Book Review: Just What Kind of Mother Are You?

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Synopsis: Lisa is a busy working mother who was supposed to be having her friend Kate’s daughter, Lucinda, over for a slumber party. At the last minute Lisa has to cancel but fails to inform Kate of the change of plans.

The next day Lisa gets a call from her daughter. Lucinda is missing. Everyone blames Lisa. Riddled with guilt Lisa tries to find Lucinda but there may be more to Lucinda’s disappearance than anyone previously considered.

My rating: 3/5

I really like the character of Lisa. I could totally relate to her. I am also a busy mom who occasionally forgets what I need to buy for a class project or decides to buy store bought cupcakes for a bake sale instead of making myself because I am tired, burned out, and just trying to get through the day most days. Lisa was sooo much like me and I could totally relate. She was my favorite character in the book. I could totally see myself in her shoes and making a mistake like she made. A forgotten phone call during a busy day can happen so easily.

The book has two other point of view characters who I didn’t like as much.

The first is a pedophile who has been scouting the area looking for teenage girls to abduct. For obvious reasons I found his point of view disgusting and disturbing.

The other perspective is the policewoman investigating the disappearance. Her name is Joanne.  Her perspective was just okay. I didn’t hate her but she was completely obsessed with her breasts. She wants reductive surgery and honestly I found that subplot annoying and unnecessary.

I really enjoyed watching Lisa hunt for Lucinda and all her feelings of guilt. This book was actually a 4/5 star for me up until the end.

Then came the twist. And, I hated it.

I can’t really say much more without spoiling the book but I did not think there was enough lead up to the ending. It felt like it came out of nowhere. I didn’t think it was brilliant. I thought it was a huge let down. I was super disappointed. There were so many places the author could have gone but the path they chose totally infuriated me because it was stupid and I didn’t like it one bit.

I am not sure if others will hate the ending as well or if that is just a me thing.

I can say this book was a fun read (minus the icky pedophile POV) up to the end reveal so maybe pick the book up and enjoy it but don’t expect too much of the twist at the end. If you think it is brilliant than great. But, if you are like me and think it is dumb you will have been prepared.

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Book Review: Murder on Union Square

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Summary: Frank is accused of killing a man and must solve the murder to clear his name. The victim is the legal father of the child Frank and his wife have been trying to adopt but he is also an actor. While it seems Frank and Sarah are the only ones with a motive to kill him they quickly learn that life on the stage can be ruthless and actors are not all what they seem.

My rating:

3/5

This is a long running series and I have read every book to this point. I love the series but honestly am kinda over it. When I finished this book I didn’t think I would pick up another until I read the author’s note. Now, I’ve decided I will do one more book in the series but the last few have just kinda been meh for me.

From the author’s note it seems as if this wasn’t a planned book but rather one written to fill in a plot hole that was caught by a reader and relayed to the author. It is because of this fact that I will give the series one more chance.

I read this series for the characters more than the mysteries. The mystery plots I only find so-so. But, I love the characters. However, pretty much all the character arcs are closed at this point and the few that are open are ones I don’t really care much about.

I loved the romance between Frank and Sarah but the new romantic plot isn’t working for me with the younger sleuths. They kept trying to make each other jealous in this book and just kinda were behaving badly. I didn’t like that at all. I am not invested in their romance like I was in Frank and Sarah’s.

Also, this book spent sooooo much time going over and over information we already had. They would gather together and discuss the clues but there weren’t that many clues so it slowed the books pacing down.

I was fine with how the mystery ended. There were only a few suspects and while I wasn’t sure who the killer was I was fine with how the book ended.

I really love this series but it is losing steam for me. Unless something awesome happens in the next book I think this will be the last book I read in this series. There aren’t many character arcs left that I could really care about. I really love this series and have spent hours and hours in this world with these characters. It has been an amazing journey. But, I really feel like if nothing interesting happens in the next book that it is time for me to hop off this series train though it breaks my heart to say so.

I really hope Sarah gets pregnant in the next book because I think that is pretty much the only open arc and one of the few things that could keep me eagerly reading new books in the series. Otherwise, I feel like the author should end this series and split off to a series where the leads are the young new sleuths as they seem to be overtaking the series anyways. I won’t read that series. But, it would at least keep the integrity of this series intact.

 

 

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Book Review: Factfulness

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Summary: Factfulness looks at the world through math statistics that shows we are living in some of the best times for humans since we have records for.

 

My rating: 4/5

I really think this book is awesome and that everyone should read it. The information given is really important to give a perspective on modern life.

This book is a bit math heavy and there are times it is a bit dense of a read. There are graphs and stats and the more you understand about math the better you will probably enjoy this book.

The writer also has some TED talks available on YouTube and I recommend looking at those before reading the book. You will get a feel for what this book is about and the content within.

One thing to be aware of is that stats can be bent around to prove different points so how accurate all this info is can be hard to determine. But, the overall information seems logical to me based on my studies and what I have learned from history.

I really loved how the author admits that there are many things we can still improve on in the world. The math says this is one of the best times in human history to live but hopefully we can make a future that is even better.

I loved how he didn’t sweep the very real concerns of modern life and the pitfalls under the rug. The author admits that there are areas for improvement and hopefully the number of people living in poverty keeps dropping while life expectancy keeps improving.

I really enjoyed this book and feel that it is hugely beneficial for people who maybe are suffering because they believe the world is terrible and all doom and gloom. The math says things are better. The math says things can keep improving. Don’t lose hope despite the things we see on social media that makes the world look like a scary terrible place far removed from the idealized images of the past portrayed by the media and society.

 

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Book Review: The Wisdom of Wolves

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Summary: Jim and Jamie Dutcher follow the Sawtooth Wolf pack and learn about wolf behavior.

My Rating: 4/5

The writers of this book were making a documentary because they wanted to promote a new image of wolves. They wanted viewers to stop seeing the “Big Bad Wolf” of Fairy tales and instead see a very social animal with deeply human reactions and emotions. This book does an excellent job of portraying this new vision of wolves. I loved the different wolves portrayed in this book. I loved their unique and individual stories.

It was an educational and fun read which I highly recommend to all nature and wolf lovers.

My only complaint about this book, and it is very much an issue of personal preference, is that the Sawtooth pack weren’t actually wild wolves.

These wolves were fed by humans and hand raised as pups so that those documenting them could move safetly among them.

This is very much an artificial wolf pack made by the makers of the documentary. The makers did research to be sure that the behaviors they were viewing in their wolves were typical of wild wolves and that being around humans wasn’t altering their wolf behaviors. But, it still bothered me that these wolves weren’t being observed in the wild. The artificial nature of the pack was the main thing that I didn’t like in this book. Otherwise, it was amazing and I really enjoyed it.

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Book Discussion: Miracles From the Heart

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Okay everyone. This is a little different than my usual. I am not doing my typical review with a rating.

I know this author personally and so don’t feel I can give a real objective review. However, I also want to share what I am reading so will be listing the things I really liked about this book as well as what I didn’t.

Summary: This book contains two short stories.

Story 1: The Christmas Gift

Collette and Alexander married five years ago. It is a marriage of convenience. While they aren’t unhappy, their marriage isn’t all a marriage should be. But, a little dog arrives in their lives and changes all that.

My Thoughts on This Story:

I enjoyed the idea and all the romance tropes but I really thought it could have been more in depth. This concept was so deep that it would have made an amazing novel. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a bad short story I just felt like it could have been so much more as a novel and I wanted to know more. I wanted to spend more time with these characters and get a more detailed story of their lives.

So, overall I liked it but really wished there was more to it. If the author ever decided to write that short as a novel I would absolutely read it!

 

Story 2: Magic of the Christmas Flute

This book follows a man named Eli who is a single dad raising his young daughter with the help of his father. Eli’s daughter really wants this flute for Christmas but they just can’t afford it. Then, a Christmas miracle happens.

 

My Thoughts on This Story:

I really loved this story. It was everything I want in a Christmas short. The love of family. A bit of Christmas magic. Just was a really great Christmas short. I totally cried while reading it.

Overall thoughts:

I liked this book though it is very short. It is a cute little uplifting Christmas read which I enjoyed.

So, if short stories are something you enjoy I do recommend it.

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Book Review: A Different Kind of Christmas

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Hello everyone. I am super sorry that this post is late and there was no post last week. We had a nasty stomach bug go through my house and it was just pretty awful. I and my family appear to be recovered now and I am hoping I can return to putting out reviews on my usual schedule.

 

Summary: Fletcher Randall is the son of a Southern Plantation Owner. He is going to school in the North prior to the Civil War.

Fletcher meets three brothers who are Quakers. As his friendship with them deepens they invite him home for a weekend. Then, they trick him into attending an Underground Railroad rally.

At first, Fletcher is angry. Then, he slowly starts to realize that he doesn’t believe in slavery either. He decides to join the Underground Railroad.

There is an escape planned over Christmas break and Fletcher must decide if he is really willing to go against the life he lived for a new set of moral ideals.

 

My rating: 3/5

This book was tough to rate. It was probably closer to a 3.5 of four but I just couldn’t justify a four.

It was an interesting read and I really loved the overall idea of the story. Especially once Fletcher goes home for Christmas I was very invested.

I thought the ending was abrupt and left me underwhelmed. It felt like the story was leading up to a big moral soapbox or something. But, the book kinda has one heroic deed then ends. I felt like it was missing a conclusion or rather that without a conclusion the message felt a bit missed.

I also didn’t think that what Fletcher witnessed at the Underground Railroad Rally and on his visit with the Quaker boys should have been enough to convert him. It just wasn’t quite reasonable to me.

Also, and this is neither good nor bad but something to consider before picking the book up. It is written in very old language. It sounds like it might come from the 1800’s but the book was published in the 1980s.

I found at times the language tripped me up. So, if you don’t care for classics in tone this book might not be for you.

Overall, I do recommend. It was a nice Christmas read with all the feels. I loved the message of brotherhood and the look at morality over tradition.

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Book Review: The Artist’s Journey

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Summary: This is a non-fiction book about why artists create.

My rating: 3/5

I had really mixed feelings about this book but I feel like I am, perhaps, the wrong audience.

It seems to me this book is intended for the budding artist who needs a push on their journey. This book spends a lot of time talking about the nobility of purpose of creating art. That isn’t a bad thing but there wasn’t much of practical use in this book. Mostly, it is the exploration of why one chooses to become an artist.

I found the first part of this book confusing. I didn’t really grasp the point that the author was trying to get across. This did improve significantly in the second half of the book.

This book was also very short. It took me maybe two hours to read. There are lots of quotes. Possibly, too many though many of them were very good.

I feel like this book might be suited for someone starting on their artist journey who needs the push to call themselves an artist and declare art their life’s work. For someone who already identifies that way I feel there wasn’t a lot this book had to offer.

So, if you are a seasoned artist I feel like there isn’t much you will gain from this book. If you are a new artist who needs told why art is a divine calling then this book might be exactly what you are looking for.

 

 

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