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Monday, October 21, 2019

Book Review: The Chain by Adrian McKinty

I read an ARC of this book. The first half was suspenseful and interesting. I was really enjoying the story and had no idea who was smart enough to hide all these kidnappings.
The second half fell apart for me when the chain leader is revealed by accident. In the ARC copy, a character is referred to by another's name, this makes it obvious who the bad guy is. Mind you the "bad guy" is totally revealed a few chapters later...but still. I have read a lot of ARC copies and never seen this happen. I am wondering if anyone else caught it (chapter 63...5th paragraph). I was absolutely sure I knew who it was but this was a dead giveaway and ruined the end of the story. I hope they fixed it before final copies came out.

*Thank you to the author and publisher for providing me with an advanced print copy of this book.

Book Review: My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing

Wow! There were lots of surprises in this one. It was an interesting, quick read. I am very impressed by this debut author's writing. I definitely want to read more by Ms. Downing. If you like your serial killer mixed with a dose of regular life and kids, this twisting tale might be for you!! I would love to see this made into a movie or a mini-series!

Book Review: The Horrors of Fox Hollow Farm: Unraveling the History & Hauntings of a Serial Killer's Home by Richard Estep with Robert Graves

A perfect read for October. I had heard about Herb Baumeister but I learned so much more by reading this book. I liked the writers approach of focusing on the location. I was impressed that we got to hear from the owner of the home and the victim who got away. There was a little repetition in a few places, other then that would have been a five star read.
*Thank you to Netgalley, the authors, and Llewellyn publishing for allowing me to read an advanced copy of this book.

Book Review: The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris

I wanted to love this story! It took me quite a while to get into. I had a hard time caring about the characters. Everyone was so one-note. Lale and Gita had a lovely story. I really think it was a problem with the writing. I feel like a lot of things were left out. I felt so sad after finishing because I don't feel that Lale and his friends got the story that they deserved.

Book Review: Haunted Rails:Tales of Ghost Trains, Phantom Conductors, and Other Railroad Spirits by Matthew L. Swayne

I have always loved trains. I live very close to a track and a few people in my small town have been killed by trains. I enjoyed these stories. I thought there was a good variety of places included. This was a fun read.

*Thank you to Llewellyn Publishers, Matthew L. Swayne, and Netgalley, for allowing me to read an advanced copy of this book.

Book Review: The Need by Helen Phillips

This was so out there, and not in a good way.the jumping around and back and forth was annoying. I didn't like Molly, really, let your doppelganger have free reign with your kids? The Pit itself could have been interesting, but I am still not sure if Molly just sniffed too much sand and lost it. The only saving grace was that it was a short, quick, read.

Book Review: The Whisper Man by Alex North

This was well done. I enjoyed the surprises toward the end, especially about the imaginary friend. There were lots of twists and turns. I did almost feel that too much was going on. I had a hard time keeping characters straight and there were a few parts that moved too slow. All in all an above average read. I wish it would have been more creepy.

Book Review: Tinfoil Butterfly by Rachel Eve Moulton

I am still not even sure what was real and what wasn't. Is Emma crazy, because I feel that way 
sometimes. Is Earl even real? I just didn't get it and was so confused. I am sure some readers will love its weirdness, but me, not so much.

*Thank you to Netgalley, the author, and the publisher for allowing me to read an advanced copy of this book.

Book Review: The Escape Room by Megan Golden

Loved it!! Yes ,the characters in the game are despicable, that's what makes it fun! I enjoyed solving the puzzles and the ending was perfect! Karma all around!!

Book Review: Wilder Girls by Rory Power

I feel I am in the minority on my views of this book. First of all, I really enjoyed the authors Beautiful descriptive details, until I got to the gruesome parts of the book. I am a huge horror fan but I don't like gore. I feel it is overused and many times unnecessary. This book started to fall apart for me about half way through. I didn't like the ending and wouldn't read a sequel.

Book Review: The Diary By S. L. Weiss

Imagine that you had a diary and everything you wrote in it came true. The story starts out with two friends entering a new shop in town and finding this diary. The diary ends up taking control of Ana's life. She begins to change and becomes almost evil. She becomes obsessed with the diary while her friend becomes obsessed with getting the diary away from her.
This was a fun read. A little witchcraft, a little paranormal, and a good friendship. I am looking forward to book 2.
This was a quick read.

*Thank you to S.L. Weiss, Netgalley, and the publisher for allowing me to read an advanced copy of this book.

Book Review: The Dead Girl in 2A By: Carter Wilson

Wow! This book was out there! So many twists, so many turns, so much confusion! I don't want to spoil any of this story, so I will keep this review brief. Extend your disbelief, and jump right in!

*Thank you to Netgalley, Carter Wilson, and the publisher for allowing me to read a free uncorrected proof of this book.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Book Review: The Woman in Our House by Andrew Hart

I flew through this one in two days. There were plenty of twists and turns. Just when you thought you knew everything, Bam, the author smacked you with new details. I did find quite a bit of the story to be predictable. Some parts were very hard to believe. This didn't stop me from enjoying the story.

*Thank you to Lake Union, Andrew Hart, and Netgalley, for providing me with an advanced ebook.

Book Review: The Lovely and the Lost by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Jennifer Lynn Barnes you have a new fan! I loved Kira and Saskia. Kira was on edge a lot, which made her interesting. You never really knew what she was going to do. 
All of the characters were well written, both humans and dogs. Obviously Barnes did a great job researching search and rescue and recovery dogs. There were a plenty of surprises which held my interest.
Now, as to Kira's thoughts on Ash setting her free, please tell us there is more to know! We need a sequel.! These characters demand more stories!

*Thank you to NetGalley, Jennifer Lynn Barnes, and the publisher, for providing me with an advanced copy of this book.

Book Review: The Favorite Sister by Jessica Knoll

I had a very hard time finishing this book. The story was hard to follow and harder to get into. None of the characters were likable. I had to read this in small doses because I just didn't like it. I will say that near the end the story got more interesting but it also moved quicker. I didn't like the actual ending either.

*Thank you to Jessica Knoll, Netgalley, and Simon and Schuster, for allowing me to read an advanced copy of this book.

Monday, June 3, 2019

Book Review: The Twenty Seventh Letter of the Alphabet by Kim Adrian

This book is hard to follow. At times it is confusing. The book is written how Kim lived her life. Growing up with an alcoholic father and mentally ill mother, must have been confusing and erratic. The book totally portrays what Kim and her sister went through. This is not for the faint of heart. Reading it may be depressing and sad. Reading it shines a light on mental illness, which certainly needs to be done. I am so sorry that the author had to go through this, but I deeply appreciate her sharing her story.

*Thank you to Netgalley, Kim Adrian, and University of Nebraska Press, for providing me with a free advanced copy of this book.

Book Review: Abused by Rachel Haines

Thank you, Rachel, for sharing your story with us. I appreciate the honesty in this story. Some areas of her gymnastics career were positive, others extremely negative. While I find the sexual abuse sickening, I am even more disgusted that Larry Nassar approved and encouraged her to compete with the life-threatening injuries she had sustained. I am so glad that he will not continue to be allowed to hurt anyone. I wish Rachel the best of luck throughout her continuing life journey.

*Thank you to Rachel Haines, Netgalley, and the publisher for providing me with an arc of this book.

Book Review: The Invited by Jennifer McMahon

I really wanted to love this one! How could I not love a book where the main character purposely tries to build a "haunted house"? Sadly I just didn't love this one. I wanted a ghost story. It really wasn't what I was expecting. A big part of the problem was Olive. I just didn't find her interesting. I understand why she was in the story, but that didn't make her easy to like. For me this one was a miss.

*Thank you to Jennifer McMahon, Doubleday Books, and Netgalley, for providing me with a free advanced copy of this book.

Book Review: Dead in the Water by Penny Farmer

This is the story of a sister and her love for her family. She must find out what happened to her missing brother. The whole family spends years searching for answers. They look for help wherever they can get it. Many years later the perpetrator is caught, but justice is never served.
I appreciate the fact that the author was aware of how hard it was for Boston's children to help her. I also found it revealing that Boston's extended family knew the things he had done, but hid them away.
I had a hard time connecting with the writing. At times the story was repetitive and disjointed. I have a feeling that the editor went a little easy on the author because of her personal connection to the story.

*Thank you to Penny Farmer, Diverson Books, and Netgalley for providing me with a free advanced ebook.

Book Review: The Stillwater Girls by Minka Kent

This was a quick read. My recommendation is suspend all disbelief before reading.
The fact that the families were so close in proximity, and the way the book ended made it all a little hard to swallow.

*Thank you to Minka Kent, Thomas &Mercer, and Netgalley, for providing me with a free copy of the book.

Book Review: Death March Escape by Jack J. Hersch

This was a story of a son following in his father's footsteps. He did his best to follow the same paths his father followed and to visit all the places he hid.
The father has an amazing story of having escaped two Nazi death marches. At the time of rescue he was 80 pounds and suffering from several terrible ailments. The fact that he lived to tell his son the story is a miracle.
I appreciate the son sharing his story. The story was hard to read as it was broken into sections skipping between father, son, and army movements. I feel the story would have flowed better by seperating it into sections.

*Thank you to Netgalley, Jack J. Hersch, and Frontline Books for providing me with an advanced copy of this book.

Book Review: Dannemora by Charles A. Gardner

I enjoyed the background of the criminals who escaped. I didn't even mind the details about the prison buildings. I did get a bit bored after the escape. The writing became uninteresting toward the end.

*Thank you to Mr. Gardner, Netgalley, and Kensington Books for allowing me to read an advanced copy of this book.

Book Review: Little Darlings by Melanie Golding

Having been through an experience where I just gave birth and my nurse commented "I won't steal your baby, you can go to the bathroom", which sent me into an all-out meltdown, where I pulled my baby into the bathroom bed and all and threatened the nurse. This was so realistic to me. Obviously, a lot of women are not in the best place mentally, or hormonally, after going through the exhaustion of giving birth.

I don't want to spoil any of the story. I do want to say I read this in two days and was totally drawn into Lauren's world. I loved Harper and hope she will return for another Golding novel.

The atmosphere this book created was absolutely chilling. I can only hope that Golding will continue to write. This was perfect for Halloween. I loved that the ending wrapped up all the storylines. Bravo Melanie Golding! You have a new fan!!!

*Thank you to Melanie Golding, Crooked Lane Books, and Netgalley, for allowing me to read an advanced copy of this book.

Book Review: Chasing American Monsters by Jason Offutt

I wish I could give this a better review. I didn't like the fact that the book was divided by states. This produced a lot of repetition for creatures seen in multiple places. There was not enough detail about the creatures. I was expecting more.

*Thank you to Netgalley, Llewellyn, and Mr. Offutt for providing me an advanced copy of this title.

Book Review: If The Creek Don't Rise by Leah Weiss

I was surprised that there were so many characters in this story. I wanted to know more about Sadie. I found a lot of the story repetitive due to the many different points of view of the varied characters. I did like Sadie but a few of the characters were quite annoying. I honestly thought parts of the story weren't needed. Having so many characters with their own chapters did cause me confusion at times.

*Thank you to Sourcebooks, Leah Weiss, and Netgalley for allowing me to read an advanced copy of this book.

Book Review: Where Monsters Hide by M. William Phelps

Wow! This was one messed up couple. This case makes me wonder how many more this woman or couple killed that we don't know about. I am sure that we will never know. I am glad she is unable to hurt anyone else. I was beginning to think that she was going to get away with it.

*Thank you to Netgalley, M. William Phelps, and Kensington Books for allowing me to read an advanced copy of this book.

Book Review: Inconvenience Gone by Diane Marger Moore

This is a very tragic case of a child who was murdered by his own mother. This story focuses on the case and the trial. This was very well written. It flowed nicely and was easy to follow. I am embarrassed that this woman is back on the streets. I hope she doesn't have any more children.

*Thank you to Diane Marger Moore, NetGalley and WildBlue Press for providing me with a free copy of this book.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Book Review: Postcards from Auschwitz - Holocaust Tourism and the Meaning of Remembrance by Daniel P. Reynolds

I did not like the style of the writing in this book. I felt like I was reading a book for my college class. This is way too wordy. Honestly, it was boring.
The only redemptive aspect of this book was that it introduced me to a few places that I had never heard about Chelmno and Belzec. I also had never heard about the Auschwitz Album.
Unfortunately, I have never been to any of these locations. I have met Eva Mozes Kor and been to her museum. I have also read many books about the Holocaust.
So while I do appreciate this book for introducing me to these locations and the album, I just couldn't enjoy this book because I felt so disconnected from the writing.

*Thank you to Daniel P. Reynolds, Netgalley, and the publisher for allowing me to read an advanced copy of this book.

Book Review: This I Know by Eldonna Edwards

Grace is absolutely amazing!! She is clairvoyant, which she calls "the knowing". This is very hard growing up with a preacher father, who does not believe in Grace or her gifts. Grace manages to be loving and accepting to everyone around her, even while not getting much acceptance from very many others. This story is inspiring and heartwarming. Grace will be hard to forget.

*Thank you to Eldonna Edwards, Netgalley, and the publisher for allowing me to read an advanced copy of this book.

Book Review: Between Earth and Sky by Amanda Skenandore

Alma's father runs a school that tries to teach Indian children how to live in white society. She grows up with all the students being her friends and learns much about their language and customs. 
When Alma is older and married, she gets her husband to help one of the former students who is being charged with murder.
The author does an excellent job of explaining the situation the Indians are trapped in, and how they are affected by the school. It sickens me because I know this and worse actually happened throughout history.
My grandmother's mother was a full blooded Native American, who along with her siblings was removed from her family. These children were placed in white families and had no idea of their past or where they came from. We have no idea what tribe or state my great grandmother belonged to. There is a huge piece of our history that is missing. It disgusts me how Native Americans have been treated throughout time.
This book is very well researched and written. I think a lot of people probably don't know that these types of things happened to Native children.

*Thank you to Amanda Skenandore, Netgalley, and Kensington Publishing for allowing me to read an advanced copy of this book.

Book Review: The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain

I really enjoyed this story. It was a bit confusing a few times because the circumstances were so unbelievable, but it was still fun to read. I have never read time travel done in quite this style. I loved the family connection. I liked all of the characters and thought the book was imaginative and well written.

*Thank you to Diane Chamberlain, Netgalley, and the publisher, for allowing me to read an advanced copy of this book.

Book Review: The Ghost Road By Charis Cotter

A family curse, hidden passages, whispers from nowhere, you will find them all here. Cotter sets
the perfect atmosphere for a ghost story. It is easy to get lost in this one. There are many twists and turns. This is perfect for middle grade ghost lovers. The cover is Beautiful!!

*Thank you to Charis Cotter, Netgalley, and the publisher for allowing me to read an advanced copy of this book.

We Told Six Lies

Use the bottom link to check out Chapter By Chapter's Giveaway of this New Release!!


Friday, January 18, 2019

Book Review: Tears of the Silenced: An Amish True Crime Memoir of Childhood Sexual Abuse, Brutal Betrayal, and Ultimate Survival by Misty Griffin

Thank you Misty for sharing your story with us. You always wanted to help everyone throughout the book. I believe that is why you told your story. I am so sorry that you had to deal with a terrible mother and stepfather. I am so glad you were able to escape and help others.

Book Review: Five Chimneys: A Woman Survivor's True Story of Auschwitz by Olga Lengyel

Never Forget

I learned a lot throughout this book. There were many atrocities not addressed in other camp memoirs. I appreciate Olga's honesty and the fact that she never wants another to go through what she has. I am so glad she shared her story with us. I will never forget

Book Review: Haunted World War II: Soldier Spirits, Ghost Planes & Strange Synchronicities by Matthew L. Swayne

This was full of interesting tales. The stories were divided well and the writing was well done. A large range of places was covered. There were many stories that were new to me. I would like to read more by this author.

*Thank you to Matthew L. Swayne, Llewellyn publishers, and NetGalley for allowing me to read an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: When Elephants Fly by Nancy Richardson Fischer

So good!!! I stayed up all night reading! Such a great choice for my first read of 2019! I loved everything about the book. I loved Swifty, and Lillian, the zoo, the circus, Otis and Flea. I loved that the author is willing to approach tough topics head on! These are the kind of stories I love to read. The characters are not perfect, the environment is not perfect, things are a mess, but there is still good to be found!

*Thank you to Netgalley, the author, and the publisher, for allowing me to read an uncorrected proof in exchange for an honest review.

I am proud to announce that I am now A Tall Poppy Blogger!! Watch for reviews of Tall Poppy Blogger Books!!

Check out all the great books and authors at the Tall Poppy Book Club. You can find the details here: