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Saturday, February 28, 2015

Mosquitoland (YA)

Book #25 Read in 2015
Mosquitoland by David Arnold (YA)

Mim is a quirky, intelligent teenage girl who runs away from her father's house to go visit her mother in Cleveland.  Mim gets on a Greyhound bus and begins her journey, meeting some nice and not-so-nice people along the way.  On her journey, she finds out more about herself, people in general and the world around her.  Mim is an interesting character who reminds me a bit of Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird--curious, intelligent and spunky.  This book bogged down a bit for me in the middle but overall, it was a good read.  I received a copy of this book from the Amazon Vine program in exchange for a honest review.

Hissy Fitz (YA)

Book #24 Read in 2015
Hissy Fitz by Patrick Jennings (YA)

This is a cute read for upper elementary and middle school students.  Hissy is a cat who just wants a quiet house so he can catch up on his sleep.  That being said, he lives with a noisy family with a carpenter dad and three active children.  When tired, Hissy gets, well, hissy.  At night he ventures out into the neighborhood to try to work off his excess energy.  This is a good read for young cat lovers.  I borrowed this book from my public library.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Two Girls Staring at the Ceiling (YA)

Book #23 Read in 2015
Two Girls Staring at the Ceiling by Lucy Frank (YA)

This book tells the stories of two girls, Francesca and Shannon, who are dealing with Crohn's Disease.  Told in verse, a line down the center of the page symbolizes the curtain between their hospital beds.  As they bond, their metaphorical curtain is pulled back and they end up being support for each other.  I read this book in one sitting.  The characters are well developed and interesting, which I always find even more impressive in a verse novel.  I especially enjoyed the local setting and was interested to learn that the author is also somewhat local.  I highly recommend this one for high school girls and think adults would enjoy it as well.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Sin Eater's Daughter (YA)

Book #22 Read in 2015
The Sin Eater's Daughter by Melinda Salisbury (YA)

Twylla has been deemed to be an embodiment of a god who has the power to kill a person with a single touch.  The Queen has decided that Twylla will marry the Prince and has brought her to the kingdom.  She is used as a deadly weapon.  This ability has led her to remain distant from those around her because she does not trust herself to accidentally harm them.  But is all as it seems?  A new guard, Lief, has led her to question what she has always thought as being true but at what expense?  This book was a good, quick read.  It had  elements of fantasy, romance and mystery to it.  I received a copy of this book from Amazon Vine in exchange for a honest review.

Monday, February 23, 2015

The Tyrant's Daughter (YA)

Book #21 Read in 2015
The Tyrant's Daughter by J.C. Carleson (YA)

Written by a former undercover CIA agent, this book details the escape of Laila, her younger brother who is now King, and her mother from a Middle Eastern country after her father, the former ruler, is killed.  It shows the difficulty of assimilating to a new culture and how hard it is to let traditions go.  It also shows that one does not need to physically be in a country in order to be able to manipulate what happens in that country.  Laila is an interesting and intelligent character.  The writing flows well and it is a quick, good read.  I recommend it.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Chalk Girl

Book #20 Read in 2015
The Chalk Girl by Carol O'Connell

This is a gritty mystery.  Kathy Mallory is a rogue New York City detective who will solve a case, doing whatever is necessary.  A person is hanging people in trees and letting them die like that.  It is similar to a case that happened about 15 years ago. Mallory takes on the case and works to solve it, with the help of her partner Riker, a young material witness, and others.  This book bogged down for me in places but overall was a good read.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Big Fat Disaster (YA)

Book #19 Read in 2015
Big Fat Disaster by Beth Fehlbaum (YA)

This book tackles a lot of major issues--eating disorders, suicide, bullying, adultery and homelessness.  Chloe is the "fat girl" in a pretty, political family.  She never feels as if she fits in or that her mother is proud of her.  After her father falls from grace, Chloe moves to a new town where she becomes a target of bullying by the "mean girls" in her new school.  It shows how horrible high school can be.  I hated the mother in this book but was happy that at the end, she at least gets some of what she deserves.  I felt for Chloe throughout the book.  This was a good read.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Read Between the Lines (YA)(

Book #18 Read in 2015
Read Between the Lines by Jo Knowles (YA)

This book was a great, quick read.  Told by several different characters, this book focuses on one day in the lives of high school students, former high school students and adults who work in the high school.  As they tell their stories, readers will see how they all intersect and connect with each other; this writing style is masterfully done.  It reinforces the belief that one can never truly know how connected we all are to each other.  Characters are very well developed for  their short chapters and I think both girl and boy readers, especially at the high school level, will enjoy this book.  It was well done.

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

Sunday, February 15, 2015

By Book or by Crook

Book #17 Read in 2015
By Book or By Crook by Eva Gates

This is the first book in a new cozy mystery series.  I knew I would love it since it's set in a library, has Jane Austen's books at its center and there is a library cat named Charles after Charles Dickens.  I was not disappointed.  This book had good twists and turns which kept me guessing the killer's identity to the very end.  The library staff characters were interesting and engaging.  The setting of both the library (in a lighthouse) and the town (small, beach town) were great to read about and visit.  I enjoyed this book a lot and will read book #2, out in September.  I borrowed this book from my public library.

Monday, February 9, 2015

The Girl on the Train

Book #16 Read in 2015
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

People have been comparing this book to Gone Girl and that comparison is pretty spot on as this thriller has not-so-likable characters and a plot that will keep you reading and unable to put the book down.  Rachel has lost her job due to her drinking problem but in order to not have her roommate find out, she continues her daily train commute.  This ride has her passing her old house, where her ex-husband now lives with his new wife and baby daughter, and a house nearby where a young couple lives.  Rachel invents names and a storyline for this couple and feels as if she knows them.  The wife then turns up missing and Rachel is drawn into trying to find out what happened.  The plot has many twists and turns and will keep readers hooked from beginning to end.  I highly recommend it.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

The Impossible Knife of Memory (YA)

Book #15 Read in 2015
The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson (YA)

This was a great read by one of my favorite authors.  Hayley is a senior in high school and has returned to public school after being homeschooled by her father for years while they were on the road with his working as a trucker.  Hayley's father suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Hayley fears that he will harm himself.  She ends up being more of the parent than child in the household.  This book was a powerful read that immediately sucked me in; I read it in one day.  I highly recommend it for both high school students and adults.  Great read!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

All the Rage (YA)

Book #14 Read in 2015
All the Rage by Courtney Summers (YA)

Romy has had a traumatic experience that she is trying to forget.  It is hard to when a fellow classmate, Penny, goes missing after leaving a party.  Romy feels responsible for Penny's disappearance.  Her classmates are quick to help her feel that way.  This book tells how devastating a horrible experience, followed by bullying, can be to people.  It is a raw, gritty and powerful read.  I received a copy of this book from the Amazon Vine program in exchange for a honest review.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Girls Like Us (YA)

Book #13 Read in 2015
Girls Like Us by Gail Giles (YA)

Giles is one of my favorite young adult authors and this book does not disappoint.  Quincy and Biddy are special education students who are graduating high school and having a work/apartment program set up for them to be roommates.  The two are very different but fundamentally the same...hurt and abandoned girls.  This story shows that people with special needs can be successful--at life, at being friends and at being good people.  A short, quick read, this book has power to it.  I recommend it.

Jungle of Bones (YA)

Book #12 Read in 2015
Jungle of Bones by Ben Mikalsen (YA)

I enjoy this author's books, such as Touching Spirit Bear.  This book was another good, quick read.  Dylan is a teenager going down a wrong path and his mother enlists the help of her brother-in-law, a former Marine.  Uncle Todd takes Dylan to New Guinea to search for the wrecked fighter that his father flew in World War 2.  Dylan, of course, does not want to listen to any of his uncle's advice about how to survive in the jungle and pays the price.  Will that be enough to get Dylan back on track?  Middle grade boys will enjoy this book.  It has enough action and history to keep them interested.

January Reads

January Reads:

1.  Zombie Haiku (3/5)
2.  Falls the Shadow (YA) 4/5
3.  Quarantine #3 (YA)  4/5
4.  Playlist for the Dead (YA) 5/5
5.  Skies Like These (YA) 4/5
6.  The Island of Dr. Libris (YA)  5/5
7.  Better than Before (4/5)
8.  Skinny (YA)  4/5
9.  There Will be Lies (YA) 4/5
10.  The Dead I Know (YA)  4/5
11.  We are Completely Besides Ourselves (4/5)

11 books read in 2015