Friday, November 15, 2013

The Stranger You Know by Andrea Kane (thoughts)

Wow!  This book was so fast paced and intense that I just could not put this book down.  I flew through the pages and was utterly satisfied by the end.  I may have started on the third book of this series but it didn't affect my enjoyment of this book at all.  I was completely hooked from the beginning to end!  And I cannot wait to read more by this author!

In The Stranger You Know,  a killer is attacking and killing college girls who all look eerily similar to one another.  The killings are also very reminiscent of a past serial killer who is still locked up behind bars.  It is into these bizarre cases that Casey Woods and her team find themselves caught up in as they struggle to figure out the identity of this new killer.  But the killer has a end target and that focus seems to be on Casey herself.  Will she and her team be able to figure out who the murderer is before he gets his hands on her?

This book was such an intense read that I cannot even begin to explain how hard it was for me to put down.  Even coming into this book without having read the previous two didn't take away from the intensity.  Instead I was turning the pages and reading as fast as I could.  I just couldn't wait to see what would happen next!  This book is focused on Casey Woods and the group of investigators that she works with that make up the Forensic Instincts team.  I really liked the entire cast of characters and can't wait to read more about them. I am eager to go back to the beginning of this series to learn more of the history that they have with one another....and I'm eager to see how it all began.  Casey and her team are trying to find a killer that seems to have many links to Glen Fisher, a serial killer that they helped put behind bars.  Glen is one of the creepiest characters that I've come across in awhile.  He gave me chills!  Yuck!  But once again it helped to create such a piercing and dark atmosphere where I just could not turn away.  I was well and truly hooked. 

One of the things that I liked most about this book was how easily I found myself drawn into the mystery that the book focused on.  I've been having a hard time lately when it comes to reading series books out of order and this book was different for me.  Yes, I'm eager to start back at the beginning and see how everything came about but it didn't feel necessary to me enjoying this book.  And enjoy it I did!  I also liked the way the author gave clues on certain plot points but others came as a complete surprise.  I was able to guess a few things as I read the book in regards to who the killer was (that kind of stuff) but I was nowhere close to having it all figured out.  And I really appreciated that I wasn't able to figure out everything before the end.

All in all, this book was quite a page-turner that left me very eager to read more.  I believe I already have more of this author's book on my shelves so it won't be long before I try her again.  I'm actually pretty excited that I found a new author to follow and read.  There are
a few graphic parts in this book that might turn off some readers but overall I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this book to fans of suspenseful thrillers. 

Bottom Line:  This is the type of thriller that will keep you up at night!  (both from turning the pages and being creeped out by the killer...I can't decide which kept me up later)

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book from the publisher as part of a TLC book tour.  The opinions are my own.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Forgiving Lies by Molly McAdams (thoughts)

Forgiving Lies wasn't an easy book to read at times but it was a good read that left me eager to get my hands on the next book.  This was my first time reading a book in the New Adult genre and it was darker than I expected it to be.  It was also one of those books that was so easy to sink into that I found myself reading for hours on end.  Overall, I found that it left me excited to not only read more books by this author but also more books just like this.

In this book Rachel is a college student floating along in life after the death of her parents.  After a bad experience in her last relationship, she isn't eager or looking to get involved with anyone else for a very long time.  But then Kash moves in next door to her and everything changes.  Kash and Mason are undercover detectives that are investigating a pretty big case involving a serial killer.  Kash doesn't mean to get involved with Rachel either but he can't seem to resist her fiery attitude.  Will the two of them be able to figure out their feelings for one another?  And can their relationship even survive when it is all based off of one lie?

This book had some ups and downs for me but overall I found that I really enjoyed it.  Easily the best thing about this book was the chemistry between the two main characters.  I loved that they didn't just jump into a relationship and instead started off with a friendship.  It made it that much more satisfying because we were then able to see them grow together.  And then when they did really figure out their feelings for each other the heat between the two of them was off the charts.  I loved it! Without sharing spoilers (see below if you don't mind them) I thought that the author did a really great job of handling a tough subject in a sensitive manner.  She didn't gloss over it and I thought Rachel's feelings came across very genuinely.  Because of this I had a very hard time setting this book down and would find myself thinking about it for awhile afterwards.  Especially because I never knew what was going to happen next.  I found this book to also be creepy at times because of a certain character.  The suspense from that character really made me want to read this book even faster.


Okay, now be warned from here on out there are going to be spoilers so don't read this section if you don't want the book spoiled.  But there are things that I definitely want to discuss so here we go.  First off was the touchy subject that I alluded to earlier.  In the beginning of the book Rachel is raped.  I think that the author did a really solid job of handling it but this is the kind of thing that will put some readers off.  Because it definitely wasn't easy to read about Rachel trying to deal with it afterwards and boy did I want to shake her "best friend" Candace for not believing her.  Ugh!  I really didn't care for Candace's character AT ALL!  Rape is never an easy issue to read about which is why I couldn't help but mention it.  While I liked most of the book there was a believability factor that this book lacked.  And the ending really cemented that for me.  WTF?  I am so lucky that I peeked at the last few pages before I read the ending of the book (and yes I do that sometimes but not often) because I would have been pissed otherwise.  I hate when books have cliff hangers for endings and this one comes with a huge blow!  I found myself shaking my head with both disbelief and frustration.  Really, how many bad things can happen to Rachel?  It wasn't enough to take away from my overall enjoyment of the book but it was enough to effect my reading experience in a negative way.  It also means that I will be picking up book two as soon as it comes out so there is that I guess.  In the end, I'm curious to see how other readers are going to feel about this book and the ending.  If you've read it then definitely share your thoughts with me so we can discuss!

*Spoilers Over*

Overall, I liked this book and am very, very eager to get my hands on the second book.  I loved the chemistry that the author created with these characters.  The author left me with lots of questions at the end so I just cannot wait to see happens next.  I hope she also features more of Mason because I think that he would be a great lead for the next book!  I'm excited to start trying more books like this filled with some angsty romance and lots of heat.  This book took my expectations and completely shattered them in multiple ways.  That is what I get for judging a book based off of its' cover.  Lesson learned yet once again :) I would recommend this book with only one minor hesitation.

Bottom Line:  This was an intense read that left me wishing for the second book!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this books thanks to the publisher as part of a TLC book tour.  Thoughts and spoilers are my own!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Sunday Salon: Let's Talk Books

Let's talk books today, shall we?  I have been such a bad, lazy blogger as of late with no real good excuses except work, work, work.  But while I may have been a bad blogger, I have been a much better reader which means I'm even more behind in reviews.  I'm going to try and not dwell on that though because since I'm feeling slightly more motivated than usual I have hopes to knock out a few today.  A girl can hope and dream, can't she??

Besides writing up some reviews I'm hoping to share a book haul post.  I know that I KEEP saying that I'm going on a book ban (and I really, really am) but sometimes I just cannot resist.  And really who can stop themselves from browsing anyways?  It isn't my fault that they seem to all come home with me afterwards, is it?  My shelves blame me though so I am absolutely, definitely, positively banning myself from book buying after this.  FOR REAL THIS TIME!  So anyways look for that post soon too.  But onwards to the books I have been reading as of late.  Here are the books that I finished last week:

The Last Winter of Dani Lancing by P.D. Viner was an intense, dark thriller but it left me with a few mixed feelings at the end.  I'm not sure if the author is planning on making this into a series (I definitely think that he probably could) but I would read more by this author without hesitation.  I'm hoping to write up my thoughts on this one for this week, and I'm eager to see what other readers think about this book.

Forgiving Lies by Molly McAdams was my very first foray into the New Adult genre but it won't be my last!  It was both cute and fun at times but with very serious undertones.  The ending was disappointing but I will talk about that more in my review which will be up tomorrow as part of a TLC book tour.  I liked it enough that I will be picking up the next book for sure!

Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs was a reread for me and absolutely, positively just as good as the first time that I read it.  I actually managed to read this one in less than two days which just goes to show you how unputdownable I find these books to be.  I can't wait to move on to the next book (the last book for me to reread) so that I can move on farther into this series.

Finally, I finished on audio Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling this week.  I cannot tell you guys how much I am loving listening to these books on audio!  The narrator does a fantastic job and I find myself completely immersed once again in Harry's world.  In fact, I'm a bit nervous about continuing to listen to this series at work because I'm convinced that I will find myself listening while crying at my desk during the sad parts.  LOL!  I'm sure you can imagine how that will look to my coworkers :)

This week I'm currently reading the following books:

I haven't even cracked open The Stranger You Know but I will hopefully later on today.  I'm reading this book as part of a TLC book tour as well so I need to get moving on it.  I have been failing miserably with my reading plans so far in November (meaning not reading ANY of my e-books) but I'm hoping to really make some progress with A Study in Silks this week.  On audio, I'm currently listening to All Around the Town by Mary Higgins Clark.  I used to read this author all of the time before I started blogging and listening to this book has reminded me why. It is both creepy and tense and I'm loving the narrator for this one as well.  I'm still sticking with listening to audiobooks of books that I have already read so this week at the library I grabbed Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn and Rapture in Death by J.D. Robb for future listens.  I can't wait to re-experience them both!

Today I'm hoping to fit in a lot of review writing, some commenting/blog visiting, and lots of laundry.  Hopefully I will also manage to fit some reading in between all of this.  I hope you guys have a great week and an amazing Sunday!

Happy Reading!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Reading Plans (Or Where I Get Overly Ambitious)

November is here, the colder weather is starting to arrive, and I'm already starting to think about the upcoming new year.  It all just goes by so fast that I can't help but want to make a final push and get some major reading done in the next two months.  Because I have entirely TOO many books loaded on to my ipad I've decided to use this month as a way to focus on e-books.  I find it very, very easy to add books to my e-reader without feeling guilty because I don't have to see them physically.  It's addictive!  I have found two challenges focusing on cleaning out some of those e-books and review copies so I'm joining in on both.

The first challenge that I'm joining in with is for NetGalley November.  I NEED to join this challenge just so I can get a few of those countless review copies finally read.  I love, love, love NetGalley but I'm way, way, way behind so this challenge fits me perfectly.  I'm aiming low with the easy level (1-4 books) but I would really like to read more.

I'm also joining in with the Clean out your E-reader Challenge.  I buy entirely too many books for my e-reader and this will be a great motivation to get some of those read as well.  I'm assuming that this challenge also includes review copies but that is why I'm joining both just in case.  If I manage to do well on these two challenges it will also mean that I've finally knocked a few extra books off of my ipad.  A definite win in my book!

But now for the fun part.  Here are just a few of the books that I would like to read this month for these two challenges:

These are all books that I have purchased for my ipad but haven't yet read.  Looking through the books on my e-reader makes me realize that I really, really need to stop buying books.  Yikes!

And these are all of the review copies from NetGalley that I would like to get read.  I'm actually currently reading A Study in Silks by Emma Jane Holloway which is quite good so far.  Now it may not be very likely that I will be able to get through all of these but I'm sure going to try!  I also have two print review copies for blog tours that I HAVE to get read for this month...and a dozen library books that I would sure like to read.  LOL!  I told you that I was feeling ambitious :)

What are you planning on reading in November? And are you feeling the urge to read more like me??