Monday, July 27, 2015

Mini Reviews: London from my Windows and Mandy's Father

London From My Windows by Mary Carter

Description: Ava Wilder's home in small-town Iowa is her sanctuary.  A talented sketch artist with severe agoraphobia, Ava spends her days drawing a far more adventurous life than her invisible disability allows.  Until she receives a package from London, explaining that she has inherited her Aunt Beverly's entire estate - on condtion that she lives in Bev's West End flat for a year. (from Goodreads)

My Impression: I don't DNF a book very often and the reasons I had for DNFing weren't the normal variety.  I didn't absolutely hate it, I didn't intensely dislike a character, and the writing and pacing were actually quite good. My problem, I think, was what I wanted from this particular book and what I actually got.   I wanted to love this one.  And I tried - I really tried.  The story starts off with a bang with Ava as a happy little girl who suddenly suffers a dramatic loss and we see her spiral into agoraphobia start.  After that I kind of lost connection with the story.  To be honest, Ava is hard to like and with this kind of character driven fiction I have to have some connection for the main character.  I think her reactions and thoughts were probably realistic for someone who has kept themselves isolated from the outside world since they were 10 and has struggled with severe anxiety but unfortunately for me that didn't make this any more enjoyable.  While the move to London seemed like a positive development and I was intrigued by some of the conditions of the apartment the collection of characters borders on the absurd.  I would love to see a review from someone who has or knows someone who has struggled with agoraphobia to see how accurately portrayed it is here.  As for me I made it to about the 35% mark before I was just done.  While I thought the story itself had potential my lack of connection to any of the characters ended up making me put the book down.  Rating: DNF (Did Not Finish)
Would I Read More From This Series/Author: Definitely.  Even though this book didn't work for me I'm enjoyed the author's writing style and am looking forward to trying another of her books.

Mandy's Father (Lockwood Legacy #4) by Juliette Harper
Oh how I love the Lockwood sisters!  It was so nice to have visit them again though I did miss some of their mother's contemporaries who had been such a part of the previous book.  This book focuses on the sisters and the ranch again as the treasure hunting heats up, discoveries are made, and it appears the sisters are not quite done with all the drama and danger yet.  I felt like in this book we mostly see through Kate's eyes which was a little unexpected since a major subplot involves younger sister Mandy's biological father.  This worked for me as Kate is my favorite of the three sisters.  There was one even that happened about 75% in that seemed so unnecessarily but by the conclusion it really worked and while it was heartbreaking it made sense that it happened.  Overall, I really enjoyed this and I have the rest of the series.  This is not a book that will work as a stand alone and since each book is around 150 pages and a quick read at that there's no need too.  So far I've really loved this story and these characters and can't wait for September for when the 5th book gets released!  Rating: 5 Stars

Would I Read More From This Series/Author: Yes to both!  I'm looking forward to continuing this series and trying out some other books from this author as well.


  1. That's a shame about London From My Windows. It's a tough thing when you really, really want to like a book, but keep tripping over something that makes you not love it at all. I'm kind of in the same spot right now. I'm supposed to be doing a blog tour post for The Naked Eye (think you are on the same tour). I hadn't read the previous 2 books in the series, so I've started with the first one. I have really liked other books written by Iris Johansen, especially her Eve Duncan series. I am finding it so very hard to like Kendra. So. Very. Hard. Maybe I should just skip the previous books and go on to the new one. Keep hoping I'll hit a sweet spot. We'll see.

  2. I'm sorry to hear you didn't like London from My Windows, but glad to know you didn't and your reasons and think I would have problems, too. It sounds like such an interesting book, but I don't think it's for me.

    I hadn't heard of the Lockwood series, but went and looked for the books and have downloaded the first one. So, thank you, Katherine! I love the cover of the book, too.

  3. I'm sorry that London from My Windows didn't work for you. The premise intrigues me, but I think I wouldn't feel similarly to how you feel.

  4. Ack! I have London From My Windows to read and review. I'm sorry to hear you didn't like it. I am not too familiar with agoraphobia (I have a memoir written by someone with it I've been meaning to read), but I do know what it is like to suffer from anxiety attacks. I still want to give it a try. Like you though, I prefer to have some sort of connection with a character in a character driven book. I can enjoy a book just fine when I don't like characters, but it really depends on the book and the story. This sounds like the type of book you'd want that connection if you are going to enjoy it . . . I probably won't be rushing to read this one based on your comments, but I'll still give it a try.

    I am glad Mandy's Father was a better read for you--and that you like the series so far.

  5. What a bummer to have a book like that. For me, it's hard to not finish a book because I am curious to see how it ends but it's torture to get there. I have very few, DNF. I wish Goodreads had a category like that. I believe I added the first of that sisters series to my TBR because of you.

  6. To bad this was disappointing, I remember being somewhat intrigued when I heard about this one DNF's are a bummer but they happen sometimes. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  7. Believe me, if o can't connect to the storyline or a character I give it up. I have way too many books I want to read to perserverve through one that's just Eh (shrugging shoulders)
    This is on my to read list so I will just keep it on the long list and may see what I think if I get to it.

  8. I suffer from a form of agoraphobia in that I cannot do spur of the moment outings. If it is planned then I can do it but prefer staying close and returning sooner rather then later. I am not a fan of the unfamiliar and would never travel alone.

  9. Mandy's Father sounds interesting; I'm not familiar with that series so maybe I'll check it out.

    That's too bad about the London book. Like you, I need to connect to the character or the story doesn't work for me. But the fact you'd give the author another try is promising.

  10. What a pity about London from My Windows! But sometimes a book just doesn't work for you. I think that letting go and moving on to the next book is better for your overall satisfaction and happiness than plodding on regardless.

  11. DNF'ing does suck. But doesn't it feel good to just not struggle through something that you are not enjoying? For me it does.
    Happy reading!
    Brittany @ This is the Story of My(Reading) Life

  12. Sorry to hear the first one didn't work out for you, as I was reading the synopsis it did sound like it would be an interesting story. Glad you enjoyed the second book though, it's fun to go back to our favorite characters in new stories.