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review 2017-11-22 20:14
The Penultimate Truth - Philip K. Dick

I really liked this book!

The East and West went to war and the population moved underground into living areas called "ant farms" where they have been for 15 years. Unbeknownst to them the war ended after only 2 years and the news they have been receiving all these years is propagandist lies. The surface, though decimated by the war, is perfectly livable but is controlled by a select few.

This premise makes for a great story but it is full of neologisms, many of which are difficult to figure out.

Highly recommended!

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review 2017-11-15 20:29
The Masked Truth - Kelley Armstrong

I was rather impressed by this book. The writing style is pretty good, and the opening prologue is one of the more impactful ones I've seen in a YA novel. Riley is babysitting for these two parents, when suddenly burglars invade the house and kill them. She ends up going to therapy because she's having anxiety over the incident, and the story goes on from there.


There's a lot of deaths in this book.


The main part of the story involves a hostage situation. Riley is at a therapy sleepover with several other teenagers, and three kidnappers storm the place, armed with guns. At first it seems like it's just a hostage situation and everything will be okay - Riley happens to be the daughter of a (deceased) cop, and feels she knows how all of this works - but not everything goes to plan, and soon we have a lot of dead kids all over the place.


In all the confusion, she manages to escape from the kidnappers with one of the other guys in the therapy group - Max, who turns out to suffer from schizophrenia. The doors and windows are all locked, and their kidnappers now seem intent on killing them all. Before long, everyone starts dropping like flies.


That's the first part of the book. The SECOND part, strangely enough, is when Riley and Max escape the building and manage to call 911...and the cops suspect Max for being responsible for the deaths of 7 kids and both adult therapists. A bit odd, in my opinion. I would have thought that the author would focus on other aspects, rather than the reasons why Max was framed for mass-murder.


Riley is a strong character in her own right. She was alright. Max, too, is a rather interesting person, and the chapters are indispersed with his personal thoughts. He's constantly second-guessing himself, is struggling with his own mental health (he has to cope without his meds for a few hours, which is pretty bad for him), and has this internal voice in his head which seems to be constantly arguing with him. I don't know much about schizophrenia myself, but I thought it was presented rather well. 


It did get a bit annoying after a while, though. I just wanted to see how the plot was going to turn out, and instead the author gave me another huge chapter about Max's thoughts on what had already happened.


Also, don't ask me why, but he had this really dumb British stereotype surrounding him. He was saying stuff like "Tally ho!" and "Jolly good" as if he was some posh old-fashioned royal out of the middle of the London in the 80s. Yes, he's British, and half the time Max was joking about his mannerisms, but seriously now?


I mean, come on. I'm British. No one talks like that anymore. Even the goddamn Queen doesn't talk like that, least of all teenagers! Does the author really not know how to write an English character without resorting to really awkward stereotypes?


I wouldn't call it racist or anything - British stereotypes aren't really that insulting (I can't tell you how often someone tries to ask if I drink English tea, and ironically I've never drunk tea). But it looks a bit embarrassing.


Here's my other gripe about the book. Loads of teenagers die in the first half of the book, mainly because the gunmen have shot them in some evil or sadistic fashion. It's all very scary and edgy.


Or at least it would be, if I actually knew any of these characters for more than a chapter beforehand. Seriously. I was barely introduced to them. The first person dies just a few chapters in, not long after the prologue where a similar thing happened. It was just really jarring and I found it hard to care at times.


At one point, one of the other girls gets close to Riley and tells her how brave she is and that she's a hero for keeping everyone together...a character who had said almost nothing up to this point. I was rolling my eyes so hard at her, and, sure enough, she gets shot less than a chapter later.


I get what the author is trying to go for here, but could you at least give us a chance to know some of these characters beforehand?? They know each other's names. This is a therapy sleepover, for crying out loud! I wanted to know their backgrounds about their therapy! It was done really well in other books, but here...we just didn't know anything about them! At least, not until the last minute, once it was too late. I had trouble remembering the names of the therapists.


Instead, these mentally ill kids are just treated like fodder to be killed off by the gunmen. I guess the author was in a hurry to kill them all off, so she didn't bother to give us much background about them. Oh, and there's a gay kid too. He got sent to therapy by his homophobic dad, and he dies too.


Once I got to the end of the book, however, there were quite a few interesting plot twists. Namely about how this wasn't a hostage situation at all, and a lot of things were planned at the start. I expected that all this would tie back to the couple who were murdered in the prologue, and naturally it did. A few nice surprises were in store, and then a few more people die before we really get to know them, and...


...oh yeah, and the forced romance. Riley and Max have known each other a day. One. Day. Even Riley herself acknowledges this. I just skimmed over the kisses.


Overall, this turned to be very enjoyable, especially towards the end. I probably wouldn't read it again, though. All those plot twists lose their effect after the first time. It was good to see some coverage of mental illness, but the way that loads of characters simply get killed before we've got the chance to know them was a significant flaw in the reading. If you're going to kill seven teenagers, at least make us care about them first.





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review 2017-11-01 18:55
Two Kinds of Truth
Two Kinds of Truth - Hachette Audio,Titus Welliver,Michael Connelly

Harry Bosch #22

By: Michael Connelly 

ISBN: 0316225908 

Publisher: Little Brown & Co. 

Publication Date: 10/31/2017 

Format: Hardcover 

My Rating: 5 Stars ++


Michael Connelly returns following The Late Show and the introduction of his new Renee Ballard series with the highly anticipated gripping crime thriller — TWO KINDS OF TRUTH featuring Detective Harry Bosch #22. 

Picking up from The Wrong Side of Goodbye landing on my Top Books of 2016, Bosch finds himself between two kinds of truth and two different cases. 

For all Connelly fans, readers will get their Bosch and Haller fix in one action-filled suspense (cop procedural) thriller with courtroom drama. Add in Titus Welliver to the mix, as audio narrator – "Solid Gold!" 

From corruption, opioids, and murder— Bosch has seen it all and once again the stakes are high. 

Retired from the LAPD, Bosch works cold cases with the San Fernando Police Department, while still balancing his personal life with his daughter Mattie, now in college.

One is an older case with a guy sent to death row at San Quentin over thirty years ago. Harry and his partner (now deceased) help put away Preston Borders. Now new DNA testing reveals he was not the killer. Could someone have planted evidence? 

The present case involves the murder of father and son pharmacists, José Esquivel Sr. and Jr. Bosch goes undercover as homeless regarding fraudulent oxycodone prescriptions. An opioid pill mill conspiracy. (ripped from today’s headlines).

From the misuse of Opioids, a class of drugs that include heroin, synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, and pain relievers available legally by prescription, such as oxycodone (OxyContin®), hydrocodone (Vicodin®), codeine, morphine, and many others. While some are safe when taken for a short time, prescribed by a doctor, but they can be misused when those offer them illegally for resale, which can lead to overdose and deaths.

From intense courtroom scenes with (Lincoln Lawyer) Mickey Haller (Bosch’s half-brother) regarding the old case- defending Bosch. Bosch is accused of planting evidence. In the meantime, Bosch is in the middle of a crime ring regarding Opioids and the homeless. 

Bosch refuses to sit back and watch Preston Borders walk free, but he has just nine days to prove Borders was the real killer. Bosch cannot allow this guy to go free. Poor Bosch, working out of a small office in the former drunk tank of the county jail, and then his reputation is on the line.

Then an active present-day case with the pharmacy which is far-reaching, enslaving homeless addicts. Loved the uncover scene, though dangerous. Of course, everything Bosch touches is dangerous.

"[Bosch] knew there were two kinds of truth in this world. The truth that was the unalterable bedrock of one’s life and mission. And the other, malleable truth of politicians, charlatans, corrupt lawyers, and their clients, bent and molded to serve whatever purpose is at hand.”

A top crime thriller of the year, Connelly is dynamite!. Titus Welliver is a perfect narrator (after all, he is Bosch)! You cannot get any better. Connelly and Welliver. Bosch and Haller. Plus we pick up a few other characters from previous books 


Bosch is deep and emotional. Connelly has created a complex character which sees life and his cases from many angles. Connelly makes him come alive on the pages as well as the Prime series. 

Both haunted by his past, and a devoted father nothing seems simple for Bosch. As sharp as ever, he is still going strong in his sixties. My hero! Looking forward to #23. 

"He is highly impatient and often skirts the rules to get faster results. On the other hand, he sometimes shows surprising compassion for other people, especially crime victims and young people. He believes that all murder cases deserve the best effort by himself and the department, whether the victim is a prostitute or a wealthy, powerful person." . . . His greatest strength is his relentless pursuit of the truth. 

Avid fans will devour —with a powerful takeaway message. Highly Recommend! 


Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2017/05/05/Two-Kinds-of-Truth
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review 2017-10-31 16:14
Amazon Reviews Exposed: The Truth about Amazon Reviews - Timo Hofstee

Amazon Reviews Exposed: The Truth about Amazon Reviews by Timo Hofstee
Found this book informative because I've heard of others losing all their book reviews that they had posted.
Makes sense some of the rules, but not sure why on some others. Like especially the parts about how to contact others who will read and post reviews on your books.
And why swapping with another author is not the way to go and if you get caught paying others to write a review. Publishers give me ARC copies and I don't know the authors, I just really like to read.
Math is interesting in how the figure out the logistics of it all.

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review 2017-10-11 00:50
Great read that makes you think
Beyond the Messy Truth: How We Came Apar... Beyond the Messy Truth: How We Came Apart, How We Come Together - Van Jones

This was an absolutely wonderful read from someone that makes you think no matter what side you are on. Van Jones just comes literally makes you stop and think because he talks to you and not down or through you. In the world today you need someone like Van Jones and a book like this to make you think.

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