This first novel has gotten quite a bit of attention already--it's won the 2007 COSTA First Novel Award, was shortlisted for The Guardian First Book A...moreThis first novel has gotten quite a bit of attention already--it's won the 2007 COSTA First Novel Award, was shortlisted for The Guardian First Book Award and long listed for both the Booker and the Orange prize.
O'Flynn is truly a new voice with a great talent. This book starts off with quirky 10 year old Kate, orphaned and living with her grandmother, a very smart, loner of a child. But she's not lonely--she's too busy running her own detective agency. Falling in love with her takes all of about 2 pages. Her escapades take up the first third of the book--and then she disappears. Literally. Her best friend for years, Adrian, a 22 year old candy shop/newstand clerk is blamed and, unable to prove his innocence, disappears. Flash forward 20 years to the life of Lisa, Adrian's younger sister, and Kurt, a mall security guard with a secret. The story weaves all of these people and their families together into a tapestry of then and now, reality and the supernatural, beginnings and ends. Don't miss this first taste of what is bound to be a brilliant writer's career efforts. You won't be disappointed.
This is book one in a new series by Haddix titled "The Missing". She's written several other children's books, including the Shadow Children series. T...moreThis is book one in a new series by Haddix titled "The Missing". She's written several other children's books, including the Shadow Children series. This is the first book of her's I myself have read--and I am SERIOUSLY hooked. Written at what I would consider a middle school level, it still deals with some heady things and captured my attention throughly. It's an interesting premise--13 years ago an unregistered airplane suddenly appears at an airport terminal. When it's boarded, it's discovered that it is full of 36 unidentified babies--and no one else. The FBI takes "control" of the situation.
Flash forward 13 years to meet Jonah, who is adopted, his 12 year old sister Katherine who is not, and their new neighbor Chip, also 13. Typical teenagers really--until Jonah and Chip start getting ominous and anonymous letters in the mail, leading Chip to discover that he, too, is adopted. People and notes begin to appear from nowhere--and disappear in a flash--even in the FBI offices. Slowly the three teens get a grasp of a much bigger, much more terrifying picture. Kidnaping, time travel, government coverups and control...it's all in here. And the ending....well, the ending is going to leave readers dying for the next book to come out. I highly recommend this book to all mystery readers regardless of their age. I think sci-fi readers will like this one too.(less)
This book is a July 2008 Indy Pick (aka BookSense)
This is a soothing and rare treasure of a book. Monroe has really outdone herself this time with the...moreThis book is a July 2008 Indy Pick (aka BookSense)
This is a soothing and rare treasure of a book. Monroe has really outdone herself this time with the story of breast cancer survivor Mia Landan. After a year of surgeries, radical chemo and radiation, Mia is a ghost of who she once was--a socially polished public relations guru married to an equally driven and sophisticated lawyer. Mia's sister sends her on a 3 day weekend with Casting For Recovery (a real and very amazing group, by the way), a group of survivors who bond and heal, physically and emotionally, through fly fishing. Energized from the experience, she comes home to find her husband in bed with another woman. She blindly races back to the mountains and into the arms of Belle Carson, the fishing guide and infinitely kind hearted woman.
Belle owns a dilapidated cabin that she "rents" to Mia for the summer--it's Mia's job to fix the place up so that Belle can rent it out to fisherfolk come fall. But the cabin has a mysterious past that Mia gets completely obsessed with, involving her in the life, present and past, of small town Watkins Cove and the characters that live there. The mystery, the river, the fish, and the friendships bring Mia back to the land of the living and heal more than one person.
Told partly in narrative and partly through well researched historical diaries and letters, this is a very powerful story of forgiveness, redemption and new birth. Vitality flows through this book just a surely as the river flows next to the cabin. Any woman who believes--or least longs TO believe--in second chances should read this book.
I would have devoured this book in one setting if I didn't have to do pesky things like sleep and go to work. This is a story, told in wonderfully cha...moreI would have devoured this book in one setting if I didn't have to do pesky things like sleep and go to work. This is a story, told in wonderfully chaotic 12 or so voices, of a family. It begins with 3 grown children dealing with cleaning out their parents' houses after their surprise dual death (gas leak) and it blossoms into this complex view of their lives (and those of their children, friends, coworkers, etc) both past and present. What is truly amazing is that the author has even included photos of these fictional characters in one section of the book! It deals with family issues in every possible form: parents, children, step children, siblings, inlaws, grandchildren, marriage, money, divorce, addiction, depression, grief...it does on and on. The story is creative and exuberantly told and I would recommend it to anyone who has strangers in their lives that they happen to share parents with. Oh, and everyone else too! (less)
I've got to tell you that this is a WONDERFUL novel. It's completely in epistolary form, starting when a gentleman in Guernsey (an island between Engl...moreI've got to tell you that this is a WONDERFUL novel. It's completely in epistolary form, starting when a gentleman in Guernsey (an island between England and France) buys a second hand book with the previous owners name and address in it. Loving the topic of the book, and given the fact that he lives in a small, isolated place and it's right after WWII, he writes to her in hopes that she can help him find more books by the same person. It's an unlikely start to what will prove to be an life altering chain of events for many, many people. Dawsey wrote to Juliette, who happens to be a writer in search of a new project. Through some back and forth, she begins to learn more about Dawsey and Guernsey and what it was like for the five years that the island was occupied by the Germans. What really cinches it for her, however, is the discovery that The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, which started out as a lie to save lives wh en a group of folks got caught out after curfew, ended up giving hope, meaning and friendship to an extremely diverse group of folks. I simply cannot tell you how extremely charming and absorbing this book is and how well these authors develop multiple characters with real depth and strong voices. It's well researched and lovingly told. There's a lot to it--I think this would make an excellent bookclub pick.
This is teen targeted fiction published by Bloomsbury Children's Books, but the premise is so completely fascinating that I'd literally recommend this...moreThis is teen targeted fiction published by Bloomsbury Children's Books, but the premise is so completely fascinating that I'd literally recommend this book to the 12 to 102 crowd with no reservations.
It's the year 2140 and the fountain of youth has come to the world by way of Longevity, a drug that literally lets people live forever. But it's caused a problem--if everyone lives forever, the planet is going to fill up--FAST. The solution is to ban anyone on Longevity from having children, and banning all other medications so that folks NOT on Longevity die fairly quickly. Of course, rules get broken and illegal children get born--they are the Surpluses. They are cruelly rounded up and, if "trainable", put into institutions to learn service trades in order to atone for their existence. The others are destroyed.
Society has become static--no new people means no new ideas. There is not youthful enthusiasm--Surpluses are taught to be fearful automatons. But of course there is a rebel faction trying to rescue the children and keep the "old ways" of freedom and variety alive.
This book is extremely well thought out, and I found it equally terrifying and fascinating. The issues brought up in this book haunt me still--this would make an AMAZING book club selection because you just HAVE to talk about it--the issues are too big and too exciting/chilling to keep to yourself.
Karen Neches' Earthly Pleasures is aptly named--what a fabulous, fun, heart warmning book this is! The story centers on Skye Sebring, a hospitality gr...moreKaren Neches' Earthly Pleasures is aptly named--what a fabulous, fun, heart warmning book this is! The story centers on Skye Sebring, a hospitality greeter for Heaven --the Pearly Gates are just a thrill ride in the many attractions of Heaven, which also include Nocturnal Theatre, where you can view your dreams, Retail Rapture, the Universe's biggest mall (where, of course, everything is free) and so much more. Skye's job is to greet the newly dead, answer their questions, review their personal welcoming DVD with them, and get them settled in Newcomer Housing. She's a New Soul, meaning she's never been to earth, but she's good at her job (though it's felt she's too handy with Tranquility in a Can, which is used on the overly upset arrivals to help their adjustment). She's only existed a year, has this great job and a lovely boyfriend, and has no interest in Earth whatsoever. That is until a brief encounter with Ryan Blaine, who pops into her office after a motorcycle accident but is revived on Earth and pops back out, leaves her head over cloudy heels for him. Then she gets the call--she's going to Earth for her first life (and is taught the basics of living there with the help of 5 Beatles songs, complete with a solo from the Supreme Being Herself). Usually those sent to earth begin as babies, but Skye is no ordinary case. What happens to her--the story of love and friendship, faith and fate, will bring a smile to your face and more than a few tears to your eye as the book ends. Neches' creative, entertaining, funny and remarkable book is truly an earthly pleasure to read!(less)