Tag Archives: Books

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. 

 

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The Lion's Game by Nelson DeMille. A Propensity to Discuss review.

The Lion’s Game Nelson DeMille

An international murderer code-named “The Lion” has defected to the U.S. for diplomatic immunity and is flying into New York’s JFK Airport to be met by the American Terrorist Task Force (ATTF) team, including former NYC detective John Corey. But upon arrival, the ATTF finds that it is now The Lion’s Game that they are playing.

Ashad Khalil is a Libyan terrorist with a mission to avenge his family and his country and is now on a bloodthirsty mission. John Corey, with his beautiful new partner, Kate Mayfield, are desperate to find him before even more people are killed. But the question remains: Is he still in the U.S. or did he escape back to Libya?

Nelson DeMille first introduced John Corey in the novel Plum Island and in The Lion’s Game he still has issues following orders, still dislikes Ted Nash and is still one of the most sarcastic and funny characters in police work, but now he’s with a not so willing to laugh FBI unit fighting terrorism.

A truly engrossing story as only Nelson DeMille can deliver. If you read Plum Island, you’ll want to read this next book in the series. If not, start there. This is a series that everyone who likes spy rings, espionage and government conspiracy theories will love!

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 may contain 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!

The Good Daughter. A Propensity to Discuss review.

The Good Daughter – Karin Slaughter

I have said it before and here it is again: The absolute biggest problem with reading a Karin Slaughter book is finishing and having the agony of waiting for the next one! That being said, The Good Daughter follows true to form.

Rusty Quinn was a man of many words and many beliefs. First and foremost he believed that everyone had a right to a fair trial, which is why he defended the vilest of the vile, always knowing that his family was shunned in their small town because of his cases. And then it all came crashing down around him.

Twenty-eight years ago two men came looking for Rusty but instead found Gamma, the wife he adored, and his daughters Sam and Charlie. The night left Gamma dead and Charlie and Sam fighting for their lives. The events, told this time from Charlie’s point of view, detail what happened to her mother and her sister and how she ran as fast as she could to escape.

Charlie has been running ever since.

Fast forward 28 years to a horrifying shooting that rocks the small town and Charlie finds herself right in the middle of it, peeling the scabs off of the wounds that had never really healed. Head-strong, willful, deeply angry Charlie throws herself headlong into making things right. Rusty, as usual, is the only one ready to defend the girl at the center of this egregious crime again putting his life in jeopardy.

Once again, Karin Slaughter has managed to write a novel that is both grisly and beautiful, lurid and poignant. A book about hatred and healing, fear, and misunderstanding. A book about the power of forgiveness and the desperation of hate.

As with most of Karin Slaughter’s books, the audio version of The Good Daughter is read by Kathleen Early who, as always, brings something specific to every character, even if it is in just a subtle way. She does a superb job of relaying the anguish, the love, the hurt and the hate in a way that leads you straight into the mind of each and every character. I could listen to her read all day and all night. Especially if it was a Karin Slaughter novel.

I recommend this book wholeheartedly Five out of five stars for writing. Five out of five stars for the audio. But beware, once you begin, you are opening your heart for one huge emotional ride!

5 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. 

Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore. A Propensity to Discuss review.

Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore

A mystery and a bookstore. What more could a thriller-reading bibliophile ask for? Well, according to this book, a lot more. Like 3 mysterious story lines all coming together at the end to explain, very feasibly, why a young man who spent almost all of his time in the Bright Ideas Bookstore decided to hang himself in the one place he felt most at home.

Around Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore, Lydia is beginning to lock up for the night when she finds Joey, one of the “BookFrogs” (sad and lonely people who spend all of their free time in the bookshop) hanging from the rafters. Added to the horror, she finds a picture of herself at 10 years old in his pocket.

Having been hiding from the world in plain sight for the last 10 years, she is shocked to see that someone has made a connection between her and “Little Lydia.” Twenty years ago Little Lydia’s picture in Life magazine shocked a nation and since then she has done everything she can to free herself from her past.

But Joey’s death and the items that he left for her in his room at the boarding house send her reeling back to an unsolved case that has haunted her for 20 years. As she works to unravel the clues that Joey left, her own past unexpectedly comes crashing in around her.

Matthew Sullivan’s Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore is a look into the lives of so many people, including the BookFrogs and will make you take a serious look at the lonely people that we encounter daily, and at the lives that one individual life can touch. Soulful, sometimes heartbreaking, and a bit mesmerizing, this book is a really good read.

An audio version of Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore is also available.

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 may contain 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!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from NetGalley in return for an honest review. 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.”

Call the Midwife. A Propensity to Discuss TV Series review.

Call the Midwife (TV Series)

After reading/listening to Call the Midwife on audio, I put off watching the show, as I knew that I would be hooked and want to binge watch. That doesn’t really bode well for me during the school year, so I put it off until the summer. And I am so glad that I finally took the time to watch the series.

Call the Midwife. A Propensity to Discuss TV Series review.

Helen George (Trixie), Bryony Hannah (Cynthia), Jessica Raines (Jenny), Miranda Hart (Chummy)

The show, while some of it runs extremely close to the books by Jennifer Worth, takes on a life of its own and I have become highly attached to the characters. Over the five seasons that are currently available on Netflix, not one of them stands out above the others. The reason for that is that they are all amazing. Remarkable. Undeniably one of the best shows I have ever watched. Ever. And I mean that about every episode!

The show takes place in the East End of London in the 1950’s. Having just come out of World War II, the area has yet to rebound, as it historically was, and continues in the series, to be one of London’s poorer neighborhoods. When a new episode begins, you know several things:

  1. You will meet people who will do anything to make their lives better.
  2. Most people that you meet have a long history and a lot of family in the East End.
  3. The Nuns and Midwives of Nonnatus House will do everything in their power to help those in need.
Call the Midwife. A Propensity to Discuss TV Series review.

Cliff Parisi (Fred), Helen George (Trixie), Bryony Hannah (Cynthia), Jenny Agutter (Sister Julianne), Pam Ferris (Sister Evangelina), Judy Parfitt (Sister Monica-Joan)

What you don’t know when you begin, is that you will encounter the truth of the era, see people living in poor conditions with no bathrooms, no running water, but with homes as clean as they can get them, and watch as the Sisters and Midwives work through the squalor to bring babies into the world and help those who are desperately sick.

 

Call the Midwife. A Propensity to Discuss TV Series review.

Laura Main (Sister Bernadette), Pam Ferris (Sister Evangelina), Jenny Agutter (Sister Julianne), Judy Parfitt (Sister Monica-Joan)

In pretty much every episode you will also find yourself faced with a controversial issue, from a young nun who is questioning her call to God, women who are shamed for working outside the home, abortion, neglected children, stillbirths, thalidomide babies, racism, cancer, TB and with all of this, in every single episode, you will find some happiness. Some reason to smile.

Call the Midwife. A Propensity to Discuss TV Series review.

Charlotte Ritchie (Barbara), Victoria Yeates (Sister Winifred), Emerald Fennell (Patsy), Helen George (Trixie)

These nuns and midwives work and live together, not always in perfect harmony, but always in a way that supports their patients throughout every aspect of their lives. And it is so well acted and costumed that it takes you straight to the East End with every episode you watch.

From the history lessons, the quiet rise of feminism and women’s rights to work, to the life and death struggles and the advances in modern life due to medical advances, this, in my opinion, it is the best show on television.

I highly recommend it!

Links to all seasons: Season 1, Season 2, Season 3, Season 4, Season 5, Season 6

5 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:  https://propensitytodiscuss.wordpress.com/book-reviews-list/

This post may contain 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!

The BFG. A Propensity to Discuss movie review.

The BFG

A few days ago I plundered through Netflix looking for something to watch that wasn’t going to cause my body to tense up like it had while watching Dunkirk. (That proved a bit of a problem for my syringomyelia.)  I came across The BFG (2016) based on the book by Roald Dahl.

Being a fan of Dahl, and never one to shy away from movies made for kids, I decided it would be a great way to relax and spend a couple of hours. Then I realized it was a Stephen Spielberg movie and I knew I had made a great choice!

Sophie (Ruby Barnhill) lives in an orphanage and suffers from insomnia, so she reads in bed. She also wanders around during “the witching hour” of 3 a.m. and one quiet night she looks out the window and sees a giant. The Giant (Mark Rylance) scoops her up and takes her to Giant Country. When she finally calms down enough to question him about it, he replies “Because I hears your lonely heart, in all the secret whisperings of the world.”

The BFG. A Propensity to Discuss movie review.

Eventually, Sophie comes to refer to the Giant as The BFG, or Big Friendly Giant, as he protects her from the other mean, children eating giants that live around him. The BFG is also picked on and bullied by the others. Sophie realizes that something must be done to stop them, so she comes up with a plan to enlist the Queen (Penelope Wilson) to rid the world of the bad giants, but not to harm The BFG.

This movie had me literally laughing out loud, sighing, a little anxious, and at times a little tearful. A children’s movie! CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) was used to make the Giant and add a little bit of a cartoonish air, but leave in everything about the characters to make them real. It is truly a magical experience of the best kind.

The BFG. A Propensity to Discuss movie review.

Add to that the wonderful words of The BFG, like phizz-whizzing, snozzcumbers and one of my favorites: “I cannot be right all the time. Quite often I is left instead of right.” Not to mention, Sophie’s no-nonsense way of trying to logically work everything through and you get a very unlikely pair working together in a heartwarming way to solve a problem. 

So whether you are 5, 30, or 60, or any age in-between, you really need to see this movie! It is wonderful, and I promise you will like it.

A couple of interesting tidbits:

The Giant played is by Mark Rylance who also plays Mr. Dawson in Dunkirk. And, the Queen is played by Penelope Wilton who was Downton Abby’s Isobel Crawley.

5 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:  https://propensitytodiscuss.wordpress.com/book-reviews-list/

This post may contain 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!

The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer

A while back I purchased The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer, but it sat on a shelf unread. I’m not really sure why, as I read and really liked The Host and to be honest, I loved the Twilight series.

This book, however, is a far cry from Twilight! Where that series has been raked over the coals by many reviewers, critics, feminists and the like for having a weak female character, The Chemist is 180 degrees in the opposite direction!

The Chemist. A Propensity to Discuss review.

Alex/Julianna is quite formidable. Having worked for a government agency of operations so dark, the organization didn’t even have a name, her work was to stop terror attacks from reaching American soil. But when someone in that agency turned the tables, Alex became the hunted.

After being on the run for 3 years, her former handler has found her, assured her she is safe and is asking her to come back and stop what could be the worst terror attack the world has ever seen. Her conscience won’t let her walk away, so she walks back into a world of people who want her dead. But this time she has more to protect than ever before.

All in all, I really liked this book. The characters were believable, likable and realistic, with pretty much non-stop action. This is not a love story with action thrown in, this is an action-thriller with a love interest that does not take over the story, it just enhances it. So if you like thrillers, read this one. If you are hoping for a Twilight type of love story, you’re not getting it here. The Chemist is much more realistic and a story for those who like mysteries, thrillers, and espionage.

The audio version of The Chemist is read by Ellen Archer.

 

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!