#BookReview Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

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I have been wanting to read books by Agatha Christie for years, yet whenever I made it to a bookstore I would get lost in the aisles and forget about my desires. Luckily for me, Kennett Branagh decided to remake Murder on the Orient Express. The movie was fantastic and everything I wanted it to be, which gave me perfect reason to find the book and give it a shot! And it was INCREDIBLE.

I’m amazed by how talented Agatha Christie was. The pure talent for writing shown in this book is so shocking, and it makes me desperate to read every other book she has written. Hopefully, I’ll be able to find them in my adventures!

This book is the 10th novel in the series, but it is very easy to pick up and start reading. I had no issue being pulled into the story and not wanting to put the book down. The language is a bit old fashioned (since it’s an older book) so there may be a disconnect for some present readers, but that seemed to be the only issue I could find when I picked this book apart.

In short, the plot for this book is there is a murder on the Orient Express train and Hercule Poirot (a wildly famous detective) is determined to solve it. The twist? Multiple suspects aboard a stalled train.

The book is fun, fast paced and wildly addicting. If you love a good mystery, trying to solve this story is absolutely delightful! Everyone has an alibi and Poirot can only find out information by asking questions and looking at their reactions (because…GASP!…there’s no electronic devices in the time period this book is set in). I knew the ending already from watching the movie, but trying to pick out the evidence that led to Hercule’s final thoughts was so much fun! I scrambled along the way and enjoyed every second of this book.

Overall, this book is a great read! If you want to read a classic, a mystery or just a fun book I really suggest this one! It’ll keep you hooked and make your head spin in circles.

Five out of five stars!

 

What is your favourite “classic” read? Comment below!

Did you enjoy this book review? Check out another you might enjoy! #BookReview The Wolf of Wall Street by Jordan Belfort

If you read this review, give me a shoutout on twitter using the following hashtags: #BriarsReviews #OrientExpress Briar’s Reviews on Twitter @ReivewAlholic

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#BookReview The Gaucho’s Lady by Genevieve Turner

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The Guacho’s Lady was the cutest, sweetest, most adorable historical romance I’ve read this year!

I won’t lie, when I first started this book I was a little wary. Historical romances have been hit or miss for me, but somehow Genevieve Turner craved a beautifully written tale that really had me hooked. Seriously, I couldn’t put the book down. I had to for about twenty minutes to drive home and it was absolute torture! I managed to find time to binge the rest of this super cute book so I didn’t have to wait to know how my new fave characters ended up.

So, onto the good part!

This is a historical romance following Eliana and Juan. Juan is a Gaucho, who Eliana enlists to help “kidnap” her and whisk her away from a potentially horrible marriage. As she runs away from her Father and this wicked husband-to-be, the pair begin to grow on each other. Juan has his own difficult past, with a deceased wife and child that are haunting his thoughts. The pure, innocent Eliana has her eyes open to a new world with Juan! And, of course, there’s a little bit of an adventure along the way!

I would highly recommend this book if you love romance books that aren’t just purely romance (but are mostly romance). The world building and little side adventures that happen along the way were a nice touch! Juan and Eliana’s romantic story is a little typical (fearless hero with a tragic back story and a pure, innocent lady who needs to be shown the world) but it worked so well! Seeing both characters change and grow within the story made that trope turn into a fabulous plot point instead of a ‘con’.

Another nice point about this book is that it talks about Argentina. I don’t know about other readers, but that’s not a setting I read about very often! While it’s a small little thing to notice about a book, I like it when books open up new worlds and introduce us to other cultures. I don’t know if the book is wildly accurate, but it may open some readers up to learning more!

To sum of some of the ‘touchy’ points for some readers, here’s an attempted spoiler free list:
1. Marriage of convenience
2. Death of wife/unborn child (don’t worry, it’s not graphic or described – it’s just in passing, but it’s still sad)
3. Super, sheltered, innocent virgin

To me, those points weren’t necessarily a bad part – but I’ve seen many readers out there who despise those tropes. So, if you’re one of those readers, you’ve been warned!

If I had to list the best parts of this book, it would be as followed:
1. A man who knows consent! OMG Juan cares about his lady and wants to only have sexy time when they both want it AND wants to consider her feelings. Do you know how nice that is to see in literature?! 10 stars for that alone!
2. Headstrong, ‘feminist’ woman. She knows what she wants and doesn’t necessarily want to be submissive. I like that she had her own mind and was willing to learn, change and adapt.

My two cons are as followed:
1. The word “mound”. Yes, an entire word is one of my two cons. That’s my version of “moist”. Is it a con for the story? No. But I just don’t like the sound of it. What can I say? I’m picky.
2. Juan teaching Eliana the ways of ‘sexy time’ was a little cheesey. I understand why it happened and it was cute and silly, but I found it to be just past the amount of cheese I wanted. It also didn’t take away from the story, but for me…well, I don’t know what would have been better.

My overall opinion on this book is that it’s amazing! It was fun, cute and absolutely lovely! I love a good romance story that whisks me away to another world and has a lovely, fulfilled ending. If I get the chance, I absolutely am picking up more stories by Genevieve Turner.

I 100% recommend this book to those who love romance, historical romances, light-hearted and fun stories (even though there is some “darker” content suggested), and who want a bingable story.

Five out of five stars!!

I do owe a GIANT thank you to the author Emma Barry who recommended this book to me and gave me the opportunity to read it. Without her, I wouldn’t have realized how amazing this book was!

 

Check out this book on:

Goodreads

Amazon.com

Amazon.ca

Kobo

Barnes & Nobles

Coles/Indigo/Chapters

 

Check out the author, Genevieve Turner, on:

Goodreads – Author Page

Twitter – @GenTurner5

 

Leave me a comment below, give me a shout out on Twitter – @reviewalholic or tell me on Facebook – Briar’s Reviews to let me know if you read this review and what I should read next!

#BookReview Lovely Chaos by Joe Montaperto

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Lovely Chaos by Joe Montaperto is a vivid retelling of a Comedian’s life.

This book surprised me! I wasn’t sure what to expect since I was stepping out of my comfort zone for the types of books I normally read, but Joe really hit it out of the park! This comedian take on an acting student turned Comedian’s life really hit me in all the right places! Joe is trying to figure out what to do with his life, and then one day he takes a Comedy class. Throughout this journey, Joe experiences all of the typical 80s tropes (parties, girls, drugs, etc), but somehow this book felt real!

Joe’s style of writing feels real. The realistic descriptions are insanely vivid and make you feel like you are right there alongside our narrator. The story also feels like Joe is literally talking to me, telling me his exciting tale. This raw style worked really well within the story, and is the reason I hung onto this book for so long. Add in the hilarity of Joe explaining Chi-Chi Gonzalez and Doobs, and you’ve got one epic book!

This is by no means a boring story. It’ll keep you hooked and addicted at every turn. It has the pull of a fantastical, fictional tale yet it makes you feel like you know Joe. Seriously, I loved that personal touch Joe was able to get across to the reader.

The best line in the whole book is definitely “Thou shall not be a cornball”, and I felt like that literally summed up the novel for me. The comedic yet truthful take on a man trying to figure out what to do with his life worked oh so well!

If there is any cons to this book, it’s that the story jumps around a little bit. At times, I wasn’t sure how far apart in the timeline the chapters were, and it felt like there were parts of the narrative missing. Additionally, if you are a reader who doesn’t like this particular style (personal yet comedic) then this book might not sit well with you. I feel like this book is almost in it’s own little niche corner, which might turn some readers away.

That being said, I really enjoyed this book! It was a fresh, new take and is definitely a change from my normal reads. Joe Montaperto is an excellent author, and I’d love to see more by him in the future. Oh, and I’d definitely recommend this book!

Four out of five stars!

I received this book for free from the author Joe Montraperto in exchange for an honest review.

 

 

Summary of the book by the author:

The second of my memoirs, entitled – ‘Lovely Chaos’ – a story of life in 1980’s New York City and the adventures, opportunities and diversity one could find on the gritty streets, including a stint in a prestigous acting school, life as a nut vendor in Hell’s Kitchen, a spiritual journey in a city ashram, performing stand up comedy on the circuit with such names as Jon Stewart, John Leguizammo, and Dave Atell. Also, the seedy nightlife, spending time at bars like Rudy’s, populated by various denizens of the Hell’s Kitchen population, and the ensuing confrontations with the ever-present hordes of crackheads who roamed the city streets late at night. There’s quite a bit more, but you get the picture.

 

Find this book on:

www.joemontaperto.com

Goodreads – Lovely Chaos

Amazon.ca – Lovely Chaos

Amazon.com – Lovely Chaos

Smashwords – Lovely Chaos

and on Authors Den!

 

If you read this review, give me a shout out on Twitter! @ReviewAlholic and tell me what you think!!

Comment below – will you be picking up this book?

 

#BookReview Light My Fire by Katie MacAlister

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Aisling Grey is by far my favourite of all of the women in this dragon universe by Katie MacAlister! She is cute, sassy and the perfect female lead for this comedic, fantastical romance!

Drake and Aisling are definitely the “perfect” pair, at least in my eyes. Their relationship is definitely not “normal” by any means, but they work well together! As characters, they have the perfect mix of getting along, sexiness, and generalized drama and sassiness. I honestly couldn’t see this pair with anybody else! However Katie made this pair, she did really well!

Aisling is becoming a Guardian, while her lover is a dragon. They have since “mated”, so the story builds and gets more interesting from here. This is the second last book in the series for now, but I do hope we get more! Since I’ve read most of the dragon books, I can say she appears in future books but she isn’t the lead.

The comedy in this book is spot on and amps it up from the last book. It definitely keeps the plot moving forward with lots of funny quirks, mixed in with the sexy Drake, super cute romance scenes and drama thrown in throughout. While the story does leave off in a place that feels like it doesn’t need to be continued, I wish it would! These characters bond way too well together for this to be the absolute end. Maybe, if we’re lucky, Katie will one day continue this series. So, cross your fingers!

I would definitely recommend this book to readers who love romance with a lot of comedy in it. The book doesn’t take itself too seriously, with an abundance of jokes (and a lot of Jim, the main source of comedy, present again) throughout the book. The book has many fantasy elements (obviously – dragons), but isn’t a purely dramatized novel. It’s very fun, is borderline PG-13, and has ooey, gooey romance that makes you squirm and giggle along the way.

Overall, I love this book! I’ve read it way too many times to count and I’ll keep reading it! It’s one of those books I like to read when I’m having a bad day because it’s just so much fun! Katie MacAlister is the QUEEN of dragon books!

Five out of five stars!

 

 

Check out this book on:

Goodreads

Amazon.com – Light My Fire

Amazon.ca – Light My Fire

 

Check out the entire Aisling Grey series (which is apart of the Dragon Sept series): on Goodreads.

Or find out more about Katie MacAlister, one of my fave authors, on:

Goodreads – Katie MacAlister

http://www.katiemacalister.com/

Twitter – @katiemacalister

 

If you enjoyed this review, check out more of my reviews of Katie MacAlister books:

#BookReview Men in Kilts by Katie MacAlister

#BookReview In The Company of Vampires by Katie MacAlister

#BookReview You Slay Me by Katie MacAlister

Comment below – what is your favourite type of fantasy books?

And if you enjoyed this review, check out my twitter for urgent updates! @ReviewAlholic

 

 

 

#BookReview Hardwired by Meredith Wild

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Hardwired by Meredith Wild was a fantastic romance novel that had me addicted to each and every word.

When reading the back synopsis of this novel, it may appear to be similar to Fifty Shades of Grey, but this novel is far better! Not only does the plot build up and create conflict, but there is character development, romance and a little bit of suspense! It’s a great read for someone wanting a little splash of everything.

Erica, our main character, has a strong personality and does not seem like a wash-out type of character. Her story is slowly released throughout the novel and her relationships with characters seemed real and not forced.

There were not many issues I had with the novel. If anything, I would have preferred it to be just a few more chapters longer to tie up a few loose ends, but this novel is part of a series so that isn’t a big issue.

Overall, I loved this novel. I want to read the rest of the books in this series!

Five out of five stars for this addicting novel.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

Have you read Meredith Wild’s books before? Which one if your favourite? Comment below!
If you love Meredith Wild, you might enjoy this book too: Quick Review – Personal Geography by Tamsen Parker

Use the hashtags #BriarsReviews and #HackerSeries on twitter if you read this review! @ReviewAlholic

#BookReview Leaving Home by Duane A. Eide

It’s time for another quick book review!!

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Leaving Home was an interesting fictional read.

This novel follows Shane Stenlund after an unfortunate injury that led him to not continuing his secondary school career. He goes off to the big city and learns that life is much different in the city than on the farm.

The story was definitely interesting, although I did not see the big picture or what the theme was. It seemed like it was just meant to be a good, fictional read to escape from reality with. If there was a theme, maybe it just wasn’t very obvious.

The character development and plot pace was A-grade. I felt like the story built well over time and nothing seemed to come to early or to late in the story. If anything, I would have liked there to be more interaction with Shane’s family but that was not a big issue.

Overall, it was a good read. I was impressed with the book and would suggest it to anyone who wants a good book to escape reality with.

Four out of five stars, due to the lack of evident theme.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

What is your favourite book that is less than 100 pages? Comment below!
If you enjoyed this book review, check out another you might enjoy! #BookReview – Dancing with Fireflies by Clemens Carl Schoenebeck

Use the hashtags #BriarsReviews and #LeavingHome to start a conversation on twitter! @ReviewAlholic

 

Photo from Goodreads.

#BookReview Survving Revision: How One Writer Finished What She Started by K. Kris Loomis

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Surviving Revision by K. Kris Loomis is a thoughtful reflection on the writing process.

If you’re looking for a non-fiction book surrounding the thoughts on how to finish writing your book, then you’ve come to the right place! K. Kris Loomis (the author of The Sinking of Bethany Ann Crane) compiled a list of all the helpful ideas and tools that helped her get through revising her novel. This is a non-fiction, opinionated collection that can help you work through those tough times when writing your novel.

If I’m comparing it to my recent writing adventure (it was an essay, don’t get too excited), I felt like it was pretty spot on. Here’s just some of the general ideas she discusses (and explains why they are important and/or how you can fix them!). Don’t worry, I’m not spoiling much… Read the book to find all of the full details!
1. You write a draft that has all of your ideas and it’s not perfect. It’s like a big, blobby mess full of everything you want and lots of stuff you don’t.
2, Editing and revising can be an absolute pain, but it’s a must for your novel. Suddenly, that big, blobby mess will mold into what looks like an actual first draft!
3. Setting goals are important!

So, what do I think?

I think this is a really helpful book! If you’re not used to writing, this will give you insights into what actually happens in the writing process. It’s definitely honest, and it’s full of helpful and useful information. If anything, use it as a stepping stone so you know where you’re headed!

What I did like about it, was that it was relatively short! My ebook copy was just over one hundred pages, which is way easier to read than the thousand page English and Revising books you’d find at a college or university for writing. It felt like the perfect summary of those giant works! Also, this book was in a very comfortable, chatty tone. I felt like the author was actually talking to me and explaining what was happening, rather than reading it from a boring, old textbook. That makes this book so much more personal and enjoyable.

Are there cons?
Absolutely! As I said, this book isn’t a textbook! If you are looking for a step-by-step plan on how to totally finish your book, then this book might not be for you. It’s more generalized and personal than a textbook is. The book doesn’t give you specific grammatical errors to look out for or contain a list of commonly misspelled words. Since this book is a narrative of how one person overcame these issues, you need to be aware of what you are getting into. Some readers might not like that, so I’d say that is the con of this book!

My favourite part of this book was seeing how K. Kris Loomis worked through her book. That included what she was doing, her goals and her frustrations along the way. It showed me that the writing process isn’t always purely productive. Sometimes, you’re rocking it out and sometimes you’re having a little more difficulty than you let on. But on other occasions you can have a lot of fun and enjoy the ride! Having that sort of honesty was really cool and it’s something I don’t see very often in literature these days!

Overall, I liked this book! It felt personal, realistic and it echoed a lot of what I’ve found out myself. I think it’s a great read for someone who’s interested in finishing a book but doesn’t know what to expect. Sometimes, the best way to learn is to draw on the experiences of others!

Five out of five stars!

I received a free copy of this book from the author K. Kris Loomis in exchange for an honest review.

 

Check out this book on:

Goodreads

Amazon.com

Amazon.ca

Find out more about K. Kris Loomis on:

K. Kris Loomis Goodreads Page

http://www.kkrisloomis.com/

Twitter – @KKrisLoomis

 

If you enjoyed this review, check out these other books by K. Kris Loomis:

#BookReview The Sinking of Bethany Ann Crane by K. Kris Loomis

#BookReview The Monster in the Closet and Other Stories by K. Kris Loomis

 

Give me a shout-out on Twitter, on Facebook, or comment below with any other books you’d like to see on my blog!

 

Photo from Goodreads.