AnnAlysis: The Competition

the competitionFrom Goodreads:
In Marcia Clark’s most electrifying thriller yet, Los Angeles DA Rachel Knight investigates a diabolical high school massacre.

A Columbine-style massacre at a high school in the San Fernando Valley has left a community shaken to its core. Two students are identified as the killers. Both are dead, believed to have committed a mutual suicide. But in the aftermath of the shooting, as LA Special Trials prosecutor Rachel Knight and Detective Bailey Keller dig deeper, they realize that the pieces don’t add up. Could it be that the two “killers” were themselves victims? And if so, does that mean that the real killers are still on the loose? When someone starts dropping clues that another horrific crime is in the works, Rachel and Bailey scramble desperately to profile their suspect and prevent another killing–before it’s too late.

My Thoughts:
First off, let me start with this is the first time that I ran out of time on a book on NetGalley and had to buy a book so I could finish it. And it was totally worth it.

This is the 4th Rachel Knight book. I have not read any of the others. But this one stands alone well.

I’m always intrigued by school shooting books. I think the reason is because they are always real life news stories that I have to follow for work. When one of these happens, no matter where it is in the country, most newsrooms are always on top of it. No matter how far away, it’s always something that pulls at the heart strings. Who targets innocent children? And after the shooting has happened, it doesn’t stop there. There’s always what comes next, when you start to learn about the shooter, what made them tick, and what in their past may have led to this.

Clark did a very good job with this book. From the scene of the shooting, where you felt like you were in the gym, seeing the sights, hearing the sounds. To the chase and hunt of the suspects. It really felt like following a real life school shooting and that I was part of the investigation.

I have a love hate relationship with these types of books. I like to think of myself a a sleuth. I think I could get out of the journalism business and do a little detective action. Granted this is fiction and is written to trip you up, it’s stories like this that make me think maybe it’s good to keep my day job. I was caught up in every twist and turn and possible suspect. I had no idea who the killer was.

Does the name Marcia Clark ring a bell? Well I’ve learned the reason she did such an awesome job with this crime novel is that she has spent her life fighting against them. Clark is the prosecutor who fought against OJ Simpson in his murder trial. She definitely knows her stuff.

This book really knocked my socks off and I need to grab the rest of the books in it ASAP. I give The Competition 5 out of 5 bookmarks.

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Released: July 2014
Author Website

B&B and R&R

So by the title of this post, you may think that I’ve spent a nice little weekend at a bed and breakfast. Not the case. When you see B&B in my posts from now on, it means Bath. And Books.

I have a new found love for baths.

bath

 

Earlier this week, the temperature was starting to drop. Even though I had worked out, I still had a little chill in my core. Instead of getting a shower and getting my hair wet again, I decided to get a bath.

I have never liked baths, but for some reason it sounded appealing. Next thing I know, I have the lights off, candles lit, backlight on the Nook and I’m settled in. Not to mention I have no bubble bath or bath salts or whatever else you use in the bath, remember I hate baths, so I use shampoo.

In the past, a bath has done nothing but stress me out. I always think about the things I should be doing instead of sitting in a bathtub. I always get all sweaty and uncomfortable. It has always been a pain rather than a relaxing time for me.

So what changed this week? Nothing specifically this week, but a lot has changed in my life the past few months and 2015 is proving to be very optimistic. I am trying new things and learning to sit back and relax.

So you got the gist on one B, but let’s get back to the other B… this is a book blog, so you can guess what that B stands for. I’m currently reading an ARC print version of The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. It’s okay for you to be jealous. I geeked out a bit when I was emailed and asked if I wanted to read it. But, I can’t take a paperback book to the bath in a dark room. So, I’ve been juggling two books. I read The Nightingale the majority of the time, but have been spending my bath time with my Nook. Turn the backlight on that little guy, and it’s perfect.

I also have found some nice relaxing playlists on Spotify. I’ve gotten into the routine of reading for a bit, then turning off the Nook and turning on my music and laying back and closing my eyes. No worries, I’m not going to fall asleep and drown!! My favorite playlist I’ve found is Acoustic Covers.  I’ll listen to a couple of songs to get my final relaxing time in before drying off and getting back to reality.

I did three baths this week, and found myself looking forward to them, especially a couple of days when I was battling my second sinus infection of the season. I also splurged on some Philosophy bubble bath. I also have my eye on some candles from Anthropologie! This is getting serious!

So here’s to trying new things in 2015, starting with a good bath and a good book.

AnnAlysis: West

WestFrom Goodreads:
If you could change history, would you?

College graduate Josephine “Josie” Jackson answers ‘yes’ to the question on a survey while visiting an Old West tourist trap. The next morning, she wakes up in Indian Territory in the 1840s, where she’s given a mission to complete before she can return to her time: to reset history by finding and stopping the man responsible for a horrific massacre.

It seems easy enough, until she discovers that three other women have been sent back to the same time period. When Josie uncovers what happened to them, she realizes the chances of her getting out of the past alive are not good.

To survive, she’ll have to trust the very man she’s there to stop, someone who has every reason to distrust her and only one reason to help her – to prove he’s not the monster she claims he’ll become.

My Thoughts:
It’s funny how you read a book from a genre you aren’t used to, then all of the sudden there are dozens of other books in that genre in your lap. I love the doors that open through reading and blogging.

One thing I love about these time travel books is how they actually get back in time. One book I read it was through a hot air balloon. This time, it starts with an innocent street fair and filling out a survey. Their reason for going back is always intriguing too. Let’s be honest. Most of these time travel stories are very similar. You have a young girl, she travels back in time, there’s a mission for her, she finds a good man and has to decide if she’s going to stay in the past or go back to the present.

I really liked Josie’s character in this book. She’s a bit naive in the beginning, but who would really believe they would go back in time? Wouldn’t we all brush it off as a joke? But once she makes the trip, she takes it in stride. She takes the task and runs with it. She pretends she is someone she’s not. What would you do in that situation? Could you pull it off?

I also liked Taylor, the leading man in the book. These books always have strong male characters. This is something I’ve come to expect in a time travel book. You have to have a strong male character to persuade a woman to give up her entire life in the present to life permanently in the past.

I give West 4 out of 5 bookmarks. As I was getting ready to post this review, I was scrolling through Goodreads and saw that people are loving this book. If you are a fan of Dr. Who (he is mentioned a few times in the book) or any time travel, you may want to pick this one up. There’s also a sequel coming out later this year.

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Released: December 2014
Author Website

Other books by Lizzy Ford:
Black Moon Draw

Reading in 2015

Happy 2015! I’m hoping to kick the year off strong with my reading and keep it up through the year. 2014 I had several bumps in the road that halted my reading at times. It was probably the slowest reading year I have had since I started blogging. But that is in the past and I have a plan for 2015.

I am doing a reading challenge or two. I haven’t done one of these since I first started blogging and did an A-Z challenge. It really expanded my reading horizons. I have been much better the past couple of years at being more open about what books and genres I read.  The thing that concerns me about a reading challenge, however, is that I feel like I’ll be spending more time looking for books to fall into the categories that I need to complete, rather than just reading and getting through books. But on the the other hand, I guess one really good book that takes time to find is better than just boosting my numbers with a few mediocre books.

We will see how they go!

Here’s the first one…. and it is long! And intimidating!

pop sugar

And then there’s a shorter version that I’ve found. It’s very similar, but may be much more attainable.

26 Books

I will be able to knock out two birds with one stone on most of these. I’ve already written both of them down in my planner so I can actively keep my list.  Wish me luck. Let me know if you are doing any challenges this year!

AnnAlysis: Confessions The Private School Murders

confessions private school murdersFrom Goodreads:
In the sequel to the #1 New York Times bestseller Confessions of a Murder Suspect, James Patterson keeps the confessions coming breathlessly as Tandy Angel delves deeper into her own tumultuous history-and proves that she can rise above the sordid Angel legacy.

Wealthy young women are being murdered on Manhattan’s exclusive Upper West Side, and the police aren’t looking for answers in the right places. Enter Tandy Angel. The first case she cracked was the mystery of her parents’ deaths. Now, while she’s working to exonerate her brother of his glamorous girlfriend’s homicide, she’s driven to get involved in the West Side murder spree. 

One of the recent victims was a student at Tandy’s own elite school. She has a hunch it may be the work of a serial killer, but the NYPD isn’t listening to her…and Tandy can’t ignore the disturbing fact that she perfectly fits the profile of the killer’s targets. Can she untangle the mysteries in time? Or will she be the next victim?

My Thoughts:
This is the second book in the Confessions series. It’s a new YA series by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro. If you’re wanting to read this book and haven’t read the first book, Confessions of a Murder Suspect first. With this series so far, you need to read them in order. If you picked up the second one first, you may be ok, but you really need to read the first one first to get a feel for the series. This book picks up where the first one left off. There is a second plot in this book, away from the original one in the first book, but they both run throughout the book.

That being said, I really liked where this book went. I wasn’t sure how Patterson and Paetro would push the first book further, with most of the mystery being solved. I am really glad they added in a second plot twist to keep things moving. The pace of these books is rapid. They are quick, easy reads that you won’t want to put down.

The characters that I fell in love with in the first book are back for more action. And a few new ones are added to the mix. These are definitely characters that you will remember once you put this book down.

The third book in this series is out, however I do not have a copy yet. I do hope to get my hands on it soon. This is my new favorite series and one that I hope to stay on top of.

I give Confessions The Private School Murders 5 out of 5 bookmarks.

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Released: October 2013
Author Website