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review 2017-07-25 23:54
Let the Dead Speak (Maeve Kerrigan Novels) - Jane Casey

This was my fourth book by Jane Casey and as usual, she did not let me down. This one begins with a teenager coming home early from her dad's home from a weekend stay. The real reason why is given later in the book, but the beginning having you believe it was because of her stepmother. And, believe me, if I had a stepmother like that, I don't think I would ever go to my dad's house. She is just one person in a very long list of suspects in this book.

The teenager, Chloe, is a little slow and when she opens up the front door to her house, all she can see is blood everywhere. However, because Chloe is what she is, she thinks its dirt and wonders how it got everywhere like it did. 

On to the investigation, Maeve Kerrigan is called in to determine what actually happened in Chloe's house and the story enfolds into a very strange case.

As usual, there is the action and suspense that is typical of any Jane Case book. Also the entertaining and enjoyable factor that I have come to expect with her books. A story that will have you guessing and guessing again and again.

Thanks to St. Martins Press and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

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review 2017-06-01 10:22
Let the Dead Speak (Maeve Kerrigan Novels) - Jane Casey

Chloe Emery returns home after a weekend away to find her mother gone. In her place is a wave of blood covering the house. Maeve Kerrigan and her colleagues are called to investigate. What secrets was Kate Emery keeping and where is she? If there are all the signs of violence, but no body, is it really murder?

 

This is the first Jane Casey novel I have read and I didn’t know what I had been missing out on. My first thought on finishing the book was – Brilliant.

 

The narrative grabs from the opening, leaving the reader intrigued to find out more. I did not have any previous reader relationship with Kerrigan and her colleagues so I was a little worried that I would find some aspects of the story passing me by. My worries were unfounded.

 

There is an acerbic, dark humour to the writing that I felt worked perfectly with the story and characters. I loved the interaction between Kerrigan and Derwent. The banter offset the seriousness of the case to a tee. Theirs is a great example of a fictional duo, the trust shown in the easy, yet sometimes turbulent relationship between the two. Kerrigan’s new colleague Georgia Shaw is annoying, too over confident for someone so newly part of the team, trying too hard to impress the wrong people, though that is, I think, how Jane Casey intended her to be portrayed.

 

The story revolves around few characters, making it easy to follow. As a result there is a closed room mystery feel to the novel. It is obvious that there was more to Kate Emery that met the eye and that the houses on Valerian Road were keeping many secrets. The story examines the fact that we never truly know someone and that the motives behind their actions aren’t always as they appear.

 

This is book seven in the Maeve Kerrigan series but it can easily be read without having read the rest in the series.

 

Cleverly constructed, engaging and gripping, the perfect combination for a crime thriller. I look forward to reading more from Jane Casey soon.

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review 2017-05-11 16:00
Speak By L.H.Anderson
Speak - Laurie Halse Anderson

Speak by L.H. Anderson was a short book (143 pages), but it delivered a strong message. The protagonist, Melinda, doesn’t say much and as the novel progresses says even less. As the novel is written in deep POV we’re only privy to past details if the protagonist is thinking about them in the present moment, so the reader has to wait a while to find out exactly what happened to Melinda at the party that sparked her reluctance to say much and for most everyone in her school to dislike her, even her old best-friend. Sorry, my writing brain is coming out! I’ll stop. *zips mouth*

 

So, because of what happened at the party Melinda went to she no longer has any friends and has to hang out with the new girl at school, Heather. Heather is all kinds of self-absorbed, something that Melinda eventually protests in the latter stages of the book. *High five* that she eventually stuck up for herself.

 

I loved the writing style, it was immersive and real, but I think I enjoyed the characterisation more. Everyone, from Melinda to her teachers felt so real. Melinda was really quirky, like when she did up the store room for her personal hideout and retained her unique sense of humour regardless of what happened to her.

 

As much as the book felt light, it had a really important message. I suspected what happened to Melinda at the party from the outset, but the way she dealt with it and ultimately healed was unique and very believable.

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review 2017-04-30 21:56
Speak
Speak - Laurie Halse Anderson

I did not enjoy high school. When I hear about those who had 'fun', I always wonder how they managed to avoid the angst that comes from bullying, academic pressure, or bad teachers. But some enjoy it. Maybe they had the steel to survive the bullshit. Everyone is different. Most kids were just trying to get by. I was one of them.

 

'Speak' is about one of those regular kids. In the summer before school starts Melinda gets assaulted by an older student at a party. She tells no one, and worse comes to worst she is also blamed for blowing the whistle on the party after the police arrive. So she starts high school being branded a snitch and her friends abandoning her. She has no one to tell the truth about why she called for help that night. She was raped.

 

As a reader I joined Melinda's odyssey through 9th grade. I have never experienced the horror of being raped, but the desolate pit that keeps growing in Melinda is something I do recognize. Like Melinda, I understood that after trauma happens, the past normalcy of your life is gone.

 

But there is some light that shines through. It happens for Melinda and it happened for me. I have to pause each time I read about her art class and the sweet relationship with her teacher. It makes me cry.

 

Trauma doesn't happen to everybody, and it shouldn't happen to someone so early. Melinda has to learn to 'speak' about what happens to her. She has to understand there are people who care and people who want to listen. That is the first step forward. And she makes it happen.

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text 2017-04-19 16:30
Pimsleur French 1, Lessons 1-5
French Level 1 Lessons 1-5: Learn to Speak and Understand French with Pimsleur Language Programs - Simon & Schuster Audio,Pimsleur Language Programs,Pimsleur Language Programs

It's a little tough to rate this before having an opportunity to see how well the phrases I've learned help me once I'm actually in France, but I am unreasonably giddy about being able to carry on a small conversation in French!

 

This audiobook series is for those who would like to learn how to speak French but aren't worried about reading or writing it. I have no idea how to spell what I'm saying or even how many words I'm saying sometimes, but I can greet someone, ask where something is, how they are, say that I would like something to eat/drink.....basic, but that's all I need.

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