Book Review! Out of the Ordinary by Jen Turano

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Title: Out of the Ordinary     
Author:
Jen Turano
Rating:
4/5
Release Date: 
11/07/2017

Description from Goodreads: When shipping magnate Harrison Sinclair’s mother catches Gertrude Cadwalader, paid companion to the light-fingered Mrs. Davenport, returning a pilfered item, she comes to the wrong conclusion. However, Harrison is eager to mend fences once he realizes the error. After a real thief starts preying on society, can Gertrude and Harrison catch the culprit?”

Review: Out of the Ordinary is hilarious and incredibly sweet. I loved Gertrude and Harrison in the last book and was really excited to read their story; it did not disappoint. Both of them are funny and neither of them were very interested in fashion, which makes them an interesting combination.

I laughed out loud many times throughout this book, towards the end it just kept getting funnier and funnier. At one point I was crying from laughing so hard. To me, that is the definition of a good book.

I love that we got to hear Mrs. Davenport’s story, and witness more of her shenanigans. She is always entertaining and I was glad to understand her a little better.

I find this series a little slow to start, it takes me a bit to get into them, but once I do, they are wonderful. I look forward to the next book in this series.

 

 

*I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher. A positive review was not required. All opinions are my own.*

 

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Book Review! The Whispering Room by Dean Koontz

Title: The Whispering Room
Author:
Dean Koontz
Rating:
4/5
Release Date: 
November 21, 2017

Description from Goodreads: Jane Hawk–fiction’s most relentless, resourceful, stunning new heroine–continues her battle against a murderous conspiracy in the riveting sequel to The Silent Corner.

“No time to delay. Do what you were born to do. Fame will be yours when you do this.” 

These are the words that ring in the mind of mild-mannered, beloved schoolteacher Cora Gundersun–just before she takes her own life, and many others’, in a shocking act of carnage. When the disturbing contents of her secret journal are discovered, it seems certain that she must have been insane. But Jane Hawk knows better.

In the wake of her husband’s inexplicable suicide–and the equally mysterious deaths of scores of other exemplary individuals–Jane picks up the trail of a secret cabal of powerful players who think themselves above the law and beyond punishment. But these ruthless people bent on hijacking America’s future for their own monstrous ends never banked on a highly trained FBI agent willing to go rogue–and become the nation’s most wanted fugitive–in order to derail their insidious plans to gain absolute power with a terrifying technological breakthrough.

Driven by love for her lost husband and by fear for the five-year-old son she has sent into hiding, Jane Hawk has become an unstoppable predator. Those she is hunting will have nowhere to run when her shadow falls across them.”

Review: I haven’t read the first book in this series, Silent Corner but I really enjoyed this one. I’ve heard that people enjoyed this far more when they did read the first book first but I thought it was fine as a stand alone. I do have to go back and read the first book now that I know the series is good!

The Whispering Room was trilling and exciting. This book was exhilarating right from the first page and it didn’t let up through the entire book. I was not able to put the book down once I started.

Jane Hawk is such an intriguing and strong character and I really enjoy the way she is able to solve problems. I am new to Dean Koontz books but I am fast becoming a big fan of his books. I really like the way he writes his characters. They are well defined and complex.

I really enjoyed this book and look forward to going back to the first book, and then springing forward to the new book when it is released next year.

 

*I received an advanced copy of this book from Bookish First. A positive review was not required. All opinions are my own.*

Book Review! The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden

Title: The Girl in the Tower    
Author: 
Katherine Arden
Rating:
5/5
Release Date: 
December 5, 2017

Description from Goodreads: The magical adventure begun in The Bear and the Nightingale continues as brave Vasya, now a young woman, is forced to choose between marriage or life in a convent and instead flees her home—but soon finds herself called upon to help defend the city of Moscow when it comes under siege.

Orphaned and cast out as a witch by her village, Vasya’s options are few: resign herself to life in a convent, or allow her older sister to make her a match with a Moscovite prince. Both doom her to life in a tower, cut off from the vast world she longs to explore. So instead she chooses adventure, disguising herself as a boy and riding her horse into the woods. When a battle with some bandits who have been terrorizing the countryside earns her the admiration of the Grand Prince of Moscow, she must carefully guard the secret of her gender to remain in his good graces—even as she realizes his kingdom is under threat from mysterious forces only she will be able to stop.”

Review: I really liked The Bear and the Nightingale but The Girl in the Tower is even better! It was filled with mystery and intrigue, and even a touch of love. This book takes Vasya to Moscow and of course she get’s herself into all sorts of mischief. Being labeled a witch at home, and following the murder of her father, she flees home and decides to be a traveler.  Following the advice of Morozko, the winter-king, she takes the persona of a boy. It all gets tricky however when she runs into her brother Sasha.

The first 10% was kind of slow, filling in the back story, but then it really picked up and was extremely good. The last 25%, however, was so amazing and suspenseful I could barely put it down. I would read any chance I got, walking down the hallway and even sneaking little reading breaks while cooking.

The ending was well done, making the launch to the new book really exciting. I have loved both books in this series and cannot wait for the last one. I hope a lot of wonderful things happen, and I feel as though they will.

 

*I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher. A positive review was not required. All opinions are my own.*

 

Book Review! Dangerous Illusions by Irene Hannon

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Title: Dangerous Illusions
Author:
 Irene Hannon
Rating:
5/5
Release Date: 
October 3, 2017

Description from Goodreads: “Trish Bailey is on overload trying to deal with a demanding job, an ailing mother, and a healing heart. When a series of unsettling memory lapses leads to a tragic death–and puts Trish under police scrutiny–her world is once again thrown into turmoil.

Detective Colin Flynn isn’t certain what to think of the facts he uncovers during his investigation. Did Trish simply make a terrible mistake or is there more to the case than meets the eye? As he searches for answers, disturbing information begins to emerge–and if the forces at work are as evil as he suspects, the situation isn’t just dangerous . . . it’s deadly.

Bestselling and award-winning author Irene Hannon captures readers with a mind-bending story that will have them doubling back to retrace their steps–and figure out what they missed!”

Review: This book was incredible! It was full of suspense and kept me guessing. I didn’t want to put this down and luckily, since I read this over the weekend, only had to do so once to go to bed.

Irene Hannon did an impeccable job with this story. The plot twists rivaled some of the popular suspense novels I have read. I had to put the book down for a second to reassess what I thought I knew when I came to the plot twist. Looking back, it fit perfectly, making her an even better writer than I thought. I have loved her writing in the Christian romance books I have read of hers, but this was my first mystery novel by her. I can tell you it will definitely not be my last.

The characters were well developed and I loved how strong they both were. Each went through difficult times but both were able to recover and become productive people who cared greatly for others. I found their stories inspiring and heroic.

As with all Christian Fiction, the romance aspect of this romantic suspense novel was tastefully done and well in tone with the story; as was the Christian aspect. It was never pushy but it was well woven into the story.

I enjoyed this very much and look forward to the next book in this exciting new series!

 

 

*I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher. A positive review was not required. All opinions are my own.*

 

Book Review! Origin by Dan Brown

Title: Origin

Author: Dan Brown

Rating: 2/5

Review: I found this book rather boring and uninteresting. This is basically the same story as the rest of this series with some details changed. It seems that all the Robert Langdon series books have the same plot. Robert Langdon finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time, something terrible happens, he finds himself fleeing with some woman, forced to solve the crime himself to clear his name and save the world. You would think by now the Harvard professor would learn to avoid these types of situations.

Not much actually happened in this book. Most of the time Robert and Ambra Vidal were just searching for a line of poetry to crack Edmond Kirsch’s phone. There wasn’t much in terms of mystery or suspense going on and my mind kept wandering. I think you could read the beginning and then skip to the end, without really missing much. I really didn’t find the ending enlightening and I didn’t think it was worth the read.

I enjoyed the first few books of this series but then it started to just get tedious. They have been getting worse and worse and this will be the last book in this series I read.

I am very glad that I didn’t purchase this book, and that I listened to the audio book while I was at work, so I didn’t waste my free time with this.

Book Review! How to Find Love in a Bookshop by Veronica Henry

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Title: How to Find Love in a Bookshop
Author:
 Veronica Henry
Rating:
4/5

Description from Goodreads: “Everyone has a story . . . but will they get the happy ending they deserve?

Emilia has just returned to her idyllic Cotswold hometown to rescue the family business. Nightingale Books is a dream come true for book-lovers, but the best stories aren’t just within the pages of the books she sells – Emilia’s customers have their own tales to tell.

There’s the lady of the manor who is hiding a secret close to her heart; the single dad looking for books to share with his son but who isn’t quite what he seems; and the desperately shy chef trying to find the courage to talk to her crush . . .

And as for Emilia’s story, can she keep the promise she made to her father and save Nightingale Books?”

Review: When I set out to read this book I expected to read about the love and hope this bookshop inspired. I had forgotten one important thing, however. Sadness and loneliness brings a lot of people into bookstores. Everyone has tough and painful times in their lives and these people were all experiencing difficulties in their lives. I wasn’t expecting to feel sad during parts of this book but I certainly did. I felt for these wonderful people in pain and found myself engrossed in their stories.

Everyone was struggling with something and found comfort in this little bookstore. Whether it is shyness, missing a deceased lover, or trying to find something exciting in their dull life, everyone found solace there.

I loved Nightingale Books and really wish I had a bookstore like that where I live. The comfort this bookshop gave to this community was refreshing and made me yearn to go there. Curling up in front of that wonderful fireplace during their winter storm sounds so wonderful.

I was captivated by this book and found the stories of these wonderful characters inspiring. When I opened this book I was expecting a happy and light read, but instead I got a heartfelt look at the lives of some wonderful people that I wish I could get to know in real life.

 

 *I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher. A positive review was not required. All opinions are my own.*

 

 

Book Review! Picturing Heaven by Randy Alcorn

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Title: Picturing Heaven
Author: 
Randy Alcorn
Rating: 
4/5
Release Date: 
September 5, 2017

Description from Goodreads: “Imagine Heaven the way the Bible describes it–a place of exquisite beauty brimming with marvelous detail and intricate patterns; a special dwelling place free of corruption and sin; and a place of both rest and enjoyable, meaningful work.

Let the power and majesty of Heaven fill your heart with joy as you color these 40 designs carefully interpreted from the pages of Scripture. Savor a respite from daily life as you read and meditate on devotions from best-selling author Randy Alcorn, a leading authority on Heaven. Picturing Heaven will offer you comfort and relaxation, while filling your heart with restful assurance that God prepares a special place for those who love Him.”

Review: This is a really wonderful coloring book and the pictures are extremely well done. They are beautiful and really depict what the Bible says about Heaven. This is a wonderful way to reflect on the amazing gift we have in Heaven. When life is tough and seems like all hope is lost, it is really nice to have something so wonderful to look forward to.

It is really nice to have these great pictures that we can each color the way we want to. I love being able to pick the colors that would look the best to me. We know that no matter how we color these pictures, it will be nothing compared to the beauty we will experience in Heaven, but it is nice to try to imagine.

I find this really helpful after a really bad or stressful day. There are days when I definitely need the reminder that life is temporary, and I have something far better to look forward to.

Recommendation: I would recommend this to any Christian who loves to color.

 

*I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher. A positive review was not required. All opinions are my own.*