October 21, 2018

Series Sunday: Past Tense

(Jack Reacher #23) 

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 Past Tense, the 23rd book in the Jack Reacher series by Lee Child. In true Jack Reacher fashion, he sticks out his thumb hitchhiking for a ride across America. This time, Reacher is not traveling far. He is going to a small town where his father was born. Why not learn more about where his dad grew up? Except according to the city clerk's office and census experts, there is no record of anyone with the surname Reacher ever living in town. Meanwhile, a couple gets stranded at a motel in the middle of nowhere. Their car refuses to start and the motel staff seems strange. The storylines attempt to merge into one big suspenseful mystery.

"Dead as the deadest thing that ever died." ~ 9%

Past Tense is the 23rd book in the series but only my sixth book read in the series. I am still fairly new to the character Jack Reacher. But enough to know he has a strong presence in every room he enters. He has a sharp mind. I've learned his appearance is tall, not so good looking and a little unkempt. His instincts are top notch. He can evaluate a situation and peg a person in seconds. It is these small details that make Jack Reacher stand out as a mystery main character amongst the likes of Myron Bolitar, Alex Cross, Mike Bennett and Easy Rawlins.

"Just three words, but in a tone also learned long ago, with whole extra paragraphs hidden in the dying vowel sound at the end of the phrase, about the inevitable and catastrophic result of attempted resistance." ~ 40%

Here's my three words: it didn't flow. Much like the sentence above. My newfound fondness for Jack Reacher took a disappointing dip. Past Tense was more like a bunch of short stories with a thin connection. Throwing in a subplot and a couple details of Reacher's past did not grab my attention. In fact, I struggled to finish. However, this does not discourage me from continuing with the series and my perpetual reading challenge. Even if I am reading the books backward.  

Happy Early Pub Day, Lee Child. Past Tense will be available Monday, November 5.

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: Past Tense
Author: Lee Child
Published: November 2018
Pages: 400
Edition: Galley
Challenge: Perpetual Jack Reacher
Rating: 🖤 🖤

 

October 19, 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.

"This is a story about a woman named Annie, and it begins at the end, with Annie falling from the sky. Because she was young, Annie never thought about endings. She never thought about heaven. But all endings are also beginnings. And heaven is always thinking about us."

The Next Person You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom 

 

October 18, 2018

Juror #3


"I feel rich as a Lannister." ~ pg. 153

Ruby Bozarth is a newcomer to Rosedale, Mississippi; hence, new to the Mississippi Bar where she is appointed as defense counsel in a racially charged felony case. One of the town's oldest rich families lost a relative. The woman was murdered allegedly by an injured college football star turned waitstaff. Totally inexperienced but Ruby is determined to build a defense that will stick.

"My mama didn't raise no quitter." ~ pg. 31

Ruby finds help from a cast of colorful characters. Suzanne is a hard-working armed attorney. Shorty is a diner cook with shady country club connections. And Lee Greene happens to be Ruby's ex-fiancé also on trial for murder. This small town is full of opinions and secrets, especially from the twelve men and women on the jury.

"...whispering 'Sheeiitt' under his breath." ~ pg. 9

I love and hate when James Patterson releases a standalone novel. In this case, Juror #3 was like two novels hard-bound into one. Of course I love his writing and consider myself a super fan (stan much). But I am disappointed when I actually like the main characters from a standalone novel because I won't ever read about them again. Sequels are not common for Patterson. And the co-author may or may not team up with him a second time. But I so want Ruby Bozarth and friends to be made into a series! That is how much I enjoyed Juror #3.

Title: Juror #3
Author: James Patterson & Nancy Allen
Published: September 2018
Pages: 304
Edition: eBook
Rating: 🖤 🖤 🖤

 

October 17, 2018

Unhinged


"If you're not at the table, you're on the menu." ~ pg. 16

Like most Black Americans, I had an unfavorable opinion of Omarosa Manigault Newman. I only knew what the media portrayed her to be. I didn't pay much attention to her work for the Democratic Party or the Republican Party. I forgot she served in the Clinton White House and was instrumental in Hillary Clinton's campaign. I didn't become interested in her story until she appeared on one of my favorite reality TV shows, Big Brother, and emotionally told a fellow housemate that things will not be okay. I watched her mannerisms, her game strategy and her diary room sessions with a new interest. Dare I say I wanted her to win! (I root for everybody black though.)

So I hurried to the library and reserved my copy when her much-anticipated tell-all book was released. Admittedly, I did not want to spend my hard-earned coins in case she was on some bullshit. Instead I made use of my tax dollars and borrowed it from the local public library. I didn't know what to expect but promised I would begin the book with no preconceived notions and with an open mind.

"I'm not here to make friends." ~ pg. 46

First of all, the subtitle is misleading. Omarosa goes way beyond her time at the White House with Trump as President. She begins the story years back when she first met him and appeared on his reality show, Celebrity Apprentice. Forward through her time spent in politics for the next 20+ years. Then she chronicles life post-White House Trump era. Readers will get more info than the subtitle suggests as well as her take on things outside of the last election. But her purpose remains: showing just how unhinged the White House is today.

This book is indeed an inside look into the current administration. Corruption details and controversy fill the pages. Omarosa has been in Trump's circle for over 15 years. She knows all the inside scoop because she not only had a front row seat but shared the podium. Keep in mind that Omarosa owes the public nothing. We don't need an explanation on why she stuck by this man's side. Why she advocated for him. Why she cut ties with Hillary Clinton. Or even why she chose to be a housemate on Celebrity Big Brother. Yet she answers all of our unasked nosy questions in Unhinged.

"I kept getting tackled by my own teammates, always playing defense. I was working as hard and as fast as I could—my schedule during Black History Month alone exhausts me just writing about it—but the headlines were always asking, 'What's she doing there?'"
 ~ pg. 204

After reading Unhinged with an open mind, I believe that Omarosa is misunderstood and misjudged. Unlike the artist formerly known as Kanye, she acknowledges wrongly supporting a man and aiding in his representation of the country. She also had intentions of bettering the black community despite other people's agendas. Do I believe Omarosa was honest in her account of working with Trump? At times, yes. I more-so believe that she believes everything told in her story really happened as she has written. Do what you will with that tidbit, bookhearts. Whether you are a concerned citizen or merely looking for your next nonfiction read, Unhinged is worth the time.

Title: Unhinged: An Insider's Account of the Trump White House
Author: Omarosa Manigault Newman
Published: August 2018
Pages: 226
Edition: eBook
Rating: 🖤 🖤 🖤

 

October 16, 2018

Evidence of the Affair


"You are only for me. It is as if I have lived with a hard shell all over my body and you have cracked it and it has all fallen off. I am fresh again." ~ pg. 17

Imagine my delight when I noticed a new eShort on Kindle from bestselling author Taylor Jenkins Reid! After reading my review, go ahead and download this Amazon.com original story for less than $2!

Who ever discusses the nitty gritty repercussions of an affair? Oh because there are plenty! But often in stories we only read about how an illicit affair began and then how it ends, from the perspective of the cheating spouses. What about the other way around? Hmmm...

"Thank you for helping me hold my head a bit higher at a time in which it has every reason to hang low." ~ pg. 58

In Evidence of the Affair, a young woman writes a letter to a man she's never met. This one act changes both their lives. The correspondence between the two reveals the painful details of an affair between their spouses. They confess their feelings, insecurities and fears with every letter. Yet they remain "oblivious" of the affair when at home. Evidence of the Affair is told entirely through letters of these two comforting strangers and those of the illicit lovers.

Different spin, right? Yup!

Title: Evidence of the Affair
Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid
Published: September 2018
Pages: 89
Edition: eShort
Rating: 🖤 🖤 🖤 🖤

 

October 14, 2018

Series Sunday: The Christmas Scorpion

(Jack Reacher #22.5) 

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 The Christmas Scorpion, book #22.5 in the Jack Reacher series by Lee Child. A super short and to the plot eBook that was easy to read from start to finish. The details made it addicting to read in one sitting. Quite the opposite from the quote below.

"Except the story didn't work." ~ pg. 18

Just like the birds, Jack Reacher likes to head south for winter. He carefully plans his route and arrives in Southern California just before Christmas. But it's a freak blizzard! He finds refuge in a roadhouse with four other strangers: an older couple and two British military police separated from their VIP. So much for protecting their subject. Reacher offers to help find their VIP but he can't very well leave the older couple snowed in. Now Reacher is responsible to keeping everyone safe from an undercover assassin on the loose in a snow blizzard.

The Christmas Scorpion is a great short book for the Perpetual Jack Reacher challenge! Lose yourself in a fictional snow blizzard mystery for an hour or so.

Author: Lee Child
Published: October 2018 
Pages: 48
Edition: eBook
Challenge: Perpetual Jack Reacher
Rating: 🖤 🖤 🖤

October 12, 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.

"In April, millions of tiny flowers spread over the blackjack hills and vast prairies in the Osage territory of Oklahoma."

~ Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann