Book Review: Gallant by V.E. Schwab

Gallant by V.E. Schwab is a modern day dark gothic young adult fairy tale filled with ghosts and death. Gallant is a hauntingly good story, that seeped into my dreams. The plot is half mystery and half gothic horror. The pace of the story is very rapid and doesn’t let up. Olivia the lead character is born mute, which would be a challenge for any writer to make compelling, having others talk and you lead character only gesture, but Schwab makes it work seamlessly. The dark gothic horror elements don’t go too dark and seem appropriate for the young adult audience as low as 12. The world building and mystery are done really well, I loved deep diving into the family history and the curse. The ending was done really well is both crowd pleasing and sentimental. This is my sixth Victoria Schwab or V.E. Schwab book that I have read and it is now a close second to Villainous which is still my favorite. So Gallant is in good company if you’ve read my review for Villainous and know how special it is and gallant coming in as a close second. Gallant was published by Greenwillow Books and published on March 1st 2022.

Plot Summary: Olivia is mute teenager and lives in a home for girls. She doesn’t have real friends and is constantly teased, but she does need them since she can see and communicate with ghosts or ghouls as she calls them. She knows how sign thanks to one sister, but she has come and gone and now communicates through writing which she hates or gestures. She can not remember here family but has a journal of her mother’s who was rumored to go insane and reading the writing it looks like it. She dreams of her mother whisking her away, when one day she gets a letter from an uncle, saying he’s been searching everywhere for her and must come to Gallant. Gallant is a place she knows from her mother’s journal, where she write Gallant is not safe. Olivia arrives at huge manor bigger than her girls home. When she arrives it is not with a welcome, the residents didn’t know she was coming, and want to send her away instantly, they haven’t heard about her, the invitation came from an uncle that died a year ago, who invited her to the manor and what do they want?

What I Liked: I liked how gothic and dark the story got. I instantly feel in love with the character of Olivia. I love a house with secrets story and there’s so many secrets. The villain was pretty terrifying and liked how dark and creepy he was. I loved the journals and their lyrical writing. I loved how fast the plot moved, when the action slows down you find more secrets out so I thought it was super interesting even when a little slow. The finale was super emotional and satisfying I loved every second of it. I loved the plot twist, there’s only one and it is pretty shocking and smart. The cover when you read the story really works well.

What I Disliked: I needed a little more about Olivia’s father, that was the only part that I was scratching my head, Schwab did make an attempt but I needed more.

Recommendation: Read this book it will have you turning pages long into the night, and for me it seeped into my dreams. This is a dark gothic fairy tale that feels pretty timeless, the only thing marking time is a car. Schwab is a great writer that keeps coming up with such original work. I rated Gallant by V. E. Schwab 5 out of 5 stars. This book is currently in my top 5 of books published this year.

Book Review: Goosebumps -Cuckoo Clock of Doom by R.L. Stine

Goosebumps: Cuckoo Clock of Doom by R.L. Stine is a time travel adventure in reverse. Cuckoo Clock of Doom is Goosebumps book 28 in the original series order. This is one of the least scary goosebumps books. It has one of the most obnoxious characters in Tara. The story is more of a morality tale that is done for laughs, it reminds me a lot of Goosebumps book Be Careful What You Wish For where it is the lead character’s choices that get them in trouble. I can remember the Goosebumps episode for the Cuckoo Clock of Doom which was one of my favorites. In the episode you can feel the ticking clock running out, the story finally gets tense the last 30 pages or so. The story idea is really good it could have been executed a lot better. The final twist is the most sinister so far from goosebumps, and saves the book from being 2 stars. I have a sister that I used to read to and I remember reading that last line and it is a bit terrifying, this book is a reread but I could not remember the story at all, it has probably been 25 years.

Plot Summary: Michael has just turned 12 and it was the worst thanks to his little sister Tara the Terrible. Just days before his birthday his dad gifted himself with an old cuckoo clock. Michael is always getting in trouble because of his little sister he wishes he could redo his birthday knowing all of Tara’s pranks. Michael finds away to get even with Tara as she has become obsessed with her dads new cuckoo clock and has already been yelled at once. Michael thinks if he keeps getting blamed for what Tara does she can get in trouble for what he does, so Michael waits and until the cuckoo bird pops out then twist the head backwards. The next day a strange thing happens it his birthday, his 12th birthday again, did he get his wish? Or did something else happens, when Michael’s wish turns into a nightmare.

What I Liked: The Time aspect was pretty cool. The idea for the plot is a really good idea. The final twist is so sinister and one of the best twist that was forecast from the beginning. Stine did a good job of setting up interesting dates through out the day, that make the reader remember exactly which one and how he can avoid it. I liked the little thing about the door lock not working and getting fixed and what that sets up.

What I Disliked: The lack of tension and hurry, if I knew time was running out I would not sit calmly in school. Tara is the most annoying character so far in Goosebumps, but this one does play into the final twist. The plot could have been a lot tighter and the dates could have had more meaning.

Recommendation: This is a goosebumps you can skip. It’s not really scary and set up more as a comedy like Be Careful What You Wish For. I would recommend you checking out the Goosebumps Tv episode for the Cuckoo Clock of Doom it is tension filled unlike the novel. I rated Cuckoo Clock of Doom 3 out of 5 stars. Here’s my full ranking of the 28 Goosebumps books that I have read in order to my favorite to least favorite: 1) A Night in Terror Tower, 2) Stay Out of the Basement, 3) Ghost Beach, 4) Piano Lessons Can Be Murder, 5) The Haunted Mask, 6) One Day At Horrorland, 7) Night of the Living Dummy, 8) Welcome to Camp Nightmare, 9) The Phantom of the Auditorium, 10) The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb, 11) Say Cheese and Die, 12) Let’s Get Invisible, 13) The Scarecrow Walks at Midnight, 14) Welcome to Dead House, 15) Monster Blood II, 16) The Girl who Cried Monster, 17)Deep Trouble, 18) The Ghost Next Door, 19) My Hairiest Adventure, 20) Be Careful What You Wish For… , 21) Return of the Mummy, 22) Why I’m Afraid of Bees, 23)Attack of the Mutant, 24) Go Eat Worms!, 25) The Werewolf of Fever Swamp, 26) Cuckoo Clock of Doom, 27) Monster Blood, And 28) You Can’t Scare Me!

Book Review: Star Trek – Harbinger by David Mack

Star Trek – Harbinger by David Mack is a prequel series to the Original Star Trek tv show, called the Vanguard series since all the action involves Vanguard Station. Vanguard Station is Starfleet’s furthermost station in the Federation, the station is in-between two enemies the Klingons and the Tholians and also a warp lane to the new frontier. This story is full of political intrigue and introduces a lot of characters. This is a ensemble story about corruption the USS Enterprise plays a part of it but can’t say it is the main focus. I know this will disappoint some seeing Kirk and Spock as part of an ensemble than the leads. I did not mind it and liked the new characters that all have their own agendas. The Vanguard series is 9 books and this first one set up a lot, of characters and a lot of conflict some that was resolved and some to come. Since this book has so many characters the only crew members of the USS Enterprise that we have any interaction with are Kirk, Spock, Uhura, and Scotty ( the book does mention that the new doctor McCoy will join them soon, all other crew members are not mentioned). I was happy to see a new female character that is a total bad ass and is the root of a lot of conflict. The novel has two LGTBQ characters, I like what it adds to both characters who are both from different alien races. I liked a majority of the story lines for new characters and how they intertwined with others, the plot was complex and made me read a couple things over, but overall I was entertained and want to read the next novel.

The Plot: In 2263 a Starfleet ship makes a discovery of a possible new species with an incredible DNA make up as they’re headed home. Just two years later the Vanguard Space Station is built near the discovery. The discovery has been made secret as Starfleet has setup the space station as a peace deterrent between two species The Klingon and The Tholians, but really the station was set up so the federation can research and keep the two species from finding and using it. The USS Enterprise has just docked at the station, and already is indirectly involved in the cover up, will Kirk and Spock realize they are pawns in this game of chess?

What I Liked: I like the political intrigue, it was written really well and I feel I got all sides of it, Starfllets side, the Underworld’s side, Klinglon’s Side, Tholian’s side, and the scientist’s side. There was a really clever plot twist that I did not see coming that kind blew me away. Of the non USS Enterprise side charcter’s I loved the journalist Tim Pennington (which this character is supposed to be who the school on Deep Space Nine was named after) and I loved the Vulcan T’Prynn who is one of the strongest new character’s to this series. For the brief LGTBQ storyline I liked how it was two different alien races and we get them to think how are they going to be accepted by their race. The cast is very international and inner species.

What I Disliked: We didn’t get enough of Uhura she has one scene that was almost all exposition, she deserves better than that. The dialogue was stale in some places, mainly when character use idioms, and there far too many idioms used in this novel.

Recommendation: I recommend you check this novel out. I think it is a good intro to the Star Trek novel universe, since it does not focus on solely on the Star Trek crew. I think people that just want to have a Kirk and Spock adventure might be a little disappointed, but when Scotty, Kirk and Spock make an appearance it is a good time. I thought this story was a good mix of both Chris Pine and William Shatner’s Kirk, wile Spock was all Leonard Nimoy. I rated Star Trek – Harbinger by David Mack 4 out of 5 stars.

Book Review: Wretched Waterpark by Kiersten White

Wretched Waterpark by Kiersten White is a middle grade mystery about teens who have a week long pass at the worst waterpark ever. The book felt like a mix of Unfortunate Events series by Lemony Snicket mixed with One Day at Horrorland by R. L. Stine, with a little bit of Disney’s Phineas and Ferb thrown in. My biggest complaint is I feel like this book couldn’t settle on a style and tried a couple. This book reads way to slow for a middle grade book, I felt at the beginning the chapters are too long. The book got more exciting at the end and had a worthwhile climax with most things getting wrapped up. The book had some moments of humor, but needed more in my opinion, i did like the macabre widow joke that is a character’s last name. The mystery when it got going was fun but it took me up to the 60% mark to get invested. This book is a start of a series called the Sinister Summer series which ties into the last name of the siblings. I liked where the next book in the series was going and it’s title Vampiric Vacation. I had just read and enjoyed Hide by Kiersten White which had a compelling mystery from the get go and needed a bit of that here. I read Wretched Waterpark thanks to Netgalley and Random House Children’s, Delacorte Press. Wretched Waterpark by Kiersten White is published on June 7 2022.

The Plot Summary: The Sinister-Winterbottom siblings Wil the oldest sister, loves one thing her cell phone she has named Rodrigo, Twins both 12 Theo, is the adventurous sister, and Alexander is an extra careful brother are left to stay with their Aunt Saffronia for an entire summer. Saffronia knows nothing about kids and food, she gets them each week passes to the waterpark called Fathoms of Fun. When they get there they realize it going to be anything but fun. The place is falling apart understaffed, and has the worst food choices. The sibling learn that the husband is missing and things started going downhill, with his wife running the company into the ground. The siblings decide to help find Mr. Widow the missing husband.

What I Liked: I liked the sibling relationship especially how the twins worked off each other ad used the other’s strength. Wil and the relationship with her phone was pretty great, I love how the twins knew there was a problem when Wil wasn’t on her phone. I liked the climax and how the mystery ended. I loved the cover art on this one and the sequel. Some of the humor was funny.

What I Disliked: Beginning was slow, it took me too long to get invested in the story. The churros joke ran its course, it was funny for a it, but did not need to be a running gag, I did like the final joke at the end though. The kids only went on 5 rides, I wanted a lot more, I feel like One Day at Horrorland, a much smaller book, had more rides. I need more humor and more scary situations too make this book work.

Recommendation: I would skip this book, there’s some okay moments but mostly felt like An Unfortunate Events fan fiction with not nothing new to add to middle grade literature. I read a lot of Middle Grade in mainly Goosebumps but I see this novel as being too slow for them. I mean if I tried to write middle grade I’m sure my attempt would be similar as fell, but this book felt to close. I have liked White’s more adult novel Hide, which I would recommend. I hope the next book in the series is better since I did enjoy the end. I rated Wretched Waterpark by Kiersten White 3 out of 5 stars.

Book Review: DMZ – Volume 1: On the Ground by Brian Wood

DMZ – Volume 1: On the Ground by Brian Wood with Art by Riccardo Burchielli is a graphic novel that asked what if there was a second civil war and the island of Manhattan was the demilitarized zone on which the war was fought. The Art and story are unique as they take a photo journalistic style to telling the story. The story is a stranger in a strangeland approach where the war has been going on for 5 years and an intern with a news agency gets thrown into to be a photojournalist when the star anchor is killed on set down. The story reminded a lot of the Kurt Russell movie Escape from New York as you see landmarks like central park totally changed to fit this new urban environment. The plot is all about raising awareness for the people still living in the demilitarized zone that are casualties of the war. The overall story is good but it feels like a string of vignettes than the story having an overall arc. This was a reread for me I read volume 1-3 in college, the series has now ended at volume 12. I wanted to read this again because I never reviewed it when I read it in the past and I’m really intrigued by the new HBOMAX show DMZ with Rosario Dawson. In this adaptation they flipped genres of the person going in and instead as an intern in over her head she volunteers to go in to rescue her family. DMZ – Volume 1: On the Ground collects issues 1-5 of DMZ of DC / Vertigo comics.

The Plot Summary: The Second Civil War between the United States and the Free States take place in the demilitarized zone that is Manhattan Island. The War has been going on for 5 years and no journalist has covered it so we have been relying on the military for news. Liberty News wants to send a veteran reporter with Matty Roth a new intern that didn’t really know what he was signing up for. When the Helicopter sets down and the military help to secure the area everyone dies except Matty who has most of the equipment and starts providing news. Matty is shocked of how many civilians still live in the area and start telling their story has he tries to survive.

What I Liked: the art is really good, and all the graffiti on top of everything really makes it look like a war zone. The images are sometimes hard to look at I bet they used a real war photos, especially on the injuries and sketched what they saw. The overall idea is really solid I love the premise and it’s location, to see New York get used for urban war fare is really creative. I like the idea of an intern following through with the mission, and them trying to fire him once he’s inside.

What I Disliked: I was never told which states are the free states and which states are The United States. There was not an ending to the the 5 issues just a carry on doing your job, so it really killed any momentum for the book, and it could have easily had an ending with the guy that stole his press jacket and press path, and show Matty where he stands on violence as he catches up to the guy, but that was wasted.

Recommendations: I will recommend this series I have read a couple more books and does no the series has more of a structured plots coming up. This first volume is a good introduction with a weak ending. I wanted to like this book more but glad it get improved down the line. I rated DMZ- Volume 1: On the Ground by Brian Wood and Art by Riccardo Burchielli 3 out of 5 stars. I will continue to keep reading this series.

Book Review: Black Ice by Michael Connelly

Black Ice by Michael Connelly is a dark mystery taking place in Los Angeles and will travel down to Mexico to solve. Black Ice is book two in the original Harry Bosch series and book two in the expanded Harry Bosch Universe. This mystery is pretty compelling and full of twists and turns. The final twist is really memorable, I read this book 15 years ago and still remembered elements of the final twist. I liked this book quite a bit more than the first book. This book dipped more into police corruption, dirty cops, and the breaking of the laws for the means to an end that Bosch expanded on from the first book. Bosch as a character is so compelling, and is a joy to read his exploits. The pace is for this book was good at first then hit a lull when he arrives in Mexico, it picks back up to give a worthwhile end. The mystery was good but it did go into head scratching territory in Mexico for a bit everything was explained at the end but it took a while. Irving takes a much bigger role and his and Bosch’s back and forth against the politics of policing make this book good and a reason I find Bosch the show so compelling. There’s also a reference to the the father of the Lincoln Lawyer, who Bosch will eventually connect with and work with the Lincoln Lawyer in later books.

The Plot Summary: It’s Christmas and Harry Bosch is on call, he has no one and listen to Jazz and the police scanner. He hears a call of murder over the scanner but does not get the call. Bosch knows there’s something to this and finds out that the top brass is taking the case since it was a fellow cop. Bosch knew the cop Calexico, he was helping him out with a case involving a new drug called Ice, Bosch learned from the cop the drug originated in Hawii and now Mexico is making a product called Black Ice, and it’s causing a turf war, the last Bosch talked to the cop he was looking into it, now he is found dead by shotgun. Everyone is thinking suicide but Bosch he isn’t on the case but needs to find a way to get involved. His watch commander loads Bosch with cases of a cop on leave so he won’t get involved with the Calexico’s suicide investigation, but it fails when he gets a case of a Mexican day laborer that’s body was discovered by Calexico just days prior to his suicide.

What I Liked: Harry Bosch the character is great, he plays by his own sense of justice, and doesn’t care about politics. Its fun to see how his mind works and he detects. I love the little connections to the Harry Bosch universe and the revelation about his possible father. The mystery was good with lots of twist and turns, and I loved that we have all the knowledge that the character has to solve the mystery. I love the descriptions of scenery, especially LA. The climax was really good with a good memorable twist.

What I Disliked: The slow down of when Bosch gets to Mexico was too slow. I found the gunfight descriptions really hard to follow and picture. I liked the battle with the bull, but it was hard to imagine.

Recommendation: I love this series and it was a better entry than the first one. Black Ice is fun, dark, and great mystery that dips into the noir. I rated Black Ice by Michael Connelly 4 out of five stars.

Book Review: Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid is a great novel about family, relationship, and history. I don’t know if I would call this book historical fiction even though most of it takes place in the 1980’s no major historical events happen but you can feel the decade in the narrative. Taylor Jenkins Reid’s gift is getting to care about characters so fast, I don’y know how she does it but I’m drawn in almost instantly, and the same thing happen with Daisy Jones and the Six and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. The theme of directions and history repeating it self was layered through out, there was a subtitle passage about one character not turning a blinker and it is because at that moment his life has no direction. This novel is an emotional ride, there’s so many highs and lows like a surfer’s wave. The narrative bounces between the past and the present, we see the patterns and the life repeating itself in the past then in the present. when we get to the big party scene the narrative doesn’t just focus on the family but does vignettes of many party guest. I do feel it dipped into too many lives at the party which is my only real complaint about the book. For a non-mystery there are so many twists and secrets you find out about this family that are written so well, and as I’ve already stated I cared about these characters and some of the twists and secrets hit you hard. The Climax was really well and focused on the right story, it didn’t wrap up every thing in a bow but you were left with a feeling the character would be okay. The focus of Taylor Jenkins Reid’s next book is a minor character in this that was the least sympathetic Carrie Soto the tennis pro and the other woman to one character. I know this character will have layers in Reid’s hand so call me a little intrigued, I did put in for the advanced reader’s copy on Netgalley but Reid’s books are in high demand. This book did win the Goodreads choice for best historical fiction of 2021.

The Plot Summary: In the Summer of 1983 Malibu, California the Riva siblings are throwing a massive annual invite only party. This party will be there last together. The siblings Nina (surf supermodel), Jay (professional surfer), Hud (professional photographer for taking picture of Jay), and Kit (soon to be surfer) are the children of a famous 1950’s singer Mick Riva (think Frank Sinatra level). A series of flashbacks will show the interesting relationship of the sibling’s mother and father which look similar to the way their life is heading, if they make the same choices. This party will be one for the ages and might change lives.

What I Liked: The story is such an emotional roller coaster that you the reader feel every up and down. The characters are so great you feel like one of the family while reading it. The secrets and twist really drive the narrative I gasped once because I was so invested. The setting is really neat, I used to live in Santa Monica which is the next town over from there and they did a fantastic job of describing it. I like the tiny 80’s pop culture references, I will say there was no surfer talk which I was okay with it still felt very early 80’s. I liked the way it was told and the rapid pace of the story. I liked that everything was left unfinished but you came away from the novel going these characters will be alright.

What I Disliked: When the book gets to the party it starts telling little vignettes of about some of the people in attendance, I liked half of them but some were easily unforgettable, and were not needed at all. There might be 10 and I feel 5 might have been better as it distracted from the main story line I was really enjoying.

Recommendation: Malibu Rising is a great book that will give you all the feels. I recommend you check this book out. Malibu Rising joins Daisy Jones and the Six and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo as can’t put down, fun, and emotional roller coasters of books. I rated Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid 5 out of 5 stars. The order out of the three Taylor Jenkins Reid books that I have read from favorite to least favorite (I have rated them all 5 stars) The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, Daisy Jones and the Six, and then Malibu Raising.

TBR: May 2022

May 2022 TBR list: last month I read all 6 books on my TBR list and added 1, I’m going to shoot for seven this month.  I have two advanced reader copy book from netgalley this month and one over due book.  I have my wedding this month I don’t know if that will hurt or harm my reading.  I’m taking two weeks off and should read when I get a chance.

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid: The last 2 books I’ve read from her were Daisy Jones and the Six and the Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo which were both 5 star ratings from me.  Taylor Jenkins Reid has the ability to quickly hook me with her characters where I instantly get caught in the drama.  I’m hoping the third time is a charm. This story is about a family of famous surfers who throw a party that will change their lives.

Hide by Kiersten White is a hoor about an ultimate game of hide and seek if you’re found, your dead, but if you can hide you when enough money to be set for life.  The reviews have been fairly positive so far.  Thanks to Netgalley and Del Rey Books for the advanced reader copy it is published on May 24 2022.

The Island by Adrian McKinty is a thriller where a widowed doctor marries a woman and books a wilderness tour to bring the family together, but they end up getting off course and have to fight for their lives together.  This has already been picked up and will be a Hulu Series soon. Thanks Netgalley and Little Brown Books for the Advanced Readers copy it is published May 17 2022.

Faith of the Fallen by Terry Goodkind is book 6 in the Sword of Truth series.  This is a high Fantasy book series with a good amount of sex and gore, with alove story at the heart of it. I’ve been having a lot of fun reading this series, that last book was the worst of the series I hope this one is a lot better.

Black Ice by Michael Connelly is book 2 in the Harry Bosch series.  I read this about 15 years ago and didn’t review just rated it. Two month ago I read the first book again it has been a fun series to read again, on of my favorite mystery series. I love the Amazon Prime show Bosch that is based on the books.

The High Republic: Mission to Disaster by Justina Ireland is the a star wars middle grade series set 200 years before a new hope.  I read about 8 books in the High Republic series and only rated 2 books five stars; one was in this middle grade series by the author Justina Ireland.  I’m hoping this book is really good.  Thanks to Negalley and Disney to let me read this book it was published on March 1 2022.

A Night in Terror Tower by R. L. Stine is Goosebumps book 27 in original series order.  This is the first book set in England.  The story is a brother and sister gets lost on a tour of an old prison tower after hour with an executioner who wants them dead.

Book Review: The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles

The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles is historical fiction taking place in the 1950. This is a wonderful story about life and the many ways it can change either by standing up to change or being caught in the wave of it.The theme of the book is redemption, all the characters are trying to redeem themselves of either something they did or their family did. What I love is that all don’t succeed or have a very messed up view about redemption. I though this book was going to be a road book, where the characters get thrown off course to the California destination but eventually make it, but the opposite happens where the character by happenstance go backwards away form California. The narrative is the thing that really sticks out to me and what the writer Amor Towles is known for. The Narrative is told using 8-9 character perspectives, every character is unique and interesting, they do not just provide the narrative but a flashback to their own story and the redemption they seek. Other reviews have said that this story was slow but I was pretty hooked from the beginning and I felt a connection to the character immediately and wanted to know more about them. This book reminded me a lot The Four Winds by Kristen Hannah and the connection I had to it, it happened a round the same time period and had the same destination of California. The Lincoln Highway balances tragedy, humor, and joy evenly throughout. The ending was great and pretty perfect for where some of the characters were heading. This is going to be a book that I highly recommend. This book will be a great selection for a book club as there is a lot to explore.

Plot Summary: In the 1950’s Emmett, 18 is returning to his home after he is released early from an involuntary manslaughter, due to his father being dead. The bank forecloses on the house and the tractor but reluctantly lets him keep an old Studebaker the Emmett himself purchased before going to jail. His plan is to take his little brother Billy, 8 and start a new he was thinking Texas, but his brother finds old correspondence via postcards from his long abandoned mother from California. But before the plan starts they runs into Duchess and Wooley two inmates who stowed away and escaped when Emmett was released. They try to convince Emmett of a scheme to go to upstate New York and get Wooley’s trust fund and split it. Emmett declines and tells of his plans to go California, which they reluctantly agree. But when Duchess see’s an opportunity to borrow to car he takes it but it had a secret stash of money Emmett’s dad kept from the bank so he could start a new life.Emmett and Billy must now make it from Nebraska to New York on now money and get back the money and the car to start their destination.

What I Liked: The theme of redemption and how it was worked in. I love how the books and stories got worked in that all fit around the theme. The characters in this novel were great even the character’s I didn’t agree with, based on their life and background their choices made sense to them. I liked the little surprises in narrative how I thought things were going to go one way and flip another, like when Billy first meets Ulysses, and Billy and the author. I loved the character of Ulysses and how his narrative changed when he found out there was an epic poem called The Odyssey that featured a character Ulysses that mirrored points in his life. Duchess was my second favorite character even though his choice in life drive me crazy, he was a fun character to live through.

What I Disliked: I grew slightly frustrated of every time one character kept getting stranded, it was one time too many. I was bummed one character never go closure with their father, I feel like their could have been a draft where this happened, but might have been too long. In flashbacks we never really got the prison relationship of Wooley, Duchess and Emmett.

Recommendation: I highly recommend this excellent book, that pulled me in very deep. The writing really makes you feel what these characters are going through. This is a historical fiction based on the time but the theme is still very relevant. I rated The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles 5 out of 5 stars.

TBR: April 2022

April 2022 TBR list: last month I read 6 books on my TBR list, I shot for seven but am going to keep it at 6 this month.  I had a lot of library holds come in so I will be focused on that this month.  I have one advanced reader copy book from netgalley this month.

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir from the novelist of The Martian the was adapted to a movie starring Matt Damon.  I have not read the Martian, but I will now as I’m already half way through Project Hail Mary.  This book is really great it puts the Science in Science Fiction.  You get a science lesson and a compelling story.  This is a book that got heavily recommended to me and I’m glad I listened.

The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles is a historical fiction taking place in the 1950’s America.  This book is supposed to be a sweeping epic about American life in the 1950’s. It filled with multiple viewpoints. I’ve heard this book is great but slow.  This is a library book, if I had to drop one book this would be it, due to page count and been told it is slow but I hope life gives me time.

A Spindle Splintered by Alix E. Harrow this novella is a retelling of Sleeping Beauty and a series of Fractured Fables.  I’m a big fan of Fairy Tale retellings and I was a big fan of The Ten Thousand Doors of January.   

Harley Quinn: Reckoning: By Rachael Allen is a young adult novel featuring the queen of crime Harley Quinn. This is a teenage version of Harley, when she was known as Harleen. His novel takes a feminist approach to her character rebelling at the way she is a school, and joins a gang of females called the Reckoning.  I love the character of Harley can’t wait to read this one. Harley Quinn: Reckoning will be published on April 26 2022

Life Flight by Lynette Eason sound pretty wild and the start of a series called Extreme Measures. The Plot is an EMS helicopter pilot is forced to land on a mountain with a critical patient and a serial killer on the loose. This story sounds crazy and I have to read it.

Goosebumps: My Hairiest Adventure by R. L. Stine is Goosebumps book 26.  This story had my favorite twist from the Goosebumps TV series all I remember is the twist.  I hope the story is great on this one.