Tuesday 19 August 2014

Author Sighting - Brooke Davis (Lost & Found)

Today I met Brooke Davis, the author of Lost & Found. She did a talk at the local library last Friday, and today she was visiting the local bookstores. I was very excited to meet her, I would have liked to have gone to her talk but unfortunately I couldn't make it, so having her pop into the shop was very unexpected and exciting surprise. Brooke was a very upbeat and friendly person to talk to and I hope our paths will cross again. I have added her book to my must read list, it sounds like a good one.

Lost & Found by Brooke Davis
Millie Bird (aka Captain Funeral), seven-years old and ever hopeful, always wears red gumboots to match her red, curly hair. Her struggling mother leaves Millie in a local department store and never returns.

Agatha Pantha, eighty-two, has not left her house – or spoken to another human being – since she was widowed seven years ago. She fills the silences by yelling at passers by, watching loud static on the TV and maintaining a strict daily schedule.

Karl the Touch Typist, eighty-seven, once used his fingers to type out love notes on his wife's skin. Now he types his words out into the air as he speaks. Karl is moved into a nursing home but in a moment of clarity and joy, he escapes.

A series of events binds the three together on a road trip that takes them from the south coast of WA to Kalgoorlie and along the Nullarbor to the edge of the continent. Millie wants to find her mum. Karl wants to find out how to be a man. And Agatha just wants everything to go back to how it was.

They will discover that old age is not the same as death, that the young can be wise, and that letting yourself experience sadness just might be the key to life.

Friday 15 August 2014

The Good Girl by Mary Kubica

Title: The Good Girl
Author: Mary Kubica
ISBN: 9781743565506
Publisher: Harlequin Mira
Published: August 2014


"I've been following her for the past few days. I know where she buys her groceries, where she has her dry cleaning done, where she works. I don't know the color of her eyes or what they look like when she's scared. But I will."

Born to a prominent Chicago judge and his stifled socialite wife, Mia Dennett moves against the grain as a young inner-city art teacher. One night, Mia enters a bar to meet her on-again, off-again boyfriend. But when he doesn't show, she unwisely leaves with an enigmatic stranger. With his smooth moves and modest wit, at first Colin Thatcher seems like a safe one-night stand. But following Colin home will turn out to be the worst mistake of Mia's life.

Colin's job was to abduct Mia as part of a wild extortion plot and deliver her to his employers. But the plan takes an unexpected turn when Colin suddenly decides to hide Mia in a secluded cabin in rural Minnesota, evading the police and his deadly superiors. Mia's mother, Eve, and detective Gabe Hoffman will stop at nothing to find them, but no one could have predicted the emotional entanglements that eventually cause this family's world to shatter.

My Thoughts:

I have recently found myself reading a lot more crime based books lately and I will admit I have not had a lot of experience in reading or reviewing this genre, so I am not really sure how to go about reviewing this book but I will give it a go anyway.
The first thing that really stood out for me while reading The Good Girl is how the story is told, not only from different characters points of view but it also bounces between before and after Mia is found. I found this quite disorientating to begin with but it didn't take long to get used to the style and I soon found it aided with building overall suspense.
I also enjoyed the overall plot of the book and even though I had worked out how it would end I still found it to be satisfying.
The only issue I had was the characters. I really didn't feel any connection at all with any of the characters. I found them to be predictable and hard to relate to.
Overall, I did enjoy The Good Girl. It's solid plot kept the pages turning and compelled me to finish despite the shortfalls. I will definitely be keeping an eye out for more books from Mary Kubica.

Thanks to Harlequin Australia for the review copy.

Friday 8 August 2014

Le'ts Get Lost by Adi Alsaid

Title: Let's Get Lost
Author: Adi Alsaid
ISBN: 9781743566466
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Published: August 2014


Five strangers. Countless adventures. One epic way to get lost.

Four teens across the country have only one thing in common: a girl named LEILA. She crashes into their lives in her absurdly red car at the moment they need someone the most.

There's HUDSON, a small-town mechanic who is willing to throw away his dreams for true love. And BREE, a runaway who seizes every Tuesday—and a few stolen goods along the way. ELLIOT believes in happy endings…until his own life goes off-script. And SONIA worries that when she lost her boyfriend, she also lost the ability to love.

Hudson, Bree, Elliot and Sonia find a friend in Leila. And when Leila leaves them, their lives are forever changed. But it is during Leila's own 4,268-mile journey that she discovers the most important truth— sometimes, what you need most is right where you started. And maybe the only way to find what you're looking for is to get lost along the way.

My Thoughts:

Let's Get Lost reads more like a collection of short stories, with each character getting their own section, rather than a novel, but there is one common factor ... Leila. Leila is a girl on a road trip, she has a goal, a destination and a story of her own, all of which is hinted upon and slowly revealed as she briefly encounters and befriends other teens in her travels.
Each character is complex with their own set of issues and their own stories to tell (hence the short story feel) and despite the limited time spent with each of them, I found connecting to them and their stories very easy to do.
I loved the unique format of this book, it magnified the individual stories without detracting from the over reaching story arc.
Let's Get Lost is a book of love, friendship and discovery. It is an emotional roller coaster that leaves you wanting more. It is inspiring and entertaining. Let's Get Lost is delightful adventure that will  encourage you to get out there and make adventures of your own. A wonderful debut.

Thanks to Harlequin Teen Australia for the ARC.

Friday 1 August 2014

Drowned by Nichola Reilly

Title: Drowned
Author: Nichola Reilly
ISBN: 9781743566435
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Published: July 2014


Coe is one of the few remaining teenagers on the island of Tides. Deformed and weak, she is constantly reminded that in a world where dry land dwindles at every high tide, she is not welcome. The only bright spot in her harsh and difficult life is the strong, capable Tiam—but love has long ago been forgotten by her society. The only priority is survival.

Until the day their King falls ill, leaving no male heir to take his place. Unrest grows, and for reasons Coe cannot comprehend, she is invited into the privileged circle of royal aides. She soon learns that the dying royal is keeping a secret that will change their world forever.

Is there an escape from the horrific nightmare that their island home has become? Coe must race to find the answers and save the people she cares about, before their world and everything they know is lost to the waters.

My Thoughts

Drowned captured my imagination with it's unique post apocalyptic setting and it's mystery. The world of Tides slowly reveals itself throughout the course of the book as we follow the life of Coe Kettlefish, a teenage outcast in a society where survival depends on a persons 'usefulness.'
Although slow to start, Tides quickly sucked me in and I soon found it hard to put down.
Coe is a determined and smart character and despite all odds she always seems to find some sliver of hope and goodness in her bleak and miserable world. The secondary characters are also pleasing complex although perhaps a little predictable.
The main highlight is the mystery surrounding the castle and the royal family. This mystery flows nicely which keeps the pages turning and appropriately even after all the pages have been read I was still left with unanswered questions that have left me eager for the next book in the series.

Thanks to Harlequin Teen Australia for the review copy.