Sunday, July 22, 2018

Review: Real Actors, Not People

Real Actors, Not People Real Actors, Not People by Karen Musser Nortman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the eighth book in the series. I have not read any of the others in the series. It is my first time reading this author. I first heard of this book at a Facebook party. I was excited about it because I love camping. I also found it intriguing that the mysteries will most likely move around. I found this to be interesting as locations, victims, suspects and witnesses will be different. I was wondering how that might affect the series and if I should start with the first book. Then I was notified I won a copy of this book.

I was able to enjoy the mystery with no problem at all. Yes there were hints of prior mysteries but nothing that made me feel as if I was left out of the loop. I loved the idea of family and friends going on camping adventures together. I felt right at home with Frannie and the gang. There was no awkwardness of being the outsider wondering about all I missed. It was the welcoming, friendly feeling you really do get from most campers. The reality show aspect was fun. Just imagining some actors out in the “wilds” building fires and living without luxuries was hilarious. I think the author did well with blending what we imagine they are like with what may be realistically more accurate. I don’t want to go into the mystery. I am always afraid of ruining the story. I enjoyed it. I thought it was fairly easy to solve but a fun book to read. I do want to go back and read prior books though it isn’t necessary. I just think the people were fun and the author did a wonderful job bringing the camping experience to me. I found the book to be appropriate for those who enjoy “clean” books.

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Review: Mischief in Italy

Mischief in Italy Mischief in Italy by Beate Boeker
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I won this book during a Facebook party.

This was such a fun book to read! It is definitely a summer fun book. This does not mean that you can only read it during the summer. What it means is if you are wanting to take a book-cation and enjoy the summer time feeling, this book is perfect. It is set in Italy with a small part in Germany.

The book is told in first person chapters, told by four main people. Yes. That is right. Four narrators. I can imagine your thoughts right now. I myself would have been thinking, ‘well, that is three too many.’ Do not make that mistake! It works out divinely. I actually cannot wait for this to come out on audio though I am scared to death for it to come out on audio. I want it done with two narrators: one male, one female. I want the narrators to be able to do two voices each: one old, one young. I know that is asking a lot but it would be so amazing. It is the only pairing that would do justice to the perfection of this book. So knowing the almost impossibility of this, I fear what I wish for. It is just that the author wrote these characters so well you truly come to know them. I remember having the thought that they were written in such a way that the author brought them to life with what she didn’t say as much as she did with what she did say. It is an amazing feat! Even the lesser characters, who have their turn narrating, were wonderfully written.

The story is delightful. It had me laughing, gasping in disbelief, worried and holding my breath in anticipation. I don’t want to go into any of it though. I want you to experience the deliciousness of it yourself. It is a clean read so can be enjoyed by everyone, though some may want more heat. For me, it is a treasure as it is.

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Friday, July 13, 2018

Review: The Mystery Of Hollow Inn

The Mystery Of Hollow Inn The Mystery Of Hollow Inn by Tara Ellis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The edition I am reviewing is actually the Audible one.

I listened to this book with my grandchildren in two different states. There was a total of 2 girls and 4 boys ages 4-12. We use video calling to read together.

The story begins with two 12 year old friends, Sam and Ally, arriving in Montana. They went by bus to vacation at the inn owned by Sam’s aunt and uncle. Upon arrival it becomes apparent that there won’t be cell phone service. Something that dismays one but delights the other. When a teenage boy, working at the inn, lets it slip that there is a legend attached to the inn, the adventure begins!

My grandchildren found it fascinating that the girls were allowed to go alone on a bus from California to Montana. They do not travel alone. This caused some excitement and a few questions. The cell phone being taken out caused some anxiety for the kids, too. Personally I loved that the author made a point of showing them they would not only survive without it, they would have fun. I was also impressed that the author made the point that while some people are very comfortable and even attached to social media, others are not. I always think it is important that differences be shown and accepted. The said they really liked how the author described things. They were able to picture it in their minds and watch the story unfold, which is something I have always loved about books. We all agreed the author did an excellent job with the narration. We are looking forward to the next book.



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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Review: Bad Mommy

Bad Mommy Bad Mommy by Tarryn Fisher
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Much like a train wreck, I couldn’t stay away. This story grabbed me and I listened all the way through with only a few breaks. I don’t even know if I really like the story. I plan to listen to it again. There is crazy and then there is another level of crazy. This goes in the second crazy status.
The narration on this was awesome! I enjoyed it.
This might not be for you if you are offended easily. If you can handle people having real thoughts and feelings, (no judgment from me..I believe I am only responsible for my words and deeds), then you might find this story fascinating.


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Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Review: The Last Orchard: Book 0

The Last Orchard: Book 0 The Last Orchard: Book 0 by James Hunt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I haven’t read anything by this author. I saw it and based upon the description and price, (free at the time), I decided to try it, not expecting much. I was surprised by it. The author picked a subject we should all think about. I’m not going to pick a political side. War can happen and it can happen, and throughout history has happened, regardless of which side is in the White House. I can imagine it coming to our shores, particularly in a time when the population is divided over everything. I am not opposed to progress. I’m writing this on an iPad I would miss like a lover. I am also a believer in the past being as important to our future as the present is. If you forget history, you will possibly repeat it. If you forget the inventions of yesterday, you may find yourself needing to invent them again. We rely greatly on all our gadgets that make life comfortable. What will happen if it was all suddenly gone? Would you know what to do? If you are thinking, I bought a book on survival awhile back, tell me, please, was it an ebook or print? Exactly. We are so use to everything being easy, we don’t even think about a long term disaster and how it could affect us. The lights go out? We expect them back in a few hours. But what if they weren’t coming back for months? How would deployed troops get back to defend us if nothing is in the sky? I like to think all that is worked out but I’d rather not rely on it. This book brings that concept home. Do I think it would fall apart so quickly? No but the author threw in a probable cause to suggest it could. I like books that make me think what if it could really happen? This one did that for me.
This is a very fast read. The action drives it forward but it is a short introductory type of book. Don’t be fooled though. The author, in that short length, took a moment to develop his characters. It made a nice surprise for me. Yes it does end with no ending. This is why I called an introductory book. I suspect the ending won’t happen for awhile. This is a series that relies on the book before as well as the next book. If you don’t want to invest in a series, this might not be the best fit. You could though put it away until the series has a few books and then read them together. As for me, I’m anxious to see what happens next, how does this affect the main characters and how it resolves. I’m probably not going to wait. I think there are three more as of this writing. That’s enough to get me started.

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Review: Leap, Laugh, Love

Leap, Laugh, Love Leap, Laugh, Love by Rachelle Ayala
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a fun summer read. I really enjoyed all the beach and surfing puns the author used. Having read Blush of Love, I was happy to see some friends though I wish I had read this first. I appreciated how the author kept the continuity between the stories.
This story has a bit of spice to it. If you are not looking for a hot, sexy story you might want to skip this. The author has other clean romances that would fit you better. If, however, you are looking for something to make you sweat and ready for love, this is your book!

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Review: Ready Player One

Ready Player One Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love this book! This is one of the books I missed from The Great American Read list. My librarian got me a copy and I also have it on my Audible. I read this with family members. We listened and I read along, (or ahead because I could stay up all night without being yelled at- haha). We held off watching the movie to finish the book.
We absolutely loved this book! I play games a lot, as a child it was all board games then with progress video games were added. Now it is a mix that I enjoy with my children and grandchildren. I loved all the references throughout the book. I guess we have talked about them enough that most didn’t even need to be explained to the grandkids. This made a fun book to do as a family. We were in three states but with the use of video calling we had a blast! If you are looking for something fun and engaging to share with a child in your family, this is a good choice, (though be aware the middle might find the child wanting to get on with it. Romance apparently is not enjoyed as much by young boys). We are now excited to watch the movie over the Fourth of July holiday. I am expecting it to be different and am anxiously waiting to see the kids reactions. This is going to be an experience for them. It’s my hope they will see enough differences to decide the book is always worth reading.
I highly recommend this book.

*edited because I forgot to mention that Wil Wheaton does a great job with the Audible version. The kids especially enjoyed him. I had one who loved closing his eyes so he could watch in his head as Wil read the book. High praise in my eyes. Not every narrator can bring the visual to your mind.

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Review: Real Actors, Not People

Real Actors, Not People by Karen Musser Nortman My rating: 4 of 5 stars This is the eighth book in the s...