2/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, E-Book, Fiction, L, NetGalley, RATING, Read in 2014, READING CHALLENGES 2014, Review Book

2014.32 REVIEW – The Three by Sarah Lotz

The Three
by Sarah Lotz

Copyright: 2014
Pages: 395
Rating: 2/5
Read: July 5-July 15, 2014
Challenge: What’s in a Name
Yearly count: 32
Format:  E-Book
Source: NetGalley
Series: N/A

The ThreeBlurb: Four simultaneous plane crashes. Three child survivors. A religious fanatic who insists the three are harbingers of the apocalypse. What if he’s right?

The world is stunned when four commuter planes crash within hours of each other on different continents. Facing global panic, officials are under pressure to find the causes. With terrorist attacks and environmental factors ruled out, there doesn’t appear to be a correlation between the crashes, except that in three of the four air disasters a child survivor is found in the wreckage.

Dubbed ‘The Three’ by the international press, the children all exhibit disturbing behavioral problems, presumably caused by the horror they lived through and the unrelenting press attention. This attention becomes more than just intrusive when a rapture cult led by a charismatic evangelical minister insists that the survivors are three of the four harbingers of the apocalypse. The Three are forced to go into hiding, but as the children’s behavior becomes increasingly disturbing, even their guardians begin to question their miraculous survival…

Review: I received a copy of this book for free via NetGalley, all opinions expressed below are my own.

I originally saw this book mentioned in a Shelf Awareness email. It sounded really good and I was excited when I got the notification saying that I had been approved for a copy on NetGalley. Then I do like I seem to do with every single e-book I get … I let it sit. And sit. And sit some more. I decided it was time to clear this book off my review list and loaded it up onto my Nook and took off with it.

Now that I’ve finished this book, I’m just confused. First of all this book is billed as “horror.” To me there’s not a lick of horror in this book. I can’t even bring myself to call it creepy in any way, shape or form. I think horror fans are going to be sorely disappointed by this book.

The premise behind the book sounds really interesting. But the execution was just lacking in my opinion. I was okay with the book within a book format, but then it took a really strange turn at the end that I didn’t understand. The ending was so ambiguous and I did not like that at all.

Obviously the book wasn’t horrendous, because I finished it. But it just didn’t work for me.


The Letter R…

So those of you who follow Trish at Love, Laughter and a Touch of Insanity might have seen her Sunday Salon post where she played along with the meme making the rounds right now. I indicated I wanted to play and she assigned me the letter …. R! (Whew, talk about getting lucky and not getting Q,X,Z!)

And just so you know, this is harder than you think …even with an “easy” letter! Because just because something fits the letter requirement, does that really make it a favorite? Doubtful. Anyway, here goes:

Favorite author with the Letter R: I had a really tough time with this one. Looking back at my index, the only author that I have read multiple times is J.K. Rowling. And I just don’t know that I would necessarily call her a “favorite.” Yeah, I read the Harry Potter books. But I haven’t picked up any of her adult books. I just happened to like Harry Potter. So … favorite? Maybe, maybe not … but it’s the only author that fits with this letter.

Favorite song with the letter R: This one was easier. I have two. “Respect” by Aretha Franklin and “Roar” by Katy Perry.

Favorite film starting with the letter R: You’re probably going to laugh at this one, but do you know what came to mind first? “Rocky” Don’t ask me why, it just did. But once again … a favorite? Probably not. Just what happened to pop into my mind first. (All-time favorite movie is without a doubt “Grease”)

Favorite object starting with the letter R: Hmmm …. a radio? I mean, I don’t know what else to put.

As I said up above, this is tougher than you realize. However … I’d love for you to play along! Let me know and I’ll assign YOU a letter 🙂

3/5, AUTHOR, Author Debut, Book Review, Fiction, H, RATING, Read in 2014, Review Book, TLC Book Tours

2014.31 REVIEW – Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey

Elizabeth is Missing
by Emma Healey

Copyright: 2014
Pages: 301
Rating: 3/5
Read: June 26-July 4, 2014
Challenge: No Challenge
Yearly count: 31
Format:  Print
Source: TLC Book Tour
Series: N/A

Elizabeth is MissingBlurb: Despite Maud’s growing anxiety about Elizabeth’s welfare, no one takes her concerns seriously – not her frustrated daughter, not her caretakers, not the police, and especially not Elizabeth’s mercurial son – because Maud suffers from dementia. But even as her memory disintegrates and she becomes increasingly dependent on the trail of handwritten notes she leaves for herself in her pockets and around her house, Maud cannot forget her best friend. Armed with only an overwhelming feeling that Elizabeth needs her help, Maud resolves to discover the truth – no matter what it takes.

As this singular obsession forms a cornerstone of Maud’s rapidly dissolving present, the clues she uncovers lead her deeper into her past, to another unsolved disappearance: that of her sister, Sukey, who vanished shortly after World War II. As vivid memories of a tragedy that occurred more than fifty years ago come flooding back, Maud’s search for Elizabeth develops a frantic momentum. Whom can she trust? Can she trust herself?

A page-turning novel of suspense, Elizabeth is Missing also hauntingly reminds us that we are all at the mercy of our memory. Always compelling, often poignant, and at times even blackly witty, this is an absolutely unforgettable novel.

Review: I received a copy of this book for free in conjunction with a TLC book tour, all opinions expressed below are my own.

I was about 65 pages into this book when I realized that I didn’t know if I could go on with it. At that point I had spent three days reading those 65 pages. Three days. And it wasn’t because it was a bad book. Not at all. It was because Maud’s dementia hit a little too close to home for me. My grandmother has recently been diagnosed with dementia. I’m not sure what stage she’s in, but things are definitely deteriorating with her and it’s heartbreaking to watch. So. I was stuck … did I push through or give up?

I chose to push through. But I think a part of me really wanted to understand what my grandmother is going through. And let me tell you, the way Ms. Healey portrays dementia … just, wow. Obviously not having any previous contact with someone with the disease, I’m not sure what things will really get like. But I felt as if Ms. Healey hit it spot on in the way Maud is portrayed. It just felt so real. And my heart broke for Maud. And Helen. And Katy. It really was tough to watch the family go through everything. And Helen was so strong throughout it all; stronger than I would be or could be in her position.

But back to the book. I think the only reason I couldn’t rate it higher than a 3 (which means I liked it, but didn’t love it), is because of the dementia issue. I had trouble getting past it at times. I was relieved when I got to the last 50 pages and we finally learned what had happened to Elizabeth. It really didn’t surprise me, and I had a feeling it was as it turned out to be. But what shocked me was the storyline with Sukey. I can’t help but wonder if Maud saw exactly what happened to her sister all those years before and the shock of it all made her brain block it from her. I might have read into that a little more than what was there, but that’s the feeling I got from Sukey’s storyline. (Or it might have been exactly what Ms. Healey was trying to tell us … I read the last 80 pages in the car with a screaming toddler; my concentration might have been broken a few times!)

Overall, I think Ms. Healey is a very talented author. She definitely has a way with developing her characters in a way I haven’t seen in a long time. And if you follow me regularly, you know character development is very important to me. The writing was very well done and was easy to read. The story lines alternated back and forth between present day and shortly after World War II when Maud was just a teenager. The Sukey storyline was much more lucid, but it was really the present day storyline that was the heart and soul of this book in my opinion. It was the storyline that told the heartbreaking truth about the disease of dementia.

I would definitely recommend this to other readers – mystery lovers, literary fiction lovers, individuals with friends/relatives suffering from dementia. I think the audience can be very wide-reaching with this book.

I enjoyed it overall, but I probably would have enjoyed it more if I had read this book before my grandmother’s dementia diagnosis.

Add to Goodreads badge

Purchase Links

Amazon | IndieBound | Barnes & Noble

Emma Healey photo credit Martin FiguraFind out more about Emma at her website and connect with her on Twitter and Facebook.Emma Healey holds a degree in bookbinding and an MA in creative writing. Elizabeth Is Missing is her first novel. She lives in the UK.

Emma’s Tour Stops

Tuesday, June 10th: Anita Loves Books
Wednesday, June 11th: Literally Jen
Thursday, June 12th: Doing Dewey
Monday, June 16th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Tuesday, June 17th: Always With a Book
Wednesday, June 18th: Peeking Between the Pages
Thursday, June 19th: From the TBR Pile
Monday, June 23rd: Kahakai Kitchen
Tuesday, June 24th: A Bookworm’s World
Wednesday, June 25th: Ace and Hoser Blook
Thursday, June 26th: BoundbyWords
Monday, June 30th: Book-alicious Mama
Tuesday, July 1st: Time 2 Read
Wednesday, July 2nd: Tina’s Book Reviews
Thursday, July 3rd: Mockingbird Hill Cottage
Monday, July 7th: Tales of a Book Addict
Thursday, July 10th: 5 Minutes For Books
Mailbox Monday, Meme

Mailbox Monday, July 7, 2014

Mailbox Monday has returned home to Mailbox Monday’s site this year.

I always tend to go a little book crazy around my birthday (hey, what book lover doesn’t?!). So I got four books from Paperbackswap, four from my grandmother and four at the bookstore!

From Paperbackswap:

StiffBroken PreyDirty WorkSwimming to Catalina

From my grandmother:

Running BlindGone GirlHigh TreasonSilken Prey

Bought new (couldn’t resist the buy 2 get 3rd free sale!):

Crooked Letter, Crooked LetterThe Silent WifeAnd When She Was GoodCover of Snow

Book Blitz

Book Blitz Tour: Gold Diggers, Gamblers and Guns by Ellen Mansoor Collier

About Gold Diggers, Gamblers and Guns :

Gangsters_G_GGDuring Prohibition in 1920s Galveston, the Island was called the “Free State of Galveston” due to its lax laws and laissez-faire attitude toward gambling, girls and bootlegging. Young society reporter Jasmine (Jazz) Cross longs to cover hard news, but she’s stuck between two clashing cultures: the world of gossip and glamour vs. gangsters and gamblers.After Downtown Gang leader Johnny Jack Nounes is released from jail, all hell breaks loose: Prohibition Agent James Burton’s life is threatened and he must go into hiding for his own safety. But when he’s framed for murder, he and Jazz must work together to prove his innocence. Johnny Jack blames Jasmine’s half-brother Sammy Cook, owner of the Oasis speakeasy, for his arrest and forces him to work overtime in a variety of dangerous mob jobs as punishment.

When a bookie is murdered, Jazz looks for clues linking the two murders and delves deeper into the underworld of gambling: poker games, slot machines and horse-racing. Meanwhile, Jazz tries to keep both Burton and her brother safe, and alive, while they face off against a common enemy.

Book Details:

Author: Ellen Mansoor Collier
Book Title: Gold Diggers, Gamblers and Guns
Category: NA/cozy mystery/historical, 268 pages
Publisher: DecoDame Press
Published: May 18, 2014
Available in: mobi, epub, PDF
Tour dates: Book Blitz: June 30-July 5, Review Tour: August 24-30
Content Rating: PG*

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About Ellen Mansoor Collier

6452242Ellen Mansoor Collier is a Houston-based freelance magazine writer and editor whose articles, essays and short stories have been published in a variety of national magazines. During college summers, she worked as a reporter (intern) for a Houston community newspaper and as a cocktail waitress, both jobs providing background experience for her Jazz Age mysteries.

A flapper at heart, she’s worked as a magazine editor/writer, and in advertising and public relations (plus endured a hectic semester as a substitute teacher). She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Magazine Journalism and served on UTmost, the college magazine, and was active in WICI (Women in Communications), acting as president her senior year.

Flappers, Flasks and Foul Play is her first novel, published in 2012, followed by the sequel, Bathing Beauties, Booze and Bullets, released in May 2013. Gold Diggers, Gamblers and Guns is the last novel in her Jazz Age Mystery series, published in May, 2014. She lives in Houston with her husband and Chow mutts, and visits Galveston whenever possible.

Website | Goodreads | Facebook


Book Blitz

Book Blast and Giveaway: The City by Dean Koontz

I used to be a Dean Koontz junkie! There for a while I read everything of his I could get my hands on. For whatever reason, I haven’t read anything by Mr. Koontz in many, many years. However, when I saw the opportunity to participate in a book blast for his newest book, The City, I couldn’t wait to sign up!

And the best part? YOU can have the chance to win signed copies of The City for your ENTIRE book club (maximum 20 copies), and Dean will give the winning book club a Facebook shout out to his 1.4 million Facebook fans!

All you have to do is CLICK HERE for your chance to win!! 

The CityThe city changed my life and showed me that the world is deeply mysterious. I need to tell you about her and some terrible things and wonderful things and amazing things that happened . . . and how I am still haunted by them. Including one night when I died and woke and lived again.

Here is the riveting, soul-stirring story of Jonah Kirk, son of an exceptional singer, grandson of a formidable “piano man,” a musical prodigy beginning to explore his own gifts when he crosses a group of extremely dangerous people, with shattering consequences. Set in a more innocent time not so long ago, The City encompasses a lifetime but unfolds over three extraordinary, heart-racing years of tribulation and triumph, in which Jonah first grasps the electrifying power of music and art, of enduring friendship, of everyday heroes.

The unforgettable saga of a young man coming of age within a remarkable family, and a shimmering portrait of the world that shaped him, The City is a novel that speaks to everyone, a dazzling realization of the evergreen dreams we all share. Brilliantly illumined by magic dark and light, it’s a place where enchantment and malice entwine, courage and honor are found in the most unexpected quarters, and the way forward lies buried deep inside the heart.