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review 2018-07-10 18:35
Just Skip This
One Door Away from Heaven - Dean Koontz

This book is a freaking door stopper. I read this the first time on a very long flight and since my other books were packed in my luggage I plugged on through this. I think maybe I went hard shrug about it all and said well that's just three stars. Reading it now years later I have no idea how I muddled through this the first time. This book is peak sanctimony Koontz. There's a damn dog and then even more dogs. Koontz does that weird thing he did for a while where he had people with disabilities either physical or mental into super special people which felt wrong in a way. I don't know if you can call it pandering or what, it just felt off and not sincere. There are like four plots in this one (if you can call them that) and a question again about religion versus science, but with no real horror elements.

 

"One Door Away from Heaven" is about Michelina (Micky) Bellsong a woman with a mysterious past who does what she can to save a young girl she meets. Seriously though, why do most of Koontz's characters have a mysterious past? It takes a while to figure out what happened to Micky, but one can hazard a guess. There is not much there there with Micky. Sorry, not sorry. The other characters read as paper thin too. Micky meets a young girl named Leilani who tells her her life story and at least something comes across to Micky, that the young girl is going to be killed by her stepfather. Micky has a drinking problem, but is still beautiful (I think that is said repeatedly). When she realizes that Leilani is really in danger, she does what she can by following her to keep her safe.

 

Leilani is a 9 year old precocious child who talks like Einstein. She has a physical disability, but shines (according to another character). I can't even with that since it started to make me think of "The Shining" and Stephen King. I think I have said this before, Koontz cannot write children. He writes them as little Buddhas and it's old. I give King some grief when he writes something that is not 100 percent amazing (still feeling salty about 11/22/63) but the man can and always has been able to write kids.

 

We also have a PI named Noah who is out to help Micky with her tracking down Leilani.

 

There is a mysterious boy named Curtis who I hope you like reading him talking about a playful presence a lot. He sucks and I cannot with him. The reveal about Curtis wasn't much of a reveal since I was going for he is really an android for most of the book.

 

The bad guy seems like he should be going around screeching about cooties most of the time. Preston Maddoc is a scientist (EVIL) who is very popular in the scientific world pushing out his belief in bioethics. He believes in aliens (which don't even get me started) and that those who are not perfect should be murdered. Too bad he is Leilani's stepfather. I think Koontz could have gone at this more subtle. If Koontz wanted to have a real discussion about bioethics as it relates to the poor and people who are not white, have at it. But he turned this into all bioethics is evil/wrong.

 

There are other characters in this one that I cannot even get into right now. One was Micky's aunt Geneva that also made me roll my eyes. For most of the book everyone doesn't meet up and then Koontz throws them all together in a way that doesn't even make any sense.

 

The writing didn't work. I think because for some reason Koontz wrote some characters in past tense and others in present tense. It was hard work to even get through this because that drove me up the freaking wall. This one also reminded me a bit about "Intensity" which had another woman who put herself in harm's way to save a young girl.

 

The flow was awful and every time someone spoke it took like ten pages to make it end. Suffice it to say that the book is just about apparently people spreading the word and there are aliens. That's all I got.

 

And the book ends with people talking about a riddle and here is the answer which was too much even for me.

 

"If your heart is closed, then you will find behind that door nothing to light your way. But if your heart is open, you will find behind that door people who, like you, are searching, and you will find the right door together with them. None of us can ever save himself; we are the instruments of one another's salvation, and only by the hope that we give to others do we lift ourselves out of the darkness into light."

 

"For those who despair that their lives are without meaning and without purpose, for those who dwell in a loneliness so terrible that it has withered their hearts, for those who hate because they have no recognition of the destiny they share with all humanity, for those who would squander their lives in self-pity and in self-destruction because they have lost the saving wisdom with which they were born, for all these and many more, hope waits in the dreams of a dog, where the sacred nature of life may be clearly experienced without the all but blinding filter of human need, desire, greed, envy, and endless fear.

 

And here, in dream woods and fields, along the shores of dream seas, with a profound awareness of the playful Presence abiding in all things, Curtis is able to prove to Leilani what she has thus far only dared to hope is true: that although her mother never loved her, there is One who always has."

My eyes finally stopped rolling. That whole thing went on forever. I don't think that Koontz gets how preachy his books come across and how off-putting it is to read some of his works. I think this was Koontz's way of flipping off his critics cause he manages to tie dogs into being connected to God even more in this one that just made me shake my head.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-07-02 20:54
Book Review : the couple next door shari lapena
The Couple Next Door - Shari Lapena

June 25-27

It all started at a dinner party. . .

A domestic suspense debut about a young couple and their apparently friendly neighbors--a twisty, rollercoaster ride of lies, betrayal, and the secrets between husbands and wives. . .

Anne and Marco Conti seem to have it all--a loving relationship, a wonderful home, and their beautiful baby, Cora. But one night when they are at a dinner party next door, a terrible crime is committed. Suspicion immediately focuses on the parents. But the truth is a much more complicated story.

Inside the curtained house, an unsettling account of what actually happened unfolds. Detective Rasbach knows that the panicked couple is hiding something. Both Anne and Marco soon discover that the other is keeping secrets, secrets they've kept for years.

What follows is the nerve-racking unraveling of a family--a chilling tale of deception, duplicity, and unfaithfulness that will keep you breathless until the final shocking twist. 


Review : This book was crazy these people are kinda fucked up . Anne and Marco left there baby at home alone and when they come back the door is open and the baby isn't there . Anne calls the cops and the detective is trying to find out what's going on . Anne has postpartum depression and the detective thinks Anne and Marco might of killed her . The detective asks why they left the baby alone and they explain the neighbor didn't want the baby there . I hated Cynthia she complained Anne wasn't fun because she had a baby like what the fuck . So apparently Marco's business wasn't doing well and he went to Anne's father for a loan and he said no so when drinking one night a guy comes up to Marco and they talk about doing a fake kidnapping so he kidnapped his own daughter mostly WTF but then the guy shows up dead . Anne's father was actually involved cause he wanted to leave his wife but he knew he had no money so he was arrested . Anne gets Cora back . Anne goes next door to talk to Cynthia she was having an affair with her father and Cynthia says the baby should of died and Anne freaking kills her but doesn't remember that how it ends WTF . 

 

 

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review 2018-06-16 21:05
Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universe by Preston Norton
Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universe - Preston Norton

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

My thoughts are somewhat mixed regarding this book. I really had no trouble reading it and did enjoy the story but it was missing that extra spark that it would have needed to make it great. It was a book that was pretty easy to set aside because I never felt completely invested in the story. There were a lot of issues address in this story and in some ways it felt like nothing went beyond the surface level. I did find the book entertaining and am glad that I decided to pick it up.

Cliff is huge which is one of the reasons that his classmates refer to him as Neanderthal. He leads a rather solitary life and is dealing with the loss of his brother not too long ago. Cliff and Aaron are not friends at the start of this book. Aaron is the popular quarterback so he has very little in common with Cliff . When Aaron has a near death experience, he partners with Cliff to fulfill a to-do list that he received from God. The list is very specific and everything on it is tied to their high school. If they can accomplish all of the tasks, the school will undoubtedly benefit from their efforts.

This book touches on so many issues. I actually think that it would have improved the story if fewer issues were dealt with but in greater detail. Cliff and Aaron are not only dealing with their list but they are also developing relationships including their own friendship. Some of the items on the list sound almost impossible and other will require some investigation before they can even begin.

I liked the characters but I never felt like I completely connected with them. The book is told from Cliff's point of view and I didn't feel like I got to know any of the other key players beyond the surface level. Even during some parts of the book that were more emotional, I found that I was rather unmoved. I think I would have liked this book a lot more if I had been able to develop an emotional connection with any of the characters.

I did enjoy the story and thought that it had a lot of unique aspects. I do think that a lot of readers will enjoy this one a bit more than I did. I wouldn't hesitate to read more from Preston Norton in the future.

I received a digital review copy of this book from Disney-Hyperion via NetGalley.

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review 2018-06-07 00:00
Bought By The Sheikh Next Door - A Small Town Sweet Romance (Small Town Sheikhs Book 3)
Bought By The Sheikh Next Door - A Small Town Sweet Romance (Small Town Sheikhs Book 3) - Holly Rayner Kelsie may be naive, but she's no pushover. Those skills come in handy when she meets her new next door neighbor. Masoud has an agenda and he intends to see it through. Let the scrimmage begin. Raynor takes the fantasy of love and turns it into a realistic, sweet and topsy turvy rollercoaster ride. Bought by the Sheikh Next Door is a savory treat for the senses.
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review 2018-05-21 01:36
THE SPACESHIP NEXT DOOR by GENE DOUCETTE
The Spaceship Next Door - Gene Doucette,Steve Carlson

Audiobook

This is a sci-fi book with zombies but they're good zombies (eventually). It's also a young adult book with Annie outsmarting someone which should not be possible. That's kind of where I stopped liking the book, right at the end. I will say the book did drag a little in the middle and I figured out pretty much from the start who the different person was. I think the author could have just had sleepwalkers instead of zombies because zombies added absolutely nothing to the story in my opinion. So, an average book gets an average rating.

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