Tuesday, March 30, 2021

The Cousins

 The Cousins 

Author: Karen McManus

Publisher: Penguin Random House Audio

Year: 2020

Family secrets and mistaken identity play key roles in this young adult mystery. 

Teenage cousins Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah are called to their reclusive and rich grandmother’s island resort for the summer. They hope to get to know her and discover why their  grandmother disinherited and cut ties with their parents years earlier. But some things just aren’t adding up and some people aren’t who they appear to be. The more secrets and lies the cousins discover, the more dangerous things get. 

I loved McManus’s thriller One of Us Is Lying. With this third book, McManus proves on again she’s the go to author for teen thrillers. Her characters are likable and actually think and act like teenagers. And she know how to plot a quick paced story with lots of twists. 
Narrators Sarah Skaer and Kate Reinderes bring the characters and story to life for the audiobook. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Who’s started spring cleaning? We’re still working on our beach house to get it ready for the rental season. 

#thecousins #karenmcmanus #randomhousechildrensbooks #libbyapp #sarahskaer  #katereinders #ireadya #yathriller #teenfiction #teenmystery #islandeesort #inheritance #outofthewill #familyisforever #bookreview #audiobookreview #audiobook #audiobooksofinstagram #youngadultbooks #librarybook 

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Falling in Love with Stephen King

 Falling in Love with Stephen King- Again! 

Happy Tuesday! 

I have rediscovered my love of Stephen King. Way back in the day I used to read all his books. I wandered away from him after reading Misery. Other books and genres caught my attention and I just never worked my way back to him. 

A few months ago, I listened to the audiobook book of 11/22/63 and loved it. I picked up his latest book, Later, recently. And I am loving it! The main character is great and I’m enjoying his easy conversational style. It’s also a short quick read and I’ll be done with it soon. 

I definitely want to pick up King’s two other books published by @hard_case_crime The Colorado Kid and Joyland. 

Have you ever rediscovered an author you used to love and stopped reading? 

#later #stephenking #stephenkingbooks #hardcasecrime #hardcasecrimebooks #iseedeadpeople #fallinginloveagain #currentlyreading #alwaysreading #bookstagram 

Sunday, March 21, 2021

The Better Liar

 The Better Liar

Author: Tanen Jones 

Publisher: Ballantine Books

Year: 2020

Family secrets. A dead sister. A woman desperate for an inheritance. Deception and lies. It all adds up to a twisted thriller. 

Leslie has been the good and responsible daughter who helped care for her father throughout his long illness. But in order to collect her inheritance, Leslie must find and reunite with her sister Robin who ran away 10 years earlier.

Leslie tracks Robin to Las Vegas, but arrives too late. She finds Robin dead from an overdose. Grieving and desperate, Leslie meets the mysterious Mary who vaguely resembles Robin. Leslie talks Mary into posing as her dead sister so they can collect the inheritance. But Mary has secrets of her own. Can they get away with the money? 

This is a slow burning psychological thriller wrapped around the story of the con job Leslie and Mary are trying to pull off to collect the inheritance money. There were enough good twists and turns to keep me guessing. The Better Liar is well plotted and the characters are shady enough to keep you guessing if they’re good, bad, or somewhere in between. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

#thebetterliar #tanenjones #ballantinebooks #inheiritance #familysecrets #sisters #siblings #liars #scammers #impsoter #thrillerreads #psychologialthriller #bookreview #ebookreview #librarybook #librarylove #readreadread 

Friday, March 19, 2021

A Beautiful Crime

Author: Christopher Bollen

Publisher: Harper Collins

Year: 2020

“Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.” - Mason Cooley

Synopsis: When Nick and his boyfriend Clay meet up on the Grand Canal in Venice, they have a plan in mind—and it doesn’t involve a vacation. Nick and Clay are running away from their turbulent lives in New York City, each desperate for a happier, freer future someplace else. Their method of escape? Selling a collection of counterfeit antiques to a brash, unsuspecting American living out his retirement years in a grand palazzo. With Clay’s smarts and Nick’s charm, their scheme is sure to succeed.
As it turns out, tricking a millionaire out of money isn’t as easy as it seems, especially when Clay and Nick let greed get the best of them. As Nick falls under the spell of the city’s decrepit magic, Clay comes to terms with personal loss and the price of letting go of the past. Their future awaits, but it is built on disastrous deceits, and more than one life stands in the way of their dreams.

I love when an author describes a book’s setting and weaves it into the story so much that the setting itself become a main character. Venice is definitely a main character in this story. The author does a wonderful job of describing the beautiful and crumbling city.

Clay and Nick are antiheroes. They’re  out to swindle a wealthy American. They need money and Clay wants to settle an old score with man they are trying to cheat. But I rooted for them to get away with it. They are complex and likable characters. I wanted them to get the money and live happily ever after. 

This is a beautifully written slow burn novel full of atmosphere and details. 

Happy Friday! Any big plans for the weekend? 

#abeautifulcrime #christopherbollen #harpercollins #veniceitaly #italy #lbgtq #antiques #fraud #swindle #crime #thrillerbooks #slowburn #lbgtqbooks #readreadread #venice

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Currently Reading

 Currently Reading 

Happy Thursday! 

I feel like I haven’t posted in forever. Last week we traveled from our place in PA to our place on the Outer Banks of NC. We broke up the drive by staying overnight at our daughter’s and son in law’s house. Easier traveling with the dogs if we do that. We’ve been pretty much working almost nonstop since we got here last Friday getting the place ready for the summer rental season. We bought two new beds for the bedrooms. Then I  bought a new dresser for one of the bedrooms. We rearranged both bedrooms and my husband painted the ceiling in one. 

Then my husband decided we needed a new hood over the stove. The one that was there was pretty beat up and rusted. I had to go get that. I ordered a new top rack for the dishwasher and installed it all by myself. Hubby painted the railings on the deck. This morning I stared cleaning out and rearranging the kitchen cabinets.

So I’m way behind on writing some reviews. My current read is Confessions on the 7:45. Started it last night and I’m interested to see where the story is going. 

Hope you’re having a good week! What’s everyone currently reading? 

#currentlyreading #confessionsonthe745 #lisaunger #parkrowbooks #ineedavactionfrommyvacation #alwaysreading #ebook #kindle #librarybooks #librarylove #beachread 

Sunday, March 14, 2021

The Four Winds

 The Four Winds

Author: Kristin Hannah

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Year: 2021

“True wealth is not measured in money or status or power. It is measures in the legacy we leave behind for those we love and those we inspire.” - Cesar Chavez

This one has been all over bookstagram so I don’t need to do a long summary. It’s a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ read for me. 

 I’ve seen reviews describing The Four Winds as depressing, but I don’t think it is. Sure, it’s set during the Dust Bowl and Great Depression and Elsa and her family endure hardships everyday just trying to survive. No jobs, no money, no food. I thought it was heartbreaking, and yet still uplifting. Their spirit and determination is inspiring. They found joy in small things. They were still generous with the little they had. They were still able to show compassion and loved fiercely. 

What I did find depressing were the similarities to events that are still taking place today. This past year we’ve seen long lines for food distribution. We’ve seen millions of people lose their jobs. We’ve seen far too many families lose loved ones to a virus. We’ve seen communities devastated by environmental catastrophes. We’re still fighting for a livable wage while big companies get huge tax breaks and billionaires get even richer. That’s what I found sad and depressing. But I also know people are generous. Neighbors and communities have come together to help one and other.  People, especially the younger generation,  see the urgency to combat climate change. The past year redefined what it means to be an essential worker and the need to pay a living wage. Our spirit, grit, and determination marches on. 

What was the last five star book you read? Hope you all got to refresh and recharge this weekend. 

#thefourwinds #kristinhannah #stmartinspress  #ebook #bookreview #ebookreview #texas #dustbowl #thegreatdepression #california #californiamigration #wheat #wheatfarm #farmlife #okies #wheatfarming #wheatfarmers #depression #hooverville #kindle #governmentrelief #migrants #migrantfarmworkers #soldmysoultothecompanystore

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

She’s too Pretty to Burn

 She’s too Pretty to Burn 

Author: Wendy Heard

Publisher: Macmillan Children’s 

Year: 2020

Veronica and Mick, two high school girls,  get caught up with helping their artist friend Nico with his disruptive public art installations. They are actually helping him commit illegal acts which eventually end in murder. 

I didn’t like any of the characters. I thought Mick, Veronica, and Nico were all flat one dimensional, self absorbed characters and horrible people. I like flawed characters but none of these characters felt real. Mick has this huge fear of being photographed and having people look at her. I kept waiting for some kind of explanation of where her fear came from. Veronica tricks Mick into allowing Veronica to photograph her. When the photo goes viral, all Veronica can think of is how this will help her career. So selfish. Their whole relationship is built on a lie. 

Nico is supposed to be some kind of artist. He’s targeting a congressman with public pranks that get more elaborate and dangerous. Where’s the congressman’s security if this kid can blow part of a roof off a building? How are there no witnesses or some kind of security camera footage? It was just too hard to stretch my imagination to believe that a big fancy gala wouldn’t have some kind of security - especially since the congressman had been previously targeted. I really can’t stand when a book’s villain seems to be all knowing and all powerful- like leaving taunting clues in a locked car or a bedroom when everyone is home. 

Even though I’m not working in a library anymore, I still think how I would pitch a book to the teens I used to work with. This book would have been a hard sell to my former students. I don’t think the kids would have connected with the art installations in this book. There wasn’t enough athletics in it for the teens who were into sports. There would be interest in the lgbtq romance, but that romance was built on a lie. I thought what Veronica did to Mick the night they met was really awful and hurtful. I thought Veronica was a real jerk about insisting on photographing Mick. And I know teens tend to be self involved, but the kids I know are observant and smart. How can Veronica claim Nico is her BFF and then not know anything about him? Such a weird relationship that didn’t feel real.

This book publishes on March 30th. Thank you to NetGalley Wendy Heard, and Macmillan’s Children’s for the review copy.  My advice- read the author’s earlier book The Kill Club instead. It’s a more engaging thriller than this one. 

How’s everyone doing today? The sun is shining and it’s not freezing here today, so I’m doing good! 

#netgalley #shestooprettytoburn #thrillerbooks #yathriller #ireadya #bookreview #photography #swimming #art #lgbtq #lgbtqromance #highschool #macmillanschildrensbooks 

Saturday, March 6, 2021

Three Hours in Paris

 Three Hours in Paris

Author: Cara Black

Publisher: Soho Crime

Year: 2020

A young American sharp shooter is recruited by British intelligence for a daring mission in Nazi occupied Paris. Can she pull off a nearly impossible mission and then get out of Paris alive? 

In Cara Black’s historical thriller Three Hours in Paris, Kate Rees is grieving the loss of her husband and baby daughter when she accepts a mission to go to Paris to assassinate Hitler. Kate is an expert markswoman, and after some intense espionage training, she’s flown into France. Kate’s mission goes wrong from the get-go and Kate soon finds herself on the run with a German policeman on her trail. Along the way, she finds a dying British engineer who was trying to smuggle out the plans for the German naval invasion of England. Her only hope of survival is to get the invasion plans and use the engineer’s contacts to get out of France. Can she succeed when so many others have failed? 

This is an engrossing mix of historical fiction, espionage thriller, and police procedural. This book pulled me right in with its well drawn characters and the fast paced plot. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Cloudy, cold, and windy here in my little corner of the world. Winter keeps hanging on. Do you have sunshine ☀️ today? Enjoy your Saturday! 

#threehoursinparis #carablack #sohocrime #Paris #historicalfiction #espionage #policeprocedural #wwii #nazioccupation #sharpshooter #sniper #parisoccupation #espionagethriller #bookreview #booknerd #assassinationattempt #kindle #libbyapp #librarybook #libraryebook #librarybookreview 

Thursday, March 4, 2021

The Lions of Fifth Avenue

 The Lions of Fifth Avenue 

Author: Fiona Davis 

Publisher: Dutton

Year: 2020

The theft of rare books from the NY Public Library in 1913 links two women across the decades when more thefts begin 80 years later. 

Laura Lyons and her family live in an apartment inside the NY Public Library. Laura’s husband Jack is the building’s superintendent and knows all the nooks and crannies of the building. Laura wants more beyond her role as traditional wife and mother. She applies to the Columbia Journalism School and her world turns upside down. While working on her assignments, she’s introduced the burgeoning women’s right movement and meets women pushing society’s norms. While Laura’s horizons and dreams are expanding, the thefts at the library continue- leading to deadly consequences. 

Eighty years later, Sadie Donovan, Laura’s granddaughter, works in the same library where her grandmother once lived. As Sadie readies a major exhibition, she discovers rare works are disappearing- again. As she races to find the thief, she uncovers long buried family secrets that connect back to the library thefts 80 years before. 

This was enjoyable historical mystery that moved between the two different time periods. Laura and Sadie are both strong main characters and I enjoyed the way their stories and family history were woven together. And how could I resist a mystery set in a library, right? 


What’s on your March must read list? 

#thelionsoffifthavenue #fionadavis #dutton #librarybooks #librarylife #nypl #newyorkpubliclibrary #mystery #thrillerthursday #historicalfiction #womensmovement #familysecrets #patienceandfortitude #librarylions #librarylove #librarymystery #lgbtq #lgtbqromance 

Monday, March 1, 2021

Upright Women Wanted

 Upright Women Wanted 

Author: Sarah Gailey 

Narrator: Romy Nordlinger 

Publisher: Tantor Audio

Year: 2020

A stowaway discovers deadly secrets and learns some hard truths in this dystopian western. 

Esther runs away after watching Beatriz, her best friend and lover, get hanged for possessing unapproved materials. Esther’s father has also arranged her marriage to Beateiz’s former fiancรฉ. Esther’s only choice is to get out of town,  so she stows away with a group of traveling librarians. 

The librarians are wary of Esther at first, but she soon wins their trust and friendship. Esther learns the librarians have their own secrets and the important work they really do. 

Gunfights in the desert, badass librarians fighting fascism and an LGBTQ romance make this fun and engaging read.  Romy Nordlinger provides an excellent narration. 

Hard to believe it’s March already! Lay least there’s no toilet paper shortage this year! What does your month look like? Mine is going to look like melting snow, muddy dogs, and getting our taxes done. ๐Ÿ™„ Here’s hoping spring comes quickly!

#uprightwomenwanted #sarahgailey #tantoraudio #audiobook #romynordlinger #audiobookreview #libbyapp #librarybook #dystopianfiction #dystopianwestern #western #librarians #wildwest #badasslibrarians #lgbtq๐ŸŒˆ #lgbtqfiction #lgbtqromance #novella #audiobookstagram 

Under Your Spell

  Author: Laura Wood Narrator: Ellie Heydon Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Year: 2024 ๐ŸŽง๐—”๐˜‚๐—ฑ๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ฏ๐—ผ๐—ผ๐—ธ ๐—ฅ๐—ฒ๐˜ƒ๐—ถ๐—ฒ๐˜„๐ŸŽง Many thanks...