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The Golden House: A Novel - Salman Rushdie
I had never read a Salman Rushdie book before, but I had heard of him and what a good writer he was. So. . . I was pretty excited when I requested and received this book. 

That excitement lasted until I started reading it. It was just so tedious. And, yawn. . . boring.

There were numerous times when the narrator of this story would say the same things over and over again. Using different words, of course. I would be reading thinking surely there's been enough talk describing something with the Golden family and then several pages later it would be said again, paragraphs of content with different wording.

The narrator kept promising that "the story" will be coming. Well, after 60% into this story, I said "wow, I don't have to read all of this". I rarely like to abandon books because I feel so bad in doing so. But this one, I could not take it anymore. Not sure if this the writer's typical style, something that did not appeal to me either, or if it's different. 

I do appreciate, however, that Random House and Net Galley provided me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.
 
 

 

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The readymade [ready-made] thief. - Augustus Rose
The readymade [ready-made] thief. - Augustus Rose

Wow!! I stayed up way into the early morning reading this book. I could not help it, I could not put it down. Well, until, unfortunately, close to the ending. I was simply too tired from lack of sleep to get into all the technical aspects that are presented. It was tedious and very, very descriptive. 

However, let me say this the descriptions were an amazing part of this book. I really felt myself "creeping" with Lee and Tomi inside those abandoned buildings. When reading the blurb about the book, I thought it was a post apocalyptic world. I was surprise to find that it was pretty much modern day. So many abandoned buildings! 

I loved the characters of Lee and Tomi. The author did a great job with their character development. He also did a great job with Steve and Lee's mother which led me to a "I want to slap the crap out of both those" feeling that lasted throughout the book.

A thoroughly entertaining, unputdownable and amazing read.

Thanks to Penguin Group/Viking and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

Young Jane Young - Gabrielle Zevin

I felt such sorrow for both the mother and the daughter in this highly entertaining book. A mother who was part of a nationwide scandal, who in MHO was sent to the called out and sent to the guillotine even though she was not the only person engaged in this scandal. However, that does seem to be real life. And, a daughter dealing with her mother's (hidden to her) past as it involves her and her beginnings.

I sped through this book, an enjoyable, entertaining and sometime irritable (some characters and the pointed fingers) story. 

I also think this would make a great YA, which it may already be, but I enjoyed it and read it as an adult book.

Thanks to Algonquin Books and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

The readymade [ready-made] thief. - Augustus Rose

Wow!! I stayed up way into the early morning reading this book. I could not help it, I could not put it down. Well, until, unfortunately, close to the ending. I was simply too tired from lack of sleep to get into all the technical aspects that are presented. It was tedious and very, very descriptive. 

However, let me say this the descriptions were an amazing part of this book. I really felt myself "creeping" with Lee and Tomi inside those abandoned buildings. When reading the blurb about the book, I thought it was a post apocalyptic world. I was surprise to find that it was pretty much modern day. So many abandoned buildings! 

I loved the characters of Lee and Tomi. The author did a great job with their character development. He also did a great job with Steve and Lee's mother which led me to a "I want to slap the crap out of both those" feeling that lasted throughout the book.

A thoroughly entertaining, unputdownable and amazing read.

Thanks to Penguin Group/Viking and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

On Her Majesty's Frightfully Secret Service - Rhys Bowen
I have only recently discovered Rhys Bowen. I knew of her as an author, but I had not read any of her books. This was my second book by her, but the first in this series.

I loved the whole conceptual idea of this series. Fictional characters placed and set in real life events with real life people. A great cozy mystery set in the early set during the Hitler/Mussolini pre-war era with a little romance, scandal and lots of royalty.

As I said this was my first book in this series and I am so sad that I haven't been following it all along.
Guess I have some additional reading to do! Look out tumbling TBR pile!

Thanks to Berkley Publishing and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.
 
 

 

The Lauras - Sara      Taylor

The Lauras was a very interesting, informative, emotional and entertaining read that I sped right through. I was mesmerized by this tale of a mother with an agenda and an agender (I had never heard of this before which makes this book, informative) teenage daughter. 

I was mesmerized by this book from the very beginning. The mother's agenda, unknown to anyone else, was quite quirky and interesting. She had quite a few things on her list that took her all over the country.

Her teenage daughter, Alex, amazed me with her maturity at such a young age and her ability to see her real "self" at such a young age astounded me.

The book was very emotional and said a lot about the characters in a very minimal amount of words. As I said, I was into this book from the very beginning and sped through enjoying the story immensely.

Thanks to Crown Publishing and Net Galley for providing me with an entertaining and free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

Girl in Snow: A Novel - Danya Kukafka

Lucinda Hayes, a teenager, has been found dead in the local playground. Her neck was broken. There are several suspects and at one time or another I had my mind made up who had done it. However, I was totally wrong. Yay!

The story is told by two teenagers that went to high school with Lucinda. Eaching having a different connection to the deceased girl. One a stalker secretly in love with her and the other, a friend who was (in her mind) betrayed by her. Jade and Cameron are both loners and total misfits. You can't help but feel for them. I loved Jade's screenplays that map out "what she should of said or done". 

While the book starts out on a suspense novel with a gruesome death at the beginning, the gist of the book is so much more. A book of insights, discoveries, loss, finger pointing, betrayal and raw human emotion while dealing with a murder in a small town.

Thanks to Simon & Schuster and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

The Last to See Me: A Novel - M Dressler

I absolutely loved this ghost story. I felt as if Emma Rose (the ghost) was a true person and felt such sorrow for her past. 

The story is told through Emma Rose's eyes. A ghost who has been haunting the Lambry mansion for years trying to get someone to recognize her and her life.

A sad, entertaining and just right interesting story that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Thanks to Skyhorse Publishing and Edelweiss for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

The Party - Elizabeth Day
This was undoubtedly the most tedious book labeled fiction that I have ever trudged through. I even skipped pages, lots and felt like it was a punishment.

I do, also, have to admit that there were parts that were excellent. Unfortunately, they were few and FAR between.

First off, I did not connect with any of the characters. I did not like any of them. That, I'm sure what one reason it did not entertain me. Secondly, I get it, Martin had a tough life. He was very unlikable in his fictional life and to me, as a reader. Considering at least 2/3 of the books dealt with Martin's boring, mundane and spineless early years, it did not bode well for my expectations.

I gave this story an extra star because there were some good parts and the author went through a lot of work in writing this book.

Thanks to Little, Brown and Company and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.
 
 

 

The One That Got Away: A Novel - Melissa Pimentel

I so enjoyed this book. It was so entertaining and I loved the characters. 

A great read that included romance, humor (quite a lot) and a little mystery. I sped through this book enjoying every moment.

Thanks to St. Martin's Press and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

Fast Falls the Night: A Novel (Bell Elkins Novels) - Julia Keller
I first discovered Julia Keller and her Bell Elkins series through Read it First, now called First Look Book Club. A site that readers can subscribe to and get the first few chapters of a book of their latest offerings. Then they can decide if they want to buy and read the book. I had the pleasure of reading the first few chapters of "A Killing in the Hills" and I was hooked and have been ever since.

In this, the 6th in the Bell Elkins series, things are not looking good for Acker's Gap in rural West Virginia. Bodies are falling all over the place as it's discovered that a new shipment of heroin has hit the town laced with a drug used to fell elephants. Yikes! That has to be some pretty powerful stuff. There are, of course, other crimes and accidents that the small police force of Acker's Gap has to handle. It's a VERY busy, action filled night.

And this is a VERY busy, action filled story. A hostage situation and the surprise of very well kept secret that gets out adds to the drama of this excellent read. One that kept me up very late turning those pages. 

I just love this series, however, things are changing with the characters in the story. The abrupt ending leads me to believe we are going to be seeing a lot of new developments in the next book in the series and I can't wait!

Huge thanks to St. Martins Press and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.
 
 

 

Hush Money: A Novel (Hush Money Mystery) - T. E. Woods
I love T.E. Woods' "The Fixer" books and was sad when The Fixer decided to get out of the life of fixing. That girl was AWESOME! I wondered what would come next in in T.E. Woods' world and now I know. I loved this book. 

I loved the locale, Madison, WI is a beautiful city and I loved the main character, Sydney Richardson. A woman with a lot of issues of abandonment and a huge heart. During opening night of her "two", yes not just one, restaurants the Mayor is murdered. His wife had to be driven home in a taxi, so she can't be the suspect. However, one of Sydney's new employees, Wanda Fields, is a no show for work. There is no phone call or a replacement found. 

Wanda Fields, with no restaurant experience at all, tugged on Sydney's heartstrings with her status as a single mother. Sydney hired her right away. Now, Wanda is the main suspect in the Mayor's murder.

Sydney comes to the rescue with money for a lawyer, bail and a babysitter for her young daughter. She is bound and determined who killed the mayor because she knows Wanda did not do it.

A great story with not really a lot of suspects. There is no clue that there was anyone in that house besides the mayor and Wanda. However, some shady actions behind the scenes provide quite a few suspects. A fact I was happy to see because I really liked Wanda, as well.

The jaw dropping ending reiterated the fact why T.E. Woods is one author that I request her books without even reading the description!

Huge thanks to Random House/Alibi and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.
 
 

 

Stay with Me: A novel - Adebayo Ayobami

This was such a heartbreaking story in so many ways. From arranged marriages, deceit, attempting to achieve the impossible demands and always being overruled, Yejide is hoping and trying to conceive a child. A major necessity of a wife in her native Nigeria. 

I felt so sorry for this poor woman. First with the demands, then the arrival of a "new" wife and her in-laws were incorrigible! And the husband? I will leave interested persons to discover that feeling as I don't want to insert a spoiler here.

I thoroughly enjoyed my journey with Yejide. She was a great character and she grew on me very quickly. I really liked this story a lot.

Huge thanks to Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

Unravelling Oliver - Liz Nugent

Oliver, a self-centered man with few feelings for anyone else, was one hell of a bad guy.

However, can you blame him? He was sent to boarding school when he was six by a father who gave him no paternal support and left him with the knowledge that his mother was a prostitute. His father never visited or communicated with him in any way other than to exact the sheer amount of hatred he felt for his son.

When Oliver beats his wife of several decades, years later, and puts her into a coma, the book goes back and takes a look at Oliver's life. Told from many viewpoints, including the priest who ran the school, and none from his real father, it tells a very eye opening story.

I could not believe some of the thoughts and actions of this man. And I can say, I was hooked from the very beginning. How can someone be this mean? Can I really feel sorry for him? Was this nature or nurture?

A story that I found I could not put down as the real reason Oliver slapped Alice is not revealed until the end. A story that I just had to get to the bottom of this guy.

Thanks to Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books, Scott Press and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

The Futilitarians: Our Year of Thinking, Drinking, Grieving, and Reading - Anne Gisleson

Anne Gisleson's memoirs dealing with her father's death and her twin sister's suicides 18 months apart is quite a heavy read. Her husband had his own losses he was grieving through as he lost his partner and mother to his son very early in their marriage to cancer. Combine that with suffering through Hurricane Katrina and life's daily offerings, there is a LOT of pain in here.

Together with their friends (who had many pains, as well), Ann and her husband, Brad, start a book club, the ECRG in which they really delve deeply into the meaning of these books. I can attest that I did add several of those books to my TBR pile.

A book dealing with loss, comfort and healing. Not your basic summer beach read at all.

Thanks to Little, Brown and Company and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.