Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Woods by Harlan Coben

Twenty years ago, four teenagers were murdered and one other teenager feels guilty most of all. But now, Paul Copeland is a successful as a district attorney but the case he is working on may have the parents of the boys involved wanting his past to come back. He knows the boys did commit rape but their parents will do anything to protect him. What makes things even more difficult, it seems that one of the teenagers thought to have died that night so long ago never did. He begins to question what happened that night and needs help. But will he get the answers he needs or his family come to ruin instead?

Mr. Coben does it again. He creates such characters that thrive on needing answers that keep you questioning with them that you never quite catch on. Or least that is how it is with me. I love the descriptions he gives not only of the characters but of their past which helps give me a better sense of what is going on.

Paul Copeland is a man who is still grieving for his dead wife. He loves his daughter and makes sure to spend as much time as he can. With the cases he takes on, that is not as much as he would like but she seems to understand. Lucy Gold has moved on with most of her life though she still goes and sees her father who is in a convalescent home. The tie that is between the two of them will blow their worlds apart and make them question what really did happen that night long ago.

Having had this book for a while on my tbr pile, I was happy to finally read it. This author creates twists and turns that leave me guessing till the end. Secrets are prevalent in this book in more ways than I thought possible. Paul’s past with growing up in Russia and the KGB swarming around his family just makes things more interesting. I am curious to see what the tie in is to Hold Tight. This is one author who never ceases to disappoint. Definitely a must read!

Harlan Coben/Thriller/416 pages/ Chunkster/5 out of 5

I am working on review books and then I hope to read another one of my own soon. My little boy's birthday is tomorrow so yeah may not be online much. I need to get some cleaning done. lol

A Gathering of Memories by Lori Wick

In this last installment, Ross Beckett has his hands full. Spending time with the Cameron family has got him desiring his own family. He has decided to leave his own town and set up in Baxter as a lawyer. He has fallen for the lovely Mandy. But he knows that what she is going on through that he needs to take it slowly. Mandy knows she has feelings for him. Will they both accept God’s will for their lives no matter what it is?

Ms. Wick has always amazed me with her writing. As sad as I was to see this series end, I was pleased with how well things were wrapped up. The characters once again do not disappoint. There are times where they show that they are not perfect. But they always admit it that they have made a mistake.

Ross was such a sweetie. But even he did not see how much his feelings for Mandy showed on his face. Mandy wanted to be around her siblings at all times. They needed to be close at this time that they were going through. I loved seeing the reappearance of all the Cameron family. It was a joy to see them all growing and having families. They are central to this story even though they are not the main features. It lightened the blow a little since I was not sure who would feature and did not recognize the name at first when I peeked at the blurb for this book.

I LOVED this book! It brought a lot of answers for me. The epilogue helped the most in this one because it was fun to see how the family changed. I was so pleased. Ms. Wick is a fantastic Christian romance author no matter what period she writes in. Definitely recommend this series but do please start with A Place Called Home. It will make more sense then.

Lori Wick/ Christian Historical Romance/ 250 pages/ Series/ Family/ 5 out of 5

I finished this one Sunday night after we got home. :) I have one more book review to post tonight and then it should be awhile again. :)

The Long Road Home by Lori Wick

Abigail Finalyson is bereft from losing her husband and his family wants nothing to do with her. She goes to see her Aunt Maggie in Baxter. Meeting the Cameron family blesses her life. One of the Cameron men is hurting and they want her to nurse him back to health. They’re afraid he won’t receive them. So she goes not knowing how much he is hurting as well.

Ms. Wick keeps the saga going and truly impresses me with each story. She creates a story line that I cannot get enough of. The Cameron family is fantastic. They are wonderful. I am almost sad that there is only one book left.

Paul, the youngest Cameron, has deal with a lot especially when it came to losing his wife. He became so bitter that he had to leave. Having an accident set him straight. Amy was the balm he needed but could he accept it? Abby never let go of God. She struggled but kept seeking God’s face.

I love this series. Being such a fan of all types of literature, Lori Wick has been my favorite since I was a teenager. I am finally glad to read the rest of the series since I only had the one book for the longest time. I am sad to see it end but since there is one more book, I get to enjoy the Cameron family one more time.

Lori Wick/Christian Historical Romance/ 190 pages/ 4 out of 5/ Family

I read this one on the way home from Iowa on Sunday.

A Song for Silas by Lori Wick

Silas tries to do his best not to be envious of his family. He just longs for his own. When asked for help, Silas steps up and goes to help a family he has in the past. Amy Nolan has grown up since he saw her four years ago. Now he is unsure of what to do with the feelings he has for her. He just hopes he can convince he before he leaves again.

Ms. Wick does it again. I fell in love with the Cameron family even more. The emotions are all over the place. The family does its best to be steadfast through it all. That is why I love these characters so much that even though they show they are not perfect. They do their best every day to stay in line with God’s word.

Silas is a strong man with a heart of gold. He is a man that just radiates. Amy is a gentle soul. But at times, I wanted to give her a kick in the pants. She was not sure she ever wanted to leave her home even if it could be what God wanted.

I love this book and cannot wait to read the rest of this series. They only get better and you learn more about each member of the Cameron family. It will be fun to see who is featured in the next book in this great series.

Lori Wick/Christian Historical Romance/ 195 pages/ Family/ 4 out of 5

I read this part of the first day and then since we didn't stay long at the wedding reception I was able to finish it that night before going to bed.

A Place Called Home by Lori Wick

A Place Called Home by Lori Wick

Christine Bennett having just lost her grandfather cannot believe that the will states that on the event of her death her grandfather’s partner will get everything. She is young and it just does not sound like something he would say. She then gets a note saying she is in danger. Leaving the only home she has ever known is not easy. Now living in a new community, she is not sure where her life is going.

Ms. Wick is one of my favorite authors of all time. This book is one of my all time favorites and is well worn. Her characters are so real. I get swept up in them every time.

Christine goes through so much. Losing her grandfather, leaving home, and going to a new place. The Cameron family helps her get back on her feet. Grandma Em is the matriarch of the family. She is the one that keeps the family together not to mention their faith.

I was so glad to read this story again. I get swept up in it that I never remember the ending. This is one story that I never get tired of it. Ms. Wick is definitely an author who pleases every time.

Lori Wick/Christian Historical Romance/ 240 pages/ 4 out of 5

I read this book on the first day of my trip. As usual having read it before, it was a quick read. :)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Hungry Hill by Carole O'Malley Gaunt

The O’Malley family has had some rough times. Ms. Gaunt decided to put them in a book especially the worst four years that they would experience. Losing their mother was tough enough but then having to deal with their alcoholic father was just the icing on the cake. Ms. Gaunt had to take responsibility at age thirteen that most girls would not even think about.

I liked the well thought out way that Ms. Gaunt presented her story. Not only in just the normal writing style but she had parts where she talked to her father as well as her stepmother. I was shocked at some of the things that she had to deal with and while they were rather depressing, there were a few moments that I laughed. Knowing that this author is a published playwright made this story come even more alive for me. She really and truly wanted you to see what those four years were like and how difficult they were. I especially liked at the end how she gave updates on her seven brothers. I don’t know how she did it. I can barely handle my own brother let alone having to deal with seven. She may not be a saint but she truly did stick it out when there were times she could have left in a moment’s notice.

This is one book though non-fiction shows how rough things can be for families where alcohol abuse is prevalent. I was pleased with the story and I loved seeing how the brothers changed and grew along with Ms. Gaunt. I would definitely love to check out her plays to see what else she has written.

Carole O’Malley Gaunt/ New Author/ Non-fiction/ 284 pages/ 4 out of 5/ Irish Families

I have two review e-books to get done and then I am going to bring The Woods and Hold Tight by Harlan Coben with me when I go out of town this weekend.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Last Child In The Woods by Richard Louv

Richard Louv expresses in a lot of words what kids today need. Nature. At times, I found I agreed with him. Though I think he went a little overboard in making his point honestly. He used quite a few examples of people who either were environmentalists now or were involved in nature some how. He also showed examples of how nature helped in the school systems by giving kids a good handle on putting what they learn in class in practice. I was impressed and remembered how much I enjoyed getting out in nature on Earth Day to clean up around the school and down the one trail we had.

Richard Louv definitely helped in a lot of ways. I enjoyed all of what he had to say and the progress report he had since his book first published in 2005. Things have gotten better but there is definitely more that we can do. I remember when I was younger how much free time I had playing outdoors. I realize it is a different world now but I see exactly what he has in mind. People do not realize how much nature has to offer. I am definitely all for working on getting child out of the indoors and outside where true imagination can come into play.

Richard Louv/ New Author/ Non-fiction/ 390 pages/ Children/ Nature/ 4 out of 5

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Summer People by Elin Hilderbrand

Arch Newton is dead. Now his family has to pick up the pieces but keep a promise had made to his client’s son. Beth, Winnie and Garrett are not looking forward to Marcus coming but none of them are willing to tell him no. This will be the first summer without Arch around and there will be a lot of thingw\ that will need to be dealt with. Old loves, new love, past decisions, and futures all in one summer. The Newton family may be summer people but this summer will be one that will change their lives forever.

Ms. Hilderbrand is a fantastic author. I was truly impressed with how well she was able to tell the story through four people’s eyes. Beth, Winnie, Garrett and Marcus all got equal time in this book for the most part. This book was jammed pack full of emotions and it carried the book through.

Beth had the most problems. Seeing her old love was tough for her but then dealing with the death of her husband made it more difficult. She wanted her kids to have a good summer and to put a memory together no matter what. Garrett was upset that Marcus had come. He wanted this summer to just be about his family no matter what! Winnie did not mind that Marcus was there. She liked having him around. Marcus saw a family hurting and wanted to help anyway he could. He may be more of help than he could imagine. He is struggling with something on his own. His mother and the murder she committed as well as the opportunity that presented to him.

At first, this book really and truly depressed me. I was not sure I could even finish it. But as the story progressed, I began to understand the motives each character had and it helped the book immensely. Ms. Hilderbrand has a unique style all her own that truly gives you almost everything you ask for so that there are not any questions at all or if need be just a few. I definitely want to read more by her.

Elin Hilderbrand/368 pages/New Author/ Fiction/ Family/ 4 out of 5

I just finished another review book and then one more to read after that. Then I plan on tackling the leaning tower of books. lol

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Likeness by Tana French

Cassie Maddox is at it again. This time the case is going to mean another undercover assignment. When she is called to a crime scene, she is not sure what to think until she sees the dead woman could be her double. Now she will have to convince the dead woman’s friends that she is Lexie. And to top it all off, Cassie used the dead woman’s name when she went undercover the last time. Things could get crazy and Cassie only hopes things don’t backfire.

Ms. French improves on her writing and I was so happy to see quite a few characters come back from the last book. This one was a lot different in fact there were a lot more thoughts in Cassie’s head this time. Last one mainly was about Rob. I got to see a side of things that I had not before and I appreciated that. There was a lot riding on this undercover assignment to go well and Ms. French truly showed that in not only the way the characters acted but also in the whole situation that had to be created.

Cassie Maddox is tough woman. She can give with the best and I was truly impressed with what she had to do in such a short amount of time. Frank her old boss comes to play in this story and it was fun to see their whole back-story including how she became part of the undercover team. And when it comes to working the case O’Kelly even makes an appearance.

There was a lot more thought process in this book. Cassie had to be sure of what she was doing and put her whole heart into it. She has got to be on her toes at all times and remember what she had to memorize to get to this point. I really enjoyed this book. It was well done and I cannot wait to see if there is another one with Cassie or maybe a different character this time. I am curious to see what is next for this author.

Tana French/ Chunkster/ 448 pages/ Ireland/ Thriller/ 4 out of 5

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Enchanted Inc by Shanna Swendson

Katie Chandler is stuck at her job. She hates it and her boss does not help matters. On her way to work one day, she swears she sees fairies, elves, and someone is following her. She tries to shake it off until she goes out with her girlfriends one night and one of the guys is there. She wants to chalk it all up to just being in New York, but this time there seems to be more than that. Once she starts to work for MSI, she finds it is very rewarding and they appreciate her. Plus the head of R&D is easy on the eyes. Can she figure out what she is supposed to do while at MSI and keep her emotions in check?

Ms. Swendson is a fantastic author. I was hooked from page one. I love fantasy style and this was a blast to read. The characters were unique and jumped off the pages. I cannot wait to read the rest in this series.

Katie has a tough call ahead of her and she cannot hide the fact of a new job from her best friends. I think it would be tough to be in her position. I really liked the people at MSI. Rod, Owen, and Trixie were a hoot. The boss at MSI was the real surprise and what made me love the book even more.

I don’t want to give away too much but this is definitely a book worth reading. I had heard rave reviews before I got to and it was worth the wait. I am so glad I got it and took the time to read it. Even though it did take me a little while to get to it. I cannot wait to get my hands on the second book in the series. This book left a few questions and I want to see how they are answered.

Shanna Swendson/ New Author/ Fantasy/ 320 pages/ Chick lit/ 4 out of 5

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Lovehampton by Sherri Rifkin

Tori Miller needs a change in her life. Her friends are really concerned so as to help her career she agrees to take a chance and put her life in their hands. She helps a new makeover reality show as long as they promise to never air the episode. Beginning to realize how horrible her life is, she then agrees to go away to the Hamptons for a vacation on the weekends living with other people. At first she is not sure it is such a bright idea, but once she hangs out with them, she finds it a pretty good situation to be in after all. New people, new parties, it is all a dream come true. But through it all, can she find out who the person inside of her is?

Ms. Rifkin has a really good story on her hands. Her characters seem very relatable in spite of the jobs that they have. She creates people who I can see being around in this world today. They can be selfish but they have their faults. The story had me sucked in from the beginning cause I have had a slump in my life.

I could really relate to Tori. She had been through so much and was not sure how to get through her life. As well as there were aspects of her best friend Alice, she wanted the best for her best friend and was willing to help her out so that Tori could see what potential she has. All the people that lived in that small house were good fodder for humor. Andrew, Leah, and Stacy had me laughing not to mention Jackson and Cassie. Interesting people not sure I could I could room with them though.

Great summer read! I enjoyed it quite a bit. It was nice for a change of pace and definitely worth putting on your beach read list. I am curious to see what this author writes next!

Sherri Rifkin/ New Author/ Summer Read/ 320 pages/ Chick lit/ 4 out of 5

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Agnes Browne

I just watched this movie and got so caught up in it. I am going to now have to re-read The Mammy. lol I notcied that they caught out a few things but they stayed pretty close to the story. I am pleased. :) I am too tired to get into a lot of specifics but it was well done!

Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy 4th and book fun!


my dear friend nancytoes is giving away this great book on her blog. Go check it out! Happy Fourth of July!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

In the Woods by Tana French

Rob Ryan feels like he is getting somewhere in his life. His past is completely behind him but when a girl is found in the small Dublin town of Knocknaree everything falls apart. He was the only survivor of an incident in the forest twenty years before. He begins to question everything around him including his partner Cassie Maddox. They have to go door to door to find out what happened to the little girl. Rob might finally get the closure he needs as well as helping solve a case where every time they think they have something, it goes up in smoke.

Ms. French has a fantastic story on her hands. It is full of twists and turns that were great! The characters were very brilliant and enjoyable. They came from every angle and motive. I was not sure who was behind any of it and the ending surprised me.

Adam Rob Ryan has such a difficult time with this case. He knows it could have something to do with the disappearance of his friends but he just does not know where to turn. Cassie is a woman in a male dominated field. But she is up for the challenge and willing to prove herself. I really liked her and how she fought so hard to get somewhere. The minor character I liked the most was their boss O’Kelly. He could be one difficult man but he had their best interests at heart. He didn’t want any issues of any kind to pop up in an investigation. The thing that I found the most odd was the Devlin family who Katy, the murdered girl, was a part of. They were so eccentric that it surprised me how they were able to even be a family. It really gave the story a great spin!

This was a great thriller! Ms. French definitely was worthy of winning the Edgar Award. A book like this was just scary enough not to be too scary yet the twist at the end had me shaking my head. I cannot wait to read her next book to see what she writes about next!

Tana French/Chunkster/ 464 pages/ Ireland/ Thriller/ New Author/ 4 out of 5

Definitely a great book. :) I would have posted it sooner but got busy and now working on more review books.

My June Stats and Reads

My Reads:

Love’s Reflection by Carol North 05-30-08 through 06-03-08 B
The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen 05-31-08 through 06-02-08 A+
Double Enchantment by Kathryne Kennedy 06-06-08 through 06-12-08 B
Kindred by Delany Scott 06-13-08 through 06-15-08 B
Master by Colette Gale 06-15-08 through 06-16-08 B
Department of Lost and Found by Allison Winn Scotch 06-16-08 through 06-17-08 B
Ties That Bind by Phillip Margolin 06-18-08 through 06-20-08 B
The Witness by Sandra Brown 06-20-08 through 06-22-08 A
Together in Darkness by Sloan McBride 06-23-08 B
Prophesied by Liz Craven 06-23-08 through 06-24-08 B
Burning Bridges by Anne Krist 06-24-08 through 06-25-08 A+
The Amnesiac by Sam Taylor 06-25-08 B
Gone but Not Forgotten by Phillip Margolin 06-26-08 A+
Chilli Heat by Carrie Williams 06-26-08 through 06-27-08 A
Wild Fires by Lisa Dawn MacDonald 06-27-08 through 06-28-08 A
Twisted Steel and Sex Appeal by M.E. Ellis 06-28-08 A
In the Woods by Tana French 06-29-08 through 06-30-08 B

My stats:
Total Books Read: 17
New Authors: 11
Fiction: 17
Non-Fiction: 0
TBR: 0
Chunksters: 5
Books I reviewed: 16
Memoirs/True crime: 0
Autobiographies: 0
Romances: 8
Mysteries: 2
From the stacks: 9
Books I bought: 0
PBS Sent: 1
PBS Received: 3
Total pages read: 5,259

Those are my reads for last month. :) I had a good month! LOL