Saturday, July 22, 2017

Review: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This audio will win some awards! Beautifully told story of Eleanor and her coming of age, even if she is now in her late twenties. She's always been a bit awkward, but, hey, she deserves the right. Her story is one we've heard before, but Honeyman has created a unique and lovely voice in her main character. I laughed out loud while listening to the audio--the narrator did the funny parts fantastically!

Great book club read, but I think it has some teen appeal, too. All ages love quirky people.

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Review: Die Easy

Die Easy Die Easy by Zoë Sharp
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It's so rare that Book #10 of a series is just as good as book #1. But this series is darn good. I'm looking forward to the next one!

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Review: Die Easy

Die Easy Die Easy by Zoë Sharp
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It's so rare that Book #10 of a series is just as good as book #1. But this series is darn good. I'm looking forward to the next one!

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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Review: She Rides Shotgun

She Rides Shotgun She Rides Shotgun by Jordan Harper
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Gritty, dark, engrossing read about a smart girl caught in the crossfire between her dad and the California gang what wants to kill him. I wish these worlds didn't exist in real life.

Review to come in SLJ AB4T.

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Review: The Bloomsday Dead

The Bloomsday Dead The Bloomsday Dead by Adrian McKinty
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Once again, Adrian McKinty delivered an amazing listen, and Gerard Doyle can whisper in my ear anytime. Even if he's whispering about torture and Irish mob hits. This novel is full of both, and it kept me entertained on a cross-country roadtrip just fine!

If you like thrillers and action movies and kickass characters, give McKinty a try.

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Review: Revolution

Revolution Revolution by Piet Hein Wokke
My rating: 0 of 5 stars

Not a fan of the writing style. I stopped reading on my kindle at 23%.

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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Review: Beartown

Beartown Beartown by Fredrik Backman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a slow-going adult read about small town sports. The "small town sports" category is enough to draw me in, even if this is about hockey, a sport that I don't know too much about. This takes place in Sweden, supposedly, although it screams "Northwoods" to me, and could have been set in Minnesota or Canada or northern Wisconsin or anywhere that hockey is king.

I've read my share of small town sports stories, including two from around me: One Shot at Forever: A Small Town, an Unlikely Coach, and a Magical Baseball Season and Catch. All of them have something in common--the belief that small town sports are all that matters. I see that where I currently live, too, where softball is king. It's what girls are supposed to play. And, if you play softball in our town, you're expected to win, because, you know, the town always wins.

With these high expectations come assholes. And, like in the true tale of Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town, "good" athletes are accused of bad things and often get away with it. We're heard horror stories about it with Speak and All the Rage. And Asking For It and all the other books I've read about rape and high school students (there are a lot of them).

Beartown is expected to win in hockey. So much so that the hockey players can skip class and call their teachers "sweet cheeks" and not be punished. They can strut down the hallways and not need to worry about leaving their anger on the rink--it's okay if they explode. In this novel, we get to know Kevin, the current and future star who is sure to turn pro, Amat, the little 14-year-old son of the rink cleaning lady, and Maya, the team GM's daughter who wants to be a professional musician. The story you have read before, but the way Backman tells it is unique. The rape culture in Beartown is hard to comprehend--it's even different for a woman to have a career and be a mother at the same time.

This was a difficult read for me, but I'm glad I pushed through it. Yes, it's about hockey, but it's really a character study of the teens and their parents and the stupid business sponsors of the team. Small town sports. Gotta love the hypocrisy and the inflation of the egos.

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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Review: This Is Really Happening

This Is Really Happening This Is Really Happening by Erin Chack
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wonderful collection of short stories that make up this memoir. Almost all will make you laugh. I listened to the audio that was read by the author, and it would have been better with a professional reader, but I stuck with the production. Chack's voice is very teen-friendly and the book is full of coming-of-age moments. I laughed out loud in the car listening to the story about the menstrual cup. Trust me. It's funny!

Maybe this will receive some Morris love?

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Monday, July 10, 2017

Review: Cat Castles: 20 Cardboard Habitats You Can Build Yourself

Cat Castles: 20 Cardboard Habitats You Can Build Yourself Cat Castles: 20 Cardboard Habitats You Can Build Yourself by Carin Oliver
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The perfect book to keep my 14-year-old entertained in the summer. She's made the airplane already and has plans to make more of the projects. Yes, they're simple, but, on the plus side, she's learned how to use a hot glue gun and a box cutter.

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Friday, July 7, 2017

Review: Ararat

Ararat Ararat by Christopher Golden
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

If you like your Biblical stories with a touch of horror and gross, this book is for you! Explorers think they've found Noah's ark up high on Mt. Ararat, but things don't go well when they start excavating it and the remains found on board. There's a bit of religious supernatural going on, and I was a tad freaked out by the end.

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Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Review: Miranda and Caliban

Miranda and Caliban Miranda and Caliban by Jacqueline Carey
My rating: 0 of 5 stars

I was eventually bored silly by this audiobook ( I stopped on Disk 5 of 9)--nothing was happening and the voice of Miranda is so sickly sweet that I didn't want to listen. I need more exciting audios in the car to keep me awake while I'm driving.

I prefer my Shakespeare to be more violent--give me Hamlet and Macbeth and King Lear retellings, please.

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Monday, July 3, 2017

Review: Absence of Light: A Charlie Fox novella

Absence of Light: A Charlie Fox novella Absence of Light: A Charlie Fox novella by Zoë Sharp
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Quick little novella about Charlie Fox's latest adventure. This time she's sent into an earthquake zone to provide security, but ends up solving a murder and a jewelry heist. I'd still love to watch a movie about Charlie!

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Review: An Almond for a Parrot

An Almond for a Parrot An Almond for a Parrot by Wray Delaney
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I love a good historical smut book, but I couldn't handle all the talk of body parts being root vegetables. I was giggling and rolling my eyes, which probably wasn't what was supposed to happen.

And, ewww, child prostitution.

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Sunday, July 2, 2017

Review: Ginny Moon

Ginny Moon Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another wonderful and sweet book to add to the genre of literature from the point-of-view of an autistic child/teen. Ginny is 14, and constantly obsessed with going back to her old apartment and getting her baby doll from the suitcase under the bed. The problem is that her birth mom, Gloria, abused Ginny, which is why Ginny now lives with her "forever mom and dad."

Ginny's thought processes are difficult to listen to at times, but it's worth the ride. This is a great feel-good tale that's perfect for teens and adults. Should be a great book club read for public libraries, too.

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