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review 2019-06-16 02:35
The Suffering of Strangers
The Suffering of Strangers - Caro Ramsay

To be fair, I didn't know this was the ninth book of a series when I started reading. In fact, I didn't know until I noticed a significant lack of backstory that I wondered about but wasn't getting any answers. There are also quite a few characters that I assume have been introduced throughout the series - at least I hope so because I wasn't really given enough on them here to get a good feel for them. That said, the writing is good and the case was interesting, not overly shocking on the twists but interesting. In the end, this one was an enjoyable enough read on its own, but I didn't find anything to compel me to check out the previous eight books in the series. 

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review 2019-04-06 20:31
Not a Great Retelling of Alice
Ever Alice - H.J. Ramsay

Please note that I received this book via NetGalley. This did not affect my rating or review.

 

Well not too much to say here besides the fact I didn't enjoy reading this one. I am always down for a fresh take on a retelling of a classic fairy tale, but Ramsay didn't do a good job of developing Alice or the Queen of Hearts. The flow of the book was not very good and I thought the setting of Wonderland could have been done up a lot more than it was. The ending also was a head scratcher to me. 

 

 "Ever Alice" follows a 15 year old Alice who has been packed away in an asylum by her parents. Though Alice keeps insisting that Wonderland and the White Rabbit are real, her family doesn't believe her. Now that she's older she still hopes she will be allowed to return home to celebrate her sister's upcoming marriage. However, things change again for her when she is taken to a new place that is dangerous to her. And when the White Rabbit shows again, Alice has a chance to return to Wonderland or be lost forever.

 

Ramsay decides to focus on not just a 15 year old Alice, but an older Queen of Hearts too. Honestly that ends up being a mistake. The writing between the two characters could not be more dissimilar. I ended up skimming a lot of the Queen of Hearts scenes because it was so repetitive. She's a mess and there's a lot of conspiracies surrounding her that I did not care one iota about. And I have to say that it doesn't get better when we switch to Alice's POV. This Alice is not that smart, but also sits around jealous because she has fallen for the Queen of Hearts son Thomas and wants him to pay attention to her. She's freaking 15 and hasn't even been around boys it would seem and her obsessing about Thomas and her "mission" just didn't get together very well. 


Other familiar characters from Wonderland show up her, the Cheshire cat, The White Rabbit, The Mad Hatter, The March Hare, etc. and none of them shone. There is a plot line about the Queen of Hearts and why Alice is rescued by the White Rabbit that made zero sense. And it just felt like Ramsay wanted to mix things up a bit and make this book more similar to the Alice in Wonderland movies directed by Tim Burton. But with an even more shallow look at characters. 

 

The flow was not that good. I think jumping back and forth between Alice and the Queen of Hearts wasn't a good idea. When Ramsay gets to the ending though is when things take an even more strange turn. One wonders if the author is hoping to turn this into a duology or what.

 

The setting of Wonderland was flat to me. I just finished "A Blade so Black" and I had the same issues while reading this book that I did while reading that. This book reads as if the author has just a low level knowledge of the Lewis Carroll works and doesn't do anything new with them and or doesn't expand on them in different ways. Besides people talking in an exhausting way, there's not that much there with Wonderland.


The ending was a letdown and I was just glad to put this book down in the end.  

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text 2019-04-03 04:06
Reading progress update: I've read 70%.
Ever Alice - H.J. Ramsay

Ehhh this is not doing a thing for me. I am so bored. Can't wait to be done. I don't like how Alice is characterized in this one and Ramsay deciding to show not only Alice's POV but the Queen of Hearts was a mistake.

 

Image result for alice in wonderland movie gif

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review 2018-12-04 14:50
ARC REVIEW The Cottage on Rose Lane by Hope Ramsay

 

The Cottage on Rose LaneMoonlight Bay #1, I was not expecting to love this as much as I did. I didn't know what to expect but what I found was a young woman trying to find herself after a life altering inheritance and a young man trying to save his family's history and culture. I also found a town on the coast where the locals are treated like family and everyone else is a tourist. It's deeper that I would have expected the emotions run hot you're not just dealing with Jude and Jenny's emotions with each other but with their relationship with the other townspeople and family.

Jenny Fosse is alone in the world she never knew her father and her mother lost her battle with cancer a few years earlier. Out of the blue she receives notice that she is the sole heir of a multi billionaire legacy from the grandfather she never knew she had. But soon after she lost her dream job and with no idea what to do she went on a journey of self discovery all over Asia and India. After a year and she still didn't know what to do the lawyer she inherited suggest trying to connect to her great-uncle and aunt her only living relatives and find out more about her father but the bad blood between the brothers leaves Jenny with no clue how to go forward so she first decides to test the waters first go in incognito and see how she will be received.

Jude St. Pierre is on a mission to save his ancestral lands and the slowly disappearing culture with it. With this battle he's fighting land developers who want to turn into a resort and half the townspeople who don't see the cultural importance. He's also fighting his drunk father who is slowly ruining their fishing charter business who won't let Jude expand or even get a bank loan to help with some costs. When Jude meets Jenny it's an instant attraction, but he's to scared of making the same mistake his father did with his mother that Jude is hesitant to get involved with her especially since he thinks she's working with the land developers and is a corporate spy. Jenny wants sailing lessons, she learned her father loved to sail and feels like it will bring her closer to him and she is willing to pay for them. Jude needs the money or otherwise he'd say, no, and despite being ten times harder on her than he needs to be she still wants to learn from him. The longer Jenny stays in town the more she falls in love with it, the more she wants to help them especially Jude. But Jenny is lying about who she is and why she's there and she knows it's only a matter of time before they find out. 
 
Overall, it was a very emotional story and the characters are so well written you get emotionally attached to the whole town. I can't wait for the next one.      
 
 

 

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url 2018-08-25 19:49
100 Books for a Lifetime of Eating and Drinking
All Under Heaven: Recipes from the 35 Cuisines of China - Carolyn Phillips
How to Cook Everything: 2,000 Simple Recipes for Great Food - Mark Bittman
Gordon Ramsay's Home Cooking: Everything You Need to Know to Make Fabulous Food - Gordon Ramsay
Larousse Gastronomique: The World's Greatest Culinary Encyclopedia, Completely Revised and Updated - Librairie Larousse
My Paris Kitchen: Recipes and Stories - David Lebovitz
The Fannie Farmer Cookbook: Anniversary - Marion Cunningham,Fannie Merritt Farmer,Archibald Candy Corporation
The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays - Ree Drummond
Wine Folly: The Essential Guide to Wine - Madeline Puckette,Justin Hammack
Thug Kitchen: The Official Cookbook - Thug Kitchen, LLC
The Zuni Cafe Cookbook: A Compendium of Recipes and Cooking Lessons from San Francisco's Beloved Restaurant - Judy Rodgers

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