Wednesday, November 30, 2016

November Wrap Up - December TBR


Goodbye November
Hello December

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I feel like time is flying I can't believe it is already December and almost the second week! I have been a little busy with work these past few weeks, but finally had some time to catch up on reviews.  I have a few more in the que and then should be all caught up! 

My goals for December are going to be really working on staying on top of blogging and review requests.  I have completed a few more books and need to get them posted ASAP.   Also, I want to work on planning out my 2017 goals! 
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My top clicked on post for November was:  {Blog Tour} Aftermath - Clara Kensie (Review)

My favorite book I read in November was: Tell Me Three Things - Julie 11/2/16)

My Decmeber TBR List (which will most likely change 100 times):  I am working on updating my TBR List to find out what I am going to read next! 

Challenge Participating in:
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 How was your November?  What do you have planned for December?

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Girl on the Train - Paula Hawkins (Review)

22557272The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
Genres: Mystery, Fiction
Publication date:
January 13th 2015

Publisher: Riverhead Books
Format: hardcover, 336 pages
How I got it: I purchased it from Amazon
Buy it: Amazon Barnes & Noble
My rating: 3/5
 

EVERY DAY THE SAME
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. Jess and Jason, she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

UNTIL TODAY
And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel goes to the police. But is she really as unreliable as they say? Soon she is deeply entangled not only in the investigation but in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

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My thoughts:


This book follows Rachel who takes the same train every morning and night that stops around almost the same place everyday watching the same houses.   Rachael watches a couple that she has created an entire backstory too.   One day she finds out that the women who she watches is missing. The book is told from several point of views in different chapters and is told from current and past happenings. 

I enjoyed how the book was setup by the author.  I liked that we got a look into what happened in the past as well as we got to see different perspectives of Rachael.  The author did a great job setting up the characters to each have different information about the crime.   

Rachael was a challenging character to love in the book.  I definitely have a love/hate relationship with her, but by the end of the book I was rooting for her to get better.  I felt like Rachel's alcohol issue is bought up a lot, but it didn't seem like she was to pressed to fix this issue and she didn't seem to want help either.  I felt like the author did a great job keeping up with the issues Rachael had and had the character stay very true to herself. 

I want to note I didn't see the movie or read any spoilers before I read this book, but for some reason I saw the ending coming.   I felt like the action picked up a lot towards the end of the book and we got a lot of backstory up onto the point of the action.  The author does a great job once the action starts happening and it made me not want to put the book down until I found out what was going to happen. 

My two major issues with the book is one for some reason I could see what was going to happen at the end.   I am not sure if it was just the differences between Rachael's story and Anna's story that lead me to the conclusion too quickly.    My second issue was the story itself some of the details included I felt where sort of pointless to add to the story and I wanted to read about more action happening.  I felt like the beginning of the book sort of dragged along and then all the sudden tons of things started to happen. 

I would suggest this book as a nighttime read.  I felt like this book was easy for me to pickup and put down.  I found the beginning of the book to be a little slower paced and the author was really just setting up a lot of the background, which caused me to find natural stopping points. 
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About the Author



Paula Hawkins worked as a journalist for fifteen years before turning her hand to fiction.

Born and brought up in Zimbabwe, Paula moved to London in 1989 and has lived there ever since. The Girl on the Train is her first thriller.

Author Links:
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Monday, November 28, 2016

Tell Me Three Things - Julie Buxbaum (Review)

25893582Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Romance
Publication date:
April 5th 2016

Publisher: Delacorte Press  
Format: hardcover, 328 pages
How I got it: I purchased it from Amazon
Buy it: Amazon Barnes & Noble
My rating: 5/5
 

Everything about Jessie is wrong. At least, that’s what it feels like during her first week of junior year at her new ultra-intimidating prep school in Los Angeles. Just when she’s thinking about hightailing it back to Chicago, she gets an email from a person calling themselves Somebody/Nobody (SN for short), offering to help her navigate the wilds of Wood Valley High School. Is it an elaborate hoax? Or can she rely on SN for some much-needed help?

It’s been barely two years since her mother’s death, and because her father eloped with a woman he met online, Jessie has been forced to move across the country to live with her stepmonster and her pretentious teenage son.

In a leap of faith—or an act of complete desperation—Jessie begins to rely on SN, and SN quickly becomes her lifeline and closest ally. Jessie can’t help wanting to meet SN in person. But are some mysteries better left unsolved?

Julie Buxbaum mixes comedy and tragedy, love and loss, pain and elation, in her debut YA novel filled with characters who will come to feel like friends.

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My thoughts:


I have read the first two books published by Julie Buxbaum years ago and I couldn't put them down I just loved them! Julie Buxbaum then became one of my favorite authors so I was excited to read her newest book.

Tell Me Three Things follows Jessie as she has just moved into her stepmothers house with her father.  Also, her stepmother has a son who is around the age of Jessie, so now it is 4 people living in a house.  Jessie has lost her mother and gets uprooted from her life in Chicago.  While Jessie is trying to adjust to her new life and school she starts getting messages from a person who calls themselves Somebody/Nobody.   At first Jessie thinks it is a prank and then she starts to really rely on SN for advice and guidance in her new life.

I love the complex relationships that the author creates.  I feel like I could completely relate to the characters because of the dynamic that the author created.   First we have Jessie and her dad; she is very upset with him because he just completely changed her life and she also feels like her mother wasn't as important to her father.  The author really showed us the struggle between these two characters in their relationship.   I loved that the story is completely told through Jessie's eyes, but by the end of the book I could tell exactly how Jessie's father felt. 

Another relationship that I loved was Jessie and her stepmother.  Although this was more of a limited relationship in the book we still get to see a complete picture of what they are both going through by the end of the book.  I felt like even though Jessie's stepmother seemed like a back burner character I felt connected.

The author does a great job moving the story along with Jessie's issues.  We really get to see Jessie grow and develop as a character.  By the end of the book we could see Jessie open up and be able to understand where other people where coming from as well as see a path for herself.  

I also loved how the author setup SN so that it could be several different characters in the book and how Jessie sort of pursued all of them.  Jessie was constantly looking to solve the mystery of who SN was in the book and by the author leaving all these different hints it really helped the book develop and keep me reading.

I would suggest this as the perfect book to read over the weekend.  Once I started reading this book I got sucked in and couldn't put it down.  This is also the perfect book to take on vacation it will clear your mind!
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About the Author



Please check out my two novels, THE OPPOSITE OF LOVE and AFTER YOU, both now out in paperback. My first YA novel, TELL ME THREE THINGS, debuts April 2016.

Please check out my website www.juliebuxbaum.com for more information about my books.

Or to follow my recent shenanigans, please check out my blog, JULIE HAS WRITER'S BLOG, at www.juliebuxbaum.com/blog/

One of my favorite things about being a novelist is the opportunity to talk to reading groups. If you are part of a reading group and would like to set up a conference call, or maybe even a meeting in person, please check out the reading group form and the reading group guide on my website.

Author Links:
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Saturday, November 26, 2016

{Blog Tour} Murder at Mistletoe Manor - Holly Tierney-Bedord (Review)

32294392Murder at Mistletoe Manor Book Tour 
By Holly Tierney-Bedord  
Tour Dates: November 20th – 26th, 2016
Blurb:
Klarinda Snow is the innkeeper of a beautiful, historic bed and breakfast in Windy Pines, Idaho. Guests come to Mistletoe Manor to escape from their troubles while enjoying the scenic mountain town.

When all seven rooms of the inn get booked on a Tuesday night in December, Klarinda is excited about having so much business, but a little confused as well. After all, her inn normally isn’t exactly a destination hotspot.

The guests have barely settled in before strange things begin happening. Is this the most accident prone group of travelers ever, or is someone out for revenge?
Buy the Book:
 
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Review

This book follows Klarinda Snow who owns the Mistletoe Manor, which is an Inn in Idaho.   Klarinda had recently purchase the Inn and is trying to keep it on budget as well as slowly making improvements.   She finds it odd that on one random Wednesday night all of the rooms in the Inn are booked as she rarely has a full house.   It gets even odder when some of the guests know each other, but Klarinda keeps going. 


I loved Klarinda as the main character of this book.  The book is completely told through the eyes of Klarinda so we don’t get the full ins and outs of how the guests know each other but we get a broader overview, which really makes the story move along.   We get just the right information at the right time to know what is going on, but having the mystery keep going.   Klarinda is just trying to get through the night and is just trying to make the inn successful so she keeps the budget tight.   Klarinda leans on the chef and the house cleaner a lot in the book since they have been with the Inn longer. 


The author does an amazing job with the storyline.  There were parts of the books where I just couldn’t stop laughing while other parts I just couldn’t stop reading because I needed to know what happened.  I also loved how the author did a great job summing up the book and tying up all the loose ends!


We don’t get full backgrounds on all of the guests, which I think would have made the book drag along further and that would be completely unnecessary because the book is the perfect length.  The story moves along at a very steady fast pace.  I felt like by the time I was trying to figure out what was going on something else would happen.   The author also did a great job with all of the details I felt like I could imagine myself at the Inn and also what the colored bedrooms would look like. 


I highly recommend this as a weekend read where you have some time to get into this short book.  The book is very short and fast paced so it was easy to read in one sitting.  This is the perfect book to read while sitting by the firing and just relaxing during the weekend.  


I received a copy of this book from Hello Chick Lit in exchange for an honest review.  This does not affect my opinion of this book.

My Rating: 5/5
 


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About the Author:
Holly Tierney-Bedord
Bio:
Holly Tierney-Bedord is the author of over a dozen books. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin with her husband Bill and their dog Tyler.

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Visit all the Tour Stops:
November 20th
Book Lover in Florida - Book Excerpt Post Hello...Chick Lit - Book Excerpt Post
November 21st
My Novelesque Life - Author Guest Post Steamy Book Momma - Book Review Judging More Than Just the Cover - Author Q&A
November 22nd
Reviews by Crystal - Book Excerpt Post Imaginary Book Club - Book Review
November 23rd
Lilac Diaries - Author Guest Post Thoughts on Books - Book Review Christa Reads and Writes - Book Review
November 24th
Jenabooks - Book Review
November 25th
Bookaholic Babe - Author Guest Post Appletree Books - Book Review
November 26th
Reading To Unwind - Book Review 4TeenReaders - Author Q&A
Tour arranged by:
hello-1

Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn (Review)

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn  Genres:  Fiction, Mystery Publication date:   April 22nd 2014   Publisher:   Broadway Books Format:  paperbac...