Tuesday, January 17, 2023

2 Bloggers 1 Book - Daisy Darker

 


So Stormi has made it one of her goals to read more thrillers this year so she is including me in on the ones I am interested in.  So January started out with a bang in that I don't remember the last time I actively despised a book so bad.  So read on for my thoughts and then hop over to Stormi's at Storm Reads to see her's.


TITLE: Daisy Darker
AUTHOR: ALice Feeney
PUBLISHER: Flatiron Books
PUBLISHING DATE: August 30, 2022
PAGES: 352
SOURCE: Library

FROM GOODREADS: After years of avoiding each other, Daisy Darker’s entire family is assembling for Nana’s 80th birthday party in Nana’s crumbling gothic house on a tiny tidal island. Finally back together one last time, when the tide comes in, they will be cut off from the rest of the world for eight hours.

The family arrives, each of them harboring secrets.  Then at the stroke of midnight, as a storm rages, Nana is found dead.  And an hour later, the next family member follows...

Trapped on an island where someone is killing them one by one, the Darkers must reckon with their present mystery as well as their past secrets, before the tide comes in and all is revealed.

MY THOUGHTS: I went into Daisy Darker expecting to enjoy myself.  I read Rock, Paper, Scissors last year and loved it.  Let's just say, now I'm gonna have to pick up a third by this author so I can figure out which read was the fluke.

This novel starts out as a very eclectic, very estranged and very odd family gathers on the island home of their Nana to celebrate her birthday.  Years ago, Nana had been told she would not live past 80 so she believes this birthday may very well be her last.  Early on we learn that most of the family is angry at Daisy for some reason, and as the book unfolds, we learn what happened years ago which led to this family being rather dysfunctional.  Suddenly the family members begin to drop like flies and the remaining members are trying to determine who is out to get them.

I only found one likeable character in this whole novel, and it was the dog!  While I don't have to like any of the characters in order to enjoy a book, in this case, it might have helped to have someone to connect to because as it was, they couldn't die fast enough for me.  I get that Daisy had a rough childhood, but she was so depressing and self-deprecating that I really couldn't take much more.  And the rest of her family and friends?  They were just as bad.  I did kind of like Nana but as the synopsis indicates, she isn't around for long.  If I was her, I'd have been grateful to be the first to go as well.  The reader gets the impression early on that she wasn't a big fan of her family members and Feeney does a good job to make the reader understand why.

And finally, the ending.  I will not add any spoilers but if you have read this book, if you know, you know.  I feel the ending was a complete copout and it had me so angry that I wanted to throw the book in the road and pray someone rolled over it repeatedly.  

I believe this is a book you will read and either love or hate.  I doubt there is much middle ground.  While I cannot recommend it, I also won't discourage anyone to check it out for themselves.  I'm giving this author one more chance but that's it.

RATING: 2 PAWS




Friday, December 16, 2022

2 Bloggers 1 Series

 


So this month Stormi and I are buddy reading not one, but two in the Virgin River series.  We are on target to definitely finish it up in 2023 and I'm pretty impressed with how we're doing.  In our next post, you'll see why we were so anxious to slate two on the schedule this month.  So check out my thoughts and then hop over to Stormi's at Storm Reads to see her's.


TITLE: Harvest Moon (Virgin River #13)
AUTHOR: RObyn Carr
PUBLISHER: MIRA
PUBLISHING DATE: February 22, 2011
PAGES: 361
SOURCE: Hoopla

FROM GOODREADS: Rising sous-chef Kelly Matlock's sudden collapse at work is a wake-up call. Disillusioned and burned out, she's retreated to her sister Jillian's house in Virgin River to rest and reevaluate.

Puttering in Jill's garden and cooking with her heirloom vegetables is wonderful, but Virgin River is a far cry from San Francisco. Kelly's starting to feel a little too unmotivated…until she meets Lief Holbrook. The handsome widower looks more like a lumberjack than a sophisticated screenwriter—a combination Kelly finds irresistible. But less appealing is Lief's rebellious stepdaughter, Courtney. She's the reason they moved from L.A., but Courtney's finding plenty of trouble even in Virgin River.


Kelly's never fallen for a guy with such serious baggage, but some things are worth fighting for. Besides, a bratty teenager can't be any worse than a histrionic chef…right?


MY THOUGHTS: No real spoiler but this installment kind of hints at a cheating trope which I have to admit, never really sits well with me.  However, it quickly pulls it out of the dumpster and a few chapters in, the MC Kelly, who I found very problematic in the beginning, became more likable and I became invested in her story.  For a few reasons, Kelly is leaving the big city and her fast paced job in a famous restaurant.  She goes to stay with her sister in VIrgin River and soon meets Lief and his rebellious teen, Courtney.


I really liked the dynamic between Lief and Kelly and it was really nice to not have a baby-focused Virgin River book.  I have to admit the daughter Courtney is probably my favorite character in the book and it's fun to see her growth and learn what makes her tick.  We get to see some of our old series faves but not as much as in the past.  Carr has created such a huge cast of characters that it only makes sense that it's harder and harder to work some of the people in to each installment.  


Overall, this is another strong installment, and I can basically crank these books out in a day or two, even when working, so they've become my go-to reads for something light and quick in between some heavier reads.  I'm so glad we added two to out December plans so stay soon for another review soon!


RATING: 4 PAWS







Tuesday, November 22, 2022

2 Bloggers 1 Book - The Witching Hour

 


So, this time around Stormi and I tried a new series.  I read the entire trilogy when I was in high school/college and loved it so much. I'm pretty sure I've been on to Stormi for several years to read it.  Well, we finally did - or should I say we tried.  Read on to see my thoughts.  In order to make it a tad more interesting, I'm doing my review in the form of a conversation between Past Me (PM) and Current Me (CM).  Then hop over and see what Stormi thought at Storm Reads  ... and if she is still talking to me.


TITLE: The WItching Hour (Lives of the Mayfair Witches #1)
AUTHOR: Anne Rice
PUBLISHER: Alfred A. Knopf
PUBLISHING DATE: October 1, 1990
PAGES: 965
SOURCE: Own

FROM GOODREADS: Demonstrating, once again, her gift for spellbinding storytelling and the creation of legend, Anne Rice makes real for us a great dynasty of witches—a family given to poetry and to incest, to murder and to philosophy; a family that, over the ages, is itself haunted by a powerful, dangerous, and seductive being.

On the veranda of a great New Orleans house, now faded, a mute and fragile woman sits rocking... and The Witching Hour begins.

It begins in our time with a rescue at sea.  Rowan Mayfair, a beautiful woman, a brilliant practitioner of neurosurgery—aware that she has special powers but unaware that she comes from an ancient line of witches—finds the drowned body of a man off the coast of California and brings him to life.  He is Michael Curry, who was born in New Orleans and orphaned in childhood by fire on Christmas Eve, who pulled himself up from poverty, and who now, in his brief interval of death, has acquired a sensory power that mystifies and frightens him.

As these two, fiercely drawn to each other, fall in love and—in passionate alliance—set out to solve the mystery of her past and his unwelcome gift, the novel moves backward and forward in time from today's New Orleans and San Francisco to long-ago Amsterdam and a ch√Ęteau in the France of Louis XIV.  An intricate tale of evil unfolds—an evil unleashed in seventeenth-century Scotland, where the first "witch," Suzanne of the Mayfair, conjures up the spirit she names Lasher... a creation that spells her own destruction and torments each of her descendants in turn.

From the coffee plantations of Port au Prince, where the great Mayfair fortune is made and the legacy of their dark power is almost destroyed, to Civil War New Orleans, as Julien—the clan's only male to be endowed with occult powers—provides for the dynasty its foothold in America, the dark, luminous story encompasses dramas of seduction and death, episodes of tenderness and healing.  And always—through peril and escape, tension and release—there swirl around us the echoes of eternal war: innocence versus the corruption of the spirit, sanity against madness, life against death.  With a dreamlike power, the novel draws us, through circuitous, twilight paths, to the present and Rowan's increasingly inspired and risky moves in the merciless game that binds her to her heritage. And in New Orleans, on Christmas Eve, this strangest of family sagas is brought to its startling climax.


MY THOUGHTS: 
PM:
Man, I loved this book.  It's so great everyone should read it.  The witches, the New Orleans atmosphere, the creepy characters.  It's all so great I'm sure it's gonna be one of my all-time favorite reads.  I carried this book around in my car for years I loved it so much.

CM:  Yea, it was an all-time favorite until you tried to read it again.  You were in college when you read this.  Are you sure you weren't influenced by something else?  And as for it being in the car for years, I'm pretty sure it was in the trunk from where you moved and you just left it there.

PM:  No, Anne Rice is a wonderful writer.  I'm going to read everything she comes out with. The woman is a genius. 

CM: In all honestly, you've read three books from her in the past 30 years, she can't be THAT much of a favorite.  And as for her being the best???  Do you know how many other books you are going to read in your lifetime? You should probably hold back on making judgement calls after falling in love with one book.  And I'm pretty sure she's weird.

PM: Well, more people definitely need to read this and man, it's so good, they should make a series.  I'm so glad it was almost 1000 pages long.  More pages equal more to love.

CM:  Yea, that Anne Rice sure was a wordy woman.  And you didn't even manage to make it past 400 pages this time around.  If it wasn't for the fact that you finished "Little Heaven" which she DNF'ed, I'd say Stormi might not do any more buddy reads with you.  How did you convince her to read such drivel? How much description do one really need about the Louisiana heat and the decrepit porch or the growing kudzu?  That guy should have hit his head when he went off the bank into the ocean and died.  Book over.

PM:  You don't know what you're talking about.  You're so lucky they finally are making a series.  And the relationship between Michael and Rowan is so romantic.

CM:  Pretty sure you had a pretty low bar for romance back then.  Yep I'm lucky alright.  I can't even bring myself to watch the new Vampire series after being scarred by Tom Cruise as a would-be romantic bloodsucker years ago.  I'm not so sure I'll be tuning in to the witch one.  On the other hand, it might be somewhat better than the book but seeing as how I didn't finish it this time around, I'll probably never know!  I still think you were on something.

RATING: DNF



Thursday, November 17, 2022

2 Bloggers 1 Book - Wild Man Creek (Virgin River #12)

 


If you would have told me the one series Stormi and I would have continued on with when we started this project would be the Virgin River series, I would have thought you were nuts.  This was really NEVER on my radar until Netflix released the show, but I've really come to love both the books and the Netflix adaptation. So this month we read another one and we actually have 2 slated for December.  So read on to see what I thought and then hop over to Stormi's at Storm Reads to see her's.

TITLE: Wild Man Creek (Virgin River #12)
AUTHOR: Robyn Carr
PUBLISHER: MIRA Books
PUBLISHING DATE: January 25, 2011
PAGES: 361
SOURCE: Hoopla

FROM GOODREADS: Colin Riordan came to Virgin River to recuperate from a horrific helicopter crash, the scars of which he bears inside and out. His family is wonderfully supportive, but it's his art that truly soothes his troubled soul.

Stung personally and professionally by an ill-advised affair, PR guru Jillian Matlock has rented an old Victorian with a promising garden in Virgin River. She's looking forward to cultivating something other than a corporate brand.

Both are looking to simplify, not complicate, their lives, but when Jillian finds Colin at his easel in her yard, there's an instant connection. And in Virgin River, sometimes love is the simplest choice of all….

MY THOUGHTS: This installment continues on with the book's exploration of the Riordan brothers.  We've seen glimpses of all of them in the past few books and now it's Colin's time to shine.  COlin is still recovering from a major military air crash which left both his spirit and body broken.  He goes to Virgin River to plan his next steps and ends up meeting Jillian.  Jill is coming off a bad corporate work experience and trying to find her way as well.  Her way ends up in a garden and one day she stumbles across Colin who is painting on her property.  She encourages him to explore his art and he encourages her to explore her love of all things garden related and as they say, the rest is history.  

As far as the series goes, the relationship in this book was almost smoother than most of the others.  Yes, they both had their issues and yes, it was not going to be easy all the time, but it wasn't so much drama that it sent me off the deep end.  The book also has a good side story of Jack and Denny but for the most part, not many of our old faves pop up. Which might be good because as much as I love Mel, her name has been synonmous with drama the past book or two.

My only real complaint in this book is that the author really goes overkill on talking about all of Jill's gardening, planting and harvesting.  It got a bit old but overall, I still loved this book.  The author is also pretty good at setting up the next book and I have my suspicions on who it will focus on.  Virgin River is a series that keeps on giving and the cozy reads I need from time to time.

RATING: 4 PAWS




Saturday, October 29, 2022

2 Bloggers 1 Series - Faithless

 


So, Stormi and I continued on with the Grant County series this month.  Only one more to go until we finish this series and then we plan on starting fresh on the spin-off Will Trent series in January 2023. Read on to see how this installment holds up, I think so far books #1, #2, and #3 have all gotten 5 paw reviews from my but book #4 fell to 4 paws.  Then hop over to Storm Reads to see Stormi's thoughts.

TITLE: Faithless (Grant Co. #4)
AUTHOR: Karin Slaughter
PUBLISHER: Delacorte Press 
PUBLISHING DATE: August 30, 2005
PAGES: 576
SOURCE: Library

FROM GOODREADS: The victim was buried alive in the Georgia woods—then killed in a horrifying fashion. When Sara Linton and Jeffrey Tolliver stumble upon the body, both become consumed with finding out who killed the pretty, impeccably dressed young woman. And for Sara and Jeffrey, a harrowing journey begins, one that will test their own turbulent relationship and draw dozens of lives into the case.

Lena Adams is one of them. A Grant County detective for years, she has her own reasons for being drawn to this case and a fierce drive to see justice done. For these three people, who have each seen the darkest side of human nature, the body of the murdered girl is but the first in a series of shocking and sordid revelations.

Now, as Jeffrey and Sara narrow the field of suspects, they must confront their own doubts and indiscretions, while Lena Adams sees herself reflected in the frightened eyes of a battered woman who may be the key figure in the case. As Faithless builds to a stunning and unforgettable climax, Karin Slaughter masterfully brings together strands of interlocking lives, family secrets, and hidden passions with one astounding truth: the identity of a killer who is more evil and dangerous than anyone could have guessed.

MY THOUGHTS: I really love all the elements of Slaughter's mysteries in each installment so far.  They are almost always dark and twisty with all kinds of evil and morally grey characters.  I rarely guess the outcomes or see the twists and since I read this book, which is close to 600 pages, in only a little over a 24-hour timespan, you can say it definitely had me hooked.  Jeffrey and Sara are taking an afternoon stroll in the woods when they stumble upon a breathing tube sticking out of the dirt.  After some digging, they uncover a deceased young lady.  This leads them to an odd religious with more secrets than even I could keep up with for a while.

Now to discuss what is really getting old with this series.  I am tired of obstacle after obstacle being thrown in the way of Sara and Jeffrey's relationship.  Their romance is only a small side plot of the series but every book seems to be one thing after another with these two. The second main issue is with Lena, one of Jeffrey's deputies.  Lena is a hot mess and only gets worse and worse.  She has a definitely character arc but so far, it's all been downhill.  I don't know how she can ever be redeemed at this point but I am curious to see what hot mess she lands in next.

I am really glad to see this series wrapping up and am excited for what comes next.  This series read was a recommendation from Stormi and I'm thrilled she encouraged me to pick it up.

RATING: 4 PAWS




Thursday, September 22, 2022

Hallowtween Read-a-thon!

So my bestie Stormi is hosting a month-long Hallowtween read-a-thon over on her YouTube channel which runs the entire month of October and focuses on Middle Grade reads.  Of course, I'm using this as a great excuse to read some Goosebumps books.  I missed out on them as a kid and feel like they are something younger me would have loved so I want to pick up a few in October.  I am linking Stormi's announcement post HERE.

Below you will find the board and the prompts along with what I plan on reading to obtain my Bingo!

 

  • I ain’t ‘fraid of no ghost - Book featuring a ghost.

  • Read a book with red on the cover - Doesn’t matter how much red.

  • Monster mash/Halloween - A book featuring any kind of monster or set at halloween.

  • What’s that coming out of the sky - Book with Alien.

  • Book with black on the Cover - Doesn’t matter how much black.

  • Scooby Doo where are you? - A friend group.

  • Spooky cover - You determine the level of spooky.

  • Book with orange on the cover - Doesn’t matter how much orange.

  • Haunted house or object - Choose between a haunted house or maybe a haunted object or both! 


So I'm going with Spooky Cover, Black on the Cover and Monster Mash.



Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Feed Your TBR


Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings to spotlight highly anticipated books.  It is based on the Waiting on Wednesday meme which used to be hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.





FROM GOODREADS: Rory Morris isn't thrilled to be moving back to her hometown, even if it is temporary. There are bad memories there. But her twin sister, Scarlett, is pregnant, estranged from the baby's father, and needs support, so Rory returns to the place she thought she'd put in her rearview. After a night out at a bar where she runs into an old almost-flame, she hits a large animal with her car. And when she gets out to investigate, she's attacked.

Rory survives, miraculously, but life begins to look and feel different. She's unnaturally strong, with an aversion to silver--and suddenly the moon has her in its thrall. She's changing into someone else--something else, maybe even a monster. But does that mean she's putting those close to her in danger? Or is embracing the wildness inside of her the key to acceptance?

This darkly comedic love story is a brilliantly layered portrait of trauma, rage, and vulnerability.

WHY I CAN'T WAIT:: I read Cackle last year and really enjoyed it and can't wait to see what the author does with werewolves.  I really feel like I am reentering my paranormal phase and am anxious to read all things vampire and werewolf related.  Plus, I'm not gonna lie - look at that cover!

WHAT BOOK ARE YOU WAITING FOR???