Sunday, January 8, 2017

Review - Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult



Book Summary  

Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital with more than twenty years’ experience. During her shift, Ruth begins a routine checkup on a newborn, only to be told a few minutes later that she’s been reassigned to another patient. The parents are white supremacists and don’t want Ruth, who is African American, to touch their child. The hospital complies with their request, but the next day, the baby goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is alone in the nursery. Does she obey orders or does she intervene?

Ruth hesitates before performing CPR and, as a result, is charged with a serious crime. Kennedy McQuarrie, a white public defender, takes her case but gives unexpected advice: Kennedy insists that mentioning race in the courtroom is not a winning strategy. Conflicted by Kennedy’s counsel, Ruth tries to keep life as normal as possible for her family—especially her teenage son—as the case becomes a media sensation. As the trial moves forward, Ruth and Kennedy must gain each other’s trust, and come to see that what they’ve been taught their whole lives about others—and themselves—might be wrong.

With incredible empathy, intelligence, and candor, Jodi Picoult tackles race, privilege, prejudice, justice, and compassion—and doesn’t offer easy answers. Small Great Things is a remarkable achievement from a writer at the top of her game.



Published, October 2016 

My Review 4 1/2 stars

Small Great Things is the hardest, most disturbing book I have read.  Race relations is not a topic I read about or discuss and I think this was Jodi Picoults goal, well done, it will be memorable.  I initially was going to give it a 4 but the fact that she will get people talking including myself, I give it 4 1/2 stars.  I have read a few of her books in the past, really enjoyed or not at all, I actually said I was done with her books and then she released this one which made you think about the present, how real this premise is, absolutely timely.

Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.  - Benjamin Franklin  Kindle 1%

I really enjoyed how the chapters were done.  Early birth through to afterbirth and the story was told between Ruth, Turk and Kennedy.  There were times I had to walk away from the book, just emotional.  Within the last year I have questioned my reality but I have realized that everyone reacts differently to history and the legacy of family life.  Small Great Things tries to get you understand all the different sides of why we think and react the way we do.

Bad things happen to good people all the time and everyone's response or perception is different.  The heartbreaking part of this book is that the baby still died.  There is nothing that can bring him back. The back stories were amazing and uncomfortable to read. I personally couldn't relate to any characters but could see this happening.  Once I reached 50% the court case started, I felt like I can breathe again.  I have been a juror before and this kind of thing would give me nightmares.

There is no such thing as a fact.  There is only how you saw the act, in a given moment.  How you reported the fact.  How your brain processed that fact.  There is no extrication of the story teller from the story. Kindle 73%

A quote used with the title.

"You're destined to do small great things,"  she told me.  "Just like Dr. King said. "  She was referring to one of her favorite quotes:  If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.....  Kindle 37%

I thought it was a nice touch that the white supremacist had a black lawyer and Ruth had a white lawyer.  We might not realize it but color is noticed in many scenarios.  Both lawyers didn't want to play the race game in court.   "I don't think about being white.  I told you the first time we sat down - I don't see color."  (Ruth) "Not all of us have that privilege."  Kindle 51%

Sure, I know that racism exists and that people like Turk Bauer are waving that banner, but I don't judge all white folks by the historical actions of a few.  Kindle 25%

There was only part  in the book that just didn't ring true to me but it did for a colleague.  It amazes me but history truly repeats itself.  And this is a very scary thought.  If we think of all the terrorists attacks, Trump becoming President, the turmoil in our own countries, race all plays a part which is sad.  How do we become a part of the change?

 I work in an hospital and I can see a Manager requesting for a staff member to not be on a patients case from their request but I don't think it will be formal and in the charts.  So I did believe this could happen.  Also, when difficult decisions need to be made, people are thrown under the bus, integrity is what we strive for but I think it forgotten at times.

There were many surprising moments in this book.  Shocking moments.  Overall this will be a memorable book with great characters.  Even if you try to guess the outcome, there are so many layers you will never guess them all.


Other Jodi Picoult books I have read

My Sisters Keeper - I enjoyed both the book and movie
The Pact -  not my favourite


Personal Note - I have introduced myself as a Bermudian female blogger that loves thrillers.  I have been blogging for almost 8 years and I am 41 years old.  I have never mentioned that I am black.  From the book blogging world I know this does not matter, (I will continue to believe this) What matters is that we all love to read and enjoy the networking.  I have never put up a picture.  Here I am :-)  Other than reading I also love gardening and Yoga.  I am a HR Specialist, a Strala Yoga Guide and Pilates Instructor.  I'm also the mom of a 9 year old girl.




Monday, January 2, 2017

This is a HARD read so far........





This book is disturbing.  I almost forgot Trump is soon to take over being President and reading this has made me scared all over again for our world.  My heart is breaking.  I'm 50% in and trying to say it is a book Marce but we all know books are reality.

I am glad to reading it before everyone in the blog world has though.  I have to take breaks though, so disturbing to me.  Interesting discussions will come out of this one.  I wouldn't even want to discuss this one at book club..  Mercy.........


Book Summary  

Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital with more than twenty years’ experience. During her shift, Ruth begins a routine checkup on a newborn, only to be told a few minutes later that she’s been reassigned to another patient. The parents are white supremacists and don’t want Ruth, who is African American, to touch their child. The hospital complies with their request, but the next day, the baby goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is alone in the nursery. Does she obey orders or does she intervene?

Ruth hesitates before performing CPR and, as a result, is charged with a serious crime. Kennedy McQuarrie, a white public defender, takes her case but gives unexpected advice: Kennedy insists that mentioning race in the courtroom is not a winning strategy. Conflicted by Kennedy’s counsel, Ruth tries to keep life as normal as possible for her family—especially her teenage son—as the case becomes a media sensation. As the trial moves forward, Ruth and Kennedy must gain each other’s trust, and come to see that what they’ve been taught their whole lives about others—and themselves—might be wrong.

With incredible empathy, intelligence, and candor, Jodi Picoult tackles race, privilege, prejudice, justice, and compassion—and doesn’t offer easy answers. Small Great Things is a remarkable achievement from a writer at the top of her game.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

My First Book of 2017




Sheila over at Book Journey has a personal book tradition, picking her 1st book of the year to read.  She has invited all of us again to join her and share our choices, what a great collage of bloggers and first books she has up.  Check it out

Sheila, if you see this, my comments do not show on your blog and I think my emails go to your junk folder.

I didn't know what to choose this year but......

I decided on............






Book Summary - I think this is going to be a hard read.  

Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital with more than twenty years’ experience. During her shift, Ruth begins a routine checkup on a newborn, only to be told a few minutes later that she’s been reassigned to another patient. The parents are white supremacists and don’t want Ruth, who is African American, to touch their child. The hospital complies with their request, but the next day, the baby goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is alone in the nursery. Does she obey orders or does she intervene?

Ruth hesitates before performing CPR and, as a result, is charged with a serious crime. Kennedy McQuarrie, a white public defender, takes her case but gives unexpected advice: Kennedy insists that mentioning race in the courtroom is not a winning strategy. Conflicted by Kennedy’s counsel, Ruth tries to keep life as normal as possible for her family—especially her teenage son—as the case becomes a media sensation. As the trial moves forward, Ruth and Kennedy must gain each other’s trust, and come to see that what they’ve been taught their whole lives about others—and themselves—might be wrong.

With incredible empathy, intelligence, and candor, Jodi Picoult tackles race, privilege, prejudice, justice, and compassion—and doesn’t offer easy answers. Small Great Things is a remarkable achievement from a writer at the top of her game.





I look forward to networking with you again this year.  I am grateful for my blogging friends.




Thursday, December 29, 2016

Review - The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson




Book Publication - February 2015

Book Summary

In a tantalizing set-up reminiscent of Patricia Highsmith’s classic Strangers on a Train… On a night flight from London to Boston, Ted Severson meets the stunning and mysterious Lily Kintner. Sharing one too many martinis, the strangers begin to play a game of truth, revealing very intimate details about themselves. Ted talks about his marriage that’s going stale and his wife Miranda, who he’s sure is cheating on him. Ted and his wife were a mismatch from the start—he the rich businessman, she the artistic free spirit—a contrast that once inflamed their passion, but has now become a cliché.
But their game turns a little darker when Ted jokes that he could kill Miranda for what she’s done. Lily, without missing a beat, says calmly, “I’d like to help.” After all, some people are the kind worth killing, like a lying, stinking, cheating spouse. . . .
Back in Boston, Ted and Lily’s twisted bond grows stronger as they begin to plot Miranda's demise. But there are a few things about Lily’s past that she hasn’t shared with Ted, namely her experience in the art and craft of murder, a journey that began in her very precocious youth.
Suddenly these co-conspirators are embroiled in a chilling game of cat-and-mouse, one they both cannot survive . . . with a shrewd and very determined detective on their tail.

My Review - 4 star

This book is the Champion of Coincidence.  In the moment I understand not questioning parts but for the reader is makes you smile and at the end I had a good laugh at the expense of the characters.  I am surprised this came out last year, I don't think I heard much about it but can see it being on Thriller fans to be read list.

The intro fascinated me, strangers, Lily and Ted meet at an airport bar and over drinks plan to kill Ted's wife. Okay, realistic NO, but maybe for a murderer this is normal behaviour.  Grief, alcohol, anger and feelings of revenge, oh the thrill of planning a murder for the fun of it then realize your new friend is serious.    I started to get turned off by the ludicrous story-line then BAM you are like what the hell just happened, laugh and continue on in disbelief.

'And while I was agreeing what kept me going was the knowledge that she was going to die, and I was going to be the one who made that happen.   I thought about it constantly, turning the idea around in my mind like looking at a diamond from every possible perspective, looking for flaws or cracks, looking for guilt or second thoughts, and I ground none.  Kindle 15%

This thriller was entertaining and I couldn't stop reading because I just had to know how it all was entangled and would end.  This was a chess game but who wins?

'We understood that survival was everything.  It was the meaning of life.  And to take another life was, in many ways, the greatest expression of what it meant to be alive.  Kindle 69%

I thought Lily was the best character and we got to understand background story which helped the present and future.  The Detective on the case I really enjoyed and wish he didn't become so taken by Lily that it became stalker like, I wish it was just amazing detective work.

The ending of the book was brilliant, I laughed out loud, all the coincidences will come crashing down.  Loved it.  Overall I did enjoy but the beginning before the BAM made it hard to get into for me.  Also, each chapter was told from a character but this overall needs better execution, improvement over time from the author. I loved the title of this book, superb.




Tuesday, December 27, 2016

My Top Ten Books of 2016



Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This meme was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!
Each week we will post a new Top Ten list complete with one of our bloggers answers. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND post a comment on our post with a link to your Top Ten Tuesday post to share with us and all those who are participating. If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. If you can't come up with ten, don't worry about it---post as many as you can!

I start looking forward to this meme as soon as December begins.  It is the time I add many books to my 2017 to be read list.  Thank you bloggers.

I only had one 5 star read this year but all the others are 4 1/2 and memorable.



My Review 5 star - Adult Fiction/Suspense

I couldn't stop reading this, I wanted to call in to work and say I had more important things to do, which was finishing this book.  The story completely captured my attention.   This is the perfect book for an advocate group on sexual abuse to read and discuss with each other.  What I loved the best that Steena Holmes did was not make it emotionally driven to the point where you have to warn readers about possible triggers to sexual abuse as their were no descriptions.  This wasn't about the act but more about what do you do with suspicions or when a young child repeats something and your unsure.



My Review 4 1/2 stars - Adult Fiction/Historical 

I can see why this gem made so many bloggers favourite list, it was the perfect execution from beginning to end, capturing all issues.  Even though historical is not my thing, this was beautiful and Kristin Hannah truly showed her talent, gaining new fans for sure but still not letting her loyal fans down, remarkable to me. 






The intensity in this book is non stop, shocking and many moments I realized I was holding my breath.  I am so impressed this is a debut, well done BA Paris.  I felt relieved at the end which isn't a good thing but my oh my, intense.  The summary says we all know a couple like Jack and Grace, I sure as hell hope not.  That thought is scary and very creepy, there are some things I will never overlook with friends now.  I will give a warning, this is probably the worst kind of mental manipulation abuse I have read, it can be very hard to read if you are not into emotional intense reads.  I found this harder to read them physical abuse.




My Review 4 1/2 stars -  Psychological Thriller

I really like mental games and the serial killer put the victims through the worst mental game, a survival game and really no one wins.  The survivor sometimes suffering more than the victim.  I realized it would really depend who I was imprisoned with.  I thought the serial killer did a great job on choosing.  I like to be in control so I think the choice would be to kill myself or the other but letting my guard down and being killed, nope, isn't that terrible, but this is the torture they go through while starving.




My Review 4 1/2 stars - Psychological Suspense

Wow, wow and wow.  This is a book I wished I was able to read in 1 seating, staying up until almost 2am for two nights is not me but I couldn't get enough.  The storytelling has you on the edge of your seat.





My Review 4 1/2 stars - Crime/Police Procedural

This crime thriller/police procedural will keep you fully engaged, the tension is constant and when it all comes together, BAM, I was pleased. I also really enjoyed all the characters, Robert Bryndza gave the characters a genuine place where you felt you understood decisions, good and bad which helped the dialogue to feel real also.






My Review 4 1/2 stars - Memoir

This is not my kind of book but I downloaded the sample and was laughing, became engaged and had to read it.  I'm glad I did, very fun book.  I was happy to see the inside of a celebrity from their point of view.  I found it light, fun, badassary (Shonda added this to her Dictionary as a new word).  I was a Grey's Anatomy fan but now I can say I'm a Shonda fan. 





My Review 4 1/2 stars Suspense - My choice for Book Club and a video discussion with author

In February I said this would make my Top Ten List.  I saw this book mentioned during a book meme, I was intrigued and downloaded it.  Sometimes the best books are the one's you know nothing about outside of the summary.  I want to just say read it, there is something for all, especially the thriller, mystery fans but I think this is perfect for the YA fans that want to get into thrillers.  I was captivated and didn't want to go to sleep nights and even bought it to work, which I never do, I just couldn't get enough and had to know what was going to happen.




My Review 4 1/2 stars (Book 5) - My Favourite author and series

The Forensic Instinct team can do no wrong, absolutely love these characters.  Andrea Kane makes me feel at home and her writing immediately grabs me and I'm in the comfort of my book journey with this team, I am one of them....





My Review 4 1/2 stars - Investigative Thriller

I think JT Ellison has officially became my favourite investigative thriller author and to think the first book I read by her I wasn't impressed, so glad I tried again.  She gives me everything I want now.  The feeling of being on the edge and can't read fast enough to know how it will end.  Allowing the reader to be part of the investigation as clues are revealed.  Really great characters who you begin to connect with and look forward to seeing more of. There are always connections which highlights how small our world really is, I find this so true and exciting.



I would love to see these 3 read more around the blogosphere.  
*The Word Game, Unhinge and The Drowning Game.*

NOTE:  Please check your junk folders as I have commented on 6+ blogs without the comments showing.


Thanks for visiting Tea Time with Marce.  Happy Holidays


Thursday, December 22, 2016

Review - The Mistletoe Secret by Richard Paul Evans




Book Summary

The master of the holiday novel presents the moving story of two people who brave loneliness and loss to find love.

Dear Universe,
Is anyone out there?


Thinking no one is reading, a blogger who calls herself LBH writes about her most personal feelings, especially her overwhelming loneliness. She goes from day to day showing a brave face to the world while inside she longs to know how it would feel if one person cared about her.

Alex Bartlett cares. He’s reading her posts in Daytona Beach, Florida. Nursing his own broken heart and trust issues, he finds himself falling for this sensitive, vulnerable woman whose feelings mirror his own. Following a trail of clues LBH has inadvertently revealed, he discovers that she lives in the small town of Midway, Utah. He makes his way there just after Thanksgiving, determined to find LBH. Maybe she’s a Lisa, Lori, or a Luanne. Instead, he finds a woman named Aria, a waitress at the Mistletoe Diner, who encourages Alex in his search while serving his pie along with some much-needed sympathy and companionship.

Alex finally finds his LBH, a woman who is as beautiful and kind as he imagined she would be. How can he tell her that he knows her secret? What’s holding him back? Could it be his feelings for Aria?



My Review - 5 stars

I bought this as part of my book club's gift this year and read on Kindle in case they talk about it.  This is my first book by Richard Paul Evans and I really enjoyed it.  Once I got into the story I couldn't stop, I stayed up late last night finishing it with a smile.

Holiday stories are predictable, there is some sadness but they always end in happiness.  This to me is an expectation.  I really liked how the author tried to put a wrench in the story-line, having you second guess your thoughts and then it all turns out for the best, I enjoyed this spin.

Alex is out with his friends and they tell him to stop moping, why don't he go online and meet someone, join a dating site.  As Alex decides why not, he come across a blog 'Is Anyone Out There' that captures his interest.  A lady only known as LBH writes a honest blog about being lonely and it touches Alex.  Instead of going on dates from the site he decides to try and find LBH.

What if the world's best-kept secret was that the whole world was lonely?  Kindle 44%

I enjoyed the style of sharing the blog posts and could see how Alex was touched by the writing.  Off he goes and ends up with a list of 18 names with the initials LBH in Midway, Utah.  He comes across some interesting people during his search.  A really lovely book with sweet characters.  Some fell the ultimate romance story and others were very weary about a stranger looking for a woman without knowing her name, a little creepy.  This all made it real and a sweet story to read.

Along his search he meets a beautiful waitress Aria.  Does Aria keep him away from truly continuing his search?  Does he find possible love with LBH or Aria?  The new LBH stands for Loved By Him.   A beautiful holiday story and I look forward to reading more by Richard Paul Evans.

It is the end of the story but I loved this quote and want to share.

We fear jumping because we fear falling.  We fear being broken.  But still, jump we must, because it's only in jumping that we'll ever find someone to catch us. 






Thursday, December 15, 2016

Review - Behind Closed Doors by Elizabeth Haynes




Book summary


An old case makes Detective Inspector Louisa Smith some new enemies in this spellbinding second installment of New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Haynes’s Briarstone crime series that combines literary suspense and page-turning thrills.
Ten years ago, 15-year-old Scarlett Rainsford vanished while on a family holiday in Greece. Was she abducted, or did she run away from her severely dysfunctional family? Lou Smith worked the case as a police constable, and failing to find Scarlett has been one of the biggest regrets of her career. No one is more shocked than Lou to learn that Scarlett has unexpectedly been found during a Special Branch raid of a brothel in Briarstone.
Lou and her Major Crime team are already stretched working two troubling cases: nineteen-year-old Ian Palmer was found badly beaten; and soon after, bar owner Carl McVey was found half-buried in the woods, his Rolex and money gone. While Lou tries to establish the links between the two cases, DS Sam Hollands works with Special Branch to question Scarlett. What happened to her? Where has she been until now? How did she end up back here? And why is her family—with the exception of her emotionally fragile younger sister, Juliette—less than enthusiastic about her return?
When another brutal assault and homicide are linked to the McVey murder, Lou’s cases collide, and the clues all point in one terrifying direction. As the pressure and the danger mount, it becomes clear that the silent, secretive Scarlett holds the key to everything.



My Review - 3 star

I was looking forward to reading another by Elizabeth Haynes as Into the Darkest Corner is one of my favourite reads period, one I recommend often.  I was disappointed by this one.  It is the 2nd in a series and usually I would start from the beginning but the 1st didn't intrigue me, so I will say, that may have been a mistake but I didn't feel like I missed out on anything.

I enjoyed the character of Scarlett and was really disappointed at the ending, I felt like why did I go on that journey with Scarlett for it to end like that.  And also the ending with her sister we knew as a reader but it just all came to an end and I didn't feel fulfilled as a reader after the whole story.  I wonder if Elizabeth Haynes changed the story from her initial plan towards the ending.  Never getting the parents story, especially the dads was a let down.

Ten years of hell, Scarlett lived ten years of hell when she was taken and put into a life of prostitution.  When she is found and meets her mom again, what a shocker, punch in the gut reunion.  "I haven't forgotten, you know.  I saw you.   I saw you."  Kindle 38%  Can you imagine seeing your mom when you are being thrown in a van.  You would believe you would be saved and then nothing, ten years of nothing and then not even a sorry.  "Sometimes you make mistakes.  And if you don't own up to them, sooner or later they turn into bigger mistakes and bigger ones, and then you can't admit to them at all, ever."  Kindle 89%  This family was dysfunctional on a level of hate, I had nothing for the parents and understand the ending but still felt like something was missing, I needed closure.

The drug, human trafficking, crime groups case the police were trying to take down was a separate story which didn't engage me and this may have been from book 1.  The style of adding evidence is usually quite entertaining and makes me feel like part of the investigative team.  I thought this was worthless and didn't add to the readers enjoyment, also adding to the book being longer then necessary.

There were characters I enjoyed but overall this one just did not work for me, very disappointed.  I enjoyed the ten year timelines then coming together at the end, that was executed well.  It only gets a 3 because I completed it without skimming.  I would have went back to book 1 if I really enjoyed this one, but I won't now.


Sunday, December 4, 2016

It's Monday - What are you reading?



Book Date now hosts It's Monday What Are Your Reading?  The meme that we use to share what we read this past week and what our plans are for the upcoming week.  It's a great way to see what others are reading and add to your own To Be Read List.

I am almost complete with the decorating, love the smell of a real Christmas tree, definitely starting to feel like Christmas.  This has been a sad and weird year globally with the politics and violence but I am trying to remain grateful and fulfill my life with happiness. 


I'm currently reading



I think this will be my Christmas read.  What is one of your favourites and what have you chose this year?



Book Summary

Becca Fletcher has always hated Christmas but she has her reasons for being Little Miss Grinch. Now, though, she can’t avoid her version of ho-ho-hell – because she’s travelling to the Comfort Food Cafe to spend the festive season with her sister Laura and her family. She’s expecting mulled wine, 24-hour Christmas movie marathons and all kinds of very merry torture.
Little does Becca know that the Comfort Food Cafe is like no other place on earth. Perched on a snow-covered hill, it’s a place full of friendship where broken hearts can heal, new love can blossom and where Becca’s Christmas miracle really could happen – if only she can let it…

My Christmas Eve recommendation is..... I loved it.




I reviewed - it was entertaining.  My Review




I am unsure what last 2 - 3 books to read for the year.  Recommend a must read please, what is the book you wanted everyone to read this year?


Have a great week.


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Review - While You Were Sleeping by Kathryn Croft




Book Summary

Tara Logan adores her perfect little family: husband, Noah, and two children, teenager Rosie and eleven-year-old Spencer. 

But her happiness is shattered when she wakes up one morning in her neighbour’s bed, with no memory of how she got there or what happened between them. And worse – he has been stabbed to death.

Convinced she didn’t kill Lee and scared of losing everything she cares about, Tara flees home and stays silent, holding her breath as the investigation grips the neighbourhood.

But as her daughter spirals out of control, and her husband becomes increasingly distant, Tara starts to wonder if someone in her life knows what really happened that night. When the police turn their questions towards her, Tara realises she has to find out. 

But what will it take to uncover the real story, and can she survive the truth?



My Review - 3 1/2 stars

Lies, lies, lies and more lies in Part 1.  I was shaking my head and thinking what foolishness is this, do people think and act like this. Then after allowing myself to 'drink the kool aid' once Part 2 came I couldn't stop reading.

All the characters were fine, more then a few unlikable including the neighbors, I think most either like, dislike or are neutral about neighbors.  If a murder happened would this bring a neighborhood closer together or break them apart and have people moving out of their homes.

I don't consider Tara's family to be dysfunctional but bad things do happen to families, life happens.  Tara and Noah separate and are back together but it seems like the separation affected Rosie in a negative way that puts herself and others at risk.  She was an unreliable character, I never knew what to believe and neither did her family which then included the police.

There are secondary characters that add to the dilemma within the story and add distractions but in the end were they really distractions.

Nothing is as it seems which makes for a good read.  Those that read mystery and thrillers all the time will have different thoughts through out the book, some right and some very wrong.   Overall, it is an entertaining read but you do have to suspend belief.  The Detective continued to tell Tara that they are investigating but there are so many things as a reader you say, why haven't you did this, this and this etc, just comes across as incompetent.  I think this could actually take away the enjoyment for some readers but as I said it is an entertaining fast read.

This was my first Kathryn Croft book and I will read more by her.


Monday, November 21, 2016

I completed my Goodreads Reading Challenge


How exciting - I just realized that I completed my Goodreads Reading Challenge for 2016.  I usually aim for 50 books but last year was a write off so I went for 30.  I have read 34 so far, I wonder if I will make it to 40 before the end of year.

It will soon be time to think about the first book to start 2017 off with and the Top Ten Books of 2016 I would recommend.

Here is a glimpse of the last few books I have read.

The average reading challenge with all the participants across the world is 47 books a year.

How are you doing on your Reading Challenge?



Reading challenge banner
Participants2,917,429
Books Pledged137,281,660
Books Finished34,358,180
Avg. Books Pledged47
Challenges Completed9,609
Time Left40 days, 17 hours



You have read 30 of 30 books in 2016.
  • Your 2016 Challenge Books
  • Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
  • Distress Signals by Catherine Ryan Howard
  • Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
  • The Sinner by Amanda Stevens
  • The Guest Room by Chris Bohjalian
  • The Hidden Legacy by G.J. Minett
  • The Girl In The Ice by Robert Bryndza
  • Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris
  • Only Daughter by Anna Snoekstra
  • The Murder That Never Was by Andrea Kane

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Review - Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline



Book Summary


Christina Baker Kline’s Orphan Train is an unforgettable story of friendship and second chances that highlights a little-known but historically significant movement in America’s past—and it includes a special PS section for book clubs featuring insights, interviews, and more.
Penobscot Indian Molly Ayer is close to “aging out” out of the foster care system. A community service position helping an elderly woman clean out her home is the only thing keeping Molly out of juvie and worse...
As she helps Vivian sort through her possessions and memories, Molly learns that she and Vivian aren’t as different as they seem to be. A young Irish immigrant orphaned in New York City, Vivian was put on a train to the Midwest with hundreds of other children whose destinies would be determined by luck and chance.
Molly discovers that she has the power to help Vivian find answers to mysteries that have haunted her for her entire life—answers that will ultimately free them both.
Rich in detail and epic in scope, Orphan Train is a powerful novel of upheaval and resilience, of unexpected friendship, and of the secrets we carry that keep us from finding out who we are.

My Review 4 stars

Orphan Train is our book club choice this month and we will be discussing tomorrow.  My book club has really helped me step out of my comfort zone, usually going for historical reads.  At least this year was better, last year was the worst reading year I had ever had.  I really enjoyed this one, some beautiful amazing moments throughout the book.

This definitely was the book about 2nd chances with friendships and family.

What an emotional start to the book, to see so many children become orphans and to be loaded on a train to find new homes, completely the unknown.  Niamh is an Irish name and becomes Dorothy to be more american by one family and eventually becomes Vivian.

So I am learning to pretend, to smile and nod, to display empathy I do not feel.  I am learning to pass, to look like everyone else, even though I feel broke inside.  Kindle 36%

The book goes between Vivian's time as an Orphan during the early 1930's and Molly during 2011. Their lives were more alike than anyone would have thought. Molly is also an orphan that has got into some trouble and is helping Vivian for some charity hours.  During this time, they are the best thing that happened to each other.

Questions that came up that allowed the reader to think about.  What did you choose to take with you? What did you leave behind?  What insights did you gain?  What I loved was that even the families that were not protective or should not have been given orphan parental rights allowed Dorothy/Vivian to keep her necklace family heirloom.

Molly loved research without realizing she was bringing the modern world to Vivian, allowing her to cherish memories of her life and at 91 years old, begins enjoying Facebook and ordering a laptop to read more stories of other orphans which were also on the same Orphan Train as her.

I really enjoyed the way the historical parts of this book was told.  Molly interviewed Vivian for a homework assignment and took us on a journey that had the most heart warming parts you just had to love.  The general feeling is that it's best not to talk about the past, that the quickest relief will come in forgetting.  Kindle 10%  Orphan Train showed us the importance of memories and being grateful sometimes for the heartache and pain to cherish the moment you are in now.





Sunday, November 13, 2016

A new week - What are you reading?


Book Date now hosts It's Monday What Are Your Reading?  The meme that we use to share what we read this past week and what our plans are for the upcoming week.  It's a great way to see what others are reading and add to your own To Be Read List.

I am happy to see a new week but can you believe it is November.  We will be considering what makes the Top Ten lists soon.  Goodreads has started the polls, have you voted?

I'm currently reading the Book Club choice, good so far




I reviewed and really enjoyed, gave it 4 1/2 stars - My Review




I want to start this series next




I started but couldn't get into it, will try again



Friday, November 11, 2016

Review - Distress Signals by Catherine Ryan Howard




Published - May, 2016

Book Summary


The day Adam Dunne's girlfriend, Sarah, fails to return from a Barcelona business trip, his perfect life begins to fall apart. Days later, the arrival of her passport and a note that reads "I'm sorry - S" sets off real alarm bells. He vows to do whatever it takes to find her.
Adam is puzzled when he connects Sarah to a cruise ship called the Celebrate - and to a woman, Estelle, who disappeared from the same ship in eerily similar circumstances almost exactly a year before.
To get answers, Adam must confront some difficult truths about his relationship with Sarah. He must do things of which he never thought himself capable. And he must try to outwit a predator who seems to have found the perfect hunting ground.

My Review 4 1/2 stars

It was a long wait for Distress Signals but worth it.  Someone had an ARC and it was on their Top List of 2015, then I read a review earlier this year but it wasn't available on Kindle.  Thank you NetGalley, I did a search, it was available and my request was accepted, excited.

This is definitely not the vacation read while on a cruise, you could definitely become paranoid.  Adam and Sarah are comfortable in their 10 year relationship, he is waiting for his book deal to come through to give Sarah the world, but is it to late. He drops her off to the airport as she is going on a work trip, the 1st lie that comes to light.

Adam refuses to believe his girlfriend would disappear, choose to leave her life, her parents and him. He liaises with the police and they won't accept the missing person request as she is an adult and adults decide to leave, the statistics speak.  I enjoyed the police interactions with Adam, it was traumatic, astonishing and at times laughable.

"Oh, Jesus Christ."  In my peripheral vision, I could see Garda Cherub's head snap up from his sports pages.  "What the hell do you need to believe that something is going on here, Cusack?  What will it take?  Seriously, tell me.  Bloodstained clothes?  Video footage?  A dead body?"  Kindle 47%

During Adam's investigation there is another story line that is completely different and does not connect until the end of the story.  Romain doesn't feel loved by his mom but does everything to make her happy but there is always darkness around Romain that ends badly.  He is taken away when he is only 9 and starts a new life at 18, where does his new life take him?

His personality had always been a string of learned behaviors, each one discovered, studied, and acquired quite consciously, many of them during Tanner's treatment - a repertoire of reactions he could pull out and display as needed.  86%

At first you can't think why these stories are combined and they are so different they do not distract from each others story line but begin to make you think from a mysterious mind on whodunit.  This is not a spoiler, it is not that easy, the ending is not obvious, the story lines are very well done.

You don't hear about cruise ship crimes but when Adam Googled them, he couldn't believe how many had occurred and he wouldn't accept his girlfriend could possibly be dead.  If she was, he would find her murderer but what next when he does.

What a great executed book, I really enjoyed this one.  You don't want to read while on a cruise though.  International waters may mean the crimes go unnoticed and no investigation due to Maritime laws.

This will definitely be one of my favourites of 2016.  I highly recommend.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

What are you reading? Happy Monday




Book Date now hosts It's Monday What Are Your Reading?  The meme that we use to share what we read this past week and what our plans are for the upcoming week.  It's a great way to see what others are reading and add to your own To Be Read List.


I'm currently reading - My Review of Ice Twins 3 1/2 



I read and reviewed 3 1/2 stars



I need to do my review, I enjoyed it. 4 stars



Book club choice for November



I recommended 4 books for Domestic Violence Awareness Month

My post link



I hosted Dianne Bondy in Bermuda for Yoga Workshops.  What a fun empowering weekend.



Have a wonderful week.