Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Lying In Wait by Liz Nugent

4 Stars

“My husband did not mean to kill Annie Doyle, but the lying tramp deserved it.”
^^^That line right there had me like . . . .

I mean let’s be honest. I don’t care if the tramp deserved it – or if she was a tramp – or if the husband did or didn’t mean to kill her. I just appreciate any time someone is dead and I am given an early copy to read. As mentioned a time or a thousand before, I have a bit of old lady brain so I knew I had read Liz Nugent before, but I couldn’t remember what and I didn’t bother looking it up because I thought I had enjoyed her previously. Turns out I was right because this is the author of Unraveling Oliver. Go brain! You is smart sometimes!

Anyway, I didn’t bother looking her up before starting and it turns out I didn’t even have to because once I started reading I remembered who she was and what I had read before. I love an author whose voice is so distinct that you can recognize it without a Google search.

The story here is about that tramp chick above who gets whacked by dear ol’ hubs. It tells the who, when, why and how – and all by the 30% point which had me a little dubious. But then I remembered that it was Liz Nugent writing the story, so the thriller aspect was just the peel of the onion and the remaining 70% would be all the stinky deliciousness contained in the other layers. If you didn’t like Oliver, there’s a good chance you probably won’t like Lydia or Andrew or Laurence either. But if you did????? Oh such good times in a story that reminds us all that . . . .

ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Thank you, NetGalley!

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

All the Ever Afters by Danielle Teller

3.5 Stars

“Everyone knows the story about Prince Henry’s hunt for the beautiful girl he met at the ball, how he searched from house to house, asking every unmarried woman in five parishes to try on the glass slippers. That is a pretty tale. As usual, the truth is more mundane.”
Is there anyone out there who wouldn’t want to be like this rather than one of those mealy-mouthed princesses?????

Or even like this (who so happens to be the focus of this particular story)??????

Wait. I think I might already be her. I’m even attempting to adopt a new kitteh who looks kinda like hers rather than the all black which I generally gravitate toward . . . . .

No wonder I wanted to read her story, right?

My picture from the ol’ Instagram this morning shows that I’m kind of a hoarder fan of retellings (I tried to put the Lunar Chronicles in there too, but they were being a-holes and wouldn’t stand up so they got chucked) . . . . .

All the Ever Afters was an absolute must read for me. The story here is of Cinderella’s stepmother . . . .

“I do not set out to write the princess’s history, but my own, the only tale I have the authority to tell . . . . As for fables about good and evil and songs about glass slippers, I shall leave those to the minstrels. They can invent their own tales about Cinderella.”

So, there you have it. This is the life story of the woman who would one day become known simply as a “Wicked Stepmother.” It tells of her childhood where she was born into a family so poor they sent her to become a laundry maid for the nearest royal house - to her pulling a bit of a con in order for a chance to serve the local abbey instead - to falling in love and out of favor with the abbess via an unplanned pregnancy - to learning how to become an alewife - all the way to her return to the royal house. It even explains how her daughters came to be known as the “Ugly Stepsisters.” It is up to the reader to decide if she (and her children) were truly awful, or if Cinderella was simply a coddled brat.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

3 Stars

When 16-year old Lina’s mother passes away from pancreatic cancer, she is encouraged by her grandmother to spend the summer in Tuscany in order to get to know Howard – a father she never even knew existed. Lina would have never guessed she’d end up living in a cemetery, or that her mother left a journal regarding her own time spent in Italy or that she would be uncovering a huge secret during her summer abroad.

Love and Gelato was an instant “yes please” due to the title and adorable cover. The story was a little bit . . . .

And a little bit of this . . . .

With a little bit of this . . . .

In case you aren’t familiar with that last image . . . .

In YA format. It’s sure to be a huge hit with its target demographic. 3 Stars from me since I’m old and horrible and I got annoyed that the supposedly huuuuuuge secret was not only 100% obvious, but that it took almost half of the book for Lina to figure out what was going on.

Friday, June 8, 2018

The Line That Held Us by David Joy

5 Stars

Oh Mr. Joy, how I’ve missed you.

Perhaps the most ironic thing of all when it comes to this author is his name. If you were ever curious where the “Black As Mitchell’s Heart” moniker came from – David Joy’s stories are about as bleak as one brain could ever conjure. As my Bookwife stated over on her review, we pretty much have a Google Alert set for anything new in David Joy’s world, up to and including I now read what he tells me to (thanks again for turning me on to Larry Brown). We most definitely were in full-fledged “This Is America and We Want It Now” mode while waiting to be approved for The Line That Held Us and I am so happy to say that once again David Joy delivered the misery in spades – just the way I like it.

The story here is pretty simple – Darl Moody has been chasing after a dream buck for ages and has tracked him down to Coon Coward’s private property. What ol’ Coon don’t know won’t hurt him, though, so Darl waits until he’s out of town and sets about in the wee hours to do some poaching. The only thing he wasn’t expecting? Carol Brewer to be doing some poaching of his own – digging ginseng to be exact. Rather than face the crazy which is Carol's brother Dwayne, Darl does the only other thing he can think of – enlist his best friend Calvin’s help and bury the body . . . .

That might possibly be the best thing about David Joy’s books. You know there is not going to be a happy ending or that the characters will magically escape the superbadawful they have set themselves up for. I love how his stories are all different, but touch on similar themes of love, loyalty, family, friendship and religion (in the most shuddery way possible). He blurs the lines between what is right and what is wrong effortlessly. Not to mention, he really makes you feel like you are truly in the heart of the south . . . .

When it comes to hick lit, he’s the bees knees. Every Star.

Many thanks to NetGalley for approving me for this one before I stormed your offices!

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Noir by Christopher Moore

3 Stars

Noir is a book that proves the old adage . . . .

The dame is “Cheese” – the fella hung up on her is Sammy Two Toes. The story takes place everywhere from a dive bar, to a national forest to Roswell, New Mexico.

I was real worried that I’d have to look like this . . . . .

Due to my “meh” reaction upon finishing, but it appears most of my friends pretty much felt the same as me. The one thing I can say is Christopher Moore most definitely knows how to stick to a bit. Go read Kemper’s review if you want actual insight. Not only does he know how to words way better than I do, but I could also totally picture this story becoming Archer Season 24 or some such . . . .

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

The House Swap by Rebecca Fleet

3 Stars

Okay, this is one of those books that I’ll probably forget all the details about in less than a month so I better get something written down pronto.

Caroline and Francis are attempting to rebuild their marriage after going through a seriously rough patch. They decide to take a week away all by themselves and do so via way of a . . . . .

Despite the house they end up with being more than a little cold and impersonal, the location is perfect and the couple have plans to experience some great meals and “touristy” types of daytrips. That is, until Caroline starts noticing little details from a time in the not-so-distant past she’s been trying to leave behind.

This was decent. Y’all know I’m a stingy butthole when it comes to the Starzzzzzz so 3 is good. I liked the slow burn presentation, the fact that both the husband AND the wife were kind of horrible people rather than just one of them, and I didn’t see the additional twist coming until it was right up on me (I actually was thinking a completely different direction so that was a pleasant change of things). Once again, if you prefer a little “Lifetime Mystery of the Week” for your beachy type of read, this one may be a winner.

Oh and NetGalley? You can go ahead and decline my pending request already. The liburrrrry hooked me up.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

The Kissing Booth by Beth Reekles

3.5 Stars

“Just think. All this, just from the kissing booth.”
First things first . . . . .

I would give that cat every single one of my dollars.

Now let’s get on with the show.

When nearly every minute of your life serves as a reminder that . . . .

Sometimes you need a little story like The Kissing Booth to help you feel like a kid again. Imagine my surprise when I discovered this was written by a kid. A 17 year old to be exact and she actually wrote it unlike just slapping her name on it like the trainwreck which was Girl Online. Hell my nearly 17 year old kid still can’t figure out the difference between there, their and they’re so this little gal gets serious kudos.

The story here is simple – girl and boy (Elle and Lee) have been best friends literally since their birth (on the same day, in the same hospital). They’ve maintained their friendship throughout the years by always following a simple set of rules – the most important being that Elle’s crush on Lee’s brother Noah would remain unrequited for eternity. But when the school carnival rolls around and Elle and Lee find themselves running the most popular booth of all, things start going a little sideways . . . . .

Which leads to Elle and Noah to following the sage advice of one R. Kelly . . . .

Ha! But seriously, they decide to keep it on the down low.

What can go wrong, right?

If you grew up on John Hughes movies and are not a member of Generation Butthurt, you might find this enjoyable as well. Or you can make me morph into Mallory Archer and want to scream at you . . . .

Because you refuse to stop being obstinate long enough to attempt to understand the points Beth Reekles was trying to get across. Since I don’t words so good, I got what she was putting down just fine and appreciated her efforts of including a character with some anger management issues as well trying as to educate via humor about sexism. I thought this was adorable . . . .