Tag: 3.5 stars

Betrayed by Lisa Scottoline

Author: Lisa Scottoline
Published: November 24, 2014
Audiobook

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: February 1-7, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 3.5 stars

Book Description:

Blockbuster author Lisa Scottoline returns to the Rosato & Associates law firm with “Betrayed,” and maverick lawyer Judy Carrier takes the lead in a case that’s more personal than ever. Judy has always championed the underdog, so when Iris, the housekeeper and best friend of Judy’s beloved Aunt Barb, is found dead of an apparent heart attack, Judy begins to suspect foul play. The circumstances of the death leave Judy with more questions than answers, and never before has murder struck so close to home.

In the meantime, Judy’s own life roils with emotional and professional upheaval. She doesn’t play well with her boss, Bennie Rosato, which jeopardizes her making partner at the firm. Not only that, her best friend Mary DiNunzio is planning a wedding, leaving Judy feeling left behind, as well as newly unhappy in her relationship with her live-in boyfriend Frank.

Judy sets her own drama aside and begins an investigation of Iris’s murder, then discovers a shocking truth that confounds her expectations and leads her in a completely different direction. She finds herself plunged into a shadowy world of people who are so desperate that they cannot go to the police, and where others are so ruthless that they prey on vulnerability. Judy finds strength within herself to try to get justice for Iris and her aunt — but it comes at a terrible price.

Jessica’s Review:

If you have been following my reviews, then you know I have been listening to the Rosato & DiNunzio  (R&D) series and really enjoying it.  Yes, I have been listening to them out of order- but that was not my fault: I won a copy of Damaged via a Goodreads giveaway.  Damaged sounded interesting and I did not know it was part of a series. Over the course of reading this series I have grown attached to these characters and cannot wait to find out when the next one will be released.

Betrayed is the second in the series, and this time Judy takes the lead.  We get to learn more about her as a person and her family situation is a full part of the novel.  Judy is my least favorite of the ladies, and even after this one she still comes off as immature. As I was listening to this, I did identify with Judy some as a relative of hers has a health situation come up, and I recently had a family member face a very similar situation. That resonated with me as I felt some similar things that Judy did. Sometimes you are meant to read a book at a certain time, and reading Betrayed in 2019 was for me.

As with all the R&D novels, we start in one direction and end up going in another.  The focus of Betrayed deals with immigrants and their legal status.  Judy becomes determined to find out what happened to her Aunt Barb’s friend Iris no matter the cost, sometimes to Judy’s detriment. This one was less the legal thriller and more of the family drama, but I still enjoyed it.

Having read the series out of order I enjoyed certain parts of the book more: This is the second book and I know what is in the ‘future’ for these characters and enjoyed knowing what is coming, but also having some bittersweet feelings knowing as well. The ending had a mixture of emotions for me  knowing what is to come.

Betrayed is recommended.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Leah on the Offbeat

Author: Becky Albertalli
Published: April 24, 2018
Audiobook

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: January 13-16, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 3.5 stars

Book Description:

Leah Burke—girl-band drummer, master of deadpan, and Simon Spier’s best friend from the award-winning Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda—takes center stage in this novel of first love and senior-year angst.

When it comes to drumming, Leah Burke is usually on beat—but real life isn’t always so rhythmic. An anomaly in her friend group, she’s the only child of a young, single mom, and her life is decidedly less privileged. She loves to draw but is too self-conscious to show it. And even though her mom knows she’s bisexual, she hasn’t mustered the courage to tell her friends—not even her openly gay BFF, Simon.

So Leah really doesn’t know what to do when her rock-solid friend group starts to fracture in unexpected ways. With prom and college on the horizon, tensions are running high. It’s hard for Leah to strike the right note while the people she loves are fighting—especially when she realizes she might love one of them more than she ever intended.

Jessica’s Review:

The whole gang from Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda are back for their senior year of high school and all the drama that will unfold with that important year: picking a college, prom, and for Leah: should tell my friends that I am bisexual? This time the novel focuses on Leah, Simon’s bff.

It actually surprised me that the focus was Leah, as of all the friends, she was the one I connected with the least, but that might have been because she was more of an afterthought in  Simon.  But we get to know her through this novel.  And even when I was done with Leah,  I still found her my least favorite character of the group.  She is an angry girl, who is also petty and uses excessive foul language.  I did enjoy how Leah is a self-taught drummer and there were constant musical references throughout the novel, including the title.

The one character I really had empathy for was Garrett, the poor boy was so clueless but no one would help him out.   I had some sympathy for Nick, but not as much due to his negative attitude. I wanted more Simon and Bram moments, they are just adorable! 

As the gang goes through their senior year they experience the changes that inevitably will come which includes growing apart and moving on by attending different colleges. The novel was just an ‘ok read’ for me until the ending.  The ending is what made me award it 3.5 stars vs 3.  The ending had me ready to see what happens next for the gang when college starts. Hopefully Albertalli will continue with their story. Now, in the same universe as Simon and Leah is The Upside of Unrequited.  In Upside the focus is Abby’s cousin Molly.

Due to the mature themes and constant foul language used, I would say this one would be for older teens.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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Blog Blitz: Whisper to Me

Today I share my review for my stop on the blog blitz for Whisper to Me by Sherrie Lowe.  This one has a lot in the mix including a new wife and a vengeful ghost. There is also an international giveaway going on!

Book Description:

A new wife and a vengeful ghost. Not a good mix.

Letitia – Tish – Stanyer makes husband Theo promise never to remarry if she dies and he complies just to pacify her. She isn’t going to die.

She does – and he does remarry. Tish isn’t happy. Her spirit cannot rest with another woman in her domain, sampling the delights of her husband. Theo belongs to her – Sheena will have to go.

Author: Sherrie Lowe
Published: September 29,2018
151 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: January 3-10, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 3.5 stars

Jessica’s Review:

On their 14th anniversary Theo and Tish have an interesting conversation:  She asks Theo if she were to die that he would promise that he would not remarry. She says she would not remarry if he died first.  His response during their conversation: “Ok, Ok I promise, but you’re not going to die.”

But she does….

Ten years later Theo has remarried and Tish is not happy about that. She is determined to do whatever it takes to get rid of this new wife, especially when they living are in her house!

I did not connect to the characters, though I did feel for the new wife, Sheena. I wondered why Tish would want Theo to be alone for the rest of his life: You are dead and he can move on in whatever what if he wants! Understanding Tish’s reasoning for Theo to not remarry would have helped me.  She was very serious about Theo not remarrying and determined to have Sheena leave. 

At times Whisper to Me was entertaining: It started with ‘cute haunting’ type hauntings, but for me Tish took it too far. Theo ultimately realizes what he needs to do and makes his decision.

I did enjoy the ending as we see what will happen next: and then we have that last sentence!  Though not totally for me, I would like to see what happens next.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Smashwords

About the Author:

I am a divorced mum of two adult sons and nana to three grandchildren, soon to be four. I’ve always had a notion to write but didn’t get round to it seriously until I became ill with M.E in 1995 when I was 40 and was too ill to continue my job as a learning support assistant in a mainstream high school. I was devastated to have to resign from my job but writing saved my sanity. My first attempt was a memoir, Shadow Across the Sun which covered the loss of my mum to breast cancer two days before my 13th birthday. When the rejections began to flow in from traditional publishers and agencies I joined a creative writing class and learned to write fiction. Whisper to Me is my 10th novel. I have a strong belief in the afterlife due to events following my mum’s death so most of my stories have some form of supernatural aspect to them.

Contact Sherrie:
Website
Blog
Twitter @SherrieLowe2

**International Giveaway!**

Win a Kindle copy of Whisper to Me (There will be 5 winners!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box above.  The winners will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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