This Blog is Dedicated to our dear friend Karen.
When she left this life she left a hole in our hearts as well as several to be read books.
We, her friends, will read these books for her.
This blog will be a sort of book club for us to post our thoughts and feelings about the stories and feelings we have of Karen while we read.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

#403 Sisterchicks on the Loose by Robin Jones Gunn


Oh boy,,,sigh,,, this book....I want to be careful because I think this book was recommended to Karen by a good friend (not sure, but think so).  I will just say I did not like it.  And I see she has 8 more on her TBR pile that goes along with this story.  This is one of those times I wish she was here so I could say, really?  What did you think of this one?  I imagine she would laugh and say, yeah, I knew you wouldn't like this one, but it wasn't THAT bad. 

Thursday, March 24, 2016

#33 All the Truth That's In Me by Julie Berry


I'm not sure what I think of this book.  A friend on goodreads said it right when she said the cover of this book is very misleading.  This is a historical fiction book yet the cover shows a modern day girl which confused me.  The book goes back and forth from past to present which also confused me because I listened to the audio version so it didn't read smoothly.  I finally got a hang of it, but was so confused and felt like I had already missed some important parts while trying to get used to the flow of the book. Basically a teenage girl was kidnapped for 2 years by an insane man, the love of her life's father, and the man cut out her tongue so she couldn't share where he was, what happened, etc....

She eventually was able to return to her village, however, she was shunned by many including her own mother.  She was eventually able to share her story and redeem herself, but not without many trials along the way.

Monday, March 21, 2016

#295 Roses are Red James Patterson


I have mixed feelings about this one. On the one hand, it suffers from some of Patterson's usual issues - contrived, unlikely situations, unnecessary sexual situations (Cross's fiance breaks up with him, so he almost immediately falls into a sexual relationship with an FBI agent), a lack of understanding of the financial situations of police officers, teachers and the middle class in general. But this book doesn't have the gory scenes and psychological horror that some of his previous ones have had.
The last few chapters have several unexpected twists and turns, and the book ends with a surprise bombshell that actually has me waiting with anticipation to read the next book!


Friday, March 18, 2016

#298 Pop Goes the Weasel by James Patterson


Here's a strange coincidence (at least I hope it's a coincidence...) - the bad guy in this book is nicknamed (by the Washington DC PD) as The Weasel. I have, in my to-read list, another book with the title "Pop Goes the Weasel" (Pop Goes the Weasel), wherein the apparent bad guy is the main character's step-father... nicknamed (by him, apparently) The Weasel. One book is a gritty crime novel, the other is a not-so-gritty gay romantic comedy.

As a general rule, these Alex Cross books are not mysteries - that is, Patterson doesn't try to keep us from figuring out whodunit, and often lets us (and Cross) know early on who the killer is. That's the case in this book; our killer is identified (to the reader early on, to Cross about halfway through the book) as a staff member at the British embassy. The kicker in this one is a) finding concrete evidence, and b) navigating the "diplomatic immunity" maze in order to try and convict him. And, of course, preventing him from killing again.

Our killer, Shafer, is a former intelligence operative who is playing an online game called The Four Horsemen; obviously, in the game he plays the role of Death. With the book first being published in 1999, it's interesting to read about some of the earlier uses of cell phones and the World Wide Web; Patterson, who likes to scatter pop references throughout his books, makes reference to several internet-related companies and services that don't exist anymore in 2016. But aside from these references, the books usually don't feel outdated.

One final note: As I've mentioned before, these books are generally much more gory and violent than the other Patterson books I've read. Alex Cross is an expert in mass murderers, so a lot of the killings are committed by the mentally deranged, and this definitely shows in the Cross books in general, and in this one specifically. Without giving away details from this book, it's interesting to see how Cross's family and friends react to his job, and how they are affected when the killer decides to involve himself in Cross's personal life.

So, to wrap up: another decent entry in Patterson's Alex Cross series. Definitely more violent than the average police novel. Interesting, often positive looks into Cross's personal and family life. Patterson still shows himself to be somewhat oblivious to the financial lives of police officers and teachers. 


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

#350 Columbine by Dave Cullen


I listened to the audio version of this story and it reminded me a lot of In Cold Blood.  Both stories were in-depth details of horrible acts of violence and read by intense actors. 

I felt Columbine, the book, was well done.  Dave Cullen did so much research and did not leave anything out.  I really liked how he told us what has happened to all the survivors since the massacre.  I haven't read much about Columbine so went in knowing very little other than remembering seeing it on the news and hearing rumors/media share details I later learned were not true.  I felt the book was well done.

Friday, March 4, 2016

#71 The Great Gatsby F. Scott. Fitzgerald


This was my first time reading this story and I liked it, but didn't love it.  It is very well written.  I loved how he shared the death scene, his choice of words, poetic in a way.  I saw the movie awhile back and have to say they did a great job with the movie as it went right along with the book. 

It's a story about a wealthy man, made his money (not a trust fund baby), started out poor, but wanted to live the life of the wealthy to woo Daisy back.  He did everything to try and fit in the crowd of the wealthy but never seemed to quite fit in.  You have the life of the east coast during the 20's, the parties, the drinking, the affairs.... it's a good book.