Kristine's Book Review Forum (get it?)

Review of The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan

Book Reviews

Literary fiction meets ghost story meets romance in the easy-to-read, sweet debut novel by Ruth Hogan, The Keeper of Lost Things. Ms. Hogan creates a story of love and loss, grief and recovery, and of impeccable timing. Her characters are lovable and flawed, and their relationships and interactions are defined by enough conflict that they are interesting, but not so much that you simply want to throw your hands in the air and give up all together.

The Keeper of Lost Things interweaves delight, mystery, grief, and love, and is satisfying without being overwhelming and charming without being false. It’s not perfect, and falls into some easy cliché’s, particularly in the subplot of the main character’s personal relationship. But the flaws in the novel are easily overlooked and don’t come across as distracting. Will this book change your life? No. But it is an interesting interpretation of what happens to the things we lose, and how we can’t possibly fathom the stories each of us holds. In the end, it is a pleasant and entertaining journey.

I recommend this book to anyone who is looking for the satisfaction of a Jodi Picoult novel minus the heavy drama.

Official Kristine’s BRF rating:

February 22, 2019

Online Book Club Reviews

Book Reviews

You may or may not know this, but I also do book reviews over at Online Book Club! I’ve just recently started doing this, but it has led me to some very interesting books already that I would never had thought to even look for, let alone to read. I hope these reviews will help drive some readers to new, unknown authors and genres that would not otherwise be read.


So, here we go. As a special, opening day treat, there are not one, but two reviews for you to check out! (Please note, these links will take you to the reviews hosted at


Seven at Two Past Five by Tara Basi


The Cult Next Door by Elizabeth R. Burchard and Judith L. Carlone

February 15, 2019

Review of Girls Burn Brighter by Shobha Rao

Book Reviews

Beautiful language and stunning imagery stand in stark contrast to some of the worst horrors humanity has to offer. Shobha Rao’s Girls Burn Brighter is a challenging debut novel that makes you wonder which is more powerful, the strength of the feminine or the cruelty of the masculine. With a strong message about the oppression and resilience of women, and the strength found in a soul mate of any kind, this story, while heavy handed in its delivery, is a strong voice for the promotion of the strength of women united.


Girls Burn Brighter is a novel for the reader who enjoys feeling emotions. Anger, sympathy, outrage, incredulity seep in from every corner as Poornima and Savitha navigate a world that does not care about them. But underneath is all is a current of hope. Because it is only each woman’s love for the other, and the certainty and desperation that they will one day reunite, that keeps each of them going. And for each woman that meas something different. In the end, if one might call it that, we are left to believe that there is such a thing as divine intervention, and that, for better or for worse, sometimes the universe looks the other way.


I recommend this book to fans of Lisa See’s Snow Flower and the Secret Fan,  perhaps to readers who enjoyed The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, and to anyone who enjoys a book that makes them feel strong and deep emotions.


Official Kristine’s BRF rating:


February 8, 2019

Review of Bad Blood by John Carreyrou

Book Reviews

Corporate intrigue doesn’t get any better than Bad Blood, especially when you consider that this is a work of non-fiction. John, Carreyrou, of The Wall Street Journal, documents the full trajectory of the meteoric rise and subsequent disastrous fall of the biotechnology company Theranos, and its young upstart CEO Elizabeth Holmes. In six words: I could not put it down.


I knew the gist of what happened through news articles, but the full story, told through interviews of previous employees with first-hand knowledge of the secretive goings-on within the company, pulled back the veil on what at best could be described as an exercise in blind ambition. This book reads like a fast-paced thriller and makes your heart race even more when you remind yourself that it’s a true story.


As Carreyrou details the near Watergate-like scandal, introducing sources both public and protected, the reader is forced to wonder exactly how someone would find themselves entangled in such a whirlwind of chaos. But the next inevitable thought is always, “It could easily have been me, too.”


Bad Blood is an out-of-control train ride from start to finish. I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the dark side of a charismatic business leader, the inner-workings of a so-called Silicon Valley unicorn (and the culture that comes alone with it), or is simply looking for a wild time.


Official Kristine’s BRF rating:

February 1, 2019