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Search tags: on-the-kindle
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review 2019-02-22 21:38
Review: "Shades" by Jaime Reese
Shades - Jaime Reese

It took me FOREVER to finish this book. With 344 pages, it was at least 150 pages too long. It was a struggle to finish.

 

The story was 30% plot and 70% internal monologues (pining ones in the first, schmaltzy love declarations ones in the second half).

 

 

This book also had some of the most far-fetched and ridiculous plot twists that I’ve read in a long time.

 

For example, that island? The hell? Am I supposed to take this seriously?

 

 

This was my first book by this author and even though I’m not totally put off by her storytelling, I probably won’t read another book from her in the foreseeable future.

 

I’m giving this book a really weak 3 stars-rating, because even though I wasn’t really enjoying it, the writing wasn’t that awful or offensive to justify a lower rating. But this author is in serious need to improve her storytelling.

 

 

 

~ 3 stars ~

 

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review 2019-02-22 13:05
The Borrower
The Borrower - Rebecca Makkai

Have you ever reached a point in the book and wished for it to be over? That was how I felt as the book went on. The librarian was young - I get that, but she kept wishing she could do something. She saw an injury on a child and didn't report it and yet, she is a mandated reporter. She has to report suspicions and she didn't until the child broke, ran away and hid in the library (because certain librarians are not as good at checking the library as others). When she went to call his mother, she asked for the number and he lied....that information is on the account. She went to drive him home and asked him for directions - he has already proven he will lie. This just goes downhill from there. 

 

I was so glad when I finished the book, but I was not thrilled with the story and felt that it needed a lot more work. 

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review 2019-02-22 12:56
Code Girls
Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II - Liza Mundy,Erin Bennett

I know this is a break from my usual, cozy mysteries or mysteries, but I do enjoy history reading, too. I just need time to read them and have time to remember the details because I will use it when I teach the kids (should I have unlimited time with them in the car, they are trapped and have to listen. I will stop and start things and ask questions to make sure they are listening and then give a test - they don't like that at all). 

 

This is about the women who are graduating from college or teaching at different schools are recruited to work at breaking the codes of different countries involved in WWII. They have to have strong math backgrounds and like to do word puzzles (crosswords, etc) and an ability to learn languages. They sit in rooms around Washington, DC deciphering the codes and getting the information out to the troops in hopes of saving as many men as possible. 

 

Things that were not surprising - they were all civilians. Men were paid more than women if they had the same amount of education. Everyone was afraid of telling anyone anything about their work. They wouldn't even talk among themselves for fear of letting something slip. Standing in line for everything - even to use a bathroom. 

 

The government begged for people around DC to open their homes and rent out rooms that were available. Even if it was only a basement or spare bedroom or attic. Some women would band together to find a space and rent it together and share all the available space. At one time there were 6 women living in one space because one woman's sisters and mother came, but two of them did return home after awhile. 

 

Another problem was the scarcity of furniture. They had to have parts sent from their parents or hope for the best. In one case, the women bartered scrambled eggs for someone to drive them and their new mattress home. 

 

It was a very interesting book and I did enjoy the story. Well worth the time to borrow and listen or read. 

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review 2019-02-21 07:30
DNF The Wicked Vampire
The Wicked Vampire (Last True Vampire series) - Kate Baxter

It’s bern nearly two months since I last picked this book up and current have no desire to finish it. While there are some deliciously steamy sex scenes the plot seems repetitive in the I love you but I hate you theme. It’s not badly written or anything it’s just not doing anything for me personally right now.

Thank you Netgalley and St Martin’s Press for the review copy.

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review 2019-02-20 18:17
The Tudor Rose - Margaret Campbell Barnes
Tudor Rose - Margaret Campbell Barnes

There is just something about older historical fiction. Whether it's Barnes, Plaidy, or Seton, there is just something about the writing style that most modern historical fiction misses. I just can't imagine any of my grandchildren reading anything by Philippa Gregory and commenting on the serenely, lyrical way Gregory sets a scene. Because she doesn't. That's a story for a different time folks.

 

One of the things I enjoy most about books set during this time period is seeing how the authors deal with some of the more controversial happenings of the day. In this instance, the characterization of Richard III and the mystery surrounding to what happened to the Princes in the Tower. Barnes deals with both in a believable manner. Richard III isn't some hunchbacked, snarling, fork-bearded bad guy bent on ruling with an iron fist. He's not an overly romanticized nice guy by any means. Does Barnes believe Richard III to be responsible for the death of Edward V and his younger brother Richard? Absolutely. She uses the Tyrell argument which some might find weak. However, it's important to take into account when this book was written. That was the primary theory at the time. Barnes doesn't try to argue anything from left field. She works with the evidence as presented at the time. She's not trying to re-invent the wheel. It works for this story.

 

One of the other things I enjoyed about Barnes' storytelling was the manner in which she portrayed Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry VII. Personally, I think Margaret tends to be over vilified. She was a product of her raising and the times. She held to her faith in God and her son. Do I think she was a little overbearing as a mother-in-law? As someone who knows a thing or two about an overbearing mother-in-law, yes. Margaret probably was a bit much to handle. Do I think she was as easy going and loving as Barnes wants us to believe? Not quite. I don't think you get to where Margaret got in life by being full of sunshine and daisies. I also wasn't a huge fan of how Barnes continued to try to convince me that Beaufort was head over heels in love with her first husband and Henry's father, Edmund Tudor. Margaret knew the man for all of five minutes before he made her pregnant and then died after being captured in battle. She was 12 when they were married. Trying to convince me she was head over heels in love with the man is going to take a lot of work. 

 

If I'm going to compare Elizabeth of York stories, I will say I like Plaidy's interpretation just a tad better. Barnes' Elizabeth comes off a little weak and at times flighty. However, her love for England and her family can never be doubted. Overall, it's a pleasant story and makes for an enjoyable, light read. 

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