Stars of Fortune

I didn’t have any trouble picking this book up and getting started in it. Nora Roberts has been my favorite author and I have always been excited to start reading one of her books. Unfortunately, as of late, her books haven’t had as big of an impact on me as older ones I have read. This book didn’t disappoint me but it didn’t impress me either.

51HW9av3lLL._SX337_BO1,204,203,200_Sasha has always known she was different; dreaming of places she has never been and people she has never met isn’t normal. Her most recent dream sparked a pull inside of her that she can no longer ignore so she packs up her things and heads to Greece, not completely sure of what will happen. She knows these dreams and visions mean something and meeting Bran, Riley, Doyle, Annika and Sawyer completes the puzzle. All six of them have a destiny; to find three hidden stars, reunite them and release them back to the sky. They find this adventure isn’t that simple; finding the stars is one thing, keeping them from an evil power is another.

Quick blurb about where this book will fit into my reading challenge. This one will go into the ” read a book set in a place you want to visit.” Done. I want to go to Greece and have always wanted to go. I want to see the history, the myths, the beaches and the people. It is in my bucket list so I will absolutely make it there… Someday 🙂

Now, the book. I am just going to say it, this book was just average. At first, with the prologue written the way it was, I thought it was going to be boring and unimaginative. The story got better and got moving, grabbing my attention more but it didn’t have the normal Nora Roberts flare that I am so used to and look forward to.

The prologue, I had a little bit of a laugh at; let me sum it up for you. Three sisters come together to make and give gifts to a new baby queen. Each sister creates a star for her and that star gives the queen something special, like kindness and beauty. As they are making the stars, a fourth sister shows up wondering why she wasn’t part of the gift giving. The fourth sister takes it upon herself to give the queen her own gift but it isn’t as bright or nice as the rest; it is hurtful and dark. This sister departs with threatening words and the three remaining good sisters worry for their new queen and what the dark gift will do to her. So, they take the dark gift and put a positive spin on it. Does this at all sound familiar to you? If you are thinking about Sleeping Beauty, we are on the same page.

Throughout the book, I found myself having a hard time putting together a visual story because there wasn’t enough descriptions to complete pictures. That left me with holes in the places, people and things as well as in the story. I ended up working too hard trying to create my own visuals that I would have to go back and reread sections to piece it all together. Roberts usually gives us very vivid descriptions and details but those all seems rushed through.

There wasn’t a lot of depth to the story or the characters, they were just there and things were just happening to them. We seem to only skim the top of the water with this one. The readers aren’t taken to another level to really connect or understand the characters or sequences in the story. Maybe we will start to see a little more depth in the next books.

Something I absolutely think should have been left out of this book was a nod to the gun control issue our country is in the midst of. On page 238, one character is showing another how to safely handle a gun. The character says “Some insist that guns don’t kill. People do. But guns do kill, and knowing that, respecting that, is really important.” Showing us what side you stand on Nora? This was a weird slip of politics and the first one I have come across in any of her books. Hopefully she doesn’t add anymore because there is enough of it in the world, I don’t need real world politics in my escape pods.

Recently, it appears like Nora Roberts is cranking out ask many books as she can in a year. She has gotten stuck in a repetitive writing style and her books aren’t unique to me anymore. I hate saying this but I was wondering if she was using a ghost writer to get books written based off her initial ideas. Her books aren’t the same anymore but I still read them because they are familiar and I will still try to love them.

I will say this about her writing style though, it still flows and moves the reader through the book whether they like it or not. This book isn’t my favorite NR novel but I did find myself interested and wanting to read it. I want to see what happens next with the six main characters and how their story develops so I will be reading the next two in the series. I hope they are the same as this one or better, I am just hoping they aren’t worse. Again, this was just an average novel compared to the other ones that I have on my shelf.

I shared a lot of my negative opinions about this novel but there were things that I did like. Toward the middle of the book, you come across some pop culture references that I enjoyed seeing. One of them was a Daryl Dixon name drop and reference to The Walking Dead. I also liked the location the book is set in. It made me wish that I was reading on a Greek beach instead of my bed. In the middle of winter, it made me wish for the warm sun on my face and the cool sea at my feet. I think I need a vacation…. 😉

The Okay:
Familiar
Nods to some pop culture characters
Setting

The Bad:
Repetitive writing style
Lacking depth
Lacking full and rounding descriptions
Sleeping Beauty prologue
Nod to gun control
Average story telling

Overall: This book was the first in a series that I will continue to read. It is an average book in her vast collection of stories. If you are a die-hard Nora Roberts fan, I would suggest you pick this one up to add to your collection. If you aren’t and are looking for a good romance novel, there are many more and much better written Nora Roberts books out there. 

Rating: 3 out of 5

Up Next: Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

 

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Innocent Blood

I am just going to say it.. Damn. This book was so good I am going to be hung over from it for weeks. This series is so easy to sink into, the story telling is effortless. Innocent Blood is the second installment of the Sanguines Series and the story has been taken up a notch. It has been a while since I read The Blood Gospel and I am not going to wait that long between books again. I can’t wait to get to see what happens in the next to the prophesied trio.

Getting back to a normal life hasn’t been easy for Erin. The search for the Blood Gospel book_2013_innocent_blood_usatook a toll on her, not only physically but mentally as well. With Jordan away a lot on military duties, she finds herself feeling alone. Until the blackouts start and she is once again connected with Rhun, the Vatican servant vampire who fed on her. When an attack on Erin is carried out in California, the three are thrust together once again with a new mission: find the First Angel so he can bless the gospel written in Christ’s blood. With new missions comes new threats and this threat is centuries old. The betrayer of Christ, Judas Iscariot, has a mission of his own: to bring about the Armageddon.

I can’t get over how good this book was. EPIC, is a good word for it. I mean you have The Knight of Christ, The Warrior of Man, The Woman of Learning, Judas Iscariot, Christ, Lazarus, angels, demons, vampires, sibyls, miracles… What more could you want in a book?? James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell have combined science, religion and myth making a powerhouse of a novel. There is something about taking vampires who have given their sins up and giving themselves up to Christ. The imagination and story telling of this book is just amazing. Can you tell it grabbed me and held on tight??

Rollins knows what his readers need. And by readers, I mean me and forgetting some aspects from the previous book. When something was being brought up from The Blood Gospel and I didn’t know what it was, there was always a quick little blurb to refresh my memory. Thank you for those. I don’t think the readers would be lost without them but it adds depth to the situation and lets the reader be opened up and understand so much more on a different level.

After you finish this book, you appreciate how much time, research and effort the authors put into it. There isn’t any time for that while you are reading it because it is seriously an action packed book. Thinking back on all the things that happened and the little details in the story, Rollins and Cantrell really took their time, gathered a ton of information and sculpted this story. You don’t come across too many books where you can feel and see the hard work that went into them.

The depth of the story and the characters is amazing. You feel like you are right there with them, working out the same mysteries, fighting the same battles. The story sucks you right in and you don’t have time to try to predict what is going to happen next; it just BOOM happens right in your face. There were a few times when I would gasp out loud and look around to see if I woke my husband. I was looking for another book that was going to pull me in and keep me entertained; I absolutely found it. Whenever I need a good, gripping, adventurous read, I always turn to a James Rollins book.

What I loved most about this book was the religious aspect of it. The biggest, most well-known people/stories are inserted into this story and they make it (for the lack of a better word) full. Without these characters, this book would not be the same. We all know the story of how Judas betrayed Christ and the repercussions of that action. Rollins takes that story and adds a “What If”. What if Judas hadn’t died and that the punishment for his sin was to live a damned, immortal life? What if Judas had another purpose and was being kept alive for that purpose? What if Christ had written his own gospel but hid it from the world? The religious stories have always been of interest to me and in this book they have been taken to another level. Some people might not like those stories to be added to or changed but it definitely (to me) adds power to the core beliefs in the book.

I seriously love this series and I think everyone should pick it up ASAP. Go and see for yourself what all my fussing is about. I am sure that every reader interprets the story in a way that I didn’t or looks at something a different way than I did but that is the beauty of reading. Not one single person will read the same book and take the same things away.  Believe me, there is plenty to take away and talk about with this story!

The Awesome
Science, Religion and Myths rolled into one story
Adventurous and fast paced
Continuing the stories of the main characters and introducing new, interesting ones

I seriously do not have anything bad to say about this book… It was amazing.

Overall: You just need to go pick up the first book in this series and read it. Then read this one right after. If you are in need of a fast paced book, you will get what you want in this series. 

Rating: 5 out of 5! 🙂 

Up Next: Stars of Fortune by Nora Roberts

The Lost World

I finished this book last night and as I turned out my light I said to myself “that was a damn good book.” It really was; it was thrilling, fast paced, kept me on the edge of my seat and kept me up past my bed time. I absolutely loved it and found every excuse to read it. Today, I am having a Jurassic Park movie marathon for two reasons: I wanted to compare the movie to the book and I love the dinosaurs. Que the theme song!

41uLDcfsvnL._SX277_BO1,204,203,200_It has been years since the disaster on Isla Nublar yet it is still fresh in Ian Malcolm’s
mind and on his leg. He thought his days of fending off dinosaurs were over until a colleague approaches him with an offer. Ian refused but that doesn’t stop Levine from traveling to InGen’s Site B to see if the rumors were true. Strange lizards were washing up on Costa Rica shores prompting questions and Levine seems to think they are coming from Isla Sorna. When Levine’s team loses contact with him, Ian Malcolm has no choice but to go and find his colleague. Going to the island put Ian and his team in much more danger than they ever expected. How much bad could happen in 48 hours?

This book was one heck of an adventure from start to finish. Crichton did another amazing job writing this one. He really did his research in names, concepts and theories which made this book all the better and real. I had to dust off the cobwebs in my brain just to follow parts of the story but that is all part of the fun! Crichton makes his readers feel like scientists and he teaches his reading new things throughout the story. Paleontology, I think, is an interest for all people because the dinosaurs aren’t around to study anymore so there is a mysterious side to them.

Crichton took the time to study all the elements and put them all together to make the story believable and to help the reader create perfect visuals and concepts. To help myself further along, I looked up the dinosaur names that I didn’t know or couldn’t remember what they looked like so I could make the perfect scenes. I appreciate all the work that Crichton put into this book, Jurassic Park and Dragon Teeth; it was absolutely worth his time and effort. It makes his books modern classics.

The action scenes alone in this book were fantastic. Some were with dinosaurs and some were not. Just the thrill that there might be a dinosaur close by made reading so much fun. I can’t say that I had a favorite part because the whole thing was my favorite. Like I said above: it was action packed, fast paced, exciting. Everything you could want in a book.

When I finished this book, I thought of the movie and how much different it was from the book. I had not seen it in a long time but from what I remembered, I wasn’t going to like it after this novel. Since it just ended, I will say that it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. It was completely different; it wasn’t a bad movie but the writers changed/added things that I would not have.

The only things that the book and the movie had in common were names of the characters, the stalking Raptors, the Tyrannosaurus attacks at the research trailers and two different sets of people being on the island. Everything else in the movie like people trapping the animals, the T-Rex and infant being taken off the island, ect, were not in the book. I do not know why they didn’t follow the book exactly but it would have made the movie so much better.

I thought that because I had seen the movie many times that I wouldn’t like the book as much or found it boring. If you are a skeptic like I was, don’t be. The book is different from the movie and there are things in the book that the movies doesn’t show. I won’t spoil it for you because I want you to be as surprised as I was. Reading this book was like reading a story you have never heard before. The twists and turns caught me off guard and when I scene from the movie came up, it wasn’t the same. It was so much better.

The Good:
Dinosaurs!
Exciting
Fast read
Action packed
Thriller scenes

The Bad:
No such thing in this book!

Overall: Even if you have seen the movie, you need to pick this book up ASAP! Don’t judge a book by its movie. This was a totally different story that was an adventure to read. If you liked the first Jurassic Park book, you will love this one too. 

Rating: 5 out of 5 🙂 

Up Next: Innocent Blood by James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell

Sleigh Bells in the Snow

Every year, I am always looking for a Halloween book to read. Since I failed to get through one (IT) this year, I thought I would try my hand at a Christmas book. I asked for suggestions and also looked for some on Good Reads. I stumbled across this one, a little skeptic about how it was going to be. I am happy to say, this one was really good and it has a warm Hallmark movie feel to it! Plus, the main character has my first name so I had to read it!

SleighBells_Final-200x317For Kayla Green, the festivities of Christmas isn’t hard to avoid when you bury yourself in work. When her PR firm takes on a new client, Kayla finds that she may not be able to avoid the holiday this year. Jackson O’Neil runs a family ski resort that needs to be more recognized and suggests that Kayla come stay there to get a good feel for it to better provide a plan to get Snow Crystal on the map. She expected to experience the resort and work through the holidays but she comes to find out that there are more distractions than her handsome client; she finds family and love in the place she least expected.

I had been watching the Hallmark Channel for weeks after Thanksgiving and was wanting a feel good christmas book to read. Don’t get me wrong, I love those movies but there is only so many of them that I can watch before my brain fries. I needed something that I could design myself and work through. That is what I love about reading the most, you are the designer. The author gives you the tools to build the scenes and the characters, you just have to follow their story.
I looked through all kinds of books and suggestions, deciding to give this one a try. I am so glad I did. I liked everything about this book and often found myself reading past my bedtime. This book should definitely end up as a Hallmark Christmas movie; it might already be, they have a ton of movies out there.

My favorite part of the book was the scenes that the author, Sarah Morgan, painted for us. Kayla leaves her congested, New York city life behind for a few weeks and drops herself right into a small town ski resort. There is a drastic difference there, obviously because those two locations couldn’t be more opposite but also in the style of writing that the writer takes on. I found when she was describing Kayla’s NY life and job, the tone was stark and “uptight”. When she was writing about Kayla’s experiences with Jackson in Snow Crystal, the writing was more warm and comforting. Crawling under a blanket with a cup of tea, the fire going and reading this book is absolutely the way to do it.

The snowy scenes, the mountains, the cabins, the forest, animals… Pretty much everything described in this book made me want to pack up my Christmas and move it right up to the mountains just so I can experience what she was. Maybe someday, my husband and family will have a holiday in the snowy mountains 🙂 This book will do that to you because the scenery is so vivid and exciting!

In being a “Hallmark” type book, there is plenty of feel good romance. Though, I often found myself wanting to slap Kayla because she was being closed off or stubborn. If you read this book, you will find out why she was like that but I was super happy when she finally loosened up and let Jackson slowly creep into her heart. Now, there are some sexy scenes in this books, so if you are looking for a holiday read, just a heads up, Morgan doesn’t leave those out. They don’t take away from the book but they don’t add much either. I think they were used by Jackson to break down the walls that Kayla had put up.

There wasn’t anything that I didn’t like about this book. It was heart warming, charming, adventurous, romantic; everything you would want in a Christmas read. This is only the first book in a series of three, so I will be picking the others up soon!

The Good:
Romantic
Set around Christmas, with trees, cooking, decorating and ALL! 🙂
Humorous
I loved the vivid scene descriptions

Overall: I really really enjoyed this book and if you are looking for something to read (instead of watching Hallmark movies over and over), give this one a try. It will give you the warm fuzzy feeling that made the Grinch’s heart grow three sizes that day 🙂 

Rating: 5 out of 5 🙂 

Up Next: The Lost Word by Michael Crichton

 

 

Paris for One & Other Stories

This book contains some adorable and very real stories. Ordinary people, living their lives as best they can,  just trying to make it through the day. Paris for One is the main focus and personally, I think it was the best story out of the nine that this book contains. I am going to break this post down a little differently than normal to give a quick recap and review of each one. Like always, there was some stories that I really liked and some that didn’t quite grab me.

51ASRrI-eBL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_Paris for One

Nell is a person who needs to plan everything by the second, to know exactly what will happen to her or what time she will be arriving where. So, when she books a weekend trip to Paris for her and her boyfriend, she knew it would be a romantic getaway. There was only one problem, he stood her up and now she was in a city she didn’t know… Alone. She could either give up and go home, or forget her anxiety and explore Paris herself.

This story was adorably romantic and anxiety inducing at the same time. As someone who has anxiety, I know what the character feels when she has to know everything about anything in order to function. I loved how she over came that and put herself out there to have a good time on this vacation she planned for two. It kind of turned out to still be for two as she meets a handsome Parisian on her adventures. Even though the vacation was only a few days, a relationship blossomed into something more than a stranger turned friend turned potential boyfriend. I thought it was a cute story and loved reading about the sites and places she went. I have been to Paris and I highly suggest someone spend some time there, it is amazing.

Between the Tweets

A public figure and family man named Declan Travis is being accused online of having an affair. He hasn’t had work in a while and is afraid that this scandal will ruin his reputation so he hires someone to find out who is behind the rumors. Little does he know, it is someone close to him and little does the accuser know, Declan is has a little secret of his own.

So this one was super fast-moving and had a great twist at the end! It was a little roller coaster ride. Plus, it just goes to show that dirty little secrets don’t stay in the closet long.

Love in the Afternoon

Sara and Doug have been married 14 years. In fourteen years, they have experiences many things and never noticed how much they were drifting apart until they take an anniversary vacation. No kids, no dog, no work; just the two of them, this should be great.

This story goes to show that not every marriage is perfect and they require work, especially when there are kids and careers too.

A Bird in the Hand

At a garden party, Simon and Beth play the handsome couple who is open and happy together. It isn’t until someone from Beth’s past show up and stir up old feelings, questioning whether or not she is truly happy.

Another story about real people problems. I think the author modeled her stories after the people’s lives she saw into. This one wasn’t really my favorite so honestly, i scanned through it.

Crocodile Shoes

Sam is the typical mom; kids, husband, work, gym…Life. Her routine was temporarily dismantled when she grabbed the wrong bag at the gym that didn’t contain her practical shoes but a pair or expensive, flashy, crocodile print pumps. She couldn’t wear her tennis shoes to the important meetings so she snaps on the strange heals. Little does she know, in those shoes, she controlled the world.

This story goes to show, a pair of shoes can truly change your life. This one was my favorite (next to the first one). It was flirty and fun; it made me want to go buy some sexy, expensive sling backs to see what happens next 😉

Holdups

Alice went to work at the jewelry shop thinking it would be a normal day until robbers come in and demand everything in the glass cases. Alice is calm and isn’t scared of the man holding her hostage because she feels a little something different for the man with the bat.

So this one was a little different. I guess you don’t get to choose when cupid shoots you with the arrow.

Last Years Coat

Evie works hard for her struggling family, never wanting anything for herself. It makes it hard that the girls at work flaunt their new accessories, showing that money isn’t an issue. That fancy coat in the window would insure that Evie is noticed and is included in the conversation; only to buy it, it would mean using much-needed money on something that isn’t needed. One day she gives in and decides to buy it. Walking quickly into the store before her guilt caught up with her, she finds out that the coat has gone home with someone else. Defeated, she goes home, where the coat is happily waiting for her.

Good things come to those who wait… And those who do great things for other people.

Thirteen Days with John C. 

Miranda finds a lost phone on the sidewalk. There are some text messages on it from who seems to be a man wondering where his partner is. She fully intends to return the phone but she has a nagging curiosity about who John C is. She pretends to be the person that John thinks is on the other end, only to find out she isn’t talking to John but his wife.

Cheater cheater pumpkin eater! Miranda isn’t cheating at all until she wants to meet up with John and return the phone. She doesn’t meet him, his wife she does though. This story has a little mystery, suspense and a nice twist!

The Christmas List

Chrissie is out and about running errands but not the kind she would normally enjoy. She is shopping for things to make their Christmas perfect… For her mother in law. At each stop, her husband texts her for something else his mom require and with each text she regrets having to go home. The taxi driver suggests she does something crazy and she actually does it. Ditches out on Christmas and heads to a friend’s house in Spain.

To be honest, I scanned this one too because it didn’t have the grab factor.

The only thing that I didn’t like about the short stories was there wasn’t enough description and depth for me to actually form a good, solid background/ visuals to build the full story.

Overall, if you like books by JoJo Moyes, this is a good one to pick up. It is a quick read with many different characters and fun stories. 

Rating: 4 out of 5

Up Next: Sleigh Bells in the Snow by Sarah Morgan

 

Calendar Girl: Vol. 1

I really should read more about the books that I randomly pick up in the bookstore. Then I wouldn’t be so surprised when there are very detailed romance scenes and look at the back cover only to find out that this book is for mature audiences. I don’t know what I was expecting this book to be about but I should really know better when the main character is an escort. Please direct your eye rolls right at me. 81m31qBckpL

Mia’s father has gotten in deep with a loan shark, not being able to pay back the one million he borrowed to gamble. It doesn’t make things better that this shark is Mia’s ex-boyfriend, the personal connection is hard to deal with. If she doesn’t come up with the money quickly, he will make sure her father doesn’t wake from his coma and come after her little sister, then her. Luckily, she knows someone who can help her make the cash fast but it means she has to be willing to put herself out there (so to speak) and be in the company of very wealthy, handsome me. All she has to do is get through the next year, pay off the shark and don’t fall too hard for any of the men she meets. Doesn’t sound too hard right? Mia soon finds out this isn’t the case.

As the first book in the series, I liked reading it. The characters were fun to meet, the sex scenes were steamy (and more natural than the 50 shades one), the story is original. When I first started reading this book and realized what kind of book it was, I wasn’t sure I would like a story about a girl sleeping her way through a bunch of guys. Honestly, I do not promote that at all but needless to say it made for an interesting story. Plus it isn’t packed with those scenes like 50 shades it; they don’t pop up every other page.

My favorite character has to be the first client we meet. Wes is the handsome movies making, surfing guy who has more charm than a Pandora bracelet. He is exactly the kind of guy Mia could see herself being with yet she told herself not to fall for any of the clients; she has a big job to do. Throughout “January” they try to fight their feelings as Mia will be leaving when the month is up.
Even though they won’t admit it, the reader knows they are in love. Mia doesn’t want to do anything about it because she has a year of jobs ahead of her and feels like if she asks him to wait for her, he will be missing out on meeting someone else. He pops up in the story often, keeping in contact with Mia even though he knows she might be with other men. I am totally rooting for Wes. He better be the one at the end of the finish line and they stay together after she finishes her work.

This book is broken up into three sections: January, February and March. Each of the sections have ten chapters in them. When I first started reading, I thought that this would make the flow of the story really choppy but it works really well to break up Mia’s jobs. January was the best one out of this volume. It was the most fun and sexy to read plus, like I said above, Wes is the fella I am rooting for. February was decent but not as adventurous as the previous month. March has a great twist in it, both with Mia’s client and Wes.

The only thing I don’t like about this book is the fact that the story portrays the escort business to be glamorous. Yes, it is just a story; it isn’t real. It is real though because businesses like this do exist and I am sure that the girls are having the same “pleasurable” experiences that Mia has had.

The Good:
Original story line
An array of characters
Easy to read
Broken up into sections but not chopping the story

The Bad:
Making the escort business glamorous.

Overall: If you liked 50 Shades of Grey or any other book in the adult genre section, this would be a light, easy read to go to next. 

Rating: 4 out of 5

Up Next: Paris for One & Other Stories by JoJo Moyes.

In a Dark, Dark Wood

I thought this was a pretty good book. I was a little underwhelmed with certain things but this one isn’t a bad read at all. All of the characters were different and contributed to the story in their own ways, the plot had thrills, chills and twists. I haven’t read any of Ruth Wares books but I was told this is the one to start with. This was suppose to be my Halloween read but it wasn’t as scary as I was lead to think it was. The people who said it was terrifying must spook easy. 61Mk3Kkgf4L._SX320_BO1,204,203,200_

Nora, Nina and Clare were the best of friends in high school but like all friends do, they lose touch after graduation. It isn’t until Nina and Nora receive an invitation to Clare’s hen (bachelorette) party that they are all reunited. Nora wonders why she was invited to this party but not her wedding. It doesn’t take her long to find out and for the group to find out about each others deepest secrets; including one that will ultimately take someones life.

The factor that kept me reading this book was the little cliffhangers at the end of the chapters and randomly placed throughout the book. They were truly little, being statements or questions that made the wheels turn in my head. They were things like Nora saying “do you think she knew what I had done?” or “Who sent those texts from my phone?” This one comes up a lot making Nora seem paranoid but really it makes me ask what the heck did this chick do that she is so worried about the group finding out?

I really like that kind of stuff, the simple “pullers” as I will call them, pulling and holding your attention and creating yet another thing that the reader is curious about. One of the characters has a plan to bring down another character but you really don’t tie all the strings together until almost the very end. You create so many questions for yourself while reading, you start to second guess the characters and second guess who you think killed another character. I am not going to tell you too much about the big event aka the murder that happens because that is something that (if you read the book) I want you to experience yourself. It is kind of intense and it happens so fast that you focus on the events that follow rather than who was holding the gun and who ultimately pulled the trigger.

Each of the characters were polar opposites of each other. Nora was the successful writer, Clare was the perfect one with the blissful life, Tom (the only male in attendance) was the hipster theater buff, Flo was the obsessive one, Nina the potty mouth, no-filter doctor and Melanie the overly worried new mother away from her baby for the first time. I thought that the person who brought them all together wanted to create some chaos so that they could possibly pin the murder on someone else. There is a lot of chaos in that house and I think that it also created some distraction for the reader too.

It kind of makes you think “well this person could have been holding the gun or this person could have. But this person was alone for a little while so could they have switched the blank in the gun for a live shell?” As a reader, I put a lot of thought into trying to figure out who set everything up and fire the bullet. Just when I thought I narrowed it down to two people, I got new information that turned my view to someone else. I am not going to name drop who did it but I will say, I thought about them a few times and then dismissed my suspicion because I thought they were too innocent. That is what I liked best about this book and the author; Ware knew how to make the characters act and say the right things to make the reader never suspect them.

I said earlier that I was a little underwhelmed by the book. I say this because when I picked it up and read the reviews on the back, they made the book seem like it was going to be really scary. “Prepare to be scared…. Really scared.” “Read this book now. Read in bed at your own risk.” I thought oh sh*t…. this book is going to be scary. I will say now, it wasn’t scary at all. I think the spookiest parts was when the party found some strange footprints outside in the snow and they had no idea who they belonged to; they thought someone was sneaking around. I say that was scary because there was a house full of girls (and one gay man) out in the middle of the forest with no neighbors in sight and a sketchy history. The other part was when the group was using the Ouija board and a message came across saying “murderer.” I am not a fan of those boards or people using those boards to prank their friends; not my style! Anyway, it wasn’t “terrifying” at all and I read it in bed every single night with no problems. It was just a thrilling crime novel.

The Good:
An interesting, thought provoking crime story
A lot of different characters with different motives
You may think it could get predictable but there are twists and turns at the right moment

Not too bad:
Not as scary as the reviews on the back state it is.

Overall: If you like crime reads, this is a good one to pick up and read….Even at night. It keeps you guessing and second guessing the character suspicions and your own. 

Rating: 4 out of 5

Up Next: Calendar Girl: Volume One by Audrey Carlan