2016 Reading Round Up

The year is not quite over yet but I thought I would update you guys on the 25 books I have read so far. I figure I still probably have another 200 to go in my collection.

Carrie. The name Stephen King brings the word classic to mind. Carrie is the first Stephen King book I have read. Carrie White is a social misfit at school as a result of her overbearing religiously frenetic mother. She gets invited to prom where a prank results in her unleashing her telekinetic powers on the town. This was a quick read that involved a lot of blood. Rating: 3/5

Shadow man. FBI agent Smokey Barrett is still recovering from the murder of her husband and daughter when she starts investigating a shocking crime. A little girl is found bound to her mother’s mutilated corpse. It might just be a coincidence but the dead woman is Smokey’s best friend. What makes this crime story intriguing, is that the killer thinks he cleaning up society as a descendent of Jack the Ripper. He targets loved ones close to the crime team in an effort to spur them on to crack the case. I really enjoyed this crime novel. Rating: 4.5/5.

A darkness more than night. Average crime story about an ex FBI profiler helping out on a case of a dead small time criminal. The technical detail was a bit overkill. There were a few interesting plot twists but I didn’t really like how the story tied up at the end. Rating: 3.5/5.

The Constant Princess. This book tells the Tudor story from the point of Katherine of Aragon. I liked that it focused on her childhood and marriage to Arthur. The constant use of her title and references to her childhood home was a bit monotonous and annoying. It was also a little too long for the amount of story being told. Rating: 3.5/5.

Run for your life. This book started out interesting enough but just became a bit silly. A guy calls himself the Teacher and wants to teach the people of New York a lesson. If this was the actual motive of the story it might have been better than ever finding out the real motive. Rating: 3/5.

Where rainbows end. I like chick lit but 600 pages is just a bit much. This was an annoying story telling mundane happenings of best friends over 40 years. They are in love but don’t know it due to a series of unfortunate circumstances. Overall I blame the guy as the girl kissed him, she didn’t remember and he decided not to mention it. Rating 3.5/5. 

Anybody out there. Easy reading chick lit but also very long at 600 pages. The story follows Anna who is recovering at her parents home in Dublin from an accident. She desperately wants to get back to New York to her husband and her amazing job. The first third of the book dragged on until we find out what happened to her husband. I also liked the other characters in the book. Rating: 3.5/5

Eighty days amber. An erotica novel that’s written much better 50 Shades of Grey. It tells the story of a Russian dancer Luba who meets a handsome amber dealer. Obviously he is harbouring a dark secret which throws a spanner at their love story. The plot is not very logical or interesting but what erotica ever is. The book didn’t make me feel inclined to read the other books in the Eighty days series. Rating: 3/5

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Still life with elephants. Neelie, a veterinarian is still reeling after discovering not only did her husband have an affair, the woman is also pregnant. She has an opportunity to patch up her marriage by joining her husband on a trip to Africa to rescue a badly injured elephant. What I loved most about this book was the vivid descriptions of the elephants. I hated the cliché of a woman having a billionaire come to her rescue. Nellie’s quirk of mishearing words was also lost on me. Rating: 4/5.

Cougars. Catherine Walker has the perfect life until she finds out her husband is having an affair. The book tells the story of her divorce, running of her company, how she deals with being single and her attraction to a younger man. I found the constant brand dropping in the book annoying. It wasn’t as annoying as the unrelatable main character. She is rich, beautiful and nothing bad has happened for 75% of her life. Boo freaking hoo. Rating: 3.5/5.

Without a trace. This was my first Lesley Pearse novel that wasn’t part of the Belle series and I have to say it fell short. Molly Heywood lives with her abusive dad in a small town in England. Her best friend is found murdered and her daughter is believed to be missing. She decides to take matters into her own hands with just a letter as a clue. The story felt too forced with everything falling into place a little too easily for her to solve the murder. Molly was a one sided character who was just good, there was no other sides to her. There are plenty of comparisons of her to other weak women. The crime in the story is also more of an after thought. Rating: 3/5.

Pariah. NYPD detective Callum Doyle’s partner and replacement have both been murdered. Not only does the suspicion fall on him but he also starts receiving threats that anyone close to him will die. This was a great crime novel. Fast paced, interesting and no clues for you to guess who the criminal is. Rating: 4.5/5.

Pleasures of the night. Silly erotica novel combining reality with a dream world. The story is so stupid I am not going to even bother typing it out. Rating: 2.5/5

Love junkie. A memoir which goes on and on and never gets to the point. Rachel finds herself in the same situation constantly but never really changes. The basis of her story is her unhealthy relationships as well as an addiction to sex and love. Rating: 2.5/5.

Burning bright. This book is by the same author of The Girl with the Pearl Earring which I own but haven’t read yet. It is a story of the friendship between a small town boy who moves to London and a streetwise London girl in 1792. There is no real exciting plot. Nothing of significance happens in the book. I found it to be more about describing London at that time. Rating: 3/5.

The Touch. A nonsensical book. Frank Chapman weasles and manipulates his way into the lives of Donna who suffers from a painful spinal condition, her boyfriend and sister. The book left me confused because I wasn’t sure if it was about how one man changes the lives of others. I was left with questions regarding whether he was a killer, if he was religious, what did the religious mumbo jambo mean and the ending which didn’t make sense. Rating: 2/5.

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To love honour and betray. This book seriously reminded me of a Bridget Jones movie. A woman is ditched by her husband a month after moving to Australia with their family. She finds out that he has been sleeping with her best friend. The book had some clever humour telling her struggle as a single mother. It was unfortunate that this was yet another woman who was incapable of doing anything for herself and took a really long time to realize her husband was an ass. Rating: 3.5/5

The ruins of us. I liked that this novel was set in Saudi and it did a fairly decent job setting the scene of life there. This novel is about the ruin of family and explores different relationships. An American wife to a Saudi billionaire is confused about what to do when she discovers her husband has secretly taken a second wife. Rating: 3.5/5.

When she woke. An interesting novel set in a time where abortion is considered murder. Criminals also have their skin chemically altered depending on the nature of their crime and are released back into society instead of being jailed. Hannah Payne was caught aborting her baby conceived with a married church pastor. The book details her journey from trying to fit in society while treated as a criminal to her eventual escape to Canada. This was another novel where it takes the whole book for the woman to stand up for herself and realize that her lover didn’t actually care for her/it was a waste protecting him. I did like the interesting concept of criminals with genetically modified skin colour. Rating: 3/5.

Some kind of peace. Excellent thriller novel about a psychotherapist who lives in a deserted area in Stolkholm and is being stalked. Siri was a character who for someone so smart was actually very stupid. If you live in the middle of nowhere alone and are being stalked, you move! The build up and suspense were great but the ending was a little weak. Rating:4/5.

Bridget Jones Mad About A Boy. Bridget finds herself as a single mom to two kids after Mark Darcy dies. She is the same bumbling fool as in the other two novels only this time it isn’t endearing. I mean, she doesn’t need to work and has full time help but still can’t pull it together. And obviously there is a love interest or  two. Rating: 3.5/5.

Her fearful symmetry. This is by the author of the Time Travellers Wife. That I loved. This I didn’t. American mirror twins travel to London after inheriting their aunt’s place there. The twist is the aunt’s spirit is still in the flat after she died. The characters in this book were absurd. The basis of the book is about a secret which isn’t really a secret but people still pretend it is. The twins have no ambition in life with one being so stupid as trying to fake her own death to escape the other twin. The novel falls short in fully explaining ghosts and the OCD neighbour adds nothing to the story. Concept of mirror twins was interesting as well as the notion that the twins can be happy only when there is one of them. Rating: 3/5.

Faking it. Faking identities, paintings, love and orgasms is this book in a nut shell. A frivolous fast paced read based in an ideal world where everything works out with smatterings of sex. It tells the story of the Goodnights who own an art gallery and their adventure in trying to steal back a forged painting they have sold accidentally. Rating: 3.5/5.

Attraction. A love story, a crime and breakdown of a marriage. Jack is in a hotel room in Paris guarded by police. He will be arrested in the morning so he has ten hours to explain what has happened. The story takes you back in time through his relationship history with his wife while slowly unravelling what crime has been committed. You are left wondering if he killed his wife or another third party. Interesting concept with poor execution. Rating: 3/5.

Alphabet. Simon has been sent to jail for life after being convicted for murdering his girlfriend. In prison he decides to learn how to read, write and correspond with women outside of prison. I was left deeply unsatisfied upon finishing this book. There is nothing worth mentioning. Rating: 2/5.

Books & Novels,
CG

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