Book Review: Killer Dreams

Title: Killer Dreams

Author: Iris Johansen

Format: Hardback

Published: 2006

I acquired this book on a random eBay search one day and the description peaked my interest.  The first thing I will say is now this author, Iris Johansen, is on my to-read list!!

So I am going to be frank and just tell you how this book starts out.  We meet Sophie; married, one child, and loves her family.  She is on a quick fishing trip with her parents which ends in her father killing her mother, attempting to kill herself and her son, and then turns the gun on himself and kills himself.  What?

The book flashes to 2 years down the road where we find out she’s divorced and married to her work.  She is a top sleep therapist and she specializes in life-threatening night terrors, which her son happens to suffer from.  She is focused on her work and we learn she enjoys her work in the hospital setting.  She previously worked for a pharmaceutical company and one is trying to steal her away from her job again except she absolutely refuses.  Hmm.

The pharmaceutical company (rather, two men) will take center stage in this story.  Sophie was working on a special project in which it started to get out of hand.  Sophie left the company and left the man in charge wanting to persuade her to come back to finish the project…or kill her.

Sophie has been under the protection and watchful eye of a semi-retired hitman named Jock.  He has been teaching her how to take care of herself and by that, I mean shoot a gun and kill someone.  He helps her take care of her son and is looking to return to Scotland to fully retire but is hesitant to until he knows Sophie will be safe.

Here is where the book takes off.  The men are coming after Sophie, hard, and will kill her or anyone else in their way to get what they want.  It becomes a whirlwind and eventual worldwide adventure where we are introduced to Royd, who enters the picture by saving her life.  The two become an unlikely pair and are bound and determined to take down the people coming after Sophie, each for their own personal reasons.

I could go on but then I would be giving too much of the book away.  It is filled with lots of killing and action.  It was fairly predictable, nothing that had me on the edge of my seat, but, I was flipping through the pages like crazy to see what would happen with Royd and Sophie.  I loved the ending and was holding my breath for the entire last chapter.  I also absolutely appreciated the epilogue in this book, I LOVE seeing how things turn out in the long run!  I am giving this a solid 4 out of 5 and if you happen to come across this book, read it!  Next week will be a surprise on what will be reviewed, I’m not too sure yet!!  I have been on a cruise and packed my Kindle along with some paperback books so the world is my oyster!  Catch me next Thursday for a to be determined review!

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Book Review – Lost In Translation

TITLE: Lost in Translation: An illustrated compendium of untranslatable words from around the world
AUTHOR/ILLUSTRATOR: Ella Frances Sanders
FORMAT: Hardback
PUBLISHED: 2014

 

Lost in Translation is an illustrated book featuring words from other languages that don’t translate into English.   It tells you what language the word is from and what the word means and there’s some graphic design to make it all “Pretty.”

Except the design is hideous.  Like thin white hollow letters on pastels.  I could barely read some of the pages.  There is no arrangement for the order of words.  It’s like they’re thrown into a hat and whatever order they were drawn in is the order they appear.

Nothing tells you how to say some of these words.  And “untranslatable” is a misnomer at best.  True, we simply call your third cup of coffee the third cup of coffee, but it doesn’t mean we don’t have a way to translate it (and really, in the case of a word like “third cup of coffee” do we really NEED a way?). I was hoping for words that had such an essence to them that there was no easy, direct way to explain them.  Also, according to other reviews of this book, some of these aren’t even accurate.  So there’s that.

In short, I hate this book.  There’s nothing good about this book.  There’s little content, the illegibility is more trouble than it’s worth, and I spent more time lamenting the information that we DON’T get than enjoying what is there.  What good is a book of words if you don’t know how to say them?

I give this book 1/5.  Even as a novelty, there’s nothing novel about it.

Book Review: The Thinnest Air

Title: The Thinnest Air

Author: Minka Kent

Format: Kindle Edition

Published: 2018

I received this book for free by being an Amazon Prime member!  This is from their selection of Amazon First Reads and this book will officially be released on Sunday, July 1, 2018!  PRE-ORDER IT NOW!

So many different thoughts ran through my head during this book.  I hated some characters because I was convinced, CONVINCED they did something that turns out, they didn’t do.  My apologies to the fictional characters I hated for no reason, but, come on, we all make mistakes with our suspicions.  Minka Kent does an excellent job with the suspense!!

There are two main characters in this book, sisters Meredith and Greer.  Greer is the older, protective older sister who lives in the city and owns a few coffee shops with her now ex-boyfriend.  Meredith is her young sister who lives in a rich ski town with a husband double her age who also happens to be worth millions.

Meredith goes missing.  Her car is found, door open, purse and phone on the passenger seat, in the parking lot of a grocery store.  It is now a nationwide manhunt to find this missing woman.  Greer immediately flies in to help find her sister and suspects those closest to her.

What we do know is that Meredith and Greer are half-sisters, having the same mother.  Their mother was anything but a mother so when she makes an appearance to try and help find Meredith, you must know how Greer feels.  Greer raised Meredith and will stop at nothing to find her.  Meredith’s father is a wealthy man who had nothing to do with her life.  In fact, if word got out that he had Meredith, it would destroy him.  He did set up a five million dollar trust fund that was set to be given to her on her next birthday.  Does this have anything to do with her going missing?

There were twists and turns and I could not put this book down.  I read this book in 2 days and the only reason I put it down is because in my drowsy state at midnight my Kindle fell out of my hand and hit my sleeping husband in bed, whoops.  Don’t worry, he has no idea it ever happened.  I give this book a 5 because it has the perfect amount of twists and turns.  The ending happens fast but I am so, so satisfied with it.  It gave me all the happy feels.  Next week I will be reviewing Killer Dreams by Iris Johansen, stay tuned!

Book Review: Luger Rounds

Title: Luger Rounds

Author: William Lynes, MD

Format: Kindle Edition

Published: 2012

 

I received this book for free through Voracious Reader’s Only.  If you have not had a chance to join some of the e-book groups I have previously blogged about it, you are missing out!!

So what is a luger round?  It is essentially a term used by medical professionals which means they are keeping alive someone who should be dead.  It is seen as a negative, heartless term in the medical field and our friend Dr. Phillip Thomas has been put into this state intentionally.

Who did this?  Why?  Eventually you will find out how Dr. Thomas got to his state through morphine induced dreams or flash backs.  We start back at the beginning of his six year residency program at the hospital up until today, the end of his six year residency, in the ICU.

What I found most interesting was the fact that I have always wondered what it would be like to be in a vegetable state but be able to hear and understand everything around you.  This book delivers just that.  Dr. Thomas is able to understand everything going on around him, feel all the pain, but, cannot control his body at all.

There is a LOT of medical terminology.  This book was penned by a real-life doctor and you can tell.  Thankfully the understanding of medical terms is not necessary for this book.  I did find myself skimming over some parts of the book that were not important as the medical parts flew over my head.  If you have a medical background and love mysteries, this is an above and beyond 5 star book for you.

Overall I give this book a 4.  I lean more towards a 3.5 but if you round up, you get a 4 so that’s where we’ll stay.  This was an absorbing mystery that lead us to a sudden, open ending.  I am typically not a fan of open endings where you can really think of what happens on your own, but, upon reflecting after reading this book, it fits.  Next week I will be reviewing my Amazon First Reads pick, The Thinnest Air by Minka Kent.  See you next Thursday!

Book Review: Introducing Teddy

TITLE: Introducing Teddy: A gentle story about gender and friendship
AUTHOR: Jessica Walton
ILLUSTRATOR: Dougal MacPherson
FORMAT: Hardback
PUBLISHED: 2016

 

This book just appeared at work one day, and I was intrigued, so I read it.

Basically, Teddy is trans and this is the coming out story.
In the beginning of the story, Teddy is very sad.  Erroll, Teddy’s owner, asks what’s wrong and is told “Please don’t make fun of me.  I don’t want to be Thomas any more, I want to be Tilly!”  And Errol says “OKAY!” and thus the teddy switches his bow tie into her hairbow and they go off to play with other friends.  “Thomas would like you to call her Tilly now.”  “Okay”  And that’s it.

I get that this book is designed for little little kids.  But remember that I spend my days with a four-year-old.  So I just kinda stared at it for a while and blinked.  I don’t know what I think about this book.  I know that the author* wanted a simple book for little kids, but a lot of people use books to open up conversation and I’m worried that this is too over simplistic.  In the same tone that a kid will tell you to call them Mallory when their name is really Valerie or “When I grow up, I want to be a [something ridiculous]!…” and then change their mind after lunch, we’re told “hey, look, this is me now,” and it doesn’t have as much weight as it should as a serious issue.

So, really, this is more about acceptance than about actual trans* issues.  Your friend is telling you this is how things are, and you’re okay with it because you’re their friend.  As adults, we know that this isn’t as simple as it is, but we as adults also understand that the world is not so black and white as a child understands it to be.

 

I am torn on this rating.  I absolutely love that the point of this story was “just please love me for me, I’m very fragile” because I believe that all of us are that to some extent.  It was very sweet and simple, and I believe that that message will get through.
That said though, as far as transgender is concerned, this is only a book about accepting somebody that has transitioned.  It doesn’t explain anything about it whatsoever, so I’m not really sure how useful a tool this is, but it was okay.  Also, the illustrations were adorable.  When “Thomas” was sitting there looking sad because “I’m afraid you won’t like me if I tell you…”  I really felt for the bear.    Anyway, Illustrations are a solid 4.  The book is more of a 3 for my liking.

 

 

*The author is a m to f trans* herself.  Also an amputee.  Read her bio on the book jacket.  She’s got an interesting life.

Book Review: Wynn In Doubt

Title: Wynn In Doubt

Author: Emily Hemmer

Format: Kindle Edition

Published: 2015

I picked this book up from the Amazon Prime reading library and I could NOT put this book down.  I had to restrain myself from staying up until 2am finishing this book in one sitting.  I have not had a book hook me in like this in awhile!  The book starts off with this quote from the author, “I hope you enjoy reading this book. I hope it inspires you to not take life for granted but to go out and seek what makes you happy, no matter your age or situation,” and let me tell you, IT DID.

We meet Wynn Jeffries and hear about her last few days as a high school student.  She always had a thing for Oliver, except he was the popular boy and she was a self-proclaimed nerd.  But here is every girl’s high school dream; Oliver kisses Wynn in the parking lot after one of the final days of high school.  Now we flash forward to 10 years later.

Wynn is a bartender who daydreams about a better life.  Anytime she has an inkling to go out and see the world, her family needs her and she must stay back.  She has never truly been happy and has not been doing anything for herself.  We also find out that Oliver has made it to stardom and is in a very successful band.  Yes, she is still obsessed with him and still madly in love with him.

Oliver decides he needs a break and comes back to his hometown and gets a job at the same bar that Wynn works at.  Things begin as awkward between the two of them and then they hit it off.  I was giddy with excitement to see where this relationship may go!

Wynn’s family life is a little crazy.  She has two sisters who are both very overwhelming.  Their grandmother dies and one sister has labeled “all the good things” as they go through her house cleaning it out to sell.  They come across a big box of books and give it to Wynn because again, she is the self-proclaimed nerd and is the only one ho would do something productive with them.

She begins to read a book and a newspaper clipping falls out.  It tells of the arrest of a bootlegger and a lady friend.  Wynn brings this up to her mother after she feels the name of the woman is too familiar to her.  We find out it is her grandmother’s mother, Lola.

The twist is that they were told her grandmother’s mother died when she was young.  Wynn’s mother insists this is still the case until Wynn pushes her to the point of no return.  We find out that she just up and left one day and Wynn’s grandmother never spoke of it.  Wynn’s mother wishes Wynn would drop it but Wynn has so many unanswered questions she needs to find answers to.  Lola appeals to Wynn and she feels like a part of Lola is within herself and she needs to finally go on a journey for herself, to make her happy, despite her mother crying and pleading with her not to.  You go girl.

Oliver takes Wynn on a roadtrip to where Lola was last known to have lived.  They do not find out that much but Wynn does discover an old journal of hers.  The adventure that Oliver and Wynn take is so sweet and loving, it just gave me all the feels.  I am so happy that Wynn chose to make herself happy for once.  The book is so inspiring and is a reminder that we all should live our happiest lives.  I would go on but then I would ruin the book for you and I want you to go out and read this one, NOW!

This book gets a 5 out of 5 from me.  I loved the hint of romance and the adventure that Wynn lets her gyspy soul go on.  I especially LOVED the ending, although I will admit, the author had me on pins and needles thinking it was going to all fall apart.  I will leave with you short excerpt from the end of the book, “To not give up on what I want for my life, even if it means risking my heart. And, most importantly, that realizing our dreams is only part of what makes us whole. We need people to root for us. We need to be able to come home again.”  Just trust me when I tell you this is a must read!  Comment and let me know if you read this book or plan on it!  Next week I will be reviewing Luger Rounds by William Lynes, MD, catch you next Thursday!

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