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review 2017-04-23 05:05
Honesty
Unstoppable (Jersey Girls Book 2) - Lisa-Marie Cabrelli

This book is #2 in The Jersery Girls series.  This book can be read as a standalone novel.  For reader enjoyment and understanding, I recommend reading this series in order.

 

Maureen suffers from low self-esteem.  She has allowed men to bully her in the past.  Now she is trying to get to know Brad.  Along the way she meets Stephen.  One makes the other man look like paste.  What's a girl to do?

 

This story was a bit of a triangle.  But only a bit.  You come to see who is really the worthy beau pretty quickly.  What I found nice to read was the banter, the mystery, the travel and a bit of heat.  This was a fun and witty read.  I give this book a 3/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

 

 

***This early copy was given in exchange for an honest review only.

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review 2017-04-21 22:57
New York City Monsters Anne Paradis
New York City Monsters: A Search-and-Find Book - Anne Paradis,Lucile Danis Drouot

This is absolutely an awesome book. The whole series is actually. The kids and I have read a few of the books from the series. The kids love finding all of the monsters on each page and I love that they get a lesson about things in each of the cities. These books are fun for the kids and the parents both.

 

This book is about exploring New York City. All of the main sites are listed throughout the book. You get to see the Statue of Liberty, The empire State Building,  Grand Central Station and more. There is a small paragraph written about each site. Also there are Monsters hidden all over the place. There is a spot on each page telling yo how many Monsters to find. 

 

I received this book from the Author or Publisher via Netgalley.com to read and review.

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review 2017-04-19 15:10
The "might have beens" of the Big Apple
The City That Never Was: Two Hundred Years of Fantastic and Fascinating Plans That Might Have Changed the Face of New York City - Rebecca Read Shanor

Cities are ever-changing works in progress, and for every building, thoroughfare, and public space that exists there are unrealized plans that would have resulted in very different urbanscapes. In this well-illustrated book Rebecca Read Shanor looks at some of the alternative designs for America's largest metropolis that never came to pass. She divides this examination into six chapters, detailing various proposals for different streets, public buildings, transportation systems, bridges, parks, and monuments throughout the city. For each of them she describes their genesis, how they were received, and why it was that the visions never became reality, which produces a series of stories of visionaries who aspired to change New York City and the various pitfalls which frustrated their dreams.

 

Read Shanor's book provides an intriguing look at the New York that might have been. While her selection of projects is a little idiosyncratic (I was disappointed that the Dewey Arch was not even mentioned, let alone described), the ones she details provide excellent case studies that demonstrate the numerous reasons why many projects are never realized -- indeed, after reading this book, it can seem to be a wonder that anything is ever built. In some cases (such as Robert Moses's infamous Lower Manhattan Expressway) the city is better for the projects that never becoming reality, yet Read Shanor details more than a few the failure of which is regrettable. While there is no way of knowing how things would have turned out in the long run, it is fascinating to speculate how different New York might be had some of these proposals been built.

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review 2017-03-29 03:07
An interesting mystery, but it fell short of the mark.
Surrender, New York: A Novel - Caleb Carr

Surrender, New York, Caleb Carr, author; Tom Taylorson, narrator

Two forensic scientists, Dr. Trajan Jones and Dr. Michael Li, were essentially ousted from their jobs in New York City because of their methods of investigation, and because they exposed the corruption and incompetence existing within law enforcement.

They resettled and set up shop in upstate New York in a town called Surrender on the property of Trajan’s eccentric Aunt Clarissa. She was not known to have a great love for the people in law enforcement, so she welcomed them and prepared a space for them to live and work. Trajan rescued a cheetah, Marcianna, from death when it was diagnosed with Feline Leukemia, his aunt gave him a piece of property to set up and use as her den. She is well-loved, perhaps excessively, and well cared for by Trajan. Both Jones and Li worked out of a converted vintage airplane which they fitted out with whatever equipment they needed. From that plane, they taught an online, college course in criminology. They are an unusual pair of partners who banter back and forth, sometimes with ridiculously immature comments. In addition, the language is often unnecessarily coarse. They seem quite immature for adults who are educated professionals.

When the two were quietly asked to clandestinely participate in an investigation of a stream of suicides, they accepted, but encountered resistance from the state police force since their reputation preceded their arrival in Surrender. Police officers resented them for their past work history. Their participation, though, turned out to be critical and a major contribution to the solving of the mysterious number of suicides of young high school age students, students who were abandoned by their families.

When a young high school student, Lucas trespassed on their property with his friend Derrick, the doctors discovered that Lucas held many clues to the suicide investigation. He actually knew them, or of them. The scientists, perhaps against their better judgment, enlisted his help in their investigation; both boys, Lucas and Derrick, were wards of Lucas’s 20 year-old, blind sister, Amber. Both had been abandoned by their parents. Lucas, who was already studying forensic science at school jumped at the opportunity to help, Derrick opted out. He was often referred to as developmentally challenged. During the ensuing days of the investigation, they created a team of investigators, also enlisting the help of Aunt Clarissa, Amber and a group of their students, to provide them with alternate insights into the mystery of these throw away children who are doing away with themselves.

As the story progressed it twisted and turned, planting different suspicions in the mind of the reader and creating ancillary themes which seemed to distract and unnecessarily complicate the story. Often extraneous details were introduced that added nothing but length. When a romance blossomed between Lucas’s sister and Trajan, although he was almost twice her age, I found I had to skip over the scenes, they were so inappropriate.

There are many distractions. There is a cheetah that takes on the role of an important character, a one legged investigator who doesn’t seem to have as much trouble getting around as he should considering the amount of pain he often experiences from a disease which might be advancing, a retarded child who has occasional moments of lucidity beyond his scope, a precocious child who wants to be treated as an adult and often acts like one, a guardian who acts like a harlot, a sniper who is hidden in the woods shooting at unsuspecting characters; there are missed obvious opportunities to discover clues, some events that seem overly contrived, as when Mike’s girlfriend, a New York detective is run off the road under suspicious circumstances and doesn’t turn up for so long that one wonders why she was introduced in the first place, or when Trajan and Amber are smooching in a closet while law enforcement and media surround the house because Derrick has disappeared. It was totally out of the realm of reality. The author took every opportunity to mock the system of law enforcement and inserted social themes like immigration, parental neglect, environmental protection, media corruption, racism, economic disparity and even homosexuality, seemingly just for the purpose of inclusion.

This is not Caleb Carr’s finest hour. The dialogue is hackneyed, infantile, crude, and often feels condescending to the reader. The characters seem like children in adult’s clothing, and the children occasionally seemed more mature than the adults,  and were capable of making more common sense assumptions and judgments.

There was a lot of misdirection and the ending was a surprise of sorts, but the route from beginning to end was too convoluted and too long; the plot slowly became less credible. However, there were so many interesting asides that introduced many little known facts, that I believe, absent the crude language, foolish sex scenes, excessive details and the circuitous route to the conclusion of this diabolical plan to rid the area of throw-away children, that the book might have been much more satisfying as the pair exposed the corruption at the very top, unmasked the villains, and solved the case.

 

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review 2017-03-22 06:11
My turn
Trouble Walks In (The McGuire Brothers) - Sara Humphreys

This is book #2, in The McGuire Brothers series.  This book can be read as a standalone novel.  For reader understanding and enjoyment, I recommend reading this series in order.

 

Ronan has been in love with Maddy since they were in school.  Growing up in the same small town, he came to appreciate her quirky ways.  She was busy with someone else, so he had to bide his time until it was right to ask her out.

 

Maddy has had a lot happen to her in the last year alone.  She lost someone she loved.  She knows she must get on with her life, but it is hard to motivate yourself into action.  Ronan changes all of that by just looking at her.

 

This story was so sexy!  I loved the characters connection right from the beginning.  Good installment for the McGuire Brothers series.  The pace was good.  Seeing characters from the previous story was nice also.  I give this book a 4/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

 

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