Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Audiobook Review: The Innocent by David Baldacci

Title:  The Innocent

Author:  David Baldacci

Narrator:  Orlagh Cassidy

Unabridged Length:  12 hrs, 17 mn.

Here is a summary from the Goodreads website:
It begins with a hit gone wrong. Robie is dispatched to eliminate a target unusually close to home in Washington, D.C. But something about this mission doesn't seem right to Robie, and he does the unthinkable. He refuses to kill. Now, Robie becomes a target himself and must escape from his own people.

Fleeing the scene, Robie crosses paths with a wayward teenage girl, a fourteen-year-old runaway from a foster home. But she isn't an ordinary runaway -- her parents were murdered, and her own life is in danger. Against all of his professional habits, Robie rescues her and finds he can't walk away. He needs to help her.

Even worse, the more Robie learns about the girl, the more he's convinced she is at the center of a vast cover-up, one that may explain her parents' deaths and stretch to unimaginable levels of power.

Now, Robie may have to step out of the shadows in order to save this girl's life... and perhaps his own.

My Review: 
Baldacci does a wonderful job once again of creating an action-packed novel full of intrigue and suspense.  This is the first book in the Will Robie series and he leaves off in a way that makes the reader want more.  We get caught up in Robie's quest to keep himself, and a young girl that crosses his path, alive.  

At the start of the book Robie decides not to finish a job, allowing people to live.  While people are spying on him to verify completion of the job, they realize Robie's hesitance, and decide to finish the kill job for him.  Unfortunately, this also puts Robie's life on the line as he finds himself a new target for the agency he has been employed by for years.

He comes across a young girl who seems to be in quite the predicament of her own.  As the duo flee for safety they find they have something in common, as they are both running from the same assassins.  As they fight to stay alive they learn to work together, solving the clues that could possibly end the madness.

Cassidy did a great job of narrating and there were even some sound effects to keep you on the edge of your seat.  With themes of murder, mystery, and survival, you may enjoy this book as much as I did, especially if you are a Baldacci fan.  I don't hesitate in recommending this book for either personal leisure or as a book club discussion.

My Rating:  4/5

Disclosure:  I borrowed this audiobook from my local library for my own entertainment.  

Monday, December 29, 2014

What Are You Reading?

Sheila over at Book Journey hosts this meme that gives you the opportunity to share the books that you have been losing yourself in lately and also the ones that you are looking forward to picking up next.

What I finished:
I was able to sneak in The Dogs of Babel by Carolyn Parkhurst because I knew our book club selection would be a quick read.  I have to admit I didn't really know what this book was about, but I've been wanting to read it for the last couple of years.  It had an odd twist to it, but it was well worth the wait.

What I'm reading now:
Our December book club selection is Christmas Jars by Jason Wright.  I've come not to expect much out of the Christmas novels, and although this is a little book, so far I've found it quite powerful.  I'll let you know how it ends up.

What's next?
I've had Someone Else's Love Story by Joshilyn Jackson on my TBR pile for at least a year now.  When my friend told me she just picked up the audiobook I figured it's about time I get this one read and reviewed.  I've loved Jackson's previous work so I'm looking forward to this one.

So what's been keeping you lost in books lately?

Monday, December 15, 2014

Mailbox Monday-Dec. 15

Mailbox Monday is a great meme that has us list the books that we receive. You can check out the Mailbox Monday blog to see what everyone else found in their mailboxes.

This is what I found:
The Day We Met by Rowan Coleman

I haven't requested many books lately so I was surprised to find this one on my doorstep.  Did anything new show up at your door?

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Review: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

Here is a summary of the book from the Goodreads website:
The beloved American classic about a young girl's coming-of-age at the turn of the century, Betty Smith's A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is a poignant and moving tale filled with compassion and cruelty, laughter and heartache, crowded with life and people and incident. The story of young, sensitive, and idealistic Francie Nolan and her bittersweet formative years in the slums of Williamsburg has enchanted and inspired millions of readers for more than sixty years. By turns overwhelming, sublime, heartbreaking, and uplifting, the daily experiences of the unforgettable Nolans are raw with honesty and tenderly threaded with family connectedness -- in a work of literary art that brilliantly captures a unique time and place as well as incredibly rich moments of universal experience.

My Review: 
Let me start this review by saying this is a classic that every American citizen should read.  It brings you back to a time when life was much harder than it is today-people actually had to work hard and sometimes fight for every single piece of bread being put on the table.  Our society has evolved into something allowing people to just get what they want, so it was refreshing to read a book about people who worked hard for their earnings.

The Nolan family has definitely had their fair share of hardships, but that doesn't stop Katie, Francie's mother, from trying to create the best home for her family that they can afford.  They go out of their way to make every penny stretch.  From going to different butchers for better cuts of meat, to walking an extra couple of blocks for a less expensive bread at a bakery, this family knew how to save money.  And with Johnny, Francie's father, spending all of his extra earnings at the local tavern, Katie found her way of saving a necessary way of life.

We follow Francie through her daily life and sometimes wonder how she and her young brother can make it another day when they are cold and hungry.  They look forward to school knowing they at least will not be cold for the day.  Francie has high expectations early on in life when she sets her eyes on a school in another District that would offer her a better education.  Her father may have been the local drunk, but he helped Francie do what she needed to attend that school.

There were moments in this book making me giggle with delight, while others had me gasping with astonishment.  I can't help but consider this book a great American novel that should be read by everyone, especially young kids that have everything given to them.  With themes of family, struggles, and America, I'm sure you all would enjoy this novel as much as I did.  I highly recommend this novel for either personal leisure or as a book club discussion.

My Rating:  5/5

Disclosure:  This book is from my personal library and I read to it for my own entertainment and as a book club selection.