Someone Knows
April 13th, 2019 by diane92345

It literally pains me to write this negative review of Someone Knows by one of my top three authors, Lisa Scottoline.

Teenagers Sasha, Julian, David, and Allie find a gun buried in the ground. Nothing good can come of that. When another teenager is shot dead playing Russian roulette, guilt changes all their lives forever.

The author’s writing quality is spot-on as usual. However, the first half of the book is set twenty years before the present and reads like a young adult book. Sasha is an unrepentant Mean Girl—only her needs matter. Julian is in love with Sasha mostly from afar thanks to his “hobby” of peeping into windows. Allie is a conflicted chubby good girl broken by her sister’s recent death and mother’s emotional breakdown. David is being forced to be a star tennis player by his father regardless of his own desires. All are teenage stereotypes with little else distinguishing them.

I forced myself to read the first half in the hopes of a great twisty conclusion. I was disappointed unfortunately. The denouement’s big surprise is completely unbelievable. In my opinion, Someone Knows was a failure from start to finish. Please read any other book by this author rather than this one. You will be glad you did. I’m giving this mess 2 stars because the writing, grammar and spelling are first rate. But the plot…the plot.

Thanks to G.P. Putnam’s Sons and Edelweiss+ for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Posted in Mystery & Thrillers, New Books Tagged with:

Wealth Made Easy
April 12th, 2019 by diane92345

Wealth Made Easy is a short inspirational read for people just beginning to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams.

Thirty-eight successful entrepreneurs share seventy-four wealth hacks to riches. Some of the hacks are extremely basic, like “find a need and fill it”.  While other hacks are complex, like the biggest lie is “follow your passion and the money will follow”. Some just make sense, like “make your money work for you” through usually passive income streams (i.e., rent or other monthly fee). Many of the hacks are just brief summaries requiring reading another book that is referenced. My personal favorite is Wealth Hack #1, “buy dirt”. It is very specific about how to determine what dirt to buy. It makes perfect sense but I’ve never heard it before despite getting 55% through an MBA before switching to a different major.

Most potential entrepreneurs will find a motivational idea or two within these pages. If you have already read all the books about building wealth or businesses at your library, this may just be a review. However, it is convenient to have it all in one place. Most business creation books have a large quantity of filler or examples just to get the book to a certain page length. Wealth Made Easy does not. It usually only has one example for each hack and the entire book is about 200 pages. Overall, this book is recommended for its motivational appeal. 4 stars!

Thanks to BenBella Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Posted in New Books, Non-fiction Tagged with: ,

Saving Meghan
April 10th, 2019 by diane92345

Why does fifteen-year-old Meghan seem so sick when doctors can find nothing wrong with her? Despite a disinterested husband and questioning doctors, Becky, Meghan’s mother, is intent on Saving Meghan.

Becky was raised by Cora, her mother, to be able to mimic disease symptoms to achieve Cora’s goal—getting government disability checks. When Meghan also starts to have undiagnosed symptoms, Carl becomes suspicious that Becky is falling back on old habits and causing Meghan’s illness. Eventually even Meghan’s doctors suspect the mental disease Munchausen by Proxy, where a mother gets attention by causing her child’s illness. Is Meghan really sick or is someone causing her symptoms?

While the book basically hits the reader over the head with Becky’s beauty and manipulation skill, the author is quietly manipulating the reader to believe everyone in turn is causing Meghan’s illness. In addition, none of the characters are sympathetic so if that bothers you, you will not enjoy this book. However, what bothered me the most was the overly dramatic turns in the plot especially the conclusion that was just thrown in at the end without much foreshadowing. The first half of the book was great but then it went downhill for me. Nevertheless, if you like family suspense with a big chunk of medical drama, you will probably enjoy Saving Meghan. 4 stars!

Thanks to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Posted in Mystery & Thrillers, New Books Tagged with: , ,

The Last
April 9th, 2019 by diane92345

An isolated hotel in Switzerland after multiple nuclear bombs are detonated is the setting of The Last.

Jon, an American historian at the hotel for a conference is the book’s narrator. After the bombs drop, the Internet soon fails. Most of the hotel’s guests drive or walk to the city and its airport. By the tenth day, only five staff and fifteen guests remain in the hotel. They are waiting for help that never arrives.

When Jon and two of the staff find a body in the water tank on the roof of the hotel, Jon decides to find the murderer. As their food supplies dwindle and the weather turns colder, the survivors turn on one another. The group must decide how to administer justice and how to run their government.

I was so excited to read this book. The Shining and Agatha Christie in a Walking Dead setting? Yes, please! Those are some of my favorite books. Of course here comes the however, heavy sigh. However, The Last is much closer to The Road.

The Last is a slow-burning philosophical trip into the meaning of life and how a worldwide disaster would force or allow us to act. Would we still care about anything other than our own survival? Would we still have our humanity or would we devolve back into animals? Would we be more religious or fully convinced God had forsaken us?

II you are a thriller or mystery fan, look elsewhere. The mystery here is an afterthought at best. Even with its slow pacing, I felt compelled to read it in one day. I would recommend it only for literary fiction fans. I took one star off for the ending, which I don’t want to spoil, leaving it at 3 stars.

Thanks to Atria Books and NetGalley for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.

Posted in Literary Fiction, Mystery & Thrillers, New Books Tagged with: ,