Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Review: Gone but Knot Forgotten by Mary Marks (Quilting Mystery #3)


First of all, I apologize for it having been so long since I've posted! Life has gotten very crazy lately and I haven't been getting through my TBR list nearly as quickly as I'd like. Now onto the review :)  

This is the 3rd in Mary Marks' Quilting Mysteries. I haven't (yet) read the other two and in fact, I hadn't even heard of this author before, but I'll certainly keep an eye out for her now. This book does perfectly well as a standalone, although there are some character subplots that would probably be better understood if you'd read the books in order. 

This is a cozy and there are some quilting tips as well. I'm not a quilter and don't really have any interest in it, but there's just a hint of quilting talk and I did not mind it. In fact, at least in this particular story, it helped with the mystery and was enjoyable to read about. 

The main character, Martha, is in her 50's. Even though I am only 32 (and most of the time won't admit to being more than 29) I still found myself easily able to relate to her and her life. She is a fun character with a very clearly defined personality and her friends are interesting and entertaining as well. 

Martha is surprised to learn that an old high school friend has not only passed away, but also made her the executor to her will. She hadn't seen Harriet in 15 years, but when the police seem to be doing little to investigate the real cause of her death, not to mention basically accuse Harriet of a major crime, Martha takes it upon herself to solve the mystery and make sure her friend's name and reputation remain clean. 

There are a few mysteries and many subplots going on throughout this book, which definitely add to the enjoyment and excitement. There are a couple of slower parts, but not many. The ending is definitely unpredictable, but perhaps a bit too much so, as the murderer ends up being someone that is only briefly mentioned before they are revealed. 

Overall, I give this book 4.5/5 stars, would definitely recommend it, and I intend to go back and read the earlier books in this series as well! For more information about the book or the author, you can visit the author's website.Gone but Knot Forgotten is available on Amazon and B&N.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Review: Awake by Natasha Preston


This is a YA novel. It's definitely not a cozy, but there is plenty of mystery and suspense in it, as well as some romance. I'd probably classify it as more of a thriller. As far as I can tell it's a standalone. 

Scarlett, the main character, is 15 but has a unique situation, which is that she has no memories whatsoever of the first 4 years of her life. One day in school she meets Noah, a new student, and is immediately drawn to him. They begin a relationship and she confesses to him about her lack of memory. To her surprise and delight, he is super supportive and as their relationship progresses, he offers to help her try and regain her memory. 

It's kind of hard to provide an analysis of this book without giving away any spoilers, but I'm going to try! Scarlett does end up getting her memories back and there are much bigger things going on than she had ever imagined. Noah is a big part of the story as well and may not be everything he seems to be.  

Though this book is over 300 pages long, I never felt like it was dragging. The author did an amazing job of keeping up a fast pace throughout. This is definitely a dark and somewhat creepy book, but it is YA appropriate and is not graphic or gruesome. It was slightly frustrating in the beginning to know that there was clearly something going on but have no clue what the heck it was yet. It's probably not something that many people would be able to correctly guess, either; but it is fun to try. 

There were a massive amount of typos and grammatical errors throughout, but since this was an ARC, I'm going to assume that it had not been fully edited yet and not take off points for it. My biggest complaints would be that after taking about 250 pages to build up the story and get to the end, the ending did not take up very many pages and felt rushed. Also, some of the characters' reactions to certain situations did not seem realistic at all. 

With everything that goes on in this story, everything should not have been able to be basically all settled and resolved quickly and then more or less forgotten about. The ending definitely needed to be more drawn out and more realistic for the reactions to things that happened. 

All in all, it is a great story with lots of suspense and intrigue and I give it a 4 out of 5 and would recommend reading it. If you'd like to learn more about the author and/or the book, you can visit the author's website. Awake is available on iBooks, B&N, and Amazon.