Tag: 3 stars

Book Review: The Alice Network by Kate Quinn


The Alice Network
Author: Kate Quinn

Published: June 6, 2017
503 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 3 stars

Book Description:

In an enthralling new historical novel from national bestselling author Kate Quinn, two women—a female spy recruited to the real-life Alice Network in France during World War I and an unconventional American socialite searching for her cousin in 1947—are brought together in a mesmerizing story of courage and redemption.

1947. In the chaotic aftermath of World War II, American college girl Charlie St. Clair is pregnant, unmarried, and on the verge of being thrown out of her very proper family. She’s also nursing a desperate hope that her beloved cousin Rose, who disappeared in Nazi-occupied France during the war, might still be alive. So when Charlie’s parents banish her to Europe to have her “little problem” taken care of, Charlie breaks free and heads to London, determined to find out what happened to the cousin she loves like a sister.

1915. A year into the Great War, Eve Gardiner burns to join the fight against the Germans and unexpectedly gets her chance when she’s recruited to work as a spy. Sent into enemy-occupied France, she’s trained by the mesmerizing Lili, code name Alice, the “queen of spies”, who manages a vast network of secret agents right under the enemy’s nose.

Thirty years later, haunted by the betrayal that ultimately tore apart the Alice Network, Eve spends her days drunk and secluded in her crumbling London house. Until a young American barges in uttering a name Eve hasn’t heard in decades, and launches them both on a mission to find the truth…no matter where it leads.

Kim’s Review:

I hate to say it, but I was rather disappointed in this book. Thankfully, most of the plot and the characters saved it from being a total loss, but after the success of The Huntress, I was expecting much more. Charlie was the true downfall of this book. I didn’t understand the beginning of her search for Rose. Was it truly her hallucinations that drove her? And I know that slut shaming is looked down upon nowadays, but damn girl! A lot of people lost family in the war and they didn’t hop in the sack with every available person! I didn’t respect her and frankly, I didn’t care what happened to her. I feel bad about that, but actions have consequences and she also didn’t seem to grasp that completely.

I liked all the other characters well enough! Eve and Finn were great! Eve’s history of a female spy during WW1 was fascinating and entertaining. And her big heart while helping Charlie search for her cousin just made me like her more. I even liked the way it ended, which is good because I didn’t like the way it started at all.

Overall, it was ok, just ok.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Children’s Picture Book Review: Baby Loves: Earth

Baby Loves: Earth: An ABC of Our Planet
Series: Book 2 of Baby Loves
Author:  Jennifer Eckford
Illustrator: Teresa Bellon
Published:  August 4, 2020

30 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Date Read: November 28, 2020
Jessica’s Rating: 3 stars     

Book Description:

An ABC book designed to teach very young children about the earth and how it is changing. 

Baby Loves is a new range of giftable preschool ABC books that taps into the trends that matter. Stunningly illustrated with a cut-to-white aesthetic, each pocket-sized book is a perfect introduction to a key topic for babies

Jessica’s Review:

Baby Loves: Earth is a pocket size picture children’s book made of thick cardboard which will make it easy for a little one to hold and turn the pages.  The illustrations are colorful and yet simple to help enhance the meaning of the word that corresponds with the presented letter of the alphabet. 

Baby Loves: Earth introduces little ones to the world of conservation and environmental issues. I would not recommend this for a baby of even a very young toddler as some of the words are larger and this will cause mom or dad to explain the word and meaning to the child,  (Such a T for Toxin Free, Q for Equilibrium, and X for coexist. There was even a word I did not know: K for Kapok. What is that? Google helped to give me the knowledge on this word.  I did like that Y stood for You and this could lead to a conversation about how you (the child) can help to save the world.

Overall, I say look at this book first and decide if it will be appropriate for your young child.

I received a copy from the publisher via Amazon Vine to review. 

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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Book Review: One by One by Ruth Ware

One by One
Author:  Ruth Ware
Narrator: Imogene Church
Published:  September 8, 2020
Audiobook

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: October 18-30, 2020
Jessica’s Rating: 3 stars     

Book Description:

Getting snowed in at a beautiful, rustic mountain chalet doesn’t sound like the worst problem in the world, especially when there’s a breathtaking vista, a cozy fire, and company to keep you warm. But what happens when that company is eight of your coworkers…and you can’t trust any of them?

An off-site company retreat meant to promote mindfulness and collaboration goes utterly wrong when an avalanche hits, the corporate food chain becomes irrelevant and survival trumps togetherness. Come Monday morning, how many members short will the team be?

Jessica’s Review:

One by One centers on a up and coming new social media app called Snoop, where you can do just that: Snoop on whomever you want and listen to the same music they are listening to at the exact same moment of time.  (You can keep your information as private or public as you want). This app is supposed to be the ‘next big thing’ and has a possible high selling price, if the shareholders want to.  And there are mixed feelings about selling the company. 

A certain number of employees of the company attend a retreat at a chalet, but there is an avalanche and one of the members goes missing, and they presume this person is dead.  There is also no power and things keep happening and well… others start dying and no one can really trust anyone. Everyone seems to have ulterior motives. 

We have two POVs: Erin- the host at the chalet (and thus the one in charge of the people and her resort) and Liz- an employee attending the retreat.  Through both of these perspectives we see the dynamics of this company and why everyone becomes a suspect.

Though the story is more of a mystery than a thriller, in fact it really is less than thrilling.  When we find out who the killer is it wasn’t anything really earth shattering and I finished it to see what would happen. I think this was an instance of too many characters in one story.  There was really no one to root and cheer for.  It also became a story of who is going to die next and how?  If you put all these people in one small place with no power, not much food, and nowhere to go of course paranoia will start running rampant.

Ruth Ware is an established author and I enjoy listening to her books. The narrator Imogene Church is wonderful as always.  Ware and Church have become two names synonymous for me.  (Such as Mary Kay Andrews and Kathleen McInerney- I also love that dynamic duo!)  Some of Ware’s books have not been totally for me while I have really enjoyed others.  This is an author I will keep reading! 

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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