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review 2018-02-24 20:04
The Marmalade Murders
The Marmalade Murders: A Penny Brannigan Mystery - Elizabeth J. Duncan

Penny Brannigan finds herself volunteering at the local agricultural fair, checking in entrants to the culinary competition and judging the childrens' pet competition. But shenanigans are afoot when Penny's friend Florence learns her entries have gone missing, and even more troubling, a Women's Guild member is also missing and later found dead. All Penny has to do now is sort out who sabotaged Frances's entries and how her cake ended up under a table with a dead woman.

This one was a fun, light read and frankly, I was more concerned about poor Florence than I was about the unlikable dead woman. I love Florence, I just want to give her a hug, and Mrs. Lloyd is a hoot. How dare they diss Florence's baking? HOW DARE THEY? *outrage* but it did provide some great red herrings to complicate things a bit. I liked the plot, there were several good suspects and lots of surprises along the way. This is a favorite series for me, I've always enjoyed the folksy feel of the characters and the small town Wales setting, the vibrant descriptions leave me with no problem putting myself right in the small town of Llanelen, walking its streets and visiting the small shops and even spending an afternoon at the local agricultural fair (minus the murder, of course.) The author does a great job of capturing the beauty of the Welsh landscape, with all the wildflowers and Penny's cute cottage (I've read this series since the start and I've always envied that cottage.)

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review 2018-02-24 12:29
Review: One Moment
One Moment - Kristina McBride

 

An okay YA mystery novel. I read the first 20% or so then the rest of it in a couple of hours the following evening. It tells the story of Maggie who’s perfect boyfriend Joey dies in a tragic accident whilst they are hanging out with their group of friends. 

 

Joey was handsome, witty popular and friends with the most popular kids in their grades. Maggie was sort of on the edge for years and started becoming part of the group when she dated Joey. Maggie was with Joey just before he died, they were doing some stupid jump of a cliff into the lake below stunt, and something happened. Only now Joey’s dead and Maggie can’t remember what happened.

 

The group are interrogated by police and parents about what happened but no one has any answers. It all lies on Maggie who seems to be so traumatised she can’t focus or remember on anything that happened at that time. She can remember up to a certain point and then some time afterwards but is blocking the actual event. 

 

The focus of the novel is Maggie grieving over Joey’s death and trying to figure out what happened, reflecting on her relationship with Joey and her friends. Joey’s best friend Adam is by Maggie’s side and the most supportive, joker Pete doesn’t really seem to want to know what’s going on, party girl Tanna is there to lend a hand and popularity queen Shannon seems to be taking Joey’s demise harder than Maggie herself. 

 

Of course everyone is looking at Joey through rose-coloured glasses. This particular reader thought Joey was a dick. He was a massive douchebag. Cruel, manipulative and two faced. This came through as the story progressed and the reader learns of some of the things going on with Joey that Maggie never knew about. 

 

Maggie’s voice is believable, and she was a likeable enough lead. I didn’t get a particular sense of emotion or closeness to any of the characters or the story itself. It was a fairly fast paced read. It was interesting enough and the story was quite compelling and well written enough that I needed to know what happened. Given the events of the book when the questions are finally answered the were no overwhelming surprises at the end. At least not for me. 

 

I liked seeing Maggie finally getting the cloud lifted and realising she can move on with her life and finally seeing the truth about some of the people she thought were her friends.  Ultimately it’s a novel about dealing with grief when a loved one passes, and how friendships can change and how people can change and grow. 

 

Well written and while this particular book wasn’t necessarily something I would read again but I would definitely read something by this author again.

 

Thank you to Netgalley and Sky Pony Press for approving my request to view the title. 

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review 2018-02-24 11:00
An Australian in Search of Understanding: The Tree of Man by Patrick White
The Tree Of Man - Patrick White

As I found out after reading, this is one of the most famous and most widely-read novels of the first Australian recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature. Although critically acclaimed abroad it wasn't much of a success in Australia when it first came out in 1955.

 

It's the slow-paced life story of a good though rather taciturn farmer and his family in the stunning nature of New South Wales in the first half of the twentieth century. Things change all around, the children go their own ways and relations between husband and wife are characterised by affection and habit.

 

For more be invited to click here and read my long review on my book blog Edith's Miscellany or its duplicate on Read the Nobels!

Source: edith-lagraziana.blogspot.com
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review 2018-02-24 05:45
Another Incredible Meredith Duran romance
Sins of Lord Lockwood (Rules for the Reckless) - Meredith Duran

First and foremost, I'd like to thank the many fans who apparently asked for this book. I can't believe it wasn't all part of the plan. Since I have only been reading Meredith Duran and historical romance for a very short time, I'm so thankful she listened to your pleas!

 

I was absolutely riveted by Lockwood from the first introduction in The Duke of Shadows.  A strange, dark charm...I actually didn't realize till late in the book that her new release was to be about him, and I was so happy to hear it. 

 

Now onto the review of this book....

 

It's almost not fair. What kind of brilliance does it take for an author to understand the human condition, make us understand and empathize with both characters nearly in equal measure, hurt and hope with them, and fall in love with them? A Meredith Duran level of brilliance. I know I haven't been reading romance long, but having read #1, #5,#6 from this series I unreservedly say that she is the one of the best that romance has to offer. Her books are instant classics with their meaty plots, incredible but not miraculous character development, and beautiful words. (Which I'll share upon a second reading).

 

 

I am realizing my reviews of her books are far less than adequate. I intend to reread and more heavily review this rich examples of romance. I can tell you in so many ways this book pushes you to the edges of your capacity to understand and creates a little fissure that eventually becomes something you can identify with. Though I still favor Duke of Shadows, this is equally poignant. She's taken flawed characters and made us love them more for it. 

 

I shall stop with the gushing...well through writing, I still have a lot going on my up in my brain over this stunner of a book.

 

Thanks to Netgalley/publisher for the advanced copy of this book. 

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review 2018-02-24 05:17
Awkward by Svetlana Chmakova
Awkward - Svetlana Chmakova

 

Cardinal rule #1 for surviving school: Don't get noticed by the mean kids.

 

Cardinal rule #2 for surviving school: Seek out groups with similar interests and join them.

 

Penelope Torres (Peppi) is thinking of these rules as she starts a new school. When a boy (Jaime) tries to help her pick up all her stuff, the mean kids start calling her Nerder Girlfriend. Embarrassed, Peppi pushes Jaime and runs away. She feels guilty and spends most of her time trying to figure out how to apologize. When a rivalry heats up between Peppi's art club and Jaime's science club, things become even more awkward.

 

This is a charming middle school story that kids will enjoy. It is age appropriate for 3rd grade and up - no violence or bad words - just a sweet story with a hopeful ending. The graphics are expressive and fun, a highly recommended graphic novel.

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