Friday, July 21, 2017

The Lying Game by Ruth Ware

The Lying Game comes out, July 25th

One text " I need you" has Isa, Kate, Fatima and Thea reuniting. The 4 women meet in their youth when they attend a boarding school known as "Salten House", while residing their played, The Lying Game. It consists of 5 rules. The are:
                                                           1. Tell A lie. 
                                                           2. Stick to your story. 
                                                           3. Don't get caught.
                                                           4. Never lie to each other. 
                                                           5. Know when to stop lying

A lie they told many years ago is being unearthed and the consequences are dire. If their truth surfaces their lives will be over. T

hey reconvene in under 24 hours and their story unfolds in a typical whodunit fashion. The story flips between past and present. The characters are well developed and the story moves along at a fast enough pace. Isa our narrator is unreliable, which is often one of my favorite things when reading mystery/suspense novels. 

The flashback portions are my favorite and the ending was fitting. This is my most favorite of Ruth Ware's novels. If you haven't picked up anything by her yet.. I suggest you start with this book.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Queen (The Blackcoat Rebellion) by Aimée Carter

Queen is the conclusion to, The Blackcoat Rebellion.  
In Queen we know a lot more about Kitty than ever. We know her parentage and that the Hart family is a lot messed up that one would possibly imagine. 

Queen is filled with some big moments but the ramifications are costly. Kitty is still working with the Blackcoats. In typical Carter fashion characters you thought were dead come back and you question if dead characters are really dead and you'd actually be okay if everyone was dead so the book could just end already.

There is a big twist but if you are clever enough you will figure it out in book 2 before the big reveal here. The best part of this book is that some characters grow and redemption happens for others.

There are many aspects I enjoyed about this book but Pawn was the best book in the series. I don't think I will be rereading this series. 

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Captive (The Blackcoat Rebellion) by Aimée Carter

Captive is the 2nd book in The Blackcoat Rebellion series. This is the second time I read it. That review can be found HERE.

Captive is a good follow up to Pawn. It keeps with the storyline and more truths are revealed. Aimee Carter does an excellent job of having Kitty recap the previous novel.

Kitty is still acting as Lila Hart but this time she finds herself in Elsewhere, a place where those who have no place in society are sent. Kitty learns the hard way (does this girl ever learn) that she can't trust anyone.

Kitty continues to make the wrong choices and screwing over those she should put faith into. Her choices lead to many ramifications that result in lives lost.

The plot is good enough, the storyline has action but I am over the romance. There is no spark between Kitty and her "beloved" Benny.  I am so over it and feel that their plotline hurts the story more than it helps is along.

I am really starting to dislike Kitty and have reached a point where I really don't care what direction the author goes with her character, maybe she will George RR Marin, Kitty.

The first time I read this novel, I loved it and thought it was better than Pawn. This time around I felt as though it fell into the sophomore slump. This sequel does, Pawn a disservice.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Pawn (The Blackcoat Rebellion) by Aimée Carter

Pawn is Book 1 in the Blackcoat Rebellion. This is my second time reading it. You can read it HERE.

I found this book just as interesting the second time around but didn't quite like it the same. The gist is this - Kitty Doe lived in a dystopian society. On her 17th birthday she takes a test that will determine her rank in society, which will result in what job assignments and social hierarchy she belongs to.

Kitty does not fair well on the test and receives a score of III. Kitty is disappointed and decides that she will not go on her "assignment" and will instead sell her body. She is auctioned off to the highest bidder a series of eventful actions take place and Kitty wakes up a few weeks later and no longer looks like herself. She has been "masked" and now looks exactly like Lila Hart, the Prime Minister's niece.

Kitty has to learn to walk, talk, dress and be Lila Hart. Talks of a rebellion starts to surface and she finds herself on the front fields of the fight of equality. Lies, murder, betrayal and deception all everywhere and Kitty how to decide who she is going to trust but sometimes keeping your enemies closer is the best bet.

I loved the premise behind the book and the ranking system. I liked that those who had "power" wanted to rebel but I felt that something was missing, perhaps more character development of a deeper storyline.

This is the best book of the entire series and the only ready I continued to read was because I wanted to know the outcome not because I felt a compulsion to do so.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

In the Country We Love: My Family Divided by Diane Guerrero and Michelle Burford Hardcover

You might know, Diane Guerrero from Orange is the New Black and/or Jane the Virgin. What you might not know is that she is the daughter of immigrants and when she was only 14 years old her parents detained and deported forever changing her and their lives.

The kindness of friends and family made it possible for her to finish up her education but not without struggles and the deep seeded loss that relates to not having your parents or brother around for moments, big and small.

Guerrero does an amazing job of chronicling her families struggles before and after the deportation. Her 1st hand experience with US immigration regulations gives an example of how the powerless are taken advantage of and impacted.

Imagine for one minute, that you are a young woman and you come home from school and your home is empty, your parents are nowhere to be found. They have been deported and despite your status as a US citizen, no one from the government  come to check on you, a minor child. You are scared and lost and have to rely on friends/family in order to survive.  You life has been irrevocably changed. -- This is Guerrero's life, her path.....

The reality of living in fear is what a millions of people, like Guerrero live though every single day.  I hope that this book provides empathy for those who have none to people in a similar plight. The majority of this book chronicles her life after the deportation of her parents but she also addresses her more joyous moments as having her dream as an actress fulfilled.

Guerrero is honest and the raw emotions spill out from her memoir as you turn the pages. She is strong, smart, resilient and a strong advocate for an issue that is tearing America apart.

I am not one to look up to celebrities or have an urge to meet one and I can say with sincerity that  Diane Guerrero is that celebrity for me. I would be honored to meet her.

I look up to her and that might be because she is a strong female voice for the Latino community and because I relate to her  (and not just because we share the same apellido) on so many levels.

Each tab marked on the photograph of her book is something I personally relate to,  understand and went through myself to a degree. I am the proud daughter of an immigrant, who became a US citizen a costly and arduous journey despite having been a resident since infancy.

This is a book I will be purchasing (I had checked it out from the library) and passing it along to friends and family.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Teammate: My Journey in Baseball and a World Series for the Ages by David Ross and Don Yaeger

I have been a Chicago Cubs fan for nearly 20 years and after 108 years they finally  won The World Series. I cried like a baby and still tear up when I see clips of the win.

There have been many players who have contributed to the Cubs team, some more memorable than others (Mark Grace, I love you!) but this 2016 team has stolen my heart, one of them is David Ross (or Grandpa Rossy).

His memoir, Teammate gives fans, deeper insight into the life and journey of a professional baseball player. This is a segment of his life. This is David Ross.

Rossy takes us on a journey from his Rookie Days to his last play and what a play it was! His book chronicles the ups and downs on his career and what it takes to be a teammate. There is some insight into his personal life, regarding his wife and children.

Rossy is full of candor regarding his not so great moments and how he built it up to become the person he is now. I enjoyed reading about his time on other teams and the build up to the World Series Win.

This is super fast, interesting read. I love his selfishness, humility and leadership qualities.  I have taken use of some of his teammate qualities into my workplace.

Expect to choke up and maybe shed a few tears (for us Cubs fans who still get emotional about the win!!). I recommend this read and hope that you enjoy it as much as I have.

Go Cubs!

The Embalmer by Caillé Anne-Reneé and Mullins Rhonda

The Embalmer is a short book around 80 pages or so. It's not as macabre as I was hoping but it is rather interesting. The book centers a...