Monday, March 27, 2017

It's Monday - What are Reading?


Book Date now hosts It's Monday What Are Your Reading?  The meme that we use to share what we read this past week and what our plans are for the upcoming week.  It's a great way to see what others are reading and add to your own To Be Read List.



I haven't had much time for blogging and networking and even reading at night, eyes were closing fast.  I have a week off before starting my new job next Monday.  I am a HR Specialist and left my last company of 9 years.  I'm very excited about my new career endeavour but the transition has been long.  Apologies for not being around.


I'm currently reading, from a favourite author, I highly recommend Unravel and Unhinge.





I just reviewed and will watch the movie this week.  My Review



I need to review my book club's choice.



Next up will be my book club read for April.




I also watched Fifty Shades of Grey,  it made me remember how much I loved the first in the series.  It was well done, I was a huge fan of the 1st.

My Review




Have an awesome week.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Review - The Girl with all the Gifts by M. R. Carey




Book Summary

Melanie is a very special girl. Dr Caldwell calls her "our little genius."

Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don't like her. She jokes that she won't bite, but they don't laugh.

The Girl With All the Gifts is a groundbreaking thriller, emotionally charged and gripping from beginning to end.


My Review - 3 1/2

I saw the trailer for the movie and had to read the book first, it looked intense, totally me so I went for it.  Amazing characters which kept me reading.  A very strong intro where we meet all the characters, get a little understanding of what is going on and then all hell breaks loose.  Some escape and begin the journey of survival.  I thought I was in for a 5 star read.

This is where the book changed for me.  This journey went on forever, I think it could have been shorter, I lost my interest but continued through it because I had to know how it ended.  Melanie is a fascinating girl and you want to know what will happen and if they find a cure and safety.  She really is a gifted child. The science part did nothing for me, it felt like a filter instead of to bring more understanding.  This is my first zombie book, they are called hungries in The Girl with all the Gifts.  I would read another zombie book only if recommended to me, this wasn't a turn off to me.

"That's Pandora,"  Miss Justineau said.  "She was a really amazing woman.  All the gods had blessed her and given her gifts.  That's what her name means - 'the girl with all the gifts'.  So she was clever, and brave, and beautiful, and funny, and everything else you'd want to be.  But she just had the one tiny fault, which was that she was very-and I mean very - curious."  Kindle 3%

The best part of this book was the characters and relationships built.  What changes people when in survival mode?  Do you have moral and integrity issues when fighting for what is right?

But this is how you square the circle.  Can't go back.  Can't go forward.  Can't stay put.  So you pick another direction and you get out from under.  Kindle 72%

I thought the ending was great, circular but it threw me a little.  If I had loved the story I would have reread the ending.  There was a part that Melanie witnessed that I knew would mean something and I was intrigued again, it made the book worth reading but the middle lacked something.  Melanie is the glue to this story, worth reading to know this character.  I look forward to watching the movie.




Thursday, March 2, 2017

Review - The Butterfly Garden







Book Summary


Near an isolated mansion lies a beautiful garden.
In this garden grow luscious flowers, shady trees…and a collection of precious “butterflies”—young women who have been kidnapped and intricately tattooed to resemble their namesakes. Overseeing it all is the Gardener, a brutal, twisted man obsessed with capturing and preserving his lovely specimens.
When the garden is discovered, a survivor is brought in for questioning. FBI agents Victor Hanoverian and Brandon Eddison are tasked with piecing together one of the most stomach-churning cases of their careers. But the girl, known only as Maya, proves to be a puzzle herself.
As her story twists and turns, slowly shedding light on life in the Butterfly Garden, Maya reveals old grudges, new saviors, and horrific tales of a man who’d go to any length to hold beauty captive. But the more she shares, the more the agents have to wonder what she’s still hiding.



My Review - 3

I think Butterfly Garden would be a good horror on screen.  It is labeled an adult thriller but I can't say I was thrilled or sitting on the edge of my seat for this one.  I thought this was going to be a quick read at less then 300 pages but it took me forever because it didn't say pick me up.

I enjoyed the beginning, we meet Maya telling the detectives about her time in the garden.  Immediately you know somehow she escaped or the police found them so no suspense there.  We are told the story through Maya reliving the life of being captured with 20 plus young women.  We get to know some of the women and had a sense of life in the garden.  A mix between a prison, science lab and gorgeous gardens.  All very weird and I can't really say believable.

Who can create these kind of places without anyone anonymously letting the police know. Beautiful garden, greenhouse, high tech walls that come down and shut everything out, waterfalls, weird concept to believe.

....when I fell asleep, the nightmare would still be there.  When I woke up, the nightmare would still e there.  Every day for three and a half years, the nightmare would always, always be there, and there was no comfort against that.  Kindle 63%

We have a father and two sons.  The father is known as the Gardner, he captures the ladies, tattoos their backs with wings to create a butterfly, sometimes tattooing their faces.  He is the ultimate sociopath and serial killer which sees nothing wrong with what he does.  Just like butterflies they have a short life and the women know that at 21 there time comes to an end.  He abducts the women and takes care of them but he also murders them.

We then first meet the eldest son, Avery, he had anger issues and abused the women, this was the only parts that felt like abuse and that something was wrong.  As you are reading there are times you forget these women are captured and freedom is not an option.  The sexual acts do not feel like rape until Avery comes along reminded the women they are in a dangerous zone.

Most of the girls did better pretending the sky wasn't so close, pretending that our world was bigger than it was and that nothing waited Outside.  If it helped them, I wasn't going to argue with them.  But I love it up there.  Some days I'd even climb the trees and stretch out and press my hand against the glass.  I liked reminding myself that there was a world beyond my cage, even if I'd never see it again.  Kindle 28%

Then we meet Desmond, he finds his way into the Garden to see what he father is hiding.  He is so naive he doesn't understand  or believe the concept that his father can be taken young women against their will.  During his visits to the garden he falls in love with Maya, the butterfly that takes care of all the butterflies.  How does this relationship end?

We get good cop versus bad cop during the interviews but I really couldn't wait for them to be over.  You read looking forward to the end, how were they found, the suspense has you engaged and then they are captured and when you hear the end of the story from Maya......... well it just ends.  I don't think I can let my mind go that far left to believe.  I think the ending will be a love it or hate it choice.  Overall a very weird book, some parts where magical, if you can call it that.

This was the 1st book in a trilogy or series, I have no interest in reading on.  Even though there were some hard topics in this book they were written with ease and class.



Monday, February 27, 2017

Happy Monday - What are you reading?




Book Date now hosts It's Monday What Are Your Reading?  The meme that we use to share what we read this past week and what our plans are for the upcoming week.  It's a great way to see what others are reading and add to your own To Be Read List.



I'm currently reading, so far it is amazing.



I just finished, review will be up this week




I will be reading for Book club next



NetGalley approved my request so I will be reading this also, excited




Happy Monday - have a great week.


Friday, February 17, 2017

Have you read The Girl with all the Gifts?




I never read a review on this one, I thought it was YA which I usually do not read.  I saw the cover on Netflix and said I think that is a book, let me have a look.  WOW, this looks intense, I am going to read next.

Talk about do not judge a book by its cover.



Have you read it, what did you think?






Book Summary

Melanie is a very special girl. Dr Caldwell calls her "our little genius."

Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don't like her. She jokes that she won't bite, but they don't laugh.

The Girl With All the Gifts is a groundbreaking thriller, emotionally charged and gripping from beginning to end.



Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Review - A Suitable Lie by Michael J Malone



Publication Date - August 2016

Book Summary

Some secrets should never be kept… Andy Boyd thinks he is the luckiest man alive. Widowed with a young child, after his wife dies in childbirth, he is certain that he will never again experience true love. Then he meets Anna. Feisty, fun and beautiful, she’s his perfect match … and she loves his son like he is her own. When Andy ends up in the hospital on his wedding night, he receives his first clue that Anna is not all that she seems. Desperate for that happy-ever-after, he ignores it. A dangerous mistake that could cost him everything. A brave, deeply moving, page-turning psychological thriller, A Suitable Lie marks a stunning departure for one of Scotland’s finest crime writers, exploring the lengths people will go to hide their deepest secrets, even if it kills them…



My Review - 3 1/2

Andy is a single widowed father when he believes he has been blessed with another love.  He meets Anna and quickly falls in love.  And this is when the emotional physical abuse starts.  A Suitable Lie is unique where the abuse victim is the husband.  When you read books about abuse you realize there are no rules.  People stay for all different reasons, dealing with the ultimate betrayal and fear.

I sat on the stairs, balls and head aching, mind dull with worry.  What was going on here?  Who was this woman I married?  She was so small.  I was so big.  Kindle 25%

Andy also has a close knit family, with him mom and brother living close.  In order to keep the secret, the closeness unravels and at times he chooses the abuse he knows he will get in order to spend time with his family.  It was all very sad to read, you can feel his torture and bruised ego.

I did have a main part of the story correct but I was a little let down by all of the glimpses of why.  I did like the secondary story with his coworker Sheila.  She had found the strength to get out of an abusive relationship and Andy cotinued to think could he be as brave and walk away.  This storyline was touching.

I wish we were told more about Anna's past.  It is amazing how you can continue hurting and hurt others when you don't trust.  So many are affected by abuse but when Andy is lying to himself, how can he recover and be the best father, son, brother and possible husband.

A lie could slip out as easily as a feather from a torn duvet.  But a ton of feathers was still a ton.  All it would take is one last feather, one last lie, and you would collapse under the strain.  Kindle 74%

With abuse comes manipulation and how Anna played Andy I thought was obvious but could be a huge surprise for some readers.  There was a little mysterious feel to the book.


At times the writing turned me off, I couldn't tell if it was repetitive to try to give us a feel of the family or community but they always called the children, 'the wee boys', it just drove me crazy after awhile.

I added A Suitable Lie to my TBR list after reading Novel Gossip's review.  She gave it 5 stars and thought is was similar to Behind Closed Doors.




Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday - BA Paris



Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event spotlighting upcoming releases we are highly anticipating. It is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

I usually look forward to new books from favourite authors but every now and again a 2nd book by an author comes out after you thoroughly enjoyed their debut.  This week, this one falls in that category.  Behind Closed Doors was one of my most anticipated debuts to read also.




Book Summary from Amazon

Named One of the Most Anticipated Thriller Novels Of 2017 by Bustle!
THE NEW CHILLING, PROPULSIVE NOVEL FROM THE AUTHOR OF THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES AND USA TODAY BESTSELLING BEHIND CLOSED DOORS.
If you can’t trust yourself, who can you trust?
Cass is having a hard time since the night she saw the car in the woods, on the winding rural road, in the middle of a downpour, with the woman sitting inside—the woman who was killed. She’s been trying to put the crime out of her mind; what could she have done, really? It’s a dangerous road to be on in the middle of a storm. Her husband would be furious if he knew she’d broken her promise not to take that shortcut home. And she probably would only have been hurt herself if she’d stopped.
But since then, she’s been forgetting every little thing: where she left the car, if she took her pills, the alarm code, why she ordered a pram when she doesn’t have a baby.
The only thing she can’t forget is that woman, the woman she might have saved, and the terrible nagging guilt.
Or the silent calls she’s receiving, or the feeling that someone’s watching her…

You won't be able to put down B. A. Paris's The Breakdown, the next chilling, propulsive novel from the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Behind Closed Doors.






Behind Closed Doors - was on my Top List of 2016.  Intense.  My Review


What book are you excited for?


Monday, February 6, 2017

What are you reading, it is February.......



Book Date now hosts It's Monday What Are Your Reading?  The meme that we use to share what we read this past week and what our plans are for the upcoming week.  It's a great way to see what others are reading and add to your own To Be Read List.

After reading my first book of the year Small Great Things, I haven't really been able to read, major book hangover, sigh.  I have put a few down as I wasn't in the right mood for it, abandoned one but really need something to grab me right now.

It is Feb and I am only on my 3rd book.  I realized reading reviews of it helps to keep it in my head, adding to the hangover so I may have to stop as obviously small great things do matter.


I'm currently reading




I tried to read the 2nd book but I abandoned 




I think I am going to read this next



Happy Monday, have a great week.


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

My Top Ten Must Read List for 2017



Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This meme was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!
Each week we will post a new Top Ten list complete with one of our bloggers answers. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND post a comment on our post with a link to your Top Ten Tuesday post to share with us and all those who are participating. If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. If you can't come up with ten, don't worry about it---post as many as you can!



I loved this list last year and read 8 of the 10, 3 ended up on my Favourites of 2016 list, so overall really good. 

This is what I chose after reading your reviews and Top 2016 lists.  What do you think?

I started the year with this one, WOW, talk about a book hangover.






I haven't read Sharon Bolton before but she continues to come up on my recommended list.




























What do you recommend?  I'm excited.


Thursday, January 19, 2017

ARC Review - The Night Bird by Brian Freeman



Publication Date is coming soon - February 1, 2017

Book Summary from Amazon

Homicide detective Frost Easton doesn’t like coincidences. When a series of bizarre deaths rock San Francisco—as seemingly random women suffer violent psychotic breaks—Frost looks for a connection that leads him to psychiatrist Francesca Stein. Frankie’s controversial therapy helps people erase their most terrifying memories…and all the victims were her patients.
As Frost and Frankie carry out their own investigations, the case becomes increasingly personal—and dangerous. Long-submerged secrets surface as someone called the Night Bird taunts the pair with cryptic messages pertaining to the deaths. Soon Frankie is forced to confront strange gaps in her own memory, and Frost faces a killer who knows the detective’s worst fears.
As the body count rises and the Night Bird circles ever closer, a dedicated cop and a brilliant doctor race to solve the puzzle before a cunning killer claims another victim.

My Review - 4

The Goodreads group, A Good Thriller, highly recommended him.  I read The Spitting Devil, a short story to see how I liked the writing and loved it but still didn't pick up one of his books.  Then Amazon Prime offered me The Night Bird, I will definitely look out for more by Brian Freeman now.

This is a great mystery to see if you can figure it out.  Overall I enjoyed the characters but I have to say I agree with this Psychiatrist needing her own therapist, wow.  His friend smiled.  "You know what they say about psychiatrists, Frost.  They only go into the business to find someone crazier than they are."  Kindle 57%

Frankie started to receive cryptic messages - Remember Me and all from thenightbird@gmx.com.   She is used to receiving threats or similar messages and thinks nothing of it but soon realizes that it is threats and very personal.  Frankie helped patients forget memories and create new ones.  Unfortunately not everyone wants to forget or allow anyone to get away with creating fatal memories.

I really enjoyed how they pin pointed the killer and then it was a race to find him before more patients of Frankie or Frankie were killed.  Detective Frost was on the first scene were he met Lucy who was a witness to her friend having a psychotic break.  During the investigation Lucy decides to try to become a pawn but before Frost can talk her out of it the Night Bird captures her.

This book will take you on a roller coaster and you will think different people are the killer or involved in some way which was well executed.  I would love to know if people guess correctly.

I didn't love Frankie's character and I feel she took the patient confidentiality a few steps to far, putting herself directly into danger but in the end I felt due to her own memories maybe she wanted to be in danger.

Thank you to Amazon Prime for a great featured book to read prior to release date.


What Brian Freeman book would you recommend?


Sunday, January 8, 2017

Review - Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult



Book Summary  

Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital with more than twenty years’ experience. During her shift, Ruth begins a routine checkup on a newborn, only to be told a few minutes later that she’s been reassigned to another patient. The parents are white supremacists and don’t want Ruth, who is African American, to touch their child. The hospital complies with their request, but the next day, the baby goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is alone in the nursery. Does she obey orders or does she intervene?

Ruth hesitates before performing CPR and, as a result, is charged with a serious crime. Kennedy McQuarrie, a white public defender, takes her case but gives unexpected advice: Kennedy insists that mentioning race in the courtroom is not a winning strategy. Conflicted by Kennedy’s counsel, Ruth tries to keep life as normal as possible for her family—especially her teenage son—as the case becomes a media sensation. As the trial moves forward, Ruth and Kennedy must gain each other’s trust, and come to see that what they’ve been taught their whole lives about others—and themselves—might be wrong.

With incredible empathy, intelligence, and candor, Jodi Picoult tackles race, privilege, prejudice, justice, and compassion—and doesn’t offer easy answers. Small Great Things is a remarkable achievement from a writer at the top of her game.



Published, October 2016 

My Review 4 1/2 stars

Small Great Things is the hardest, most disturbing book I have read.  Race relations is not a topic I read about or discuss and I think this was Jodi Picoults goal, well done, it will be memorable.  I initially was going to give it a 4 but the fact that she will get people talking including myself, I give it 4 1/2 stars.  I have read a few of her books in the past, really enjoyed or not at all, I actually said I was done with her books and then she released this one which made you think about the present, how real this premise is, absolutely timely.

Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.  - Benjamin Franklin  Kindle 1%

I really enjoyed how the chapters were done.  Early birth through to afterbirth and the story was told between Ruth, Turk and Kennedy.  There were times I had to walk away from the book, just emotional.  Within the last year I have questioned my reality but I have realized that everyone reacts differently to history and the legacy of family life.  Small Great Things tries to get you understand all the different sides of why we think and react the way we do.

Bad things happen to good people all the time and everyone's response or perception is different.  The heartbreaking part of this book is that the baby still died.  There is nothing that can bring him back. The back stories were amazing and uncomfortable to read. I personally couldn't relate to any characters but could see this happening.  Once I reached 50% the court case started, I felt like I can breathe again.  I have been a juror before and this kind of thing would give me nightmares.

There is no such thing as a fact.  There is only how you saw the act, in a given moment.  How you reported the fact.  How your brain processed that fact.  There is no extrication of the story teller from the story. Kindle 73%

A quote used with the title.

"You're destined to do small great things,"  she told me.  "Just like Dr. King said. "  She was referring to one of her favorite quotes:  If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.....  Kindle 37%

I thought it was a nice touch that the white supremacist had a black lawyer and Ruth had a white lawyer.  We might not realize it but color is noticed in many scenarios.  Both lawyers didn't want to play the race game in court.   "I don't think about being white.  I told you the first time we sat down - I don't see color."  (Ruth) "Not all of us have that privilege."  Kindle 51%

Sure, I know that racism exists and that people like Turk Bauer are waving that banner, but I don't judge all white folks by the historical actions of a few.  Kindle 25%

There was only part  in the book that just didn't ring true to me but it did for a colleague.  It amazes me but history truly repeats itself.  And this is a very scary thought.  If we think of all the terrorists attacks, Trump becoming President, the turmoil in our own countries, race all plays a part which is sad.  How do we become a part of the change?

 I work in an hospital and I can see a Manager requesting for a staff member to not be on a patients case from their request but I don't think it will be formal and in the charts.  So I did believe this could happen.  Also, when difficult decisions need to be made, people are thrown under the bus, integrity is what we strive for but I think it forgotten at times.

There were many surprising moments in this book.  Shocking moments.  Overall this will be a memorable book with great characters.  Even if you try to guess the outcome, there are so many layers you will never guess them all.


Other Jodi Picoult books I have read

My Sisters Keeper - I enjoyed both the book and movie
The Pact -  not my favourite


Personal Note - I have introduced myself as a Bermudian female blogger that loves thrillers.  I have been blogging for almost 8 years and I am 41 years old.  I have never mentioned that I am black.  From the book blogging world I know this does not matter, (I will continue to believe this) What matters is that we all love to read and enjoy the networking.  I have never put up a picture.  Here I am :-)  Other than reading I also love gardening and Yoga.  I am a HR Specialist, a Strala Yoga Guide and Pilates Instructor.  I'm also the mom of a 9 year old girl.




Monday, January 2, 2017

This is a HARD read so far........





This book is disturbing.  I almost forgot Trump is soon to take over being President and reading this has made me scared all over again for our world.  My heart is breaking.  I'm 50% in and trying to say it is a book Marce but we all know books are reality.

I am glad to reading it before everyone in the blog world has though.  I have to take breaks though, so disturbing to me.  Interesting discussions will come out of this one.  I wouldn't even want to discuss this one at book club..  Mercy.........


Book Summary  

Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital with more than twenty years’ experience. During her shift, Ruth begins a routine checkup on a newborn, only to be told a few minutes later that she’s been reassigned to another patient. The parents are white supremacists and don’t want Ruth, who is African American, to touch their child. The hospital complies with their request, but the next day, the baby goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is alone in the nursery. Does she obey orders or does she intervene?

Ruth hesitates before performing CPR and, as a result, is charged with a serious crime. Kennedy McQuarrie, a white public defender, takes her case but gives unexpected advice: Kennedy insists that mentioning race in the courtroom is not a winning strategy. Conflicted by Kennedy’s counsel, Ruth tries to keep life as normal as possible for her family—especially her teenage son—as the case becomes a media sensation. As the trial moves forward, Ruth and Kennedy must gain each other’s trust, and come to see that what they’ve been taught their whole lives about others—and themselves—might be wrong.

With incredible empathy, intelligence, and candor, Jodi Picoult tackles race, privilege, prejudice, justice, and compassion—and doesn’t offer easy answers. Small Great Things is a remarkable achievement from a writer at the top of her game.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

My First Book of 2017




Sheila over at Book Journey has a personal book tradition, picking her 1st book of the year to read.  She has invited all of us again to join her and share our choices, what a great collage of bloggers and first books she has up.  Check it out

Sheila, if you see this, my comments do not show on your blog and I think my emails go to your junk folder.

I didn't know what to choose this year but......

I decided on............






Book Summary - I think this is going to be a hard read.  

Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital with more than twenty years’ experience. During her shift, Ruth begins a routine checkup on a newborn, only to be told a few minutes later that she’s been reassigned to another patient. The parents are white supremacists and don’t want Ruth, who is African American, to touch their child. The hospital complies with their request, but the next day, the baby goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is alone in the nursery. Does she obey orders or does she intervene?

Ruth hesitates before performing CPR and, as a result, is charged with a serious crime. Kennedy McQuarrie, a white public defender, takes her case but gives unexpected advice: Kennedy insists that mentioning race in the courtroom is not a winning strategy. Conflicted by Kennedy’s counsel, Ruth tries to keep life as normal as possible for her family—especially her teenage son—as the case becomes a media sensation. As the trial moves forward, Ruth and Kennedy must gain each other’s trust, and come to see that what they’ve been taught their whole lives about others—and themselves—might be wrong.

With incredible empathy, intelligence, and candor, Jodi Picoult tackles race, privilege, prejudice, justice, and compassion—and doesn’t offer easy answers. Small Great Things is a remarkable achievement from a writer at the top of her game.





I look forward to networking with you again this year.  I am grateful for my blogging friends.