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Monday, March 30, 2015

Leaving Time

Book #38 Read in 2015
Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult

Jenna is a teenager who is trying to find her mother who went missing when Jenna was a toddler.  There had been an accident at the elephant sanctuary, owned by her parents, and a worker ended up trampled and Jenna's mother was severely hurt.  She disappeared from the hospital, leaving Jenna behind with questions and Jenna's father behind with mental issues.  Did Jenna's mother leave to hide bad things that she may have done?  In typical Picoult fashion, this book moves back and forth between narrators.  Readers of Picoult know to expect a twist at the end but this twist was one that I was not expecting.  This was a good read and will keep readers engaged.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Diary of a Harry Potter Addict

Book #37 Read in 2015
Diary of a Harry Potter Addict by Darby Romeo and Kerin Morataya

This book talks about ways to get past "HPSED" or Harry Potter Series Ending Disorder.  Rabid Harry Potter fans can use this "self-help" book to figure out ways of moving on past the end of the Harry Potter books.  Humorous, especially to Harry Potter fans who would get all the references, I would have liked to see more of a true diary format that a self-help guise.  I borrowed this book from the Kindle Owner's Lending Library.

The Friendship Riddle (YA)

Book #36 Read in 2015
The Friendship Riddle by Megan Frazer Blakemore

This was a good young adult mystery, perfect for upper elementary and middle school readers.  Ruth finds clues/notes in old library books at her neighborhood library which seem to lead to more clues.  Since Ruth loves reading about people going on quests, she decides this will be her quest.  She ends up getting some help from newfound friends of hers and the group try to find the spots where the clues will lead them to.  I enjoyed that the young characters were smart and readers.  I have read several of this author's books and she keeps that theme throughout them all.  I received a copy of this book from the Amazon Vine program in exchange for a honest review.

Friday, March 27, 2015

The Book of Speculation

Book #35 Read in 2015
The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler

Simon is a librarian who loves books.  He receives an old one in the mail and contacts the bookseller who sent it to him; the bookseller says that he thinks Simon will find it an interesting read.  He does, as it tells the history of his family that was previously unknown to him.  While reading it, Simon's sister returns and the two find out there is a lot about their family that they might not have had known.  This book was well written and had a sort of gothic feel to it.  It told parallel stories of Simon's ancestors and Simon's own present-day story.  This can be jarring to readers but Swyler did a really nice job with it.  I received a copy of this book from Amazon Vine in exchange for a honest review.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

A Court of Thorns and Roses (YA)

Book #34 Read in 2015
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas (YA)

This is the first book in a new series by this author.  Feyre kills a wolf who is really a fairy and must uphold the treaty terms and give up her life for that whom she killed.  Tamlin, instead of taking her life, allows her to live out the rest of her life on his lands in the fairy world.  He ends up treating her like a dear guest instead of the killer of her friend.  I am usually not a fan of books with fairies in this them but I loved this book.  It reminded me of Beauty and the Beast.  It had great characters (Feyre is a brave, bad ass chick), good romance and action elements to it and an engaging plot that made this over 400 page book fly by.  I highly recommend it.  I received a copy of this book from the Amazon Vine program in exchange for a honest review.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Crash and Burn (YA)

Book #33 Read in 2015
Crash and Burn by Michael Hassan (YA)

This was a good read, geared towards high school students.  Some gritty stuff in it like drug use and sex, but overall a powerful enough read about a school shooting to get past that stuff and make it a worthwhile recommended read.  Burn tried to burn the elementary school down (hence his nickname) and Crash was there when he tried it.  Fast forward to their high school years, with each boy having gone through some heavy stuff, and Burn is holding teachers hostage in the faculty room and threatening to blow up the school; Crash hopes to de-escalate the situation.  This book was over 500 pages and easily could have had some cut as it bogged down a bit for me in the middle, but overall I liked it.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Where They Found Her

Book #32 Read in 2015
Where They Found Her by Kimberly McCreight

I loved this author's book, Reconstructing Amelia, and this book did not disappoint.  Molly is a reporter dealing with the death of her baby.  New to the reporting game, her editor asks her to cover a story for the regular reporter, who is out of town.  Neither knew that the story would involve covering the discovery of a infant girl's body, whose condition leads to a homicide investigation.  As Molly begins her own investigation, she realizes that this case has layers and connections that are beyond complicated.  This book was well written and had a plot full of twists and turns that will keep readers hooked.  I did figure out most of it before the end of the book, but I was never 100% sure that I was right until the very end.  I recommend it.  I received a copy of this book from the Amazon Vine program in exchange for a review.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Zane and the Hurricane (YA)

Book #31 Read in 2015
Zane and the Hurricane by Rodman Philbrick (YA)

This is a quick read about Hurricane Katrina that middle school and high school students, both boys and girls, would enjoy.  Zane travels to New Orleans to meet his newly found great-grandmother.  Hurricane Katrina hits and Zane, along with his dog Bandy, are separated from his great-grandmother.  He meets up with an odd pair, musician Tru and young Malvina, and the trio (plus Bandy) try to reach safe, dry land.  While the plot has enough action to keep readers engaged, it also details the devastation that this natural disaster brought upon the area.

The Witch Hunter (YA)

Book #30 Read in 2015
The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker (YA)

This was a good paranormal, young adult book.  Elizabeth is a witch hunter...which is exactly as it sounds.  She is then found with witch's herbs in her possession and jailed as a witch.  Nicholas, a famous wizard, rescues her in the hopes that she will be able to fulfill a prophecy that might save his life.  Will she?  This book was a good, quick read.  It had elements of suspense, humor and romance.  I enjoyed it.  I received a copy of this book from the Amazon Vine program in exchange for a honest review.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

The Tutor

Book # 29 Read in 2015
The Tuor by Andrea Chapin

This book was a good historical fiction read, telling about Katherine and her dalliance with William Shakespeare.  It detailed the religious persecution of that time, the limited rights of women and how marriage matches were made.  Katherine was an intelligent, interesting character.  Over 300 pages long, the writing flowed nicely and made this a quick read.  I enjoyed it.  I borrowed this book from my local library.

An Ember in the Ashes (YA)

Book #28 Read in 2015
An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

This book better have a sequel to it and it better come out soon!  Martials have overtaken the government and have enslaved Scholars.  Elias is a Martial who is graduating from an academy that will teach him how to be heartless and cold.  Laia is a Scholar who joins forces with the resistance in an effort to save her captured brother.  The two connect in a way that shouldn't be possible and are drawn to helping each other.  This book had good action, romance, interesting characters and a plot that made the over 400 pages fly by.  I received a copy of this book from the Amazon Vine program in exchange for a honest review.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Mockingjay (YA)

Book #27 Read in 2015
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (YA)

This is the final book in the Hunger Games series and I liked it more than I thought I would, based on what I had heard about it.  I am not sure, however, if I liked how Collins wrapped everything up.  That being said, there was a good amount of action and romance to keep me engaged.  In this book, Katniss is in District 13 and she wants to be the one to kill Snow.  She also wants to rescue Peeta, as Snow has him captive.  All in all, this was a good series.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

American Sniper

Book #26 Read in 2015
American Sniper by Chris Kyle

This is the autobiography of Chris Kyle, the most deadly sniper in US military history.  This book was a quick read; Kyle writes in way that feels like a conversation.  He talks of his childhood and his military tours and his wife chimes in as well.  It was a good read.  We just watched the movie and that was good too. 

February Reads

February Reads:

1.  Jungle of Bones (YA)  4/5  Library book
2.  Girls Like Us (YA)  4/5
3.  All the Rage (YA)  4/5
4.  The Impossible Knife of Memory (YA)  5/5  Kindle book
5.  The Girl on the Train  (5/5)  Kindle book
6.  By Book or By Crook (5/5)  Library book   1st in series
7.  Read Between the Lines (YA)  5/5
8.  Big Fat Disaster (YA)  5/5
9.  The Chalk Girl (3.5/5)
10.  The Tyrant's Daughter (YA)  5/5
11.  The Sin Eater's Daughter (YA)  4/5
12.  Two Girls Staring at the Ceiling (YA)  5/5
13.  Hissy Fitz (YA)  5/5  Library book
14.  Mosquitoland (YA)  4/5

25 books read in 2015