#BookReview – Strange Medicine by Mike Russell

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Strange Medicine by Mike Russell

This book is an excellent selection of short stories. I love books like this because there are great for those who want a short term read, but also want a lot of spice in their life and Strange Medicine brought it!

These stories are quirky and exciting, which isn’t something you can say about a lot of short stories series. Some of them seem a little dark or strange for short stories, but they are so well written it’s unbelievable. This book definitely kept me interested!!

Some of the stories are more thoughtful, while others will just make you laugh. Without spoiling, I would say this is a good collection that gives you a little bit of everything – it’s just enough! These out of the box, bizarre, yet thoughtful stories are a great way to spice up your library or reading experience. You’ll have many thought provoking questions, which is just how I like my reads!!!

My critiques are that I would have liked to read more into each story. I felt like some of them could have been expanded much further than they were, but they were short stories and that it is. This book wasn’t meant to be a full length novel.

This is a refreshing novel and I definitely want to read more! It didn’t wow my socks off beyond belief, but it was so great that is deserves four stars! Mike Russell is a very talent author who should definitely be in the top contenders at book stores (if he isn’t, they are crazy! What a talent that guy is!).

Four out of five stars.

Murderous May: The Girl on the Train – BOOK REVIEW EXTRAVAGANZA!

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Book Review
Book Title: The Girl on the Train
Author: Paula Hawkins

Introduction: I have had this book on my shelf for AGES. I had been dying to read it but I never had the time. And then, with a hint of luck, I had to go sit during a long appointment and I had all the time in the world to read this book! And I read about 85% of the book in one sitting and finished it one day later. I not only wanted to read it because of all the fantastic reviews I had read about it, but because I want to watch the film adaption as well. I always love reading the book before seeing the movie – hence why I haven’t watched many movies lately! So many are based on good books!

Review:

This book has been compared to Gone Girl since it hopped on the suspense/mystery novel scene – and while you can definitely say they are similar (because of, you know, murders and mystery) they are both fantastic in their own ways. They are two separate entities that shouldn’t be compared! Unless you are using them in a list of the best suspense books in the last decade, then list them together!

This book follows Rachel, a drunk, angry, depressed, bitter woman who has been divorced by Tom. Slowly throughout this book we are introduced to her back story – a glorious tale woven so beautifully by Paula Hawkins. Tom is now married to Anna, the other woman in his and Rachel’s relationship, and it all goes downhill from there. When a girl that Rachel has seen is missing, Rachel decides that she has to help this mystery.

Reading this book from Rachel’s, Anna and Meghan’s point of view is truly incredible. Rachel isn’t totally reliable because of her being an alcoholic, Anna sounds like the not-so-perfect housewife Tom probably desired at some point, and Meghan gives an inside view to the outside view Rachel has been watching. These three tales woven together are just so beautifully written that it’s hard not to want to tell everyone to read this book just to show them how three separate characters who barely interact can haveĀ  their lives so entwined with one enough.

So is all this hype worth it? I would say yes. Don’t put this book in some high and mighty place in your mind and then be disappointed. I decided I would read this to see the movie – all the comparisons to Gone Girl made me quite suspicious so I didn’t leave my standards high. But, surprisingly, this book was excellent. If I would have given it silly expectations, I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much.

If I could describe this book in a few words, I would give it – insanity, murder, and suspicion. Every time I thought I had an idea of where this book was going, Paula had to go and shake it up like a magic eight ball. Typically I can see the ending from a mile away, and this book was different. I did NOT expect the ending. Will the reader guess it? Potentially, but it’s not a dead giveaway – which is why I like this book! Paula didn’t make it obvious and made the reader work for it if they wanted to guess.

Overall – this fast-paced, mind-blowing novel is definitely what I needed in my life! It lived up to the hype, and I’m excited to watch the film now! The psychological, murderous novel full of absolute insanity is spectacular! I can’t wait to read more by Paula Hawkins! Her and Gillian Flynn need to write a book together…because the insanity between the two of them in one book? That’d be killer!

Five out of five stars.

Positives:
1. Fast-Paced
2. Unpredictable Twists and Turns
3. Unreliable Narrators
4. Well Developed Characters
5. Complex Plot with a Layered Storyline
6. Unique Concepts

Negatives:
1. Comparisons to Gone Girl
2. Over-Hyped? Maybe.

Positive & Negative All Wrapped Up In One:
1. Dual (3 to be exact) POVs
2. Stereotypical Relationships
3. Black-Out Drunk Moments

Book Review: From Wedding to Funeral: Spouses who Murder by Mindy M. Shelton

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Photo via Goodreads.

Book Review
Book Title: From Wedding to Funeral: Spouses who Murder
Book Author: Mindy M. Shelton

Introduction: I received the entire series from Mindy M. Shelton as a trade for some honest reviews. Thank you for this opportunity!

Review:

This series of books is non-fiction. The books describe true crime murders that have been initiated by spouses. Like the previous encyclopedias, each chapter starts with a form about the Murderers and what they have done. The forms give information such as the date of the murder, the murder weapon, the sentence and any other information needed to give a basic insight into their situations. Following that, Mindy gives a thorough description derived from many trusted sources of every murder and the follow-up. Each investigation is explained in an unbiased tone, which makes this an excellent book to use for research or for citations.

Compared to the previous books in this series, I felt like this textbook in the series had a lot more description an writing in regard to the murders. This added ‘umph’ of explanations gives a better insight into what actually happened to these murders.

Overall, I really enjoyed this series as a whole. There weren’t any hiccups or negative aspects that I could find. I do hope Mindy continues researching and creating more non-fiction textbooks (whether it’s about murders, crime or any other subject) as I would love to continue reading them!

As always, I should include a disclaimer for individuals wanting to readĀ  this book: This is NON-FICTION and is written as if it is a TEXTBOOK. This is not a fictional story or tale. Going into this book expecting a crime novel format will leave you disappointed because that is not how this book was written. If you are looking for a set of facts, or an encyclopedia to assist in research than this book is for you!!

Five out of five stars – what a wonderful “end” (for now? Maybe?) to this great set of textbooks!

Quick Book Review: Finding Elizabeth by Taylor Fenner

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Photo via Goodreads.

Finding Elizabeth was a sweet, cute novel revolving around the idea that we are reincarnated, and true love conquers all.

I found this novel to be quite cute! It was a very romanticizing novel, for all the true romantics at heart.

While this novel does start out quite slow and boring at the start, it picks up speed rather quickly. The content of the book seems like it is more of a Young Adult than any other category. It isn’t for a very young audience, but it feels like it isn’t aimed at the adult audience either. But that makes this book more accessible to different audiences!

I did find that this plot has been redone a million and one times, but it was a sweet novel! It isn’t something I’d go running to pick up immediately, but as a nice, short read it was great! It didn’t wow me or stand out compared to other similar books, but it shouldn’t be left off the shelf! It was a good read!

Taylor Fenner did an excellent job with this novel, and I applaud her!

Four out of five stars!

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

Domnall and the Borrowed Child by Sylvia Spruck Wrigley

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Photo via Goodreads.

Domnall and the Borrowed Child was a nice short story.

This story seemed like it was based on a much larger work. I felt like there was a back story to these characters that I did not know about, although this did not affect the quality of the book. It was a short, cute story that seemed like it was a fairy tale. I felt like I could have read this story to a child and they would have benefited from it much more than I did.

The story progressed well and I did not feel like it ended to soon or that it could have been pressed on further. I could see this novella turning into a full blown series with this just as a side story.

Not a lot happens plot wise, but it was a cute enough story that a child would enjoy. It wasn’t to scary and wasn’t to confusing for a child to not understand.

I enjoyed this book, but I wasn’t so obsessed that I want to read all of Sylvia Spruck Wrigley’s work.

Keep up the great writing Sylvia! I enjoyed it! I would love to see this universe expanded on.

Three out of five stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

Quick Book Review: When A Taker Dreams by J.A. Jackson

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Photo via Goodreads.

When a Taker Dreams was a fantastic romance novel that exceeded my expectations.

This novel follows Cierra Cantrell and her relationships with her friend Isabelle’s brother, Ryker.

The plot line of this novel is one that is used often throughout many books, but JA Jackson adds an interesting subplot to keep the book interesting. I was hooked about 1/4 of the way into book and I couldn’t put it down, which is a good thing!

Although the book is a pleasant read, there are a lot of places for improvement! For one, the book didn’t seem to be edited. Many words were spelled incorrectly (for example, prefect instead of perfect) throughout the entire novel, and quotations marks were missing at almost every paragraph that included narrative in between quotations.

Overall, I really did enjoy the novel! I would love a sequel to see how the characters fend themselves in future situations.

Three out of five stars, due to the editing issues.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

Quick Book Review: Aeromancist: The Beginning (Seven Forbidden Arts #2) by Charmaine Pauls

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Photo via Goodreads.

Aeromancist, The Beginning is a prequel novel to the second book of the series. I would suggest not reading this novel if you haven’t read the series because I was heavily confused. But, it was extremely great at the same time if you don’t care about the back story of the characters.

From my understanding, Lann the main character has some sort of power relating to weather and planes. That is as far as the author goes to explain him to new readers. I never really grasped what he could do, but it seems paranormal in nature. This book is not your typical romance/BDSM read as it seems to have some supernatural/fantasy/paranormal element to it, but that’s not the main focus of this book. The main focus is Lann and his relationship with Kat.

The romance side of the novel is fantastic. It is a mix of romance and BDSM, and it’s incredible. The relationship slowly develops, it doesn’t just happen. The characters are not developed a lot, but this is a very short novella that is just a prequel novella.

I would suggest readers pick up the actual books of the series before reading this. I do plan to pick up the novels of the series so I can further understand this novella.

Overall, it was fantastic! Four out of five stars! I would have liked to understand what Lann’s “powers” are, but other than that it hit all the right notes with me.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.