Reviewing the Unreviewed: March 2015

I read a lot of books that I don’t end up reviewing for whatever reason. Some because I wasn’t impressed. Some because I didn’t have the time. Some I just wasn’t feeling it on whatever particular day I finished. I thought I’d start doing a post once a month  with just the couple thoughts I shared on Good Reads.

Fairest (The Lunar Chronicles, #3.5)

Fairest (The Lunar Chronicles 3.5) by Marissa Meyer. Read February 26 – March 1. 3 stars.

While I enjoyed this novella, I was really hoping to see Levana be a psychopath, in full Amy Dunne fashion. While she’s still kind of a psychopath, it’s in a sad way and makes her more a somewhat sympathetic character. I did enjoy the backstory, though, and the peeks of young Cinder, Winter, and Jacin.

Paranormalcy (Paranormalcy, #1)

Paranormalcy (Paranormalcy #1) by Kiersten White. Read March 4-7. 2 stars.

I’ve loved the other books by Kiersten White that I’ve read, so I was surprised in how uninteresting this book was for me. The main character wasn’t exactly unlikable, but she wasn’t very likable either. Not a lot really happened and a lot went unexplained. I got all three books of the series from the library, but I’m not sure if I’ll be continuing on with them right now.

My Soul to Lose (Soul Screamers, #0.5)

My Soul to Lose (Soul Screamers 0.5) by Rachel Vincent. Read March 7-8. 3 stars.

Though I’m mostly left with confusion, the story was intriguing enough that I really want to find out what happens next.

My Soul to Save (Soul Screamers, #2)

My Soul to Save (Soul Screamers #2) by Rachel Vincent. Read March 10-12. 3 stars.

I thought the premise for the plot of this book was really interesting, but it didn’t quite live up to it’s potential for me. I thought things dragged too much at times. I don’t feel like there was any real character development with anyone besides Kaylee and even that was minimal. Overall this was just ok for me. I’ll still be giving the next book a shot sometime, though.

They All Fall Down

They All Fall Down by Roxanne St. Claire. Read March 14-15. 2 stars.

Had potential, but then went into the wildly unbelievable. It was entertaining for the most part, though.

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RE-READ

Attachments

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell. Yes, I am FINALLY going to review this book. I’ll tell anyone who will listen it’s one of my favorites, but I haven’t read it in years. I was almost afraid I wouldn’t like it as much, but it still holds up (obviously – it’s Rainbow Rowell). I’m going to take my time writing the review, but it will be coming. My mother is currently reading the book, though, so I have to wait for her to give it back.

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BACK ON THE TBR SHELF

Call Me Princess (Louise Rick / Camilla Lind #2)

Call me Princess by Sara Blaedel. I liked The Forgotten Girls and wanted to read the other books in the series, but I just couldn’t get into it. As you can probably tell, March was a big YA month for me, so I wasn’t really feeling up to anything too serious. I’ll be giving this book another try, though.

Stray (Shifters, #1)

Stray by Rachel Vincent. This was recommended by a blogger friend and was readily available at the library, so I gave it a try. I like the different take on “shifters” than most books are and the main character was funny enough that all of the annoying things she does weren’t too much to put me off her. The relationship with her brothers and childhood friends were kind of weird, though, and made me almost uncomfortable at times. I just couldn’t get too into it, so I decided to stop it for now, but I’ll pick it up again some day.

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DNF

Faking It (Losing It, #2)

Faking It by Cora Carmack. I was trying to find a good Fake Relationship book and I came across this one and decided to give it a try. Ugh.  I didn’t get terribly far in before I decided to DNF it. I liked the male character at first, but found the female lead pretty off-putting. Then there was a bunch of ridiculousness at a bar and I just couldn’t take anymore.

January 2015 Recap

I’ve never done monthly blog recaps, but I thought I’d try one and see how it goes. Enjoy! Or not. I mean, I usually don’t read those types of posts on other people’s blogs…

Books Read: 10

Capture

Books Reviewed: 7

The Great Zoo of China by Matthew Reilly (NetGalley) 3/5 stars
Sabotaged (Alaskan Courage #5) by Dani Pettrey (NetGalley) 3/5 stars
A Tap on the Window by Linwood Barclay 3/5 stars
Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama 2/5 stars
The Forgotten Girls by Sara Blaedel (NetGalley) 3/5 stars
The Magician’s Lie by Greer Macallister 2/5 stars
What If by Rebecca Donovan (NetGalley) 2/5 stars

Genres Read:
Adult: 8
New Adult: 1
Young Adult: 1

Memes:
Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Debut Novels for 2015
Top Ten Tuesday: Most Disappointed Reads of 2014
Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’d Love to Read with my Book Club

Other Posts:

Discussion Post: Readers Problem: Library Waiting List
Re-blogged a funny post on SHIPs from the writer of Jackaby: SHIP
Reviewing the Unreviewed: January 2015
I Joined BlogLovin

Review: The Forgotten Girls by Sara Blaedel

The Forgotten Girls (Louise Rick, #7)

Synopsis from Good Reads:

In a forest in Denmark, a ranger discovers the fresh corpse of an unidentified woman. A large scar on one side of her face should make the identification easy, but nobody has reported her missing. After four days, Louise Rick-the new commander of the Missing Persons Department-is still without answers. But when she releases a photo to the media, an older woman phones to say that she recognizes the woman as Lisemette, a child she once cared for in the state mental institution many years ago. Lisemette, like the other children in the institution, was abandoned by her family and branded a “forgotten girl.” But Louise soon discovers something more disturbing: Lisemette had a twin, and both girls were issued death certificates over 30 years ago. As the investigation brings Louise closer to her childhood home, she uncovers more crimes that were committed-and hidden-in the forest, and finds a terrible link to her own past that has been carefully concealed.

I received a copy of this title from NetGalley. It does not impact my review.

The Forgotten Girls will be available February 3, 2015.

What I didn’t realize when I requested this book from NetGalley was that there were previous books involving the same characters. According to GoodReads this is book #7 in the Louise Rick / Camilla Lind series. However, most of these books are in Danish and there are only four, including The Forgotten Girls, that have been translated into English. I was a little confused by this and was afraid I would be missing too much, but Blaedel kindly answered my question on Twitter and this is the first book in the Special Search Unit trilogy and can be read without reading any of her previous books. That said, there were still a few times that I worried I was missing something from previous books, but Blaedel did a great job of including enough background information and context that I never felt lost.

Louise Rick is starting a new job heading up a special search unit for missing persons. As most of us feel when starting new jobs, it starts out not being what she expected and is having second thoughts. This is especially true when she’s assigned a detective that she didn’t want, Eik Nordstrom, who she finds passed out in a bar on his first day. I enjoyed watching how their relationship changed and developed throughout the story. Louise starts out very closed off and almost cold and Eik seems like an extreme chain-smoking slacker, but the more they work together, the more their true characters are revealed and they end up working very well together. Their relationship outside of the office evolves, as well. They actually reminded me a lot of John Tomasetti and Kate Burkholder from the Kate Burkholder series which is probably one of the reasons I liked them so much.

Their first case is to identify a woman found dead in the woods near where Louise grew up. The woman has very distinct scarring and they figure it will be an easy case to solve. However, no one matching her description has been reported missing. After releasing the photo to the public, the woman is identified as Lise. She and her twin sister, Mette, so close they were often referred to as just Lisemette, were patients in a home for the mentally disabled. The twist is that Lisemette died thirty years ago. Once Lise is positively identified, Louise and Eik begin the search for her possibly still missing twin.

It took a few chapters for the story to really take off for me, but once it did I was hooked. There were lots of twists and turns throughout the book. Woven along with the mystery of Lisemette is a killer rapist on the loose. As Louise and Eik investigate Lisemette, they find themselves involved in the rapist investigation, which also has ties to Louise’s past.  There was also some definite darker themes. The twins, who were mentally disabled, were put into a home when they were three. It was heartbreaking to read the way the mentally disabled were treated back then. Parents just gave up raising their children and institutionalized them. They were then discouraged from visiting their children and they became known as “forgotten girls”.

In addition to Louise, we spend some time with her best friend, Camilla, who is a major bridezilla. As the stress of the wedding begins to wear on her, she dusts off her old journalist instincts and delves into the case Louise has told her about. I have to say for most of the book I didn’t really care for Camilla. However, once she stopped being so uptight about the wedding, she became a little more likable.

Overall, I really enjoyed The Forgotten Girls. Though there were a few times I felt some of the writing was a little lost in translation, the plot of the story really made up for it. I was surprised by the resolution of the central mystery and it left just enough of a cliffhanger about a mystery from Louise’s past that I will be eagerly awaiting the next book in the series. I’ll definitely be reading Blaedel’s other books in the meantime. I would recommend this to fans of mystery/crime novels.

Rating (out of 5): 3.5 Stars

3.5 stars