Book Review

A book review is a summary of my thoughts, feelings, and impression of a book.

#BookReview
The Last Mile by David Baldacci
@davidbaldacci

#BookReview The Last Mile by David Baldacci @davidbaldacciTitle: The Last Mile

Author: David Baldacci

Series: Amos Decker #2

Published by Grand Central Publishing on April 19, 2016

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 420

Format: Hardcover

Source: Borrowed

Book Rating: 9/10

 

Synopsis:

In his #1 New York Times bestseller Memory Man, David Baldacci introduced the extraordinary detective Amos Decker-the man who can forget nothing. Now, Decker returns in a spectacular new thriller . . . 
THE LAST MILE
Convicted murderer Melvin Mars is counting down the last hours before his execution–for the violent killing of his parents twenty years earlier–when he’s granted an unexpected reprieve. Another man has confessed to the crime.
Amos Decker, newly hired on an FBI special task force, takes an interest in Mars’s case after discovering the striking similarities to his own life: Both men were talented football players with promising careers cut short by tragedy. Both men’s families were brutally murdered. And in both cases, another suspect came forward, years after the killing, to confess to the crime. A suspect who may or may not have been telling the truth.
The confession has the potential to make Melvin Mars–guilty or not–a free man. Who wants Mars out of prison? And why now?
But when a member of Decker’s team disappears, it becomes clear that something much larger–and more sinister–than just one convicted criminal’s life hangs in the balance. Decker will need all of his extraordinary brainpower to stop an innocent man from being executed. 


Review:

This is another great mystery from David Baldacci. It is the second book in the Amos Decker series, but can definitely be read as a standalone.

In this novel our favourite characters, Decker, Jamison and Bogart, from Memory Man are back and working together as a special team in the FBI that try to solve cold cases.

This story is well written, interesting, suspenseful, and intelligent. It has everything you look for in a good mystery, murder, kidnapping, blackmail, and deceit.

It is a captivating page turner that you won’t want to put down. I highly recommend it.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from the following Amazon links.

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon Canada

 

For more information on David Baldacci, visit his website at: davidbaldacci.com

or follow him on Twitter at: @davidbaldacci

 

#BookReview
The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George

#BookReview The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina GeorgeTitle: The Little Paris Bookshop

Author: Nina George

Published by Broadway Books on March 22, 2016

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 416

Format: Paperback

Source: Borrowed

Book Rating: 6.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

“There are books that are suitable for a million people, others for only a hundred. There are even remedies—I mean books—that were written for one person only…A book is both medic and medicine at once. It makes a diagnosis as well as offering therapy. Putting the right novels to the appropriate ailments: that’s how I sell books.”

Monsieur Perdu calls himself a literary apothecary. From his floating bookstore in a barge on the Seine, he prescribes novels for the hardships of life. Using his intuitive feel for the exact book a reader needs, Perdu mends broken hearts and souls. The only person he can’t seem to heal through literature is himself; he’s still haunted by heartbreak after his great love disappeared. She left him with only a letter, which he has never opened.

After Perdu is finally tempted to read the letter, he hauls anchor and departs on a mission to the south of France, hoping to make peace with his loss and discover the end of the story. Joined by a bestselling but blocked author and a lovelorn Italian chef, Perdu travels along the country’s rivers, dispensing his wisdom and his books, showing that the literary world can take the human soul on a journey to heal itself.

Internationally bestselling and filled with warmth and adventure, The Little Paris Bookshop is a love letter to books, meant for anyone who believes in the power of stories to shape people’s lives.


Review:

As a book lover, I was really excited to read this book. I thought it had a great premise and great potential. Unfortunately, for me, it didn’t live up to my expectations and I can’t really pinpoint exactly where it went wrong.

The imagery of Paris and the French countryside is vivid, bold, and extremely well done. The characters evolve, develop, and grow throughout the story. And the plot is unique and thoughtful.

It is, ultimately, a story about loneliness and longing, the ability to love and to be loved, and what it means to truly live.

However, saying all that, it just never seemed to capture my attention. It didn’t flow well and I found myself putting it down numerous times before pushing myself to pick it back up to finish it. 

This is probably one of those stories that some people will love, but I would have to say with all the other great stories out there I would give this one a miss.

 

#BookReview
Sweet Resolve by Jill Sanders

#BookReview Sweet Resolve by Jill SandersTitle: Sweet Resolve

Author: Jill Sanders

Series: Lucky #2

Published by Montlake Romance on June 7, 2016

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 176

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Montlake Romance, NetGalley

Book Rating: 7.5/10

 

Synopsis:

Amy Walker is steps away from her perfect job. The day she makes partner at her real estate firm will be the happiest of her life, second only to the day in junior high when her tormentor, Logan Miller, finally moved away. But fate has a warped sense of humor, because Logan is back. In her town, in her office, gunning for the same promotion. Worse, the man is sinfully hot. But that won’t keep Amy from exacting the revenge he richly deserves…

Logan had reasons for acting wild in his youth, but he still regrets the way he treated Amy. Especially once he’s sharing an office with the smart, self-controlled beauty. For one thing, she’s got a wicked sense of payback. For another, he’s realized there’s something he wants much more than a promotion. And that’s to melt the ice he helped form around her heart all those years ago and to prove that loving thine enemy can be the ultimate happy ending.


Review:

This is a nice contemporary romance story.

It is the second story in the Lucky Series, but can definitely be read as a stand-alone novel.

The writing flows easy. The characters are sweet and engaging. And the plot has humour, romance, and a little twist to create a bit of suspense.

Overall, although predictable, this is a cute, light-hearted read, that is certainly not a bad way to spend an afternoon.

 

This book is due to be published on June 7, 2016.

 

 

Thank you to NetGalley, especially Montlake Romance, for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

#BookReview
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
by Ransom Riggs

#BookReview Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom RiggsTitle: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Author: Ransom Riggs

Series: Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children #1

Published by Quirk Books on June 4, 2013

Genres: Young Adult, Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 382

Format: Paperback

Source: Purchased

Book Rating: 7.5/10

 

Synopsis:

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs.

A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.


Review:

I have seen this book many times but it wasn’t until I recently saw it on a “Books Becoming Movies in 2016” list that I decided to give it a try.

I actually thought from the picture on the front cover of this book that it might be a horror story, but boy was I surprised.

This is actually a highly imaginative tale about those with extraordinary abilities. It takes place in the present, and the past during the height of WWII.

I have to say, there are elements of this story that remind me a little of such classics as The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe and Harry Potter. Similar to those stories, the children, themselves, are the protectors and heroes against the monsters that hunt them, and they use portals for time travel between the present and the past to survive.

The writing is simple but effective. The plot is creative, suspenseful, and magical. It truly is a very unique story.

Keep in mind, there are two other novels in the series, Hollow City and Library of Souls, where the battles and adventures of these “peculiar children” continue.

Also, the movie for this first book is set to be released in theatres in September 2016.

 

#BookReview
Moonlight Over Paris by Jennifer Robson

#BookReview Moonlight Over Paris by Jennifer RobsonTitle: Moonlight over Paris

Author: Jennifer Robson

Series: The Great War #3

Published by William Morrow on January 19, 2016

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 352

Format: Paperback

Source: Purchased

Book Rating: 8/10

 

Synopsis:

USA Today and internationally bestselling author Jennifer Robson takes readers to 1920s Paris in an enthralling new historical novel that tells the riveting story of an English lady who trades in her staid aristocratic life for the mesmerizing salons and the heady world of the Lost Generation.

It’s the spring of 1924, and Lady Helena Montagu-Douglas-Parr has just arrived in France. On the mend after a near-fatal illness, she is ready to embrace the restless, heady allure of the City of Lights. Her parents have given her one year to live with her eccentric aunt in Paris and Helena means to make the most of her time. She’s quickly drawn into the world of the Lost Generation and its circle of American expatriates, and with their encouragement, she finds the courage to pursue her dream of becoming an artist.

One of those expats is Sam Howard, a journalist working for the Chicago Tribune. Irascible, plain-spoken, and scarred by his experiences during the war, Sam is simply the most fascinating man she has ever met. He’s also entirely unsuitable. 

As Paris is born anew, rising phoenix-like from the ashes of the Great War, Helena realizes that she, too, is changing. The good girl she once was, so dutiful and obedient, so aware of her place in the world, is gone forever. Yet now that she has shed her old self, who will she become, and where, and with whom, does she belong…?


Review:

This is the third book in the Great War Trilogy. And even though there is some cross over with the characters, this book can easily be read as a stand-alone novel.

The story takes place in Paris in the 1920s and gives us a fascinating view of the culture and lifestyle of the people, especially artists, who resided there at that time.

The characters are interesting and warm, and the story flows effortlessly from page to page.

It really is a wonderful love story. And if you like historical fiction, especially novels set in the interwar period, then you will like this book.

If you haven’t read the other two novels in the series, I would recommend them. The first novel is Somewhere in France, and the second one is After the War is Over. 

 

#BookReview
The Shark by Mary Burton

#BookReview The Shark by Mary BurtonTitle: The Shark

Author: Mary Burton

Series: The Forgotten Files #1

Published by Montlake Romance on May 24, 2016

Genres: Romantic Suspense

Pages: 363

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Montlake Romance, NetGalley

Book Rating: 8/10

 

Synopsis:

At the grisly murder scene of a teen prostitute, Virginia state trooper Riley Tatum’s past roars back to haunt her. When she was a teenage runaway, she was kidnapped, drugged, and left unconscious on the streets. She has no memories of what happened, only strange recurring dreams of two men playing cards.

Former FBI agent Clay Bowman, Riley’s old flame, is Shield Security’s newest member. He’s plagued by the unsolved case of a serial killer nicknamed the Shark who murdered girls as part of a sadistic poker game. Only one girl survived. With the Shark now bent on evening that score, Clay has a chilling suspicion: Riley is the girl who escaped the Shark’s deadly amusement—and she is his next prey.

As the Shark gets ready to play his hand, can Riley and Clay stop him—or will this killer finally claim the one who got away?


Review:

Mary Burton is no stranger to this genre, and once again she has produced a good mystery full of intrigue and suspense.

This story is the first book in a new series, The Forgotten Files, and it takes us on a journey into the world of young runaways and their susceptibility to the predators that hunt them.

The characterization is well done. The characters are complex and have depth. And the plot is well written, interesting, and action packed with twists and turns, and of course a little romance to keep you turning the page.

I really enjoyed it. And I look forward to reading the next novel in the series, The Dollmaker, when it is published.

 

This book is due to be published on May 24, 2016.

 

 

Thank you to NetGalley, especially Montlake Romance, for providing me with a copy of this story in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Mary Burton

New York Times and USA Today bestselling novelist Mary Burton is the highly praised author of twenty-six romance and suspense novels and five novellas. She lives in Virginia with her husband and three miniature dachshunds.

#BookReview
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

#BookReview A Man Called Ove by Fredrik BackmanTitle: A Man Called Ove

Author: Fredrik Backman

Published by Hodder And Stoughton Ltd. on March 27, 2015

Genres: General Fiction

Pages: 294

Format: Paperback

Source: Borrowed

Book Rating: 9/10

 

 

Synopsis:

A grumpy yet loveable man finds his solitary world turned on its head when a boisterous young family moves in next door.

Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon, the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him the bitter neighbor from hell, but must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?

Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their very foundations.


Review:

I was really surprised at how much I liked this book.

This is a really touching, funny, melancholy story.

It is, ultimately, a story about life. It takes us on journey through loss and grief, finding the will to survive, and the importance of being needed.

The characterization is extremely well done. The main character, Ove, is a quirky, quiet, stubborn, big-hearted man you can’t help but love. And the secondary characters are bold, unique, and entertaining, right down to the SAAB.

It was a delight to read this story about, Ove. I laughed. I cried. And I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Thank you Allison for lending me this book. It was terrific and I can’t wait to recommend it to others.

 

 

About Fredrik Backman

Fredrik Backman is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove (soon to be a major motion picture starring Tom Hanks), My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry, Britt-Marie Was Here, Beartown, Us Against You, as well as two novellas, And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer and The Deal of a Lifetime. His books are published in more than forty countries. He lives in Stockholm, Sweden, with his wife and two children.

#BookReview
Starting Over by Barbie Bohrman

#BookReview Starting Over by Barbie BohrmanTitle: Starting Over

Author: Barbie Bohrman

Published by Montlake Romance on January 19, 2016

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 211

Format: eBook

Source: Purchased

Book Rating: 8/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Single mom Vanessa Holt has a daughter she loves, a supportive family, and her art. Having given up on finding true love—if that even exists, which she doubts—she’s content to put romance on the back burner. But not everyone agrees. Those nearest and dearest are ready to see Vanessa let down her long blonde hair and have some fun.

To put their grumbling to rest, Vanessa agrees to go on a date with the next man who asks. Luckily for her, that man is Cameron Thomas, her daughter’s extremely handsome science teacher. She’d felt a spark of chemistry the first time she’d laid eyes on him. Now she’s ready to lay a whole lot more on the sexy bachelor.

But just as things get hot, they also get heavy. When the man who broke Vanessa’s heart reappears, her old doubts and fears about love rush to the surface. Will her fresh start with Cameron be over before it’s barely begun?


Review:

This is a really great contemporary romance story that makes you think of real-life fairy tales and handsome princes.

This is my second Barbie Bohrman novel and I am definitely a fan.

This book contains warm, quirky, lovable characters. And the plot has just enough family drama, heartache, and romance to keep it interesting and engaging.

Anyone looking for a sweet, well written, easy read will love this book.

 

 

About Barbie Bohrman

Born and raised in Miami, Florida, Barbie Bohrman dreamed of becoming an author. Long after she had given up, a book club’s prologue contest enticed her to give it one more go. What emerged were the beginnings of her debut novel, Promise Me. Now she’s living her dream and writing stories that entice readers to escape and break away from reality. When she’s not writing, you can find her trying to get through the books on her Kindle (more than a thousand at last count) or watching Lost or Seinfeld. She currently resides in New Jersey with her husband, two children, and two dogs.

#BookReview
Summer at Rose Island by Holly Martin
@hollymartin00

#BookReview Summer at Rose Island by Holly Martin @hollymartin00Title: Summer at Rose Island

Author: Holly Martin

Series: White Cliff Bay #3

Published by Bookouture on May 13, 2016

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 338

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Bookouture, NetGalley

Book Rating: 8/10

 

Synopsis:

Fall in love with the gorgeous seaside town of White Cliff Bay this summer and enjoy long sunny days, beautiful beaches and… a little romance. 

Darcy Davenport is ready for a fresh start. Determined to leave a string of disastrous jobs and relationships behind her, she can’t wait to explore White Cliff Bay and meet the locals. 

When Darcy swims in the crystal clear waters of the bay, she discovers the charming Rose Island Lighthouse. But it’s not just the beautiful building that she finds so intriguing… 

Riley Eddison doesn’t want change. Desperate to escape the memories of his past, he lives a life of solitude in the lighthouse. Yet he can’t help but notice the gorgeous woman who swims out to his island one day. 

Darcy is drawn to the mysterious and sexy Riley, but when it seems the town is trying to demolish his home, she soon finds herself having to pick sides. 

She’s fallen in love with White Cliff Bay. But is that all Darcy’s fallen for? 

Pull up a deck chair, sink back with a bowl of strawberry ice cream and pick up the summer read you won’t be able to put down.


Review:

I have really enjoyed Holly Martin’s books in the past and this one was no exception.

This story has everything you look for in a contemporary romance story. It is funny, engaging and warm. The characters are quirky, honest, and lovable. And the English seaside, with its village pub and picturesque lighthouse, couldn’t be a more perfect setting.

This is a light-hearted, easy read that will have you daydreaming of handsome, romantic cowboys in no time. 

 

This book is due to be published on May 13, 2016. 

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from the following Amazon links.

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon Canada

 

 

Thank you to NetGalley, especially Bookouture, for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Holly Martin

Holly lives in a little white cottage by the sea. She studied media at university which led to a very glitzy career as a hotel receptionist followed by a even more glamorous two years working in a bank. The moment that one of her colleagues received the much coveted carriage clock for fifteen years’ service was the moment when she knew she had to escape. She quit her job and returned to university to train to be a teacher. Three years later, she emerged wide eyed and terrified that she now had responsibility for the development of thirty young minds. She taught for four years and then escaped the classroom to teach history workshops, dressing up as a Viking one day and an Egyptian High Priestess the next. But the long journeys around the UK and many hours sat on the M25 gave her a lot of time to plan out her stories and she now writes full time, doing what she loves.

Holly has been writing for 8 years. She was shortlisted for the New Talent Award at the Festival of Romance. Her short story won the Sunlounger competition and was published in the Sunlounger anthology. She won the Carina Valentine’s competition at the Festival of Romance 2013 with her novel The Guestbook. She was shortlisted for Best Romantic Read, Best eBook and Innovation in Romantic Fiction at the Festival of Romance 2014. She is the bestselling author of 18 books

#BookReview
The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

#BookReview The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle ZevinTitle: The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry

Author: Gabrielle Zevin

Published by Penguin Canada Books Inc. on April 4, 2014

Genres: General Fiction

Pages: 260

Format: Paperback

Source: Purchased

Book Rating: 9/10

 

 

Synopsis:

In the spirit of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, Gabrielle Zevin’s enchanting novel is a love letter to the world of books–and booksellers–that changes our lives by giving us the stories that open our hearts and enlighten our minds.  

On the faded Island Books sign hanging over the porch of the Victorian cottage is the motto “No Man Is an Island; Every Book Is a World.” A. J. Fikry, the irascible owner, is about to discover just what that truly means.

A. J. Fikry’s life is not at all what he expected it to be. His wife has died, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. Slowly but surely, he is isolating himself from all the people of Alice Island–from Lambiase, the well-intentioned police officer who’s always felt kindly toward Fikry; from Ismay, his sister-in-law who is hell-bent on saving him from his dreary self; from Amelia, the lovely and idealistic (if eccentric) Knightley Press sales rep who keeps on taking the ferry over to Alice Island, refusing to be deterred by A.J.’s bad attitude. Even the books in his store have stopped holding pleasure for him. These days, A.J. can only see them as a sign of a world that is changing too rapidly.

And then a mysterious package appears at the bookstore. It’s a small package, but large in weight. It’s that unexpected arrival that gives A. J. Fikry the opportunity to make his life over, the ability to see everything anew. It doesn’t take long for the locals to notice the change overcoming A.J.; or for that determined sales rep, Amelia, to see her curmudgeonly client in a new light; or for the wisdom of all those books to become again the lifeblood of A.J.’s world; or for everything to twist again into a version of his life that he didn’t see coming. As surprising as it is moving, The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry is an unforgettable tale of transformation and second chances, an irresistible affirmation of why we read, and why we love.


Review:

I am a little embarrassed to say that I purchased this book quite a long time ago and only just picked it up to read last night.

Saying that, this is one of my favourite books I have read so far this year. I loved it. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I couldn’t put it down and read it in one sitting.

It is a lovely, warm, bittersweet story that touches on how life is short, and how the choices we make and the experiences we have shape us, and those around us, more than we may think. 

It is also a story about books, those who write books, those who sell books, and those who love books.

The prose is simple but elegant. The characters are unique and engaging. And the plot is insightful, funny, interesting, and a little sad.

This is a beautifully written book and I can’t wait to share it at book club. 

It really is a must read for all book lovers.

 

 

About Gabrielle Zevin

GABRIELLE ZEVIN is an internationally bestselling author whose books have been translated into over thirty languages.

Her eighth novel, The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry (2014), spent months on the New York Times Best Seller List, reached #1 on the National Indie Best Seller List, and has been a bestseller all around the world. The Toronto Globe and Mail called the book “a powerful novel about the power of novels.” Her debut, Margarettown, was a selection of the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers program. The Hole We’re In was a New York Times Editor’s Choice title.

She also writes books for young readers. Her best known young adult novel is Elsewhere, an American Library Association Notable Children’s Book. Of Elsewhere, the New York Times Book Review wrote, “Every so often a book comes along with a premise so fresh and arresting it seems to exist in a category all its own… Elsewhere, by Gabrielle Zevin, is such a book.”

She is the screenwriter of Conversations with Other Women (Helena Bonham Carter, Aaron Eckhart) for which she received an Independent Spirit Award Nomination for Best First Screenplay. In 2009, she and director Hans Canosa adapted her novel Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac (ALA Best Books for Young Adults) into the Japanese film, Dareka ga Watashi ni Kiss wo Shita. She has also written for the New York Times Book Review and NPR’s All Things Considered. She began her writing career at age fourteen as a music critic for the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel.

Zevin is a graduate of Harvard University. She lives in Los Angeles. Her 9th novel is Young Jane Young.

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