Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.” —Groucho Marx

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

No One Else Can Have You by Kathleen Hale

Good Morning Peeps!    It is cloudy and rainy in our neck of the woods and just pretty glum, but I am up and rearin' to go on this fine day.

My mother and I got together yesterday.   We went to lunch together and came back to my house and played Skip Bo.   We always play cards at her house, so I was delighted and it must make a difference whose house we are at because she always wins at her house, but I won at mine.  Woo Hoo!

Anyway, despite a visit from the daughter and her family,later in the day, I was able to finish No One Else Can Have You   by Kathleen Hale.   I was visiting GoodReads and this was one of the books advertised.   The title kind of caught my eye and the cover was different from most...a sweater with a line of moose and one hanging.    Hmm...so I explored the

Synopsis:

Small towns are nothing if not friendly. Friendship, Wisconsin (population: 689688) is no different. Around here, everyone wears a smile. And no one ever locks their doors. Until, that is, high school sweetheart Ruth Fried is found murdered. Strung up like a scarecrow in the middle of a cornfield.

Unfortunately, Friendship’s police are more adept at looking for lost pets than catching killers. So Ruth’s best friend, Kippy Bushman, armed with only her tenacious Midwestern spirit and Ruth’s secret diary (which Ruth’s mother had asked her to read in order to redact any, you know, sex parts), sets out to find the murderer. But in a quiet town like Friendship—where no one is a suspect—anyone could be the killer.

From My Perspective:

I always enjoy a good mystery and this was no exception.   The story was told by Kippy Bushman, seventeen year old friend of the murdered victim.   Kippy was the daughter of a school counselor and as such, his best patient, him being a single parent and all.   He wanted her to be happy and normal, whatever normal is.   But when her best friend was murdered and possibly her only real friend, Kippy finds no one willing to view the possible alternatives for the who done it.   So she begins her own investigation.   Kippy was sort of an outcast to her fellow students, she was never dressed as well, was an independent thinker, and she had a lot of love to give.   She was fearless and relentless, determined to clear Ruth's boyfriend of the charges filed against him.  Her only support came from Ruth's brother Davey and a family friend, Ralph.  To the sheriff, she became a pain in the ass, to the lawyer in town, she was a nosy bitch, and to everyone else, she was "mental".   We get to watch as Kippy, naive and reserved 17 year old, transforms herself into the town hero, don't cha know.

The storyline is well plotted and is somewhat humorous in places.   The characters are totally picturesque!  Their language is characteristic of small town Wisconsin, Minnesota, and North Dakota.
I rated this read as a 4 wink read.    It is quite possibly the quirkiest murder mystery I have ever read.


Disclaimer:  I read for my pleasure.   I may receive ARC copies for review purposes, but I am not compensated for my reviews .  I like to read and I like to share my reviews.   I post my thoughts without prejudice or bias.  The words are mine and I write reviews based on my humble opinion.  I will admit, I seldom meet a book I don't like.   This was a purchased book.  

Monday, April 21, 2014

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick--A Review

April, a month of new beginnings--spring, when life awakens after a long cold winter.   The air is fresh, blades of sweet green grass are poking through seeking sunlight to help them grow.  Seemed like a good time to read My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick.    First love,  young and fresh and new, full of passion.

SYNOPSIS, (from Goodreads):
"One thing my mother never knew, and would disapprove of most of all, was that I watched the Garretts. All the time."

The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, messy, affectionate. And every day from her rooftop perch, Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs up next to her and changes everything.

As the two fall fiercely for each other, stumbling through the awkwardness and awesomeness of first love, Jase's family embraces Samantha - even as she keeps him a secret from her own. Then something unthinkable happens, and the bottom drops out of Samantha's world. She's suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?

A transporting debut about family, friendship, first romance, and how to be true to one person you love without betraying another.

From My Perspective:

I really enjoyed Ms Fitzpatrick's writing style.   It is smooth and flows easily and at a steady pace.   From the moment I began reading I related to the main character Samantha Reed.    This book took me back years  to age seventeen!   And the character Jase, well he was definitely a keeper in my humble opinion.    I loved how he related to his many siblings and was far wiser than his years.   Who wouldn't want to be a part of the neighbors family with all the love they shared?

This was young love at it's best and it was a book that spoke about morals and values.   Samantha transformed before our eyes from being timid and obedient to a self thinker and making her stand for what was right.    I felt this was an excellent read for the young at heart.    I gave it a 5 Wink rating.


Disclaimer:  I read for my pleasure.   I may receive ARC copies for review purposes, but I am not compensated for my reviews .  I like to read and I like to share my reviews.   I post my thoughts without prejudice or bias.  The words are mine and I write reviews based on my humble opinion.  I will admit, I seldom meet a book I don't like.  I did purchase this book.  



Friday, April 18, 2014

Code of the Hills by Nancy Allen--A Review






Synopsis from Good Reads:

To uncover the truth, she'll have to break the code of the hills …

In the Missouri Ozarks, some things aren't talked about … even abuse. But prosecutor Elsie Arnold is determined to change that.

When she is assigned to prosecute a high-profile incest case in which a father is accused of abusing his three young daughters, Elsie is ready to become the Ozarks' avenging angel.

But as Elsie sinks her teeth into the case, everything begins to turn sour. The star witness goes missing; the girls refuse to talk about their father, who terrorizes the courtroom from the moment he enters; and Elsie begins to suspect that their tough-as-nails mother has ulterior motives. To make matters worse, Elsie receives gruesome threats from local extremists, warning her to mind her own business.

While Elsie swears not to let a sex offender walk, she realizes the odds—and maybe the town—are against her, and her life begins to crumble. But amidst all of the conflict, the safety of three young girls hangs in the balance ...

A powerful debut, with the haunting atmosphere of Winter's Bone and the page-turning suspense of Alafair Burke's thrillers.

From My Perspective:

Words to describe the reading experience:  chilling, hair raising,  deeply troubling, and frightening.

The Characters in Allen's debut novel were as authentic as any I have read about in the past.   Elsie Arnold was a strong woman who dealt with the abuse of others and yet was subjected to abuse at the hands of her boyfriend, a local cop.   Elsie could be tough in a courtroom and yet she had a soft side as well, a desperate desire to protect the innocent children subjected to sexual abuse.  The Taney case she was assigned to put her way over her head as far as comfort goes, but Elsie was tenacious and not about to give up.   I liked that when she felt overwhelmed there was safety and peace at the home of her parents and she had a strong working relationship with Ashlock, another cop on the force.   He was a true straight arrow and truly sought justice for Elsie's victims of abuse.

Allen wrote with purpose and a well plotted story.   She was clearly familiar with the lingo of the hills people and wrote their story convincingly.   Truly a disgusting and distasteful topic,  child sexual abuse and any type of abuse is prevalent in today's society.   The point is , as Elsie so sagely put it in her closing remarks, do we protect our children or don't we?  Do we punish the offender or don't we?   What stance as a community do we take?   What message will we send?

This was a very easy read and I thoroughly enjoyed the novel.  It is thought provoking and haunting.
I almost saw this as a call to arms or action.   Abuse has touched all of our lives starting with the daily news and ending on some of our very door steps.

I rated this a 5 Wink read.



   

Disclaimer:  I read for my pleasure.   I may receive ARC copies for review purposes, but I am not compensated for my reviews .  I like to read and I like to share my reviews.   I post my thoughts without prejudice or bias.  The words are mine and I write reviews based on my humble opinion.  I will admit, I seldom meet a book I don't like. I received a complimentary copy from the author or the author’s representatives in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Insurgent by Veronica Roth---a Review



  1. Insurgent - Definition and More from the Free Merriam ...

    www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/insurgent

    Merriam‑Webster
    noun \-jÉ™nt\. : a person who fights against an established government or authority. FullDefinition of INSURGENT. 1. : a person who revolts against civil authority ...

Synopsis from Goodreads:


One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.


From My Perspective:

This second book in the series, lacked the lustre that Divergent had, but it was still interesting and quite necessary in the building of characters and story plot line.   Tris who started out as an innocent 16 year old, had left the abnegation factor, for the Dauntless faction.   In book one, she survived her initiation into the Dauntless, made choices regarding friends and foes within her faction and fought alongside the divergent to stop the annihilation of the abnegation faction  by the Erudites.   In book two, she is saddled with guilt and grief at the loss of her parents and her friend Will.    This baggage slows her
down  as the factions fall apart, a deadly secret is revealed and truth is sought and shared with all.

I love the twists and turns Roth uses to reveal the political struggle and conflict within the factions.  I enjoyed the challenges and choices that each person needed to deal with.  Her writing style is so easy to read and the reader is as involved as any of the characters on the page.   I rated this read a 4 Wink read only because it wasn't quite as intense as the first in the series was, not quite as personal.

I will be reviewing Allegiant soon.   So stay tuned!
 

  1. Disclaimer:  I read for my pleasure.   I may receive ARC copies for review purposes, but I am not compensated for my reviews .  I like to read and I like to share my reviews.   I post my thoughts without prejudice or bias.  The words are mine and I write reviews based on my humble opinion.  I will admit, I seldom meet a book I don't like.  This book was purchased.  

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green--A Review

I have wanted to read this book since ealry in the days of my blogging and it kept getting pushed back on the TBR shelf, like so many others.   The world keeps turning and the TBR shelf is fat then thinner, then fat again.   And so it goes, a monster out of control and hoping in my heart of hearts, don't let me die with an ever engorged to be read pile.   Will there  be enough life in me to read all the books I own?and those buried deeply in my kindle?

Well, it finally happened.   I searched my kindle for the free copy I had been sent by someone and it is really deeply buried...as in Gone!   So I bought a copy of John Green's, The Fault In Our Stars.   Here is the Goodreads SYNOPSIS:

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.

From My Perspective:

All readers get the benefit of the rewrite mentioned above.   Let's start with the characters, truly believable, fully developed, quirky, funny, angry, sad, and so very intelligently reflective of their being.

Green writes a beautiful love story for Hazel Grace and tells it from her point of view.   She strikes me as wise beyond her years and trying to live her life fully and honestly.   She's not particularly fond of her cancer support group, but it  is there she meets Augustus Waters and experiences romantic love for the first time.

I enjoyed and respected Hazel's honesty, I enjoyed her plight to find out what happened to her book characters created by Peter Van Houten.   I suffered his indignity and self-failure at the loss of his young daughter.  And there was Augustus's cruel recurrence of the disease...so unfair, hurtful of so many affected by his remission and recurrence.  And as the book reminds us, the world isn't in the business of granting wishes for any of us.   It's all about how we react and accept our given path.

Such an easy book to love, and to read.  It delves into lust and love, the failure of those we deem important when they can not deal with the issues at hand, and it promises that life will go on for the ones we leave behind.  It was sad, funny, and intelligent.   I rated it a 5 Wink read  and highly recommend it to all.   It will remain one of my personal favorites and I look forward to my own reread down the road!



Disclaimer:  I read for my pleasure.   I may receive ARC copies for review purposes, but I am not compensated for my reviews .  I like to read and I like to share my reviews.   I post my thoughts without prejudice or bias.  The words are mine and I write reviews based on my humble opinion.  I will admit, I seldom meet a book I don't like.   I did purchase my personal Copy of The Fault in Our Stars.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Children of the Revolution by Peter Robinson--A Review and Giveaway

Last week I had my almost three year old granddaughter with me for an entire week.  If you are reading this, I have survived.  Two of my grandsons will be with us this week, but they are teenager and a tween and can basically entertain themselves.   They are pretty well self sufficient, except that one of them has discovered how jumpy I am and so now he loves to scare me!  It just delights his heart if he can scare the wits out of me!   Reminds me so much of my grandpa and how he loved to scare me as well!   His speech was impaired due to a stroke, but his laughter wasn't affected.

Today's review is of Peter Robinson's, Children of the Revolution.   Take a look at the synopsis:

A disgraced college lecturer is found murdered with £5,000 in his pocket on a disused railway line near his home. Since being dismissed from his job for sexual misconduct four years previously, he has been living a poverty-stricken and hermit-like existence in this isolated spot.

The suspects range from several individuals at the college where he used to teach to a woman who knew the victim back in the early '70s at Essex University, then a hotbed of political activism. When Banks receives a warning to step away from the case, he realises there is much more to the mystery than meets the eye - for there are plenty more skeletons to come out of the closet . .

From My Perspective:

Skeletons in the closet indeed!   This was an excellent police procedural with lots of twists and turns.
Children of the Revolution refers to that of the sixties and early seventies and there is much reference to bands and their music and the eclectic tastes of Inspector Alan Banks.    Yes, those were the good ole days.   No witnesses, few clues at all and an introverted dead professor, sends Inspector Banks and his team on a wild goose chase in the present and forty years ago as well.

Robinson had a well plotted mystery and supported his solution with well developed characters who exuded intricate personality defects.   Internal strife and rivalry also paved the way of the investigation.  This was one of the more interesting police procedurals  I've read recently and I rate it a 4 Wink read.

Giveaway:
Lucky reader giveaway...just head out to the rafflecopter giveaway at the link below.   Here's hoping you win!



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer:  I read for my pleasure.   I may receive ARC copies for review purposes, but I am not compensated for my reviews .  I like to read and I like to share my reviews.   I post my thoughts without prejudice or bias.  The words are mine and I write reviews based on my humble opinion.  I will admit, I seldom meet a book I don't like. I received a complimentary copy from the author or the author’s representatives in exchange for an honest review.



Thursday, April 3, 2014

I Don't wanna Be An Orange Anymore by Hank Kellner

Hi Peeps!   Today we're talking about I Don't Wanna Be An Orange Anymore! by Hank Kellner.    This is a great spring read for a rainy afternoon.   It is short and funny and a classically reminiscent of The Christmas Story (movie as told from a kids viewpoint), or Wonder Years, (t.v. sitcom told from a boy's point of view).    I could hear the narrator from the movie talking as I read this tale about  the life of a nine year old and how he survived his elementary through middle school years despite a sister who insisted on blaming him for everything and a bully who threatened to end his life as he knew it.   I had to chuckle at the antics this boy endured and how he eventually grew up, served his country , married and had children of his own.

We've all been there at one time or another....a kid and how our futures are molded by the experiences we share and endure when we are young and new to this world.    This was a very endearing and sweetly told story.   I rated it a 4 Wink short story read due to its timeless nature.   I felt like I received a giant hug while reading.

Disclaimer:  I read for my pleasure.   I may receive ARC copies for review purposes, but I am not compensated for my reviews .  I like to read and I like to share my reviews.   I post my thoughts without prejudice or bias.  The words are mine and I write reviews based on my humble opinion.  I will admit, I seldom meet a book I don't like. I received a complimentary copy from the author or the author’s representatives in exchange for an honest review.