Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Mid-Year Reading Check In!

Please note that the above sentiment does not work on my husband, hahaha. I've tried. I've got three huge bookshelves though, so he may be right at this point ;). Who can really say?

I actually meant to post this on the 15th, but got really busy and forgot. So it's coming at you a few days later than expected. I really just wanted to check in, and let you know how my reading is going so far this year! Truth be told, it's going pretty fabulously. I know the posts here have been sporadic, but I'm reading more than I have in a while and it feels good.

I set myself a goal of 120 books this year. Only 10 books a month, so that way I could pick and choose what I wanted to read and not overwhelm myself. As it turns out, I'm killing that goal! So far this year I've read 79 books out of 120. I'm ahead of the game!

Favorite book of the year, so far, has been We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson. I'm pretty sure I've gushed about this book before, but it's absolutely excellent. Beautifully written. Haunting. Full of the kind of deep thoughts that make you feel all the feelings. I highly recommend it!

Second runner up goes to A Million Junes by Emily Henry. This book was just so much more than I expected it to be. It absolutely blew me away, and I was so happy. Again, highly recommended!

What I'm most proud of is the variety of things that I've read lately. I've been delving deeper into Contemporary books, and finding so much to love there. I've also been working hard on including more diverse books in my reading as well. As a whole, I'm trying to step outside the box. Which means, of course, that before the end of the year I'm going to have to finally read my most dreaded genre: MEMOIRS. I have faith though.

How is your reading going?

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Book Review: Like A Fly On The Wall

Media Type: Print Book (ARC)
Title: Like A Fly On The Wall
Author: Simone Kelly
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Pages: Paperback; 448
Release Date: July 11, 2017
Source: Harper Collins / TLC Book Tours
Genre: Suspense / Contemporary

HDB Rating: 3 Keys to My Heart

Recommended to: Readers who enjoy intrigue mixed with some scenes on the steamier side.

Add it on: HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
From talented debut author Simone Kelly comes this suspenseful novel that crackles with intrigue, sex, and plenty of surprises—perfect for fans of Eric Jerome Dickey and Carl Weber.

Meet Jacques Berradi. Moroccan-born and Manhattan-raised, his genuine, sexy-smooth allure goes hand in hand with a unique gift. Since Jacques was young, he has had the ability to read peoples’ energies, communicate with spirit guides, and even catch glimpses of people’s futures. Now a professional “intuitive counselor,” Jacques’s clients pay him handsomely for his insight. Unfortunately, Jacques’s psychic abilities don’t come with an off switch to tune out the world’s noise, nor do they always provide him with easy answers; recently Jacques has begun having dark, alarming dreams about his beloved father, a Moroccan immigrant who died when he was a boy.

Meet Kylie Collins, an adventurous, Miami twentysomething who is trying to find her footing after being laid off from a cushy music industry job. When a mishap brings them together, Kylie is instantly mesmerized by Jacques’s cool demeanor and intuitive abilities, and he’s captivated by her outgoing charm and breezy good looks. Seeking to learn more about her family history—including the identity of the father she’s never known—Kylie visits Jacques’s office to gain some insight about her future, and about her free-spirited and headstrong Jamaican mother, True.

But on the night that they meet, a rolling blackout cuts off power throughout Miami. Kylie and Jacques, and a few of his clients, head to the only place in the neighborhood with enough light to see: Like a Fly on the Wall Detective Agency. There, Kylie serendipitously lands herself the perfect new job as an apprentice private eye.

As partners, Jacques and Kylie are an unstoppable duo. Can Jacques’s intuition reveal the scandalous history of Kylie’s mother and father? Will Kylie’s newfound detective skills uncover evidence about the death of Jacques’s father? And will the chemistry that charges their friendship bubble over into something much, much hotter…?
This book is a little tricky to fairly rate, because I don't think I was quite prepared for how dark and steamy this was going to end up to be. To be fair, Like A Fly On The Wall definitely doesn't skimp on the descriptive writing. I met Jacques, and then Kylie, and it's like I could see them in my mind. Sitting, chatting, flirting. That's an impressive feat. Unfortunately, the plot and character development weren't quite on par with the writing itself.

The reader is kind of thrown, head first, into Jacques existence. The prologue, while steamy as all get out, is a bit disarming in how bluntly it shoves Jacques and his relationship into the limelight. I liked that he was nothing but himself. As the story progressed, and I got to know him better, I appreciated his honesty. Jacques knows himself, and he's not afraid of who he is. It was kind of refreshing. Kylie comes into the story a few chapters in, and it takes a little longer to discern exactly who she is. I can say, that as these two came closer and closer together, things were definitely not boring. I only wish the plot had been a little bit stronger.

Which is true of the whole book, honestly. Their story is laid out in a way that would suit a movie brilliantly, but as a book kind of falls flat. There's not a lot of actual story line present, and so it takes a lot longer than expected to finally find your footing in this book. I had made it 50% of the way before I could honestly feel confident telling you what the purpose of Jacques' abilities were, or how Kylie fit into the picture. In fact, it wasn't until the very end that I finally felt fully rooted in the story. Due to this, it took me a long time to finish this book. It wasn't badly written, or uninteresting, just a tough read because of the way it was laid out. A lot happened, with very little explanation, and I had to wait patiently for the book to catch me up.

In terms of strengths, I'd say this book definitely hits the mark with its descriptive writing. If only the the plot and the character development had gotten the same treatment, this book would have been a solid debut. As it stands, I wavered between a two and three star rating. I ultimately decided on three because, despite feeling confused, this was a really easy read. Jacques was likable, Kylie was interesting, and this 400+ page book flew by. I'm looking forward to seeing what comes next from this author.

FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.


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