Thursday, February 11, 2016

Review: House of Purple Cedar

House of Purple Cedar House of Purple Cedar by Tim Tingle
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Beautiful writing and I learned a lot about the Choctaw people in Oklahoma. There are many interesting characters in the small town of Spiro, but their stories all come together in the end. Patience and love wins, thankfully.

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Review: Darkhouse

Darkhouse Darkhouse by Alex Barclay
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Don't worry about the multiple characters and setting switches going on at the beginning--eventually they all come together! It is odd that there is only a two-line space between the changes though--so when I lost my place on a page, I really got confused and had to start over!

Joe "retires" from the police force in America when he shoots a unarmed criminal dead in the streets. All agree that it's best that he travels to Ireland with his wife and son--she's fixing up a lighthouse for a Vogue Interior photo shoot. While there, their son Shaun falls in a love with an Irish beauty, but she ends up dead. Joe can't turn off his cop hat--he investigates even when the local garda tell him not to. The case ends up tied to one of Joe's cases in America and things get messy.

A few gruesome parts in this one that I didn't care for (kinda like when I fast-forward through the torture in 24), but I'm looking forward to reading another of her books.

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Monday, February 8, 2016

Review: All Fall Down

All Fall Down All Fall Down by Ally Carter
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Nothing special here, but it's a fun romp about a teen girl who is nothing but trouble at her grandfather's European embassy. Lots of country-dropping, almost creating wars, and totally unbelievable things, but I didn't care.

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Review: The Haunting of Sunshine Girl

The Haunting of Sunshine Girl The Haunting of Sunshine Girl by Paige McKenzie
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I would have loved this book back in junior high--hauntings, creepy houses, a cute boy, a mom who just doesn't understand, and the main female character finding out that she is special. In this case, a luseech. (sorry if I didn't spell that right, but I listened to the audio).

Speaking of the audio, I wish the author hadn't narrated it. In some cases, her voice added an interesting quality, but the mouth sounds and awkward pauses drove me nuts.

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Review: Ireland

Ireland Ireland by Melody Carlson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Melody Carlson was wildly popular at the high school where I used to be librarian, because the town had very active churches and youth groups. I pretty much stocked all of her YA books so that I could recommend Christian YA titles to the teens.

This title was about Ireland, so I wanted to read it, and I figured I hadn't read a YA Christian fiction in awhile so I thought I would give it a try. There were a few cheesy moments, but it wasn't too bad. This is the first of a series, in which 19-year-old Maddie begins to travel with her 50-year-old cool aunt around the world. Maddie is pretty naive--she doesn't like to sit in a pub in Ireland to eat, and is uncomfortable with people drinking around her, even if they aren't drunk. She grows up a lot in this book, though, and learns a bit about the IRA and RIRA and the troubles. I thought it was funny that one theme of the book is that it's okay for Christians to drink a little--hey, even Jesus drank wine! :)

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Saturday, February 6, 2016

Review: Fallen Land

Fallen Land Fallen Land by Taylor Brown
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is for all you literary novel lovers! I wanted to read it because it's about the Civil War, and, hey, there is a horse on the cover! Callum is used to being on the run--he was orphaned twice and has always worked for criminals. But now he rebelled against his own group of renegades because he tried to save a pretty Southern girl who didn't want to get raped. The two are on the run, stealing horses and food, and trying not to be caught by bounty hunters, all while the war in Georgia is going on. Lots of violence here, and TONS of beautiful writing. It really reminded me of Cold Mountain, as well as some Alex Award winning title that I can't quite remember. This isn't something I see teens rushing to read, and it's not my usual read, but I'm interested enough in war that I kept going through all the "beyond him the northern shore, empty and far" to find out what happened to Callum and Ava. You WILL love these kids.

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Thursday, February 4, 2016

Review: A Secret and Unlawful Killing

A Secret and Unlawful Killing A Secret and Unlawful Killing by Cora Harrison
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I'm in love with this author, and with Mara, the main character of this series. Mara is a Brehon, a female judge in Ireland, and, in this novel, she's solving murders (of course!) and trying to decide if she should give up everything she has to marry a king. I have a feeling she won't--she's thinking about a marriage in the 4th degree, where they both would keep their own homes and meet whenever they need to, to, um, act like a married couple.

The more I learn about ancient Gaelic law, the more I'm intrigued. Off to interlibrary loan the next book!

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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Review: Tower of Thorns

Tower of Thorns Tower of Thorns by Juliet Marillier
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Review published in School Library Journal Adult Books 4 Teens.

http://www.slj.com/2016/01/collection...

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Review: Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits

Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits by David Wong
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I gave this a starred review in School Library Journal Adult Books 4 Teens.

http://www.slj.com/2016/01/collection...

Which means it kicked ass.

And I felt justified because I gave it a starred review and THEN it was put on the Alex Award list--yay!

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Review: The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B

The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B by Teresa Toten
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Quick YA read about Adam Spencer Ross, a teenage kid who suffers from OCD. He lives a week with his mom, and a week with his dad, step-mom, and little brother, who also suffers from anxiety. Adam is getting worse, but sometimes not acknowledging WHAT is making someone feel worse is part of the problem. Luckily he has a great counselor, a supportive OCD support group, and a great priest. Loved how this book has a positive priest--I'm getting sick of reading about alcoholic and child abusing Catholics.

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