Review: All the Stars in the Heavens

All the Stars in the HeavensAll the Stars in the Heavens by Adriana Trigiani

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If you are a fan of old Hollywood, the likes of Spencer Tracy, Clark Gable, Jean Harlow, Joan Crawford, and the like, you will love this. This is primarily the story of star-crossed lovers Loretta Young and Clark Gable starting in 1934 and detailing their lives through his death. However, this is also a tale of the friendship and undying loyalty of Alda Ducci and Loretta Young, that spans decades. You will laugh, you will tear up. This story brings old Hollywood to life in ways that I have never experienced before. The characters come to life and become dear friends as you read. You definitely won’t regret reading this book.

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Review: Boneshaker

Boneshaker (The Clockwork Century, #1)Boneshaker by Cherie Priest

If you like alternate histories, this is the book for you. Airships, zombies, Civil War soldiers, the Seattle underground. What’s not to love? Set nearly two decades after the Civil War was supposed to have ended, the War is still raging on. This takes place in Seattle, Washington, where a major catastrophic event has altered the city’s air supply, resulting in a wall being constructed to keep the horrific effects within the area the event took place. I don’t want to reveal too much, because it is a major part of the novel. However, with the audiobook version, Wil Wheaton is one of the narrators, and he truly brings life to the story. I won’t lie – every time I heard his voice, I got the image of Sheldon Cooper yelling “Wheatonnnnnnn!” While I loved the basis of the story, the alternate history, I could not make a connection with Briar – her character just fell flat. Zeke was a bit more lively, as were the minor characters in the story. I definitely want to know how the story continues. Hopefully Briar takes on more form and develops more.

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Review: I Found You

I Found YouI Found You by Lisa Jewell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If you liked Gone Girl you should read this. If you did not like Gone Girl (like me), this will assuage your disappointment with that book as Jewell’s book certainly blows it out of the water! “I Found You” was riveting from the start and just when I thought I had every angle figured out a new twist was thrown in. Lisa Jewell is a talented storyteller and has now jumped to the top of my favorites in the mystery/suspense category. While I listened to the audiobook version of this I would guarantee the physical print version would have been a page-turner!

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Review: Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court

Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's CourtConnecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I listened to the audiobook version of this book, and while it was quite long, the narrator William Dufris made it a pleasant experience. His ability to switch between Hank and the other supporting characters effortlessly is commendable to his talent and Twain’s alike. One thing that I kept thinking about throughout the entire book was whether Hank’s story was “real” or whether he had dreamt it all up. I was pleasantly surprised by the ending and learning the answer to this question. You will need to read it yourself to find out the answer.

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Review: Eli

EliEli by Bill Myers

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What if Jesus had been born in our modern era instead of 2000 years ago?

An amazing storyteller, Bill Myers, provides a riveting look into this alternate possibility. A man of Jewish descent is born to a young couple in 1970s Santa Monica, California during the height of the hippy movement. Told through the eyes of Conrad Davis, a man who questions everything to do with faith and who is catapulted into an alternate universe where Jesus has not existed…until now. Taking human form as Eli Shepherd, the Messiah walks along the California communities introducing His ministry that introduces the Kingdom of God amongst the backlash of Big Americanized Religion. The parables are the same, just a different setting. The feeding of the 5,000 occurs beside a lake in a quiet California community, where not fish and bread multiplied, but burgers and fries! The healing of the demonic occurs on a CA overpass when a homeless woman is freed of her captors, and the demons are cast into her band of feral cats. The driving out of the money handlers of the temple takes place at the heaven/worship theme park in Georgia. And most shocking of all, is the unjust arrest and conviction of the Messiah Eli wherein he is wrongly accused of a horrendous attack of a worship center. Powerful and wealthy religious leaders use their political sway to set Eli up, ending in His unjustly lynching and His ultimate sacrifice. While this is merely fiction, as the author prefaces, it offers a gut wrenching and eye opening view into what it could have been like had Jesus postponed his coming until our modern age. I dare you to come away unchanged my this phenomenal fictional portrayal of our Savior’s ministry and sacrifice.

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Review: Deja Dead

Déjà Dead (Temperance Brennan, #1)Déjà Dead by Kathy Reichs

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I was hopeful that this book would be as good as the Bones television series, since this is what it was based upon. I was not impressed. Aside from the dated references throughout (it takes place in 1994 – digital records were just taking off, people were still using pagers, and no one had cell phones), the story line as a whole wasn’t too bad. The continuous cursing throughout was a big turnoff, especially when listening to the audiobook version. Yes, I get that authors will frequently use cursing in their characters’ dialogue and such, but my goodness, can you not come up with any alternative adjectives than those? That is just lazy writing, in my opinion. I have many of Reichs’ other books, but based on my disappointment with this one, I may forgo the rest of her series.

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Review: Glass Sword

Glass Sword (Red Queen, #2)Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The second installment of Victoria Aveyard’s Red Queen series started out pretty good, but by the middle of the book it had hit a stalemate. I am not sure what it was about it, maybe the constant whining of Mare or the introduction of more characters that I couldn’t keep track of, but I did not enjoy this one as much as the first book. Here’s hoping the third book redeems the series.

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