Monday, January 30, 2017

The Girl in the Picture by Alexandra Monir Review

The Girl in the Picture by Alexandra Monir

The book opens with a spirit standing over their dead body. The murdered boy is soccer star Chace Porter. His murder sends the Oyster Bay Prep school into chaos. The book mainly alternates between the viewpoints of Nicole, a scarred star violist, and Lana, the popular girlfriend. It also bounces in time before and after Nicole gets the scarring on her face.
The story is fast moving and kept me questioning. I thought I had it figured out and was pleasantly surprised when it did not prove to be the case. There are some cliché elements but nothing too off putting. While none of the characters were completely flat, I wish they had been a bit more balanced. I also would have liked more from some of the other characters and other situations.
Overall, I enjoyed the book and would checkout more titles by this author. 

 Amazon Description: 
"A dark and addictive mystery that had me flying through the pages: best read late at night under the covers with the doors locked!"—Kara Thomas, author ofThe Darkest Corners

One dead body, one photograph, one comprimising secret. Everyone's a suspect in this classic "whodunit" murder mystery from Timeless author, Alexandra Monir.  

Nicole Morgan has been labeled many things—the geeky music girl, the shy sidekick of Miss Popularity, and the girl with the scar. Now only one name haunts her through the halls of Oyster Bay Prep. The girl in the picture.

After heartthrob Chace Porter is found dead in the woods near the school, the police search for the girl snuggled up next to him in a picture discovered among his personal effects. A girl no one knew was even close to him—and whose best friend, Lana Rivera, was his girlfriend.

Nicole is that girl, and now she’s the primary suspect in his murder.

What happened that night? Were Nicole and Chace dating behind Lana’s back? Were he and Lana over? Could either of the girls have killed him?

In alternating points of view—that of suspect Nicole Morgan and that of Lana Rivera—and weaving between present-day, flashbacks, and the characters' surreal subconscious, The Girl in the Picture is a unique tale of teen friendship, romance, and deadly secrets.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom Review

I listened to this story as an audiobook. It was engrossing. I found myself listening at every opportunity. The writing beautiful despite some of the dark subjects the book explored. The book is not a super happy story, if you are looking for rainbows and sunshine this is not the book for you. If you can find the happiness in little things and the joy of family that will help. The one thing that I detested about the book was that a lot of the problems in the book were caused by misunderstanding and not speaking to each other. Despite that, the story kept me invested. I loved some characters and loved to hate others. For me, the characters and their relationships made the story.  The narration on the audiobook was excellent and added something to the story.

Amazon Description:
Kathleen Grissom, New York Times bestselling author of the highly anticipated Glory Over Everything, established herself as a remarkable new talent with The Kitchen House, now a contemporary classic. In this gripping novel, a dark secret threatens to expose the best and worst in everyone tied to the estate at a thriving plantation in Virginia in the decades before the Civil War.

Orphaned during her passage from Ireland, young, white Lavinia arrives on the steps of the kitchen house and is placed, as an indentured servant, under the care of Belle, the master’s illegitimate slave daughter. Lavinia learns to cook, clean, and serve food, while guided by the quiet strength and love of her new family.

In time, Lavinia is accepted into the world of the big house, caring for the master’s opium-addicted wife and befriending his dangerous yet protective son. She attempts to straddle the worlds of the kitchen and big house, but her skin color will forever set her apart from Belle and the other slaves.

Through the unique eyes of Lavinia and Belle, Grissom’s debut novel unfolds in a heartbreaking and ultimately hopeful story of class, race, dignity, deep-buried secrets, and familial bonds.

This book is available for checkout through the Lake County Library System.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Honest Trailer for The Princess Bride

I adored The Princess Bride as a kid. I have seen it many times and still enjoy it. Honest Trailers did one for the movie and it is spot on.