Monday, November 30, 2015

Irreparable Harm

Book: Irreparable Harm
Series: Sasha McCandless Legal Thrillers #1
Author: Melissa Miller

There's an app for everything. Even evil.

Attorney Sasha McCandless is closing in on the prize after eight long years: she's months away from being made partner at a prestigious law firm. All she has to do is keep her head down and her billable hours up.

Then a plane operated by her client slams into the side of a mountain, killing everyone aboard. Sasha gears up to prepare a defense to the inevitable civil lawsuits.

She quickly realizes the crash was no accident: a developer has created an application that can control a commercial plane's onboard computer from a smartphone. Now it's for sale to the highest bidder.

Sasha joins forces with a federal air marshal who's investigating the crash. As they race to prevent another airline disaster, people close to the matter start turning up dead. Sasha must rely on both her legal skills and her Krav Maga training to stop the madman before he kills her.

Sasha will need to rely on her legal training and her Krav Maga training in equal measure to find and stop a madman before he strikes again.-Goodreads

Review: This was a fun read. The plot was predictable but fast paced, I enjoyed the legal aspect to the book and Sasha was a good heroine. I will check out the next book in the series. 

Grade: 3/5

I've Got Your Number

Book: I've Got Your Number
Author: Sophie Kinsella

I’ve lost it. :( The only thing in the world I wasn’t supposed to lose. My engagement ring. It’s been in Magnus’s family for three generations. And now the very same day his parents are coming, I’ve lost it. The very same day! Do not hyperventilate, Poppy. Stay positive :) !!

Poppy Wyatt has never felt luckier. She is about to marry her ideal man, Magnus Tavish, but in one afternoon her “happily ever after” begins to fall apart. Not only has she lost her engagement ring in a hotel fire drill but in the panic that follows, her phone is stolen. As she paces shakily around the lobby, she spots an abandoned phone in a trash can. Finders keepers! Now she can leave a number for the hotel to contact her when they find her ring. Perfect!

Well, perfect except that the phone’s owner, businessman Sam Roxton, doesn’t agree. He wants his phone back and doesn’t appreciate Poppy reading his messages and wading into his personal life.

What ensues is a hilarious and unpredictable turn of events as Poppy and Sam increasingly upend each other’s lives through emails and text messages. As Poppy juggles wedding preparations, mysterious phone calls, and hiding her left hand from Magnus and his parents . . . she soon realizes that she is in for the biggest surprise of her life.-Goodreads

Review: It's been awhile since I read a light romance and this book hit the spot. Most importantly-it was funny. I laughed throughout this book (I still chuckle thinking about Sam running his companies charity race dressed in a costume..hehehe). If you are looking for something cute and funny, give this a try. 

Grade: 4/5

Thirteen Reasons Why

Book: Thirteen Reasons Why
Author: Jay Asher

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers thirteen cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier.

On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out how he made the list.-Goodreads

Review: I feel like this is one of those books you either love or hate. I'll admit that my initial reaction upon finishing the book was not favorable. While I like the idea of the book and the writing style, I didn't find Hannah likable and quite frankly, most of the 'reasons' why she killed herself seemed like typical high school bs most people have to deal with. I actually felt like the most sympathetic character was Jessica. Jessica, Hannah's ex-best friend has the esteemed pleasure of being 'one of the 13 reasons' and it is later revealed she was also raped (and now several people know her personal business...thanks Hannah). While Hannah probably could not have stopped the event, I was surprised she didn't feel more guilty about her actions (or lack there of). I was also looking to forward to seeing how Clay fit into things and his inclusion seemed like a cop out. 

Now, thinking about the book for a few days, I realize I've never been depressed. Maybe dealing with high school BS that most people put up with really does have an impact when someone is already emotionally fragile. All the small things build up until the person can't take it anymore. I don't know-this definitely wasn't my favorite book but it certainly was interesting and kept me thinking about it. 

Grade: 3/5

Six of Crows

Book: Six of Crows
Series: Six of Crows #1
Author: Leigh Bardugo

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can't pull it off alone...

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can't walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz's crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don't kill each other first.-Goodreads

Review: Wow-Leigh Bardugo is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. I loved the Grisha series and this new series takes place in the same world (although the Grisha was focused on Russia and this is more Netherlands) with all new characters. This is essentially a YA fantasy version of Oceans Eleven. The world building was excellent, the cast of characters were well developed (LOVED Nina) and I enjoyed the heists. The first heist consists of breaking a prisoner out of a secure prison, while the second is breaking into the most secure building to rescue a scientist. I loved this! 

Grade: 5/5

Luckiest Girl Alive

Book: Luckiest Girl Alive
Author: Jessica Knoll


As a teenager at the prestigious Bradley School, Ani FaNelli endured a shocking, public humiliation that left her desperate to reinvent herself. Now, with a glamorous job, expensive wardrobe, and handsome blue blood fiancĂ©, she’s this close to living the perfect life she’s worked so hard to achieve.

But Ani has a secret.

There’s something else buried in her past that still haunts her, something private and painful that threatens to bubble to the surface and destroy everything.

With a singular voice and twists you won’t see coming, Luckiest Girl Alive explores the unbearable pressure that so many women feel to “have it all” and introduces a heroine whose sharp edges and cutthroat ambition have been protecting a scandalous truth, and a heart that's bigger than it first appears.

The question remains: will breaking her silence destroy all that she has worked for—or, will it at long last, set Ani free?

Review:  I'm disappointed.The marketing of this book suggested it was like Gone Girl, so I was expecting a good psychological thriller. I was hoping for at least a big plot twist. I'm even okay with bitchy heroines as long as they have some sort of dark humor or wittiness to them. This book didn't deliver on any fronts. I didn't find anything redeeming about Ani (she was a horrible teenager as well but in her defense she was 14) and I felt no emotional connection to her nor any other character. I think this would have been better if she had had more of role in the 'final event' that is revealed at the end. 

Grade: 2/5


Book: Devoted
Author: Jennifer Mathieu

Rachel Walker is devoted to God.

She prays every day, attends Calvary Christian Church with her family, helps care for her five younger siblings, dresses modestly, and prepares herself to be a wife and mother who serves the Lord with joy.

But Rachel is curious about the world her family has turned away from, and increasingly finds that neither the church nor her homeschool education has the answers she craves. Rachel has always found solace in her beliefs, but now she can’t shake the feeling that her devotion might destroy her soul.-Goodreads

Review: Rachel Walker is a 17-year old brought up in the Quiverfall church (like the Duggar family). While her mother deals with a miscarriage, Rachel takes care of the household and her multiple younger siblings. Rachel knows her father will be picking out her husband soon, so she too can be married and start a family of her own. Just like she has been taught is her duty. But Rachel doesn't want that life and when she stumbles upon the blog of a girl who escaped her family and the church, Rachel's life begins to change. 

This book was a wonderful surprise. I found myself going on an emotional journey with Rachel-distress, happiness, fear, sadness, etc. I actually cried toward the end which was pretty shocking to me. I was proud of what Rachel accomplished in the book while at the same time my heart broke for her. I also enjoyed how Mathieu handled the religion concept here (this is not a 'religion is evil' book by any means). Good read. 

Grade: 4/5

Under a Silent Moon

Book: Under a Silent Moon
Series: DCI Louisa Smith #1
Author: Elizabeth Haynes

Two women share one fate.

A suspected murder at an English Farm. A reported suicide at a local quarry.

Can DCI Louisa Smith and her team gather the evidence and discover a link between them, a link which sealed their fate one cold night, Under a Silent Moon?

A tense, compelling and unsettling novel mystery brimming with source material and evidence set over just six days, Under a Silent Moon will keep you gripped until the very last page and asks:

Can you connect the clues and name the Killer?

In the crisp, early hours of an autumn morning, the police are called to investigate two deaths. The first is a suspected murder at a farm on the outskirts of a small village. A beautiful young woman has been found dead, her cottage drenched with blood. The second is a reported suicide at a nearby quarry. A car with a woman's body inside was found at the bottom of the pit.

As DCI Louisa Smith and her team gather evidence, they discover a shocking link between the two cases and the two deaths-a bond that sealed their terrible fates one cold night, under a silent moon.-Goodreads

Review: If you are fan of police procedurals, you might want to try this book. It is not a psychological thriller like her previous books, this is a straight up murder/suicide where the police are trying to figure out the killer. While I enjoyed the narrative style (multiple narratives, excepts from police interviews and reports) it started off extremely slow and I had a hard time keeping the characters straight. The book picked up toward the end. I will definitely read the next in the series. 

Grade: 3/5