October 23, 2016

Series Sunday: Home

(Myron Bolitar #11) 

Series Sunday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie of Precision Revision. 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 Home, the eleventh book in the Myron Bolitar series by Harlan Coben. Yes, my Myron fans and beloved bookhearts, the witty emotional sports agent character is back after umpteen years. In this new thriller, Win receives an anonymous email tip that starts quite a suspenseful drama with unpredictable twists. A decade ago, two young boys from wealthy families were kidnapped. A hefty ransom was demanded but never collected. The boys were not returned and no trace surfaced...until now.

"They discussed, analyzed, drove down various dark roads that all led to dead ends." ~ pg. 302

The book begins in first person from Win's point of view. What an unexpected surprise to have Myron's best friend start the book off. Usually in this series, Myron is the leader getting assistance from his best friend, Win, in helping people in trouble and finding missing people. So to have Win ask for help is big...HUGE! Anyhoot, following the anonymous tip, Win and Myron rescue the now teenage boy and work as a team to find his missing friend.

The references in this book are time appropriate. There are references to Hamilton, Uber and other current events/things. I was waiting for Myron's favorite drink, Yoo-hoo, to be mentioned and was not disappointed either.

"If you start this book at 10 o'clock at night, I want you at 4 in the morning to curse me." Well, Harlan, your wish is my command because Home gripped me and held me to its pages for hours. I tweeted Harlan while I was running around my room in circles, screaming at the last words read in Home. Not too many authors can elicit such a response from me.

How appropriate that Home was published on Chickadee's birthday; she introduced me to the Myron Bolitar series. I still thank her and my friend that co-signed. So bookhearts, if mystery is your kind of genre to read, it is my duty to recommend this series. Each book is worth reading. Each character will make an impression. If that does not convince you enough, watch the video below of author Harlan Coben on his writing process and new thriller, Home.

Title: Home
Author: Harlan Coben
Published: September 2016
Pages: 387
Edition: Hardcover
Challenge: Popsugar—NYT Bestseller
Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥


October 22, 2016

#KillYourTBR2016 October

  • A Murder Among Friends ~ Given to me a few months ago. I purposely saved it for today's Readathon so I could have no distractions while reading the story in front of my fireplace in a snuggie.
  • Beach Thing ~ Well, technically given to me. I bought the eBook with a birthday gift card.
  • Truly Madly Guilty ~ Lent from the library. I kept this bestseller on my TBR until the hype died down a bit.
  • Small Great Things ~ Is a galley considered a book lent to me? Hmmm...
  • WIDOWED ~ Given to me by the author/fellow podcaster: Joann Filomena of Widow Cast.
  • Home ~ First patron to loan from the library! The return of one of my favorite fictional characters in a series, Myron Bolitar, has been on my TBR since news of it being published.
  • Another Brooklyn ~ Also on loan from the library. I added to my TBR when bookheart Vern recommended it to me.
  • Turning the Tables ~ Given to me by a friend who said, "It could be worse; you could be a housewife turned inmate."
  • Adnan's Story ~ Part of a library haul. It has been hard to find thus on my TBR since I listened to the Serial and Undisclosed podcasts.

October is the perfect month for not only breast cancer awareness but to also finally read the books gifted or lent to me. If you are interested in joining this challenge with me, visit Bookish for the deets. Share your progress using #KillYourTBR2016 on social media. And don't forget to self-examine... SAVE THE BOOBS!


October 21, 2016

First Lines Friday

First Lines Friday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie of Precision Revision. 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.

"Summers in Texas are usually hot and humid, with unrelenting drought cracking both earth and concrete."

~ A Murder Among Friends by Jennifer Lewis Williams


October 19, 2016

My Trip to Adele

"It was just like a song." ~ 98%

I am fully aware this sounds like a stale joke, but what does an unhappy couple, a divorced mother and a hopeful lover from three different countries have in common? A trip to Adele's concert held in Verona! Elias starts to search for his long-lost love after eight years of separation. Nadia is battling her ex-husband and trying to secure freedom for herself and her only son. Meanwhile, Yaser realizes his marriage is falling apart and he is drifting apart from his wife. This is the story of their lives leading up to a common event: seeing Adele live in concert.

"This is the end..." ~ 100%

I was a little bit (okay, a lotta bit) disappointed by part of the ending because it took away from part of the story's purpose. The story did not feel complete. However, I realized the lessons learned were conveyed to the reader regardless of the ending I wished for.

Putting my feelings aside about the unsatisfactory ending, I especially loved the format of My Trip to Adele. Every chapter was named after an Adele song and featured lyrics. It was perfectly tied to the story and created nostalgic moments while I was reading. I even took it one step further and created my own soundtrack playlist while reading. After every chapter, I played the song it was named after. Whether intentional of the authors or not, it was a very nice touch tying the storyline of three distinct characters to lyrics. It was as if the story was written based on songs by Adele. Also, how cool is it that the authors are siblings! Another unique combination.

"Under your thumb I can't breathe." ~ 31%

My Trip to Adele was published on September 12, 2016. It is available now for all Adele fans and readers who appreciate a good story of courage. It is meant for those, like myself, that realize it is a small world but something as powerful as music and a shared interest can bring people from all over the world together. Make the world even smaller by reading this book and listening to Adele's 25, 21, and my favorite Adele album, 19. This book is literally the definition of fan fiction.

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 honestly my own and would be the same if I spent my hard-earned coins.

Title: My Trip to Adele
Author: R.I. Alyaseer & A.I. Alyaseer
Published: September 2016
Pages: 200
Edition: Galley
Challenge: Bookish Kill Your TBR—Gave or Lent to Me
Rating: ♥♥♥♡


Hello Me, It's You

I have never read a book by an anonymous author. Sure I have read books by authors with a pen name. But completely anonymous? Why? Is the content so sensitive that an author wishes to not get credit or hide behind published words? So when I read the description of this book, I sort of understood.

Hello Me, It's You has multiple authors. It is a collection of letters written by young adults aged 17-24 about their experiences with mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, trichotillomania and more. The letters are addressed to their 16-year-old selves. It gives hope, insight and direction to what is ahead in their lives.

"Write it all down and trust me it will help. Keep breathing. Ride out the panic. It's overwhelming I know, but it will be over soon. Inhale. Exhale. Count to 10. Better?" ~ 47%

The editor, Hannah Todd, was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. She found comfort in talking with friends and realizing she wasn't alone in her thoughts or experiences. It inspired Hannah to start a charity and this book.

Hello Me, It's You was published on October 10, 2016. Be weary of its content because it may be triggering for you or a loved one. However, its purpose is to help young adults through experiences and difficult times when they may feel alone or need a boost of hope. Though I found some of the letters repetitive, who am I to judge how a person expresses feelings? As long as it helps reduce the stigma around mental illness, I am for it.

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 honestly my own and would be the same if I spent my hard-earned coins.

Author: Anonymous - Hannah Todd (editor) 
Published: October 2016
Pages: 112
Edition: Galley
Rating: ♥♥♡


October 18, 2016

The Murder of Sonny Liston

I know I am spoiling you, bookhearts. Three reviews in one day!

"The death of Sonny Liston remains one of the most enduring mysteries in Las Vegas. There never was a homicide investigation because his death was never classified as a homicide. As a result, leads surfaced that haven't been followed, suspects died with their secrets, and stories haven't been told." ~ 4%

I love boxing. Rocky IV is my favorite movie. I like going to local boxing matches. I watch all major boxing live on TV. Ask me anything about football and you'll see my eyes go blank. But boxing? I am here for it! So I was geeked when I got the opportunity to read and review a nonfiction book about the murder of former heavyweight champion, Sonny Liston. This book is a re-examination of the circumstances before, surrounding and after Sonny Liston's death in Las Vegas in 1970.

The author, Shaun Assael, does a good job in researching and re-examining an unsolved murder. He writes in detail about the people involved, interviews suspects and maintains a neutral mind so as not to lead readers into a specific theory. I didn't know much about Sonny Liston other than he was Joe Louis' best friend and possibly fixed his fight with Muhammad Ali. But this book educated me on not only the history of Las Vegas but the inner workings of boxing and drug dealing. A lot goes on outside the ring!

The Murder of Sonny Liston is available today. It is not a page-turner nor is it a must-read. I learned more about Las Vegas lifestyle than the actual murder but it was entertaining. Add it to your TBR if you are a boxing sport fan or follow unsolved murders frequently happening in Las Vegas.

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 honestly my own and would be the same if I spent my hard-earned coins.

Title: The Murder of Sonny Liston
Author: Shaun Assael
Published: October 2016
Pages: 352
Edition: Galley
Rating: ♥♥



"Isaiah Quintabe is Unlicensed and Undaground." ~ 4%

Murders, kidnappings, and missing persons are at a high crime rate. But a young man takes it upon himself to help solve crimes in the neighborhood that the LAPD ignores. They call him IQ (full name Isaiah Quintabe). No, he is not a professional investigator. In fact, he is a high school dropout. He charges clients whatever they can afford (often a homemade casserole). When he takes on the case of a rap mogul, IQ's and his client's lives are in danger.

I was so excited to read this mystery featuring a unique main character. Right away I was drawn in to the main character's dialogue and talking style in slang. Then it seemed forced. It reminded me of a person purposely talking ebonics to fit in with his/her surroundings. Annoying much. This made it difficult to read. I understand that IQ grew up in one of LA's toughest neighborhoods. The author himself grew up in South Central LA with a largely black population. Hence, their speech reflects their neighborhood. But there is a difference between natural and forced speech. After a few chapters, it was very distracting.

If you are able to bypass the dialogue of IQ and deal with his random clients, then read IQ. No doubt you will be entertained. This is not your normal fictional hero.

Happy Pub Day, Joe Ide. IQ is available today.

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 honestly my own and would be the same if I spent my hard-earned coins.

Title: IQ
Author: Joe Ide
Published: October 2016
Pages: 336
Edition: Galley
Rating: ♥♡