October 2021–Part Three

Thank you for joining me here!   I hope you enjoy this series and I’d love to hear from you about what you are reading these days.

Book #1:

Read to Death by Terrie Farley Moran (Length: 304 pages). This is another cozy mystery that I picked up at the local library book sale for the bargain price of 50 cents, and it’s worth about that, in my opinion. This particular mystery is the 3rd in a series set in a cafe in Fort Meyers, Florida that is run by two young women (Sassy and Bridgy). Yes, their names are annoying, which happen to match the personalities of their owners. In my humble opinion. The concept here is cute–the cafe is bookish in nature, with tables and menu items named after classic books and authors. The mystery here is WEAK . . . the dead body happens immediately (as appears to be par for the course in these cozy mysteries), but then the rest of the book is taken up by the (boring) inanities of running a cafe, with random excursions by the dynamic duo to “investigate” the mystery. Bridgy also happens to be the main suspect for the murder which is ridiculous. The murder is solved almost by accident at the very end, which is lame. I would recommend skipping this one if you too end up stumbling upon it wherever books are lent or sold.

Book #2:

Twenty-Eight and Half Wishes by Denise Grover Swank (Length: 336 pages).  This was a free Kindle book that I’ve had for awhile, and it’s apparently the first of 9 (!) books in the Rose Gardner series. This novel deals with a 24 year old woman living a VERY sheltered life in a small town. Rose lives with her abusive and overly-religious mother, and in the very beginning of the novel returns to the home they share to find her mother murdered. The novel is about the escapades that follow. I say escapades because much of what transpires after the murder is a bit unbelievable (especially from legal perspective), but this is written well enough that you’ll want to suspend your disbelief and just go along with the ride. I found the character development here to be pretty strong (especially with regard to Rose), the plot is definitely propulsive and you’ll care about Rose sufficiently enough to see what happens to her. I really can’t imagine how this series is extended to 9 entire novels but I will absolutely check out the second book to see where the author takes Rose.

Book #3:

It Ends Wth Us by Colleen Hoover (Length: 381 pages).  This is the book my book club chose to read for the month of October, and while this author isn’t my favorite, her books are generally very easy to read. This one is no exception as the plot is absolutely propulsive, even though you, as the reader, have a very good idea of what will likely happen. The subject matter of this novel is about domestic violence (both psychological and physical) and about the difficulty victims often have with leaving their abuser. The female protagonist, Lily, is relatively well-drawn but I found the side story arc about Lily and Atlas (her childhood love/boyfriend) to be a bit too heavy-handed, especially given their age. I also can’t stand the name Ryle (another character in the book), but that’s just my shallow observation. I really enjoyed the character Alyssa (Lily’s coworker and friend), and found her to be the best part of the book. The author’s tone about the abuse issues was too patronizing to the reader, in my opinion, but I still had a difficult time putting the book down and I’m ultimately glad I finished it. So there’s that. 😉

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