Tag Archive: contemporary



Green LakeGreen Lake by S.K. Epperson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow! For a free book, this was great! It’s still free; you should try it.

The main characters were unusual, and the main two, quite likable. I can’t say that for the rest of the town. Even the relatives are obnoxious. But they made the story more interesting.

The author kept me going. Gripping is the word that comes to mind. I had a hard time putting the book down. Once again, not the best book to help put you to sleep.

I decided to read this as a friend noticed it in my ‘to read’ shelf on GoodReads and hit ‘like.’ That made me notice it and decide to read it right away. I’m glad I did.

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The Moonlight ChildThe Moonlight Child by Karen McQuestion
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Sleep deprivation. I blame that if this review doesn’t turn out to make sense. Since I started reading this, I have been unable to stop reading to go to sleep. This morning, yeah, Christmas morning! I finished the book at 6 AM!

Mysteries are hard for me. They are mostly about murder. As if life wasn’t bad enough, why read about the bad people and the results of killing and lying. But this book wasn’t about murder. Okay, there is one, but it isn’t the focus and seems secondary to everything else.

One of the best things about this book is kindness. I loved all the characters, even the antagonist. And kindness is something each has as a factor in their part of the plot. I was sad to see the book end. It was satisfying, but I’m left wishing I could spend more time in the story and see what happened to each of them after.

This book is available on Kindle Unlimited, but after reading the blurb and wanting to read it, I found I already had 10 books in my KU account, so I bought the book. Well worth it! I may reread it sometime!

By the way, Merry Christmas!

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Seventh HeavenSeventh Heaven by Alice Hoffman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I love me an Alice Hoffman book. I don’t what happened here. Okay, maybe I can make the allowance that reading this with text-to-speech makes the confusion of characters even more perplexing. There was a whole neighborhood of people with problems.

Maybe when you can read the book as a paper product, you can see whose point of view that you are looking through. Books with a lot of characters are hard when the author doesn’t give you a straight forward warning like the chapter name (character’s name) or first word (character’s name) of the new chapter. Especially with TTS.

Having read a couple of reviews, I found some who felt the story started with promise but went downhill. I was bewildered during the first part of the book. I just rode along feeling I would soon catch up. Sure enough by the end, I did seem to care about a couple of the characters and felt I was knowing who was who.

This book takes place in the late 50s early 60s. I didn’t need the author to spell that out as I recognized it right away. I remembered people saying and gossiping about the things included in the story. It is my least favorite part of my life. So it was painful to live it again. Still, I wonder how folks who are not of that era see all of this. Older women may see this far differently than Gen X-ers. I need to go read some other reviews to see if age affects the read.

Alice Hoffman writes so well that even when I am lost I stick with the book until the end. I certainly think others might enjoy this book thoroughly.

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Spirit WarriorSpirit Warrior by Ella J. Smyth
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Of the three books in this series so far, this is my favorite. I’m beginning to warm up to the characters and the story. With all there is going on in the world a nice fantasy can help give you a breather. So rather than making this review longer, I say, try the series. You might like it! By the way, I found these on Kindle Unlimited. Not a bad deal, huh?

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Hello LoveHello Love by Karen McQuestion
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

After spending so long time traveling with the Outlander, I needed a light read. This one was free on Kindle Unlimited. And I used a credit to get the Audible because I needed to just relax and listen to the story.

If you are looking for something light, this is for you. It was enjoyable. Karen McQuestion’s writing made a nice story with plenty of character development. It is both a believable story and not. But with all that is going on in the world right now, I needed a bit of fiction to help me sleep. If you have a dog or love dogs, the story plays out even deeper.

Just one little problem. Dan John Miller, the narrator does a good job playing the male main character but like all male narrators, in my estimation, all the woman voices sounded like a male making fun of women. But I think he did his best and he did keep the reader’s interest. Give it a try if you get the chance.

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Going BovineGoing Bovine by Libba Bray
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was recommended to me by a very good friend. I couldn’t afford to buy it at the time. Luckily the library had the Kindle and Overdrive versions. I seemed to like listening to the audio more than trying to track the Kindle.

Guys doing girl or women’s voices as it always sounds condescending, to me, but Erik Davies (Narrator), kept my interest and I soon lost the distraction of his female voice.

Though a serious subject matter, this story has you wondering what is happening and nearly breathlessly following the characters on their adventures to save the world and the main character, Cameron’s life.

It has been labeled “Quirky”. I agree! It is certainly worth the read.

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SaraliSarali by Susana Gino
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Sometimes I read a book and feel raw from the length of the read. Granted, this was a Kindle ARC, so I’m sure a lot of the story will improve with the reviews.

The technical problem that has probably been addressed by now, but it took me out of the story every time, the author and/or the title and page number (?) pop up often and are inserted into the tale being told. I suppose if I were strictly reading it, my eyes would skip it, but since I read via text-to-speech, it is all very jarring.

Overall, the story was interesting, though the main character seemed in her head most of the time. The erotic scenes were almost too much while sorting through her growing maturity. And though the main character, who calls herself either Sara or Sarali according to whether she was involved in a sexual pursuit or her own enlightenment.

Though the main character seeks to learn of her sexuality and help others through their experiences with her, a sort of prostitution, that wasn’t my main problem with the main character. She seeks to be with her daughter out of love, and the relationship does grow. But her daughter’s safety ought to be her chief thought. A man who has such little control of himself as to rape a young woman and force her into marriage and having the resulting child, should not be trusted with that same child to raise on his own. What could he be doing to that child? It seems to me that should have been the character’s aim, not worry about what falsehoods he may speak. It is true, Sara needed to do some growing herself, but not once in her mental ravings about how unfair it was to her, did she mention what might be happening to her daughter.

My last problem with the book is how repetitive it was. I found myself wanting to find another book to read. Still, I think in a future edit or two that would be taken care of, and the newer readings will find an interesting read. As a seeming autobiography, the story reflects the way all our brains work in circular ways coming back to the trauma and trying to overcome it all. Worth the read.

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If All the Seas Were Ink: A MemoirIf All the Seas Were Ink: A Memoir by Ilana Kurshan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When I was young, and even to this day, I loved to spend time, overnight to weeks, if I could, in other people’s homes. It was interesting to see how other people lived. I learned how different and yet the same my life was to my friends. What rules applied? What was okay? How huggy or talky were the people?

As an adult that is less likely to happen. Slumber parties seem to stay in the child’s world. Really close friends can share their lives. But it isn’t the same as personal observation.

Autobiographies give that kind of insight. You live inside the person’s world, hear their thoughts, see how they try to live up to their own standards. See how they feel when they don’t.

Ilana Kurshan provides that kind of insight. I admire her determination and curiosity. She decided to study the Talmud in a seven-year quest to understand it and her relationship to it better. She lived it as best she could, all the easier for living in Jerusalem, all the harder as a single person, then newlywed, then young mother. But she did her best to apply what she learned along the way.

I was raised protestant. I have many friends of various religious leanings and love to learn their belief systems and how they work in real life. I have a friend who has moved to Israel and thought of her as I read. I don’t know if she read this yet, but I bet she will glean from this person’s challenge.

Rating autobiographies is harder than a piece of fiction. It is personal. I can’t judge another person’s life or their own memories. It was where they are/were and how they choose to live it. Ms. Kurshan’s writing was compelling. I couldn’t stop reading. Since this was an ARC or Uncorrected Copy, there were formatting issues that made my text-to-speech the best way to read it all. But I’m sure those issues were corrected in the retail versions. Other than that it was a delightful read and I highly recommend it to others. I doubt I will ever try the seven-year Talmud, though who knows? I’ve taken on lessor challenges. I was glad that Ilana included scripture so I could feel a part of the quest. And I’m proud of her for taking a feminist view on her religion. It makes it all more real and possible.

I can’t wait to read other reviews about this book.

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The Art of HidingThe Art of Hiding by Amanda Prowse
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Poor girl becomes rich wife, becomes poor mom. Except for the rich part, that’s the story of my life! Almost sounds boring. But for some reason, I truly enjoyed this read. It is well-written. The characters felt real to me. Even though they were British and rich. The troubles were scary. I could relate. I’ve never owed that much money, though I don’t have a conversion table handy after midnight. But I have owed more than I had. It had forced changes in my behavior and where I was to live. As the main character learns in a very hard way.

A teenage boy for a son. Been there three times. I can relate. And this mother was far more patient and sweet about it all than I could be. Wish I could have been that sweet. But my kids would have, oops, did laugh at me when I approached their rebellions that way. And it wasn’t a good laugh. At least we were in her head as she thought through her responses.

This review isn’t doing the book justice. It was good, I loved it. I stayed awake a long time finishing it. It wasn’t fantasy or adventure or murder-mystery. It was a peek into someone else’s life and how she manages to get through and thrive. And I think this is the kind of book teens should read, especially girls. Though women (and men) will relate and learn throughout the story.

I wish I had less pain and more brain. This review sounds horrible. Believe me. It was worth the read. I loved it!

Netgalley gave me the ARC of this book. Thank you!

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Seeking SarahSeeking Sarah by ReShonda Tate Billingsley
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Jerry Springer eat your heart out! Oh, the drama!

Okay, I didn’t mean to start with that. There were things about this book I liked. I love that we have a diverse character, though the cover picture doesn’t give that impression. On the other hand, the blurb grabbed me about a young woman that wants to find her mother who she previously thought had died.

What seems to be set up to be an exciting adventure learning why mom left, and possibly reconnecting, the main character, Brooke, is hooking/breaking up with a guy that shouldn’t even get a female. Even in the process of getting to know her mom, she takes every opportunity to jump to conclusions to be angry. I guess my way would have solved Brookes problems within minutes and there wouldn’t be a book but a short story.

I was lucky to get to read this book from Netgalley. I’d love to see what others think of this novel. It is different.

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