As I was thinking about what I was going to write about My Heart Is a Chainsaw, I had mixed feelings. Jade, the main character, is amazing in a damaged, determined, outsider way, but I didn't like where the story left her at the end. Actually, I didn't like how the story treated her all the way through. Even the adults that cared were disappointing. But I didn't realize it was the first in a planned trilogy. That gives me hope. Jade story isn't over.
The opening of My Heart is a Chainsaw is perfect, sets the mood just right. Then we meet Jade. She's seventeen, knows all there is to know about slasher movies, and has a terrible home life. Things aren't much better at school or work either. When a new girl shows up, a potential final girl, Jade sees what she believes is a slasher cycle starting in her small town.
The book moves slowly in parts, but...
The Old Fox Deceiv'd is the second in Richard Jury series, but can definitely be read as a stand-alone. This time around, Jury is sent to Rackmoor to investigate the killing of a woman whose identity is in question. If she really is the prodigal ward returned, old jealousies, angers, and future inheritance money all come into play.
Jury is patient and thorough. As expected, he is focused on solving the mystery, but his soft side does come out once in a while. I was happy that Melrose Plant was back in this one. He is again Jury's sidekick, providing a sounding board and doing a bit of his own investigating. The townspeople and those at the house are an interesting bunch, from the broke artist to the child living more or less on his own with his dog.
The situation at Rackmoor is complicated and full of emotions and secrets. The plot has some surprises and the major clue was...
The Man with a Load of Mischief is the first in the Richard Jury series. The only reason I picked it up was that it takes place at Christmas, but I'm glad I did. I'm not sure how I missed this series before. I will definitely read more - I might actually be listening to the 2nd as I'm typing this.
The book takes place around 1981 - no cell phones, no internet, no tiny cameras. This is the type of mystery where our detective has to watch for clues, talk to people, not rely on technology.
Our detective from Scotland Yard is Richard Jury, intelligent, patient, kind. Our sidekick is Melrose Plant, rich, clever, sparkling green eyes. We see the story from their alternating points of view. We only know what they know, we only hear what they hear. The writing style is descriptive and full, without being overly detailed. The book certainly has serious moments, but Plant...
Dahlia Lighthouse and her siblings had an unconventional childhood, to say the least. They were homeschooled and along with geography, they were taught about famous serial killers and their victims by their obsessed parents. The way they grew up, sheltered, surrounded by historical murders, has obviously affected how they live in the world off the island and how they relate to other people.
And now three of the siblings, now adults, are back home. Dad's dead, but someone else's body is found in his grave - Andy, who they all thought ran away years ago.
So the mystery is who killed Andy. Dahlia is desperate to find out what happened to her twin. I don't know if mystery is really the right word. Yes, we have some clues and an investigation, but the book is more about the oppressive atmosphere of the Lighthouse home, of the suspicion of the other islanders, of secrets and obsession and coping.
The tone is dark and...
I thoroughly enjoyed The Bounty. That doesn't necessarily mean it's a good book, but for me, it was a lot of fun. Yes, it's over the top. No, it's not realistic. Don't expect character growth or believable scenes. There's non-stop action, decent chemistry between Nick and Kate, practically unstoppable bad guys, and a whirlwind tour of Europe.
I will say the blurb is misleading in a couple of things. First, Quentin did not teach Nick everything he knows, Nick wasn't actually aware of much of what his dad was up to. They are very similar though. Second, Kate and Jake get along just fine. They recognize each other's skills and stubbornness and work well together.
The story's a treasure hunt, with iconic places and dangerous obstacles. Even though it's not a scam, Nick's talents definitely have their uses. The bad guys are off course always right on Kate and Nick's trail and, for various reasons, Kate can't count on any official...
In the last couple of months, I've been reading and learning about positive psychology and happiness in general. I did not get much out of Flourish. I sincerely doubt that on its own it helps many people flourish.
The base idea is good, I think. The PERMA concept is what brought me to the book. Well-being, happiness, flourishing, whatever you want to call it, consists of 5 pieces: Positive emotions, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, Achievement. But we learn very little about how to achieve flourishing.
Mostly, Flourish is an over-view of what Dr. Seligman has achieved to date and what he hopes to achieve in the future. We learn about his work with the army, with a private school in Australia, with the people who pay a lot to join his Masters program. We learn that he thinks very highly of himself and his theories. We learn about the important people he's met and major positions he's held.
What we don't get is...