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Tracie B. (tbowman) - , - Reviews

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Afterlife
Afterlife
Author: Julia Alvarez
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 5
Review Date: 7/9/2020


A book about family; a sister who is part of a sisterhood. It's hard not to relate to the sisters who are searching for the oldest, the wild one. After her husband dies, Antonia develops a new family and learns how to do things she's never done. Interspersed with bits of literature, the writing is lyric and soulful.


All That's Left Unsaid: A Novel
All That's Left Unsaid: A Novel
Author: Tracey Lien
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 10/18/2022


I was really impressed with this book. It was interesting to read about the Vietnamese people who ended up in Australia as refugees. Such great characters with Ky, Minnie and Denny, coming of age and always feeling like the other. A mystery about family and about each other.


Aurora
Aurora
Author: David Koepp
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 4
Review Date: 11/24/2022


Admittedly, I didn't get very far in this book but I liked Koepp's first book Cold Storage. There were quite a few characters and for most I didn't care what was going to happen to them. Hope I'm just an outlier.


Beware the Woman
Beware the Woman
Author: Megan Abbott
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 2.7/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 2/16/2024


I've liked other Megan Abbott books, so I thought I'd give this one a try. I got to page 99 and finally let myself off the hook. I didn't care for the main character, which is usually a book's death knell. The other characters were sort of stereotypes - wounded husband, strange father-in-law and the mother/caretaker figure.

This is my last Megan Abbott novel.


Beyond All Reasonable Doubt: A Novel
Beyond All Reasonable Doubt: A Novel
Author: Malin Persson Giolito
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 2.7/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 2/26/2021


I liked most of the novel, but wasn't crazy about how it ended. I was looking for a stronger resolution and it just felt rushed. Like the author wasn't sure how to end it , so she took the easy way out.


Black Sun (Between Earth and Sky, Bk 1)
Black Sun (Between Earth and Sky, Bk 1)
Author: Rebecca Roanhorse
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 11
Review Date: 12/24/2020


I really enjoyed reading this book. The world building and characters were well developed. I enjoyed the humor between Xiala and Serapio as they travel together to Tova. I look forward to learning more in the future books in this series. It takes a while to figure out relationships between Carrion Crows, Water Striders and the Priests, but I wish the next book was available now!


Blood Red (Blood, Bk 1)
Blood Red (Blood, Bk 1)
Author: Sharon Page
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 62
Review Date: 9/8/2010
Helpful Score: 3


I expected more from this book since I've read other works by this author. The heroine was a bit simple and seemed shocked by her fantasies and reactions. The Demon Twins were HOT and adored Althea, but she could have been a little more formidable. I struggled to get through the last third of the book.


The Butcher and the Wren
The Butcher and the Wren
Author: Alaina Urquhart
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.2/5 Stars.
 11
Review Date: 10/6/2022
Helpful Score: 2


I wish I knew where I had a recommendation for this book, because they were sadly mistaken. Wren is a medical examiner and the butcher is a serial killer. Wren is married, but she only has two interactions with him in the whole book. The dialogue is stilted and wooden. There were grammatical errors. Obviously a debut author, who should have stuck with her podcasts.


Catherine House: A Novel
Catherine House: A Novel
Author: Elisabeth Thomas
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 2.4/5 Stars.
 16
Review Date: 7/5/2020
Helpful Score: 1


I wanted to like the book, really I did. However, the unbelievable characters, plodding pace and boring mystery kept me from liking it. Usually, I would have stopped by about 40/50 pages in, instead I kept reading to see why this book's recommended on Bookbub. I think this book would have been better suited for a young adult audience. It's true these students were drinking, cussing and swearing thoughout. However, these characters definitely did not act like adults and I can't see how one would care about them.

I thought the debut author used unnecessary vocabulary that seemed to highlight "I went to Yale, so I should be showing how educated I am." Glad the book wasn't too long, so I didn't have to skip through too much.


Crying in H Mart: A Memoir
Crying in H Mart: A Memoir
Author: Michelle Zauner
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 18
Review Date: 6/11/2021


It took me a little while to get into this memoir, because of the going back and forth in time. After a bit I was able to get into the book. The book is a wonderful story about Michelle Zauner's mother, who was both tyrant and promoter to her daughter. I loved reading about how food brought together people and memories.


The Devil and the Dark Water
The Devil and the Dark Water
Author: Stuart Turton
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 7
Review Date: 4/22/2021
Helpful Score: 2


I really enjoyed this book. The main characters were well-written and strong, especially Sara, who was struggling inside her marriage. Old Tom made a great villain. At 453 pages, the book came in a bit long, but I couldn't stop reading.


Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows: A Novel
Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows: A Novel
Author: Balli Kaur Jaswal
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 10/23/2018


I thought the main character developed a lot from the beginning of the story, which is what we want to see, right? This book was so funny that i was laughing out loud. The widows really make the book, and their erotic stories are a riot. My 88 year old mother liked the book too.

I felt I learned about culture, a different part of London and more about arranged marriages. Very good.


Faster: How a Jewish Driver, an American Heiress, and a Legendary Car Beat Hitler's Best
Review Date: 3/25/2022


This book was so exciting. It was non fiction but read like fiction. The racing, the cars and the car companies were so much fun to read about. I was surprised to read how crazy Hitler was about automobiles and auto racing. He put a lot of money into the cars and the drivers. Rene and Lucy were marvelous characters.


Fat Vampire: A Never Coming of Age Story
Fat Vampire: A Never Coming of Age Story
Author: Adam Rex
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 9
Review Date: 12/4/2010


First off, it took me a long time to get into this book, but I'm glad that I finally did!
For a great portion of the book, the main character of the book, Doug, comes across as a self-centered, girl-obsessed greedy 15-year-old. It takes a major event happening to his friend before he realizes he needs to be a better person than he has been - although his sense of humor is pretty snarky (which I always enjoy).

Another enjoyable thing about the book is alternating chapters told from the point of view of Senjal. The exchange student from India - she's in the US to recover from a case of the "Google," an obsession with video-blogging, internet usage, etc. Her desire to truly become a better person balances Doug's initial greed.

The book starts off slow, but gains momentum when Doug meets his "Vampire Brethren" and the "Vampire Hunters" start to close in on him.


Fire with Fire
Fire with Fire
Author: Destiny Soria
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 12/12/2021


Two sisters who are raised to be dragon slayers find out that their lives are way more complicated than they thought. Who doesn't love dragons?

Eden and Dani are brought up thinking they will continue on in their parent's footsteps. Instead, Dani finds she has a "soul link" to a dragon; Nox, who is smart and snarky. Eden has always wanted to be the best dragon slayer she could be, but she's also interested in the sorcerers. The sisters want to change each other yet things aren't going well. I can see a possible series starting after this book. The characters have a really nice family vibe and warmness.


The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper
Review Date: 5/5/2019


This book never felt slow because it frequently read like a novel. I learned so much about these five women who came alive through their circumstances. They weren't the "prostitutes" everyone assumed they were and Jack the Ripper preyed on these women because they were sleeping outside due to lack of money, family and Victorian prejudices. The book also explains how the data about these women is divergent and contradictory. A very good book, which educates and entertains.


Girl, Woman, Other
Girl, Woman, Other
Author: Bernardine Evaristo
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 11
Review Date: 4/16/2020
Helpful Score: 2


I loved this book and can see how it won the Booker Prize in 2019. My daughter compared it to Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, which I haven't read yet. It's mostly about mother/daughter relationships and the difficulty of raising children. I cried at the end because I didn't want it to end. Hattie was definitely my favorite character. It's very easy to read, although at times it was difficult with so many characters to keep up with.


Go
Go
Author: Kazuki Kaneshiro
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 8/19/2019


I learned a lot about discrimination from this book. The main character is Korean and he goes to a Japanese school. Throughout the book the hero acts the tough guy, but many of the male characters cry in this book. I enjoyed reading about teens who were more accepting about their feelings, and showed their feelings to each other.


The Grace Year
The Grace Year
Author: Kim Liggett
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 14
Review Date: 10/24/2019


Wow! This book is fantastic. I couldn't put it down once I started reading it. Tierney is girl on the cusp of womanhood, she goes on her Grace Year and returns a stronger woman, ready to face the County. I wasn't crazy about the "Lord of the Flies" aspect but it really shows how women can work against each other. Thankfully, the other Grace Year Girls see some good changes too. I could see this story continuing, maybe because I didn't want it to end.


How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning With the History of Slavery Across America
Review Date: 3/1/2022


A masterful book that takes the reader on a journey to Monicello, the Whitney Plantation, Angola Prison and more. The book shows how enslaved people built the United States and how the Civil War was fought to keep enslaved people in their place (under the foot of the slave owners). I especially enjoyed how the author interacted with the tour guides and visitors to these historic places.


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