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Title: Collapsible
Author: Ruth Buchanan
Genre: Christian fiction
Rating: 4/5
# pages: 152 pages
Date read: October, 2017

Rachel Cooper has life under control: good job, good friends, and good plans for the future. All of that collapses one early morning when she falls and breaks her ankle. Now she must face the horrors of preparing for an upcoming move and handling her tenth year of teaching while clomping around on crutches. Worse, somewhere in the shadows, the Memento Killer lurks—a serial murderer who stalks women with four anonymous gifts before moving in for the kill. When unexpected presents begin arriving on Rachel's doorstep, she fears that she'll soon be crutching for her life.


Funny, charming and ridiculously readable. "Collapsible" is a quick read, and I almost wish I'd saved it for the readathon - it would have been perfect for it! I really got to care for Rachel, and though Ann and Lynn sometimes seemed slightly overbearing (although it was possibly warranted) their affection for one another was obvious.
The first book in a series, so though the main plot was nicely wrapped up, many small threads were left for the next book -- which I'll definitely be reading too!
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Title: Dragon Kin: Lily & Oceana
Author: Audrey Faye, Shae Geary
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 5/5
# pages: 165
Date read: September, 2017

The Dragon Star has chosen again - and this time, it must be mistaken.

Lily is off to an elf wedding with her friends, which might be a fate worse than death. So she thinks - until she sticks her fingers in the water of a river far from home. What she finds will change her life and challenge the bravest dragons she knows.

And might involve some accidental dragon soup.


I think I might actually like this one a little bit more than the first book in the series! I just got to care for Lily and Oceana in a much more profound way than I did Lotus and Sapphire (something I hadn't thought possible when I read the first book). I also thought the interactions with the dragons of old very fascinating, and thought it an interesting addition to the plot.

Though a bit slow to start (which is the only reason it took me a week to finish), I'll be recommending this far and wide, and can't wait to read the next one!
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Title: The Witness
Author: Nora Roberts
Genre: Suspense
Rating: 4/5
# pages: 488 pages
Date read: September, 2017

Daughter of a controlling mother, Elizabeth finally let loose one night, drinking at a nightclub and letting a strange man's seductive Russian accent lure her to a house far away. The events that followed changed her life forever.

Twelve years later, the woman known as Abigail Lowery lives on the outskirts of a small town in the Ozarks. A freelance programmer, she designs sophisticated security systems - and supplements her own security with a fierce dog and an assortment of firearms. She keeps to herself, saying little, revealing nothing. But Abigail's reserve only intrigues police chief Brooks Gleason. Her logical mind, her secretive nature, her unromantic viewpoints leave him fascinated but frustrated. He suspects that Abigail needs protection from something - and that her elaborate defences hide a story that needs to be revealed.


A really great read! I definitely need to read more Nora Roberts, the last few (this one and "The Obsession") have been true page turners.

Although slightly unrealistic at times (which is why I subtracted the last star) I really enjoyed both the plot and the characters. Elizabeth's mum seemed almost like a carbon copy of Beverly Hofstadter (from The Big Bang Theory) and Abigail herself could give Bones a run for her money when it comes to being socially inept, but I loved Bones, and was charmed with Abigail as well. I liked that the focus wasn't on solving a crime, but rather on moving on and establishing a life for oneself.

Very pleasant read :-)
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Title: End of Watch (Bill Hodges #3)
Author: Stephen King
Genre: Suspense
Rating: 3.5/5
# pages: 368
Date read: September, 2017

Retired Detective Bill Hodges now runs a two-person firm called Finders Keepers with his partner Holly Gibney. They met in the wake of the 'Mercedes Massacre' when a queue of people was run down by the diabolical killer Brady Hartsfield.

Brady is now confined to Room 217 of the Lakes Region Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic, in an unresponsive state. But all is not what it seems: the evidence suggests that Brady is somehow awake, and in possession of deadly new powers that allow him to wreak unimaginable havoc without ever leaving his hospital room.

When Bill and Holly are called to a suicide scene with ties to the Mercedes Massacre, they find themselves pulled into their most dangerous case yet, one that will put their lives at risk, as well as those of Bill's heroic young friend Jerome Robinson and his teenage sister, Barbara. Brady Hartsfield is back, and planning revenge not just on Hodges and his friends, but on an entire city.

The clock is ticking in unexpected ways ...


I'm rather torn in my opinion of this one. As a book in its own right, I really liked it - as a conclusion of the Bill Hodges trilogy, not so much. It seemed as if Stephen King decided to change genre half-way through the series and that just seemed out of place. I have absolutely nothing against supernatural aspects in books, as long as it's true to its own universe, but when an otherwise completely realistic, present-world suspense novel suddenly introduces unrealistic supernatural elements it becomes jarring.

But putting that aside, this trilogy has reaffirmed my theory that I like Stephen King's newer books a LOT better than his older ones, and on Goodreads I'll still round this up to 4 stars rather than down to 3.
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Title: Finders Keepers (Bill Hodges #2)
Author: Stephen King
Genre: Suspense
Rating: 4/5
# pages: 545
Date read: September, 2017

“Wake up, genius.” So begins King’s instantly riveting story about a vengeful reader. The genius is John Rothstein, an iconic author who created a famous character, Jimmy Gold, but who hasn’t published a book for decades. Morris Bellamy is livid, not just because Rothstein has stopped providing books, but because the nonconformist Jimmy Gold has sold out for a career in advertising. Morris kills Rothstein and empties his safe of cash, yes, but the real treasure is a trove of notebooks containing at least one more Gold novel.

Morris hides the money and the notebooks, and then he is locked away for another crime. Decades later, a boy named Pete Saubers finds the treasure, and now it is Pete and his family that Bill Hodges, Holly Gibney, and Jerome Robinson must rescue from the ever-more deranged and vengeful Morris when he’s released from prison after thirty-five years.


Not quite as good as the first book in the series, but pretty close! I even forgave it its copious use of foreshadowing in the first part (one of my biggest literary pet peeves. It's such a cheap trick and I KNOW Stephen King is better than that!) as the rest of the book more than made up for it. I was glad to see Hodges, Holly and Jerome back, although all three of them played much smaller parts in this book than I had expected them too.

Still, it kept me on the edge of my seat and was most definitely a page-turner, and though the last few chapters gave me a bit of pause as to the direction Stephen King's going to take the last book, I'm still moving straight on to that one too.
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Title: Mr Mercedes (Bill Hodges #1)
Author: Stephen King
Genre: Suspense
Rating: 4/5
# pages: 449
Date read: August 2017

A cat-and-mouse suspense thriller featuring Bill Hodges, a retired cop who is tormented by 'the Mercedes massacre', a case he never solved. Brady Hartsfield, perpetrator of that notorious crime, has sent Hodges a taunting letter. Now he's preparing to kill again. Each starts to close in on the other in a mega-stakes race against time.


I love how Stephen King doesn't stick to just one or two genres, but seems to write a little bit of just about everything. This is his first foray into crime fiction (that I've read), and I thought he did it really, really well! Especially the last few chapters had me sitting on the edge of my seat and biting my nails (figuratively, anyway). A definite page-turner! And fortunately one with a proper ending, despite it being the first in a trilogy... although I'm still going to go straight ahead with the next book anyway.

I really liked Bill, Janey, Holly and Jerome and am pleased that we'll get to see at least most of them in the next books as well.
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Title: Lighter than my Shadow
Author: Katie Green
Genre: graphic memoir, YA
Rating: 4.5/5
# pages: 528
Date read: August 2017

Like most kids, Katie was a picky eater. She'd sit at the table in silent protest, hide uneaten toast in her bedroom, listen to parental threats that she'd have to eat it for breakfast.

But in any life a set of circumstance can collide, and normal behavior might soon shade into something sinister, something deadly.

Lighter Than My Shadow is a hand-drawn story of struggle and recovery, a trip into the black heart of a taboo illness, an exposure of those who are so weak as to prey on the vulnerable, and an inspiration to anybody who believes in the human power to endure towards happiness.


Wow... this book really packs a punch.

An extremely poignant story about a teen battling an eating disorder and sexual abuse and the long-term effect on her life from both. It did an excellent job of explaining how having an eating disorder isn't just a phase that a person can grow out of - it takes years of work, setbacks, therapy and relapses and is probably something the person has to battle in some form or the other, for the rest of their life.

I liked the drawing-style and found it fascinating to see how Katie Green used the media to depict the specter of an eating disorder without having to use any words at all.

I did miss getting full closure on her battle with sexual abuse (mainly knowing whether or not she ever reported it), but appreciate that in real life we just don't always get that kind of closure, and that reporting it would probably have taken more strength that she had at the time.

A really brilliant graphic memoir that I highly recommend.
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Title: Good or God
Author: John Bevere
Genre: Christian non-fiction
Rating: 4/5
# pages: 288
Date read: August, 2017

These days the terms good and God seem synonymous. We believe what's generally accepted as good must be in line with God's will. Generosity, humility, justice - good. Selfishness, arrogance, cruelty - evil. The distinction seems pretty straightforward. But is that all there is to it? If good is so obvious, why does the Bible say that we need discernment to recognize it? Good or God? isn't another self-help message. This book will do more than ask you to change your behavior. It will empower you to engage with God on a level that will change every aspect of your life.


Extremely thought-provoking book, that I'm glad to have read. John Bevere dives into why good without God just isn't sufficient, and how to gain discernment to know the difference.

I didn't agree with all his points, but enough that I learned a lot, and he put forth some ideas I'd never thought of before, which really made me sit back and think.

But a word of warning to other readers - he does talk a LOT about not being saved by faith alone, but that deeds are also necessary. I'm pretty sure he isn't saying that we have to do good deeds to be saved, but rather echoing James that a faith without deeds is dead, but his wording does toe the line occasionally. It didn't bother me, as I feel secure enough in my faith to disagree with him, but it does stop me from being able to recommend this book without reservations.

Spoiler? Quotes at least )
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Title: Star Stories - Epilogues (The Fixers of KarmaCorp #7)
Author: Audrey Faye
Genre: Sci-fi, short stories
Rating: 4/5
# pages: 88 pages
Date read: August, 2017

A few of the stories in this collection began many books ago. Regalis and Tameka. Yesenia and a second trip to a certain Wanderer flea market. A couple of them are here purely because they made me giggle (Kish facing the impending doom of a crown on her head) or because I simply couldn’t resist (there was just no way for this to end without a quick trip to Quixal.) The rest volunteered themselves as I sat with my knitting needles and checked in with each of the characters who made this series what it is.


As with all short story collections some were awesome, and some didn't touch me much. I really wish Audrey Faye wrote Christian novels - she'd be brilliant at it! The way she describes fellowship and religion would make her even better than Neta Jackson.

But I digress. My favourite story by far was "To See or Not To See". I loved seeing Yesenia back at the flea market of Tezuli, and it bookended the similar story in the first Star Stories collection very nicely :-) I also enjoyed reading about Raven back on her native planet, and Kish finally figuring out how to be herself and a queen at the same time.

Excellent conclusion to the Fixers of KarmaCorp. I'm looking forward to seeing where Audrey Faye takes her writing next.
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Title: The Vintage Teacup Club
Author: Vanessa Greene
Genre: Chick-lit
Rating: 4/5
# pages: 400 pages
Date read: August, 2017

At a car boot sale in Sussex, three very different women meet and fall for the same vintage teaset. They decide to share it - and form a friendship that changes their lives.

Jenny can't wait to marry Dan. Then, after years of silence, she hears from the woman who could shatter her dreams.

Maggie has put her broken heart behind her and is gearing up for the biggest event of her career - until she's forced to confront the past once more.

Alison seems to have it all: married to her childhood sweetheart, with two gorgeous daughters. But as tensions mount, she is pushed to breaking point.


Cosy and entertaining book that just stayed on the right side of being fluff. I grew to care for all the ladies of the Vintage Teacup Club as well as their families. They all seemed very real to me with all their flaws and charms. There isn't much of substance to the book, but delightful reads about friendships have always been right up my aisle, and I was very charmed by it.
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Title: Daughter's Need (KarmaCorp #6)
Author: Audrey Faye
Genre: Sci-fi
Rating: 3.5/5
# pages: 191 pages
Date read: August, 2017

A mother who violated her deepest needs - to keep her deepest promises.
The daughter she has never been able to love.
The four who wait for what comes in the dark.


Very powerful and emotional addition to the KarmaCorp story. I didn't quite get all the ins and outs of neither the problem surrounding Tatiana nor exactly how the solution was supposed to work, but that's very often the case when it comes to time-travel, so it didn't really bother me :)

Audrey Faye nicely tied up all ends in this 6th KarmaCorp novel, and while I'll still read the epilogues just because I want to read more about the four and the people surrounding them, the short stories. aren't really necessary to wrap up any story lines.
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Title: The Shift: One Nurse, Twelve Hourse, Four Patients' Lives
Author: Theresa Brown
Genre: Memoir
Rating: 4/5
# pages: Audiobook ~9hours
Date read: July, 2017

n the span of 12 hours, lives can be lost, life-altering medical treatment decisions made, and dreams fulfilled or irrevocably stolen.

Every day Theresa Brown holds patients' lives in her hands. On this day there are four: Mr. Hampton, a patient with lymphoma to whom Brown is charged with administering a powerful drug that could cure him - or kill him; Sheila, who may have been dangerously misdiagnosed; Candace, a returning patient who arrives (perhaps advisedly) with her own disinfectant wipes, cleansing rituals, and demands; and Dorothy, who, after six weeks in the hospital, may finally go home. Prioritizing and ministering to their needs takes the kind of skill, sensitivity, and, yes, humor that enable a nurse to be a patient's most ardent advocate in a medical system marked by heartbreaking dysfunction as well as miraculous success.


From Sue Barton to Scrubs, I've always been fascinated by life at a hospital, so when I heard of this book, I knew that I had to read it. And fortunately it didn't disappoint. After having watched so many episodes of Scrubs, it was interesting to follow a real nurse during a shift (and actually also served to explain some things I'd been wondering about), and though I was slightly sad that I got to know all these patients, but was never told what happened to them, I still think following a day in the life of a nurse was a really good way to write the book, as it gave the reader insight into not just the highlights of a nurse's job, but also all the small extra tasks they have to do, in order to keep the ward running smoothly.
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Title: A Place to Belong (Sister Circle #4
Author: Vonette Bright & Nancy Moser
Genre: Christian fiction
Rating: 4/5
# pages: 338 pages
Date read: July 2017

Evelyn Peerbaugh is worried. Once again she has taken in new boarders, but this time she's opened the doors of Peerbaugh Place to women who can't pay a cent for her services. But the bonds of sisterhood are as strong as ever. As Evelyn reaches out to these sisters in need, she discovers that God has a whole new plan for the Sister Circle - and for her. Evelyn could not have predicted the shock in store for her and Piper.


Like with all the others, the book comes across as naive and too good to be true at times, so I cannot recommend the series without a disclaimer.... but I wish I could, because I absolutely loved the entire series. Right book at the right time I guess, but it was exactly the type of book / series I was in the mood to read - a thought-provoking comfort read. And as such, it fit the bill perfectly.

I found it funny how Piper went from only being a minor character in the first book, to almost being the main character in these last few. But all the sisters seem like people I'd love to meet in real life.

I sat up until past midnight to finish this, and am sad to have reached the end of the series.
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Title: An Undivided Heart (Sister Circle #3)
Author: Vonette Bright, Nancy Moser
Genre: Christian fiction
Rating: 4/5
# pages: 336 pages
Date read: July 2017

Things are ever changing at Peerbaugh Place, and once again Evelyn Peerbaugh opens her home to new boarders. This time she gets more than she bargains for. With one new tenant whose vanity exceeds all bounds, and another who is a doormat to her dominating fiancé, it seems these women will never find common ground, even as they struggle to share one house. But loyal members of the Sister Circle - Mae, Piper, Audra, and Tessa - are all close by to keep love and faith growing amidst the heartaches and joys. Evelyn even finds the courage to open her heart to new love... and this time, she's not the only one!


While I do still really enjoy this series, the books are becoming rather formulaic: new tenants move in, some are Christians, others aren't, those that aren't quickly discover that they should be. Conversion comes so easily to the sisters and their loved ones that it seems unrealistic. Still - since I know this to be the case, it doesn't bother me too much, and there is so much else to like. I've really grown to love all the sisters, and appreciate that the ones from the earlier books still show up from time to time.

I find it difficult to review these books, because they're really very naive... but they seem to be just what I need these days, so I'm inclined to love them all the same.
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Title: 'Round the Corner (Sister Circle #2)
Author: Vonette Bright & Nancy Moser
Genre: Christian fiction
Rating: 4/5
# pages: 322 pages
Date read: July, 2017

Evelyn is not so sure she likes the new dynamics of Peerbaugh Place, her impromptu boarding house. Even though it had been hard adapting to strangers living in her home, she and the other women from The Sister Circle) had found a calm cove of sisterhood. Now Evelyn is forced to start over with a new set of boarders - with more challenging personalities and problems. Evelyn fears that the bonds of sisterhood may not come as easily this time.


As much as I loved the first book in the series, I knew I had to pick up the sequel straight away. I was slightly disappointed to see that most of the Sisters had moved away from Peerbaugh Place (and again - the timing was way off. This would have been more realistic if it had been set 2 years after the first book instead of less than one), but fortunately most of them turned up on a very regular basis, so I didn't get to miss them too much.

Not quite as good as the first book - some aspects were too unrealistic for me to be able to entirely refrain from rolling my eyes - but even so I ended up enjoying it almost as much. I grew really fond of Heddy, and Summer is just a delight! (I've meet girls her age who are exactly as precocious as she is, so never felt she acted too old for her years). And again, the book seemed to have exactly the right message for me, spurring me on in my own walk with God.
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Title: The Sister Circle (Sister Circle, #1)
Author: Vonette Bright & Nancy Moser
Genre: Christian fiction
Rating: 4.5/5
# pages: 351
Date read: July, 2017

Suddenly widowed with no means of support, Evelyn Peerbaugh hangs a "for rent" sign in front of her large Victorian home and her life changes in ways she never dreamed of. In a matter of days she opens a busy boardinghouse and must cope with the lives and emotions of the most incompatible group of women ever gathered under one roof. How will a meek woman like Evelyn manage?

Peerbaugh Place becomes a refuge to seven women of vastly different ages, personalities, and backgrounds. Through struggles and triumphs, the women forge a special bond of sisterhood.


This was a semi-random pick from Amazon. It came up during my search for Neta Jackson, and both the title, the cover and the back blurb appealed to me.

And fortunately the book itself was delightful. While certainly not as well-written as the Yada Yada books, it had many of the same qualities that spoke to me there. I found it charming, thought-provoking and delightful... at the same time fully seeing its flaws as it was at times both far too rosy and almost naive.

But at the end of the day, I didn't care. I grew to love the characters, and though I sometimes found their grown unrealistic (at least the speed at which it happened), it didn't bother me, because I appreciated the teachings the authors were trying to share - meaning I highlighted quotes all over the place.
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Title: Shaman's Curse
Author: Audrey Faye
Genre: Sci-fi
Rating: 4/5
# pages: 178
Date read: July, 2017

Raven grew up tribal, and she's never forgotten it. She was sent by the grandmothers to serve those who have no tribe. To walk with the darkness. To use her Shaman Talent to balance those who walk in the light.

Which has never felt more important - because this time, the darkness comes for her friends. And for a certain golden-eyed teenager and the mother who isn't supposed to love her.

Raven has been waiting for this assignment. Expecting it. But even she wasn't expecting this.


For some reason it took me ages to get past the first five chapters, but once I did, I gobbled the rest up in two days flat! So I think it had more to do with having to be in the right mood, than with the book itself.

Because once Raven reached Elleni I was hooked. I loved reading more about how the tribes work and the instant feeling of welcome offered to Raven. I could appreciate the spiritual side of things, even when not subscribing to the "religion" thus described. The emotions were still something I could relate to.

Not the best Fixer novel, but certainly not the worst either. I really like Raven and her fiercely protective personality.
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Title: A Destiny of Dragons (Tales from Verania #2, Destiny Fuck Yeah! #1)
Author: T.J. Klune
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 4/5
# pages: 400 pages
Date read: July, 2017

Once upon a time, the wizard's apprentice Sam of Wilds got his happily ever after in the arms of his cornerstone, Knight Commander Ryan Foxheart. A year has passed, and while Sam's been captured five or six more times since then, things are pretty great. His parents are happy, Gary and Tiggy still eat sass for breakfast, Randall is somehow alive despite being older than the gods, the King rules with a gentle hand, Kevin the dragon is as gross as ever, Morgan sighs a lot, Ryan continues to be dashing and immaculate, and Sam is close to convincing Prince Justin they will be best friends forever.

Life is good.

Until it's not.

Because Vadoma, the leader of the Gypsy clan and Sam's grandmother, has come to the City of Lockes with a dire prophecy written in the stars: a man of shadows is rising and will consume the world unless Sam faces his destiny and gathers the five dragons of Verania at his side.

And she brings along her second-in-command, a man named Ruv.

Ruv, who Vadoma says is Sam's true cornerstone.


Of course not as good as the first book in the series. But then, how could it be? The first was original and innovative - this was "merely" continuing a good trend.

Also not as self-contained as the first book, which came as a bit more of a surprise. While the first book could easily stand alone, this is very clearly the first in a separate trilogy. While that didn't bother me as much as it could have, it does mean I'm less likely to recommend this book high and wide, until I know that the sequels live up to it.

All that said, I still really, really, really liked this book! It had all the humour I'd expected, all the odd one-liners, all the genuine affection between all the members of "Team Sam". Even Ruv ended up growing on me, although I'm still withholding judgment on Vadoma. Oh, and I loved Zero! Where else would you find an emo teenage dragon who's a romantic at heart?! :-D

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