review: blood orchids by toby neal

Books, Fiction, Mystery, Review

 

:: author:: Toby Neal :: published: 2011 :: my rating: 4/5 :: genre: mystery :: fiction :: thriller :: goodreads

Hello my lovely friends!

First order of business, I’M NOT IGNORING YOUR COMMENTS! I’ve found that a lot of the comments you have been leaving have been falling under my “spam” and have not been posted. I’m slowly going back through and replying to these comments. Please check your spam boxes as well!

I decided it was time to entertain myself with a mystery, something I had not done for quite some time. When the title Blood Orchids popped up, I was intrigued for two reasons. 1. because it takes place in Hawaii

2. I love orchids

And what a coincidence that I was looking for a mystery right about then. Lets jump on in to the review.


Synopsis from goodreads:

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Hawaii is palm trees, black sand and blue water—but for policewoman Lei Texeira, there’s a dark side to paradise.

Lei has overcome a scarred past to make a life for herself as a cop in the sleepy Big Island town of Hilo. On a routine patrol she finds two murdered teenagers—one of whom she’d recently busted. With its echoes of her own past, the murdered girl’s harsh life and tragic death affect Lei deeply. She becomes obsessed—even as the killer is drawn to Lei’s intensity, feeding off her vulnerabilities and toying with her sanity.

Despite her obsession with the case and fear that she’s being stalked, Lei finds herself falling in love for the first time. Steaming volcanoes, black sand beaches and shrouded fern forests are the backdrop to Lei’s quest for answers—and the stalker is closer than she can imagine, as threads of the past tangle in her future. Lei is determined to find the killer—but he knows where to find her first.


My Review: (No Spoilers)

All potential spoilers marked.

This debut thriller doesn’t ease you into the mystery at hand, but takes off running from the first line and never stops. Even the first sentence is made to grab the readers attention.

“Drowning isn’t pretty, even in paradise”

The pace never slows down for the reader, and I was constantly amazed by the series of plot twists and the way every detail weaved together to create a story line that had me frantically reading to finish. What I enjoyed about this mystery, was how unpredictable it ended up being. Characters I wished to dislike ended up finding their way into my good graces, and those that I initially found to be disagreeable, later became a favorite. I also appreciated the depiction of a strong, young, female character. Although there were times in which I felt annoyance for her paranoiac behavior, I was able to reason why she must act in that manner.

This is not your typical thriller. Very jarring topics such as rape and murder are addressed, and not in a flowery manner. I found this to add to the story, and although none of the descriptions went very in depth, there was just enough to keep you on your seats, and beg for the perpetrator to be caught.

A couple of things that I found to detract from the book were:

  1. Lei’s constant sense of mistrust and constant attempts to push people away. I know, this is just part of her character. But often times, this bad girl act became frustrating and I found myself wanting her to have some human feelings rather than constantly chasing after her definition of justice.
  2. How many problems were caused just by Lei’s unwillingness to listen. (Is it obvious that most of the problems I had simply stem from Lei’s personality?) Though her pushy, nosy personality helped solve the mystery, I still found it disappointing that so many pages were made up of others fixing her mistakes.
  3. The ending. It was to fairy tale-esque. Everything ended perfectly, people ended up where they were supposed to be. And I felt empty when something so suspenseful and exciting came to a screeching halt for a perfect ending.

The Characters:

The main protagonist in this story, Lei served as an amazing central character. She was not only complex, but there were multiple layers to her personality and as Toby Neal did a phenomenal job of putting the reader inside Lei’s head. At first, I found Lei’s brash, tough front annoying. It felt as if she was pushing everyone away, and refusing to trust or listen to others. I greatly abhor these characters, and it takes me a long time for them to grow on me. As Lei’s history slowly was revealed, I was better able to understand the reason behind her callous facade, and this helped greatly in making this thriller more interesting. I especially loved how Neal took his time in revealing Lei’s childhood secrets, as this added to the suspense of the book.

Each supporting character had his/her own unique personality and I found myself falling in love with them. One of my favorite characters in this book was Lei’s dog Keiki.A giant rottweiler that serves to protect Lei, and her only confidante. I felt as if Lei was extremely lucky as she had many people around her that were so willing to help and love her, if she would allow them. The walls that Lei built up to protect herself were frustrating at times, but necessary as you learn of her past. From Pono, her beloved partner in the police force, to her supportive friend Mary and auntie, I found all these characters lovable in their own way. Each had demons they were facing, and problems the had to deal with, but each had great love for Lei, and watching them support her through the times in which she had to deal with intense problems, was touching. (Even if they were quite brash in the way they showed it.)

The characters had real emotions, and expressed them in real ways. Pono’s gruff exterior, through his actions showed his soft, caring interior. *SPOILER* Lei’s aunt, who initially seems to be the perfect aunt taking in her niece, later has a dirty secret revealed. *SPOILER*  and a down to earth therapist all served to spice up the story. This added a more relateable edge to the story which I enjoyed.

The Plot:

I appreciated the fast paced plot, as I was never bored or skimming throughout this book. Neal does an excellent job of introducing various scenarios for the mystery, and each caused me to suspect/mistrust each character. This greatly added to the suspense. However, the downside to this was that it forced Lei to look much to suspecting and at a certain point I began to become annoyed at her obvious distrust towards everyone (except her dog). At no point was the plot ever at a standstill, and each new page seemed like a revelation abut a character. I really wanted to enter the book and help solve the mystery!

I’ll leave the plot review here, as I’m worried I’ll divulge too much and spoil the mystery…

Final Thoughts:

I loved the setting, loved the mystery, and found this book to be everything I expected. So why not the five stars? I felt as if it was too difficult to connect with Lei, and I had problems with her character. But I’ve always had problems with “tough girls” in book, and thus unable to appreciate the book as much as I would have (as I found myself becoming frustrate throughout the book.)


Quotes

One thing I liked about Lei was how she left little quotes hanging around so that she could read and ground herself in reality. Although the following quotes are not a part of the collection she had, they are little lines that caught my eye.

“It seemed like she was always too little, to late”

That feeling of helplessness and loss of self worth are perfectly summarized in this one line.

“There were apparently still beautiful things in the world”

Even as Lei is surrounded by crime and terrible things, she manages to find beauty and pleasure, which I very much appreciated.


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Have you read any mysteries lately? What mystery do you recommend me? Let me know in the comments below 🙂

wordless wednesday: wanderlust

Bucket List, Lifestyle, Travel, Wordless Wednesday

Hello my lovely friends!

It’s week two of Wordless Wednesday, and this week, we’re looking at places we want to go/places we’ve been to. Anyone can participate, and the main focus is to share aspects of our lives that may not be completely related to books. Each week, I will post a topic for a Wordless Wednesday that you may answer in whatever fashion you may like. All you need to do is link back to kimmiegg in your post so that I can also read your content! (Feel free to use the banner as well.)


The topic for this week is: Wanderlust – Whats on your travel bucket lists? Or tell of your last travel adventure.

To view a list of topics for the rest of the month, click here

Traveling has always been something I’ve always wanted to do more of. I greatly dislike the huge tours people go on, in which they visit many places in a short period of time. Instead, I enjoy staying in one place and being totally immersed in a new culture so that I can really learn as much as possible about a certain place and get a feel for the atmosphere for wherever I’m staying.

Feel free to go anywhere you’d like with this prompt, and I can’t wait to visit your blogs and see what creative things you come up with 🙂


Greece
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Romantic Sunset in Santorini

I know I should be more specific, but I honestly just want to explore this whole country. We all know of Greece due to their economic crises, but I’ve been in love with this country due to their history, geography and LOOK AT HOW BEAUTIFUL THIS IS! From the architecture to all the various islands, I’d be fine with spending the rest of my life exploring this country. I’d love to study the language if I ever get the chance to have an extended stay in this amazing country. Also, I loveeee Greek food. We have a small restaurant in the town I live in, but I can imagine that it doesn’t do justice to the authentic thing.


Cancun
Cancun Strand Luftbild

Luftbildaufnahmen von Cancun.

For some of you, this picture may be jarring with the juxtaposition of natural beauty and the modernity of humans. Although I’d much rather stay in a more humble abode that isn’t dominated by ulterior motives, I thought this picture was sure thought worthy. My dad has been to many business trips in this area, and my friends have often visited. They always come back with great stories! I love beaches, and I’ve heard that as soon as you go in, you pay a flat fee and then are able to eat whatever you’d like. Thus, the food quality is always great. The only downside, is that locals are unable to share this goodness..


Sydney, Australia
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Sydney, Australia

I know many of the book bloggers that I have met are from Australia, and thus I began some research about the area. I love it. This city is surrounded by the world’s largest natural harbor and I want to go to both the opera and the bridge there. The architecture is just stunning, and if this picture is not screaming at you to come visit, I don’t know what will ever convince you to travel.


Puerto Rico
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El Yunque National Forest

Lastly, a place to appreciate mother nature and the beauty of natural, untouched land, I present to you El Yunque National Forest. I love national parks, and love visiting, but each time I leave, I feel as if I was unable to fully grasp and appreciate the beauty of it all. Exploring and adventuring is always fun, but I believe more time needs to be spent discovering all the amazing secrets to that place.


Did you enjoy this post? Please consider taking part next week, as I’d love to learn about your art interests. Feel free to use the topics in any way/order you’d like, and I can’t wait to learn more about your non-bookish sides:)

the versatile blogger award

Blog Award, Music, Tag

Hello my lovely friends 🙂

I’m back today with a nomination to another award! I was nominated by the sweet Megan @ bookslayer reads. Although the time I’ve known her is quite short, her blog is really a great place and worth of your visit, so make sure to check her blog out as well!


Rules
  • Show the award on your blog
  • Thank the person that has nominated you
  • Share 7 different facts about yourself
  • Nominate 15 blogs of your choice (I will be nominating five blogs)
  • Link your nominees and let them know of your nomination

The rules here are short and sweet so lets go ahead and get started!


7 Facts About Me
  1. My favorite animal is the giraffe. I’m literally obsessed with their elegance, and find them to be so cute! They look so genial, yet regal. One day, I want to become a zookeeper just so I can be near them.
  2. I’m very meticulous and obsessive when it comes to watching a TV show. I have to watch every minute in the correct order… I also can’t handle cliffhangers so I always have to stop in the middle of an episode. This is why I can never watch anything with anyone. It’s also why I can only watch a TV show when all the episodes are out.
  3. I love food, but I’m not picky. I’ll eat anything and everything, and really can’t tell the difference in the quality of food unless someone points it out to me.
  4. Though I follow recipes, I never actually use the designated measurements. Maybe it’s cause I’m too lazy to actually measure things out. Or maybe it’s because I like to pretend I’m a professional chef.
  5. I love fashion/lifestyle vloggers. They’re what I watch before falling asleep or during my workouts.
  6. I love listening to people talk. Voices are my favorite things about people, and I can normally identify a person by their voices.
  7. I can’t remember names to save my life, so if I remember your name, consider yourself honored.

Sorry for boring you with miscellaneous facts about myself, but I hope you enjoyed nonetheless!


I nominate:

Lashaan and Trang @ Bookidote

Beth @ Reading Every Night

Holly @ Nut Free Nerd

Sammie @ Books and Biros

Donna @ ChocolatenWaffles

These are some of my personal favorite book blogs. They are very worthy of this award, and everyone needs to go check them out 🙂


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What are some facts about you that others may not know? Let me know in the comments below 🙂

review: To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

Books, Contemporary, Novel, Review, Romance

:: author:: Jenny Han :: published: 2014 :: my rating: 3/5 :: genre: novel :: romance novel :: contemporary :: goodreads

Hello my lovely friends!

Just another shameless plug: my twitter account @_kimmiegg is up and running! I’d love to catch up on your daily lives, and am looking forward to meeting you guys through twitter.

This book has been on my TBR list for a while, due to the plethora of amazing reviews about this book. Furthermore, after learning that it was a book based on a Korean-American family, I immediately included it in my eBook haul. I know many of you have read this book, but I can’t wait to share my thoughts on why this book doesn’t deserve the five stars I wanted to give it with you 🙂

(Since many of you have read this book, I have included a few could-be-spoilers. None divulge main plot twists or details. Read on at your own risk.)


Synopsis from goodreads:15749186

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister’s ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.


My Review:

The aspect about this book that I loved was how relateable and realistic Lara Jean (the main character) was. Her struggle with finding love, and maneuvering through relationships, though often immature, were still always in character. I appreciated how Jenny Han included dialogue that was not only there to fill up space, but to provide insight into each personality and really develop each character into something real.

However, there were aspects of this book that made me question the hype.

  1. There didn’t seem to be any TRUE romance throughout the book. Especially because the relationship that permeated throughout the book was simply one that was supposed to be fake. I felt as if the various relationships presented in this book served to show Lara’s development. Although the majority of this book was devoted to her interaction with boys, I felt as if no real spark was found between any of them.
  2. I disliked how each sister seemed to have a romantic interest in their older sister’s significant other. Sure, it’s better to like your sister’s boyfriend, but not to crush after him… And mutually, if you’re dating someone, please don’t crush on her younger sister.. That’s just so, wrong…

The Characters

Each character is the typical archetype of a middle class family dealing with some sort of problem. In this case, it’s the death of a mother. Starting with the typical overworked father who loves his daughters and is always trying to find ways to give them the love and attention they deserve while trying to figure them out. I loved the attention and effort this father put into raising his family of three girls. Then there’s Margot, the oldest, most mature responsible and organized sister. She is the one who has kept the family together and running smoothly, and it is her departure that throws this book into motion. Kitty is the youngest of the group, and naturally plays one of the most vital (and predictable) parts in this story. Lastly, we have Lara Jean. The protagonist of this story.

Lara Jean is a sheltered, romantic teen trying to make it through the most important years of high school. Not only is she facing the hardships of exceeding her sister’s footsteps, but she has an issue with not ever truly expressing her feelings for others, but rather, choosing to lock them away in a box. In a way, I appreciated this side of Lara, as I found myself being able to relate to her inability to open up and share how she felt with others.

Then of course, we need to add in a troubled friend who always sticks up for the main character. Chris is the typical “this is not a phase mom” character who  helps Lara through her difficult times. To thicken the plot, we add Genevieve, the beautiful, flawless mean girl who adds drama to the story. And her perfect boyfriend, Peter, who enters Lara Jean’s life with a lot of emotional baggage.

The Plot

Although the characters were not very unique and this story was lacking in that department, the plot was very unique. There were times I really had to wonder what was going to happen next, and what choice Lara Jean was going to make. I was also constantly curious as to how each character would react to the actions of others. Because the characters are quite archetypal, I thought I would be able to predict how each of them reacted… Surprisingly, my conjectures were proved false.

Although these small aspects of the plot really made the book, I failed to find much romance. As stated before, I felt as if this book explored more of Lara’s development through failed relationships. When before, Lara measured her ability and worth against her sister Margot, we see her beginning to break free of that. I believe that was the best part of the book, and what made it so readable/relateable.

Ending Thoughts

This book was a light, fun read that I did finish in one sitting. It was hard to put down, and although there were parts that I wish had been dealt with better, I found myself really enjoying this quirky fun romance. *SPOILER*  I was disgusted by how Lara so easily cheated on her sisters boyfriend. Especially after she learned that they had had sex. *SPOILER* All in all, I wish that she had taken more control over her own life, although from my own personal experiences, I can relate to how difficult that could be.

This book was definitely a fun read, but I can’t give it the five star rating that I want to give it for the above reasons. Although I can’t say that I agreed and loved the book 100%, I will be reading the sequel as I have to know how Lara ends up!


Quotes

“I do this to feign confidence, because the more I fake it, the more it’s supposed to feel true.”

So, this is me all the time, and it really works! Sort of like the smiling theory that if you force yourself to smile, you’ll become happier.

“It’s scary when it’s real. When it’s not just thinking about a person, but, like having  a real live person in front of you, with , like, expectations. And wants.”

Love is a hard concept to grasp, and I think that often we read or watch stuff about it and think we know what love is. That we have a tangible definition only to find that explanation falling apart when we actually fall in love.

“A hundred years ago eighteen-year-old guys were out there fighting wars with bayonets and holding a man’s life n their hands! They lived a lot of life by the time they were our age. What do kids our age know about love and life”

This was said by Peter, and I just had to agree. Context is such a vital part in creating expectations.


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Have you read any books by Jenny Han? What do you think about the book? Have you ever written any love letters yourself? Let me know in the comments below 🙂

101 followers, ramblings, and an update

Books, Milestone, Monday Update

Hello my lovely friends!

I’m so excited to announce that I have reached my first milestone of 100 followers! (101 to be exact…)

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This blog that I started on a whim, has quickly turned into a favorite hobby of mine, and has helped me to appreciate and love books even more. I’m so glad to have been able to connect with all of you and to discover more facets to this corner of the internet. The two months I’ve been blogging have truly been a memorable time in my life and I’ve learned and experienced so much, (even with a month long hiatus in there somewhere)  Thank you for your support and love, and I can’t wait to expand and grow even more.

As most of you know, I will be heading off to college in five days. FIVE DAYS! Although I’m very excited, I’m also immensely nervous for the big change this entails. Through all of this, I’m excited to be bringing along with me, my love for books and blogging.


Do you  have any advice for college freshman? What are some books I should cram in before leaving? Let me know in the comments below 🙂

eBook Haul

Books

Hello my lovely friends!

I recently went on a HUGE eBook haul after receiving my new laptop and getting the kindle app on it. Here are a couple of books I had been wanting to read, that I was finally able to buy. Especially with school looming, I wanted to read as many short novels as possible, before all this free time is snatched away from me agian.


To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

15749186To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister’s ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.

 


P.S I Still Love You by Jenny Han

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Laura Jean didn’t expect to really fall for Peter.
She and Peter were just pretending. Except suddenly they weren’t. Now Lara Jean is more confused than ever.
When another boy from her past returns to her life, Lara Jean’s feelings for him return too. Can a girl be in love with two boys at once?

In this charming and heartfelt sequel to the New York Times bestseller To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, we see first love through the eyes of the unforgettable Lara Jean. Love is never easy, but maybe that’s part of what makes it so amazing.

 


Whispers In Autumn by Trisha Leigh

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In 2015, a race of alien Others conquered Earth. They enslaved humanity not by force, but through an aggressive mind control that turned people into contented, unquestioning robots.

Except sixteen-year-old Althea isn’t content at all, and she doesn’t need the mysterious note inside her locket to tell her she’s Something Else. It also warns her to trust no one, so she hides the pieces that make her different, even though it means being alone.

Then she meets Lucas, everything changes.

Althea and Lucas are immune to the alien mind control, and together they search for the reason why. What they uncover is a stunning truth the Others never anticipated, one with the potential to free the brainwashed human race.

It’s not who they are that makes them special, but what.

And what they are is a threat. One the Others are determined to eliminate for good.


White Lies by Jeremy Bates

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YOU NEVER KNOW WHERE A LIE MIGHT LEAD…

While driving to a charming village tucked away deep in the Cascade Mountains of eastern Washington, where she is to begin a new job teaching high school English, Katrina Burton picks up a young hitchhiker who turns out to be a drunken creep. Fearful for her safety, she lies about her destination in order to get him out of the car. But when she later discovers that he is a teacher at the same school, she finds herself feeding that initial lie with more lies.

Then Katrina meets Jack Reeves. Handsome, charismatic and strong, he is exactly what she needs to extricate her from the expanding network of lies. She falls fast and hard for him. But when Jack lands himself in the middle of a grisly murder, she must decide whether to turn him in–or tell yet another lie.


Reckless Magic by Rachel Higginson

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16 year old Eden Matthews has been in and out of private schools for the last two years. She can’t seem to stop herself from closing them down. Kingsley is her last chance to finish high school and the last private school willing to accept her.

She is focused on just getting through graduation until she realizes Kingsley is not like the other private schools she’s been to. The students may be different, but so is she. And after meeting Kiran Kendrick, the boy who won’t leave her alone and seems to be the source of all her problems, she is suddenly in a world that feels more make-believe than reality.

To top it off, she is being hunted by men who want to kill Kiran and her best friend Lilly is taken away to a foreign prison. Eden finds herself right in the middle of an ancient war, threatening everything she loves. She alone has to find a way to save her best friend and the boy who has captivated her heart.

Reckless Magic is an intricate story about mystery, adventure, magic and forbidden love. Eden Matthews is an unlikely heroine determined to save the world and be with her one, true love before it’s too late.


Thin blade (Sovereign of the Seven Isles)

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When second son Alexander Valentine loses his brother to an assassin’s arrow, he discovers that his family protects an ancient secret and reluctantly finds himself at the center of the final battle of a war that was supposed to have ended 2,000 years ago.

Pursued by the dark minions of an ancient enemy, Alexander flees to the mountain city of Glen Morillian where he discovers that he is the heir to the throne of Ruatha, one of the Seven Isles, but before he can claim the throne he must recover the ancient Thinblade. Seven were forged by the first Sovereign of the Seven Isles and bound to the bloodline of each of the seven Island Kings in exchange for their loyalty to the Old Law. Each sword is as long as a man’s arm, as wide as a man’s thumb and so thin it can’t be seen when viewed from the edge.

Thinblade is the story of Alexander’s quest to find the ancient sword, claim the throne of Ruatha, and raise an army to stand against the enemy that has awoken to claim dominion over all of the Seven Isles.


Faelorehn by Jenna Elizabeth Johnson

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I never heard him come after me and even as I climbed the slope and stumbled onto our shaded back lawn, I didn’t look back. It was like the day the gnomes chased me all over again, but this time I was not escaping some horrible little creatures, I was fleeing from an incredibly good-looking guy who could very well understand me completely. I was either saving myself from that serial killer I always imagined lived down in the swamp, or I had finally gone over the deep end . . .

Meghan Elam has been strange her entire life: her eyes have this odd habit of changing color and she sees and hears things no one else does. When the visions and voices in her head start to get worse, she is convinced that her parents will want to drag her off to another psychiatrist. That is, until the mysterious Cade MacRoich shows up out of nowhere with an explanation of his own.

Cade brings her news of another realm where goblins and gnomes are the norm, a place where whispering spirits exist in the very earth, and a world where Meghan just might find the answers she has always sought.


A New Life by David J. Antocci

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After saving a drowning man during a savage storm, Abby wakes up in a tropical paradise in a fight for her life. She has no idea how she got there, and notices changes in herself that she cannot explain. Haunted by unsettling dreams of her past, she sets out to escape, joined by Eric, who finds himself in the same predicament. Standing in their way is a madman, and his band of willing followers, with a mind set on murdering their unwelcome visitors. An eccentric hermit who has been living there for years offers them refuge, but they must deny his generosity. Escape is their only option. Yet, they discover this deceptive paradise is harder to leave than they had ever imagined. One mystery leads to another, until their escape throws them into even greater danger as Abby’s frightening past finally catches up with her. Her escape is only the beginning.


The Gauguin Connection
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Murdered artists. Masterful forgeries.

Art crime at its worst.

A straightforward murder investigation quickly turns into a quagmire of stolen Eurocorps weapons, a money-laundering charity, forged art and high-ranking EU officials abusing their power.

As an insurance investigator and world renowned expert in nonverbal communication, Dr Genevieve Lenard faces the daily challenge of living a successful, independent life. Particularly because she has to deal with her high functioning Autism. Nothing – not her studies, her high IQ or her astounding analytical skills – prepared her for the changes about to take place in her life.

It started as a favour to help her boss’ acerbic friend look into the murder of a young artist, but soon it proves to be far more complex. Forced out of her predictable routines, safe environment and limited social interaction, Genevieve is thrown into exploring the meaning of friendship, expanding her social definitions, and for the first time in her life be part of a team in a race to stop more artists from being murdered.


Blood Orchids by Toby Neal

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Hawaii is palm trees, black sand and blue water—but for policewoman Lei Texeira, there’s a dark side to paradise.

Lei has overcome a scarred past to make a life for herself as a cop in the sleepy Big Island town of Hilo. On a routine patrol she finds two murdered teenagers—one of whom she’d recently busted. With its echoes of her own past, the murdered girl’s harsh life and tragic death affect Lei deeply. She becomes obsessed—even as the killer is drawn to Lei’s intensity, feeding off her vulnerabilities and toying with her sanity.

Despite her obsession with the case and fear that she’s being stalked, Lei finds herself falling in love for the first time. Steaming volcanoes, black sand beaches and shrouded fern forests are the backdrop to Lei’s quest for answers—and the stalker is closer than she can imagine, as threads of the past tangle in her future. Lei is determined to find the killer—but he knows where to find her first.


UnEnchanted by Chanda Hahn

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Mina Grime is unlucky, unpopular and uncoordinated; until she saves her crush’s life on a field trip, changing her High School status from loser to hero overnight. But with her new found fame brings misfortune in the form of an old family curse come to light. For Mina is descended from the Brothers Grimm and has inherited all of their unfinished fairy tale business. Which includes trying to outwit a powerful Story from making her it’s next fairytale victim.

To break the fairy tale curse on her family and make these deadly occurrences stop, Mina must finish the tales until the very Grimm end

 


Do you prefer physical copies or eBooks? And do any of you know how to format these blockquotes so the font isn’t so big? I’ve really been struggling to make that happen. Let me know in the comments below 🙂

 

 

review: Environmentally Friendly by Elias Zanbaka

Books, Review, Short Story, Thriller

:: author: Elias Zanbaka :: published: 2016 :: my rating: 3/5 :: genre: thriller :: short story :: goodreads

I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

Hello my lovely friends,

Today I’m here to talk about a short story that I read multiple times. Curious why? Read on to find out!


Synopsis from goodreads:

Out of seven billion people, one man has declared war on Mother Nature and plans to bring it to its knees.

Out of all the criminals in Los Angeles, he’s the number one target being hunted by the LAPD tonight.

And out of the entire LAPD, one officer is hell-bent on helping him complete his mission.


My Review: (no spoilers)

This action pack book sure had me on the edge of my seat from the start to finish. Zanbaka does a phenomenal job of grabbing the readers attention and never letting it go. That being said, I found that I had to read the book twice before I fully grasped what was going on. Luckily, it was a short read, and both times, I found myself just as tense as I waited to find out what was going to happen next.

Characters:

Because it is a short story, there’s not much to be said about character development. However the way Zanbaka described each gave a powerful description that really painted a picture in my mind. Though I had no clue during my first read through, Sergeant Schaefer was fighting, I could grasp his sense of determination and the intensity in which he believed his purpose to be true. The interactions between the characters were similarly just as realistic, and interesting.

Plot:

I loved the premise of this short story. In fact, the part that intrigued me the most is the idea of how Mother Nature has brought death to many, yet we never have tried to fight against this force. I feel as if there had been more lead up, and more exposition, it would have been more interesting.

Ending Thoughts:

The way this book grabbed my attention and never really let go made this a fun, and exciting read. Overall, I’d recommend to anyone who is itching for a short, suspenseful read. The reason why I had to give it only a three out of five, is simply because it felt as if something was missing. If there had been a tad more detail and background information, this book would have been a five.


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Have you read any books that relate to mother nature? What did you think about it? Let me know in the comments below 🙂

review: Pearl by Deirdre Riordan Hall

Books, Contemporary, Novel, Realistic Fiction, Review, Romance, Young Adult

:: author: Deirdre Riordan Hall :: published: 2016 :: my rating: 4/5 :: genre: novel :: romance novel :: realistic fiction :: goodreads

Hello my lovely friends!

First off, I’d like to announce that I have finally taken it upon myself to make a twitter account! Make sure to follow @_kimmiegg to stay caught up 🙂

Anyways, I’m back today with a review on a book I was not expecting to read. I had not heard of this book, nor had it been on my TBR list, but upon accidentally stumbling upon it, I found it to be a fun read. Maybe it was the cover, or my infatuation with pearls in general… Whatever the case, this was a easy, light read that I ended up enjoying.


Synopsis from goodreads:

Run fast and run far, unless you’re fearless. Unless you’re courageous. I’m not, but I’d like to be.

Pearl Jaeger is seventeen and homeless after drugs, poverty, and addiction unraveled the life she shared with JJ, her formerly glamorous rock star mother.

This moment of happiness is fleeting; someone will take it from me.

When tragedy brings a chance to start over at an elite boarding school, she doesn’t hesitate. Yet the only salvation comes from an art teacher as troubled as Pearl, and she faces the stark reality that what she thought she wanted isn’t straightforward.

I trace the outline of my reflection in a window. I am no more than a replica of my mother. This is not the self-portrait I want to paint.

Through the friendships she forms at school—especially with Grant, a boy who shows Pearl what it means to trust and forgive—she begins to see a path not defined by her past. But when confronted with the decision to be courageous or to take the easy way forged by her mother’s failures, which direction will Pearl choose?


 My Review: (no spoilers)

From the start, this book was jarring. It begins with Pearl sneaking back home, in order to avoid the wrath of her intoxicated mother. What follows is a detailed description of the mentally and physically exhausting act of taking care of a once famous rock star, drug addicted mother while discovering ones identity. This book caused me to deliberate on how much of my life was the result of my upbringing (nature v nurture anybody?), and the resilience someone needed in order to break free from their parent’s bonds.

Characters

The part that I could relate to with Pearl, the protagonist in this book, was her constant confusion about guys and life in general. I felt as if there was dimension to her, which I appreciated. Brought up in an unstable household, with no permanent residence or father, Pearl constantly finds herself moving to accommodate her mother’s new boyfriend or drug addiction. Furthermore, Pearl struggles to root her identity in her mother’s legacy and demise. I found Pearl’s inner conflict of hating her mother, and wishing to hold a part of her very realistic and painful.

Pearl’s relationships are all a tad complicated. Because she is constantly moving, she has no steady friends, and it isn’t until she joins the elite boarding school that she finds people to regularly socialize with. These relationships help fortify what we know about Pearl’s personality, and I believe the author did a great job of showing Pearl’s multifaceted character through these relationships. One character that I just could not stand was Sola, the mother hen that was the embodiment of Pearl’s mother.

Plot

The plot flowed very easily, and I was surprisingly ok with the ending. Although it was a bit too perfect for me, there were still some loose ends, and it was nice to see where Pearl ended up. I found Pearl’s situation, oftentimes to be also too perfect at times. Things would always work out in ways that wouldn’t normally have worked in real life. Throughout the book, I never struggled with being bored, or confused, which was nice.

HOWEVER, this book is riddled in drugs and sex. It doesn’t stop with her mother, but seems to follow Pearl everywhere. No matter how much Pearl hates the drug culture, and how much the drug culture has hurt her, she isn’t able to remove herself from it. At times, I had to remind myself that Pearl was still in High School and not in college. This could be due in part that this takes place in a boarding school, but also because every student seemed to be obsessed with drugs and making out. Although this concept is essential to the ending of the book, I found it frustrating sometimes to see her following exactly in her mother’s footsteps.

Ending thoughts:

Overall, I thought this was a nice, easy read (I finished in two sittings), and it did keep my attention. The biggest aspect that I disliked THE MOST about this book was how cheating was portrayed as a way to make a relationship stronger. Coincidence or not, I had just finished reading this book, when the lovely Reg from She Latitude posted her Top Ten Turn Off’s in the Book. (Most of which I agree with) Number eight, on her list is cheating. I find cheating in real life and books alike to be frustrating. When the two parties get back together, I’m always infuriated, and when the allusion is made that a relationship can get stronger though such a betrayal, you can imagine how livid I am. This aspect of the book can be seen as almost the sole reason I dropped a star.


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Have you ever read Pearl? What did you think? What is a book you will be reading next? Let me know in the comments below 🙂

Wordless Wednesday: Songs of your life

Lifestyle, Meme, Wordless Wednesday

wordless wednesdsay

Hello my lovely friends!

Today is the first week of my Wordless Wednesday meme, and I’m so excited to share this post with you! As you all know, this meme launched last week, after considerable thought and encouragement from others.

Anyone can take part, and the main focus is to share aspects of our lives that may not be completely related to books. Each week, I will post a topic for a Wordless Wednesday that you may answer in whatever fashion you may like. All you need to do is link back to kimmiegg in your post so that I can also read your content! (Feel free to use the banner as well.)


The topic for this week is: Songs of Your Life – What are a couple of songs that relate to turning points in your life, and why?

To view a list of topics for the rest of the month, click here

I feel as if music (and books) are what have helped me through the many turning points and hardships in my life. Here are a couple of songs that are linked to those times.


This Too Shall Pass // Sinclair

There are times where things don’t go as planned, and no matter how hard you try at something, it doesn’t work out. Last year, I thought I put all my effort into prepping for a series of tests, and I didn’t do as well as I’d expected. That paired with intense stress from other life problems made that time in my life unbearable. This song was a reminder (and still is) that life happens and moves on. The chill vibe always calms me down, and some days, I’ll just play this on repeat.


Shooting Star // Owl City

Jumping back in time to the good old freshman days (I say this with immense sarcasm), when I felt as if school was pointless, I wasn’t good enough, and living in my parent’s basement was a good career for me. I heard this over the radio on my bus back home, right when I really needed it. Not only did it give me the boost of motivation I needed, but after spending hours finding this song, I now listen to it whenever I need to remember to achieve.


Thinking About You // Andrew Allen

First off, I just love this song because of how it reminds me of summer and the lyrics are so uplifting and sweet. I don’t think Andrew Allen receives as much credit as he should. I listened to this song non-stop during a very difficult time, and it never failed to get me smiling. Thinking About You, was my comfort song during a time I had to reminded that if there’s someone you love, no matter the circumstances, that won’t change.

New York or London, no matter where I’ve been

there’s one thing that gets me through

is thinking about you~~


Then There’s You // Charlie Puth

A slightly more well known song, by a very popular singer, this song is just one I adore. In my life this is the song that reminds me to always wait for the best. Far more touching than One Call Away, this is a song I want sung to me someday. So although this is not something that relates to a turning point in my life, does planning to have this at my wedding count? (I say this is a 17 year old girl who has absolutely no plans to marry atm…)


Kiss the Rain // Yiruma

Lastly, just a simple piano piece that I love listening to while reading, on dreary days, and whenever I’m feeling bleh. The clear simple tune never fails to relax me, and on some bad days, I will play this on the piano. Can I say, nothing beats playing this with the door wide open while its raining?


Did you enjoy this post? Please consider taking part next week, as I’d love to see what places are on your bucket list. Feel free to use the topics in any way/order you’d like, and I can’t wait to learn more about your non-bookish sides 🙂

anonymous bookaholics

Books, Bucket List, Novel, Tag

Hi, my name is Grace, and I’m addicted to books.

Hello my lovely friends! I was recently tagged by the wonderful Beth @ Reading Every Night to take part in this fun tag. If you guys haven’t already, go check out her amazing blog that is constantly a source of inspiration for me!

I don’t see any rules for this tag, so lets go ahead and get started.


What do you like about buying new books?

Everything! I love cracking open a new spine, and delving into a new book. Also, the anticipation of reading the pages, and trying to guess what is in the book. It’s incredible to realize how many countless books have been written utilizing twenty-six letters. I also get to feel the weight of the authors/publisher’s sweat, blood and tears that went into writing this book. I believe that there is a sense of pride in knowing you own such an amazing book. You know? That feeling you get when you put a book on your bookshelf and think to yourself, this is mine!


How often do you buy new books?

I don’t have a particular schedule or time that I buy books. Just whenever I walk into a store and see something I’ve wanted for forever, or when I just can’t wait for a book, and I buy on Amazon. I always try to force myself to go to the library first, and I’ll more than often buy a book I’ve already read and want in my collection.


Bookstore or online book shopping – Which do you prefer?

Personally, I love the vibe of bookstores, so I’ll always visit just to walk around and sit down at the cafe. I hardly buy books that way though, and much prefer to buy books online where they appear at my doorstop a couple of days later.


Do you have a favourite bookshop?

I don’t have any bookshops near me (I really hope this changes as soon as I get to college), but there was a quaint bookshop in Korea that I enjoyed. There was a nice cafe as well that faced the window where many people were reading and enjoying their pastries.


Do you pre-order books?

I’ve never pre-ordered books, mainly because I’m afraid I’ll dislike the book. I tend to buy books from authors I’ve loved, or classics because they are truly timeless. However, as I’m discovering more and more books I want to read that haven’t been released, pre-ordering books may become more common for me.


Do you have a monthly book buying limit?

No, I know I’ll never follow it, and in the end just feel guilty. Instead, I always force myself to look for a book at the library, go through their free book section, and then have buying books as my last resort. Sometimes that doesn’t happen, and that’s ok too.


Book buying bans – Are they something for you?

NOPE! Doesn’t faze me at all. (I really need to work on my self control) but until that day comes…


How big is your wishlist?

I can’t tell you the exact number, and the list just continues to grow. I feel no guilt though, because I feel like books are really invaluable, and their should never be an end to my wishlist.


Which three books from your wishlist do you wish to own NOW?

 

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Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed

I’m in love with this cover, which is half the reason why I want it on my bookshelf, but also the storyline sounds interesting, and I really want to see how this book ends!

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

There have been such wonderful reviews about this series, that I can’t wait to get my hands on one of these books and read. Mia sounds like such a badass, and I want to learn more about her character and how she lives down her past.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

This sounds like a book I’d want to pass down to future daughters/girls. It deals with a lot of things girls struggle with, and although I haven’t read, the premise and content sounds incredible.


I tag:

Madeline @ The SFF Bookshelf

Whitney @ Brown Books and Green Tea

Emma @ Llady Literary

And anyone else! Just make sure to link back, and post a comment so I can see you answers 🙂


What do  you find addicting about books? If there was an Anonymous Bookaholics session near you, would you attend? Let me know in the comments below 🙂