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text 2017-04-30 23:24
April Re-Cap
Daughter of Deep Silence - Carrie Ryan
Queen of Always (Stolen Empire Book 3) - Sherry D. Ficklin
Unknown - Wendy Higgins
The Edge of Everything - Jeff Giles
The Hooker and the Hermit - Penny Reid,Luci Cosway
Ten Thousand Words - Kelli Jean
How the White Trash Zombie Got Her Groove Back - Diana Rowland
The Roanoke Girls: A Novel - Amy Engel
All In: (The Naturals #3) - Jennifer Lynn Barnes
GHOST (Boston Underworld Book 3) - A. Zavarelli

(Audiobook) Daughter of Deep Silence by Carrie Ryan

Finish Date: 04/03

4/5 STARS


(eBook) Queen of Always by Sherry D. Ficklin

Finish Date: 04/04

4.3/5 STARS


(eBook) Unknown by Wendy Higgins

Finish Date:  04/09

5/5 STARS


(eBook) The Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles

DNF on 04/12


(Audiobook) The Hooker and the Hermit by L.H. Cosway & Penny Reid

Finish Date:  04/13

4/5 STARS


(eBook) Ten Thousand Words by Kelli Jean

Finish Date:  04/19

3.8/5 STARS


(Audiobook) How the White Trash Zombie Got Her Groove Back by Diana Rowland

Finish Date:  04/22

4/5 STARS


(Audiobook) The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel

Finish Date:  04/24

5/5 STARS


(eBook) All In by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (Review still pending)

Finish Date:  04/26

5/5 STARS


(Audiobook) Ghost by A. Zavarelli (Review still pending)

Finish Date:  04/29

3.3/5 STARS

 

 

10 Books Total for the month of April (3,331 Pages)

(5 eBooks and 5 Audiobooks)

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review 2017-04-28 18:45
The Roanoke Girls: A Novel - Amy Engel

♪♫My Pick For Book Theme Song♫♪

♫Picking a song for this was difficult…if you've read it then you know, nothing is really quite right…but if I picked something, than it would be Alive by Sia…sometimes they fit for Lane…and sometimes they fit for Allegra and even for Cooper sometimes.  Overall, it's a really moving song and so is this book…regardless of how twisted it really is. ♫

 

 

Book Title:  Roanoke Girls

Author:  Amy Engel

Narration:  Brittany Presley

Series:  Stand-Alone

Genre:  Mystery, Thriller

Source:  Audiobook (Library)

 

Add to Goodreads

 

OVERALL RATING:  5/5 STARS

GRADE = A+

 

My Thoughts

 

What a versatile storyteller Amy Engel has turned out to be.  I've also read her YA Duology; The Book of Ivy.  This is nothing like that…I would have to say it's not YA, either.  Small town seediness at it's most seedy.  A sick and twisted affair to be sure…and yet, so addicting.  I could not stop listening, even though I knew where it was headed. beautifully and hauntingly written...but so f*cked up!  Warning:  It will, at least partially, if not wholly...wreck you.  You'll seriously be thinking...

 

 

Ratings Breakdown

 

Plot:  4.7/5

Main Characters:  5/5

Secondary Characters:  5/5

The Feels:  5/5

Addictiveness:  5+/5

Theme or Tone:  5/5

Flow (Writing Style):  5/5

Backdrop (World Building):  5/5

Originality:  5/5

Book Cover:  3/5

Narration:  5/5

Ending:  5/5  Cliffhanger:  Nope

 

Will I read more from this Author?  Yeah, I will

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text 2017-04-22 20:55
My 99p eBook Haul or Don't Look at Books When You Have Had a Bad Week!
The Witchfinder's Sister - Beth Underdown
The Roanoke Girls: A Novel - Amy Engel
Sometimes I Lie - Alice Feeney
Our Endless Numbered Days - Claire Fuller
Yellow Crocus - Laila Ibrahim
We Were Liars - E. Lockhart
The Light of the Fireflies - Simon Bruni,Paul Pen
Carrion Comfort - Dan Simmons
Black Hills - Dan Simmons

So, a while back I promised myself I wouldn't succumb to the £0.99 temptation and I would only buy reduced books if they were on my tbr. Well, I was doing really well until...I had a bad week. Let's face it, other people buy shoes and handbags when they feel they need a boost but we buy books. Not that I need them, my physical bookshelves are full to bursting - I have had to start storing books in a (dangerous) third row as two deep just doesn't hack it - my kindle is full of freebies and deals I never will read and even my kobo, which I swore faithfully to myself would mainly be used to borrow books from overdrive, is slowly filling up with unread (but very good and mostly cheap) books. What can I say? I stand up now and confess:

"My name is Julie, I'm a bookaholic" (but I can stop anytime I like, it's just I have these books reserved at the library...)

 

Edit: I might as well go the whole hog and buy two more. I've added Carrion Comfort and Black Hills to my Kobo, I like Dan Simmons and I've wanted to read them for a while, I'm ruined anyway.

 

Oh dear, I'm depressed now, I wonder what's on offer at Amazon...

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review 2017-03-29 16:17
The Roanoke Girls: A Novel - Amy Engel

Eleven years ago Lane Roanoke ran away from her grandparents house in Osage Flats and vowed never to return. But then her cousin Allegra goes missing and she is drawn back to the house she spent a long hot summer in. What has happened to Allegra? And why do all of the Roanoke girls either run away or die?

 

A few people who saw me reading this book commented on the beautiful cover. In this case this book is the embodiment of the adage ‘Don’t judge a book by it’s cover’ for it’s beautiful frontage conceals a dark tale.

 

I had been warned before I read this book that it would be traumatic and disturbing. Being the person I am I therefore started to guess at what the story could be about. I had therefore already drawn my own conclusions before I started to read. Once I did pick the book up my thoughts were confirmed. It was at this point I put the book down for a while. Not because I found the story too traumatic. Mainly it was because I was a little disappointed that I had been proved right, contrary person that I am. I think I was hoping for something to surprise me, to shock me and because I had anticipated it, the shocking reveal fell flat. (Now this storyline is revealed early in the book for it makes up most of the narrative. I’m not going to spoil it for you and reveal it here, there are no doubt other reviews that will tell all if you want to find out before reading.) So I let the book sit for a while, read another book but then decided to pick this one up again. And I’m glad I did.

 

None of the characters are particularly likeable, with perhaps the exception of Cooper and Tommy. All have their own secrets to keep, things in their history that have shaped them today. Lane is the outcome of her upbringing, raised by a mother who showed no love, looking after herself from the age of 16, all the distrust and betrayal shaping her into a woman who is outwardly tough, but still lost on the inside. Cooper, subject to his own traumatic childhood, has emerged a more resilient man, determined to not become his father, something that drives him every day. The other characters are all well drawn, and I wouldn’t want to spoil it by describing them here for you. They all have secrets that have shaped their lives, which have impacted on others and which have far reaching ramifications for themselves and others.

 

The town of Osage Flats and the house of Roanoke are also characters, the small town almost aiding in the disappearance of Allegra and the other Roanoke Girls, allowing the secrets to be kept, to not be questioned. The weather is oppressively hot, stifling the will of the residents. The saying goes that only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun. Perhaps it should be amended to include the Roanokes too.

 

It has been said that this book is a marmite book – you’ll either love it or hate it. I like to be different and whilst I didn’t love the book, I didn’t hate it either. It’s hard to say that you can ‘enjoy’ a book with this subject but in the sense that it was an entertaining, readable book, I did enjoy it. I enjoyed reading about the present day Lane, and seeing how her relationship with Cooper, the boy she left behind, developed. The storyline of what happened to Allegra is almost a side story, something to tie up the story of 16 year old Lane and the Lane who returns to Roanoke 11 years later.

 

It is a story about the secrets we keep and the secrets we share, of how selfish acts can destroy but also how they can save, of the toxicity that love can bring but also of the freedom it can also deliver.

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review 2017-03-13 18:28
A Rage Review of THE ROANOKE GIRLS (Language Warning!)
The Roanoke Girls: A Novel - Amy Engel

I'm so goddamn tired of the same-old, predictable shit. For that reason, among the many more you are about to read below, this review is going to be rage-y as fuck. If you manage to not get offended by the contents, I hope you enjoy this review more than I enjoyed the book.

First and foremost, BOOBS! There were so many mentions of funbags in this book, I had to recheck the cover to make sure this wasn't written by a dude. Every few pages, in the first 30 pages, the author mentions "big boobs" or "plumb breasts" or some variation on knockers/melons/feeders/tigolbitties. I counted eight times in those first 30 pages. Everyone was described by the size of their bosom. We get it. Roanoke girls are stacked! Whoopty-fucking-do. The author goes on to space out her tit-mentioning, but only because the cast doesn't grow. No need to describe the same chesticles over and over again unless they change, right? Right. Moving on...

I don't know if anyone was paying attention when I first started reading this, but I mentioned how creepy it was. That was the first 13 pages. Can we say, "False start?" Not sure what I caught in those first 13 pages, but all that atmosphere dissipated like a good fart, one that doesn't linger and upset the kinfolk, within the very next chapter. Oh, I felt uneasy later on. Don't get me wrong. But that feeling of discomfort was for all the wrong reasons.

Next, and this is a first (paradox?), I had to delete two of my status updates because my jokes, my motherfucking goddamn sonuvabitching jokes, ended up being fucking spoilers. Lemme spell this shit out to you. I was fucking around, goofing off, as I am wont to do, and my goofiness ended up being a plot point. That's never fucking good. Well, maybe if this was a parody, but no, it's serious fiction. Which brings me to...

This novel (for lack of a better word) has the most unintentionally-funny fight scene at the end of it. The big denouement had me in tears not because it was sad but because it was mountainous - or, as the kids are saying, HILL AREAS!

These are the jokes, people. Fuck you, don't judge me.

Sexual dysfunction brought on by childhood trauma seems to be popular right now. Are that many of us being molested and growing into sex-starved fuck-puppets? Is this the new us? Are there any parents/grandparents/uncles/aunts/neighbors/clergymen/pets/inanimate objects in existence who are not out here diddling their children? You'd think this world was nothing but pederasts and pedopiles and hebephiles, what with how it's the plot or subplot of every goddamn literary thriller. I'm not making light of this topic. I have my own past and that's none of your business. But you'd think that, with all the safe-space-seeking readers out there, you'd see less of this stuff, not more.

My point is this: I'm fucking tired of reading about it because it's fucking predictable. Not because it's disgusting or triggering or any other topical reason, but because I fucking expect it. It's gotten to the point that I open up a literary thriller and think "I wonder who's gonna be molested in this one?"

The moment the killer hit the screen, so to speak, I knew who she was, and as soon as the molester hit the screen, I knew who he was. (I called both of them in my second and third updates, which I have since deleted by request because spoilers) As soon as the red herring hit the screen, I knew who it wasn't. There's a long-lost-then-returned love interest. One of the characters is a downhome cop who used to be friends with the main character. (I'm telling you, folks, there's nothing new in this book.) One of the characters is even a motherfucking V.C. Andrews cast member. Oh, you remember ol' V.C. Andrews. Motherfucking Flowers in the Attic motherfucking V.C. motherfucking Andrews. Amy Engel attempted to emulate one of the worst word mills in modern literature. In fact, now that I make that comparison, that's all this book is is a reboot of Andrews' early career. Tom Cruise help us all if this shit gets popular again. In the name of Brad Pitt, amen.

In summation: Holy shit this was bad. If you're looking for a book wherein you can predict the outcome in the first 50 pages, read this motherfucker. If you were offended by this review, damn sure skip this motherfucker. Most importantly, if you were spoiled during this review, good. Now you don't have to read it.

Final Judgment: Contender for Worst Book of the Year 2017... and it's only March. Fuck my life.

Many thanks to the publisher (because I didn't have to waste my hard earned dough on this book) for supplying the review copy of this shit-fest. I think it goes without saying that this is my unbiased opinion. I understand that they can't all be winners, but I've come to expect so much more from your company (Crown Publishing). Then again, good friends of mine loved this book, so what do I know? smooches

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