Book Review: Liar by Winifred Morris

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Liar by Winifred Morris

A YA Novel published by Eastside Gal Publishing (05/02/17)

Summary:

Alex was dropped off with his grandparents in a small Oregon town. It would have been a fresh start if everybody didn’t already know him and what he’s capable of. This is his last chance and he doesn’t want to blow it, but life is never that easy.

Keywords:

Bullies, Family Issues, Abandonment, Probation, New School, Small Town, Grandparents, Oregon, Trouble, Lies, Rage, Fire, Coming of Age, Fear, Capture, Struggle

My Review:

Alex’s story is sometimes hard to read because we see his internal struggle to rise above his situation and his thought processes. He’s a good kid and he’s trying to act within the boundaries he’s given. It’s sad to see his environment press in on him and push him into a corner. Alex reacts both realistically and like many would in his situations. He doesn’t want to be a bad kid. He doesn’t want to start fires and fights. I wanted to see Alex succeed and it was so heartbreaking every time there was a setback in his life or another bully to push him down. Life is never easy, but Alex remained hopeful and resilient, at least some of the time.

I thoroughly enjoyed this realistic coming of age story. It was amazingly well written and engaging and full of good messages that weren’t too obvious. Teens and adults alike can learn from this story and enjoy it as well.

I received an ARC from the author.

This novel was published by Eastside Gal Publishing on May 2nd, 2017 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.75

 

Links for more information:

Winifred Morris’s website

Goodreads

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Book Review: The Sometimes Burglar by Winifred Morris

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The Sometimes Burglarby Winifred Morris

A Romantic Comedy Novella published by Eastside Gal Publishing (12/27/16)

 

Summary:

“Most people would never guess I’m sometimes an ethical burglar.” (Kindle Location 211).

Emma’s a research psychologist who burgles to pay back her student debt, but sometimes she mails back the sentimental items. She’s sometimes an ethical burglar. She never bungles a burglary, but she has a hard time dating because she’s the nerdy, smart woman. The one time she keeps evidence from a job, she gets caught up in something far worse than petty theft, but at least she’ll get to talk with a handsome lawyer!

Keywords:

Burglary, Evidence, Incriminating Evidence, Student, Psychology, Humorous, Romance, Lawyer, Laptop, Technology, Dirty Politician

My Review:

With wit and humor, Winnifred Morris has written another entertaining story. Her main character is an oxymoron: an ethical burglar. Emma is so much more than these two characteristics. She’s a bit dissociative from everyday emotions, making her a fascinating character. Emma wants to understand humanity in order to fix social problems. As a reader I want to understand Emma.

When her gay friend Merlin leaves Emma alone with a new problem to solve, she’ll thrust herself headlong into the challenge because it doesn’t occur to her that she could get in over her head. Cue sexy lawyer and Emma will get so far involved that she won’t be able to back out. I loved how it never even occurred to her that she needed help. She involved the lawyer because she could, not because she needed to.

Though this story is under 40k words, it still felt like a full novel with fleshed out characters and plot, intrigue and complexity.

I received an ARC of this story.

This novel was published by Eastside Gal Publishing on December 27th, 2016 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.75

 

Links for more information:

Winifred Morris’s website

Goodreads

Book Review: Living in Suspension by Winifred Morris

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 Living in Suspension by Winifred Morris

A YA novel published by Eastside Gal (11/17/15)

Summary:

“All of a sudden I can see why the trees bend upward. They’re just trying to keep their balance while the earth keeps moving out from under them.” (Kindle Locations 712-713).

Not every kid with problems can be diagnosed. Not every kid can be neatly labeled. Sky doesn’t even know why he is the way he is. The only thing he knows for certain is that he likes words. He likes the story that he’s writing. He likes his creative writing class. But there must be something wrong with him. Everyone tells him he should be doing better. That he could do better. Sky knows he is doing his best so there must be something wrong with him.

 

Keywords:

School, Skipping, Home, Suspension, Dropout, High School, Drugs, Problems, Words, Writing, Fantasy, Stories, Distraction, Losers, Friendship, Family, Struggles, Unknown Future

My Review:

Morris paints a bleak view of school and the system in regards to Sky. If this is what school is like for some kids, I weep for the future and that 30% that drop out. Sky is the kid everybody knows. He is the kid that falls through the cracks. He isn’t at the bottom and he is certainly not at the top. What is wrong with him? His parents can’t figure that out. His teachers can’t figure it out. The principal doesn’t want to bother figuring it out. The other kids don’t care. Even Sky doesn’t know what’s wrong with himself. He doesn’t want to be a loser. He wants to have a future. Morris paints this beautiful mosaic of something hazy that you can’t quite put your finger on that keeps Sky from succeeding in the conventional school system. Even I can’t quite figure out what is wrong with Sky because he is more complicated than a simple label of “ADD” or “lack of motivation” or “delinquent.”

Sky just doesn’t like school and Morris shows me why. For kids who always loved learning, seeing school through Sky’s eyes shows a very different world. Sky isn’t lacking in parental support. He goes to a good school. Sometimes, that just isn’t enough.

The writing style was so captivating. Sky’s voice came through loud and clear. His perspective was fascinating and there was a good balance between how he saw the world and his thoughts about what he was experiencing.

This novel was published by Eastside Gal November 17th, 2015 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating:4.50

Links for more information:

Goodreads

Winifred Morris’s Website

Book Review: Bombed by Winifred Morris

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Bombed by Winifred Morris

A Drama/Thriller Novel published by Eastside Gal Publishing (04/17/15)

 

Summary:

“She’d just slowly come to accept the loneliness secrets bring and thought she was tough enough to handle it. (Kindle locations 4061-4065).

When you think you’re tough enough or strong enough, you’re just setting yourself up for a fall. Annie bit off a bit more than she could chew in Bombed. She may tell herself she can do it, but unconsciously she knows it is too much for her. Circumstances create challenges to make everything even more difficult for her and she is forced to rely on Wes, even though she swore off men to protect herself. She knows that things don’t add up in her life, but if there aren’t any more people in her life than her uncle and band members, she thinks she can fool everyone. Even Buzzard and Fleep begin to question where the money comes from. Even under such duress and with so many questioning her source of money, Annie is bold and quick-witted. She doesn’t fall apart or go crazy when her uncle is kidnapped. She remains level-headed and sticks to her guns. She is a fun character.

 

Keywords:

 Music, Intrigue, Money, Drugs, Smuggling, Drug Dealers, Small Town, Tough Gal, Romance, Drama, Attacks, FBI, Investigation

 

My Review:

All the characters in Bombed are well written and vibrant and will suck you into their stories. I loved the interesting character names and how consistent the characters were to their upbringing and environmental influences. Each of the characters’ stories was fascinating and the author layered the stories within and throughout the other stories, making the novel complex and rich.

The main story itself was farfetched and amazingly executed, like any good action thriller where the audience must suspend disbelief at times. The story is comical and zany and such a fun read.

To note: This novel contained many specific musical references, which added to the consistency of the characters and their backgrounds and added an element of sophistication to the details of the novel, but most of the references will go over a reader’s head, unless they are a big music fan.

Disclaimer: I was given a free copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review.

This novel was published by Eastside Gal Publishing on April 17th, 2015 and is available on Amazon here.

 

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.75

 

Links for more information:

Winifred Morris’s website

Goodreads

Book Review: Of Mice and Money by Winifred Morris

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Of Mice and Money by Winifred Morris

A Chick Lit Novel published through Amazon Digital Services (06/06/2014)

 

Summary:

“Because sometimes when somebody most needs to be rescued, they just don’t see it that way.” (Location 3607).

Of Mice and Money is the story of Kiva, daughter of hippy parents, mother to a daughter who ran away when she was 16. Kiva had her share of issues growing up, but the problems she faces now are much, much worse. Her husband is a high end drug-smuggler and she attempts to get away from him by moving to a small town. She buys a decrepit mouse-ridden house in the country, but her problems follow her there and blossom into something even Kiva couldn’t imagine.

Keywords:

 Hippes, Drug smuggling, safe house, small town, fixer-upper, mother daughter relationships

 

My Review:

Kiva just doesn’t seem to have a head for consequences. She goes along with what’s happening, even though she does try to get away from it all. Everything just seems to fall into her lap, creating problem after problem for her and though she grew up on rocky ground, she still doesn’t always make the right decisions. Kiva is likeable, but a little bland as a person. Her situations range from downright scary to somewhat mild, and yet her reaction is always the same. Maybe she has seen so much in her life that she is nonplussed when confronted by drug smuggling, snooping neighbors, a daughter she hasn’t seen in four years showing up on her door, etc.

Kiva, and her story, are told in a fun light manner that is easy to read. I really enjoyed the perspective on the relationships presented. From Kiva and her parents to Kiva and her daughter to Kiva and the men in her life, it was quite entertaining. It is great to see a less than perfect main character who’s flaws are real and grand and obtrusive into her life, but giving her much room to grow and learn.

My only question is what happened to Po the Thai woman?

 

This novel was published through Amazon Digital Services 06/06/2014 and is available on Amazon here.

 

TLDR Star Rating: 4.25

 

Links for more information:

Goodreads

Website