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Thursday, December 31, 2015

Earnest


Book #150 Read in 2015
Earnest by Kristin Von Kreisler

Jeff and Anna are a happy couple.  They adopt Earnest, a sweet yellow lab, from a shelter.  Things are moving along nicely towards marriage and children until Jeff's work on Anna's grandmother's old home, which would mean tearing the house down, destroys the trust between the couple and they split.  They share joint custody of Earnest but their separation is wearing on him.  He just wants his people back together in one home.  This was a good, quick read and Earnest, the dog, was a wonderful character.  Jeff and Anna are realistic characters, both with their flaws and both with their good points.  I received a copy of this book from Amazon Vine in exchange for a honest review.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Tales of Beedle the Bard


Book #149 Read in 2015
The Tales of Beedle the Bard by JK Rowling

This is a collection of wizard fairy tales; the last one is the Deadly Hallows that shows up in book #7 of the Harry Potter series.  Each fairy tale has footnotes from JK Rowling in it as well as notes from Dumbledore.  A cute, quick read for Harry Potter fans.

Not If I See You First


Book #148 Read in 2015
Not If I See You First by Eric Lindstrom

Parker became blind when she was seven years old; her mother had a drunk driving accident while Parker was in the car with her.  Her mother did not survive the accident.  Parker's blindness makes her put up walls around herself and she does not want special treatment from anyone.  Her world is rocked years later when her father dies.  Her aunt, uncle and cousins move into her house and she has a lot to deal with.  On top of all that, two high schools merged and Parker has to deal with Scott, a boy who hurt her so badly in middle school.  Parker soldiers on...but how long can that last?  This book was a great read about friendship and courage.  Parker, while flawed, is an interesting and engaging character.  High school girls as well as adults would enjoy this book.  I received a copy of this book from Amazon Vine in exchange for a honest review.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Dear Pen Pal


Book #147 Read in 2015
Dear Pen Pal by Heather Vogel Frederick

I wish this series was around when I was in middle school and my mother was still alive; I think we would have enjoyed reading these books together.  This is the third book in the series.  A group of girls are friends and members of a mother/daughter book club.  Each book focuses on a different group member but the chapters are told in alternating narration of all the girls.  In this book, Cassidy's mother is having a baby, Megan's mother and grandmother are still fighting, Jess heads to a private school etc.  These books focus on real issues faced by middle schoolers with the books that the book club is reading as a parallel story/backdrop.  I enjoy these books.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

This Raging Light


Book #146 Read in 2015
This Raging Light by Estelle Laure

This was a powerful read.  Lucille's father flips out and tries to choke her mother to death.  He is taken away by the police.  Shortly after, Lucille's mother takes off to parts unknown, leaving Lucille in charge of the house and her little sister, Wren.  Lucille tries to be mother and father to her little sister and tries to keep the duo off the CPS radar.  On top of all the adult problems she's handling, there is also the typical teen issues of love, school and friendship.  Readers will instantly love these engaging characters and root for all to be ok in the end.  This book was well written.  I received a copy of this book from Amazon Vine in exchange for a honest review.  High school girls as well as adults would love it.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (illustrated edition)


Book #145 Read in 2015
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by JK Rowling (illustrated)

This is a beautiful book.  This is the first of the Harry Potter series and the illustrations are lush and beautiful.  Harry discovers he is a wizard and heads to the Hogwart's school of magic to learn how to use his magical powers.  This is my all-time favorite series, with wonderful characters, interesting plots and magical reading.  This series is a must-read for both children and adults.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Wink Poppy Midnight


Book #144 Read in 2015
Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke

This book was told by alternating narration of the three title characters.  Wink is the odd farm girl.  Poppy is the mean girl who bullies others.  Midnight loves Poppy but realizes she uses his feelings for her against him.  Midnight and Wink grow close and this does not set well with Poppy.  It is hard to tell who the good character is in the book at times; all of the characters are flawed and have a combination of good and bad qualities.  This was a quick read and I think high school girls especially would like it.  I received a copy of this book from Amazon Vine in exchange for a honest review.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Rebel of the Sands


Book #143 Read in 2015
Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

This was a good young adult/adult fantasy read.  Amani is a feisty young lady who recently lost her mother.  Her aunt does not like her, her uncle is debating marrying her and her cousin is jealous of her.  Amani needs to get away from that house and when a mysterious foreigner, Jin, crosses her path she sees a way to do so.  But the way will not be easy, fraught with war, danger and magic.  Good characters and excellent writing made this a read that was hard to put down.  I highly enjoyed it and think high school students and adult readers would enjoy it.  I am wondering if there will be a sequel....I received a copy of this book from Amazon Vine in exchange for a honest review.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Pretty Is


Book # 142 Read in 2015
Pretty Is by Maggie Mitchell

This was a good read.  I enjoyed the upstate NY/Adirondack setting since that is local to me.  Two girls, Lois and Carly May, are abducted by a man who brings them to upstate NY to an isolated cabin.  He seems to be trying to "save them" from "female corruption".  Eventually, the police find the cabin and rescue the girls.  The book then spends the bulk of time years later, when the girls are grown ups.  Lois is a college professor and Carly May has reinvented herself as Chloe, an actress.  Lois, under a pen name, has written a novel loosely based on the abduction and that book is being made into a movie.  Chloe has a part in the movie and the two will be reunited for the first time in years.  Lois also has issues with one of her students, who is stalking her and questioning her about the abduction.  Is he the abductor's son?  Overall, this book was well written and interesting.  It had a lot of twists and turns to it.  I received a copy of this book from Amazon Vine in exchange for a honest review.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Messenger of Fear


Book #141 Read in 2015
Messenger of Fear by Michael Grant

This is the first book in a young adult fantasy series.  Mara is with a young man who is seemingly the Messenger of Fear.  He judges people who have done wrong and if they play his game and lose, he rains a horrible punishment down upon them.  Mara is apparently in training as a future Messenger of Fear.  This book has some violent parts to it but it is an engaging read that will hook both high school students (girls and boys) and adults alike.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Louisana Saves the Library


Book #140 Read in 2015
Louisiana Saves the Library by Emily Beck Cogburn

This was a great southern fiction read; it reminded me of Ashton Lee's series set in a library down south.  In the Louisiana book, after losing her job as a Library Science Professor at a college, Louisiana is hired at the Alligator Bayou public library.  The public library is sorely lacking in programming and resources and Louisiana wants to modernize it and make the library the hub of the small town.  The director is resistant to that idea and a local politician wants to close the library.  As if those career issues were not enough, Louisiana's ex-husband is moving to a nearby town and getting remarried.  This book was a great read for those for whom a library is near and dear to their heart.  There were great Southern characters in it, nice literary references and a good balance of romance and humor.  I received a copy of this book from Amazon Vine in exchange for a honest review.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here


Book #139 Read in 2015
Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here by Anna Breslaw

Scarlett Epstein is one of the best written, gritty teenage characters in a long time.  She is devastated by the cancellation of her favorite television show, of which she has written tons of fan fiction and has a following of fans for her writing.  Scarlett does not belong to the popular crowd in her high school and that knowledge allows her the freedom (sometimes too much so) to release her thoughts freely verbally to others.  But Scarlett is not an evil girl and readers will find her flaws to make her even more interesting to them.  Good ya realistic fiction.  I received a copy of this book from the Amazon Vine program in exchange for a honest review.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

November Reads

November Reads:

1.  Diary of a Haunting (YA)  3/5  library book
2.  The Masked Truth (YA)  5/5
3.  These Shallow Graves (YA)  5/5
4.  Salt to the Sea (YA)  5/5
5.  The Bunker Diary (YA)  4/5
6.  The Rosemary Spell (YA)  4/5
7.  I Feel Bad About My Neck  3/5
8.  Clockwork Angel (YA)  5/5  1st in series
9.  The Heroine's Bookshelf 4/5
10.  Vanishing Girls (YA)  4/5  Kindle book

138 books read in 2015