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review 2018-12-28 15:34
Book Review: All Dressed in White
All Dressed in White: An Under Suspicion Novel (Under Suspicion Novels) - Alafair Burke,Mary Higgins Clark

Book: All Dressed in White

 

Author: Mary Higgins Clark & Alafair Burke

 

Genre: Fiction/Mystery/Romance

 

Summary: Five years ago Amanda Pierce was excitedly preparing to marry her college sweetheart in a lavish ceremony at The Grand Victoria Hotel in Palm Beach. Then, with their guests and families on site, Amanda disappeared. In present-day New York City, Laurie accepts an uninvited visitor into her office: Amanda's desperate mother, who begs Laurie and her Under Suspicion television team to investigate Amanda's disappearance. It's an appeal Laurie, a widow too familiar with the grief felt by the families of victims of unsolved crimes, can't refuse. Soon she and the team are re-creating the night of the disappearance at the Florida resort with Amanda's friends and family in attendance, hoping to shed new light on the mystery, as the series has done in the past. With Amanda's former fiance now married to one of Amanda's bridesmaids, her jealous sister now integral in the family business, playboy groomsmen still behaving badly, a too-friendly wedding photographer, and rumors about the "beloved" bride herself, Laurie and Under Suspicion host Alex Buckley quickly realize everyone has a theory about why Amanda vanished into thin air - and a reason to direct Laurie's attention elsewhere. One thing is certain: whoever was behind Amanda's disappearance plans to keep the truth hidden "until death do they part. . ." - Simon & Schuster, 2015

 

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review 2018-11-03 23:18
Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
Anna Dressed in Blood - Kendare Blake

After Cas's father died, killed by one of the ghosts he hunted, Cas inherited his athame and began following in his footsteps. Although his mother knows what he does and does her best to help him with any protective magic she has at her disposal, Cas has never told her his ultimate goal: he wants to become skilled enough to find and kill his father's murderer.

The ghost known as Anna Dressed in Blood will be his final one before confronting the ghost that killed his father. She's powerful - if Cas can beat her, he should be able to handle anything. But Anna isn't like other ghosts Cas has gone up against, and there are things going on in Cas's new city that he is unprepared for.

I was flying through this book when I suddenly hit a reading slump. Nothing except audiobooks could even vaguely hold my attention, and I went several weeks before diving back into this. It's a shame, because it badly interrupted the story's flow. It would have been best if I could have read this in a few big chunks over the course of a week.

Although the book is written in first-person present tense, which generally irks me, I barely noticed it here. It helped that I liked Cas's "voice." He reminded me a bit of the Winchester brothers in the show Supernatural, and the dry humor fit as well. If you're a fan of that show, I'd definitely recommend giving this book a shot.

Cas was a loner by choice who, upon moving to Anna's town, soon found himself reluctantly saddled with a couple people he eventually came to consider friends: a slightly telepathic witch named Thomas and Carmel, one of the popular girls. I liked that they both turned out to be useful in the big climactic battle, in ways that made sense. I'm hoping that Carmel gets more of a chance to shine in the next book. I liked that she didn't fit into the usual "popular girl = awful person" stereotype, although I disliked the potential romance between Thomas and Carmel.

Carmel was a little interested in Cas, but Cas only had eyes for Anna. Since he was out of the picture, Thomas, who had a huge crush on Carmel, seemed like a possibility, except she didn't show the slightest bit of interest in him. There was a line in the book that said something to the effect that Carmel could either end up with Thomas or be a shallow stereotypical popular girl and go back to dating jocks. It bugged me, because not wanting to date Thomas wouldn't be shallow of her - it'd just mean that she wasn't interested in him that way. It's possible to be both a decent person and not be interested in dating the main character's unpopular friend.

I liked Anna and the budding romance between her and Cas, although I dreaded the other characters' very valid reactions once Cas's feelings became more obvious. Even if she hadn't killed someone in front of them, romance between a ghost and a ghost hunter didn't seem like a good idea. But Anna was a pretty awesome ghost, and I liked that Cas admired her strength rather than felt intimidated by it. I did snort a bit at Anna's collection of YA stereotypes. Not only was she the most powerful and unusual ghost Cas had ever met, she also had violet eyes.

Cas had a few moments of stupidity - proving the existence of ghosts and his ghost-hunting prowess by taking untrained newbies on a hunt for a ghost he hadn't even researched, for example - but for the most part he was an enjoyable character. I look forward to eventually reading Girl of Nightmares.

 

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

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text 2018-10-13 22:55
Reading progress update: I've read 316 out of 316 pages.
Anna Dressed in Blood - Kendare Blake

I wish I'd been able to keep up my original momentum on this, because reading it over the space of a week or two probably would have been better for the overall flow than the multi-week break I ended up taking. Still, I enjoyed this. I'm also glad that I didn't read it when it first came out, because the ending was easier to deal with knowing that there's a sequel and that it's already out. I don't know when I'll end up reading it, but I do plan to get to it at some point.

 

I was originally going to use this for my Ghost Stories square, but that's long since been taken by something else. So I'll be using this for my Supernatural square instead, which means I have an exciting Halloween Bingo update post coming up.

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text 2018-10-06 20:09
Reading progress update: I've read 279 out of 316 pages.
Anna Dressed in Blood - Kendare Blake

Oh hell. Not the cat. :-(

 

I'm finally back to reading this. Maybe I can get my first Bingo before the end of the day.

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text 2018-09-30 17:45
September Re-Cap
 All the Ever Afters: The Untold Story of Cinderella’s Stepmother - Danielle Teller
Any Man - Amber Tamblyn
Something in the Water - Catherine Steadman
City of the Lost - Kelley Armstrong
A Geek Girl's Guide to Murder - Julie Anne Lindsey
Sea Witch - Sarah Henning
Burying the Honeysuckle Girls - Clara Emily Carpenter
Anna Dressed in Blood - Kendare Blake
FantasticLand - Mike Bockoven
Contagion - Erin Bowman

 

 

I read a total of fourteen books towards Halloween Bingo, a decent month worth of books.  No Bingo's yet, but I'm close to having a few.  Only one book that I didn't like...and that was Burying the Honeysuckle Girls.  One freaky AF book...that one is Any Man, although, Fantasticland could probably fit into that category as well.  I also loved the first book in what I think will be a duology, with Contagion.  I'm still finding myself listening more than reading, it seems to be my new normal now. 

 

 

 

(Audiobook) All the Ever Afters: The Untold Story of Cinderella's Stepmother by Danielle Teller

Finish Date:  09/04

☆4.2☆STARS - GRADE=B+

 

(Audiobook) Any Man by Amber Tamblyn

Finish Date:  09/05

☆4.5☆STARS - GRADE=A-

 

(Audiobook) Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman

Finish Date:  09/07

☆3.5☆STARS - GRADE=B-

 

(Audiobook) City of the Lost by Kelley Armstrong

Finish Date:  09/09

☆4.3☆STARS - GRADE=A-

 

(Kindle eBook) A Geek Girl's Guide to Murder by Julie Anne Lindsey

Finish Date:  09/09

☆3.5☆STARS - GRADE=B-

 

(Audiobook) Sea Witch by Sarah Henning

Finish Date:  09/12

☆3.5☆STARS - GRADE=B-

 

(Audiobook) Burying the Honeysuckle Girls by Emily Carpenter

Finish Date:  09/14

☆2☆STARS - GRADE=D

 

(Audiobook) Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Finish Date:  09/17

☆3.7☆STARS - GRADE=B

 

(Audiobook) Fantasticland by Mike Bockoven

Finish Date:  09/18

☆5☆STARS - GRADE=A+

 

(Audiobook) Contagion by Erin Bowman

Finish Date:  09/20

☆5☆STARS - GRADE=A+

 

(Kindle eBook) The Lost Codex by Heather Lyons

Finish Date:  09/23

☆3.5☆STARS - GRADE=B-

 

(Audiobook) In A Handful of Dust by Mindy McGinnis

Finish Date:  09/24

☆4☆STARS - GRADE=B+

 

(Audiobook) Mud Vein by Tarryn Fisher

Finish Date:  09/26

☆4☆STARS - GRADE=B+

 

(Audiobook) A Killer's Mind by Mike Omer

Finish Date:  09/28

☆4.3☆STARS - GRADE=A-

 

14 Books Total, 12 of them Audiobooks and 2 Kindle eBooks.  A Total of 4,897 pages (including Audio).

 

Since I tend to pick books based on there covers...my pick for the best cover of the month goes to...

 

...it's actually a tie between Sea Witch and Contagion. 

 

 

 

 

 

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