I did the rest of the series, but I didn’t quite like it as much as the other books in the series.

Every Body Yoga, by Jessamyn Stanley. I loved the voice and body positivity in this!

Book Review: Today We Go Home, Kelli Estes

today we go home
Image belongs to Sourcebooks Landmark.

Title:  Today We Go Home
Author:    Kelli Estes
Genre:  Fiction
Rating:  5 out of 5

Larkin Bennett doesn’t know what to do with herself now:  she’s out of the military, trying to heal, and cannot forget what happened in Afghanistan. She knows she must live with the consequences of the choices she made that day, but she’s not sure she has the strength. Until she finds a treasure:  the diary of Emily Wilson, who disguised herself as a man to fight for the Union army during the Civil War.

In 1861 Indiana, Emily is happy with farm life with her family. Until her father and one brother leave for the war—and don’t come home. Longing for change, Emily disguises herself as a man—knowing in this case, her own comrades are just as dangerous to her safety as the enemy soldiers. But pretending she’s someone else allows Emily to get to know herself, and her reasons for fighting, even better.

I loved this book! And I don’t generally choose to read or like military books (or movies, for that matter). I loved seeing the journeys of these two women, Larkin and Emily, and the obstacles they faced. Both are strong, believable characters, and I never knew there were so many well-known cases of disguised women soldiers in the past! Now I’m completely intrigued by the subject. An excellent read!

Kelli Estes grew up in Washington state and used to work for an airplane manufacturer, allowing her to travel. Today We Go Home is her newest novel.

(Galley courtesy of Sourcebooks Landmark via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.)

Book Review: The Wendy, by Erin Michelle Sky and Steven Brown

the wendy
Image belongs to Trash Dogs Media LLC.

Title: The Wendy
Author:    Erin Michelle Sky and Steven Brown
Genre:  YA, fantasy, fairy tale
Rating:  5 out of 5

In 1789 London, all Wendy Darling wants to be is a ship’s captain. That’s a big dream for any orphan, but for a girl, it’s even more impossible, since women aren’t allowed in the Royal Navy. Then she learns the Home Office is accepting a few women into its ranks, and she’s eager to take the first step to realizing her ultimate dream, fighting an enemy she never imagined:  magic.

It’s her job to keep watch for the Everlost, but she doesn’t know what they really are—or if they truly exist. Until she encounters Peter Pan and his flying band of misfits, and realizes she knows nothing about what’s really going on. Peter is the only one who sees beyond her gender, but are the secrets he’s keeping worth betrayal, even if does get her where she’s dreamed of being?

I loved this take on the Peter Pan mythos! Wendy is a great character:  spunky, determined, and smart—and she’s not willing to let other people’s perceptions of her stand in her way. Peter Pan is much more the J.M. Barrie version, not the Disney one, so he’s got depth and darkness to go along with his mystery. As for Captain Hook, well, I’m not sure what to think of him just yet, but Disney or Dustin Hoffman he is not. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series!

Erin Michelle Sky and Steven Brown write sci-fi and fantasy. The Wendy is the first in their Tales of the Wendy series.

(Galley courtesy of Trash Dogs Media LLC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.)

Book Review: Pretty Guilty Women, by Gina LaManna

pretty guilty women
Image belongs to Sourcebooks Landmark.

Title:  Pretty Guilty Women
Author:    Gina LaManna
Genre:  Mystery, thriller
Rating:  4 out of 5

At the exclusive spa where the Banks wedding is about to take place, the luxurious surroundings promise a peaceful, posh vacation where old friends can catch up and relaxation is key. Until a man ends up dead—and four different women claim they murdered him.

Kate is used to excess and luxury—but not to being dumped at the front desk by her wealthy boyfriend. She’s used to being envied, but she is the one feeling jealous on this trip as she meets up with her college roommates and sees the lives they have.

Ginger has just about had it with the chaos of family life. Her kids won’t listen, her husband is oblivious, and everyone depends on mom to hold things together. Ginger just wishes she were a bit more carefree—like her college days before her best friend betrayed her.

Emily just wants the pain to stop. She’ll eventually drown it in a bottle, like always, but seeing her old friends dredges up secrets she’d prefer to keep hidden.

Lulu’s used to love being easy-come, easy-go, but she really loves her fifth husband. Now he’s hiding something, and she’s determined to find out the truth—or else.

This book was well-written and engrossing from the first page. All these women are fascinating, and I was drawn into their stories immediately. I love how the story is told in bits and pieces from each of their viewpoints, while drawing out the mystery of what really happened. Entirely binge-worthy, this is a book that will keep you hooked as you race to find out what really happened.

Gina LaManna lives near the beach. Pretty Guilty Women is her newest novel.

(Galley courtesy of Sourcebooks Landmark via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.)