Friday, October 12, 2018

Review: Leah on the Offbeat

Leah on the Offbeat Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Nice sequel to Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, with Leah as mc (obviously).
Drama, romance, no sex although some graphic thoughts, but nothing cringeworthy.
No triggers, as I expected this to be like "Simon vs ...", I did not have the feeling like in "Simon ..." that something bad was going to happen at some point (like a school-shooting or a bloody fight or someone trying suicide for a change).
LGBTQ+, my age-advisory is 12 and above, others may differ.
Well written characters, sometimes they are rather confused, but rightfully so, I could relate to most of them, very engaging.
Read this in two days, although no thriller, for me it was a real page-turner and I stopped doing other things for it.
Recommended reading for the aware person, straight, gay, both or otherwise.
Would really like to see this filmed, so far no sign for it.

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Review: Leah on the Offbeat

Leah on the Offbeat Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Nice sequel to Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, with Leah as mc (obviously).
Drama, romance, no sex although some graphic thoughts, but nothing cringeworthy.
No triggers, as I expected this to be like "Simon vs ...", I did not have the feeling like in "Simon ..." that something bad was going to happen at some point (like a school-shooting or a bloody fight or someone trying suicide for a change).
LGBTQ+, my age-advisory is 12 and above, others may differ.
Well written characters, sometimes they are rather confused, but rightfully so, I could relate to most of them, very engaging.
Recommended reading for the aware person, straight, gay, both or otherwise.
Would really like to see this filmed, so far no sign for it.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Review: One Perfect Lie

One Perfect Lie One Perfect Lie by Lisa Scottoline
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Nice twist I did not see coming after that beginning (I think it was with Step 2).
A little over the top action-sequence in the end, and it was a little too neat after that, nearly bordering on hea (hope this does not count as a spoiler). For this and the lone-hero feeling 1 star less, could easily have been a 5star read.
A few times different POV, but all in all not too many and well done.
Sex mentioned but happening off page, although Sexting plays a certain role in the story.
The problems of the different families felt a bit much, but where all in all very real.
Main parts of the book read like one lone hero trying to save it all, hindered by having one chef with his own goals and playing it by the book.
Nice integration of current technology (Smartphones, surveillance App), I think no hacking or (luckily) even embellished/unrealistic use of technology.

Recommended, reasonably fast page-turner, no real thriller, though. Would have wished for a more bloody ending, with lots more casualties. Standalone, nicely finished. Will probably remember this author and try to read more of her, depending on theme.

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Sunday, September 9, 2018

Review: Expose

Expose Expose by Danielle Girard
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lent with Kindle Unlimited.
Trigger Warning: Torture, short but detailed, rape mentioned a few times but happening mostly of-page.
Read back2back with the one before it ( Excise ), which imho was better.
This one has too many threads which take a long time to come together.
Also while there where some unexpected turns, in the end an explanation sequence like Agatha Christie was needed to bring the main case to reasonable conclusion.
Way too complicated, could have been better written.
A lot of personal life happening, but romance and off-the-page-sex-scenes are ok in this amount and felt real, even with the taking-it-slow-approach.
What kept me from liking the book more was the main victim (Bitty), I could not really relate to her suffering and her actions.

Also the ending of the book was something I expected since nearly the end of book #02, so no surprise there.

Still recommended, 3.5 stars rounded up to 4 as I cannot really wait for the next book, to see how the cliffhanger will continue. Also, not sure, but it felt longer then the last one, and till 50 or maybe 60% percent I had to push myself sometimes to read it. Not such a good fast page-turner until it comes together.

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Thursday, September 6, 2018

Review: Excise

Excise Excise by Danielle Girard
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Most of it this book is a fast page-turner, a little dragging for me when the therapy of the MC is described.
A few deaths and a twist from the last book, where a bad decision bites back in this book.
Serial killers and some brutal scenes, but not enough to warrant a trigger warning.
And for once, also turn toward the right and the wrong way to bring someone to trial (see above...) and no vigilante or going alone into dangerous situations. Also tech is up-to-date playing some little role, without being embellished or unrealistic: things take time, not everything is recorded by traffic-cams, mobile phone tracking in a big city is not precise enough, etc .

The two decisions of the MC later in the book regarding her private life are great stuff, just my kind of woman, strong and willful, even with all her problems independent and headstrong. Wow! These two turns alone are worth 1 star for me.

Have the next book lent with a KU trial and will read that next before I pay for Kindle Unlimited (which I consider not worth the amount it costs, but as long as it is a free-trial it is ok).
Might be a 4 star for some but, I feel good about it, and it was a fast 3 days read, and with the strong MC, so 5 stars it is and highly recommended.

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Monday, September 3, 2018

Review: Aftermath

Aftermath Aftermath by Kelley Armstrong
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Obvious Trigger warning: Bullying.
After reading and the reviewing That's not what happened I was in the mood for more school shootings, and this turned out, to be even better. Again about the way the story that gets known is not really what happened, with an obvious twist I guessed early on, and a few other twists, I did not guess.

Liked the MC's Skye & Jesse, with how they changed after the shooting and grew up, not talking to each other for 3 years and then meeting again when Skye is forced to change school again. Swoonworthy realistic romance during a rocky patch in their live.
Very good characterizations, even in the minor characters, like the adults and Tiffany and Chris. As this is a current book, technology (chats, video sending, hacking) was integrated. And very well, no mistakes, everything is very real without being embellished or too much hacking. For that alone I could have given 1 star extra, so far I found a lot of books are missing the technology angel or get it wrong. But even without that I would have given 5 stars.
So suspenseful, I read it rather fast (under 3 days), well done romance-thriller about a school shooting, with current technology and a real page-turner.
Solid 5 stars, Highly recommended.

Family-ending may be a little to neat for some, but I can live with that.

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Saturday, September 1, 2018

Review: That's Not What Happened

That's Not What Happened That's Not What Happened by Kody Keplinger
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Would have liked more about the shooter, and some real twist.
Mostly I thought one or more of the survivors where in on it or even shooters themselves.
Still, for being to straight 1 star less, it is still a good fiction about a school shooting.

Solid 4 stars giving a few different POV of a school shooting (and aftermath).
Recommended, also reasonably short read, could be finished in a day or on a rainy weekend.

Even before I finished it, I looked for other books about school shootings and more or less randomly picked these from a goodreads list:
Hate List (owned that one already as an ebook bought 6 years or more ago, not read yet...)
Aftershock - Andrew Vachss is one of my favourite authors, but ebook is too expensive
This Is Where It Ends (bought today as an ebook)
Aftermath (bought a few months ago as an ebook)
School Days (looked for Robert B Parker books way back, August 2009, bought and read the paperback, may read it again)
Quicksand by Malin Persson Gilolito As it would have been a translation anyway, I bought it today in the German translation as: Im Traum kannst du nicht l├╝gen (Malin Persson)
and
In the Skin of a Monster (bought today as an ebook)

no ebook - Endgame Nancy Garden
no ebook - Quad C.G. Watson, Carrie Gordon Watson
That I have bought these books does not really mean I will read and review them. The Spenser one I read already, this one offers a nice twist on the reasons for a school shooting. Worth reading for that, as a Spenser thriller, it is as expected, wether you like them or not. Recommended.
A different kind of school shooting is also to be found in Andrews Vachhss first book which was a long time unpublished - A bomb built in hell. The story was and probably still is available on his webpage for free, but I think you can also buy it in different formats in the usual shops.
Also, I still have Columbine in my TBR-bought pile (looked into that, the reviews where rather mixed, but I still want to read it someday).

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