Mini-reviews: Dirty Blonde by Lisa Scottoline; Promised by Caragh O’Brien; Me Before You by Jojo Moyes; and Don’t Breathe a Word by Jennifer McMahon

dirtyblondeTitle: Dirty Blonde
Author: Lisa Scottoline
Genre: Mystery, legal thriller
Publisher: Harper Audio
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Source: Audiobook from the public library
Audiobook reader: Barbara Rosenblat
Audiobook length: 10 hours and 30 minutes

Goodreads blurb: Cate Fante is strong and sexy and wears designer suits like overpriced armor. She’s just become a judge but leads a dark double life that she hides from everyone.

Her cover is blown when a high-profile case in her courtroom takes a stunning turn. Overnight the tabloids tell her secret, her boyfriend dumps her, and her new career hangs in tatters. But Cate’s troubles are only beginning. An enemy no one anticipated sends her running for her life, and she’ll have to fight her way back to the truth . . . or die trying.

It’s been so long since I listened to this that I’m having a hard time writing anything. I know I didn’t like it near as much as I liked Look Again, which was my first experience with Scottoline’s work, but I did enjoy the audiobook narrator enough to keep listening.

promisedTitle: Promised
Author: Caragh O’Brien
Genre: YA dystopian fiction
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Source: Print copy from the public library
First line: Gaia notched her arrow and drew back the taut string of her bow.

Goodreads blurb: After defying the ruthless Enclave, surviving the wasteland, and upending the rigid matriarchy of Sylum, Gaia Stone now faces her biggest challenge ever. She must lead the people of Sylum back to the Enclave and persuade the Protectorat to grant them refuge from the wasteland. In Gaia’s absence, the Enclave has grown more cruel, more desperate to experiment on mothers from outside the wall, and now the stakes of cooperating or rebelling have never been higher. Is Gaia ready, as a leader, to sacrifice what–or whom–she most?

This was a terrific ending to what turned out to be an original and highly enjoyable dystopian trilogy. The main character was strong, yet realistic – not a hardcore fighter, but someone who will find hidden reserves when called upon to protect those she loves. I will definitely read anything else Caragh O’Brien writes.

mebeforeyouTitle: Me Before You
Author: Jojo Moyes
Genre: Contemporary fiction
Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Source: Print copy from my personal library
First line: When he emerges from the bathroom she is awake, propped up against the pillows and flicking through the travel brochures that were beside his bed.

Goodreads blurb: Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.

What Lou doesn’t know is she’s about to lose her job or that knowing what’s coming is what keeps her sane.

Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he’s going to put a stop to that.

What Will doesn’t know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they’re going to change the other for all time.

This book deserves its own review, but I got so far behind that I’ll never catch up if I don’t do some mini-reviews. Besides, this one has been reviewed everywhere, and I don’t know that I’ve seen a single negative review. I loved this book from beginning to end, and I haven’t cried so hard while reading a book in a long, long time. I now want to read everything Jojo Moyes has ever written.

dontbreatheTitle: Don’t Breathe a Word
Author: Jennifer McMahon
Genre: Thriller
Publisher: Harper
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Source: Print copy from my personal library
First line: If you are holding this book in your hands, you are one of the chosen.

Goodreads blurb: On a soft summer night in Vermont, twelve-year-old Lisa went into the woods behind her house and never came out again. Before she disappeared, she told her little brother, Sam, about a door that led to a magical place where she would meet the King of the Fairies and become his queen.

Fifteen years later, Phoebe is in love with Sam, a practical, sensible man who doesn’t fear the dark and doesn’t have bad dreams–who, in fact, helps Phoebe ignore her own. But suddenly the couple is faced with a series of eerie, unexplained occurrences that challenge Sam’s hardheaded, realistic view of the world. As they question their reality, a terrible promise Sam made years ago is revealed–a promise that could destroy them all.

Don’t Breathe a Word was very sinister and otherworldly, and kept me guessing until the very, very end. I loved the way McMahon switched between the past and present because it kept me off-balance. Whenever I thought I knew what was going on, I would read on and be plunged into doubt again. This one is a complete page-turner.

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14 Responses to Mini-reviews: Dirty Blonde by Lisa Scottoline; Promised by Caragh O’Brien; Me Before You by Jojo Moyes; and Don’t Breathe a Word by Jennifer McMahon

  1. irene says:

    I enjoy Jo Jo Moyes work as well, and the “don’t breath a word” sounds like a must read. Have a good day.

  2. I’m really curious about Jo Jo Moyes book because of all the rave reviews it’s been getting. You make Don’t Breathe a Word sound so good!

  3. bermudaonion(Kathy)
    Twitter: bermudaonion

    I really want to read Me Before You soon. It sounds amazing!

  4. Sandy
    Twitter: youvegottaread

    I just loaded Me Before You on my iPod, and is probably #2 or #3 in my lineup. And I love a good page-turner. I’m going to look into that last one.

  5. Melissa
    Twitter: myeclecticbooks

    Don’t Breathe a Word is going on my wishlist! Thanks for putting it on my radar!

  6. Trisha
    Twitter: Trish422

    I feel the same about the Birthmarked series. And I have to read Don’t Breathe a Word; I think it’s been on the shelves for over a year.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies

      Trisha – it languished on my shelves for over a year, too. 🙂

  7. Marg
    Twitter: MargReads

    I am so glad that you loved the Jojo Moyes! I have read it twice now and loved it both times!

    In terms of her backlist, I would suggest starting with her more recent stuff and working backwards. I really liked The Girl You Left Behind and Last Letter from Your Love, as well as Ship of Brides but I did listen to one of the older ones recently and wasn’t as impressed.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies

      Marg – I’m pretty sure my library only has Girl You Left and Last Letter, so that’s where I’ll be starting, as I’m trying not to purchase many books this year.