Friday, April 29, 2016

Still Alice

Posted by A Drop of Romeo at 2:00 PM 0 comments

Age: Adult
Category: Contemporary
Rating: 4 stars


Helen Thinks: Alice Howland is a fifty year old woman that works at Harvard as a cognitive psychology professor and is a renowned expert in linguistics. She’s proud of the life she has built for herself, her husband and her three children. Then one day, during a lecture, she finds herself struggling to remember a simple word that she uses on a regular basis during her lectures. She dismisses it as old age combined with tiredness but eventually the problem becomes more regular until one day when out jogging she can’t remember where she is even though it’s the same route she always takes. Finally deciding that she can’t hide from this any longer, Alice visits the doctor where she is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. “Still Alice” follows her journey as the disease has a major impact on both her professional and personal life.

Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common form of Dementia and according to the Alzheimer’s association an estimated five million Americans are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. I decided to read the book because I had seen the movie (starring Julianne Moore, Alec Baldwin and Kirsten Stewart) advertised and it piqued my interest. I am a care worker in a residential home for those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and other forms of Dementia but the service users I look after are primarily in their later years, averaging around the age of eighty. To think such a cruel illness could start at fifty was baffling and also slightly terrifying, especially knowing that currently there is no cure for Alzheimer’s.

Friday, April 22, 2016

The Crown Tower (The Riyria Chronicles #1)

Posted by A Drop of Romeo at 1:00 PM 0 comments

Age: Young Adult, Adult
Category: Fantasy
Rating: 4 stars


Rosie Thinks: Whenever I go into my recommendations on Goodreads, this book always pops up first. I've been seeing it for a very, very long time, until I finally decided to give it a go yesterday, with very low expectations. And then, because Goodreads knows me so well, I was hooked. This book had everything I loved in it: it was fast-paced and had a fantastic cast of characters, with a plot that, while seeming to be generic, was everything but.

After spending five years abroad as a warrior, Hadrian has come back to his homeland after the death of his father, completely purposeless. He finds this purpose when a friend of his father tasks him with stealing a famous journal from an impenetrable tower. The only problem? He has to do it with the help of Royce Melborn, a cynical assassin whom Hadrian would rather kill than work with.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Daughter of the Gods

Posted by A Drop of Romeo at 1:00 PM 0 comments

Age: Young Adult
Category: Historical
Rating: 4 stars

“The fear of losing each other is always stronger than the pain we cause.”


Marta Thinks: Hatshepsut was one of greatest rulers of Egypt but her role was very nearly wiped away completely when almost every reference to her time as a pharaoh was erased. She was previously thought to have been murdered by her stepson Tutmose III, but her mummy revealed that she died of natural causes at the age of fifty – and archaeologists uncovered proof that showed that Tutmose III had very likely removed evidence of her rule not to seek revenge but rather to consolidate the succession of his heir.

Hatshepsut is an ideal historical character to take on: she has a vivid role in a history that has largely been lost, allowing room for experimentation and imagination. She must have been a force to reckon with – easily charming and charismatic but ambitious and ruthless and calculating. She’s a hard act to top and she’s a hard task to undertake. Hatshepsut probably would have been handled unsuccessfully in anyone else’s hands but Stephanie Thornton finds the perfect balance and allows Hatshepsut to become relatable (or at least, as relatable as an ancient royal can be), likeable and admirable.

Friday, April 8, 2016

The Two Gentlemen of Altona (Playing the Fool #1)

Posted by A Drop of Romeo at 2:00 PM 0 comments
The Two Gentlemen of Altona by Lisa Henry & J.A. Rock

Age: Adult
Category: Romance, LGBTQIA+
Rating: 4 stars


Rosie Thinks: If you're not allowed to eat donuts, probably don't read this book. It will have you craving them like nothing else - even the scene breaks are tiny little pictures of donuts! But don't worry, I'm not recommending to you guys a book about a donut bakery. This is a fantastic thriller/crime/suspense novel, where one of the main characters is on a diet - thus the donuts everywhere.

FBI Agent Mac is having a bad day: not only is he now on a coffee-less/donut-less diet, but the key witness just conned him into letting him walk free out the front door of a murder scene. Henry Page may be the key to putting a mob boss away for life, but he'd rather keep his head down and go back to doing what he does best: conning old ladies out of their money. And so begins a cat and mouse game between them as Mac tries to tie down his major witness, and Henry does his best to escape, while trying not to get killed by the mob along the way.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Remembrance

Posted by A Drop of Romeo at 2:00 PM 0 comments

Age: Young Adult / Adult
Category: Science fiction, romance
Rating: 4 stars


Brittany Thinks: In high school, Meg Cabot was my favorite author. She really introduced me and so many other young readers to the YA genre with her interesting stories that portrayed real teens with real problems. And, yeah, a lot of those problems stemmed from something insane in their life, - like discovering they were royalty or seeing ghosts or saving the President - but they still fought with their friends and hated doing homework. Her books made me feel like I wasn’t alone.

I’ve grown out of my Meg Cabot phase over the years, but I was thrilled when she announced that she’d be writing Adult follow ups to two of my favorite - and her most popular Young Adult series. Remembrance is the second book in her nostalgic project and, to be honest, the venture I was most excited for. If any of you were fans of the original Mediator series, - 6 fun, quick reads about a girl who discovers it’s kind of her family’s duty to help ghosts move on - then I am thrilled to tell you that Remembrance totally holds up. Sure is still the stubborn, strong, funny lead that we grew up reading about and Jesse still made my knees a little weak. Cabot touches base with all of our favorite characters and it’s great to see where they are now. The case itself carries the same depth - even if Suze is a little more prepared to carry out her duty than before.

I think that Remembrance would still be an interesting read for those unfamiliar with the story. Some connections or discussions may be a bit confusing and may not carry the emotional punch without reading the originals, but Cabot explains everything well and the story works as a stand alone. All in all, it’s a fun, fast read full of mystery and strong characters. I was pretty apprehensive to read anything from Cabot’s nostalgia project at first, because I was afraid the books would feel forced rather than necessary. That wasn’t the case with Remembrance. I read the Mediator books when I was the same age as Suze in the original series and it was fun to read about “Suze the adult” now that I’m an adult, too. It was like catching up with an old friend now that we know a bit more about ourselves and I’m grateful that Cabot provided fans with that opportunity.

Ticker

Posted by A Drop of Romeo at 2:00 PM 0 comments

Age: Young Adult
Category: Science fiction
Rating: 4 stars


Helen Thinks: Having lost both her sisters to a hereditary heart disease, Penelope ‘Penny’ Farthing was saved by Doctor Calvin Warwick – who was engaged to Penny’s older sister – when he implanted a brass ‘ticker’ into her chest to replace her heart. The success of this operation made Penny the first person to become augmented. However, it soon came to light that for Warwick to be so successful he had practiced on unwilling patients and was arrested for mass murder. On the final day of Warwick’s trial, everything starts to go wrong for Penny and her brother, Nic – their factory is bombed, Warwick escapes, and their parents kidnapped, a ransom note sent demanding their notes on the augmentation trials if they ever want to see their parents again. Ticker sees Penny, Nic and their friends (Violet, a baker, and Sebastian, a rich gentleman) working alongside a young Army general as they try to stop Warwick once and for all.

Ticker had been on my to-read list for many months; due to the beautiful cover art catching my eye on Amazon; before I eventually got around to reading it and I can honestly say that Mantchev did not fail to deliver! Despite there being many characters to trip over (and each one having their own set of individual quirks and ways that could have easily got a writer confused!), Mantchev did not lose control of the characters once. There were many relationships between the characters; familial, romantic and traitorous; and they all developed perfectly along with the plot. The characters were written that well I even developed a tiny crush on the young Army general, Marcus Kingsley!

This was my first time reading Steampunk fiction but it definitely won’t be my last! It was a great look into science fiction with Penny’s ‘Ticker’ being the focal point and the idea that we can create stronger human beings through having mechanical organs and body parts. However, Warwick’s methods of practicing on unwilling participants had the characters divided. Penny, despite it saving her life, believed it was murder and wrong whereas her brother, Nic, thought it was for the greater good, especially seeing as it will allow him to grow old with at least one of his sister’s.

With a plot filled with adventure, Ticker was a novel that I couldn’t put down and read in one entire sitting because I was just dying to know what happened. I hope you’ll all feel the same if you give it a try!


Friday, March 25, 2016

Dirty Angels (Dirty Angels #1)

Posted by A Drop of Romeo at 2:00 PM 0 comments

Age: Adult
Category: Contemporary, romance
Rating: 4 stars

Rosie Thinks: Just a warning before we get into this review: in the summary, it says this book is dark. And it is. It is very dark and deals with a lot of violent situations, like rape and torture, so if this is a trigger for you, please don't read this. In saying this, it was never as bad or as explicit as I was led to expect, but it still deals with a lot of violence.

When beautiful Luisa Chavez catches the eye of the deadliest drug lord in Mexico, Salvador Reyes, she knows she will do anything to give her ailing parents the care and money they need. But marrying Salvador is a worse hell than she can imagine, and when she tries to escape, she runs right into the arms of rival cartel boss, Javier Bernal. Javier plans to ransom Luisa back to Salvador, but neither of them are prepared for the twisted attraction that emerges between them.
 

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