Read Beatdown in Bangkok by Justin Fike and Adam Fleming. I receoved a copy for review.
Stetson Jeff Stetson (think Bond James Bond) has left Texas for Thailand. He has two reasons to go: investigate a potential business investment and compete in a martial arts tournament (Muay Thai, to be specific).
This is the first book in a series and I need the other books, like, yesterday. This was laugh out loud funny while not skimping on the action.
This book is a delight and I bet you’ll agree with me. I do not envy Stetson Jeff Stetson but I’m glad to read his adventures.
Finished The Ship Beyond Time by Heidi Heilig. I received a copy from the publisher for review.
This is the sequel to The Girl From Everywhere. This is just as much about undoing fate as its predecessor was.
This is so hard to review! I thought the first was hard but now there is almost nothing to say. There are a lot of game-changers and a lot of sweet moments and a lot of sad ones.
Nix continues to be awesome.
Basically, just read it. You’ll enjoy yourself. Highly recommended.
Finished The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig. I received a copy for review.
Nix has grown up on board her dad’s ship—and her life is even more unorthodox than you think. She and her dad (and the crew) travel through time. It’s complicated but they’re trying to get back to when Nix’s mom died.
It’s hard to describe without spoilers but it’s got a real Six of Crows vibe but with time traveling.
I have to admit that I LOVE Nix. She’s such a kickass and brave character. This functions as a standalone but there’s a sequel and YES.
I love everything about this story. Highly recommended.
Finished The Lost Woman by Sara Blaedel. I received a copy for review.
This mystery has a ton going on but the non-spoiler version is that people are turning up dead and one of the victims was already sort of presumed dead (she was reported as a missing person years before). There isn’t a connection (until, of course, there is) and that connection is shocking and also perfectly feasible.
Most mysteries may not be good for book club choices (what can you discuss, really? Motives? And I am not slamming mysteries; I think they’re wonderful) but this one would be. There are a lot of things to talk about with this one, though.
Of course though, any long-term series hinges on its leads. That is probably the real secret to Sara Blaedel’s success. I’m not sure there are many better leads than Louise Rick.
Finished the MARCH Trilogy by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell. I read this on Inauguration Day for #READOUT.
MARCH #1 tells the beginning of John Lewis’ story, from preaching to his chickens as a boy to his love for education to developing a social conscience and participating in sit-ins. This story would be inspiring at any time, but it’s great to read it today (on what I think will prove to be a very dark day in our country’s history). There is always evil and sometimes it’s popular. But there are also always people committed to fighting that evil. We are so lucky to have John Lewis. I wish I had a tenth of his courage.
MARCH Book Two starts with the Freedom Riders and ends with the bombing of the church in Birmingham that left the little girls dead. Powerfully (like the first book), it also flashes forward to President Obama’s inauguration.
The sit-ins discussed in the first book were scary to see but the violence directed at the Freedom Riders is horrifying. It’s awful to see all the hate directed at people just for wanting equality. At the same time, it’s wonderful to see how committed people were to fighting for what was right. And it was great to see how people’s minds were slowly changed, even though they were changed only because of horrific events like children arrested, injured by firehoses or attacked by dogs.
I don’t know if I could face what they went through without fighting back. This trilogy makes it so clear that these people are heroes. I hope we have similar heroes now.
MARCH Book Three centers on securing the right to vote and ends with the march in Selma. The attempted march is the one where John Lewis was nearly fatally beaten. This also deals with the deaths of the three civil rights workers–it shows the very real stakes and the way that things escalated.
This trilogy is perfect for people who want to read graphic novels but are worried about it. The narrative is easy to follow and the illustrations make everything all too real. We like to think that this country has always been heroic but it’s not true. And this is not the distant past, either–we all have relatives who remember this.
Finished Nowhere Near You by Leah Thomas. This is the sequel to Because You’ll Never Meet Me. I received a copy for review.
This continues the story of the unlikely friendship between Ollie and Moritz–and this time, we meet more like them.
I thought that Because You’ll Never Meet Me was excellent and heartbreaking. I had no idea. This book is both of those and also lovely and devastating.
Read this duology. You won’t regret spending time with Ollie and Moritz–and you won’t soon forget them, either.
Finished Silver Stars by Michael Grant. I received a copy for review.
This is the sequel to Front Lines, a sort of alternate history of World War II with women fighting on the front lines. We’re still following Rio (small town girl trying to avenge her older sister’s death and who turns out to be an excellent soldier), Frangie (African-American medic) and Rainy (Jewish woman who obviously has an excellent reason to fight).
This was an incredibly hard book to read. Reading about war isn’t exactly fun (nor should it be) and this felt incredibly accurate. Granted, I don’t have firsthand knowledge but the idea that you’d be doing your job and kind of bored and then all of a sudden you’re under attack feels realistic. I’ve heard that the life of a soldier tends to be either boring or highly stressful and there is very little in between and probably also very little of a segue between the two states.
I love this series and cannot wait for the next book. Recommended.
Finished Caraval by Stephanie Garber. I received a copy for review.
Scarlett and her sister Tella live in fear of their father. He’s a powerful man and he wields that power ruthlessly. When they get a chance to escape and participate in Caraval, they jump at the chance. If you win, you get a wish. Losers tend to go insane or die.
This book is INSANE. It’s hard to know what’s real and what isn’t so readers should be prepared to just go with it. (The prize? 403 pages of absolute magic, a unique novel that is absolutely captivating and worth all its hype.)
Finished A Night in with Grace Kelly by Lucy Holliday. I received a copy for review.
This is the third and probably final book in the Libby Lomax series. I’m really going to miss Libby (and the sofa, with its tendency to produce Hollywood stars) but have loved all three books.
If you are a fan of romantic comedies or old Hollywood, check them out.
Finished A Night in with Marilyn Monroe by Lucy Holliday. I received a copy for review.
Libby still has her magical sofa, the one that brought Audrey Hepburn into her apartment. This time, it brings Marilyn Monroe to her. Also back: her best friend Ollie, her occasional boyfriend Dillon, Bogdan (we can’t even describe him) and her completely insane family.
I love this trilogy and can’t wait to get to the third book (my next read). Libby is basically Bridget Jones for the modern era, and this book only cements that.
It’s definitely setting up Libby and Ollie to be endgame but seeing them get there is a great time.