2019 Reading Challenge

2019 Reading Challenge
Jill Elizabeth has read 0 books toward her goal of 200 books.

Book Review Blurb: Recursion by Blake Crouch

This is DEFINITELY one of those where the short review here doesn’t do the book justice, so you’ll just have to pick the book up and trust me… I LOVE Blake Crouch, he has the most amazing imagination and manages to find innovative ways to explore time, tech, and science in each book (at least the ones I’ve read)… The memory chair is a fantastic concept, reminiscent of Fringe or Counterpart but with an utterly original slant and marvelous characterization. The pacing is – as always – spot-on and the writing crisp and clear while still painting vivid pictures that draw the reader on completely. It’s a fabulous thing, knowing that any title I pick up wll be an entertaining, thought provoking, wholly immersive read – there aren’t many authors I can say that about with confidence, and the fact that he’s prolific on top of that makes him one of my favorite contemporary authors.

My review copy was provided by NetGalley.

Book Review Blurb: The Body in Question by Jill Ciment

How have I not read Jill Ciment before?! I loved this odd, quirky, utterly original story that took elements of books we see all the time (an affair, a trial, a horrific death) and blended them into something wholly new and fascinating. The writing style is perfect for the story, as is the tight editing – and I can’t offer higher praise than that. Ciment does an incredible job presenting the intricacies of motivation, determination, responsibility and self-awareness, and using them to establish a plot that is tight, taut, and wholly engaging. She twines these themes over, under, and through the trial, the relationships, and the aftermath of it all in a way that generated suspense and tension even when there was little-to-no actual action. Her ability to pinpoint emotion, response, and rationalization and present them in clear, crisp, and – most importantly – concise language meant that not a word was wasted and every line pulled you toward the conclusions that wound up feeling inevitable even though I never saw many of them coming.

It was a quick and marvelous read and I’m definitely going to look for more from her. Thanks to Penguin First to Read for my review copy.

Book Review: The Body Lies by Jo Baker

This was a powerful read and I really connected with it – even when I was hating the decisions being made by nearly everyone at nearly every step of the way… I’m not sure I’d call it “thrilling psychological suspense” or “a breathless cat-and-mouse game” though, and am afraid the billing will set up some readers for a disappointment the book doesn’t deserve. This is a slow-burn, thoughtful, provocative look at what it means to be a victim and a woman, and even though the categories overlap here, I think the messages are bigger than that and don’t have to. At every step of the way, I found myself second-guessing the decisions being made, rolling my eyes, and cringing – and then a few pages later wondering whether I wouldn’t have done many of the same things were I in the protagonist’s shoes. Continue reading Book Review: The Body Lies by Jo Baker

Book Review: The Desire Card by Matthew Lee Goldberg

This was a solid concept that drew me in from the beginning. I fully expected not to like Harrison, and I wasn’t disappointed – he’s fairly vile, representing the “ME, ME, ME!” attitude that seems all too common these days… Despite this, his story grabbed me from the opening pages and I was exceptionally curious to see where the Desire Card would take him (knowing full well it wouldn’t be anywhere good). Somewhere about a quarter of the way in things went off the rails for me, story-wise, though and I had a hard time finding my way back into any sense of connection or engagement with the story – until the very end… Continue reading Book Review: The Desire Card by Matthew Lee Goldberg

Book Review: The Heir of Ra by M. Sasinowski

It’s not very often that I get to tell you that I’ve read something wholly original and utterly unlike anything I’ve read before – but I have and it is… The Heir of Ra blends Atlantean myth with the Egyptian pantheon with family drama, a coming-of-age tale, conspiracies, historical mysteries and legends, cutting-edge tech, AND plague. And if THAT didn’t get your attention, I should just pack it in right now.


Sasinowski has created a world that is fascinating in its shape and form, and he has populated it with characters that are compelling, engaging, and motivated in ways that only become clear as the story unfolds. Continue reading Book Review: The Heir of Ra by M. Sasinowski




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