Friday, July 29, 2011
Monday, July 25, 2011
Sunday, July 24, 2011
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Monday, July 18, 2011
Review written from Advance Uncopyedited Edition. Novel to be published Nov. 2011.
This book is being sold as the next The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and I can see why. Sure, it’s Scandinavian, but it’s also about a kick-butt woman who likes to help women who are abused. Nina is a nurse who isn’t very motherly to her own family, but likes to help Eastern European women escape from men who hit them. When she accidentally picks up a suitcase for a friend and discovers a three-year-old boy in it, she decides to solve the mystery herself. Action happens too quickly for the police to catch up (of course). The boy’s Lithuanian mother is also on a crusade to save her son, especially when she discovers that his disappearance might have something to do with the child she sold years ago when she was a teenager. That’s right, sold. Sigita has been feeling that guilt for years and she can’t let anything happen to this child.
The action is fast-paced and I understand why this is a hit worldwide. It’ll be a hit in the U.S. market, too. Can’t wait to read the next Nina Borg book!
Review written from Advance Readers’ Edition. Novel to be published on 9/27/11.
According to the back cover, this book is “pulse-pounding and addictive, GLOW begins the most riveting series since The Hunger Games.” I don’t quite agree, but I think this book will satisfy many readers thirsting for more Katniss.
Waverly and Kiernan are made for each other--the oldest children on a ship bound for New Earth. Luckily they like each other, so it’s okay, especially since Waverly ovaries are ready and she can soon begin having the minimum of four children that is required on their ship to maintain the population. But when another ship attacks, Waverly and all the female children are forced to leave, leaving the boys to fend for themselves. Anarchy rules--Kiernan must struggle for leadership among the boys and Waverly must figure out how to save her shipmates. There’s a conflict between secular and church thinking between the two ships, and Waverly isn’t thrilled when Kiernan starts preaching that he’s doing God’s work. This is the first book of a series, so the action isn’t completely resolved--fair warning!
Friday, July 15, 2011
Thursday, July 14, 2011
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Monday, July 11, 2011
Reviewed from Uncorrected Proof. Book was published June 2010.
Ahhhh, the perfect beach read! Abigail’s daddy might be crazy--he just built a little beach house right next to the water at Nag’s Head, North Carolina. No one else builds that close to the ocean! But Abigail loves the air, water, and freedom. Her ma is sickly, but Abigail has to give reading and writing lessons to a dirty local fisherman. Who, of course, ends up being the man of her dreams. He teaches her about racism, even though it’s Abigail who lives on a plantation and had slaves who are now her low paid servants. Abigail is practically engaged to an up-and-coming doctor, but his prettiness and uselessness is a complete turnoff after a summer at the beach.
Abigail’s about-face about slaves, black people, and rascism is a bit of a stretch, but her ability to teach freed slaves was a plus. She becomes entrenched into the “colored community” on Roanoke Island, and is shocked when her daddy shows his true colors in a lynching. Abigail’s story is breezy and light, but really well written--I enjoyed it and it puts me in the mood to go to the beach. Alabama, here I come!
Book One of the series has been on my shelf for months and I finally finished it after members of my PPYA committee convinced me of its worth. And they are right. It’s not cheesy like the title.
Connor and Grace, twin children of a lighthouse keeper, have always heard their father sing a shanty about the dreaded pirates/vampires, but they never imagined they would meet them in person. After their father’s death, the children escape to the sea and almost drown in a terrible storm. Connor is rescued by pirates and Grace is lucky enough to be picked up by the Vampirates. The two must use their skills (Connor is strong/quick and Grace is smart) to find each other and survive the pirate seas.
It’s a quick, entertaining read and I can see why the series is popular with middle schoolers and junior high kids. It’s quite the adventure!
Published April 2011, but reviewed from Advance Reading Copy
Seventh-grader Louise Lambert loves vintage clothing. All her friends are buying new clothes at the mall, and Louise knows all the cool clothiers of earlier times--CoCo Chanel, Missoni, and tons of other designers I’ve never heard of. When she gets a special invitation to a one-day only vintage sale, she attends to find the perfect dress for the junior high semiformal. Unfortunately, the dress she tries on takes her back to the days of the Titanic. Louise is in the body of famed actress Miss Baxter, and she must try to keep the Titanic from sinking and get back into her junior high self. Obviously, you all know the ship still goes down, but her friends survive.
Good story, but I just didn’t feel like Louise’s voice was that of a 7th grader. Her character really should have ben about 14 or 15. I mean, really, she was put into the body of a adult actress with married men flirting with her--not exactly 7th grade stuff. I think the plot could have been more interesting if Louise was an older teenager.
Thursday, July 7, 2011
I'm telling you--you can't go wrong listening to an audiobook that won an Odyssey Award. This book was an 2011 Honor winner and really deserved it. The performer spoke like a dog, folks. And he did it well! It didn't hurt that the story was awesome, too. Books Two and Three are on my to-read list now, but I'm going to keep listening to them instead of reading them.
To be published Oct 18, 2011. Picked up ARC at ALA Annual in New Orleans.
Well, I was wondering how Ellen Hopkins could get more adult, and, wow, she sure can! I must admit that the blatant discussion of swinging, threesomes, affairs, and disregard for the sanctity of marriage made me uncomfortable. And I’m a divorced woman who has done her share of living. But Hopkins has a way of bringing taboo topics to light for young adults in her books, so I’m not surprised that she tackled something similar in her first adult novel.
Three female friends are trying to survive. Holly has the perfect husband, but chooses to have an affair and spice up her life. Marissa devotes her life to taking care of her terminally ill daughter and tolerating her gay son, leaving little time to her husband who has cheated on her for years. Andrea is divorced and trying to find a man, but has just about given up--nothing seems to work for her. The three women are floundering, as well as the men in their lives.
It was heart-wrenching to read, but I’m interested to read Hopkins’ version of the story told through the eyes of the teens in this novel. I foresee a bestseller for Hopkins--many of her teen readers are now adults, and even her teen fans will run out to purchase this adult novel told in verse.
Interesting fact...in the novel, Holly discovers her real mom, whose name is Sarah Hill. Um, that’s my name! I met Ellen Hopkins last year when she came to my school--we’ve exchanged emails about the visit. Was she inspired by my bland and normal name? :)
Here's a sample poem from page 299 in the ARC--I know, I know, it might not look like this in the final printing, but it's too good not to share.
IT’S BEEN A VERY LONG TIME
Since I’ve gone out with a man
who even pretended this much
interest in me as a woman.
Me as a mother. Me as a sister.
Me as a human being. Robin listens
more than he talks about himself.
Asks all the right questions. Laughs
at all the appropriate times. Gives
compliments freely. He’s handsome,
in a down-home sort of way. Has
a career he loves, not just a job he puts
up with, and he’s not afraid to spend
a decent chunk of his hard-earned cash
on a pricey Sunday brunch for two
at one of my all-time favorite places.
He’s in relatively good shape. Has
a really great smile. Most likely
isn’t married. And all that makes me
wonder, one: what’s wrong with
him? And, two: if there’s nothing
at all wrong with him, why me?