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Search tags: The-Hours
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review 2018-04-25 15:59
Slow Moving Book That Doesn't Deliver
The Distant Hours - Kate Morton

I kind of laugh at this book being marketed as Gothic. It's really not. I mean there's an old castle, but the book itself is so far from Gothic it's not even funny. This is a slow moving book that doesn't pick up any speed. When the book comes to the reveal at that point I just shrugged about it. There is ultimately nothing to say in the end except what a waste of many lives we get to read about in this book.


"The Distant Hours" has a long lost letter being delivered many decades after it should have gone. One of the characters in this book, Edie, is displeased (maybe that's too strong a word) that her mother may have secrets that she has never heard. Deciding to force herself into her mother's past, Edie goes hunting and goes to a castle her mother stayed at during the war years in England (Milderhurst) where the three Blythe sisters still live. Edie's mother (Meredith) has her own reasons for not wanting to revisit her past. However, Edie is given the opportunity to learn about the author of the mysterious "The True History of the Mud Man" and goes to learn more about the Blythe sisters. 

 

Eh, Edie bugged me. Sorry. I just could not get over her sneaking and even reading her mother's private letters. Yes her aunts sucks for giving them to her (and seriously though) but Edie feels entitled to know everything about her mother. She also pries about the Blythe sisters since she also feels as if they should just open themselves up to her. Edie feels sorry for Juniper, likes the one twin, Saffy (Seraphina) and fears Percy (Persephone). 

 

The secondary characters are barely present in this book. You read about the Blythe father and his madness, but you don't get to see it. You hear about it for the most part. We hear about how Juniper has been broken since her long lost fiancee left her, but you don't really get it since she is portrayed as vaguely confused. Juniper is also supposed to be a wonderful writer, but once again we don't get to "see" that, we just hear about what a genius she is. Same issue when we get the reveal about Percy's love life. I don't know why Morton decided to cut out things that would make these characters come to life, but she did. I absolutely loved "The Forgotten Garden", felt meh about this one, and just down and out disliked the last two books of her that I read. 

 

The writing was okay, I just found myself bored. Honestly nothing much happens in this book until the very end. And the ending was not worth slogging through this thing. 

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review 2018-04-08 12:20
Summer Hours at the Robbers Library
Summer Hours at the Robbers Library - Sue Halpern

I was in the mood for a gentle, general fiction story and got one with this book, but for a gentle story it packed a wallop.

 

Summer Hours at the Robbers Library is a story about three broken people who are thrown together over a summer in the Carnegie library of a dead industrial town.  Sunny is a 16 year old no-schooled daughter of hippies (or as they call themselves 'alternatives') sentenced to a 12 weeks stint at the library after getting caught trying to steal a dictionary from a local bookstore.  Rusty is the enigmatic businessman who suddenly shows up one day and spends ever subsequent day in front of one of the computers for hours at a stretch.   Kit is the reference librarian who starts off coming across as an extreme introvert at best, a future agoraphobic at worst.  She moved to Riverton 4 years previous to the story and her one, over arching goal is to avoid all non-work human interaction.

 

The story is told over the course of a summer post the global financial disaster, and is interspersed with Kit's therapeutic narrative of her past; a slow building story that starts off feeling oh-so-predictable, but by the end set me back on my heels muttering jesus under my breath.  I was pretty sure I didn't like Kit - or, more accurately, that I respected Kit - until the end.  Then, I understood; I'd have done almost nothing differently, in her shoes.

 

I liked Sunny and her story felt so very authentic; her ending might have been a little too perfectly tailored, and I think the author could have packed a double wallop had she chose a different path, but I still enjoyed her character.

 

Rusty felt a little obligatory - probably the least impactful story of the three, but for the time this book was set, his character was representative, and for all that his redemption was a bit too easily found, I still liked him too.  Mostly, I appreciated the author's choice not to go the predictable angst-ridden route.

 

I started this review thinking "4 stars" but really... that ending.  The author deserves the extra 1/2 star because she led me perfectly, exactly like a well written story should.

 

The perfect read for a breezy, sunny, lazy day.

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review 2018-04-07 13:38
The Last Hours by Minette Walters
The Last Hours - Minette Walters

I selected this book based on an online recommendation. The cover and description were appealing, so I decided to give it a shot. The author is new to me, but the era of history is not. Fourteenth century history does, however, seem to be unfamiliar to the author.

Very little of the attitudes, speech, and beliefs of the characters in this book felt 14th century to me. Besides being flat, one-dimensional characters, many of them sounded like modern people thrown into a novel about the plague. Faith and church, which were an important part of life to most people, rich or poor, at this time, are treated with disdain and mockery by almost every character. Medical knowledge of the 21st century is injected throughout the novel to create an island of survivors while everyone around them is dying.

The only character I had any sympathy for was one the author tries very hard to paint as a villain. But I had pity for the neglected and abused fourteen-year-old daughter whose mother had long ago decided that insults were her favored parenting tool. We are supposed to believe that at some point Lady Anne had tried her best with Eleanor, but her treatment of the girl is horrifying, and it is not shocking that the girl has turned into a brat doing whatever it takes to get some attention. That's what neglected kids do.

As for Thaddeus and his boring ramble through the countryside abusing his own crew of teenagers.....I don't even know what the point of that was. There is a murder that is solved along the way, but no one seems too concerned about it.

The book ends with 'to be continued' but I will not be looking for more of these selfish, anachronistic characters' stories. 

This book was received from NetGalley in return for an honest review.

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review 2018-04-07 06:41
Hope
After Hours - Emjay Haze

Nick meets Alex when he comes in to the club where he is working.  He cannot help but feel the good looking guy seems sweet.  Then he finds out he is everything.

 

Alex has found himself living a good life without any happiness.  He has a lot to be grateful for, but not what he has always wanted.  When he meets a man who is following his own dreams, he second guesses where he is and where he is going.

 

This book was like a chapter out of a persons life.  I felt like I was watching it take place.  I loved the sexy times since they were full of heat.  The banter was cute, and the pace of the story was good.  These characters give us a good solid read.  I give this a 4/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

 

 

***This ARC copy was given in exchange of an honest review, by Netgalley and its publishers.

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review 2018-04-02 23:47
The Finest Hours (YA adaption) by Michael J. Tougias and Casey Sherman
The Finest Hours: The True Story of a Heroic Sea Rescue - Michael J. Tougias,Casey Sherman

I watched the Disney movie based on the adult book back in January 2017. It was great (read: Chris Pine and Eric Bana provided eye-candy) and one of the special features of the DVD was the screenwriters interviewing survivors/witnesses and showing stuff from the museum. I had made a point of wanting to read the book, so when the 2018 PS challenge came out and the first prompt was "book that was made into a movie you've already seen" I knew which book I would read for it. 

 

Here's the deal - I don't care about boats, nor do I care to read endless paragraphs of boats structure, size, etc. If you do, read the adult book; I went with the YA adaption of the book so I could get to the actual story faster and not read mind-numbingly pages of boat details. The problem was that it was written for more the MG crowd than YA; the writing at times seem choppy and I couldn't really connect with the people in the story; I felt the movie was better in getting the audience to care about the rescuers and those on the oil tankers. There was also too many people, especially the ones on the oil tankers, profiled - it was hard to keep them separate in my head while reading.

 

Still it is a decent story for those MG readers that want to know about an important event in the ever-evolving history of disaster management.

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