WWW Wednesday: July 26th, 2018

WWW Wednesdays

This meme is hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

To join in on WWW Wednesday, just answer these three questions and post the link to your responses on Sam’s blog and in the comments below.

Soooo… it’s a little past midnight again. But I think I can still count it as Wednesday, since I haven’t gone to bed yet. Right? 😉

What can I say? It’s been another busy week. Just one more month of summer vacation…


I am currently reading:

I started reading Sadie (and admittedly, didn’t get very far into it) when I got a notification that my copy of Murder on the Orient Express was available from my library. I’ve been waiting for so long to read it—I couldn’t wait any longer and immediately downloaded it to my Kindle app. So now I’m going back and forth, reading Sadie whenever I get a chance to sit down and read a physical book, and otherwise making my way through Murder on the Orient Express on my Kindle app while I’m out and about. I really don’t like reading multiple books at once, though, (I feel like I’m not giving each book my undivided attention) so I’m trying not to make this a habit.


I finished reading:

I finally finished Anne of Green Gables! Now I just have to decide if I want to re-read the rest of the books in the series or if I’m going to wait for another time…

I also got side-tracked by two awesome thriller novels: Lies by T.M. Logan and The Fourth Monkey by J.D. Barker. Let me just say, The Fourth Monkey was an excellent, excellent read and I wish I had picked it up earlier! I am already planning on buying book #2 (The Fifth to Die) on my next payday. Lies was also a great read, but you’ll be seeing a full review for that… sometime… hopefully soonish… 🙈 I really need to finish my backlog of reviews!


What I’m reading next:

I actually have no clue what I’m going to be reading next, and I’m too tired tonight to try to decide. But whatever it is, I’m sure it’s going to be great!


That’s my WWW Wednesday for this week. What have YOU read this week?dorie

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Friday’s Book Excerpts

Happy Friday, readers!

Each week I share book excerpts with:

  • Book Beginnings on Fridays hosted by Rose City Reader, where bloggers share the first sentence or more of a current book, as well as any first impressions or initial thoughts they might have. 
  • The Friday 56 hosted by Freda’s Voice, where you grab a book and turn to page 56 (or 56% of an ebook), find one or more interesting sentences, and post them.

This week I will be pulling excerpts from my current read: Sadie by Courtney Summers.

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Synopsis:

A gripping novel about the depth of a sister’s love; poised to be the next book you won’t be able to stop talking about.

A missing girl on a journey of revenge and a Serial-like podcast following the clues she’s left behind.

Sadie hasn’t had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she’s been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water.

But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie’s entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister’s killer to justice and hits the road following a few meager clues to find him.

When West McCray—a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America—overhears Sadie’s story at a local gas station, he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. He starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie’s journey, trying to figure out what happened, hoping to find her before it’s too late.

Courtney Summers has written the breakout book of her career. Sadie is propulsive and harrowing and will keep you riveted until the last page.


Book Beginning:

It’s a beautiful day in the city. The sun is shining, not a cloud in the sky.


The Friday 56:

I continue to let the nasal blare of the car horn fill this desolate section of the neighborhood as I watch the boys’ gangly legs propel them down the street. When they turn a corner, I let it go and it’s completely silent and still. I’m parked in a cul-de-sac lined by houses in various stages of development, a large billboard advertising a community completion date that seems impossibly close. There’s a swampy-looking pond just across the way from me, little ripples in the water made by hovering bugs.


What are you reading this weekend? Feel free to join in with lines from your current read!

WWW Wednesday: July 18th, 2018

WWW Wednesdays

This meme is hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

To join in on WWW Wednesday, just answer these three questions and post the link to your responses on Sam’s blog and in the comments below.


I am currently reading:

Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery

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Everyone’s favorite redhead, the spunky Anne Shirley, begins her adventures at Green Gables, a farm outside Avonlea, Prince Edward Island. When the freckled girl realizes that the elderly Cuthberts wanted to adopt a boy instead, she begins to try to win them and, consequently, the reader, over.

Since I finished reading The Future Will Be BS Free early this morning, I haven’t started anything else yet, other than continuing on my re-read of Anne of Green Gables. But since I keep getting distracted by really intense storylines in my other reads, I haven’t made much progress this week.


I finished reading:

 

I did not get around to reading I’ll Be Gone In The Dark by Michelle McNamara before my library loan ended. 😞 So I’m stuck back at the bottom of the wait list on OverDrive, unless I give in and just buy myself a copy. But I still read an interesting mix of good books this week! I think the one that surprised me the most was Believe Me by JP Delaney. You can read my review of it here.


What I’m reading next:

Sadie by Courtney Summers

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A gripping novel about the depth of a sister’s love; poised to be the next book you won’t be able to stop talking about.

A missing girl on a journey of revenge and a Serial-like podcast following the clues she’s left behind.

Sadie hasn’t had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she’s been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water.

But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie’s entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister’s killer to justice and hits the road following a few meager clues to find him.

When West McCray—a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America—overhears Sadie’s story at a local gas station, he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. He starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie’s journey, trying to figure out what happened, hoping to find her before it’s too late.

Courtney Summers has written the breakout book of her career. Sadie is propulsive and harrowing and will keep you riveted until the last page.

This may change, but right now I’m thinking I’ll pick this one up next. It’s an ARC that I received in the mail and it looks really good!


That’s my WWW Wednesday for this week. What have YOU read this week?dorie

Book Review: Believe Me

Title: Believe Me
Author: JP Delaney
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Genre(s): Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
Release Date: July 24th, 2018
Pages: 352
Buy This Book: Amazon/Audible

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Book Blurb:

In this twisty psychological thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of The Girl Before, an actress plays both sides of a murder investigation.

One out-of-work British actress pays the rent on her New York City apartment the only way she can: as a decoy for a firm of divorce lawyers, hired to entrap straying husbands. When the cops begin investigating one of her targets for murdering his wife–and potentially others–they ask her to lure the suspect into a confession.

But with the actress pretending to be someone she isn’t, differentiating the decoy from the prey becomes impossible–and deadly.

My Thoughts:

“Sometimes, when you wear a mask too long, you find it sticks to the skin.”

Talk about twists and turns! When I first started reading Believe Me, I had no idea of the mind trip I was about to take courtesy of JP Delaney. 

I’ll admit—I broke the cardinal rule and judged this book by its cover. 🙊 I got an advanced copy in the mail a couple months ago, but kept passing over it to read other books from my TBR list that looked more interesting. I had never heard of the author before; I haven’t seen any buzz about it in the blogging community; the blurb sounded interesting, but there was nothing about it that really stood out to me; and, if I’m being completely honest, I’m not a big fan of the cover art. Now I wish I had picked it up sooner!

This book kept me guessing the entire time. The main character and narrator, Claire, is an enigmatic person and right from the beginning, I wasn’t sure whether I could trust her or not. In fact, I questioned the reliability of every character at some point or another in the storyline. Just when I thought I had it all figured it out, the story took a sharp turn and I found myself clueless once again. But while the twists are unexpected, it’s easy to see they’re well planned out and incorporated into the rest of the storyline perfectly. This book really lives up to its name!

There are some parts of the story, dialogue heavy scenes, that are written like a play or a script, playing off Claire’s role as a struggling actor. When I first came across this, I thought it would get annoying, but as it turns out, it didn’t bother me at all. It was still really easy to follow along and if anything, doing that added a little something extra to the story.

Once I started reading Believe Me, I couldn’t put it down and ended up finishing it in one sitting. If you like psychological thrillers where you don’t know who to trust and everything you think you know is wrong, you need to read this book!

Rating: 4/5 stars

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Thank you to Ballantine Books for the opportunity to read this book for free in exchange for my honest review.

Book Blogger Hop 7/13-7/19



Book Blogger Hop

This meme is hosted by Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer.

This week’s question:

Does a cluttered blog have you not returning? By cluttered I mean too many columns, small type, too many photos, difficult to follow, etc.  (submitted by Elizabeth @ Silver’s Reviews)

My answer:

I normally read other blogs under the “Reader” tab of my WordPress app, so I don’t see the full webpage, just streamlined posts. So I guess this question doesn’t really apply to me. However, in the rare cases when I’m actually browsing blogs on my laptop, the only thing that really bothers me is when there are pop-up messages prompting me to subscribe. If I like the content and want to read new posts, I’ll subscribe. It’s as simple as that. The pop-ups are unnecessary and just plain annoying; if anything, they make me NOT want to subscribe! Otherwise, though, I can’t see myself dismissing an interesting blog just because of its aesthetics, cluttered or not.

What about you? Are you bothered by cluttered blogs or pop-up messages? Let me know in the comments below!

*If you’re here from the linkup, please leave your link in the comments so I can make sure to stop by and see your answer too.

Friday’s Book Excerpts

Happy Friday, readers!

Each week I share book excerpts with:

  • Book Beginnings on Fridays hosted by Rose City Reader, where bloggers share the first sentence or more of a current book, as well as any first impressions or initial thoughts they might have. 
  • The Friday 56 hosted by Freda’s Voice, where you grab a book and turn to page 56 (or 56% of an ebook), find one or more interesting sentences, and post them.

This week, I will be pulling excerpts from my current read: When We Found Home by Susan Mallery.

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Synopsis:

Life is meant to be savored, but that’s not easy with no family, limited prospects and a past you’d rather not talk about. Still, Callie Smith doesn’t know how to feel when she discovers she has a brother and a sister–Malcolm, who grew up with affection, wealth and privilege, and Keira, a streetwise twelve-year-old.

Callie doesn’t love being alone, but at least it’s safe. Despite her trepidation, she moves into the grand family home with her siblings and grandfather on the shores of Lake Washington, hoping just maybe this will be the start of a whole new life.

But starting over can be messy. Callie and Keira fit in with each other, but not with their posh new lifestyle, leaving Malcolm feeling like the odd man out in his own home. He was clever enough to turn a sleepy Seattle mail-order food catalog into an online gourmet powerhouse, yet he can’t figure out how to help his new sisters feel secure. Becoming a family will take patience, humor, a little bit of wine and a whole lot of love.

But love isn’t Malcolm’s strong suit… until a beautiful barista teaches him that an open heart, like the family table, can always make room for more.

In this emotional, funny and heartfelt story, Susan Mallery masterfully explores the definition of a modern family–blended by surprise, not by choice–and how those complicated relationships can add unexpected richness to life.


Book Beginning:

As Delaney Hollbrook watched the man in the suit approach, she did her best to remind herself she’d given up on men in suits—in fact all men and most suits, when it came to that. She was a different person, with new and improved goals, although she could still admire excellent tailoring. And nice blue eyes. And a firm jaw. And his walk. He had a very purposeful walk that was incredibly appealing. She sighed. So much for giving up on men in suits.


The Friday 56:

She’d wanted those dreams, too. Had told herself she would be happy when it finally happened. Only she’d been the one to take a different path from everyone she knew. First getting her college degree in finance, then taking a job at Boeing. She’d moved up in the company, had moved away from the neighborhood—only a few miles, but still a world away.


What are you reading this weekend? Feel free to join in with lines from your current read!

Book Review: The Devil’s Half Mile

Title: The Devil’s Half Mile
Author: Paddy Hirsch
Publisher: Forge Books
Genre(s): Historical Fiction, Mystery, Thriller
Release Date: May 22nd, 2018
Pages: 304
Buy This Book: Amazon/Audible

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Book Blurb:

Fans of Caleb Carr, Erik Larsen, and Gangs of New York will love this riveting historical thriller debut, set in a 1799 New York City.

Seven years after a financial crisis nearly toppled America, traders chafe at government regulations, racial tensions are rising, and corrupt financiers make back-door deals with politicians… 1799 was a hell of a year.

Thanks to Alexander Hamilton, America recovered from the financial panic of 1792, but the young country is still finding its way. When a young lawyer returns to prove his father’s innocence, he exposes a massive financial fraud that the perpetrators are determined to keep secret at any cost. And reaching the highest levels, the looming crisis could topple the nation.

My Thoughts:

This is the first book I’ve read that’s set in late 1700’s New York City, but the author’s vivid and detailed descriptions brought it to life in front of my eyes. For instance, when stepping out of the harbor for the first time, our protagonist, Justy Flannigan, was greeted by:

“Woodsmoke from a thousand hearth fires, urine from the tanners’ shops, horse shit from the streets, sewage from the septic tanks, fresh blood from the abattoirs, rotting meat and produce from the tips. Bad breath, sour beer, raw spirits, stale sweat. It was like a pungent cloud rolling down the Broad Way to the water, a slap in the face of every newcomer who arrived in the city.”

The author is obviously very knowledgeable about the era and was meticulous about keeping all aspects of the book historically accurate. He used authentic language for the time period, including a lot of Irish slang. So much, in fact, that there is actually a glossary at the end of the book to help readers decipher what is being said. At the beginning, I referenced this glossary fairly often, but once I got used to the language I found I rarely needed it. There is also a map of early New York City inside the front cover, which helped me a lot with understanding the layout and locations of streets as they came up in the storyline.

However, for a thriller, I don’t think the suspense level was quite as high as it should have been. Justy is in town to investigate the mysterious circumstances of his father’s death, which he believed to be a murder even though the police ruled it a suicide (not a spoiler, it’s all explained in the first chapter). There have also been a recent rash of killings targeting “Negro Bobtails” (prostitutes), reminiscent of Jack the Ripper. At first, I was completely enraptured by this book, curious about what happened to Justy’s father and finding out if there was a serial killer on the loose, but as the book went on, I found my interest level starting to wane. There’s a bit too much of a focus on gang politics and Wall Street schemes, things I don’t normally read about or have much interest in, and not enough focus on the brutal murders or police investigations into them. That’s just my personal preference, though, and I did find my interest level picking back up again towards the end of the novel.

Overall, The Devil’s Half Mile wasn’t quite the right fit for me, but it was a beautifully written, well-researched, and authentic piece of historical fiction. I’m giving it 3/5 stars.

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Thank you to Forge Books for the opportunity to read this book for free in exchange for my honest review.

WWW Wednesday: July 11th, 2018

WWW Wednesdays

This meme is hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

To join in on WWW Wednesday, just answer these three questions and post the link to your responses on Sam’s blog and in the comments below.


I am currently reading:

When We Found Home by Susan Mallery

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Life is meant to be savored, but that’s not easy with no family, limited prospects and a past you’d rather not talk about. Still, Callie Smith doesn’t know how to feel when she discovers she has a brother and a sister–Malcolm, who grew up with affection, wealth and privilege, and Keira, a streetwise twelve-year-old.

Callie doesn’t love being alone, but at least it’s safe. Despite her trepidation, she moves into the grand family home with her siblings and grandfather on the shores of Lake Washington, hoping just maybe this will be the start of a whole new life.

But starting over can be messy. Callie and Keira fit in with each other, but not with their posh new lifestyle, leaving Malcolm feeling like the odd man out in his own home. He was clever enough to turn a sleepy Seattle mail-order food catalog into an online gourmet powerhouse, yet he can’t figure out how to help his new sisters feel secure. Becoming a family will take patience, humor, a little bit of wine and a whole lot of love.

But love isn’t Malcolm’s strong suit… until a beautiful barista teaches him that an open heart, like the family table, can always make room for more.

In this emotional, funny and heartfelt story, Susan Mallery masterfully explores the definition of a modern family–blended by surprise, not by choice–and how those complicated relationships can add unexpected richness to life.

I won a copy of When We Found Home in a Goodreads giveaway. I’ve been meaning to pick it up for a while now, but haven’t had the chance until now. It looks really good!

I’m also breaking my own rules about only reading one book at a time. I started re-reading Anne of Green Gables last night. I need to get my Anne fix after finishing up Season 2 of Netflix’s adaption Anne With An E! But since both books are so different, I don’t think I’ll run into any problems with getting them mixed up.


I finished reading:

I decided to re-read Jane Eyre on a whim a couple days ago and I’m very glad I did. It was lovely, as it always is, and a great “pallet cleanser” after reading See What I Have Done, which was a huge disappointment for me. I don’t think I’m going to be writing a full review myself (it was a library book, not an ARC, and I already have a lot of other reviews to write), but this reviewer hit the nail on the head, especially in what she calls “ahistoricism”.


What I’m reading next:

I’ll Be Gone In The Dark by Michelle McNamara

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A masterful true crime account of the Golden State Killer—the elusive serial rapist turned murderer who terrorized California for over a decade—from Michelle McNamara, the gifted journalist who died tragically while investigating the case.

“You’ll be silent forever, and I’ll be gone in the dark.”

For more than ten years, a mysterious and violent predator committed fifty sexual assaults in Northern California before moving south, where he perpetrated ten sadistic murders. Then he disappeared, eluding capture by multiple police forces and some of the best detectives in the area.

Three decades later, Michelle McNamara, a true crime journalist who created the popular website TrueCrimeDiary.com, was determined to find the violent psychopath she called “the Golden State Killer.” Michelle pored over police reports, interviewed victims, and embedded herself in the online communities that were as obsessed with the case as she was.

At the time of the crimes, the Golden State Killer was between the ages of eighteen and thirty, Caucasian, and athletic—capable of vaulting tall fences. He always wore a mask. After choosing a victim—he favored suburban couples—he often entered their home when no one was there, studying family pictures, mastering the layout. He attacked while they slept, using a flashlight to awaken and blind them. Though they could not recognize him, his victims recalled his voice: a guttural whisper through clenched teeth, abrupt and threatening.

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark—the masterpiece McNamara was writing at the time of her sudden death—offers an atmospheric snapshot of a moment in American history and a chilling account of a criminal mastermind and the wreckage he left behind. It is also a portrait of a woman’s obsession and her unflagging pursuit of the truth. Framed by an introduction by Gillian Flynn and an afterword by her husband, Patton Oswalt, the book was completed by Michelle’s lead researcher and a close colleague. Utterly original and compelling, it is destined to become a true crime classic—and may at last unmask the Golden State Killer.

I still haven’t gotten around to this book yet and my library loans ends soon, so I’ll try to make this my next read.


That’s my WWW Wednesday for this week. What have YOU read this week?dorie

Book Blogger Hop 7/6 – 7/12



Book Blogger Hop

This meme is hosted by Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer.

This week’s question:

If you were stranded on a deserted island, which ONE book could you not live without? (submitted by Megan @ Ginger Mom & the Kindle Quest)

My answer:

Ohh this is a really difficult question for me! It’s like asking me to choose between my kids. I just can’t do it! Even trying to make a list of my top 10, or 20, favorite books is a near impossible task. There’s no way I can narrow it down to one single, solitary favorite.

I’m sorry. I know this is kind of a non-answer, but it’s the truth!

What about you? Do you have a top favorite book? Let me know in the comments below!

*If you’re here from the linkup, please leave your link in the comments so I can make sure to stop by and see your answer too.

Friday’s Book Excerpts

Happy Friday, readers!

Each week I share book excerpts with:

  • Book Beginnings on Fridays hosted by Rose City Reader, where bloggers share the first sentence or more of a current book, as well as any first impressions or initial thoughts they might have. 
  • The Friday 56 hosted by Freda’s Voice, where you grab a book and turn to page 56 (or 56% of an ebook), find one or more interesting sentences, and post them.

This week, I will be pulling excerpts from my current read: See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt.

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Synopsis:

Haunting, gripping and gorgeously written, SEE WHAT I HAVE DONE by Sarah Schmidt is a re-imagining of the unsolved American true crime case of the Lizzie Borden murders, for fans of BURIAL RITES and MAKING A MURDERER.

When her father and step-mother are found brutally murdered on a summer morning in 1892, Lizzie Borden – thirty two years old and still living at home – immediately becomes a suspect. But after a notorious trial, she is found innocent, and no one is ever convicted of the crime.

Meanwhile, others in the claustrophobic Borden household have their own motives and their own stories to tell: Lizzie’s unmarried older sister, a put-upon Irish housemaid, and a boy hired by Lizzie’s uncle to take care of a problem.

This unforgettable debut makes you question the truth behind one of the great unsolved mysteries, as well as exploring power, violence and the harsh realities of being a woman in late nineteenth century America.


Book Beginning:

He was still bleeding. I yelled, “Someone’s killed Father.” I breathed in kerosene air, licked the thickness from my teeth. The clock on the mantel ticked ticked. I looked at Father, the way hands clutched to thighs, the way the little gold ring on his pinkie finger sat like a sun. I gave him that ring for his birthday when I no longer wanted it. “Daddy,” I had said, “I’m giving this to you because I love you.” He had smiled and kissed my forehead.

A long time ago now.


The Friday 56:

I crawled out from under the table, could hear Lizzie and Bridget speak in the yard, a mumble rush. With things the way they were, I couldn’t stay in that part of the house. I’d be caught. Getting to the backyard without them catching me wouldn’t be easy.


What are you reading this weekend? Feel free to join in with lines from your current read!