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Sunday, July 26, 2015

Undertow (YA)


Book #96 Read in 2015
Undertow by Michael Buckley

This is the first book in a young adult science fiction/fantasy series.  Lyric is half human, half Alpha (a water people civilization).  The Alpha have returned to Coney Island and the New Yorkers feel threatened.  Militant groups do not want the creatures to attend the same school as their children.  But there are even bigger problems, as another water tribe are coming to slaughter the Alpha, and then the humans.  Will Lyric be able to save everyone she loves?  This book had an interesting premise, complex characters, good action, humor and romance.  The ending made me want to read #2 right now.  High school boys and girls would like this series.  I borrowed this book from the public library.

Paperweight (YA)


Book #95 Read in 2015
Paperweight by Meg Haston (YA)

Stevie is sent to a rehab facility for girls with eating disorders.  Of course, Stevie doesn't think she has an eating disorder.  She is also planning on committing suicide on the upcoming anniversary of her brother Joshua's death.  Stevie feels guilty that he's dead.  At the rehab, she slowly becomes friends with her cottage mates and slowly begins to open up to Shrink, her name for Anna, her therapist.  How does someone overcome such emotionally wrought issues?  Similar to Laurie Halse Anderson's book Wintergirls, this book looks at eating disorders with brutal honesty.  Paperweight is well written and would be a hit with high school girls and adults alike.  I received a copy of this book from the Amazon Vine program in exchange for a honest review.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street


Book #94 Read in 2015
The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street by Helene Hanff

This is the sequel to the book 84 Charing Cross Road, which was a collection of letters between a NYC author (Hanff) and a British bookseller.  In this book, Hanff has finally made it to London, as her book is now being published there.  Before she leaves New York, a friend tells her to keep a diary or she won't remember all the details of her London trip.  She does and this book is the diary entries, telling of people she meets, sites she sees and the wonderment she feels of people treating her like royalty.  A quick read, I borrowed this book from the town library.

Murder in the Paperback Parlor (#2)


Book #93 Read in 2015
Murder in the Paperback Parlor by Ellery Adams

This is the second book in a cozy mystery series set in Storyton Hall, a wonderful literary retreat for readers and writers, set in the small town of Storyton, which is full of quaint shops.  Jane is running the Hall and is a member of a secret society of librarians who are charged with keeping safe literary treasures from all over the world, from all different time periods.  In this book, a romance readers convention is being held and of course there is a murder for Jane to solve.  Jane is a tough, intelligent woman who can handle her own.  Besides Jane, there are delightful characters such as her twin sons, her aunt and uncle, Muffet Cat and the other members of the secret society.  This mystery was well written and the identity of the murderer kept me guessing until the end.  I highly recommend this series to cozy mystery lovers.  I cannot wait for book #3 to come out next summer.  I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for a honest review.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Challenger Deep (YA)


Book #92 Read in 2015
Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman (YA)

Caden Bosch is a high school student whose friends and family are beginning to notice something off about him.  He has to walk miles and miles in a day.  He believes that fellow students want to kill him.  There are voices in his head telling him that his parents are imposters.  Eventually, Caden's parents commit him in an effort to get him the help he needs.  This is a honest portrayal of teenage mental illness.  The author knows this personally as his son suffers from mental illness.  While sometimes purposely disjointed to read, this book is powerful and its message gets through loud and clear.  High school student and adults would be the ideal audience for this book.  I received a copy of this book from Amazon Vine in exchange for a honest review.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Go Set a Watchman


Book #91 Read in 2015
Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

I worried about reading this book as To Kill a Mockingbird is one of my all-time favorites; I even have a cat named BooBerry Radley.  Hearing all the buzz about the book, I was hoping that I wouldn't end up hating Atticus Finch, one of the greatest characters ever.  I am happy to say that I did not end up hating Atticus and overall I enjoyed the book.  While not, in my opinion, as well written and developed as Mockingbird, this book was a good, quick read.  Scout is now known as Jean Louise and is in her twenties and returning to Maycomb for her annual visit from New York City.  Looking at Maycomb and its people and happening through adult eyes makes Jean Louise question if anything she believed during her childhood was true. 

Jean Louise has grown up but she's still spunky and feisty.  Aunt Alexandra is more developed in this book than in Mockingbird.  I enjoyed the references to other characters from the other book.  It was a nice visit to Maycomb.  I borrowed this book from my town library.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

The Last Time We Say Goodbye (YA)


Book #90 Read in 2015
The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand (YA)

This is an incredible read.  Lexie is a high school student whose younger brother, Ty--a sophomore, commits suicide in the family's garage.  Lexie feels guilty for not being there for her brother and angry at any number of people who could be to blame:  her father, her mother, her brother's ex-girlfriend, his friends.  While in therapy, Lexie is asked to write about her feelings and her brother.  This book shows that the healing process is not quick and is not without pain.  As one who has lost two family members to suicide, this book is realistic; the author experienced losing her brother to suicide so that helped the credibility of this book.  A must read for high school students and parents.

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