Friday, February 26, 2016

Review: Fool Me Once

Fool Me Once Fool Me Once by Harlan Coben
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Maya is trying to adjust to being home from the war when her husband, Joe, is killed. In order to protect her two-year-old daughter, she agrees to have a nanny cam put in her living room. What she doesn’t expect to see on the video is her dead husband playing with her daughter. She confronts the nanny about the video, and she is suddenly swept into a conspiracy that seems to have no end. Can Maya believe what she sees with her own eyes? Is there anyone in her life she can trust to help her find answers?

Fool Me Once is a stand-alone thriller that will not disappoint those who have read other books by the author. Coben’s plot twists span many years and across several characters so that the reader may find themselves slowing down just to digest the newest nugget of information. As the book approaches the last few chapters the anticipation doesn’t relent and the reader’s chance to put the book down and complete their own life duties diminishes. Readers might want to make sure they don’t continue the last portion of the book until they know they have the time to finish it.

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Monday, February 22, 2016

Review: On the Edge of Gone

On the Edge of Gone On the Edge of Gone by Corinne Duyvis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A comet is about to hit earth and Denise just wants her mother to hurry up. Unfortunately, her mother only has one speed in her drug addled brain, slow. They need to make it to a shelter before impact, and every minute her mother wastes is another tick toward their destruction. When a fortuitous encounter on their way to the shelter gives them an opportunity to take shelter on a generation ship, the chance for more than mere survival is now in their path. Their possibility to stay rides on their usefulness. Denise believes her autism will keep her from being accepted, yet her mother’s drug addiction is just one more hurdle to get across. Can Denise secure a spot on the ship before it takes off? Can she find her sister and discover a way for them all to have a place?

On the Edge of Gone is a post-apocalyptic science fiction story that will pull readers in from the start. Although it is hard to relate to the larger picture being portrayed, the day to day struggle of trying to find a place in this world is one that everyone has had to deal with. I will have to say that Denise took many unnecessary risks and not all of them because of her autism. It is hard to say what we would do if we were trying to survive the end of the world, but we all hope that we would hold fast to our beliefs in the goodness of man, especially those nearest to us. Duyvis has created a good standalone novel that will easily peak conversations if also ready by reader friends. Of course, the ending will leave readers wondering if another book in this world will be in the works.

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Thursday, February 18, 2016

Review: Burn Baby Burn

Burn Baby Burn Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Nora is almost eighteen years old and is looking forward to moving out and being on her own. It is the summer of 1977 and New York is a scary place, especially with Son of Sam shooting women all over the city. Nora’s brother is making life at home hard as he bullies her and her mother, sets random fires and sells prescription drugs on the street. All Nora wants to do is spend time with the new guy at the deli, but Son of Sam also likes to attack couples that are out late at night.
Burn Baby Burn is a coming of age story set in a simpler time, yet with relevant issues. Nora has to decide what she will do after graduation. She would like to get a job and start living, but her guidance counselor wants her to go to college. Medina has crafted a novel that is easy to fall into and readers will quickly turn the pages as the days progress. At first I believed there would be more about the Son of Sam murders, but after I realized it was the background for this story, I was able to relax into the narrative and enjoy it for what it was … a story about life before computers and cell phones when teens still had to adjust to life in the big bad world. A good read for a good distraction.

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Thursday, February 11, 2016

Review: Into the Dim

Into the Dim Into the Dim by Janet B. Taylor
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hope Walton doesn’t want to accept that her mother is dead, but it has been seven months since the earthquake that leveled the building her mother was scheduled to be giving a lecture in. Hope has agreed to go to Scotland for the summer and spend time with her mother’s sister. After she arrives, she learns that her mother was part of a secret group of time travelers and is actually trapped in the twelfth century. Her aunt wants Hope to be part of the team to travel back in time and rescue her mother. They will only have seventy-two hours, or they will be trapped themselves. Can Hope find her mother and get back to the proper location in time? During her time traveling escapade, will she be able to restrain herself from making changes in the timeline?

Into the Dim is the first book in a series with the same title. Although the time traveling aspect of the story is not evident from the start, little breadcrumbs are dropped in the pages to prepare the reader beforehand. Hope’s character is brilliant, yet she has emotional baggage and social awkwardness that most readers can relate to. Into the Dim has a lot of history and a little bit of romance weaved into it. Taylor has crafted a story world with limitless possibilities and I am excited to follow these characters into the past on upcoming adventures. This book will please readers of historical fiction as well as those who would like a try at science fiction.

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Friday, February 5, 2016

Review: After the Woods

After the Woods After the Woods by Kim Savage
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It has been almost a year since Julia helped her friend escape an attack and ended up spending 48 hours in his clutches. She only has flashes of memory about that time, but as the anniversary gets closer the facts about that time also become clearer. Even though Liv suffered the least during the altercation, she is the one falling apart. She is doing drugs, starving herself and staying in an abusive relationship. After a dead girl is found in the same woods, Julia remembers more and more. The truth that is uncovered is even harder to understand than the attack itself.

After the Woods is a stand-alone thriller that readers will quickly ravish as they turn the pages. Savage has interspersed little nuggets of insight into the story, yet nothing is truly given away until the end. Julia is trying to work through her own issues while also trying to be there for her best friend. As friendships form and secrets are revealed, readers will want to find extra time inside the book in order to discover what really happened. A wonderful thrill ride that is a great escape from all the series fiction that has been released recently.

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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Review: Magic Below

Magic Below Magic Below by Laura J. Burns
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Zerie and her friends are with Princess Ozma and are completely confused on who to trust. Each girl must get inside Glinda the Good’s palace, but a different way. Zerie must travel through water, Vashti must travel by land and Tabitha must reach the palace by air. Although Zerie is transformed into a mermaid for her journey, she must still overcome a series of obstacles and learn to adjust to this entirely different world. During all of this, Brink is being held captive inside Glinda the Good’s palace and he has the added challenge of believing the girls are in a greater danger than him.

Magic Below is the second book in the Bewitched in Oz series. This is a short book that reads even more quickly than may be expected and as the reader approaches the end of the pages it is easy to see that more books are needed to get to the end of the saga. The majority of the story is told from Zerie’s point of view with a few chapters about Brink thrown into the mix. Unfortunately, Vashti’s and Tabitha’s stories are not brought back in until the penultimate chapter and readers are still left wondering what they were doing during this three day time period. I can’t find any information about the next books in the series, so we will all have to wait and see if Burns tells the other two stories or just continues with the adventure. Magic Below could have been a 4-star book if the story was longer so that it didn’t feel as if everything wrapped up quickly and neatly.

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