Saturday, May 30, 2015

Where They Found Her by Kimberly McCreight

After suffering a long bought of depression from the stillborn birth of her second child, former attorney Molly Sanderson has taken a job as a staff writer for the Ridgedale Reader reporting mostly on arts and entertainment. With their crime reporter unavailable, Molly is called to investigate the news of a body found near the creek on Ridgedale University's campus, where her husband Justin is a professor.

When she arrives on the scene she discovers from Ridgedale Police Chief Steve that the body found was that of an infant, but any other details are being kept tightly under wraps. In preparation for her first online post on the case, she researches any previous murders over the last twenty years and finds that a teenager died at the same location where the infant was found, although his death was ruled an accident.

Meanwhile a secondary plot thread is introduced that centers on a teenager girl, Sandy, whose unreliable mother, Jenna, has gone missing. Sandy is new to town hasn't registered for school because her mom depends the income of Sandy's waitressing job for their meager survival. However, school teacher Rhea convinces Sandy to go back for her GED and sets her up with a tutor, Hannah, who is the police chief's daughter. Hannah's mother is Barbara, the judgmental parent of her much younger brother who is the same kindergarten class as Molly's daughter.

This was an excellent novel of psychological suspense that I couldn't put down. McCreight casts a cloud of doubt over so many of her characters that you don't know who to trust until the truth is revealed, which makes for an engrossing read. Molly is a sympathetic character who's sadness over losing a child is totally understandable. I liked this so much that I am reading McCreight's first novel, Reconstructing Amelia, next. Kimberly McCreight is the new Chevy Stevens for me.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Under the Mayhaw Tree by Charlotte Boyett-Camp

Drew Dunne is in a loveless and malevolent marriage to Terri Anne Thompson and contemplates suicide as his only escape. Terri was his best friend’s girl, and he was forced to marry her when she claimed that Drew knocked her up when he was drunk.

Full of shame, Drew has stayed with her as penance to his friend, who died in a fatal car crash that Drew believes was his fault. His only source of light is Alison Bennett, the wife of the new Colquitt (Georgia) football coach, who is also in a controlling relationship with her misogynistic husband.

It is love at first sight for both of them, and Drew works up a plan to rescue Alison while leaving behind his abusive father, wife, and father-in-law. However, there is no chance that Clay Bennett will stand for anyone coveting his woman, and it might take death for Drew and Allison to finally be together and to be free.

It will be a challenge for some to buy into Drew and Terri Ann’s marriage since it is unfathomable that anyone would stay in a relationship is so full of outright contempt and hostility. The novel’s only saving grace is the steamy love scenes, but Boyett-Camp’s (Windlegends Saga series) story deals with abuse, rape, and physical violence, so readers be warned this is not a light undertaking.

Originally published in Xpress Reviews: E-Originals | April 17, 2015

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

New Fiction 5/26/2015

Here is a sampling of new fiction released this week. If you see something you like, simply click on the title to place a copy on hold through the Library's catalog.

Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf
Double Down by Fern Michaels
Never Die Alone by Lisa Jackson
Piranha by Clive Cussler
The Marriage Season by Linda Lael Miller
The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi
A Quiet End by Nelson DeMille
People of the Songtrail by Kathleen O'Neal Gear
Tail Gait by Rita Mae Brown
Texas Tough by Janet Dailey
Make Something Up by Chuck Palahniuk
Constant Fear by Daniel Palmer
Bad Blood by Mary Monroe
Secret Brother by V.C. Andrews
Independence Day by Ben Coes

Saturday, May 23, 2015

When Love Happens by Darcy Burke

Tori, one of the famous Archer sextuplets, and reality show producer Sean met in Malaysia and began a whirlwind courtship that culminated in a Vegas wedding five weeks later.

The very next day after they wed, Tori learned her brother committed suicide. Sean return to L.A. and Tori returned to Ribbon Ridge, Oregon to be with her family. Any attempt at a long distance relationship was futile, especially since their day of bliss was shrouded in family tragedy, and Tori has asked asked for a divorce.

But an opportunity to save his marriage presents itself when his boss requires Sean to pitch a TV idea to Tori and the rest of the Archer clan: a reunion special to air over the holidays. If Sean blows this, he will not only lose his job, but more importantly risk any chance he has to save his marriage.

Readers will have to be patient for the heat to kick up, as the steamy scenes don’t begin until two thirds the way in, but Burke’s (Yours to Hold) latest is another solid entry in a heartfelt and family driven series that gives each member of the Archer sextuplets his or her own story.

Originally published in Xpress Reviews: E-Originals | April 17, 2015

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Where Sea Meets Sky by Karina Halle

In one day, Josh Miles' life is turned upside down.  Gemma Henare is beautiful, she is enticing, she is passionate - and all too soon, she is gone.  After an unforgettable night together, Gemma returns to New Zealand, and Josh is left suddenly wanting more from his life - new adventures, new places, and new people.  Or maybe just one person in particular.

Throwing caution to the wind, he books a ticket for New Zealand, and before long he finds himself in an airport with a backpack, a sketchbook, and the realization that his life may just have taken a very dramatic turn.  When he tracks Gemma down in Auckland, they realize that a one night stand might only be the beginning, and soon they are embarking on a whirlwind journey that has much more in store for them than beautiful scenery.

This is my first foray in New Adult fiction, and I was not disappointed.  Halle paints a vivid portrait of New Zealand, bringing out the beauty and natural grandeur of the countryside - you can practically feel the warm sea breezes and the coolness of the sea and sand beneath your toes.  Josh and Gemma's relationship feels just as much as an adventure as their road trip. 

But as much as this story is a romance, it's also about two young people struggling to figure out where they fit in the world, and how they fit together.  Perfect for Spring Breakers or those relaxing on a beach somewhere in the midst of an exciting vacation (or just those of us that wish we were). 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

New Fiction 5/19/2015

Here is a sampling of new fiction released this week. If you see something you like, simply click on the title to place a copy on hold through the Library's catalog.

Robert B. Parker's Kickback by Ace Atkins
Beach Town by Mary Kay Andrews
Disclaimer by Renee Knight
The Scarlet Gospels by Clive Barker
Little Black Lies by S. J. Bolton
Eighth Grave After Dark by Darynda Jones
Seveneves by Neal Stephenson
I, Ripper by Stephen Hunter

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Did You Miss Me? by Karen Rose

District State's Attorney Daphne Montgomery is waiting for the verdict to come in. The Millhouse case is big deal and she wants justice. When the verdict is announced all hell breaks loose but that is the least of Daphne concerns, She will soon find out that her twenty year old son, Ford, has been kidnapped.

FBI agent Joseph Carter is looking for Ford. He didn't show up to work, which happens to be at Joseph's dad's company. He soon finds a dead cop and Ford car empty. He has been in love with Daphne for nine months and knows this will destroy her. He might not have her love but he will do anything to find Ford.

They soon realize that it might have to do with the Millhouse case. But it turns out to be so much more. Someone from Daphne's past is back and he is out for revenge.

I forgot how much I love Karen Rose. Her books have great characters and stories. And Did you Miss Me? was just as fantastic. I would recommend reading them in order since a lot of the characters show up in the other books.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay

Incredibly insightful and honest, Bad Feminist comprises a collection of writings by Roxane Gay,  author, blogger, and “cultural observer”.  Her essays (loosely related though never seeming too disorganized) cover a range of topics from race and gender equality, the meaning of feminism and the ways media influence our attitudes and actions, to the perils of competitive scrabble and Sweet Valley High.

Gay explores questions about contemporary culture and media through the lenses of society at large and personal experience, and does so in a way that feels fluid.  Her essays speak calmly and powerfully at the same time, and her observations sharp and perceptive without feeling overbearing.  She asks questions, she explores, she discusses, though not always to a conclusion, which is admirable in and of itself - it’s hard to not feel the need to wrap up arguments in a bow, to leave readers with more questions than answers, and to do so in a way that doesn’t feel unfinished.

Each essay is thought-provoking - more than once I found myself stopping mid-chapter to mull over a sentence or section that was particularly poignant.  Or simply rewinding the audiobook to listen again.  I especially enjoyed her discussions of culture through the lens of books and movies (though that may just be the English major in me).  If you’re looking for a book that will get you thinking and eager to discuss and debate important, sometimes difficult topics - Bad Feminist is a perfect choice.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

New Fiction 5/12/2015

Here is a sampling of new fiction released this week. If you see something you like, simply click on the title to place a copy on hold through the Library's catalog.

Dry Bones by Craig Johnson
Born of Defiance by Sherrilyn Kenyon
The Guest Cottage by Nancy Thayer
Solitude Creek by Jeffrey Deaver
The Long High Noon by Loren D. Estleman
The Death's Head Chess Club by John Donoghue
Trauma by Michael Palmer
Countdown to Mecca by Michael Savage
The Enemy Inside by Steve Martini
Under the Influence by Joyce Maynard
The Body in the Birches by Katherine Hall Page
Naked in the Moonlight by Charles Dubow
And Sometimes I Wonder About You by Walter Mosley
How to Start a Fire by Lisa Lutz
The Mountain Story by Lori Lansens

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix

Orsk store is basically IKEA. But cheaper: prices, items, quailty. Amy is just biding her time working there until her transfer goes through to go back to the Orsk store she worked at before. Her manager, Basil, seems to have it out for her and she isn't thrilled when he asks her to do a special assignment. When the store closes at night, someone is vandalizing the merchandise. Basil, Amy and Ruth Ann are now staying overnight to find out what is happening.

They come up with a plan to separate and walk the store. Almost immediately they come across two other co-workers who are convinced it is ghosts and are going to find them. Soon the five realize something is very wrong at this store. But who will survive until morning to tell the tale?

This was a creepy horror story. The actual book was fun because it looks like an IKEA catalog. The end leaves you hanging and hoping for a sequel. And it looks like it is going to become a TV show.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham

In a collection of essays, Lena Dunham, creator and star of HBO’s Girls, recounts the life  experiences and the hard learned “lessons” of her not altogether misspent youth - from bad relationships and problematic online behavior, to body issues and family/friend dramatics (among other things).  It’s easy to see early on that, while her struggles are not altogether terribly dramatic, the emotions behind them will resonate with young and “new” adults finding their way, as well as women who can remember what it was like to live through.

Her prose is frank and witty, and her observations are sharp.  While I can’t say I enjoyed all essays in Dunham’s collection - some were fast paced reads for me, while I found others dragged a bit - much of the book funny, thoughtful, and painfully accurate.  Dunham doesn’t skirt tough or potentially unflattering moments of her past, and that kind of honesty is undeniably refreshing.

Fans of Dunham’s professional work (which admittedly, does not show up as much as I would have liked in this book), are bound to enjoy a look at the inner life of a woman who is both similar and very different from her title character, Hannah Horvath.  But those who enjoy candid non-fiction stories about the things we learn in youth and how they shape our adulthood will find this interesting reading as well.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

New Fiction 5/5/2015

Here is a sampling of new fiction released this week. If you see something you like, simply click on the title to place a copy on hold through the Library's catalog.

 A Perfect Heritage by Penny Vincenzi
Jack of Spades by Joyce Carol Oates
Day Shift by Charlaine Harris
Murder on Amsterdam Avenue by Victoria Thompson
Don't Go Home by Carolyn Hart
Checked Out by Elaine Viets
Ming Tea Murder by Laura Childs
Thin Air by Anne Cleeves
Church of Marvels by Leslie Parry
Rock With Wings by Anne Hillerman
The Forgotten Room by Lincoln Child
Make Something Up by Chuck Palahniuk
The Fall by John Lescroart
I Take You by Eliza Kennedy
A God In Ruins by Kate Atkinson

Saturday, May 2, 2015

You by Caroline Kepnes

From the moment Guinevere Beck walks into his bookstore, Joe can't stop thinking about her. She's got everything he's looking for in a girlfriend - she's cute, she's smart, she likes the same books he does. She doesn't know it yet, but they were meant to be together forever.

Joe goes on a mission to make her his, and soon, she finds herself unable to resist his charms. But appearances can be deceiving, and Joe isn't at all what he appears to be. But then, neither is Beck.

Their everythingship soon spirals into an out of control loop of obsession, jealousy and lies, with deadly consequences for them both.

This book was so creepy! You don't ever gain any sympathy at all for Joe or Beck, but their love story is just so twisted, you won't want to put the book down. A very dark and deeply disturbing psychological thriller that fans of Gone Girl will enjoy.