Sunday, July 21, 2013

Book Review - No Way Back by Andrew Gross

No Way Back

No Way Back by Andrew Gross

From Goodreads:

No Way Back is a thrilling page-turner from Andrew Gross, the New York Times bestselling author of 15 Seconds and The Blue Zone. One woman is framed for a horrific crime, and desperate to prove her innocence.

A chance meeting with a stranger in a hotel ends in a shocking murder. Wendy Gould is an average mom--and the only witness. Nanny Lauritzia Velez knows a shocking secret that could prove to be deadly. Both of their lives in danger, this unlikely pair must work together against a network of dangerous men who want nothing more than to see them dead.

A fast-paced, riveting tale with strong, compelling characters, No Way Back is an edge-of-your-seat read with nonstop action and a complex mystery.

First time reading this author. It's okay, the characters weren't very memorable. The shocking secret didn't make me go ah-ha. It was a fast read, but there are better thrillers out there. The description above sounded better than the book...

I also got a little confused between two minor characters at first (I thought they were the same person, because one was named Ned, the other Neil), which consequently, made me confused about the time line.... Other reviews said the author's other books are better, so maybe I won't write him off yet.

2.5 Stars.

Note - The book was borrowed from the library.

All reviews and posts are copyrighted by Christa @ Mental Foodie. Please do not use or reprint them without written permission.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Book Review - The Wednesday Sisters (Wednesday #1) by Meg Waite Clayton

The Wednesday Sisters

The Wednesday Sisters (Wednesday #1) by Meg Waite Clayton

This was a book club pick. Not my usual picking, but I did enjoy it - I probably enjoy it more now that I am a mum, and probably would have liked it less when I was childless - even though the main theme of the story was more about friendship than motherhood, but motherhood still played a big role.

It started off a little slow... and it covered many years. It was interesting to read what life was like for women back in 1967 in the US. Let's just say I am more suitable to live in the current time :) I did find the ending very touching, and am a bit envious of the friendship these 5 women shared. (Don't get me wrong, I do have some great, close friends, but it's not quite like so :) Maybe if we start doing what these women did every Wednesday? :) )

I just found out there is a sequel called the Wednesday Daughters that just came out - that talked about well, the daughters of the Wednesday Sisters :) Not sure if I'd read or not, but I'd at least want to google spoilers when more reviews come in hehe!

Somewhere between 3 to 3.5 Stars... settled on 3 Stars because it didn't quite draw me in like some other books I'd marked as 3.5 recently...

Note - The book was borrowed from the library.

All reviews and posts are copyrighted by Christa @ Mental Foodie. Please do not use or reprint them without written permission.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Book Review - Joyland by Stephen King


Joyland by Stephen King

From Goodreads: 

(may have some spoilers?!?!?)

"I love crime, I love mysteries, and I love ghosts," says Stephen King, who has combined these elements into a wonderful new story. Joyland is a whodunit noir crime novel and a haunting ghost story set in the world of an amusement park.
It tells the story of the summer in which college student Devin Jones comes to work as a 'carny' in small-town North Carolina and has to confront the legacy of a vicious murder, the fate of a dying child, and the way both will change his life forever. It is also a wonderful coming-of-age novel about friendship, loss, and your first heartbreak. Who dares enter the funhouse of fear?

I haven't read Stephen King for a long time, and I had only read a couple. I probably have watched more Stephen King movies than read his books. The last one I read was probably IT, and that was 20 years ago. I remember I was quite proud of myself for having to finish it, since it was around 1000 pages, and probably the longest book I'd ever read, and my English wasn't that good then (not that it's that good now, but much better than before.) I did like it (I finished right?!) but I remembered thinking it was a bit too wordy or descriptive, and could probably be a bit shorter. Plus I didn't like the ending. Though you have to say it has some staying power because I still remember the gist of that story.

Anyway, so I never felt like I need to read another King, especially since the last movie I watched (The Mist? was just so-so. Much preferred Misery). But I'd been reading good things about Joyland from bloggers, and thought it's time I give him another try.

Plot-wise, it's just okay. But this man can write - I was totally sucked in, and I finished this book faster than a lot of other books I'd read this year. You really just want to keep reading to find out what happened. I could vividly "saw" what's happening as I read, as though I was the director and cinematographer of the movie. AND I didn't find it overly flowery or descriptive or wordy. Don't ask me how he did it as I am no expert on book analysis or English. He just did.

He totally made me want to go to a fun park now.  And especially go on a Ferris Wheel just so [Spoiler in white] I could fly, like a kite [/Spoiler].

I am giving this 3.5 Stars - why not higher? I will explain in the next paragraph, but it will contain spoiler, so be warned.

After I finished the book, I was wondering what "it is not white" meant... after some googling, some one mentioned that it probably referred to Lane's hair being not white... the hint is just too subtle I think, especially given that Mike said it a couple of times so I was expecting an a-ha moment. Or King could've made it a bit more explicit so we weren't left wondering - and I wasn't the only one who didn't quite get the hint.

Also, this is a ghost story. I don't know if I believe in ghosts or not (I haven't made up my mind). I do like a good ghost story - like, the Sixth Sense - but the ghosts in this story just seemed too convenient for the storyline. I did like that though it was Eddie Parks, and not Linda Gray, who saved Dev.

It also seemed a bit too contrived that Lane just stopped murdering girls....

Note - The book was borrowed from the library.

All reviews and posts are copyrighted by Christa @ Mental Foodie. Please do not use or reprint them without written permission.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Book Review - Tell Tale by Samantha Hayes

Tell Tale

Tell Tale by Samantha Hayes

From Goodreads:

What do you do when there's no way out and nowhere left to hide? A woman stands on a bridge, the water rushing below, the wind catching her skirt. In a few seconds she will jump, plunging more than 200 feet to the bottom. Who is she? And why is she desperate to take her own life? Nina Kennedy is afraid. A man is following her, threatening her family, toying with her sanity. What does he want? And how long will it be before he strikes? Eight-year-old Ava sits waiting for her daddy. But, like the others in the children's home, she knows her father will never come. The home is a place of whispers and shadows. But no one dare tell the truth. Until now ...

I believe I first learned about this book from Tea Time with Marce. I may even have won this copy from her Horror Week? I finally got a chance to read this, and it did not disappoint.

The story alternated from three perspectives. Some were told in first person, and some in third. It sometimes took a bit of getting used to whose narrative it was since they were not labeled. I usually do like books told from different narrators so it didn't bother me.

What bothered me though was that, sometimes within a chapter, the timeline may jump back and forth without warning, so it wasn't until you read further in the paragraph to know something had happened in the past. Also, each narrator talked to herself a lot it seemed! I supposed sometimes I do talk to myself, but a times it just seemed a bit unnatural. Those dialogs seemed to be more suitable as thoughts, than saying out loud.

One of the narrators also seemed to sound younger than her age [spoiler - highlight to read] which I understand why the author chose to do so to deceive the readers a little bit, so we wouldn't have guessed who Frankie was actually Nina [/spoiler] and I don't know if it sounded plausible.

Overall, I enjoyed reading it and how the storyline weaved together. I wouldn't mind reading more from this author.

3.5 Stars

Note - I won a personalized signed copy.

All reviews and posts are copyrighted by Christa @ Mental Foodie. Please do not use or reprint them without written permission.

Book Review - Say You're Sorry (Joseph O'Loughlin #6) by by Michael Robotham

Say You're Sorry (Joseph O'Loughlin #6)

Say You're Sorry (Joseph O'Loughlin #6) by by Michael Robotham

From Goodreads:


When pretty and popular teenagers Piper Hadley and Tash McBain disappear one Sunday morning, the investigation captivates a nation but the girls are never found.

Three years later, during the worst blizzard in a century, a husband and wife are brutally killed in the farmhouse where Tash McBain once lived. A suspect is in custody, a troubled young man who can hear voices and claims that he saw a girl that night being chased by a snowman.

Convinced that Piper or Tash might still be alive, clinical psychologist Joe O'Loughlin and ex-cop Vincent Ruiz, persuade the police to re-open the investigation. But they are racing against time to save the girls from someone with an evil, calculating and twisted mind...


Even though this is Book #6 in the series, I haven't read anything by this author before, and I didn't feel like I missed out on not reading #1-5 first. I think I found this book from other bloggers. I used to track better where I "discovered" the book, but that had become too much work... so sorry for not giving credit where credit was due!

The story alternated between clinical psychologist Joe O'Loughlin and Piper. I liked it - I liked Joe as a main lead - he's observant and analytical (my type!) and I liked how the story was told. 

I was able to guess the bad guy though (well either this person, or this other person lol) but I think when you read a lot of genre, you just couldn't help yourself but guess who dunnit. 

3.5 Stars.

Note - The book was borrowed from the library.

All reviews and posts are copyrighted by Christa @ Mental Foodie. Please do not use or reprint them without written permission.

Book Review - A Textbook Case (Lincoln Rhyme Short Story) by Jeffery Deaver

A Textbook Case (a Lincoln Rhyme story)

A Textbook Case (Lincoln Rhyme Short Story) by Jeffery Deaver

I couldn't resist a Lincoln Rhyme story - even though it is a short story (even though I don't usually like short stories) and that I had to pay for a kindle copy (usually I borrow books from the library... but hey it was just 99 cents).

Well I did finish it and I normally would've skipped short stories. It wasn't a bad read, if I hadn't read the rest of the Lincoln Rhyme series. But I just much, much prefer an actual Lincoln Rhyme novel because if the details and suspense. This short story read more like a Cliff Note version, which just wasn't satisfying for the this Lincoln Rhyme fan. At least the bad guy wasn't super easy to guess.

3 Stars.

Note - I bought the kindle copy

All reviews and posts are copyrighted by Christa @ Mental Foodie. Please do not use or reprint them without written permission.

Book Review - If You Were Here by Alafair Burke

If You Were Here

If You Were Here by Alafair Burke

"Magazine journalist McKenna Wright is chasing the latest urban folktale-the story of an unidentified woman who heroically pulled a teenaged boy from the subway tracks, seconds before an oncoming train. When McKenna locates a short video snippet that purportedly captures part of the incident, she thinks she has an edge on the competition scrambling to identify the mystery heroine. She is shocked to discover that the woman in the video bears a strong resemblance to Susan Hauptmann, a close friend who disappeared without a trace a decade earlier..."

The book drew me in, as I wondered if the mystery heroine really was McKenna's close friend Susan, or if McKenna was going crazy. And who could McKenna really trust? I liked the story until almost the end, when the truth was revealed... It just seemed anti-climax and I am not sure if it was plausible? 

McKenna was an okay character but not really memorable. It was fun to to read how the different storyline weaved together, especially since I had just finished reading The Marshall Plan for Novel Writing by Evan Marshall and it seemed like this book followed the structure from the Marshall Plan! Now I didn't exactly check if it followed the Marshall Plan exactly, but I recognized the techniques (at least some, if not all) mentioned in the Marshall Plan. 

3.5 Stars


Note - An ARC was given by HarperCollins in exchange for an unbiased review

All reviews and posts are copyrighted by Christa @ Mental Foodie. Please do not use or reprint them without written permission.