Third Grave Dead Ahead

Third Grave Dead Ahead

by Darynda Jones

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Paranormal private eye. Grim reaper extraordinaire. Whatever. Charley Davidson is back! And she’s drinking copious amounts of caffeine to stay awake because, every time she closes her eyes, she sees him: Reyes Farrow, the part-human, part-supermodel son of Satan. Yes, she did imprison him for all eternity, but come on. How is she supposed to solve a missing persons case, deal with an ego-driven doctor, calm her curmudgeonly dad, and take on a motorcycle gang hell-bent on murder when the devil’s son just won’t give up?

Last week I talked about needing a funny book to read because life was being annoying. So, I went down to the library that day and picked up a copy of Third Grave Dead Ahead. I’m so lucky to have friends who get my sense of humor. This series was recommended by two awesome women and I know Charley’s antics will leave me laughing every time.

I started this series last year and feel free to check out my reviews of First Grave on the Right and Second Grave on the Left. I decided to take a break after Second Grave because the character development and interactions just left me frustrated. So many reactions were just too knee-jerk and confusing. Third Grave Dead Ahead eliminated all of that for me.

Reyes is alive and back in prison. Cookie and Uncle Bob have started flirting! Garrett has fully embraced Charley’s roll as the Grim Reaper. And Charley isn’t sleeping…Third Grave Dead Ahead picks up mere weeks after Second Grave and Charley’s dreams are haunted by an angry Reyes.

I LOVED this story. I finally understand the friendship between Charley and Garrett and Jones provides two ‘on the edge of your seat’ mysteries for Charley to solve. Charley actually interacts with Reyes outside of her dreams and it is interesting! Plus, Jones introduces us to the biker gang that owns the old asylum. Third Grave was just a well developed, fast paced story. I actually connected with Charley, which I just didn’t have with the first two books.

My only complaint would be how Charley’s dad was portrayed. His brooding and abrasive responses just felt out of character. I could only see him as Charley saw him: an unfair man who was slowly turning in to her enemy. I have a feeling this will be resolved in the next book.

I definitely recommend Third Grave Dead Ahead and the Charley Davidson series. It is the perfect series to read when you need a good dose of snark and a reason to laugh!

Lindsay

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Happy Books

I have always been the type of reader who goes where my mood takes me. Science Fiction today? Yes please! Classic Western tomorrow? Of course! A good Mystery next week? Oooooooo…. I have always enjoyed my love for multiple genres because I rarely bore with reading. But, it makes it hard to stick with a set TBR because I never know where my mood will take me.

I started off the month reading Winter, the final novel in the Lunar Chronicles, just like I had planned in my March What to Expect. It’s pretty good despite being REALLY long. The only thing was, it wasn’t making me laugh. But to be fair, it wasn’t written for that. I REALLY needed a good laugh because life was determined to make me cry last week.

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Funny books to the rescue! I have a list of go-to authors for when I need a good laugh. Darynda Jones’ Charley Davidson series is full of sarcasm and sass. Donna Andrews’ Meg Langslow series always delivers with wild antics. And Janet Evanovich’s Barney series lets me enjoy a good summer setting and the power of sheer dumb luck. Plus, all offer a good mystery to take my mind off any woes.

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Slowly, I reemerge from my funk. Having a good laugh will do wonders for you! Don’t worry; I’ll return to my planned reading after detouring for a few books. I’m laughing it up right now. Thank goodness for writers with a sense of humor!

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What books do you read when you’re feeling blue? Which authors do you turn to for a good laugh? Happy reading and keep laughing!

Lindsay

Don’t Look Down

Don’t Look Down

by Jennifer Crusie

and Bob Mayer

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SHE is a director of dog food commercials who’s just been recruited to finish a four-day movie shoot. But as soon as Lucy Armstrong arrives on set, she discovers that the staff is in chaos, the make-up artist is suicidal, and the stunt director just happens to be her ex-husband. That, and the temperamental lead actor has just acquired as an advisor a Green Beret who has the aggravating habit of always being right.

HE thought that hiring on as a military consultant for a movie star was a to-die-for deal: easy work, easy money, easier starlets. But his first day on the job, Captain J.T. Wilder ends up babysitting a bumbling comedian, dodging low-flying helicopters, and trying to find out who’s taking “shooting a movie” much too literally.

Lucy Armstrong has been called in to finish a disaster of a film shoot and has her work cut out for her. Her little sister is taking drugs, her niece has no supervision, she’s working with a skeleton crew, and is having to wrangle her horny action stars. Her assistant despises her and the stunt coordinator, Lucy’s ex-husband, is hiding something big. And then hunky Army Ranger, JT Wilder, waltzes on to set, making it tough to concentrate on the chaos around them. It’s a wild story full of alligators, helicopters, dangerous stunts, and, of course, Wonder Woman.

Don’t Look Down had the potential to be a REALLY GOOD story, but it just didn’t quite make it. I mean who would say know to a movie shoot being used to cover up an art heist?! The book was written by two authors, and, and their writing style just didn’t mesh. This left the plot feeling sloppy and resulted in knee-jerk characters, or characters lacking depth behind their reactions. I really liked and at the same really didn’t. I’ll use the two main characters to explain why.

Lucy is a stubborn, smart, and strong female lead. YES, my favorite type! She is determined to take control of the shoot and fix whatever is bothering her little sister. And then she becomes a micromanaging boss who is constantly fighting with her ex. NO! It eventually felt like Lucy thought every character, besides JT and Pepper, were complete idiots. She obviously adores her family and is capable of a relationship with JT (though that was a tad Insta-love), but I just felt something was missing. I was hoping to see her grow a little more, though I will say that she does back off on the Mom act with Daisy. I liked her but I felt she could have been so much more.

I am the first to admit that I’m a sucker for a strong, military man, so I was happy when JT arrived on set. Unfortunately, JT spent the first half of the book being a condescending jerk. He was kind and patient with Brice and was sweet to Pepper and Lucy, but pretty much everyone else was an idiot in his opinion. He does get better as the book progresses because he eventually opens up to Lucy, but I was sick of how he treated the CIA agent and Nash. Sure, they both deserved it, but JT’s arrogance blinded him to the truth and almost got them all killed.

I like flawed characters but it a bit overwhelming for this read. Pepper was really the only fully developed character, and she was 5 years old. She still managed to maintain a solid personality while displaying a vast range of emotions. All the characters were unique and interesting even though some of them, like Brice and Althea, where pretty cliche and stereotypical. I still found them engaging. I even liked the idea of using a movie shoot to cover up an art heist. Don’t Look Down has a good plot, fun characters, and a snarky voice; it just needed one good edit to smooth out the rough edges, beef up the characters, and meld the two authors’ writing.

I still recommend Don’t Look Down; it is the perfect beach read for spring break! Let me know what books you’re reading this month! Have you read Don’t Look Down?

Lindsay

Challenge Updates

The ReRead Challenge

re-read challenge

Goal: 12 books

Read so Far: 4

January: Milo Talon

February: Cinder, Scarlet, Cress

The Movie Challenge

Goal: 12 movies

Seen so Far: 2

January: The Revenant, Star Wars Force Awenking

(I’m going to go see Deadpool soon!)

TBR Pile Reading Challenge

TBR Pile Reading challenge

 Goal: 12 books

Read so Far: none. I decided to join this challenge because I always have a hard time working on that ever growing TBR list. My shelves are overflowing with unread books and yet I keep buying more and more! This challenge will help me work on that pile.

Published 2014-2016 Challenge

Goal: 12 books

Read so Far: none. This is a personal challenge I set for myself. I tend to listen to a lot of audiobooks I find at our local library. They make my commute enjoyable BUT many are published in the early 2000s. This challenge will help me keep up with the times.

What are your challenges this year? What are you reading? Seen any good movies lately?

Lindsay

What to Expect

MARCH

Last month was all about the Lunar Chronicles. I took some time to reread the first three books in the series: Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress; and shared my original reviews of the stories! I did not reread the fourth book, Fairest, a prequel novel, despite sharing the original review.

March is dedicated to finishing the last two books in the series, Winter and Stars Above. You can also expect a couple of reblogged reviews of Lunar Chronicles short stories.

But don’t worry; it will not be another month of just YA Science Fiction. I have a back log of audiobooks that also need to be shared!

I also decided to work on my towering stack of writing books. I am staring Writer with a Day Job today! I don’t plan to have it finished and reviewed this month but you never know!

What do you have planned for March? Are you reading nonfiction? Fiction? Are you obsessed with YA Science Fiction too?

Happy Reading!

Lindsay