Sunday, September 24, 2023

Monday Mini-Reviews: A Solid Quartet


The Breakaway by Jennifer Weiner- I love Weiner's books and this is no exception.  Abby Stern finally feels like she's found happiness.  She's engaged to her summer camp sweetheart and even though she's never been skinny like her mom wants, she feels like she's finally found someone who can love her despite her weight.  When Abby is asked to lead a two week bike trip, one of the bikers happens to be Sebastian, the guy Abby hooked up with two years ago -and hasn't been able to forget.  But Sebastian has his one set of relationship hang-ups.  Add in some drama from other bikers, and this is an enjoyable story about friendship, family and love.

Saving Emma by Allen Eskens- Eskens has become one of my go-to authors. I loved this latest installment. Set in the Twin Cities, Boady Sanden takes Elijah Matthews' case after speaking with his sister. Elijah sees himself as a prophet and speaks the words of the Bible, and when Boady starts looking into the case, is led back to his former law partner's death.  Boady and his wife are now the guardian's to his dead ex-partner's daughter, a relationship that is going to become much more confusing and tension-filled when the fourteen year old girl realizes that Boady blames himself for her dad's death.  This was hard to put down and there were lots of twists and turns.

Murder in the Family by Cara Hunter- another mystery, this one is written like a screen play. I though it would move along quickly but at nearly 500 pages, it could have easily been a little more concise.  The premise is that a six episode series is being filmed as Guy Howard, acclaimed filmmaker, tries to solve what happened to his step-father, Luke Ryder, who was found murdered in their garden when Guy was just ten years old.  Each episode ends with a cliffhanger leaving the audience anxious to watch the next installment.  There are lots of rave reviews of this one, and while I did find it entertaining, I found myself skimming so I could reach the end.

Shark Heart by Emily Habeck- this is a love story between Lewis and Wren who are happily married. However, within the first year of marriage Lewis receives a devastating diagnosis: he is turning into a great white shark.  (Throughout the novel there are several characters that are transitioning into different animals, so readers need to suspend disbelief in order to truly enjoy this book).  We watch Lewis and Wren hang on to each other through this sad transition, and Lewis eventually move on.  And then in a second part we learn about Wren's mother's own childhood, affected by a mother who transitioned.  I loved Lewis and Wren's story, and while I did find the second part interesting, I still am not sure if it was entirely necessary.  Before I read this, I had heard quite a bit about the ending - and people who enjoyed it and hated it.  I'm needing to find someone to talk it over with.  I'm glad I read this one and pushed myself out of my comfort zone.

My fiction reading has been a little less quantity-wise than I'd like, but I've been sucked into some great non-fiction lately and just can't seem to help myself from picking it up.

1 comment:

Mystica said...

I like all four of them and your reviews are just right. Unfortunately I can’t find any on Netgalley. My only source of books.