Monday, May 30, 2016

Review: All of Us and Everything

All of Us and Everything was kindly given to me in exchange for an honest review.  It was part of our spring book selection.  While I had never heard of this author before, the book synopsis was intriguing.

What did I think of the story?  I actually really loved the plot idea.  A mom who made a decision to be with someone and have children with him when he couldn't truly be part of their lives.  The children, growing up without a dad, were told that he couldn't be with them because he was a spy and it would put them all in danger; an outlandish story thought to be a substitution for the truth.  The children, all girls, all adults with their lives falling apart in one way or another.  After a hurricane in their old hometown, they all return to their mother and finally learn the truth about their father and begin to put themselves right.

I did enjoy the book.  I thought that the idea of the father really being a spy was creative and the girl's issues in adulthood were realistic for the most part, if a bit on the depressing side.  I loved how the girls came back home as three separate people who wanted nothing to do with one another and ended up on the path to being a true family again, understanding what sisterhood should really be.  The addition of Atty, Esme's daughter, showed us how easily our own messed up lives can affect our children.  The epilogue gave a glimpse into how each character in the story ended up, even the minor ones, and I felt satisfied knowing they were all looking upward and onward.  On the downside, I must admit that I felt the story was missing something.  I'm not sure if it flip flopped too much from one character to the next or if everything just fell together too easily.  Maybe I thought the father's story should have been more exciting. Something was amiss for me and it took away from my complete investment in the story.

I'd give this one about 3.5 out of 5 stars if I were rating it.  As a book about families who have fallen apart and go on a journey to put themselves back together, it was good.  I just think it had the potential to have been even better.  However, don't knock it until you try it.  If you like family drama, you may enjoy this one.

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Monday, May 16, 2016

It's Monday, What are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at the Book Date.  She describes it as a place to meet up and share what you have been reading, are currently reading, and are about to be reading over the week. She also mentions that this is a meme that often causes our already overflowing TBR lists to grow even longer.  So true...

Spring is crazy for us here in the Agnella household.  One child has soccer, karate, and track and the other has art, karate, and basketball.  I feel during this season, that I live in the car. However, one advantage to this is that I get some extra reading time in while I wait for them to finish their activities.  

I try to always have one book in print and one audiobook with me at all times.  This way, I am never without a way to enjoy reading while I am out and about. :)

Last week I read


This week I am reading


Next up, I plan to begin

What are you reading?

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Review: The Dirt on Ninth Grave

This is my guilty pleasure series. Whenever a new book comes out in the Charley Davidson series, I have no doubt that I will love it. It's a given. I remember picking up the first book in the series, First Grave on the Right, and wondering if it would be something I would enjoy. I had been reading another series and finally got sick of the repetitiveness of the plot. It just wasn't fun anymore and I was looking for something new. I swear that I read the first chapter and knew that Charley was going to be my new favorite badass heroine. Nine books later, I'm not bored or frustrated and I'm really excited for the tenth story. If you haven't read the series, there might be a bit of spoilage ahead but I'll try not to give too much away.

The Dirt on Ninth Grave finds Charley in Sleepy Hollow, NY with no memory at all. She doesn't know who she is or how she got there. I was hesitant about this at first because there are so many amnesia stories out there but this one was done well. As Charley slowly navigates life in NY, we realize that all of her friends and family are there too, supporting her and waiting patiently for her to remember who, and what, she is. The small cafe where Charley works is a perfect setting for the story and we meet some new characters who may or may not show up again in future books.

Charley was still Charley even without her memory. She was still just a little bit trashy (in a good way), inappropriate, and sassy. She still managed to get herself into trouble on several occasions and frustrate the hell out of her friends with her impulsive nature. There were also still a plethora of departed souls seeking her out, each with their own story, which added to the charm of the book. Add in a slightly unstable police officer/stalker, a few demons from hell, an angel trying to kill her, and her husband, the son of satan himself, and you've got quite a ride from beginning to end. A lot of suspense and a lot of fun with a couple of emotional moments thrown in for good measure. And of course, every chapter begins with a quote from a meme or t-shirt. My favorite from this book is...

“A dyslexic man walks into a bra- T-shirt”

The Dirt on Ninth Grave is another winner by Darynda Jones in my opinion. I finished it this morning and I'm still smiling.
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