Saturday, June 30, 2018

review: ain't she a peach? by molly harper

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After Margot moved to Georgia in Sweet Tea and Sympathy, she discovered her extended family is full of colorful characters. One of the most interesting was cousin Frankie, whose story is told in the second book of the Southern Eclectic series from Molly Harper. Frankie is the county coroner, but she's also quite childish continuing to live with her parents and engaging in an ongoing feud with a high school boy. Frankie was both awesome and aggravating as she sought to prove the teen was responsible for vandalism at the McCready funeral home. Fortunately, Frankie grows up a lot over the course of Ain't She a Peach? as she stands up to her parents, whose unwillingness to let her grow up stemmed from their fear of losing her (she had cancer as a child). Although the feud plot was annoying at times, the quirky McCready family is a treasure.
Review copy provided by the publisher, Gallery Books.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

review: i'm kind of a big deal by stefanie wilder-taylor

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Much of I'm Kind of a Big Deal is Stefanie Wilder-Taylor's purportedly wild times as a 20-something in Hollywood in the late-80s to early-90s. At one point though, it changes without warning. Suddenly it is 15 years later and Wilder-Taylor is dealing with serious issues regarding her dad. Then just as suddenly, Wilder-Taylor is a mom writing letters to Angelina Jolie to commiserate. It made the narrative jarring. Some of the early chapters were mildly funny (she tracks down a dating show contestant she decided was "the one" only to discover she didn't find him as attractive in person), but there was also a lot of Wilder-Taylor getting into awkward situations due to a lack of self-awareness or by simply not looking around (like for no parking signs).
Review copy provided by the publisher, Gallery Books.

Friday, June 1, 2018

review: shelter in place by nora roberts

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Shelter in Place begins with a shock--three teenage boys are shooting random victims at the mall. Simone is saved when the large Fanta she drank causes her to leave her friends for a bathroom break. One of those friends is gravely injured while the other is killed. Numerous others suffer the same fate. Simone, as the first 911 caller, is credited with preventing the shooters from killing more people with her quick alert to the police. There are other heroes that night too--a fact that doesn't sit well with one person, who will continue the horror years later.

The latest from Nora Roberts is a romantic suspense that's light on both the romance and suspense as it focuses more on what life is like for Simone and Reed (also at the mall during the shooting) in the years that follow. After the initial distressing scenes, the pace slows. Simone struggles through college while Reed becomes a police officer. It isn't until a few years later that anyone realizes someone else was involved in the mall shooting. Although the middle drags some, the action scenes are gripping and the opening triggers a lot of emotions.
Review copy provided by the publisher, St. Martin's Press.