Tuesday, October 13, 2015

September Book Review

Rating System
5- Loved it! All the feels and flails. New favorite
4- Really liked it
3- Decent
2- Would not recommend. Ehh
1- Did not like.  Didn't finish. Gave book away.

The Gone Away World by Nick Harkaway
Rating: 3.5
Literary Ladies book pick
A hilarious, action-packed look at the apocalypse that combines a touching tale of friendship, a thrilling war story, and an all out kung-fu infusedmission to save the world.Gonzo Lubitch and his best friend have been inseparable since birth. They grew up together, they studiedmartial arts together, they rebelled in college together, and they fought in the Go-Away War together. Now, with the world in shambles and dark nightmarish clouds billowing over the wastelands, they have been tapped for an incredibly perilous mission. But they quickly realize that this assignment is not all it seems, and before it is over they will have encountered everything from mimes, ninjas, and pirates to one ultra-sinister mastermind, whose only goal is world domination.
Even though it took me a month to finish this book, it was quirky and weirdly wonderful.  I loved the imagination this story had. The characters were weird and you were never quite sure what was going on.  I mean, where else do you get a book that has mimes, ninjas and monsters that come from your dreams? Also, this book had a plethora of vocabulary words. There's a huge turning point in the book that leaves your scratching your head and almost makes you want to go and reread everything you just read.  The back of my ARC said it combined the humor of Vonnegut with the futuristic vision of Clockwork Orange and 1984 with some Mad Max.  I could not have described this book any better.

House of Echoes by Brendan Duffy
Rating: 2.5-3
I received a digital copy of this book courtesy of NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Ben and Caroline Tierney and their two young boys are hoping to start over. Ben has hit a dead end with his new novel, Caroline has lost her banking job, and eight-year-old Charlie is being bullied at his Manhattan school.
  When Ben inherits land in the village of Swannhaven, in a remote corner of upstate New York, the Tierneys believe it’s just the break they need, and they leave behind all they know to restore a sprawling estate. But as Ben uncovers Swannhaven’s chilling secrets and Charlie ventures deeper into the surrounding forest, strange things begin to happen. The Tierneys realize that their new home isn’t the fresh start they needed . . . and that the village’s haunting saga is far from over.

For awhile, I couldn't figure out what the twist was so that's what mainly kept me reading but then I learned there really was no twist. Honestly?  This was a typical horror thriller. I read it during my lunch breaks at work so it was fine enough to pass the time but at the end, I was just left thinking really? That's it?! I hate to give too much away but I thought there was something creepy and sinister going on, maybe even demonic and nope, just a crazy town.

Freaked by JT Dutton
Rating: 2
Literary Ladies book pick

Scotty Loveletter is in big trouble. He's about to be expelled from school, but all he cares about is getting to Freedom to see Jerry Garcia—even though he doesn't have tickets. But if dedicating his life to Jerryism has taught him anything, Scotty knows he's got to keep on trucking and smile, smile, smile.
It was noted as being a modern day Holden Caulfield/Catcher in the Rye....ehh not so much. I just found this book to be pointless.  Scotty is obsessed with Grateful Dead and it reminded me of the festival, JerryJam, that we have every year where I live. About the only person I would recommend this book to would be a Grateful Dead fan.

The Light Between Oceans by ML Stedman
Rating: 4.5

After four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia and takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly half a day’s journey from the coast. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes once a season, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. Years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel hears a baby’s cries on the wind. A boat has washed up onshore carrying a dead man and a living baby.
Spoiler alert: I LOVED this book!  I breezed through it in about 2 days.  It's one of those books where you waffle back and forth between being mad at one character or the other because of the decisions they were making. It also makes you question your morals and how you would react in the same situation. I thought this book was beautifully written and I fell in love with Lulu Lighthouse.

Don't Breathe a Word by Jennifer McMahon
Rating: 4

Two young lovers find themselves ensnared in a seemingly supernatural web that ties them to a young girl’s disappearance fifteen years earlier in this dark and twisty tale from the New York Times bestselling author of Island of Lost Girls and Promise Not to Tell. Jennifer NcMahon returns with a vengeance with Don’t Breathe a Word—an absolutely chilling and ingenious combination of psychological thriller, literary suspense, and paranormal page-turner that will enthrall a wildly diverse audience.
I think this might be my favorite MacMahon.  I'm currently listening to her newest book, The Winter People, on my way to work but I'm only 20 minutes in.  The only other book of hers I haven't read is Dismantled.  This one literally gave me the creeps.  I found myself looking over my shoulder while reading it before bed. I love that it had a little bit of dark magic to it with faeries playing tricks on you. This story grabbed me from the beginning. It reminded me of something I would dream about. Recommend to any fans of the dark and twisted.

Love it: The Light Between Oceans & Don't Breathe a Word.  Maybe Gone Away World but only to the right person.
Leave it: Freaked

Life According to Steph
Linking up with Steph


  1. I went to pick up the light between the oceans last week at the library and it was already checked out! Like from the time I checked at work to when I went right after!!! Alas, hopefully next time!

  2. oh gosh, the light between oceans. that book. i enjoyed it, but i was so conflicted.
    the gone away world sounds interesting!

  3. I loved The Light Between Oceans so much. I remember just swelling with feeling over that.

  4. Don't Breathe A Word sounds super interesting! I'll have to check it out- thanks for sharing. - Svetlana @Life With a Side of Wine

    1. If you are a fan of Gillian Flynn, you would probably like this author.

  5. I think I've seen The Light Between Ocean before, it sounds familiar. Going to go add it.

  6. I'm so glad you really enjoyed Don't Breathe a Word! It's been my favorite book by McMahon so far as well, though I've only read three of her novels. I hated the ending of this one because I thought it was a hot mess, but the rest of the book gave me chills. It was such a unique idea, and I loved the creepiness.

    I'm going to add The Gone Away World and The Light Between Oceans. The Light Between Oceans has popped up on Goodreads several times, but I've been hesitant to add it because I wasn't sure if it was really my kind of thing. I'm still not sure, but your glowing recommendation makes me feel like I should give it a try.

  7. I absolutely love Jennifer McMahon. I've been reading her since Promise Not to Tell came out and I cannot wait to get my hands on her newest book.

  8. I've never read The Light Between Oceans but if you, Steph, and Kristen all liked it, it needs to go on the list.

  9. I've really enjoyed some Jennifer MacMahon books and some not so much. Don't Breathe A Word has been on my to read list for about two years. Maybe it's time to re-visit the author.

  10. I have light between the oceans on hold! but damn, I've had that book on hold forever--- people just don't want to return it :(

  11. Too bad your LL picks weren't great. At least you read them though, that was my philosophy.