27 07, 2016

Review: DARK MATTER by Blake Crouch

By | Wednesday, July 27, 2016|4 Comments

Review: DARK MATTER by Blake CrouchDark Matter by Blake Crouch
Published by Crown/Archetype on July 26th 2016
Pages: 352
Genres: Fiction, Science Fiction, General, Thrillers, Suspense, Technological
ARC provided by BEA 2016, Crown Publishing Group

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A brilliantly plotted, relentlessly surprising science-fiction thriller from the author of the bestselling Wayward Pines trilogy

"Are you happy with your life?"

Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious.

Before he awakens to find himself strapped to a gurney, surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits.

Before a man Jason's never met smiles down at him and says, "Welcome back, my friend."

In this world he's woken up to, Jason's life is not the one he knows. His wife is not his wife. His son was never born. And Jason is not an ordinary college physics professor, but a celebrated genius who has achieved something remarkable. Something impossible.

Is it this world or the other that's the dream? And even if the home he remembers is real, how can Jason possibly make it back to the family he loves? The answers lie in a journey more wondrous and horrifying than anything he could've imagined--one that will force him to confront the darkest parts of himself even as he battles a terrifying, seemingly unbeatable foe.

Dark Matter is a brilliantly plotted tale that is at once sweeping and intimate, mind-bendingly strange and profoundly human--a relentlessly surprising science-fiction thriller about choices, paths not taken, and how far we'll go to claim the lives we dream of.

I was riveted and horrified reading DARK MATTER. Not because it is a gruesome or anything, but because it challenges everything I think I know to be real. The story was mind-blowing and emotional. I have never imagined science fiction like this. This is something very new, and very intriguing. Jason is a […]

29 05, 2015

THE SHORE by Sara Taylor

By | Friday, May 29, 2015|12 Comments

THE SHORE by Sara TaylorThe Shore by Sara Taylor
Published by Crown/Archetype on May 26th 2015
Pages: 320
Genres: Contemporary Women, Fiction, Literary, Sagas
ARC provided by Crown Publishing Group

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An ambitious, Baileys prize-nominated debut set in an unforgettable place, introducing a powerful new voice in fiction

The Shore: a group of small islands in the Chesapeake Bay, just off the coast of Virginia. The Shore is clumps of evergreens, wild ponies, oyster-shell roads, tumble-down houses, unwanted pregnancies, murder, and dark magic in the marshes. Sanctuary to some but nightmare to others, it's a place that generations of families both wealthy and destitute have inhabited, fled, and returned to for hundreds of years. From a half-Shawnee Indian's bold choice to escape an abusive home only to find herself with a man who will one day try to kill her, to a brave young girl's determination to protect her younger sister as methamphetamine ravages their family, the characters in this remarkable novel have deep connections to the land, and a resilience that only the place they call home could create.

Through a series of interconnecting narratives that recalls the work of David Mitchell and Jennifer Egan, Sara Taylor brings to life the small miracles and miseries of a community of outsiders, and the bonds of blood and fate that connect them all. Spanning over a century, dreamlike and yet impossibly real, profound and playful, THE SHORE is a breathtakingly ambitious and accomplished work of fiction by a young writer of remarkable promise.

 The Shore is a collection of stories about intersecting lives. The chapters skip through whole generations and change characters. The thing that binds these characters together is their struggles and their location. All of the stories take place on one island off the Chesapeake Bay of Virgina’s coast. “The Shore is flat as […]

18 03, 2015

Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin

By | Wednesday, March 18, 2015|7 Comments

Better Than Before by Gretchen RubinBetter Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives by Gretchen Rubin
Published by Crown Publishing Group, Crown/Archetype on March 17th 2015
Pages: 320
Genres: General, Happiness, Personal Growth, Self-Help, Success
ARC provided by Crown Publishing Group

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The author of the blockbuster New York Times bestsellers, The Happiness Project and Happier at Home, tackles the critical question: How do we change? 

Gretchen Rubin's answer: through habits. Habits are the invisible architecture of everyday life. It takes work to make a habit, but once that habit is set, we can harness the energy of habits to build happier, stronger, more productive lives.

So if habits are a key to change, then what we really need to know is: How do we change our habits?  

Better than Before answers that question. It presents a practical, concrete framework to allow readers to understand their habits—and to change them for good. Infused with Rubin’s compelling voice, rigorous research, and easy humor, and packed with vivid stories of lives transformed, Better than Before explains the (sometimes counter-intuitive) core principles of habit formation.   Along the way, Rubin uses herself as guinea pig, tests her theories on family and friends, and answers readers’ most pressing questions—oddly, questions that other writers and researchers tend to ignore:

  • Why do I find it tough to create a habit for something I love to do? •
  • Sometimes I can change a habit overnight, and sometimes I can’t change a habit, no matter how hard I try. Why?
  • How quickly can I change a habit?
  • What can I do to make sure I stick to a new habit?
  • How can I help someone else change a habit?
  • Why can I keep habits that benefit others, but can’t make habits that are just for me?

Whether readers want to get more sleep, stop checking their devices, maintain a healthy weight, or finish an important project, habits make change possible. Reading just a few chapters of Better Than Before will make readers eager to start work on their own habits—even before they’ve finished the book.

This book was really full of great ideas. Gretchen offers advice, tells stories to drive the point home, and breaks it down by personality type. This book would benefit almost anyone who was willing to sit down and read it. The Good: Gretchen introduces us first to the 7 essential changes people try […]

3 03, 2015

IF I FALL, IF I DIE by Michael Christie

By | Tuesday, March 3, 2015|7 Comments

IF I FALL, IF I DIE by Michael ChristieIf I Fall, If I Die by Michael Christie
Published by Crown/Archetype on January 20th 2015
Pages: 336
Genres: Action & Adventure, Coming of Age, Fiction, Literary
Hardcover provided by Blogging for Books

AmazonB&NAudibleBook Depository

A heartfelt and wondrous debut about family, fear, and skateboarding, that Karen Russell calls "A bruiser of a tale . . . a death-defying coming-of-age story."

Will has never been outside, at least not since he can remember. And he has certainly never gotten to know anyone other than his mother, a fiercely loving yet wildly eccentric agoraphobe who drowns in panic at the thought of opening the front door. Their world is rich and loving, full of art, experiments, and music—but confined to their small house.

But Will’s thirst for adventure can’t be contained. Clad in a protective helmet and unsure of how to talk to other kids, he finally ventures outside.  With the help of an artistic loner who introduces Will to the high-flying freedom of skateboarding, Will is pulled far from the confines of his closed-off world and thrust headfirst into the throes of early adulthood and the dangers that everyday life offers.

In buoyant, kinetic prose, Michael Christie has written an emotionally resonant and keenly observed novel about mothers and sons, fears and risks, and the lengths we’ll go for those we love.

This is such a difficult book to review. If I Fall, If I Die was poetic and complicated. Although I grew attached Will, his mother, and Jonah, I could not really claim attachment to the mission and to their adventures. Their lives are so strange and far from reality, I could only vaguely […]

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