Category Archives: book reviews

The Book of Two Ways book cover

The Book of Two Ways

The Book of Two Ways by Jodi Picoult is yet another book featuring infidelity.

I’m not really sure if I liked it or not. I didn’t really care for the characters, but I found parts of the plot interesting.

What I loved:

  • Learning about The Book of Two Ways and Egyptology in general.
  • Dawn’s work as a death doula and her friendship with her client Win.
  • Quantum mechanics and discussions of Schrödinger’s cat and the multiverse.

What I didn’t love:

  • The alternating timelines. It was confusing. Is this now? The past? Boston? Egypt? I understand why the narrative device was chosen, and appreciate the twist at the end, but there could have been better signaling of when/where the story was at.
  • The infidelity.
  • The implausibility of Dawn and Wyatt.
  • Dawn’s actions, which really did not seem to match what we’re told about her character (selfless, loving, etc.)

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

Recommended if you love Egypt, mummies, or anything about Egyptology.

Dogboy v Catfish book cover showing a snake eating it's own tail.

Dogboy vs. Catfish

Dogboy v Catfish by Luke Gracias is billed as a mystery-thriller. It was a quick, somewhat fun read, but lacking depth for my tastes.

When a woman knows the date she’ll file for divorce on her wedding day, there can be no good intentions. When the husband goes missing just before the planned divorce date, you wonder if there was foul-play or if he somehow got wise to her schemes.

This novel has a detached, 3rd person narration, as we are following the police investigators and others in the story more than our main characters. We are mostly told about them and about what they have done and speculations on their actions. This is somewhat limiting, and makes most of the characters come across as one-dimensional.

Additionally, I probably would not have read it if I had realized it centered around counterfeit designer goods. After reading Counterfeit by Kirstin Chen last year, I’ve had my fill on the topic. Others might find this more interesting than I do, though!

I did enjoy the analogy of The Endless Knot. Overall, the plot is interesting, and the ending was good, but the middle part was lacking depth. Due to the shallow characters, there wasn’t much of an emotional investment in the story, so it didn’t really matter to me how it ended or who “won.”

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Thanks to NetGalley and the author for an advance copy in exchange for sharing my opinions. All opinions in this review are my own.

The Freedom Clause book cover

The Freedom Clause

The Freedom Clause by Hannah Sloane is a contemporary romance with a twist. I probably should have paid more attention to the blurb before picking this up, and I almost quit when I realized the plot was about adultery. I am generally not a fan of books where people are cheating on their spouses, since I’ve already lived through that, and I don’t need fictional reminders.

However, this seemed to blur the lines a bit with our main characters, Daphne and Dominic agreeing to “The Freedom Clause.” Each year, for the next five years, they each get one night off and can have sex with a stranger.

So. I hated this idea. And I hated Dominic from the beginning, and more and more as the novel went on. What I did enjoy was seeing Daphne grow, mature, and evolve into a better version of herself. It’s ironic that the freedom clause was Dominic’s idea, and while Daphne blossomed into this amazing version of herself, he grew more and more unlikeable.

The novel explores many themes that I did enjoy, once I got over the fact that Daphne’s husband basically forced her into agreeing to the freedom clause because they weren’t having enough sex. Ugh. Some of the themes are sexual (women knowing and asking for what they want in bed), some of them are not (following your heart over money, self-care).

Overall, I felt the author really made the story very one-sided with Daphne growing and evolving, and Dominic in an ever-downward spiral. That’s not to say he didn’t deserve it, but it seems somewhat unbalanced.

I wish we could have had Daphne’s story without the baggage of adultery and Dominic’s character.

Also, I loved the whole writing / cookbook aspect, even if the recipes are not for anything I’d ever cook.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Thanks to NetGalley and Random House for an advance copy in exchange for sharing my opinions. All opinions in this review are my own.

Perfect Shot book cover

Perfect Shot

Perfect Shot by Steve Urszenyi is an action-packed spy thriller. Featuring FBI, CIA, Interpol and MI5/M16, just to name a few of the alphabet soup of agencies involved. It’s got bombs, nuclear bombs, spies, espionage, chase scenes, Les Catacombes, and more.

Our protagonist, Alex Martel, is a former sniper turned spy. I love the that novel features a strong female main character, and that, apart from a few flashback memories, doesn’t center on any romantic interests. This was a quick, engaging read, and I finished it in one day.

A Perfect Shot almost feels as though it were written to be a movie. I can see the plot fitting into an under-two-hour action movie nicely. The characters are interesting, but except for Alex, they are very one dimensional. For example, Caleb shows up everywhere but at the end, we still know next to nothing about him. I suppose this is to be expected since he’s a spook?

If you like spy thrillers, and want a quick, fun read, then I highly recommend this one.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Thanks to NetGalley and Minotaur Books for an advance copy in exchange for sharing my opinions. All opinions in this review are my own.