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Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 Reads

In 2011 I read:


111 books


52 Young Adult books


30 books on my Kindle


For 2012 I want to read 120 books and get caught up on some series.

Saturdays with Stella


Saturdays with Stella


The author tells of her six weeks of obedience training with her new dog Stella, who has some self-esteem issues.  During the training, Allison connects with Stella in a way different than what she expected.  This book has a large spiritual element to it.  Allison connects the commands that Stella is learning in her training to the Bible and religion but I focused on the dog aspect of it more than the spiritual part.  Stella is a good dog and it was nice to read a dog book about a normal dog, with some training issues, and an owner who wants to do right by her dog.  I enjoyed this book.

Making Rounds with Oscar



Making Rounds with Oscar


This was a great read.  Oscar is a cat who lives in a nursing home where most patients suffer from dementia.  Oscar seems to have a sense of when a patient is going to die and he then refuses to leave their bedside until they pass.  Dr. David Dosa is not quick to believe that Oscar really has this sixth sense but he is slowly won over, after witnessing it a few times for himself and after speaking with the family members of those who have passed with Oscar by their side.  


I remember hearing about Oscar in the news a few years ago and I wanted to read this book.  It was more than just a cat book though.  Readers learn to care about the families who spend a lot of time in this nursing home, through Dr. Dosa's retelling of their stories.  Oscar is a great cat--independent, loving when he wants to be, and comforting when he needs to be.  I enjoyed this book a lot.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Forever (YA)


Forever (YA)

This is the third book in a YA paranormal series.  Sam and Grace are werewolves.  Sam has finally stopped shifting into a wolf but Grace has not had the experimental cure yet.  In this book, the final in the series, Isabel's father is planning an aeriel wolf hunt to kill off the pack.  Cole is trying to discover a cure and a way to force a wolf back into its human form.  Sam knows that he must lead the pack to a safe place.  But will it happen before it is too late?

With some unlikely allies in a police officer and Grace's friend Rachel, the trio of Cole, Sam and Grace try to save the pack.  Throughout this, Sam and Grace's love story continues and deepens.  Grace reveals to her parents that she is still alive.  Olivia, Grace's friend who was turned into a wolf, is not so lucky.  As a secondary love to hate love story, Isabel and Cole's relationship deepens as well. 

Also, Sam gets a chance for a sort of closure with his adoptive father Beck.  Sam has matured and has become a strong person, sure in his own skin.  This strength helps him help Grace and in turn, the pack.

This was a good finale to a great series.  I had hoped for a little epilogue detailing what happens 20 years later, but that did not happen.  All in all, I have enjoyed this series a lot and liked the characters.  I recommend it.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Death by the Dozen


Death by the Dozen

This is the second book in a cozy mystery series set in a cupcake shot.  In this book, Mel and Angie enter a baking competition.  Their arch enemy, Olivia, is in the competition as well.  Mel's mentor is one of the judges--until his body is found in a walk in freezer.  Heart attack or murder?  That is the question and Mel wants to find out the answer.  Meanwhile, Angie and Tate are still trying to figure out their relationship, Mel and Joe are moving along in their relationship and the addition of a cute cat named Captain Jack make this a great read.  I love the characters in this series and enjoy the setting of the cupcake shop.  I recommend this to fans of cozy mysteries.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Sing You Home


Sing You Home

Zoe and Max are married and both suffer from fertility problems.  They go through rounds of IVF with no success.  After Zoe delivers a stillborn baby, Max tells Zoe he cannot do this anymore and that he wants a divorce.  Zoe is devastated.  Eventuallly she begins to pull herself together and gets back into the groove in her job as a music therapist.  She begins to work with Lucy, a troubled girl at a local high school.  Vanessa is the Guidance Counselor there.  Vaness and Zoe become friends and eventually lovers.  They get married.  They decide they want a baby and Zoe wants to use the leftover frozen embroyes from her marriage with Max.  She asks Max and he tells her that he will think about it.  Max is now involved in a cult-like church and ends up suing Zoe for the rights to the embroyes.  This results in an intense court case.

As usual, Picoult picks an edgy topic and shows multiple sides to it.  Her book is told in chapters alternating between various characters.  This develops the characters and gives readers a strong insight into how the hot topic is affecting them.  Picoult is masterful at this technique.  She also does a great job researching the legality of the issue at the heart of her books, and Sing You Home is no exception. 

Even the secondary characters in this book are fully developed and interesting in their own right.  Readers will feel for Liddy, want to help Lucy and despise Wade.  Picoult's books are always good ones to discuss and  this book will stay true to that pattern.  I really enjoyed it and highly recommend it.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Forgotten Bookmarks


Forgotten Bookmarks

The owner of a bookstore in Oneonta, NY details items that he found in books traded into his store.  There are things such as postcards, letters, birth certificates, recipes etc.  This book was a quick read but I found it interesting.  I liked how a lot of the items left in the books were from my local area.  I also enjoyed how the bookstore owner tried to reseach what he could and gave information about the items that filled in the background a bit.  This book is a book for book lovers--we have all stuck something in to use as a bookmark.  This book made me wonder what people would find in my books! 

The Mother Daughter Book Club (YA)


The Mother Daughter Book Club (YA)

This is the first book in a cute, young adult series.  Four girls--Emma, Megan, Jess and Cassidy, are signed up by their mothers for a book club.  These four are not necessarily friends so book club could get interesting.  The club chooses Little Women as their selection and this book details their discussions, their social lives in middle school and the changes they make throughout the year as they learn things about themselves, and each other.

I really enjoyed this book.  I liked the incorporation of the book club and book discussion into the lives of the characters.  The four girls were well developed and unique.  The secondary characters--the mothers, fathers, brothers and pets--were also interesting and fleshed out well.  I have purchased the rest of the series on my Kindle.

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Adventures of Nanny Piggins (YA)

The Adventures of Nanny Piggins (YA)

Mr. Green places a sign advertisting the need for a nanny for his three children.  He is surprised when a former circus pig shows up and applies for the job.  He hires her, until a human nanny can be found.  Nanny Piggins teaches the children the important stuff--what junk food to eat, the importance of chocolate and other things.  Nanny Piggins is over the top and uncoventional and the Green children love her.  Each chapter of this book is a mini-adventure tale of some hijink or another involving Nanny Piggins and the children.  This book is a fun read filled with humor.  Upper elementary grade children would love it.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Slow Love


Slow Love

I was really excited to read this book.  However, it ended up being very slow for me and I felt myself plodding along, often like the narrator.

This book tells about Dominique, who unexpectedly loses her job at a magazine.  She tries to get motivated enough to get out of her pajamas and become a functioning adult again but this is a daily struggle.  This was the part of the book that I liked.

Unfortunately, most of the book detailed her unhealthy relationship with a man she called Stroller.  This was the part of the book that I did not like.  I did not care about their relationship and I was frustrated by her willingness to stay with a man in a relationship that would be going nowhere.

I was sent this book to review by netgalley and read it on my Kindle.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

November Reads

November reads:

1.  A Taste of the Night Life (1st in series) (4.5/5)
2.  The Name of the Star (YA) (4.5/5) Kindle
3.  Fall for Anything (YA) (4/5)
4.  Mind Over Murder (5/5) (1st in series)
5.  Killer Pizza (YA) (4.5/5) Kindle
6.  The Carrie Diaries 2 (YA) (4.5/5) Kindle
7.  Wonderstruck (YA) (4.5/5) Library book
8.  It's Hard Not to Hate You (4.5/5) Kindle/review book
9.  In Trouble (YA) (4/5)
10. Explosive Eighteen (5/5) (18th in series)
11. Ruby Red (YA) (5/5) (1st in series)

So far, 103 books read in 2011