Category: Reviews



The Mother's PromiseThe Mother’s Promise by Sally Hepworth

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Maybe if I don’t write a review, I can hang onto the charms and lessons of this book. No. That’s not right. Others need to read it and the only way to hang on to the knowledge in this book is to read it again.

I finished this book four days ago. That’s how long I had the above conversation with myself.

There is a nice blurb about this book on GoodReads. And the one on NetGalley had me seeking it out. I’m glad they let me read it. But here’s my blurb: A young teen with severe social anxiety only child of a single mother dying of cancer, a social worker who is a victim of abuse, a nurse who is finished with IVF unsuccessfully.

Sally Hepworth pulls these four females into a book that is hard to put down and hard to leave behind. And not only is it a great story, it is full of real life answers to some of the problems these fems deal with.

I want to thank NetGalley for letting me read this, again. I do plan on a second read. Please read it, especially if you have social anxiety, there are some good ideas in here and the author shows she knows how we feel who have it. There are triggers for cancer patients and abuse victims but they are handled well and give each of the other characters more depth.

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Icefire Trilogy OmnibusIcefire Trilogy Omnibus by Patty Jansen

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I don’t know how far into book one I was but overall I got about 15% in. At this point, I have to be honest. I just can’t get into it. I am sorry that I have to give it up.

Since I read enough male heavy stories as a girl. I didn’t like any of said males in this book. All that was left was a queen, a pregnant person giving birth and a female totally in love with a male. So… Not for me.

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Open Minds (Mindjack Trilogy, #1)Open Minds by Susan Kaye Quinn

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This had a brilliant concept. But I am disappointed. What ruined it most? The Audible narrator: Kelli Shane. Her voice sounded like she was on the last story to ADHD kids at bedtime. How do I know that? Yep, been there had that voice. It works well at putting the reader to sleep. ADHD kid just laughs and takes the book to read to themselves as mom falls to sleep.

I would have been better off just using the text-to-speech. But chose to continue. The story line was interesting. I even sort of liked the main character.

On the other hand, really, if a person can read another’s mind and be read what is to stop intrusion? And possible mind jacking? I don’t see how the jacker can’t read first and the reader not jack. After all, we are talking teens. They are already in each others’ heads. So a lot of this seemed to not ring true.

It was a nice diversion. But I just wasn’t that into it, and I really wanted to be. Maybe others will love it. I hope so. I doubt I will seek out the next in the series. I do have the German version so I might try it again just to practice my German reading skills.

By the way, the Kindle version is free right now. I hope you enjoy it.

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A Thief in Time: A Time Travel NovelA Thief in Time: A Time Travel Novel by Cidney Swanson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was so excited to get A Flight In Time to review. Cidney Swanson is one of my favorite Young Adult writers. Come to find out she lives in a nearby Oregon town. She’s lucky I don’t have a car! And that I have social anxiety that keeps me from seeking out people I don’t know. Still, her Saving Mars series is my favorite series for young adults and up. I wish she could write more of those as it really helps the me I was as a pre-teen/teen. There was very little out there in the sci-fi realm that had strong female leads. Please read the series if you get the chance. Her Rippler series is good, too.

But back to A Flight in Time (book 2). Here is a comment I made under A Thief in Time (book 1):

Oops, somehow I am reading book two that isn’t on GoodReads yet. Maybe I should see if I got it? I am 37% into A Flight in Time. Now I feel confused as to what to do.

Then I realized that at one point or another I did get book 1. It was $.99 at the time. Somehow it got marked “Read” so I never saw it in my “Currently Reading” shelf. So I stopped reading book 2 and started reading book 1. This series may soon rival Mars in favorites!

A Thief In Time is very exciting. The main character, Halley, is quite the character. I love the depth of spirit she shows in spite of a less than ideal upbringing. Ms. Swanson built her so well that I felt she was real. I love her friends and how it is they found themselves in the enviable position of having access to a time machine.

By the way, I love the names of the characters. Good nods to science!

I want to put more here but I don’t want anything to spoil a future reader’s experience with that book or the next.

So, those who follow my reviews know how I hate cliffhangers. This was not that. But awfully close. No one was left in danger. But I was so in love with the characters and the time travel adventures that I was so happy I had the next book downloaded and ready to go.

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Since I can’t find the place to review book 2, A Flight in Time, I will put it here and move this part to that book when it is live on GoodReads. Right now it is $.99 on Amazon whereas book 1 is $3.99. Both are well worth the money!

I will give this five stars also. My biggest problem was the names when I read #2 first. After getting to know everyone in #1 I still had that problem. I expected to see a little more about Halley and her life. So it was a bit of a shock to start reading about her friend, Jillian. Her life wasn’t as interesting or as full of challenges, as far as I was concerned, but she has a sciencey mind and is working towards her own goals. That warmed me to her.

I must admit that I couldn’t quit reading this book–another 4 AM sleep time. The book was full of anxious moments, ‘how were they going to get out of this?’ kinds of questions sailed through my head. And lots of time travel!

AND that ending!!!! I can’t wait to find out the resolve for that. Still, not a cliffhanger. Just a little something to have Cidney Swanson fans waiting with bated breath!!!

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Animal FarmAnimal Farm by George Orwell

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Okay. I get it. A ‘person’ with no previous experience in running the farm takes over. The gullible listen because it is a strong voice. Rather charismatic. Lazy farm animals rather than using their brains or researching what it takes to run the farm vote this person in. The person sets up rules and keeps them as long as they apply to his own comfort and then changes them while no one pays attention, deflecting that attention by making folks think they had seen it wrong to begin with.

Yes, I see the appeal. But I am no more impressed with this book that when it was assigned to my Humanities class in High School. Sad that all the things we fought so hard for back then are being taken away by the pigs. Living the story doesn’t increase its appeal. It’s still a male heavy story with nothing but fighting and hatred.

But maybe everyone should read it. Who knows what might wake up the rest of the animals on this farm. By the way, this was the audio version that I picked up from the OverDrive library. I had hoped that the E-library would have the Kindle version but it was still out. I will take it off HOLD so that it can go to someone else.

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The Rules Do Not ApplyThe Rules Do Not Apply by Ariel Levy

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As a fan of fiction more than any other kind of reading, it is alway hard for me to “grade” an autobiography. It isn’t up to me to judge another’s life or path, so I feel I am invading a bit when it is time to review. Yet this book called to me from NetGalley as one I might like to read and review.

I have to admit it kept my interest. Many reviewers say the author’s emotions are raw in this memoir. That may be so. I just found them honest and refreshing. As a fertile-Myrtle, who had, as most of my generation, my children in my early twenties, I never heard that egg-timer to get pregnant or forget it. I thought, “Wouldn’t it be nice to have another?” and boom I was pregnant. So the despair of the author seems another reality I’ve not been close to. In that case, I think it right to go into the depth with her and see what her reality has been. Would my story of a baby every couple years and only at home ever be as interesting to her generation? So I find her lucky to have experienced so many things I never got to see. That she had the freedom to explore her sexuality after being an adult, who got to see the world I may never see, isn’t sad. Those were the parts of the story I truly enjoyed.

But I don’t want to demean or in any way put down her path and especially not the sad parts of it. That need to reproduce is very strong in many of us and to have that turn out so badly hurts my soul for her.

That is why I like to read autobiographies. I can lead many lives that way. I can see how things might have been had I made other choices or had nature played nasty tricks on my life. I think it helps to develop empathy to read another’s story. And this may be one you might like. Give it a try.

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The Last Chance Matinee (The Hudson Sisters #1)The Last Chance Matinee by Mariah Stewart

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

One of the things I noticed as I wished this story hadn’t ended was that it has a series name: The Hudson Sisters #1. Yay! I don’t have to leave my new friends forever! And while I am talking about the ending, relax, it isn’t a cliff-hanger. Everyone is safe. I just miss them.

You can look up the blurb to see what the book is about. I try to concentrate on my feelings about the story. What I noticed most of all, was the lack of conflict and yet I kept wanting to read more. I suppose the conflict is the undertone of how the characters ended up owning a theater. They had to spend the time getting to know each other and see how they fit into the scheme of things. But there was no great adventure, no one is in grave danger. Yet through each of their perspectives, you see their birth order and history.

It was because of the description of the story on the blurb on NetGalley dot com that I picked this up to review. I am so glad I did. It is quite an interesting story. I look forward to book two so I can see these women and watch them remake a theater together.

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All Good StoriesAll Good Stories by Linda G. Hill

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As an author of a busy, fun blog who is a single mom facing some special needs tests, trials, and triumphs, Linda G. Hill won my admiration long ago. I love reading her blog. I enjoy participating in her challenges. So it is understandable that I had to read her book.

Remember the challenge question in When Harry Met Sally? No. Not the restaurant scene. Wouldn’t we all want what she ordered? No. The question was: Can best friends that are male and female remain friends or is it inevitable that romance would play a part? Sally believed in the friendship as I recall whereas Harry said that friendship can’t stay in that realm. That sex was the most likely outcome.

All Good Stories attempts that question once again. This time it is through a series of smaller stories (started as A-Z challenge on Linda’s blog) that tell of the ebb and flow of friendship of Jupiter and Xavier. I won’t tell you how the story goes. I will merely say that there are topless pirates and bookstores involved. And there are laugh aloud situations. This is worth an evening with popcorn, at least. I enjoyed it and I think you will, too.

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The Shadow LandThe Shadow Land by Elizabeth Kostova

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

THIS is my kind of book! Okay, it isn’t fantasy or sci-fi but the elements I love in those stories are here. Adventure, new horizons, philosophies, some things to learn and think about. Those are all present in this book. I am sad that it has ended and think I may have to read it again sometime with Audible version. The text-to-speech was great but with this taking place in Bulgaria, I needed someone to pronounce words better than the British female robot. Which usually works quite well for me, but there were some names that when I was reading with my eyes too, I could see they were not pronounced anywhere NEAR right.

The main character is well developed, the secondaries not as deeply but the story wasn’t about them so that was okay by me. With the person so developed and the world so real I felt I was watching a movie. In fact, this would make a marvelous movie, there is just so much depth here!

The time of the book moves back and forth from about WWII and now. The political themes presented seem very poignant, and apropos warnings to our current system and how delicate it is.

But my favorite part of the book, though the saddest, was how music played a part in the day to day survival of the musician. I don’t want to expound on this as it would be a spoiler. Needless to say, it gave me the unavoidable courage to face the cold of my studio and play the piano for as long as my fingers could move, and then left me with a fire to get back in there as soon and as often as I can as Spring brings warmer weather.

Oh, how I wish there were a book two. I don’t know how it could be done as none of the situations or people remain in the right places for that. But I did want to see what happens now that the main character has made friends with the musician’s son. What could they give each other? Will they become more than friends? And what about the taxi driver? Is there happiness in his future? What a cool guy he was! Like I said, I am left wanting more and that may have to happen by re-reading with audio.

By the way, I was given this version for review by NetGalley dot com. Please, if you get the chance to read this, do. I hope you love it as I did.

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Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children, #1)Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I don’t know. I guess it kept me interested. But I thought I had the boxed set (I didn’t) on the borrowed library Overdrive version and so I kept trying to find the library Kindle versions to read along. I did end up with the first and the third but by that time I was already used to listening while loom-knitting so as not to be doing something to distract from the story. And I was shocked that the recording ended at the end of book one. It wasn’t a cliff-hanger, but kind of had that feel. But I didn’t care enough to pursue the next books.

By the time I had nearly finished book one I was ready to send the book back to the library. It wasn’t bad. It just wasn’t holding my attention enough to stay with it through a whole series.

I know a lot of people loved this book. I still want to see the movie/television version, but I just didn’t like it all that much. Please try it and see if you like it.

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