June 20, 2017

16th Seduction by James Patterson

Fifteen months ago, Detective Lindsay Boxer's life was perfect--she had a beautiful child and a doting husband, Joe, who helped her catch a criminal who'd brazenly detonated a bomb in downtown San Francisco, killing twenty-five people. But Joe wasn't everything that Lindsay thought he was, and she's still reeling from his betrayal as a wave of mysterious, and possibly unnatural, heart attacks claims seemingly unrelated victims across San Francisco. As if that weren't enough, the bomber she and Joe captured is about to go on trial, and his defense raises damning questions about Lindsay and Joe's investigation. Not knowing whom to trust, and struggling to accept the truth about the man she thought she knew, Lindsay must connect the dots of a deadly conspiracy before a brilliant criminal puts her on trial.
Okay, first of all, I am not really sure where the title for this novel came from. None of the story lines were very seductive.
Second of all, there was talk of a terrorist group, but they also weren’t even mentioned all that much. I understand why, it was more focused on Connor Grant, the Stealth Killer, and J. I thought back on it once I finished the novel and realized I hadn’t heard a whole lot about them. With the way the book ended, it is open to being explored more in the next book.
So, the huge explosion, it almost seems like such a small part of the storyline, even though that is what the whole book is based around. The larger pieces were Connor Grant himself and Lindsay.
There was a brief appearance by the Stealth Killer, but that seemed like a random subplot. I thought it was really interesting, and it really could have had its own book, but it was treated almost as a book shot inside of this larger novel.
Overall, it was a Women’s Murder Club book, and it was nice to have them back. The main storyline was tied up, sort of, but it seems like all of the other ones were just left floating around in the ether.

3.5/5 Stars

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June 8, 2017

Cross the Line by James Patterson

Shots ring out in the early morning hours in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. When the smoke clears, a prominent police official lies dead, leaving the city's police force scrambling for answers.
 Under pressure from the mayor, Alex Cross steps into the leadership vacuum to investigate the case. But before Cross can make any headway, a brutal crime wave sweeps across the region. The deadly scenes share only one common thread – the victims are all criminals. And the only thing more dangerous than a murderer without a conscience, is a killer who thinks he has justice on his side.
 As Cross pursues an adversary who has appointed himself judge, jury, and executioner, he must take the law back into his own hands before the city he's sworn to protect descends into utter chaos.

This book was really strange for me. Before starting it, I read the cover synopsis as I usually do. From reading that, I thought this book would be a lot more intense than it actually was. I was expecting major conflict between Alex and Bree and Alex’s life to be severely threatened.

Maybe it is just me, but I don’t really think I got any of that out of this one.

That being said, I did enjoy it. It was nice having another Alex Cross book that wasn’t a book shot. There was plenty of action, and the storyline was actually interesting. I think my reading experience may have been lessened just from me expecting something more intense to happen. I am upset by that, because there was actually a lot going on, but I was just expecting more.  This is probably my own fault, and I wasn’t looking forward to conflict between Alex and Bree at all. You’d think I would be happy that it didn’t happen.

If you are a fan of Alex Cross, you will enjoy this read. Maybe just don’t read the cover synopsis like I did.

3.5/5 Stars

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March 30, 2017

The You I’ve Never Known by Ellen Hopkins


How do you live your life if your past is based on a lie? A new novel in both verse and prose from #1 New York Times bestselling author, Ellen Hopkins.

For as long as she can remember, it’s been just Ariel and Dad. Ariel’s mom disappeared when she was a baby. Dad says home is wherever the two of them are, but Ariel is now seventeen and after years of new apartments, new schools, and new faces, all she wants is to put down some roots. Complicating things are Monica and Gabe, both of whom have stirred a different kind of desire.

Maya’s a teenager who’s run from an abusive mother right into the arms of an older man she thinks she can trust. But now she’s isolated with a baby on the way, and life’s getting more complicated than Maya ever could have imagined.

Ariel and Maya’s lives collide unexpectedly when Ariel’s mother shows up out of the blue with wild accusations: Ariel wasn’t abandoned. Her father kidnapped her fourteen years ago.

What is Ariel supposed to believe? Is it possible Dad’s woven her entire history into a tapestry of lies? How can she choose between the mother she’s been taught to mistrust and the father who has taken care of her all these years?

In bestselling author Ellen Hopkins’s deft hands, Ariel’s emotionally charged journey to find out the truth of who she really is balances beautifully with Maya’s story of loss and redemption. This is a memorable portrait of two young women trying to make sense of their lives and coming face to face with themselves—for both the last and the very first time.

It has been a long time since I have finished a novel. I have started quite a few, but I have been in such a slump that I haven’t been able to finish one since last year. I figured if anyone could get me out of it, it would be Ellen Hopkins. Sure enough, here we are.

The story pulled me in right away with its strong characters. Ariel has an interesting inner-monologue as she tries to figure out life. With the strange circumstances she has had to live through, only when she is 17 can she really take time to try to figure out who she is. Or, who she thinks she is.  That is, until someone totally unexpected comes into her life and changes everything around.

The plot is deep as it takes the time to examine, abuse, alcoholism, the military, and LGBT themes. It really was a tough book to read at times, but you end up caring so much about the characters that you have to see what happens. That is one thing that Ellen Hopkins is masterful at. You always end up feeling strongly for her characters one way or the other. This book was no different.

You begin to root for certain relationships, and your opinions about some characters change along the way. There are a lot of twists and turns to this one.

If you are into Ellen Hopkins’s work, or if you are looking for good, new fiction, I highly recommend this one.

5/5 stars

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