Sep 23, 2018

Sunday Salon: Watching you by Lisa Jewell, review

A brief book review this week.
Watching You

Watching You by Lisa Jewell
Published July 12, 2018 by Century
Genre: psychological thriller
Themes: family secrets, adolescence, murder mystery
Source: ebook from NetGalley

I found this an intriguing and engrossing thriller with enough plot twists and turns to keep you guessing throughout the book. Flowing narration, three-dimensional and realistic characters, including adolescents with psychological/developmental difficulties. Highly recommended five-star read. (my review on goodreads and NetGalley).

The Sunday Post  hosted by The Caffeinated Bookreviewer,
Visit Saturday Review of Books, by Semicolon.

Sep 16, 2018

Sunday Salon: Canadian Authors Wanted

I've joined the 12th Annual Canadian Book Challenge by The Indextrious Reader.  thanks to a suggestion from Suko at Suko's Notebook.

background images from Large Roadside Attractions of Canada

Two reviews I've already entered for September: It All Falls Down and The Lost Ones, are thrillers by Vancouver author, Sheena Kamil.

The Lost Ones (Nora Watts #1)
The Lost Ones

It All Falls Down (Nora Watts, #2)
It All Falls Down

I'll be looking for other Canadian authors so I can fulfill the 13-book requirement! Though I'm assured there is no penalty if I don't reach the goal!

A new American book arrived for review, thanks to Wiley Sachek.

Bum Deal (Jake Lassiter #12)
Bum Deal
Bum Deal by Paul Levine, Jake Lassiter #12, published June 12, 2018 by Thomas and Mercer
Genre: legal thriller, featuring "Second-string linebacker turned disillusioned defense attorney Jake Lassiter ." 

My husband has co-opted this one for the time being and seems to be enjoying it!

A Japanese book I recently finished was

Convenience Store Woman
Convenience Store Woman
Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata, translated, published June 12, 2018, Grove Press
The novel covers aspects of contemporary culture in Japan, what society dictates that young women should aspire to and how they should live. 

Keiko breaks the mold, finds a niche as a convenience store worker, but after 18 years, her family and friends and even her co-workers think she should move on, find a husband, start a family, etc. But Keiko is only comfortable in her convenience store world. 

Revealing and enigmatic for Western readers, no doubt, but it's easy to side with Keiko, who chooses her niche, returns to what suits her.  This book was a lucky library find.

What books will you be reading this week?
The Sunday Post  hosted by The Caffeinated Bookreviewer,
It's Monday, What Are You Reading? by Book Date.
Mailbox Monday. Also, Stacking the Shelves by Tynga's Reviews

Sep 15, 2018

Book Review: It All Falls Down by Sheena Kamal

It All Falls Down (Nora Watts, #2)

It All Falls Down by Sheena Kamal, July 3, 2018, HarperLuxe
Genre: thriller, mystery set in Vancouver and Detroit
Source: ebook bought

This is a follow up to The Lost Ones, the first in the Nora Watts thriller series (my review). In this book, Nora takes an emotional trip to Detroit to find out more about her deceased father and his past, while dodging attempts on her life from unknown persons. 

Though the book is a bit slow at the beginning, when Nora's search into her father's history seems to be getting nowhere, the book picks up soon and 
becomes a suspenseful read that is heart-wrenching at times. This happens when Nora's own violent past that she thought she had escaped, follows her in her new quest. 

I'm looking forward to the third in the series, hoping there will be one. A Canadian from Vancouver, Sheena Kamal's protagonist Nora is part-Native American and an intriguing personality who fights through her fate from abandonment as a child to a survivor in Vancouver. 

Visit Saturday Review of Books, by Semicolon.
Also, the 12th Annual Canadian Book Challenge by The Indextrious Reader. 

Sep 10, 2018

My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan

Each week, Vicki at I’d Rather Be At The Beach hosts First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros where readers share the beginning paragraph(s) of a book they are reading or plan to read.  

My Oxford Year

My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan, April 24, 2018, William Morrow
Genre: contemporary fiction, romance

First chapter, first paragraph:

The customs agent beckons the person in front of me and I approach the big red line, absently toeing the curling tape, resting my hand on the gleaming pipe railing. No adjustable ropes at Heathrow, apparently; these lines must always be long if they require permanent demarcation.
My phone, which I've been tapping against my leg, rings. I glance at the screen. I don't know the number. 
"Hello?" I answer.
"Is this Eleanor Durran?"
"This is Gavin Brookdale."
My first thought is that this is a prank call. Gavin Brookdale just stepped down as White House chief of staff....

My thoughts:
I enjoyed the first part of the novel about a new graduate student at Oxford, the atmosphere and culture of the school new to her and different from an American university's. Ella makes a group of new friends, fellow students, and begins to fit into the system. However, here comes attraction, love, and romantic entanglement. 

The second part of the novel, a romance in crisis, reminded me a bit of Me Before You by JoJo Moyes and Love Story by Erich Segal, with similar ethical dilemmas involving serious illness and questions of commitment. The ending of this story may be unique in its own way, however. 

I liked the banter between Ella and her friends about poetry and was disappointed when the book left Oxford behind and concentrated on a love story that was not half as unique. Overall, a very good read, however, that covers several themes. 

Do you like the writing in the first chaper? Would you continue reading?

Sep 9, 2018

Sunday Salon: Mystery in New Orleans and on the High Seas

I have a copy of a favorite cozy writer's new book, Glitter Bomb in the New Orleans Scrapbooking Mystery series.  It's been a while since I read the series, so this book looks very attractive.
Glitter Bomb (A Scrapbooking Mystery #15)

Glitter Bomb by Laura Childs, October 2, 2018, thanks to Berkley Books
Genre: cozy mystery series
Setting: New Orleans
An exploding Mardi Gras float is used as a murder weapon.

Another arrival is from Seventh Street Books with a much more serious book cover.
The Devil's Wind

The Devil's Wind by Steve Goble, A Spider John's Mystery, September 11, 2018. 
The mystery is historical, featuring a pirate as sleuth, solving a murder on the high seas.. 

What books will you be reading this week?
The Sunday Post  hosted by The Caffeinated Bookreviewer,
It's Monday, What Are You Reading? by Book Date.
Mailbox Monday. Also, Stacking the Shelves by Tynga's Reviews