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Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Bully Effect by Emily Hale

This book, written by a teen, is a must for all teens! Bullying can ruin one's life, even to the point of suicide and Emily Hale makes it clear in her first novel, that it should not be tolerated! As we enter the life of Amy James (as well as an excellent true-to-life portrayal of her father), we learn about the lengths she will go to to end bullying in her high school. Emily Hale's story moves quickly and flows very well, written in the first person narrative. It will keep you turning the page until the end!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Water For Elephants

Excellent book!! I cannot wait to see the movie! Gruen wrote this as if she were actually there in the 1930's, travelling with the circus. The events are very vividly told through the eyes of a man in a nursing home, reliving his circus life after a family tragedy. The things they did years ago was amazing. I cannot imagine such things being legal - redlighting workers from the moving train, elephant executions, etc. I especially liked the interview with Sara Cruen at the end. I had no idea the story played so close to real life. Highly recommended!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Leave No Trace

Leave No Trace
Roxe Anne Peacock

Leave No Trace is a book that young adults would enjoy reading. I enjoyed the mystery, but there were also things that threw me.
I found the setting perfect as I learned about reptiles from New Mexico. Peacock does a great job weaving them into the storyline. The character of Jason is believeable as a boy who takes a big interest in snakes. He is well educated in reptiles, as he teaches the main character, Jessica all about them. I was a little thrown by this, because Jessica was more interested in what happened to her missing friend, Sandra. She goes to Jason’s house by invitation and he gives her a reptile lesson out of the blue. I understand we needed to know this about his character, but the lessons he was giving Jessica took away from the plot in that scene. I was thinking they should be more concerned with the missing girl than reptiles at that point in the story since this was shortly after Sandra goes missing.
Also in the beginning of the story, Jessica’s parents let her stay home by herself for days with a killer on the loose, roaming the neighborhood. I had a hard time understanding why they didn’t arrange for a policeman or family friend to observe her while they were gone. This comes in later in the story, but not from Jessica’s parents. I found them letting her stay home alone a little “forced” into the story without a rational explanation. Another thing, you never hear of Jessica checking in with them by phone. They call once and leave a message when she is gone, but that’s the only scene I can recall of them checking on her.
At times, I found Jessica “stupid”. I know teenagers are supposed to be that way, which is what I admired in Peacock’s character, but she would voluntarily go places alone at night when people warned her not to. She went to an outdoor event at night toward the end, which was necessary to the plot, but why wouldn’t she listen to anyone? Wasn’t she scared? She also invited Jason to have a picnic in the area where the body was found, which I found disturbing. At times, I thought our main character was the killer!
One thing I loved about this story was that my mouth dropped when the mystery was revealed. Not only did I find the killer to be a surprise, but another mystery followed which is what shocked me. I also hope for a sequel to this, because I will read it! I want to find out what becomes of Jessica and Jason, along with Jessica’s boyfriend who is off fighting in Iraq. I liked that Peacock placed him as a soldier fighting for our country. I only wish we could have heard from him more.
This book would have worked better for me if the writing flowed much more easily and if the use of exclamation points could have been used more to show anger and fear. But please read this book for yourself! It’s enjoyable and a fast easy read (great for young adults!) which will have you guessing who the killer is until the very end

Monday, April 25, 2011

Fusion - short story collection

Always a fan of short story collections, I especially liked this one because the stories are different - everything from ghosts to murderers to the danger of swans. Enjoyable fast reading from a talented author! I can't wait to read more work from Maria Savva!

Monday, April 18, 2011

While The Savage Sleeps

While The Savage Sleeps - Andrew E. Kaufman

This book really kept me guessing. Assistant Sheriff Cameron Dawson works to solve bizarre murders taking place, but are these murders related? Are they committed by the same person? I kept reading on until I got to the exciting ending - an ending which made me ask myself, "What if this really happened?" Beautiful, vivid writing from Andrew Kaufman, putting him right up there with my favorite authors - Dean Koontz and Stephen King. I can't wait to read his next novel!

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Madness and Murder

Madness and Murder - Jenny Hilborne

I was immediately drawn in to the story of Mac Jackson and the lives of the Croft family. This was a great page turner - nice twist there at the end! I love stories that grab me immediately at the beginning and also toward the end and that's exactly what this one did! I actually found myself believing Jessica's ordeal and even talking to the book (edge of my seat talk) just before the climax! I can't wait to read Jenny's next novel!

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Sunday, April 17, 2011

River of Eden

River of Eden - Paul Wagner

I enjoyed this book because the writing was very well done.  In this futuristic look at our world, Wagner impressed me with his descriptive use of gadgets that aren't invented yet such as instead of using cell phones, we will be using wrist vids - If we want to dial a number, we shake our wrists.  If we want to pay for something, we have a plastic device implanted under our skin.

The plot of River of Eden involves good vs. evil, centering around war.  Dubbed as christian fiction, it takes a look at our history as well as what's to come.   

Fast paced and engaging, River of Eden is a book you won't want to miss.
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