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oblue

Obsidian Blue

Government drone by day and book lover and geek girl by night!

Currently reading

Fat Girl on a Plane
Kelly deVos
Furyborn
Claire Legrand
Toil & Trouble: 16 Tales of Women & Witchcraft
Tehlor Kay Mejia, Tristina Wright, Emery Lord, Andrea Cremer, Tess Sharpe, Jessica Spotswood, Brandy Colbert, Robin Talley, Anna-Marie McLemore, Zoraida Córdova, Brenna Yovanoff, Nova Ren Suma, Shveta Thakrar, Kate Hart, Lindsay Smith
The Crow Trap (Vera Stanhope #1)
Ann Cleeves
Coming Home
Rosamunde Pilcher

The Three-Body Problem

The Three-Body Problem - Liu Cixin, Ken Liu

I have been getting yelled at for a while to read "The Three-Body Problem." I really wish that I had left it alone. I had a hard time even getting immersed in the book cause not a lot of it made sense to me and we kept changing POVs.  I know about the Cultural Revolution in China (East Asia was my main focus when I got my undergraduate degree in History) but linking that with science fiction didn't gel that well in my opinion. I can see though why some of the characters were over mankind though due to what they had been through in their lives, but I would still hard pause about some of the choices that we had people make throughout this book. The ending just left me nonplussed. 

 

"The Three-Body Problem" follows several characters, Ye Wenjie a disgraced scientist, Michael Evans, a rich man, and Wang Miao, a nanotechnology professor, and a whole host of people I am probably forgetting at this point. I am not going to lie, after a while I stopped taking in people's names. The book bounces back and forth the most between Ye and Wang though.

 

The book starts off during China's Cultural Revolution. Ye witnesses her father being murdered and is sent off to work in a labor camp after being labeled a traitor. While there though she is recruited by Red Coast (China's organization that is out there looking for proof of alien life). Due to Ye's expertise she is asked about working with radio communications to get messages back and forth from aliens. Eventually Ye does have first contact with people from the planet Trisolaris. 

 

Fast forward to Wang in the present day who gets asked to work with a detective who is looking into the deaths of some scientists. Wang starts to notice some things that are weird and wonders if something more sinister is going on. Eventually though Wang is playing a virtual reality game called "Three Body." 

 

I didn't feel a real connection to any of the characters while I was reading this. I tried, but I found myself getting bored for the most part. The only things that held my interest was when Wang went into the Three Body game and I found myself becoming fascinated with the game. 

 

The writing got a bit convoluted to me when trying to explain the science behind everything.

"Can the fundamental nature of matter really be lawlessness? Can the stability and order of the world be but a temporary dynamic equilibrium achieved in a corner of the universe, a short-lived eddy in a chaotic current?"

 

“And it is this: The human race is an evil species. Human civilization has committed unforgivable crimes against the Earth and must be punished. The ultimate goal of the Adventists is to ask our Lord to carry out this divine punishment: the destruction of all humankind.”

 

The flow of the book was off and as I said, I struggled to finish this. I just found myself wishing for the book to finally get to the ending. When I did I was just relieved I managed to finish it. 

 

Reading progress update: I've read 100%.

The Three-Body Problem - Liu Cixin, Ken Liu

This was so confusing. Definitely not a fan of it. This took me almost three days to struggle through. The only thing I got is that people from Earth are bugs.

My Big Greek Summer

My Big Greek Summer - Nora Roberts

 

Please note that I received this via NetGalley. This did not affect my rating or review. 

 

I could have given this four stars if we had leaped more into the Greece side of things right off. The book had a big flow problem and I found myself bored until we had the main character, Mandy, go to Greece to get away from her cheating husband, Danny. 

 

I definitely felt for the character of Mandy. We find out she has been with Danny since they were kids. When she finds out about his affair, she throws him out and tries to decide what she wants from her life. She starts to wonder if she settled with Danny (she did) and then eventually gets going to Greece. 

 

Though I liked the character of Mandy, I was fairly bored by the love interests we get in this one which are Mandy's husband Danny and a man she meets in Greece, Costas. 

 

We also have Mandy's best friend Hayley that I shrugged about too. The fact I had to go back and re-look up this person's name let's you know how much of an impression she made on me. 

I love Greece. After spending two weeks there two years back on a catamaran, I dream of going back soon. The Greece I got to see is much different than the one depicted in Roberts book. Roberts takes a look at a small town in Greece, called Thakos, that seems fairly broken even though there is a nearby resort that is for the wealthy. I thought Mandy's idea was fairly absurd, I won't get into it, spoilers and all, but I maybe went why is anyone listening to Mandy and why is this even a thing? Why can't I just read about hot Greek men?

 

I thought the ending was rushed considering the first half of the book. I also unfortunately called a lot of things that occurred which made the book not that exciting to finish. I think Roberts wanted to wrap things up with a Happily Ever After, it just didn't feel quite real with her deciding to rush things forward four years. 

The Glitch

The Glitch - Elisabeth Cohen

Please note that I received this via NetGalley. This did not affect my rating or review. 

 

Ugh nope. I thought the premise of this one sounded so good! I loved the idea of a woman (Shelley Stone) meeting a younger version of her self. Maybe she would have a chance to change things up in her life. But nope, this book just floundered a lot for me. Probably because I don't know what this book was trying to be. It didn't make me laugh. There was some weirdness with Shelley and the nanny (like I think Shelley was attracted to her or something, so confused). And Shelley and her husband were odd, and I didn't really get their deal. This whole book made me feel like I had accidentally taking some mind altering drug. I kept saying, so would this be what it's like to read a book while high as hell? 

 

"The Glitch" starts off with Shelley and her family (husband and two kids) on vacation in France. When their young daughter Nova (do not get me started on her full name, that was also weird) goes missing. Shelley is of course freaked, but when a random dude calls her up and says he has her kid, the whole book tips into weirdness central. I still don't get what that whole thing was about. I would have called a cop or whatever the name for a cop is in France. It just seemed like an odd way to hear about Shelley and her client who invented something called the Conch. No, I refuse to explain that to you. I want it out of my head.

 

The whole book just pings back and forth between Shelley and her hectic life and her meeting the younger version that she denies. I thought this would be more Freaky Friday or like that movie with Michael Keaton, Multiplicity, but nope.

 

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I also didn't really care for Shelley. I don't know what was her deal, but she acted so unaffected by things I started to wonder if Cohen meant her to come across as possibly on the spectrum or what. I just felt baffled. Shelley has note cards on people, she talks to her children like they are peers at times which is odd.

 

I think that the book leaned too heavily into the sci-fi aspect of things. I just didn't care. Too many things kept happening for me to even figure out what the deal was. 

 

There is zero development with other characters in this book so I wouldn't even bother with hoping there is something here besides Shelley that can intrigue you. 


The ending had a forced resolution to me since I didn't believe it at all. 

Dark in Death (In Death #46)

Dark in Death - J.D. Robb

Not too much to say about this one. It didn't really grab me and I did have a hard time sticking with it. That usually never happens when I am reading an "In Death" book. Even when it's ticking me off, I am engrossed. I just felt slightly bored by this one. I do have to say that a serial killer (New York is full of them apparently) murdering women in this one due to books reminded me of a t.v. show. I honestly can't recall which one, but it was bugging me throughout this reading. 

 

"Dark in Death" takes place in February and we have the usual comments about the weather in this one. Eve and Peabody are called into a murder at a movie theater. A young aspiring actress if found dead after going to catch the movie "Psycho". 

 

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I initially thought it would have something to do with Hitchcock, but nothing doing. Instead another murder is quickly brought to Eve's attention via Nadine with a murder mystery writer being seen as the ultimate target of a serial killer. 


Not going to lie, a bit disappointed on how this one just lands in Eve's laps. There is no real detective work in this one. Nadine pops up and is all here is the inspiration behind these murders. The writer didn't interest me either. Hopefully she and her daughters don't appear in any future books. I got worried for a moment with someone else out there falling in love with Eve and then she be the subject of books like she already is the subject of a freaking Academy Award Winning movie. 

 

I do have to say this one takes a look at a more romantic and homebody Eve. I don't know if this is Robb's way of showing how domestic Eve has gotten which of course may make some fans leap to the idea of Eve finally being ready to have a baby with Roarke. Either way, it was interesting, and I was glad to see things change up between Eve and Roarke. A pretty funny scene was when Roarke returns home after having a bad day at work (I know right? When does Roarke have bad days at work?) he finds Eve hanging out and reading a book. Then things go to Eve being up for some foreplay with her playing hide and seek with Roarke. Look I know it sounds weird, but I found it charming. 

 

Peabody dialed down to regular. We still get some random comments from her, but I didn't want to kick her butt like I did when I read "Echoes in Death."

 

The big thing is I don't really buy the whole new relationship with Nadine. Reading about Eve and Roarke discussing it made it even more boring which I didn't think was possible. When the new guy throws out a comment about do Nadine and Eve ever argue with less clothing on, I went thumbs down mentally with him. Blech.

 

We get Dr. Mira and McNabb here, but not a lot of the old favorites. I can't remember the last time we saw Charles and Louise. Also where is the Commander at these days? Did he make an appearance in the last book?

 

The ending is a foregone conclusion. Even the confession scenes lacked a punch in this one. 

Half Seven on a Thursday

Half Seven On A Thursday - Roisin Meaney

I got such a kick out of this one. Meaney has a play in this one with you also delving into the life of the characters who come to perform in an amateur production. I really enjoyed everyone we read about and would have happily read a second book starring everyone. However, Meaney gives you a general idea of how things are going to go with everyone once the curtains fall. 

 

Six people come out to audition for an amateur play called, "Death by Dying". Think Agatha Christie.

 

The director of the play, Edward Bull (everyone mentions he looks like Tommy Lee Jones) is throwing himself into directing in order to distract himself over the disintegration of his marriage. He wonders if he can forgive his wife, but finds himself thinking about someone else. I liked Edward. He is a bit of a prig when the book starts off and stays that way through the end. But he grows on you, at least he did on me. He is trying to take care of his uncle and definitely knows what is what with directing. 

 

The other characters are sisters, Ellen and Maria. Ellen is still dealing with the heartache of losing her childhood sweetheart. Maria is dealing with being in a loveless marriage and her son's autism. I didn't really like Ellen. There is a whole side-plot dealing with her and a potential medical issue that didn't make me more interested in her. Maria I felt really bad about. She's caught between a rock and a hard place and wants to leave her marriage, but feels trapped since her young son needs his routines or he will lash out. 

 

Robert is a hairdresser still working alongside his ex-wife Caroline. They share custody of their twin boys, but now Caroline is seeking to make a big change that is going to impact Robert. I don't know. I didn't care that much for Robert. You find out he and Caroline split because he cheated. He seems oblivious about how much he had to hurt her. His two kids are pretty cute though. 

 

Harry is a librarian and dealing with a secret he has kept hidden about himself. He still has hope his mother who is suffering from Alzheimer's can come back to herself. I felt badly for Harry. We get a scene with him trying to take his mother out for her birthday over the objections of his absent siblings. You can feel how much pain and loneliness he is dealing with. 

 

Theo has a son and daughter she adores. Only issue is that her current fiance's daughter that she wishes would go away. Can't lie, didn't like Theo at all for this whole story-line. She was acting obtuse and kind of jerky. 

 

Judith has a lot of regrets. Her ex-husband abandoned her long ago to deal with raising their son alone. He hasn't turned out that great. When he returns from Greece with a girlfriend, her life is tipped upside down. 

 

I enjoyed reading the play/characters dialogue so much. I thought it was such a smart idea to mix that in there with us getting to read along with the rehearsals. 

 

The book flow was great. You go from character to character quite easily. Meaney does a good job of setting up the chapter headings that helps with showing how much time has passed as well. 

 

The ending was really good. Not everyone got a great happy ending, but what does occur made sense to me. 

311 Pelican Court (Cedar Cove 3)

311 Pelican Court - Debbie Macomber

This whole book reads like a manifesto against marriage at one point (Zach and Rosie). We also have Grace Sherman doing something stupid that causes her relationship with Cliff to be in jeopardy. Olivia is still hemming all over Jack, but at least that gets resolved along with Maryellen and Jon. This book doesn't do enough of a good job in my opinion to switch my interest over for the next couple in book #4, "44 Cranberry Point."

 

"311 Pelican Court" has Olivia come down with another intriguing sentence. She allows Zach and Rosie Cox to get a divorce, but tells them that the kids now own it so they don't have to constantly be moving back and forth between homes. Of course this causes further fights and these two are just the worst after a while. Sorry, Macomber does not have me rooting for these two. Things get wrapped up way too easily in the end.

 

Olivia kind of annoyed me in this one. She knows her ex wants her back and now she's acting as if she doesn't know what to do. Jack had a lot more patience with the situation than I would have.


Grace and her whole story-line was disappointing. No spoilers, but it won't thrill you.


And now here is the beginning of my Maryellen dislike. I hated the later stories starring her and Jon because I initially disliked how they got together with Maryellen telling a huge lie to Jon. The later books are a doozy though and I wanted to shake her since she acts like forgiveness is just something that should be given out with a side of pancakes.

 

This one felt overly long. I struggled to get through it. Probably because most of the story was taken up with Rosie and Zach bickering and then their teen daughter acting like a jerk as well.

We get an appearance of Cecilia in this one "16 Lighthouse Road." so that was nice. 


The writing was okay, I just had a hard time with how some of the characters were depicted. It felt a little bit like they all lost their minds.

 

Things come to a end with a thunk. We do get some happily ever afters, they just don't feel earned I guess. 

204 Rosewood Lane (Cedar Cove #2)

204 Rosewood Lane (Cedar Cove, Book 2) - Debbie Macomber

I thought about giving this one 4 stars, but the mess with Zack and Rosie made me drop it one. Sorry, bickering couples are not my favorite thing to read about in romance novels. Another reason why I gave this one 3 stars, is that this one reads a bit like filler since you don't find out the resolution with a lot of things in this one until book #3, "311 Pelican Court". 

 

One thing you can say about these books is that there is not a lack of characters. In "204 Rosewood Lane" we turn to Grace Sherman and her family. Grace's husband Dan has been missing for 6 months and she finally decides to go through with divorcing him. She has her two daughters, Maryellen and Kelly to lean on. Also she has a potential love interest too. 

 

The good:

 

I liked seeing Grace become more sure of herself. From what we read about in book number one and here, she hasn't had a happy marriage. She also has managed to not shake the life out of her daughter Kelly who acts like a brat and her histrionics since her father has gone missing made me tired. 

 

Macomber does a good job with juggling multiple people. Besides Grace, we have her daughter Maryellen as the focus, her relationship with a man named Jon, Olivia, Jack, and Olivia's ex husband Stan, Olivia's daughter Justine and Seth, along with Jack's son Eric, and Rosie and Zach Cox with their two kids. As I said in one of my other reviews, Macomber always introduces the couple who will be the focus in the next book in the preceding one. This time it's going to be Rosie and Zach. Problem was that the whole book felt weighted down with their acrimony. 

 

Cedar Cove always feels lively and interesting and it feels like a real life place you can visit. 


The bad:

 

I thought the nonsense between Olivia and Jack dealing with her ex and his son was boring to read about. Just have a conversation and stop playing games. They are both in their early 50s and I didn't have any patience with it at all.

 

Maryellen and Jon, I could not get over Maryellen and what she decides to keep a secret. Those that know me remember that my two most loathed romance plot lines are love triangles and secret babies. So guess which one this is.

 

Rosie and Zach, good grief. I didn't know who I wanted to shake more. 

 

 

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Rosie was acting like a martyr, but Zach acted like a throwback to the 1950s expecting a home cooked meal ready for him every night. Neither one of them really respected the duties the other one had during the day. And neither of them had any sense since they didn't seem to give their two kids chores which would help keep down the animosity about the cleanliness of the house and getting dinner together. 

 

The book ends pretty abruptly and you have to read the next book to finish up some of the story-lines. 

 

Reading progress update: I've read 100%.

Dark in Death - J.D. Robb

A little bit better than previous books. At least there is not a fixation on the rape and murder of women. This was just a bit boring though since you found out who the murderer is very quickly. Then it's just Eve and company doing what they can to take them down. I was surprised that Robb changed up the love scenes between Eve and Roarke. Who knew they could do something else totally different? Not a bad thing at all. I do have to say that the whole romance between Nadine and the rocker was kind of ham-fisted. I just didn't buy it at all. I became less of a fan too when he does the whole gross, "two women arguing is so turning me on." Blah. 

Reading progress update: I've read 100%.

311 Pelican Court - Debbie Macomber

You will wish for the death of Zack and Rosie Cox. Seriously. Macomber miffs things a bit here IMHO since you are going to be rooting for these two people to stay the hell away from each other. The HEA doesn't work in this one.


We get Grace from "204 Rosewood Lane" making a colossal mistake. And we have Olivia "16 Lighthouse Road" finally realizing what man she wants to be with. 

Reading progress update: I've read 100%.

Half Seven On A Thursday - Roisin Meaney

Roisin Meaney always does such a great job with books set up like this! Loved the whole play (would have read that separately actually) and all of these characters! The POVs were done quite well and the back and forth between the cast of 6 with the director in the middle. I don't know who was my favorite character off the top of my head. Will think on it more tomorrow.

Reading progress update: I've read 100%.

204 Rosewood Lane (Cedar Cove, Book 2) - Debbie Macomber

We get the continuation of Jack and Olivia in this one, but also Grace dealing with the disappearance of her husband, Dan.

 

Grace's life is turned upside down when she realizes that man she has been married to for 35 years has gone and she thinks to live a life with another woman. 

 

Grace's daughter Maryellen is trying her best to hide her pregnancy from the man she got pregnant by. And I outright disliked the married couple Zack and Rosie. Every time I came to anything dealing with them I practically booed. Things don't get much better when they become the focus of book #3. 

16 Lighthouse Road (Cedar Cove #1)

16 Lighthouse Road - Debbie Macomber

Wow. I forgot how back in the day Debbie Macomber would have love scenes in her books. It's been a while so it actually shocked me for a second. This is the first book in the Cedar Cove series that I haven't read in years. I still have a bunch of these on my shelves at home, but since I was traveling and got stuck in Boston, decided to re-read the first three since I had some free time. 

 

"16 Lighthouse Road" stars a whole cast of characters, but focuses mostly on two couples, couple number one is Judge Olivia Lockhart and journalist Jack Griffin. Couple number two is Ian and Cecilia Randall. We also get some third person POVs from Olivia's daughter Justine, her mother Charlotte, and her best friend Grace. 

 

I liked that Macomber tackles real issues in this book (Cecilia and Ian are divorcing after the death of their newborn daughter, Jack is a recovering alcoholic). 

 

The kick off to book #1 is that Olivia makes a controversial decision concerning the divorce of Ian and Cecilia which causes Jack Griffin to write about her. With Olivia not sure if she likes the newspaper man, she can't help but be intrigued and flattered by him. These two honestly reminded me a bit of Spencer and Tracy with their dialogue. Olivia has a lot of heartache in her past. She had to bury a son and due to his death it caused the breakup of her own marriage. 

 

Cecilia I found a bit too complacent. Her marriage to Ian was done on the spur of the moment and I didn't think they belonged together at first. But Macomber has them writing emails (which are shown in this book) and you can see that Ian still loves his wife and wishes he had been there for her when they lost their child. 


We do get some hot love scenes (guess who) and I was pleasantly surprised by them. I started to dislike the later books which always had people just rushing off to get married without having sex first, sorry, that reads as so unrealistic to me in contemporary romance novels. 

 

The town of Cedar Cove is a fan favorite, and I can see why Macomber returned back her with her Rose Harbor series. I used to have fun imagining all of the places discussed in this book and where everyone lived. 

 

Though we don't focus on some of the character on the periphery in this one, Macomber gives you enough taste of them to get a feel for these characters. 

 

These books also always introduce who is going to be the focus of the next book and this one easily slides into Grace's story "204 Rosewood Lane". 

Reading progress update: I've read 10%.

The Glitch - Elisabeth Cohen

So far I am waiting for it to get funny.....Right now all I see are two self-absorbed adults (Shelley and Rafael) with children. 

The Moon and More

The Moon and More - Sarah Dessen

"The Moon and More" was okay, not the greatest YA contemporary romance, but I really loved though how Dessen ended things. I was not expecting it and I was glad that she didn't go out on a cliche with things. I definitely liked how this one was played and how the main character (Emaline) gets the differences between her father (the man who fathered her with her mother) and her dad (the man who has been there for her almost always). 

 

"The Moon and More" has Emaline dealing with her last summer before she starts college. Emaline has a lot of things to work through, not starting off with the fact that her father who initially promised to pay for college no matter where she got in, suddenly changes things and Emaline has to go to a different college. When her father pops up with her younger half brother in tow, she has to deal with the two of them for the whole summer. 

 

Emaline also hits a cross-roads with her long term boyfriend Luke. When they break up she immediately rushes into things with what she thinks is a great summer fling, Theo. 

 

Theo presses Emaline to leave her small town behind her and rush to bigger and better things. 

 

I liked Emaline, but thought she waffled too much. I wish I had seen more push back with her father, Theo, and even her ex Luke. She didn't really do a great job of articulating what she wanted until the very end.


I did not like Theo at all. I don't know why the last couple of Dessen books I have read, I have ended up disliking the love interest. Probably because I don't think Dessen does a good job of calling all of the problematic things out with some of the male characters. 

 

I wish that some of the secondary characters could have been developed more (Daisy and Morris). 

 

The small town of Colby in North Carolina does come alive. I can see why it would be hard for Emmaline to let all that go. Dessen does a great job of making you see why Emaline loves it so much. 


The ending surprised me (in a good way) and I was glad for once that Dessen actually for once didn't just brush over issues with problematic male leads. I think the reason why I loved "Dreamland" so much is that Dessen actually let you see the good and the bad and you didn't have a HEA just because it was a romance novel. She took that route here and I didn't think it was a bad thing to do. 

Guilty as Sin (Deer Lake #2)

Guilty as Sin - Tami Hoag

I really didn't like this one. I had vague memories of reading book #1, so maybe it's my own fault for not re-reading that one first to go into this one fresh. Honestly though, I don't think it would have helped. The characters didn't grab me and the plot seemed nonsensical after a while. We eventually sputter to an ending. 

 

The main character (if you can call her that since you get many POVs in this one) is prosecutor Ellen North. Ellen is trying a local professor in good standing in the community with a kidnapping and possible murder of a young boy (Josh Kirkwood). With her boss ready to throw her under the bus at any moment, Ellen is walking a tightrope when the young boy suddenly reappears and refuses to speak about what happened to him. 

 

We not only follow Ellen, we follow a true crime novelist (Jay Brooks) along with the young boy, his mother, his father, one of the neighbors, the local sheriff, and I know I am forgetting some people. There are too many characters to juggle in this one. It needed cut down a lot.

 

I personally didn't like the character of Jay at all and thought he was creepy/stalking Ellen. 

 

I didn't feel one way or the other for Ellen. 

 

The other characters just pop in and out of the story throughout. I think I was supposed to be on pins and needles about what happened with everyone, but think that Hoag left way too many things up in the air regarding the personal relationships that may have drawn people in via book #1. 

 

The whole mystery of what happened to Josh Kirkwood and why took way too long to get to. I found myself getting bored along the way. When things are finally revealed I maybe just went "huh" rather than even trying to work out all of the plot holes I had with the book as written.