Monday, July 7, 2014

That Night by Chevy Stevens

Book: That Night: A Novel
Author: Chevy Stevens
Narrator (if applicable):n/a

Release date (if applicable): Published

Synopsis: Toni Murphy has your typical teenager life. A boyfriend she loves and an annoying, "Eddie Haskell" sister that are coupled with a bully clique that is determined to make her life a living hell. Her world spirals out of control when her sister, Nicole, is found brutally murdered and Toni is convicted of her murder. Toni is innocent and, after her release from prison, she will stop at nothing to find who the true killer is even if it means going back to prison. 
My rating: 4 Stars
My opinion: That Night give readers the typical high quality Chevy Stevens writing. Although the greater majority of this book was told in two different time lines, Ms. Stevens pulled it off perfectly. Normally, I complain about this, but have noticed that this author has a knack for doing it flawlessly.

I have to admit that I found it disappointing that I did figure out the ending about 1/2 way through, but the author did offer several alternative possibilities that she could have went down.

I still prefer Still Missing as my favorite Chevy Stevens book, but this is a very close second.

Source: Publisher for review
Would I recommend? : I have and it is Sisterhood of the Traveling Book's July Book of the Month.
Stand Alone or Part of a Series: Stand Alone

The Kept: A Novel by James Scott

Book: The Kept: A Novel
Author: James Scott
Narrator (if applicable):n/a

Release date (if applicable): Published

Synopsis: Set in upper New York state at the end of the 19th century, midwife Elspeth Howell returns to her family's farm after delivering a child only to find that her husband and all but one of her children have been slaughtered. As she walks around the farm, she herself is shot, but not murdered. When she comes to, she finds her son has survived the slaying by hiding in a closet. Who would want to slaughter this farming family? Could the truth be uglier than what Elspeth thinks?
My rating: 3 stars
My opinion:  This book started off much stronger to me than it ended. I saw a progressive deterioration of the storyline. In fact, I have to say that I was rather disappointed with the ending and felt the author could have gone much darker than what he did. On that note, I will admit that I didn't see what I expected in the mystery unraveling so that was somewhat a nice surprise, but not enough to bump up its rating in my head. 

The author's writing was good and the character development was excellent. He did an excellent job of offering readers a very dark and atmospheric story.  

Source:  Publisher for review
Would I recommend? : I would recommend other books above this. I liked the book, but I didn't love it. 
Stand Alone or Part of a Series: Stand Alone

Citizen Canine by David Grimm

Book: Citizen Canine: Our Revolving Relationship with Dogs and Cats
Author: David Grimm
Narrator (if applicable): n/a

Release date (if applicable): Published

Synopsis: Mr. Grimm offers readers a progressive into humans relationships with their canine and feline companions.
My rating: 4 Stars
My opinion: As a lover and spoiler of pets, I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

On that note, it is a very good, but also a particularly dry read. I broke the book down into "daily read" sections because of the amount of detail provided.

Parts of the book had a schizophrenic feeling because the author jumped from dogs to cats to other animals at times when it didn't feel appropriate and/or necessary.

I loved the history part of the book more than the genetics/animal husbandry part. I thought the latter felt to bogged down with technical detail. 

I like to give fair warnings of tough periods of reading. This book can be graphic and emotion provoking as it describes "cases" of inhumanity of how we got to where we are in animal laws.  
Source: Publisher for review
Would I recommend?: I have, but more for lovers of non-fiction or animal lovers. 
Stand Alone or Part of a Series: Stand Alone