Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Review: Claudine by Barbara Palmer

Publisher: Penguin Canada
Pages: 352
Received: Received a copy from Penguin Canada in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: September 2, 2014
Buy From Chapters.ca / Buy From BookDepository.com

Goodreads Synopsis:

Maria Lantos has a secret. She’s a post-grad student researching early erotic literature at Yale who puts her studies to work after hours as a courtesan named Claudine specializing in erotic role play. Her allure and stock of sexual tricks command top dollar from international clients. When Maria receives anonymous text messages filled with chilling threats, she knows her secret is out, and someone is hunting her—someone who knows a lot about her past and who’s intent on playing a starring role in her present.

As Claudine, she loves the brief anonymous liaisons that allow her to explore the darker side of power and desire. But now it’s Maria’s turn. Two men—charismatic Yale professor Reid Whitman and her business manager, Andrei Barinov—will test the limits of her sexuality and safety, forcing her to discover the depth of the dark places within her.

Claudine combines the pace of a thriller, the deep emotional connection of a romance, and the heat of a beautiful woman’s sexual discovery.

My Review:

This book is so far out of my comfort zone, but it just sounded so intriguing I thought I needed to try something different. I am very glad I got my hands on a copy of this story because it was intense but I loved every minute of my experience with this book. Maria Lantos is someone who is still growing up and learning about life experiences, but she has a secret life on the side to help her pay her way through school. When all of a sudden her secret is on the verge of coming out and Maria is being threatened by someone who knows more about her than they should.

What I absolutely adored about this book was how the mystery became so intense and there were so many suspects, you could not figure out what would come next. Palmer really knows how to draw her readers into the story, she breaks up the mystery and romance giving readers a good amount of both. I was very interested in Maria's life outside of her courtesan side. Maria is so used to this life that she has closed herself off to those people that want to get close to her, it is best for her not to get close because she has a troubled past.

I don't want to go into too much detail because it would give things away about this book, but Barbara Palmer definitely knows how to write scenes that will creep you out and go into a scene a few pages later that is hot and very sexy. This is a story about a woman who is learning more about herself and learning to let go of certain parts of her life. Maria lets two men truly test her ability to not only truly love herself but to let someone else love her. This was a beautiful story that I'm glad has taken me out of my comfort zone and I really hope this book opens me up to discover new authors in a genre I have been previously hesitant to pick up.

Don't let the romance aspect of this book fool you, it is a beautiful book with a thrilling mystery added in. I believe that people will be talking about this book for awhile. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Review: Forget Me by K.A. Harrington

Publisher: Putnam
Pages: 288
Received: Received a copy from Penguin Canada in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: August 7, 2014
Buy From Chapters.ca / Buy From BookDepository.com

Goodreads Synopsis:

An edge-of-your seat psychological thriller with a romantic twist

On the three-month anniversary of her boyfriend Flynn’s death, Morgan uploads her only photo of him to FriendShare to get some closure—but she’s shocked when the facial recognition software suggests she tag him as "Evan Murphy." She’s never heard of Evan, but a quick search tells her that he lives in a nearby town and looks exactly like Flynn. Only this boy is very much alive.

Digging through layers of secrets and lies, Morgan is left questioning everything she thought she knew about her boyfriend, her town, and even her parents' involvement in this massive web of lies.

My Review:

This story really caught my attention after reading the synopsis, I really wanted to know what secrets would come out in the end. I found myself immersed in the story as Morgan is trying to find out what happened to Flynn and why Evan looks to be the exact same person. This book has a great creepy, mysterious feel to it and I just wanted to keep going to find everything out.

I really enjoyed the mystery Harrington has going on in this story, as Morgan and Evan dig into the mystery of who Flynn is, many secrets are revealed that delve far deeper into the town then Morgan could prepare herself for. Many more people are involved, and Morgan begins to question what she truly knows about her parents and what happened in her town to bring it down.

Morgan's best friend was a great addition to the book, she is the opposite of Morgan and is the one pushing her to really dig into things. It was great to see someone get Morgan out of her room after dealing with the death of Flynn, it doesn't seem like many people are there for Morgan. There are many great characters that help make up this story, but the plot is what really kept my attention, as Morgan and Evan get closer to the truth, things seem to become more dangerous.

K. A. Harrington has written an intriguing story that I believe will catch the attention of many readers. I did not want to put this book down, and at a time where I am having trouble getting through a lot of books this one went by quickly. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Review: The Country of Ice Cream Star by Sandra Newman

Publisher: Knopf Canada
Pages: 640
Received: Received a copy from Random House of Canada in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: June 3, 2014
Buy From Chapters.ca

Goodreads Synopsis:

A post-apocalyptic literary epic in the tradition of The Handmaid's Tale, Divergent and Cloud Atlas, and a breakout book in North America for a writer of rare and unconventional talent.

From Guardian First Book Award finalist Sandra Newman comes an ambitious and extraordinary novel of a future in which bands of children and teens survive on the detritus--physical and cultural--of a collapsed America. When her brother is struck down by Posies--a contagion that has killed everyone by their late teens for generations--fifteen-year-old Ice Cream Star pursues the rumour of a cure and sets out on a quest to save him, her tribe and what's left of their future. Along the way she faces broken hearts and family tragedy, mortal danger and all-out war--and much growing up for the girl who may have led herself and everyone she loves to their doom.

My Review:

This book took me quite awhile to get through, it was a difficult story to wrap my head around at certain points. The most difficult part of this book was the writing style, the way Ice Cream Star speaks is hard to understand sometimes. It is interesting to see how Ice Cream Star tries to save her brother, she will do anything to save her family from this disease that has been killing everyone. When a rumour comes around that there is a cure for what is called "Posies", Ice Cream will do anything to find it.

That is the one thing I truly loved about this book, for such a young girl she is a very determined person. It is interesting to see a girl like Ice Cream try to grow up in a post-apocalyptic world as is seen in this book. The world that Sandra Newman has created is one where children do not usually grow older than twenty, so it is a world full of young looking after the young, it definitely makes for some difficult conversations.

I am having trouble describing everything that happened in this book, it is a long story where many things happen to Ice Cream as she gains perspective on the world and the people around her. There are a lot of secondary characters who are in and out of Ice Cream's life throughout the book, and each of them have a huge impact on her future plans. I have to say that this is a book I would like to go back and reread in the future because I believe I missed out on a lot of information the first time around since it took me so long to get through. This book is one of a kind and I see it being a popular book, readers will just have to have the time to invest in reading this. 
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