Tag: 3 stars

The Death of Mrs. Westaway

Author: Ruth Ware
Published: May 29, 2018
Audiobook

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: July 2-20, 2018
Jessica’s Rating: 3 stars

Book Description:

On a day that begins like any other, Hal receives a mysterious letter bequeathing her a substantial inheritance. She realizes very quickly that the letter was sent to the wrong person—but also that the cold-reading skills she’s honed as a tarot card reader might help her claim the money.

Soon, Hal finds herself at the funeral of the deceased…where it dawns on her that there is something very, very wrong about this strange situation and the inheritance at the centre of it.

Jessica’s Review:

The premise of Mrs. Westaway had me intrigued and I could not wait to read it!  I was able to get it on audio from my library.  There is nothing wrong with Ware’s writing, in fact I love it, but I just did not connect with Hal. She is dealing with hard times financially and once she gets this letter she plans on conning the family as she is not the intended recipient of the inheritance. She shows up and then things just get out of hand. “Don’t Lie!” should be the moral here.

It is a character driven novel with a gothic feel to it. There are many mysteries occurring throughout the novel.  What kept me reading was that I wanted to know what was going to ultimately happen.  When the twists occurred, I didn’t really feel anything, due to my lack of connection with Hal.  If I had connected with Hal I am sure I would have loved this novel. When it was over I did not really know how to feel: The mysteries were solved, but I still am not sure how I feel about the direction taken.

Imogene Church has narrated all of Ware’s novels and I love her! She narrates the novels wonderfully.  My favorite Ware novel is The Woman in Cabin 10.  All of her novels are character driven, so be prepared for a slow moving novel (Which I do not mean in a negative way) all the way up to the conclusion.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

The Boy at the Top of the Mountain

Author: John Boyne
Published:
October 1, 2015
224 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 3 stars

Book Description:

When Pierrot becomes an orphan, he must leave his home in Paris for a new life with his Aunt Beatrix, a servant in a wealthy household at the top of the German mountains. But this is no ordinary time, for it is 1935 and the Second World War is fast approaching; and this is no ordinary house, for this is the Berghof, the home of Adolf Hitler.

Quickly, Pierrot is taken under Hitler’s wing, and is thrown into an increasingly dangerous new world: a world of terror, secrets and betrayal, from which he may never be able to escape.

Kim’s Review:

I enjoyed reading this book … but there’s something about it that’s keeping me from saying that I loved it. Pierrot starts out as a kid you have hope for, but then as he grows, he turns into a monster! He even had good influences growing up from the ladies who ran the orphanage. But then, under the influence of Hitler, that sweet little boy dies and a hardened Nazi emerges. I will admit that it’s a very realistic view of how Hitler was able to convince an entire nation to follow him. It just has an air of sugar coating about it.

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas was filled with emotion and condemnation and horror. This book almost seemed to excuse the evil actions of Pierrot in order to save some likeableness for him. Although he struggles with regrets, to me, it didn’t seem sincere. He simply wants to make himself feel better and bring some stability to his life. A guilty conscience is a good start, but this book is almost the equivalent of patting a criminal on the head saying, “oh don’t be so hard on yourself!” I wanted to like this so badly and I just didn’t.

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes historical fiction. But I wouldn’t recommend this to teens, the message is a little too murky and I wouldn’t want to cause any confusion.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

[Top]

Blog Tour: The Forever Night Stand

Today I am one of the stops on the blog tour for The Forever Night Stand by Bena Roberts.  This is a short novella at just over 100 pages!

Novella Description:

A two hour romance which starts with drama and mayhem!

Sara has her back up against the wall. She is recovering from the side effects of chemotherapy and at her own “cancer free” party, she makes a decision that will change her life forever.

The adventure begins when she leaves her posh lifestyle in Scotland and moves in with her Bollywood loving parents, in West London. Her parents are tragically ashamed of Sara’s actions and her electronic monitor. She decides to make them happy again and considers re-marrying.

Enter Raj, a possible hero who comes with the promise of a huge Indian wedding in Goa!

George, the childhood love of her life who seems to be hanging around every corner. Or should she just go back to her husband? Sara faces the biggest dilemma of her life, after making the colossal mistake of her life. What will she do and whom will she choose?

The Forever Night Stand
Author: Bena Roberts
Published: March 19, 2018

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: May 7-10, 2018
Jessica’s Rating: 3 stars

Jessica’s Review:

The description of The Forever Night Stand had everything in it that would interest me: cancer, a decision that changes everything which includes a court case. And there are also two points of view (George and Sara) in this novella- and by now you know I love multiple points of view.

I liked the acknowledgements section: You know what kind of life circumstances will be occurring with this novella. Roberts’ lets you know that she experienced chemotherapy and obviously took her personal experience and added it to Sara’s.

Roberts does pull you in from the beginning with the court case which did interest me!  I love a good court case!  Once the court case ends is when the story gets moving.   Sara ends up moving back home with her Indian family and begins trying to move on.  It gives you some insight what Indian families can be like!

The Forever Night Stand ended up not being for me. It was nothing on Roberts’ end, it really was me: I just did not connect with the characters. If you don’t connect with the characters the story won’t work for you. At the end where the meaning of the title comes in would have been an “Awww!” moment if I had connected with Sara. Though not for me, The Forever Night Stand could be for you. I would also be willing to give Bena another chance and read another one of her writings!

Purchase Links:
Amazon
Smashwords
Kobo
Nook

About the Author:

Bena Roberts was a journalist and analyst. Now she prefers the title novelist and romance adventurist. She graduated in England 1994 and then with a Masters in 1997.

Born in 1973, Bena lived in West London until she was 24. Then she lived and worked in Budapest, Bruges, Prague, Amsterdam, Vienna, Hamburg and Munich. She currently resides in Germany, between Heidelberg and Frankfurt. Although she still refers to London as ‘home.’

Bena successfully created a technology blog which gained funding, had lunch with Steve Ballmer and was ‘top 50 most influential woman in mobile.’ Her blog also won several awards including Metro Best Blog.

Bena has two children, loves small dogs and always writes books with a cup of Earl Grey.

Bena’s favorite literary style is black humor, and she hopes to offer a unique voice in this area. Her books aim to confront the darkest of life experiences, with levity. Most of her writing is heavy hitting yet also entertaining.

Contact Bena:
Twitter @benaroberts
Amazon Author Page
Goodreads

Also written by Bena Roberts:

Available Now: My Cake! A short story

Pre-Order Tammy&Lisa – How far would you go to protect your teenage son? Publication Date is May 31st.

 

[Top]