Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Last Letter from your Lover

I have never read anything by Jojo Moyes before, and now I know that I have been missing out if any of her other books are as good as this one. The book just makes you feel. It was totally heartwrenching. One of those books that spans bursts of time with so much emotion, oh my gosh!

You get the view point of two main characters the most, and occasionally a side character, all in third person. The two main characters are Jenny and a person I will call "B" as he is first introduced in this book.

Talk about love. The really powerful kind that you read only occasionally that just tugs at you. This is one of those books where I don't think I can really say much about it. I think you need to read it and find out for yourself. But if you like serious romance novels, not the sweet and fluffy kind (cause this is so not that), then this is the book for you.

I totally loved it.

Here's the book trailer:

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Language of Flowers

I received this ARC as a gift for review. It's release date is August 23, 2011.

The Language of Flowers is a beautifully written story. Victoria is the female lead, it is written in first person, from her perspective.

Victoria was abandoned as a baby and spent the her whole life thus far in the system. She was never in foster homes for longer and after the age of ten was put in a group home until the time she turned eighteen. She had a hard life, some of it her own fault, and a rather stunted personality and emotions. The book goes back and forth between chapters from the time that Victoria, ten, spent in a foster home with Elizabeth to the present where Victoria has recently turned eighteen and is out on her own and out of the system for the first time.

We follow along on her journey as she is finally out of group homes, only to be homeless. We follow along as she ends up building a life for herself when only trying to survive. We see how she grows as a person, deals with her many issues, and falls in love.

The book was really interesting with a look at the mind of a child that is seemingly unwanted by everyone. I felt that Victoria was written very well. She had serious emotional issues...basically no emotion. She had them, but shoved them deep so as to seem hard all the time. She was weird and awkward socially, as well. Overall, she is a very likeable character. I felt for her, cried for her.

Of course the book is also filled with the language of flowers. It's a neat tool the author has used to further understand Victoria as well as others around her. Because of Victoria's issues, she is able to use the flowers to communicate...with those who understand as well, of course. Even if the thought of plants meanings to you doesn't sound interesting, they are important to the story, and therefore meaningful.

I was really sucked into this book as soon as I picked it up. I liked it very much. This is the author's debut novel, and I'm wholly impressed. I enjoy books like this, where the writing feels lyrically, poetic even. There is just a certain feel to the story that I find my favorite books contain.

This book is not just a romance, though the romance in it is very important and central to the storyline. However, the main focus of this book is Victoria not only finding peace with her past, the willingness to move on, but also to see that she is not unworthy, that she too can be happy, loved, and love in return.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Lot's Return to Sodom

I was gifted this book as an ARC, although, I didn't read in time to be advanced.

This is the second book in the Liv Bergen mystery series. Liv just went through being saved from the clutches of a psychotic serial killer and was in the hospital for over a month dealing with heroin withdrawals that the killer had injected her with.

Liv went home to stay with her parents, to aid in her recovery, when once again, she finds herself in the midst of not one but two or more murders. One of the people murdered just happened to be her brother's girlfriend. Once again, who comes to investigate? Agent Streeter of course!

This book was different from the first, as the first focused on the sick and twisted mind of a serial killer. This book is more of a mystery that Liv to easily places herself in the middle of. Of course Liv is always one step ahead of the FBI.

If you can suspend your belief that a woman who helps run a mining industry is more clever than the trained professionals, and more apt to being almost seemingly murdered every other chapter, then I'm sure you will enjoy this book.

A plus in this books, as well as in the previous, is that you don't know who the killer is until the very end. Seriously. I wasn't surprised when I realized who it was, however, I hadn't been thinking of them all along, either.

Liv gets herself in trouble with a seriously sick and twisted motorcycle gang, who are basically on her tail throughout the book. Are they the ones who committed the crimes?

Ah, but lets get to the good stuff, eh? Streeter comes to the rescue, always one step behind. The book itself encompasses one day, one very long day, but the romance between Streeter and Liv heats up, even though they only spend a few minutes together in that day. I really like the way this is written. They didn't meet in the first book. They were aware of the other in this one, but only had a bit of face time. But, it was lovely. Of course, that is a total chick thing to say.

One thing that bothered me about the idea of this series, is how unbelievable it would be for Liv to continue to find herself around murder victims and one particular FBI agent. So, when Streeter gave Liv the tracking dog in the end, it was like, AH, now I see how the author is going to do this.

The book was okay. I like most books. This wasn't one that I'm like just dying for the next one to come out, but I think that if I remember this time next year that it's out, then I will read it for sure. The mystery is well written. There is tons of dialogue in solving said mystery. It is written in third person from Streeter's point of view and first person in Liv's.

Here's the book trailer:

Friday, June 10, 2011

In the Belly of Jonah

I was gifted this book from Greenleaf Book Group Press, and it was released in 2010.

This is a murder mystery/thriller and is the first in a series of mystery books following Liv Bergen. The author is Sandra Brannan.

There is an horrific serial killer snatching people up and setting them up like works of art. The FBI is involved, and so is a local woman who happens to know the latest victim and one of the FBI agents.

People die and in some pretty sick ways.

I had never read a thriller before and didn't really know what to expect. From everything I read about this book, everyone seemed to think the heroine was just an awesome character. I didn't find her to be all that special. But it didn't matter because we get the points of view of pretty much all the key characters. Streeter (FBI) and the killer come at us in third person. Liv, the main female lead, is written in first person.

Like I mentioned, there is a sick man on the loose and being chased down. Liv basically gets herself caught in the middle. Since we see from so many different points of views we get to really have a full picture of what's going on, from the serial killers sick and twisted mind, to seeing how Streeter investigates, to seeing how Liv tries to cope with everything going on around her. She, of course, is fierce.

The following could be considered a spoiler:
One of the cool things that I liked about this book, is the point the author made of not having Liv and Streeter meet. The author was even able to make you want them to meet, like seriously. Of course I come from a romantic reading background, so I always root for a romance. Anyway, she set it up nicely so that even if I'm not interested in Liv, or the next book's story line, I still want to read to see if and/or how they meet and what happens next.

The next book in the series is Lot's Return to Sodom, which just came out June 1, 2011. I am fixin' to start it...I'm curious to see where the author goes with this series. Also, I really like the covers of the both the books I have, especially this one.

Here's the book trailer: