Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Three Things...

1.  COVID-19. Ugh. Nightmare that is our new reality. How? Why? Oh my. So many questions and thoughts float around in my head all the time now. My anxiety has hit an all new high. Fortunately, I feel better equipped to handle it. Plus, I stopped watching the news 24/7 like I was when this all first started - now, I read the news online instead.  Oh, and I can't help but laugh when friends from abroad ask me about our President's bungling of the situation. By the way, they all send their prayers our way.  Its definitely a scary and interesting time.

2.  Books. Well, I've been reading suspense-thrillers, because they are quick and easy. And, I've been re-reading some favorites. Okay, so the favorites are Harry Potter. Yes, I decided to re-read the entire series, because I wanted something familiar, fun, and magical.  And, let me just say - BEST DECISION EVER! I am LOVING the books even more this time round. So, I plan on re-watching all of the films when I finish with the books. How fun! I'm currently on the fifth book. 

As for the other books I've been reading?

https://www.netgalley.com/catalog/book/182083 Liz and Jess are friends who met in a birthing class. They've remained friends ever since. Liz is on call at the hospital when Jess comes in with her youngest child.  The baby was throwing up and just really fussy, so her husband thought she should bring her in. During the exam, Liz finds a squishy bump on the back of the baby's head.  She asks Jess about it and well, the story does not add up.  Suffice it to say, the authorities are brought in and soon Jess's family is being questioned and she is being denied access to her baby.  Liz feels horrible, but trusts that she's made the right decision.  Then again, she's made mistakes before.  Is she wrong about Jess?

Let me just say, what a good story! I loved it! I thought I had guessed what happened, but then they added a twist that made me gasp out loud in surprise. All I will say is that this book had me hooked and I LOVED trying to figure out who did what. Such a fun read!
Ruth Ware is always hit or miss for me. Some of her books I have LOVED to bits and others I have enjoyed, but found to be rather 'meh'.  Well, this latest one falls into the 'meh' category. At first I found myself sucked in and eager to find out what happened, but then I guessed whodunit and found myself rather bored with the story. There are some good bits, but overall I felt the story lacked the urgency necessary in spinning a mystery-suspense story. Oh well.

So, what's it about? Well, employees from the app, Snoop, decide to have a retreat where they can ski, talk shop, and relax.  Except, plans go awry and soon people are being murdered. Yikes!

Sounds good, right? Well, it was-ish. Turned out to not be my cup of tea. 

I wanted a pandemic book and chose this one over re-reading The Stand (which I had re-read last year).  I'm thinking I should have re-read The Stand.  Severance was a solid read and I did find myself wondering what would happen to Candace, but did I care. Not really. It was a book that I read to finish reading.

The story is bout a plague that sweeps across the world. Candace lives in NYC.  Her boyfriends tells her he's leaving and wants her to come with him. She's pregnant, but doesn't tell him. She stays behind to continue working.  Except, she winds up completely alone - everyone leaves (like the city is empty).  So, she heads out on her own.  She winds up with a group of survivors. They end up at a mall in the Midwest. And, that is all I will say.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44654627-one-of-us-is-next?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=Ypz1GuP6Uq&rank=1The sequel to the YA bestseller, One Of Us Is Lying. I loved the first book, so I had to read the second one. Suffice it to say, it was good, but not as good as the first. Still fun to read though.

This time round, someone is playing Truth or Dare via text.  Yep, you get a text asking you to choose one. If you choose Dare, your secret (truth) is safe.  Of course, if you choose not to play, your Truth is out.  Talk about a dangerous game! And let me just say, it was dangerous as the truths escalate and lives are changed drastically.

 I'm usually a fan on Edwards' books, but this one was just not good. A British couple are staying at their new friend's home in NYC.  One rainy night a woman shows up claiming to know their new friends. They invite her in and days later their lives are forever changed. Basically, the couple consists of an actress and a writer. She's about to make it big in a new play, while he can't get anyone to read his work.  The new woman who is suddenly staying with them vanishes, along with the actress.  Turns out, she's involved in a cult. Yep, this book is about a cult who can make people's dreams come true. But, at what cost? Anyhow, the story was definitely ridiculous and just not good. I'm actually surprised with myself for reading the whole thing. Oh, well. They can't all be winners, I guess.


What a good book! Don't let the cover throw you off. It almost threw me off.

A woman is on her way to meet a friend. She gets raped in broad daylight early one morning.  The police investigate, but pretty much tell her there isn't much more to do. She's devastated, frightened, and suffering PTSD. So, she decides to take control by finding her rapist.  She knows that he has hurt other women and is still on the loose, and she can't let him attack anyone else. So, she stalks him until she can finally exact her revenge.

Talk about a gritty drama. This would definitely be movie on Lifetime.
 Meh. This book was just not good. It was beyond predictable and did not excite in the least. A miss for me.

An attorney gets a call from an old law school classmate. He's in trouble and needs her help. His wife has been murdered and he's in jail. She's not keen to help him. Its not her specialty and she has a lot to deal with at the moment - her marriage is on the rocks, their finances are nonexistent, she's avoiding family, etc.. So, she takes on the case after her boss tells her to. Unfortunately, this case turns out to be a lot more complicated than she had originally thought.  And, the old classmate turns out to be worse than a stranger.

All in all, it was a mixed bag of a read. There were some good bits, but overall it just didn't pack the punch that a great suspense-thriller needs. It didn't have the hook necessary in keeping you interested. It just wasn't that good of a read.
 A couple is getting married on an island. Their guest list is set.  The Big Day is nigh.  And then, drama ensues. No one is happy. Everyone is drinking way too much. Oh, and someone dies. Yep, its definitely an unforgettable affair.

Okay, so this one sounds really good, right? Well it is and it isn't. It was predictable and very cliched. I was really shocked by some of the revelations, which is why I didn't LOVE the book. But, it was still fun to read.
A young girl goes missing. A family of four is not enjoying living in their posh new digs. And, the neighbor across the street is deemed a weirdo to be avoided at all costs. All of their lives merge when accusations are made and lies are concealed.

This was a good book. I loved it. Jewell always writes a great story. She just knows how to captivate and keep you interested all the way through. She threads story lines so seamlessly, that you can't believe you didn't see what was coming next. Talk about a fun and engaging story!

3.  TV and Music.  I thought I would be watching way more TV than normal, but I haven't. I started re-watching How To Get Away With Murder so that I could catch up to the seasons I hadn't watched. Well, I stopped at the second episode of season 3.  The show just felt so Over The Top, I had to stop watching. So, I started re-watching The X-Files. I'm still on season 1. I plan on watching the last season of Homeland and West World.

As for music. I've been listening to so much music lately. The Beatles, Taylor Swift, Dixie Chicks, Better Than Ezra, The National, Sarah Jarosz, Counting Crows, Natalie Merchant, REM, Tom Petty, Tracy Chapman, Paula Cole, Sarah Mclachlan, and Pearl Jam. 

I'm excited for the new CD by Yo-Yo Ma, Chris Thile, Stuart Duncan, and Edgar Meyer that comes out next month - Not Our First Goat Rodeo.

What about you all? How are you faring? I hope you are all well and enjoying good books. Let me know what you've been reading, listening to, watching, baking, etc..  Take care and stay safe!!


Ti said...

All of these books sounds perfect and I have so many of them ready to go! I'd like to spend the entire Memorial Day weekend reading but I know it won't happen. That distraction thing. Plus, I put actual jeans on to the market last night and my stomach was seriously hanging out the top. I was so aware. Ten lbs of quarantine gain. It has to be the wine because my food is the same. How can half a glass of wine each evening do that?

bermudaonion said...

I'm the same way about the news - I was glued to it at first - now I try to look at it once a day. What I hate so much about all of this is it's dividing our country instead of bringing us together. Stay safe!

Lark said...

I've stopped watching the news, too. I don't like how negative it is; it just adds to my stress. At least you've had some good books to read. And Harry Potter? Always a good idea. Ruth Ware's books have been mostly meh to me so I'm not in a hurry to read her One by One. Anyway...have a good week despite COVID-19! :D

Athira said...

You are doing great with your reading! I've been wanting to reread the Harry Potter books for a long time but have just not been get to them. Maybe sometime soon. I've been super stressed when this all started but now have it under control. Hopefully, things do actually start getting better but not sure if that will happen anytime soon.

-blessed b9, Catalyst4Christ said...

Why COVID-19? If you'd just open your eyes:

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

I have been reading (and this is odd, I know) stories about past times that were very difficult.