Thoughts on books, family, and life in one impressive package.

I hate starting the new year with outstanding reviews to write. Twenty reviews. Four days. It’s crunch time, and it’s going to get ugly. And short. These are not going to be award-winning reviews.

Here are the next five.

Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough
I started Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough because I wanted to watch the show on Netflix. Now, the only thing I can think of when I think of the story is WTF. That ending! Not only was I not expecting it, I feel like it came out of nowhere. I’m not even sure I like it. The magic element, which I normally love, doesn’t fit the rest of the story, especially because the rest of it is realistic in a depraved way. I thoroughly enjoyed the manipulation and the suspense. Still, I have yet to start the show even though I finished the book well over a month ago. I’m just not sure I want to see how the director envisioned this one.

Grim Lovelies by Megan Shepherd
On the surface, Megan Shepherd is an author whose books I should love. Unfortunately, Grim Lovelies is another one she wrote that did not click with me. For one thing, I found the voice too young for my taste. The entire story reads more like middle grade versus young adult. Plus, the plot is a bit of a muddle and not well-explained until it is much too late. I found the entire experience rather boring but thankfully an easy and quick read. This is one series I will not be continuing.

Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
I only listened to Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett because I love the Amazon series and adore both Michael Sheen and David Tennant as Aziraphale and Crowley. Seriously, they are perfect in their roles. While the audio is almost exactly like the show, I still enjoyed every minute of listening to this fantastic story. I can see why it has such a cult following and why people read it over and over again!

The Child by Sebastian Fitzek
The Child by Sebastian Fitzek was a freebie from Audible. It sounded interesting, and the fact that Andy Serkis was one of the narrators piqued my interest. While the audio production is pretty darn good, the story itself is so very dark. The subject matter is disturbing, and Fitzek takes it right up to the point of going too far without going over it. Needless to say, if it bothered me, one should approach this very cautiously. I was able to overcome my discomfort by chuckling at the very British production of a very German story. I do think there is something lost by the very proper accents and performances, but it does make it more approachable. I would entertain the idea of reading something else by Fitzek, but I would do a bit more research first.

Escaping from Houdini by Kerri Maniscalco
Escaping from Houdini by Kerri Maniscalco is the third novel in a great series. As before, Maniscalco uses Audrey Rose to explore the tight confines of Victorian expectations and social mores. This time, she bends the rules a bit as the story occurs on the Atlantic Ocean, where it is a bit easier to escape societal pressure. As such, we see Audrey lose herself in a role she adopts to gain answers, wherein she finds the lure of escaping the burdens of society to live on the fringes. And then there is Thomas. Sigh. Gods, I love that boy. As much as I admire Audrey for flouting society to obtain the profession of her choice, Thomas will always have my heart. He is just too damn charming and suave yet so utterly sweet at the same time. Gah. To be 18 and in love for the first time all over again!

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