Book Review: Girl Most Likely by Max Allan Collins

girl most likely

NetGalley Summary:

It’s never too late for revenge in this thrilling novel by New York Times bestselling and award-winning crime master Max Allan Collins.

In a small Midwest town, twenty-eight-year-old Krista Larson has made her mark as the youngest female police chief in the country. She’s learned from the best: her father, Keith, a decorated former detective. But as accustomed as they are to the relative quiet of their idyllic tourist town, things quickly turn with Krista’s ten-year high school reunion.

With the out-of-towners holed up in a lakefront lodge, it doesn’t take long to stir up old grudges and resentments. Now a successful TV host, Astrid Lund, voted the “Girl Most Likely to Succeed”—and then some—is back in town. Her reputation as a dogged reporter has made the stunning blonde famous. Her reputation among her former classmates and rivals has made her infamous. Astrid’s list of enemies is a long one. And as the reunion begins, so does a triple murder investigation.

Krista and her father are following leads and opening long-locked doors from their hometown to the Florida suburbs to Chicago’s underworld. They just never imagined what would be revealed: the secrets and scandals of Krista’s own past.

My Thoughts:

This book starts off with a bang! Right out of the gate, the reader is introduced to mystery and mayhem, and the the first third of the book has great build up and suspense. Unfortunately for me, it sort of petered out until it was just over, and I was left feeling a little disappointed.

Krista and her dad have for me, a weird relationship that I had a hard time getting over. He is living with her at her suggestion following the death of her mother, and he repays her by going through her garbage and confronting her about things he finds there. I mean, I get he is a retired detective, but jeez – boundaries might need to be in order! Then later, she invites him to go with her to her class reunion. It has only been ten years, so it seemed like she should still be feeling young enough to go and cut loose with her old classmates, without her dad there. Maybe it is just me though. I love my dad and I think he is pretty cool, but I think he would feel wildly out of place there anyway, even knowing my classmates. Anyway, that is just a small part of this book, but it was weird enough to me to jolt me out of my reading experience.

Whena murder occurs, Krista, who is hailed for being the youngest female chief in the country, calls in her dad to help her out as a consultant. This made sense, she had never covered a murder before and she wanted to catch this killer. However, to me, it feels like she is just sort of there for the rest of the book. Like her dad is in charge, and is a much bigger character – he is the dominant character that emerges in this story. I wish there had been more about Krista, proving her capabilities and showing her strengths. And then when we find out the murderer, I felt sort of like we never got a true explanation of why they did what they did. I didn’t get enough of an explanation to satisfy me.

This book was not all bad though. Overall, I liked the premise, I liked the setting, I liked the characters – I liked the bones of this book, if that makes sense. To me, I feel it could have been fleshed out more, and that this reads more like a rough draft than a finished book. It was almost there, but not quite  I can see this as a series that will become more sophisticated, with more detail, more depth to the characters. I think this as a potential series has legs, but this book didn’t quite go the distance.

**Update! Check out the comments area for insights from author Max Allan Collins himself! It was a great conversation and I enjoyed hearing what he had to say – and I even came to a few different conclusions!**

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you NetGalley!

What Wyatt’s Reading – March Edition

What

 

This March we focused on bugs and springtime and Easter!

We are getting ready for spring here, planning our garden, talking about bugs, learning about the changing of the seasons. Wyatt really loved Snail & Worm and Minerva Louse and the Colorful Eggs, which was really cute. He liked to compare his little toy chicken to Minerva Louise, because they look exactly alike. So we now have a toy chicken named Minerva. (interesting chicken facts- they talk to their chicks while they are in their eggs, and the chicks cheep back! Also, they can recognize up to 100 human and chicken faces!) My personal favorites from this stack were If You Plant a Seed (I must buy it!) and Snow Rabbit, Spring Rabbit. So cute. I really liked all of our books this month, but those were the standouts. And the entire Crinkleroot series is a must own now – my little bird boy loves this book, and I saw there are a bunch of Crinkleroot books that are guides for different outdoor things and birds, mammals, fish, etc that children should know. So it looks like Wyatt’s library is going to continue to grow rapidly!

My Sunday-Monday Post

 

 

My Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date

This past week was a bit blah. I never seemed to have enough time to get stuff done – it was one of those weeks. Too much to do, not enough time! My husband and I did manage to get a few hours at Ikea together, when we left the boyo with his grandparents for a visit. It was nice, although we did spend a bit more than we wanted! And darn it, right on the heels of a Target shopping trip for essentials that should have cost around forty bucks, but ended up being a *little* more. I am also spring cleaning – I am on a purge and splurge I guess! LOL.

We also splurged and bought tickets with my brother and his family to see the Jurassic World Live Tour in November! Wyatt will not like it yet, really loud noises and things jumping out at him startle him too much, so he will be hanging out with a grandma, but it will still be fun – and we will get to hang out with my niece Bean, who loves loves all things dinosaur, especially Blue from Jurassic Park. So it will still be super fun – in November! Lol. We jumped on an email I got for pre-sale tickets so we have some time to wait.

As for our experiments in cooking this week, we made a fantastic spring minestrone soup!

 

Read Last Week:

 

 

Girl Most Likely was a review read from NetGalley that started off promising, but by the end, I was less than enthused. I won’t say I didn’t like it, but I definitely put it in the “It’s ok” category on Goodreads.

I also finally finished Little Dribbling! I loved it. I want to move to England now. Lol. Bill Bryson is hilarious. And Bill Bryson, if you are reading this blog by some bizarre chance and randomness, I would make a great research assistant! And we wouldn’t have to trade houses! (not being strange – he writes about weird fans in his book, and one asked him to trade houses lol)

Reading This Week:

 

 

This week we are working on some big stuff with Wyatt, and it is also his spring break, so I won’t have a lot of time to read or blog very much. (I don’t think – who knows!) Fingers crossed I find the time, I am super excited to read the newest book in the Caraval series, Finale! SO excited, that I am changing my plan for the week to read it. This post originally had a different book listed- but I was too excited when I saw I got this book on NetGalley (or NutGalley as it is today..lol)

I am also reading Cozy. At heart in my soul I am a cozy seeking person. Like all the time. This book is perfect for describing me. Lol. My only complaint so far is the overuse of the word “cozy”. I understand that is the whole premise of the book but it seems to be used in ways I would never use it. Maybe by the end of the book, it will all make sense!

Watching:

The Order – we binged this show all week. It was pretty much all we watched until there were no more left! 😦 We also watched a lot of Winnie the Pooh, Wyatt’s current favorite. He loves “Tiggaahh”

Posted Last Week:

I posted about our most recent but short hikes! Bird’s Eye View

 

How about you all? What is going on in your world?

A Bird’s Eye View

2019-03-25Saturday was a warm, bright, sunny day – the perfect spring day really.

Good thing we waited until Sunday when it was chilly, cloudy and gray for our family hike! Lol. Oh well. We dressed warmly and headed out – we usually try not to let weather stop us, unless it is extreme weather, of course.

So we headed out, braving the overcast skies and the cold air. We had a purpose to our walk this time too – to try out our new Kelty Kid’s hiking backpack carrier. We didn’t have a ton of time either, which ended up being perfect because we found a new cool place to hike when we want just a short little saunter in the outdoors. It is close to our home, and in a wetland area, which we normally don’t hike in for some reason, even though we live in the Great Lakes State!

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The trail was short but we saw so much during our adventure! We heard the whistle of the red-winged blackbirds, back in town after their winter away; we saw sparrows and chickadees, flickering about, singing and chittering to us from their perches high up in the still bare branches. We saw a plethora of waterfowl, from swans to mallards to ring-neck ducks to buffleheads (I love that name!) We even saw a beaver quickly duck under the surface of the water just a few feet in front of us! This was pretty cool, since beaver have just really recently returned to our area after 150 years – a very good sign regarding the ecological state of our waterways!

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As I said, we had a mission Sunday, to try out the Kelty. I was so impatient to get out and get going honestly, the excitement to see how it was going to work for our family was making me antsy! For us, it is not just a convenience but world-changing. As Wyatt has cerebral palsy, and is making progress every day with his walking, but we still need a way to get outdoors and take longer hikes right now. In our lives before becoming parents, this was something Billy and I did regularly and for vacations. Trips to walk the Appalachian Trail, trails “Up North” in Michigan, those are fun good times to us. It is so important for us to continue this, and share this passion with our son. We have so many national parks we want to visit – we just need to be creative! As Wyatt is getting longer and bigger (not necessarily heavier lol!) carrying him just in our arms isn’t cutting it. And honestly, it’s not cutting it for him anymore either. He needs to be able to experience the woods and trees and the birds and everything a little differently too – this way, in the pack, he can see looking straight ahead of him, see as we see, a whole new perspective! He can also reach up and out to touch things, learning and experiencing the outdoors in a new way.  He even got to use his own binoculars to look for birds! We loved it, and so did he!! He had such a great time, riding around on his dad’s back. He didn’t want to get out honestly, and wanted us to keep going! And we would have had we had the time. However, much longer adventures are now in our future!

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As we walked, I could swear I heard the hooting of an owl somewhere, although Billy missed it so I could have imagined it. I didn’t imagine however, the Bald Eagle that soared overhead. They really are such majestic creatures. It was a perfect ending to our walk, one that signifies more freedom for our family, with a visit from a Bald Eagle.

My Sunday-Monday Post

My Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date

Last week was an amazing week! Wyatt took his first steps independent of Billy and I – usually we have a hand on him somewhere or another, but this time it was all on his own steam, with the aid of his new walker! Billy and I cried happy tears, while Wyatt told us proudly that he was “big!”.

We kept this weekend low-key. We took Wyatt out to use his walker more, and then this morning we went for a family hike, this time with Wyatt riding high in our new (to us) Kelty hiking backpack carrier. What a world changer for all of us – all of this! So much more mobility and exploration ahead for us all!

Read Last Week:

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I read and reviewed The Cliff House by RaeAnne Thayne (thanks Little Bird publicity!) and ducked back into read Little Dribbling. I am really enjoying this read so much that I have slowed down on it, not wanting it to end. I read so much more non-fiction these days than I ever did!

Reading This Week:

girl most likely

Girl Most Likely: I am working on review books, trying to catch up lately, and I am really looking forward to this one. I am in a thriller kind of mood these days – I blame all the Criminal Minds we are watching!

Posted Last Week:

I was scattered with many things going on last week so just one

Book review: The Cliff House

Watching:

Criminal Minds (Netflix – we have never watched this old show before!), Shakespeare and Hathaway, and The Order – which I am loving!! It totally reminds me of Buffy or Angel.

 

What about you all? What is going on in your world?

Book Review: The Cliff House by RaeAnne Thayne

cliff house

Goodreads Summary:

After the death of their mother, sisters Daisy and Beatriz Davenport found a home with their aunt Stella in the beautiful and welcoming town of Cape Sanctuary. They never knew all the dreams that Stella sacrificed to ensure they had everything they’d ever need. Now, with Daisy and Bea grown, it’s time for Stella to reveal the secret she’s been keeping from them—a secret that will change their family forever.

Bea thought she’d sown all her wild oats when she got pregnant far too young. The marriage that followed was rocky and not destined to last, but it gave Bea her wonderful, mature, now eleven-year-old daughter, Marisol. But just as she’s beginning to pursue a new love with an old friend, Bea’s ex-husband resurfaces and turns their lives completely upside down.

Then there’s Daisy—sensible, rational, financially prudent Daisy. She’s never taken a risk in her life—until she meets a man who makes her question everything she thought she knew about life, love and the power of taking chances.

In this heartwarming story, Stella, Bea and Daisy will discover that the path to true happiness is filled with twists and turns, but love always leads them back home.

My Thoughts:

This book had a different feel from the other books I have read by Thayne. Her books have a certain essence about them, quirky, feel good, small town. The Cliff House felt more serious, although still had that small town goodness I love. While this book was a little different, I still very much enjoyed it – actually, I really came to like the change!

Stella, Bea, and Daisy are three women who deal with some real world big issues.  Stella raised her two nieces, Bea and Daisy, after their mother passed away – but as her sister was a bit wild and a bit lost, she didn’t know that her sister had died until Daisy and Bea had spent a year in foster care, in separate houses. When Stella found out, she dropped all her life plans and took her nieces in, raising them although she was just a young woman really herself.

Daisy is a tightly controlled woman, a widow at a young age, after marrying a man older than her who had had a terminal disease. She keeps her emotions in check, and views herself as the sensible one, while her sister Bea is artistic and creative and follows her heart and emotions. Well, with one exception that she means to change until her ex-husband Cruz steps back into the picture.

There is so much rich backstory in this novel, and I don’t want to give too much away. So many layers to uncover as you read, and I would hate to take away from those revelations as they occur. However, I will say that all three of these women are at a crossroads – and have some secrets that they need to share.

My favorite story line was Stella’s. Stella is forty, and we find out right away that she is pregnant, something she had wanted for a long time. Stella is a teacher and foster parent, besides raising her nieces, and is such a nurturing, caring soul. I really could relate to her character, as I was considered a “geriatric pregnancy” since I was over 38 when I was pregnant with my son. Lol. I understand her fears and concerns and also her hopes and dreams. I found Stella to be beautifully written, and I feel that Thayne really understood this character very well to write her as she did, so perfectly. That is not to say I didn’t enjoy Daisy and Bea’s journey’s as well, but Stella’s spoke to my own heart.

I found this book to be a wonderful read – it had real emotion and soul, and I found these character’s stories moving, particularly Daisy’s and Stella’s. I honestly wasn’t super interested in Bea’s character or story all that much, but it did provide a less intense story line. Overall, I would definitely recommend this one! It is a moody read, not as lighthearted throughout, but has great heartwarming moments and a sense of family and love. I think this is a great read for anytime, but would be especially good on a rainy day with a cup of tea, a perfect book to sink into on a cozy day.

 

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Little Bird Publicity and Harlequin!

My Sunday-Monday Post

My Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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This week I bummed around, trying to get different projects completed around the house. Friday Wyatt and I went visiting and had playdates, and then this weekend Billy and I had a date night, which was wonderful! It was a bit of a slower paced week and weekend for us, but it was nice to do some “at home” things too. Tonight my brother and family are coming over and we are making vegetarian colcannon and hanging out. It will be a nice end to our weekend.

Read Last Week:

I couldn’t decide what to read last week. I have too many choices right now and that makes it so hard for me! Lol. I ended up starting this Bill Bryson book, because I love his work and he makes me laugh. Then I reread The Little Beach Street Bakery because March is my book club hosting month, and I chose this for us to read. 🙂 I thought it would be a fun read for springtime – plus I can serve lots of yummy bakery bread at book club! I didn’t finish Little Dribbling yet, but I love it. I will keep working on it this week too.

Reading This Week:

cliff house

In addition to Little Dribbling, I will be finishing up this review book. I love RaeAnne Thayne and I am looking forward to this one! My review will be up Wednesday.

Watching:

Shakespeare and Hathaway, Top Chef, Criminal Minds (I never watched it before and we are addicted lol), and we are getting ready to watch The Order.

 

So, how about you all? What’s going on in your neighborhood?