Category Archives: beach reads

Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh

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This book was based on the blog of the same name, and includes exclusive content as well as some of what was already on the blog (which sadly hasn’t been updated in like five years). There’s not a lot to say about it. It’s really funny, and if you like lengthy, hilarious stories accompanied by badly drawn MS Paint-style portraits (no, really), this is the book for you.

Availability: SMCM, USMAI, COSMOS
Review Submitted by: Hannah Yeager
Rating: Highly Recommended
Challenge: Book written by someone under 30

The Chocolate Frog Frame-Up by JoAnna Carl

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Yay! My last review of the summer reading challenge! This one comes with a call to action for any other murder mystery readers (or potential writers) out there: Let’s set up a support group and stop ourselves if we ever suffer such stupidity, with such slow-witted characters, using painful thought processes simply to fill pages, and with such a ridiculous story line. Agreed? OK! Yeah, so run out and get this book at a used book sale, take it on vacation, and leave it out in the rain after you’ve finished it.

Availability:  COSMOS
Review Submitted by: Jane Kostenko
Rating:  Recommended with reservations (because higher expectations will not be met)

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

The Girl on the Train cover

The Girl on the Train stars an alcoholic divorcee, Rachel, who likes to people-watch from her daily commute on the train, imagining the lives of people she sees over and over again each day. One day, she sees something unusual, and becomes thrown (or throws herself, really) in to the investigation behind the disappearance of one the people she sees every day from the train. The novel is mostly told from Rachel’s point of view but alternates with the perspectives of two other women in the novel.

The book is described as a “psychological thriller”; I would say that it’s not quite that. It’s very interesting, but doesn’t get the psych thriller feel until towards the end of the book when everything starts to come together. The novel is a little hard to read at first -not only does it have multiple narrators, but it also jumps between different times  – but overall the book was a very interesting and fun read. The book apparently spent several months at the top of the New York Times Bestseller list, and I can see why.

Availability:  COSMOS, SMCM, USMAI
Review Submitted by: Hannah Yeager
Rating: Highly Recommended
Challenge: Book to film

Breaking Creed by Alex Kava

Breaking creed cover

Alex Kava is a New York Times bestselling author, but I have never read any of her novels. She has both a “Maggie O’Dell and a “Ryder Creed” series. This is the first in the Ryder Creed series. Maggie O’Dell is also in this book. I did not feel like I was behind or that I had missed anything because I had not read any of the O’Dell books.

Breaking Creed was a good mystery with many twist and turns. The characters were well developed. Also murders and some romance. I was an interesting quick read. I loved the rescue dogs that Creed adopted and then trained for multiple purposes such as finding bombs, dead bodies, and drugs. The dogs had amazing abilities. I’m going to recommend the book with reservations because of some very rough subjects. (Child trafficking, child drug mules, torture and brutal murders)

Availability: COSMOS
Review Submitted by: Shelley Clark
Rating: Recommended with reservations

Manhunt by James Patterson with James O. Born

Manhunt coverI’ve been noticing the small “BookShots” novels at the library for a while now. They are described as being shorter and more plot driven than traditional novels. I decided to read Manhunt.

Manhunt was a good mystery with a suspenseful plot. The book was plot driven with no “fluff”, as the bookshots are advertised. It took less than 2 hours to read. Manhunt is a Micheal Bennett novel by James Patterson, if you are a fan I don’t believe you will be disappointed.

Availability: COSMOS
Review Submitted by: Shelley Clark
Rating: Recommended
Challenge book with a one word title

The Other Daughter by Lisa Gardner

the other daughter cover

 

A good murder mystery read, by Lisa Gardner, with many twists and turns (almost too many, so that you end the book, trying to figure out if everything really does fit into the solution). Some implausibility, so prepare to suspend logic (again, especially at the end).

Availability:  COSMOS
Review Submitted by: Jane Kostenko
Rating:  Recommended

To Cut a Long Story Short by Jeffrey Archer

to cut a long story short cover

 

This was an enjoyable series of crime stories (some very short, some longish), with many based on true incidents (those were the most fun, IMHO). None of the stories were too deep, all were enjoyable, and it was the type of book you could put down and pick back up without worrying where the story was going!

Availability:  COSMOS
Review Submitted by: Jane Kostenko
Rating:  Highly Recommended