Posts Tagged: ARC

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Review: The Mystery of Hollow Places by Rebecca Podos

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I received this book for free from Balzer + Bray in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The Mystery of Hollow Places by Rebecca PodosThe Mystery of Hollow Places by Rebecca Podos
Published by Balzer & Bray on January 26th, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, YA
Source: Balzer + Bray
Buy on Amazon

All Imogene Scott knows of her mother is the bedtime story her father told her as a child. It's the story of how her parents met: he, a forensic pathologist, she, a mysterious woman who came to identify a body. A woman who left Imogene and her father when she was a baby, a woman who was always possessed by a powerful loneliness, a woman who many referred to as troubled waters.

When Imogene is seventeen, her father, now a famous author of medical mysteries, strikes out in the middle of the night and doesn't come back. Neither Imogene's stepmother nor the police know where he could've gone, but Imogene is convinced he's looking for her mother. She decides to put to use the skills she's gleaned from a lifetime of her father's books to track down a woman she's never known, in order to find him and, perhaps, the answer to the question she's carried with her for her entire life.

Rebecca Podos' debut is a powerful, affecting story of the pieces of ourselves that remain mysteries even to us - the desperate search through empty spaces for something to hold on to.

So I’m not really sure what to think of this book. It wasn’t bad, and it had the potential to be really good, but it missed the mark. I’m all about background information and learning the history of the character and their lives, but this one was to the point that is was very disruptive to the story and it really just disconnected me from the whole thing. It was hard to really care abou the story and what was happening when it was interrupted for long stretches explaining something about the past. I get that it’s the thought process of the main character as she is the one telling the story, but it just did’t quite work for me.

Imogene is the MC and she was just okay to me. I get that she wants to know more about her mom and know what her dad refuses to tell her. The main thing going on in the book is to find her dad who is missing. Though, he did leave on his own. She is determined to follow the clue that he has left her and knows that by finding her mom, she will also find her dad. Oh yeah, and just so you know, her mom left when she was a baby and her dad is remarrried, so he left his daughter and his wife. So anyways… Imogene is really smart actually and she does a good job with the help of her friend. (Who I must say is a much better friend to her than Imogene is to her.) Due to her uncertain history of mental illness on her mother’s side, and her father having mental illness, she starts to question herself as well. She sticks with her search though, and even though she makes some really horrible choices and hurts those close to her at times, I did understnd where she was coming from.

I thought that this book did have a great story and I did like the mystery of Imogene puzzling things out. Like I said before though, all the long descriptions of past things just really took me away from the story. I wanted to really care about what Imogene was going through and to feel her emotions, but I just didn’t. When I would start to get wrapped up in her life, it would go into something about a resturaunt that they used to go to or something and it was hard to get back into her head. This was a good book about how mental illness can both tear a family down, but also bring them together. It really did do a good job at that. It showed how much Imogene was struggling not just with her father missing, but even events through her life that could have been much different had she not been so affected by what her father is going through and wondering about her mom. I liked this, but I just couldn’t love it since I couldn’t fully get into the story. I would definitely try out other books by this author though in the future.


3 Hot Espressos

Review: Macbeth #killingit by William Shakepeare and Courtney Carbone

Posted by on 12/02/2015 • 3 Comments

I know that I have already review a few of these books, well actually all of them so far, and they are getting harder to review. I can only say how fun they are so many times. Macbeth is one of stories that I really enjoyed reading back in the day when I was in school, so I really liked getting to read it in this format. What’s even better is that the Macbeth movie comes out Friday. Yup, that’s right, December 4th and it looks pretty good. I can’t wait to see it. So, if you haven’t read Macbeth, you should check out the movie, then pick up this book when it comes out in January to see how entertaining reading in this format makes a dark story.

Review: A Midsummer Night #nofilter by William Shakespeare and Brett Wright

Posted by on 11/25/2015 • 1 Comment

Every time I have read one of these books I can’t help but smile. They are great fun!! I have actually never read A Midsummer Night’s Dream. I have read little bits, but never the whole thing. Of course, I knew what the story was about, but reading it in this way made it so much fun. Once again, I have to say that these books are amazing because they make learning about these stories entertaining, and in my case, want to read the real thing.

Text and social media are such prominent things today that this is such a great way to write a book. Especially books that some may find boring otherwise. Or have trouble understanding the language since we all know that Shakespeare can be a…

Review: Consent by Nancy Ohlin

Posted by on 11/18/2015 • 4 Comments

This book was a bit tough for me. It was a good book, and I knew what it was about going into it, but reading it made me feel a bit icky at times. I liked the MC and her best friend was pretty good too, but Dane just gave me the creeps. I thought that it was a well done story though, and of course it isn’t unheard of to have student/teacher relationships. Besides the relationship aspect though, it really goes into family issues as well and I really liked that.

Bea is a senior in high school and thinking about her future. She has a super smart best friend and she has these grand plans for Harvard. It’s not an unlikely dream either. They are both smart, and…

Review: Calvin by Martine Leavitt

Posted by on 11/13/2015 • 2 Comments

This book, though short packs quite a punch. It’s fun and quirky, but also serious as well. It follows Calvin who has schizophrenia on an extremely dangerous adventure. I enjoy reading books about mental illness when they are told in the POV of the person who has it. It is a scary and sad thing to know what they are going through, but my curious mind is always interested. I work in a field that deals with mental illness, so I am no stranger to it, but I am fascinated with how the brain works and I really do love books like this.

Calvin was a really great character in so many ways. He is smart, funny, and determined. Yes, he may have schizophrenia, but that is just one…

Review: Captive by A.J. Grainger

Posted by on 11/12/2015 • 4 Comments

I always find it hard to review books that I have no strong opinion of either way. I didn’t really like this book, but I didn’t dislike it either. It was readable, but it didn’t make me NEED to keep going. The main character wasn’t all that interesting, but I did kind of like her… sometimes. As you can tell by the title and synopsis, this book is about a girl who is kidnapped because she is the Prime Ministers daughter. She is the leverage to get what they want. So of course, she is being held captive and we learn about her history through her wandering thoughts. We also learn about the conspiracy that got her to this place by one of her kidnappers. The book opens pretty cool,…

Review: The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett

Posted by on 11/10/2015 • 14 Comments

I adored this book! It wasn’t perfect, but I really enjoyed it and didn’t want to put it down. I loved the main characters, but beyond that, I wanted so bad to learn their story. I was instantly drawn into this book and it was like I was there with them on their journey. It was great watching their romance form, and it was so heart breaking when they were going through awful things. I was very invested in them and where life would take them, and especially the past that had made each of them who they were.

Bex was an interesting character. She doesn’t have a whole lot of friends because people find her a bit weird. By weird, I mean morbid. She is fascinated by anatomy….

Review: We’ll Never Be Apart by Emiko Jean

Posted by on 11/09/2015 • 4 Comments

I’m always up for a book that is creepy and messes with your head, and this sounded like it was perfect for that. Sadly, it really fell short for me. It’s supposed to be a mind fuck, but it was too predictable. It was supposed to be creepy, but it just wasn’t. I didn’t really like the main character much because she was kind of boring. Even though she is breaking all the rules and is out for murder, she just seemed a bit blah for me. And the love interest… there always has to be one of those right? He didn’t do much for me. He’s the one who is supposed to be all dangerous, but helpful, and really a sweetheart. Yeah, he met all those stereotypes on the…