Cheri Reviews The Vegetarian by Han Kang (Goodreads Review)


I just… I have no idea what to say about this book. Everyone and everything is just so… I want to say messed up but that doesn’t come close to enough. There were so many different things going on with the interconnected characters that I wasn’t sure who was more screwed up or mentally ill or abusive or misogynistic.

I have to say that I did enjoy (although I’m not sure that’s the right word for it) how the sisters’ characters were unfolded. I honestly never had any idea where this book was going from one chapter to the next. There haven’t been many books that have made me have visceral reactions the way parts of this book did. So there’s that. Noticing the various cultural differences was interesting too. It’s definitely not a book that can be understood as much while applying American mores.

Would I recommend it? Not a blanket recommendation, that’s for sure. But if you like reading very dark books about dysfunctional families and mental illness, it could be right up your alley. I’m not sorry that I read it but it was a difficult read nearly all the way through.

Cheri Reviews The 7th Canon by Robert Dugoni

When I saw a new stand-alone novel by Robert Dugoni on NetGalley.com, I couldn’t help but click “request.” I had already finished the first 3.5 (three novels and a short story) in his Tracy Crosswhite series and enjoyed most of them quite a bit. You can check out my review for the first in the series here.

The thing that I’ve discovered about Dugoni is that he can be very hit or miss with the execution of his stories. Sometimes they can be fast paced and intense and other times slow or have convoluted plots where detectives are able to deduce solutions out of what feels like nowhere. I’ve learned to be cautious with my expectations when it comes to this author. His newest release, The 7th Canon, was on the fast paced and intense side and it may be my favorite of the Dugoni books that I’ve read.

Here’s the blurb from Amazon if you care to read it:

In San Francisco’s seamy Tenderloin district, a teenage street hustler has been murdered in a shelter for boys. And the dedicated priest who runs the struggling home stands accused. But despite damning evidence that he’s a killer—and worse—Father Thomas Martin stands by his innocence. And attorney Peter Donley stands with him.

For three years Donley has cut his legal teeth in his uncle’s tiny, no-frills firm, where people come before profits. Just as Donley is poised to move on to a lucrative dream job, the shocking case lands in his lap, and he must put his future on hold while putting his courtroom skills to the test. But a ruthless DA seeking headlines and a brutal homicide cop bent on vengeance have their own agendas. Now, as he unearths the dirty secrets surrounding the case, Donley must risk his neck to save his client’s life…and expose the face of true evil.

I found myself liking Peter Donely quite a bit. He’s not the idealistic, young attorney out to save the world but a father and husband trying to figure out how to make a better life for his wife and toddler son. Once I got past the first few chapters, I struggled to put the book down because the story kept unfolding and I was completely caught up in not only the case, but learning about the lives of Donely and the private detective, Frank Ross, both of whom have dark days in their pasts that won’t let them move on.

At the end of the book, I was satisfied with the outcome of the case and where the characters ended this leg of their journey. If this ends up being a series, I would happily pick up book two. There is an audio version of this one but I’ve not heard any of it so I can’t speak to the narrator. I read this one with a combination of my eyeballs and a text-to-speech app.

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

You can download a sample or purchase The 7th Canon by clicking here.

Nikki reviews Your Little Red Book by EJ Runyon


From the blurb: Alexis, a broke young artist with problems reading and writing, keeps her little red book close at all times. It holds her life. She wants to be sure she’s gotten it all down as it comes. She narrates to herself in illegible script, unaware of her unique style of recording her own world. Here we have one half of a She said/She said scenario. Maureen, a successful owner of a small chain of Art Supply stores, catches Alexis in her store with a pocket full of stolen tubes of paint. And she’s smitten from first glance. Knowing all too well the pitfalls ahead, Mo wants only to help. Only for a while. Only in any way she can. No one told her she’d have to fight nearly every step of the way. And therein lays the other half of said scenario.

Lexy meets Maureen by attempting to steal art supplies from her shop, which begins a bit of a tumultuous romance between the two that neither expected. Their alliance is somewhat unbalanced, with Lexy wanting to be worthy of attention and happiness, but not quite sure how to get there herself.

Lexy keeps a little red book and always scribbles in it, always in indecipherable code which is never explained. Is she illiterate? Severely dyslexic? I have no idea. Her second person pov is indescribably done in future tense, which feels almost as though the red book is telling her how to interact to scenarios, how other people will respond. Instead of what IS happening it’s all stated as what WILL happen. I assumed at some point this would have some fascinating twist explaining WHY this choice was made but that never happened. Is she hearing voices? Does she think the book is talking to her? Are there little green men? That would have all been viable options, but it was just left as it was without any justification for the pov choice. Maureen’s chapters are done in first person, and often rehashes what we’ve already experienced in Lexy’s pov, or vice versa. Additionally, Maureen has a difficult relationship with her daughter, and you never really can tell if her relationship with Lexy is to compensate for this loss or a truly genuine love.

By the end, I didn’t really find the characters particularly likable and couldn’t see what Maureen and Lexy saw in each other. A lot of the story was somewhat difficult to discern, and many passages I needed to re-read several times before moving on (and often still didn’t get it but I just kept going anyway). There seemed to be a lot that the author counted on the reader figuring out themselves, obscure connections that I just couldn’t follow. This and Lexy’s unconventional pov was just all too much to wade through for me.

You can download a sample or purchase Your Little Red Book by clicking here.

Cheri Reviews All the Little Moments by G. Benson

After reading some pretty heavy stuff, I decided to go for what I thought would be a quick, light romance. I grabbed All the Little Moments, got the text-to-speech running on the old Kindle app, and got down to business. You can check out the video review below for a more comprehensive review but I think I’ve found a new author to add to my go-to list. I guess she better get busy with some new books…

You can download a sample or purchase a copy of All the Little Moments by clicking here.

Cheri Reviews The Murderer’s Daughter by Jonathan Kellerman

A quick review of the upcoming psychological thriller from Jonathan Kellerman, The Murderer’s Daughter, which is slated to be published on August 18th.

Bottom line: I liked it. Interesting story, interesting characters, flashbacks were many but mostly well done. Creepy and enjoyable.


You can pre-order (or after 8/18/15 you can purchase or download a sample of) The Murderer’s Daughter by clicking here.

Cheri Reviews Bodies of Water by T. Greenwood


I don’t often take recommendations from people when it comes to reading material. There are, however, a small group of friends who know what I like well enough to make me take notice when they offer up a title. I just finished up one such recommendation a few minutes ago. For the life of me, I cannot remember who it was who told me to put it on my list. If I could recall who it was, I’d thank them for telling me to give it a shot. So if you’re reading this and recommended T. Greenwood’s Bodies of Water to me, thanks!

Bodies of Water shuttles the reader between the very early 1960s and the current time. Our narrator is Billie Valentine, housewife and mother who falls for another woman. This isn’t one of those tawdry lesbian romance novels about afternoon trysts between bored housewives. This is, instead, the somewhat tragic story of love found and lost and going on with life, even when it’s painful and seems impossible.

I was fully engaged in the story – both time periods of Billie’s life – and I genuinely cared about the characters. Well, most of them. The women were a bit more fleshed out than some of the male characters, one of whom did feel like a caricature of an abusive husband. It certainly made it easier to hate him but I would have liked a bit more about why he was such a controlling, violent dickhead.

I’d recommend this one to anyone, lesbian, bisexual, or straight, who isn’t bothered by bouncing back and forth between time periods. There are sex scenes but they’re not overly graphic and feel appropriate for the story being told. There’s a bit of a mystery or twist or something that’s supposed to sort of shock us at the end but I found it very easy to figure out. I was disappointed with just how easy it was to see what was coming but the rest of the story was still good enough for me to come away with a good feeling about the book.

I can also recommend the Audible version. The narrator does a fantastic job.

This book, and the Audible companion, are available through the Kindle Unlimited program. You can also purchase, download a sample of the ebook, or listen to a few minutes of the audio book by clicking here.

Thanks, again, to whomever told me to read Bodies of Water. I appreciate the recommendation!