November 20, 2014

Like by Bart Hopkins

LIKE is a selfie of modern times that takes you on a journey through the lives of normal people—the new normal—fully connected in an electronic age.

You’ll meet Greg, a realtor whose success stems from his Internet savvy. His tweets are re-tweeted a hundred times and thousands follow his blog.

Then there’s Paul, who stumbles on an old crush while Facebooking. Through research of her online habits, he arranges a “chance” meeting so they can fall in Like with each other.

Martin is a cancer survivor with renewed purpose in life thanks to a supportive social media family.

It’s a tapestry of people and events woven together with this era’s most abundant thread: social media.
This is a very character driven novel. There are a few different storylines to follow that are all very separate but end up intertwining at different parts of the novel. Their stories are creative but all very, very real.

As I was reading, I thought it was silly how dependent they were on social media, how often they brought it up, and how big it was in their lives. Taking a step back, it wasn’t even an exaggeration. The amount of time the characters in this book spend on social media is comparable to how much real people spend on it in their everyday lives. You can’t go many places without hearing about something on Facebook, Twitter, etc.

I can see this being a book that shows what the norm for what many novels is going to be in the future – probably the near future; Very strong characters with communication driven by social media.

One thing I really enjoy about Like as well as Bart’s other books is his likable characters. Time is put into the planning of his characters and their personalities and how they really fit into the story. They all carry some of the weight, but I found myself thinking of Greg as the main character because he is the first that the reader meets.
The one complain that I have is that I wish this book was longer. I got pretty attached to some of the characters as I was reading it and would have liked to know how their stories turned out a few years down the road. Although, you run the risk of a book getting boring if it does drag on too long.

4/5 stars. Great characters, great stories. A little cheesy at times which is to be expected when it is centered around social media. Overall, it was a fun read that I think readers of all different types can enjoy.

Trigger Warning: Domestic Abuse.

November 19, 2014

Cross Fire by James Patterson

Wedding bells ring

Detective Alex Cross and Bree's wedding plans are put on hold when Alex is called to the scene of the perfectly executed assassination of two of Washington D.C.'s most corrupt: a dirty congressmen and an underhanded lobbyist. Next, the elusive gunman begins picking off other crooked politicians, sparking a blaze of theories--is the marksman a hero or a vigilante?

A murderer returns

The case explodes, and the FBI assigns agent Max Siegel to the investigation. As Alex and Siegel battle over jurisdiction, the murders continue. It becomes clear that they are the work of a professional who has detailed knowledge of his victims' movements--information that only a Washington insider could possess.

Caught in a lethal cross fire

As Alex contends with the sniper, Siegel, and the wedding, he receives a call from his deadliest adversary, Kyle Craig. The Mastermind is in D.C. and will not relent until he has eliminated Cross and his family for good. With a supercharged blend of action, deception, and suspense, Cross Fire is James Patterson's most visceral and exciting Alex Cross novel ever.
I didn’t know what to think of this book for the longest time while reading it. It wasn’t the best and it wasn’t the worst. It was just somewhere in the middle.

It was more of a suspense novel that kept you guessing. It kept you guessing the backstories of the killers and also when a big reveal would eventually take place.

I spent most of my time reading just waiting for the bomb to drop.

Max Siegel is one of the most important characters in this book and not in a good way. It was almost frustrating knowing the truth before Alex did because you wanted him to just guess what was going on.

That being said, it was still very entertaining. There was a lot of action and a lot of character growth with Bree’s character. We got to see more of her and her interactions with the Cross family which was nice.

Once I got to the end, I was beyond excited. I wont post spoilers here, but I will put them under the cut. I cannot wait to read the next one now.

4/5 stars

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Read ahead for Spoilers

November 16, 2014

Darkside by T.A. Miles

Xandria: A mega-metropolis on Bhast, humankind's newest home.
Calen: A young athlete and son of a top ranking senator.
Luka: A mysterious operative with an unorthodox method of investigation.
Yoshiro: A rising star in Xandria's exotic underworld.
Staciel: An enigmatic figure of political and social deterioration, a catalyst for change.

On the eve of an unprecedented political maneuver in Xandria, Calen Liese flees from his home, leaving a murder scene behind and setting into motion a chain of events that could decide the fate of humankind on Bhast, beginning with the planet's Fey population; a group seemingly handicapped by acute empathy and society's uncertain fears, drawn to the destructive and oppressive powers within the planet's largest slum. Are Fey the next evolution of humankind? Or were they created? Darkside is a sociological post-Earth thriller.
It took me a long time to get through this novel. It is very long, so it was easier to pick up shorter books instead and get through them quicker.

Something I didn’t like was the amount of different characters and how they appear. This book could have probably been broken up into a few books that covered different storylines while integrating the main characters with the new ones. Instead, it was all thrown together and became a bit jumbled and confusing.

Many times, new characters will just be introduced by reading a new name. I didn’t have the slightest clue where some of them came from or what the points of their storylines were. I either figured it out after reading further, or I just never new and I forgot about them.

This book likes to jump from event to event with no real transitional phase. It is easier to get used to as you read more of it, but it is very confusing in the beginning.

I would say it is like a reading funnel. It starts our very broad with a lot of different things going on, and as it progresses, it all stars to come together and fit into one story line.

I felt like this was almost a never-ending book and it needed to be broken up to make it more interesting. I often found myself wondering how much longer it would take me to read it. It dragged on for a good portion of the book and just made it really, really difficult to get through.

The one bright spot in the book is that the characters were all pretty well developed even if some of them didn’t seem to have that big of a part in the story.

1/5 stars.  I am sure there will be many readers who will get into this book, but I was not one of them.

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November 15, 2014

Worlds Apart by Yolande Krueger


Worlds Apart is the second book in the Trix-ology series, following Between Worlds. In this sequel, Olive Trix, a sixteen year old witch going to school and working at her family’s coffee shop The Black Brew, has finally fallen back into her everyday routine of life after closing the portal to Dazrath. However, life is not completely the same as Dah-vid, her giant, has returned to his home in the mountains of British Columbia, and their only means of communication is their ‘message bottles’. At night, Olive is taken in her dreams to a strange place where she meets a snow-white-eyed stranger who seems to want to help her learn how to use her magic. It is from his teachings that everything begins to change.

There is always something nice about reading a sequel and coming back into the lives of characters that you have read about before and enjoyed. Olive is a strong protagonist, and her relationships with the supporting cast are written well. Plus one of the main characters is a pet dog. How could you not like this family?

This is a good second book in a series. It starts off right where the last ended and it introduces new elements to the series. It shows us a whole different world of magic – the dark side of magic and their leader.
Meanwhile, the characters that we knew from the previous book continue to grow and their arc progresses.
Olive continues to learn how to use her magic. Her abilities surprise everyone including herself. 
There wasn’t too much going on in this book, but it laid a solid foundation for the next book in the series.

I have a feeling the third book will be the best one. 

My favorite character is still the little dog.

3/5 stars

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