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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

I Work at a Public Library

Book #68 Read in 2014
I Work at a Public Library by Gina Sheridan

This was a cute, quick read.  In this book, librarians tell their stranger-than-fiction stories of what library patrons ask for, request of them or do in the library.  Some are laugh out loud stories, some are disturbing and some are heartwarming.  Anyone who is a library lover will enjoy this book. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Murder in the Mystery Suite

Book #67 Read in 2014
Murder in the Mystery Suite by Ellery Adams

This is the first book in a new cozy mystery and I loved it.  The book is set in a quaint village called Storyton with the primary setting being a wonderful literary retreat called Storyton Hall, a reader's dream.  Rooms are named after authors and characters and this book is during a murder mystery themed retreat, which was the brain child of Jane Steward.  Jane is a single mother of twin boys (her husband died when she was pregnant) and the manager of Storyton Hall, owned by her aunt and uncle.  Jane is intelligent, brave and an avid reader.  When a guest dies in his room, things get a bit more complicated and Jane is forced to take on a more adventurous role than she ever anticipated.

I loved this book.  The setting was ideal for a reader.  The characters were interesting and engaging.  Personally, I loved Muffin Cat.  This book had a good mystery with twists and turns to keep readers guessing. I look forward to book 2 next year.

I received an ARC of this book from the author in return for a honest review....thank you, Ellery!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Truth About Alice (YA)

Book #66 Read in 2014
The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu (YA)

This was a great, gritty, realistic young adult read.  Alice supposedly sleeps with two guys in the same night.  The talk about it spreads through the little Texan town and Alice becomes the high school pariah.  Girls in her class start the "slut stall" where they write tales about what Alice has supposedly done...she's had an abortion, she has slept with this one and that one.  On top of that, shortly after the party the star quarterback (and one of the two guys that Alice supposedly slept with) dies in a car accident and his friend who was in the car with him tells adults that the quarterback was distracted because Alice was constantly texting him.  Alice retreats within herself and isolates herself from her peers.  The geek of the class, Kurt, reaches out to her to help her with her Math homework.  But will it make a difference?

This book shows how cruel teenagers can be to each other and how vicious gossip and rumors can be and what effect they can have on people's lives.  Alice, while not a perfect character by any means, was treated cruelly.  An all too true and all too sad accounting of what can happen when people believe whatever they hear, this was a book I could not put down.

I borrowed this book from my public library.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Say What You Will (YA)

Book #65 Read in 2014
Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern (YA)

This is the author's first foray into young adult literature and she does a wonderful job.  This book focuses on Ami, a high school student with Cerebral Palsy, and Matthew, one of her schoolmates with OCD.  Ami wants her senior year to be special so she convinces her parents and the school to do away with adult aides for her, hiring classmates in their stead.  She has four helpers--Sanjay, Sarah, Chloe and Matthew.  Secretly, Ami is using this as a way to get to know Matthew better....he intrigues her since he is the only one who speaks to her honestly.  The two begin a friendship that is not without its bumps, but has huge benefits for both.

McGovern's writing shows a talent for creating great characters...complex and multi-layered, but also real.  I read this book in a day because I just could not put it down.  I came to care about these characters and wanted to see how things ended up for them. 

I received this book in exchange for a honest review through the Amazon Vine program.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Book of Secrets

Book #64 Read in 2014
The Book of Secrets by Elizabeth Joy Arnold

I finished this book just now and am wondering how much can one family go through and live to tell the tale?  Chloe and Nate were childhood sweethearts...Nate from a ultra-religious family; Chloe's mother was a teenager who became pregnant.  Chloe becomes a part of Nate's long as their scary father isn't home...and they exposure her to books and reading.  Chloe tries to not expose them to the realities outside of their safe haven home.  Worlds collide when 18 year old Chloe becomes pregnant with Nate's child.  Obstacles are thrown at them constantly. 

At the start of the book, adult Chloe and Nate are having marital problems and Nate has returned back to their hometown.  He did not share details of why with Chloe.  She uncovers a notebook that he has been keeping in code and begins to decipher the code and Nate's feelings.  Chloe follows him back to their hometown.

I enjoyed Arnold's writing style and the way she wove books into the story.  Her characters were flawed but interesting.  I wanted to keep reading to find out what happened to them.  All in all, a very good read.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

The Cuckoo's Calling

Book #63 Read in 2014
The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith (aka JK Rowling)

This is the first in a series featuring private detective Cormoran Strike, a war veteran and son of a rock star.  In this book, Strike is hired to look into the death of a supermodel; the police call it suicide but her brother believes it was murder.  Strike looks into her death, with help from his trusty sidekick and assistant, Robin.  He realizes that there is many layers to Landry's life and tries to untangle them to find out what really happened to her. 

This book was a good read but a slow read for me.  It bogged down a bit for me in the middle but picked up in the second half.  I liked the character of Strike and I liked Robin.  I have the second one in my TBR pile.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Book #62 Read in 2014
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

This book is an excellent follow up to Moriarty's bestseller The Husband's Secret.  In Big Little Lies, the book begins with a death at a trivia night fundraiser at a private school.  The identification of the victim is not revealed.  Then the book flashes back to six months before the trivia night fundraiser and details all the happenings of the characters...bullying children at the private school, seemingly perfect marriages that are not so perfect etc....leading up to the trivia night.  There are good twists and turns that will keep readers guessing who will be the victim and who will be the killer.  In addition to a good mystery, there is also humor and interesting and engaging characters.  Moriarty's writing flows so nicely...this almost 500 page book was one that I could not put down. 

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