Friday, June 20, 2014

Review - Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

Published - August 2012

Book Summary

Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she’s a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she’s a disgrace; to design mavens, she’s a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom.

Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette’s intensifying allergy to Seattle – and people in general – has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands. A trip to the end of the earth is problematic.
To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, secret correspondence – creating a compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a daughter’s unflinching love for her imperfect mother.

My Review - 5 star

Where'd you go, Bernadette is the best laugh I have had by a book in years.  I had to walk away at one stage because I was crying with laughter.  I controlled myself came back and started up again, so funny.  When I found out Maria Semple is a television writer for Ellen DeGeneres, it all made sense.  I was so pleased I gave Maria a second chance.  I tried to read This One is Mine and I abandoned it, this came across as a different writer to me, so well done to her for having talent to write so differently and please a wider range of readers.

Bernadette was a fun character, some will say crazy, I will say eccentric at the highest level.  The summary states is best, she fits the role of the eyes of the beholder.  Bernadette with her daughter and husband live in a house that everyone else thinks is abandoned, and they are wealthy, but she is a brilliant designer so she is going to create the most amazing home right, sometime soon, it must be.  You have to read for the true laughable understanding. Her neighbours and parent association do not like her and she continues to despise them also, calling them gnats.  Is she infesting her own life or is the outside, or maybe she is just not dealing with a full deck, lol.

Bea is able to choose anything she wants after she Aced her report card and chose a vacation to the Antarctica. Her mom agreed but was having an internal melt down due to her lack of social skills.  She was researching the freezing unlivable part of Antarctica instead of the vacationing part and built up a paranoia which had you laughing and also feeling sorry for her.  The author did a fabulous job with Antarctica description.

Bernadette hired an online assistant, the suspense on where this relationship will end was jaw dropping funny. Yes, people can be so naive and stupid, I'm laughing just at the thought.  Bernadette goes missing and the search and pieces of the story all start coming together brilliantly.

Maria Semple uses a unique style to format her story; emails, letters, school notes,  detective notes, even bills to take us on the journey, there is no way you get caught up in the style because you are smiling, giggling and falling over yourself with laughter throughout the book.

Such a great read, I loved it and would highly recommend when you need a light hearty fun read.

This was a book club read and all 6 of us enjoyed it.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Do you give Authors second chances?

I just finished Where'd you go Bernadette by Maria Semple.  It is for a book club meet up in person next week.  I have only been once as a guest and they have invited me to join.  I was excited until I heard the book chosen, sigh.  I tried to read Maria Semple's first This One is Mine and it was a DNF, I could not get into it at all and it wasn't a mood issue.  Well..... talk about a comeback, I loved this one, look out for review this week.

So it got me thinking, I wonder if I should change my reading strategy and give authors a second chance.  If I try a new author to me, not necessarily a debut author and I DNF, I have never gave them another chance.  I have the point, far to many books, not enough hours and days to have considered this.  But now, I think I may just change my mind.  I felt obligated to read Where'd you go Bernadette and am so thankful, I haven't laughed at a book like I did in years, it was refreshing.

The strategy I have had is put the book down and come back to it later, usually at the end of the next book or even months later.  The success for this has been minimum, maybe 2 books and the successful ones, it was my mood that was the issue, not the writing, over description, unlikable characters, etc. but maybe the idea is to pick up another book by them all together and consider the first a write off should be my new strategy.

So do you give authors a second chance?

Out of these authors, which one do you recommend I give another chance?  These were DNF for me but I have considered trying again.

Audrey Niffenegger

I tortured myself at least 4 times trying with this one.  I did watch the movie and liked it, not great but ok.  So would you recommend I try her newest......

Liane Moriarty

I really tried the Husband's Secret and considered going back but i'm over it.  I fell for the hype and just can't go back to this one.  So which one would you recommend now?

Ellen Hopkins

Verse Novels became a simple pleasure, the YA I enjoyed and then Ellen Hopkins released an Adult one. I was excited for this one.   I didn't enjoy the characters, it just didn't work for me.

I did read Crank and thought it was ok, should I continue on?

I look forward to your opinions and strategies regarding giving authors a second chance.

Thanks for visiting Tea Time with Marce

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Review - Erotic Psychological Thriller Trilogy

Book Summary of Book 1, 2 and 3

Dr. Snow is one of New York's top sex therapists who sees everything and tries to deal with those with sex addictions or abuse.  She works in the Butterfield Institute which is the sanctuary where she tries to heal these battered souls.

Dr. Snow is an interesting main character, I enjoyed reading each book with a different story line to get engaged with.  The suspenseful part is how she always ends up knowing patient confidential information that will help the police in a murder investigation and ends up in danger.  Should she protect her patient or save others and ruin her reputation.

You can read all as stand alone's, but you do get to know 3 characters more throughout the trilogy.

Halo Effect - 3 1/2 - No Review

Prominent New York sex therapist Dr. Morgan Snow finds her life taking a dangerous turn when her client, a high-priced prostitute, gives her a manuscript vividly detailing all of the sexual favors and fantasies she has performed for the city's most powerful men, and then disappears.

Deliah Complex - 4 - My Review

The Scarlet Society is a secret club of twelve powerful and sexually adventurous women. But when a photograph of the body of one of the men they're recruited to dominate -- strapped to a gurney, the number 1 inked on the sole of his foot -- is sent to the New York Times, they are shocked and frightened. Unable to cope with the tragedy, the women turn to Dr. Morgan Snow. But what starts out as grief counseling quickly becomes a murder investigation, with any one of the twelve women a potential suspect.

The case leads Detective Noah Jordan -- a man with whom Morgan has shared a brief, intense connection -- to her office. He fears the number on the man's foot hints that the killings have just begun. With her hands tied by her professional duty, Morgan is dangerously close to the demons in her own mind -- and the flesh-and-blood killer.

My Review - Venus Fix 

4 Stars 

I love seeing the dynamics of counselor and patient and trying to figure out the why and how to assist them to heal or overcome their addictions.  If I was to start my career again, I would study to be a sex counselor. Morgan Snow's newest patient is a powerful, influential man who is secretly addicted to watching porn online. We know he is not the murderer but all the evidence points to him, so who is the murderer.  I love how this ended, great suspense with perfect answer to the end.

She's also working with a group of high schoolers, all is confidential if the teenagers come to the sessions and try to restrain from their obsession with real life sex fantasies online.  One is keeping a huge secret which is unbelievable when it is revealed and so scary when thinking about the things teenagers think about and do to get noticed, scary.

There are women online who are fulfilling sex fantasies and then they start getting sick and dying in front of thousands of viewers.  The police start to get phone calls from all over the states but in the end they end up being traced to a New York company and Dr. Snow has access to the answers without realising.

She now has to decide does she keep her patients secrets as part of the counselor patient confidentiality clause or does she relate the information to her lover who happens to be the one investigating the murders. This of course also adds personal tensions between the two.

These books are labeled Erotic Psychological Thrillers but I don't consider them to be erotica, it is sex related issues.  I found this trilogy to be sexy, thrilling, addicting and all with great endings.  Recommended, I give the full trilogy 4 stars.

Have any of you read In Session - do you recommend?

Sunday, June 1, 2014

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 2014 Wishlist.

I am currently reading

Book Summary - I love Samantha Hayes, she is a go to author for me.

Oh God, please don't let me die.

It has taken nearly two years for the Warwickshire village of Radcote to put a spate of teenage suicides behind it.

Then a young man is killed in a freak motorbike accident, and a suicide note is found among his belongings. A second homeless boy takes his own life, this time on the railway tracks.

Is history about to repeat itself?

DI Lorraine Fisher has just arrived for a relaxing summer break with her sister. Soon she finds herself caught up in the resulting police enquiry. And when her nephew disappears she knows she must act quickly.

Are the recent deaths suicide - or murder?

And is the nightmare beginning again?

I just completed, review coming up.  This is the 3rd in a trilogy I really enjoyed.

I reviewed but didn't enjoy

I have been invited to a Book Club and the choice is......

I am a little scared, her debut book was a DNF for me, sigh