logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: Mackenzie
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-12-29 20:13
Alec Mackenzie's Art of Seduction - Jennifer Ashley

I always enjoy more MacKenzie adventures and I really like how Ashley has set up these pre-Mackenzie romances focusing on the ancestors that brought us Ian, Hart, Cameron, Mac, and Daniel Mackenzie. Though I don’t like thinking too hard on the fact that the couples I’m falling in love with now are no longer around when the first books I read and fell in love with take place. Makes me hunger for immortal highlanders not mortal. Anyway, loved the adventure Alec and Celia have in the hunt for his missing brother Will. I do wish the part where he turns cold and distant for days and then suddenly tells her she can trust him when her life goes to hell was done a bit differently. She is such a strong-willed female I would have loved for her to give him a verbal set down and a piece of her mind when he turns cold towards her, or that he had to come to the realization that he couldn’t actually push her away like Lady Flora wanted him to. I wanted that small scene to be done differently. Other than that, I liked who ended up being the villains and who were not villains, and I liked how her mom didn’t get her way. Such a nasty woman. Their story and romance was sweet, passionate, beautiful, and adventurous from beginning to end.  Can’t wait for Will’s story.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2017-12-28 16:40
Favorite and Least Favorite Books of 2017
The Tokyo Zodiac Murders - Ross MacKenzie,Soji Shimada,Shika MacKenzie
Y is for Yesterday (A Kinsey Millhone Novel) - Sue Grafton
In the Woods - Tana French
The Hate U Give - Angie Thomas
A Crown of Wishes - Roshani Chokshi

Just going to recopy part of this from one of the 16 Festive Tasks posts. 

 

The Tokyo Zodiac Murders-Wow all I have to say is that this book was great. More than anything I love clever books like this, and this was definitely very clever. I honestly was a bit worried for a couple of minutes that maybe I wouldn't be able to get the book since the setting is in Japan. But wow the author Soji Shimada is able to pretty much show you that murder is murder no matter where it takes place.

 

Y is for Yesterday- I have to say that I love the fact that even though this book takes place in 1989 there's definitely some similarities to what's going on in the world today in this book. There's the question of rape, there's the question of getting consent, there's the question of violence against women and what do women do in order to fight back against that. I feel like all of those are discussion topics that are very relevant in today's world. 

 

I've really hated how isolated Kinsey felt to me in the past few books was just her interacting with Henry and Rosie. But this one definitely showcases how many people are connected to Kinsey, and how many people just love her.

I was really glad to finally see it seem to laying to rest her whole relationship with the missing Robert Dietz. And I think I see a game plan coming with regards to Cheney Phillips. It was good to read what was going on with him and finally having me not wanting to kick the crap out of him based on what I thought was going on with this character.

 

In the Woods- What a compelling read. I finished this thing in about a day and a half. I will say that at first I found myself somewhat bored. But this book ends up being a nice slow burn of a read. I wanted even more by the time I got to the end. I already put a hold on the second book in the series. I have to say that I am really glad that French didn't try to solve the overarching mystery for the main character, Rob Ryan. I know that some readers ended up loving this character and I had to say that in the end, I didn't feel love, but just outright pity for him.

 

The Hate U Give-I got so many feels while reading this book.

Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, Thomas takes a look at a teenage black girl who is trying her best to be Starr back home in Garden Heights and Starr at her suburban prep school.

 

Thomas doesn't just make this a YA book, she makes this a YA book accurately showing the struggle for black Americans, for black men, black women, interracial relationships, the pain that we feel when we move away into what is considered "good areas", etc.

Thomas is able to show you so many layers to Starr and the other characters in this book that is becomes mesmerizing to read. Even with the subject matter, I loved that Thomas was able to inject humor and show how for many black Americans that tragedy does not define us, that you still keep going as much as you can, as long as you can. Heck, Thomas even shows you how much simmering anger is under the skin for many black Americans in the U.S. right now, and how those that people screech about as "thugs" and "monsters" can finally just have enough and yes start rioting.

 

A Crown of Wishes-  I needed a fantastic book and I savored this one for two days though I wanted to swallow it whole at times. It lingered with me in my sleep and I smiled when I woke up because I was so happy to just keep reading this book. Chokshi includes Indian myths and also just really great characters that you want to keep reading about. We also get appearances from characters from the last book that I was sad to see go when we finished. I often worry when authors start writing a YA book and write a sequel or decide it will be a trilogy. That's only because not many have held up. This one holds up. I highly recommend.

 

 

The Airing of Grievances as performed by the Book Gods:

 

Book God 1: Look I just want to say, this is the price you readers pay to find that diamond in the rough. I don't feel bad for you. Who cares that you read a book where a young girl was slut shamed, where a plot made no sense, that you realized that every book now has the word "girl" in the title. 

 

Book God 2: Speak for yourself. Look, sometimes we can work miracles and you get "The Hate U Give" and other times you get "50 Shades of Grey." Tomato, tomahto. 

 

Book God 1: We told Obsidian Blue the rule was that she had to name 5 books that she actually finished that she disappointed her. No fair just throwing out DNFs. 

 

Book God 2: She maybe flipped us off. Okay, she totally did. 

 

Book 1

 

How to Change a Life

 

Book God 1: Oh yeah. I remember this one. There were two characters that were African American and Obsidian Blue felt as if the author had never met black people before in her life. And also thought it was kind of gross the main character was being portrayed as reasonable after it comes out that she is now sleeping with her friend's ex-husband. 

 

Book God 2: I would have kicked her ass. 

 

OB: What they said. Seriously though. I like/love most of Ballis's books. She incorporates very real characters for the most part and also includes recipes that have me craving all kinds of food while reading her books. I think that she had the opportunity to show how the best friends you have growing up are not the perfect fit when you are adults. I think she was heading that way for a bit, and then it turned into some weird/gross piling on of the character of Lynne for being work focused. I don't know if I can articulate this correctly, it just felt mean to me in a way. Did not enjoy and was very upset that I bought this one. 

 

Book 2

 

Zone One

 

 

Book God 1: Nah. 

 

Book God 2: Nope. 

 

OB: Forget you both! Seriously though. I don't understand how the man who wrote "The Underground Railroad" wrote this mess of a zombie novel. I kept comparing it to the "Girl With All the Gifts" and just did not enjoy it. I think the fact that Whitehead chose to tell this story in a non-linear way focusing on three specific days just didn't work. I liked the idea of the survivors of telling stories about their lives before the dead rose. I wish that Whitehead had worked more of that into his story. Other than that, this was just a lackluster read. 

 

Book 3

 

The Last of August (Charlotte Holmes #2)

 

Book God 1: Okay, this one actually made me mad too.

 

Book God 2: Dear authors, don't make a character's rape into some weird character motivation for one of your other characters and have them acting as if it somehow affects them more. Did we learn nothing from that story-line on Games of Throne when Sansa's rape is somehow affecting Theon Greyjoy more? 

 

OB: I found issues with book #1, but honestly book #2 just did not work for me on any level. I think the biggest issue that I have said before when it comes to YA books is that when the publisher's think they have a hit on their hands seem to spur the author to put out sequels before they are ready. Or even put out more books than were planned.

 

"The Last of August" moved the setting to Germany and Cavallaro didn't even play that up at all in the book. 


The main characters of Charlotte and Jamie are just toxic together. I am not rooting for them to get together. Jamie in turns desires and hates Charlotte. She doesn't do what he wants her to and gets weirdly competitive with her about who will solve the case they are on now. It doesn't help matters that Charlotte is not as great as deductions as her so-called relative Sherlock is. 


The other characters are poorly developed and Charlotte's brother makes a fatal mistake that I can't even believe he would have made, but you know let's throw some drama in there. 

 

As the book gods have already said, we know that prior to the events in book #1, Charlotte was raped. I hope you enjoy Jamie making it all about him the entire time. Cause that didn't get annoying at all. 

 

Book 4

 

Echoes in Death (In Death, #44)

 

Book God 1: I don't know why she keeps reading this series.

 

Book God 2: At least she no longer buys the books and just borrows them via the library.


Book God 1: Still though, none of the characters are progressing that well based on the last few books. Peabody is a callous moron in this one. And we have the final act where Eve deduces a crime and is all surprise about it in the end to those she gathers. Who is she, Hercule Poirot?  

 

Book God 2: I also kind of hate that it's been like what, 10 books in a row and only three months have passed. Something like that. Get your timeline together Robb. 

 

OB: I should probably just quit this series. But this series has some of my favorite books which is why I keep persisting with it. I think at this point Robb should consider how to wrap things up with Eve Dallas and friends since all of the books have started to read a bit samey. It didn't help that Peabody was abducted by aliens and replaced with a person with no soul. Who stands around a dead body gushing about someone's shoes?

 

The other characters don't have much to do anymore besides sit around and tell Dallas how she is right in all things (see Dr. Mira). 

The writing got very repetitive and there were no surprises in this one at all. You can guess the guilty party earlier on since Robb doesn't provide any other viable suspects. 

 

Book 5

 

Well this was a hard one, but I finally went with this on. 

 

Maybe Someday (Maybe, #1)

 

Book God 1: Man, even I was disappointed with this one.

 

Book God 2: Why are New Adult romance books mostly about cheating/almost cheating and/or slut shaming? 

 

Book God 1: I don't know. It's weird. I also don't get how anyone reads a romance and is all yes main couple, cheat. Please cheat.

 

OB: UGHHHH. This one was so frustrating. I read one of Hoover's books last year, "It Ends With Us" and was so moved by it. I freaking even wrote it in for one of the Goodreads 2016 awards. And to go back and read this I just wonder if the same author wrote both books. 

 

"Maybe Someday" has a very thin plot contrivance to get two strangers (Sydney and Ridge) living together with two other people. Yes, cause Sydney has listened to Ridge play his guitar from his patio they somehow have a connection. Whatever.

 

Things get worse when Sydney and Ridge proceed to get all jealous about any one of the opposite sex paying the other attention. Did I mention that Ridge has a great girlfriend and it makes no sense at all why he is so drawn to Sydney?

 

I can't even discuss the terrible ending where Ridge's girlfriend rightfully dumps his ass and then he runs back to Sydney and she is all true love. 

 

Honorable mentions: "All the Missing Girls" "In the Water", "The Best of Adam Sharp", "The Girl Before", "I Am Watching You", and "The Sleepwalker". 

 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2017-11-06 18:04
16 Tasks of the Festive Season - Task 10 - World Peace Day & Pancha Ganapati
The Tokyo Zodiac Murders - Ross MacKenzie,Soji Shimada,Shika MacKenzie
Y is for Yesterday (A Kinsey Millhone Novel) - Sue Grafton
In the Woods - Tana French
The Hate U Give - Angie Thomas
A Crown of Wishes - Roshani Chokshi

Doing two tasks in this combined post!

 

World Peace Day-

 

If I had wings like a dove I would love to fly to Montreal or Toronto. I really want to explore Canada more and since it's so close (I live in the D.C. area) I think I would be able to go for a week or longer and just explore. I think that either in spring 2018 or maybe summer I am going to aim to take a trip up north and go exploring. If I don't go to those cities, I did hear about cool things that I can do though that I would love. When I was in Ecuador two Canadian tourists were on the trip with our excursion and they enthused about so many things and showed me videos. 

 

Image result for canada montreal

 

Montreal

 

I know that I want to tour Niagara Falls, but I have heard about walking tours of Old Montreal and I could do a private tour of Prince Edward Island (home of the fictional Anne of Green Gables). 

 

Tasks for World Peace Day: Cook something involving olives or olive oil. Share the results and/or recipe with us. –OR–

Tell us: If you had wings (like a dove), where would you want to fly?

 

Pancha Ganapati:

 

My 5 favorite books of this year was hard to narrow down. I decided to pick the top five that I have already read more than once this year and of course that I read/reviewed for the first time this year. I just included excerpts from my full reviews so you can see why they are my favorite books for this year. 

 

The Tokyo Zodiac Murders-Wow all I have to say is that this book was great. More than anything I love clever books like this, and this was definitely very clever. I honestly was a bit worried for a couple of minutes that maybe I wouldn't be able to get the book since the setting is in Japan. But wow the author Soji Shimada is able to pretty much show you that murder is murder no matter where it takes place.

 

 

Y is for Yesterday- I have to say that I love the fact that even though this book takes place in 1989 there's definitely some similarities to what's going on in the world today in this book. There's the question of rape, there's the question of getting consent, there's the question of violence against women and what do women do in order to fight back against that. I feel like all of those are discussion topics that are very relevant in today's world. 

 

I've really hated how isolated Kinsey felt to me in the past few books was just her interacting with Henry and Rosie. But this one definitely showcases how many people are connected to Kinsey, and how many people just love her.

I was really glad to finally see it seem to laying to rest her whole relationship with the missing Robert Dietz. And I think I see a game plan coming with regards to Cheney Phillips. It was good to read what was going on with him and finally having me not wanting to kick the crap out of him based on what I thought was going on with this character.

 

 

In the Woods- What a compelling read. I finished this thing in about a day and a half. I will say that at first I found myself somewhat bored. But this book ends up being a nice slow burn of a read. I wanted even more by the time I got to the end. I already put a hold on the second book in the series. I have to say that I am really glad that French didn't try to solve the overarching mystery for the main character, Rob Ryan. I know that some readers ended up loving this character and I had to say that in the end, I didn't feel love, but just outright pity for him.

 

 

The Hate U Give-I got so many feels while reading this book.

Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, Thomas takes a look at a teenage black girl who is trying her best to be Starr back home in Garden Heights and Starr at her suburban prep school.

 

Thomas doesn't just make this a YA book, she makes this a YA book accurately showing the struggle for black Americans, for black men, black women, interracial relationships, the pain that we feel when we move away into what is considered "good areas", etc.

Thomas is able to show you so many layers to Starr and the other characters in this book that is becomes mesmerizing to read. Even with the subject matter, I loved that Thomas was able to inject humor and show how for many black Americans that tragedy does not define us, that you still keep going as much as you can, as long as you can. Heck, Thomas even shows you how much simmering anger is under the skin for many black Americans in the U.S. right now, and how those that people screech about as "thugs" and "monsters" can finally just have enough and yes start rioting.

 

 

A Crown of Wishes-  I needed a fantastic book and I savored this one for two days though I wanted to swallow it whole at times. It lingered with me in my sleep and I smiled when I woke up because I was so happy to just keep reading this book. Chokshi includes Indian myths and also just really great characters that you want to keep reading about. We also get appearances from characters from the last book that I was sad to see go when we finished. I often worry when authors start writing a YA book and write a sequel or decide it will be a trilogy. That's only because not many have held up. This one holds up. I highly recommend.

 

Tasks for Pancha Ganapati: Post about your 5 favourite books this year and why you appreciated them so much. –OR–

Take a shelfie / stack picture of the above-mentioned 5 favorite books.  (Feel free to combine these tasks into 1!

 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-10-22 03:27
The Tokyo Zodiac Murders by Soji Shimada, translation by Ross and Shika Mackenzie
The Tokyo Zodiac Murders - Ross MacKenzie,Soji Shimada,Shika MacKenzie

The Tokyo Zodiac Murders starts off with a “last will and testament” written by Heikichi Umezawa in 1936. In this document, he detailed his belief that he is possessed and how he came to the realization that killing six of his daughters and nieces would solve his problems. Using their zodiac signs as a guide, he’d take one body part from each young woman and construct Azoth, the perfect woman.

The story then fast forwards to about 40 years later. Kazumi, a mystery fan, is describing the facts of the Tokyo Zodiac Murders to his friend Kiyoshi, an astrologer and occasional detective. The six young women were, in fact, killed and mutilated in the manner described in Heikichi’s will, but Heikichi couldn’t possibly have done it: he’d been dead for several days prior to the murders. In addition to Heikichi’s murder and the Azoth murders, one of Heikichi’s other stepdaughters was also killed. No one is sure whether that murder was related to the others or not.

After Kiyoshi takes on a client with a distant but potentially embarrassing connection to the case, Kiyoshi and Kazumi end up with a one-week deadline to solve a mystery that no one else has managed to solve in 40 years. Diagrams included throughout the text invite readers to solve the mystery along with them.

If you like trying to solve mysteries before a book’s fictional detective does, you really need to give this a try. It’s an excellent puzzle, and the author even interjects a couple times in order to let readers know when enough information has been included to allow them to solve the mystery. Of course, he interjects late enough that readers have more information than they need, muddying the water a bit, but that’s part of the fun.

The first part, with Heikichi’s will, was particularly strong. Heikichi casually describing why he needed to kill his daughters and nieces was incredibly creepy. I promise, though, that that’s as creepy as the book gets. Although the description of how the murders were actually accomplished was horrifying, the book’s overall tone didn’t have much of a feeling of creepiness, horror, or even urgency to it. Yes, Kiyoshi only had a week to solve the mystery, but the only things at stake, really, were his ego and reputation. Most of the people directly affected by the Tokyo Zodiac Murders were long dead.

There were a few times when I started to lose interest as the book became a little too “two guys talking about the facts of the case,” but for the most part those facts were really interesting. I had all kinds of theories about who might have killed Heikichi and how, how Kazue, Heikichi’s eldest stepdaughter, was involved, and who had killed the other women. None of my theories fit all of the facts of the case, and all my theories were torpedoed after Shimada included one particular document.

Kazumi, who was basically Kiyoshi’s Watson, had some ideas of his own that sounded promising, but I was fairly certain that he’d miss the key detail that would bring everything together. By the time Kiyoshi finally announced that he’d solved the murders, both Kazumi and I were thoroughly lost. It got to the point where I felt like Shimada was practically shoving the finished puzzle under my nose and I still couldn’t solve it. It was frustrating and fun at the same time. If it hadn’t been for work and sleep, I’d probably have read the last part of the book, where everything was finally revealed, all in one go. I can confidently say that I’d never have figured everything out on my own. There were aspects that stretched my suspension of disbelief, but, even so, the solution was really good.

All in all, this was a very enjoyable mystery that kept me guessing until the final revelation. It was very deliberately structured like a puzzle that readers were invited to solve along with Kiyoshi and Kazumi, but, despite the author’s two interjections, it still didn’t feel quite as detached as a couple similar mysteries I can think of. Kiyoshi and Kazumi had some life to them and didn’t just feel like pieces on the author’s gameboard. I particularly enjoyed their conversation about Sherlock Holmes and well-known mystery authors, and Kazumi's enjoyment of various locations in Japan made me wish I could visit them myself.

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2017-10-10 19:19
Reading progress update: I've read 316 out of 316 pages.
The Tokyo Zodiac Murders - Ross MacKenzie,Soji Shimada,Shika MacKenzie

[ETA - I figured I'd add this: absolutely don't click my spoiler tag unless you don't plan to read this. I don't actually give away who did it, but there are spoilers in my wording.]

 

Finished! I can now say that, no matter how long I sat down and thought about the clues, I'd never have figured everything out. As it was, I managed to correctly guess 1.5 things, sort of:

that the Kazue the police officer met was not the real Kazue (that one was pretty obvious, even though I couldn't figure out the reason for it) and that the murderer was one of the murdered young women.

 

I didn't pick the right young woman or figure out any of the other key points of the murder, and I thought she'd actually been killed along with the other five women. My best theory was that Tomoko and Heitaro worked together to commit the murders, and then Heitaro betrayed Tomoko and killed her, leaving the body where he was because, I don't know, after burying five other people with Tomoko's help, he was too tired to bury her on his own or something. A theory which had lots of holes and didn't account for the problem of the almost certainly fake Kazue the police officer met. Unless his letter was a fabrication, but then why mention that the Kazue he met didn't quite look like the photo of Kazue in the newspaper? See, problems.

(spoiler show)

 

The actual explanation made sense, although it relied a lot on luck and the police either missing key details or being unable to get key information. And dang did the killer have to be ice cold.

 

I wish the second book in the series, The Locked Room of Pythagoras, were available in English.

 

Oh, and I'm going to be counting this for my Locked Room Mystery square. I haven't done a Bingo update in ages - I need to do that when I get home.

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?