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text 2019-07-15 19:14
Snakes and Ladders: Pick My Book!

Just to have this one take longer. Going to pick from my hold list and wish list so that way I have no control on when I can start the book. Didn't want to just add the four on my currently reading list.

 

Going to leave this up until this upcoming Thursday and then will read that book for my last Snakes & Ladders pick! Sniff!

 

Cover image for Fleishman Is in TroubleCover image for Daisy Jones & the Six

Cover image for The Snow Child

Cover image for Wuthering Heights

 

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text 2019-07-15 19:00
Obsidian Blue Game Board for Snakes & Ladders

 

 

1. Read a book that fits the description on the space number as listed below and you can roll two dice to move forward more quickly.

Read "Drawing of the Three" by Stephen King.

 

Second Roll: 4. Published in 2019. 

Read "How Not to Die Alone" by Richard Roper.  

 

Third Roll: 10. Author's last name begins with the letters L, M, N or O

Read "Two Can Keep a Secret" by Karen M. McManus

 

Fourth Roll: 20. Set in a country that is not your country of residence

Read "The Paying Guests" by Sarah Waters 

  

Fifth Roll: 60. Was published last year

Read "Shelter in Place" by Nora Roberts 

 

Sixth Roll: 69. Something related to travel on the cover

Read "Case Histories" by Katie Atkinson. 

 

Seventh Roll: 77. Has a "food" word in the title

Read "The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie."

 

Eighth Roll: 81. Ghost story

Read "Odd Thomas"

 

Ninth Roll: 90. A new-to-you author

 

 

Read "Then She Was Gone" by Lisa Jewell. 

 

 

 

Woot! Landed on 100!

 

 100. Let BL pick it for you: post 4 choices and read the one that gets the most votes!

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review 2019-07-15 18:33
Too Many Coincidences and POVs
Then She Was Gone - Lisa Jewell

So it took me a while to finish this one because the first part of the story drags. Jewell starts off with two POVs with the mother (Laurel) and days before Ellie's disappearance. But then we get two additional POVs (no spoilers) and I just went grr. I also thought that Laurel was kind of a terrible mother. I can't imagine what I would do if one of my kids went missing and was presumed dead. She just gets angry her husband is trying to move on (for them and their remaining two kids) and then she compares her missing daughter to the one still alive (Hanna) and goes on how Ellie was prettier and livelier and would have been her friend more. I feel like it's in the parenting 101 manual you don't compare your kids and have favorites. Or if you do compare, you don't go you are so much less than your sister.  The writing was kind of all over the place and I had just could not wrap my head around the reveal. It was a mess and a half and the HEA we get just didn't jibe with what came before it.

 

"Then She Was Gone" follows Laurel Mack who is still reeling ten years later from her daughter Ellie going missing. Ellie was 15 years old when she disappeared and the police believe she ran away. However, Laurel doesn't believe that and still thinks her daughter is out there somewhere or she has to be dead because Ellie was so happy in their family and wouldn't have left. I think the only true thing that is shown in this book is that Laurel spent way too much of her time sweating the small stuff and then when something bigger and uglier came along she was angry and took it out on the wrong people afterwards. Her husband and her come apart and she's partially estranged from her son and the only part of her life her daughter Hanna lets her in on is that Laurel comes by once a week to clean her flat. Seriously. I just went good grief.

When Laurel meets a man named Ford and his daughter Poppy everything turns around for her. She finds herself falling for Ford and that Poppy acts and looks similar to her daughter Ellie she is ready to throw herself into this ready made family. 

 

I really couldn't get into Laurel. Judgmental is not the word. She has an awful thought about it should have been her daughter Hanna that went missing and I think most of the book is her thinking this in slightly different ways. And then she apologizes and it feels very trite. We do get to know Ellie and I think that part was good, but I wish we had gotten more insight into Hanna and the other sibling as well. It definitely felt like Laurel just saw Ellie with rose colored glasses and remembered no negativity. 

 

Positives would be that the writing in this one was fairly easy to get into. I finished it in about 3 hours. There's not a lot of things that are going to strain your brain. The problem is that you get info dumped towards the end and at that point I was just humming to myself until I finished. The flow was up and down with the four POVs and the final epilogue and then another ending (don't ask).

The setting of the book takes place in contemporary times in London. I have to say though that most of the book seems to be in two or three key locations. Laurel is constantly going on about her daughter Hanna's flat and how gloomy it is. I think she mentions her place a few times. She's constantly at her new love interest's home and then there are two other locations I won't spoil in this one.

The ending was trying for unsettling, but honestly I just could not believe it. It read as very fake to me (with how Jewell ends it) and I think she should have really pushed the ending there because I had a hard time going okay cool everyone's happy based on what came before it. I also think that Jewell let us know the outcome of what happened way too soon. We just had to wait for clues to be laid out and for everyone to catch up to what really happened. 

 

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review 2019-07-12 14:36
A Fry Cook With Heart
Odd Thomas - Dean Koontz

I was in the mood for a long cry so I read this book. Yes, I know how that sounds, but it's true. I first read Odd Thomas back in 2003 when it was first published. I had just moved to DC and was reeling from having to move after just burying my mother the month before. So reading this book I had no idea what was coming. Dean Koontz at that time was a comfort read for me. I loved to read his books and he was up there with Stephen King as autobuys. This was before Koontz descended into the dogs all the time and perfectly beautiful flawless female characters he has in all of his books. Oh and everyone being a military expert with guns. Anyway, back to Odd Thomas. This book hit me in the gut back then and I think I just cried for hours after finishing. I was surprised by this book in a good way and afterwards ended up reading the entire series. Too bad the series ended up going downhill in quality. I often think that Koontz should have just left this alone and let Odd Thomas be a standalone. I will eventually go back and re-read the earlier books since my reviews that I had written are no longer on Amazon. 

 

"Odd Thomas" is told in the first person POV by a character named Odd. He's just a fry cook who has a great girlfriend named Stormy, and has a straight forward way of speaking and thinking. Odd is a bit different than other people because he can see ghosts. And what he starts to see in the town of Pico Mundo is going to change his life forever.

 

Since I have read about Odd through 7 books and one novella, I have to say that I know this character very well. When I first read this I thought how unique the character sounded and acted and just loved him. My re-read did not change that. He still is very unique and precise in the way that he thinks and speak. There are some  parts of him that remind me of other characters that Koontz has written (Christopher Snow, "Fear Nothing" and Curtis, "One Door Away From Heaven"). Odd sees things that he calls bodachs and also has what he calls psychic magnetism that pulls him to people or places where something may occur.  When Odd starts to see a huge amount of bodachs around Pico Mundo and feels pulls toward a mysterious man he and Stormy try to figure out what is going on.

 

The other characters in this book pull you in. I loved the relationship between Stormy and Odd. You figure out eventually why Stormy is the way she is, and why she loves Odd. 


There are other characters who are going to appear in the series so it's good to get a sense of them now, those like Chief Wyatt Porter and Little Ozzie. 


The writing can be a bit wearing after a while I think. You just want Odd to get to the point quicker, but I think in this first book it was charming and it allows you to stay with the character and get to see other people and places through his eyes. The flow was actually pretty good. In his most recent works, Koontz's chapters have been laughably short and always seem to end on a dire note. That gets old after a while.

The setting of Pico Mundo seems very eccentric.The people that live there and one of the ghosts that visits Odd (no spoilers) cracked me up here and there. 

 

The ending is a definite gut punch that I was surprised that Koontz went with. His books tend to end on happy notes for the most part. This definitely made me think of King though since he's something he would have done and went merrily about his way. 

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review 2019-06-18 16:40
This Was a Heck No Times Two
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (Flavia de Luce Series #1) - Alan Bradley

Seriously...I see that some of you all liked/loved this one but I am baffled. This is up there with "The Catcher in the Rye" with most loathsome young adult character I have read in like decades. Flavia is dancing towards being a psychopath. I would have brained her for the crap she was doing to her two sisters. And all of them were just the most dysfunctional family ever. I can't even tell you much about the murder. Someone was murdered. Flavia "investigated". Bah. At least I counted it for two separate games. 

 

So "The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie" follows Flavia De Luce. A man is found murdered in her family's garden and her father is soon taken into custody accused of the murder. Flavia who overheard her father fighting with the dead man thinks he did it, but is focused on getting him cleared of murder. Flavia's eleven and I guess could be called precocious. I don't know. I know she bugged the ever living life out of me. 

 

Look I don't know what to even say except I didn't like this one. Bradley didn't do a good job of developing Flavia beyond her being a terrible ass child. I can't say much about anyone else that is in this since they are merely there for Flavia to do terrible things to. My brothers would have buried me in our yard if I got up to half the stuff that she did.


The writing was unintentionally funny and circled back to Flavia being awful.

 

 

They’ll charge him with murder,” Ophelia said, “and then he’ll be hanged!”

She burst into tears again and turned away.

For a moment I almost felt sorry for her."

 

“What is it? My symbol, I mean.” “It’s a P,” he said. “Capital P.” “A P?” I asked, surprised. “What does P stand for?” “Ah,” he said, “that’s best left to the imagination.”

 

The flow was awful. Seriously. I had a hard time paying attention while reading this one. And it felt like sometimes that chapters went on forever. Bradley didn't do a good job of ending the chapters on a high or low note. Sometimes the next chapter was just following up with the action in the last scene so I was baffled why he chose to cut things off where he did. 


The book takes place in the 1920s in England. I don't know...it just read off to me the whole time. Maybe the dialogue was too modern and other times something seemed off. I don't know.


The book ended and I breathed a sound of relief. I have no intention of reading the other books in this series. 

 

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