Breathe To Read

Breathe To Read

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Book: The Clockmaker's Daughter

 Book: The Clockmaker's Daughter

Author: Kate Morton

Pages: 496

This is my 70th read for the year

This is a book that travels back and forth through time.  In the 19th century, a young girl who is abandoned in London is taken in by a couple that teaches her to be a theif.  As she grows up, she catches the eye on a young, budding artist who wants her to be his muse.  Their relationship blossoms into love, but when the young girl's "family" comes looking for her, a tragedy strikes, and the girl disappears.  

Over time, Birchwood Manor where the tragedy struck ebbs and flows with people.  It is bought and sold - left to go into disrepair.  All the while it holds a dark secreat.  As the story unfolds over the course of more than a century and a half, the people who come and go have lives that entertwine and piece together what happened that one fateful night so long ago.

This was a pretty good book.  You have to be really paying attention as you read, so this one took me a longer time than I was expecting.  It was well written, but the back and forth through time and all the characters is hard to keep up with at times.  It would have been nice to have a layout of the timelines and characters somehwere to refer to so you weren't constantly trying to remember who fit where.  The ending wasn't great.  I have read several Kate Morton books and have liked them pretty well, but this one  - after 496 pages - have an ending I felt was lacking.  

I suggest if you pick this one up, you are ready with pen and paper to keep a timeline for yourself so you can refer to it as this books hops around quite a bit.  Also - it cannot be one that you read, like I did, over the course of a few weeks when you have time.  I would make the time to read this one a few days in a row to keep the momentum of all the characters straight.

Stars: 3.5

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

2022 Challenge: Duology: Vengeful

 Book: Vengeful

Author: V.E. Schwab

Pages: 480

This is my 69th read for the year

The second book in Villans Duology opens basically where we left off.  Victor is still struggling to keep his heart beating after Sydney brought him back from dying a second time.  As he searches for answers, and searches for Eli, new EOs come onto the scene.  Marcella Riggins' husband tried to murder her, but instead, turned her into one of the most powerful EOs in existence.  When she meets June, she thinks as a team they can be unstoppable.  Eli - now behind bars - and being tortured for science - is brought in to try and find Marcella and stop her.  However, his handlers are reluctant to let him out.  They want him to help them from prison.  Eventually Victor, Eli, and Marcella will face off and it is anyone's guess who will be left standing.

This was a good book.  I didn't like it as much as the first one - I was kind of hoping they would focus just on Victor and Eli and their own hunts.  But most of the story is about Marcella and June.  Marcella was not likable at all - although I am beginning to think that is the idea with this author.  A lot of time jumps.  I didn't find myself jumping to finish this one like I did Vicious.  It wraps up nicely - I don't think there will be a third. But who knows.  And if there is - we shall see if I pick it up.

Stars: 3

Friday, August 12, 2022

2022 Challenge: Duology: Vicious

 Book: Vicious

Author: V E Schwab

Pages: 400

This is my 68th read for the year

This is the story of Victor and Eli.  Two friends who met in college ad quickly hit it off.  They were both incredibly intelligent as well as arrogant, and they liked to challenge each other.  When Eli picks to do his final college thesis on how someone could develop Extraordinary (EO) abilities Victor becomes wary.  However when the experiment moves from the classroom to real life, things take a turn that neither saw coming.  

10 years later, Victor is on the search for Eli.  While Victor has been in prison for a crime, Eli has been on the search for EOs to erradicate them all for the abominations he believes them to be.  With the help of an unlikely sidekick, both Victor and Eli come head to head once and for all.  

This was a pretty good story.  A clever idea of people who get abilities after they die and are brought back to life by resucitation and the abilities they develop due to that resucitation.  Victor and Eli are on opposite sides when it comes to EOs abilities and if they should be allowed to exist.  Both of the main characters are extremely arrogant, and honestly - I didn't love either that much.  Victor is probably the better of the two as far as likability, but he still wanted these abilities for himself, so he isn't much better than Eli in the end.

I am anxious to read the second book in this series to see where it is going.  It was well written, and entertaining, and the first book did end on a cliff hanger.  If you are interested in the supernatural, this book is for you.

Stars: 4.5 

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Book: The Wife Upstairs

 Book: The Wife Upstairs

Author: Rachel Hawkins

Pages: 336

This is my 67th read for the year

This is the story of Jane.  She is a dog walker in a rich part of Alabama.  She spends her days taking care of other people's pet and wishing she could have their brightly colored lives.  One day, she meets Eddie - a wealthy man whose wife has died in a tragic accident along with her best friend.  What happens next is a whirlwind romance that Jane never saw coming and before she knows it, she has moved in with Eddie and they are planning a wedding.  Jane cannot shake the feeling that she will always be in Eddie's wife Bea's shadow.  Soon, things start to unravel, and Jane can't shake the feeling that things are not as they seem.  How can she makes sure that Bea stays buried?

This book was just okay.  I listened to it and it passed the time while I was working in the yard.  But it is not good literature. I hated all the characters.  The twist you can see coming.  I felt bad for no one in this book - they were all awful.  Didn't care what happened to any of them!

Skip it

Stars: 2

Saturday, August 6, 2022

2022 Challenge: A Book Set In A Foreign Country: The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany

 Book: The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany

Author: Lori Nelson Spielman

Pages: 400

This is my 66th read for the year

This is the story of Emilia.  She is a second born daughter in a family that has a legend that all second born daughters are cursed.  A curse that was set generations ago between two sisters that states that all second born daughters will live a life cursed to be single and never find love.  But Emilia has never been sure of this myth - feeling that it cannot possibly be true.  Even though she has never really found love, she states she has never really looked.  She is content to keep her head down working for her families business and doting on her nieces.  One day, her great aunt Poppy calls and invites her on an all expense paid trip to Italy for Poppy's 80th birhtday.  Emilia's grandmother has long stopped talking to her sister Poppy and tells Emilia she cannot go.  Emilia goes against her grandmother's wishes and heads out on a trip that will answer so many questions, reveal many family secrets, and hopefully break the family curse once and for all.

I did not like this book.  It is very poorly written.  I found myself eyerolling over the lines over and over again.  I almost DNF the book, but decided to push on to see if it ended the way it was heading.  And it did.  Very predictable and easy to figure out from the beginning.  I didn't like a single character, except maybe Poppy, but even she was just tolerable.  The story was just not good.  A lot of cliche writing, and jumbled plot.  It had some potential - traveling back and forth between the present and the past to piece the story together of Poppy, her long lost love, and her sister.  But the writing was just so poor that I just wanted to get through it.

Stars: 2

Friday, August 5, 2022

Book: Magic Hour

 Book: Magic Hour

Author: Kristin Hannah

Pages: 432

This is my 65th read of the year

This is the story of Julia.  A psyhiatrist that has been thrown into the public eye after one of her patients killed several people.  The media and everyone involved felt that Julia should have seen the signs.  When the court deems Julia innocent of any wrong doing, Julia hopes to get her life back on track.  Soon she discovers that this is harder than she realizes.  When her sister calls her to help with a little girl that was found in the woods, Julia jumps at the chance to get away and start fresh.  As Julia starts to work with the little girl, she rekindles old friendships and a relationship with her older sister, and discovers that she can still do some good when it comes to troubled children.

This was an okay book.  I am an on again/off again Kristin Hannah fan.  She has written some books that I really love, and some books that I just could not get into.  This unfortunately was not one of the good ones, in my opinion.  The writing was just so/so.  There were a lot of side stories going on, and so for me the main focus - the little girl and where she came from, who captured her, etc - got lost in the mix.  The characters and predictable and not all that likable.  The author spent too much time developing side love stories rather than focusing on the main objective of the book.  Ending was predictable.

Eh - not one to jump on if you are a fan.  Honestly - the only two books of hers I really liked were Nightengale and Winter Garden.  Not sure if i wil put up her stories in the future.

Stars: 3

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Book: Book Lovers

 Book: Book Lovers

Author: Emily Henry

Pages: 400

This is my 64th read for the year

This is the story of Nora.  A hard working literary agent that is passionate about getting her clients the best deals on their books.  Her sister, Libby, asks Nora to take a few weeks and go with her to Sunshine Falls to get away from it all before Libby has her 3rd child.  Nora agrees to go with the sister she has always felt responsible for since their mom died years ago, and embark on a sister trip with a "bucket list" that Libby has put together.  While there, Nora runs into editor Charlie Lastra whom she tried working with in the past.  Charlie asks to be the editor on Nora's client's new book, and Nora reluctantly agrees.  AS they are thrown together into this project, Nora starts to find out things about herself and let's Charlie glimpse a little into her past.  Meanwhile, Libby seems to be on her own mission in Sunshine Falls and Nora fears she is keeping deep secrets from her. 

This was a pretty cute book.  Sometimes in the summer I need a cute read just because and this one hit the spot.  I normally steer pretty clear from Rom/Com books (even though I do love a good Hallmark Christmas movie), but there was enough banter between the main characters here to make this book enjoyable.  It was fun writing - the lines clever and quick witted making me think of Gilmore Girls styl writing.  It is a slow burn as far as the romance was concerned, so much more of a "com" than "rom" but I was okay with that.  There were some plot holes (of my own making- like how did the mom die? Did I miss it?  Why was it a secret?) that could have been filled in, but overall - a cute read ful of fun and fluff.

Stars 3.5