Thursday, June 23, 2016

Review: Secrets of Sloane House

Secrets of Sloane House Secrets of Sloane House by Shelley Gray
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

By Disk 4 of the audiobook, I had had enough of the main character's "I'm from Wisconsin" routine. The typical shy do-gooder from Wisconsin in the late 1890's wouldn't go running off to the big city of Chicago to find her missing sister. It just wasn't believable. As much as I wanted to enjoy a historical fiction mystery about a Michigan Avenue rich family, I just didn't want to finish it.

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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Review: An Olympic Dream: The Story of Samia Yusuf Omar

An Olympic Dream: The Story of Samia Yusuf Omar An Olympic Dream: The Story of Samia Yusuf Omar by Reinhard Kleist
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Somalian Samia Yusuf Omar may have received last place in her heat in the 200 at the Beijing Olympics, but she still is training for the London Olympics. Stuck in her war torn country with not enough food and improper training facilities, she decides to join the exodus for Europe. But, thanks to the human traffickers who exist to ruin lives and take money, she never makes it. Depressing but necessary read about European immigration, but Omar never gives up hope of her Olympic Dream.

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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Review: Take It As A Compliment

Take It As A Compliment Take It As A Compliment by Maria Stoian
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Oh, this was a rough read, but I'm very glad this book is out there for teens to find. Each chapter of this graphic novel tells a different story of sexual abuse, assault, harassment or rape. Love how it's diverse and shares a wide range of experiences. Very powerful and some of the chapters really hit close to home. I intended to have my daughter read a few of these, but I just can't yet--hopefully I can protect her for another year or so. Includes a notes section at the end with advice to listen, support, watch, stop, and reach out.

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Review: Mr. Churchill's Secretary

Mr. Churchill's Secretary Mr. Churchill's Secretary by Susan Elia MacNeal
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Not the most well written mystery in the world, yet I stayed up until 1:30 am last night to finish it! I kept casting the characters with my favorite BBC actors and actresses....

Maggie Hope is a smart mathematician, yet only manages to snag a job as a typist for Winston Churchill when she's visiting England from America. She becomes much more than that when she cracks a secret code, survives a kidnapping, and finds out who her father really is. Surrounded by the IRA, German sympathizers and other people who want to do Britain wrong, she must use her wits to survive and kick some mental butt.

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Sunday, June 19, 2016

Review: Beautiful Country

Beautiful Country Beautiful Country by J.R. Thornton
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Chase isn't dealing well with her older brother's death, and his father is absent and too busy making business deals, so he is sent off to Beijing for a year to play tennis. While there, not much happens unfortunately, so there isn't an incentive to keep reading. While the author drew on his own tennis playing in China when he was young, there wasn't much of a conflict in the novel. However, I loved reading about Beijing--took me back to visiting there last year.

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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Review: Rare Objects

Rare Objects Rare Objects by Kathleen Tessaro
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

1930's Boston. Maeve has always been a "fast" girl--she runs off to New York City to recreate herself but ends up running back to her Irish mother when she ends up spending time in a mental hospital. Back in Boston, she tries her best to be independent, but falls under the spell of a sneaky man again. Luckily her new friends help her crawl out from under the spell of gin and low self-esteem.

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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Review: The Marching Season

The Marching Season The Marching Season by Daniel Silva
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Michael Osbourne is back in Book #2--trying to save the life of his father-in-law. Both sides aren't happy with the Northern Ireland peace accords that his father-in-law is instrumental in and so a radical Protestant group wants to take him down. Of course, Michael Osbourne interrupts their plans, but he soon learns that things are bigger than he thought. There's an evil group called the Society that is stirring war up all over the world in order to make money. The sad thing is that I think this sounds totally reasonable in our world.

Fast action, a sweet, lovable kick-ass CIA operative, and Ireland--everything I want in a thriller!

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Sunday, June 12, 2016

Review: Lilac Girls

Lilac Girls Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book will be popular with public library book clubs! Each chapter is written about one of three women--Caroline, a NYC socialite who volunteers at the French consulate and falls in love with a married Frenchman; Herta, a German doctor who takes the only job she can get--at a women's "reeducation" camp; and Kasia, a Polish teenager who works at a movie theater. Time passes very quickly in this novel and World War II changes their lives dramatically.

This is a fast read, but for some reason I didn't come to love any of the characters. Each chapter ends with a cliffhanger, so I felt like I was reading a Dickens novel, but the suspense only irritated me, instead of encouraging me to keep reading.

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Saturday, June 11, 2016

Review: The Secret Place

The Secret Place The Secret Place by Tana French
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Whew--this books makes me glad to be an adult, because those Irish boarding school teenage girls are mean, sneaky, little twerps. Basically the entire book is one day--Cold Case Detective Moran is visited by another cop's daughter and given a card that says "I know who killed him." Referring to a murder of a Colm's student the year before that was never solved, the card is a mystery. Who put it on the Secrets Place board?

Det. Moran is lucky that Dublin's Murder squad detective Conway lets him tag along to interview the girls--she made a good call. The entire book is interviewing the girls--multiple times in one day because they keep lying and barely releasing the information that is needed. There are also chapters that flash back to the year before and the events leading up to Chris Harper's death.

Just woah. I don't want to be friends with these girls.

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