Thursday, January 31, 2013

Review - Bunheads by Sophie Flack

Book Summary from Amazon

In a crowd of beautiful ballet dancers, how can one girl stand out?

As a dancer with the ultra-prestigious Manhattan Ballet company, nineteen-year-old Hannah Ward juggles intense rehearsals, dazzling performances, and complicated backstage relationships. But when she meets a spontaneous and irresistibly cute musician named Jacob, her universe begins to change.

Until now, Hannah has happily followed the company's unofficial mantra, "Don't think, just dance." But as Jacob opens her eyes to the world beyond the theater, Hannah must decide whether to compete against the other "bunheads" for a star soloist spot or to strike out on her own.

Publication - Oct 2012

Read a Hardback version

My Review - 4

What a stunning cover and if you have every seen a professional ballet company, stunning is a word you would use for the performance also.  As an ex professional trained dancer in modern, ballet and jazz I loved and appreciated this novel more than I think others will.  Sophie Flack uses ballet terms throughout which gave you a visual but I think this description would not be appreciated by a non lover of dance or dancer.  We move in unison, inverting our formation - saute', chasse' turn, saute' pas de chat - and then I run back into the wing.

The novel was in sections, Fall Season, Winter Season and Spring Season.  This is the perfect gift for any upcoming child interested in dance as a serious hobby with possibility of career choice.  Very genuine with the real deal of life as a ballerina.

I enjoyed the storyline of Hannah struggling with giving up everything for a life and success as a ballerina becoming a Principle or finding a balance and enjoying 'life'.  Many ballerinas in the company call 'normal' people pedestrians.

For Hannah, having it all could include dating another dancer or front seat fan which also contributes funds but she meets Jacob.  Is Jacob exactly what she needs or is he a distraction that causes her to lose out on opportunities?

What an entertaining read.  I highly recommend to those interested in the life of a ballerina, especially backstage moments, performance nights, classes, competitive friendships and diets.  Young upcoming dancers will especially appreciate.

Thanks to June at Writing is a Blessing for the Giveaway, go read her review.


Friday, January 25, 2013

Friday Find - Psychological Thriller, Consequences

Friday Finds with MizB - to participate, network and get some ideas to add to your TBR list go here.

Book Summary from Amazon

Published Aug 2011

Besieged by memories of a brutal abduction, Claire Nichols wakes in an unfamiliar bedroom, within a luxurious mansion. Her recollections have one common denominator, the man she just met, Anthony Rawlings. Unbeknownst to Claire, for a very long time, she has been within Anthony’s sights. Many of the pivotal events in her life occurred, due to his sinister manipulation. Every action has a consequence, and his actions result in their chance meeting.
More than a psychological thriller, Consequences is a vivid story of one woman’s struggle to survive incomprehensible circumstances. Every aspect of her being suddenly depends upon the tall, wealthy, dark haired, dark eyed businessman. Anthony Rawlings is known to the world as prosperous, benevolent, and kind. Claire quickly learns that he can also be a menacing controlling captor. With few options but concession, Claire attempts to earn her freedom, while enduring a hellish existence that truly appears perfect.
Persevering tests and trials, she struggles to retain her pure Midwest values and beliefs. Encouraged by memories of a loving upbringing, she gains strength in the simplest of joys: solitude in nature and good in the face of evil. His goal in sight, Anthony’s calculated agenda encounters an unforeseen detour. He becomes captivated by Claire’s beauty, resilience, and determination.
The interaction of these two compelling characters instigates strong emotions: fear, anger, love, and lust. Claire and Anthony’s tumultuous journey flows into uncharted waters of intrigue and passion. Utilizing vivid detail, this 167,000-word novel unfolds like a movie, before the eyes of its readers. From the opening criminal abduction, through twists and turns, to the unlikely romantic thrills, the suspense climaxes as Anthony’s motivation becomes evident. Anthony and Claire must decide if they will stay true to one another, or allow preceding actions to result in justifiable Consequences.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Review - The Donor by Helen FitzGerald

Currently Reading on Kindle

Summary from Amazon

Will Marion has two perfect kidneys. His daughters aren't so lucky. Question is: which one should he save? Will's 47. His wife bailed out when the twins were in nappies and hasn't been seen since. He coped OK by himself at first, giving Georgie and Kay all the love he could, working in a boring admin job to support them. Just after the twins turn sixteen, Georgie suffers kidney failure and is placed on dialysis. Her type is rare, and Will immediately offers to donate an organ. Without a transplant, she would probably never see adulthood. So far so good. But then Kay gets sick. She's also sixteen. Just as precious. Her kidney type just as rare. Time is critical, and he has to make a decision. Should be buy a kidney - be an organ tourist? Should be save one child? If so, which one? Should be sacrifice himself? Or is there a fourth solution - one so terrible it has never even crossed his mind?

Published July 21, 2011

My Review 4

What an emotional thriller.  A single father with twin daughters who were abandoned by the heroine addict mother.  This book has young adult scenarios, drugs, violence, organ donor info and parenting all wrapped up in this tragic sad story.

The Donor was told by all characters which I enjoyed, but mainly Will, the father.  The voices were distinct but the overall style at times didn't flow, something felt off to me.

Such a sweet story at first, the unique spin of having a single father bringing up his girls and genuinely missing and loving the mom.  The parenting was comforting and realistic with learning as he goes.  He is not a man that makes decisions, his choice is just to make others happy by going with whatever they wanted.  Consequences and decision making was a huge take away from this story, how others are affected and when extreme thoughts are pursued or even thought about. 

Growing up Kay was the idealistic child and Gracie was the moody unapproachable child.  Twins but different in every way.  The way they approached life and then their illness was described in an effective heartbreaking way.

When they found out both girls were sick, Will knew he had to find the mother.  This journey, the planning and action was a highlight.  The teenager who accepted the case to find the mother and Will's notes on how to choose which daughter was hilarious and painstakingly stupid but entertaining, both add to consequences of how it ends. 

There was a major mouth open moment which was obvious to me but I think won't be to all and will add to the realistic drama of events.  Scenes involving a neighbour I thought was over the top and completely unnecessary, may even disgust some readers.

Overall a great adult fiction thriller.  It made me think of a few novels, My Sisters Keeper/Jodi P, Gone Girl/Gillian F and After You/Julie B. 

Favourite quote

For the first time ever, he completely lost it:  yelling and screaming in the hospital, trying to hit that wretched feral stray who was my mother.  That's what happens when you store shit inside for a lifetime.  It rots, then explodes.


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Review - The Bone Collector by Jeffrey Deaver.

Currently Reading on Kindle

Book Summary

Lincoln Rhyme, ex-head of NYPD forensics, was the nation's foremost criminalist, the man who could work a crime scene and come away with a perfect profile of the killer, frozen in time. Now, Lincoln is frozen in place — permanently. An accident on the job left him a quadriplegic who can move just one finger, a great mind strapped to his bed, mulish and sarcastic, hiding from a life he no longer wants to live.

Until he sees the crime-scene report about a corpse found buried on a deserted West Side railroad track, its bloody hand rising from the dirt. It belonged to a man who got into a cab at the airport and never got out. Reluctantly, Lincoln Rhyme abandons retirement to track down a killer whose ingenious clues hold the secret to saving his victims — if Rhyme can decipher them in time. The search leads him to the Bone Collector, whose obsession with old New York colors every scrap of evidence he leaves for Rhyme and his new partner, Amelia Sachs, whom he drafts as his arms and legs. But she's never worked a crime scene in her life — and he can only whisper in her ear as she does the exacting work he loved more than anything else.

Published 1998

My Review - 4

I started and host the annual Thrill Week , and in 2011this was one of the must read recommendations, it is also on my Top 100 Killer Thriller list i'm going to get through one day.

This is an action packed thriller with many edge of your seat moments, that takes place in Manhattan.  I did like the idea of using an ex detective and criminologist because of his skills, experience and overall talent.  When Rhyme meets Amelia Sachs, you feel the immediate energy and it was a mysterious working relationship energy throughout the book.

Having a serial killer leaving clues behind for the detectives to figure out where the next victim was hidden were my favourite parts of the book.  He was also inspired from a book which in the end became a great clue.  This is truly a talent for detectives to have.  The forensic details reminded me of the great Patricia Cornwell books.

I thought this may be a book that passes the test of time but it was slow at times and missed something even though it did have technology in it. 

I also think the ending was brilliant, it really all came together with a wtf moment and gruesome violent killing, oh my.  Some parts were over the top but I still enjoyed it and these parts were some of my favourite even if they were unbelievable.

I watched the movie when it came out years ago but only remember I enjoyed it.  I am going to try and watch this weekend.  I love Angelina Jolie so was able to see her while reading but I don't remember Denzel, shocking.


Monday, January 14, 2013

Monday, what are you reading?

Sheila over at Book Journey has an incentive for networking so go over and have fun while adding to your 2013 Wishlist.

It is a new year and guess what, I have only completed one book.  I am not stressed by this yet but I think this year will be different.

I wanted to watch The Bone Collector also and do a book/movie review but that didn't happen so my review will go up this week.

I am currently reading

Currently Reading on Kindle

This is the year of reading to my mood so I do not know, especially since I only started The Donor last night.

Is there a book you have thought "Marce read this......"  Let me know.

Have a great week.

Monday, January 7, 2013

The year I read what I want to read......

(image from Pinterest)
I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see.

This is my fourth year blogging and I have decided to make 2013 the year I read what I want to read.....

What does this mean for the blog, no challenges but other than that nothing.  I am a mood reader and most times do not choose what I am going to read until I have finished with one book.  This works for me and never causes reading slumps.

I will still review ARC's or accept review books BUT only if I am really intrigued or have read the author before.  As Thriller, Suspense, Crime and Mystery are my favourite genres, I will be open to trying a debut author or new to me author in those genres.

Since blogging I have averaged reading 50 books.  I put it up to 52 and only read 48 last year.  I realised though I want quality books not quantity, that is what works for me so I will stick with 50 and know it will be approximate, which is ok with me.

It took all December until now to confirm my decision with myself first but this is what is best.  I will not be hosting I Want More Challenge and Queen of Suspense (Mary Higgins Clark) but will continue the Serial Killer Reading "Challenge".  That is not a challenge but just a place to share the Serial Killer reads in order to have a go to list.  I will work on that this week and get the linky and button up.

Happy 2013, enjoy adding all the amazing books to your Wishlist, TBR list and overflowing shelves.  Good luck to those that love the challenges and to the addicted, you know who you are.  I think you are addicted to the challenges just as much as the books.  (smile)

If I take John Burroughs advice I may even find more time for my family, career, exercise and friends, but of course on the side is always a cup of Earl Grey tea and a book or the Kindle.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Top Ten Books I Resolve to read in 2013

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This meme was created because they are particularly fond of lists at The Broke and the Bookish.
This meme allows us to share our lists with other bookish folks and I would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week they will post a new Top Ten list. 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 am a mood reader so I never complete my list.  When I looked back on the last 2 years I have only read 7 out of 20, 1 is off my TBR list completely now.

A few of these are a must though.

After reading and loving Rebecca, this is a must.

I am most intrigued by this author, her books were on many favourite lists, I have chosen this one to try.

Serial Killers - Book 1 and the Novella were amazing, definitely continuing.
Did you read Attachments, the cutest book ever, look forward to another from Rainbow.

She is a favourite author with a new book, this is a must.
I thought I would get to it last year, and references to Agatha Christie, i'm intrigued.
Crime and its been on my Wishlist for awhile, can't wait.
I keep hearing amazing things about this suspense author, I have to read it for myself.
There is always a memoir I look forward to, this one sounds unique.

What do you think is a must read?  I look forward to your list and networking with you.  Wishing you great health, happiness and continued love and enjoyment of books this year.