Everyday things

Giving a book it’s last chance!

Have you ever had that one book on your shelf, that you at some point really wanted to read, but something happened and suddenly years has gone by? You have started the book a couple of times before so you know beforehand how small the text is, how “proper” and a little hard the writing is. At least for a non native English speaker. Now every time you think on starting it, you feel a little intimidated. You are a little afraid. You are thinking “should I really spend my time on this one?”. You are wondering if it is worth the time. It has a lot of mixed reviews and you thinking what if it wont capture you and you do not finish, but in the end you misses some really great literature work of art? All those what if?

This 900 page monster of a book (The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton), is my nemesis. The book that have been on my shelf for years (since 2013) and laughing at me. Mocking me and making me feel a little guilty. Normally, big books, many pages or small print do not scare me. Come one, I read IT with its 1400 pages in just under a week. It was a work week to so time was not common and sleep had to pay for that. Anyway, I should not feel like it is a freaking two ton brick I want to start reading. But I do.

To solve this and to be able to give this book one last chance, I have parted it in sections. One tab indicating one chapter, until the end when there is like a chapter every page. There one tab indicating several. This is so it is more visual for me how far in the book I comes, and in the beginning where the chapters are pretty long, I’m thinking, One chapter a day! I should be able to manage that. Or in the end I will get bored and “DNF” the book. But at least I have tried and should not feel guilty for that.

What do you do, to overcome your intimidation before a book?
Do you have one of those books right now? Sitting on you shelf, mocking you to?

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Classic/Historical · War/Military · Young, New adult/College

Goodnight Mister Tom – Michelle Magorian

23718102| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ |

Goodreads synopsis: The gruff and surly Mr Thomas Oakley is less than pleased when he is landed with a scrawny little city boy as a guest, but because it is compulsory that each villager takes in an evacuee he reluctantly agrees. It soon becomes obvious to Mister Tom that young Willie Beech is hiding something, and as the pair begin to form an unlikely bond and Willie grows in stature and in confidence he begins to forget the past. But when he has to return to war-torn London to face his mother again he retreats into his shy and awkward ways once more.

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My thoughts: Goodnight Mister Tom is my all-time favorite book from when I was a child. I think I read it for the first time when I was around 10 years old, maybe younger and before my 18th birthday, I must have read it at least three times more. I loved it. But I have never read it on English. My copy of the book probably has been lost throughout the years or is at my mothers. So I though, since I’m going to by a new one, why not on English. And I’m really happy because the way it is originally written, certainly put some life in the story that me as an reader not could get from a translation. And it blew my mind how good it made it.

The book is a really sad story, but still a really happy one to. It takes place in the WW2 and for the most part you get to follow Will. He is an evacuee from London, who goes to live with this old and grumpy man who really do not want a kid in his house, but has to due to regulations. Mr Oakley is not as bad as everyone thinks. He just hit a ruff spot when young and never really got the help he needed to get out of it. He just found a way to survive through the years but never really live. Will and Mr Oakley finds a way to survive with each other and later on it turns to not only surviving but also living. There is a lot of characters in the book and they all have their own traits and personality’s. They are great described and funny to follow.

I don’t know why I loved this book so much as a kid. Maybe because it gave me the knowledge that in a bad situation, there is always hope. And even if they say blood is thicker than water, it has nothing to take too when it comes to friends and people who choose to be your family. Not are family just because you was born in to it. Wonderful, wonderful story!

I love Mr Tom so much and it is the book who really sparked my love for reading I even named my Kindle, Mr Tom, due to what that book has done for me. And this is such a cry story. Just saying. 😉

Do you have one of those story’s from your childhood that somehow changed you?

Romance · Suspense

Serve and protect – Lori Ryan

27860847| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ |

Goodreads synopsis: Ashley Walker was one of the lucky ones. Adopted when she was fourteen years old by a family willing to love her as their own, they stuck beside her through all the hell she put them through.

A kind of hell that would haunt her forever. But now she’s put her past behind her—or so she thought. Garret Hensley never imagined he’d be chasing the killer of the woman who’d set him on the path of law enforcement.

She’d given him reason to believe in himself, to believe he could make a difference. And he suspected her giving heart was the reason her life had been cut so short. When the evidence leads him to Ashley Walker, he knows he has to ignore the feelings she stirs in him, because getting her to reveal the truth of her past is the key to finding a killer.

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My thoughts: I feel like Ryan’s style of writing is very up and down. There is really no stability you can trust and lean on. Which is too bad because the plots are usually great and exciting. The first book in this standalone series I gave two stars. I don’t have a public review and on top of my mind I can’t remember exactly what my problem with it was. But I think it was the writing and the way the story was built. The second book I gave four stars. No public review here either, but this one I do remember. The plot was great, exciting and the characters fantastic. The book felt more alive and I really liked it. Made me think Ryan maybe was an author for me and after this one I felt that I wanted to continue the series.

This third one I give a three star rating. It started out great but it kind of flatted out in the middle and the end was just predictable and cliché. The writing got worse and it lost me and my attention. The book in its entirety is good. I liked it. I liked that it was somewhat darker and that the love/sex not was the big focus here. Not a WOW book but it is not as bad to give reason for a lower rating either.

I don’t think Ryan is an author for me. It doesn’t mean necessary that she is a bad writer. She just doesn’t do it for me and my standards. And I’m quite happy that this one was the last one in the series. Well there is one 0,5 book but I don’t like to read half books and often ignores them. So I do not feel an compelling to continue reading.

Don’t know if I will read anything more buy Ryan. Time will tell.

Chick Lit · Contemporary · Humor/Funny · Romance

Neanderthal seeks human – Penny Reid

17673307| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: There are three things you need to know about Janie Morris: 1) She is incapable of engaging in a conversation without volunteering TMTI (Too Much Trivial Information), especially when she is unnerved, 2) No one unnerves her more than Quinn Sullivan, and 3) She doesn’t know how to knit.

After losing her boyfriend, apartment, and job in the same day, Janie Morris can’t help wondering what new torment fate has in store. To her utter mortification, Quinn Sullivan- aka Sir McHotpants- witnesses it all then keeps turning up like a pair of shoes you lust after but can’t afford. The last thing she expects is for Quinn- the focus of her slightly, albeit harmless, stalkerish tendencies- to make her an offer she can’t refuse.

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My thoughts: Sometime I wish that GoodReads had the function to choose half stars when it comes to rating. Because this is one of those books that are more a 4 star in rating than a 2 but did not quite reach all the way. So more like 3,5. It is a good book, I liked it, but the 300 + pages of self esteem rant totally destroyed it for me.

Janie is a great character. She is a little naive, stuck in her own head and do not have the best ways to handle feelings. She is witty, a lot insecure and a lot more “girl” than what you first would think. And by that I mean, that constant rant about how “big” she is, tall, big feet, big hands, big ass, big hair and so on. Everything is big with her. She is according to herself not beautiful, and definitely not in a league for a good looking man like Quinn. And when she is done ranting about her body, she goes on to her mind and personality. She is freaky, she talks to much, she can’t flirt, she know too much uninteresting trivia, she is uncontrollably gabby, and on and on and on. And when she is done with that, she starts to rant about events, what she did that particular event and what the persons there did, reacted and so on. I do understand low self esteem. Been there, done that and at some ways still are fighting with it. Everybody does! But there is a limit of how big part of a book it should take. I’m not a big fan of mental insecurity and angst. Some can be great. Too much I just feel I want to punch the character in question and say “there is more to life than this”. It should not take over. And here it takes it all.

If we scaled it back like 50% but kept the rest of the story, I would probable be a five star, freaking loved the book, book. So that’s too bad. Reid did however do a great job with not including Quinn in this rant. He did not confirm or deny her verbal rants. (The most of them was mental though). I loved that he didn’t try to change her toughs through words, but by action. And he kept asking her, pushing her out of her shell and genuinely was intrigued by her mind and personality. So the rants did ease up a bit towards the end. It is a great love story where there is more than a female with hot sexy body and a alpha caveman, with psychotic tendency. Besides, I did learn a lot of facts since Janie is a trivia nut and talk about a lot I didn’t know but now do.

Great story. Funny. Loved the way it started. The whole situation with family and friends was funny and awesome. Was some angst, but not much and it was quickly over. Loved that there was several bad situations but they had not much to do with each other. There is no cliff-hanger, nicely tided together in the end! Can be a great series to follow. Not every girl in this series is like Janie I hope. One is enough.

Contemporary · Mystery/Crime · Romance

Beating Ruby – Camilla Monk

30212829| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ |

Goodreads synopsis: Life hasn’t been quite the same for computer engineer Island Chaptal since March, an OCD-ridden professional killer, burst into her life to clean her bedroom and take her on a global chase for a legendary diamond. Sadly, the (hit) man doesn’t just break bones; he breaks hearts, too.

Since then, Island has found solace in Alex—the perfect boyfriend—and Ruby, a software project about to revolutionize online banking security…for the worse. When Island’s boss is found dead after allegedly using Ruby to steal a vast fortune, it’s up to her to clear his name and recover the money. Someone else wants answers, though, and this time, Island might be in over her head.

From New York to Zürich, it’s going to take the return of a cleaning expert, a mini-octopus, and Island’s wits to beat Ruby. All while deciding whether to trust a man who already jilted her, or one who may have his own deadly secrets…

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My thoughts: This is the second book in the Spotless series. It is not a standalone and you will have to read the first book before this one to really understand some of the references. I would recommend that you do not read this review either if you haven’t read the first one, since it will be a little “spoilerish”. There are things I can’t discuss without referring to the first book. You do not have to worry if you already have read the first book.

You have been warned!

In this book we gets to follow Island, 6 months after the Tokyo fiasco and finally in a good place again. Then her boss goes and kill himself, her big project gets stolen and there is something that doesn’t feel right to her. As a new, stronger, woman she sets out to try and find the truth about what really happened, but she finds more truth than she had barged for. Then in walk March and you could say that the whole situation gets a 100 times worse. Or better. Depends on your point of view.

I can’t say that this book is as good as the first one, but it is still good. Not as fast paced and explosive but still entertaining. It was nice to meet all the characters again. The whole March and Alex situation is certainly entertaining but still a little hard to wrap my mind around. It was not until the end that I really understood what have been going on the whole book. By then I felt some things could have been changed on, written in another way to give the story a little more depth about those three characters. There is no cliffhanger per say, but still an indication that there will be a third book. Now I know that it already exists a third, but at one point there wasn’t. You can see that in the book. I do however not like Islands passivity in this book. She stands in situations with blind eyes and takes no action until the end.

I think the third book will be really entertaining and I would recommend this book to anyone who would like to have some explosive action, quirky characters, secrets, funny humor and heartwarming love.

Fantasy/Paranormal · Suspense · Thriller/Horror · Young, New adult/College

Shutter – Courtney Alameda

20757532.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Micheline Helsing is a tetrachromat—a girl who sees the auras of the undead in a prismatic spectrum. As one of the last descendants of the Van Helsing lineage, she has trained since childhood to destroy monsters both corporeal and spiritual: the corporeal undead go down by the bullet, the spiritual undead by the lens. With an analog SLR camera as her best weapon, Micheline exorcises ghosts by capturing their spiritual energy on film. She’s aided by her crew: Oliver, a techno-whiz and the boy who developed her camera’s technology; Jude, who can predict death; and Ryder, the boy Micheline has known and loved forever.

When a routine ghost hunt goes awry, Micheline and the boys are infected with a curse known as a soulchain. As the ghostly chains spread through their bodies, Micheline learns that if she doesn’t exorcise her entity in seven days or less, she and her friends will die. Now pursued as a renegade agent by her monster-hunting father, Leonard Helsing, she must track and destroy an entity more powerful than anything she’s faced before . . . or die trying.

Lock, stock, and lens, she’s in for one hell of a week.

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My thoughts: I’m so disappointed with this book. I don’t think It’s due too high hopes, since the author was new to me and I haven’t heard or read any chatter about the book or author before. It was just something Book Depository recommended me since it was a similar to another book I bought a time back. Well it was a bad recommendation.

I have so many problems with this book that I don’t even know where to start. Here’s a list!

  • It is repetitive
  • Not enough description
  • No variety
  • Kind of cliché
  • To many questions
  • Lack of information
  • Slow and way to much teen angst.

My biggest problem is that there is not enough description of the characters itself or the history. The readers get thrown into the story with no knowledge or background history. Like for an example, all the unnatural creatures seems to be common knowledge. Does every person on the planet know that all you have seen in horror movies are true? That they really exist? Well apparently so. To a certain degree at least. But this is never 100% verified. And I missed proper information and descriptions of other things. Like characters! I should not have to read on page 220 that a main character actually has Aborigine heritages and that his skin is like a 5 shot Café au lait. That totally messes with my mental picture that I have tried to build up. And it is like this through the book. On everything! And some of the bad stuffs description is to easy that I can’t form a picture fitting with the story. And I have a pretty good imagination, to tell you the truth!

How about the story itself? Well, our heroine, Micheline Helsing, descendant from the big Abraham Van Helsing, killer of all unnatural, is around seventeen years old (I counted but it is never mentioned) and goes to school to become a hunter. She however, takes water over her head when trying to prove to her father that she is capable of taking care of herself, her team and save innocent people. She has a tough relationship with her father and to be honest, that is the only thing that kept me reading. Because I wanted to know what would happen between her and her father.

Other have described this book as fast paced and edge of your seat, kind of book. I however did not find it like that at all.   And I think Alameda tried too hard, to push that horror feeling trough out the book which gave it the opposite effect. No I’m not happy. Not at all.

Contemporary · Fiction/Science Fiction · Sports/Games

Beartown – Fredrik Backman

33413128| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ |

Goodreads synopsis: People say Beartown is finished. A tiny community nestled deep in the forest, it is slowly losing ground to the ever encroaching trees. But down by the lake stands an old ice rink, built generations ago by the working men who founded this town. And in that ice rink is the reason people in Beartown believe tomorrow will be better than today. Their junior ice hockey team is about to compete in the national semi-finals, and they actually have a shot at winning. All the hopes and dreams of this place now rest on the shoulders of a handful of teenage boys.

Being responsible for the hopes of an entire town is a heavy burden, and the semi-final match is the catalyst for a violent act that will leave a young girl traumatized and a town in turmoil. Accusations are made and, like ripples on a pond, they travel through all of Beartown, leaving no resident unaffected.

Beartown explores the hopes that bring a small community together, the secrets that tear it apart, and the courage it takes for an individual to go against the grain. In this story of a small forest town, Fredrik Backman has found the entire world.

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My thoughts: This was one hard book to read. It was a lot darker than first expected and was certainly not what you would expect from Backman. He has changed his tone and the seriousness of it is mindblowing. And the worst part is, I know this from real life experience. I know how it is to grow up in a town that is dying. I know how it is to live so far north that in a year, you have more dark days than light days. Where snow is more than a way of life. It comes a part of you. When I moved south, I did miss all that snow, but life was just so much more simpler without it being so much of it. And I still do not live far enough south to get no snow at all. The difference is that where I come from, it’s not Hockey that is the big sport everyone love. Where I come from there is two type of “family’s”. Those who ski some way or another. Or those who hunt. I’m from a hunting family. That’s what we do. Live for. Talk about. And plan to do next season. Sometime I miss it, but in reality I’m more of a city girl with one booted foot in the woods and one foot in a 6 inch high heel outside the city’s IT club. When I don’t read of course. And I like it just like that. The best of two worlds. But I do understand that mindset from a small community. We take care of our own. We offer coffee or beer instead of asking how you are. I do not always agree, but I do understand.

Even though the book could be described as hard, cold, dark and so Swedish that it is incredible Backman has been able to put it into words. But still the book is warm, fuzzy and lovable. Some parts of it I had to seek comfort in the arms of my man. I wouldn’t be able to read more if not. I have few triggers when it comes to books but one of them is in this book and even tough it is not that graphic, a girl/woman do understand without not being in that situation herself. And it is heavy. Maybe more heavy for me this time than what it would have been if I didn’t recognize the characters as people I grown up with. Backman understands. He is Swedish to. Other parts I feel that the book is awesome and even some parts a little funny. The seriousness of it all takes a big toll of it tough.

The writing is as always, fantastic. Backman has a great ability to put worlds, characters, minds, feelings and his own soul  between the lines in his books. You can just feel him and it is a wonderful experience. One I do not often get to feel when reading books. Often when I give a book a top star rating, it is more for the story itself. This one it is more for the meaning of the story and what it leaves me with when done. It is impossible to explain.

I do however miss Backmans funny, easy-going, fuzzy heartwarming way of writing his books. This one is just a little too dark and it will take me sometime before I’m ready to read the second book in the series. I will someday, but right now my soul is just not ready for that kind of hit. Soul-wrenching. That’s a word I would describe this book with. Soul-wrenching!

Fantasy/Paranormal · Fiction/Science Fiction · Young, New adult/College

The lightning thief – Rick Riordan

28187| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can’t seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse—Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. When Percy’s mom finds out, she knows it’s time that he knew the truth about where he came from, and that he go to the one place he’ll be safe. She sends Percy to Camp Half Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. Soon a mystery unfolds and together with his friends—one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena—Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods.

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My thoughts: Of course I have seen the movie and more or less already knew what to expect. I do not often like to read (or in this case listen) to books after I seen the movie, but I have seen reviews that the books is so, so much better than the movies and felt like I was missing out on something. However I did not find the book as great as all those reviewers raved about. But it was a good book.

I did somewhat enjoy it. It started of really good and the ending tied itself together real nicely. A little slow sometimes but it was okay. I would probably have liked it more if I read it before the movie though. There are some things changed between the movie and the book. I do not know why really because I can’t see a reason to why they could not do it as in the book. It was like the same but different. And I think some stuff in the movie had made more sense if they did it more like in the book. But that is just my opinion.

There are also a lot of stuff in the book that is not in the movie, which surprised me. This whole “half god” thing would have had a bigger impact with it. But I guess they had their reasons. The book, however is educational in a fun way. Greek mythology was a big topic when I was in school and after what I can remember, the history facts are correct in the book. I love books for younger readers that also is educational. And I think if this came out when I was a kid, I would probably have loved it. I was really interested in Greek mythology and history at a time.

I will probably listen to more of the books. They are easy and relaxing and perfect to listen to when I’m at the gym working out. But I will probably not love the series as so many others seems to do.

Monthly summary

March Summary

monthlysummery

March has been a great reading month for me. Tried several new authors, my reading has been a little all over the place in genre but that’s the mood I have been in. Found my self a new series I had to bought and find myself a new author I need to read more of. So over all I’m really happy with this months reading list. Downunder you can see some small statistic and a complete list over which book I have read.

Favorite book this month: I have read some really good book this month and it is hard to choose my favorite. But I thought, which book will I probably reread someday and I ended on The Guernsey literary and potato peel pie society – Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows. So that will be my favorite book this month.

Least favorite book this month: 
Tennessee takedown – Lena Diaz

Number of physical books: 
5
Number of e-books: 
6
Number of audiobooks:
1
Total pages: 4093 pages. Not included what I read from the one I DNF’ed.
Female authors: 10
Male authors: 3

350523Midnight rainbow – Linda Howard
Settings: Costa Rica Pages: 256 Published: 1996
Genres: Suspense, romantic, contemporary.
My rating: 3/5
Links: Review
Book 1 in The Rescue series.
7157310Rot & Ruin – Jonathan Maberry
Settings:
 Carlifornia, USA. Pages: 458 Published: 2010
Genres: Young adult, horror, science fiction
My rating: 5/5
Links: Review
Book 1 in The rot & ruin series.
2728527The Guernsey literary and potato peel pie society – Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows
Settings: 
London, Guernsey, United Kingdom
Pages: 
277 Published: 2008
Genres:
Historical fiction, romance, war
My rating: 
5/5
Links:
Review
21956219Assassin’s Apprentice – Robin Hobb
Settings: The Realm of the Elderlings Pages: 392 Published: 1995
Genres: Fantasy.
My rating: 4/5
Links: Review
Book 1 in The Farseer Trilogy
25614492Salt to the sea – Ruta Sepetys
Settings: East Prussia, World War 2 Pages: 402 Published: 2016
Genres: Historical, fiction, young adult, War.
My rating: 4/5
Links: Review
32613951Crash – Susan Fanetti
Settings:
Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA Pages: 392 Published: 2016
Genres:
Romantic, contemporary
My rating:
 3/5
Links:
Review
Book 1 in 
The Brazen Bulls MC series.
18343283Tennessee takedown – Lena Diaz
Settings: Destiny, Tennessee, USA Pages: 224 Published: 2014
Genres: Romantic, suspense, contemporary, mystery.
My rating: 2/5
Links: Review
Book 1 in Tennessee S.W.A.T.
107771Slow Burn – Julie Garwood
Settings: Charleston, Silver spring, Boston, USA
Pages: 424 Published: 2005
Genres: Romantic, suspense, contemporary, mystery, fiction, thriller,
My rating: 5/5
Links: Review
Book 5 in The series about Buchanan-Renards.
11435761Pandora’s succession – Russell Brooks
Settings: Mostly Tokyo, Japan. Pages: 282 Published: 2010
Genres: Thriller, mystery, suspense.
My rating: 3/5
Links: Review
Book 1 in the series about Fox and Parris.
This is an copy I got from the author against a honest review.
35508633Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine – Gail Honeyman
Settings: Glasgow, Scotland Pages: 386 Published: 2017
Genres: Fiction, contemporary
My rating: 4/5
Links: Review
36605004A glimmer of hope – Steve McHuge
Settings: England Pages: 351 Published: 2018
Genres: Fantasy, fiction.
My rating: 4/5
Links: Review
Book 1 in The Avalon Chronicles
This is an copy I received against a honest review.
31396255Diabolical – Jana Deleon
Settings: New Orleans, USA Pages: 249 Published: 2016
Genres: Mystery, thriller, suspense, crime.
My rating: 4/5
Links: Review
Book 3 in the series about Shaye Archer.

DNF

 

18131A wrinkle in time – Madeleine L’Engle 
Pages: 256 Published: 1962
Genres: Fiction, classic, science fiction, children, young adult.

I didn’t feel for the book at all. Ended at 44%. Either i’m to old for the book, or the book is to old for me. We just never clicked.

Mystery/Crime · Suspense · Thriller/Horror

Diabolical – Jana Deleon

31396255| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Nine years ago, the police found Shaye Archer wandering in the French Quarter, beaten and abused and with no memory of the previous fifteen years, not even her name. Now, at twenty-four, Shaye is a licensed private investigator, determined to get answers for her clients when the police can’t help. But her last case uncovered more than anyone anticipated, and pieces of Shaye’s missing past have surfaced with unexpected consequences.

She’s starting to remember.

Will Shaye unlock the secrets buried deep in her mind? And more importantly, can she handle the truth if she does?

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My thoughts: In this third book about Shaye Archer, the mystery is finally starting to unravel. Her memories starting to flow back and along the way discovers not only her but every one she love or has helped her, is in danger. A madman is back on the street of New Orleans and no one is safe anymore.

I do not often read series where it take several books to unravel some secret but this has certainly been a great journey. Deleon has a really unique style of writing. It is capturing and explosive. I do however feel that it was a little less this time. Both book one and two got a full five star rating. That is how good they are. This one however never reached that five star. Something was missing. I felt a little detached and the ending was somewhat weird even tough a lot surprising. I love the way the story started of several years before Shaye even was born. Deleon did do a great job with the interweaving the past with the future and the now.

I’m happy that there is more books in the series. I really want to follow Shay some more especially now that the truth is out. I would also love to see how the relationship between her and Jackson is unfolding. I have my own wishes and I really hope that they come true.

It is a great series and I recommend it to everyone who will listen. Its that good. 😀