September 2, 2015

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins – PART TWO

Lola Nolan is a budding costume designer, and for her, the more outrageous, sparkly, and fun the outfit, the better. And everything is pretty perfect in her life (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood. When Cricket, a gifted inventor, steps out from his twin sister's shadow and back into Lola's life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.
I wrote a part one to this review when I was almost half way through the book. That can be found here.

I think I stopped at the right part when I wrote the first review. That is because I actually enjoyed the second half of the book. I really didn’t like the first half, but it was driving me a bit crazy that I didn’t finish it since I have the 3rd book in the series. So, I decided to go back and give it another try and I am glad I did.

If I hadn’t, I would be under the impression forever that this is a horrible book, and it isn’t. It just takes a long time to get going. The characters take a lot of getting used to. But, once you reach the second half of the book, it turns into a pretty sweet teen romance book.

I would recommend finishing the book if you like cheesy teen romance books. That’s what you will get here.

Final half grade: 4/5 stars.
OVERALL grade: 2.5/5 stars.

Memorable Quote: “There’s something about blue eyes. The kind of blue that startles you every time they’re lifted in your direction. The kind of blue that makes you ache for them to look at you again. Not blue green or blue gray, the blue that’s just blue.”

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‘D’ Is For Deadbeat by Sue Grafton


When Alvin Limardo walks into P.I. Kinsey Millhone's office, she smells bad news. He wants Kinsey to deliver $25,000. The recipient: A fifteen-year-old boy. It's a simple matter. So simple that Kinsey wonders why he doesn't deliver the money himself. She's almost certain something is off. But with rent due, Kinsey accepts Limardo's retainer against her better judgment…

When Limardo's check bounces, Kinsey discovers she's been had big time. Alvin Limardo is really John Daggett--an ex-con with a drinking problem, two wives to boot, and a slew of people who would like to see him dead. Now Kinsey is out four hundred dollars and in hot pursuit of Daggett.

When Daggett's corpse shows up floating in the Santa Teresa surf, the cops rule the death an accident. Kinsey thinks it's murder. But seeking justice for a man who everyone seemed to despise is going to be a lot tougher than she bargained for--and what awaits her at the end of the road is much more disturbing than she could've ever imagined…

Wow… and I thought that ‘C’ had a dark tone to it. The ending of ‘D’ Is For Deadbeat is one of the most somber book endings that I have read in a long time.
It made me an even bigger fan of Kinsey Millhone, though. I must say that.

This book also took me back to not being able to guess the twist until it was revealed which was nice to encounter after I had guessed it earlier on in the previous book. I had hoped that wouldn’t continue, and Grafton delivered immediately with the next installment.

I found this to be a really quick read even though it was a touch longer than the previous ones. Something about it just really gripped me and wouldn’t let go.

This is a book that is going to stick with me for a long time.
5/5 stars.

Memorable Quotes: “I’ve never rhapsodized about exercise and Id avoid it if I could, but I notice the older I get, the more my body seems to soften, like butter left out at room temp. I don’t like to watch my ass drop and my thighs spread outward like jodhpurs made of flesh.”

“Sometimes I picture death as a wide stone staircase, filled with a silence procession of those being led away. I see death too often to worry about it, but I miss the departed and I wonder if I’ll be docile when my turn comes.”

“I’m capable of screwing things up by trying to solve all the problems in advance instead of simply taking care of issues as they surface.”

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August 29, 2015

‘C’ Is For Corpse by Sue Grafton

How do you go about solving an attempted murder when the victim has lost a good part of his memory? It's one of Kinsey's toughest cases yet, but she never backs down from a challenge. Twenty-three-year-old Bobby Callahan is lucky to be alive after a car forced his Porsche over a bridge and into a canyon. The crash left Bobby with a clouded memory. But he can't shake the feeling it was no random accident and that he's still in danger…

The only clues Kinsey has to go on are a little red address book and the name "Blackman." Bobby can't remember who he gave the address book to for safekeeping. And any chances of Bobby regaining his memory are dashed when he's killed in another automobile accident just three days after he hires Kinsey.

As Kinsey digs deeper into her investigation, she discovers Bobby had a secret worth killing for--and unearthing that secret could send Kinsey to her own early death…
This book was a bit different from the others. It had a much darker feel to it that was laced with sadness. I can only gather that it was because Kinsey knew the victim of the crime she was investigating. This being the case, I didn’t mind the tone change, but it was a bit of a change of pace.

I also figured out the twist a lot earlier in this one compared to the other two. It didn’t take away from the story as I didn’t know how it all fit together, but figuring it out leads to a less exciting reveal at the end.

There wasn’t as much action up until the end of the book either.

So, this book was very different from the past two, but I still enjoyed it and it was really hard to put it down. Kinsey’s personality did get to show through more towards the end and it was refreshing after the dark cloud that was the first half of the book.

‘C’ was a solid installment in the series.

4/5 stars

Memorable Quotes: “His death served to remind me, like a custard pie in the face, that life is sometimes one big savage joke.”

“You don’t come that close to death without paying a penalty. Violent death is like a monster. The closer you get to it, the more damage you sustain . . . if you survive at all.”

“I find it liberating when other people are rude. It makes me feel mild and lazy and mean.”

“Shit, she was quick – shaving years off her age without pausing to count on her fingers or anything. I’m not that good at subtraction so its probably fortunate that I don’t lie about how old I am.”

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