Monday, September 29, 2014

A Cast-Off Coven by, Juliet Blackwell narrated by, Xe Sands

A Cast-Off Coven  by, Juliet Blackwell narrated by, Xe Sands

This was another good addition to this series.  The San Francisco School of Fine Arts has had some paranormal activity going on so Lily agrees to help in return for some vintage clothes. But there is more in this closet of clothes than she bargained for. Plus she stumbles across a dead body and everyone thinks “the ghost” killed the man but Lily senses something different something demonic and everyone at the school seems to be on edge and aggravated at each other. At one time the school was a convent and Lily starts to wonder just what these nuns were up to.

Lily does go to Aiden for help however I felt his help is a little lacking and she also meets Sailor, who is more help, and Lily seems to be attracting men like crazy, first we have Max but I agree with Aiden she will be in a  Darrin & Samantha relationship with him trying to squelch her magic. Then Luke, I liked Luke myself, until it got weird. But I know most people prefer Sailor. Max did grow on me more by the end of the book.

This one kept me on the edge of my seat trying to figure out who killed the big cheese, a ghost, a demon, or just a human? But the things that happen in this school would have freaked me out; the white light and wind would have freaked me out more than the voices.

As always I love Oscar he is my favorite character. I also want a store like Lily’s in my town! I liked how her relationship with Inspector Romero evolved in this one and I see them working together much more in future books.

This one is narrated by Xe Sands, who as always does a great job I just love her voice and she seemed to come more into her own as Lily in this book compared to the first she was a bit more forceful and sure, I liked that!

The ending really made me look forward to more of this series! If you enjoy cozy mysteries with a supernatural tilt give this series a try!

3 ½ Stars

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Pearl That Broke Its Shell by Nadia Hashimi narrated by Gin Hammond

The Pearl That Broke Its Shell by Nadia Hashimi narrated by Gin Hammond

This was a fascinating and heartbreaking book. This book has a dual storyline set in Afghanistan, first we have Rahima in 2007 whose family only had girls so she is dressed as a boy in a custom called bacha posh, she is able to go to school, play soccer and work. Our second story is of her Great Great Grandmother Shakiba in 1901? She is disfigured from an accident when she was a child and whose father dies and her Grandmother can’t stand the sight of her. So she is given to another family as a servant but they believe she is a curse on them and when Shakiba sneaks away to try to claim her father’s land the family decides to get rid of her (after beating her of course) they give her to the King to work as a guard in the harem. All the guards are women dressed as men so there would be no temptation in the harem.

Both stories are a fascinating look into the lives of women in Afghanistan even though the stories are years and generations apart it is heartbreaking how women were treated. The way Shakiba is treated by her own family and then the people who take her in is harrowing and heartbreaking. And Rahima would have loved to have stayed being a boy but someone very powerful has seen through her disguise and when her opium addicted father complains about all his daughters to this man, he decides to take one of his daughters for his wife and he chooses Rahima who is only 13 at the time, she has 2 older sisters and tradition demands they be married first so he has cousins to marry them too and Rahima’s father is paid in cash and opium. Rahima is a very strong willed woman I think from her years as a boy I liked her very much and worried about her when she spoke up. You will have to read the book to see how their stories play out!

I loved the narration however there were times I wish there had been two, for the times I missed it say who was talking. But Gin Hammond was fabulous all her accents and voices were great I would definitely look for other books narrated by her.

I truly enjoyed this book it is a powerful story that I highly recommend and if you are a fan of Khaled Hosseini, I would highly recommend you read this book.

4 Stars

I received a copy of this from the Audiobookjukebox and the Publisher for a fair and honest review.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Stay Where You Are And Then Leave , by John Boyne narrated by, Euan Morton

StayWhere You Are And Then Leave , by John Boyne narrated by, Euan Morton

This is such a powerful story, set in WWI before we had a name for PTSD or Shell Shock this book takes you to a hospital with one doctor who is trying to get people to realize this is an actual condition not men just being cowardly. But how we get to that hospital is a heartbreaking yet uplifting story told through the eyes of 9 year old Alfie who is in search of his father Georgie.

Alfie is a precocious 9 year old who misses his father it has been 4 years since he went off to war and Alfie’s mother won’t let him see the letters he is writing but Alfie finds a way but notices there hasn’t been a letter in a long time, his mother tells him his dad is on a secret mission but Alfie is not sure he believes that. Alfie has been helping out by shining shoes at Kings Cross Station ( unbeknownst to his mother) and one day a man drops some papers and as Alfie helps him pick them up he sees his dads name and the name of a hospital so he sets off to find his dad.

This story is at times heartbreaking, uplifting and powerful, seeing it through Alfie’s eyes really brings home the separation of war, the not knowing if your parent is alive or well  and how the parent left behind wants to protect their child from knowing the gory details of war but that leaves Alfie to think his father is dead. When Alfie does find his father it will break your heart and Alfie’s innocence in thinking if he just comes home he will be okay leads to circumstances that make Alfie have to confront just what shell shock is and how the war affected his father.

Euan Morton narrates this book with skill, his narration of Alfie is spot on and you feel every emotion he feels. Every character has a voice and the parts with the banging how Morton brings Georgie’s emotion to the forefront are amazing. Highly recommend this on audio!

The author does a great job at making you feel everything Alfie feels the fear, the trepidation, the confusion all written so beautifully.

4 ½ Stars

I received this book from netgally but ended up listening to the audio version and am so glad I did!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

People I Want to Punch in the Throat: Competitive Crafters, Drop-Off Despots, and Other Suburban Scourges by Jen Mann

People I Want to Punch in the Throat: Competitive Crafters, Drop-Off Despots, and Other Suburban Scourges by Jen Mann

This book cracked me up and after reading a few serious books in a row it was just what I needed, I laughed out loud many, many times while reading this book and saw people and situations that I recognized as my own. And how could you pass up this title!

One of the chapters that cracked me up was ‘Just some of the reasons the neighbors always hate us’  this one made me laugh because at my house we are a bit anti-social and seem to have major differences politically plus have a hard time not commenting on things like “You paid thirteen grand for a dog to have surgery?” this chapter hit close to home!

As a mother and grandmother I also have to wonder about these theme birthday parties and spending hundreds of dollars to throw your kid a party, whatever happened to birthday parties at home with a cake and pin the tail on the donkey now it can’t be at home and it has to have a theme why?? When did this start?? This chapter hit home too.

Oh who the hell am I kidding this book is full of snarky goodness and sounded like all the things I say inside my head but don’t always have the courage to say out loud!

If you are a fan of Laurie Notaro and/or Celia Rivenbark then this is a must read!

4 Stars

I received this book from Netgalley and the publisher for a fair and honest review.