Books & Reviews 📚

Books #139-#141: Just more books

Although I haven’t been reviewing many books lately, I’ve been reading up a storm. Watching my TBR go down is satisfying although I wish I had all the time in the world to sit and read more. Anyway, here are a few books I might have liked or disliked. 😉

Book #139: Never Coming Home by A.R. Wise

Image result for Never Coming Home by A.R. Wise

Moving away from traditional publishing is good for many authors out here today, but this book was lazily formatted. CreateSpace has formatted templates, so I was surprised that the author didn’t use one of those. By the way, is CreateSpace still a thing?

This story was okayish, but I was not thrilled about the writing or the characters for that matter. When I first met Lincoln Pierre (the main protagonist), he came off as a humorous fool and he immediately reminded me of Rick Castle. *Ponders* Come to think of it, I wonder if the author is a Castle fan?

Image result for gif castle I didn’t get a good feel of Lincoln in the physical sense. I can’t recall the color of his eyes (was it even mentioned?) and I certainly couldn’t tell if he was blonde or a salt and pepper. As for the ending, it was not a surprise for me and if you look hard enough, the murderer is mentioned at the beginning of the book. 

Image result for gif manly fainting

This book is not for the faint of heart. It’s gory when it doesn’t necessarily have to, but since Mystery and Thriller authors are trying to out-gore each other, why not huh? 

My favorite character was Bentley, although at times his character was kind of unbelievable given his young age. I thought he was the best overall. love coffeelove coffee

Book #140: The Pursuit of Justice by Ben Matthews

Image result for The Pursuit of Justice by Ben Matthews

The author is a Lawyer, but yet, somehow, he wrote this book like a rookie lawyer. Maybe that’s what he was going for given that his protagonist Raymond Jackson just happens to be just that, a rookie lawyer. 

I like the courtroom drama although there weren’t much in this story. I like Raymond Jackson a lot, but it was a turn-off with his bed-hopping ways. No matter how hard I tried, I never got a proper image of his face. He could’ve been brunette, redhead, blonde or Tom Cruise. 

Image result for gif tom cruise lawyer

The dialogue and interaction were great!

What I dislike is the sudden and abrupt ending. It didn’t feel like a promised cliffhanger. It felt as if the story was still in the middle when the author decided that he had enough and hastily wrote ‘The End’. love coffeelove coffeelove coffee

Book #141: Lime Tree Can’t Bear Orange by Amanda Smyth

Image result for Lime Tree Can’t Bear Orange by Amanda Smyth

Trinidad is a wonderful place, Celia. Everyone who lives here can’t wait to leave. But once they go – to England or Canada or the U.S., they spend their whole lives trying to get back.”

This story starts off slow, but eventually picks up. By the end of it, one cannot help but moan, ‘Poor poor Celia!’ The world seems to be against her since she was born, but she brought it on herself with the actions taken.

This story was easy to read. It was set in Trinidad and Tobago, and the places that the author listed read like a must-visit list. However, I was not a big fan of the plot and the so-call heroine. There is no growth in the 3 years that we follow Celia. West Indian stories have that recurring rape element and this one was no different. I honestly have to say that I dislike Caribbean literature. 99.9% of it leaves the reader depressed because the writer can’t seem to search within him/herself to write something uplifting or simply fun.Image result for gif i'm depressed

Take this heroine, for example, Celia is a bright young thing on track for a university, but then she is raped, and although she is commended for leaving home, the mood shifts to how attractive Celia is, her beautiful skin and lovely hair. Her well being (health & mental) are never touched on again. The author reduced the heroine to rubble: Celia now exits to only serve the men who desire her.

Also, the author mentioned ‘the seventh grade’ which should’ve been 5th standard. We’ve never used the Grade system locally.  This book does not belong on anyone’s bookshelf and I’m glad I did not pay for it. love coffeelove coffee

Books & Reviews 📚

Books #125-127: major disappointments👎

It’s been a while since I’ve done book reviews! I’ve been in a reading slump since June despite reading around the World Cup. It’s kind of hard for me to not read. I like being surrounded by books and it’s been fun watching my TBR go down in the past few months.

Image result for gif spencer reid books

Let’s get to those 3 books I plan on reviewing today.

Book #125: Hidden Order by Brad Thor

Image result for Hidden Order by Brad Thor

This is the 12th book in the Scot Harvath series. I recall saying that this book was a 3/5 during my 3rd haul for the year and it most certainly was when I started reading it, but I won’t call this book a thriller and when I finally came to the end I had to deduct a coffee so it’s 2/5.

The book was too ‘talky’. We got a history lesson in the Federal Reserve, CIA, and Economics. I didn’t ask for thorough historical details. In one breath the author talks about the conspiracies surrounding these so-call organizations and in the next breath, he contradicts himself by calling ‘truthers’ crazy. Make up yer mind, man!

Thor takes stories from headlines and tosses his characters right in the middle of it. At times it read like a scene from the Mission: Impossible movies, but without the non-stop action.

Image result for gif mission impossible

Five names appear on a secret list. They’re kidnapped and start showing up dead and Scot is hired to find these kidnapped people. Scot runs the investigation without even asking or trying to figure out who had access to the list. Some agent, but it’s okay for not everyone can be Ethan Hunt. And I can’t warm up to Scot Harvath. Scot is so much into Scot he’s making Cristiano Ronaldo look like a saint. Thor needs to watch Ethan Hunt for inspiration and learn how to keep his protagonist likable so we can root for him and not roll our eyes everytime his ego checks in and he’s in luck for Fallout is in theaters now. 

Book #126: Abby Spencer Goes to Bollywood by Varsha Bajaj

Image result for Abby Spencer Goes to Bollywood by Varsha Bajaj

Why? Why was this book released?

This book targets Middle Graders. I was excited to read it because I love reading books that feature India, but it tortured me and I had to give it 2/5

Annoying 13-year-old Abby discovers that her father is a Bollywood star. Oh, excuse me, according to page 85: “is the King of Bollywood!” Shah Rukh Khan wouldn’t like that for he thinks he’s the greatest gift to women. 😆I’ll pass, though. 

But back to the book. The plot was boring and the characters weren’t too colorful themselves. Abby Tara Spencer doesn’t know her father, but when she comes into the discovery that her father is Naveen Kumar and Bollywood’s biggest movie star, her life takes a dramatic turn. Naveen finds out about her and invites her to spend time with him in Mumbai so he can get to know his daughter better. 

Almost everytime Naveen’s name is mentioned, it’s followed by the adjective “shirtless”. Abby is only 13 and is concerned about her Bollywood hunky dad being shirtless most of the time. It got quite annoying to the point where I wondered if the author had wished to have a hot shirtless Bollywood actor as a father or was Shah Rukh Khan actually Naveen in her mind?

Image result for Shah Rukh Khan gif

After reading this book, I still had no idea what the author’s purpose was for writing it. My sisters read it before me and they too were underwhelmed. Knew I should’ve watched Kuch Kuch Hota Hai for the 10th time or so and skip this book!

Book #127: The Reluctant Matchmaker by Shobhan Bantwal

Image result for The Reluctant Matchmaker by Shobhan Bantwal

This might get lengthy for I have so much to say about this book. In every book I’ve read about Indian women, the main goal is for her to find the IIH (Ideal Indian Husband) despite age, despite her beauty, despite her future goals, and this same plot follows Meena, a 31-year-old Indian-American whose native tongue is Konkani (how beautiful!). Meena works in marketing and her job is to make Rathnaya (yes, that’s the name of the company) look good. This book was so boring and offensive in some areas that I can’t believe the great reviews it got on some sites. 

The characters are boring, the writing is okay, but the story is mediocre. And the fat shaming being sprinkled around like parmesan cheese on pasta as early as page 3: If only Pinky ate a few less candy bars, she’d be attractive. 

Image result for gif eye roll so hard

And I am only getting started. Meena is a short irritating idiotic woman. She is judgemental and her mind is set on material things. Her brothers act like 7 year-olds instead of their age. Then we have the tall love interest: enter Prajay, the rich idiot who co-owns the company Meena works at. He’s looking for a wife, but he only dates women over six feet. I can’t make this up even if I tried. He enlists Meena’s help to find him a datable giant babe from an online dating site because he needed a woman’s point of view. For what? The grocery list? As co-founder of Rathnaya, Prajay comes across as unintelligent and I lose a point of IQ every time he speaks.

This book is so superficial. There are subtle remarks from one’s height to skin color and class. It was also RAMMED with every imaginable Indian cliché:

* The obsession with fair skin.

* Why Hindus shouldn’t marry outside of faith (particularly Muslim).

* Arranged marriages and talk of it.

* Blaming of the American culture for influencing their children when the parents chose to migrate there and birth them. 

Parents value of sons over daughters.

There was no need for half of those topics for the author didn’t really do anything with them. All the author did was stereotype. 

There is zero chemistry between the main characters. Meena fell in lust with Prajay and was pinning over him since accidentally bumping into him on their first encounter. She even made advances on him, but he just wasn’t feeling the shorty. There are hardly interactions on their behalf and yet, she thinks he’s the one? Give. Me. A. Break! That’s not love at all. The last chapter was a HUGE cringe. Whenever Prajay called Meena ‘baby’ the endearing term felt forced. Should’ve tried calling her ‘stupid’ for it definitely would’ve worked. My final verdict for this wannabe Bollywood mess is 1/5.

Image result for gif bollywood

 

Books & Reviews 📚

Reading Diaries: The lying trend

Dear Diary,

Looks like we have to lie about this post. 😉

ebookfriendly: “ Plato #books #quote http://ebks.to/2bDkgWl ”

This is not really a rant post; rather it’s an observation one. While shopping for books on Amazon a while ago, I came across The Truth Beneath the Lies by Amanda Searcy and things took an interesting turn: there were so many titles with the word ‘lie’ or ‘lies’ in them from late last year to present and books releasing in the near future. It’s like the new trend! Remember when the word ‘girl’ was the big trend and we had titles such as Girl On A Train? 

Let’s look at some of those lying titles.

The Truth Beneath the Lies by Amanda Searcy 

This thriller came out late last year and the blurb is very intriguing for only one girl will survive at the end. I’ll pass on this book, but I hope that Kayla is the one who survives. 

Let Me Lie by Clare Mackintosh

Image result for Let Me Lie by Clare Mackintosh

This book came out in March. A married couple commits suicide together because they can’t live without the other. Their daughter is not going to sit down and call it a suicide and decides to find out what really happened. But it’s like they say, some things are better left in the past. Eh, not feeling this thriller, though. I feel as if the last few pages or so are going to rob me of a terrific ending. 

All the Beautiful Lies by Peter Swanson 

Related image

The cover is beautiful! So, Harry has always been in love with his stepmother. However, a few days before his college graduation, he gets a phone call from the stepmother and she’s the bringer of bad news: his father is dead and the police think it’s suicide. Harry goes home to Maine to help the wicked stepmother pick up the pieces. As he grows closer to her, he meets a mysterious woman and he’s drawn to her. A nice love triangle is in the making until Harry thinks that both women might be hiding secrets from him. Duh!

I’ll pass on this one as well. The characters sound shallow and I don’t want to read about lust and selfish sexual desire. Maybe the reason the father died is due to the fact that he was having an affair (with a younger woman perhaps?) and the stepmother might have something to do with his death. And I bet she has some kind of horrible past; they always do in the thrillers. *shrugging* Maybe she’s a sexual predator herself. 

The Truth and Lies of Ella Black

Image result for The Truth and Lies of Ella Black

Hmm… the cover is intriguing. In this YA thriller, Ella finds out that her parents are not hers so she runs during which she learns the truth about her biological parents. I’ll pass on this book because I think I’ll award it no steaming coffees. Also, someone mentioned that it contains cruel animal abuse and that’s a major turn off for me. 

Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney

Image result for Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney

Looks like Alice falling down the rabbit hole on the cover! Amber is in a coma, her husband doesn’t love her anymore and sometimes she lies. Sounds like an engaging psychological thriller, but I get the feeling that the author used a timeline to tell the story and I dislike hopping back and forth. Amber also sounds like a whiney and needy character so I’ll be avoiding this book. 

Tell Me Lies by Carola Lovering

Image result for Tell Me Lies by Carola Lovering

The book cover alone is giving me a headache! I hope it’s changed to a better cover when the release date approaches next month. The blurb is 4 paragraphs long and it’s all about some girl named Lucy and some male named Stephen. I’m going to be honest, I did not finish read the longish blurb so I won’t be getting this book.

Here We Lie by Paula Treick DeBoard

Image result for Here We Lie by Paula Treick DeBoard

Friendship turns sour and many years later, one of the girls comes forward to publicly reveal what really happened that night. Hiding the truth can lead to devastating consequences, yes, but I don’t think I can read this book even if the blurb is good!

What about you? Have you read or want to read any of these books?

Books & Reviews 📚

Book Haul part deux

This is a mini haul. My goal this year is to kill my TBR list, but it’s only growing bigger. I’m also working on doing a reading challenge this year, but it looks highly unlikely at the moment. Anyways, the following books are now added to the ever-growing collection.

Love Him to Death by Tanya Newman

This is actually the 8th book in the Poppy Fields Murder Mystery and I bought it for my sister who now wants to own the entire series. I’ll be reading it, though, for she read the book in one day and insist that I read it. 

Message in the Flames by Steven Torres

I got this book on sale and I just couldn’t pass it up. I read that it was first published as Burning Precinct Puerto Rico and the book is a reprint in a series of 3, but the publishers changed the numbers and this one is book 2. Whatever the confusion, I’m going to read this as a standalone.

All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda

I was intrigued by the writer telling this story backward and many readers promised that the ending was one big fat twist. It sounds like a promising read and I hope for the best.

If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio

This is supposed to be a literary thriller and this book is also the author’s debut. I have a confession, though: I only bought the book because I think the title sounded really cool and the edges are black.

The Crime Archives by Damon Wilson

This is a collectible and probably the coolest thing I’ve ever bought! It includes rare facsimiles of documents that led to the capture and conviction of these criminals.

Books & Reviews 📚

Book #76: The Hit

Image result for david baldacci the hit book cover

The Hit Will Robie is a master of killing. A highly-skilled assassin, Robie is the man the U.S. government calls on to eliminate the worst of the worst–enemies of the state, monsters committed to harming untold numbers of innocent victims.

No one else can match Robie’s talents as a hitman; no one, except Jessica Reel. A fellow assassin, equally professional and dangerous, Reel is every bit as lethal as Robie. And now, she’s gone rogue, turning her gun sights on other members of their agency. To stop one of their own, the government looks again to Will Robie. His mission: bring in Reel, dead or alive. Only a killer can catch another killer, they tell him.

But as Robie pursues Reel, he quickly finds that there is more to her betrayal than meets the eye. Her attacks on the agency conceal a larger threat, a threat that could send shockwaves through the U.S. government and around the world.

Author: David Baldacci
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (September 17th, 2013)
Pages: 486
Series: Will Robie #2

The story starts off slow and although it gradually builds up, it was boring. This book seemed to have been written under deadline pressure.

Image result for deadline gif

They sent a killer to kill a killer, pitting Will Robie against Jessica Reel after Reel went rogue. I preferred Reel. Robie did nothing for me and this series is supposed to be all about him.

Will Robie is a cold-blooded assassin and he does his job well, but he cannot stand up to my Jean-Pierre Papin. This thriller doesn’t thrill and just like this author was in a hurry to write this book, I was in a hurry to read it.

VERDICT:

This hit was a miss.

Image result for gif tom cruise cute

NEXT UP:

Image result for gif michael jackson reading

One Plus One by Jojo Moyes… of course, I have to talk about this book. 😛

Books & Reviews 📚

Book #61: Burn

Image result for james patterson latest book

At last, Detective Michael Bennett and his family are coming home to New York City. Thanks to Bennett, the ruthless crime lord whose vengeful mission forced the Bennett family into hiding has been brought down for good.

Back in the city that never sleeps, Bennett takes over a chaotic Outreach Squad in Harlem, where he receives an unusual call: a man claims to have seen a group of well-dressed men holding a bizarre party in a condemned building. With no clear crime or evidence, Bennett dismisses the report. But when a charred body is found in that very same building, he is forced to take the demented caller seriously–and is drawn into an underground criminal world of terrifying depravity.

Author: James Patterson & Michael Ledwidge
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (April 7, 2015)
Chapters: 110
Pages: 401
Series: Michael Bennett (#7)

This was my first Detective Michael Bennett book for I am wary of JP and his co-authoring schemes.

JP sure is a sucker for fire and him playing with fire is getting boring now. I am tired of arsonists especially when he co-authors.

How I imagine Michael Bennett:

Image result for gif tom cruise cute

Kidding! He’s not THAT dreamy! But let’s face it: Tom Cruise could portray ANY major character and get away with it because he embodies the character. Heck, he can even be the Queen and I won’t bat an eye because it’s Tom.

How people see Bennett:

Image result for gif george clooney

How I actually see Bennett:

Image result for gif pierce brosnan

Bennett is a cool dude. I like him.

From the time Marquis de Sade is mentioned, I just know what kind of sick twisted people I’ll be dealing with in this book. When Bennett took over the Outreach Squad in Harlem, he was not prepared for what he’ll find waiting for him. Yet, he stayed calm, focus and driven. The cannibalism act had me questioning Hollywood rituals (based on material I’ve read regarding that … another story, another time).

Then Major Crime calls. They want Bennett on a jewelry heist case. Honcho, Beast, Slick. Dream criminal team right there. It’s one bad turn for Bennett after the other in both his working and personal life. Then out of the blue, a man shows up to claim Chrissy as his daughter. Bennet wasn’t having any of that. Honestly, I think this was a filler because it was quite out of place.

Bennett was in for a surprise when the so-call diamond heists were connected to the cannibal chef. 

YET! What I don’t like is the fact that one man was found in connection with the jewel heist and we never found out what happened to the other two (I hope I didn’t go past them during my reading because at one point, the story was a little dull and it was making me sleepy). The cannibal case ended too early for my liking and I haven’t been reading the MB series, but wow, Mary Catherine must be tired of his lack of amorous display. Put a ring on it already! The ending was also too abrupt for my liking.

Other than that, good junk food!

 :

QUOTABLES:

^ This was an adopted kid’s worst fear come true, I suddenly realized. The feeling that no place was secure no matter how much you were loved. That you were always just one knock on the door from being taken away.

This is one of the reasons why many people are afraid to adopt.

NOTE:

They call it author taboo and utter laziness, but James doesn’t care for writing taboos. He uses the word ‘very’ a lot in his work and although some people may find it irritating because it’s laziness, I think it’s appropriate whenever James uses it.

VERDICT:

3

NEXT UP:

Image result for gif michael jackson reading

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Books & Reviews 📚

Book #50: Toys

Image result for toys james patterson

This review is probably going to be my shortest to date.

I have to admit that I was kind of skeptical in picking up this co-author offering, but I’m glad I did anyway. The book was fantastic and I love that some science-fiction was involved. In this story, the world has changed, but unfortunately, it is not for the better. Elites are running (and ruining) the world while the humans are being killed. The plot twist comes when an Elite finds out that he is actually a human planted inside the Elite world as a child. He now has to fight to conquer the Elites and save the world.

Image result for tom cruise rebecca ferguson gif

I am not a huge fan of science-fiction, but I’ll read this book again in a heartbeat. I am hoping that there will be a sequel.

 :

VERDICT:

5

NEXT UP:

Image result for gif michael jackson reading

Missing Mom by Joyce Carol Oates

Books & Reviews 📚

Book #22: Dead Ringer

Although the story started off a bit slow it ended with a bang. I am glad I did not abandon it after the first few chapters.

Scott Corbin was executed by lethal injection after five years on death row for serial killings, so how can Sarah Hill believe that the Chameleon was back? The killings have picked up where they left off and Sarah swears she saw Corbin walking the streets.

The characters are believable, Scott Corbin had me rooting for him, the action was non-stop, but the ending? Man, what a twist to end all events! I did not see this coming! I did not anticipate the ending and I loved it!

Some readers may find it gruesome so let me just warn you: IT IS NOT FOR THE FAINT HEARTED.

fangirling animated GIF

This what a true example of what a real page turner is. I needed this after the underwhelming stories I’ve last read.

VERDICT:

5

I don’t like recommending books, but if you’re a thriller/suspense fan looking for a compelling page turner and you don’t mind that it came out in the year 2002, then this one is for you.

NEXT UP:

Image result for gif michael jackson reading

I don’t know as yet. I hope it’s good.

Books & Reviews 📚

World’s best-selling author teams up with a former President to write a thriller.

I am talking about James Patterson and former US President, Bill Clinton. Yes, they’ve teamed up to write a thriller that sounds like a winner, The President Is Missing.

Image via nytimes.com

The details of the plot are not currently known, but the publishers say the book will be “informed by details that only a President can know.”

This is Clinton’s first novel and it will be released by Alfred A Knopf and Hachette in June 2018. 

Books & Reviews 📚

Book #12: Cross My Heart

Image result for cross my heart james patterson

Author: James Patterson
Publisher: Hachette Book Group (November 25th, 2013)
Pages: 407

Series: Alex Cross #21

BLURB:

Detective Alex Cross is a family man at heart – nothing matters more to him than his children, his grandmother, and his wife, Bree. His love of his family is his anchor, giving him the strength to confront evil in his work. One man knows this deeply, a genius set on proving that he is the greatest criminal mind of all, and he uses Alex’s strength as a weapon against him.

When the ones Cross loves are in danger, he will do anything to protect them. But if he even tries, they will die.

CROSS MY HEART is the most devastating and unexpected novel of James Patterson’s career. Is this the end of Alex Cross?

review

…REVIEW!

THIS IS THE GOOD JP STUFF!!

James Patterson has this skill that almost every writer wish they possessed: he breathes life into characters that we easily attach ourselves to emotionally. I feel as I am part of this Cross family. 

Cross My Heart kept me at the edge of my seat with every twist and turn. It was deeply engrossing and entertaining and I couldn’t put it down. It was intense! It was thrilling.

Alex Cross loves his family: his 91-year-old Regina Cross Hope aka Nana Mama (his grandmother), his wife Brianna Stone (she is also a detective with the DC Metro Police) and his beautiful children, Ali, Jannie and Damon Cross. He would protect them at all cost, yet, he feels like a failure when a madman tears his beloved family apart and keeps them away from him. This madman is obsessed with proving Alex wrong and he vows to make Alex suffer.

The Cross family did not see this one coming. 

Normally, Alex would be a step or two ahead of his adversary, but not in this story. The criminal is the one in control; the one pulling the strings. This enemy was like no other that Alex has ever faced.

I need a breather after this one.

Some readers were complaining about this book being a rip-off because they didn’t get the ending they deserved. This is a full book and the cliffhanger was excellent. If you’re looking for an abrupt happy ending, go read a fairy tale. 

 :

RATING:

Can I give it lots of coffee?

5

I don’t recommend books, but this one is too good to pass up for JP fans or for nail-biting suspense loving fans. 

NEXT UP:

Image result for gif michael jackson reading

Run Baby Run by Nicky Cruz

**GIFs/Images that don’t belong to LPM are via Google Search (Right-click for original source)

Disclaimer