Friday, February 28, 2020

Unmarriagable

I adored this! This may be my favorite retelling of Pride and Prejudice yet!! Set in Pakistan in 2000, Alys Binat and her older sister Jena are considered spinsters at the ages of 30 and 31. Since their family's "fall from grace" they've defied cultural norms by teaching at a local English speaking school. Single and teaching! Their mother is positively aghast but they need the extra income. When their family scores an invitation to the city's most anticipated wedding their mother is sure that they can find wealthy men. I could go on but really it's the exact same plot of Pride and Prejudice with different cultural markers, names, food, and modern day variations. I loved it. I would love if they made a Sense and Sensibility set in Pakistan. This was so much fun!!

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Girl, Wash Your Face

Keeping up my string of controversial readings, I decided to finally read this book after I was given a free copy. I've had friends that loved it and friends that loathed it. I can definitely see both sides of it. I will say this book definitely coming from a place of entitlement. Rachel thinks she is "everywoman," but she has so many privileges that her advice often falls flat. Don't get me wrong it's not all horrible advice, but not everything she's "selling" is achievable for women who come from far less entitled circumstances. A lot of it common sense advice viewed through a Christian lens and accompanied by her personal stories of overcoming adversity. There are some good takeaways but nothing you wouldn't find in another self-help book. The advice I liked best was about how we shouldn't break promises to ourselves because we wouldn't break promises to our friends. We need to treat ourselves with more respect. But that was my biggest takeaway. Honestly, I don't get all the fuss.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Body of Christ

.... Very rarely am I at a loss for words but this book made me uncomfortable and I don't even know what to say about it. Like, I need to take a shower and call up Jesus and tell him I'm sorry for reading this. In this book, period blood screams, Jesus is made out of soggy communion wafers, a boy's father commits suicide by cops (the son then saves bits of his torn apart by bullets dad in a ziploc bag for later - yay father flesh!), and .... like there's more but I can't even. This book will make you feel like you just accidentally did crack and rolled around in shit and dirty glass. It's bizarre and not in a good way. It's unique but that don't make it good...

The Mad Sculptor

This was one of those true crime events that I had no knowledge of whatsoever. I've never seen a movie of, heard it referenced, nothing. I went into this blind. After reading this, is still seems more fiction than fact. On Easter Sunday, New York City was aghast when it learned of a gruesome triple murder. A mother killed and stuffed under the bed; her daughter (entering the apartment later in the evening) was killed on top of the bed, most likely never knowing her mother's corpse laid beneath her. In the next room a boarder is murdered in his sleep; getting stabbed a dozen times in his head with an ice pick. Who would do this and why? Robert Irwin, dubbed the mad sculptor by the press, was in and out of mental institutions in his youth. He had a troubled childhood and was known to go into fits of rage. He was also a masterful art student, he was a talented sculptor and it seemed for a time that art would be his saving grace. It was not. A series of unfortunate events occurs and the author does a great job describing Irwin's life and that of the people he killed. Photographs are included and lots of other New York crime tidbits that I enjoyed. It's salacious, over the top, absurd, and sad. It doesn't read like most true crime novels, but it's still very engaging!

Monday, February 24, 2020

Miles Morales: Spider-Man

This is a superhero book, that doesn't focus on the special powers or saving people. Miles is a student at Brooklyn Vision Academy and he's got a lot on his plate; he doesn't have a ton of time for the whole superhero thing. He has to be on his best behavior after getting a suspension, but it's getting increasingly harder to do with his dreaded history professor, Mr. Chamberlain. Plus he's got some family issues at home, grades to worry about, a girl to crush on and so much more. He does get the spiderman suit on a few times, but this is more the day to day life of a teenage superhero (think Ms. Marvel - with less action). Racism, growing up poor, family issues, poetry, and making a stand for what you believe in are all prominent themes. The ending wasn't my favorite, but it wasn't awful by any stretch of the imagination. A great book for all teens, not just those who love Marvel Comics. The audiobook was wonderfully narrated as well if that's a selling point for some of you.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Heroes of the Frontier

I had a hard time deciding if I loved this book or was meh. It was definitely funny, sometimes to the point of being absurd and I seesawed from loving the protagonist to being really concerned with her life choices. Josie has fled to Alaska with her two children (ages 5 and 8). Why may you ask? Her children's father is somehow getting married and she doesn't want to be even remotely close to it or let her children attend. Her dental practice was sued and she lost the whole place. One of her favorite patients was killed in Afghanistan. But mostly she has no idea what she wants to do with her life. She's wandering around the beautiful Alaskan frontier with an old RV and two kids who should be in school. She's content to idle away the time while trying to find purpose in her life. The further north they journey, the more reckless choices she makes as she wonders how many misdemeanors they'll have under their belt by the time this "trip" of theirs is over with. It's the most non-traditional adventure I've ever read and although I adored the two kids (laugh out loud funny) I'm not sure why this novel fell a little flat for me.

The Hoosier Schoolmaster

I can't NOT read a classic that's set in the state I live in and love so I figured I would finally wipe the dust off this one and read it. Set in a rural Indiana town during the 1850's this is a fictionalized story of a young man coming to be the schoolmaster for a backward yet well meaning (mostly) bunch. Written in the Hoosier dialect this humorous tale is peppered with classic ink drawings and funny asides. From the Church of Best Licks to the spelling competition to midnight thievery and peg legs. Nearly 200 years old I still thought it was amusing and pretty well written. Adventure, romance, action, and intrigue are woven throughout the story and it's definitely something unique!

Chi's Sweet Home Complete, Part 3

As with the first two in this series, Part 3 jumps right in and Chi wastes no time getting trouble. From getting lost and dirty, and locked in a tool shed, to winning over the new kitten and playmate; this adorable series keeps on generating smiles. There is also the question of whether Chi will get reunited with his family. They apparently live not to far off but they just keep missing each other. Will Chi even recognize them? Suspense!!

Chi's Sweet Home, Part 2

So stinking cute. Even though this volume is huge it's a quick read because you can't put it down. Chi as usual gets up to lots of antics. Chi's family has moved from the no pets allowed apartment to a bigger pet friendly one a blocks away. Chi is enamored by the space and the new yard. Plus there are lots of interesting new pets in the building. Chi has a penchant for going outside past boundaries and getting lost and surprise surprise that happens again. This time, Chi finds another cat; about the same size and age and the two become friends (begrudgingly on the other cats part). Beautifully illustrated and simplistically amazing. I love this series.

I'll Have What She's Having

Engrossing and smile inducing; this book made me want to re-watch all of Nora Ephron's films and have a sleepover with my closest girl friends. Filled with fun facts and behinds the scenes tidbits; this book really shows just how groundbreaking Nora was at the time and showed her lasting legacy on romantic comedies and women in Hollywood. Iconic, badass, witty, and unique; Nora really helped further female screenwriters, producers and directors. I really enjoyed learning about her life as well as the lives of Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan and learning about the process that brought her three timeless love stories together. Also included were photographs from the set. While this nonfiction story goes off some tangents and introduces a large cast of characters; this is still a must for romantic comedy fans!

Thursday, February 13, 2020

The Book of Rosy

A firsthand account of just how inhumane and despicable conditions are at the US/ Mexican border. Rosayra Pablo Cruz tells her harrowing story of the conditions that led her to flee Guatemala with two of her children and the consequences of her trying to file asylum in the United States. Having crossed the border once a few years prior Rosayra wasn't prepared for what awaited her this time, renewed anti-immigrant rhetoric flamed cruel policies that led to her being locked in a cold cell and separated from her boys. Thankfully an organization of moms, lawyers, and volunteers started working to pay the bail on this mothers in captivity and their efforts got Rosayra out and reunited with her boys. It's insane that this is happening right now in America but it's inspiring to see that people are working against it. There is also a section in the back with useful ways for readers to get involved. This book is suggested for anyone who wants to know about migrants coming up from Central America and is a good first hand account for anyone that read American Dirt.

Snowflower and the Secret Fan

I wasn't expecting this book to be such a heavy read, but despite it's flowery language and lush setting; it's really pretty bleak. Set in nineteenth century China; Lily is born into a house that is neither wealthy nor extremely poor. When Lily is young it is determined that she will have the smallest and most gorgeous bound feet so she will be able to marry up and change her future (and her families) for the better. In the process she is given a pen pal of sorts, a laotong. Snowflower is the same age but from a more prosperous family; from the age of six til their death they will be "old sames" closer to each other than with their husbands. They undergo foot-bindings together, they learn the rites of womanhood, and they share all of their secrets. This book follows their childhood all the way through motherhood and beyond. But even though they have each other, things aren't always easy. They suffer unbearable tragedies and only have each other to rely on. Very bleak, somber, yet beautiful and educational. I highly recommend the audiobook!

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Confessions of a Sheba Queen

Sultry, seductive, and wonderfully written; this Historical erotica was impeccably researched and wonderfully naughty. Unable to put this down, I finished it in one day!

Bilqis, a beautiful young woman is half Jinn and with it comes the powers of seduction. Hidden in a small desert town in the ancient lands of Saba, Bilqis and her mother are comfortable and happy. When her Jinn mother is brutally murdered under the orders of a corrupt King, Bilqis knows it's time to chase her destiny. As a young child an oracle foretold great things about her and now it's time to see if they will come true. Bilqis seeks vengeance  so she decides to travel to the capital using her feminine wiles to exact revenge and gain new friends and lovers along the way. Achingly beautiful, witty, and in full command of her body (as well as everyone elses) Bilqis is admired by all (even her enemies want to bed her rather than kill her). Filled with trysts, conquests, surrenders, and blush inducing scenes; this is one of the best eroticas I've read in years! I look forward to reading more of Autumn Bardot's historical erotic romances!

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Dangerous Alliance

If you're a fan of regency novels, Jane Austen, and teenage romance you will eat this book up! Set early in the nineteenth century; this novel follows Vicky, a young well off lady who is disheartened that her life isn't more like a Jane Austen novel. She wants the romance and intrigue; instead she gets herself in laughably dangerous situations and her former childhood friend (now sworn enemy) seems to keep showing up at the right moment to rescue her. She can take care of herself, thank you very much! To make matters more complicated, her older sister is seeking a separation from her husband and in order to protect the family estate from her bully husband, Vicky must get married and do so quickly. Witty, charming, over the top, and so much fun. I hope the author writes more just like this.

Monday, February 10, 2020

American Dirt

I legitimately could not put this book down. I was hesitant to pick up this book because of all the controversy around it, but I'm so glad I did. It's a powerful, important, and timely book. As a penance for reading this book (because I know a lot of people will judge me for it) I plan on reading a book writing by a Hispanic American writer (The Book of Rosy: A Mother's Story of Separation at the Border by Julie Schwietert Collazo and Rosayra Pablo Cruz - so go ahead and hold me accountable!). American Dirt delivered on the hype it received. The action/violence started on page one and it never slowed down. It was a non-stop ride of terror, hope, and overwhelmingly bad odds. Filled with murder, rape, torture, and child endangerment; this book highlights the brutality of the cartels in Central America. People are willing to do anything to escape the violence, even if means becoming a migrant and trying to go North. Train hopping, rape, theft, and murder plague migrants at every turn; yet many are still willing to risk everything on the long trek north just to escape the horrors of their home. Lydia had a pretty comfortable life but that all changed when sixteen of her family members were killed at a cookout. She and her son escaped by hiding, but the cartel leader knows they are alive and will stop at nothing to find them. She's desperate to survive so she and her son join other migrants and hope to get as far away from the cartel as she can. Her journey is anything but easy. This book..... just goes to show the kind of hell that people have to go through just to try and make it to the US. It's horrific. This book is eye opening and I hope it sparks discussion and people reading more Latino authors. 

Friday, February 7, 2020

Sansei and Sensibility

I liked the scope and uniqueness found in these short stories; from powerful grandmothers, to bathtubs, to dental hygienists who know too much, to interment camps this book has a bit of everything in it. The first half of the short stories aren't related to Jane Austen but are still profound and enjoyable. The second half of this collection turns each classic Jane Austen novel on it's head and gives it a Japanese American twist. I don't want to give anything away, but I will say they were very clever and were the most unique takes on Jane Austen that I've read in ages! Filled with beautiful prose; these unique short stories are worth a read!

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Serpent & Dove

Give me the sequel and give it to me now! I haven't been this obsessed with a young adult fantasy/adventure for years and I'm ALL IN!

A witch is forced to marry a witch hunter... who doesn't know she's a witch. How can this possibly go wrong?! Delightful and full of characters that just reach out to you from the page and right into your heart. Funny, inventive, and endlessly witty. I won't say much more than that, other than I read this book in like one day. I couldn't put it down! As a final note, I will say I pictured the Archbishop (head of the witch hunters) as Frollo from Hunchback of Notre Dame. You're welcome. 

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Woven in Moonlight

This book was mouthwateringly delicious... and it's not even about food. Isabel Ibanez weaves together a story inspired by her Bolivian roots and combines, magic, friendship, romance, and adventure to create the perfect teen read. The Condesa must go to the enemy fortress as a meek woman intending to marry her sworn enemy, but really she is there to spy and try to find a way to save her people, the Illustrians. They are slowly starving in their mountain fortress while theFalse King ravages the land and rules with the ultimate weapon, the estrella. The Condesa must have her wits about her if she is going to find a way to undermine her people and lead them back to their rightful home. Filled with lots of food, lush descriptions, slow burn romance, and court intrigue; this teen fantasy novel will win over lots of readers! I can't wait for the next book!

Monday, February 3, 2020

Super Bowl Smut

I had pretty high hopes for this collection of erotica, but it was a big ol' fumble. Some stories were better than others but that's not saying much. They were all loosely football related and some were even superbowl themed, but it was a mixed bag of erotica. Most of them just seemed poorly written and full of typos. Some weren't even that hot, the plot meandered or took to long to get to the good stuff! There was mostly gay/lesbian encounters, with a few straight stories, an orgy or two and some bi-action. There was a lot of talk of "tight-ends" and scoring, but.... overall this collection was not a touchdown for me. It is a quick read though, so feel free to make your own judgments!

Friday, January 31, 2020

Mrs. Caliban

This book.....  is odd. Not in a bad way. Just. Odd. Satirical, weird, and unique; this story of an unhappy housewife who encounters a seven foot tall lizard man is compelling in a weird way. Mrs. Caliban starts falling for the creature practically instantly. She is so starved for affection that this curious, avocado loving, green, reptilian man practically falls into her bed and starts to take center stage in her life. Her husband doesn't notice, her best friend doesn't notice. It doesn't even seem to matter. She knows she can't keep this up forever though; he wants to go home and everyone in the area is on the lookout for him as he killed his captors when he escaped captivity. Bizarre and intriguing; it's quite short and I read it in an hour. I don't know what to make of it, so let me know if you ever read this one!

Go With the Flow

I wish I had this graphic novel when I was younger! It's not just about periods; it's about activism, friendship, and bullying. Three teenagers take a new kid under their wing after she gets her period at school and all her classmates start taunting her and calling her Bloody Mary because it went through her pants. The four of them quickly become close and realize how unfair it is that the pad machine is never stocked AND it costs money. They decide they want to try and change that but they don't know how. A beautiful graphic novel that is a must read for teenagers, teachers, parents; and women of all ages. It's never to early to make a difference!

Mrs. Darcy and the Blue-Eyed Stranger

Each short story was masterfully told with the characters leaping off the pages and into the readers mind. All stories centered on women: some teenagers, some seniors, some widowed, divorced, or mothers. All of them overcame some adversity or weathered some storm and got to a place where they could take it in stride and start the next chapter of their lives. Some are meek, some are vivacious, some are spunky; all are courageous in their own way. Each story was unique, wonderful, and hard to put down. A wonderful short story collection that I will definitely return to again!

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

How to Win Friends and Influence People

I wasn't sure what to expect when I started reading this. Was a self-help book written over 80 years ago really going to have an impact on my career and life? The answer is yes. Absolutely. While a lot of the advice and tips make are no brainers; the accompanying stories and logic behind each action really cement the importance of it and you begin to visualize how it could have an impact on your life. Broken up in short, easy to read sections; it's easy to see why this leadership book has remained timeless. This is one I'll actually purchase and go back to consult again and again. I couldn't be more surprised by how much I enjoyed it!

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Midnight in Chernobyl

This book has all the info you never knew you needed on Chernobyl - down to the last technical detail. I listened to this rather than reading it and was soon bogged down by the sheer amount of physics detailed; at times I found myself struggling to pay attention. That being said, this was still a fascinating detailed look on the events that caused the accidents and the actions taken afterward. It was a perfect storm of horrible events and it really will get your heart racing as the author gives you a near minute by minute account. Unsettling at moments, and overly technical; this insanely well researched guide is not for the casual reader. This book is heavy; but will change the way you think about Chernobyl forever!

Monday, January 27, 2020

The Forbidden Harbor

Based on the cover alone, I thought this was going to be a graphic novel for younger readers; but I was pleasantly surprised that this had some adult content (nudity and murder). This is a "salty adventure" set in 1807 that follows a young man washed up on the shores of Siam. He has no recollection of anything other than his first name, but a kindly naval crew and they take him on as a cabin boy. He picks up sea life with frightening ease and familiarity; but he struggles to make sense of who he is and how he ended up there. As the graphic novel progresses lots of kind people take young Abel under their wing and soon along with the help of a madame and three wonderful sisters; he finds he might actually have a purpose. Gorgeously illustrated and full of prose and poetry; this sea faring graphic novel is one of a kind!

Aftermath

This was perfectly alright Star Wars fiction. It didn't rock my world and at least kept me nominally entertained. Aftermath picks up right after the original trilogy and deals with the messy situation that the New Republic (aka the rebel alliance) has inherited from the Empire. The hammer has fallen but that doesn't mean that the fighting has stopped or everything is back to normal. Remnants of the Empire are still hiding out in the outer rim and whole planets need assistance. There's orphans, foot shortages, mass destruction and chaos. Aftermath follows Wedge Antilles as he scouts around the outer rim planets looking for any presence of the Empire. Lo and behold he stumbles upon the hornets nest and he's going to need a lot of help to squash this before it gets any better. Action packed, filled with characters that were... ok. Not bad, but I'm going to take a break before I continue the trilogy. Only recommended for hardcore fans of Star Wars that have seen the original trilogy.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Off Kilter

A quick cozy mystery set in Scotland and starring a likable American named Eden, who is "just on holiday" to work on her romance novel. Of course things get off to a rocky start. Vicky, the woman she sat by on a plane was going back to the village to bury her father and happens to be embroiled in a family feud as her father left her everything and her half siblings nothing. As Vicky never really lived in this village (her parents having split when she was younger), the whole town sides with her half siblings (who actually lived in the village), leaving Vicky friendless. Thank god she met Eden on the plane! The two hit it off and are as thick as thieves. But then they discover a body and they're both suspects. Did Vicky do it? Or did her angry half siblings commit the murder and try to pin it on her? Slightly predictable, with some twists and turns, lots of Scottish food and tea, and beautiful scenery. Everything you want out of a nice cozy mystery. This is the first in a series.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Recursion

I read this from start to finish in one day! I couldn't put the damn thing down. I was instantly riveted by the concept of "false memory syndrome" and how it had the potential to practically destroy the world. Helena builds a chair that will help capture memories of people suffering from dementia and Alzheimers, only the chair is far more powerful then she realizes. Used in a certain way, the chair is capable of more than memory or memory alteration, it can change the concept of reality. I don't want to give too much away; but imagine Minority Report mixed with Groundhog Day, mixed with Tuck Everlasting. It's one of the most unique concepts and plotlines I've read in a LONG time. I was very meh to read this, but I was so mistaken. This is a must read; one that will blow your mind and leave you feeling queasy anytime you experience the sensation on deja vu. One of a kind thrill ride!

Monday, January 20, 2020

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek

A fascinating look at the Pack Horse Library Project that gave library access to some of the poorest and more illiterate US citizens in the Appalachian hills. Cussy Mary Carter has found her purpose in life as a pack horse librarian. She's helping her pa by bringing in income, plus she's starting to get more friendly with folks who use to look the other way or ignore her. Although Cussy isn't black, she's colored. She's the last of her kind, the blue skinned people of Kentucky. People treat her as an oddity, but now that she is their book woman; they begrudgingly get to know her as she looks out for them and gives them more than books - hope. The only problem is her pa wants her to get married because he knows he won't live long; with his lung condition from toiling away in the mines. Cussy can't work as a married woman, so she aims to stay single for as long as possible. Wonderful historical fiction about a little known WPA program and a little known people.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Late Migrations

Poetic, somber, jubilant, heart-wrenching, and beautiful; this collection of short essays from Margaret Renkl is a must read. Essays about the nature in her backyard, history of her grandparents, her childhood, her parents, motherhood, and migratory patterns of birds. This collection encompasses love and loss through a personal and natural lens. Interspersed throughout are beautiful color images of animals and plants. A deeply touching and deeply personal memoir of sorts. One that readers will come back to time and again.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Where Have All the Boys Gone?

I've only read one other book (The Bookshop on the Corner) by Jenny Colgan, but the two were eerily similar. I wonder if she's a bit formulaic. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the humor, but the plot and the characters are just too.... fake. It's over the top and not in a good way. Katie can't find a decent date in all of London, there is simply too much competition. When she gets sent up to Scotland on assignment, she is amazed to discover that there are men everywhere and nary a lass in sight! The dating odds are finally in her favor! Not that she has much time to think about dating though. Her boss has her work cut out for her trying to brainstorm ways to save the forest from being torn down to build a golf course. Her best friend Louisa has accompanied her on this trip and the two of them find themselves enjoying the quaint town life, interesting traditions, and handsome single men. Only , things can't stay perfect for long. Katie is bound to muddle something up! Love triangles, ridiculous scenarios, and ridiculous people. This book is ok as a beach read; but even that might be pushing it.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

When Books Went to War

A quick, albeit repetitive, book highlighting the importance of books in wartime, specifically America's use of books during WWII. Publishers printed millions of paperback books to send over to American troops and they proved popular beyond belief. Soldiers fought and hoarded them, it was their only entertainment and reprieve from the hellish war they were fighting in. Many soldiers wrote authors praising them and thanking them for helping get them through war. It was really interesting to learn about librarians war and crusade for books as well as the military response. Enlightening and just goes to show how important books really are.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Tightrope

This book should be required reading. It's insightful, depressing, yet still ultimately hopeful. Pulitzer Prize winning couple write a gut wrenching account of how America has ultimately failed it's people in the last half century through the lens of author Nicholas D. Kristof's hometown, Yamhill and a few other US locations. From a broken education, prison, health system and more; the authors explain how the system used to be, how it is now, and what can be done to fix it to bring the United States back up to speed with the rest of the industrialized first world countries. There are lots of personal stories and photos that really hammer down HOW these policies really affect many Americans. It is very depressing but at the same time the authors make sure to highlight social programs that people have started to combat issues of addiction, homelessness, and college education. It's an enlightening and ultimately inspiring book. Do yourself a favor and read this book before you vote! Then pass on this book to everyone you know!!!!

You Will Not Have My Hate

A quick, searing, emotional read that readers will struggle not to cry their way through. Antoine Leiris writes a moving memoir of grief in response to his wife's murder. Helene was one of the many killed in a terrorist attack at a theater in Paris and Antoine writes movingly about the search for her, the aftermath, trying to move on and care for their infant son knowing that he will have to care for him solo without his wife's loving smile and care. Beautiful and eloquently written. Read this with a box of tissues at the ready.

Locke & Key: Alpha & Omega

THIS SERIES!!!! Perfect conclusion to one of the greatest comic series I've read. All the questions are answered, everything is wrapped up, my eyes hurt from crying, and all is right with the world. It's dark, gut wrenching, and absolutely perfect. It could not have ended any better. I'm really hoping that the Netflix adaptation does this series justice because everything about Locke & Key is perfection. Thank you Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez for taking me on this ride. It's everything I never knew I wanted!

Locke & Key: Clockworks

This series continues to shine and build up its characters and its plot. Plus in this one we start to get the backstory on Keyhouse and understand more about the keys and what happened to the Locke kid's father when he was a teenager. Wonderful, captivating, and brilliant storytelling. This series continues to be a MUST READ!

Friday, January 10, 2020

Locke & Key: Keys to the Kingdom

Damn son! This series just keeps getting better and better! I was at the edge of my seat reading this! The Locke children are starting to wise up (at least their older brother is) and Zack Wells (aka Lucas Caravaggio aka The Dark Lady) is starting to let his guard down around the kids. How long will it be until they catch on to who he really is? Dark, funny, and impeccably drawn; this is THE comic series to read. I can't wait to read the next one! 

Blitzed

Out of the three in The Playbook series this one may be my least favorite. HOWEVER, that doesn't mean I didn't enjoy the shit out of it. I love that the Lady Mustangs, the football puns, the hot men, and Denver are common threads in every book and the relationship is the only thing that changes in each. Don't get me wrong I adored big strong Maxwell; I just don't  love Brynn. She's been a feature in all three books; owning a hot female oriented bar in Denver and being friends with all the NFL player's wives and girlfriends. Now it's her turn to fall for a football player - but she's not quite ready to be in a relationship. Ever since her mother abandoned her when she was a teen she's shied away from commitment; assuming that true love isn't real. Well she clearly hadn't met Maxwell yet. Steamy, cute, and wonderful. I hope there are a ton more books in this series!

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Roommates Wanted

Jewell, Lisa. Roommates Wanted. 10 CDs. unabridged. 12 hrs 8 mins. 2019. Dreamscape Media. ISBN 9781974980482. 

Having been gifted a grand old Victorian house as a wedding gift but unable to fill it after his bride left him; Toby opened his home to wayward souls needing a new chance at life. Nearly fifteen years later, some of the home's residents are having trouble moving on; and that includes Toby. He has finally decided to put the house on the market and move on with his life after his oldest tenant dies and leaves him some money. However, Toby feels responsible for everyone living under his roof and has no idea how to get them to move on with their lives and move out. Thankfully Toby gets help from across the street from his gorgeous neighbor, Leah, and together they discover what it means to truly let go of the past and look towards the future. Brilliantly narrated by Helen Duff who does a superb job nailing the myriad of accents of the housemates. Readers will find themselves captivated by all the hi-jinks Toby and his housemates find themselves in as they try to navigate what the future holds. Charming, unique, and funny; Lisa Jewell is a master of contemporary fiction. - Erin Cataldi, Johnson Co. Public Library, Franklin, IN

Fumbled

Sexy, smart, funny; this is chicklit gold. Poppy has toughed it out as a single mom for nine years after her high school sweetheart said he was too young to be a dad. She had the kid in secret and has moved on with her life. That is until she runs into him at the nightclub she works at. When she hired on two years ago she was told that the city's NFL team never came in - well it looks as if that streak ended and now she has to deal with her football god baby daddy. He's sexy, famous, and a millionaire too boot, plus he still loves her! After ten years! The only thing is - he doesn't even know that he has a kid. What can go wrong? Cheesy, wonderful, and all around great. This second book in the Playbook series is just as good as the first one. I can't wait to get to the 3rd!

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Intercepted

A quick fluffy romcom, that I couldn't put down. Will this win any awards? No. Was this fun? Hell yes. Marlee is one lucky girl; she's the girlfriend of an NFL star and she gets to live in a palace. The downside is she has to live in said palace (god it's ostentatious and ugly), put up with the wives of the other team players (only one girl in that group is actually worth knowing), and work around her boyfriend's dreams and plans. Plus when the hell is he going to propose already? They've been together since high school? Everything falls apart when she discovers that her boy has been cheating on her for months and who is there to catch her? The teams quarterback, the man she slept with 4 years ago. Even though she's still attracted to him and vividly remembers how good he was in bed; Marlee swears off athletes. She's had enough of them. But maybe she'll end up changing her mind. Cute, quirky, fun, and steamy. I definitely plan on reading the rest in this series!

Belly Up

I'm a huge fan of Eva Darrows; she's a young adult author that actually writes for teens. She writes how they think, how they talk, and how they perceive the world around them. It's refreshing. Belly Up is a teen story about a girl who makes a stupid mistake and, you guessed it,gets knocked up. Not only is her father not in the picture, but neither is baby daddy. Sara has her mother, her battle ax grandma, and her best friend, Devi. She is trying to come to terms with the fact that she has a womb goblin and is going to have to put her college plans on hold (or make new ones) but it's hard to wrap her brain around it. Everything is so gross and new and scary. She starts to realize though that she is surrounded by loving caring people and she has it much easier than many other teen moms in her pregnancy group. In addition to navigating her pregnancy; Sara is also trying to navigate her way around a new high school and the feelings she has on one of the few other people of color in her school. Will he still be her friend when he inevitably finds out she's pregnant? How will the rest of her classmates act? A teen novel about unplanned pregnancy; that's funny, real, and supportive.

The Complete Chi's Sweet Home: Part One

Stinking adorable. This manga about a kitten who is taken in by a young Japanese family is beyond cute. Separated from mama kitty he has to learn the ins and outs of being a "domesticated cat" from his new family and it's a learning curve for everyone. Constantly hiding from the landlady (no pets allowed!), this cute manga is adorable, funny, and will ring true for any cat owners out there. The illustrations are also precious. A cute quick read for all ages!

Long Bright River

Compelling and impossible to put down, this police drama about the opiod crisis, a missing family member, and murder gripped me from page one. Two sisters live in the same neighborhood but lead impossibly different lives. Mickey is a cop, patrolling some of the most crime ridden streets in Philadelphia. Her sister, Kacey, is an addict that has lived on those same streets for over a decade. Even though they haven't spoken in years, the two are aware of each other's presence, until suddenly Kacey disappears without a trace. Around the same time a few women on Mickey's beat are murdered; women like Kacey, addicts who will do anything for a fix. Mickey is immediately on high alert. Even though she doesn't approve of her sister's lifestyle and hasn't talked to her in years; she doesn't want to see Kacey murdered. Alternating between her and her sister's childhood to the present day disappearance of her sister; this book about the bonds of sisterhood, addiction, and the complexities of the police force will capture readers attention. A tour de force!

Locke and Key: Crown of Shadows

This series keeps getting better. The characters are really developing, the house is really starting to show its true colors, and Dodge is still relentlessly pursuing the key to the black door. As usual the siblings keep finding themselves in trouble and Bode keeps stumbling upon keys. This volume may be the best one yet. I couldn't put it down!