Are you an avid reader looking for your next "fix"? Can't bear to be without some form of reading material in your spare time? Welcome to my world! Whether you are seeking a new book to "feed your need", or you are an author seeking an unbiased point of view on your own recent masterpiece, this is the place to be. With life as with books, you never know where the next step might take you...

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

I'm cleaning off my...BOOKSHELF! Prepare for BLOGAPALOOZA 2.0!

Hi there!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

Today is being renamed.
It is no longer Tuesday.
Today is now BLOGAPALOOZA...
...or maybe REVIEW-APALOOZA...
 ...oh heck, pick whichever one you like as long as you add a 2.0 after it, but it boils down to me having WAY TO LITTLE time to do the things I love like reading and reviewing, still accomplishing it to some degree, and my desire to clean out the GIANT stack I've collected with titles that need to be reviewed. So...


Instead of SEVERAL posts, I'm going to do one BIG post with A LOT of books for you to peruse, consider, and possibly add to your future reading list. Props will be given to writers, publishers, and the lot, and links will be supplied for further clickage should you so desire, while the actual review itself will be kept to a minimum...and don't smirk at me like that, I can TOTALLY keep it short...maybe, possibly...I'll try.
Ready? Set? Here we go!

Mandy Robotham
Released:  06/23/20

A thoroughly moving story set with a dual story line, I took my time, savored it, and I regret nothing. This heart wrenching and beautiful tale of present meeting past, shares how uncovering those truths from yesteryear are not just family history, but a way of making a connection to your true self.  They always say you can't know where you're going unless you know where you've been, and this story is a prime example.  Luisa had lost not just her family, but her way, and discovering the why of things from her past really helped to heal her heart in the here and now.  It's not an easy journey to read because the life and times of Stella (her ancestor) were fraught with danger, deception, and mistrust...but it wasn't all doom and gloom.  Through her words, she helped keep hopes and dreams alive.  With the help of others, they spread the news that needed to be heard as well as shared stories to uplift their downtrodden spirits.  A definite must read with a surprise revelation at book's end!

Romancing Manhattan, Book 3
Kristen Proby
Avon Books
Released:  07/14/20

Carter Shaw and Nora Hayes... *sigh* did I NOT know about this series before the final one was being released?  Not to worry, I'm actively seeking out the first two because I seriously want to get to know the other partners in the firm and their tales of romance since the glimpses I caught of them from this story sounded really good!  Anyway, back to this falls squarely in the workplace romance trope with a good dash of friends-to-lovers thrown into the mix.  He's a workaholic that loves his daughter to a fault, but misses his beloved with every beat of his heart.  She's been his executive assistant for many years, married during several of them in fact, and would do anything for both him and his daughter...but the heated glance she catches one day was something she wasn't prepared for.  I mean, they're both single and able to mingle, but as well as they work together, can they do the same outside of the office?  Though both have things to prove on both sides (some more than others with their boneheadedness), it was heart warming and toe tingling to watch it all unfold.  Oh and yes, recommended audience would be adults in this one.

Mary Kay Andrews
St. Martin's Press
Released:  05/05/20

This isn't the first book by this author that I've read, and it certainly won't be the last.  I really love how she brings the area I live in to life, and makes you a part of the story. You really get to know the sisters, and what has come between them.  There some truly memorable characters here, for better or worse, and the story certainly doesn't disappoint with unexpected twists and turns.  The mystery at the heart of it all doesn't overshadow the family connections being made (or broken!), but it does, in fact, affect them.  Conley had so much ground to make up to bridge who she was with who she is versus the who she wants to be...but in the end, she not only gets the big scoop, but also grows to understand that not all things small town are truly small, and it certainly doesn't change their importance.

P.S. I Love You, Book 2
Cecelia Ahern
Grand Central Publishing
Released:  02/11/20

Okay, so I entered this one at a disadvantage.  I had not read the original book (and still haven't...yet) prior to reading this and while I ADORED the film, I can't help but think the book may have been dramatically different, at least in the case of our leading lady, Holly.  She seemed much more despondent than I imagined her to be after everything that transpired.  I mean, I wasn't expecting her to jump for joy over all the little things in life, but she seemed so un-Holly that I had a hard to connecting with her.  What is being asked of her by those in the P.S. I Love You group, going through similar things like her dearly departed, would be understandably hard...but, and perhaps it's my outsider perspective as observer versus participant, I would have thought she could more easily see the beauty, the assist, the heavy heart help that she was providing.  Not that it was her job, not that she had to flay her heart open again, these seven years later, for essentially strangers, but they weren't really strangers now, were they?  They were connected by something that those of us living our every day lives don't even consider on the regular...the countdown to the end of their time.  So, for me, the story was good, and I enjoyed things far more when she really got started, but until that point, it was a hard climb.  Perhaps if you've read the first, or when I backtrack and do so, the character and her reactions will make more sense.

The Unliving Chronicles, Book 1
Angelina Allsop
TCK Publishing

Story wise, it was definitely unique, totally enjoyable, and VERY curious...I mean come on!  The concept alone screams READ ME!  Now there were times that it was a bit slow to move forward and continue that storyline development, but it did get there...and a few other times that it was jumpy, making you feel you might have missed something.  Grant it, not what you aim for, but detract from the overall effect. Character wise, we have a fairly GINORMOUS cast, and while that can spell trouble because when you introduce characters unnecessarily, it can just clog the, it doesn't and they DO have their special moments!  Layout wise, which I don't always comment on, I can't say I was a fan.  Sorry, but the small font with large pages (cross between trade paper and hardback book size), throws off my reading; it may just be a me thing, but still notable. Now if we can talk about that cover because it is TOTAL PERFECTION!  It's' creepy, intriguing, mysterious, and spot on with visually introducing us to Pete, while drawing us in further because I don't know about you, but I NEEDED to know what that building was behind him, why it looked like he was running from it, and just why was he dressed like a little gangster! 

Harold and the Poopy Little Puppy
Ellie Crowe
Illustrated by Janet King
TCK Publishing
Released:  August 2018

Harold is the family dog.  Beloved, treasured, snuck treats when possible, but he's not the only fur kid on the block anymore.  Enter, Prince...his friend?  Not exactly.  Introducing a puppy into a family has it's challenges, but they can certainly be unique if there is already another dog in the mix.  You have to make sure they BOTH feel loved, no one feels overlooked, and jealousy doesn't reign supreme, or you can be in for many "surprises" along the way.  Harold learns the hard way at first and just when he's beginning to think he'll forever be in the doghouse, things take a turn for the better, and love, even from his scruffy little sidekick, prevails.  An entertaining, yet engaging story for young readers and those simply young at heart!

Timmy Failure, Book 1
Stephan Pastis
Released: February 2020

You know how all books are not for all readers and some books work SO MUCH BETTER when read aloud?  Yeah, this was definitely the case with the particular book and myself.  I was all ready to throw in the towel because quite honestly, I couldn't believe what I was reading.  I get it is for a much younger audience than I, but I read a fairly large amount of Children's Fiction and even Picture Books, so the fact that this one was giving me fits was enough to aggravate.  HOWEVER, in my exasperated state, I tried reading several passages aloud to illustrate the absurdity of what was happening...and you know what?  It.  Changed.  EVERYTHING.  I'm not saying I'm a diehard Timmy fan now, because yeah...I'll leave that to the fandoms, however I could appreciate the humor, the jokes, the ridiculous nature of some situations and the whole investigation into the missing candy THAT much better with all my gesturing, vocal variations, and moments of acting out.  So why yes, not all books are for all readers, if you've a kiddo in the house that likes to use their imagination, and you happen to have a few moments to spare to enhance the adventure, I highly suggest a read aloud session with this book!

Helen Cooper
Released: October 2019

This story was as magical as the cover, nay the title suggests!  You've got messages delivered by bees, invitations to curious museums with even curiouser sites on display, mysterious curators that feel oddly familiar, and a scheme to bring it all to the ground for the sake of a few dollars made.  It was  wonderful to get to know Ben and all the unexpected characters between these pages, including an actual witch (to be scared or not be scared...that's a HARD question!), and the hippo that the title hints at.  A definite recommend for readers who like a little adventure, who aren't afraid to let loose their imaginations, and can't stand to let go of the last strands of hope.

David Almond
Illustrated by David Litchfield
Released: May 2020

There is never a time that this book wouldn't be relevant...and yet that's not exactly reassuring.  It speaks to readers about war and how impossible it seems to be at ends with an entire people.  How can the acts of one condemn them all?  How can someone that looks just like you or me, be the enemy?  How can we create things that cause utter destruction to end wars and not think of the consequences of using that force?  It will raise a lot of questions, and answer several of them too, but it also passes on a message of peace, a message to look for the other solutions before turning to such a final act.

Meg Roseff
Illustrated by Grace Easton
Released: May 2020

The ironic part of this book was that I picked it up to read at the same time as the previous one listed (War is Over) and they BOTH have character's named McTavish.  I suppose that doesn't seem that unusual based on where they are centered, but for my own reading, that name doesn't come up too often, and even in this situation, they are at very different ends of the spectrum.  Just goes to show you the name does not make the person. Anywho...the McTavish here is a dog and he's GONE WILD, or so the title says, but the wild he goes is in order to get the family back on the same page.  It's a creative way to handle things, but it works because they band together and stop their squabbling (eventually) to track him down.  Perhaps we all need a McTavish in our lives to make us slow down and appreciate what's right in front of us.

The Rise of Zombert
Zombert series, Book 1
Kara LaReau
Illustrated by Ryan Andrews
Releases: July 2020

I don't generally do zombie books, and I seem to say that same thing every time one crops up in my reading pile, but it's true.  They're generally too MUSUT EAT BRAINS focused for my liking...although this time around, it's a cat.  Different for certain, but still MUST EAT BRAINS focused even if neither the girl with gentle hands nor the curious boy REALLY understands why...or Bert for that matter!  I was actually quite surprised when I reached book's end as I didn't realize it would be a series, but sure enough...there are more adventures to come.  Good news?  I like to think so, and I mean really, where are you going to find such a courteous, protective, and sharing kitty as this unique little guy?  Be warned's not a sunshine and butterflies sort of read.  Zombert has to eat those brains from somewhere and well, they say fresh is better.  *ahem*  All in all, it's a tale of survival, a tale of making your own way, a tale of never giving up and not being afraid to speak your mind...after all, how else is anyone suppose to know what you're all about if you don't?  Creepy fun for everyone!


Special thanks to the publishers listed above for the review copies received both in tree and "e" form. (THANKS!) For more information on any of the titles mentioned, feel free to click through the links provided above.

Until next time, remember...if it looks good, READ IT!

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