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Search tags: Contemporary-Fiction
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review 2017-07-24 16:26
knuckle-gnawing suspense
RETRIBUTION RIDGE: a dark, gripping and intense suspense thriller - Anna Willett

If Backwoods Ripper had you chewing your knuckles in suspense, Retribution Ridge certainly will not disappoint. But the tension has a deeper psychological twist in Anna Willett's later book, which has the reader sharing in the entrenched distrust that exists between the two sisters at the centre of this story. This is a book that taps into our own fears of past wrongs, which delivers an exciting, pacey read with the kind of eerieness and impending threat about it that will have you reading long past bedtime.

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review 2017-07-24 13:09
excellent
Falling Foul - A.D. (Bud) Craig

Great end to the series. Delighted to discover that the whole trilogy is available in a single, fat paperback. That's a couple of xmas presents sorted then.

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review 2017-07-22 12:14
The Essential Carl Mahogany
The Essential Carl Mahogany - Zach Boddicker

Nashville Country star and award-winner Carl Mahogany is entering middle age, and his label is beginning to believe he's entering the end of his music career as well.  They are letting him know this by releasing an Essentials album and sending him on a tour.  Carl agrees to the tour on his own terms and will be driving his beat-up van, Percy along the way.  However, things quickly turn more interesting as Carl hooks up with Rhonda, the local mechanic right before the tour and then receives an interesting message from an ex-girlfriend who wants to join him on tour.  Things go from interesting to upside-down as Carl is forced to take a hard look at his life while trying to complete his tour.

 
From the very beginning, Carl felt like someone I would like to get to know.  Down to earth, approachable and realistic in every aspect of his life, Carl seems the antithesis of an award-winning musician.  I loved that he kept a side gig as an exterminator and held on to his old tour van, Carl shows a sentimentality, vulnerability and unique sense of humor that easily carried me through the pages.  It seemed that no matter what Carl did, that life quickly got in the way; he meets a nice woman and his boss is her crazy ex-boyfriend, releasing a CD and he receives a prank CD back, and a multi-layered request from an ex turns into more than he could imagine. The supporting cast of characters made Carl's life all the more interesting.  I loved Rhonda, the independent, takes no crap car mechanic and Sheila who was always hiding a separate agenda.  Most of all, I truly cared about Carl's story and how he ended up.  Overall, a unique story of a musician figuring out life like the rest of us.
 
This story was received for free in return for an honest review. 
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review 2017-07-21 22:09
Figuring out who you are
Roller Girl - Victoria Jamieson

The only exposure I've had to roller derby is through the film Whip It which admittedly is more than some people. Therefore, I thought it would be fun to read more about it especially when I saw the cover of today's book. Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson follows a middle schooler named Astrid who (after going to a roller derby bout) decides that she will be an all-star roller derby girl. However, there are a few hiccups in this plan. (I was going to tell you what they are but I decided it would be better for you to discover them yourself especially since they make up the backbone of the book.) This is a story all about discovering what you're made of, adolescent friendship, and perseverance. It's pretty much middle school wrapped up in one volume + crazy rollerskating antics. I should also mention that it's a graphic novel with truly epic illustrations which were done by the author (I love when that's the case). Overall, I thought this was a fast paced, angsy book that captures what it's like to be a preteen girl who is obsessed with . It's a fun book, guys. If you have any middle grade readers in your life that love sports I think they'd really like this one. 8/10

 

And since I've done this with a few other author/illustrators I thought I'd include a blog post that Victoria Jamieson did with some sketches from the book. Here's a sample:

Source: Victoria Jamieson Illustration

 

And here's what you can expect from the finished product:

Source: books4yourkids

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2017-07-17 18:35
Reservation Blues, by Sherman Alexie
Reservation Blues - Sherman Alexie

This is my first Alexie and not my last. I'm struggling with what to say about it and how because somehow this not-huge novel feels like it's packed in everything about Indian (as they refer to themselves) culture with its focus on a particular reservation and a rock band's steep rise and fall. It does so with deadpan humor and a mix of the fantastic and real that calls to mind magical realism but is distinctive. It's necessarily sad yet not depressing--there's the humor, and there's wonder and hope. There's not an insignificant or uncharismatic character in the book. I feel like I've taken a long, strange trip with them and wish them well.

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