Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Big Sister's June 2014 Reads

It must be summer!  And I must be riding the train and hanging out on the dock on weekends because look at all the books I read this month!  TEN of them!  To say nothing of the various magazines I picked up in between as well...

The Fault in Our Stars, John Green (Kindle) - I caved.  This has been getting so much hype that I just had to read it... And it's very similar to First Love, by James Patterson and Emily Raymond, which I reviewed in March 2014.  Here's that synopsis:  "I'm always surprised I like his non-mystery, almost romance titles...  I cried like a baby at the end of this one.  Axi Moore is a good girl.  Until she asks Robinson to run away with her.  They both went through chemo as young kids and have been besties ever since.  They run away to experience life, but they get more than they bargained for, and so did I.  Never expected this ending at all." In Green's version, our heroine is terminal and attending support group meetings, under protest.  Cancer Kid Support Group has never been a good time, but then Augustus comes in with his friend, and Hazel's life changes.  There's laughs.  There's tears.  And while the stories were different, they reminded me of each other...

Accidental Cowgirl, Maggie McGinnis (NetGalley, Kindle) - Kyla's heart is broken but her besties know that a spa vacation will be just the thing to make her feel better.  But spa services are hard to come by on the dude ranch they go to, but handsome cowboys?  They're there!

Naked Sushi, Jina Bacaar (NetGalley, Kindle) - This one was a waste.  I admit, I skimmed through this one, reading every other page, a paragraph here, a paragraph there.  Glad I didn't pay for this one!

The Cost of Pleasure and Sexotherapy, Alexia Saint-Ange (NetGalley, Kindle) - I didn't know what to expect (Fifty Shades of Gray, anyone?) but by the time I read through to the end of this short story, I was disappointed it wasn't a full-length book.  Yea, it was graphic, but I liked her writing style and I sort of got intrigued by the two short stories:  an employer/employee relationship, and spa services that don't appear on the menu.  Not recommended for people who didn't like 50 Shades of Gray...

I Watch You, Irene Cao (NetGalley, Kindle) - Not one of my favorites either - Elena is working as an art restorer in Italy.  She has a best friend there, actually, a couple of them.  But her friends are forgotten when she meets the new tenant in the building she's restoring, and she becomes obsessed with him, and with sex with him, to the tune of forgetting her friends.  Until the inevitable happens and he dumps her.  I didn't think it was written very well; I never really got to caring about the characters...  Again, glad it was from NetGalley and I didn't shell out any dollars for it...

The Skin Collector, Jeffry Deaver (Kindle) - I paid for this one and as usual, I was NOT disappointed!  I love Deaver's books, especially the Lincoln Rhyme titles, and this one was as gripping and suspenseful as usual.  I almost wish I hadn't read it and saved it for my vacation...  Was it a copycat murder, or is there a different reason that these women are being killed, one after another?

The Broken, Shelley Coriell (NetGalley, Kindle) - This is Amazon's summary:  "He took her life, but left her alive.  Three years ago, reporter Kate Johnson was the first victim-and only survivor-of the Broadcast Butcher. Scarred both physically and psychologically by the brutal serial killer, Kate lives life on the run, knowing that one day, he will find her and finish what he started.  In the pursuit of justice, you sometimes have to step outside the law.  Agent Hayden Reed spends his life chasing monsters. The only way to stay sane is to detach, but the second the Broadcast Butcher case crosses his desk, Hayden knows this is the case that might just cost him his soul. To catch this vicious murderer before he strikes again, Hayden must find Kate and earn her trust. For it's her darkest secrets that hold the key to stopping this madman once and for all . . ." I read it, but strangely enough I couldn't remember much about it...  I had to look up the description online, then I re-downloaded the book.  THAT'S when I remembered reading it, AND liking it!  There were quite a few characters I liked in this book, including Smokie Joe.  I'll most likely read it again, now that I feel bad for having forgotten it!

Switched, Cassie Mae (NetGalley, Kindle) - I liked this one.  Kayla is friends with Reagan.  Kayla has a crush on Talon.  Regan and Talon begin dating.  Now in college, Kayla and Wesley (who just happens to have a crush on Regan) team up to split the hot couple apart and get together with their crushes.  You do know it's not going to work out that way, right?!?  And I never saw the twist coming!

Everything to Lose, Andrew Gross (Kindle) - This was interesting.  If you were divorced, caring for a handicapped child, and your ex has conveniently stopped sending child care, alimony, paying for your son's very expensive school, wouldn't you be tempted to take a bag full of cash you found at the seen of an accident if the driver was killed and there was no one around to see you take it?  You wouldn't?  Well, Hilary was, and Hilary did, and her life spirals out of control.  There were some plot twists in here I didn't expect, and it wasn't the traditional happy ending.  I liked it!

Sycamore Row, John Grisham (Kindle) - I liked it all the way through to the end.  It seemed to wrap up a little too neatly for me.  In fact, I wasn't sure, a few days after I finished the book, if I'd actually finished the book, so I read the ending again, and again, eh.  Not the best ending Grisham has ever written.  But his characters are spot on, and his knowledge of the law and lawyers is fantastic.  I liked the twist that part of the story was told in flashbacks, but I just wish it wasn't quite as tied up with a bow.  I'd rather a messier ending.

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