Snack Sized Reviews (01)

curious-mindsCurious Minds (Knight and Moon #1)
by Janet Evanovich

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N

Synopsis: Emerson Knight is introverted, eccentric, and has little to no sense of social etiquette. Good thing he’s also brilliant, rich, and (some people might say) handsome, or he’d probably be homeless. Riley Moon has just graduated from Harvard Business and Harvard Law. Her aggressive Texas spitfire attitude has helped her land her dream job as a junior analyst with mega-bank Blane-Grunwald. At least Riley Moon thought it was her dream job, until she is given her first assignment: babysitting Emerson Knight.

What starts off as an inquiry about missing bank funds in the Knight account leads to inquiries about a missing man, missing gold, and a life-and-death race across the country. Through the streets of Washington, D.C., and down into the underground vault of the Federal Reserve in New York City, an evil plan is exposed. A plan so sinister that only a megalomaniac could think it up, and only the unlikely duo of the irrepressibly charming Emerson Knight and the tenacious Riley Moon can stop it.

My Review: 

3 of 5 Stars

I thought this book was okay but not great. This is one of those stories where I know I’m just not really the target audience. I’ve read other books by Janet Evanovich and while I appreciate that she’s a great writer, it’s a style that just doesn’t suit me personally. With this story specifically, I never connected that much to either of the main characters which made it hard to get hooked into the ongoing antics that take place. Instead of finding it incredibly humorous I often found it a little irritating. I did get a few laughs out of it and the absurdity kept me going and enjoying the book enough. In the end all I can say is.. it was okay. I doubt I’ll be reading any more in the series though I do recommend it to any fans of this style of humor or those who’ve enjoyed other works by the author.

time-travel-chroniclesThe Time Travel Chronicles
by Crystal Watanabe, Samuel Peralta, Robert J. Sawyer, Rysa Walker, Lucas Bale, Anthony Vicino, Ernie Lindsey, Carol Davis , Stefan Bolz, Ann Christy

Goodreads | Amazon  (Available through Kindle Unlimited)

Synopsis:

Time travel. Humanity has long imagined what it would be like to be able to create a time machine, what we might see if we could travel into the future, or be transported to the distant past. And what if it were possible to travel into our own, more recent past? Would we be able to change our present, or are we prisoners of predestination? Is fate what we make of it?

In this latest title in the acclaimed ‘Future Chronicles’ series of speculative fiction anthologies, fourteen authors confront the question of time travel and its consequences, exploring a landscape where past, present and future all become imaginable destinations.

My Review:

4 of 5 Stars

I’ve been turned off by these short story anthologies in the past but simply could not turn down one devoted entirely to time travel. I was a bit skeptical if this would be something I’d enjoy, even if it was my favorite topic. I’m happy to say that I was pleasantly surprised. Not only did I really enjoy most of the stories I’ve found a number of new authors I really want to check out in the future. Many of these were prequels to other writing or a taste of that authors writing style. While not every story was my cup of tea a vast majority were amazing. I also got to see time travel portrayed in a number of ways that I hadn’t previously considered which was very exciting. If you love time travel as much as I do and want to try out some new authors without committing to an entire book or series this is a perfect choice. The best part is that this book is currently only 99 Cents on Amazon and is also available through kindle unlimited along with others in the Future Chronicles series.

ink-and-boneInk and Bone
by Lisa Unger

Goodreads | Amazon | B & N

Synopsis:

Twenty-year-old Finley Montgomery is rarely alone. Visited by people whom others can’t see and haunted by prophetic dreams, she has never been able to control or understand the things that happen to her. When Finley’s abilities start to become too strong for her to handle – and even the roar of her motorcycle or another dazzling tattoo can’t drown out the voices – she turns to the only person she knows who can help her: her grandmother Eloise Montgomery, a renowned psychic living in The Hollows, New York.

Merri Gleason is a woman at the end of her tether after a ten-month-long search for her missing daughter, Abbey. With almost every hope exhausted, she resorts to hiring Jones Cooper, a detective who sometimes works with psychic Eloise Montgomery. Merri’s not a believer, but she’s just desperate enough to go down that road, praying that she’s not too late. Time, she knows, is running out.

As a harsh white winter moves into The Hollows, Finley and Eloise are drawn into the investigation, which proves to have much more at stake than even the fate of a missing girl. As Finley digs deeper into the town and its endless layers, she is forced to examine the past, even as she tries to look into the future. Only one thing is clear: The Hollows gets what it wants, no matter what.

My Review:

3.5  of 5 Stars

I loved the concept of this book and the story was incredibly engaging. Finley became my favorite character fairly quickly and I loved reading about her many tattoos’s. As interesting as the plot was though I found myself having a difficult time getting completely immersed in the story and couldn’t figure out why. After finishing the book I now know it has to do with the constantly changing points of view. I do think this added quite a bit to the story as we were able to see things from many different angles and find out quite a lot about the various situations without any one character needing to explain or experience it all. As necessary as this feels to the story it also at times felt a little distracting. Each chapter changes perspective and I’d have to figure out who I was reading through which slowed down the ‘page turning thriller’ vibe I had been looking for. I didn’t really get used to this until I was through about two-thirds of the book at which point things did speed up quite a bit. I’m also a little mixed about the ending. I love books that give a good wrap up but this almost felt like too much padding and maybe a little too neatly tied together. I’ll also add that while I don’t think the book bothered me it does touch on some potentially triggering areas of child abduction, abuse, and murder. I felt it was a decent balance and not just graphic for the sake of being graphic but it’s something to be aware of if you are sensitive to these topics.

remember-to-forgetRemember to Forget (Remember to Forget #1)
by Ashley Royer

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N

Synopsis: 

In Remember to Forget from Watty Award-winning author Ashley Royer, Levi has refused to speak since the tragic death of his girlfriend, Delia, and can’t seem to come out of his depression and hindering self-doubt. Desperate to make some positive change in Levi’s life, his mother sends him to live with his father in Maine. Though the idea of moving from Australia to America seems completely daunting, Levi passively accepts his fate, but once he lands faces personal struggles and self-doubt at the same time he and his dad battle through resentment and misunderstanding. And then, while at therapy, Levi meets Delilah, a girl who eerily reminds him of someone he lost.

My Review:

3.5 of 5 Stars

I very nearly quit reading this book all together near the beginning because I was having such trouble connecting to Levi as a character. He’s experiencing extreme clinical depression as well as suffering through all the wonderful additions that go along with the grieving process. At first, his behavior turned me off, I wanted to become irritated and frustrated. He acts like a stubborn jerk to most of the people that are trying to care for him. I stuck with it though because as someone who struggles with a number of my own mental health issues I know how easy it is to have your illness turn you into a complete ass that no one really enjoys being around. In a way, this was probably the most realistic portrayal of depression that I’ve seen in quite a while. I got much more wrapped up in the story as the book progressed and I liked how his recovery wasn’t linear. He doesn’t go from point A to point B, even when things are getting better he still struggles. Toward the end, there were quite a few scenes that had me almost in tears. I ended up really liking the story. I think what kept me from liking it more was some of the writing style and somewhat awkward writing style. I also am a bit on the fence with how neatly some things came together. For example, I think it’s great to have more YA that lacks the cliche missing or underqualified parent role. I also appreciated that he had quite a few friends as well as a therapist to support him. That said, as much as I liked these things it didn’t really seem all that realistic. I can’t put my finger on it really because his life isn’t perfect but something just felt a little too.. organized once I was done with the book. I do still recomend it though, it’s a really lovely and heartwarming story!

FTC Disclaimer: I received each of these books from various publishers through Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of each title and I was compensated in no other manner.

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