Saturday, December 3, 2022

Book Review - Closer Than You Know by Brad Parks


Melanie Barrick has grown up in the constant upheaval as a child in foster care. As an adult, Melanie has a loving husband, a steady job, and a beautiful baby, Alex. She thought she left her past behind her.

One Tuesday evening, Melanie goes to pick up Alex from childcare only to be told that he was removed by Social Services. Melanie is terrified and she is unable to get any answers. The situation is upsetting but for Melanie it's bringing back back memories of the horror of Social Services. When Melanie arrives home, she finds out that the sheriff has raided her house and found enough cocaine to send Melanie to prison away for years. An overwhelming amount of evidence is against her and if Melanie can't prove her innocence, she will lose her son.

Assistant commonwealth’s attorney Amy Kaye has been assigned to Melanie's case. She is working on a cold case that her boss wants her to keep quiet to avoid public scrutiny.  There is a serial rapist who wears a mask and whispers to his victims. He has victimized dozens of women and has avoided detection by the police for years.

I thought the book was an okay read. The book had a few twists and turns that I didn't expect or see coming. I felt like some of the plot and the twists were a bit far-fetched. The police took the word of a tip and without even having proof of Melanie committing a crime. When the drugs were found in the couple's home, only Melanie got in trouble  for the drugs and for  the social services case. It The novel was an okay read but, nothing really kept me interested in it.

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Book Review - Anything But Plain by Suzanne Woods Fisher


Lydie Stoltzfus doesn't have it easy being the bishop's daughter. Unfortunately, she isn't like other Amish girls as much as she tries to be. The only thing Lydie is known for is disappointing others and causing trouble. She feels the only way to make things better is to leave the church and her family.

When Lydie gets let go from her last job, her aunt asks her to fill in at the front desk as a receptionist for a few months for her. Lydie feels that taking the job would give her enough time to say goodbye to her friends and family, especially her neighbor, Nathan Yoder. Nathan claims that he's in love with her but, Lydie is afraid that she isn't good enough for him. And if she ever forgets, Nathan's father constantly reminds her.

I thought the book was an interesting read. This was my first time reading an Amish story where a person had a neurodevelopmental disorder. The characters were believable and relatable. I liked reading about Lydie's drawings and how she manages different relationships. I didn't like the ending though, I felt like it ended abruptly. I am not sure if the author plans on writing more books to continue the story but, I wish the story ended better.

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Book Review - A Deadly Affair by Agatha Christie




The book is a collection of Agatha's short stories focusing on the theme of love. This was my first time reading one of her works. I can see why many of her characters and stories are beloved by fans. A few of the stories stumped me but, I was able to guess the culprit behind a few of the stories. Even though the stories were short, they were well fleshed out. There were a few stories that I found the text a bit hard to follow along with because of the dated terms and language the characters used. Overall, it was a clever collection for new fans and old.


Sunday, November 27, 2022

Book Review - The Book Eaters by Sunyi Dean


Out by the Yorkshire Moors, there lives a secret group of people that consume books for food. The book eaters can retain all of the book's content after eating it. Devon is a part of The Family, who are a long line of old and reclusive book eaters. Devon grew up eating stories about princesses and fairy tales while, her brother eats stories of action and glory. Devon learns the hard way that life isn't always so easy or comes with happy endings when her son is born with a gruesome hunger for human minds.

I was conflicting on liking and loving the novel. I thought the book had a lot of interesting parallels along with interesting topics such as love, loyalty, family, and what it means to be a monster. I thought the book told an interesting tale that was woven with unique world building experience. Be wary though, some readers might love this book so much they might consume it in one reading....

Friday, November 25, 2022

Book Review - Next Door to Happy by Allison Weiser Strout


Violet Crane feels isolated and lonely because she has no siblings and her father has recently moved out and her mother is struggling with anxiety. Then a family moves next door with five kids. Violet wishes that she was a part of that family as they seem so normal compared to hers.

However, all that changes when Violet overhears a conversation between Reggie and his mother. Reggie's mother tells Reggie that Violet isn't an appropriate friend. Violet is hurt and devastated and feels even more alone.

I thought this book was an okay read. It was interesting to read the challenges Violet was facing with her family and friends and how she overcame them. The author did a good job showing different types of family and friends. I didn't love or hate the book but, I felt the story was missing something.