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June mini-review round up!

Burntown by Jennifer McMahon | April 25, 2017

As a child, Eva watched as her father Miles created the most marvelous inventions in his workshop. Little machines and knickknacks, clockwork animals, but there was one that stood apart from the rest. Built from blueprints rumored to have been stolen from Thomas Edison himself, Miles constructed a machine that had the ability to communicate with the dead. Unfortunately for Miles, someone had been watching his family a little too closely for a little too long and before Eva knew it, she was all alone in the world.

It’s no secret that I absolutely adore Jennifer McMahon! Her books are always fab and often creepy enough for me to only read them in broad daylight – with every light on (I also highlighted her novels in a GoodReads Recommends post). We were even lucky enough to score her for a giveaway in a #HistoricalFix chat! So to say I was looking forward to Burntown is something of an understatement. I hate to say it, but this one just didn’t live up to what I’ve come to expect from McMahon’s novels and that’s such a disappointment.

Eva, now Necco, went from living with a band of women who eat fire and have visions to living in a car with her boyfriend (she later learns he’s the son of a pretty high profile political player). There’s a high school student who can’t believe it when a girl in college starts flirting with her, only to realize too late she was just a pawn for a guy who sells drugs (the oh so super hot college girl? turns out she’s the drug dealer’s girlfriend and they were only using her as a way to bring in some new customers, if you will). Finally, there’s a lunchlady who dreams of becoming as obese as possible and has crafted an elaborate circus inside her apartment. The big baddie is a man in a chicken mask. Burntown was just too odd and all over the place, part drug scene, part crime novel, part paranormal. I hate to say it but this one did NOT work for me.

Thank you to Doubleday for providing me with an ARC!

Single-Minded by Lisa Daily | June 27, 2017

Alex met Michael in Kindergarten and immediately started planning their wedding. Now 31, the two have a beautiful house and careers they love – they seem to have the perfect life, right? Alex certainly though so until the media lets her in on a little secret: Michael, a sportscaster for ESPN has been carrying on an affair with a college basketball player. Suddenly the life Alex thought she knew is crumbling around her and the husband she thought she’d grow old with is now her ex-husband.

Okay, so this sounded like such a breezy summer read. On the second page Alex learns that Michael is gay and you’d think she’d be upset right? …she really doesn’t have much of a reaction apart from being offended that the media believes she’s a man since Michael is gay and married. This is the guy she’s been in love with since she was 5 years old! Instead they throw a divorce-slash-coming out party where Michael dons a ‘pink sparkly tiara’ and leather pants and is about as stereotypical as you can imagine. Immediately Alex’s two besties (AND Michael) launch into a plan for finding the perfect guy and there’s a ridiculous checklist of ‘types’ Alex is required to date and/or sleep with before settling down again. Fireman, yogi, quarterback. It’s absurd.

Thank you to Thomas Dunne Books for providing me with an ARC!

All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill | September 3, 2013

I went into the office super early on a Saturday to get some work done and wanted an audiobook to pass the time. There were a few requests I put in that weren’t available yet, so I began browsing and All Our Yesterdays caught my eye: a standalone + time-travel?? YES PLEASE!

Em is imprisoned in a top secret military base where she has instructions – written in her own handwriting – on how to prevent the creation of a time machine that could utterly destroy the world. With each failed attempt, however, she’s led back to her bleak present inside her cell where a sadistic doctor inflicts torture. Since she was a child, Marina has loved her best friend James, a science genius from a VERY well-known family. One night James’s world is turned upside-down and Marina vows to do everything in her power to protect him. If only she knew who was truly to blame..

I don’t have a whole lot to say here apart from the fact that this one was really intriguing and fun! I think Em is from four years in the future..?? Though I love me a good audio (and this one was great), I wonder if I missed out on a few crucial details that would have stuck out to me in writing. Still, this one was really enjoyable and I’m thrilled that Cristin has a new book out!!

The Lost City of the Monkey God by Douglas Preston | January 3, 2017

I. Love. Nonfiction. Back in January, I highlighted this one is my nonfiction novels of 2017 I needed to get my hands on and have been on the waitlist for the audio since then! The second my turn came I pounced and ended up spending the better part of a day outside doing yardwork because I was so caught up in this story!

A rumored El Dorado-like city, the most venomous snake in the world, a deadly disease where the only known treatment could also kill you. There’s also a really interesting history of bananas and how they came to America! Tell me that doesn’t scream my name.

Though I own several of Preston’s novels, the only other book of his I’ve read is another nonfiction, The Monster of Florence. Seriously, if you’re into intense, gripping, fascinating stories that read like fiction, check him out. Both books were excellent and I’m really looking forward to his actual fiction novels!

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