Review: Mercy by Jodi Picoult #mercy #jodipicoult #bookblog #bookblogger #booknerd

Google Books Blurb;

Police chief of a small Massachusetts town, Cameron McDonald makes the toughest arrest of his life when his own cousin Jamie comes to him and confesses outright that he has killed his terminally ill wife out of mercy. Now, a heated murder trial plunges the town into upheaval, and drives a wedge into a contented marriage: Cameron, aiding the prosecution in their case against Jamie, is suddenly at odds with his devoted wife, Allie — seduced by the idea of a man so in love with his wife that he’d grant all her wishes, even her wish to end her life. And when an inexplicable attraction leads to a shocking betrayal, Allie faces the hardest questions of the heart: when does love cross the line of moral obligation?

 

My Review

The author’s books have become a favourite of mine, simply because she writes about topics that are controversial, difficult, and complicated, whilst managing to look at it from that various shades of grey that the world actually is. The topic of euthanasia is emotional, I found myself crying a few times, but it’s also though provoking which I happen to love in a book. I don’t know if I’ll appreciate lying here in bed at 2:24am thinking about this book when I wake up I a few hours time, but as I was reading it, I appreciated the authors wonderfully crafted world that allowed me into the lives of the characters. It was almost a perfect read for me, right up until the very last sentence. It left me confused, and unfulfilled. What did it mean Allie did?

 

Now, as I said, the topic is controversial but it wasn’t the only controversial topic. Adultery. I have VERY strong feelings on this topic. Admittedly, I didn’t know if that was going to cloud my judgment on the book in its entirety. I stopped reading 5 times in disgust. It’s one thing to know that someone has betrayed the trust of their partner, but to actually be able to read their thoughts and feelings is horrible. Cameron, didn’t deserve his wife, in my opinion. He was sneaky, calculated, and an ass. As was his mistress. And that’s all I’ll say on that topic. Like I mentioned, my feelings are STRONG on that topic, fiction or not.

 

Another fantastic read. I very much look forward to her next and wonder which topic I’ll come across next!

 

I gave Mercy: 4.5/5 stars

 

Happy Reading

Nat

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What Did I Read In 2018? #bookblog #2018reads #goodreads #booknerd #books

So last year I was super busy writing a textbook, writing a thesis, and the rest. But I did manage to exceed my Goodreads challenge or 10 books.  I ended up reading 39.

Two of my favourite books was by Stephen King and Diane Chamberlain. Two books that I didn’t think I’d continue reading simply because I got the first plot twist and thought uh oh, this isn’t really something I’d read… However, I pushed on and was pretty much BLOWN AWAY.

The Outsider has had mixed reviews by others, and really that’s no surprise because we’ve all got our own likes and dislikes. If we didn’t the world would be a pretty boring place.  My opinion of it was that I loved how it started. Smack bang into some action, and I have to admit given my areas of research and interest academically, I wasn’t at all turned off by the brutality of the first few chapter.  I love when a story starts off with 36124936action, it’s a great way to draw readers and keep them interested.  Other authors have lost me sometimes because after that great action, they enter too much info on the characters and the settings and it drags things down. Obviously King is a master at the written word, and achieved this effortly.  I got lost in the world of this story, I didn’t want to put it down and go back to real life, LOL.  I found myself really enjoying each and every character, and they were all so different from one another.  I really had no idea, how King was planning to explain Terry’s supposed part in the crime, because it was really looking like it was him for a while, but he was pretty convincing that it wasn’t. The amount of times I said “WFT” out aloud was quite funny. My husband would be sitting mext to me and say, “What?” He’d listened to it on Audible and agreed that is was a pretty compelling read.

My other book of the year for 2018 was Diane Chamberlain’s The Dream Daughter.  I ugly cried in this one.  I was pretty invested in it thanks to the author’s use of an unborn baby 37638145with a series health issue in the womb, I mean who can flag a book when that’s at the heart of it? But when I got to Hunter’s plot twist, I was saying “WTF” but not in a good way.  I put the book down and had a serious think.  Normally, I would NEVER read a book with this in it, I know that some people have a real hard time accepting a story when it’s too unbelievable or strays too far away from fact which I’ve always found quite humorous considering that they’re reading fiction, however when I got to Hunter’s plot twist I thought I’d stop reading because it was too unbelievable. BUT I kept going and boy am I glad I did. It was a truly wonderful read.  I don’t want to give anything away, but at two points I slammed the book shut in disbelief, gasping “OMG, no way”, plenty of tears, and I laughed once.  Like King’s book, I found my self lost in the words of this book. I was reading this while away on a campy holiday with the family, so was able to finish it pretty quick, and I was truly devastated that it had to end. Although to my husband, who had to listen to me recap almost every chapter after I’d finished them, it couldn’t end soon enough!

Other books I read in 2018

2018 books

The Misbegotten Son by Jack Olsen was fantastic, probably my true crime pick of 2018. I absolutely loved Salem Falls by Jodi Picoult, the very last page, had be gasping “WTH” and then i was thinking about it, trying to go through everything I’d read whist I was trying to go to sleep trying to figure out how I should have picked that ending! Talk about plot twist. I wanted to really love A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult because I’d waited so long for it’s release, but the format just ruined it for me, and I wasn’t a fan of the constant heading hoping throughout chapters. It made it hard to get to know characters because you couldn’t sit with them long enough and it felt like you were ripped from them to get into another characters head.

But, it was a great selection of books. A whilst I didn’t mark them all 5 stars, it certainly didn’t mean I didn’t appreciate the hard work that every single one of those authors put into them.  They way I rate books is that they all start out with 5 stars, and then as I’m reading I subtract for various reasons i.e. too slow, information dump, cliche’, predictable etc. They can get those stars back though if I’m made to feel an emotion physically (say if I laugh or cry), surprising plot twist, awesome character development etc.  And obviously like I’ve mentioned we all score differently and have different opinions.  I’ll always look forward to trying another book by that author because it could always me the next “One”.

Did you read any of these books? What did you think of them and which was your favourite?

Bring on 2019 reads,

Nat

Review: Two By Two by Nicholas Sparks 

Amazon Blurb

At 32, Russell Green has it all: a stunning wife, a lovable six year-old daughter, a successful career as an advertising executive and an expansive home in Charlotte. He is living the dream, and his marriage to the bewitching Vivian is the center of that. But underneath the shiny surface of this perfect existence, fault lines are beginning to appear…and no one is more surprised than Russ when he finds every aspect of the life he took for granted turned upside down. In a matter of months, Russ finds himself without a job or wife, caring for his young daughter while struggling to adapt to a new and baffling reality. Throwing himself into the wilderness of single parenting, Russ embarks on a journey at once terrifying and rewarding-one that will test his abilities and his emotional resources beyond anything he ever imagined. 

****

My Review 

Like many, I’ve fallen in love with ‘Sparkie’ books over the years. You can hardly believe a male can write such deep and moving stories. This time though, I’ve been torn. 

I feel like I should get my grievances out of the way first, because I almost feel some-what guilty for having them 🤔.  It was in 1st person POV. It was hard to maintain attention, because it was quite boring for 2/3 of the book. The constant small scene changes were quite annoying and ruined the flow at times. Sometimes the character felt very one-dimensional, which then added to the boredom.  And finally I really disliked the very short time period between Vivian and Emily, but that’s just a personal opinion. 

So what did I like about it?

I like, that after 270 odd pages, that I started finally enjoying it. I admit, I considered quitting, but I’m glad I finished it. I was quite literally bawling at the end 😂😭😭  I’ve made it no secret that 1st POV is not my favourite, but I did start to realise that it was refreshing to have such a personal view of a males feelings. I haven’t been privy to that very much in my life time, so I enjoyed the peak that we were allowed here. I actually quite enjoyed the flashback reminiscing we got at the beginning of each chapter, also. I like that it was upfront in the chapter, instead of being slotted in somewhere in the chapter and the author doing a random flashback between scene changes. 

I loved the emotion during the last 1/3 of the book, so much so that was bawling like a baby 😂 and that’s how it should be reading a sparkie book. I would have liked him to have brought that part of the book further forward in the book, if anything I think he glossed over the things in there to quickly. 

So while it started at as some what of a game train wreck, it did pick up for me toward the back. It’s definitely not what I had been expecting, and maybe that’s what’s influenced my opinion. It’s sometimes hard to break old habits. I think if you start this book being prepared that it’s not a typo I am sparkie book, you might enjoy it that little bit more. Or maybe not… Definitely give it a go though, and finish it, don’t just quit! 

I rate this book: 3/5 

Purchase your ebook copy here at Amazon. 

Happy buying and reading 

Nat 

Review: Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult

Wow, wow, wow. Now, I’ve heard on the bookworm grapevine, that Jodi Picoult work is pretty darn good. If her other stuff is like this book, then I’d better get into it, quick smart!!!

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Goodread Blurb

In Sterling, New Hampshire, 17-year-old high school student Peter Houghton has endured years of verbal and physical abuse at the hands of classmates. His best friend, Josie Cormier, succumbed to peer pressure and now hangs out with the popular crowd that often instigates the harassment. One final incident of bullying sends Peter over the edge and leads him to commit an act of violence that forever changes the lives of Sterling’s residents.

Even those who were not inside the school that morning find their lives in an upheaval, including Alex Cormier. The superior court judge assigned to the Houghton case, Alex—whose daughter, Josie, witnessed the events that unfolded—must decide whether or not to step down. She’s torn between presiding over the biggest case of her career and knowing that doing so will cause an even wider chasm in her relationship with her emotionally fragile daughter. Josie, meanwhile, claims she can’t remember what happened in the last fatal minutes of Peter’s rampage. Or can she? And Peter’s parents, Lacy and Lewis Houghton, ceaselessly examine the past to see what they might have said or done to compel their son to such extremes. Nineteen Minutes also features the return of two of Jodi Picoult’s characters—defense attorney Jordan McAfee from The Pact and Salem Falls, and Patrick DuCharme, the intrepid detective introduced in Perfect Match.

Rich with psychological and social insight, Nineteen Minutes is a riveting, poignant, and thought-provoking novel that has at its center a haunting question. Do we ever really know someone?

My Review

You know at the beginning, I didn’t think i was going to like this one. I wasn’t a fan of the swapping from present to past with chapters, or the characters. However, I grew to actually love it. I don’t really have any other negatives! I loved this book. It was full of emotion, and so rich in research. The author did a wonderful job researching, I found myself getting lost in each and every character.  I think my favourite character was Peter. It’s a controversial topic,  and you’re often more inclined to to see his and his actions as ‘evil’ and you still may after reading this, but to me, I see Peter (and others who have acted like him) as human.  I think the author did a realistic, and gut-wrenching job at portraying the heartache and pain that the family of Peter, and real-life families in the same position, go through.  You can’t even begin to imagine how much your life could change if you were put in the same position. It’s almost unfathomable.

There’s no denying that Peter actions were wrong, however, it’s only natural to me, to feel empathy and sympathy for him especially at the author tells his story from kindergarten to the event.  It gave his character a face and emotion.  My heart broke for him in scenes that included his brother, and how he acted towards Peter.  The court scenes towards the end were fantastic. The dialogue between lawyers and witnesses flowed so beautifully, I flew threw it.  And started crying in the last three chapters when the little twist was revealed. Amazing. Definitely a book that makes you think and question life and being a parent.

I rate this book: 5/5

You can purchase this via Amazon ebook here

Happy buying and reading!

Nat

Review: Me and My Sisters by Sinead Moriarty

Blurb via Goodreads

A sister always knows you better than you know yourself

Julie would do anything for her family. She loves her four boys and her devoted husband, but is struggling to keep sane and finds herself turning to an online mum’s group for some much needed advice.

Louise is at the peak of her career, a successful lawyer in a male-dominated world. She’s always been there to offer support to her sisters. But when she falls pregnant and decides to raise the child on her own, for the first time ever, she needs a helping hand herself.

Sophie has it all: the luxury lifestyle, the millionaire husband and a perfect daughter. She never expected that she might one day lose everything. But will she let the new cracks in her perfect life show, and tell her sisters that she’s in trouble?

The three Devlin sisters haven’t always seen eye to eye. But now that they each face the hardest times in their lives, they might just have more in common than they think.

*******

I’ll be honest up until the halfway mark, I wasn’t a fan of this story. The characters felt very stereotypical and two dimensional and I had to will myself to finish it.  Although the writing is good, actually very good, I was not connecting to it at all.  However, once the characters went through their life changing moments, my feelings for them changed. They actually felt more real if that makes any sense.

To me, Julia was the worst of the three sisters. Was not a fan of her story at all, until she went through a situation that many of us women have been in. It was only then I was able to empathise with her.

Sophie was next. Her story very stereotypical and cringe worthy to me. However once she had her life altering moment, I grew to have a lot more respect for her. Her character transformed in a wonderful way and I’d imagine that a lot of the readers would grow to like her more as well.

And Louise, to me she was the most believable character. I felt like she was more of a real person and in fact found myself identifying with her. In fact, I think I was able to assign a character to myself and my two sisters, because they had characteristics of us as well (i have two sisters like the story).  Although I unfortunately don’t have a relationship with my sisters like that of Julie.

So although, i wasn’t a fan of the characters at first, in the end I did enjoy their transformations and struggles.  The writer had a wonderful way of executing the dialogue and writing, I think I’ve enjoyed it the most out of all the stories in that POV that I’ve read so far! I do look forward to reading the second book in this series, now that the characters have been developed with more reality to them I think I would enjoy them more. So if you haven’t read this one yet, then I recommend you do.

I give this: 3.5/5

You can purchase this as an ebook here

Happy reading!

Nat

Review – The Choice by Nicholas Sparks

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Blurb:  Travis Parker has everything a man could want: a good job, loyal friends, even a waterfront home in small-town North Carolina. In full pursuit of the good life – boating, swimming , and regular barbecues with his good-natured buddies — he holds the vague conviction that a serious relationship with a woman would only cramp his style. That is, until Gabby Holland moves in next door.

Spanning the eventful years of young love, marriage and family, THE CHOICE ultimately confronts us with the most heartwrenching question of all: how far would you go to keep the hope of love alive? – Amazon

I’ve read a few of Nicholas Sparks books and of course seen the movies and I’ve always thought that they were both amazing.  The movies and the visual element to a beautiful romance or love story that you can only use your imagination for, and books allow you so read in deeper description and use your imagination.

I remember reading The Lucky One before it came to the movie, and LOVED it. Laughed, cried, fell in love with the characters and loved the movie as well. And the same happened with A Walk to Remember, Safe Haven, The Longest Ride, so I was expecting the same thing here.  However, I saw the movie before I read the book and I’m wondering what sort of impact that had on my opinion of the book?

I will admit I did not care for the main female character. She was rude, presumptious, blunt, opinionated and the rest. The scene where she ‘marches’ next door and has a go at the lead male, is absurd.  I enjoy the premise that another can ‘change’ a person and you watch them transform through out the book, but this woman – to me – was nonredeemable.  I think her character was too over-the-top without any ‘real’ reason.  That’s what probably irked me the most, that there wasn’t a great explanation.

The story was told well enough, as nic does so well, but the female lead ruined it for me. Which then left a bad taste in my mouth for the remainder of the story.  For that reason, I’m disappointed. I’ve always enjoyed knowing that when I picked up a Nic Sparks book, I was in for drama and romance, not the contempt and disdain I ended up feeling only three chapters in!

Of course, this is just my opinion. I’ve read reviews from readers who loved it and compare it to his other work. But for me, it wasn’t the same, and I’m glad to have gotten it out of the way.

I rated this book: large_cute-bookworm 1large_cute-bookworm 1large_cute-bookworm 1/5

Purchase the ebook version here

Happy reading and buying

Nat