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text 2017-08-03 23:59
July Recap
Rebound: A Boomerang Novel - Noelle August
The Breakup Support Group - Cheyanne Young
A Court of Thorns and Roses - Sarah J. Maas
Follow Me Down: A Novel - Sherri L. Smith
Stalking Jack the Ripper - Kerri Maniscalco
Ferocious (Vicarious) - Paula Stokes
The First Time She Drowned - Kerry Kletter
Bad Blood (The Naturals #4) ((The Naturals #4)) - Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Follow Me Back - A.V. Geiger

I finished a much loved series this month...The Naturals.  with the final book in the 4 book series, Bad Blood...loved it, btw.  I also really enjoyed the conclusion to Vicarious Duo, with Ferocious, which I received an ARC of.


I also finished up a few reading challenges, 3 of them this month, actually.  A few of the books I've read this month were read just for this purpose.  Like the Breakup Support Group, Stalking Jack The Ripper and The First Time She Drowned.  I'm actively trying to start less of these so I can finish some of the super long ones.





(Audiobook) Rebound by Noelle August

Finish Date:  07/02



(Kindle eBook) The Breakup Support Group by Cheyanne Young

Finish Date:  07/07



(Audiobook) A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

Finish Date:  07/11



(e-ARC) Follow Me Down by Sherri Smith

Finish Date:  07/13



(Audiobook) Stalking Jack The Ripper by Kerri Manisculco

Finish Date:  07/20



(e-ARC) Ferocious by Paula Stokes

Finish Date:  07/24



(Audiobook) The First Time She Drowned by Kerry Kletter

Finish Date:  07/26



(eBook) Bad Blood by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Finish Date:  07/30



(Audiobook) Follow Me Back by AV Geiger

Finish Date:  07/31




9 Books Total 3,181 Pages (including Audio's)

5 Audiobooks, 2 eBooks, and 2 Netgalley e-ARC's









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review 2017-07-29 17:14
Maybe...I just wanted to like this more than I actually did...this one left me confused as to how I should rate it.
Stalking Jack the Ripper - Kerri Maniscalco,Nicola Barber



Book Title:  Stalking Jack the Ripper

Author:  Kerri Manisculco

Narration:  Nicola Barber

Series:  Stalking Jack The Ripper #1

Genre:  YA, Historical, Mystery

Setting:  London, England

Source:  Audiobook (Library)




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My Thoughts


A fast paced story, full of wit and charm, that felt somewhat disorienting to me.   I'm not sure I can fully explain the why, though.  Seriously, I had this long explanation written out, and it just didn't make sense.  So, I deleted all of it and…well…I did find the forensic science involved to be interesting, and overall the story was entertaining, despite my issues.  The ending could have been done better.  Here is some cool Stalking Jack The Ripper Art…(artist credit Phantomrin)


Partners in crime solving - Cresswell & Wadsworth:)



Ratings Breakdown


Plot:  3.8/5

Main Characters:  3.8/5

Secondary Characters:  3.3/5

The Feels:  3.7/5

Addictiveness:  4/5

Theme or Tone:  4/5

Flow (Writing Style):  4/5

Backdrop (World Building):  4/5

Originality:  4/5

Book Cover:  5/5

Narration:  4/5

Ending:  3.5/5  Cliffhanger:  to be continued

Total: 3.8/5 STARS


Will I continue this series?  I'm not opposed to doing so.  I might try reading it instead of listening to the audiobook...I'm not sure, but, maybe it's the narrator that annoys me. 


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review 2017-05-12 02:40
Stalking Jack the Ripper
Stalking Jack the Ripper - Kerri Maniscalco,Nicola Barber



I was in the YA section of my local library looking for something else entirely, when this Playaway audiobook caught my eye.  I read the description and was intrigued.  It wasn't until later that I discovered that this is the first installment of a planned trilogy.  Having learned that, I was worried that the mystery would be spread out over three books, but it is actually resolved in this one.  This book works as a stand-alone, though I guess the others will follow the main character on future adventures.


The protagonist, Audrey Rose Wadsworth, won me over with her refusal to settle for the rules that proper young Victorian ladies were expected to follow.  She is determined to pursue her interest in forensic science, even if it means sneaking to her uncle's classes and laboratory behind the back of her hyper-protective widower father.


Audrey Rose, her Uncle Jonathan, and Jonathan's student and apprentice Thomas Cresswell are determined to solve the case of the notorious Jack the Ripper, who has been murdering women in London's East End.


As noted above, the mystery does get resolved.  I confess I'm somewhat disappointed in the identity and motives of the killer, only because I have trouble believing the profile is plausible.  Still, I would be interested in reading more works by Kerri Maniscalco and to follow Audrey Rose's next installments.

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review 2017-01-17 19:57
Book Review: Stalking Jack the Ripper
Stalking Jack the Ripper - Kerri Maniscalco,Hachette Audio,James Patterson,Nicola Barber

*I received a free copy of this book from the publisher from BEA 2016.*


Overall Rating: 5 out of 5


I brought ARCs to my classroom after we attended Book Expo last year.  I have an extensive classroom library, but rarely do students ever take up my offer to borrow books to read independently.  I pitched having these ARCs in the class as a really cool insider opportunity to read books before many other people were able to and even would tell students about how they would get in trouble if they borrowed one and then sold it (which most students laughed at, but I think did emphasize the specialness about them I was trying to create).  Most of the students who borrowed books were pretty strong readers.  However, I had one student who I would have pegged as a reluctant reader.  He looked through the books after class one day and grabbed this book.  He told me he was interested in serial killers and asked if he could borrow it.  Of course I let him, and several months later he returned saying he really liked it.


This is one of the main reasons I decided to pick the book up myself (I had also heard some decent buzz about it as well since it came out) and some of the things that delighted me about the book, I must be honest, impacted me more through the lens of thinking about my students reading the book.  I feel I would be remiss if I did not start with my favorite element of the book, which is how Audrey Rose, the main character, is developed.  She starts off seeming to be another run-of-the-mill example of a female character interested in non-feminine topics.  What I think is done so well though is that her disgust is not directed at these feminine pursuits (and indeed even shows some interest and admiration towards some elements of it), but rather the way society pigeonholes girls and women into them.  I thought this was a nice balance and one that usually tips one way or the other far too often.  I must note here that I think this being such a large part of the story is something that made me smile a lot thinking about my student reading it.


The one criticism I have with the book is Audrey Rose’s relationship with Thomas Cresswell.  I do not want to overstate this point, since I think both characters were well written and interesting, but I do think that some of their exchanges were the few moments I found myself wanting to skim rather than poring over the words in front of me.


Finally, I have a huge issue with television, movies, books, or any other form of media that has a mystery that would be impossible to solve until it is resolved within the story.  I think that what this book does, which many great mysteries do, is that looking back on the story you can pick out moments that could have allowed you to guess at the big reveal, but along the way (unless you are really taking the time to ponder it) you might miss.  I will admit that I figured it out only a few pages before the reveal and found that to be thoroughly satisfying.  Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by this book and tore through it on my winter break.  I definitely think it is worth checking out.

Source: www.purplereaders.com/?p=3156
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review 2016-12-19 00:00
Stalking Jack the Ripper
Stalking Jack the Ripper - Kerri Maniscalco,James Patterson I really wish that I had liked this book. The premise sounded great, but besides the descriptions of the dissections, this book was all over the place with the main character, Audrey Rose Wadsworth. We find out in the story that she is a biracial young woman living in England in 1888. I had a hard time with believing that society would not have reacted to her being half-Indian. Also the description of what she looked like didn't really mesh with someone who was half white and half Indian. I only say this because I have two sets of friends in interracial marriages where one of the parties is white and the other is Indian. Their kids do not have creamy/pale skin. So that part of Audrey threw me. Also author Maniscalco does not go into at all what makes Audrey obsessed with the dead. From what I can gather from the book it seems as if her uncle assists Scotland Yard in cases and he is an earlier form of forensic scientist. Does Audrey want this same type of career? Obviously that type of career is closed to her during this time period, but they quickly gets undone with the ending. My biggest issue though is that besides having Audrey being a woman investigating the Ripper murders in Whitechapel, there is not enough intrigue left for me to care much. And I say investigating loosely since most of her investigating is going around and not actually talking to anyone besides her uncle, brother, and the love interest (who sucks by the way) in this book Thomas.

The beginning of this book starts off with a bang, we find the main character Audrey dissecting a corpse with her uncle looking on. We don't know why Audrey is dissecting this corpse and the writing at times will turn you off here, but we quickly find out it is 1888 and that Audrey is doing something that would make most women and men shun her due to Audrey holding interest in something besides clothes and tea. This is also the beginning of dealing with Audrey being insufferable as anything. I should not be rooting for the main character to get her comeuppance as I read, but I thought that Audrey looking down on everyone while she "investigates" was off-putting. There are a couple of well it's shame that women are out here having to be prostitutes to get by, but I don't think Audrey even understands that world and the book did not take enough pains to even describe it. Audrey is an outsider looking in throughout the book so as far as I am concerned the main character could have been male since Audrey being female felt like a gimmick to me. The reason why Audrey even gets tangled up in the Ripper killings are convoluted and then every member of her family starts to become involved. At that point I may have rolled my eyes a few times.

I feel really let down though because the character of Audrey could have been a wonderful heroine if done right. I was intrigued by her parents backstory (too bad we don't get any real details about her mother except here and there) and I wondered how England would react to a I think a half Indian and English woman marrying an Englishman back then. I also wondered how Audrey and her brother were able to go about in society and not have that affecting how people would treat them. We do get a throwaway line here and there about Audrey's mother trying to teach her and her father about their foods and clothing in Indian, but that her brother refused to have anything to do with it because it was messy. I may have said some rude words to myself about not all Indian food required one eating with your hands. And just wearing saris once in a while is not getting in touch with your heritage.

I also thought that the other characters are very underdeveloped. I never got a great sense of Audrey's uncle besides him being eccentric (and that was turned up to a level 10 for this book) her father was obsessive, and her brother had a whole devil may care attitude about things, until he didn't. The character of Thomas was flat and boring and I am actually disappointed that Maniscalo decided that he was a better love interest for her rather than the inspector in the case who honestly seem to like Audrey's abilities as a forensic scientist. Thomas was rude throughout the book and out of nowhere Audrey has feelings for him which is that old romance trope of a woman deciding that a rude alpha dude equals the best love story ever told. I also hope you like to read a lot about Thomas's looks because the book is filled with descriptions of his eyes, hair, regal bearing, etc. I kept hoping that Jack the Ripper would have Thomas as one of his victims, no dice there I am afraid.

The writing is honestly what caused me to just lower the book to two stars. The whole book reads like a modern book that is just taking place in 1888. Audrey's thoughts on women, men, her running around wearing breeches, her apparently leaving home for three weeks to investigate, etc. does not work in a novel taking place in Victorian England. She would have been shunned by every acquaintance, there's no way she would be allowed to go and view crime scenes with people standing by, etc. It was just too much to overlook while reading that drove me nuts. I really wish there had actually been real consequences for Audrey for forging ahead in the "career" she wanted to undertake. Instead most of the book hand-waved this concerns away.

The writing is also not written in the manner in which people would have talked. I am reading "A Study in Scarlet Women right now, and there are some issues here and there, but the dialogue is band on for the time period."

Also for some weird reason, in my e-book version the chapter headings would sometimes be cut off abruptly and moved to the next line. I have no idea if that happened in the hardcover version or not, but I thought I throw that out there for people who may read this electronically.

The one thing I will give the book kudos for is incorporating some of the Ripper letters, and photos of things that Audrey was seeing in this book. However, some photos (women having tea) could have been left out.

The flow was up and down the whole book. We would suddenly skip time periods, scenes, etc. and then Maniscalco would refer to it later on. There was not enough show in this book at all.

The ending was just a setup to the next book in the series and I can honestly say that I will pass on books #2 and #3 unless I read some reviews that show a more interesting story and more realistic view of what Audrey is up to. I did call the killer, but the why behind the murders was just not well thought of at all, and just made no sense from what we knew of other murders.
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