Tag Archive: Fiction



Any Man: A NovelAny Man: A Novel by Amber Tamblyn
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I am still torn as to what to say about this book. I finished listening a couple of days ago. Yes, this was an Audible version. It was narrated by Glenn Davis, Robin Miles, Therese Plummer, Dan Bittner, James Fouhey, Michael Crouch, Ben Foster, Marc Maron. Very well acted out. Kept me awake even after I closed the Kindle and crawled under the covers. For that reason, I give the trigger warnings. Rape is the topic. The only difference is it is a man that is raped. Somehow it reads the same regardless of who is the victim. So pain and torture are somewhat spelled out. It doesn’t matter the perp’s gender either.

This could easily help those in the right frame of mind. It seems a therapy of sorts for the author. I do suggest if you get the chance and feel up to it to listen to the Audible version. Meanwhile, it is read at your own discretion. I love Amber Tamblyn. I saw her on a talk show and loved what she has to say about the #MeToo movement and feminism. I’m glad that men showed their support by acting out this story.

I hope this book gets a lot of readers. I think it can help many people. Just be warned.

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Fruit of the Drunken TreeFruit of the Drunken Tree by Ingrid Rojas Contreras
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Though this story takes place in the 1990’s in the times of drug lord Pablo Escobar in Bogotá, Columbia, it’s lessons are current for us here in the USA. It centers on two young girls and how they affect each other and each others’ families.

I actually finished the book a couple days ago. I needed time to think about how to review this. Besides what I said above I just couldn’t decide. If you want to know more about the book go read the reviews on GoodReads. Many just write out the story themselves. Why bother with reading it with all that information? I don’t like to include blurbs about the books I read. I figure there are plenty of those out there. My review is to tell future me what I thought and possible current events or life events and how they might have influenced my feelings. If that helps others, I am glad. So for my future self: remember when they separated babies from parents because of a need to get rid of illegal immigrants? How many of them were seeking asylum from life similar to what the characters in this book were living with? I have friends who lived through being held up by guerrillas. I don’t believe that these people are taking away our jobs. Watch how the costs of foods go up as citizens take back the farming jobs. Just saying.

Anyway, this book was well written, at times even poetic. It kept me up as I couldn’t leave the characters when it was well past time to sleep. I think everyone should read this book. Even if it doesn’t change your point of view, it could help educate on the history and peoples of South America. And if it feels factual, like a true story, know that the author did live through a lot of what the book tells about. The girls playing with injured Barbies. The dreams of the girl’s leg with sock and shoe that the main character saw on TV news minus a child’s body. These are just a couple incidences that felt too real to be fiction.

When I rate a book with five stars I know that I will remember it. It affected me deeply.

I’m so happy that NetGalley had it for me to read for review.

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Bold: Stories of Strong WomenBold: Stories of Strong Women by Sandy Ward Bell
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I won this book from GoodReads Giveaway. Though I knew it was an anthology of short stories I thought reading about strong women would make it worth my while. So thank you for letting me read your book.

BUT, I just don’t like short stories. Yes, the women seemed to have opinions but I didn’t see them as any stronger than others. Maybe with more story, I would have been impressed with them but, not so much. And it is worse is you read with text-to-speech as it is hard to know when the last story ended and the next story starts. I can’t tell you how many times I had to go back and figure out why it wasn’t making sense suddenly. OH! It’s a new story. I guess that is something to keep in mind when writing for the Kindle market, make sure to put a something there at the end and start the new one with a hashtag or something.

I finished this book a week or so ago but life got busy and I had to wait to write the review. I honestly can’t remember any of the stories to say more about them. Obviously, there are folks that loved these stories so go read their reviews. You may be one who loves them, too. But give me a series and depth of characters. The stories are well written, I do remember that. I like the cover!

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The Litter of the Law (Mrs. Murphy, #22)The Litter of the Law by Rita Mae Brown
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I was given this book by a friend who read it on her vacation and left it with me when she visited. It took me so long as the font is rather small so I could only take it in bits and pieces. There was enough dialogue to break up the page so I could read it in tiny doses.

The book kept my interest. I did want to find out more about the farming and life of these farm people. I loved reading about the characters. I found the Native American research interesting though it added to the shame of how our founders dealt with the original inhabitants of our country.

I absolutely loved the drawings. Yay for adult books that have pictures!

What I found annoying and distracting from the story: talking animals. But I suppose that is where the ‘cozy’ comes in for this mystery.

I love Halloween but I never go to ‘haunted house’ features because I worry that real blood could be involved with no one knowing. And I hate things jumping out at me to make me scream or be startled. This book just reinforced those fears. It is what made this a gruesome mystery rather than cozy. But others of you may love it and can read it with the grain of salt that is implied. I’m glad to finally be finished and to pass it to the friends of the library.

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ShiftShift by M.A. George
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book. How could I resist? I love Ms. George’s writing. The minute I open one of her books I know I am in for a fun ride. Shift is no exception. I added to my sleep deficit by spending too many hours after bedtime looking for a good place to stop reading for the night. But I wanted to know what was going to happen to the characters in this story.

I finished Aqua, which I also loved, a bit ago and couldn’t wait for more. My biggest disappointment was that this book is a stand-alone. I love a long and deep series. But for those that don’t like that this will be more up your alley. Still, I won’t rate this lower than five stars as it kept me going.

I can’t wait for more!

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AquaAqua by M.A. George
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was a surprise. And a few nights of nearly four o’clock in the morning reading. Forcing myself to pull away from the story and into sleep. That was hard to do!

The first impression that I got from the title was that this would be another mermaid book for young adults. Nope. But I won’t tell you more about it. Spoilers!

The story kept moving. It seemed not to give me a chance to push pause, even to get up and get something to eat or to go on a potty break. That’s how good Ms. George’s writing is. The book is a decent length but not so short or immature as you might think. Though there was a bit of a romance it wasn’t the angsty stuff of most young adult books. It was respectful of each other and seemed healthy.

I think others will love this book, too. It is cleverly written and far from the norm for this genre.

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The Host (The Host, #1)The Host by Stephenie Meyer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It has been weeks since I finished ‘reading’ this book. I couldn’t decide how I felt about it. I think it is somewhere between hating it and being okay with it.

Kate Reading was the narrator. I nearly returned the Audible version. The voice seemed all wrong for the alien. And all wrong for the strong host.

The story did start to get interesting about halfway in. We finally meet the human tribe hiding from the aliens. I liked some of them. But the narrator’s voice seemed wrong for these characters, too. It amazes me that I stuck with this book in spite of how I felt listening to it every night.

The ending was a surprise for me and satisfying. I know a lot of people loved this story. The writing was good. But it didn’t do much for me.

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Testimony Testimony by Anita Shreve
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Our little library now has books on CDs. I saw them the last time I was there and decided I should grab a couple to encourage this new accommodation.

This was one I remember hearing about so I thought I couldn’t go wrong. The librarian said I shouldn’t read it at night, but that is the only time I can sink my teeth into a book.

I realized early on why I don’t like reading with only the audio version. There is no way to look at words or pages to clarify what I just heard. And this book has many points of view incorporating second-person on a couple of them. It didn’t quite work for me. And the actors playing the different characters weren’t always the best, I didn’t think.

This topic is worth talking about with the ‘Me, too’ movement. It shows the other side of the rape story. I don’t think it should send us back to women not being heard. But to remind us that there are those women who don’t care who they ruin with accusations. The main male character wasn’t on a power trip or trying to hurt someone. This story does need to be told. It needs to be read.

But I don’t have to like it. I didn’t hate it either.

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American PandaAmerican Panda by Gloria Chao
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What a cute book! What a necessary book. I tagged this story with Feminism because there are cultures who need more individual growth and less tradition. I think everyone should read this book to see where one’s traditions and growth of personhood resides.

The author, Gloria Chao, does a marvelous job bringing us into her world, learning the traditions that she grew up with. It is wonderful seeing that change can happen. That individuals can find their own happiness.

My copy was the Kindle version borrowed from the e-library. If you can you should look it up. It is a light read to have so much to it. I might read it again, someday.

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Almost Missed YouAlmost Missed You by Jessica Strawser
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was an interesting take on the love-at-first-sight theme. What if you don’t act on that sight? What if someone else shows up next?

The story was well-written and kept me reading. I wanted to know what could happen next? There was a lot of suspense and a little romance. I’m not much on romance or murder but these were kept to a minimum as there is so much more to the drama than just those ideas.

I love that there are children involved and beaches. Many layers of what? Why would he do that? What the heck is going on? So I highly recommend this to others looking for a good read. Oh, and I love the grandmother. A wealth of wisdom!

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