Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Linger Echoes by Erica Kiefer

From Amazon.com
"She's broken with guilt. He harbors a chilling past.
It's safer if they keep their distance . . . But, the echoes that linger connect them."
Lingering Echoes is easily one of my favorite books of the past year.  It’s the kind of book that made me wish my commute were longer so I would have more time to continue reading.  Allie’s story broke my heart; I felt her pain and struggles as she dealt with the memories she could no longer run from.  Damien intrigued me; I needed to find out for myself what secrets this mysterious stranger held.  Their story absorbed and I loved every minute of it.  I would highly recommend this novel but be warned, you won't be able to put it down.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Thanksgiving by Ellen Cooney

Thanksgiving by Ellen Cooney tracks the Morley family throughout 350 years of Thanksgivings.  Told through the perspective of generations of Morley women, the reader is able to follow the family as it grows and changes throughout the centuries.  We are able to see how traditions develop and change.  Each chapter skips ahead several years glossing over major changes in the family, which we become aware of throughout the chapter.

When I started the reading, I was really excited by the plot and captivated by the story.  After a few chapters, I lost interest but kept reading hoping that something more would happen.  Unfortunately, the plot development that I was anticipating didn’t occur and I was left disappointed overall.  I would rate this  novel 2 out of 5 stars.

Oh to Grace by Abby Rosser

Oh to Grace begins as the required interview of a great great aunt for a creative writing assignment.  Throughout the novel, we learn more about the family history through non-sequential stories told from alternating perspectives.  In these stories, we learn of the how the family has struggled and preserved, we read about their tragedies and successes, of love and death.

I found myself hooked from the beginning and couldn’t put the novel down.  I loved learning more about the Watson family and found myself transported back to their rural town in Tennessee. I couldn’t wait to dive in deeper and finally be able to connect the stories together.  To be honest, I was a bit confused at first by the switching of dates and perspectives but believe that the author did a good job at interweaving the story together in the end and was happy with the ending.

Overall, it was an enjoyable read and would recommend the novel to others.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Hiding in Sunshine by John and Caitlin Stuart

From NetGalley.com
Living lives of quiet affluence in a historic, suburban Boston town, Gavin and Lisa Brinkley had no idea how quickly and decisively their lives, and those of their two young daughters, could be upended. A series of events - a mysterious break-in at their home, some menacing tailgating on the highway from Boston, a startling visit from an F.B.I. agent warning of an imminent kidnapping attempt - leads to the family's abrupt uprooting from its comfortable existence into a terrifying new existence on the run, under new identities. This taut thriller by a father-daughter team follows the eleven-year odyssey of an American family on the run, in hiding through the mountain states of the American west, where survival skills and living off the grid are paramount, but so are friendship, cooperation, and resilience.
The enemy, always lurking just out of sight, is a foreign cyber-criminal enterprise that launches breathtaking assaults on the American banking system and physical infrastructure, but the Brinkleys also know that the threat is deeply personal, reaching ever closer to them from the shadows of the past. At the same time, Gavin and Lisa discover the perils of wandering too close to the edges of the dark side, in the murky world of cyber-security. A compelling story of suspense and treachery, HIDING IN SUNSHINE is also a celebration of a family's abiding love and courage - and a young girl's faith in the triumph of the truth.

I loved this book!  I hadn’t actually read the description ahead of time so I really had no idea what to expect and I enjoyed that complete element of surprise.  From the beginning, I was hooked and couldn’t really stop reading, I NEEDED to know what was going to happen to this family.  Gavin and Lisa Brinkley are an affluent couple who try to lead quiet lives; Gavin has numerous highly lucrative patents but they try to stay off the radar and prefer to avoid media attention.  As a couple that is not very well known or rather well recognized even within the technology community, they are shocked to learn they have become the target of a kidnapping!  And even more shocked when they realize that they are being put in the Witness Protection Program for their own safety.

Hiding In Sunshine follows the couple and their two young children as they are shuffled off into the Witness Protection Program and are forced to take on new identities and begin a new life away from everything they know especially technology.

I don’t want to give away too much details but I really loved how this novel progressed in terms of escalating danger.  I also really loved that I had no idea what was coming next, it kept me guessing and interested.  I would highly recommend Hiding in Sunshine to anyone looking for a captivating read that you will not be able to put down!

Far Alaska by Mason Smith


From Amazon.com

Mocked and ridiculed in his North Country home for being unable to change with the times, a stubborn, ignorant old man lights out for Alaska at 72, taking with him the daughter of a skinflint farmer he has worked for years back. Clarence knows little of women or of living with anybody or even of living in the present tense, nor does he really know where Alaska is. But he's given up self-respect and good conduct, he's on the road across Canada in a pickup truck with a fat and talkative person, determined to sin at last and going into a land he knows only in folk-ballad, the Wild West and Klondike confused. As Clarence and Hesther journey farther and farther toward far Alaska, their partnership blossoms. They astonish themselves (or at least Clarence) in bed. She proves to be a barrel-racer in disguise, a shaman and a mischief, game for anything, while Clarence pushes ahead, surprising them both as he expands with the territory. His long-imagined West comes alive with bank robbery, horse theft, Indians, grizzly bears, trouble in a saloon, gunfire and gold and moral choices. And, when they finally get there, one more gal than you're allowed back in the lower forty-eight.

I'm not sure exactly what to say about this book because to me it didn't really seem as though much happened. I finished the book but I'm still not even too sure what the plot was. At first it took me a while to really not be bothered by the writing style with its grammatical errors and short sentences, eventually I got over it but still didn't love the novel

Friday, January 18, 2013

Blue Suede Shoes by Deborah Reardon

From Amazon.com
Thirty-one year old Clare Paxton opens the door to her childhood friend Derek and his discovery. Little 4-year-old Mary Martin had been missing and all that was left were her articles of clothing and a large pool of blood. Having interrupted her Criminology Degree for her mother's feigned illness, Clare's unending questioning her own life's choices is heightened by this tragedy. Clare embroils herself in the investigation because of her personal mistrust of Mary's parents while romantically conflicted with the Chief of Police.

Reading the description of this novel, I thought this would be something that I would easily get into and really enjoy, unfortunately this was not the case. I’m the type of person that likes to finish all the books I start so I did read this in its entirety but I really struggled to do so. The beginning is great but after the first few pages the novel loses its steam, becoming almost too detailed and unfocused. The overall plot of the book is good but this would have been better if it were focused more so I'll give it two stars.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Hungry for More by Chelsea Scott

Bridget, the nanny has raised Tad since the day he was born and loves him like he is her own. When Tad's mother dies, Tad is sent to live with his famous chef father, Paul. Paul has not been heavily involved in raising his son and really has no clue what to do when it comes to parenting a four year old. Upon realizing that Paul has no clue what he's doing, Bridget requests to stay on as Tad's nanny and Paul agrees. Paul quickly takes to his new role as father and finally sees that somethings are worth leaving the kitchen for (and fighting for).

Ok, this was not my favorite read. It was quick but was predictable mainly because there are no other potential suitors so to speak introduced. I liked the existence of Tad but then again, his existence almost made it too easy for Paul and Bridget to end up together. She already loves Tad so why not form a relationship with his dad. It also bothered me that they almost rushed into being together in front of Tad without really considering any potential consequences if their relationship were to fail. Also, I found myself almost put off by some of their thoughts (do real people actually have thoughts like those?)

Overall, it was a quick and easy read but did I love it? No