Review: PULSE

PULSE PULSE by L.R. Burkard
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received this book from the author for an honest review. Well, I loved it!

The story is from the point of view of three teen girls. I cannot tell you how absolutely refreshing it is to read from a single point of view of one character with no head hopping, and the head jumping from one character to the next is done by chapters with clear headings. No confusion whatsoever. Wonderful!

How would you manage in the dead of winter to wake up with zero electricity, no transportation, and no hope of rescue for a very long time? When 15 miles is an all day trip one way, and money means nothing, but food and water is the most precious commodity, I think you would find yourself in the exact predicaments as these three girls. Except Lexie has the added luxury of living on a farm, and her family are preppers.

It's a wonderful story line premise, and Burkard's writing sizzles with tension. Her characters are developed in such a way that you think you'd recognize them when you passed them on the street.

Although, the teen girls seem to talk the same. Since they are friends, I imagine that would probably happen. Their situations are all different, but so are their backgrounds. I think they would have some unique idioms and/or speech patterns that would differ also such as filler words. But that is so minor, you don't really notice it.

It is a story about faith, and the strength faith gives you when you face adversity. It also has a strong foundation in ethics and moral issues that young people might be shocked into thinking about.

This is a story that moms and daughters should read together then talk about. It's a story that friends should read together and talk about. Dads and daughters should read it and talk about it. The story is that strong. After reading it, you'll find yourself pondering it days later. I would love to write a story that strong!

It well deserves five stars.

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Review: The Bachelor Girl's Guide to Murder

The Bachelor Girl's Guide to Murder The Bachelor Girl's Guide to Murder by Rachel McMillan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I liked it. I definitely liked the premise of two young women interested in solving mysteries when it seemed to be a world only for men. It reminds me of the Canadian series Murdoch Mysteries or The Artful Detective. It definitely is not close to the Sherlock Holmes type of mysteries because the mystery is really only a side plot, not the plot.

Some scenes are quite funny such as when Jem has to wear pants that way to large for her and the fit misfires in front of the reporter, Ray. What a hoot.

There is a faint Faith aspect to the story. I am not keen on characters that are so 21st century that are placed in early 1900s. It is too jolting. An author needs to submerge herself in the era, forget about today's feminism, and deeply study women's issues of the era that she wants to write about. I can imagine this story taking place in the rebellious era of the 1930s or even the 1920s, but I don't think women had quite made it to this level of rebelliousness until then.

I give it 3 stars because the story doesn't seem to match the era and it made me uncomfortable. Also, I have read so many women detective novels that were written during that time, and this one has far too many modernisms. I suggest reading Mary Roberts Rinehart's Hilda Adams series (1914), Geraldine Bonner books about the switchboard operator Molly Morganthau Babbits, Agatha Christie's Tuppence Beresford, 1922, but most especially Loveday Brooke lady detective created in 1894 by Catherine Louisa Perkis to get a good sense of how women felt about the societal norms of the day.

What gets me is that authors today may set a story in history (no matter what era), but pay little to no regard for what society was really like during that time.

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Review: The Travelers

The Travelers The Travelers by Chris Pavone
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I tried, I really tried to get into this book. I just can't get into the head of an adulterer when he's only been married for a few years (4 I think). Perhaps I'm too sheltered, but this just doesn't seem believable to me. Character development took way too long. I found I really didn't care about the characters at all even when I found out Will and Chloe were trying to have a baby. They had way too many problems in their marriage to bring a child into it. Babies don't fix problems in a marriage.

The language is awful. I can actually tolerate a few shit's and damn's, but seriously taking God's name in vain is intolerable when it is just used as a filler in conversation. Why do authors try to develop a character by taking the lazy way through foul language in dialogue? When in Will's head, he doesn't think in that kind of language, so why does he suddenly speak that way? It doesn't make sense.

Just creating story is not enough. An author needs to create believable dialogue as well as believable scenes. I am thankful that I could use my imagination for the sex scene.

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Review: The Confession

The Confession The Confession by Robert Whitlow
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I think this was one of Whitlow's best offerings. I was a bit put out with the prologue, and that made me uneasy to find out that the main character was a prosecuting attorney in the D.A.'s office. But as the story progressed, I became more and more intrigued.

The writing is excellent, the characters are extremely well developed and complex with all the sloppy emotions of hurt and unforgiveness. Whitlow examines this theme from several different angles in the lives of each character. There doesn't seem to be any "minor" characters in this story because each character has a wonderfully crafted purpose that unfolds as the story unfolds. Quite a marvelous accomplishment for any author to achieve.

Whitlow leads the reader down a path that is full of shadows and innuendos so the cat has no idea what motivates the mouse. I highly recommend this story.

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Review: The Wedding Chapel

The Wedding Chapel The Wedding Chapel by Rachel Hauck
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

If you are looking for a synopsis, then read the back cover info provided by Amazon. I think that kind of information is a bit redundant.

I am not keen on flashbacks as a way to tell a story. Flashbacks and flashforwards are very confusing and hard to keep the story straight. I got bored with it after halfway into it. Normally, Hauck tells a great tale in great fashion. I was sadly disappointed with this one. While the actual story premise was excellent, the execution left a lot to be desired. However, Hauck did develop the characters well for the most part. I think she had a great deal of trouble getting inside the heads of so many different characters, though. I definitely had to work hard at keeping track of whose head I was in and why there were so many different points of view.

The young ad executive (I've forgotten his name) had a struggle with what he felt inside and how he acted. While his emotional problem seemed real enough, it didn't ring true in the story as his actions toward his wife were really horrible. Perhaps it rang too close to home for me. Maybe the problem was the character portended a complexity that was not explored efficiently, or perhaps he just needed a story all his own. Anyway, the mix did not work for me.

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