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Saturday, January 31, 2015

We are Completely Besides Ourselves

Book #11 Read in 2015
We are Completely Besides Ourselves--Karen Joy Fowler

Rosemary grew up with a brother and sister...the sister just happened to be a chimp being raised in a human household.  This non-traditional upbringing shapes the rest of Rosemary's life and causes her brother to go down a wrong path.  It was an interesting read with interesting characters.  They were complex and deep.  The writing flowed and kept me engaged.  I enjoy this read, but loved the author's book The Jane Austen Book Club.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Dead I Know (YA)

Book #10 Read in 2015
The Dead I Know by Scot Gardner (YA)

Aaron comes from a messed up home life.  He begins a job at a funeral parlor and John, the funeral director, takes him under his wing.  It is hard, however, for Aaron to ask for help.  This book has a lot of sad elements to it but ends on a hopeful note.  It was a good, quick read.  I received a copy of this book from the Amazon Vine program in exchange for a honest review.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

There Will Be Lies (YA)

Book #9 Read in 2015
There Will Be Lies by Nick Lake (YA)

Shelby's mother is very overprotective.  Shelby is homeschooled, not allowed to socialize with others and has to follow her mother's strict rules.  The reasoning behind this will shock even Shelby.  As the truth comes to light, Shelby's life begins to unravel.  This was a good read that will suck in readers immediately.  There are lots of layers to the characters and good twists and turns to the plot.  I received a copy of this book from Amazon Vine in exchange for a honest review.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Skinny (YA)

Book #8 Read in 2015
Skinny by Donna Cooner (YA)

This is a realistic fiction book in the young adult field.  Ever is an overweight teenager.  She decides to have gastric bypass surgery.  The author had it as well so this story is so realistic and informational that it made it even more powerful.  While the surgery helps Ever lose weight, it does not immediately change how Ever views herself.  She thinks of herself as the fat girl that no one likes.  As the book unfolds, she realizes that sometime it wasn't others but her choice to not be friends with people; she exuded an anger that she didn't even realized showed to others. 

This was a good, quick read.  I think high school girls would enjoy it.  I borrowed this book from the town library.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Better Than Before

Book #7 Read in 2015
Better than Before by Gretchen Rubin

I am not much for non-fiction books or self-help books.  That being said, I love Gretchen Rubin's writing style and enjoy her books.  In this book, Better than Before, Rubin investigates how people go about making habits/resolutions and keeping them...or not.  She identifies categories of people by their habit tendency and it truly makes sense.  I also really enjoy how Rubin incorporates books and reading into her books, even when they are not the focus of her books.  I received a copy of this book from the Amazon Vine program in exchange for a honest review.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Island of Dr. Libris (YA)

Book #6 Read in 2015
The Island of Dr. Libris by Chris Grabenstein (YA)

I enjoyed this author's book Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library and was excited for the chance to review this one...and it did not disappoint.  In this book, Billy is spending the summer in a cabin with his mother, who is working on her dissertation.  She encourages Billy, who is looking for the cabin's television, to check out expansive library/study of Dr. Libris.  Billy does so and the books come to life...literally...on an island nearby.  Billy meets Robin Hood, Hercules and The Three Musketeers, among others.  His hope is to find treasure in order to erase the financial troubles that he thinks are getting in the way of the happy marriage of his parents. 

This was a good, quick read.  I loved the literary references throughout it.  Billy is an interesting character.  I enjoyed it a lot.  I received a copy of this book from the Amazon Vine program in exchange for a honest review.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Skies Like These (YA)

Book #5 Read in 2015
Skies Like These by Tess Hilmo (YA)

Jade goes to Wyoming to visit her Aunt Elise.  She meets Roy, a neighbor boy who believes he is a relative to Butch Cassidy.  Roy wants to rob a bank, steal artwork and other get-rich-quick schemes to help his parents have enough money to reopen the family business.  Roy figures he should be able to do so, as any good cowboy would.  Jade has to try to help him be realistic and reasonable.  This was a good, quick read.  Jade and Roy are both intelligent and interesting characters.  Secondary characters are interesting as well and the plot will engage reluctant readers.  I borrowed this book from our town library.

Playlist for the Dead (YA)

Book #4 Read in 2015
Playlist for the Dead by Michelle Falkoff

Sam goes to visit his friend Hayden and finds that he has overdoses and killed himself.  Sam finds a playlist of music left behind for him, with a note from Hayden that this will help explain why he committed suicide.  Sam begins to realize that he did not know his best friend as well as he thought he did.  Sam begins to follow the musical trail Hayden left for him, in the hopes of finding the reason for this tragedy and perhaps easing his own guilt.

This was a powerful, but quick, read.  It showed the effects of bullying and not fitting in socially on young people.  Both male and female teenage readers could relate to this book.  It is well written and the characters are complex and interesting.  I recommend it.

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

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Quarantine #3 The Burnouts (YA)

Book #3 Read in 2015
Quarantine #3:  The Burnouts (YA)

This is the third and final book in a dystopian young adult series, a sort of Lord of the Flies set in a high school.  Children are infected and adults are at risk to be around them without gas masks.  Therefore, the parents lock the children in their high school and are free for all begins with violence and horror.  In this book, Will has "graduated" and is on the outside and realizes that his brother is still alive.  When he learns that his girlfriend, Lucy, who is still in the school is pregnant, Will goes back in to rescue her and David goes in after him to rescue Will.  This installment was slower for me than the first two but did a decent job of bringing closure to a good series.  Both boy and girl readers, high school age, would like these books.  I received an e-arc of this book from Edelweiss in exchange for a honest review.

Falls the Shadow (YA)

Book #2 Read in 2015
Falls the Shadow by Stefanie Gaither (YA)

Cate has a sister who died...sort of.  Violet had a clone who took her place when she passed away.  But Cate feels like Violet (the clone) has never truly replaced her sister.  Then Violet is accused of murdering the daughter of a high-ranking official and Cate tries to find out what really happened.  She is assisted by her crush Jaxon and his friend Seth.  But they are at risk for their investigation...from a variety of sources.  This was an interesting read.  I think it would appeal to both boy and girl readers, especially those in high school.  It had elements of action, romance, humor and mystery to it.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Zombie Haiku

Book #1 Read in 2015
Zombie Haiku by Ryan Mecum

This was a quick read, told in haiku format, about the zombie uprising.  It is a bit gory in parts, which means boys will most likely love it.  It shows the transition of a human who is becoming a zombie.

Thursday, January 1, 2015


I read 126 books in 2014.  Not too shabby.  My 2015 Goodreads goal is 110 books.  Happy New Year!