Friday, September 17, 2021

Scythe

 


Holy cow! I've heard this book get hype, mostly from my teens, but I didn't realize how right they were until I finally plunged in! This book is fantastic! The concept is insanely unique, and the whole story is inventive and over the top amazing! In a world where humans have finally overcome disease, old age, war, and injuries there is nothing left to fear or learn. People can reset their clock and be younger, they can also reset their nannites to have higher metabolism, adjust hormones, depression, and other maladies. They can even be brought back to life from extreme accidents. There is nothing to fear, except for the scythe. Since humanity has overcome every obstacle, the only problem now is overpopulation. The scythe are tasked with random killings to keep the world in balance; they are a terrible necessity. Two teens are about to get real intimate with the dark side of humanity when a scythe has chosen them to become his apprentices. They must learn the best ways to "glean" (killing is a dirty word), and how to do so with humanity and humility. A wonderfully different book. My review will not do it justice!

Thursday, September 16, 2021

The Secret Keepers of Old Depot Grocery


When Sarah Ashby returns to her hometown she is a broken woman. Her husband has recently died and she is seeking some stability in her life. Sarah thinks working in her family's grocery store and being near her mother and grandmother can provide that. Her mother is excited to see her daughter but is aghast that she wants to start over back in her hometown - she needs a fresh start and to get far away from the tiny town and failing grocery store. However, Sarah insists on working with her family in the Old Depot Grocery - it has so many good memories for her! Told in alternating storylines from the present day with Sarah to the mid-sixties with Glory Ann (grandmother) finding out she is pregnant and her fiancĂ© is never coming back from Vietnam. The Secret Keepers of Old Depot Grocery is really about the ups and downs of mother daughter relationships and the power that secrets can have when they are allowed to fester for to long. Inspiring and heartfelt. 

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Daughters of Sparta


Wonderful and frustrating - this well told story of two sisters separated by marriage will infuriate and entertain readers. It's a man's world and Helen and Klytemnestra are just pawns in lives that are out of their control. They could have it worse, but they are both princesses (soon to be queens) rather than slaves or servants so they have more freedom than any other women. Unfortunately, there is still a high cost they have no control over the actions that their powerful, and often times uncaring, husbands take. Claire Heywood does a masterful story spinning the "true" version of Helen of Troy's legend and brings to life her often overlooked sister. A fantastic retelling of the classic Greek myth. 

Monday, September 13, 2021

Lady Whistledown Strikes Back


While fun - I just wasn't as invested in this short story collection centering around Lady Whistledown and the mystery behind who stole Lady Neeley's ruby bracelet. Four different romance novellas all take place around the same two week span and some of the characters even interact with each other. Four different romance writers write in the style of Julia Quinn and give us four more romances in the Bridgerton world. The four romance novellas were ok, but nothing to write home about and I'm not sure if I will ever read it again. Not horrible - just not as good as the Bridgerton saga - I respect what these ladies were trying to do though.

Saturday, September 11, 2021

The Final Girl Support Group


Good gory fun - I am never disappointed in Grady Hendrix! I really liked the premise of this novel - a bunch of final girls meet monthly with their counselor to talk about their struggles. If you're wondering what a final girl is - it's the last girl standing after a massacre or mass murderer - usually the smartest and most resourceful girl who takes matters into her own hands and ends up killing the killer. After one of their members doesn't show for a meeting, Lynette Tarkington is on high alert. She is sure that someone is targeting the final girls. What's next is a wild ride with lost of twists and turns and wrong guesses. I especially enjoyed learning about the backstories of each of the final girls as the story progressed. Gory and great. 

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Such a Fun Age


I wanted to like this book more, but I genuinely couldn't stand some of the characters - which I get is the point of the book - so that's more on me than the author. Emira is a 25 year old who doesn't quite know what she wants in life. She's stuck babysitting and typing and trying to scrape up enough money to party with her girlfriends. When Mrs. Chamberlain, her white employer, calls her late one night for an emergency session, Emira leaves the club and agrees to take their toddler to the local grocery store to kill some time. While they are walking around the high end grocery store looking at all the nuts and fruits and things that toddlers love, a security guard stops them, convinced that Emira is kidnapping a white child. The whole uncomfortable experience is recorded on a do gooder's phone who wants Emira to release it and get the racist security fired. Told alternately between Emira and Mrs. Chamberlain - this story is about fresh chances, growing up, and "doing the right thing." It's also a piercing commentary of white saviors and duplicity. 

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

A Christmas in the Alps


Melody Carlson Christmas books are always short and sweet, with minimal conflict or drama. A Christmas in the Alps is the story of a young girl who decides to sell her grandmother's house and use the money to travel to the French Alps to look for treasure. After her grandmother's death, Simone Winthrop realizes she has no family left, she can have a fresh start. While she's cleaning out the house her grandmother left her, Simone's best friend discovers an un-opened letter to Simone from her great-grandmother. In it she mentions treasure and her hometown in the Alps. With nothing holding her back and at her friend's extreme encouragement, Simone takes a leap of faith and decides to spend Christmas in the Alps. What she doesn't expect to find is family, romance, and a new take on life - but her great grandmother really delivers on the "treasure" that can be found if one is really looking for it. Very sweet, would make a good Hallmark Christmas movie.