August 24, 2016

First Kill by Robert Swartwood


In this new novella from USA Today bestselling author Robert Swartwood, available exclusively as an eBook, a young Holly Lin comes face to face with danger for the first time.

Oahu, Hawaii. Paradise to some, but to seventeen-year-old Holly Lin it's a place she'll never forget. A place where she's kidnapped by masked men. A place where she must find the strength to survive. A place that will take her one step closer to her first kill.

So, First Kill is August’s Book of the Month in a group I am a part of on Goodreads. Being a novella, I figured this was a good one to read to get back to being involved in that community.

This is my first Robert Swartwood book, and I think I am intrigued to read more. I have gathered that he usually writes full-length novels, so my next experience with his writing should be interesting.
First Kill is a bit of an unrealistic book. A 17-year-old taking on a bunch of people at once typically wouldn’t happen in real life. That said, the action kept the pace of the book fast, and Holly was an interesting enough character to keep reading.

There are more books with her as the protagonist, so maybe I will finish her series.

If you like action books or thrillers, I think you will like this book. It is packed full of action, and the suspense keeps you guessing.

It was a positive first experience with Robert Swartwood, and I look forward to the next book.

4/5 Stars

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July 31, 2016

Behind Closed Doors by Elizabeth Haynes

Ten years ago, fifteen-year-old Scarlett Rainsford vanished while on a family holiday in Greece. Was she abducted, or did she run away? Lou Smith worked the case as a police constable, and failing to find Scarlett has been one of the biggest regrets of her career. No one is more shocked than Lou to learn that Scarlett has unexpectedly been found during a Special Branch raid of a brothel in Briarstone.

Lou and her Major Crimes team are already stretched working two troubling cases: nineteen-year-old Ian Palmer was found badly beaten; soon after, bar owner Carl McVey was found half-buried in the woods, his Rolex and money gone. While Lou tries to establish the links between the two cases, DS Sam Hollands works with Special Branch to question Scarlett. What happened to her? Where has she been until now? And why is her family—with the exception of her emotionally fragile younger sister, Juliette—less than enthusiastic about her return?

When another brutal assault and homicide are linked to the McVey murder, Lou's cases collide, and the clues all point in one terrifying direction. As the pressure and the danger mount, it becomes clear that the silent, secretive Scarlett holds the key to everything.
Man, this book seemed to never end. It wasn’t a bad book, but it felt like the more I read – the longer it got.

This was more of a story-driven novel than a character driven novel. I didn’t really care much about any specific character, but they all got sort of interesting as the book went on.

The telling of the book was interesting. It switched between present day and flashbacks. If it is hard for you to keep up with things like that, then maybe skip this one, but I found it easy to follow along with.

This was book #2 with Louisa Smith in it. Admittedly, I did not know that when I started the book, so I haven’t read the first one. But she didn’t seem to be a big part of the book or the story. I would have liked it a bit more if she had played a larger role. She almost seemed pointless in this one.

The story was interesting, but there wasn’t really much of a twist. I expected it to take more of a Gone Girl turn, and it never did. The mystery of it kept me interested until the end, but I expected there to be more twists and turns. It was really odd to me that there wasn’t.

Overall, I did enjoy the book. It is very long, though, and wasn’t one of my favorites.

3/5 Stars

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July 26, 2016

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty


Alice Love is twenty-nine, crazy about her husband, and pregnant with her first child.

So imagine Alice’s surprise when she comes to on the floor of a gym and is whisked off to the hospital where she discovers the honeymoon is truly over — she’s getting divorced, she has three kids and she’s actually 39 years old. Alice must reconstruct the events of a lost decade, and find out whether it’s possible to reconstruct her life at the same time. She has to figure out why her sister hardly talks to her, and how is it that she’s become one of those super skinny moms with really expensive clothes.

Ultimately, Alice must discover whether forgetting is a blessing or a curse, and whether it’s possible to start over.

I read the synopsis of this book and was highly intrigued. It seemed like a pretty unique concept, so I jumped right in.

And, let me tell you, this book did not let me go until I turned the very last page.

I was absorbed. When I had to take a break from reading, I couldn’t stop thinking about it.

This book broke my heart, it made me cry, it made me laugh, and it made me question life. THAT is what I like from a novel. I like when it challenges me just by telling its story. I didn’t want it to end, but I feel like the ending came at the perfect time, and it was a good one.

The characters were all interesting. They all played a role, and the inner monologue of Alice was fantastic.

My favorite books center around characters that could be REAL, that could be your next-door neighbor or could be YOU. And this book gives you that.

I will always recommend this book to anyone who is ready to invest the time into it. It is pretty long, but it is worth the ride.

5/5 stars

Memorable Quotes: "Who cared if hundreds of strange people turned up on her doorstep tonight? Her life was a nightmare and she may as well let it continue on its nightmarish way."

"Your mind resists death with all its might."

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