Snowed by Maria Alexander

31559083I’ll admit, I chose this book based on the cover. Well, I received a free review copy from LibraryThing, but my request was because of the cover art. It is eerie and wonderful.

I am not a huge fantasy fan, but I could not put this book down. Charity, the main character, was someone I could relate to, even though I am not a STEM person or a skeptical. I was bullied for being different back in high school.  I am unfamiliar with Krampus, having only just learned about him last year thanks to American Dad, and I thought the way Maria Alexander retold his story, and Santa’s, was quite interesting. The ending was a disappointment. I’m all for cliff-hangers, but I think I would have preferred the author to stop at the end of the final chapter and not added an epilogue. There is a LOT of cussing, so if you’re put off by swearing, this might be hard to read. I’m not typically a fan of swearing, but it does make the characters more believable.

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Speaking in Tungs by Karla M. Jay

Wow! I did not think I would enjoy this 26142984book as much as I did. It started out slow but ended with a bang. The main character Marleigh is witty and enjoyable, a speech therapist who has left busy San Francisco and moved to rural Pennsylvania after discovering she was adopted in hopes of learning more about her birth parents. She takes a job as a traveling speech therapist, which results in stepping way outside her comfort zone.  Since this book falls into the mystery genre, it seemed like everything that could go wrong did go wrong, and eventually I lost interest and had to put the book down for a couple days. I’m glad I picked it back up, though, because after I made it to the halfway point, I could not get enough. While the book ends on a positive note, one key point was not answered. I am looking forward to reading the sequel and seeing what lies ahead for Marleigh.

I received a copy of this book from Book Review 22 in exchange for my honest review.

The Creepshow by Adria J. Cimino

51q-lmj1blI knew this was a good book when I wanted to throw it against the wall.

The Creepshow is a realistic look at corporate life, where men dominate the industry and women are expected to put up with being sexually harassed and to always put their work before their families. Adria J. Cimino definitely ignited rage over the injustice of it all, and I found myself thinking “just one more chapter” at the end of each chapter, simply to find out if Wanda “wins” in the end. I liked that the romantic plot was not the centralized theme, though I wanted to shake Wanda more than a few times and encourage her to lower her guard.

I received a copy of this book through LibraryThing’s Early Reviewers giveaway.

18 Seconds by George D. Shuman

187042When she takes hold of a deceased person’s hand, Sherry Moore has the ability to see the last 18 seconds of that person’s thoughts. This gift is remarkable for anybody to possess, but the fact that Sherry has been blind since a childhood trauma makes the gift that much more impressive. Sherry uses this gift to assist police and detectives with cases that have gone cold.

This book is filled with suspense from cover to cover, and several different lives and cases are intertwined. I thought I had guessed a major plot element half way through the book, but I was wrong (and in this instance, I’m glad to have been wrong). I was disappointed in the way things ended, but it turns out that this is the first book in the series, and I’m curious to see what happens with Sherry in the future.

All Fall Down by Jennifer Weiner

18144115The first time I tried reading this book, I just couldn’t get into it. I was still new to reading audio books, and every time the narrator spoke for Elly (the main character’s child), I was put off. A year later, I’ve decided to read every book in my Audible account, and what better way to decide where to start than with the letter ‘A’?

I’m glad I gave this book a second chance. Some aspects of the book are typical: bratty daughter (though the book does hint that Elly may have an autism spectrum disorder, and as someone who was recently diagnosed as an adult, I could see pieces of myself in Elly’s behaviors and characteristics), distant husband who may be having an affair, and a woman who is trying to juggle being a wife, a mother, a daughter, and a full-time blogger. In order to deal with the stressors of her life, Allison turns to painkillers. At first she gets her refills from various doctors who have treated her (such as her primary care doctor, her dentist, and a pain specialist), but then she discovers a way to buy these drugs online. Her addiction gets worse and worse, until she is confronted by her husband and her mother. She goes into rehab and at one point escapes (I found this unrealistic, because she was gone long enough that I wondered why nobody called her husband or other emergency contact. Of course, I’m only familiar with psych hospitals, so maybe drug and alcohol rehab centers are different.). She realizes that the rehab is helping her and goes back into treatment.

This book helped me understand the mind of an addict, to a point. I have a couple friends and family members who have struggled with addiction, but other than talking to them and what I’ve read in books and journal articles, I don’t know what it’s like.

The book ended on a positive note, though not necessarily how I expected it to.

Death Chase by Lizella Prescott

371a737ee36aafe33082c5b2fb97b366WARNING: This book will cause you to stay up all night and contemplate calling in sick just so you can finish it.

If that disclaimer isn’t obvious, I loved this book. From the prologue, which sets the tone for this psychological thriller, to the epilogue, which was a nice “where are they now?” wrap-up, I did not want to put this book down. Sometimes I find stories that are told from multiple characters’ points-of-view confusing, but Lizella Prescott gave each main character her own individual voice. Plus, Mira’s point-of-view is told in present day, during the race they’re running, while Isabelle’s and Kimmy’s points-of-view are past tense, letting readers know the history of the three friends. Mira is an addict focusing on her recovery.  If you don’t know anyone who is an addict, her character might seem outrageous; as someone who has family and friends in recovery, I found Mira and her actions to be believable.  I was shocked to find out who the master-mind was behind the crimes, and I did not see the ending coming. I plan on following Lizella Prescott online, and I’m excited to see what she publishes next.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.