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Saturday, November 29, 2014

How to be a Heroine


Book #113 Read in 2014
How to be  Heroine by Samantha Ellis

This is a non-fiction book, where the author reflects back to her literary heroines that she revered as a younger reader...and she decides to revisit them by re-reading the books and seeing if she still feels the same about them.  Ellis does a nice combination of more mainstream books (Gone with the Wind, Little Women) and more obscure titles.  It was an interesting read to me; I enjoy reading about readers reflecting on their reading.  I read this book in a day; it flowed well.

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

Friday, November 28, 2014

The Spiritglass Charade (YA)


Book #112 Read in 2014
The Spiritglass Charade by Colleen Gleason (YA)

This is the second book in a young adult steampunk series.  This series features the niece of Sherlock Holmes, Mina, and the sister of Bran Stoker, Evaline.  The two pair up to solve mysteries of a supernatural nature using their talents of intelligence, bravery and the occasional vampire slaying.  In this book, a young lady is trying to find her missing brother and is convinced that her dead mother is trying to help her do so.  But is someone trying to make her believe that she is crazy?  Additionally, vampires have returned to London and have begun preying on victims.

I enjoy this series a lot.  The steampunk element (modern things set in past times) is not jarring but well done.  The pair of main characters are gutsy and smart.  The mystery was well done and had good twists and turns.  I hope there will more in this series. 

I received an e-ARC of this book from Edelweiss in exchange for a honest review.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

The Here and Now (YA)


Book #111 Read in 2014
The Here and Now by Ann Brashares (YA)

This is a young adult dystopian book.  The main character is a teenage girl who, when a young child, traveled back in time from a future where a blood plague has killed many people.  There are rules that these "travelers" must follow in order to live safely among the people truly from the present. Prenna begins to break these rules when she becomes very close to Ethan; Ethan knows her true story.  The two try to save a life and create a new future.  Will they be able to do so without hurting everyone more?

This was a quick reading; the writing flowed well.  It had mystery, action, science fiction, romance and humor in it.  I enjoyed it.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Quarantine 2: The Saints


Book #110 Read in 2014
Quarantine 2:  The Saints by Lex Thomas (YA)

This is a sort of modernized Lord of the Flies set in a high school.  This book, the second in the series, picks up right where the first book ends so I recommend that they be read in order.  Will and Lucy are trying to keep the Loners connected but their numbers have greatly dwindled and the teens are looking for other factions to join.  The Saints are newcomers who quickly take control of the chaos in the high school.  These books are full of action, humor and some graphic scenes but they will definitely keep readers engaged.  I loved the first two books and have the third book in my TBR pile.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Graveyard Book (YA)


Book #109 Read in 2014
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (YA)

Nobody (or Bod) escapes from his family's murderer as a toddler by wandering into a graveyard.  The graveyard residents decide that Bod can live in the graveyard and they will protect him.  Also protecting him is his graveyard guardian Silas.  He makes sure that the boy has food and clothes as he grows.  As Bod grows though he wants to experience life outside of the graveyard....but is it safe?  I enjoyed this book.  It would make a good Halloween read with werewolves, vampires, ghosts and mummies in it.  I enjoyed it.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Lantern Sam and the Blue STreak Bandits (YA)


Book #108 Read in 2014
Lantern Sam and the Blue Streak Bandits by Michael D. Beil (YA)

This was a cute read.  Lantern Sam is a cat who can telepathically speak to certain people....two of which are train conductor Clarence and train passenger Henry.  Henry meets Ellie, a young girl who comes from a rich family and who eventually gets kidnapped on the train ride.  Henry teams up with Sam to find her and figure out the identity of the kidnappers.  I loved Lantern Sam; he was a great character.  I would recommend this book upper elementary and middle school readers. 

End Times (YA)


Book #107 Read in 2014
End Times by Anna Schumacher  (YA)

This book was a good, quick read. Daphane moves from her mother's abusive household to her aunt and uncle's religious one in a town that is financially dying.  Daphane is soon seen as making miracles when she finds oil on her uncle's property.  The town is beginning a renewal of sort and her cousin's unborn child is deemed to be a prophet in the making.  On the flip side, there seems to be a religious cult that is heading the town's way.  The ending of this book screams for a sequel.  While the religious parts got a bit much for me at times, overall it was a good read and kept my interest.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Blood of My Blood (YA)


Book #106 Read in 2014
Blood of My Blood by Barry Lyga (YA)

This is the conclusion to the trilogy that began with the book I Hunt Killers and it is a more than satisfying end.  While these books can be graphic, they are also haunting.  In this one, Jazz is hunting down Billy Dent, his serial killer father, who has kidnapped Jazz's girlfriend Connie.  Billy wants Jazz to become a killer like his old man.  Jazz has reconciled himself that this may indeed have to happen to save those he loves.  While close to 500 pages, this book races along with a plot full of twists and turns.  I am sorry to see this series end, but love that this book does such a good job of bringing closure to this storyline.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Under the Egg (YA)


Book #105 Read in 2014 (YA)
Under the Egg by Laura Marx Fitzgerald

This book would be recommended for fans of Chasing Vermeer or Manhunt.  Theo is a resourceful 13 year old whose grandfather has recently died so she is now taking care of her reclusive mother, the house, the garden and the chickens.  Her grandfather told her to look for treasure under the egg and Theo realizes that the painting of the egg above the mantel has another painting underneath...one that she believes may be worth a lot of money.  Her new friend Bodhi helps her try to solve the mystery.  There is a lot of art history in this book as well as history about World War II.  

I enjoyed this book.  It was a quick read that had great characters.  The mystery plot was an interesting one.  I borrowed this book from my town library.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

First Frost


Book #104 Read in 2014
First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen

One of my favorite authors, Sarah Addison Allen's soon-to-be-released book First Frost does not disappoint.  Claire Waverly returns in this book and is questioning her Waverly gift.  Her sister Sydney is dealing with her daughter Bay getting older and having her heart set on a boy...the son of Sydney's high school sweetheart who broke her heart.  The family bands together when unity is threatened and the magical realism that this author does so well is throughout the book.  The apple tree and Claire's house are characters in their own right and this was the perfect book to read around Halloween, with the weather getting colder.  I received a copy of this book from BookBrowse, in exchange for a honest review. 

Saturday, November 1, 2014

October Reads

October Reads:

1.  Aviary Wonders Inc. (YA)  3/5  library book
2.  Rites of Passage (YA)  4/5  Amazon Vine review book
3.  Nest (YA)  4/5  library book
4.  All the Light We Cannot See (4/5)
5.  Freakboy (YA)  5/5  library book
6.  Harlem Hellfighters (YA)  3.5/5  library book
7.  Loot (YA)  4.5/5  Amazon Vine review book
8.  Counting by 7s (YA)  5/5
9.  Sisters (YA)  3.5/5  Kindle book
10.  The Gospel of Winter (YA)  3/5
11.  Prisoner B-3087 (YA)  5/5
12.  Never Ending (YA)  3/5  Amazon Vine review book
13.  Manhunt (YA)  5/5  library book  3rd in series

103 books read in 2014