Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: In a Perfect World by Trish Doller

 "Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that you are eagerly anticipating.

Today, I am waiting on:  
In a Perfect World by Trish Doller

From Goodreads:
Caroline Kelly is excited to be spending her summer vacation working at the local amusement park with her best friend, exploring weird Ohio with her boyfriend, and attending soccer camp with the hope she’ll be her team’s captain in the fall.

But when Caroline’s mother is hired to open an eye clinic in Cairo, Egypt, Caroline’s plans are upended. Caroline is now expected to spend her summer and her senior year in a foreign country, away from her friends, her home, and everything she’s ever known.

With this move, Caroline predicts she’ll spend her time navigating crowded streets, eating unfamiliar food, and having terrible bouts of homesickness. But what she finds instead is a culture that surprises her, a city that astounds her, and a charming, unpredictable boy who challenges everything she thought she knew about life, love, and privilege.

From critically acclaimed author Trish Doller comes an honest, hopeful, and romantic story about the barriers we tear down for the people and places we love most.
How freaking beautiful and amazing does this sound?!  And you know Trish Doller brings the #allthefeels. In a Perfect World is scheduled to be released in 2017, and I can't wait!

What books are you waiting on this Wednesday??

Review: Out of Bounds (Inspector Karen Pirie #4) by Val McDermid

Blurb from Goodreads:
Internationally bestselling author Val McDermid is one of our finest crime writers, whose gripping, impeccably plotted novels have garnered millions of readers worldwide. In her latest, Out of Bounds, she delivers a riveting cold case novel featuring detective Karen Pirie.

When a teenage joyrider crashes a stolen car and ends up in a coma, a routine DNA test reveals a connection to an unsolved murder from twenty-two years before. Finding the answer to the cold case should be straightforward. But it’s as twisted as the DNA helix itself.

Meanwhile, Karen finds herself irresistibly drawn to another mystery that she has no business investigating, a mystery that has its roots in a terrorist bombing two decades ago. And again, she finds that nothing is as it seems.

An enthralling, twisty read, Out of Bounds reaffirms Val McDermid’s place as one of the most dependable professionals in the mystery and thriller business.
My Review:
This is a good police procedural series specializing in cold cases and, actually, this was my first in this series. I have liked other books by this author (particularly, The Grave Tattoo) but based on where this books starts, I don't think I will read the prior books in the series although I will read future books. I just like where this picking up and I suppose you could say you are spoiled for overarching plots points in the first three books by starting with book 4. This doesn't and didn't bother me but it may bother you enough to want to start at the beginning. However, this book could also be read as a standalone. The Scotland setting was well done and I really liked the MC, Karen Pririe.  She is very straightforward, blunt and, in this book, hurting.  I won't tell you why but I liked the depth of her character and her interactions with others, particularly her not hidden obstinance to her superior. Still, the mystery was interesting as well as how she went about solving these old and cold crimes.

Out of Bounds comes out next week on December 6, 2016 and you can purchase HERE. I definitely recommend this one if you like police procedurals.
He remembered once seeing a machine that tumbled dull rocks till they became polished gemstones. The inside of his head felt like that tonight. Lot of jumbled thoughts banging into each other, confused and indistinguishable one from the other. He knew from past experience that the walk wouldn't turn those thoughts into sense. But perhaps sleep might help. Sometimes it did. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: Always and Forever, Lara Jean (To All the Boys I've Loved Before #3) by Jenny Han

 "Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that you are eagerly anticipating.

Today, I am waiting on:  
Always and Forever, Lara Jean (To All the Boys I've Loved Before #3) 
by Jenny Han

From Goodreads:
Lara Jean’s letter-writing days aren’t over in this surprise follow-up to the New York Times bestselling To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and P.S. I Still Love You.

Lara Jean is having the best senior year a girl could ever hope for. She is head over heels in love with her boyfriend, Peter; her dad’s finally getting remarried to their next door neighbor, Ms. Rothschild; and Margot’s coming home for the summer just in time for the wedding.

But change is looming on the horizon. And while Lara Jean is having fun and keeping busy helping plan her father’s wedding, she can’t ignore the big life decisions she has to make. Most pressingly, where she wants to go to college and what that means for her relationship with Peter. She watched her sister Margot go through these growing pains. Now Lara Jean’s the one who’ll be graduating high school and leaving for college and leaving her family—and possibly the boy she loves—behind.

When your heart and your head are saying two different things, which one should you listen to?
Wow! I can't believe there is going to be a third book. Although my ship didn't sail in book 2, I definitely can't wait for more Kitty! Always and Forever, Lara Jean is scheduled to be released on April 4, 2017, and I can't wait!

What books are you waiting on this Wednesday??

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Review: Wrong Brother, Right Match (Anyone But You #3) by Jennifer Shirk

Blurb from Goodreads:
Matchmaking guru Kennedy Pepperdine’s life is perfect. Perfect job. Perfect friends. Perfect boyfriend. Except...when she gets trapped in an elevator with a handsome stranger, she accidentally confesses a secret: maybe her perfect boyfriend, Justin, isn’t so perfect for her after all. But a matchmaker should be able to successfully match herself, right? Thankfully, she’ll never see the handsome stranger again. Until she heads home with Justin for the holidays and learns that the sexy stranger is none other than Justin’s older brother, Matt.

Matt Ellis is trying to be on his best behavior for his mother—it is Christmas, after all. But when he recognizes the beautiful woman from the elevator—the one he hasn’t been able to stop thinking about for months—his best behavior is being held by a thread. Matt’s always sacrificed for his family, and nothing is more important than their happiness, but the more time he spends around Kennedy, the more he wonders if her supposed "right match" might just be the wrong brother.
My Review:
This was fine - nothing special but nothing too offensive.  Not very memorable, either.  The premise is cute and the book definitely follow the premise but it was missing that spark, that something special that turns an ordinary contemporary romance into something you love.   I don't think Kennedy was particularly well developed as a character; everything was incredibly superficial in this book from the characters to the romance.  Even by the end, it just seemed to be scratching the surface.  This one actually might translate better to a Hallmark or Lifetime movie but as a read, it left a bit to be desired. This is also novella length, which I feel made everything seem a bit rushed in the book. Still, if you want a short holiday romance that is light on the drama (especially considering the premise) but is cute, this may work a lot better for you.
Wrong Brother, Right Match comes out soon on December 5, 2016, and you can purchase HERE.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: Grace and the Fever by Zan Romanoff

 "Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that you are eagerly anticipating.

Today, I am waiting on:  
Grace and the Fever by Zan Romanoff

From YA Highway:
“Hey, who are you?" 
For years, Grace Thomas has had an easy answer to that question: no one. Not in real life, anyway. Online, in Fever Dream fandom, she’'s Gigi, who writes daily posts about Jes, Kendrick, Land, and Solly. But IRL? She’s as impossibly ordinary as the boys in the band are outrageously, emphatically not.

When a paparazzo captures a chance, late-night encounter between her and Jes, Grace finds herself suddenly inside of the photographs she’s been looking at all her life. She's drawn into the complicated world of the Fever Dream boys, and starts to see the stark divide between their highly public image and carefully guarded private lives— and how desperate they are to keep certain things out of the spotlight.

As she turns from unwitting accomplice to de-facto partner-in-crime, Grace has to learn to navigate their high-stakes world alongside her own private, personal reckoning: If the boys she’s built her life around for so many years are just a facade, who is she, really? And even if life with Fever Dream is nothing like she’d imagined it, is she really ready to wake up yet?
Even though this author's debut wasn't everything that I wanted, I really liked the contemporary part of the story so her next novel might be just right! Grace and the Fever is scheduled to be released in 2017, and this one sounds great!

What books are you waiting on this Wednesday??

Review: White Lead by Susan Daitch

Blurb from Goodreads:
As a night owl, Stella Da Silvera appreciates that Claiborne’s Auction House allows her to keep an unconventional schedule. Natural light can damage priceless works of art, and besides, Stella’s concentration improves after hours.

One night, while working on a seventeenth-century painting by Diego Velázquez, Stella hears screams from the office of Claiborne’s curator Jack Ashby. She tries to investigate, but when the noise fades away, she heads back to her studio—where she finds a dead body and a man with a tattooed face who isn’t happy to have company. After eluding the unsavory character, Stella returns with the police, only to find the corpse—and the Velázquez—gone.

With no murder in evidence, the detectives turn their attention to the missing canvas. They figure Stella had access and opportunity, making her a prime suspect. Adding insult to injury, Claiborne’s cans her for negligence. To save her reputation, Stella has no choice but to find the painting. Turns out, someone else is looking for her.
My Review:
First, this read as more of a cozy mystery than a tale of suspense.  It started off well enough - interesting, even - in its descriptions of art conservation. It was very detailed in it descriptions of chemistry and paint mixing and how ancient colors were formed and how these are used and/or replicated in conservation (and never restoration). Of course, the rest of the book was an .  At some point, the narrator/MC has skills that she's obtained through the years that don't make a lot of sense - we are supposed to accept these revelations of fact. What happens to this woman (violent and repeated beatings and escapes at the hands of dangerous criminals) just seemed to defy logic at some point -- she's an art conservator, not ex-police or military. I found myself skimming toward the end because I just wanted to be done -- this seemingly went on forever and the mystery when unveiled didn't make a lick of sense to me. It was so discombobulated by that point that I simply didn't care. Hopefully you have better luck with this one!
White Lead comes out today November 15, 2016, and you can purchase HERE.
I whispered scenes to Marnie that I thought she'd find comforting. The feeling of coming indoors out of a freezing Chicago wind and wrapping your hands around a cup of hot chocolate laced with rum, ginger, and black pepper. The sounds of cicadas on a summer night. Going to see the Pacific Ocean, one of the first things he or I did when we traveled to the West Coast.

Sunday, November 13, 2016


So, I'm sorry but there are things that are too important for me to devote free time to books right now. I'm sorry for the lack of comments and although I already had some posts scheduled, there won't' be a lot coming right away.  I'm not sure if most of you know but I am attorney - that's my real life. And because of the election, I have to channel my fear and my anger and sadness to something productive.  I am going to dedicate all of my free time to helping same sex couples draft documents for protection (for free) in the worst case scenario that their marriages are unfairly and wrongfully dissolved, rescinded or stolen. This is something I can do right now to help people. So I'm sorry I won't be around but my country needs me. I am HERE, however, if you want to talk, to discuss, to be angry.  We cannot be complacent. We cannot be silent. 

I had to channel my feelings and I ended up writing this on tumblr:

The New World

Don’t talk to me about healing
snatching a woman’s hijab off her head is not only condoned
but encouraged
when millions of Americans will be without healthcare
will be without preventive care
will be without any access to reproductive healthcare
and we will not be allowed to make any decision for own own bodies
medical marijuana patients will have no access to their medicine
marriages will be dissolved and stripped because they are not between a man and a woman
the only amendment that matters is the second
our right to a jury trial will be abridged to be replaced with corporate arbitrations and
the votes of people of color, indigenous persons and religious minorities count less than white people
discrimination in housing, hiring, the government and schools is not only overlooked
but cheered on
we will not be protected by the fourth amendment
we will not be protected by the first amendment
and hate crimes are being committed in the name of a president elected by less than a majority of the country
Please don’t tell us to shut up
to stop being sore losers
to suck it up
or that everything will be okay
Our existence is not merely being challenged
but erased
Don’t talk to me about healing

Thursday, November 10, 2016

So, You Want to Go to . . . Venice!

So, You Want to Go to is a feature on my blog in which I discuss a destination that I love.  I'm going to tell you about books set there that will give you a feeling for the destination and make you immediately want to visit (and maybe even give you a playlist). Please let me know about your favorite books that take place in the featured location!

Today I am all about VeniceThe City of Canals. There really is nowhere else like it in the world - a city floating on water, you feel magical walking along the canals, and then you add the food, the art, the glass.  I tried to pick books that capture the spirit of this city throughout time - so many classics are set there!

In Venice, you've got to stroll along the canals and be serenaded on a gondola! You have eat ALL of the Italian food and visit all of the museums and churches. The art is beyond incredible and the city is difficult to describe. Go to Murano and be amazed by the glassblowers. I've been there with snow when it was beyond cold but so beautiful you could cry - it is definitely crowded and hot in the summer but still beautiful!

Have you read any of these? Have you been to Venice?
Do you have a favorite book set there?

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: Piper Perish by Kayla Cagan

 "Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that you are eagerly anticipating.

Today, I am waiting on:  
Piper Perish by Kayla Cagan

From Netgalley:
Now is the time for fearlessness.

Piper Perish inhales air and exhales art. The sooner she and her best friends can get out of Houston and get to New York City, the better. Art school has been Piper’s dream her whole life, and now that senior year is halfway over, she’s never felt more ready. But in the final months before graduation, things are weird with her friends and stressful with three different guys, and Piper’s sister’s tyrannical mental state seems to thwart every attempt at happiness for the close-knit Perish family. Piper’s art just might be enough to get her out. But is she brave enough to seize that power, even if it means giving up what she’s always known?
I love this cover and this description sounds fantastic! Piper Perish is scheduled to be released on March 7, 2017, and I can't wait!

What books are you waiting on this Wednesday??

Review: Her Nightly Embrace (Ravi PI #1) by Adi Tantimedh

Blurb from Goodreads:
The first in a trilogy of whip-smart novels—currently in development as a TV series set to star Sendhil Ramamurthy (NBC’s Heroes and Heroes Reborn)—about a destructive private investigator and his eccentric coworkers, who handle cases so high-profile that they never make the headlines.

Ravi Chandra Singh is the last guy you’d expect to become a private detective. A failed religious scholar, he now works for Golden Sentinels, an upmarket London private investigations agency. His colleagues are a band of gleefully amoral and brilliant screw-ups: Ken and Clive, a pair of brutal ex-cops who are also a gay couple; Mark Chapman, a burned-out stoner hiding a great mind; Marcie Holder, a cheerful former publicist; Benjamin Lee, a techie prankster from South London; David Okri, an ambitious lawyer from a well-connected Nigerian immigrant family; and Olivia Wong, an upper-class Hong Kong financial analyst hiding her true skills as one of the most dangerous hackers in the world—all under the watchful eye of Roger Golden, wheeler-dealer extraordinaire, and his mysterious office manager, Cheryl Hughes.

Thrust into a world where the rich, famous, and powerful hire him to solve their problems and wash their dirty laundry, Ravi finds himself in over his head with increasingly gonzo and complex cases – and the recent visions that he’s been having of Hindu gods aren’t helping. As Ravi struggles to stay ahead of danger, he wonders if the things he’s seeing are a delusion – or if he might, in fact, be an unrecognized shaman of the modern world... 
My Review:
So I'm not sure why these little stories were even made into a book.  When I requested this, I assumed it was a novel and the start of a series. Instead, we get four mini stories that really read better as episodes of the TV show that has been developed based on these characters.  I also hesitate to call these character PIs - they reminded me much more of the Olivia Pope team from Scandal -- they are, essentially, cleaners.  While I did like the diversity of these stories and could see myself liking this show because Ravi is a compelling character, the writing of these actual mini stories was elementary and pedantic -- better served as an idea for the screenplay than enjoyable reading.  I do look forward to the show but I would skip the book in its favor.
Her Nightly Embrace came out last week on November 1, 2016, and you can purchase HERE.
Roger didn't hire cream puffs. If there was one thing that I had learned about my coworkers, it was that everyone here was a brilliant fuckup with nowhere else to go. And fuckups are dark, dark people. We're all good at smiling, wearing a smart suit we got from our clothing allowance and presenting a cool front, but the clients should never see how ewe got our results, or how we behave off-hours.
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