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Sunday, June 28, 2015

Blood Red

Book #84 Read in 2015
Blood Red by Wendy Corsi Staub

This is the first in a new trilogy and it is a book that will keep readers engaged from start to finished.  Set in a town in the Hudson Valley--in theory not that far from where I live--called Mundy's Landing, there seems to be a serial killer targeting redheaded women.  Who is his true target?  Rowan, an elementary teacher and a redhead, has her own worries....her former neighbor, with whom she almost had an affair with years ago, seemingly has returned to her life by leaving her little gifts as a way to remind her of their time together.  Will she lose her perfect husband and marriage if she confesses after all these years?  Will the killer hit close to home for Rowan? 

There are many layers to this mystery, some of which I figured out and some that kept me guessing to the very end.  The characters were complex and interesting.  The setting intrigued me since it mentioned places that I am familiar with....Catskill, Albany and Saratoga being just a few.  I will continue this series.   I received a copy of this book from the Amazon Vine program in exchange for a honest review.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Lost (YA)

Book #83 Read in 2015
Lost by S.A. Bodeen (YA)

This is the sequel to Shipwreck Island and a good series for middle school readers.  Lost picks up right where the first book picks up so reading the first one is suggested.  The family is still marooned on the island and trying to figure out how to survive until they are rescued.  The island continues to be scary with its unknown creatures that shouldn't exist.  There will definitely be a third book in this series as this one ends with quite the cliffhanger.  It was a good, quick read.  I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for a review.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Sweet Forgiveness

Book #82 Read in 2015
Sweet Forgiveness by Lori Nelson Spielman

I loved this author's book The Life List so I jumped at the chance to get this one to review.  It did not disappoint.  Hannah is a successful talk show host.  She receives a "forgiveness stone" from the girl who tormented her in school.  If she forgives the bully, she should send the stone back with a letter.  She should also give a forgiveness stone to someone she needs to atone to.  This makes Hannah take stock of her life and her relationships, namely with her mother.  But at what cost?

Well written, this novel has complex characters and an interesting storyline.  This author's writing style is light to read but has great emotional depth.  She is quickly become one of my must-read authors.  I received a copy of this book from the Amazon Vine program in exchange for a honest review.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

From Where I Watch You (YA)

Book #81 Read in 2015
From Where I Watch You by Shannon Grogan (YA)

Kara is getting creepy notes from, seemingly from a stalker.  As if that isn't enough for a high school student to deal with, she is still getting over her sister's death, which caused her mother to transform into a holy roller and her father to leave home.  Kara wants to win a baking contest to get the heck out of her home town.  That won't be an option if her stalker follows through on his threats...who is he?

This book had decent twists and turns.  The characters were interesting.  It also had some romantic elements to it.  For a debut, it was well written.  High school girls would especially like it.  I received a copy of this book from the Amazon Vine program in exchange for a honest review.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Hyperbole and a Half

Book #80 Read in 2015
Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh

This book is extremely funny.  It is based on Brosh's blog and talks about such important things about the intelligence of her dogs, how to escape an angry goose in your house as well as actual serious issues such as depression.  These short chapters are entertaining and fun.  A fun summer read, I borrowed this book from the public library.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

I am Princess X (YA)

Book #79 Read in 2015
I am Princess X by Cherie Priest (YA)

May and Libby become best friends and being to write books together...May writes the story about Princess X and Libby draws the pictures.  When the girls are teenagers, Libby is killed, along with her mother, in a car accident.  Three years later, May begins to see Princess X artwork and items all over Seattle and wonders if Libby really died after all.  She begins to investigate and unveils many layers about what happened to Libby, mostly with her upstairs neighbor and computer whiz Trick.  The duo face danger as they try to find out the truth.

This book was a good read and will keep both high school boys and girls engaged.  It had a good mystery to it, plus edgy characters and humor.  The graphic novel part of it will hook readers as well.  I received a copy of this book from the Amazon Vine program in exchange for a honest review.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Jillian CAde, fake Paranormal Investigator (YA)

Book #78 Read in 2015
Jillian Cade, Fake Paranormal Investigator by Jen Klein (YA)

Jillian Cade has taken over her father's paranormal investigation business while he's off traveling the world.  Pretty ambitious for a high schooler, but Jillian is not your typical high school girl (I kept picturing Trubel from NBC's TV show Grimm).  Jillian is savvy, tough and intelligent.  She knows she needs to keep the money coming in so she can survive on her own.  Then the next school year starts and she meets new student Sky, who seems a little too much of a fan of her father.  A classmate hires the pair to find her missing boyfriend and it does seem to have a paranormal possibility to the case.  This book was a good, quick read.  It had a good mystery, some paranormal parts to it, humor and romance.  This book definitely was the set up of a possible series.  I received a copy of this book from the Amazon Vine program in exchange for a honest review.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

the last leaves falling (YA)

Book #77 Read in 2015
the last leaves falling by Sarah Benwell (YA)

This is an exceptional read.  Abe Sora is a teenager diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) and he knows that the outcome is death.  He feels like a burden on his mother.  Sora feels as if he cannot go out because of the pitying stares.  He connects with two local teens online via a forum and the trio end up meeting in person.  Sora feels as if his life has more meaning but the progression of his disease is quick moving and he wants to live, and die, on his terms. 

This book was well-written and powerful.  The characters are ones that readers will care about immediately.  Filled with Japanese myths and tidbits, the book was elevated to a new level.  I believe high school girls and adults would enjoy this book.  I received a copy of this book from the Amazon Vine program in exchange for a honest review.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Fuzzy Mud (YA)

Book #76 Read in 2015
Fuzzy Mud by Louis Sachar (YA)

Marshall and Tamaya walk home from school together every day; they live near each other and Tamaya does not want her daughter to walk alone.  One day, Marshall, trying to avoid a bully from school, tells Tamaya he knows a short cut and the two head into the woods.  They get lost and are excited when they are found...until they see they were found by Chad, the bully Marshall is trying to avoid.  Tamaya slings "fuzzy mud" into Chad's face to allow she and Marshall a chance to escape.  Turns out the fuzzy mud is a toxic substance.  What will happen to those expose to it?

The author of Holes has written another good read.  This one is quick and can span upper elementary to middle school grades.  Students interested in science would enjoy the toxicity discussed in this book.  I received a copy of this book from the Amazon Vine program in exchange for a honest review.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Goodbye Stranger (YA)

Book #75 Read in 2015
Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead (YA)

This book shows that tweens and teens can have it rough.  Bridge, Tab and Emily have been friends for years.  As they go through middle school, they begin to have different interests (civil right, boys and finding a spot to fit in) but they remain loyal to each other.  A parallel story of 9th graders involving Tab's older sister Celeste and her friends Vinny and Gina show that high school has its own set of issues.  These characters figure out what friendship is and that it is ok to follow ones own path.   Well written, I think middle and high school girls would really enjoy it.  I received a copy of this book from the Amazon Vine program in exchange for a honest review.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

A Castle Full of Cats (children's book)

Book #74 Read in 2015
A Castle Full of Cats by Ruth Sanderson (children's book)

This is a beautifully illustrated, rhyming verse children's book.  A queen has a castle full of cats and the king has had enough.  His castle and life are overrun by cats.  What is a man to do?  Cat lovers young and old will like this book.  I borrowed this book from my public library.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Survive the Night (YA)

Book #73 Read in 2015
Survive the Night by Danielle Vega (YA)

Casey has recently finished rehab for a painkiller addiction.  Shortly after returning home, she falls back into her old and not necessarily good crowd.  She heads to a club to see her ex-boyfriend's band play and then a group of her and her friends head to a rave in a closed subway tunnel.  But something sinister lives down there and that something is killing her groups of friends one by one.  Will any of them make it out alive?

This was well written and kept me engaged for the entire book, which I read in one sitting.  It had lots of action and suspense.  The characters were very realistically done.  I think high school students, both boys and girls, would like this one.  I received a copy of this book from the Amazon Vine program in exchange for a honest review.

Rebel Belle (YA)

Book #72 Read in 2015
Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins

This book reminded me of the movie of Buffy the Vampire Slayer...but better.  Harper is the popular girl in her high school class....valedictorian in the making, class President, going to make her debut soon.  At a school dance, a janitor passes on his seemingly super powers to her.  Harper has no idea what is going on and feels even more confused when her teacher tries to kill her and she ends up killing him with her high-heeled shoe.  Eventually, Harper learns she has become a Paladin...a sort of super guard to an Oracle.  Now she needs to figure out how to balance this superpowered guard job with homework, dates with her boyfriend and her curfew.  This book is full of humor and action, along with some interesting supernatural/mythological items and some romance.  I enjoyed it and think high school girls would love it.  I have #2 in my TBR pile. 

Monday, June 1, 2015

Frostfire (YA)

Book #71 Read in 2015
Frostfire by Amanda Hocking

This is the first in a young adult paranormal series.  Bryn is a Tracker and she is very good at it, even though she is not full-blooded like the other trackers.  She is on the trail on public enemy #1, the man who tried to kill her father a few years ago.  However, killing him is not as easy as it should be, as she feels a chemistry with him that does not make sense.  This book had elements of action, romance, mystery and humor to it.  High school students and adults alike would enjoy this book.  The second book is on its way to me.  I borrowed this book from my public library. 

May Reads

May Reads:

1.  Murder, She Barked  4/5  1st in series
2.  Looking for Alaska (YA)  4/5
3.  Serval Son  3.5/5
4.  Escape from Baxter's Barn (YA)  4/5
5.  Half Bad (YA)  5/5  1st in series
6.  Fillet of Murder  5/5  1st in series
7.  Shipwreck Island (YA)  5/5  1st in series
8.  This One Summer (YA)  4/5  Library book
9.  Finding Audrey (YA)  5/5
10.  Lock and Mori (YA)  4/5
11.  Fangirl (YA)  5/5  Kindle book
12.  The Rules (YA)  5/5
13.  God Got a Dog (YA)  3/5

70 Books Read in 2015