Author Archives: Propensity to discuss

About Propensity to discuss

reader; librarian; media specialist; educator; teacher; talker; student; mystery; YALit; romance; sci-fi; history; realistic fiction;

Can you ever really be "Safe with Me" by K.L. Slater? A Propensity to Discuss

Can you ever really be “Safe with Me” by K.L. Slater

If you want more twists than this, you’d better grab a bag of pretzels.

After first reading Liar and now Safe with Me, I really have to wonder about K.L. Slater. Her mind is undoubtedly warped. To be able to conceive of and pen such depraved tales takes more psychological configurations than I’d imagine exists in the minds of half of the patients in mental institutions in Britain.

Anna Clarke is mentally unstable. She seems to be stuck at around the age of 13 or 14, which makes sense because that was her age when a very traumatic event changed her life forever.

When, as an adult, Anna witnesses an accident and stops to help, she realizes that the woman, whom she learns is now going by the name Amanda Danson is the woman who caused her suffering 13 years before. Anna knows she must see justice done and make sure that this time Amanda pays for her crime. In the meantime, Anna becomes obsessed with the accident victim, Liam, his well-being and the relationship she believes is forming between them.

Anna is delusional at best and with the mindset of an illogical 14-year-old believes that she can explain away anything she has done wrong and that everyone else is at fault. Even while forcing herself into the lives of Liam and his grandmother, Ivy, Anna comments “Some people assume a shared situation authorizes them to be immediately familiar.” She is scornful of others who feel this way, yet she is completely blind to the fact that she is the one who is doing just that to Liam and Ivy.

Can you ever really be "Safe with Me" by K.L. Slater? A Propensity to Discuss review.

Also, anyone who pays her any attention, other than Liam, is seen to be obtrusive and untrustworthy and, in Anna’s mind, those people only want to bring ill-will to her. When in reality that is her behavior, not the intentions of others.

When I first began listening to/reading Safe with Me, I really didn’t like Anna at all, but I had to continue because it is sort of like a series of train wrecks – you can’t stop watching (or, in this case, reading) because you want to find out just how bad the situation will become. That is when Slater has you hooked and drawn completely in. There is no way you can stop reading. You have to know just how crazy Anna really is.

This is a really, really well-planned and well-executed story of mental illness wrapped up in a psychological thriller full of twists and turns. I highly recommend this in both print and audio versions. I switched back and forth on this one.

Lucy Price-Lewis does an amazing job with the voices and characterizations of Anna, Amanda, Mrs. Peat (Anna’s neighbor), and the other, unnamed character. So much so that you know without a doubt whose point of view is shared with each chapter. And Slater writes in such a way that you never see the twists before they have thrown you for a loop.

Check out all the books, movies and TV shows I have reviewed on the blog by clicking this link.

 

Book Details

4 Stars. A Propensity to Discuss Review.

This post contains affiliate links. I would never include an affiliate link on any product that I would not completely endorse. So if you choose to purchase through this link, I get a small payment that does not affect your price at all. And I wholeheartedly recommend these linked products! If you click on the link and make a purchase, I receive a small payment, but it does not affect your cost at all. 

 

Advertisements
The Girls in the Water by Victoria Jenkins. A Propensity to Discuss review.

The Girls in the Water by Victoria Jenkins

When a brutally murdered young woman is found in a river, Detective Inspector Alex King and her partner, Detective Constable Chloe Lane have a difficult time learning who the woman was and any lead they get turns into a dead end. But this is only the first one of The Girls in the Water.

Meanwhile, Chloe has a lot of other issues on her mind. An eight-year-old cold case has resurfaced and pulled her to the absolute need to find the truth.

When a second girl goes missing, Alex and Chloe both believe they are dealing with the same killer as the first girl found in the water. But they are still very short on leads.

Alex and Chloe both have demons they have to fight. Neither of them is amenable to letting others in to help them and both of them pour all of their angst into their work. While this makes them great detectives, their personal problems sometimes bleed over into their professional lives and cause issues that they could not have foreseen.

While some of the sentence structure was a bit odd, I found this to be a really good story. Alex and Chloe, even with their acute stubbornness, are very likable people and I found myself ready to come to their defense. The fact that they work so well together, despite their own issues, makes them seem more believable and real. Not only that, but they are portrayed as very intelligent, respected, and mentally strong women, which you don’t often find in books.

I recommend this book to anyone who likes mystery-thrillers and especially if you like a few twists and turns. The story keeps you guessing about what could possibly happen next and has just the right amount of background information to lead you into a really good plot.

Book Details

4 Stars. A Propensity to Discuss Review.

Check out all the books, movies and TV shows I have reviewed on the blog by clicking this link

This post contains affiliate links. I would never include an affiliate link on any product that I would not completely endorse. So if you choose to purchase through this link, I get a small payment that does not affect your price at all. And I wholeheartedly recommend these linked products! If you click on the link and make a purchase, I receive a small payment, but it does not affect your cost at all. 

 

The Chilbury Ladies Choir by Jennifer Ryan. A Propensity to Discuss review.

The Chilbury Ladies Choir by Jennifer Ryan

The majority of the men of Chilbury, Kent have left to fight as England becomes entangled in World War II, prompting the Vicar to end the Chilbury Choir, much to the dismay of many of the women in the choir. However, music professor and consummate optimist Primrose Trent posts a notice that the choir will go on…as the Chilbury Ladies Choir.

While some believe this to be a sacrilege, many, including Mrs. Tilling and Kitty Winthrop are ecstatic. With some encouragement, the ladies come together to sing, and through their efforts, the choir is not the only thing that is revitalized.

Through a series of letters and journal writings, we come to know several of the women of Chilbury, from the timid widow, Mrs. Tilling, who thinks she cannot go on after her only son leaves for the war, to the somewhat abominable Venetia, who thinks she is the be-all and end-all of the town. Then there is Kitty, who so desperately wants to be grown, but still has a few things to learn about life. And dear Silvie, a Jewish refugee, whose parents sent her away from Czechoslovakia to avoid Hitler’s wrath against the Jews.

Through the letters and journal entries, we see how each life is lived and then changed by the war and how each person makes his or her mark on the village and those around them in a time when everything seems to be literally crashing down around them.

Jennifer Ryan has a way with words: “The morning…was cold and wet as a slap round the face with a fresh-caught cod.” She also has a way of guiding the reader through a little bit of intrigue, to young love and the heart-wrenching issues of life and death as World War II begins its march on England’s soil. These women work to hold their village together, to reach others in need, and to not just survive, but to thrive as war rages around them.

It took me a little while to get into this book because I wanted it to be similar to The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. While it is quite different, it is still a good book in its own right. Even though the characters are very different, as is the storyline, the essence is very much the same, a time when women take great strides to hold together their lives as war does its best to crush them.

All in all, this was a really good book, and I think many people will find it very comforting and uplifting.

Check out all the books, movies and TV shows I have reviewed on the blog by clicking this link

4 Stars. A Propensity to Discuss Review.

This post contains affiliate links. I would never include an affiliate link on any product that I would not completely endorse. So if you choose to purchase through this link, I get a small payment that does not affect your price at all. And I wholeheartedly recommend these linked products! If you click on the link and make a purchase, I receive a small payment, but it does not affect your cost at all. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Blogging For Books in return for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Split Second by Catherine Coulter. A Propensity to Discuss review.

Split Second by Catherine Coulter

I decided to read a book from a series that I haven’t read in a while and it honestly is like meeting up with dear friends I haven’t seen in a while. What a welcome surprise! Split Second by Catherine Coulter is actually the 15th book in the FBI series, but I read the others before I started blogging and reviewing books.

Let me just say if you like murder mysteries and police procedure novels, these are all really, really good. They remind me so much of Criminal Minds and that is a good thing! FBI agent Dillon Savich is a computer whiz and when you add his skills in logic to the logic skills of his wife, FBI Agent Lacey Sherlock no criminal is safe.

The stories, though, go much deeper than just the crime fighting. You get to delve into the hearts and minds of so many of the characters in Coulter’s writing. She has a way with words that pulls you in and allows you to connect with Savich and Sherlock, as well as the other agents with whom they work.

In Split Second Savich stops a robbery in a convenience store close to his home, but something about the scene feels off to him. Meanwhile, there is a killer on the loose who meets women at bars, takes them home and then garrotes them with wire. All of this at the same time that Agent Lacy Carlyle’s father passed away, with an ominous message just before he died. Bringing all of these stories to full circle takes so much skill in writing and Coulter handles it all with the flourish that is a trademark of her writing.

This is a great addition to this series and one that I highly recommend!

Catherine Coulter’s FBI Series in order leading up to Split Second:

  1. The CoveA (1996)
  2. The MazeA (1997)
  3. The TargetB (1998)
  4. The EdgeB (1999)
  5. RiptideC (2000)
  6. Hemlock BayC (2001)
  7. Eleventh Hour (2002)
  8. Blindside (2003)
  9. Blowout (2004)
  10. Point Blank (2005)
  11. Double Take (2007)
  12. Tailspin (2008)
  13. KnockOut (2009)
  14. Whiplash (2010)
  15. Split Second (201)
  16. Backfire (2012)
  17. Bombshell (2013)
  18. Power Play (2014)
  19. Nemesis (2015)
  20. Insidious (2016)
  21. Enigma (2017)

Omnibus Editions:

  1. The Beginning. 2005. (containing The Cove & The Maze)
  2. Double Jeopardy. 2008. (containing The Target & The Edge)
  3. Twice Dead. 2011. (containing Riptide & Hemlock Bay)
  4. Second Shot. 2014. (containing Eleventh Hour & Blindside)

Check out all the books, movies and TV shows I have reviewed on the blog by clicking this link

4 Stars. A Propensity to Discuss Review.

This post contains affiliate links. I would never include an affiliate link on any product that I would not completely endorse. So if you choose to purchase through this link, I get a small payment that does not affect your price at all. And I wholeheartedly recommend these linked products! If you click on the link and make a purchase, I receive a small payment, but it does not affect your cost at all. 

Trolls - The Movie. The Musical. The Myth. A Propensity to Discuss review.

Trolls – The Movie. The Musical. The Myth

I just finished watching the movie Trolls, and I really liked it. I am a sucker for really good animated movies and this one did not disappoint. With such an all-star cast how could it? The amazing Anna Kendrick (on whom I have a serious fan crush!) plays Princess Poppy, a very happy, joy-filled troll who wants everyone around her to be happy also. So when Justin Timberlake (Branch) tries his best to bring her down, she knows she has to change his sadness.

Ogre Chef (Christine Baranski) was banished 12 years before because she was unable to provide trolls to the King who wanted them because, as everyone knows, the only way to be a happy ogre is to eat a troll. When Chef captures five of Poppy’s best friends, Poppy knows she has to save them. While in the castle Poppy meets the lonely Bridget (Zooey Deschanel) and thinks she may have found an ally. But has she really?

With a divine soundtrack (Can’t Stop the Feeling, Sound of Silence, True Colors, I’m Coming Out and more) Anna Kendrick’s voice is unstoppable, as is Justin Timberlake’s. This is one children’s movie that everyone should watch. And just so you know, the glitter troll is my favorite!

Trolls - The Movie. The Musical. The Myth. A Propensity to Discuss review.

If you’ve seen it, what did you think? If not, watch it soon. It is a feel good, get your blood pumping movie.

Check out all the books, movies and TV shows I have reviewed on the blog by clicking this link

4 Stars. A Propensity to Discuss Review.

This post contains affiliate links. I would never include an affiliate link on any product that I would not completely endorse. So if you choose to purchase through this link, I get a small payment that does not affect your price at all. And I wholeheartedly recommend these linked products! If you click on the link and make a purchase, I receive a small payment, but it does not affect your cost at all.

The Walls by Hollie Overton. A Propensity to Discuss review.

The Walls by Hollie Overton

On the way home from my visit to see my daughter, I started reading The Walls by Hollie Overton and finished it the next day. While it was a very quick read for me, it left me wondering about the tagline. “Would you kill to protect your family?”

Kristy Tucker had a brilliant future ahead of her until a one night stand ended in pregnancy. Now 15 years later she is working for the Texas Justice System as a public relations officer working with death row inmates, the media, and the system. It isn’t a job she loves, but it allows her to take care of her ailing father and the son that she adores.

She just wants more.

When she meets Lance, she knows that he is different from the other few men she has dated. He is a kind, doting man and he loves her son. After they marry, however, he becomes possessive, jealous and violent, but only to her. Her father and son are completely unaware.

When one of the inmates suggests that she take matters into her own hands, she knows she would never do that. Until the day he threatens the two people in the world who mean everything to her.

But can she actually go through with it? Having worked for 12 years with prisoners, she knows there is no perfect crime, so the fear of being caught weighs heavily on her mind. But can she stand the abuse any longer? And would Lance really hurt Ryan and her father?

As I said, this was, for me, a quick read and it left me wondering how many people are in Kristy’s situation day in and day out and what their options are for leaving. It is a truly harrowing thought. What would you do?

The audio version of The Walls is read by  Therese Plummer.

Check out all the books, movies and TV shows I have reviewed on the blog by clicking this link

4 Stars. A Propensity to Discuss Review.

This post contains affiliate links. I would never include an affiliate link on any product that I would not completely endorse. So if you choose to purchase through this link, I get a small payment that does not affect your price at all. And I wholeheartedly recommend these linked products! If you click on the link and make a purchase, I receive a small payment, but it does not affect your cost at all. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from NetGalley in return for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

A beautiful terrible thing by Jen Waite. A Propensity to Discuss review.

A beautiful terrible thing by Jen Waite

I recently took a trip to visit my daughter, P and since I am unable to drive long distances, I flew there and back. And what better way to pass the time in the air than by reading? On the first leg of the trip, I was accompanied by A beautiful terrible thing by Jen Waite.

I found this to be a very well written book that included a good deal of information about the sociopathic actions of the author’s husband. Unknown to her, he led many lives, all the while completely convincing her of his doting love for her. I do not want to give much away except to say that when the pieces started falling, they just kept coming!

I know this is a true story and I have so much empathy for what Ms. Waite endured, but it just is not what I was expecting. To be honest, I expected something much darker and was a little shocked that basically, it was a cathartic exercise for the author. I fully believe in the power and value of such an endeavor, but it just sort of left me a little flat. I attribute that to the fact that I have such an amazing husband and could not fathom Marco’s actions.

I do not say any of this to take away from what Ms. Waite experienced! It had to have been so harrowing and debilitating, but I just could not really wrap my head around it. It also enlightened me a bit as to the characteristics of sociopaths. I was actually very shocked. I never thought you could live next door to such a person and have no idea. Now I know and I will be looking!

 

A beautiful terrible thing by Jen Waite. A Propensity to Discuss review.

There is an audio version of A beautiful terrible thing read by the author, and perhaps I would have felt more emotion had I listened to it instead of reading it.

Check out all the books, movies and TV shows I have reviewed on the blog by clicking this link

3 Stars. A Propensity to Discuss Review.

This post contains affiliate links. I would never include an affiliate link on any product that I would not completely endorse. So if you choose to purchase through this link, I get a small payment that does not affect your price at all. And I wholeheartedly recommend these linked products! If you click on the link and make a purchase, I receive a small payment, but it does not affect your cost at all.