Time’s a Thief

512g7Rgn-sL._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_B.G. Firmani’s Time’s a Thief takes place in 1980s New York, and early 2000s New York. We follow Francesca “Chess” Varani through her years at Barnard. Coincidentally also where Firmani attended. Immediately we meet Kendra Marr-Lowenstein, a wild child from a high class family.  Chess is instantly taken with Kendra and her crazy ways. Throughout Firmani’s novel, we follow the ups and downs of Chess and Kendra’s friendship as well as just how deeply Chess finds herself in the Marr-Lowenstein family and the number they do on her.

While Time’s a Thief was easy to fall into and very easy to read, I found myself annoyed with the incessant lists of poets, composers, and literaries that seemed to add nothing to the story other than to flaunt Firmani’s knowledge. Beyond that, the novel read like a stream of consciousness writing. Very Bohemian and Kerouac-esque. I didn’t love the book but I didn’t hate it. I won’t give anything away but the ending seemed very bland to me as if nothing had actually happened through the entire story.

Still, if you’re looking for a novel to kill the time then Time’s a Thief is a good choice. As Firmani’s first novel it could use some work.

I received a copy of Time’s a Thief from NetGalley for review.

The Hating Game

514sa3HcecL._SY346_Every now and then, I like to enjoy a romance novel. Usually I pick one of the historical ones simply because I like the setting as well as the chivalry that soaks every page. But this time, thanks to my book club, I picked up a rom-com that I probably wouldn’t have chosen if left to my own devices.

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne was a whirlwind novel. Thrown into an office battlefield where two colleagues are trying to have the upperhand, Thorne introduces us to characters that are easy to love, or in this case, hate. Lucinda Hutton, assistant to one co-CEO of a publishing house, has dreamed of working for a publishing company since she was a young girl. Joshua Templeman, also assistant to another co-CEO of the same publishing house, disappointed his father years ago when he didn’t follow in the family footsteps. Both clash desperately as they vie for a new position opening up, one in which they would be the boss of the other.

Thorne creates a wonderful hate-love relationship between these two characters that eventually culminates in a breath-taking ending. While there are some steamy scenes here and there, the comedy throughout prevents The Hating Game to become “just another romance novel”. I found it incredibly hard to put down and enjoyed the flirtation Thorne creates between the reader and the characters she has developed.

Two Good Dogs

29939175In this age of A Dog’s Journey, it takes a lot for a dog’s story to stand out. Susan Wilson, a New York Times bestselling author, has written multiple stories featuring canine companions. Two Good Dogs is her latest creation.

Set in the Berkshires, Two Good Dogs tells the story of a troubled fifteen-year old girl, Cody, who carries a heavy secret. She knows who her father’s killer is. As she tries to navigate the treacherous straits of being a teenage girl as well as making sure her mother never finds out her secret, she falls into even more trouble, picking the wrong friends and making bad decisions. Along the way, she meets a young man who has also made some bad decisions and his dog, Dawg. Cody’s mom bought a run-down motel shortly after Cody’s father was gunned down with hopes of starting fresh. But things aren’t going so well and the motel rarely has any visitors. Until one evening a man, Adam March, shows up with his therapy dog Chance. Adam and Chance take a shine to the place and become regulars at the motel.

Susan Wilson weaves an intricate tale of betrayal, love lost, and second chances. Two Good Dogs has it all; a mixture of mystery, comedy, and a coming-of-age story. Following this group of characters was an adventure. As a mother, I grew frustrated with Cody’s teenager antics (and my kids aren’t even that old yet!). As a dog owner, I fell in love with Chance and Dawg/Lucky. There is something in this story for everyone. More than anything, it shows that everyone deserves a second chance. It’s up to them what they do with it.

The Fifth Petal

29741905A guilty pleasure of mine, I love to read just about anything dealing with the Salem Witch Trials and just Salem in that time period. I find it fascinating what fear can do to a group of people. So when I saw The Fifth Petal and read the blurb, I was excited to see what Brunonia Barry could do with one of my favorite subjects.

In 1989 on Halloween night, four women were murdered and a fifth went missing. The woman they had been boarding with was under scrutinization for the incident, but the trauma of losing them was too much for her and she’d begun to lose her mind. On the same night of the murders, a daughter of one of the victims was found and taken in by some nuns. Twenty-five years later and the case is reopened.

Barry weaves a tale of mystery, love, and finding family. I could not put this book down. While there were moments that seemed a bit redundant, the story moved along nicely. I got annoyed with a couple of the characters but that’s a show of a great author. Barry created characters that were easy to get involved with, while you may not love them you’ll definitely be interested in their fate. Barry also manages to keep you guessing. The ending was definitely a surprise which I love! All in all, a very well-told story with some magic involved. If you’re a lover of all things Salem or “witchy”, I highly suggest you pick up The Fifth Petal and add it to your reading list.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

The Coincidence of Coconut Cake

the-coincidence-of-coconut-cake-9781501100710_hrIt’s been awhile since I’ve read a light-hearted romance novel. You know the ones. They’re fluffy and easy reading. It doesn’t take much thought to follow them and they almost always pull at your heartstrings. The Coincidence of Coconut Cake does just that. After an exhausting read like American Gods, Reichert’s light romance was great for cleansing the reading palette. Not only that, but it offered a beautiful story of love lost, found, lost, and found again. Reichert brings to life characters that are easy to fall in love with.

In The Coincidence of Coconut Cake, we met Lou (short for Luella, a middle name) who is a chef running her own French restaurant. While Lou might not have her whole life together, she knows what she wants and she’s going for her dreams. Until a local food critic tears her restaurant to shreds on the same day her engagement falls to pieces. But as luck would have it, she runs into a newbie to the town of Milwaukee. A young British fellow who can’t find what there is to love about this town with all the beer. Lou takes it upon herself to enlighten him to all the wonders of their fair town and along the way he captures her heart. But there are secrets buried in this budding romance and Lou’s heart will be tested.

The Coincidence of Coconut Cake is a love story we’ve read before but Reichert’s take on it makes it all the more endearing. I will warn you, if you decide to pick this one up, don’t read hungry. Once you finish though, you can satisfy your cravings with the coconut cake recipe Reichert provides in the back.

American Gods

american-godsI admit, I haven’t read much Gaiman. The Graveyard Book and Good Omens are all I’ve ever known of Gaiman’s work. And while I thoroughly enjoyed both books, I was never quite prone to picking up another one of his works. That has since changed.

American Gods has been on my reading list for a while and after getting annoyed with myself for not reading it sooner, a friend of mine put it on our book club’s reading list. I was so thankful to finally have a reason to crack this one open. Do you ever have a book that just feels good in your hands? Well, my copy of American Gods was exactly like that. I loved just flipping through the pages and feeling its weight.

That being said, this book was difficult for me to get through. Gaiman’s writing style is at its best. His proficient use in descriptions and alluring paragraphs does nothing but amplify the classic this book will become. However, I found the book exhausting to complete. Gaiman weaves in story after story that tell of the Gods of old. And while they do give a nice background to the characters involved, they mostly seem unnecessary and tiring. Gaiman did everything correctly in creating American Gods and his ultimate lesson in all of it is strong. But the ending left something to be desired. All in all, a decent read albeit long. I can’t wait to see what they do with it in the TV remake.

 

Ink and Bone

20643052It’s been awhile since I’ve picked up a Young Adult novel. Mostly because I fell out of the genre. None of the books really held my interest. Until now.

Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine is a world of intrigue, history, and fantasy. The Great Library has taken over the freedom of owning a book. Now, first editions and originals are the most coveted possessions, eliciting a world of smugglers and darker things.

Jess Brightwell is a son of a smuggler in London. But he’s never really respected his family’s business. Nor does he have any clue about what the Library really stands for. But when his father tells him he must apply to be a part of the Library, or be kicked out of the house, Jess is submerged in a world he’s never known and never expected to be a part of. Along the way, Jess meets a few other applicants and a couple of enemies. As he navigates his way to a Library assignment, his world is rocked to its core and he begins to question who he is and everything he’s ever known.

This is the first book of Rachel Caine’s I’ve read and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. Finishing up Ink and Bone has me looking forward to the next book and so glad that Caine decided to make this a series!