Jody M. (jodymcgrath) - - Reviews

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The Chemist
The Chemist
Author: Stephenie Meyer
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 27
Review Date: 5/26/2017
Helpful Score: 2


I was really surprised by how much I liked this book. I was not a fan of the Twighlight books, but this book sounded very intriguing so I thought I would give it a chance. The main character used to work for a secret sector of the government that dealt with retrieving vital information from terrorists by using chemical torture. Now she is on the run from the same agency who is trying to kill her. She has been focused on living for three years, but when she finds out that there is more to her story than she knows and she isn't as alone as she thought she was, is she going to be able to let her guard down and trust anyone else, if it will help save her?


The Clancys of Queens: A Memoir
The Clancys of Queens: A Memoir
Author: Tara Clancy
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 5
Review Date: 9/26/2016


* I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review *

This is the story of Tara Clancy half Irish American and half Italian American. Her parents split when she was quite young, so her upbringing was unusual and amazing. She spent weekdays with her Italian Grandparents in their lower middle class Italian American community. Many of these people were older and she mentions talking louder than any other 1st grader in her class because she was use to talking to 75 year olds. Her weekends were split between her mom and dad. Her dad, a NYPD bounty hunter, lived in a boat shed in a poor neighborhood in Jamaica Bay. It was a one room shed, but she made some of her most amazing memories there. Her dad would take her with him to the local Irish bar and grill every Saturday, and they would become regulars, Tara being spoiled rotten by the burly Irish lot. The she would go to her mother's boyfriend's home in the Hamptons. There she would talk about the universe and philosophy', go antiquing , and learn a third way of life. Due to her age, Tara never thought any of this was strange. She was such a headstrong, curious, and self-knowing child, that she took it all in stride and loved every bit of.

This is a beautiful coming-of-age memoir that explores her unique life. How the three lives she led, made her into the woman she is today. How the love and acceptance of so many unique and diverse people helped her achieve everything she has, and reminds her that her roots are strong and deep, it will take a lot more than a hurricane to put Tara down.

I sincerely recommend this book to any memoir or biography lovers. It is beautifully and wittily written, with an amazing voice. The people in the story, who have all agreed to allow Tara Clancy to use their real names are just as amazing as she is. This is definitely worth the read and it is a very quick read at that. A+


Conclave: A novel
Conclave: A novel
Author: Robert Harris
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 7
Review Date: 11/12/2016


Cardinal Lomeli is devasted by the death of the Pope. He never believed or hoped to attend another Conclave, the congregation of cardinal electors to choose the next Pope, as this will be his third. Cardinal Lomeli is the Dean of the College of Cardinals, therefore, he is tasked with the running and management of the Conclave. With 117 (?) Cardinal electors, emotions run high as support is given to individuals and taken away as secrets are discovered. Will politics or the Holy Spirit guide this election?

First, I must say that I am not Catholic, so a lot of this information was new to me. At first I found some of it confusing, but after awhile, it became clearer as the author explained people's roles more in depth. I don't know if I would call this a thriller, which I see many people have done. I guess I would call it an intrigue because the reader and the protagonist, Lomeli, have the same information. I also suppose I feel a thriller should be more suspenseful or dangerous. This one was more of a religious/political intrigue, more twists, but no danger.

I really enjoyed all of the research the author put into the happenings of a Conclave. The actual ceremonies and rituals, as well as the feelings of boredom and waiting. It made the characters much more real. It also surprised me by how political it all was. It shouldn't have, but it did. Although they are spiritual leaders, they are just humans. Some of the things just seemed so below them. There were also many secrets that came out that didn't so much shock me, as repelled me. It was like any other election, mud-slinging, campaigning, compromising, etc. I did not see the major twist at the end and I did find it pretty far fetched. This Conclave happens at or after the year 2018, I cannot remember exactly, but the end was still unbelievable.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes books that are information and character driven as opposed to action driven. I throughly enjoyed it!

*I voluntarily read an Advance Reader Copy of this book and have given an honest review *


Crackerjack Jack
Crackerjack Jack
Author: Bowman Wilker
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 2/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 1/16/2018


This is a cute book written about a thief who finds a bank with an uncrackable safe. He devises a plan. He trains a duck to use firecrackers to blow the safe's door. Of course, not everything goes as planned.

First of all, the drawings are amazing. They are brightly colored and use sharp focused colors that draw the eye. The pictures tell the story, which any good picture book should do, while also giving a sense that action is happening off the page too. Wonderfully illustrated!

The writing has almost a beatnik beat to it, using a lot of onomatopoeia to bring sounds to life. I think this book is written for in a difficult language though. Little kids wouldn't understand the vocabulary, and the older kids, who might, would be too old for picture books. My only concern would be who the target audience would be? Even if the parent read it to the child, the would have to explain almost all the words in the book to the child. And I don't think it would be a good learning tool necessary, because the words are beyond the child's grasp.

I enjoyed the book, but I am pretty sure middle age women are not the target audience. Still a good read for me though!

*I got a copy of this book from Netgalley and have given an honest review *


The Cuckoo's Calling (Cormoran Strike, Bk 1)
The Cuckoo's Calling (Cormoran Strike, Bk 1)
Author: Robert Galbraith
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 23
Review Date: 11/8/2016


On a snowy night, a woman lays dead in the snow. Did Lula Landry jump or was someone else responsible for this beautiful model's early death, that is what Coroman Strike is hired to find out. The ex-military Private Investigator will seek answers traveling amongst blue-bloods, artists, and the homeless. Why do most people want to believe it was suicide?

This was a really good book. It is a completely different side to J.K. Rowling, and I can see why she took a moniker for this book. This book has drug-use, sex, violence, and bad language. You wouldn't want anyone to assume it is a kid's book. I loved Coramon and his secretary, Robin. They were amazingly multi-dimensional and I liked watching their relationship grow. The mystery was super interesting and I did not know who the killer was until the end.

I think my only complaint with this book, was that occasionally there was too much description. Sometimes she would describe the same thing repeatedly, which got a tad tedious.

I highly recommend this book. This is not the J. K. Rowling you think it is!


Dangerous Exes (Liars, Inc.)
Dangerous Exes (Liars, Inc.)
Author: Rachel Van Dyken
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 6/11/2018


I really enjoyed this book. It had some great laugh out loud moments and the couple was great together. Definitely a quick read for romance book readers out there!


Dangling by a Thread (Mainely Needlepoint, Bk 4)
Dangling by a Thread (Mainely Needlepoint, Bk 4)
Author: Lea Wait
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 13
Review Date: 10/22/2016


Angie Curtis manages Mainely Needlepoint in Haven Harbor, Maine. Early one morning, she sees an old man rowing to shore. This turns out to be Jesse Lockhart. He is good friends with her friend Dave, but mostly he is a solitary individual. He lives rustically on an island that he owns with his cousin, that is home to the nesting grounds of theGreat Comorant, a threatened bird species. When a multimillionaire wants to buy the island and develop it into his Maine getaway, Jesse refuses to sell. Later, when Jesse is found with his head bashed in, Angie and her Needlepoint group take on Jesse's cause...and the solving of his murder.

This is the 4th book in the Mainely Needlepoint Mysterty series. I have not read any prior to this, and felt like I missed out on a lot of the backstory. The author seemed to refer back to a lot of things, so at times I felt lost. The book also has a strange writing style. When the characters are interacting, the writing is very straightforward and normal, but when it comes to descriptive paragraphs it gets a little flowery. I als out DNFed this book in the beginning due to the descriptions, but I found if I skimmed over them, the story was enjoyable.

I didn't really connect with any of the characters. None of them had much personality, they were just telling a story. The mystery took backstage to the save the birds information, and it was pretty easy to figure out the murderer. It was pretty disappointing. I finished the book and enjoyed parts of it, but I doubt I would pick up another one in this series.

*I voluntarily read an Advance Reader Copy of this book and have given an honest review *


Dark Water (Detective Erika Foster, Bk 3)
Dark Water (Detective Erika Foster, Bk 3)
Author: Robert Bryndza
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 8
Review Date: 10/13/2016


DCI Erika Foster is back in the 3rd book in the series. Erika has transferred, or been transferred, to the Bromely Station that investigates drugs and organized crime. The team has been investigating a mid-level drug dealer, hoping he can lead them to the top tier. After a tip off that he had dumped a large amount of heroin into a local Quarry, the team goes to drag the quarry and find the hidden drugs. They find the drugs, but unexpectedly they also find a skeleton of a young girl wrapped tightly in plastic and weighed down. The identify the remains as 7 year old Jessica Collins, whose disappearance was a very high profile case in the '90s.

Unable to get the poor girl's murder off her mind, she petitions to lead the murder investigation, even though it could be a career killer. Erika is reunited with the Murder Investigation Team, including Moss and Peterson. Trying to solve a 26 year old cold case, when the initial investigation had been a nightmare, might prove to be the case that breaks Erika. Maybe it will be the case that she cannot solve and that will haunt her forever.

Erika is back and is kick ass as always. She is real and gritty, and her emotions run high. She hates being on the drug task force, catching one dealer just to watch another guy to step up and take his place. She is a murder investigator, plain and simple. This book shows her breaking down till she is raw, but continuing on in spite of this. If I am ever murdered, DCI Foster could lead my investigation any day.

The mystery is good and multi-layered. I had part of it figured out, but not all of it. I love mysteries where they give you enough clues to piece it together, but not so many that it is blatantly obvious. I love how the characters have to work and struggle for each lead they get. It isn't handed to them, the don't just stumble upon it, they work for it, as a real police force does.

Moss is still my favorite character, even though she isn't overly prominent in this book. I love her humor and her unyielding loyalty. Peterson is also fantastic and he has a new arc in his character in this book.

I cannot recommend this book enough. If you like mysteries, thrillers, suspense, or police procedural, you need to read this book. You won't regret it. This is the series that you haven't heard of, but should be reading!

* I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Readers Copy of this book from the publisher and gave an honest review *


Death Among the Doilies (Cora Crafts, Bk 1)
Death Among the Doilies (Cora Crafts, Bk 1)
Author: Mollie Cox Bryan
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 8
Review Date: 8/14/2016


*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

This is the first book in the new Mollie Cox Bryan's Craft Retreat series. It is the story of best friends, Cora and Jane, who have moved to the quaint town of Indigo Gap to open up a craft retreat in a gorgeous restored Victorian home. While planning and throwing their first retreat, Jane becomes a person of interest in the murder of the school librarian. Although the cops are working the case, Cora cannot allow her friend to go to jail for a crime she did not commit and she can also not allow the bad press to ruin this new venture for them; therefore, Cora decides to get a little crafty and do some snooping on her own.

This book followed along the same lines as most cozy mysteries, but that is my favorite genre so I did not mind. It had enough twists and turns, that I did not see the ending coming, but their were enough clues that it wasn't completely out of the blue either. Both Cora and Jane were likable enough characters, the POV changed between the two of them, but they were hard to distinguish between. Their 'voice' was too similar. The supporting characters seemed to have more, well, character. I had a hard time believing that Jude, a hired broom making teacher, was so well known and famous in the crafting world. He made brooms. I didn't realize that was a really popular craft. It sounded interesting, but how many brooms can one person have?

Overall, I enjoyed the book, but I probably would not continue with the series. It just wasn't special enough in the sea of cozies out their nowadays.


Death Below Stairs (A Below Stairs Mystery)
Death Below Stairs (A Below Stairs Mystery)
Author: Jennifer Ashley
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 14
Review Date: 3/28/2018


This was a really great book. I loved all the historical descriptions and the mystery. I was so caught up in the red-herring I forgot about the mystery, lol! I definitely recommend this book!

I would strongly suggest you read the short story A Soupçon of Poison before you read this first in the series full length novel. I didn't and I feel like I missed a lot of the chemistry between characters being set up, and a lot of the backstory being told in full. The backstory is all sort of recapped in this book, but I felt like I lost a lot of the emotion and nuisances that would have been there. I didn't know there was a short story first, so I am telling all of you! Read it first! Lol!


Death by Pumpkin Spice (Bookstore Cafe, Bk 3)
Death by Pumpkin Spice (Bookstore Cafe, Bk 3)
Author: Alex Erickson
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.1/5 Stars.
 16
Review Date: 9/19/2016


* I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review *

Krissy Hancock and her best friend Vicki own Death By Coffee, a cafe and bookstore in one. When Krissy gets invited to a swanky Halloween party at a eccentric mansion by handsome Will Foster, she isn't sure if she wants to go or not. She knows she won't fit in. She wavers on her answer, because Will is really nice and she hasn't had too much luck in the dating department, so she agrees to go.

Will is great, but she already feels out of place as soon as she walks in. Everyone is so rich and decked out to the nines. The mansion is also completely Halloween themed, year around. The owner built it that way because he loved the holiday and the horror genre so much, but sadly he recently had passed on. Keeping with tradition, his widow throws the party this year in his memory.

When Krissy's long-time crush, Officer Paul Dalton, walks in with his beautiful date, Krissy knows this party cannot get worse. But when a body is found, brutally strangled, Krissy is horrified and excited. Solving mysteries is a favorite pastime of hers, much to the chagrin of Paul. With no one else to turn to, and the storm of the year seclude get the mansion from backup, Paul asks Krissy to help him investigate. Krissy's Halloween just got a whole lot better!

This is the third book in the Bookstore Cafe Mystery series, but it is the first one I have read. I really liked the mystery a lot. It reminded me of an old English mystery in a secluded manor house, even though there were over 100 people there. The mystery had some twists, but when a glaring clue is discovered, the reader can't help but wonder how Krissy can't figure it out. It becomes very obvious who the culprit is. I also really enjoyed the setting. The house was a permanent haunted mansion. I wish the author would have put more effort into incorporating that fact into the story. The eccentricities of the mansion were just a mentioned upon backdrop though. I felt like a giant opportunity was lost there.

The main character Krissy is very annoying. One minute she is full of self-doubt and needs to be coddled, then the next she is sassy and thinking she is Rambo. Someone give this girl some Lithium. She is also almost TSTL. She has no training at all, but she runs headfirst into dangerous situations, even when she knows she should get Paul. She thinks she is a great consultant, but really she is a Police lawsuit just waiting to happen. She is also an adult and business owner, but has a horrible time saying "slept with" or "had sex with" out loud. What? She isn't that young, but she is that immature. She was not very likable at all.

I am not sure if I would read other books in this series or not. It would depend on my mood. I would recommend it to cozy fans though, because it did keep my interest and they might be more inclined to like Krissy's Bipolar personality.


Death Comes to the Fair (A Kurland St. Mary Mystery)
Death Comes to the Fair (A Kurland St. Mary Mystery)
Author: Catherine Lloyd
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 5
Review Date: 8/24/2016


* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review *

It is Autumn and harvest has begun in Kurland St. Mary. Miss Lucy Harrington has been trying to finalize her marriage to Major Sir Kurland, but her relatives are making every detail a strenuous affair. When a bad storm churns up, Lucy takes refuge in the church bell tower, only to discover the dead body of the verger Mr. Ezekiel Thurrock. While others assume it was an accident, Lucy and Sir Robert both sense something wicked has come calling.

This is the 4th book in the Kurland St. Mary Mystery Series and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Lucy is such a likable character. She is constantly getting in trouble for not behaving as an unmarried woman should, but she really doesn't care. Sir Robert, her betrothed is with her 100% of the time, not giving a fig about propriety. He even hopes that their unchaperoned outings might bring their wedding date closer.

The mystery is very good, with a lot of twists and turns. It is amazing though how little Lucy knew about some of her neighbors. It was expected of Sir Robert, but Lucy, being the rector's daughter and an active member in the community, should have known a little more about family connections and past histories. In small towns nothing stays secret and yet she knew nothing, although some of it was common knowledge. Putting that aside, I enjoyed the conclusion of the book, although I wish to know what happened to the evil doers. The last chapter is a happy one and makes me ready to read the next installment.


Death Masks (Dresden Files, Bk 5)
Death Masks (Dresden Files, Bk 5)
Author: Jim Butcher
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 484
Review Date: 4/2/2017


Harry Dresden, Chicago's practicing wizard and private detective has finally scraped up another case. Leave it to Harry to make it a doozy though. Some one has stolen the Shroud of Turin and everyone wants it. Also on the scene is the love of Harry's life, ex-girlfriend and partial vampire, Susan. Oh yes, there is also a headless armless corpse that Officer Murphy needs help with, the ongoing war between the wizards and the red vampires, 3 Knights of God (one of whoms wife still dislikes Harry a great deal), and Marcone, the local mob boss , gunning for him. Did I mention the duel to the death with a vampire mediated by a little girl? When does this man sleep?

I love this series. It is just action packed and full of wit. I will definitely be reading the next book.


Don't Trust Me (Hamlet)
Don't Trust Me (Hamlet)
Author: Jessica Lynch
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 2.5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 5/8/2018


This was a very interesting book. The viewpoint changed throughout, which really kept you on your toes. Without spoilers, I think due to the viewpoint changes, I had a hard time with the ending. Nothing blatantly. Just little things. It didn't quite make enough sense. The book was really quite good till the end , in my opinion.

*I asked for and received a copy of this book from Netgalley and have given an honest and unbiased review *


Dreaming of Mocha
Dreaming of Mocha
Author: An Swerts
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 9/23/2016


* I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review *

This adorable story is about a little girl named Florence. Florence's biggest wish is to have a dog. She isn't particular, any dog will do. Florence's mom and dad are worried about the mess and destruction that comes with a dog though. One day, when Florence has all but given up hope, a furry brown dog comes running into her yard. Insta-love! At first, Florence tries to hide Mocha (his name is on his collar)from her parent. Of course she is found out and her parents agree to keep the dog but only until the original owner shows up. Mocha becomes Florence' best friend, but what happens when and if the original owner does show up?

This story is very simple, yet very sweet. It is drawn simplistically, but with cute images that young children will understand and enjoy. It is definitely aimed at a very young audience as a read aloud book, I believe. The typography is very original and current. It flows beautifully with the illustrations. Florence is lovable and most children will instantly relate to her desire for a pet as a best friend.

I would definitely recommend this book to the preschool and younger crowd. It is simple, yet perfect!


Dying for Strawberries (Berry Basket, Bk 1)
Dying for Strawberries (Berry Basket, Bk 1)
Author: Sharon Farrow
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 13
Review Date: 10/20/2016
Helpful Score: 2


Marlee Jacobs lives in Oriole Point, Michigan and runs a little shop called The Berry Basket. She was raised here but has just returned two years ago after being embroiled in a media shocking murder investigation in New York. Marlee loves her life here, is engaged to a gorgeous man, and has an amazing house on the lake. When a fellow shop owner is murdered and Marlee just happens to be on his house at the time, thinks start to haywire. Marlee is positive that the murder is tied into a real estate deal and blackmail, and she is going to prove it, even if it means alienating herself from the rest of the town.

This is the first book in the Berry Basket Mystery series. It amazed me that this was the first book. I felt like I had missed so much backstory. She keeps referring back to stuff, like the reader is suppose to know what she is talking about, so I was positive this was at least book 2 or 3 in the series. With it being the first, it is confusing why Ms. Farrow would write it this way. Maybe I am missing something...

As for the characters, some were good and some were cardboard cutouts. The main character, Marlee, was likable, but I didn't really understand her. The murder had nothing to do with her really, yet she went all out to solve it. And why would these other shop owners tell her stuff. I don't get it. I mean she was all for justice telling everyone that finding the murderer trumped their heartfelt secrets, but who was she to pick and choose what the police got to know and what they didn't. I didn't understand any of the motivations of most of the characters, except the murderer.

The mystery was good. I liked how it really could have been multiple people. It was a pretty straightforward cozy, except it really felt like you were reading the third book in the series. It was an okay read. I wouldn't preorder the next in the series, but I might read it. A give it a solid C.

* I voluntarily read an Advance Reader Copy of this book and gave an honest review *


Eggnog Murder
Eggnog Murder
Author: Leslie Meier, Lee Hollis, Barbara Ross
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 11
Review Date: 10/15/2016


This collection is three short stories all featuring eggnog. All of the stories come from current cozy series, so some of the characters and situations will be familiar to readers. I will preface my review by letting you know I have only ever read the Leslie Meier series before.


Story#1 :: Eggnog Murder by Leslie Meier
When a bottle of eggnog, supposedly from the Real Beard Santa Club poisons a woman with a nut allergy, it is shown that the eggnog was made with cashew milk instead of dairy. The Santa Club does not make a version without dairy. Was this just an accident of not labeling a bottle correctly or was it murder? Lucy is determined to find out and have a fantastic Christmas, while her entire family is home.

This was the only series I had any prior reading of and I thought that it was the weakest of the three. That really surprised me. The mystery is pretty non-existent, a certain memberof her family needs to be smacked upside the head, and the conclusion is ridiculous. I know it is suppose to be a lighthearted Christmas read, but even the scenes that were about family, made me want to smack people. This one was a big let-down.


Story #2 :: Death by Eggnog by Lee Hollis
Hayley is invited to the town's charity Christmas dinner fundraiser, where all of the restaurants in town offer up a delectable treat. Already complaining about the menu is the town cranky librarian, Agatha. She does not think eggnog should be served because she has a serious allergy to dairy. She makes a huge deal about this to one of the committee members, Fannie, who brings eggnog but has both a dairy and non-dairy version. Both pitchers are clearly labeled. After eating a spicy hot wing, Fannie rushes to give Agatha a glass of the non-dairy eggnog, only to have her drop dead from anaphylactic shock due to dairy. Was it an accident, did Fannie purposely get rid of a thorn in her side, or is something more sinister going on?

I really enjoyed this mystery. It was short, but the mystery aspect of the story was well thought out. I do not think that Hayley really "sleuthed" any clues. One just fell into her lap and she started guessing. The characters were well written and I wouldn't mind reading more of this series. Interspersed throughout the story are little "columns" Hayley has written with recipes. This confused the heck out of me, because I didn't understand that they were meant as an aside. I hope the publisher fixes this, so it is easier to read.



Story #3 :: Nogged Off by Barbara Ross
Julie Snowden is finally letting her New York apartment go and moving to Maine without a net. When the girl subletting her apartment has a crisis and cannot keep it, Julia packs up the whole apartment into a moving van, including the girl, Imogen, and heads home. The girl had served eggnog at a business function and made the entire office so sick they had to be admitted to the hospital. After arriving home, the moving van is stolen and when it is recovered they find the dead body of Imogen's ex-boyfriend in the back end. Who killed him, why, and what are they going to do with Imogen?

This was my favorite of the three. I really liked the characters. I have a few books in this series and they have definitely been moved up in my TBR pile. The mystery was good, even though the conclusion was sort of stupid. It didn't really affect my enjoyment of the story though.

I think that mysteries have a hard time being short stories, because it makes them have to be so simple or sort of stupid. I think the authors did a decent job of trying to get over this gigantic hurdle. Unfortunately, I think Leslie Meier struggled the most. Her writing is so character driven, that it just doesn't work condensed.

* I voluntarily read an Advanced Reading Copy of this book and honestly reviewed it*


Elementary, She Read (Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery, Bk 1)
Elementary, She Read (Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery, Bk 1)
Author: Vicki Delany
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 21
Review Date: 1/10/2018


I really enjoyed this book. While Gemma's character had some of the traits of Sherlock Holmes, she also was a loving, caring woman. She wasn't the robot that Sherlock is sometimes portrayed to be. While the robot thing works well on the screen, it is hard to connect with that person in a novel. I think that is why the original Holmes books were shown through Watson's eyes. No need to do that with this book though. Although reserved, Gemma has a lively personality that a lot of introverts can relate to. Her relationship with Jayne was cleverly written and touching at the same time.

The mystery in Elementary, She Read, was very good. It was layered with a few twists. I never came close to guessing the end although there were some clues. I loved how the end played out. I won't put any spoilers in, but it wasn't any of the cliched tropes at all.

I would recommend this book to mystery lovers, cozy lovers, and fans of Sherlock Holmes.

*I received a copy of this book from Netgalley and have given an honest review*


Everton Miles Is Stranger Than Me: The Night Flyer's Handbook
Review Date: 9/15/2016


* I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review *

Everton Miles is Stranger Than Me is the sequel to The Strange Gift of Gwendolyn Golden.

Gwendolyn Golden is a Night Flyer. Night Flyer a certain people who during puberty suddenly learn how to fly. The can also fly during the day, it is just so risky, therefore, they usually only fly at night. In this installment, Gwen begins high school, and her mentor introduces her to the ne Night Flyer in town, Everton Miles. Everton is a year older, handsome, charming and popular. Gwen however, struggles to find where she belongs, not only in high school but also in the Night Flyer community. When she starts seeing, what appears to be a Rogue Spirit Flyer, and he starts calling to her, she realizes she has many choices to make. Gwen is growing up; who does she want to be?

This was not only a fantastic fantasy story for middle grade and YA readers, it also explored ones sense of self and how much what happens to a person affects that. Gwen had lost her father, but never came to terms with that loss, and that left her stumbling to accept herself. She learns that one has to overcome hardships in life to find out who they truly are inside.

Besides all of the deep stuff in the book, it was also just fun. Gwen's little twin brother and sister were a riot, and her love for them was the sweetest thing. She also had amazing friends in Jez, Martin, and Everton. And an amazing support system with her mother, her mentor, and others. She has the normal problems of a 15 year old girl, and the special problems of an adolescent Night Flyer. Talk about stress!

There is also a lot of great adventure and action. She has to fight the darkness and accept the light. It is a typical good versus bad story that never fails to amuse. Having a strong, yet flawed female narrarator is a great way to get younger girls to try a genre that has usually appealed mostly to boys. That being said, having two boys as secondary characters allow boys to also enjoy the book without it being to "girly". I would completely recommend this book for middle school and high school aged kids. I even know a lot of adults who would enjoy this book. I am eagerly awaiting a third in this series.


Every Heart a Doorway
Every Heart a Doorway
Author: Seanan McGuire
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 35
Review Date: 8/20/2016


I am not sure how to write a review on this book. It was weird and nothing was ever really explained. I guess it was a murder mystery, maybe a graphic YA, maybe a fantasy or sci-fi. I finished the book, it was quite short, and I still have no clue how to classify it. There was huge holes in everything, but I think maybe they were intentional. I just don't know. All I can say is that it was a very odd book, not bad, not good, just odd.


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