Aug 202015
 

Thank you everyone for entering the Extend Nutrition giveaway! I really liked the protein bars and I’m happy to pick a winner to give it a try. I picked one winner randomly and the winner is:

winner1

winner2Ally! Ally email me (110pounds at gmail dot com) asap with your email and mailing information so I can pass it on to the company for your gift card! Thanks everyone for entering! :)

 

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Jul 212015
 

Here is the latest installment of books! As always, if you’ve read something lately that you love, let me know! I am always on the lookout for new titles.

1. A Fatal Grace (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #2) by Louise Penny

Chief Inspector Armand Gamache is back in Three Pines in book #2. This time, he’s there to investigate the murder of a very unliked woman who is mysteriously electrocuted in front of the whole town. But how did that happen and who did it?

All the characters from the first book are back in the second and I’m so glad. The curious little town is so quaint and the characters are so well-written it’s a joy to read, even if the books are about murderers!

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2. The Ice Twins by S.K. Tremayne

This book was on my “must read” list even before it was published. I was so excited when it finally came available at the library. The premise intrigued me — Angus and Sarah have identical twin daughters, Lydia and Kirstie. After a tragic accident, Lydia dies and they slowly try to rebuild their lives after this horrible event. The family moves to a remote Scottish Island and suddenly Kirstie is telling them that they got it wrong that day–that she is Lydia and Kirstie was the twin that died that day.

What is a parent to do? The book is so incredibly creepy on many levels. Each family member is slowly unraveling and clearly going insane and I can see why that would happen. Sarah has been noticing strange things and even before her daughter confesses that the “wrong” twin died, she’s already wondering if they got it wrong.

Their dog is acting strangely–treating the surviving twin the way he always treated Lydia when she was alive. How do you explain that? Kirstie (who claims she’s Lydia) insists she sees her sister and talks to her. Is it a ghost? A hallucination brought on by grief the little girl can’t fathom or explain because she’s so young? Personality traits in Kirstie are now presenting themselves as Lydia. Favorite toys, behaviors, reading ability–everything points to the girl really being Lydia but how is that possible?

“‘Kirstie is here again,’ she says. ‘She’s in my room. I don’t want to see her anymore. Mummy, make her go away.’ I want nothing more than for Kirstie to go away. And maybe Lydia too. I am frightened of both of my daughters, the two ghosts in this house, the two ghosts in my head; The Ice Twins, melting, one into the other…’I don’t believe what Lydia says, Mummy. She says horrible things.[pg 288]”

The book was creepy and gut-wrenching at times. Mostly creepy. I highly recommend this. I read it in two days.

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3. What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

I wanted to give this book 4 stars because I liked the characters and the story was different, but…the book could have been better.
What I liked: the story was different and interesting. Alice falls at the gym and hits her head, wakes up and finds that she’s lost the last 10 years of her life. She’s unaware that she has three kids, that she’s separated from her husband, and apparently a very different person at age 39 than she was at 29. Very interesting premise!

What I didn’t like: yet another book from this author where there are three women telling their story. The formula is tired and I’m over it. She needs to write differently. STOP! It’s annoying and I wasn’t as interested in the other story lines as I was with Alice. Also, for the first 30% of the book I was very impatient and irritated that we didn’t know why Alice didn’t have her memory. Maybe that was the point, but I didn’t like that part.

Despite all of this, I still enjoyed most of the book and I liked that there was almost this alternate universe going on–it kind of reminded me of the movie Sliding Doors.

4. World Without End by Ken Follett

Looking for a rip-roaring good time that takes place in medieval times? Complete with accusations of witchcraft, royal espionage, serfdom and the Black Plague. Then this book is for you. In all seriousness, this was a really good book. It’s long–1000+ pages–and sometimes a little slow, but overall it was a really good read. I loved the time period and the characters. It’s a book that spans a long period of time in the mid-1300’s and you follow the main characters as they try to survive in a difficult time.

It starts with Caris and Merthin as young kids, who are best friends and falling in love. The story follows them as they age and their careers “take off” and all the trials and tribulations they go through in England in 1340. Loved their story. Even Merthin’s brother, Ralph, the most evil person in the book you kind of like because his character is so well written and EVIL. Well done book!

5. Little Black Lies by SJ Bolton

I love this author! I discovered her last summer and read all her Lacy Flint books and loved them. This isn’t part of that series–new story, new characters and it’s really good. It takes place on the Falkland Islands. Sadly, I had never heard of them before this book and now I am absolutely fascinated and want to visit.

The main character is Catrin. She’s a diver and whale expert. The book is about young children who have been disappearing in the community and this brings up painful memories of the death of her two boys. The other main character is Rachel, the best friend who’s neglect lead to their death. Finally, Callum, Catrin’s on-again-off-again boyfriend. The story is told in such a unique way, from each person’s point of view, and the twists and turns were so unpredictable! The who-dunit was so well done! It had me guessing all the way to the last page. GOOD BOOK!

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6. Bones are Forever (Temperance Brennan #15) by Kathy Reichs

I’ve read a few of the books in this series over the years, somehow not in order. If it sounds familiar, I believe there is a TV show based on the characters (Bones). I plan on starting at the beginning of this series and re-reading the ones I have read.

Despite reading it out of order, it wasn’t necessary. I never felt lost or confused. If there was a main character I didn’t quite remember the author did a good job of giving the cliff notes reminders. I enjoyed this book a lot. The main character, Temperance, is a strong female lead character and the story had an interesting combination of science and mystery that never felt over my head or too dumbed down.

The story is about a mysterious woman who checks into an ER because of excessive bleeding, they realize she’d just given birth, but she disappears from the hospital before being treated. With some detective work they find her apartment and sadly, the corpse of a newborn baby. But that’s not it, they find two more mummified corpses in the apartment. Thus the search begins for this “horrible monster” that killed her babies…except, is that what really happened? No spoilers. But it was a good and very fast read.

7. Us by David Nicholls

This was a very charming, heart-warming book. Douglas is in his 50’s and his teenage son is about to graduate from high school when one night his wife says that she thinks the marriage has run it’s course. This was completely out of the blue for the middle-aged scientist who thought everything was going great. The three of them are also about to embark on a summer long European family trip to celebrate before their son goes off on his own journey.

They go on the trip anyways, the wife being cagey about when she was leaving him and why. He thinks this is his last chance to keep the family together. The story is told in little vignettes instead of chapters and the story of how he met his wife and their life together is intertwined with the current day struggles and their European adventure. It was a REALLY good book. I liked it a lot and read it in two days!

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