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Monday, September 29, 2014

365 Days of Wonder (YA)





Book #90 Read in 2014
365 Days of Wonder by R.J. Palacio

This is a companion book to Wonder, which I loved.  This book has a precept for each day of the year.  Additionally, there are emails and letters and postcards from Mr. Browne's former students (who were characters in the book Wonder)...this would make a great gift book for those in education.  It shows the effect that educators can have on students, even if they don't know it at the time.  

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Anatomy of a Misfit (YA)





Book #89 Read in 2014
Anatomy of a Misfit by Andrea Portes (YA)

This book details the pressure of being one of the popular kids, maintaining that popularity and the affect that bullying can have on high school students.  Anika is most likely the third most popular girl in her class and, to keep her standing, she bows to the whim of Becky, the most popular girl.  Anika begins a secretive relationship with Logan; this relationship must be hidden because Logan isn't deemed a cool boyfriend by Becky.  Add in to this some dysfunctional familial relationships as well as stealing and domestic violence and you have a book full of edgy teenage angst.  This book was well written and just flowed.  I recommend it.

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

Sunday, September 21, 2014

How to Fall (YA)





Book #88 Read in 2014
How to Fall by Jane Casey

This was a decent young adult mystery.  Jess and her mother go to visit relatives over the summer and Jess is drawn into trying to solve the death (suicide?) of her look-alike cousin, Freya.  Jess begins to wonder if it was suicide or murder and begins an investigation, which of course puts herself at risk.  There were decent twists and turns to this book that kept me engaged.  It is the first in a series and I will read book #2 at some point.  I borrowed this book from my town library.

Death Coming Up the Hill (YA)





Book #87 Read in 2014
Death Coming Up the Hill by Chris Crowe (YA)

This is a verse novel about the Vietnam War.  It follows 17 year old Ashe and how his world is changing.  His mother is protesting the war; his father supports it.  His girlfriend is more along the political lines of his mother but her brother is fighting in the war so it affects her greatly.  Ashe watches the marriage of his parents fall apart and feels helpless in so many ways....while the backdrop of this story details the weekly number of those killed in the war, racial tensions etc.  

I read this book in one sitting.  The verse format flows well and sort of keeps the book from being overwhelming with such a heavy topic.  I would recommend it to high school students, especially boys who are reluctant readers.  I received a copy of this book from the Amazon Vine program in exchange for a honest review.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

The Goddesses of Kitchen Avenue






Book #86 Read in 2014
The Goddesses of Kitchen Avenue by Barbara Samuel

This was a good women's fiction read.  It details the lives of four women who are neighbors and who are dealing with issues.  Roberta's husband just died.  Trudy's husband cheated on her.  Jade's ex-husband is in jail.  Shannelle's husband does not understand her desire to be a writer.  Told in alternating chapters, the women work through their issues and help out each other.  This was my first book by this author but I will read more of her work; I enjoyed her writing style.  I borrowed this book from my town library.

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Dog Stays in the Picture





Book #85 Read in 2014
The Dog Stays in the Picture by Susan Morse

This book tells a different type of love story....between a woman and her rescued greyhound.  Susan is an actor's wife whose children are heading off to college.  To fill a void, she adopts a rescued greyhound, Lilly, whose racetrack career has come to an end.  Lilly bonds with Susan and cannot bear to be separated from her.  With patience, Susan's husband wins Lilly's over, and with finesse, Susan gets Lilly to be able to stay home alone with wrecking the place.  This was a nice read.  I received a copy of this book from the Amazon Vine program in exchange for a honest review.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Thursdays in the Park


Book #84 Read in 2014
Thursdays in the Park by Hilary Boyd

Jeanie's husband of many years pulls away from her, emotionally and physically.  She continues to go through the motions, trying to figure out where things went wrong.  Her light is her granddaughter, Ellie.  When babysitting her and taking her to the park, Jeanie meets Ray, who is there with his grandson, Dylan.  The two connect and Jeanie begins to realize that she could have more in her life but she is torn with guilt about wrecking her family.  Will she sacrifice her own happiness to keep her dysfunctional family intact?

I enjoyed this book a lot.  The characters were ones you cared for...even though they were flawed.  The writing style flowed well and made this a quick read.  I would recommend this for fans of chick lit and "hen" lit since the main character is turning 60. 

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