Turn That Page Right Now

What Book's Up, Buttercup?

The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer

What can I say about this book? I read along with the book while also listening on audio. I had read in a review that the beginning was the weakest part, and then it got better and better. I am sad to say I thought the opposite. I would have read this entire book in one day, but I was exhausted after being up 24 hours, and had to go to bed early. But, I was up at 3:00 am the morning after it came out and did not stop until I finished. After the first 25% of the book I was texting and literally calling anyone who was up and awake, and some who sadly were not, and telling them how amazing this book was. “It is so funny!” I would say. I called it “amazing” to my friends and convinced them to all go out and get a copy. Then as it got towards the middle it seemed like the pace slowed down. I categorized it just now as steady, but I mean that in a slow, steady pace. By the time we got to gun control, I just could not handle it anymore. I wanted a funny, upbeat, sassy, and at times raunchy book. This had a few raunchy moments, but nothing like her comedy acts. This was more thoughtful and serious. I enjoyed the book, and I am glad I read it, but I will not be listening over and over again. This is no Bossypants. I feel I need to also clarify, I am one of her biggest fans, and I am glad she tackles big and important issues, but that was not what I signed up for when I bought this book. I still love you though, Amy!!

Leave a comment »

Die Again by Tess Gerristen

I think it was on the blog that I was saying that I tried to decide what to read next after I finished Last to Die. I do not know why I considered something different other than Die Again. This is the final book in the Rizzoli and Isles series up until this point. Part of me did not want the series to end, but I also wanted to know how it ended, for now.

In Die Again, we open up the book with a safari in Africa. This is not exactly my “thing” so I was not really interested or could figure out how it tied in to the story. We meet a group of travelers, two couples (one married, one not), two blonde young women who are friends, a young twenty something guy, and their two guides. The group have broken down in their jeep and are trying to survive life in the brush until help arrives. They soon find themselves not only trying to survive the elements, but also possibly from one another.

Back in Boston, Detective Jane Rizzoli has been called in on a case. A locate renowned taxidermist, and hunter himself, has been brutally murdered. The prizes on his wall are various big game that are intriguing and upsetting for some. Mara arrives and determines that the bucket containing parts of the deceased also includes the organs of something else. Why? This is just one of many questions that investigators have, and there will be more questions later. Several other bodies begin to be discovered. One has been dead for quite some time. How does this relate to the case, and why does it even relate to the case?

Rizzoli and Isles are taken on a journey that will lead them to zoos, around Boston, and even to Africa itself. This is one that starts out with a huh? And ends with an OH! This ride will not let you down and will keep you guessing until the very end. For someone who always knows whodunit, this was such a welcomed surprise. I highly recommend this selection to anyone who loves a good thriller. NOTE:  This can be very graphic and grisly. If that is not your thing, you may want to pass this up.

I give this story 5 shiny gold stars! While safaris is not exactly my idea of a good time, the story is amazing.

Leave a comment »

Die Again by Tess Gerristen

After I finished Last to Die by Tess Gerristen I thought, what should I read next? I had gotten The Silent Girl, Last to Die, and Die Again as part of a collection on audible and all three books came together. I read the first, then read the second, and I have no I idea why I questioned not to read the third. So, I finally came to the conclusion, read the third! This is the final installment, at this time, of the Rizzoli and Isles series. I am sure, and I hope, that Tess Gerristen has more books planned out, and I for one cannot wait to get my hands on them. I did read her stand-alone novel, Playing with Fire, and I thought that was an excellent book! I will have to check and see if I posted a review for that on this site. I know I read it as part of an ARC that I was fortunate enough to be part of. If you have not picked up that book, and you are a fan of a good thriller/mystery, you really should. You will not be at all disappointed. I want to talk about that book right now, but I should probably stop chasing rabbits and stay on topic.

Die again opens up with a safari scene. It is interesting, but I do not particularly care for it. I do not know why, I just do not find it all that interesting. Once we got to the Rizzoli and Isles part, then I was interested! Rizzoli is called to the scene of a homicide. A local taxidermist has met a grisly end. I am not going to go into details because that would ruin it for you, but it is pretty graphic. Needless to say, it is bad when even Rizzoli is not wanting to attend the autopsy. It will also make you think even more about living alone with pets and what happens when you die. I am just saying. I have thought about it many times myself, and this… well, it made me press my mother to make sure she calls everyday to make sure I am alive even more. I love my cats, but while I think Jax would hold off for a few days, I feel like Edward would go straight for my face, no questions asked.

I am only about 20% into this book, but I can already tell that this is not my favorite. It has just not grabbed me like the others in the series. We will see as the story progresses!

Happy Reading, Everyone!

Leave a comment »

Last to Die by Tess Gerristen

I just finished a great book by Tess Gerristen in the Rizzoli and Isles series – Last to Die. Other than the book Body Double, this is my favorite book in the series. Up until around 87% I did not really know what was going on, and even then, I was not completely sure until the end. Very clever of Tess Gerristen.

In book #10 of the Rizzoli and Isles series, we are greeted with the near-death experience of two young kids. Luckily they are saved by a guardian angel, and relocated to someplace safe. Why such serious precautions? They lost their families in a massacre a year ago a week apart, and then the death of their foster families next. When a third child is found in the same situation, Mara Isles makes the connection while visiting Rat at Evensong. Soon Jane is traveling through different states to determine what these three students could possibly have in common with the deaths happening not only in different states, but even over in London.

This was a great book by an author that I love. I give this book 5 golden stars! If you love a good thriller, this is the book for you. There is some gore and violence, but nowhere near the amount as in her other books. Pick this thriller up, and sit back and enjoy the ride!

Leave a comment »

The Magpies by Mark Edwards

Hum. What to say about this book. I had such high hopes. I read the backstory for this book and how he came up with the idea online. It sounded scary and wonderful. The introduction was wonderful and while reading it in the dark of my bedroom I was thoroughly creeped out. Almost afraid. Fast forward to the rest of the book.

Jamie and Kirsty are a young couple who have moved into their first “flat” that is completely their own. They paid a good price, as the seller wanted to leave quickly we would later learn. Upon moving into the apartment, they throw a party and get to know several of the neighbors. Some are kind, some are odd. Mary a herbalist is quick to dispense advice on how to use herbs to heal the body. Kirsty who is a nurse in a children’s ward at the hospital is quick to say that it is a bunch of nonsense. Jamie who works with computers becomes an asset to one of the residents who works on children’s horror novels. A couple Lucy and Chris are friendly enough, but are strange upon meeting them.

When Jamie and Kirsty first begin to receive hoaxes such as packages of crazy books from Amazon, pizzas they did not order, cabs they did not request, they wonder who the culprit could be. As time goes on more and more disturbing things begin to occur. One particular is a total phobia of mine and I could hardly read it.

Soon, Jamie realizes that this is no cat and mouse game, this is deadly. Can they stop the monsters who lurk within their apartment complex before it destroys both of their lives?

I was not crazy about this book. The entire time I thought Jamie was such a wimp and needed to grow a pair. The ending was unsatisfying to me, not because it did or did not end with a pretty bow, but because I needed a main character with guts. I did not find this book to be scary or really that much of a thriller. It was just an okay book. Something to pass the time. I read it on audio, and the narrator did a wonderful job. I give this book three stars.

Leave a comment »

The Silent Girl by Tess Gerristen

I just finished The Silent Girl by Tess Gerristen this past weekend. It was a good read, but not my favorite in this series. I enjoyed the Chinese culture part, but did not enjoy the entire execution.

In this novel of the Rizzoli and Isles series, a mystery woman is found on a rooftop in Chinatown after her amputated arm is discovered by some kids on a Boston ghost tour. Rizzoli cannot determine who this woman is, only that she is dressed all in black, the cuts to her body were clean and precise, and on her body are silver hairs that are not from any human. While trying to uncover the identity, Rizzoli meets two women who are familiar with the martial arts, and have backgrounds with swords, not unlike the one that could have made the cuts on the victim’s body. When the victim is discovered to be an assassin, Rizzoli must find out who she was after.

While working the case, Maura and Rizzoli make a chilling discovery. This case is related to a horrific crime that took place in a Chinese restaurant 19 year prior. There was a bloody massacre thought to be lead by a cook leading to a mass murder and suicide. While most believe this to be the case, someone does not. They are sending messages and obituaries every year to the victim’s families, and has taken out a full page ad proclaiming the cook’s innocence. Who is this person? What is the goal? Why are they doing this?

Along with that, there appear to be a group of missing girls. One is the daughter of the teacher in the martial arts studio who went missing 19 years ago as well.

Soon there is a vigilante on the loose who is out to not only save lives, but deliver justice as well.

Will Rizzoli be able to clear the cook of murder/suicide? And will she ever know the reason for the assassins in black? And most importantly, how do a group of missing girls tie into all of this, or does it?

Tess Gerristen has done it again with a great page turner. I enjoyed the characters, the story, the culture that I came to know, and the storyline. But I had a problem with this book. Something just did not click for me. While I love this series, this was my least favorite so far. And I think I knew it would be. I had been putting it off for a long time and dreaded reading this one. I think it was because when it initially came out, so many people did not like it. The reviews I saw were not all great, and that affected how I saw the book. I am glad I read it, but it was not the best. I give this book 3.5, rounded up to 4, stars.

Leave a comment »

Blueberry Muffin Murder by Joanne Fluke

I loved this installment of the Hannah Swensen Mysteries. In Blueberry Muffin Murder, we have a new case with new characters. A famous cook, cookbook author, TV personality, entrepreneur, leading lady (similar to Paula Deen) Connie Mac is found murdered in Hannah’s kitchen. The list of suspects is pretty large considering how terrible Connie Mac actually was in real life. She was not the happy, nice person she portrayed on television. As Hannah “promises” not to get involved, we find her doing that very thing.

I thought this was once of the best that I read so far in the series. I usually guess whodunit around 50% into the book, and this time it was more like 80%. I liked the storyline, the characters, the setting of a winter festival, everything. If you like this series, you will love this book. If you like cozy mysteries at all, I highly recommend this one for you! Five shiny gold stars!

Also, I listened on audio, and the narrator is wonderful!

Leave a comment »

The Drowning Girls by Paula Treick DeBoard

This book has been compared to Gone Girl (of course) and The Girl on the Train on steroids. I am sad to report that it was not. The entire time I was reading this book I thought that is was slow, and I was ready for it to pick up, but it never did.

Phil, his wife Liz, and Liz’s daughter Danielle move into an expensive community called The Palms. This resort type community is full of interesting characters and events. Phil has moved the family here so he can run the day to day operations of the community. Liz is a school counselor at a local high school. When Danielle first meets Kelsey, Liz is surprised she takes an interest in her daughter. Danielle is not the most popular girl in school, while Kelsey is and beautiful as well. Kelsey begins to take a special interest in Phil, an obsession more like. When Kelsey is discovered in the family’s pool, how she got to be there and why is unfolded through past and present tense and told from the POV of Phil and Liz.

This was an interesting story and I liked it, but did not love it. It was just a good read. Most people do not care for the ending, but if you read Gone Girl and like it, then you will be satisfied. I enjoyed the ending, and thought it was fitting.

If you like a quiet thriller this book is for you. 3 stars.

Leave a comment »

Cream of the Crop by Alice Clayton

I read Nuts by Alice Clayton, and I was so excited to read Cream of the Crop. In this book we are introduced again to Natalie, who we first met in Nuts. She is a great main character because she is a plus-size woman who is confident in all areas. She is successful in work, sex, and play. She is able to get any guy, any time, anywhere. Being a size 18 does not make her ashamed of her body, it just makes her more confident.

When Natalie first sees Oscar at the Farmer’s Market selling his homemade cheese, she is literally weak in the knees. This is the first time she is not in control. Oscar is a quiet farmer from Bailey Falls, the same town as Leo in Nuts, and is reserved. He is six foot six of gorgeous male.

When Natalie has the chance to promote Bailey Falls with an ad campaign with her firm, she jumps at the chance. Not only will she get to see her friend Roxie, she might also get to meet the hot farmer who makes the delicious cheese.

This was a wonderful book, but nowhere near as funny as Nuts. I was actually slightly disappointed. I liked this book, but I did not love it. I will recommend it to my friends, but not with the same enthusiasm as Nuts.

I cannot wait for the next in the series which I hope is about Clara. Thank you so much to Netgalley to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Leave a comment »

Cream of the Crop by Alice Clayton

Yes! Yes, yes, yes, yes!!! I just got an advanced reading copy of Alice Clayton’s newest book, Cream of the Crop. I am so excited I can barely type this little post. I found out this morning. I applied for an ARC, and had not heard back, but went ahead and checked just now… just in case. There it was! I did a little happy dance as a forwarded it to my kindle, and continued until it finally arrived. I know what I will be doing all day today! Somehow I will have to work and manage to read every other chance I can get. Hum… I am going to the gym this morning and this will be the perfect opportunity to read!

Here is one thing I love straight away from the book, the author is writing about a plus-sized main character. A woman who is plus-sized not only in body, but in personality. I can relate. I feel like I am a plus-size girl (Who isn’t these days according to society’s standards?), but in personality as well.I have a BIG personality. I am quirky, sometimes a little loud, an infectious giggle that can turn into a loud and large laugh. I cannot wait to see what Natalie is like and what she has in store.

I cannot wait to read this book, and will hopefully have a review ASAP!

Leave a comment »