Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The Forgotten by David Baldicci

Synopsis :
Army Special Agent John Puller is the best there is. A combat veteran, Puller is the man the U.S. Army relies on to investigate the toughest crimes facing the nation. Now he has a new case-but this time, the crime is personal: His aunt has been found dead in Paradise, Florida.
A picture-perfect town on Florida's Gulf Coast, Paradise thrives on the wealthy tourists and retirees drawn to its gorgeous weather and beaches. The local police have ruled his aunt's death an unfortunate, tragic accident. But just before she died, she mailed a letter to Puller's father, telling him that beneath its beautiful veneer, Paradise is not all it seems to be.
What Puller finds convinces him that his aunt's death was no accident . . . and that the palm trees and sandy beaches of Paradise may hide a conspiracy so shocking that some will go to unthinkable lengths to make sure the truth is never revealed.
This is the second book by David Baldacci which features Army Special Agent John Puller.  However, it my first introduction to this character and I can say  he's a pretty acceptable character.  Reminds  me a bit of John Reacher, the character of Lee Child but different as well.
It didn't take me long to read The Forgotten.   While it's not overly exciting, it was pretty much thrilling.   Other than John Puller, the author also introduces a mystery man  which adds some hint of uncertainty and mystery as to who he might be and where he stands.
Overall, I enjoyed reading The Forgotten.  I can say it's now one of my favourite title by David Baldacci.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Fearless Fourteen by Janet Evanovich

Synopsis :

The Crime: Armed robbery to the tune of nine million dollars
Dom Rizzi robbed a bank, stashed the money, and did the time. His family couldn't be more proud. He always was the smart one.

The Cousin: Joe Morelli
Joe Morelli, Dom Rizzi, and Dom's sister, Loretta, are cousins. Morelli is a cop, Rizzi robs banks, and Loretta is a single mother waiting tables at the firehouse. The all-American family.

The Complications: Murder, kidnapping, destruction of personal property, and acid reflux
Less than a week after Dom's release from prison, Joe Morelli has shadowy figures breaking into his house and dying in his basement. He's getting threatening messages, Loretta is kidnapped, and Dom is missing.

The Cupcake: Stephanie Plum
Stephanie and Morelli have a long-standing relationship that involves sex, affection, and driving each other nuts. She's a bond enforcement agent with more luck than talent, and she's involved in this bank-robbery-gone-bad disaster from day one.

The Crisis: A favor for Ranger
Security expert Carlos Manoso, street name Ranger, has a job for Stephanie that will involve night work. Morelli has his own ideas regarding Stephanie's evening activities.

The Conclusion: Only the fearless should read Fourteen

 Thrills, chills, and incontinence may result.  

The above synopsis basically sums up the whole book.   It's not so much about the content where  this series is concerned but about the way it's been written...the interactions between the different characters, the behaviours of the characters, the synergy and the craziness of the collaboration, 

Once in a while I do need a craziness fix and I can always depend of Stephanie to deliver that.  For some reason, I can't seems to find anyone else within my circle and even outside my circle that read this series. Maybe in years to come, I will get tired of Stephanie but for now she still very much entertains me.

It's also very easy to follow the series. Just go by the numbers :)  Next up would be Finger Licking (whatelse but) Fifteen.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Synopsis :

For popular high school senior Samantha Kingston, February 12—"Cupid Day"—should be one big party, a day of valentines and roses and the privileges that come with being at the top of the social pyramid. And it is…until she dies in a terrible accident that night.

However, she still wakes up the next morning. In fact, Sam lives the last day of her life seven times, until she realizes that by making even the slightest changes, she may hold more power than she ever imagine

 How could I let this book vegetate in my shelf for so long. I think this is one of the books that came into my possession when a friend migrated back to her home country about three(?) years ago.  Such a hidden gem.

Before I fall is like Gossip Girls meet Groundhog Day.  Yup, it's a time loop book with  Sam waking up to the same day over and over again and each time she tried to live the day differently and ends it differently, she still wakes up to the same day. One time she was a total bitch - insulted her besties, stole her mum's credit card and went on a shopping spree and at slutty with a teacher.  Another time she acted saintly by trying to 'rescue' everyone around her.  Along the way, she learned a lot about her friends and herself and she did that all on the same day.

It was pretty sad toward the end when she and I realised that there's one thing she can't change and that was how she would end.  I pretty much bawled my eyes out.

Movie adaptation starred Zoey Deutch will be released in March 2017.  I hope it does justice to the book.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The Girl In Times Square by Paullina Simons

Synopsis :

Lily's life is turned upside down with the disappearance of her flat mate, incredible revelations about her family and a personal discovery, all of which will affect her forever. What if everything you believed about your life was a lie? Meet Lily Quinn. She is broke, struggling to finish college, pay her rent, find love. Adrift in bustling New York City, the most interesting things in Lily's life happen to the people around her. But Lily loves her aimless life until her best friend and roommate Amy disappears. That's when Spencer Patrick O'Malley, a cynical, past his prime NYPD detective with demons of his own, enters Lily's world. And a sudden financial windfall which should bring Lily joy instead becomes an ominous portent of the dark forces gathering around her.

But fate isn't finished with Lily. She finds herself fighting for her life as Spencer's search for the missing Amy intensifies, leading Lily to question everything she knew about her friend and family. Startling revelations about the people she loves force her to confront truths that will leave her changed forever. 

Paullina  Simons is an author that is not known to me.  I have not seen any of her titles.  I can't remember how I got this book.  All I know is that it's a trade paperbag and as thick as a hardcover and it's taking up precious space in my shelf.  That's why I read clear it out of my shelf.

With such 'un-noble' intention, I should be rewarded with a crappy book but instead I was very much surprised and taken by the wonderful story that unfolded itself to me.  Lily is a strange but strong character.  I love the chemistry she has with Spencer and I like the fact that they did not let age, society and family came in between them.  

They became my 'friends' for the 2 weeks that I took to read this book.  I can't bring the book out as it's massive and heavy which is good too as I get to enjoy their story leisurely.

I bawled my eyes out at certain chapter especially towards the ending.

I  very much enjoyed The Girl in Time Square.  I hope there's another book about them as promised by the author in her official site.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Confession of a Karaoke Queen by Ella Kingsley

Synopsis :

Maddie Mulhern is suddenly in charge. Her parents - former 80s pop duo Pineapple Mist - have left for the summer on a nostalgia tour, entrusting her to manage their struggling karaoke bar, Sing It Back. Panicking over the dodgy finances, Maddie takes a gamble: she signs up for a fly-on-the-wall reality TV series. With her faithful staff (divalicious drag queen Ruby, shy barman Simon and wannabe actress Jasmine) she'll transform the bar into a huge success. Simple. Right? 

Executive Producer Evan Bergman knows that scandal sells. It's no coincidence that he hires cool, attractive Nick Craven as director. Evan wants drama on screen - and he'll do anything to get it. As the series builds to a live finale, will Maddie see the truth in a Careless Whisper? Will Nick be able to keep his Poker Face? One thing's for sure: we all do things at karaoke that we regret ..

I bought this book without really knowing much about it.  Just that it's a chic lite and I need such book to clear my head on and off.

Confessions of a Karaoke Queen is quite a fun read.  It wasn't that good but it wasn't that bad either.  Somewhere in between would very be the way the describe it.  Because it's a chic lite, there wasn't much character development and the story line is basically just Maddie trying to revitalise the karaoke joint owned by her parents without their knowledge (they are away on holiday) and the way she though would work would be via a reality show and 'get down on it she did'. (cue Kool and The Gang :)

Along the way, what's a chic lite without a love interest?


Saturday, January 28, 2017

Happy Chinese New Year 2017

Wishing everyone celebrating a very 




Monday, January 23, 2017

Visions of Sugar Plums by Janet Evanovich

Synopsis :

It’s four days before Christmas and things are not looking merry for fugitive apprehension agent Stephanie Plum. She hasn’t got a tree. She hasn’t bought any presents. The malls are jam-packed with staggering shoppers. There’s not a twinkle light anywhere to be seen in her apartment.
And there’s a strange man in her kitchen.

Sure, this has happened to Stephanie Plum before. Strangers, weirdos, felons, creeps, and lunatics are always finding their way to her front door. But this guy is different. This guy is mysterious, sexy–and he has his own agenda. His name is Diesel and he is a man on a mission. Diesel is unlike anyone Stephanie has ever met before in her life. The question is, What does he want with her? Can he help her find a little old toy maker who has skipped out on his bail right before Christmas? Can he survive the Plum family holiday dinner? Can he get Stephanie a tree that doesn’t look like it was grown next to a nuclear power plant? These questions and more are keeping Stephanie awake at night. Not to mention the fact that she needs to find a bunch of nasty elves, her sister Valerie has a Christmas “surprise” for the Plums, her niece Mary Alice doesn’t believe in Santa anymore, and Grandma Mazur has a new stud muffin. So bring out the plastic reindeer, strap on your jingle bells, and get ready to celebrate the holidays–Jersey style. Visions of Sugar Plums–the world of Plum has never been merrier!

You can't really hate this book if you are a fan of Stephanie Plum.  I almost came close to but at the end decided that it should be taken lightly (after all, it's Christmas!) and with that mindset, it was a fun read.  Grandma Mazur never fails to get a chuckle out of me.

Ranger did not make any appearance at all and Diesel seems to hog Stephanie's time. Even boyfriend Joe seems to take a back seat.

This is the first Holiday Novella and to be read between book eight and nine, if not mistaken but I wasn't really following the sequence because I read Hard Eight and To The Nines much earlier.