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text 2018-07-01 16:46
June Re-Cap
Gunslinger Girl - Lyndsay Ely,James Patterson
The Opposite of You - Rachel Higginson
Every Single Secret - Clara Emily Carpenter
Lying in Wait - Liz Nugent
Shine Not Burn - Elle Casey
X: A Novel - Kekla Magoon,Ilyasah Shabazz
The Surviving Trace - Calia Read
Wake of Vultures - Lila Bowen
Sometimes I Lie - Alice Feeney
Disturbed - Jennifer Minar-Jaynes

 

 

 

 

So many books this month, probably won't have as many next month, though. Unfortunately, I have to go back to work sometime this coming month.  June has been a fairly mediocre reading month for me.  I'm pretty sure my average is around 3 stars...maybe I'm just getting more discerning.  I did end the month with a couple 5 Star reads and added two books to my favorites.

 

 

 

 (Audiobook) Gunslinger Girl by Lyndsay Ely

Finish Date:  06/05

 ☆3.5☆STARS - GRADE=B-

 

(Kindle eBook) The Opposite Of You by Rachel Higginson

Finish Date:  06/06

☆4.3☆STARS - GRADE=A-

 

(Audiobook) Every Single Secret by Emily Carpenter

Finish Date:  06/08

☆4.3☆STARS - GRADE=A-

 

(Netgalley eArc) Lying In Wait by Liz Nugent

Finish Date:  06/10

☆4☆STARS - GRADE=B+

 

(Audiobook) Shine Not Burn by Elle Casey

Finish Date:  06/11

☆1.5☆STARS - GRADE=D

 

(Audiobook) X by Ilyasah Shabazz & Kekla Magoon

Finish Date:  06/14

☆4.5☆STARS - GRADE=A-

 

(Kindle eBook) The Surviving Trace by Calia Read

Finish Date:  06/17

☆3☆STARS - GRADE=C

 

(Audiobook) Wake Of Vultures by Lila Bowen

Finish Date:  06/19

☆2.7☆STARS - GRADE=C-

 

(Audiobook) Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney

Finish Date:  06/20

3STARS - GRADE=C

 

(Novellas KU) by Laura Lam

Finish Date:  06/21

3STARS - GRADE=C

 

(Audiobook) Disturbed by Jennifer Jaynes

Finish Date:  06/21

☆2☆STARS - GRADE=D

 

(Netgalley eARC) The Mermaid by Christina Henry (a new fav)

Finish Date:  06/24

☆5☆STARS - GRADE=A+

 

(Audiobook) Under A Painted Sky by Stacey Lee

Finish Date:  06/25

4.2STARS - GRADE=B+

 

(Audiobook) In Her Skin by Kim Savage

Finish Date:  06/26

☆2.5☆STARS - GRADE=D+

 

(Audiobook) Not A Drop To Drink by Mindy McGinnis

Finish Date:  06/28

☆4.3☆STARS - GRADE=A-

 

(Netgalley eARC) The Simple Wild by KA Tucker (a new fav)

Finish Date:  06/29

☆5☆STARS - GRADE=A+

 

10 Audiobooks, 2 Novellas, 2 Kindle eBooks, and 3 Netgalley eARC's, 17 books total.

4,910 pages (including Audio) 

 

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review 2018-06-24 17:10
Location, location, location...
Banded Together - K.C. Burn,Darcy Stark

While 'Banded Together' isn't part of K.C. Burns 'Toronto Tales' happily it's set in and around this city...Oakville!!! With a lot of events actually taking place in the city of Oakville which is one of several cities that share boundaries with the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) and admittedly one of the most desirable ones to live in.Related imageOk, so much for geography class...sorry about this but Toronto is just under 2 hours from where I grew up and  just 2 hours from where I live now. While I love reading books that are set in places I've never been sometimes it's nice to read stories set in places that I know. So there's reason 1 why I liked this story and yes, it's very subjective. 

 

Now as for the story...if the location was something I like and part of what got me interested in this story...the story itself was what kept me reading. I liked the pacing in this one. It's a bit of slow burn but for so many reasons...slow burn was the perfect pace for this one. 

 

After a 20 year run as the lead singer for a rock band that ended with the unexpected death of Devlin's bandmate and best friend, it's time for Devlin to find a way to move on and returning to school and beginning again as a student studying archaeology now that he's lost the music in his life is the path that Devlin plants his feet on. Needless to say Devlin finds himself surrounded by a group of students who for the most part are young enough to be his kids but what truly surprises him is the hotter than hell Dr. Jack Johnson who catches his eye gives him more than an interest in archaeology that brings him to class.

 

When Jack realizes who Devlin is, he's determined to keep his distance but being in constant contact with the man who has fueled Jack's fantasies as well as inspiring him to be the lead singer in a cover band does nothing for his ability to resist the temptation that is Devlin Waters. 

 

There's a definite age gap between the MCs but because of where they each were in their lives, I didn't feel the power imbalance that can occur with age gap stories and I really liked the interaction between these two. 

 

While Devlin was at times a bit self absorbed it wasn't unrealistic to me as he was dealing with his grief over the loss of his friend and let's face it we all deal with grief in our own way and our own time so that Devlin struggled with it to the point of it being debilitating emotionally for him for me this only added a touch of realism to the story. 

 

I've been finding lately that I have a bit of a newfound appreciation for a 'slow burn' story, not that I want them all to be slow burns but once in a while it's nice to feel like there's a little more or at least as much development given to the emotional development of a story as the physical aspect.

 

'Banded Together' was a really enjoyable chance to revisit the writings of K. C. Burn and on audio it was also an opportunity to once again listen to the narration of Darcy Stark. This is only my second time listening to this narrator and like the first time I was not disappointed. I thoroughly enjoyed the quality of the audio...my 'basic list' for audio books was easily ticked of and I'm going to try and explain this but one of my peeves about audio books is when voices don't sound appropriate to who the  person is. Thinks like younger children don't really sound like small children or they have a perpetually annoying, obnoxious or whiny sound to their voice or women's voices sound more like a man trying to do a woman's voice than simply a woman talking or sometimes when the voice doesn't match the physical image of a man...don't get me wrong I know these things can happen in real life but when it's an audio book the character representation is based strictly on the image created by the words in the story and the voice. 

 

Truthfully in real life I don't care how a person's voice sounds because in general I also get the physical representation of the person to create the image but in an audio book those voices need to work overtime to create a physical image as well as the vocal one so yeah, sorry to say but when it comes to an audio books sometimes a little stereo typing needs to occur unless a story tells me that the character looks one way and sounds another than I need my macho men to have macho voices, my children to have children's voices and my women to sound like women and while I'm not sure about the children (because there weren't any in either book that I've listened to)...Darcy Stark definitely nailed it for me with the voices in this one and I thoroughly enjoyed his narrations. I'm actually hoping to listen to a book narrated by him that has at least one child in it just to see how he does because so far I have not been disappointed by this narrator.

 

I'm not a big fan of 'rock star' MCs but the author's definitely created a character that I enjoyed in the form of Devlin Waters and while archaeology isn't really my thing I think I could enjoy watching Dr. Jack Johnson teach a class or two.

 

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

An audio book of 'Banded Together' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2018-06-17 23:35
Dr. Colbert's Keto Zone Diet
Dr. Colbert's Keto Zone Diet: Burn Fat, ... Dr. Colbert's Keto Zone Diet: Burn Fat, Balance Appetite Hormones, and Lose Weight - Don Colbert,MD

Another health book that turns conventional wisdom on its head about what is healthy and not healthy to eat if you want to lose weight. Eat fat! Healthy fat that is, like cooking with coconut, avocado and sesame oils; eating nuts, avocados, eggs, and much more that you were told not to eat. Cut out the gluten and increase your fats and you will get thin and healthy and you will keep it off! Food What the Heck Should I Eat is even a better book to take back your health.

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review 2018-06-14 00:36
1.5 Out Of 5 "at least I was able to laugh at the absurdity of it" STARS
Shine Not Burn - Elle Casey

 

 

 

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Bogged down by used and abused tropes, mediocre writing, a silly heroine with a foolish "life-plan" …thank goodness, I listened to this on Audio.  It made it possible for me to roll my eyes and not lose my reading spot.  In fact, I played and got distracted by FreeCell all I wanted while listening to this.  It was the only reason I made it through the entire story.

 

 

 

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~MY RATING~

1.5STARS - GRADE=D

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Plot~ 2/5

Main Characters~ 1.5/5

Secondary Characters~ 2/5

The Feels~ 1.5/5

Pacing~ 2/5

Addictiveness~ 2/5

Theme or Tone~ 1/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 2/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 1/5

Originality~ 1/5

Ending~ 1/5 Cliffhanger~ Nope.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Book Cover~ It's kind of cute…

Narration~3.7  -by Lauren Ezzo, wasn't horrible, but her male voices could use some work.

Series~ Shine Not Burn #1

Setting~ Las Vegas, Florida and Oregon

Source~ Audiobook (KU Read & Listen)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

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review 2018-06-06 16:01
Girls Burn Brighter by Shobha Rao
Girls Burn Brighter - Shobha Rao

The debut novel of Shobha Rao, 'Girls Burn Brighter' is a revelation. Rao has released a collection of short stories before this and won the Katherine Ann Porter prize and is no novice. This novel was startling, complex, and illuminated a world I'm shamed to have not thought much about. That has changed.

'Girls Burn Brighter' is the story of two girls, Poornima and Savitha, who grow up in small village in Indravalli, India. They are both from weaver families, but Savitha's family is impoverished and she comes to work for Poornima's father. They become friends and bond over simple pleasures and hopes for the future. They are torn apart after a shocking crime and breach of trust on the part of Poornima's father forces Savitha to disappear. Poornima is determined to find her friend, but her movement is restricted and custom demands she marry and it is some time before she can take up the search for her friend.

There is terrible, callous cruelty in this novel, but threaded through it is the strength of a friendship and even after years of separation the fond memories of their time together help both women through the hardships they face. After years, the novel moves both women, still apart, to America and still more difficulties. Alone, they learn to rely on their inner light and refuse to allow anyone to extinguish it. A marvelous story.

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