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Saturday, November 30, 2013

Fortuantely, the Milk (YA)

Book #99 Read in 2013
Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman (YA)

This was a cute, quick read.  A mother leaves her family for a few days, giving the father a list of things to remember, including buying milk.  The next day's breakfast comes up short for the children as there is no milk.  The father says he will go and buy some.  He is gone for a long time and comes home with an incredible story for why it took him so long which includes aliens, time travel and vampires.  He describes in vivid detail the struggles he overcame to come home with the milk safely. 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Fallout (YA)

Book #98 Read in 2013
The Fallout by S.A. Bodeen

This book is a sequel to The Compound.  In that book, a father moves his family underground, telling them they have to live in the bunker because a nuclear attack occurred (it hadn't).  This book picks up right where The Compound ends and the family, minus Dad, are trying to readjust to life above ground, with varying levels of success.  This book is full of action and  I read it in one sitting.  Bodeen is fast becoming one of my favorite authors, as I loved this series and her book The Raft.  I recommend her books.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Endangered (YA)

Book #97 Read in 2013
Endangered by Eliot Schrefer (YA)

Sophie goes to visit her mother in the Congo.  Her mother decided to leave Sophie and her father (who returned to America) to run a bonobo sanctuary.  On the way there, Sophie buys a young bonobo from a street vendor...a no-no according to her mother but Sophie couldn't leave the bonobo there.  She names him Otto and becomes his surrogate mother.  When a war breaks out, Sophie decides to not leave with the United Nations soldiers because they wouldn't let her bring Otto with her.  She bravely remains behind and due to her intelligence and courage, she begins to journey to the island retreat where her mother was last known to be heading.

I read this book in one sitting.  I had to know what would happen to Sophie and Otto.  This book shows civil unrest, animal cruelty and what the lack of medicine can mean.  It was a powerful read.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Love in the Time of Global Warming (YA)

Book #96 Read in 2013
Love in the Time of Global Warming by Francesca Lia Block

This YA dystopian book reimagines Homer's Odyssey.  After the world is hit by a huge earthquake, Penelope is on her own, knowing her father is dead but not knowing what has happened to her mother or younger brother.  She begins to travel to find them.  Along the way, she finds some other lost souls...young people on their own as well...and they become a sort of family/pack. 

This book was a quick read.  Pen is a great character...she is intelligent, brave and a bookworm.  There is a decent amount of action and fighting to keep reluctant readers engaged.  I liked it.

The Chaperone

Book #95 Read in 2013
The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty

The Chaperone is a good work of historical fiction.  Cora is asked to be a chaperone to young Louise Brooks, who is going to New York City to dance.  Cora wants to go to New York City to revisit the orphanage where she grew up, to see if she can find out any information about her birth mother.  While Louise tests limits and tries to act like an adult, Cora investigates her background, befriends a German man named Joseph, and questions why she lives like she does. 

I really enjoyed Moriarty's writing.  This book flowed well and the characters were interesting and complex.  I recommend it.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Don't Turn Around (YA)

Book #94 Read in 2013
Don't Turn Around by Michelle Gagnon (YA)

This is the first book of a series.  Noa wakes up in a warehouse and it seems as if someone had operated on her.  She escapes and uses her computer hacking skills to try to disappear.  That seems to be easier said than done.  She hooks us with Peter, another computer hacker, who is having issues with the same men/organization that experimented on Noa.  Can the two save other kids in time from these medical experiments?

This book was a must read.  It had tons of action and suspense.  Noa and Peter were interesting, complex characters.  This book will keep readers engaged from start to finish.  I recommend it.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Ripper (YA)

Book #93 Read in 2013
Ripper by Stefan Petrucha (YA)

Carver Young is an orphan.  He finds a letter from his father and is surprised to learn his father is not dead as he always thought he was....and Carver loves a good mystery to solve.  When Carver is adopted by a former Pinkerton detective, he begins to search for his father in earnest.  But his father seems to have a dark side....very dark....and Carver begins to wonder if he really wants to find out the truth. 

This book has great twists and turns to keep readers engaged.  I love reading about Jack the Ripper so that part was a huge draw for me.  Over 400 pages in length, this book flows quickly.  I enjoyed it.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Murder on the Menu

Book #92 Read in 2013
Murder on the Menu by Miranda Bliss

This is the second book in a cozy mystery series.  In this book, Annie and Eve had opened up a restaurant with their former cooking teacher, Jim.  As business begins to pick up, the girls reconnect with a former school pal, Sarah.  Shortly after, Sarah is found dead in her bath tub from an apparent suicide.  This does not sit well with Eve and Annie and the two begin their own investigation.  This does not happen without danger and bumps in the road.  Will they find the murderer in time, before he/she finds them?

I enjoy this series.  The characters are interesting--I like the friendship between Annie and Eve and their rapport.  Annie's relationship with Jim is interesting.  In this book, I enjoyed Doc, the dog with style.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Storyteller

Book #91 Read in 2013
The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult

Sage is a baker who hides away from people because of a scar on her face, which she got in a car accident which killed her mother.  Sage has closed herself off from people, finding peace in her baking.  She is in a going-nowhere relationship with a married man, Adam.  Then an old man comes into her bakery, named Josef, and wants her to agree to help him die.  He tells Sage a tale of his past, about how he was a Nazi and the horrible things he did to people.  Sage reports him to the government and investigator Leo comes to see if he can try Josef for war crimes.  Leo and Sage have an instant connection.  As they work together to find out the truth about Josef, they also speak to Sage's grandmother, a Holocaust survivor.

This book was riveting and one of my favorite Picoult books.  Told in alternating narration, Picoult's writing style is complex and interesting.  Readers will be hooked and want to find out the truth about Josef's past and to see what Sage will do about his request.  I loved this book.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Hold Fast (YA)

Book #90 Read in 2013
Hold Fast by Blue Balliett (YA)

This is an author who I have tried several books of, without finishing any of them.  This one, however, I loved.  A family, not very rich but very loving, uses reading and books as a way to connect them.  Then the father comes up missing and people break in and wreck the family's home.  There is obviously something bad going on and Sum and her children, Early and Jubie, are forced to head into a shelter while they continue to hope that Dash will make his way back to his family.  Early decides to take on a more active role and begins her own investigation as to what happened to her father.

I enjoyed this book.  The writing style flowed well.  Characters were well-developed and ones I immediately cared about.  This book had a good mystery element to it and a decent amount of action to keep readers engaged.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Three Times Lucky (YA)

Book #89 Read in 2013
Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage (YA)

Mo was found as a baby in the water during a hurricane by the Colonel.  She was taken in by him and Miss Lana and raised as their own.  They own a cafĂ© in a small town and Mo is wise beyond her years.  When a murder happens, Mo and her friend Dale decide to do their own investigation.  The stakes are raised even higher when the Colonel and Miss Lana are involved as well.

Mo reminded me of Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird.  She was a great character--intelligent, gutsy and a little crusty around the edges.  This book read to me like it was set in the 1960s so when George Clooney was referred to early on in the book, I was a bit thrown.  I enjoyed the writing style of this book...great characters, good mystery, some gritty issues mixed in with humor and a town that was truly connected.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Melissa's October Reads

Melissa's October Reads:

1.  The Boy on the Bridge (YA) 4/5 library book
2.  Ask Bob (4/5) Amazon Vine review book
3.  Rose Under Fire (YA) 4.5/5
4.  Hero on a Bicycle (YA) 4/5 library book
5.  The Boleyn Deceit (5/5) Amazon Vine review book
6.  Among the Janeites (4.5/5) library book
7.  In the Shadow of Blackbirds (YA) 4/5  Kindle
8.  The Girl Who was Supposed to Die (YA) 5/5 library book
9.  Panic (YA) 5/5

Year to date:  88 books read