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review 2017-03-21 01:22
The Cutaway by Christina Kovac
The Cutaway: A Novel - Christina Kovac

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I liked this story well enough even if I didn't love it. I think that the newsroom setting was one of the strengths of this book and it did add a rather unique quality to the story. Unfortunately, I was never completely hooked by the story. The mystery was interesting but I just never found myself truly invested in the story.

This story is told from the point of view of TV new producer, Virginia. When Virginia sees a missing poster for Evelyn, she knows that she has seen her face before. She remembers Evelyn being in another piece on the news station as a cutaway shot and she is drawn to her story. As Viriginia works to find out what happened to Evelyn, she soon realizes that the case may be much bigger than she originally thought.

This book actually had a whole lot going on. Probably too much if I am being honest. While Viriginia was working on this case, it seemed that her whole world was falling down around her. There is a big shake-up at the news station that makes everything tense. Virginia's personal life is also a major focus with past relationships, new relationships, and family making an appearance. These topics were interesting but it seemed to change the focus from the mystery so often that I had a hard time keeping track of everything and I don't think that it always added a lot to the overall story.

The overall mystery was rather complex. This book did take a lot of twists and turns that I didn't see coming but there was nothing that was truly unexpected. I thought that the mystery did make sense in the end. As the mystery really started to unfold, the excitement levels increased. I did enjoy the newsroom perspective and thought this felt rather authentic.

This is a book that I am glad that I read and I think that mystery readers will enjoy the newsroom point of view. I thought that this was a solid debut novel from Christina Kovac and I look forward to reading more from her in the future.

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Atria Books - 37 Ink via NetGalley.

Initial Thoughts
I liked this one even if I didn't love it. It was interesting to see a case solved by someone in a newsroom. This one took a few twists but there was really nothing that was completely unexpected.

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review 2017-03-10 13:09
Never Let You Go by Chevy Stevens
Never Let You Go - Chevy Stevens

This was a very solid mystery thriller.  I was hooked by this book from the first page and I had a really hard time putting it down.  I do have to say that the beginning of the story was a bit better in my opinion.  I liked the last half of the story as well but it just wasn't quite as enjoyable.  I picked up this book because I was looking for a change of pace and it definitely filled that need.  This book really turned out to be quite the page turner.

The book opens in the past and it does jump around in time for the first bit of the story.  Lindsey is the focus of this book and as the story beginnings we learn piece by piece what her marriage to Andrew is like.  There were some scenes that were truly frightening.  Eventually Lindsey is able to get away from her abusive husband with her daughter.  Her husband gets in wreck that same night that ends up sending him to jail for the next ten years.

Lindsey and her daughter, Sophie, have been moving on with their life.  Lindsey owns her own housekeeping business and Sophie is almost done with high school.  They have connections and are doing okay.  Sophie doesn't remember everything that happened between her parents and was shielded from most of it by her mother when it was happening.  She is curious about her father and reaches out to him while he was in prison.  Unfortunately, this means that he knows where they are.

This book took a few twists and turns and there were some things that happened that completely caught me off guard.  I thought that Lindsey's fear of Andrew was demonstrated remarkably well.  There were several characters that I didn't quite trust completely.  There were also more than a few moments that I really wished Sophie would just listen to her mother.  While I wasn't completely sold by the ending, I did really appreciate the fact that this book ended up in a direction that I would have never guessed.

I would recommend this book to fans of mystery thrillers.  This is only the second book by Chevy Stevens that I have read but I do enjoy her writing style.  I plan to read more of her work very soon.

I received an advance reader edition of this book from St. Martin's Press via NetGalley

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review 2017-03-06 02:10
Written in Red - Anne Bishop

I loved just about everything about this book!  I can't believe that I waited so long to finally start reading this series.  I bought this book 2 years ago but for some reason never actually started reading it.  I should have read it then but I am making up for lost time now.  Once I really started getting hooked on this book, I didn't want to stop.  This is one of those rare books that make me want to lose myself in the world within its pages.

Meg is pretty awesome.  Since I don't usually read book summaries before starting books, I had no idea what was going on with Meg.  I was as lost about who and what she was as Simon, Henry, Tess, and all the others at the courtyard.  I figured out pretty early on that she was smart, tough, and able to think on her feet.  She went about doing things in a completely unorthodox manner but she tended to get results.  There was an innocence about Meg that I liked and I also liked the fact that she was willing to take suggestions and input from others.

The world building was amazing.  I read the first part of the book at a pretty slow pace largely because I wanted to make sure that I was completely taking in this world that Meg is a part of.  The attitude and feelings between the humans and the Others was quite original.  As a human, I have never thought of myself as meat but I suppose it is all in how you look at a situation.  The Courtyard was a world on its own.  I liked the idea of shops open to both humans and the Others and it was interesting to witness some of the interactions.

The story had so much going for it.  Everything that happened with Sam really helped me see just how special Meg and Simon really were.  The Elementals and Vampires on this world were very original and powerful.  The pacing of the book was very well done and by the end of the story, I couldn't turn the pages fast enough.  The writing was at times detailed but I think everything added to the story.

I would highly recommend this book to others.  I am planning to binge read this entire series because I am so taken with this world and its characters.

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review 2017-02-23 18:58
Seven Days of You - Cecilia Vinesse

I liked this story.  I found it to be a really quick read and while it wasn't the perfect story, it did have a lot of things going for it.  I thought that the range of emotions that Sophia goes through in this story really rang true.  The book was a little different than I had expected from the description and while there was a romance featured in the story this book was about so much more than that.

Sophia is moving to the United States with her mom and sister in just one week.  She has spent the past few years of her life living in Tokyo and that is where all of her friends and her life is.  Moving is never easy but moving so far away where the possibility of seeing your friends is incredibly tough.  Jamie is moving back to Tokyo after spending a couple of years at a boarding school in the United States.  Jamie and Sophia didn't part on good terms when they last saw each other.   Sophia really wishes that he had waited until she left to come back.

Sophia soon feels a connection to Jamie like she hadn't felt before.  He seems to be there when she needs him and he somehow finds the right words for the situation.  It was fun to watch this pair open up to each other and make a connection.  It is really too bad that the time that they have together is so limited due to Sophia's upcoming move.

This book takes place in Tokyo and I was really looking forward to experiencing a bit of this area. Unfortunately, I didn't really get a feel for Tokyo from this story.  Sophia attends an English speaking school and her friends are largely like her.  There were some food items mentioned but other than that this story felt like it could have taken place anywhere.  

In addition to moving and sorting out her feelings toward Jamie,  Sophia is also saying goodbye to her friends in this story.  I felt like some of the drama between Sophia and her friends was unnecessary.  Another thing that Sophia has to figure out is her relationship with her father.  This was really one of the strong points of the book.  I felt really bad for Sophia and thought that the emotions portrayed were realistic.

I would recommend this book to others.   I think that the author was able to create an interesting story around a very realistic teen.  I am impressed by Cecilia Vinesse's debut novel and look forward to reading more from this author in the future.

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Little Brown Books for Young Readers via NetGalley and TheNovl.com.

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