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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Dead I Know (YA)

Book #10 Read in 2015
The Dead I Know by Scot Gardner (YA)

Aaron comes from a messed up home life.  He begins a job at a funeral parlor and John, the funeral director, takes him under his wing.  It is hard, however, for Aaron to ask for help.  This book has a lot of sad elements to it but ends on a hopeful note.  It was a good, quick read.  I received a copy of this book from the Amazon Vine program in exchange for a honest review.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

There Will Be Lies (YA)

Book #9 Read in 2015
There Will Be Lies by Nick Lake (YA)

Shelby's mother is very overprotective.  Shelby is homeschooled, not allowed to socialize with others and has to follow her mother's strict rules.  The reasoning behind this will shock even Shelby.  As the truth comes to light, Shelby's life begins to unravel.  This was a good read that will suck in readers immediately.  There are lots of layers to the characters and good twists and turns to the plot.  I received a copy of this book from Amazon Vine in exchange for a honest review.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Skinny (YA)

Book #8 Read in 2015
Skinny by Donna Cooner (YA)

This is a realistic fiction book in the young adult field.  Ever is an overweight teenager.  She decides to have gastric bypass surgery.  The author had it as well so this story is so realistic and informational that it made it even more powerful.  While the surgery helps Ever lose weight, it does not immediately change how Ever views herself.  She thinks of herself as the fat girl that no one likes.  As the book unfolds, she realizes that sometime it wasn't others but her choice to not be friends with people; she exuded an anger that she didn't even realized showed to others. 

This was a good, quick read.  I think high school girls would enjoy it.  I borrowed this book from the town library.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Better Than Before

Book #7 Read in 2015
Better than Before by Gretchen Rubin

I am not much for non-fiction books or self-help books.  That being said, I love Gretchen Rubin's writing style and enjoy her books.  In this book, Better than Before, Rubin investigates how people go about making habits/resolutions and keeping them...or not.  She identifies categories of people by their habit tendency and it truly makes sense.  I also really enjoy how Rubin incorporates books and reading into her books, even when they are not the focus of her books.  I received a copy of this book from the Amazon Vine program in exchange for a honest review.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Island of Dr. Libris (YA)

Book #6 Read in 2015
The Island of Dr. Libris by Chris Grabenstein (YA)

I enjoyed this author's book Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library and was excited for the chance to review this one...and it did not disappoint.  In this book, Billy is spending the summer in a cabin with his mother, who is working on her dissertation.  She encourages Billy, who is looking for the cabin's television, to check out expansive library/study of Dr. Libris.  Billy does so and the books come to life...literally...on an island nearby.  Billy meets Robin Hood, Hercules and The Three Musketeers, among others.  His hope is to find treasure in order to erase the financial troubles that he thinks are getting in the way of the happy marriage of his parents. 

This was a good, quick read.  I loved the literary references throughout it.  Billy is an interesting character.  I enjoyed it a lot.  I received a copy of this book from the Amazon Vine program in exchange for a honest review.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Skies Like These (YA)

Book #5 Read in 2015
Skies Like These by Tess Hilmo (YA)

Jade goes to Wyoming to visit her Aunt Elise.  She meets Roy, a neighbor boy who believes he is a relative to Butch Cassidy.  Roy wants to rob a bank, steal artwork and other get-rich-quick schemes to help his parents have enough money to reopen the family business.  Roy figures he should be able to do so, as any good cowboy would.  Jade has to try to help him be realistic and reasonable.  This was a good, quick read.  Jade and Roy are both intelligent and interesting characters.  Secondary characters are interesting as well and the plot will engage reluctant readers.  I borrowed this book from our town library.

Playlist for the Dead (YA)

Book #4 Read in 2015
Playlist for the Dead by Michelle Falkoff

Sam goes to visit his friend Hayden and finds that he has overdoses and killed himself.  Sam finds a playlist of music left behind for him, with a note from Hayden that this will help explain why he committed suicide.  Sam begins to realize that he did not know his best friend as well as he thought he did.  Sam begins to follow the musical trail Hayden left for him, in the hopes of finding the reason for this tragedy and perhaps easing his own guilt.

This was a powerful, but quick, read.  It showed the effects of bullying and not fitting in socially on young people.  Both male and female teenage readers could relate to this book.  It is well written and the characters are complex and interesting.  I recommend it.

I received a copy of this book from the Amazon Vine program in exchange for a honest review.