Book Review: Mr. Kiss and Tell

Mr. Kiss and Tell
Veronica Mars #2
by Rob Thomas & Jennifer Graham

My rating: 4 / 5
Genre: Mystery

When a woman who was attacked at the ritzy Neptune Grand blames an employee of the hotel, Veronica is hired to prove that she is lying. Veronica, of course, prefers to take the case further and find out who really was behind the attack, if the woman was indeed lying. However, as she starts to peel back the layers to this case, she’s reminded that things aren’t always what they seem and that justice often takes a back seat to apathy.

I liked this book a little more than the previous, for various reasons. The main one is the inclusion of the side plot involving Weevil’s arrest from the end of the Veronica Mars movie. But I also feel like the main mystery plot held my attention a bit more. Maybe the set-up resembles mysteries Veronica has gone after before, which can make it feel a little overdone at first, but it didn’t bother me as much as it might others. It was interesting to see Veronica questioning certain choices when she looks around and sees what might have been–both in her personal life and in her career. The story spans several months, just like the over-arcing mysteries do in the show, but instead of being able to see the day-to-day cases she works on (because it’d be too much for one book), we just see gaps in time. What bothered me, though, is that Veronica let her obsession on this case, even after it was officially closed with the client, leads Veronica to ignore everything else, which isn’t really like her. Plus, her response to being caught in a few different compromising situations in her investigating also seems a bit off from what we know of her.

Regarding the Weevil plot, I loved it. Keith and Cliff working together to try to bring down Sheriff Dan Lamb felt like all the old show magic coming back. And even more so, in the end, there’s no easy victory, no sugary outcome, not even always a “good guy” or “bad guy” left standing in the end. I even liked the fact that Sheriff Don Lamb, for all his corrupt and just plain mean ways, was remembered for that one decent thing he did.

While the audiobook for the previous book in the series was narrated by Kristen Bell, that was not the case with this book, so I read it myself. I still liked it a lot, and because I’ve seen the show so much, had no trouble imagining the characters as they were portrayed in the show. Whether or not this book would hold up for people who’ve never seen the show, I can’t say for sure, though I’d guess probably not. I’m not sure it’s meant to, either. For fans of the show, though, I definitely recommend this book and the one preceding it.

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If you’ve read this book, or read it in the future, feel free to let me know what you think!

Book Review: Crocodile Meatloaf

Crocodile Meatloaf
Alex series books #12
by Nancy Simpson Levene

My rating: 4 / 5
Genre: Children, Christian

Alex meets the new girl in class, Rachel, who is deaf, and feels protective of her when the obnoxious boys torment her. Alex learns that God has a plan for her life and wonders if that plan could start now, even though she’s a kid, and if it might just be related to Rachel.

Though Alex is a little older now than in the books I remember from my childhood, she’s still learning about all that God has to offer, even to a kid. What I miss, though, from her younger days are the situations she’d get herself into as she tried to correct some kind of mistake she made. This book is more about external problems than internal ones, which doesn’t make it bad. Just different. I still like the way Alex tries her best to help or to fix things (whether her own mistakes or someone else’s). I’m not sure how realistic the turn-around is near the end, but overall, it’s a good book with solid lessons. If you have an opportunity to pick up any of the Alex series books, I recommend them. They’re short, quick reads that children will be able to connect to.

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If you’ve read any of this series, or read any in the future, feel free to let me know what you think!

April in Review

I read 10 books last month, about an average month for me, though probably a little lower than average in page count, due to a few very short books in there. I stopped listening to audiobooks as regularly part way through the month, mostly because I couldn’t decide on the next book to listen to, so I may have to push past that problem this month.

Here are the books I read in April:

The Deadly Curse of Toco-Rey by Frank E. Peretti (4 / 5)
An Elegant Façade by Kristi Ann Hunter (3 / 5)
Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan (5 / 5)
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead (5 / 5)
The Purple Nightgown by A.D. Lawrence (4 / 5)
Mr. Monk Goes to the Firehouse by Lee Goldberg (4 / 5)
The Spice King by Elizabeth Camden (4.5 / 5)
A Woman of Words by Angela Hunt (3.5 / 5)
The Silver Shadow by Liz Tolsma (2 / 5)
Crocodile Meatloaf by Nancy S. Levene (review pending)

This list includes 3 ARCs and 1 re-read. My favorite book from April was The Spice King. I finished 1 series*, continued 2 series, and started 3 series. My ever-changing short list of to-be-reads, as well as a flag for the book I’m currently reading and an ongoing list of those I’ve read and posted about can be found here.

*This includes 1 series that I did not reach the end of but decided not to continue reading, after being 2 books into the series.

I’m also keeping my Goodreads page updated with a more extensive list of to-be-reads. Despite my almost too-long TBR list, I’m always looking for more to add. Feel free to offer suggestions of your favorites or just recent reads you enjoyed.