Publisher: Dutton Adult

Book Review – Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

September 14, 2013 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2013 16 Comments

Book Review – Attachments by Rainbow RowellAttachments by Rainbow Rowell
Published by Dutton Adult on April 14th 2011
Length: 336
Genres: Chick-Lit, Contemporary Romance
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Landline, Eleanor & Park

five-stars

"Hi, I'm the guy who reads your e-mail, and also, I love you . . . "

Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder know that somebody is monitoring their work e-mail. (Everybody in the newsroom knows. It's company policy.) But they can't quite bring themselves to take it seriously. They go on sending each other endless and endlessly hilarious e-mails, discussing every aspect of their personal lives.

Meanwhile, Lincoln O'Neill can't believe this is his job now- reading other people's e-mail. When he applied to be "internet security officer," he pictured himself building firewalls and crushing hackers- not writing up a report every time a sports reporter forwards a dirty joke.

When Lincoln comes across Beth's and Jennifer's messages, he knows he should turn them in. But he can't help being entertained-and captivated-by their stories.

By the time Lincoln realizes he's falling for Beth, it's way too late to introduce himself.

What would he say . . . ?

This is not a genre that I typically jump for but I was in dire need of some serious fluff since I had finished The Book Thief and Rose Under Fire in the same day. Plus, I haven’t heard anything other than amazing things about Rainbow Rowell.

Attachments was an absolute treat and I really loved it. The chapters alternate between Jennifer and Beth’s conversations over e-mail which are written in the form of almost instant messages and then normally written chapters from the point of view of Lincoln. Lincoln was a charming character but Jennifer and Beth were the absolute frosting on the cake. Extremely witty and entertaining, Jennifer and Beth were two girls that I would love to be friends with. Jennifer is married and currently having issues dealing with a husband that wants to start having children while she’s still not sure. Beth is in a long-term relationship with a guitarist in an up and coming band and wants to settle down but she doesn’t think he’ll ever want to. Their conversations were constantly cracking me up. Here’s an example of how Jennifer and Beth’s chapters appear and a little snippet of the humor.

Jennifer to Beth
Now that I think about, we’ve known each other six years, and I’ve never seen you in a bathing suit. Or a tank top.
Beth to Jennifer
Not a coincidence, my friend. Iv’e got the arms of a Sicilian grandmother. Arms for picking olives and stirring hearty tomato sauces. Shoulders for carrying buckets of water from the stream to the farmhouse.
Jennifer to Beth
Has Chris seen your shoulders?
Beth to Jennifer
He’s seen them. But he hasn’t seen them.
Jennifer to Beth
I get it, but I don’t get it.
Beth to Jennifer
No sleeveless negligees. No direct sunlight. Sometimes when I’m getting out of the shower, I shout, “Hey, look, a bobcat!”
Jennifer to Beth
I bet he falls for that every time.
Beth to Jennifer
It’s Chris. So recreational drugs are a factor.

And my favorite, because I’m a total Jennifer.

Jennifer to Beth
Even construction workers don’t whistle at me.
Beth to Jennifer
That’s because you ooze preemptive leave-me-alone death rays.

Lincoln was an interesting main character since I can’t recall the last Chick-Lit type novel I read that featured a male character. It was a success though. Lincoln is in his late 20’s and has just graduated (again) from college and has moved back home to live with his mom. He plays Dungeons & Dragons on the weekend, doesn’t like to go out to bars and is terrible at connecting with females. He stumbles upon Jennifer and Beth’s emails in the course of his daily job duties and while they were clearly violating the personal email rule he never reported them. Instead, he continued reading about their lives that interested him in a way he couldn’t understand. While I was anxious to find out what happens when the two finally do meet, the ending was a bit overly mushy and leaned a bit too much towards ‘perfect’.

Attachments is a charming and adorable tale of finding love in the least expected ways and a touching story of female friendship.

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Early Review – The River of No Return by Bee Ridgway

April 18, 2013 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Early Review, Read in 2013 5 Comments

I received this book free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Early Review – The River of No Return by Bee RidgwayThe River of No Return by Bee Ridgway
Published by Dutton Adult on April 23rd 2013
Pages: 452
Genres: Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Romance, Sci-fi, Time Travel
Format: ARC
Source: the Publisher
Amazon
Goodreads


two-half-stars

In Bee Ridgway’s wonderfully imaginative debut novel, a man and a woman travel through time in a quest to bring down a secret society that controls the past and, thus, the future.

“You are now a member of the Guild. There is no return.” Two hundred years after he was about to die on a Napoleonic battlefield, Nick Falcott, soldier and aristocrat, wakes up in a hospital bed in modern London. The Guild, an entity that controls time travel, showers him with life's advantages. But Nick yearns for home and for one brown-eyed girl, lost now down the centuries. Then the Guild asks him to break its own rule. It needs Nick to go back to 1815 to fight the Guild’s enemies and to find something called the Talisman.

In 1815, Julia Percy mourns the death of her beloved grandfather, an earl who could play with time. On his deathbed he whispers in her ear: “Pretend!” Pretend what? When Nick returns home as if from the dead, older than he should be and battle scarred, Julia begins to suspect that her very life depends upon the secrets Grandfather never told her. Soon enough Julia and Nick are caught up in an adventure that stretches up and down the river of time. As their knowledge of the Guild and their feelings for each other grow, the fate of the future itself is hanging in the balance.

Time travel is a tricky subject. It has to make at least a modicum of sense no matter how outlandish you wish the concept to be. River of No Return handled this aspect of the story quite well and managed to create a different form of time travel that I had not personally encountered in novels before. While I believe it to of been managed well it was still one of the more unbelievable versions with resonant emotions linking individuals to the past allowing them to access those moments in time… I’m not sure I was really sold on the whole concept.

The story definitely went on far longer than necessary. I can’t help but think I would have enjoyed it far more if it was condensed down because parts of the story felt long and drawn out. The story had a slow but steady build-up in the beginning but still took forever to really ‘get going’. I read about 1/3 of this novel before setting it aside for a short time and then coming back to it… all in all it took me about a month to read which is pretty much unheard of for me.

It definitely had a distinct ‘Outlander’ feel to it and it was also reminiscent of ‘A Discovery of Witches’ minus the supernatural creatures, and despite the fact that I love both of those books I just failed to connect with this one. The characters were well-drawn but didn’t generate any interest for me. Add to that, the characters in the past didn’t act like characters in the past should. Julia was extremely modern sounding and certainly didn’t act like a normal woman of her time, despite how progressive she may be.

I was under the impression that this was a stand-alone novel (yay for that extremely rare beastie), however, it appears that this is only the first installment of a new series (trilogy? not sure.) While I enjoyed parts of this I’m not sure I’m interested enough to continue. I’ll definitely keep an eye out for additional works by this author as it’s obvious she’s quite talented, this story and I just weren’t meant to be unfortunately.

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Short and Sweet Review – Down the Darkest Road (Oak Knoll #3) by Tami Hoag

March 9, 2012 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2012 0 Comments

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Short and Sweet Review – Down the Darkest Road (Oak Knoll #3) by Tami HoagDown the Darkest Road by Tami Hoag
Series: Oak Knoll #3
Published by Dutton Adult on December 27th 2011
Pages: 445
Genres: Contemporary, Detective, Mystery, Thriller
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Deeper Than the Dead

three-half-stars

Once upon a time I had the perfect family. I had the perfect husband. I had the perfect children. I had the perfect life in the perfect home. And then, as in all fairy tales, evil came into our lives and destroyed us.

Four years after the unsolved disappearance of her sixteen-year-old daughter, Lauren Lawton is the only one still chasing the ghosts of her perfect Santa Barbara life. The world has given her daughter up for dead. Her husband ended his own life in the aftermath. Even Lauren's younger daughter is desperate to find what's left of the childhood she hasn't been allowed to have.

Lauren knows exactly who took her oldest child, but there is not a shred of evidence against the man. Even as he stalks her family, Lauren is powerless to stop him. The Santa Barbara police are handcuffed by the very laws they are sworn to uphold. Looking for a fresh start in a town with no memories, Lauren and her younger daughter, Leah, move to idyllic Oak Knoll. But when Lauren's suspect turns up in the same city, it feels to all the world that history is about to repeat itself. Leah Lawton will soon turn sixteen, and Oak Knoll has a cunning predator on the hunt.

Sheriff's detective Tony Mendez and his team begin to close in on the suspected killer, desperate to keep the young women of their picturesque town safe. But as the investigators sift through the murky circumstances of an increasingly disturbing case, a stunning question changes everything they thought they knew. In Down the Darkest Road, #1 New York Times bestseller Tami Hoag proves again why she is one of the world's most beloved storytellers.

Set in the early 90s, ‘Down the Darkest Road’ is the third installment in Tami Hoag’s ‘Oak Knoll’ series. Once again we’re thrown into the world of Vince and Anne and Mendez where the current investigation deals with missing 16 year-old Leslie who disappears without a trace and her mother Laura who is left to cope with her absence. This was definitely a heartbreaking and emotional story; one that could have been plucked right from the front pages which made it scarily realistic.

I’m becoming a big fan of Tami Hoag’s mysteries as she’s such a talented writer who is able to successfully write a concrete mystery with strong characters. Each detail is described extremely well and the story practically absorbs you straight into the pages. The pages flew with this one and I quite enjoyed the wrap-up on this one. The books in this series continue to be intense and exciting. Definitely recommended for existing Tami Hoag and for fans of mystery/thrillers!

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Book Review – Deeper Than the Dead (Oak Knoll, #1) by Tami Hoag

December 21, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 0 Comments

Book Review – Deeper Than the Dead (Oak Knoll, #1) by Tami HoagDeeper Than the Dead by Tami Hoag
Series: Oak Knoll #1
Published by Dutton Adult on December 29th 2009
Pages: 421
Genres: Detective, Mystery-Contemporary, Thriller
Format: Hardcover
Source: Gifted
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Down the Darkest Road

three-stars

The #1 New York Times bestselling author joins the Dutton list with the thriller her millions of fans have been awaiting for two years.

Tami Hoag is in a class by herself, beloved by readers and critic s alike, with more than 22 million copies of her books in print.
California, 1984. Three children, running in the woods behind their school, stumble upon a partially buried female body, eyes and mouth glued shut. Close behind the children is their teacher, Anne Navarre, shocked by this discovery and heartbroken as she witnesses the end of their innocence. What she doesn't yet realize is that this will mark the end of innocence for an entire community, as the ties that bind families and friends are tested by secrets uncovered in the wake of a serial killer's escalating activity.

Detective Tony Mendez, fresh from a law enforcement course at FBI headquarters, is charged with interpreting those now revealed secrets. He's using a new technique-profiling-to develop a theory of the case, a strategy that pushes him ever deeper into the lives of the three children, and closer to the young teacher whose interest in recent events becomes as intense as his own.

As new victims are found and the media scrutiny of the investigation bears down on them, both Mendez and Navarre are unsure if those who suffer most are the victims themselves-or the family and friends of the killer, blissfully unaware that someone very close to them is a brutal, calculating psychopath.

The body of a woman with her eyes and mouth glued shut are discovered in the woods by three school children on their way home from school. Discovering the woman’s body is only the beginning of how they become entangled in this mystery in a small town.

This was my first Tami Hoag book. I’ve been seeing her books everywhere for years and have been meaning to get around to it. My coworker actually brought me her copy from home and let me borrow it so it gave me the extra shove I needed to finally get on it.

One thing to note about ‘Deeper than the Dead’ is that it’s set in 1985. I must have glanced over these previous information, if it had been mentioned earlier, but not until I read a part where they were talking about an individual having a car phone and calling it an extravagant toy.

”But I doubt he and his cronies are playing cards in his car, and why would he lug that phone into his card game with him? You have to carry the damn things around in a suitcase.”

I need to get me one of those.

What I found most interesting about this murder mystery is the fact that there were three very prominent suspects that were regular members of society. I find that typical serial killer novels I’ve read are always lurking in the background and aren’t out standing in the spot light. I first liked that there were SO many suspects so that it wasn’t quite so obvious, but as the story progressed not only did I know exactly who it was but the intense focus that was placed on the other ‘suspects’ made it seem cheesy and a bit annoying after a while. I’m big on the murder mysteries but this one definitely wasn’t my favorite. I’ve got more of Tami Hoag’s books that I’ll be diving into in the future, I just hope that she spices things up a bit more.

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