Category Archives: Reason: We Be Book’N

Hotel Magnifique by Emily J. Taylor

Hotel Magnifique by Emily J. Taylor

I really enjoyed Hotel Magnifique. There came a point where I hated to put it down. I had to know what was going on and how everything would be wrapped up (answer: amazingly well). The only problem I had with the book was like half the book being all “I’ll tell you what you need to know soon, I just don’t have time right now” over and over. I just wanted to scream at Bel to just tell her already. The descriptions of the hotel and the magic were really vivid and exciting. I recommend this book to teens and up who enjoy magic and fantasy.

4 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 54
Pages Read in 2022: 19,563
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Fantasy, Reason: Owlcrate, Reason: We Be Book'N, Young Adult

Above the Bay of Angels by Rhys Bowen

Above the Bay of Angels by Rhys Bowen

Above the Bay of Angels is historical fiction that is very heavy on the fiction. It starts with the author imagining that Queen Victoria employed female cooks at Buckingham Palace and moves on to the death of a completely made up royal apparently due to accidental poisoning via a mushroom in a pie. The inspector decides the cook intended that mushroom for the Queen which makes absolutely no sense. She made the pie for the whole royal party so there would be no way to control who got the one poisonous mushroom. In addition to all of that, the cook was around to hear pretty much everything that was going on and did things like console a distressed royal, visit regularly and informally with the Queen, and singlehandedly solve the mystery of who poisoned the Count and why. If you can ignore the incredible implausibility of the story and get past the fact it moves super slowly and little happens for the first three-quarters, it’s an enjoyable book. I just much prefer my historical fiction to be heavier on the historical than fiction.

3 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 53
Pages Read in 2022: 19,172
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Historical Fiction, Reason: LitHub Bingo, Reason: We Be Book'N

“Mom! I Farted in Church” by Christie Cuthbert

“Mom! I Farted in Church” by Christie Cuthbert

This book is just meh. It’s often entertaining, especially when the author relates anecdotes of the trouble her boys have caused. The parenting advice/advice on how to be less Type A is so-so. It worked for her and I often get the feeling she thinks if something worked for her or was her experience it is everyone’s experience, something she will probably realize isn’t the case as her boys get older. Stories about things her triplets have gotten into were hilarious to me as a mom of twins. So relatable (though probably will horrify those without multiples). She had a whole chapter on quitting the daily glass of wine. She seems to think all moms drink wine every day. As someone who does not drink alcohol I found that really weird. She also seems to think all stay at home moms wish they could be working moms and goes on at length about how awful it is to be with your kids all day every day. That’s not my experience at all. Those two chapters were extremely unrelated to me. She also talked about how she’ll feel when her kids grow up and move out and totally based it on how she feels when she goes on a girls weekend. She wrote it when her kids were 6 and 9. Two of my kids have grown up and moved out and I can assure her the way you feel away from your single digit kids is completely different from how you feel when they are twice or three times that age and in fact it feels good when your well-prepared kids spread their wings. Honestly in many ways I felt like she jumped the gun writing a parenting advice book with such young kids. I don’t really recommend “Mom! I Farted in Church” though it’s not a complete waste of time to read it either.

3 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 50
Pages Read in 2022: 18,160
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Reason: We Be Book'N, Self-Help/Motivation

A Forgery of Roses by Jessica S. Olson

A Forgery of Roses by Jessica S. Olson

I’m not exactly sure where I was expecting this book to go, but it wasn’t where it went. It was so enjoyable and who the “bad guy” really was only hit me a couple pages before it was revealed, though I had a few ideas before then (all wrong). After about the first hundred pages I had so much trouble putting it down and kept thinking about it until I could get back to reading. One character has social anxiety and it was written so well, especially how he evolved to accept himself the way he is. The writing was very descriptive. It’s extremely rare for me to be able to visualize what is happening beyond occasional hazy glimpses (I generally just see words in my head) so I appreciate books with enough words for me to get the idea even though I can’t “see” it. The end was very satisfying and pretty decently wrapped it all up. The epilogue, however, sets up a sequel which I would definitely read if there ends up being one. I highly recommend A Forgery of Roses to teens and up who enjoy urban fantasy.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 47
Pages Read in 2022: 17,184
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Fantasy, Reason: Owlcrate, Reason: We Be Book'N, Young Adult

A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

While overall enjoyable, sometimes A Study in Charlotte seemed to try too hard to copy the original Holmes and Watson. It often dragged. Solving who did it was very interesting and I had actually eliminated that person as a suspect a while before it became clear that was likely who it was. I liked that the epilogue was written from Charlotte’s point of view. I recommend it to teens and up who like the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.

3 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 46
Pages Read in 2022: 16,806
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Reason: Literati, Reason: We Be Book'N, Young Adult

Five Total Strangers by Natalie D. Richards

Five Total Strangers by Natalie D. Richards

I spent pretty much all of Five Total Strangers totally stressed. It’s clear something is not right in that car and someone might be actively trying to prevent them from getting home. Everyone is suspicious in some way. And the letters scattered throughout the book are so incredibly creepy (as is the man in the yellow cap). They are such an example of someone getting in their head that a simple interaction meant something more and different than it actually did, leading to stalking and finally an “if I can’t have you nobody will” mentality. And as the reader you know that person has been in the car the whole time. I was pretty sure who wrote those letters relatively early on, but I second guessed my theory so many times. The way the author wrote the tension, increasing it as the group got more tired and suspicious of each other was incredibly well done. I very highly recommend this book to teens and up.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 45
Pages Read in 2022: 16,485
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Reason: Literati, Reason: We Be Book'N, Thriller, Young Adult

Let Me Hear a Rhyme by Tiffany D. Jackson

Let Me Hear a Rhyme by Tiffany D. Jackson

The first about 50 pages of Let Me Hear a Rhyme were very slow, introducing characters and explaining background. Once it got past that point, it picked up quite a bit. The chapters are told from three alternating viewpoints plus some inserted chapters that explain some things that happened before. Two of the main characters are hiding things, including from the reader, that are necessary to understand completely what happened to their friend and brother. There is quite a bit of slang, some defined at the end, some not, and also some language some may find offensive. The book has a really nice rhythm. I recommend it to teens and up, especially those who enjoy hip hop and rap.

4 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 44
Pages Read in 2022: 16,184
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Historical Fiction, Reason: Literati, Reason: We Be Book'N, Young Adult

One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus

One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus

Right from the first page One of Us is Lying sucked me in. I think I ended up suspecting every single character, including the police and the science teacher, at some point. I did guess correctly who the culprit was at one point and occasionally circled back to that theory, but then when you think it was everyone at some point of course you’ll be right at least once. I was so absorbed in the story that I had a doctor’s appointment and was reading it in the waiting room and was at a tense point near where everything was revealed when I was called back and for the first time in my life my blood pressure was high (the doctor took it again a few minutes later and it was back to normal). The narrator rotates between the four main characters and I never knew if they were being honest or not or whether I could trust them. The character development, particularly of Addy, was extremely well written. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys young adults books.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 43
Pages Read in 2022: 15,804
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Reason: Literati, Reason: We Be Book'N, Thriller, Young Adult

Genesis by Robin Cook

Genesis by Robin Cook

Robin Cook writes some amazing medical thrillers. I love how he builds the case little by little and keeps the tension going throughout. I had a couple guesses who the killer was pretty early on, and one of those guesses was correct. With a bit left in the book the killer was revealed to the reader and so it was quite fun through the rest of the book waiting to see how Jack (because it’s always Jack) figured out who it was. Seeing that Genesis is the 12th of 12 Laurie Montgomery/Jack Stapleton book, I must admit I was pretty sure he was going to off Laurie to end the series. I highly recommend this book to adults who enjoy medical thrillers.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 42
Pages Read in 2022: 15,442
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Reason: I Like the Author, Reason: We Be Book'N, Thriller

The Blackmail Club by David Bishop

The Blackmail Club by David Bishop

The Blackmail Club is one of the worst books I have ever read. The author has a weird obsession with butts denting in when someone leans on a table, seeing bra straps (always black, white, or flesh colored), and women’s breasts being pushed up every time they cross their arms exciting male characters because they saw some extra cleavage. The writing is so bad. Here are some examples:

  • Her lips twitched, as if she were receiving a coded message through her dark amalgam dental fillings. The message must have told her to keep talking because she did.
  • To the extent a woman’s appearance was currency, Nora’s scoop-necked dress flashed a healthy portion of her bankroll.
  • Jack watched the automated door close over the space where he had last seen Nora.
  • “Go on now. I’ll get started as soon as I watch your fanny get inside your front door. It may be the last thing I ever see, so swing it girl.”
  • She was an attractive woman with a body whose forward thrust had not yet been pulled off course by gravity.
  • The skimpy food-service outfit she wore put more in front of Jack than just the burger he had ordered.

There are way too many characters and side storylines that weren’t truly totally pulled into or explained in the wrap up. The wrap up itself was so boring. When the PIs were interviewing the minion blackmailer they caught, it was just this happened and then this and that. Nothing exciting. At the big reveal of who the real blackmailer was it was even less exciting. The PI pretty much pulled out of left field who that mastermind was probably because the author thought it would be fun to make it almost impossible to guess which character it was. It’s completely unsatisfying where there are no clues at all leading to the bad guy. There are also quite a few typos and other mistakes, but the author doesn’t care. In fact, he thinks readers imagine those things and he doesn’t want to hear about them. In the author’s note he wrote:

“As for any errors you might imagine in spelling or punctuation or capitalization, please let me rest in peace. There are many conventions and styles with regard to these matters, and I often have characters speak incorrectly intentionally, for that is how I envision that character would speak.”

While he is correct that characters speaking incorrectly (such as his absolutely terrible approximation of an Irish guy) is fine, he probably should care that he misspelled his own characters’ names a time or two. I most definitely do not recommend The Blackmail Club at all. It’s just so incredibly awful. Don’t waste your time.

1 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 40
Pages Read in 2022: 14,616
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Mystery, Reason: LitHub Bingo, Reason: We Be Book'N