Sunday, September 25, 2016

Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

Product DetailsFinally a book worth all the hype.   Again, this one had been on my TBR pile forever.  A friend recommended it for our November book club discussion, so it finally got moved to the top of the pile.  I loved every single minute of this book - it was amazing!

This is the story of June, her sister, Greta, her beloved uncle, Finn and Toby.   It is definitely one of the top ten books that I have read this year.   The story is set back in the 1980's at the height of the AIDS epidemic.   There are historical things that are mentioned in the book - like the speech that Reagan gave - that I remember happening.    This book brought all the angst and insecurity that people had in dealing with one another during this time back into painful detail.   I remember being afraid of being in the same room with someone who had AIDS because no one really knew how it spread.   Now we know more.

This is a wonderful book of love, compassion, understanding and acceptance.   The story is rich with symbolism and meaning.  I loved the relationship between Greta and June and how the story finally ended up.   It is a work of genius.  Truly a book that will stay with me for a very long time!

Ms. Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Product DetailsThis book has been getting buzz for forever.   Some have even deigned to call it "the next Harry Potter".   I usually avoid books with this kind of hype like the plague, but I finally gave in.  My youngest wants to see the movie and the rule in our house is that you have to read the book first.  So I did.

It starts out with a very unique concept.  I love the idea of Peculiar children and the monsters who chase them.    The pictures included with the book created a surreal air to the characters that the book creates.  The pictures were actually my favorite thing about the book.

So now down to the nitty gritty.  The next Harry Potter?  I think not.   In my estimation, and keep in mind that I am a sci-fi/ fantasy reader,  this book created more questions than it answered. 


First of all, why were the time loops necessary?  Was this simply to keep the children safe from the Hollows?   At the end of the book, when the loop collapses and the children go off on their adventure, how do the explain the answer of the children aging suddenly?   The fact is that this, while pointed out in other parts of the book as to why the children can't leave, was completely ignored at the end. 

I gave this book 3 stars.  It was entertaining, but nothing great.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The Things We Wish Were True by Marybeth Mayhew Whalen

Product Details  This was a Kindle First Read - that means that this comes out before it is actually released and is available to kindle readers.    It is now on Kindle Unlimited for free.  You have to love that about your kindle if you have one.   There are loads of really good free books!

This is the story of Jencey - a mother of two daughters whose marriage is falling apart. She wakes up one morning, and nothing is as she thought it would be, and she ends up going back home to stay with her mother and father while she works things out.   Life in a small town never really changes - her old friends are still there,  the town creep is still creepy,  the nebby neighbors are still in everyone's business..... but some things DO change -  like how Jencey's first love is now married to her best friend.

This is an interesting story woven from different points of view about the events of one summer.   I love the quote about the local pool,  "Where strangers are family" - that is what this book begins to feel like as stories are told and secrets begin to unravel.

I really enjoyed it.  I gave it 4 stars.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Say You'll Stay by Corinne Michaels

Product DetailsPresley has everything - a business that she loves, a beautiful home, a loving husband, adorable twin boys.... until one night, all of that is shattered in an unspeakable way.

Then Presley is left with only one option, to return to the home that she swore she would never come back to and to face the boy who left her behind. 

This book was beautifully written.  The reader definitely goes through the full range of grief with Presley as she faces the enormous and unexpected ways that her life has changed.  The scenes with Presley and Wyatt and Presley and Zach are especially enjoyable.

The book did seem to meander along towards the middle though and then, finally came back to life in the last 50 pages or so.   I gave it a three.  A fair rating for a romance novel which usually aren't my cup of tea. 

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Creature of Moonlight by Rebecca Hahn

Product DetailsWell, one good thing about having a tooth extracted and having to limit what you do, there is plenty of time for reading!   That's two off my list that were waiting to be read on my Kindle.

This is the story of Marni - a beautiful young girl, living with her Grandfather and selling flowers from their garden.  But Marni's grandfather has a secret..... he was once a king and Marni is a princess with a very mysterious and powerful father.  The creatures of the forest have always been close to Marni, but now, the threaten the kingdom as they move closer and closer onto the lands the people need to survive.   Can Marni learn the truth and save them?

This book had so much potential when it  started.   I loved parts one and two but in part three, though that aspect of the story is necessary, the plot started to drag.  There were many unanswered questions.  I suspect that this is a series, though to be honest, I haven't looked.  I would be curious to learn what happens with Marni's story.  She is a very strong female lead and I definitely enjoyed where she displayed her independence.

I gave this one 3 stars and will continue on if it is a series at some point.  On to Tell the Wolves I'm Home for book club.

Don't Try to Find Me by Holly Brown

Product DetailsI've had this one on my Kindle for a while, I'm trying to get through all the books just waiting there before buying new ones.   That's a feat nearly impossible for a bibliophile like me, but I'm working on it.

This is the story of Marley, her mother Rachel and her father.   They may look like the perfect family on the outside but they are hiding many, many secrets.    The main plot point in the story is that Marley runs away.  I'm not really giving anything away here, I mean, look at the title.    She is catfished -  involved in a relationship with a fake online persona.

I have to say that in today's world, this is every mother's worst nightmare.  You have an abuser find your child online, isolate them from their family and friends and lure them away to another location where God knows what can happen to them.   That's this story.

Of course there is so much more going on, like why did Marley really leave?   What is going on with her parents, especially her mother?   And there is the all important reminder that we are modeling to our children, whether we think they are watching or not, the kind of relationships that they should build in their own lives.   It's certainly a sobering thought.

This book kept me interested enough to keep reading.   I gave it a 3 out of 5 stars.