Welcome to the MOSL Book Challenge

Friday, July 1, 2016

The Last Star by Rick Yancey

The Last Star (The 5th Wave, #3)The Last Star by Rick Yancey
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This is the 3rd book in The 5th Wave trilogy.

Meh. Such a disappointment. I guess I should have expected that after how tedious book 2 was, but I loved booked one so much that I hoped for something better for a finale. When it wasn't better, I should have stopped reading, but I kept hoping until I reached a point at which I felt I had read so much that I should just finish.

I could not connect to this story. It inspired an emotional flatline in me. It's exhausting and not as well written, to the point of being bewildering at times. From my point of view, the author didn't allow for the reader to bring any of themselves or their own ideas or impressions to the story. She preferred to exhaust me with her ideas and interpretations, apparently assuming I could not come to the right impressions on my own (which if that was a case, it would be a failure in the writing, not a failure in the reader).

Several of the main characters were inconsistent, as if they were entirely different people than they were before (but not because of anything that happened to them in the storyline). By the time the end rolled around, I cared so little that I can't even explain what happened, and I just finished the book yesterday.

I won't be recommending this series to anyone, which is kind of sad, because I loved the first book so much. However, book one ends on a massive cliffhanger, and everything after that is just dreadful. I can't put a reader through that. I'm annoyed I put myself through it, so I'll probably just go with denial and pretend this series doesn't exist.

Pages: 352

Thursday, June 30, 2016

"Alex" by S.M. Shade

There was a lot going on in this book.  Alex is an MMA fighter dealing the sudden death of his lover, the impending execution of his father for killing his mother, homophobic fight opponents, hovering older brothers and their wives, a Hawaiian vacation, unwanted attraction to his straight roommate, roommate's major health scare, and more.  The story was told in the alternating POV of Alex and his roommate, Ian.  The author gave readers lots of angst and partial side stories that could have been pared down a bit.  151 pages (Kindle edition).

Before I go to sleep by S. J. Watson

Product DetailsImagine waking up one morning in bed with a strange man, in a strange house, with no memory of how you got here. Every day this is the way Christine wakes up. The man patiently explains he is her husband Ben; she was in a terrible accident and lost her memory. Every day he tells her the story; every night she forgets it when she goes to sleep. She is told there is nothing else  they can do for her; her memory will never improve.

But something is different now; Christine has been contacted by a doctor who wants to work with her; he thinks he may be able to help her. He suggests she begin writing a journal; every night before she goes to sleep, she writes down everything that has happened to her that day. Every morning Dr. Nash calls her and tells her where to look to find her journal, and tells her to read it. Gradually, Christine begins to have flashes of memory. However, she also finds that Ben is lying to her. Is he lying to keep her from experiencing her painful past over and over every day, as he claims, or is it something else? Can Ben be trusted?

Very suspenseful.

368 pages

"Putting Out Fires" by Marie Sexton

This is book (more like novella) 4.5 in the Coda series and features Matt Richards trying to make the perfect Valentine's Day dinner for his boyfriend of three years, Jared Thomas.  Unfortunately, nothing goes as planned and hilarity ensues.  This was a funny little slice of life from two of my favorite fictional characters.  36 pages (Kindle edition).

"Caught Running" by Abigail Roux and Madeleine Urban

The authors of the Cut & Run series (one of my very favorite series) wrote this before that famous line of books, and I could tell.  It was a good story of opposites attracting, but the writing wasn't quite up to par as C&R.  Jake and Brandon went to high school together and 10 years later are teaching at their alma mater but barely know each other until the principal insists that Brandon become assistant baseball coach to Jake's head coach.  Although he wants to say no, Brandon, a science teacher, is given no choice.  The two men are opposites in every way, so when they find themselves attracted to each other they're mortified.  Lots of angst and uncomfortable moments ensue along with laughs and a few surprises.  236 pages (Kindle edition).

"Outing the Quarterback" by Tara Lain

Quarterback Will Ashford seems to have it all - a blue Lamborghini, rich parents, starting position on a well-known college football team, and captain of the cheerleader squad for a girlfriend.  The problem is that he hates it all and is afraid to be who he really is - a gay man who only wants to paint.  When he meets starving artist Noah Zajack, he realizes that he can no longer hide his true self if he ever wants to be happy.  (This is just a bare bones description since I don't want to give away any spoilers.)

I really liked this story, and the primary characters were fleshed out well.  There was plenty of angst, especially since not only is Will hiding his sexuality from most everyone but he also hides his desire to be an artist instead of following his father into business.  However, the angst wasn't overwhelming since Noah was fairly patient with Will and his fears.  This is the first book in the Long Pass Chronicles, and I hope to read more.  216 pages (Kindle edition).

"Dad is Fat" by Jim Gaffigan

This book is all about Gaffigan being a father to five children.  We learn their names, ages, how they were born (all home births), and how goofy they can be.  The comedian and his family live in a two bedroom, walk-up apartment in NYC and do not own a car, so you can imagine the craziness.  And he gives all the credit for making it work to his wife, whom he seems to worship.  Even though this book is completely about being a dad, his observational humor can still be appreciated by those of us without kids.  Gaffigan reads the audio version and has a great delivery technique.  I'd like to listen to more of his books.

Audio:  5.5 hours
Print:  288 pages

The Neverland Wars by Audrey Greathouse

"The war between Neverland and reality has just begun."

As a huge Peter Pan fan, I had to have this book. However, it didn't quite live up to my unrealistically high expectations. The story has a lot of magic and unrealized potential. The beginning is fun and interesting, but the author just didn't know how to finish the story in a satisfying way. The mermaids were the most interesting part, but all the potential fun was cut off.  There is NO pay-off for anything

 I still prefer Second Star for my Peter Pan re-imaginings! 

302 pages

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

"A fearful sixteen-year-old princess discovers her heroic destiny after being married off to the king of a neighboring country in turmoil and pursued by enemies seething with dark magic."

Wow! This book is a gem! The story moved quickly - I can't believe how much happens in just the first book. It has ample adventure and intrigue. I love that the author doesn't get bogged down in inane details and world-building - she gets right to the good stuff! I can't wait to see what happens next...

423 pages

End of Watch by Stephen King

End of Watch
If you thought Brady Hartsfield was finished after Holly Gibney delivered that brain injuring blow from a ball bearing filled sock, think again.  Despite the drool and vacant stare, Brady has discovered how to manipulate others with his brain, and he has begun even more dangerous than when he plowed through a gathering of job seekers with the Mercedes in Mr. Mercedes.  Of course, this is simply unbelievable, leaving the fate of hundreds of gullible teens in the hands of  retired police detective Bill Hodges, his business partner, Holly Gibney, and college student, Jerome Robinson.
This is the third novel in the Mr. Mercedes trilogy, and it is the most terrifying. When Bill and Holly are called to a suicide scene with ties to the Mercedes Massacre, they find themselves pulled into their most dangerous case yet, one that will put their lives at risk, as well as those of Bill’s heroic young friend Jerome Robinson and his teenage sister, Barbara. Brady Hartsfield is back, and planning revenge not just on Hodges and his friends, but on an entire city.  If you are easily frightened, this  story is not for you; it is classic Stephen King.
448 pages

Firstlife by Gena Showalter

Firstlife (Everlife, #1)Firstlife by Gena Showalter
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is my first Gena Showalter book, and I definitely need to read more.

Seventeen-year-old Tenley (Ten) Lockwood was locked in an asylum for refusing to sign her Everlife away to the Myriad realm, which is where her parents pledge their loyalties. Myriad is constantly at war with the Troika realm, and both realms want Ten for their side.

Since she's reached the age of consent, she's at risk of ending up in Many Ends (worst place ever), if her Firstlife ends without having pledged herself to Myriad or Troika. Still, the more people torture, push, plead, beg, and manipulate her, the less inclined she is to commit.

This story went in directions I didn't expect and always held my attention. I really enjoyed it. The concept was fascinating.

Pages: 480

A Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller

A Mad, Wicked FollyA Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a charming YA historical novel, set in London, 1909. It has an attention-grabbing first chapter and is full of old-fashioned British rebelliousness. The story focuses on the suffragettes who fought for women’s rights.

Today, we still talk about inequality for women. This novel puts it into perspective how far we have come, while reminding us that we still haven’t arrived, and people have to continue to fight for the things they believe in, even at the risk of being disliked, disrespected, or misunderstood.

Pages: 448