Monday, September 12, 2016

Most Wanted

Author: Lisa Scottoline
Pages: 417

Rating: PG-13 (This is definitely an adult novel. I don't know that it would be easy for a teen to understand everything involved in this, but I also rated it PG-13 because there is a serial murder, and the crime scenes are described in detail. It's a tad gory. Very little language though, and no sex.)

Donor 3319 Profile:
Tall. Blonde. Blue eyes.
Medical Student.
Wanted for Serial Murder.
Christine Nilsson and her husband, Marcus, are desperate for a baby. Unable to conceive, they find themselves facing a difficult choice they had never anticipated. After many appointments with specialists, endless research, and countless conversations, they make the decision to use a donor.
Two months pass, and Christine is happily pregnant. But one day, she is shocked to see a young blond man on the TV news being arrested for a series of brutal murders―and the blond man bears an undeniable and uncanny resemblance to her donor.
Delving deeper to uncover the truth, Christine must confront a terrifying reality and face her worst fears. Riveting and fast-paced with the depth of emotionality that has garnered Lisa Scottoline legions of fans, Most Wanted poses an ethical and moral dilemma: What would you do if the biological father of your unborn child was a killer?

My Thoughts: I thought this book was very interesting in it's premise, but I wasn't a fan of the style of writing. One thing that drove me nuts about this book was how every character's outfit had to be described in detail every time you met them (even if you only meet them once, for half a page). If Christine changed outfits for any reason, you get a full description. I read this for a book club and other people in the group actually liked the outfit descriptions, but I thought it was annoying. Sometimes it took forever to get places because of how much the author described things. Every time Christine enters or exits her car, the author specifies that she "chirps" the car either locked or unlocked. So unnecessary. There were also plot points that didn't really help the storyline in any way. For example, Christine briefly visits her parents and it's revealed that her dad has Alzheimer's and this has been very hard on the family, but this doesn't really further the plot and I feel like could have been something just mentioned, and not something to spend an entire chapter on. There are other instances like this as well.

Other than that, I did think it was an interesting story. And I liked that it was clean. After seeing the news report with the arrested serial killer that looks astonishingly like her donor, Christine and Marcus try to find out the identity of their anonymous donor. The sperm bank refuses to comply. They decide to sue, but Christine can't wait for a lawsuit, so she drives up to the prison to ask the alleged killer straight out. She ends up investigating the most recent murder on her own, because she begins to doubt the alleged killer's guilt. It's interesting, keeps you turning pages for sure. I wasn't a fan of how quickly it all wrapped up though. If you like detective TV shows, go ahead and read this one. I liked it, but didn't LOVE it.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

When Crickets Cry

Author: Charles Martin
Pages: 334
Rating: PG - no swearing, no sex or innuendos, but some of the descriptions of heart surgery/traumatic events are a little intense.


A man with a painful past. A child with a doubtful future. And a shared journey toward healing for both their hearts.
It begins on the shaded town square in a sleepy Southern town. A spirited seven-year-old has a brisk business at her lemonade stand. But the little girl’s pretty yellow dress can’t quite hide the ugly scar on her chest.
Her latest customer, a bearded stranger, drains his cup and heads to his car, his mind on a boat he's restoring at a nearby lake. The stranger understands more about the scar than he wants to admit. And the beat-up bread truck careening around the corner with its radio blaring is about to change the trajectory of both their lives.
Before it's over, they'll both know there are painful reasons why crickets cry . . . and that miracles lurk around unexpected corners.

My Thoughts: I really enjoyed this book. Particularly because you're sure the whole time that it's going to be a story about lost love and newfound love, but it's not. The main character, Reese, lost his wife 5 years ago from a heart defect she'd dealt with her entire life. Reese had known her since they were children, and had gone to medical school and become a renowned heart surgeon, all in pursuit of ultimately being able to fix his wife. When she dies anyway, he loses himself, and goes into hiding, per se. He starts going by his middle name, moves to a small town where no one knows him, and cuts all ties with his previous profession.

And then Reese meets Annie, a little girl with the same heart problem as his deceased wife.  She needs a heart transplant but, since she's so small, only the best will do. She's holding out for that perfect surgeon. Now Reese just has to decide whether he can confront his painful past and be the person Annie needs him to be.

I really thought this book was excellent. It's compelling, the storyline is really good, even though it gets vague in places, religion is weaved throughout but isn't overwhelming, and the ending is surprising! I actually got to what I thought was the end, and stopped for a few days because I was so upset about what happened. But then I finally finished it and the ending was not what I thought it was. You may want to give this one a try. It's a sweet story, and like I said, you totally think Reese is going to find a new woman or something but that doesn't even happen. It's all about Annie. And I love that. It doesn't have to be a love story that brings someone out of depression.