Ray Bradbury #ShortStories #BookReview

18305955Ray Bradbury was nothing if not prolific. An American author and screenwriter who dabbled in a variety of genres, he’s sure to have written something for everyone.

This anthology was certainly an eclectic mix, and I feel like it gives the reader a good idea of who Bradbury was as a whole, from his likes (Stan and Ollie), to his dreams (flights to Mars), his moral views, his faith, his time spent in Ireland, memories of his boyhood, and everything in between, this man must have always been writing.

Which is why I read this book. Each story didn’t just give you insight into the author, but also his method. The ways in which he made you identify with his characters, his tricks for endearing them to you, investing you in the story and making you care about the outcome even if the story itself wasn’t something you’d normally read. (And let me tell you, I am not a huge sci-fi fan, yet probably 500 pages of this book was about space travel and Mars colonization and a myriad of other subjects I’d usually avoid, and yet I kept reading!) 4 stars!

I’m Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reed ~ #Mystery #BookReview

40605223It seems like I heard a lot of hype about this book, and how good it was supposed to be. Despite the mixed reviews, I gave it a shot.

I liked, (not loved), the beginning. There was something slightly juvenile feeling about it, but the character from whose point of view the story was told was slightly juvenile, so I figured the author was just following his character’s lead.

While there was an underlying feeling of creepiness, I felt more impatient than held in suspense. Three quarters of the way through the book, the impatience was for the book to be over, and when it finally was, I wanted to throw something. I HATED the ending. It seemed like a cop-out to me, even though I would guess that it was the destination where the author had intended to go the whole time. I felt let down. I felt betrayed. I felt like I had wasted my time. That said, the author can write/the book is readable. You might like it better than I did. You might even love it. But I didn’t. 3 stars.

In the Barren Ground by Loreth Anne White ~ #Mystery #BookReview

29243822This is the third book that I’ve read by this author, and I have to say that if you’re looking for suspense, she delivers! I didn’t like this one as much as the other two – I liked the characters and plot from the others better – but this kept my attention AND kept me guessing until the end.

The setting – the far, northern wilds of Canada – is almost a character in itself. It certainly makes for a creepy atmosphere.

This book was fast paced, well plotted, and sinister. Quite honestly, it almost bordered on horror. If you’re looking for a book to keep you up at night, this just might be it! 4 stars!

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn ~ #Mystery #BookReview

40389527I roll my eyes every time a book is hailed as, “The next Gone Girl.” Let’s be clear  – whether you loved it, hated it, or didn’t read it, there’s only one Gone Girl. Novels are creations; each should be considered on it’s own merits. Have you ever heard someone say a painting is going to be the next Mona Lisa?

Rant completed, I will say that while this book wasn’t the next Gone Girl, as advertised, it was good. Really good. I enjoyed it immensely, and was taken by surprise several times.

The story was easy to read. The plot was simple, yet at the same time, elaborate. The character was well developed, and her internal dialogue and memories do a good job of endearing her to readers, whether they like her or not. I felt myself rooting for her. And how can a mystery lover not love the Hitchcock references? This one was time well spent. 5 stars!

My Awesome New #Author T-Shirt

A few weeks ago I shared a great new website (https://literarybookgifts.com) that offers gifts for book lovers, as well as a promo code (SHANNONHOLLINGER20) to help you save 20% off your order. I couldn’t resist using the promo code and ordering a t-shirt for myself.

I love my new shirt!

Between the quality image and the soft fabric, what’s not to love! Since the website said that the shirts run a bit small, I ordered an x-large because I’m tall and hate anything too tight. It fits perfectly, which is great, because I’m planning on wearing this shirt all the time!

If you haven’t been yet, head on over to the website and check out what they have to offer! Feel free to share the promo code far and wide! If you order something, I’d love to know what and how you feel about it (I’m trying to pare down my Christmas wish list 😉 )!

 

 

The Last Girl by Nick Twist ~ #Mystery #BookReview

38925046This book started off with a bang. It was creepy, suspenseful, and mysterious. What it lacked in certain areas was made up for in others . . . until it wasn’t.

What started off as a promising read slowly spiraled into something else. Something I didn’t want to read. I kept going, hoping that the author would recapture what he initially had going. Eventually, it became clear that wasn’t going to happen; would it be rude to say that the author deviated from a good course to indulge himself?

I gave this book 3.5 stars, rounded to 4 where applicable, because the author has talent and had something good for a minute there. It was action packed and hard to put down at first. By the end, everything about it annoyed me, even things that I probably wouldn’t have thought twice about if the author had delivered. Scratch the previous rating. Writing this review has made me realize how utterly offended I became over the pages of this book. 3 stars.

Sunburn by Laura Lippman ~ #Mystery #BookReview

35231503This book kept me reading with it’s suspense and pacing, but I felt it got a little slow near the end. Parts felt fresh; other parts not as much. The characters were interesting, the backstory created an interesting dynamic, the dialogue was witty at times, but I can’t help but feel like this book was just shy of the mark.

I had to know what happened, had to keep reading, which is the sign of a good book, right? Except that the ending of this one made me want to throw the book against the wall. Then maybe run it over with the lawnmower. (Oh, Kindle, you just don’t know how many trees you save.) I found the end to be a total let down. But 75% of this book is really good, so 4 stars. (The 90’s references made me nostalgic, which may have skewed by opinion towards the positive.)

Dying Truth by Angela Marsons ~ #Mystery #BookReview

39501802This is the 8th book I’ve read in the D.I. Kim Stone series, and like the seven before it, it was a suspenseful, roller coaster of a mystery. Angela Marsons is an expert at keeping her readers on their toes!

In this one, the author continues to explore the group dynamic among the detectives while delving into the dark side of elite school groups and hazing. I hate giving spoilers, but I will say that this book changes the group forever.

My biggest concern is that Marsons book deal was for 8 books – please let there be more! This is the only series I’ve encountered over the last few years that has me completely hooked; there are a few others I keep up with, but more out of curiosity than need. This series is an addiction as much as a guilty pleasure. 5 stars!

Gifts for #BookLovers, #Readers & #Writers

Anne of Green Gables Hoodie (Women's)The Jungle Book BackpackAs a book lover, reader, and writer, I love literary themed gifts. Every holiday I scour the internet for literary gift ideas. To that effect, there’s a great new website that I wanted to share with everyone. They not only have a great selection of T-shirts, but also book and tote bags to carry all your reading material around this summer.

Alice in Wonderland Tote BagOrigin of Species Charles Darwin T-Shirt (Women's)Even better, I have a coupon code that allows you to save 20% on your order – no minimum purchase, no maximum savings, and you can use it unlimited times! Simply go to the website https://literarybookgifts.com and use the promo code: SHANNONHOLLINGER20  (They say that sharing is caring, so feel free to share the love and pass this code along far and wide!)

Gray's Anatomy T-Shirt (Women's)Dracula Tote BagThe website is easy to navigate, and features a TON of fantastic images from some of my favorite books! I’ve selected some of my favorites to share, but there are many, many more on the site itself!

Our National Parks BackpackEdgar Allan Poe Hoodie (Women's)Despite the awesome discount code, I am in no way affiliated with this site, and will make no money off your purchase. I’m a big proponent of supporting small businesses, especially when they sell exactly the Frankenstein T-Shirt (Women's)kind of stuff I like to buy, and the proprietress was cool enough to offer a 20% discount code (SHANNONHOLLINGER20), so head on over to https://literarybookgifts.com  and show some love! They have so many different colors and styles, you’re bound to find something you or a friend will love!

(I just placed my first order, and it was incredibly easy!)

 

Matchmaking for Beginners by Maddie Dawson ~ #Fiction #BookReview

37561377This isn’t the type of book I would normally have chosen for myself. The description was kind of dramatic and cutesy and not at all suspenseful or mysterious, but it was one of the monthly free books offered by Amazon Prime, so I figured I’d give it a try.

To be honest, it was cutesy, but I found that I didn’t care. It was also sweet and funny and surprisingly enjoyable. It left me with a smile on my face and a desire for a friend like Blix.

The writing, characters and pacing were all good. The plot felt fresh to me, but that might be because I don’t often read this type of book. Whatever it was, this book worked for me! 5 stars!