Friday, April 3, 2020

Book Review: The Towering Sky by Katharine McGee

Jacque's Review:

This is the third and final book in The Thousandth Floor series. This book picks up a summer after where we left off at the end of the prior book. Our cast of characters have returned from Dubai to the 1000 story tower in New York. Leda received some shocking news in Dubai and spiraled out of control for a while, but she has returned from rehab and is hopeful she can put her past behind her.

Leda, Rylin, Watt, and Avery soon discover their secrets may have spread further than they thought. They need to find out who else may know and how much the police have already discovered.

Avery spent her summer after Dubai at Oxford University in Scotland. She needed to get away from Atlas to clear her head. She meets a boy named Max and they begin a relationship. He will never be able to replace Atlas, but he is a good distraction. When Avery returns to New York, Max decides to do a study abroad program in New York so they can still be together. Max is far from the type of boy anyone would expect Avery to select. He is very down to earth and a bit ordinary in just about every way.

Rylin and Cord continue their on again off again relationship. I think Rylin overthinks everything and sets unrealistic expectations for Cord.  I was happy with how things turned out for them, but it seemed like there was a lot of unnecessary drama that could have been avoided.

Watt and Leda were both in the hot seat the majority of this book. Leda has a gap in her memory and doesn't know if she may be guilty of more than she is aware. Watt is afraid his secret about Nadia could get out and his hopes of getting into MIT could be shattered. Not only would his lifelong dream come to an end, but if Nadia is discovered, it is a criminal offence and he could be sent to jail.

Calliope is the one character that doesn't really have any drama associated with her this time around. She and her mom have settled in New York and are out of the conning business. The issue is Calliope is playing a character that is nothing like her real personality. She is afraid she will be stuck in this goody two shoes lifestyle for the rest of her life, or at least until she is off to college and out of her new step-father's house. In addition, her new step-sister is an absolute nightmare.

The police are closing in on everyone and all of their secrets are about to go public until the unthinkable happens.  

I don't want to give away any spoilers, so I will leave it at that. 

This was a very entertaining series with some great characters. I was shocked to see who stepped up in the end and how all of their problems were resolved. I hope there is eventually some sort of a short story or novella to show us how everything panned out after the end of the book.  One aspect was left hanging in the balance, but we can all sort of fill in the blanks for our own happily ever after....but a short story would be the icing on the cake.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Book Review: 8th Confession by James Patterson

Jacque's Review:

8th Confession is the eighth book in the Women's Murder Club series.  This time around Lindsay and her partner Rich Conklin are investigating the murders of several very wealthy individuals. The unusual part is that Clare, the chief medical examiner, can't find any cause of death. They are all healthy and in the prime of their lives. There are no marks on them, no signs of a struggle, and nothing comes up in their lab work. Lindsay and Rich have virtually nothing to go on until one of their colleagues finds a possible connection to some cold cases that he has been working.

Cindy, the crime reporter for the local newspaper, is working on a story involving a homeless man known as Bagman Jesus. He is found brutally murdered at the beginning of the book and she is determined to find out who he is and give him the attention and respect he deserves. Cases involving the homeless are usually overlooked because nobody cares enough to stand up for them, but from the stories she is hearing, he is a celebrity withing the homeless community. The more she uncovers about Bagman, the more she realizes she may be in way over her head.

Yuki, the prosecutor, gives her concluding statement in what should be a slam dunk case. The victim survived the attack and told the police who the perpetrator was, but now there is reasonable doubt and the jury can't come to a decision. In addition, after all of her relationship drama in the prior book, Yuki seems to have finally found a respectable boyfriend. He is a doctor at the local hospital, but just like in the courtroom, it seems like Yuki just can't catch a break. 

This was another fast paced murder mystery with a lot of relationship drama mixed in. It seems like Lindsay may finally marry her longtime boyfriend Joe. She has been on the fence because of an attraction between her and Rich, but hopefully she has finally put those feelings aside once and for all. Cindy definitely helped her decision making by seemingly taking Rich off the market.  While working on the Bagman Jesus case together, Rich and Cindy developed a bit of a relationship that I hope will continue. They seem more suited than Rich and Lindsay and will ease some of the tension between the two of them as the series progresses.

Overall, this was another great addition to the series and I look forward to seeing what is in store next for the members of the Women's Murder Club.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Book review: Kill the Boy Band by Goldy Moldavsky

Book Summary
Just know from the start that it wasn’t supposed to go like this. All we wanted was to get near them. That’s why we got a room in the hotel where they were staying.

We were not planning to kidnap one of them. Especially not the most useless one. But we had him—his room key, his cell phone, and his secrets.

We were not planning on what happened next.

We swear.

From thrilling new talent Goldy Moldavsky comes a pitch-black, hilarious take on fandom and the badass girls who have the power to make—or break—the people we call “celebrities.”

Flo's Review
So this book was published in 2016 and I've been wanting to read it since then. People have been telling me about it since then. I mean, a YA book about boy bands? Should be the perfect combination of my happy places.

So quarantine seemed like a good time to pull this out and take the plunge. It was...not what I thought it would be. I was expecting a fun, tongue-in-cheek, humorous look at fangirls. But that's not what I got from this one. 

The story started out really as a commentary about fangirls. I related to A LOT of the scenarios and character traits talked about here. But I didn't find it was done in a fun way. The tone of the main character who was relating the story was way too....snarky? I thought this part could have been like, "Ha, ha, we know fangirls are crazy in a fun way, and let's laugh at them/ourselves." But even though the main character shared some true emotion and perfectly described some of the feeling that comes with being a fangirl, I didn't find she did it a a fun way. Which, I think is a shame. It so could have been fun.

Then we got to Part II and the twist -- which I definitely was not expecting! What even is happening with this book?! 

I will say this, though: I kept turning the pages. It was like a train wreck I couldn't look away from. And I don't mean that in a bad way. I think that's what this book was supposed to be. And it worked. I kept going, and I didn't look up until it was the end of the book and I was done with it. 

So, am I glad I read it? Yes. Did I enjoy it? Well, it was quite the ride. Would I recommend other boy band fangirls to read it? Nah.

A funny thing about this book: I read a review where the reviewer was a One Direction fangirl and commented that the boy band in this book was obviously based off 1D. But as a fangirl of New Kids on the Block, Backstreet Boys, 98 Degrees, and on and on -- it could have been based off any one of them.