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Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Secret Keeper

Book #30 Read in 2013
The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton

This was a book that the last 70 pages saved for me.  I could not figure out if I liked it or not.  But, I could not put it down as a "did not finish" book.  I am glad that I stayed with it; the last part of it made it all worthwhile.

During World War I, Dolly and Jimmy are a couple.  Dolly wants to be friend with Vivien, a rich woman who lives across the street from where Dolly works as a companion to an elderly wealthy woman.  When Dolly feels rejected by Vivien, she plots revenge and enlists Jimmy's help with her plan.  This plan has consequences that Dolly could never have imagined.  They culminate when Dolly stabs a man in her driveway, witnessed by two of her young children.  Years later, when Dolly is near death, those two children begin to investigate their mother's past, looking for the answer as to why their mother would have done such a thing.  The answers are complicated and unexpected.

This book alternates between present day and World War I time.  This was jolting to me at times because I was getting into one of the storylines and wanted to stay in that time period, but was forced into another time period.  The mystery was filled with twists and turns.  Some I figured out, some I never saw coming.  This book, at close to 500 pages, bogged down a bit in the middle, but overall was a good read.

Pretty Girl 13

Book #29 Read in 2013
Pretty Girl-13 by Liz Coley (YA)

Angie is 13 years old and on a Girl Scouts camping trip when she is abducted.  Three years later, she walks into her home, stunning her parents.  To Angie, no time has passed since the camping trip.  She soon learns that she has been gone for three years.  How can she not remember what happened for such a long period of time?  Through the help of a therapist, Angie realizes that she has DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder) and this was the defense mechanism her body and mind created to help her survive her ordeal.  Angie must learn how to put herself back together again, literally.

This book was a gripping read.  I read it in a day.  I could not put it down.  Angie is such a survivor but yet vulnerable.  I found the DID part fascinating to read about and had to see how this all ended.  I highly recommend this book.

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

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Dark Triumph (YA)

Book #28 Read in 2013
Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers (YA)

This book is the second in a trilogy.  It picks up right where the first book, Grave Mercy, left off.  This book focuses on the story of Sybella.  She is a masterful assassin and has a certain target in mind.  While waiting to strike, she must help a prisoner of war escape.  Sybella gets more than she expected with this prisoner, but that is not necessarily a bad thing.  Duval and Ismae from the first book are in this book as well.  The third book will be out in the spring of 2014.  

This book is action packed.  The characters are complex and interesting.  Sybella is a strong woman who takes care of herself.  Along with the action of this book, there is humor and romance. This historical fantasy is an interesting mix of genres.  Some historical figures are in the book, though the author details at the end some of the liberties taken with them.  I recommend this book and this series.

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

Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Raft (YA)

Book #27 Read in 2013
The Raft by S.A. Bodeen 

Robie is heading home to her parents, who live on an island, after spending a month with her aunt in Honolulu.  She hops a ride on the cargo plane that is her usual mode of transportation.  The plane crashes and Robie is put into a raft by Max, the co-pilot.  Robie endures dehydration, starvation, panic and despair while trying to find things she needs to survive.  But will she be rescued in time?

This book was a gripping read.  The action was non-stop.  Robie was a strong female character--realistic in her moments of despair and wanting to give up but her strong will would not allow her to.  This book was a great read.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Without Tess (YA)

Book #26 Read in 2013
Without Tess by Marcella Pixley (YA)

This is a hard book to read.  Lizzie is the younger sister of a mentally ill girl named Tess.  Tess things she is magical, can shift into animals and is starving herself on purpose.  Lizzie tries to take care of Tess, even at her own expense.  Tess is eventually forced to begin therapy and medication but she would rather die than continue to live this way.  Her decision fills Lizzie with guilt and confusion about how to live without Tess.  

This is a powerful look at mental illness at a young age.  Besides the effect on the mentally ill person, this book describes the aftermath on the family members as well as friends.  This was a book that was like a train wreck, but I had to continue it to see how it would end up.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


Book #25 Read in 2013
Fever by Mary Beth Keane

This was a historical fiction book about Mary Mallon, better known as Typhoid Mary.  Mary was believed to spread typhoid through her cooking, though she never showed symptoms of the illness herself.  This book details how the Department of Health took Mary into custody and forced her to live on Brother Island in isolation for years.  It details the court case to get Mary her freedom to leave the island and what happens to her as she returns to the "real world".  Mary is portrayed as an intelligent yet stubborn woman.  This book also talks of her relationship with her companion, Alfred, who has a host of issues of his own.

I found this book interesting.  I find it amazing that this woman was isolated on an island for years, 26 in total.  The medical tests that she was put through were intrusive and degrading.  Yet, there were enough people she cooked for who took ill that makes the belief that she was a carrier have some credibility. I enjoyed this read.

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

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Wonder (YA)

Book # 24 Read in 2013
Wonder by R.J. Palacio (YA)

August (Auggie) was born with a facial deformity.  Up until now (the 5th grade) he has been home schooled.  He decides to try 5th grade in a regular school.  He expects to be treated oddly by some but while that is true, Auggie is also pleasantly surprised by others.  Auggie strives to come into his own during this first year of school.  

I loved this book.  Auggie was a wonderful character.  He was brave, funny and genuine.  There was a wonderful cast of characters in this book--Auggie's parents and sister, Jack Will, Summer and the middle school principal.  I recommend this book.

Friday, March 1, 2013

February Reads

February Reads:

1.  Weather Witch (YA) 4/5  Kindle
2.  The Children and the Wolves (YA) 4/5
3.  Peaches and Screams (4/5) 7th in series
4.  Everybody Sees the Ants (YA) (4/5) library book
5.  The One and Only Ivan (YA) 5/5  Kindle
6.  What's a Witch to Do? (4/5)  Kindle
7.  Stick (YA) 4.5/5  Library book
8.  Here I Go Again (4.5/5)
9.  Keplar's Dream (YA) 4.5/5  Library book
10. Second Chance Summer (YA) 4.5/5  Library book
11.  The Tell Tale Start (YA) 5/5  Library book
12.  Lost Cat (4/5)
13.  Shadow of Night (4.5/5) Kindle  2nd in series

Year to date:  23 books read