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review 2017-05-24 22:32
Review: Learning to Swim (Troy Chance #1) by Sara J. Henry
Learning to Swim - Sara J. Henry

Highlight of the book is the fact when I sat down to fully invest in reading this book, I got it done in a day. So the book was completely read and I get full value for BL-opoly for my investment.

 

Lowlights (how many there were!):

1. Literary fiction version of a "romance" - yea, there is no HEA or even HFN. And so many problems within the "romance" between Philippe and Troy that was just borderline toxic relationship status.

 

2. Mystery is in the vein of literary/women's fiction, so there is not really a focus on actually solving the mystery until the last 50 pages. And the cops (Ottawa Police, Montreal Police, Lake Placid, NY Police, Burlington, VT Police) were given the stupid Keystone Kops treatment.

 

3. The MC, Troy Chance, is a SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE of a character. She is not like other women or into girly things/interests! My goodness, her smugness was aggravating to read. She was outfoxed by the killer until the very end and she was such a dim bulb. And every man she met was attracted to her and she had to fend off the hordes with a stick.

 

4. Weird conversational structures - French, then the translated English, then a random French sentence followed by more English.

 

There is a sequel, but I am not reading it. Be forewarned: the author comments on low rating reviews on GR and tries to explain away reviewers' issues with the book.

***************************************************************************************************

Read for BL-opoly

Pages: 296 Value: $3.00

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review 2017-05-24 20:49
The Secret of Chimneys
The Secret of Chimneys - Agatha Christie

I really enjoyed reading The Secret of Chimneys, eventhough the plot is incredibly convoluted and the racism, expecially in the beginning of the book, is staggering. There are political intrigues, killed monarchs, a mysterious manuscript, a jewel thief mastermind, international affairs and the big country estate called chimneys, where all the different characters met up and all those story lines are coming together.

 

My biggest issue with this book is that exactly one specific character happens to be present at Chimneys by sheer luck and everything depends on this character in the end. I´m quite capable of suspending my disbelief, but I have a hard time with this, since everything depends on this one chance encounter. And since Christie seems to be infatuated with that specific character, the other characters aren´t allowed to shine (by that I mean specifically Inspector Battle).

 

 

It´s not my favorite Christie, but it´s been an enjoyable read and as of now Christie is my go-to-author for comfort reads. I really love reading her books,eventhough there might be flaws in some of them.

 

I´ve read this book for the Frontierland 2 square for Booklikes-opoly and people get shoot in this one. A perfect fit.

 

Page Count: 400 pages

Money earned: $3.00

 

 

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review 2017-05-23 04:37
Lamentation: A Novel (Jay Porter Series) - Joe Clifford

 

 

Sometimes what isn't said can be every bit as damning as what is.

- Chapter 7

 

Basically, this is a mystery thriller. Jay Porter is a smart guy who never got out of his small town. He had a great girl and had a baby with her, but his drug-addicted brother (Chris) always seems to cause him problems. He is now living alone and his former girlfriend and his 2-year old son live with a new guy. When Chris is arrested, Jay gets him released and realizes that there are dangerous lies and secrets in his town. Jay thought Chris was just being paranoid, but when the violence escalates, Jay realizes the danger is real.

 

I liked this book. Jay is a good guy and wants to do the right thing for his son, but he keeps getting in his own way. Sarcasm helps him get through difficulties, along with his close friends. He wants to do the right thing and find a way to help his brother, but it isn't always clear. The secret wasn't clear to me until near the end, but I have a feeling more related secrets still exist that weren't revealed in the book. I guess I would have to read more of the Jay Porter series to find out, but... I'm sorry Book, I'm just not that into you.

 

An interesting note, the author, Joe Clifford was a homeless junkie before he became a successful writer. His firsthand knowledge gives an interesting perspective into the lives of homeless drug addicts. The details are amazing but brutal and raw.

 

I read this book for the Fantasyland 6 space - book with a winter scene on the cover. The book has 202 pages, so that will add $3.00 to my bank.

 

On to my next roll...

 

 

 

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review 2017-05-21 17:33
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1) - Douglas Adams,Stephen Fry

This was on my to-read list for a long time and I probably wouldn’t have gotten to it anytime soon if I hadn’t landed on Tomorrow Land 36: Ride space mountain! Read a book with either an image of or from space or where the authors full name contains the letters SPACE

 

I’ve never been a huge fan of reads like this, preferring speculative fiction if I’m going to delve into something in the sci-fi genre, so I wasn’t that hopeful I’d enjoy it. Somewhere along the way, though, I got sucked in to this crazy book and started to enjoy it a lot. It’s all about a mad journey Arthur Dent (a man from earth) makes with his friend, Ford Prefect, (an alien who has been posing as a human for fifteen years) through space.

 

I’m not going to say much about this because honestly, I don’t know where to start. It doesn’t make a huge lot of sense but then, neither does life and this is precisely the point I believe it was trying to make. I'll just leave you with this, my favourite quote. I think it epitomises the book quite well:

 

"Look," said Arthur, "would it save you a lot of time if I just gave up and went mad now?"

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review 2017-05-21 16:59
Le collectionneur (translation: The Collector) by Chrystine Brouillet
Le collectionneur - Chrystine Brouillet

Series: Maud Graham #3

 

I don’t feel like writing this in French. I don’t know if it’s been translated into English, though, so you may not be able to read it even if you find it interesting.

 

This series was recommended to me as a good French police procedural although I might label it a thriller. The author’s name was familiar and it turns out that I had read some of her children’s books. Weird. I don’t remember author names now but I remember the ones I read when I was nine or ten.

 

Anyway, the book was okay but pretty gruesome. There’s a serial killer who collects body parts and Maud Graham is assigned to the case to track him down. It sounds pretty pedestrian in a “thriller” kind of way, but what he does with the body parts is a little more original.

He preserves them using taxidermy skills and hangs them from a giant mobile that he’s constructed to move accompanied by an Elvis song. Horrifying, but somewhat original I guess. This book was published back in 1995 btw.

(spoiler show)

 

There are scenes from the killer’s point of view, but I didn’t really like how the book just randomly revealed his identify about halfway through the book in those scenes (it just started calling him by name and then referred to him as the killer). We still didn’t know who he was, but it was a weird transition and I had to go back and check the references.

 

We do find out why the book randomly started doing point of view scenes about a kid in Montreal running away to Quebec City. He gets taken in by Grégoire, Maud’s sixteen year old male prostitute friend (she tries to look out for him…I don’t know how they met – it may be covered in a previous book), which is a good thing because he protects him from all the people who would try to take advantage of a twelve-year-old kid on the street. I quite liked Grégoire, who shows himself to be quite intelligent and interesting. He’s sort of a feral stray that Maud is trying to tame while not scaring away.

 

Anyway, this was a fairly easy read and I can see myself picking up another one, maybe a much more recent one, when I feel like a quick French read. Maud also has a grey cat with green eyes called Léo and I can sympathize with some of her self-doubts.

 

I’m hoping to count this as another “Just Visiting” Jail read for booklikes-opoly and add another 215 pages to the Jail Library. My bank balance still stands at $87 because I haven’t earned any money, but I get to roll again today. Right after posting this!

 

And hey, this is my third French book read so far this year, and we’re only in May! Maybe I’ll get to my really pathetic goal of reading five French books in a year finally…

 

Previous Update:

42/215 pages

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