A Fistful of Collars by Spencer Quinn

A Fistful of Collars by Spencer QuinnTitle: A Fistful of Collars
Author: Spencer Quinn
Genre: Adult, Mystery
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: September 11, 2012
Hardcover: 322 pages

Where’d I Get It: NetGalley.com

Synopsis (From Goodreads): Everyone’s favorite detective team returns in a new adventure as canine narrator Chet and his human partner P.I. Bernie Little find that Hollywood has gone to the dogs. Hoping to bring some Tinseltown money to the Valley, the mayor lures a movie studio to town to shoot their next production, a big-budget Western in the classic tradition. The star is none other than ruggedly handsome—and notoriously badly behaved—Thad Perry. When the mayor decides that someone needs to keep an eye on Thad so that he doesn’t get into too much trouble, Bernie and Chet are handpicked for the job. The money is good but something smells fishy, and what should have been a simple matter of babysitting soon gets more complicated—especially when they discover that Thad has a mysterious connection to the Valley that nobody wants to talk about. What kind of secret could Thad have left behind when he went to Hollywood to seek fame and fortune? The only people who might know the answer have a bad habit of turning up dead before they can talk.

As Bernie’s relationship with his longtime girlfriend Suzie goes long-distance, and Chet’s late-night assignations appear to have resulted in an unexpected dividend, it’s all our two sleuths can do to keep Thad and his motley entourage of yes-men, handlers, and hangers-on in their sights. Worst of all, Thad is a self-proclaimed cat person, and his feline friend Brando has taken an instant dislike to Chet.

Like the winning books before it, this fifth book in the series combines a top-notch mystery with genuine humor and a perceptive take on the relationship between human and dog that will stay with you long after the case is solved.

Lindsay’s ThoughtsThis is the fifth book of the series, and my first time delving into the world of Bernie and Chet, and I was pleasantly surprised.  I’m a huge dog lover, just ask my three spoiled pooches, so I LOVED that the book was told from the viewpoint of Chet, the side kick to the Little Detective Agency.  I hope my dogs love me as much as Chet loves Bernie!

It was easy to delve into this book despite it being in the middle of a series, I feel like there was very little that was I missing from previous books.  The series just seems to be kind of like an episode of a television show, where you can pick up where you left off or start in the middle and not really miss anything, kind of like daytime television. Ha!

The story wasn’t exactly new or super exciting but the writing from Chet’s eyes definitely gave it a unique twist that kept me turning the page, wondering what Chet was going to do next!

Rating: 4 of 5

Top Ten Tuesday #15

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created & hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is:

Top Ten Books…

On my Fall To Be Read List

Let’s see…

  1. Witch World by Christopher Pike - It’s new and it’s Christopher Pike. You all know I’m waiting on this one!
  2. Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor – Yep, gotta have it.
  3. The Twelve by Justin Cronin – Bree, I hate you for having already read this!  I mean, I still love you, but there’s that seething violent jealously oozing from my pores… (Yeah, I want this.)
  4. Hidden by Sophie Joran – Blah blah. Not in love with the series, but…hey. Gotta finish it.
  5. Feedback by Robison Wells – Need to know what happens next!
  6. Promised by Caragh O’Brien – Ditto – can’t walk away til I know what happens.
  7. Flock by Wendy Delsol – I didn’t love the 1st book. I liked the 2nd book even less. But it’s like a train wreck, you know, I just can’t look away…
  8. Reached by Ally Condie – Yet another third in a series that I just have to read because I can’t NOT read the end of the series.
  9. The Blinding Knife by Brent Weeks – This one I’m actually waiting on for my husband. It’s preordered.
  10. The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling – Um, duh.
Leave me a comment with a link to your Top Ten list…I’ll pop by and have a look!  :)

Back to the Books Giveaway Hop

Back to the Books Giveaway Hop ImageWelcome to our stop of the Back to the Books Giveaway Hop!

We’re giving away $15 at BookDepository.com (for international folk) or Amazon.com or BarnesAndNoble.com (for US folk).  You know the drill, fill out the Rafflecopter form and good luck to you!

To clarify: A book with a value up to $15 from BookDepository OR a gift card from Amazon.com or BarnesAndNoble.com OR a book with a value up to $15 from one of those two.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Frozen by Mary Casanova

Frozen by Mary CasanovaTitle: Frozen
Author: Mary Casanova
Genre: Young Adult Historical Fiction
Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
Publication Date: September 1, 2012
Hardcover: 264 pages

Where’d Lindsay Get It: NetGalley.com

Synopsis (From Goodreads): Sixteen-year-old Sadie Rose hasn’t said a word in eleven years—ever since the day she was found lying in a snowbank during a howling storm. Like her voice, her memories of her mother and what happened that night were frozen.

Set during the roaring 1920s in the beautiful, wild area on Rainy Lake where Minnesota meets Canada, Frozen tells the remarkable story of Sadie Rose, whose mother died under strange circumstances the same night that Sadie Rose was found, unable to speak, in a snowbank. Sadie Rose doesn’t know her last name and has only fleeting memories of her mother—and the conflicting knowledge that her mother had worked in a brothel. Taken in as a foster child by a corrupt senator, Sadie Rose spends every summer along the shores of Rainy Lake, where her silence is both a prison and a sanctuary.

One day, Sadie Rose stumbles on a half dozen faded, scandalous photographs—pictures, she realizes, of her mother. They release a flood of puzzling memories, and these wisps of the past send her at last into the heart of her own life’s great mystery: who was her mother, and how did she die? Why did her mother work in a brothel—did she have a choice? What really happened that night when a five-year-old girl was found shivering in a snowbank, her voice and identity abruptly shattered?

Sadie Rose’s search for her personal truth is laid against a swirling historical drama—a time of prohibition and women winning the right to vote, political corruption, and a fevered fight over the area’s wilderness between a charismatic, unyielding, powerful industrialist and a quiet man battling to save the wide, wild forests and waters of northernmost Minnesota. Frozen is a suspenseful, moving testimonial to the haves and the have-nots, to the power of family and memory, and to the extraordinary strength of a young woman who has lost her voice in nearly every way—but is utterly determined to find it again.

Lindsay’s ThoughtsI’m not really sure what drew me to this book as I’m not much on historical books, but I just had to read it and I’m not disappointed that I did.  It was fairly interesting and kept my attention.  The description says that the book is suspenseful, not sure I would agree with that, or at least it’s not OH MY GOSH, WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN NOW?!?!? suspenseful at any rate.

I liked Sadie Rose although she is extremely naive in this book and her “adventure” could have been a bit more adventurous.  Some things that happened seemed to be no big deal when I think had I been in the situation, they would have been huge deals.

The writing was good, the scenery sounds stunning, and I now want to go visit Minnesota, or at least Canada.

Rating: 3 of 5

Plan B by Charnan Simon

Plan B by Charnan SimonTitle: Plan B
Author: Charnan Simon
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Publisher: Darby Creek/Lerner Publishing Group, Inc
Publication Date: March 1, 2011
eBook: 108 pages

Where’d Lindsay Get It: From the publisher for Review

Synopsis (From Goodreads): Is this happily ever after? Lucy has her life planned out: she’ll graduate and then join her boyfriend, Luke, at college in Austin. She’ll become a Spanish teacher and of course they’ll get married. So there’s no reason to wait, right? They try to be careful. But then Lucy gets pregnant. Now, none of Lucy’s options are part of her picture-perfect plan. Together, she and Luke will have to make the most difficult decision of their lives.

Lindsay’s ThoughtsThis was a super short book, more of an outline to what could have been a decent read if the author had put some kind of spin at all on the whole “I’m a teen and I got pregnant routine.”  There was just no meat to this story at all, and the ending was a terrible excuse for a cliffhanger.

If you have a boring half hour, pick it up at the library.

Rating: 2 of 5


Such A Pretty Face by Cathy Lamb

Title: Such a Pretty Face
Author: Cathy Lamb
Genre: Contemporary/Women’s Fiction
Publisher: Kensington
Publication Date: August 1, 2010
eBook: 694 pages

Where’d I Get It: Library

Synopsis (From Goodreads): Stevie Barrett is a 35-year-old legal secretary in Portland. She’s also literally half the woman she used to be. Bariatric surgery melted 150 pounds off her frame, and life is looking up. However, Stevie’s svelte physique carries its own baggage.

My Thoughts: This book is definitely not a page turner, it took a little bit of work to get through it, but maybe that was the goal of the author.  It wasn’t an unpleasant thing, some books are just that way.  I really felt horrible for the main character, Stevie, along with her two cousins who suffered such tragedies in their lives that they were having a difficult time growing up and making their own lives as adults.

We all have our own coping mechanisms and I enjoyed going through Stevie’s with her while she was on her quest to heal.  For some it’s a longer road than others and Stevie certainly had her own share of skeletons in her closet to overcome.

Ms. Lamb really did her homework on mental disorders in this book and her writing was beautiful.  I felt happy when the family was having a lighthearted moment and deeply sad and disturbed when Helen had an episode.  Therefore I was glad that the book ended the way it did.  There were some parts that were difficult to live with and that is reflected in my rating.

Rating: 3.5 of 5

Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock

Hemlock by Kathleen PeacockTitle: Hemlock
Author: Kathleen Peacock
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy/Paranormal
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date: May 8, 2012
Hardcover: 416 pages

Where’d Ashley Get It: For review from the publisher.

Synopsis (From Goodreads): Mackenzie and Amy were best friends.

Since then, Mac’s life has been turned upside down. She is being haunted by Amy in her dreams, and an extremist group called the Trackers has come to Mac’s hometown of Hemlock to hunt down Amy’s killer:

A white werewolf.

Lupine syndrome–also known as the werewolf virus–is on the rise across the country. Many of the infected try to hide their symptoms, but bloodlust is not easy to control.

Wanting desperately to put an end to her nightmares, Mac decides to investigate Amy’s murder herself. She discovers secrets lurking in the shadows of Hemlock, secrets about Amy’s boy-friend, Jason, her good pal Kyle, and especially her late best friend. Mac is thrown into a maelstrom of violence and betrayal that puts her life at risk.

Kathleen Peacock’s thrilling novel is the first in the Hemlock trilogy, a spell-binding urban fantasy series filled with provocative questions about prejudice, trust, lies, and love.

Ashley’s Thoughts: Hemlock introduces you to a world in which werewolves are real and everyone knows this to be true. But forget about full moons, silver bullets, or Native Americans with rock-hard abs. You won’t find that here. What you will find is a girl trying to come to term with the recent loss of her best friend, who was killed by a werewolf. When Mac decides to find Amy’s killer on her own, she discovers that almost nothing is as it seems. The story is captivating and filled with enough twists to keep you on your toes, but not leave you scratching your head. While it is ripe with political conspiracy, human rights and prejudices, the heart of the story lies with a clever and loyal girl, determined not to lose the two best friends she has left. However, Kyle and Jason are both keeping secrets that could ruin it all.

I thoroughly, albeit unexpectedly, enjoyed Hemlock! It pulled me in and I almost couldn’t put it down. I finished so quickly that, in the interest of a fair review, I decided to read it again and enjoyed it just as much the second time around. I’m looking forward to the next books in the trilogy and can’t wait to see what is in store for Mac!

Rating: 4 of 5

Ree’s notes: Wow, I just re-read Ashley’s review and saw that she read it TWICE! Oh my goodness, now I’m definitely going to have to read it myself.  This girl knows a good story when she sees it! :)

Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuireTitle: Beautiful Disaster
Author: Jamie McGuire
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: August 14, 2012
eBook: 434 pages

Where’d I Get It: Lindsay’s NetGalley account.

Synopsis (From Goodreads): The new Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate percentage of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance between her and the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University’s Walking One-Night Stand. 

Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby needs—and wants—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his appeal, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’s apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.

Lindsay’s ThoughtsUm…WOW!  I feel like  a tornado just blew through my mind!  This book was insanely addicting, the only thing keeping me from finishing the book in the first sitting was life (pfft who needs life anyways, right?).  I could feel the chemistry almost immediately between Abby and Travis and it kept building and building until both of the characters explode into some kind of frantic  and chaotic romance.  It was scintillating and disturbing all wrapped into one.

Travis does have a total lack of self control, which in some parts of the books make you want to grab a sedative and inject it into his arm, because he can clearly be destructive to himself and those around him.  While it makes for a interesting read, I’d never want to meet him in person.  The books starts to slack off when Abby’s past starts creeping up on her with her low life father and a one night trip to Las Vegas that ends on a crazy note.

I would give it five stars but after rehashing some of the violence in the book and the strange ending, I have to take it down a notch.  Worth a read, but not everyone will love it!

Rating: 4 of 5