Thursday, July 31, 2014

Candace Reviews Scene of the Climb by Kate Dyer-Seeley

Scene of the Climb by Kate Dyser-Seeley

Published by Kensington on June 3, 2014 

Genres: Adult, mystery

Pages: 304 

Format: Paperback 

Source: Bought

Meg Reed bluffs her way into writing for 'Northwest Extreme', passing herself off to editor-in-chief Greg Dixon as an outdoor adventure enthusiast. Never mind that Meg's idea of sport is climbing onto the couch without spilling her latte. So when she finds herself clawing to the top of Angel's Rest - a 2000-foot peak - to cover the latest challenge in a reality TV adventure show, she can't imagine feeling more terrified. Until she witnesses a body plummet off the side of the cliff. Now Meg has a murder to investigate ... and if the climbing doesn't kill her, a murderer just might.

This review was first posted on Candace's Book Blog.

Scene of the Climb is an adult murder mystery but fit’s the ‘New Adult’ category fine since the main character, Meg, is fresh out of college. She has a young voice and still lives the life of a young person. This book is also appropriate for mature YA readers as there’s no adult content.

Meg was a character that was immediately easy to like. At times she felt slightly naive, but I liked her go-get-it attitude where she pushed to get answers and didn’t just sit back. When she knew that someone was murdered she was determined to find out who did it, and she didn’t let anything stand in her way. Maybe not the smartest idea, at least much of the time, but I understood her desperate need for answers.

Meg has a nice group of friends and I liked what we got to know about them. I especially liked her friend Matt and hope that he’s even more present in future books. I loved her Grandmother who is intuitive (or psychic), and I’m anxious to see more of her.
This is near where Meg’s grandmother lives and along a path that Meg walks.
My favorite aspect of the book was actually the location. The book takes place locally and spotlights a variety of places I’ve been. I could follow Meg where she went because I was so familiar with the different locations. When she had an experience driving a particular rode I was right there with her as I’ve driven that road on a dark rainy night and it’s very skinny lanes and rather terrifying. The familiarity to everything enhanced the book for me and had me wanting to get out and visit some of the places I haven’t been to real recently.
View from Vista House, this is near where the murder took place in the book.

Multnomah Falls, one of the places featured in the book.
The mystery worked out well. I didn’t guess who the murderer was until shortly before Meg did (same scene) so that was definitely good. I enjoyed the clues that were dropped and was able to try to do my own detective work. Of course nothing added up because it’s just too much information, so you try to sift through what is important, etc. I had been craving a mystery and I got a good one! This maybe doesn’t quite fit under ‘cozy’ mystery because it’s not a small town but the author makes it feel so with repeat characters and places they visit. I definitely recommend it to fans of mysteries, it’s one you don’t want to miss!

About the Reviewer:

Candace is a wife and mother to two. She’s blogged at Candace’s Book Blog since November 2008. She enjoys a variety of genres including anything and everything young adult, some adult urban fantasy, a little bit of adult paranormal romance, some historical fiction and reads lots of childrens books. You can find her on her blog at, twitter @candacemom2two and on goodreads.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Candace Reviews The Bridge From Me to You by Lisa Schroeder

The Bridge From Me to You by Lisa Schroeder
on July 29, 2014 
Pages: 336 
Format: ARC 

Lauren has a secret. Colby has a problem. But when they find each other, everything falls into place.

Lauren is the new girl in town with a dark secret. Colby is the football hero with a dream of something more. In alternating chapters, they come together, fall apart, and build something stronger than either of them thought possible--something to truly believe in.

This review was also posted at Candace's Book Blog.
The Bridge from Me to You is a quiet and beautiful story. It was a fast read that was told in half-verse (maybe a bit less than half) and had me enraptured immediately.

Characters~ Lauren is a wonderful character with this beautiful gentleness to her. She has a quiet but strong personality. Because we get alternating perspectives I felt like we get to know her even better. We see her in her head, but we also see her from Colby’s POV which gives us a different view. We see her strengths- believing and caring in people, in the way she interacts with her family and steps in when it comes to helping someone who she doesn’t know who’s been injured severely. She has had to deal with a lot with her mother and some stuff that happened in the past. When she connects with others she gives her all. Lauren’s POV is told in verse except for the few chapters where she’s talking to the counselor. You would think that in such few words we would feel like we didn’t know Lauren at all, but that’s not the case. We get the dept of her emotions and the things going through her head and there’s not all these fillers of her doing this and that, etc. It’s the meat of the story and it works perfectly.

Colby is the town football hero. Everyone knows him and he has a lot of pressure from his dad and the town to do good in football and to get a scholarship. But Colby wants more than football, he has other interests. He’s struggling to find a way to tell his dad and just let everyone know because he doesn’t want to disappoint them. Colby’s POV is not in verse and it works well, fleshing out his sweet and kind personality and showing us more of the interactions between him and Lauren. I felt like with this technique we really get the best of both worlds. We still get the emotion, but we get more of a few of the things happening in less sparse of text. Colby is struggling not only with his want of not wanting to play football, but with the accident his best friend was in and is recovering from. His ability to balance so much and efforts to make everyone happy were astounding, but it was sad to see how much pain he was going through.

Romance~ Initially it seemed that it would be a fast romance but the way it went, that wasn’t really the case. They have a strong immediate attraction but because of some certain predicaments they decide to be friends first. They struggle to keep the line there and not cross into more-than-friends territory, but the attraction between them was strong. I enjoyed watching it play out and kept my fingers crossed that they would both find their way.

Plot~ The book felt clear that it was sort of a love letter to Friday Night Lights. I don’t know if it’s because I know the author adores the show, or if it was that obvious. But it worked. It’s a small town that really loves football. I’m not a sports person, but it didn’t matter for this book. There wasn’t any deep discussions about football or even very many football scenes. We know it’s important and we see that, but there’s nothing lengthy or boring concerning that aspect.

The relationship between Colby and Lauren is a big part of the story, but we also see Lauren’s struggle concerning her family and Colby’s with his family and his situation of wanting to do something other than football. The book felt the perfect mix of issues and never came heavy, at the same time it wasn’t a happy-go-lucky book either. Lisa Schroeder always weaves a lot of strong emotions into her books and it’s very present in this one as well. There were times I teared up (though didn’t outright cry) and times I laughed out loud. It’s not an extremely emotional ride, but it definitely brings your heart into the equation.

Negatives~ Honestly, I’m not sure if I have any. I guess I would say that I wish that there’d maybe been a bit more conclusion regarding Lauren’s mother and her brother. I felt like she has some things to tell her aunt and uncle as well. However, these are minor issues.

This is a beautiful story that only takes a short while to get through. It’s definitely worth the time to pick it up and you’ll quickly get immersed in this small Oregon town full of amazing people!

About the Author:
Lisa Schroeder is a native Oregonian which means her childhood summers were spent camping, fishing, reading books, and playing in the sun, when it finally came out. These days, Lisa spends her summers, and every other part of the year, sharing all of the wonderful things Oregon has to offer with her husband and two sons. She is the author of numerous books for kids and teens, including I HEART YOU, YOU HAUNT ME and THE DAY BEFORE (Simon Pulse) and IT'S RAINING CUPCAKES (Aladdin).

About the Reviewer:
Candace is a wife and mother to two. She’s blogged at Candace’s Book Blog since November 2008. She enjoys a variety of genres including anything and everything young adult, some adult urban fantasy, a little bit of adult paranormal romance, some historical fiction and reads lots of childrens books. You can find her on her blog at, twitter @candacemom2two and on goodreads.