August 27, 2015

Maximum Ride: School’s Out – Forever by James Patterson

In this eagerly awaited follow-up, brave bird-kid Max and her flock are discovered by an FBI agent and forced to go to "school." There is no such thing as an ordinary day as Max deciphers how and when she's supposed to save the world, and she faces her greatest enemy--a clone of herself.
In the second installment to the Maximum Ride series, the flock is still bent on finding their birth parents. They are somewhat successful, but sometimes you have to be careful what you wish for, as it may have an unexpected result.
I was a bit sad thinking that the whole flock wouldn’t be together anymore, but thankfully the bond of the flock is stronger than blood. They all just work too well together to have one of them leave. It may still happen in later books, but I hope that it doesn’t.

Max is still trying to figure out her purpose. She knows she has to save the world, but the prospect of that makes no more sense than it did when she was first presented with that information. The voice in her head is still driving her crazy, and she has to learn how to balance her insanity with trying to manage the flock.

I didn’t know exactly how I felt about Anne while reading this book, but I knew I didn’t completely trust her. I was sort of glad that I figured that out and give in to the front that she was trying to sell. I am glad that Max saw through her as well.
Max is a very strong character, it isn’t exactly a stretch for there to be strong teenage characters in YA novels, but it still takes me by surprise how mature they are sometimes.

For being so out of my genre on many levels, I am really enjoying this series so far. Sometimes it is good to step outside of your comfort zone and read something different.

4/5 stars

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August 26, 2015

‘B’ Is For Burglar by Sue Grafton

Finding wealthy Elaine Boldt seems like a quickie case to Kinsey Millhone. The flashy widow was last seen wearing a $12,000 lynx coat, leaving her condo in Santa Teresa for her condo in Boca Raton. But somewhere in between, she vanished. Kinsey's case goes from puzzling to sinister when a house is torched, an apartment is burgled of worthless papers, the lynx coat comes back without Elaine, and her bridge partner is found dead. Soon Kinsey's clues begin to form a capital M—not for missing, but for murder: and plenty of it.
I don’t know if I am just getting worse at guessing twists at the end of novels, or if Sue Grafton is just really good at fooling me. I sort of had the first book figured out but was caught doubting myself. In this installment, I didn’t even guess the ended until it was revealed.

And that was only one part of what I enjoyed about it.

Kinsey Millhone is very quickly turning into one of my favorite protagonists. She is smart, she is funny, and it is just exciting to read books from her POV.

I enjoyed the story and the characters just as I did with the first one. It is nice meeting new characters with each book and having them explained so well. No character seems like a useless space-filler. It is refreshing. . . even those these books are a smidge on the older side.

‘B’ kept me entertained and kept me turning the page. It made me want to dive right into the next book, but unfortunately I was on vacation and did not have it with me.

5/5 stars.

Memorable quotes: “’Don’t ever do sit-ups. That’s my advice. I do a hundred a day and it always hurts.’ She was winded, her cheeks tinted pink from the effort. She was in her late forties, wearing a bright yellow sweat suit, her belly protruding in pregnancy. She looked like a ripe Florida grapefruit.”

“It’s a marvel God doesn’t reach right down and rip my tongue out by the roots for the lies I tell.”

“The thing Ive been worried about for years is how dinosaurs mated, especially those great big spiny ones. Someone told me once they did it in water, which helped support all that weight , but I find it hard to believe dinosaurs were that smart. It didn’t seem likely with those tiny pinched heads. I shook myself back to reality.”

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August 10, 2015

‘A’ is for Alibi by Sue Grafton

PI Kinsey Millhone 32, in a pretty California town, gets her first case. Laurence Fife was a slick divorce lawyer and slippery ladies' man until someone killed him. Released from jail after 8 years, his wife Nikki wants the truth. But the trail is cold, and at the end is a chilling twist - a second eight-year-old murder and a brand new corpse.
By reading this book, it looks like this series could be everything that I look for in a long series.
First off, we have Kinsey Millhone as the protagonist. It is a joy to read a book through her POV. She is a badass and she has a good sense of humor as well. I found myself giggling a few times while reading because of her thoughts. It gives nice comic relief to the harsh cases that she has to investigate.

Second, we have the flow of the book. It was really easy to get into and it flowed together nicely making for a very easy and entertaining read. I didn’t have to strain my brain to see how the pieces of the book fit together. It is very straight forward.

That said, it is a mystery series, so there is still some guesswork on the part of the reader. I was trying to figure out who was guilty the whole time I was reading. My guess would change every few chapters or so until the reveal at the end. I can say that I guessed the twist, but I was not confident in my guess until it was revealed and I enjoyed that it kept me guessing.

Next, the writing style. Like I mentioned before, it is a very easy read because it sucks you in and makes you not want to stop reading. Grafton doesn’t spend time on useless details. She tells you what you need to know and that’s it. I loved that. I didn’t feel that any point of this novel dragged on longer than it needed to.

The story in ‘A’ is For Alibi was also just interesting in general. It wasn’t one of those books where the characters were the only aspects carrying me to finish the book. The story itself was good.

Now, this is only the first book in the series. But I cannot wait to finish the rest of them!

5/5 Stars.

Shout out to Beth for the series rec.

Memorable Quotes:
“I had never believed she was guilty myself but I couldn’t remember what made me so sure. She seemed passionless and I couldn’t imagine her caring enough about anything to kill.”

“Henry trades bread and other baked goods to a nearby restaurant for his meals and he has also, of late, become quite crafty about clipping coupons, declaring that on a good day he can buy $50.00 worth of groceries for $6.98. Somehow these shopping expeditions seem to net him pairs of panty hose which he gives to me. I am halfway in love with Henry Pitts.”