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Showing posts from October, 2011

"You Have Seven Messages" ~ Stewart Lewis

"But how do you really know what's true?  Is there some big book of truth?" "The book is here." She placed her hand where my heart is.

Imagine discovering what you thought was true about your family might be nothing more than a lie?

Fifteen year old Luna is still grieving the death of her super model mother when she stumbles upon her cell phone a year later and finds it's still in working order with seven new messages on it.  The rational thing to do would be to delete them but curiosity wins out and Luna decides to listen to each one in order.  All of the messages will have a lasting effect on Luna, even the mundane ones, but the rest will turn her world upside down and threaten to destroy her once happy family.

Stewart Lewis writes an endearing story about a young girl's journey to piece together the puzzle that has now become her life. What's truth and what's a lie? How can you tell the difference and is it really worth kno…

"All the Earth, Thrown to the Sky" ~ Joe R. Lansdale

"The wind could blow down a full-grown man, but it was the dust that was the worst."

This was a pleasantly surprising story of adventure and camaraderie found in the midst of heartbreaking loss during The Great Depression.

Jack Catcher has recently lost both parents, the money's gone, the dog's gone, the food's gone and soon enough the family farm will be gone too thanks in part to the Oklahoma dust storms that have killed anything and everything edible.  (Sounds like a bad country music song, doesn't it?)  There's nothing left for him in the only place he's ever called home except memories and those aren't even worth sticking around for.

All he wants to do now is get out of Oklahoma but he has no idea how to accomplish that.  Enter Jane Lewis and her younger brother Tony.  Jane and Jack used to go to school together, until the Depression hit and Jack had to stay home and help his parents out around the farm.  Jane and Tony are orphans now too wi…

A Happy "Dauntless" Halloween

Today, our homeschool co-op held it's Halloween party and we added a twist on the traditional costume idea by having the kids come dressed as their favorite literary character.  Percy and Harry showed up as well as Prince Caspian and even the Bumble Bees from Winnie the Pooh.  I decided to join in on the fun and went as "Tris" from "Divergent".  


I did not anticipate just how much fun it would be to have tattoos - especially the birds on my neck!  (In the book she gets them on her collarbone but my Dauntless T was too high so my neck was a good substitute.)




Here's me, as Tris, giving my best Dauntless stare. --->






Who knows, maybe I'll get some real ink after all. ;)

"The Dovekeepers" ~ Alice Hoffman

I rarely make use of the word "epic" because it's been so overused in the past couple of years but that's the word that keeps coming to mind when I think of how to describe this story...epic.  Four women with four incredible stories, all leading to the same place, literally, figuratively and spiritually.

Alice Hoffman is a talented author and while her style may not be my favorite, (this is the third book I've read and we just haven't "clicked") that's okay because I know there are people who will love this book like there's no tomorrow.  There are no marked chapters to separate the characters, just "Parts" and it's extremely detailed which is good for helping to visualize the story in one's mind but can be a challenge if one is expecting to read it quickly. 

As with the other Hoffman books I've read, the ending to "The Dovekeepers" has left me frustrated.  Why did certain characters have turn out the way the…

"Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac" ~ Gabrielle Zevin

This book is a few years old and I found myself comparing it to Zevin's most recent work, "All These Things I've Done" which I absolutely loved. This story was a little slow and halting in places for me and while I enjoyed the characters, it was too short overall. (Maybe it's my appreciation for a good Epilogue or because I've become accustomed to reading books that are part of a series...who knows?)

I felt like the storyline between Naomi and Will, while sweet, was a little too predictable. I really liked James, even with all of his baggage and was hoping he and Naomi would be able to benefit more from their relationship. I did like how she seemed to think that her accident had some positive effects on her life especially where her family was concerned.

This book is a good reminder to not wait for the right moment to tell someone how you feel, repair a damaged relationship or to take for granted those who are most important to us in our live…

"Lola and the Boy Next Door" ~ Stephanie Perkins

Lololololo-la! Sorry, can't help but hear the Kinks song in my head, each time I hear the name, see the title...you get the picture.  I thoroughly enjoyed "Anna and The French Kiss" and was really looking forward to "Lola" and I was not disappointed! 

I'm a sucker for a good cover and I LOVE this cover!  The more I read, the more I would flip back to look at it and swoon over the tiniest details that were included.  (I heart stars!)

Once again author, Stephanie Perkins has created unique characters full of heart, passion and who are just plain fun to read! If you could take a rainbow, a few rays of sunshine, some shooting stars (for their sparkle factor), and maybe even a snowflake or two, mixed them all together and shook them out, Lola is what would you get.  She's bright, colorful, full of life and has a sparkle that's all her own. 

"Lola" has all the love and heart pounding romance that "Anna" did but with a couple of inte…

"The Kissing Tree ARC" ~ Prudence Bice

Thank you to Netgalley for this ARC. Nicely written, sweet and with a little luck o' the Irish thrown in, you can't go wrong.

When Georgiana bravely steals a kiss from Ridge Carson under the kissing tree she imagines it just might be the first of many the childhood friends will share. Little does she know it will be five long years before she'll see him again, let alone kiss him. So much can change in one's life and in one's heart in five years.

If either one of them hopes to recapture that heart stopping feeling of their first kiss, they'll have to rebuild their friendship first.

In this endearing story of first loves, loss and finding it again, author Bice shows us that true love is worth fighting for and that sometimes "home" is found in heart of the one you love.

"You Against Me" ~ Jenny Downham

This book moved a little slow for me but the writing was good and the plot was definitely intriguing. I loved the cover and I thought the title was "Brilliant!" as the English would say. (I also found that the voice in my head took on an "Ee-nglish" ah-cent while reading.)

In "You Against Me", Mikey's sister Karyn has accused Ellie's brother Tom of attacking her and like a good big brother, Mikey wants nothing more than to shaft the bloke who hurt his sister with a spinner!  (OK, if you're like me, you might have to search an "English" online dictionary to double check the words, "shaft" and "spinner" because they mean totally different things to us on this side of the pond.) 

Ellie, is the only witness to the alleged attack and she, wanting to be a good sister, is siding with her brother.  Wouldn't you?  Especially if it meant your brother's life would be ruined, your family torn apart and life as you&#…

"Touch" (A Denazen Novel - Book 1) ARC ~ Jus Accardo

Thank you to Netgalley for another interesting ARC. "Touch" is a fast paced, action packed thriller with a heaping dose of romance.

Deznee Cross is a seventeen year old full of teen angst, defiance and the need for the next adrenaline high. Her Mother's been gone for longer than she can remember and she's left to her own devices much of the time because her dad works long hours as a high powered attorney for the local Denazen Corporation. He doesn't seem to care who she spends her time with so long as the police aren't involved and this lack of parental supervision is an open invitation for a teenager seeking attention. Dez lives recklessly and without concern for her safety or her reputation and if she can tick her dad off in the process, well, then, that's just the icing on the cupcake.

When Kale literally stumbles from out of nowhere into Dez's life late one night, she can think of no better (or faster) way to get on Dad's bad…

"Paradise" ~ Jill A. Alexander

This is a sweet, coming of age story about Paisley, a girl drummer in the Waylon Slider Band, an otherwise all boy southern rock band from Texas.  All Paisley's ever wanted to do is to play the drums and get out of her small town.  She and her band mates have one shot to make it at Texapalooza in Austin but there's just one problem...they don't have a lead singer.  Well, that and Paisley can't let her mother know she's the band's drummer. 

To say that Paisley's mom is a control freak is an understatement. (Nightmare is more like it.)  She would go ballistic if she new about Paisley's involvement with the band.  She knows she plays in the school band but there's no way any daughter of hers would be allowed to hang out with people who play in bands. (They're nothing but good fer nuthin', beer drinkin' white trash.)  Mom claims she doesn't want her daughter's making the same mistakes she made, having to give up on their dreams and…

"Sign Language" ARC ~ Amy Ackley

Thank you to author Amy Ackley for allowing the me opportunity to read and review this book!  It took me a little while longer to get through this one for several reasons, the first being the subject matter and knowing it was based on the author's own experience with losing her own father to cancer.  The other was having been a witness on the sidelines as my husband and his siblings watched their father fight a losing battle with pancreatic cancer in 2005.

This is a well written, moving story of one young girl's journey through death and grief after losing her father to cancer.  While Abbey's story is a heartbreaking one, it is not a hopeless one.  "Sign Language" is told from Abby's point of view and follows her life from the ages of 12-17 not only dealing with the slow process of her father's illness and passing but the normal challenges that come with being a teenager. 

Ackley does an excellent job of bringing the reader into the heart of the story …

"the unbecoming of mara dyer" ~ Michelle Hodkin

I LOVE this cover!

If this book were a movie (the kind you pay full price to see and after doing so are only able to mumble something mildly coherent like, "You just HAVE to see it for your self."), much of my viewing time would've been spent with my hands over my face to hide from the creepy parts (while peaking out through my fingers so as not to miss anything), a hand over my heart to keep it from literally beating out of chest during the intensely romantic parts (the other would be fanning my face) and a hand over my mouth to hide my shock at the ending. (Btw, if this were a movie with a soundtrack, Coldplay's, "Fix You" would be on it.)

This is a MUST! Just to clarify...when I say it's "creepy", I mean creepy in the best sense of the word, not like evil "creepy" but "creepy" cool, keeping up here?  OK, good.

The key players in this book are Mara Dyer and her family which consists of Psychologist Mom, Lawyer Dad, and…

Divergent ~ Veronica Roth

MY FAVORITE BOOK OF 2011!!

(I originally read "Divergent" back in June but was telling a friend about it today & thought I'd re-post this.)


One of thee BEST books I've ever read. EVER. I can't wait until Insurgent comes out! I read this one in less than 24 hours...I could NOT put it down! 

Tris was my hero & to say I loved Four is an understatement. 

"One choice can transform you"  "More than family, our factions are where we belong.  In our factions, we find meaning, we find purpose, we find life."  ~ Divergent

The world as we know it is gone and broken into five different factions, each one based on the belief that we "are" one way and when we live with a community of people who share those same beliefs we can find "life". 

There are 5 factions and a snippet of their manifestos are:

Abnegation - The Selfless - "I will be my undoing if I become my obsession.  I will forget the ones I love if I do not serve …