Thursday, May 5, 2016

Book Review

After You (Me Before You, #2)After You by Jojo Moyes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I read this book without having read "Me Before You". I loved it, couldn't put it down, yet I didn't want it to end. I'm now anxious to read the book that started it all. After losing Will, Lou travels to Paris, eventually comes back to England and stays with her parents. Still at loose ends, she takes a small flat in London and works at a pub in the airport. One night, while enjoying her rooftop deck, she falls off. An awning breaks her fall and although she is badly hurt, she survives. The paramedic who rescues her begins to figure in her life. During her long recuperation Lou continues to attend her grief group. A young man who also attends due to the loss of his mother makes comments that lead Lou to believe he is the paramedic's son. This case of mistaken identity further confuses Lou's life. When a teenager suddenly appears at her door and says she's Will's daughter, Lou almost unravels. The story unfolds as Lou gets to know Lily and believes that she truly is Will's daughter, although he died without knowing she existed. The story wraps up a little too neatly in the end but it is so well written that you love the characters and keep rooting for them until the inevitable happy ending.


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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Book Review

The Good GirlThe Good Girl by Mary Kubica
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book has been compared to "Gone Girl", and it has some parallels, such as the formatting, and the amazing twist at the end, which you'll never guess. Otherwise, I don't think "The Good Girl" is as well written, and could have benefited from some good editing. The story is told in the voices of Eve (Mia's mother), Colin (the kidnapper), and Gabe (the detective), and revolves around the kidnapping of Mia and what the search for her does to the family dynamics. The story bounces back and forth between "before" the kidnapping and "after", so each chapter is titled Eve before, or Gabe after, depending on what is to be told. At first this made the reading difficult because we learn in the first chapter that Mia is missing, then in the next chapter she's returned with no details given. Then she's missing again. By the time you're at the end the pieces of the puzzle are finally in place. Eve is a sympathetic but weak character, married to a cold, indifferent man who always favored Mia's older sister over her. The characters of Colin and Gabe were written with such similar styles, with each using the same expressions frequently, that there would have been no difference between them if we didn't know that one was a detective and the other a criminal. The novel did keep me turning pages, and the ending was stunning. An enjoyable read if you don't get bored by much of the repetition, especially between Colin and Mia.

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Saturday, March 26, 2016

Do Editors Edit Anymore?

Today there are so many ways to publish it can be confusing.               Although traditional publishing continues to be the standard that confirms your writing is considered good, more people are choosing self-publishing because they don't want to wait to see their work in print.  Does that mean their writing isn't as good?  Some would argue that this is exactly what it means.  Yet, as an avid reader, who enjoys novels, most of which have been traditionally published, I'm amazed at the grammatical errors, format problems, and general lack of editing that I see in these books.  It's not as if an editor failed to look at the manuscript.  The acknowledgments that the author makes usually profusely thank their editor, their critique group, their relatives who offered their "honest" opinion, and on and on.  So how did these simple things get missed?  And why is the author thanking people for a job they didn't do well?  We're certainly responsible for our own writing, and for turning in a manuscript as polished and professional as possible.  Once that's done we count on those we hire to catch the things our eyes missed and tighten our manuscript.  I hear that traditional publishers have become much more critical as to what they'll accept these days.  I wish their editors were critical as well.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Book Review

MoonPies and Movie StarsMoonPies and Movie Stars by Amy Wallen
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I wanted to like this book. I really did. The author spoke at a meeting of my writers club and she was so engaging I immediately bought the book. I slogged through it to a very disappointing ending. It was overwritten to make the southern characters extreme stereotypes, and descriptions and emotions were repeated, and repeated......The premise is a search for Violet,the adopted daughter of Ruby Kincaid. who abandoned her husband and two children four years earlier for reasons unknown. Ruby runs a bowling alley in Texas and when she sees her daughter on a TV commercial, she decides to head to Hollywood to find her. Accompanying her are Violet's annoying mother-in-law, Ruby's sister Loralva, and the two grandchildren. There are many adventures along the way but they're boring, and so is this family. I won't give away the ending in case someone still wants to read this book, but I'd select it only if there's nothing else around.

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Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Merry Christmas Readers and Writers

However you spend the holidays I hope they are special for you. I will be with family and friends and will reflect on this past year as I've continued to struggle writing my third book, while still promoting my first two. May your holidays go well and may the new year bring you great writing inspiration!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Book Review

The Girl on the TrainThe Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Rachel Watson rides the train every day to her non-existent job outside London. Recently divorced (her husband cheated) depressed, and an alcoholic, she continues this ruse so her landlady won't know she was fired from her job. Rachel's husband is now married to his mistress, Anna, and they have a baby, adding to Rachel's misery. Each day the train passes her former home, as well as the home of an apparently loving couple whom Rachel has assigned fictional names. When Rachel sees something from the train window that shocks her, and when later the female she has observed goes missing, Rachel decides to go the police. Unfortunately Rachel is not considered a reliable witness. The story unfolds in the voices of Rachel, Anna, and Megan (the missing lady), and as the suspense builds, nothing is as it seems. This is a real page turner, well written and plotted. The ending was surprising but satisfying.

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Thursday, September 3, 2015

Book Review

Private Vegas (Private, #9)Private Vegas by James Patterson
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I'm a fan of Patterson but this book was one big disappointment. It should have been called Private Santa Monica since almost all the action takes place there.  Patterson writes with a partner, but this one reads like it was written by a committee, and they never got together to make a cohesive story.  In fact, this could be a book of short stories strung together by a very weak thread.  And the ending!!! I turned the page looking for the next chapter, but the book was over.  Jack Morgan, head of Private is the weak link here among stories that involve rich teenagers with a grudge against other rich people, a scam in Las Vegas where showgirls are taught how to marry a rich old man, a protracted trial featuring Rick Del Rio wrongly accused of almost beating a woman to death, two "royals" from the mythical kingdom of Sumar who love to find fat women and abuse or kill them, and a lady named Lori who loves to drive fast and is seen only in the first and last chapters of the book. Other characters too numerous to mention come and go at whim it seems. Really not worth reading unless you're desperate for a book and it's the only one around.


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