Rememberers Review

Rememberers
by C Edward Baldwin

Rememberers

My Rating ** (2 of 5 stars)

***I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review***

Kallie has been experiencing sensations of deja vu. Fearing that she may have a brain tumor, she is at first relieved when Dr. Frost asks her to participate in a Deja Vu / Memory study her class is doing, and after undergoing an MRI session she is told that she has epilepsy. The more she considers this, however, the more convinced she is that it isn’t true. She doesn’t just seem to remember things, she actually sees them happening a few moments before they actually do. Once her talent is discovered, Kallie is visited by a Catholic priest who tells her that she is a “rememberer”, and that she has a talent that needs to be developed so that she can do great things. Kallie not only has to develop her new-found abilities, but she also has to decide who she can trust.

I was excited to read this one based on the synopsis, but I really had a hard time getting into it. Especially near the beginning, there was a lot of jumping back and forth between different sets of characters and different locales. This was a little confusing, since even the characters you were becoming familiar with weren’t always in an expected location when you went back to them. I also felt that Kallie acted immature even for a college student, and her interactions with her new boyfriend Seth were somewhat strange. All of these things made it difficult for me to stick with and finish this one. Overall, the writing style just did not keep me engaged, or motivate me to finish the book. I think the last straw for me was when Seth incorrectly quoted John 3:16, and his father, a reverend, acknowledged the verse, not noticing that he said “for God so saved the world” instead of “for God so loved the world”. If you’re going to quote such a widely-recognized Bible verse, it’s important to get it right.

The main idea, that time is circular rather than linear, and that there are those who can remember past life cycles, was promising at first. At some point though, the story changed it’s focus to demons on Earth and it went from something resembling YA fiction to something much more vulgar. I managed to skim through the last 25% or so of the book just to see what happened, but was very disappointed. The demons appear with very little fanfare for such an important event, and the fight scenes with them are glossed over so that there is little or no buildup of tension. I didn’t really care what happened to the main characters; I just wanted it to end. As much as I dislike giving a book a really bad review (I’ve tried NaNoWriMo twice, I understand that it is VERY hard work to complete a novel, and scary to put your work out there for others to see),  I just can’t recommend this book.

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What Are You Reading Wednesdays

whatareyoureadingwed

What Are You Reading Wednesdays is a weekly meme hosted by Its A Reading Thing. Head on over to their blog to add a link to your own post, or leave your answers in the comments below.

The Questions are:
1. What’s the name of your current read?
2. Go to page 34 in your book or 34% in your eBook and share one complete sentence.
3. Would you like to live in the world that exists within your book? Why or why not?

And my answers:
1. Rememberers by C Edward Baldwin
2. Of course, she really didn’t have a viable excuse for her actions, at least not one she could accurately articulate.
3. I would NOT like to live in this fictional world. The people appear plastic and unreal to me, and there seems to be a higher-than-I’m-used-to threat of terrorist attacks.

Now let me know what you are reading! 🙂

May 2015 New Releases I’m Looking Forward To

My shelves are all full and the TBR pile on my nightstand is about to topple over, but I just can’t help myself. I get excited over upcoming releases even though I don’t know when I’ll find the time to read them. Here are a few I’m looking forward to picking up when they are released next month.

I, Ripper by Stephen Hunter
Published by Simon and Schuster, release date May 19th
Mystery / Thriller
I, Ripper
A new twist on the Jack the Ripper tale, told from the perspective of both Jack and the Irish journalist who is tracking him.

Pre-order from the publisher

Kingdom of Darkness by Andy McDermott
Published by Penguin Random House, available April 28th (not May I know, but close!)
Mystery / Thriller
Kingdom of Darkness by
Another adventure in the Nina Wilde and Eddie Chase series. Is there a fountain of eternal life hidden in the tomb of Alexander the Great?

Pre-order from the publisher

Murder at Beechwood: A Gilded Newport Mystery by Alyssa Maxwell
Published by Kensington Publishing, release date May 26.
Historical Mystery

In this addition to the series, Emma finds an infant left on her doorstep and must try to locate the baby’s mother.

Pre-order links on the publisher’s site

Flourless to Stop Him by Nancy Parra
Published by Berkley Prime Crime, release date May, 2015
Cozy Mystery / Culinary Mystery

A Baker’s Treat Mystery, #3 – I haven’t read any in this series yet but I like the sound of this one. A dead man is found in a hotel room registered to the heroine’s brother, so she has to figure out who set him up. (while baking delicious goodies, of course!)

Pre-order links on the publisher’s site

Musseled Out by Barbara Ross

Musseled Out
by Barbara Ross

Musseled Out

Available April 28th, 2015

Book #3 in the Maine Clambake Mysteries Series

Rating **** (4 of 5 stars)

***NOTE: I received an advance copy of this book for review through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review***

Julia Snowden is in Busman’s Harbor, Maine, wrapping up the tourist season for her family’s Clambake business and trying to decide if she will be headed back to her job in New York now that summer is over, or if she will be staying in Maine full-time. When a potential competitor turns up dead in the water, Julia’s brother-in-law Sonny finds himself high on the list of suspects. Making matters worse, he is obviously hiding something from Julia, her sister Livvie, and the police. Julia is afraid that her boyfriend, Chris, is hiding something from her too. Since he’s one of her reasons to stay in town, the decision to stay or go is just that much harder.

Once again I started a series somewhere other than at the beginning. While you won’t be lost reading this book without having read the previous installments, in this case I do wish that I had read books one and two first. I think having a better understanding of the interpersonal relationships beforehand would have been nice, but the author does a good job of keeping you informed without totally rehashing everything that has already happened. With that aside, I really liked the story. There were enough characters and sub-plots to make it hard to guess “whodunnit”, yet without being confusing. I felt like I should already have known who did it once Julia finally figured out who the murderer was, but while the conclusion was logical, it was not obvious.

This book is part of a series of culinary mysteries, and recipes like Lobster, Shrimp and Fennel Scampi, Hot Lobster Dip, and Grandma Snowden’s Pumpkin Whoopie Pies are sure to make your mouth water.

I will be heading back to Busman’s Harbor to read the beginning of this series, and I’m looking forward to more books to come.

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A Magical Read – Imaginary Things by Andrea Lochen

Imaginary Things
by Andrea Lochen

IMAGINARY THINGS.9.28.14

Rating **** (4 of 5 stars)

***NOTE: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review***

Normally, books categorized as women’s fiction aren’t my favorites. The premise for this one sounded so intriguing though, that I wanted to give it a try as soon as I’d read the description. After losing her job in Milwaukee, Anna Jennings and her four-year old son, David, return to her grandparents home in the rural Wisconsin town of Salsburg to make a new start. As they settle into their new home, Anna is surprised and startled to find that she can actually see David’s imaginary friends, two dinosaurs that follow him almost everywhere and act as his playmates and protectors. Her grandparents’ neighbor, Jamie Presswood, who used to play with Anna when she would visit as a child, has also returned to Salsburg to care for his ailing mother. While Jamie seems intent on keeping his distance at first, the two eventual manage to resume their friendship, and start something more. Not sure if she is going crazy or if what she can see is really her son’s imagination, Anna struggles with her fear of not being a good enough mother to David, and of not being good enough to be loved again after her failed relationship with David’s father.

This story was magical, suspenseful, and heartwarming. Ms. Lochen has done a wonderful job of inserting fantastical things into mundane situations in a way that makes you feel that they utterly belong. The characters were so real, that I almost felt as thought I knew each of them personally by the end of the story. Anyone who is a fan of women’s fiction or sweet romance novels, or has ever tried to raise a child will love this book.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Andrea Lochen Image
Andrea Lochen is a University of Michigan MFA graduate. Her first novel, The Repeat Year (Berkley, 2013), won a Hopwood Award for the Novel prior to its publication. She has served as fiction editor of The Madison Review and taught writing at the University of Michigan. She currently teaches at the University of Wisconsin-Waukesha, where she was recently awarded UW Colleges Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Connect with Andrea Lochen on Facebook

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Amazon: http://amzn.to/1FOikjL
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Kobo: http://bit.ly/1IL8GlF
Astor + Blue: http://bit.ly/1HJ3VW9

A Matter of Grave Concern, by Brenda Novak

A Matter of Grave Concern
by Brenda Novak

Audiobook, 9 CDs, Read by Michael Page

Matter of Grave Concern, A

My Rating *** (3 of 5 stars)

I listened to this as an audiobook during my commute back and forth to work. I have to admit that Historical romance is not one of my preferred genres, and someone who enjoys romance novels might have a different opinion of this book. I was in the library one Saturday afternoon with my two girls and wanted to grab something to listen to in a hurry. The title caught my eye, and I skimmed the beginning of the blurb on the back. I read just enough to make me think it was an historical mystery, and not even paying attention to the author’s name (which I would have recognized) I took it and checked out. Driving in to work that first Monday morning after picking it up, it didn’t take long to realize what I had. I might have stopped listening if I’d had another book to listen to in the car, but since it was all that i had with me, I kept going.

The story is about a young woman named Abby who’s father is a surgeon at Aldersgate School of Medicine. She decides to help the college keep their students by providing a corpse for the required anatomy classes. This requires Abby to deal with a group of resurectionists, or body snatchers. Little does she know that one of the gang is not what he is pretending to be. Max Wilder has actually joined the gang of grave robbers in search of his half sister, Madeline, who has gone missing and was last seen in the company of the gang’s leader, Jack Hurtsill.

This story had it’s ups and downs. At times the characters thoughts and concerns seemed repetitive and almost silly. Should she or shouldn’t she give in to Max. Will he or won’t he tell Abby the truth. I know some of that is necessary to help build tension, but it seemed a bit much. I’m not sure how I would have felt in Abby’s position as Max revealed one secret after another, instead of coming clean up front. It also seemed that after spending the first 2/3 of the book searching for Madeline, her part of the story was wrapped up in a rush. It was interesting to hear about what colleges were willing to condone to get the corpses they needed for their students to study medicine, however, and there was enough danger, suspense, and intrigue to keep my attention.

All in all, this was not a bad story, but there was too much graphic sex for my taste. If you don’t mind that, or are willing to do a little skimming, then it might be worth a read.

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