Then You Were Gone by Claire Moss
I had a hard time getting in to this book at first. I am not sure if I just wasn’t in the right mood or what? This book really made me think, how well do I really know anybody?? Simone’s boyfriend Mack disappears and her and her guy friend Jazzy set out on a quest to figure out what happened to him. I felt like there was a story line brewing between maybe a lost flame between Jazzy and Simone but it was sort of a fizzle and could have been elaborated a bit more for a plot twist or interest. Other than that, the book basically follows them around as they try to piece together what they actually know about Mack. Which they realize, isn’t much.
To be honest, I really liked Jazzy but I didn’t care much for Mack. Perhaps because we didn’t know that much about him? Either way, I almost felt indifferent most of the book as to whether or not they even find him.
This is sort of a suspenseful book but in the why did Mack leave sort of way. Which did peak my interest throughout. The thing was I knew instantly why he had went off and Simone and Jazzy didn’t even have the real reason cross their minds, which to me was ridiculous because it was so obvious to me!!
Bottom Line: I did enjoy most of this book, I just wish I had liked Mack more. I guess that is part of the suspense, because you don’t really know him. Though I didn’t need to know much about him at all to figure out the end. Overall, it was an interesting read, I just wish it was a little more developed with the plot because it is a fantastic plot idea.
I was provided a copy of this book (Before We Were Strangers) by the publisher and author via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
The Boy Who Dared by Susan Campbell Bartoletti
I listened to this one via audiobook. This book is based on a true story/experience. It changes perspectives from present day Helmut in jail to memories of his past that lead up to him being in jail. I immediately related to the character. While I obviously am not German nor did I live in the WWII era, I can appreciate how people felt back then. I loved how Helmut had his own thoughts. He was told that all the books he reads must be German, but he thinks that is ridiculous and loves his American Western novels. He sees Jewish people being treated badly and it upsets him. He tunes in to the BBC radio in the evenings to get the true story about what is going on around the world, not what is fed to him by the German government. Standing up for what you believe in at such a young age is a very brave thing to do.
When Helmut goes to jail for simply speaking the truth, it is rather eye opening to realize how many people this really happened to then. I insist that if you do read or listen to this book, you stick around for the author notes.
What I find the most interesting is that this stuff still goes on today. I am not so naive to think that our own government doesn’t hide certain truths from us, but even worse in other countries. Look at North and South Korea!! The people of North Korea were told recently that their astronauts landed on Saturn. Saturn!!! Last checked, Saturn is a gas giant planet. Only about 1,000 people (mostly North Korean government) have internet in that whole country. Just crazy, right?!?! They have no way of knowing what is really going on.
Bottom Line: I highly recommend this book if you like historical fiction, or just want to understand more about Germany and the Hitler Youth. While all the events are not real, they are based on a real person and the author did extensive research to make the most plausible story.
Freefall by Tess Oliver
This was such a quick read for me, about two days. Nix owns a tattoo shop that he opened with an inheritance from his father that passed away. He is a former heartbreaker with a core group of friends and is a sweet guy. He looks after his sick grandmother and seems to be the levelheaded one of his group. Scottlyn is a selective mute who lost her family in a tragic car accident and has never quite recovered. She was taken in by a douche canoe named Lincoln who is controlling and in to shady business. Scottlyn meets Nix when Lincoln takes her to Freefall to get her scar from the accident covered with a tattoo. A spark is ignited between Nix and Scottlyn. You see where this is going….
This book is considered romance, but there is much more story line and hardly any smut. So this is a great choice for those of you who don’t care for the smut in romance novels.
Bottom Line: I liked this book. It had a little suspense in it that kept me interested in finding out what would happen next. I liked the characters, though I felt like Clutch and Taylor was a weird side story that never went anywhere. One thing I didn’t like? The book needed editing bad!!! There were several errors that I caught. Also, the ending came quick in a perfect little bow and I thought more could have be done with it.
Down the Rabbit Hole by Holly Madison
I did this one via audible and I loved it! I used to watch Girls Next Door, so I was already familiar with Holly and the other girls that were on the show. This really gave you a different perspective on what the Playboy Mansion life was really like. I remember when I watched the show I thought that it probably wasn’t as glamorous as they tried to make it seem.
Bottom Line: If you watched Girls Next Door or are at all curious about what Hef is really like, then this is a great read. I found it really entertaining to listen to, as Holly reads it herself. I loved the Alice and Wonderland quotes at the beginning of every chapter, even if Holly’s English accent is the worst I have ever heard.
Game of Love Melissa Foster
This book was (maybe still is????) free on ibooks! I am going to be honest, the main draw to it for me was that Dex, the leading male character, is a video game developer. Since I like video games and am married to a gamer/computer mastermind, I felt like I would connect with him. This is your typical love story of the girl in need being rescued by her strong man. In this case, Ellie was a child “of the system” when she was younger and grew up next to Dex. Her foster parents decided to let her go and she left without saying goodbye to him. Several years she showed up at his door for a weekend and left again without saying bye. He never recovered. Now she is back and a lot of the book is her struggle with wanting to stay with him and fighting the urge to run.
Bottom Line: I enjoyed the plot of the book and I really liked Dex. My issue is that the author kept repeating over and over again the struggle that Ellie was going through. We get it, she was a foster child, she had a hard time earlier in life, she is a flight risk now because of it…quit repeating it! For that reason, I will only be rating this book 2 stars. But I really did love the idea behind it.
Other books I read this month:
I started The Scam over the weekend. It is Janet Evanovich’s new novel and I am excited! She is one of my favorite authors 🙂 What are you reading?