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Book Review: The Wolf by Lorenzo Carcaterra

wolf

Rating: 3 / 5

Full disclosure: I received an advance readers copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

Vincent Marelli aka the Wolf,  is the head of a powerful organized crime group.  Unlike many upper level members, who were born into the organization, Marelli had a fairly quiet childhood, only entering the mob after both his parents died within a short time of each other.  He is cunning and astute, but after a minor mistake with letting his guard down, his wife and two daughters were murdered.  Thinking that the Russians, led by Vladimir Kostolov are behind the brutal killings, Marelli plans to exact revenge. (more…)

Book Review: In the Blood by Lisa Unger

blood

Rating:  4 / 5

Lana Granger is currently a psychology student at a small college in upstate New York.  With her trust fund almost depleted, she becomes a nanny for young boy, Luke.  Luke has behavioral issues, and has been known to manipulate his peers into doing harmful acts.  Lana has some experience with this, for she has a past that she’s hidden from everyone, and has told so many lies about her childhood that she’s not even sure what is real and what are lies. When one of Lana’s friends and roommate goes missing, and Lana is the last one to see her, suspicion is cast on Lana’s past, and everything she has tried so hard to hide. (more…)

Book Review: Someone Else’s Love Story by Joshilyn Jackson

joshilyn

Rating: 3/5

Shandi Pierce is in the process of moving into her father’s house with her toddler, Natty.  On the way, they stop at a gas station convenience store and end up in the middle of a robbery.  William Ashe is also at the convenient store, at the wrong place at the wrong time.  Bonded by that event, Shandi falls in love with William.  The robbery has made her reassess her life, what she is doing with it, and what she needs to do to protect her child.  The robbery has also made William think about his life, which has recently been filled with unexpected and unspeakable tragedy. In the aftermath of the robbery, Shandi and William find that their pasts do not have to hold them down, and find themselves help each other in healing and moving on with life. (more…)

Book Review: The Theory of Opposites by Allison Winn Scotch

theory

Rating: 4 / 4

In her eyes, Willa Chandler-Gordon’s life is pretty decent-she’s employed in Manhattan and is married to a fabulous guy.  The only thing missing is a child, which she is desperately working on.  So she is surprised when her husband, Shawn, suggests that their marriage needs a break for a couple of months, and actually comes up for rules during their intermission.  Willa is unsure what to make of this drastic change, although according to her self-help guru father, everything that happens is meant to happen, and she just needs to accept for what it is. (more…)

Book Review: Lexicon by Max Barry

lexicon

Rating: 3 / 5

Emily Ruff is homeless teenager, relying on petty scams such as Three-Card Monte for a few quick bucks here and there.  She is recruited into a super secret school that teaches the power of words.  Graduates are called poets, and have mastered the ability to manipulate others.  The other half of Lexicon is centered on Wil Parke, who has apparently been kidnapped for information he does not know he possesses.  An unknown group has been tasked to find Wil because he is immunity to persuasion by the poets. While the two story lines seem separate and independent, Emily and Wil’s lives are intertwined, and through flashbacks, the reader comes to understand the relationship between the two and their fates. (more…)

Book Review: The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri

lowland

Rating: 4.5 / 5

Subhash and Udayan are two brothers, separated by 15 months, who are inseparable in India.  Subhash is the older brother, and is quiet, determined, and many times defers to his younger, more rambunctious and outgoing brother, Udayan.  Their paths diverge in college, and eventually Subhash continues his studies in America.  Udayan, on the other hand, is equally intelligent, but his passion lies not in academics, but in the communist movement.  Tragedy strikes Udayan, and when Subhash returns to India, he changes the course of his own life in trying to help Udayan’s wife. (more…)

Book Review: The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker

golem

Rating: 5 / 5

Chava is a golem, made of clay, and made to have a master.  Her master, however, died on the ship over from Poland to America, and Chava finds herself alone with in New York City, with no where to go and nobody to turn to for help.  Ahmad is a jinni, a being made of fire, and after spending thousands of years locked up, has finally been set free by an unknowing tinsmith in New York City.  The Golem and the Jinni is the tale of Chava and Ahmad, their lives separately and their adventure together when their paths cross. (more…)