December 27, 2014

Game Time by Bart Hopkins Jr.

It's springtime in Galveston again, and life is blooming. In Renee, also, as she and Blaine Hadrock deal with the aftermath of the events that occurred on Playtime the previous summer. But from the heights of a tall building and the depths of a seedy strip club come whispers that something else is blooming. Something disturbing and dark and all too real.
I really enjoyed the first novel in this series, so I was excited to dive into the second one. It didn’t start off impressing me as I thought it would. A majority of the novel was spent on character development, and it never moved anywhere.

I was mostly wondering if anything was supposed to happen or if I was going to just keep reading the same thing over and over. It made reading the first half of Game Time pretty monotonous.

It took until about the last 20% of the book for things to actually get rolling, even then nothing too huge happened as the situation was diffused before it blew up, literally.

I just didn’t really care about any of the character this time around.

It was an okay read, it just didn’t live up to the previous book.

2/5 stars

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December 23, 2014

Retarded Girl Raised in Dog Pen: Authorities Say Girl Witness to Murder by Lauren Leigh

A Spellbinding Murder Mystery That Offers a Sympathetic Look At the Struggles Faced By Individuals with Disabilities Baby is every adoptive parent's nightmare-blind, paralyzed from the waist down, unable to speak, and diagnosed with developmental and intellectual disabilities. For the first 10 years of her life she is raised outside in a dog pen by a cruel adoptive father, a Mississippi deputy sheriff who values his bird dogs more than his daughter.

Retarded Girl Raised in Dog Pen is the story of Baby's placement in a Mississippi mental institution for individuals with profound retardation after the brutal murder of her father and the arrest of her mother, and her desperate attempt to escape the institution.

Once the mother is convicted of murder and sentenced to death, the story takes a bizarre twist as mental health professions discover that Baby is capable of communication, despite being trapped inside a grotesque body that holds her prisoner.

How much does Baby know? Can she prove her mother's innocence?

As the mother sits on death row, the clock ticking, a brilliant psychologist has the shock of her life when she discovers that Baby is not who she seems. The question is will the psychologist be able to solve the mystery in time to save the mother's life?
The title of this novel is a bit off-putting and really didn’t make me interested in reading it. I had to rely on the synopsis for that, and it did pique my interest.

This book was pretty easy to get through. There was a lot going on, so I never really wanted to stop reading.

It was heart breaking and uplifting all at the same time. It really shows how strong a bond can be between a mother and her child, no matter the cost.

Even though there are heart-warming moments, there were also cringe-worthy story lines involving spousal abuse, sexual abuse, and the complete mistreatment of a child. It was hard to read at times because of how disturbing it could be.

That said, it was well written, and the characters were developed well. Baby was a really interesting character, and I wish more of the book had been told from her perspective.

This book is labeled as a murder mystery, and technically it is. But, it didn’t really seem like a suspense novel to me because it was more about exploring Baby’s character than the murder.

Overall, it was an interesting read with strong characters.

4/5 Stars

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December 20, 2014

Snow by Áine Greaney

Set in a one-street small town in the Irish midlands, "Snow" is an exquisitely crafted portrait of Dolores, a young expatriate Irish woman who is suddenly summoned home from America to take care of her estranged and sick father. In her childhood home, Dolores wrestles with the push and pull between her new American life and her past life in Ireland. As she nurses her father back to health, she is beset by memories and caught between family loyalties and her own desires.

In order for short stories to be appealing to me, I either have to connect to the main character, or they have to make me feel something.

This one accomplished neither.

I didn’t really understand what was going on most of the time. I spent more time confused than actually understanding what I was reading. It didn’t seem to flow together, and it never really grabbed me at any point.

This story could maybe have been effective as a longer book, but as a short story it missed the mark.

1/5 stars I feel like I am missing something since everyone else gave this a great review. 

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