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Sunday, June 29, 2014

Lockwood and Co: The Screaming Staircase (YA)


Book #58 Read in 2014
Lockwood and Co.:  The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud (YA)

This is the first in a young adult paranormal mystery series.  Children can see ghosts or spirits; adults cannot.  Due to this, ghosthunting agencies are made up of young children and teenagers.  Lockwood and Co. is one of these agencies, run by Anthony Lockwood.  He has his assistant George, whose strength is doing research, and hires Lucy, a young woman who can hear the spirits.  Their agency is hired by people and businesses to find the "source" of the spirit and put it to rest.  Some times this works out better than other times.  Lucy finds the spirit of a murdered woman, Annie, and the agency begins to look into her murder.  But is the murderer trying to stop their investigation?

This book is a good read and is well written.  There are some slow parts in the early stage of the book, but that is set up that does help support the story.  It includes good action, a decent mystery and intelligent and interesting characters.  I have #2 in my TBR pile.  I borrowed #1 from my local library.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Rosie Project


Book #57 Read in 2014
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

Don, the main character in this book, was very similar to the character of Sheldon on the TV show "The Big Bang Theory".  Don is a geneticist who has some trouble being socially acceptable...he likes to keep a rigid schedule, he does not filter verbally and he is looking for a wife...so he creates "the wife project"....surveying women in his search for the perfect partner.  Who he finds is Rosie.  She does not fit well into his categories and has a project of her own:  "the father project"; Rosie hopes that Don can help DNA test several possible biological fathers for her.

This book had a lot of humor to it and interesting characters.  Simsion wrote Don well.  The secondary characters were interesting as well.  I enjoyed this book.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Operation Titanic (YA)


Book #56 Read in 2014
Operation Titanic by Carolyn Keene

This book is a combination Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys book.  In this installment, the Titanic is going to be raised and there is a big media hoopla over that.  Nancy is at the gala and is trying to catch a thief.  In a parallel story, Frank and Joe Hardy are helping the government find some lost nuclear missiles.  Of course, the trio cross path and join forces to catch all of the bad guys.  This book was a quick read and it was sort of fun to get back to some detectives that I read a lot about when I was younger.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

An Unlikely Cat Lady


Book #55 Read in 2014
An Unlikely Cat Lady by Nina Malkin

This book details the author's journey from cat admirer to feral cat caregiver.  Living in Brooklyn, it was a bit surprising for her to realize how many feral cats there were in her neighborhood.  She connects with local rescue organizations and begins to trap/neuter/release her outside crew.  Of course, along the way she falls for almost all of the ferals, naming them and recognizing their unique personalities.  I enjoyed Malkin's writing style and her reference to musicians and writers.  I enjoyed this book.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Small Blessings


Book #54 Read in 2014
Small Blessings by Martha Woodroof

Tom Putnam is an English Professor at a small college.  His wife, depressed for years, dies in a car accident.  Tom begins to see that this, while being a horrible event, is allowing him a second chance in life.  He becomes drawn to Rose, the campus bookstore manager.  Unexpectedly, a small boy, Henry, shows up in his life, supposedly his son from an affair a long time ago.  However, when Henry arrives, it becomes quickly obvious that there is no way he can be Tom's biological son.  This does not stop Tom, Rose and Tom's mother-in-law Agnes from quickly caring for the boy and wanted to incorporate him in their lives.  But this is a little more complicated than they expected.

This novel is well written.  The characters are interesting and complex.  The college campus setting is a nice, cozy one and lends itself well to the happenings in this book.  I recommend it.  I received this book through the Amazon Vine program in exchange for a honest review.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Right Click


Book #53 Read in 2014
Right Click by Lisa Becker

This is the third book in a hilarious series.  Told entirely through emails, Renee and her friends (Shelly, Renee's fiancée Ethan, Mark, Ashley and a few others) are back talking about life, love and pretty much everything in between.  Kudos to Lisa Becker for being able to develop her characters so well while using a strictly email format.  These books have made me laugh out loud.  I recommend them to fans of Janet Evanonvich's Stephanie Plum books and also for fans of Sophie Kinsella's writing. 

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for a honest review.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Afterworlds (YA)


Book #52 Read in 2014
Afterworlds by Scott Westerfield (YA)

This book was an interesting read as it told two stories...one of an aspiring young author getting settled into the writing world of New York City; the other was the story of her fictional heroine in her book.  The bouncing between the two worlds was seamless and reader-friendly.  Darcy, the author, feels like a fake when she is thrust into a world of socializing with both up-and-coming and established writers.  This is her first foray into living by herself, managing her own money and trying to write the sequel to her first book.  Her fictional heroine, Lizzy, had survived a terrorist attack and can now transition to the afterworld and see spirits.  Both stories had romance in them, though Lizzie's story is much darker than Darcy's.

Westerfield's excellent writing style did well in this book.  I enjoyed both stories and the main characters in each.  This book was almost 600 pages but kept me engaged throughout.

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

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Final Sentence




Book #51 Read in 2014
Final Sentence by Daryl Wood Gerber

This is the first book in a cozy mystery series, set in a cookbook store/café.  Jenna moves back to her hometown after her husband dies and opens up a cook store/café with her aunt.  Jenna invites her college roommate, now a big cooking show star, to be the special guest at the store's opening but her roommate is murdered before she can appear at the store.  Jenna becomes a suspect and begins her own investigation to clear her name.  But will that get her into more danger?

This book was a good mystery and I loved the cozy setting.  Also a big hit was stray kitten Tigger  and secondary characters such as Jenna's dad, aunt and friends.  There was also a hint of romance in this book as Jenna and fish shop owner Rhett connect.  I enjoyed this book and will read the second book in the series.

May Reads

May Reads:

1.  We Were Liars (YA) 4.5/5  Amazon Vine review book
2.  City of Glass (YA)  5/5  3rd in series
3.  Eleanor and Park (YA) 5/5  Kindle
4.  Formerly Shark Girl (YA)  4/5  2nd in series
5.  The Outsmarting of Criminals (4.5/5)  library book
6.  Cat Daddy (4/5)  Kindle
7.  The Angel Stone (4.5/5)  3rd in series
8.  Orphan Train (5/5)  Kindle
9.  Breathe (YA)  3/5  1st in series

50 books read in 2014 as of now