May 20, 2018

Series Sunday: A Sin Such as This

(Love Lies Beneath #2) 

Series Sunday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie. I encourage all of my fellow book bloggers and bookhearts to play along.
  • Read an installment of a series.
  • Share your review/recommendation below.
  • Include the title, author and series name.

My Series Sunday pick is A Sin Such as This, the follow-up book to Love Lies Beneath by Ellen Hopkins. Tara has gone from a rich single woman to a suburban housewife. Her niece, Kayla, moves into the home and immediately hooks up with the seductive stepson. As if that is not enough family drama, Tara's sister is going through marital issues. Then we have Sophia, a gorgeous ex-girlfriend found murdered. All of the main characters had motive but only one is suffering the sins of others. Whew—this is a bit much! Crazy beget crazy.

"You are like rain, forecasted to quench a summer's thirsting, thirst grown beyond easy need, to life or death." ~ 31%

Let's look at the cover first. There is something about calming waters and a landscape that puts me at peace. Maybe too much. I fell asleep the first two times I started reading it. Then one chapter was really interesting and I saw promise for this novel. But it went downhill after that one chapter.

"Even a small bed is too big, alone." ~ 47%

Here we are three years later with a sequel to Love Lies Beneath. I expected this follow-up novel to be better than the first book. It is largely because I am conditioned that Ellen Hopkins writes in beautiful prose. Not the case for traditional book format. The characters and the story itself fell flat, making it a struggle to finish. I found myself only looking forward to the few poems that separated sections. They told far more about the plot than dialogue and paragraphs did. Putting the format aside, I still did not care for A Sin Such as This as much as Ellen Hopkins' other works. Please go back to the beloved old writing style!

Happy Early Pub Day, Ellen Hopkins! A Sin Such as This is available Tuesday, May 29.

Disclaimer: This book was received directly from the publisher for review purposes only. In no way does it influence my review. The opinions I have expressed are my own and would be the same if I spent my hard-earned coins.

Author: Ellen Hopkins
Published: May 2018
Pages: 384
Edition: Galley
Rating: 🖤

May 18, 2018

First Lines Friday


First Lines Friday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie. I encourage all of my fellow book bloggers and bookhearts to play along.
  • Grab your current read(s).
  • Share the first line(s).
  • Include the title and author.

"Those who love us never leave us alone with our grief. At the moment they show us our wound, they reveal they have the medicine."

Barracoon: The Story of the Last "Black Cargo" by Zora Neale Hurston

May 17, 2018

Bring Me Back


"Once you were back, you became the most important thing in my life, to the exclusion of everything and everyone else." ~ pg. 49

A young couple is on holiday in France. They are driving around and stop at a shady looking gas service station. The guy runs to the bathroom and insists his girlfriend lock the car doors behind him. But when he returns, the passenger side door is wide open and the car is empty. No one ever sees the girl again.

Fast forward ten years and the guy has moved on. New life, new wife-to-be, new job. All is well until he comes home one day to find his fiancé sitting on the sofa with a puzzled look, twiddling with an object. In an instant, the past comes back. She is holding a Russian doll—an object only significant to the missing girlfriend.

I love an author that can make me question the integrity of the main character. Is he genuine? Is he lying to us, and even himself? Is he just telling the police things to make it look better? Can I trust this narrator's point of view? All of these questions went through my mind while reading Bring Me Back. All were answered...but too many pages later. Again I found myself trying not to skim through and get to the good part.

So is it a good or bad thing when only one thought lingers after reading a novel? Because never have Russian dolls seemed so haunting.

Happy Early Pub Day, B.A. Paris. Bring Me Back will be available Tuesday, June 19.

Disclaimer: This book was received directly from the publisher for review purposes only. In no way does it influence my review. The opinions I have expressed are my own and would be the same if I spent my hard-earned coins.

Title: Bring Me Back
Author: B.A. Paris
Published: June 2018
Pages: 256
Edition: Galley
Rating: 🖤 🖤

May 16, 2018

All We Ever Wanted


"An inside racist joke?" ~ 9%

In the world of social media, it didn't happen if there is no picture to prove it. But some pictures are better left unposted. One photo snapped in a drunken moment at a party spreads like wildfire. Lies and scandal force three people to choose between family and values.

Lyla is a seemingly happy teenager until the consequences of her underage drinking is caught on camera. Her father is beyond angry and reports it to the high school; surely the boy who snapped and shared the photo should be blamed. The racist caption alone is damning. But his parents have another agenda. This novel is basically 400 pages of the consequences of a photo posted on social media. I guess this is relevant in our generation but did we really need a whole book about it?

"Because sometimes you can't see the things that are the closest to you." ~ 95%

Some authors are automatically added to my TBR off their name alone. I don't need a book title. I don't need a cover reveal. I don't even need a synopsis. Emily Giffin has proven to be such an author. So when I received the advanced copy of All We Ever Wanted, I read the summary only for brief context before beginning the book. It didn't sound all too interesting but I brushed it off because, hey this is Emily Giffin so why not read it anyway.

I guess every all-star has a bad performance. I am not saying All We Ever Wanted was downright bad but it is definitely least liked of all her books (and I have read them ALL). One of the charms of reading an Emily Giffin book is her ability to make me root for the bad girl. But in this book here? Not even one character was likeable. Only thing I rooted for was the end. 

All I wanted was a good read from All We Ever Wanted. It was a bust but maybe the author's intention worked; I am left with questions that make me think: Should a parent always side with their kid? Do we excuse learned behavior? 🤔

Happy Early Pub Day, Emily Giffin. All We Ever Wanted will be available Tuesday, June 26.

Disclaimer: This book was received directly from the publisher for review purposes only. In no way does it influence my review. The opinions I have expressed are my own and would be the same if I spent my hard-earned coins.

Title: All We Ever Wanted
Author: Emily Giffin
Published: June 2018
Pages: 400
Edition: Galley
Rating: 🖤 🖤

May 15, 2018

Ayiti


"My parents were born in Haiti, the first free black nation in the world. It is an island of contradictions." ~ 69%

First published in 2011, Ayiti is a collection of short stories exploring the Haitian experience. A married couple seeks boat passage to America. A young woman uses a voodoo love potion on a childhood classmate. A mother takes in a foreign soldier. While another woman flees a horrific massacre. None are impressed with Americans and their huge cruise ships that frequently pull into the port. All varying stories though none really stuck with me.

I will consume almost every written word of Roxane Gay's. I cannot get enough of her strong writing and opinionated tweets. She needs to be on everyone's radar. So this collection of short stories to be re-released is a joy. Hopefully it captures new readers and gives us old fans something to read while waiting for more new literature. I personally prefer her fiction novels but Ayiti satisfied my fix for now.

Happy Early Pub Day, Roxane Gay! Ayiti will be available Tuesday, June 12.

Disclaimer: This book was received directly from the publisher for review purposes only. In no way does it influence my review. The opinions I have expressed are my own and would be the same if I spent my hard-earned coins.

Title: Ayiti
Author: Roxane Gay
Published: June 2018
Pages: 320
Edition: Galley
Rating: 🖤 🖤

May 13, 2018

Series Sunday: INCOMPLETE AF


Series Sunday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie. I encourage all of my fellow book bloggers and bookhearts to play along.
  • Read an installment of a series.
  • Share your review/recommendation below.
  • Include the title, author and series name.

My Series Sunday is focused on series that fell off the earth. Incomplete AF!

Title: A Teeny Taste of Scandal
Author: Michael Lee West
Status: January 1, 2020 supposedly.

Title: Whatever You Need Part 2
Author: Maureen Smith
Status: Part One took forever and a day. Part 2 nowhere in sight.

Title: RAW Rebirth #3
Author: Belle Aurora
Status: Three years and waiting...

May 11, 2018

First Lines Friday


First Lines Friday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie. I encourage all of my fellow book bloggers and bookhearts to play along.
  • Grab your current read(s).
  • Share the first line(s).
  • Include the title and author.

"Mother's Day. May 14. I wake, feverish. The skylight above me pulses with rain, and I spider my fingers across the sheets, remembering I'm alone. I close my eyes and find my way back to sleep, until I'm woken again, engulfed by a deep, sudden pain."

The Perfect Mother by Aimee Molloy