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Book Review: Dexter is Dead by Jeff Lindsay

Jeff Lindsay promised us a definitive end to the Dexter chronicles, and he did deliver.

Dexter is currently in prison after being falsely accused of murder. Say that again?? Yes, he’s finally in prison for murder, but murders that he didn’t commit, including the death of the dearly tolerated departed Rita. 

Dexter is alone in prison, awaiting his day in court. His friends at the police force have turned their backs on him, including, Deborah. Now that Dexter is of no use to Deborah, she sees no reason for him to not serve time for the crimes that he committed, though not the crimes that he is charged for. 

However, Brian - my favorite character - comes to the rescue. Is this to show brotherly love? Or, does Dexter serve more of a purpose to him outside of jail? 

SPOILER ALERT

 

 

I really enjoyed the lead up to the end of this series. I loved that Dexter and Brian finally got to spend some quality time together. The ending was incredibly depressing to me. Not because Dexter died, that was one of two options we were given from the beginning, its the way in which he died. I expected more. I expected him to die in a bigger way. And maybe thats the point, life is fragile … yadda yadda. 

Still a better ending than the Showtime version…. (burn). 

Dexter is Dead is ON SALE NOW! 

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Book Review Quickie: Dexter's Final Cut

The final Dexter book, Dexter is Dead is set to release on July 7, 2015. I recently reviewed book 6 of the Dexter series. Today, to continue the Dexter countdown, I have reviewed book 7, Dexter's Final Cut.

Dexter and Deborah haven’t been given much of a choice. When Captain Matthews gives an order, they must comply. The current order is a curious one… they have to babysit two actors.

A new cop drama is filming in Miami, Jackie Forrest will play a strong, female detective and Robert Chase will play the forensics nerd. Dexter hates Robert Chase, he hates every moment with him. He would much rather be with Jackie Forrest, does our little Dexter have a crush??

Dexter gets his wish and is assigned, by Deborah, as a off-the-books-bodyguard for Jackie Forrest. Turns out Dexter likes the life of a Hollywood star. 


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Blog Tour and eBook Giveaway: If Jack Had by Steven Rappaport

Hi all! The fine folks at Black Rose Writing are offering an eBook giveaway of the new book If Jack Had. First comment wins the book, contest ends on Friday June 26 at 11:59pm. 

 "What's the difference between a serial killer and an assassin? A pay check."

Jack is a Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist with a secret second job. Since he was a smart-ass grad student slinking around New York’s Upper West Side and Brighton Beach, he’s been working as an assassin for the Russian mob.

Beginning at the end – that is, with an aged, incontinent, and at last truly alone Jack, his mind made up that tomorrow will be the first day he kills someone he loves: himself – If Jack Had [Black Rose Writing, June 4 2015] tells his story in rearview, providing an all-access-pass into the enviable, high-flying life he clear-cut for himself against all odds…and the (literal) trail of dead he left along the way.

The debut novel from sixty-eight-year-old Manhattan author Steve Rappaport, If Jack Had is, much like its protagonist, more than meets the eye. A caper comedy featuring sex and drugs, blasphemy and blood, far-flung exotic locales and all the other stuff that makes for good, not-so-clean fun, If Jack Had also happens to have a big, beating heart. Beneath the surface, it’s a meditation on family, fatherhood, the indignities of aging, the inevitability of loneliness, and the preciousness of life itself.

About the Author:

Steven Rappaport, age 68, has been a stock trader, pot dealer, itinerant hippie peddler, cab driver, retailer, and is currently a successful commercial real estate salesperson in Manhattan. He offers a simple rationale for his first novel: “My eldest son, Jack, died at forty from a progressively debilitating, unknown neurological disorder. This brilliant boy, a Vassar grad, never got to live the life he deserved. I’ve infused him with one.”

If Jack Had [Black Rose Writing] is available as of June 4, 2015.

Find If Jack Had on Goodreads and at http://ifjackhad.com


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Book Review: Double Dexter by Jeff Lindsay

The final Dexter book, Dexter is Dead is set to release on July 7, 2015. I recently reviewed book 5 of the Dexter series. Today, to continue the Dexter countdown, I have reviewed book 6, Double Dexter.

Double Dexter picks up about a year after Dexter is Delicious. Deborah has had her baby – it actually took Lindsay a while to inform the reader of that, I figured he decided to just write it away. Lily Anne is just over a year old. Brother Brian is back after finally proving to Dexter that his intents are pure (I love Brian). And finally, the Dark Passenger is back in control.

Dexter sets up shop in a foreclosed house in Miami for the removal of a pedophilic clown from the streets of Miami. Unfortunately for Dexter, he wasn’t the only person deciding to trespass that night. In middle of clean-up, Dexter hears an unfriendly-voyeur run to his car and take off. The only thing that Dexter knows about this person is the type of car that he drives. Dexter is a bit put-off by this. He starts a crusade to find this observer but didn’t expect the person to find him first. 


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Book Review: Dexter is Delicious by Jeff Lindsay

Here at iamjanesheart, we’re counting down to the release of the final Dexter book by catching up on the past novels. I had read up to book 4, then saw something shiny, as is my wont. Dexter is Dead is set to release on July 7, 2015. 

In Dexter is Delicious, we find Dexter dreamy-eyed, staring into the newborn nursery. His daughter, Lily Anne (who my mind insists on being called Lily Allen) has just been born and Dexter is as close to feeling emotion as a Dexter can get. He vows then and there, to give up his Dark Passenger and live a good life for Lily Anne. However, his reverie is broken by a desperate call from his sister, Deborah, who needs help with a case. 

Dexter reluctantly joins his sister at a crime scene for a kidnapped girl, however, when he sees the scene he realizes that if this is the girl’s blood, the girl is dead. Dexter is now torn between a desperate desire to be with Lily Anne and Deborah’s pleas for help to find this missing girl. And with all things in Miami, this road only leads to cannibals. 


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FREE STUFFS: Re Jane by Patricia Park

The fine folks at Viking Books have offered to host a giveaway on iamjanesheart! 

How to win: 

The first comment that tells me about their favorite classical retelling will win. Viking can only ship to the US only. 

Here is the info on the book: 

RE JANE is a fresh, contemporary retelling of Jane Eyre and a poignant Korean-American debut novel that takes its heroine Jane Re on a journey from Queens to Brooklyn to Seoul—and back.

For Jane, a half-Korean, half-American orphan, Flushing, Queens, is the place she’s been trying to escape from her whole life. Sardonic yet vulnerable, she toils, unappreciated, in her strict uncle’s grocery store and politely observes the traditional principle of nunchi (a combination of good manners, hierarchy, and obligation). Desperate for a new life, she’s thrilled to become the au pair for the Mazer-Farleys, two Brooklyn English professors and their adopted Chinese daughter. Inducted into the world of organic food co-ops, and nineteenth-century novels, Jane is the recipient of Beth Mazer’s feminist lectures and Ed Farley’s very male attention. But when a family death interrupts Jane and Ed’s blossoming affair, she flies off to Seoul, leaving New York far behind.

Reconnecting with family, and struggling to learn the ways of modern-day Korea, Jane begins to wonder if Ed Farley is really the man for her. Jane returns to Queens, where she must find a balance between two cultures and accept who she really is.

Perfect for readers of Ruth Ozeki, Chang-rae Lee, Allegra Goodman, and—of course—Charlotte Brontë, RE JANE is a bright, comic story of falling in love, finding strength, and living not just out of obligation to others, but for one’s self.

 

ADVANCE PRAISE FOR RE JANE:

“Park’s debut is a cheeky, clever homage to Jane Eyre, interwoven with touching meditations on Korean-American identity…. Park’s clever one-liners make the story memorable, and her riffs on cultural identity will resonate with any reader who’s felt out of place.”

Publishers Weekly

“A sweet and savvy bildungsroman…. Park is a fine writer with an eye for the effects of class and ethnic identity, a sense of humor, and a compassionate view of human weakness who nevertheless doesn't make the rookie error of letting her characters off easy. An enjoyable book offering a portrait of a young woman struggling to come into her own in the increasingly complicated opening years of a new century.”

Kirkus Reviews

Re Jane swerves away from the original in really interesting ways, becoming an examination of family, prejudice, immigrant culture, youth, and individualism. This is both a must-read for Jane Eyre-ites and a wholly new, original thing that stands firmly on its own story-telling legs.”

Book Riot

Re Jane is a rich and engaging novel.  Besides being a love story, it is infused with contemporary subject matter, such as longing versus belonging, the immigrant experience.  Patricia Park writes with earnestness, honesty, and exuberance, which make the novel thoroughly enjoyable.”

Ha Jin, National Book Award-winning author of War Trash and Waiting

"The Korean Americans of Queens find a daring new voice in Patricia Park’s debut novel, as she takes a story we know and makes it into a story we’ve not seen before—a novel for the country we are still becoming.”

Alexander Chee, author of The Queen of the Night 

 “Some nerve, to take Jane Eyre, reconfigure it, make the heroine an orphaned half-white Korean girl, all the while mixing new-fangled Jello shots, hipsterisms, and spicy fish stew with old-fashioned romance. Some nerve to bring it off with such energy, color, and emotional insight! Reader, you'll love it.”

Daniel Menaker, author of My Mistake

 “Patricia Park's Re Jane is packed with authenticity, poignancy and humor. I was enchanted by this modern retelling of Jane Eyre as the tough yet vulnerable narrator captured my heart.”

Jean Kwok, bestselling author of Girl In Translation and Mambo in Chinatown

 “Even with its appealing echoes of Jane Eyre, Patricia Park’s first novel is a true original—a smart, fresh, story of cultural complications that hasn’t yet been told in quite this way. The funny and shrewdly observant narrator won me over on the very first page.”

—Stephen McCauley, author of The Object of My Affection

“This is a richly imagined and engrossing novel, and also an important work that marks what it means to be American now.  Park’s writing is remarkable for its tenderness and honesty.”

—Sabina Murray, author of Tales from the New World and The Caprices

Book Review: The Wrong Man by Kate White

Kit met Matt at a resort in Florida. She was there on business but needed a fresh start after the end of a too long, too boring relationship. She ran into Matt several times on her last day of the trip, but it wasn’t until they ran into each other at a small island gift shop that she spoke to him and agreed to dinner. 

She met Matt for dinner, then later drinks in his room, then the next morning she was on her way back to New York. She went into the night, knowing it was just a bit of fun, she didn’t expect to like him as much as she did but she knew what the deal was. She received an unexpected call on the taxi ride to the airport, Matt wanted dinner with her on Thursday at his apartment in New York, she spent the rest of the ride smiling. 

Thursday night, Kit excitedly makes her way to Matt’s apartment. When the door is opened, its not Matt. She apologizes and says she was looking for Matt Healy, the man confirmed that he was Matt Healy. Kit had been duped in an incredibly embarrassing way. The real Matt Healy explained that the man she met had stolen his wallet, and he now realizes has been using his identity, he begs her to come to his firm’s security department to fill in the details of the man whom she had met in Florida, this is where her troubles begin. 

This has beach read written all over it. The plot is meh. The characters are meh. The dialogue is silly. But it keeps your attention, through the predictable ending. 

Book Review Quickie: Until You're Mine by Samantha Hayes

Until You’re Mine is a crime novel whose narrative voice alternates between three main characters: Claudia, Zoe, and Lorraine.

Claudia is a heavily pregnant, step-mother of two, in desperate need for a nanny. Her husband, is a Navy captain and he will be out at sea during her expected due date. To help bring her life back together, Claudia enlists the help of Zoe, but never actually trusts her. 

Zoe is a mystery, even to the reader, we can tell that her motives are unclear but to what extent. She left her partner, or friend, or just roommate and joins Claudia’s household. We know that she is lying to Claudia, but we don’t know how far the lies go. 

Lorraine is a detective who is currently working on a murder case with her husband. She’s juggling between a marriage that is crumbling, two teenage daughters, one of which wants to run away and get married at 16, and a gruesome homicide involving an expectant mother. 

This was an enjoyable read. I kept guessing the murderer, then immediately changing my mind. The absolute best part of the book is the epilogue which contains the interrogation of the murderer, so freaking eerily good. 

Worth a trip to the library, but I'd save my money. 


Book Review: When She Woke by Hillary Jordan

"When she woke…she was red." Come on, how can you not love that opening line? This novel takes place in a not-to-distant America, where peoples crimes are worn brightly on their skins. We follow the main character, Hannah, a heavy-handed mix between Hester Prynne (The Scarlet Letter) and Offred (The Handmaid’s Tale). Hannah wakes up in a prison, with her skin red - stop sign red - we find out shortly that she is being punished for having an abortion. Red is the color of murder. 

Hannah’s prison time is 30 days in solitary, followed by 16 years of public humiliation. Her sedate, uneventful life will never be the same. She is shunned by family members, her neighbors, her employer… 

Hannah was born in the America that we know now, but shortly after her birth the US (besides California and New York - of course) was taken hold by highly religious politicians, which the citizens voted for. There does seem to be religious freedom, some residents do still live their lives; however, the laws have changed to ultra-conservatism and though they may not believe in God, they are subject to these bible based punishments. 

We follow Hannah as she leaves prison and enters a community, or safe haven for “chromes” as they are called. She was given a place in this half-way house due to a kind word from her Pastor/Baby Daddy, Aiden Dale (see heavy-handed, right?). Hannah refused to label Aiden as the father of the child, and aborted the child without telling him to protect his reputation in society. You see, Aiden, is happily married and a powerful religious figure in the country. 

What follows in the story is exactly what I wanted to know about Offred’s journey at the end of The Handmaid’s Tale, a 20-year late conclusion (of course, this is not to disrespect Margaret Atwood’s work in any way, that woman is a goddamn legend). 

This was an amazing read. Just get past the cringe-worthy references to The Scarlet Letter and you’ll be good to go. 


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Book Review Quickie: The Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison

Jodi led the perfect life, or so she told herself. She met the perfect man, and stayed with him for 20 years. They were both completely smitten with each other, except that Todd had a wandering eye. 

Jodi, ever dutiful, ever content, allowed Todd to wander. She wasn’t threatened by these nameless women. Until one is a bit too pushy and Todd is a bit too unhappy, then poof, Jodi’s little life is broken. 

She was so deep into denial of her situation, that every step pushed her to the point that she snapped. 

This was touted as the next Gone Girl, I don’t think that the right reason to read this book. The characters are completely unlikeable and unrelatable. However, the story keeps you interested. I wasn’t surprised by the ending, the author foreshadows heavily at the beginning of the book, but it didn’t take away from the enjoyment of the read. 


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