Note about my Reviews

Dear Authors: The reviews in this blog are only personal opinions. I have absolutely no background in literature, writing or reviewing. I am a Librarian (actually a Library Technician for those who care OR know the difference) with a love for a good story. The opinions in the reviews are ONLY my OPINIONS. I am not commenting on the writers ability since well -- I am not a writer and never will be. If you are the author of any of the books reviewed here, my opinion is just that and not a judgment against you!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

We are not ourselves by Matthew Thomas

We are not ourselves
by Matthew Thomas
Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 978-1-4767-5666-0-6
Buy from Indigo

Description: Born in 1941, Eileen Tumulty is raised by her Irish immigrant parents in Woodside, Queens, in an apartment where the mood swings between heartbreak and hilarity, depending on whether guests are over and how much alcohol has been consumed.

When Eileen meets Ed Leary, a scientist whose bearing is nothing like those of the men she grew up with, she thinks she’s found the perfect partner to deliver her to the cosmopolitan world she longs to inhabit. They marry, and Eileen quickly discovers Ed doesn’t aspire to the same, ever bigger, stakes in the American Dream.

Eileen encourages her husband to want more: a better job, better friends, a better house, but as years pass it becomes clear that his growing reluctance is part of a deeper psychological shift. An inescapable darkness enters their lives, and Eileen and Ed and their son Connell try desperately to hold together a semblance of the reality they have known, and to preserve, against long odds, an idea they have cherished of the future.

Through the Learys, novelist Matthew Thomas charts the story of the American Century, particularly the promise of domestic bliss and economic prosperity that captured hearts and minds after WWII. The result is a riveting and affecting work of art; one that reminds us that life is more than a tally of victories and defeats, that we live to love and be loved, and that we should tell each other so before the moment slips away.

The Good Stuff
  • Beautifully written. Author definitely has talent
  • Obviously the author has some experience  with those affected by Alzheimers and gives the reader some insight in how it affects those with the disease and their  family and friends
  • Incredible character development. You can tell he obviously took the time to give each and every character a unique voice
  • I thoroughly enjoyed the early part of the story that dealt with Eileen and her parents
  • Raw and honest - plenty of damaged characters
  • Opening chapter intrigued me

The Not so Good Stuff
  • Honestly I just felt no connection to any of the characters
  • Not a badly written book in any way, just not my type of story, it left me feeling depressed
  • Could have used some editing in terms of length - could have been a tighter more intriguing story with some scenes left out
  • Didn't like the racist overtones - yes it gave some more insight into Eileen's character, but in the long run felt forced and slightly disturbing

Favorite Quotes/Passages

"There were no adults present, so they were exposed to each other without buffering - boys used to being at the top of their class, each now merely one of many."

"Ed laughed and asked the doctor if he was married. The doctor nodded.
"Then it won't surprise you to hear that my wife has been calling the shots as long as we've been married," Ed said, and the Doctor chuckled in husbandly sympathy."

"Watch that low-class language," she snarled, and then she softened her tone. "Oh, hell, 'shit' is right."

3 Dewey's

I received this from Simon and Schuster in exchange for an honest review - sorry for the delay guys - I got kids, they come first ; )

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Ghost House by Alexandra Adornetto

Ghost House
by Alexandra Adornetto
Harlequin Teen
ISBN: 978-0-373-21130-2
Ages 13+
Buy from  Indigo (Site down will post later)
Publishing Date: September 2014

Description: After the loss of her mother, Chloe Kennedy starts seeing the ghosts that haunted her as a young girl again. Spending time at her grandmother's country estate in the south of England is her chance to get away from her grief and the spirits that haunt her. Until she meets a mysterious stranger…

Alexander Reade is 157 years dead, with secrets darker than the lake surrounding Grange Hall and a lifelike presence that draws Chloe more strongly than any ghost before. But the bond between them awakens the vengeful spirit of Alexander's past love, Isobel. And she will stop at nothing to destroy anyone who threatens to take him from her.

To stop Isobel, Chloe must push her developing abilities to their most dangerous limits, even if it means losing Alex forever… and giving the hungry dead a chance to claim her for their own

The Good Stuff
  • Ghost story - I love me some good ghost stories
  • Fast paced and some twists and turns 
  • Mood is wonderfully set
  • Likeable characters and Chloe herself is someone that you can feel a connection to
  • Dark humour and some lovely witty dialogue
  • Story ends with a cliffhanger that will keep you waiting for the next installment of the trilogy
  • Author is a fabulous storyteller
  • I want to live at Grandma Fee's house with her lovely library
  •  Enjoyed the old bitty paranormal investigators
  • Mention of a Pimm's Cup

The Not So Good Stuff
  • A wee bit teen angsty and I never buy a story where a human and a ghost are in love - cuz - well - this is a teen book, I won't go into details - but think about it
  • Did I mention the main character is romantically involved with a dead guy - I know, I know but the practicalities involved with this are mind boggling 
  • Could use some more background story
Favorite Quotes/Passages

"Don't get me wrong; she wasn't unfeeling. She was just British."

"I didn't know much about God, but I like to picture my mom hanging out with him, shooting the breeze, drinking a gin and tonic."

"If there was no concrete evidence, she'd just dismiss it. Except for Jesus. He was the only one who didn't need to prove himself."

3.5 Dewey's

I picked this up at Book Expo America 2014 and am in no way required to review