Before the Blog #3: The Lace Reader

Before the Blog is a weekly blog meme hosted by Karis Jacobstein over @ YA Litwit. It’s an opportunity to showcase books a blogger read and loved prior to starting their blog .  I love this idea because there are so many amazing books I haven’t reviewed on A Novel Glimpse because I read them a long time ago. The only rules to this meme are to answer the following questions about the book chosen to review:

  • Why did you choose this book? 
  • When did you read this book? 
  • Who would you recommend this book to? 

_________________________________________________________________________

The Lace ReaderThe Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry

Publication Date: July 31, 2007

Publisher: Flap Jacket Press

Synopsis:

Like all of the Whitney women, Towner Whitney can read the future in lace. Towner no longer read lace, though. The last time she did, it killed her sister. But now Towner’s Great Aunt Eva, the original Salem Lace Reader, is missing. Towner desperately wants to find her beloved aunt and she’s tempted to go looking at the future.

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Why did you choose this book? 

The Lace Reader is the very first psychological thriller I read. I remember getting to the end of the book and being like, “WHAT?!?!” I actually went back and read it a second time. Later, I read it a third time. It’s the only book I’ve read more than twice. Each time I read it I find something new.

When did you read this book?

I’m not exactly sure of the exact date I read The Lace Reader. The first time was probably in 2010 or 2011. I read it for a book group I was in. My sister actually picked the book. I hadn’t even read the blurb on the back of the book before I started reading it. I kept thinking, why did my sister pick this book? It’s not that great…but it was.

Who would you recommend this book to?

Anyone that likes psychological thrillers, unreliable narrators or fiction in general. I highly recommend reading as little about this book as you can before reading it. The less you know, the better in this case.

ARC Review: Unshakable

Unshakable (Wayward Fighters, #4)Unshakableby J.C. Valentine 

Publication Date: July 28, 2015

Publisher:  Malachite Publishing LLC

*Unshakable is included in the Red Hot Candy Boxed Set and it’s out today!

Synopsis:

Don Freyer lost both his wife and his fighting career to cancer. He was a bitter old man until Jami came into his life. Jami’s the son Don never had. Don knows Jami’s life was rough growing up and he wants to ensure Jami and his wife can provide stability for the baby they are about to have. Don’s about to make that happen for them when life throws another hurdle his way.

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Unshakable is the epilogue to the Wayward Fighters series. It’s a short story told in Don and Jami’s POV’s. In order to understand the characters, it’s best to have read the previous novels.

I love that J.C. Valentine gave us one last glimpse into the lives of the Wayward Fighters family. It was short and sweet and really wrapped up the entire series in a great way. Fans of the series will love it.

Thank you to J.C. Valentine for the opportunity to read and review an ARC of Unshakable. 

Other books in this series:

Knockout (Wayward Fighters, #1)  Tapout (Wayward Fighters, #2)  unDefeated (Wayward Fighters, #3)

Run You Down

Run You DownRun You Down (Rebekah Roberts #2) by Julia Dahl

Publication Date: June 30, 2015

Publisher: Minotaur Books

Synopsis:

Rebekah Roberts’ Hasidic Jewish mother, Aviva, abandoned her as a baby. After college, Rebekah left her father and her hometown of Orlando, FL to move to New York to become a journalist and (maybe) find her mother.

While working for the Tribune, Rebekah receives a call from a man who would like the murder of his Hasidic Jewish wife looked into. He has reason to believe she may have been murdered. As Rebekah begins to investigate the story, she discovers Aviva’s brother, Sam, knew the dead woman. The more she uncovers, the more Rebekah starts to question Sam’s connections and involvement in the crime. She sees the need to learn more about Sam as an excuse to finally contact the mother walked out on her.

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Run You Down was written from two points of view: Rebekah’s and Aviva’s. Rebekah’s POV was present day.  Aviva’s was more of a running letter or explanation of the events in her life to Rebekah. I liked Aviva’s chapters more than I liked Rebekah’s. Her story was more interesting to me. Rebekah’s chapters felt darker. I’m wondering if I would have felt different had I read the first book, Invisible CityI felt like I was missing information on some of the traumatic events in Rebekah’s life. Not that you can’t read Run You Down without reading Invisible City. I could completely follow the story without having read the first book. There were just little comments here and there that made me feel like I was missing something.

The mystery surrounding the dead Hasidic Jewish woman and Aviva’s brother, Sam, was very interesting and kept me guessing. I learned things about a culture I’m not sure I even knew existed. It was cool how Julia Dahl tied real news event into the story, too. It made the events in the book more relatable.

I would have liked to have read more about Sam’s life from his POV. I also wish the story hadn’t wrapped up so quickly. It would have been nice to know more about Rebekah’s life immediately following the book. I’m sure there will probably be a Rebekah #3, but I wanted a little more now.

Run You Down was a really great mystery/thriller. I would suggest it to readers that enjoyed Gone Girl or The Girl on the Train.

Thank you to Minotaur Books for the opportunity to read and honestly review Run You Down.

Other books in this series:

Invisible City