Stanley Park by Sapphira Olson

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source: review copy
title: Stanley Park
author: Sapphira Olson  (Twitter)
published: December 23, 2019
genre: poetry

blurb:
Stanley Park is a collection of 35 poems from parables author Sapphira Olson charting the story of two lovers through history as they are separated and then reunited all within the island of Stanley Park in Vancouver.

Olson weaves a beautiful and poignant narrative through a progression of emotional poetry taking the listener on a journey of hope driven by love.

Incorporating poems inspired by Squamish Nation history and legends, the collection explores themes of immortality, love, loss, the nature of consciousness, and culture.

Stanley Park itself is a beautiful 405-hectare public park that borders the downtown of Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada and is mostly surrounded by waters of Burrard Inlet and English Bay. The park has a long history and was one of the first areas to be explored in the city.

“What shall it profit you if you turn the whole world into a gasometer and lose your own souls?” (Thomas H. Mawson about Stanley Park in his 1912 address to the Canadian Club)

my thoughts:

I love reading poetry so when I had a chance to read Stanley Park I happily dove in.
This collection of 35 poems by Sapphira Olson revolves around two lovers who break up and then reunite. I enjoyed dipping in and out of this set of poetry and would go back and re-read a few lines in order to savor them fully. There are themes of nature, old legends and love flowing throughout these poems. The history of  Stanley Park in Vancouver is woven in throughout which was also a nice touch.

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One Little Secret by Cate Holahan

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source: free ARC via AmazonPrime
title: One Little Secret by Cate Holahan
author: Cate Holahan / Twitter
genre: crime thriller
published: July 9, 2019
pages: 313
first line: Drowning can happen in two inches of water. 
rated: 4 out of 5
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blurb:
Everyone has a secret. For some, it’s worth dying to protect. For others, it’s worth killing.

The glass beach house was supposed to be the getaway that Susan needed. Eager to help her transplanted family set down roots in their new town – and desperate for some kid-free conversation – she invites her new neighbors to join in on a week-long sublet with her and her workaholic husband.

Over the course of the first evening, liquor loosens inhibitions and lips. The three couples begin picking up on the others’ marital tensions and work frustrations, as well as revealing their own. But someone says too much. And the next morning one of the women is discovered dead on the private beach.

Town detective Gabby Watkins must figure out who permanently silenced the deceased. As she investigates, she learns that everyone in the glass house was hiding something that could tie them to the murder, and that the biggest secrets of all are often in plain sight for anyone willing to look.

A taut, locked room mystery with an unforgettable cast of characters, One Little Secret promises to keep readers eyes glued to the pages and debating the blinders that we all put on in the service of politeness.

my thoughts:
Funny enough One Little Secret started out a little rough for me and I almost DNF’d it but I am really glad I kept reading because it turned into a gripping read that I could not wait to get back to.

Investigator Gabby Watkins is working on two cases; a possible rape and a murder case. An 18 year old au pair wakes up in a strange man’s bed after having been drugged the night before at a house party. A group of parents are vacationing in the Hamptons while their kids are off at summer camp when one of the moms is found dead on the beach one morning.

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In at the Deep End by Kate Davies

insource: free review copy via AmazonVine
title: In at the Deep End
author: Kate DaviesTwitter
genre: fiction/humor/LGBT
published: 2019
pages: 320
first line: One Saturday morning last January, Alice pointed out that I hadn’t had sex in three years.
rated: 4 out of 5 stars
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blurb:

A fresh, funny, audacious debut novel about a Bridget Jones–like twenty-something who discovers that she may have simply been looking for love — and, ahem, pleasure — in all the wrong places (aka: from men)

Julia hasn’t had sex in three years. Her roommate has a boyfriend—and their sex noises are audible through the walls, maybe even throughout the neighborhood. Not to mention, she’s treading water in a dead-end job, her know-it-all therapist gives her advice she doesn’t ask for, and the men she is surrounded by are, to be polite, subpar. Enough is enough.

my thoughts: 
In at the Deep End by Kate Davies was an AmazonVine acquisition. This one has been compared to Bridget Jones. I remember reading Bridget Jones. I read that book twice and watched the film many times. I always get a kick out of Hugh Grant. Anyway, this story centers on twenty something Julia who has been single and lonely for the past three years. She lives in the U.K. with her roommate Alice. Julia always wanted to be a dancer but after an injury she took a job as a civil servant. She thinks sex is overrated and wonders if she will ever find passion and true love. She also misses dancing since it is such a part of who she is.

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The Magical Sunglasses by Nicole McGrath

ebook cover (450x450)

source: free review copy via Authoright

Summary:
What would you do if you had one day with magical powers? This fun, bouncy read captures the imagination, and demonstrates the power of courage and self-belief. Inclusive book for early school aged children. Message for everyone.

Information about the Book
Title: The Magical Sunglasses
Author: Nicole McGrath
Illustrator: Nick Roberts
Release Date: 26th September 2019
Genre: Picture Book
Page Count: 20
Publisher: Clink Street Publishing

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48248795-the-magical-sunglasses
Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Magical-Sunglasses-Nicole-McGrath-ebook/dp/B07VWD43FN

My thoughts:
The Magical Sunglasses is an adorable young children’s book about a teacher who gives her class magical sunglasses so that they can each face their fears. One by one, each student puts on the sunglasses and finds the encouragement they need. One of the kids is afraid of the dark, one wants to do better on tests and another is afraid of heights.

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Kiss the Girls (Alex Cross 2) by James Patterson

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source: purchased
title: Kiss the Girls Alex Cross 2
author: James Patterson(Twitter)
genre: crime thriller/detective fiction
pages: 481
published: 1995
first line: For three weeks, the young killer actually lived inside the walls of an extraordinary fifteen-room beach house.
rated: 4 1/2 out of 5 stars
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blurb:

In Los Angeles, a reporter investigating a series of murders is killed. In Chapel Hill, North Carolina, a beautiful medical intern suddenly disappears. In the sequel to Along Came a Spider,Washington D.C.’s Alex Cross is back to solve the most baffling and terrifying murder case ever. Two clever pattern killers are collaborating, cooperating, competing-and they are working coast to coast.

my thoughts:

After having read and really enjoyed Along Came a Spider I knew I had to read the second in the Alex Cross series. Kiss the Girls starts off where Along Came a Spider left off, but it is definitely a stand alone read. There are a few references to characters and occurrences from the first novel but nothing that would confuse a reader. The ending wraps up nicely while leaving room for the next installment.

At the start of Kiss the Girls  there is a serial who calls himself “Casanova” and has been abducting and torturing beautiful and successful young women in their early twenties. Alex Cross is a Washington, D.C. homicide investigator and forensic psychologist who has been called to go to South Carolina with his partner to the scene of the latest murder by Casanova. This is the third victim. Cross has also just been notified that his niece Naomi Cross is missing. He fears Casanova has taken her.

As the story flows, the detectives realize there are two killers working together and that this spree has been going on for over a decade. Casanova has a partner, The Gentleman. What ensues is a thrilling cat and mouse chase with twists and turns as the detectives try to find the missing women and the case hits close to home for Cross as he tries to find his niece.

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