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text 2017-05-26 18:55
Friday Reads - Summer Holiday Weekend Part I
After the Storm: A Kate Burkholder Novel - Linda Castillo
Her Last Breath - Linda Castillo
Among the Wicked: A Kate Burkholder Novel - Linda Castillo
Death by Tiara (A Jaine Austen Mystery) - Laura Levine
Egg Drop Dead - Laura Childs
Purl Up and Die (A Knitting Mystery) - Maggie Sefton
Nothing but Trouble - Susan May Warren
Diary of an Accidental Wallflower - Jennifer McQuiston

I feel like it has been a long time since I did a Friday Reads post. I hope all my fellow US'ians have a safe holiday weekend. I hope my British neighbors have a safe bank holiday weekend. We got caught in a heat wave (in the 80s come afternoon time) so I broke out the kiddie pool; forecast states we have one more beautiful summer day, then the rain and lower temps are coming by the end of the weekend. I am spending most of my weekend with books and a long walk in the Thetford Forest with the family before the rain comes.

 

Here is what I hope to read over the weekend/the final week in May.

 

1. After the Storm by Linda Castillo

2. Her Last Breath by Linda Castillo 

3. Among the Wicked by Linda Castillo

      I picked these three books from the library. They're from the Kate Burkholder series (Amish police procedurals). I've wanted to try this series for a while now. These books are from later in the series.

 

4. Death by Tiara by Laura Levine

5. Egg Drop Dead by Laura Childs

6. Purl Up and Die by Maggie Sefton

        Another bunch from the library, this time in really cute cozy mystery flavor. The first is from the Jaine Austen series, and the name of the series was enough for me to take it off the shelf. I tried one book from Laura Childs before (from that tea shop mystery series) and DNF'ed it, so I don't have much expectation for this one (from the Cackleberry Club series). The last one's titled just made me laugh.

 

7. Nothing But Trouble by Susan May Warren

           Borrowed this one from OverDrive because I kept getting recommended it (OD has the first three books in the series). I'm at the 62% mark and really liking it; PJ is not one of those perfect model of a Christian, but she is a Christian with good intentions and a good heart. The writing is different from a lot of Christian fiction without being profane. I am looking forward to book two and three.

 

8. Diary of an Accidental Wallflower by Jennifer McQuinston

          My BL-opoly pick which makes it a priority. New to me author, but I loved the interviews she did for the Smart Podcast, Trashy Books podcast - she talked about her work at the CDC in general and her work in Africa dealing with Ebola outbreak specifically....along with her weekend job writing historical romances.

 

 

 

 

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-05-22 20:35
The Unwritten Rule (Review)
The Unwritten Rule - Elizabeth Scott

(I would like to add that um, ANY book that has two people playing barefoot footsie on it repulses me immediately, and honestly, I couldn't expect anything more than two stars with that image in my head every time I picked it up.)

 

This is yet another book I read almost two years ago, and I don’t remember it incredibly well. However, I do remember that this was cliché and used a dreadful stream-of-consciousness style narration that made Sarah, the main character, seem immature and incompetent.  (Yet another reason I despise present tense writing.)

 

The vast majority of this book is actually painful. Sarah is obsessed with Ryan, and her inner mind theatre is just a compilation of everything she loves most about him. She’s constantly thinking about him, obsessing over him, and wondering what it would be like to be with him. She is absolutely convinced he feels the same way for her (and because it’s a good ole stereotypical YA novel, he does), but they tiptoe around for stupid reasons. Ryan is actually the one I dislike the most in all this because his confession to Sarah is that he’s always had feelings for her, but decided to date Brianna anyway. I absolutely don’t understand that logic, and I have no sympathy for his “dilemma.”

 

The above encompasses about 95% of the plot; however, I decided to give this a two-star rating because The Unwritten Rule focused quite a bit on the actual friendship between Brianna and Sarah, and how destructive it really was. I have been in hurtful friendships before, and while I never had friends quite as cruel as Brianna, I sympathized with Sarah’s situation (outside of her whole trying to steal Brianna’s boyfriend thing). At the end of the novel, I felt like the story’s ending, while happily-ever-after in that Sarah and Ryan end up together, still has the friendship at the forefront. Sarah gets Ryan, yes, but the bigger thing she gets is freedom from a toxic friendship, and the realization that just because you’ve been best friends with someone for a long time doesn’t mean you need to stay friends with them forever. This was a lesson I had to learn in high school, and I felt like Scott could have been really successful if this story was about Brianna and Sarah, with Ryan floating somewhere in the background.

 

Overall: This wasn’t really a good book, although it ended up with a pretty good lesson in the end. I definitely wouldn’t recommend it because Sarah’s narration will make you want to stab something, but it definitely wasn’t as bad as it could have been. I have all of Elizabeth Scott’s books on my to-read list, and this one doesn’t make me excited to get to another one anytime soon. However, I think there’s potential, and maybe I just need one with a less cliché plot in order for it to really click for me.

 

http://thaliasbooks.tumblr.com/post/160956797922/the-unwritten-rule-review

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review 2017-05-22 13:58
Really Enjoyed This Book
Crimes Against a Book Club - Kathy Cooperman

I got this as the Kindle Single this month from Amazon. I have to say, I am shocked at how much I enjoyed this book. Maybe because the book at the top of each chapter goes into a book club read and gives you someone's perspective on it. Or I just loved the fact that some of the lines in this book were so freaking hilarious that I laughed out loud. I was actually sad to see the book end. I do have to say the ending was a bit out there, and not believable in the least bit, but I liked it. I think that some things could be tightened up a bit though (sense of time and it would have been nice to get a better sense of some of the male characters in this one). 

The book starts off with two best friends (Annie and Sarah) both coming to a financial hurdle in their lives. Anne is a stay at home mom to three kids. When her son Oscar is diagnosed with autism and she is told how much it's going to cost her family to deal with one year of treatment for Oscar ($80,000) she is justifiably worried that there is no way for her family to deal with this cost on top of their mortgage and other bills.  

 

Sarah is dealing with IVF treatments. She and her husband Michael are trying to have kids. However, due to Sarah's high pressured job (she's a lawyer trying to make partner) there's a worry she's too stressed out to get pregnant. When she finally quits her job (in a hilarious freaking scene) she realizes that she doesn't have the cash to keep paying for the treatments.

Enter the plan. Annie has gone to a book club and realized that these 1 percenters would pay thousands ($2,000) for a facial cream that makes women look younger. Due to Annie being a chemist, she puts together several different types of facial creams and mixes in a secret ingredient (no spoilers) and then uses the fact that Sarah looks a decade younger than her age to push the facial cream first to their book club friends and others.

 

Can I say though that out of the gate I had real sympathy for some of the book club crew. We delve into each women a little bit here and there along with Annie and Sarah. You get to see in some cases grossly unhappy women who are doing what they can to keep their husbands interested. In other women's cases, they are doing what they can to start all over again after being traded in for a younger model. 

 

I did enjoy Sarah more than Annie. I felt out of like with Annie once we find out about her secret ingredient. Her reasoning behind it was total crap. And I hated that Annie sat around being judgmental about the other women and even Sarah to a certain degree. The two friends do have a falling out, but I was glad that Sarah let Annie have it. She needed it.


I honestly thought that the book worked very well together. I do have to say that the flow was a bit off here and there though. And as I said the ending was not believable at all, but I enjoyed it. I do think that the timeline situation should have been tightened up though. At one point I was reading and someone goes that so and so was 7 months pregnant and I went, wait a minute, they met when she announced she was pregnant, does that mean it's been like 4 months? I just needed the timeline spelled out a bit better. 

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review 2017-05-21 03:29
The Matchmakers of Minnow Bay
The Matchmakers of Minnow Bay - Kelly Harms

I don't normally draw parallels, but think Mary Kay Andrews, or Jennifer Crusie minus the purposeful hilarity, and you have a good idea of what The Matchmakers of Minnow Bay is going to deliver.

 

Lily is one of those artists who has the potential to make it big, but she's a doormat; a cheerful, I-just-want-everybody-to-be-happy, doormat.  Normally I'd have tossed this book aside because I don't like reading about doormats, but Lily never wallowed, so that during the clueless stage of the story the irritating bits washed over me.  

 

While packing to move out of her apartment, Lily stumbles across a 10 year old notice from Nevada telling her the annulment she applied for is incomplete.  She's been married to a guy she can't even remember for a decade, and of course she's feeling all her shortcomings so determines to go to Minnow Bay to apologise in person and fix things.  This is when she has her "I'm a doormat" epiphany, and while her turnaround is a work in progress, her wry humor about herself and the way she owns up to her shortcomings made it easy for me to relate to her and like her more than I normally would.

 

Added to her likeable qualities are the characters of Minnow Bay, all of whom are poster-small-town-perfect and quite a lot of them the kind I wish I had for neighbours.  Colleen and Jenny's antics trying to keep Lily in Minnow Bay are funny and Simone is acerbic but hilarious.

 

I thought the writing really readable and I easily finished it yesterday afternoon and evening; it's not a long book and the engaging narrative sucked me in.  I'm not sure I'd say it's worth the sticker price, but it's definitely worth the used bookshop price (in hardcover) and I thought it was a fun read, perfect for the mood I was in.

 

 

 

 

Total pages: 280

$$: $3.00

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review 2017-05-19 02:06
Rich Peoples Problems
Rich People Problems: A Novel - Kevin Kwan

Title:  Rich People Problems

Author:  Kevin Kwan

Publisher:  Doubleday

Series:  Crazy Rich Asians # 3

Reviewed By:  Arlena Dean

Rating: Four

Review:

 

"Rich People Problems" by Kevin Kwan

 

My Thoughts...

 

This author gives the reader in this third book in the Crazy Rich Asians series a read of great drama, some hilarious laughs with some characters, wonderful vacations spots, entertainment and scenic descriptions[clothing and jewelry] that will really have you thinking you are looking at a movie right in front of you.  What wacky antics that this large family seems to have that will keep you turning the pages to its conclusion to a hilarious series. Be prepared to read of a 'dysfunctional, paranoid, social climbing crazies with some ridiculous fun.' This will be one intriguing, incredible and entertaining read that I would recommend to the readers.

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