Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Me Before You

Me Before You
by Jojo Moyes

384 pages
12 CDs

Published December 2012
Read August 2016

Will Traynor lives the good career, any woman he wants, cars, motorcycles, money....he had it all.  Now he is bound to a wheelchair after an accident that severed his spine.  He needs round the clock care and his mother has hired Louisa Clark.  Louisa is an ordinary girl living an ordinary life.....good but low-paying job, steady but boring boyfriend, family that loves her but struggling to make ends meet.

These two individuals could not be more opposite.  Will is now struggling with the idea that he will never do what he used to do and Louisa isn't taking it.  She does not sugar coat things or let him be down in the dumps every minute of every day.  Louisa uses her time to plan exciting adventures and outings in order to keep Will active and busy until she learns what he's been planning all along.

I have not read a book that made me ball like this before.  Ugly cry, heaving sobs, snotty nose balling by the end of this book.  I am almost afraid to watch the movie.  I would have to do it alone!  Even though this novel deals with some strong, heavy issues, it is a fast-paced read that takes the reader to unfamiliar places.  Great story!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Faithful Place

Faithful Place
(Dublin Murder Squad #3)
by Tana French

400 pages
16 CDs

Published July 2010
Read August 2016

This third novel follows Frank Mackey, the undercover boss from the previous novel.  When he was 19 years old, he and his girlfriend, Rosie, made plans to run away to London, to escape the poor excuse of a life they were living.  They set a date, time, and place to meet, but she never showed up.  Mackey waited for hours, but she was just gone.  He never saw her again.  Assuming she ran away without him, he left town for good and never looked back.  Twenty two years later, Rosie's suitcase is found behind a fireplace in an old abandoned house in the same neighborhood she disappeared from.  Frank is hesitant, but heads back to his parents' house in order to solve Rosie's disappearance.

I didn't like this one as much as the first two Dublin novels.  There was a slower-paced feel to the whole thing.  The characters didn't resonate with me.  Frank Mackey from the second novel was hard, rigid, no bs, undercover boss.  The kind that emits a you-hesitate-you-die sort of attitude.  The Frank Mackey we followed in this novel was just regular.  Maybe that's how the author meant it, but I felt a little disconnected from this character.  With that said, the premise was a good one.  I was just a little distracted by the characters.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Strawberry Shortcake Murder

Strawberry Shortcake Murder
(Hannah Swensen Mysteries #2)
by Joanne Fluke

320 pages

Published March 2001
Read August 2016

Lake Eden, Minnesota has been chosen by a big flour company as the location for their dessert bake-off.  It will all be televised and Hannah is ecstatic to have been chosen as the head judge.  When one of the other judges, a local high school coach, turns up dead, Hannah is sure that the publicity will hurt instead of help their town.  Hannah tries to play detective while looking into the coach's murder, but she just may have landed herself in hot water.....with the local police and the murderer.

I love these books.  I love a series and I love a murder mystery.  Ever since I discovered the Murder She Baked Hallmark movies, I just had to read these books!  I have not been disappointed.  I adore Hannah Swensen's sassy character!  On to the next murder mystery!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

The Likeness

The Likeness
(Dublin Murder Squad #2)
by Tana French

466 pages
20 CDs

Published July 2008
Read August 2016

Following the ordeal in the first novel, In the Woods, Detective Cassie Maddox puts in her transfer orders.  She wants out of the Murder Squad.  But, one ordinary day, Cassie gets a call from Sam and the murder squad.  She is wanted at a crime scene immediately.  When she gets there, she discovers that the victim looks exactly like her.  If that wasn't enough, she is using one of Cassie's old aliases from her days as an undercover.  Frank Mackey, her old boss, uses this opportunity to send Cassie undercover as the victim in order to flush out the killer.  What Cassie discovers is an entire world of deception, lies, jealousy, and murder.

Again, Tana French writes a great novel.  What I really noticed is that she flawlessly transfers voices.  In the first novel, her narrator is a man and the second is a woman.  It's seamless, she is truly a gifted storyteller.  Throughout the entire book, I was on pins and needles waiting for Cassie to get out of her predicament.  I couldn't imagine being put in a situation where I had to lie to five different people while pretending to be a someone I know nothing about.  Talk about a stressful job!  Getting ready to start the third novel in the Dublin Murder Squad.

Monday, August 15, 2016

The Calling

The Calling
by Rachelle Dekker

464 pages
9 CDs

Published March 2016
Read July 2016

In this continuation of The Choosing, Remko and Carrington lead a group of Seers who are all gathered in the name of Aaron.  The Authority City that they have run from is struggling to stay afloat.  There are more rebels than ever right under their noses.  They question the rulers and the rules they were taught to follow.  Remko, not used to taking such big risks, is leading the group right under the city to free the prisoners.  The new President knows he needs to capture these Seers and destroy what they stand for, or his city will fall.

More than in the first book, I felt the allusions to Christianity.  Aaron became Jesus in my mind.  Always there but never really present, showing kindness to strangers and even the enemy, and teaching his followers the way.  Dekker's second book felt like Joshua and the wall of Jericho.  There are spies within the city walls, pretending to work for the new President.  In Joshua 6, the Canaanites are afraid of God and in The Calling, the people inside the city are afraid of Aaron and his followers. 

Remko tries to be the hero, going where he shouldn't go alone.  It eventually catches up to him and he finds himself losing faith, questioning what he's doing and why.  I enjoyed this book as much as the first one.  I hope the author continues to tell this story.  Her characters are genuine and real.  Ms. Dekker has a knack for story-telling with a purpose and I love it.