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review 2018-08-17 19:42
Some times you have to walk away from what you don't want, in order to walk towards what you do want...
Running to You - Andrew Grey,Jack Richmond

 

After witnessing Billy Joe an act of cruelty and prejudice that has Billy fearing for his life, he realizes that home is not the place where he and his young son would be safe...no, he needed to run...to run far and fast if he was going to keep himself and his little boy safe. So that's what he does. In the middle of the night Billy Joe packs up their lives, takes his boy and quietly gets the hell out of Dodge or in this case Mississippi.

 

Billy Joe gets as far as Pennsylvania when his luck seems to run out...or in fact his car dies during a snowstorm, but maybe his luck is just beginning when a passer-by stops to offer help...a passer by in the form of Carlos.  Carlos shows Billy that there is kindness and good in the world when he goes out of his way to help him without any ulterior motives...just the honest desire of a good and decent person to help someone in need.

 

There was a lot that I liked about this story first off I liked both of the MCs and I really loved them together as friends and as a couple, I loved how their relationship progressed and seriously we're not talking about insta-love here...did their attraction to each other happen fairly quickly...yes, but it was attraction not love and I think we can all think of at least once in our life that we felt attraction to someone as soon as we saw them...whether, or not that attraction deepens and becomes more and how long it takes is what determines  whether it's insta-love or just lust at first sight and whats fast or too fast or slow can be such a subjective issue.

 

For me the relationship between Billy Joe and Carlos didn't feel like it was developing at an overly fast pace but I think a lot of that was due to their circumstances. Billy Joe didn't know anyone else and Carlos initially seemed like he was just trying to be a genuinely good person and help them out, which brought these two into close proximity a lot faster and more often than probably would have been the case under other conditions...so given the circumstances for me it worked and while the relationship may not have progressed at a slower pace at times the overall flow of the story was honestly a little slower than I would have liked but in the end I liked it, I guess sometimes it is slow and steady that wins the race or in this case it was the slow and steady that allowed me to truly enjoy the story.

 

Ok, this is where I'm going to share the biggy the one thing that took away from this being a 5 star read for me and that one little thing was...Tyler...yep, the kid. I love kids truly I do but this one just didn't work for me and I'm going to try and explain without going into excessive amounts of detail why...and yes this is my third try at this, so sorry to say or maybe not so sorry, you got spared the first two rants because I'm trying to keep this somewhat reasonable...so here goes again...in quick summary...

 

I just wasn't able to buy into Tyler his behavior and development was too erratic. Honestly I had initially thought he was a baby and then it seemed like 'oh, I guess he's maybe 4 or 5 years old and then I just kind of threw my arms in the air and said 'what the hell ever, he's Billy Joe's kid and I care not how old he is.' I know his age was clearly defined as 2 going on 3 at one point but I just wasn't feeling it and by this point I no longer cared, so I basically sidelined Tyler and focused on everything else in the story. I cannot lie Tyler is essentially the full reason that this story got 4 stars and not 4.5 or even 5 from me...sorry, Tyler but as a 2 year old...you were fail for me.

 

Ok, let's move on from poor little Tyler because now I'm feeling like a bully and maybe I need to send Tyler a teddy bear to say sorry...I'll ponder this.

 

As for our MCs...there was so much about Carlos that I really liked. How he was basically able to keep such a positive outlook on things in spite of his family and yes, it was very much a case of 'in spite of' and not 'because of', I loved how supportive both he and Billy Joe were of each other which I think was due, at least in part, to the fact that they understood each other in a very basic way...both men had crap families. Sure maybe the circumstances and dynamics weren't identical but at the heart of it both men were failed by their families and they recognized this in each other...reasons and events may be different but at the core it's the same kind of hurt.

 

While it may have taken Billy Joe time to get there...this guy had strength. From taking Tyler and leaving behind everything that he knew to his determined efforts to make sure that Tyler had a better life, to acknowledging who he was and finally doing what he knew was the only thing he could do to ensure his and his son's safety...Billy Joe had strength. If it took him time to get where he was going I can totally deal with that he had to make the hard choices just as Carlos did in dealing with his family and these two both met the challenge. Sure it wasn't without pain, heartache and a few mistakes but who among us can say differently. We may make different choices and our mistakes aren't always the same but at the end of the day we're all human and we all follow our own path. 

 

Last but not least I want to talk about the narrator...Jack Richmond. I liked his character voices especially for the MCs they were both distinct making it easy to distinguish who was speaking and while I had an issue with Tyler's character in terms of age development unfortunately Tyler's voice didn't really help with this because for me, Tyler's voice was more reflective of that 4 or 5 year old that I thought he was a one point than that of a two year old, but on the upside it was a child's voice that didn't feel like nails on a chalk board which many of my friends will tell you with me that's a definite win.

 

I loved the ending of this one, especially when it came to Carlos and Billy Joe's families and how things worked out with them and while I'm not sure I'd call this an HEA it's definitely a strong HFN that's heading towards HEA and I'm good with that.

 

*************************

An audio book of 'Running to You' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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text 2018-07-30 18:36
Time to vote: next Big Library Read
Death by Dinosaur - Jacqueline Guest
Away Running - David Wright,Luc Bouchard
Lumberjanes - Noelle Stevenson,Shannon Watters,Grace Ellis
Down by Law - Ni-Ni Simone
Mask of Shadows - Linsey Miller
before I let go - Marieke Nijkamp
King Geordi the Great - Gene Gant
The Jumbies - Tracey Baptiste
IA: Initiate - John Darryl Winston,Valerie Winston,Video Explainers,Deon Mixon Jr.,Jones Heraux,Bobbi-Lee Hunt

Please do reblog to spread the word.  If unfamiliar with the Big Library Read, it's a global book discussion with the chosen book 100% freely available in ebook form via overdrive (no waiting, no quantity limit).  This time the theme is Young Adult; not all nominees pictured.

 

Source: biglibraryread.com
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review 2018-07-22 15:50
A Beautiful Work In Progress

A Beautiful Work In Progress by Mirna Valerio is a memoir of a long distance runner who isn't like everyone else. Mirna is a plus size athlete who never saw her size as a barrier to doing what she wanted to do. People picture runner should be thin but Mirna isn't like other runners. What drew me to this book was that I liked the idea that it was about someone who doesn't let stereotypes define her.

 

This book is somewhat of a coming of age story but more about self discovery. You get to hear about Mirna's youth and what made her to decide to be a runner. What I liked hearing about was how Mirna accepted her limitations but still managed to become the person she wanted to be. At one point in the book she is comparing herself to other kids and she accepts the fact that she doesn't have great social skills is not a good leader and she doesn't look like the popular kids but she is a good problem solver and determined to succeed. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses and Mirna shows that how she used both to achieve what she wanted.

 

A Beautiful Work In Progress is a book about becoming the person you want to be in life and not letting other people's perceptions of what they think you should be define you. My only complaint about this book was that in places the book seemed redundant as she describes some of the runs that she has been on. Though this is a running memoir and you have to expect that.  I did enjoy how she describes the running community from how supportive people are to how she feels as she is running along admiring the beauty of nature. This is an inspirational book of someone who doesn't let limitations stop her and a good look at what it's like to be a runner. 

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text 2018-07-03 18:32
Reading progress update: I've read 7%.
Running to You - Andrew Grey

Carlos went to leave the apartment, but stopped for a second, turning to where Billy Joe held his son tightly to him, fear in his eyes. It sent a chill up Carlos’s back as he wondered about the source of it. He knew that fear, and the loneliness and mistrust that accompanied it. He’d lived that himself.

This all feels darker than I'm used to for an Andrew Grey story...

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review 2018-06-19 17:40
An Intimate Look at the Victims
Green River, Running Red: The Real Story of the Green River Killer--America's Deadliest Serial Murderer - Ann Rule

This was a really good true crime book, the main reason why I didn't give it five stars is that there was too much filler in here for me towards the end. A good 20 percent of this book could have deleted (after we get into the 1990s) since we all should know at this point that Ridgway (the Green River Killer) didn't get arrested until 2001 and was not convicted until 2003. Depending on the book I don't mind when Rule segues into the lives of the police officers who are responsible for apprehending these killers, this time though there was a lot of repetitiveness that ended up boring me to tears. 

 

"Green River, Running Red" is a look at the Green River Killer who murdered 71 women in Washington State in the 1980s and 1990s. Rule gives us an intimate look at these women and in some cases teens. We find out what drove many of them to the streets and how they got involved with prostitution. I find it appalling how little people seemed to care that prostitutes were being murdered. Ridgway purposely chose women in this profession since besides hating them, he thought no one would notice them going missing and if they did, would not care. Rule manages to have you feel nothing but sympathy for these women and their family who would not know for years or decades in some cases about what happened to their daughters/mothers/sisters. I loved that Rule added in pictures before she got into the history of each woman. I also found myself hoping for a different outcome once I got caught up in all of their lives. 

 

Rule smartly does not make Ridgway the focus of this book. Every couple of chapters or so we peek back in at Ridgway to see where he is in his life, but he is depicted as a malevolent ghost for most of the story before Rule goes into how he was finally apprehended. 

 

I do think in this case going into the Green River Task Force could have been cut way down in this final book. They really didn't find anything to go on with Ridgway for a long time, so reading about other suspects wasn't interesting. I also thought Rule carried the water for the police a bit too much in this book. She also weirdly takes potshots at Robert Keppel who enlisted Ted Bundy who provided some insights into the Green River Killer before his death. Keppel even wrote a book about it entitled "The Riverman". 

 

The ending of the book goes into Ridgway going out with law enforcement and finding the locations of other victims and him recounting how he murdered them.

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