Friday, January 19, 2018

Review: The Only Girl in the World: A Memoir

The Only Girl in the World: A Memoir The Only Girl in the World: A Memoir by Maude Julien
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I read the first half--read a few bits every other page for the last half. This was billed as a "Glass Castle" type of book, but the only correlation is that the author had a horrible childhood. Her parents were mentally and physically cruel to her and I feel sorry for her. First published in France, the English translation may have lost some of the writing quality--I felt like I was reading a list of bad things that happened to her, instead of a true memoir with reflection and good storytelling. But maybe that is a product of her upbringing? Any child made to read and understand Karl Marx by the age of 8 is bound to have some emotional and writing deficits.

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Thursday, January 18, 2018

Review: R Is For Ricochet

R Is For Ricochet R Is For Ricochet by Sue Grafton
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I had to give up on the audiobook. I haven't read this series in years, and now I remember why I stopped. Things are repeated so much in the books, and it's like a step-by-step of everything Kinsey does throughout her day. This isn't good for audio--it's better to read the print book so I can skim and scan to the action. I love her character, but, whoa, so much talk about Henry and his siblings and girlfriends--I was so bored listening to it.

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Review: Midnight at the Electric

Midnight at the Electric Midnight at the Electric by Jodi Lynn Anderson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this tangled web of historical fiction. Three time periods--England after WWI, the Midwest during the Dust Bowl in the '30s, and the future America in 2065. All are tangled together through letters and pictures and stories--the genealogist in me loved it! I would have loved this book when I was a teen. A bit of romance to keep things interesting, but it's really about friendship and family. And Love. I kept thinking of Love as I read it, which is a good thing.

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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Review: Bang

Bang Bang by Barry Lyga
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Lyga doesn't disappoint. A bit preachy about gun violence and how Muslims are treated though, and I wonder if teens can see through that? This is when I miss working in a high school library--I would love to talk to teens about this novel. Teenage Sebastian is living with regret--when he was four he shot and killed his baby sister. Of course, it was an accident, but he still lives in the same house and the same town (why, parents, why???) and he can't escape being THAT kid and living with the guilt. When a pretty (and different) Muslim teen girl moves in over the summer, the two become close friends, creating a YouTube cooking channel that gets a lot of hits, but eventually explodes when viewers figure out who Sebastian is. Suicide figures prominently in this book, as well as vengeance, dysfunctional families, mental illness, and regret.

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Review: Odd Child Out

Odd Child Out Odd Child Out by Gilly Macmillan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ah, secrets. When young Noah and Abdi are down by the river and Noah falls in and hits his head, everyone assumes it's an accident. But Bristol has been racially excited lately, thanks to white power demonstrations, and when a witness comes forward and said that the she saw Abdi push Noah, a police investigation ensues. Detective Clemo is assigned this case with another underdog on the force, and the two of them must try to sort out the details without jumping to conclusions about the Somali teen.

I appreciated the P.S. extras at the end of the novel--the author lives in Bristol and has a child who suffered like one in the story.

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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Review: Strange the Dreamer

Strange the Dreamer Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
My rating: 0 of 5 stars

Unfortunately I couldn't finish this audiobook because the production was horrible. The narration was fantastic, but the producer forgot to manage the audio levels--I was constantly turning my volume up and down as different characters spoke. Finally at disk 5 I gave up because I was pissed.

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