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

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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

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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Astor + Blue: http://bit.ly/1HJ3VW9

Lessons learned from The Girl on the Train

The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins

The Girl on the Train

My Rating: ***** (5 of 5 stars)

Rachel Watson rides the train into London each day to get to work. Her train happens to stop across from one particular house almost every day, and Rachel has created imaginary identities, Jason and Jess, for the man and woman she sees frequently in their back garden. When Rachel hears the news about a missing woman named Megan, she soon realizes that Megan is her “Jess”, and she becomes obsessed with finding out what happened to her.

The story is told from three separate perspectives – Rachel, her ex-husband’s new wife Anna, and the missing woman, Megan. Each woman knows only a part of the story, and we are left to piece it together as we go. This book kept me on the edge of my seat from the first page right up to the very end. It’s full of terrible people, pitiful people, and broken people. Both Rachel and Megan had me wanting to alternately shake them, and then give them hugs to comfort them. I felt emotionally exhausted after finishing the book, but I didn’t walk away empty-handed. There are several life lessons to be taken away at the end.

1. Men are not to be trusted.
2. People are not always what they seem.
3. If he does it with you, he will do it to you.
4. Women are not to be trusted.
5. Alcohol can be your best friend and your worst enemy. Both at the same time.
6. Therapy can help.
7. Your memories are not to be trusted.
8. Life is pain.
9. People lie. (A lot.)
10. If you do everything right, nothing can go wrong. (Wait, I think that was supposed to say everything…)

Although I really enjoyed this book, I think it’s time to read something a little more light-hearted! 🙂 Review of “Oh Say Can You Fudge” will be coming soon.

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