Thursday, May 25, 2017

Review: The Best Man

The Best Man The Best Man by Richard Peck
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Peck seems like he can just whip these feel-good middle school stories out of his back pocket! Love how this coming of age novel (based in the Chicago suburbs) covers the main character finding out that his uncle is gay. Um, yes, everyone knows but Archer. But this isn't an "issue" novel, it's just an escape into a kid's normal world and all of its ups and downs. I've wanted to escape into this author's worlds since I was a kid myself, and he still has the touch. Richard Peck is a master of kid lit.

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Monday, May 22, 2017

Review: Every Wild Heart

Every Wild Heart Every Wild Heart by Meg Donohue
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Quick and easy book club reader about mothers and daughters that could have been published by a Christian publisher, even though there is no mention of religion.

Gail Gideon is a talk show guru who became famous ranting about her ex-husband. Now, as the mother of a shy 14-year-old, she's worried because after a fall from a horse, her daughter is acting differently. Nic is now outspoken and acting on the impulses that she used to keep to herself.

Throw in some romance for both of the characters, and you have this book, along with a playlist at the back, as well as book recommendations for other mother-daughter reads like Where'd You Go, Bernadette.

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Review: MatchUp

MatchUp MatchUp by Lee Child
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was pretty freaking amazing! It was great to see all my favorite characters get into some situation with some of my other favorite characters. And most of the stories were good! Very impressive collection. Review to come in SLJ AB4T

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Thursday, May 18, 2017

Review: A Piece of the World

A Piece of the World A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I have Christina's World hanging in my spare room--that painting has always made me think and appreciate my rural upbringing. And, so, of course, I had to read this historical fiction novel written about the life of Christina Olson, the woman in the painting. It's slow-going, but the audiobook narrator was good, and I stuck with it until Wyeth painted the famous work at the end of the novel.

I didn't care for Orphan Train either, so I won't be reading anymore by this author.

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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Review: Fifth Victim

Fifth Victim Fifth Victim by Zoë Sharp
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Charlie Fox is back to be being a close protection specialist in this novel--to a rich young lady who is danger of being kidnapped, since other young adults of moneyed background have been taken lately in her neighborhood. Charlie is distracted because her boyfriend Sean isn't in the picture (no spoilers here), but she manages, of course, to take care of the problems. Good lead-in to the next book though--off to request it through interlibrary loan now!

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Monday, May 15, 2017

Review: Strong Is the New Pretty: A Celebration of Girls Being Themselves

Strong Is the New Pretty: A Celebration of Girls Being Themselves Strong Is the New Pretty: A Celebration of Girls Being Themselves by Kate T. Parker
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review to come in SLJ AB4T.

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Review: The Language of Secrets

The Language of Secrets The Language of Secrets by Ausma Zehanat Khan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Not quite as good as the first book in this series (too much poetry interpretation for me in this one), but a fascinating look into the world of Muslim extremism in Canada. Detective Esa Khattack, head of the Community Policing section, works with his partner Rachel to save the day again, but this investigation is personal. Khattack's own sister is engaged to the suspected leader of a terrorist sect, and the investigation gets muddled. Lots of crossed lines and lying and wiretapping going on, and I really didn't believe the whole subplot of someone going undercover.

But I'll keep reading. Khattack and Rachel have an interesting work relationship, and I'm a sucker for police mysteries with brooding main characters.

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Friday, May 12, 2017

Review: Heartless

Heartless Heartless by Marissa Meyer
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Wow....this book was a struggle. So much so that I quit on Disk 7 of the audiobook--I just didn't think it was worth my time, and I usually love Marissa Meyer! Love all her fairy tale stories, but this one based in Wonderland was horrifically slow. I didn't like the main character (a baker? really? who is still prissy and annoying?) and even the frowned upon relationship with the Jester was taking forever.

Just slow. Not what I want in a YA book, especially in audio format.

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Thursday, May 11, 2017

Review: This Is Our Story

This Is Our Story This Is Our Story by Ashley Elston
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If I still taught at Paris High School, I would be pushing this book to a lot of kids. But I wouldn't need to push hard, because there is a buck on the cover, and the first sentence is: "A ten-point buck and a dead body make the same sound when they hit the forest floor."

Awesome! Hunting and a dead teenager? What teen around here wouldn't want to read this book?

A few parts were a tad unbelievable, but I went with it. Lots of action, a bit of romance, some stupid social media mistakes by kids, and, of course, bullying and ignorant parents. I loved the transcripts from the police interviews with the teens at the party, and the fact that the main character interned at the local DA Office.

And a key component of the whole plot revolves around a deer camera. Yay for rural settings!

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Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Review: Alex and Eliza

Alex and Eliza Alex and Eliza by Melissa de la Cruz
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Reading this feels like I'm "coming home....." (please sing like I'm Thomas Jefferson).

Is this anything special? No. Will it be read by Hamilton fans? Yes.

As the author notes, she was inspired to write the love story after watching the musical, and took much dramatic license, since not much of their love story of Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler is known. So I'm not going to knock de la Cruz's imagination, although I really want to do my own research and see what facts "are" known.

Safe for tweens, there is nothing earth-shattering (I kinda wanted a good sex scene between the two), but I know there are plenty of other adult versions of this love story out there on my To Read list.

Enjoyed the addition about smallpox inoculations, and the complicated connections between the Dutch American families.

I'm impressed by the speed of which this book was written, published, and marketed.

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Sunday, May 7, 2017

Review: A Deadly Affection

A Deadly Affection A Deadly Affection by Cuyler Overholt
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I should have loved this book because it contains a lot of things I love--historical fiction, mystery, female main character, and a medical mystery. But it just never clicked to me and could have used a good editing and paring down of pages. There is no reader connection with the characters, and even Dr. Genevieve seems to have no real connection with her patients, family members, and friends. I did enjoy the 1907 NYC setting, but I won't be continuing with this series.

I did win this title in a Goodreads giveaway.

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Review: Falling Glass

Falling Glass Falling Glass by Adrian McKinty
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Oh, Killian, is a man after the heart of the ladies. Sure, he's an assassin, but he tries to talk people out of situations so that he doesn't have to kill them. A polite and brilliant Northern Ireland man, to be sure. As always, McKinty and the narrator Doyle kept me entertained (although the ending took awhile in this one). Great for Irish mystery or international thriller fans.

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Friday, May 5, 2017

Review: Fourth Day

Fourth Day Fourth Day by Zoë Sharp
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is my least favorite Charlie Fox book, mainly because of the whole American cult/convoluted conspiracy topic. I guess I've had enough of those types of books already, and I didn't feel like this brought anything new to it. And, honestly, it was really unbelievable, which I don't want in my mystery thrillers. But I'll keep reading because I loved the previous books in the series.

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