When a strange man breaks into Maureen’s home she does the most logical thing and bops him over the head with a religious statue.
That makes a bit of a mess so she calls her ganster son Jimmy to clean it up. Thus starts the wheels on this book.
Everyone gets involved, either by choice or chance.
Ryan, a fifteen year old drug dealer and his abusive, alcoholic father Tony.
Georgie, the prostitute that lived with the dead guy. She finds herself hiding out in a cult, pregnant and still missing the guy. She can’t stop asking those questions though..
The nosey next-door neighbor who loves to stir the pot. And take advantage of any man or boy when she gets the chance.
I was totally sucked in by the writing and language. I even expected my husband to speak with an Irish brogue at one point when I was knee deep in the book. So my verdict came up with extremely readable for the nosey in us…
But I did feel like at times it drug out and made me want to paint the kitchen.
Booksource: I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for review.
I’m sure most of us have asked ourselves that question. Spent those millions in our heads as we went to sleep dreaming of hitting it big-time. (If I wasn’t so cheap that I never buy tickets..that’s beside the point.)
This story is about that big win really happening. To an eighteen year old boy. It’s Teddy’s birthday and his closest friends Leo and Alice are headed to his birthday party. Alice has been in secret love with Teddy for awhile now…so she buys a card and writes down how she feels. She feels that she needs something to go with it and buys a lottery ticket. Once at the party Teddy opens that card and presently loses it under his fridge. Yep, Teddy is pretty clueless.
Fast forward to the next morning. They realize that ticket was a winning ticket.
One hundred and forty million plus dollars.
Teddy and Alice both have had some hard knocks in life..so you totally are on board with something good happening to these characters.
But then money does change people, no matter how they think it will not.
This was a really cute book. The characters were all like-able..almost to the point where it was over the top.
I mean..dang they are kids. OF course Teddy was going to act a fool with that much money. I’m a whole lot older than he is and I would act a fool. Books for everyone! And Sephora would totally be bought and put in my basement.
I hate when youngun’s try to be more mature than I am. That cost this book a star.
Booksource: From the publisher in exchange for review.
This author wrote one of my all time favorite books…The Serpent King. If you have not read that one just go now. I’ll wait.
So my expectations for this one were pretty high.
And it made me feel like an old hateful woman. I’ll get to why in a bit.
(This is not a spoiler either-so cool your drawers) Carver sent a text to his three best friends. Where are you guys? Text me back
That text is more than likely what caused his friends to be in a fatal accident. So Carver has the guilt. Then he finds out that he may actually face charges of negligent homicide for contributing to their deaths.
I hope no one reading this is still texting and driving. Because it gets me ragey.
BUT the book is done well in telling the young adult world the dangers of that stuff. It hurts. Jeff Zentner brings hurt to the table like no other young adult author that I’ve ever read.
He writes the feelings that Carver and the remaining family members go through very much in a way that made even my hateful heart break.
Then I kinda got to the point where I felt like my feelings were being deliberately manipulated and I felt like the line got crossed.
Another thing that really bothered me in this book was the fact that these boys were supposed to be seventeen. Then we get flashbacks (yes, I do know that some of them were years old)..where I felt like they were twelve. I have a teenage boy and have raised two others. I know what dumb-butts they can be..but then they tell the fart jokes and then you have a passage where the main character sounds like an educated adult? I reflect on the mundane rituals, laid end to end, that form a life. We work to make money and then hopefully use that money to buy ourselves memories with the people we love. Simple things that bring us joy.
There was good in this book though, no insta-love and no common tropes. Zentner is way better than that. I’m torn on how to rate this so I’m just going with the middle ground and giving it three stars. I’ll still read anything he writes.
Don’t milk me for tears next go round though.
Booksource: Netgalley and Crown books in exchange for review.
Althea Bell has come home to Alabama, she is fresh off a stint in re-hab for a drug addiction she has battled her entire life. Once home she is not greeted with open arms. Her dying father is yelling about how she is evil and something about her turning 30. Her snobby sister-in-law and political brother Wynn both loathe seeing that she is home. They inform her that her father’s will specifies that she must go into a mental institute when she turns 30 or she will inherit nothing.
What is it about turning thirty with the women in her family? Several generations of her female relatives have all turned up at the local mental institute called Pritchford once the clock tolls on that birthday..and Althea’s thirtieth birthday is just days away.
She must battle with her addiction and her family’s determination that she needs locked away to find out the secrets her family shelters. (I totally wrote that fancy didn’t I?)
Althea’s battle with trying to prove she is not mentally unstable reads so well that I felt that trapped feeling along with her. She doubts herself at times and the people around her completely think she is borderline of finally crossing the line. What happened to parading our crazy on the front porch in the south is one thing I wondered about. (Not that it really happens-even in my state there is an old mental institute that has been long closed down because of some of the terrors that took place there.)
Anyways…that sinking feeling…
Then there is a cigar box full of ‘clues’ that her mother left to her the night that she disappeared and later died. Along with the words “Find the honeysuckle girl.”
(That honeysuckle girl part drove me nuts turning pages to find out how it was going to wrap up.)
The women in Althea’s family all had stories and they didn’t really turn out like they all hoped. The history of how women were treated in the time period made me pretty ragey on their asshole male relatives.
Overall, this was a decent story that kept me reading. The only faults were that sometimes I felt like it went over the top and the ending wrap up seemed like a carbon copy of too many stories.
Booksource: Netgalley in exchange for review.
Getting a new Johnny Shaw book always puts me in a really good mood.
Especially if it’s one featuring two of my all time favorite characters. Jimmy and Bobby. Those two pretty much guarantee a good time.
They haven’t changed much…
I had always tried to do the right thing, even when I seemed to consistently make things worse. Now it was time to do the wrong thing. I hoped that worked out better.
Jimmy starts off the book by finally marrying Angie. You think things would be calm now that he has settled down and they are in the middle of newlywed bliss. You’d have the wrong book if that was your plan.
Drug lord Tomas comes calling for the after wedding with a present for Jimmy. Some cash, a pre-paid trip and he has found Jimmy’s adopted son’s true grandfather. They just have to go to Mexico to find him.
That works out pretty much as expected after Bobby and his girlfriend shows up. These two guys attract trouble like no one else. One thing about it though, they are ALWAYS there for each other. No matter how stupid the other may be.
It’s hard to review this one without going spoilery and it’s way too much fun to get spoiled on one of these books. Just know that Bobby is his usual self…full of helpful tips.
“You have no idea how hard it is to find good muscle.”
“Have you tried Craigslist?” Bobby said. “Look in the ‘Hoods and Flunkies’ category.”
Then throw in all Jimmy’s buddies, Snout, Buck-Buck, Mr. Morales, Tomas and a few new wonderful characters that also fit into Bobby’s motto of..“I’ve been waiting my whole life for a fight like this. Finally. It’s finally time to fuck some fuckers the fuck up.”
These are the guys I’d want as friends if the crap hit the fan.
I’d bring plenty of beer so calm down.
(P.S. You can read these as stand alone’s but honestly you would miss the backstory. Go read them all.)
Booksource: Netgalley in exchange for review.
David Joy’s debut book Where All Light Tends to Go kinda left something wanting for me, but dang, he stepped it up in this one. *4.5 stars*
This book opens with young Aiden McCall’s parents dying violently before his eyes. He ends up in a group home and runs away. He takes to the woods and is found by his friend Thad. Thad tells him to come live with him now, his mom won’t care since she and his step-father have given him a trailer on their land to keep him out of their hair.
That sets up the boys friendship. They stick together no matter what. Even after Thad comes home from being deployed in Afghanistan a changed person. They never really stand a chance in life, both of the boys are known screw-ups in the mountain town they live in. Thad’s red hair lies to the tale that his mom told him about his dad being a Native American. But there is that red-headed deacon at the church that gives his mom the eye during church.
Thad’s mom April now lives up in the house by herself, wishing for a way out of the mountains that she feels trapped in. She put up with a husband that beat the crap out of her because she felt she needed the help he provided, she also never really loved her son Thad. She and Aiden are now sleeping together.
Sounds like a crazy train already doesn’t it? But wait, it gets soooo much worse.
Thad and Aiden are bored and tired of stealing copper out of foreclosed houses. When they show up at the dope man’s house and stuff and thangs happen, they end up with a ton of dope and cash.
Do they do something smart with the money/drugs? Umm the answer to that would be…. no.
Then the real fun begins, once the two go on a drug filled binge things start to spiral. They end up with two girls. It ends badly.
Then stuff really starts getting bad.
At about 56% into the book I had to take a break.
Then I picked the sucker back up. Because no matter how dark (AND THIS FUCKER IS DARK) this book got I couldn’t look away. I at times hated these characters. That’s understandable with them. I mean, most of the time they are drugged out of their minds with not much care as to what kind of crap they stir up. Then stinking David Joy did something with this book that completely took me by surprise. He made me actually really sort of care about these messed up losers.
Then he tore my heart into little pieces and laughed.
Booksource: Netgalley in exchange for review.