I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Carrots by Colleen Helme
Narrator: Wendy Tremont King
Series: Shelby Nichols #1
Published by CreateSpace on April 11, 2012
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery
Length: 8 hours 39 minutes
Shelby Nichols is an average woman who is married to the only guy she ever fell for. Her life is organized and predictable, revolving around her husband and two children. All that changes the day she stops at the grocery store for some carrots. As the cashier rings up her purchases, a gunman is busy robbing the bank inside the store. When a customer grabs the robber's mask, he is shot and everyone runs for cover. Everyone except Shelby, who finds herself face to face with the killer. The next thing she knows, she's lying on the floor with a bullet wound to her head. Luckily, the bullet only grazes her scalp, and she doesn't suspect any lasting affects until later, when she suddenly 'hears' what people are thinking. With this uncanny ability, her life takes on a whole new dimension. Her kids think she's bossy and too old to understand them, but that's nothing compared to her husband. He says he loves her, but what is it about the redhead at work that he doesn't want her to know? As if that isn't enough, the gunman knows she can identify him, and he's out to silence her forever. In her fight to stay alive, she is saved from certain death by a handsome hit-man with ties to organized crime. This pulls Shelby even deeper into danger, where knowing someone's thoughts can not only hurt your feelings, but get you killed.
My Initial Reaction…
Carrots is a cute story with a good bit of mystery and lovable characters. I wasn’t glued to it, but I did enjoy it.
Wendy Tremont King is a new to me narrator and she’s solid. I can’t quite give her the mad props I give Amanda Ronconi or Bahni Turpin – she doesn’t have that extra je ne sais quois they have. But she delivers a nice reading with varied character voices. She was a particularly good fit for Shelby.
The characters were what I liked most about Carrots. Shelby is so relateable and lovable – she’s a stay-at-home mom whose life completely changes when she stops one day to get some carrots, gets shot and, as a result, gains the ability to read minds. What I loved best about Shelby was her spunk. She gets herself into some seriously bad situations, but she never whimpers away. She literally tells off a mob boss and it’s hilarious. You can’t help but love her.
We don’t get to know Shelby’s husband, Chris, all that well, but I mostly loved him too. It was so refreshing to read a book about a couple who are married, have two kids, and are clearly way past the honeymoon phase and yet so completely in love. I totally respected that he was working with this young, hot lawyer – Kate – who was throwing herself at him and he didn’t even give her a second thought beyond working with her. It earned him serious points in my book. What I didn’t love about him – he didn’t see his wife for all that she was. Shelby is tough and strong and independent – but sometimes he falls into treating her like she’s dumb/naive and helpless.
Finally, there’s the two main mob characters – Uncle Joey and Ramos. They’re supposed to be the bad guys but I was never afraid of them. They were just a bit too nice for the mob. I never believed that they would hurt Shelby, not really. I liked them a lot and found myself really hoping that they would be okay – not even go to prison, honestly. It was the difference between Carrots being a fun, sweet read and an intense read.
Carrots begins with Shelby going to the grocery store to get some carrots that she needs for chicken soup. I knew I liked her from this opening scene because her trip to the store went for just carrots to all kinds of junk food. I was laughing at her rationalizations and realized quickly she was a woman after my own heart. Anyway, through a series of unfortunate events, Shelby gets shot and acquires the ability to read minds. And it completely changes her life in cool, but also seriously dangerous ways.
As the story winds together the complications of Shelby’s new ability and the danger of being the eyewitness of a crime and builds in fairly ridiculous, but fun ways, until Shelby gets herself into heaps of trouble. I had plenty of eye rolling moments, but if you aren’t looking for a serious storyline it’s super enjoyable. And one element of the mystery totally through me off and was an actual shocker at the end.
If you’re looking for a quick, sweet read with lovable characters, you’ll enjoy Carrots. It’s far from a serious mystery, but that was the beauty of it for me.