Lyla, now seventeen and living with her parents in a planned community called Mandrodage Meadows (run that name through a anagram pMY THOUGHTS LOVED IT
Lyla, now seventeen and living with her parents in a planned community called Mandrodage Meadows (run that name through a anagram program), devised by Pioneer, a cult-like leader with extraordinary charisma and organized to be self-sufficient. The fact that this guy easily quotes Manson or Jim Jones should have been a giant red flag. Her parents have sheltered her after her sister was kidnapped and while her mother has withdrawn into herself, it has left her vulnerable.
The 20 or so families that have gathered there as the chosen to be saved at the end of the world. The end is coming sooner than this group imagines. You won't be able to take your eyes of the page while the drama builds and the members of this community start to disintegrate. Even though Lyla senses that something is not right within this group, she seems scared to death of acting out and as you get through the story, her backbone develops. When she meets and outsider boy named Cody, the story really starts to move. I was really cheering for her by the end of the book. There are some really scary psychological areas that this book touches upon.
I don't want to give anything away but this story could have been a ripped from the pages of the history of cults and becomes quite the thriller after the initial story set up. I am a rabid viewer of Doomsday Preppers and all of the History Channel documentaries on cults. This story is a riveting combination of those two ideas. Even though this isn't truly a dystopian tale, it does have all of the classic elements but with a more believable idea since these cults do exist and I am sure that this could easily happen and probably has.
Morgan lives above the earth on a floating island of land that was some how torn off and flung into space. This story is full of intrigue and mysteryMorgan lives above the earth on a floating island of land that was some how torn off and flung into space. This story is full of intrigue and mystery all built on a world similar to ours, but with striking differences. Things are very controlled on this sky island, everything to when you can have children to who that child will marry and if something happens to your mate, you are destined to be alone the rest of your life. The only real element of freedom is choosing how you earn a living. A murder has recently occurred and the whole country is on lock down and the small amount of freedom the citizens have is restricted. Morgan is intrigued and when she randomly meets the boy accused of the murder, she can't help wonder if he really did it. Especially when the murdered girl's sister plasters the revolutionary paper around the school. Morgan's brother, Lex, is a "jumper" one who has tried to fling himself off the side of the island but does not succeed. He is pretty damaged and now blind. There is a group of revolutionaries that oppose the government's control and are trying to get off the island. Something that has been tried for generations. I really enjoyed this first installment of DeStefano's new trilogy and she builds in all of the societal issues that she used in the Chemical Garden but with a bit of Across the Universe worked in. In some ways, this is a bit darker than that series. It has a wonderful ending that will leave you hanging a bit. Parents: some language, forced drug use, and sexual situations....more
Growing up, Cyn has always seen faces in the mirror other than her own. Now sixteen, she has started blacking out, not rememberingMY THOUGHTS LOVED IT
Growing up, Cyn has always seen faces in the mirror other than her own. Now sixteen, she has started blacking out, not remembering anything about her lost time. When she wakes up covered in her boyfriend's blood and convinced she murdered him, she panics and runs from Sleepy Hallow to a small town in New York. Cyn finds that she can make people bend to her wishes and make them do anything for her without them remembering. She coerces people to "loan" her cars, give her larger tips at her waitress job and supply her with alcohol and cigarettes when she needs. Then she wanders into a bar and has no luck at all with the staff. She also sees that the some of the guys there are not at all human. And these guys recognize her for what she is: an Echo, someone who has souls of those not ready to pass on using her body much like a parasite.
At the bar, she meets Avian, a Revenant, born of a demon and angel and wanted by neither heaven nor hell. He lives with a priest, who sees the good in him and gives him support as he seeks to take care of those the angels and demons won't go against like vampires. Avian doesn't actually like her since he knows that she is trouble, but is drawn to Cyn anyway and wants to protect her. He knows she is possessed by an evil spirit named Vincent and their goal is to get the guy to leave her alone. In the meantime, her dead boyfriend's brother comes looking for her to settle the score, thinking she did indeed murder him. The ex-cop soon becomes her worst nightmare.
As the story progresses, you really feel Cyn's pain and you will find yourself cheering for her as she tries to rid herself of this demon and have some peace. I stayed up super late since I was so intrigued by this story. It was very suspenseful and creepy at the same along with enough mystery about Cyn's actually participation in her boyfriend's murder and her "lost time". Having read the Hollows ages ago, I have forgotten the characters, so I read this one with no remembrance of Cyn. Parents: this one is best suited for teens since there is alcohol and some violence involved.
This song pretty much sums up this book: Monsters by The Filthy Souls
Charlie Keefe has made a good living keeping his Jack Russell terrier in the best of kibble. So when Pete crosses the RaMY THOUGHTS ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT
Charlie Keefe has made a good living keeping his Jack Russell terrier in the best of kibble. So when Pete crosses the Rainbow Bridge and Charlie isn't there, he sinks into depression and find he can no longer paint without his muse. Even though Pete wasn't quite the most friendly and personable dog, the two shared a connection but Charlie didn't realize how deep that connection was until Pete was gone. As Charlie walks by the dog park, he meets Janelle, head of the local rescue group, who promptly signs him up as a foster parent to an adorable spaniel named Brownie. Brownie is the complete opposite of Pete, charming and adorable instead of a grumbley curmudgeon.
Instead of making me cry like any book where a dog dies, I was actually laughing when Pete reappears as a ghost and the pair start arguing like an old married couple. Pete tells Charlie that Brownie is just a rebound dog and that he will always be first in his heart, there is major disagreement with Pete storming off and Charlie regretting his words once again. Charlie realizing that he has been given a chance to properly say good bye starts to paint again. The pictures of Pete alternating between heaven and hell aren't exactly a hit with his audience.
This story is for anyone who has loved and lost a dog. It will give you those warm fuzzies that you feel when poked by a cold nose and hit with a wagging tail. Fans of Enzo, Chet, and Jimmy (you know who you are) are going to love adding Pete to your family. This is also the first time that there is a happy ending to losing a beloved pet. It is a quick read and perfect dialogue, one I can't recommend highly enough for dog lovers....more
After escaping to Earth with brothers Jost and Eric, Adelice finds that she is no more free than she was on Arras. The E*** spoilerish for Crewel ****
After escaping to Earth with brothers Jost and Eric, Adelice finds that she is no more free than she was on Arras. The Earth is a barren wasteland, used for it's resources and the people living there are some form of refugee or descendants from the war. The people living there do have a strong sense of purpose, mostly to see a rebellion against those who rule Arras and control what is left of the Earth. So what started out as a science fiction tale has morphed into dystopia! This, of course, makes me really happy.
Adelice and the boys make a rather rocky entry into this landscape, they are not quite sure who to trust and the fact that Adelice has a hard time controlling her tongue gets them into a bit of a spot right away. Trying to keep a low profile, she confronts a shopkeeper where she trades an emerald earring for a book of Shakespeare. That little volume will make a lot of sense through out the story as they are taken to Kincaid, a sort of Patton - Caesar like guy with theatrical and grandiose ideas. At first, he seems the exact opposite of Cormac. The boys seem like window dressing during most of Adelice's internal struggles. Kincaid has a sort of LA Confidential issue going on here as well.
Coming to their aid are the sunrunners, who harness energy from sunlight and one of Adelice's archenemies from the Guild comes back into play. Sorry, no spoilers about exactly what that means but I am sure you will enjoy some of the romance that plays out when a new guy is added to the mix. Adelice further develops into a deeper character and discovers she has more skill than she thought was possible. Overall, this worthy second installment left me dying to read the conclusion. ...more
I have left out a lot of stuff in the above review since it is so far out from the release date.
Just note that this book is made of AWESOME. I am not going to spoil it for you. I know Digit and John break up at the beginning of the book and don't let that make you cry or freak out. Remember John is a lot older than Digit and wise beyond his years. The fact that he sees Digit needs to be on her own says a lot about him as a person. Also remember that Digit is super impulsive and doesn't always think things through or the consequences that may happen when she acts first and thinks later.
FAVORITE PART OF THE BOOK:
Digit solves a computer puzzle (and her life) using a game she used to play with her as a kid based on the book, GO DOG GO! That is the first book I read as a child! ...more
Eve doesn't remember anything about her past life except little blips of information and the surgeries to change her appearance. NoMY THOUGHTS
Eve doesn't remember anything about her past life except little blips of information and the surgeries to change her appearance. Now in a witness protection program, she is told she must remember her past so others won't die. She first realizes that there is a problem with her past when strange things start to occur. Her Aunt Nicki is really an agent assigned to protect her and Nicki's partner, Malcolm, tries to make her life as normal as possible. Whatever normal is for her since she has discovered that she can do things like make the birds on the wallpaper in her room fly around. Malcolm does try to help her become more "normal" by getting her a job at a library where she meets Zach. Zach and Eve make an instant connection and while touching Zach, Eve can use her magic without the side effect of blacking out and losing newly gained memories. When she does blackout, she has horrible visions of her past that fill her with fear.
Malcolm and Nicki's boss, Lou, wants to press her to regain her memory quicker, so he introduces her to other teens like her. They can all use magic without losing consciousness and even though they befriend her, she senses something just isn't right. One of the boys, Aidan, tries to romantically entangle her and pull her away from Zach. As Eve starts to connect more with her memories, the more she begins to fear what she has witnessed. She begins to fear the other teens, the agents of the WitSec program and even herself. Forced to face her fears, she discovers that she is from another world and in order to save others from harm, she must go back to where she came from.
This story really captured my attention since it seemed to mix the best of the Twilight Zone with Men in Black in more of a horror-thriller type tale. The passages where Eve has her visions are the stuff of your worst nightmares. As Eve starts to remember her past, the horrors just keep on coming. Even nice, normal Zach has some horror in his past bringing to light some domestic abuse in his own family. The love story around this pair is one for the ages. The last third of the book had me guessing and I never imagined the ending. Parents: some language, some magical kissing and a bit of violent imagery.
Bang picks up a few weeks after Crash and Jules is no longer seeing horrendous visions of death except now Sawyer has the sight. InMy THOUGHTS LOVED IT
Bang picks up a few weeks after Crash and Jules is no longer seeing horrendous visions of death except now Sawyer has the sight. Instead of seeing the death, he hears eleven shots and vaguely describes a school shooting to Jules. Of course, Jules is on restriction after crashing the Meat Ball (food truck), and no longer has a cell phone, so their connections have to take place at school. Sawyer does manage to get a prepaid cell phone to Jules so the pair can talk and text when they need to without their parents knowing.
Jules enlists the help of her siblings, Trey and Rowan, to figure out where Sawyer's vision takes place, but the vision is coming more often which means time is running out. Sawyer sees certain trees in the background which helps them narrow down the location to a college. This is fast paced and will have your heart racing as they try to figure out the locations and see if they can save the potential eleven victims.
I really enjoyed this story and centered around a school shooting that seems ripped out of the headlines and with an undercurrent of social commentary that is going on today. The whole theme is so true that it seems it happened someplace recently. The ending left open another installment and I really can't wait to see where this takes these kids. I can't explain too much of it since it would give away a lot of the plot....more
Eric, finally we get to Eric, the drummer in The Sinners and this story is the one that seems filled with the most pain, not physicMY THOUGHTS LOVED IT
Eric, finally we get to Eric, the drummer in The Sinners and this story is the one that seems filled with the most pain, not physical but lots of mental pain in both main characters. Rebekah's brother, long-time sound man, David, has been injured in a tour bus accident and can no longer do sound, so he recruits his little sister who has just completed school and seems to have a gift for finding the right mix.
She is such a sweet person and does everything she can to please her extreme Christian mother but going on the road with a rock band has earned her contempt and disdain. Ok, that was putting it mildly, since her mother pretty much says Reb will burn in hell. She also has a deep, dark secret with her health since she is a recent cancer survivor and must face the fact that she can no longer have children which is pretty much a deal breaker with most guys.
Drummers are at the top of my list when it comes to musicians since they have the smallest egos. They also have the most hang ups and Eric has issues in spades. Mostly, he is quick on the trigger and can't seem to keep a girlfriend because of this. It could also be that he doesn't try, well, at least until he meets Reb. These two have an instant connection but both hold back because of their issues. It isn't until Reb takes the initiative and forced Eric to face his fears.
Sigh, even though this book wasn't at the top of my chart in the series, it is still a wonderful edition and completes it. I will be sad to let these guys go. Overall, I wish the middle of the story had been moved to the beginning since I didn't connect with Reb until then. Everything clicked at that point and I got my HEA at the end. ...more
Jordan and her BFF, Selena, have been trying to get their crushes to ask them to the upcoming Valentine's dance. JordSOURCE: AUTHOR
MY THOUGHTS LOVED IT
Jordan and her BFF, Selena, have been trying to get their crushes to ask them to the upcoming Valentine's dance. Jordan becomes tongue-tied, doubts herself around her guy, while Selena remains cool and collected. Her ex-BFF, the perfect Jessica, tries to swipe the boy of her dreams out from under her, she realizes that she must make an extra effort but she isn't sure exactly what she needs to do, maybe wish upon a star or some other sort of magic. When her father insists that they go help her grandmother clean out the attic, Jordan has hopes that she might find something vintage that will catch this guy's eye.
Her grandmother's memory has been a little spotty lately and as they dig through dusty boxes, Jordan happens upon a unique box that contains a bracelet exactly like the one Audrey Hepburn wore in Tessa's Treasures. All except the one that Audrey wore was a replica of this one and this bracelet has magic powers to summon the goddess of sex, Hathor, from ancient Egypt. Of course, Jordan manages to summon the goddess and wishes for romance. Nothing goes according to plan and the malevolent Hathor, creates havoc for the girls.
This is such a fun read and very suitable for even the youngest teens and more mature pre-teens. Jordan shows that a girl can be true to herself while still having adventure and learns that the most important things in life are friends and family. This is a fresh take on the paranormal adventures so common in YA stories and I am so glad that it is something I can recommend to even pre-teens. There is just enough tension and mystery to keep you reading through while also providing a lesson on growing up. If you like the Magic in Manhattan series by Sarah Mlynowski or the Dead Is series by Marlene Perez, you will enjoy this one as well! ...more
Imagine that there is a secret "outerverse" beyond our own universe, a place in space that is hidden from even the mostMY THOUGHTS
ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT
Imagine that there is a secret "outerverse" beyond our own universe, a place in space that is hidden from even the most astute astronomer. Now imagine that preteens are trained to work in said space with aliens from other planets! Yes, in Starbounders, teens are trained to be "kids in black"! Zachary comes from a family of fighters that are sworn to protect the universe from evil. As Zachary moves into his new school to continue his education after eighth grade. There he meets up with Kaylee, another human and Ryic, an alien but still very human-like. Parts of this book really reminded me of a Jumanji - Star Wars mixed with a bit of Star Trek and throw in some Hitchhikers Guide, the younger years, and you will understand what I am talking about.
This story should really appeal to middle grade boys, that really hard to please class that enjoy bathroom humor along with some spacey ideas. The story really becomes exciting when the group takes off on their first mission. I can see that this series will be an exciting adventure. This story would also be a great book to read out loud for younger kids, although I can imagine that it would turn into one of those books that the parents will also want to stay up just an extra chapter as well. The dialogue is just wonderful and I really enjoyed all of the alien descriptions. ...more
Elite gymnast, Karen has just learned both of her parents were killed in an accident. She only has a few months to go before NationMY THOUGHTS LOVED IT
Elite gymnast, Karen has just learned both of her parents were killed in an accident. She only has a few months to go before Nationals and then on to the Olympics. Her grandmother comes quickly, but Karen has never been close to her and convinces her that she would like to stay with her coach who assumes responsibility for her. Moving in a daze, she writes letters to her newly deceased parents while working her way through grief and a horrible situation. Never having to deal with the opposite sex much, she comes face to face with Jordan, her coach's teen age son.
The connection between Jordan and Karen is almost immediate and Jordan has the ability to pull her out of what could be a horrible spiral into grief. He brings a bit of comic relief into a situation that could really be sad. Jordan also brings her out of dealing with her issues by facing them instead of her constant work out schedule. The back story of elite gymnasts really show the amount of dedication and self sacrifice that these athletes have. Jordan's father, Coach Bentley is one of those rare adults that see if Karen couldn't realize her goal, she would fall even deeper into downward spiral. This is just such a feel good book that shows while things are out of our control, with help from special people, you can rise above. ...more
Megan and her daughter, Summer, are rescued from their burning apartment in San Francisco by firefighter, Gabe Sullivan.MY THOUGHTS ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT
Megan and her daughter, Summer, are rescued from their burning apartment in San Francisco by firefighter, Gabe Sullivan. The girls make it out, but Gabe is hit on the head by a beam. Megan finds him in the hospital and thanks him and while she is now a widow, she doesn't plan on ever falling in love again. Neither does Gabe, but both of them can't help but feel a spark between them, something that could ignite into a real fire between the two. (Can't help falling for puns! - permission to groan granted!)
I can't believe that this series just keeps getting better. Summer, really shines in this book and almost takes over with her rapid insights and precociousness. Several times, I thought that she said exactly what needed to be said to get Megan to move closer to Gabe, as well as forcing Gabe's hand a few times. There are some steamy scenes as well, which are so well done and really add to the story rather than just gratuitous filler. Now, I can't wait until I Only Have Eyes For You, which will shine a light on Sophie, a librarian! YAY! ...more
What a treasure trove of artifacts are contained in this latest edition of The Art of Steampunk. I have several books onMY THOUGHTS ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT
What a treasure trove of artifacts are contained in this latest edition of The Art of Steampunk. I have several books on Steampunk art and a large collection of fiction based on the art. This book brings to life some of my favorite things about the movement. It is neatly divided into artists and also contains a section on the Art of Steampunk that was presented in England. I found some new artists like Jessica Joslin and Eric Freitas that have some amazing sculptures. It also contains the art of Richard Nagy, creator or the steampunk computer.
The pictures are of very high quality and nicely laid out with a page about each artist and then a few more with lovely snaps of their work. I found so many things I would love to own and display. I just love the whole style of this art work. This would make a wonderful gift for lovers of the odd and unique. I thought this was a bit more educational than the first edition with more information about the whole movement. I wish that some of my favorite steampunk authors would have been mentioned to round things out. You can check out Jules Verne, Cassandra Clare, or Gail Carriger who are all amazing authors. ...more
*** spoilers if you haven't read the first two in the series ***
And why haven't you read these awesome**spoiler alert** MY THOUGHTS ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT
*** spoilers if you haven't read the first two in the series ***
And why haven't you read these awesome books yet?
Lex is quickly learning that she has skills above and beyond the ability to Damn and none of them are supernatural. With Driggs being somewhere between ghost and dead-dead, she can still see him and hold him once in awhile. As the Grimsphere is starting to collapse and might signal the end of the afterlife, Lex and her uncle Mort must contain the damage and prevent the downfall. Armed with the Wrong Book and which is attached to the Grim Creator, Grotton, the Juniors must follow the clues to save everything for the afterlife. Can they do it in time?
Of course, the Junior have many tricks up their sleeves, including fast thinking and Uncle Mort's theories. They head to Necropolis, to seal the last opening to the Grimsphere where Norwood, has already somewhat taken over. This is such a thrilling conclusion that left me feeling a bit bittersweet. I was so sad that Driggs was no longer corporeal but could be when he touched Lex. I am going to miss the dry sense of humor and swift comebacks of Lex and Uncle Mort.
These characters aren't perfect, they make a lot of mistakes and some die. The romance between Driggs and Lex is just swoon-worthy. These two are meant for each other even if they can't always be together. A little more about Driggs' history is also explained and it is pretty sad. Do yourself a favor and go grab all three books to read before summer ends. You won't be disappointed. Sigh, I have to get over the end of this series. I am going to miss Lex so much. ...more
The story covers three major musical groups during their epic tours during 1973. This was the year that changed how bands toured, fMY THOUGHTS LOVED IT
The story covers three major musical groups during their epic tours during 1973. This was the year that changed how bands toured, fans perceived them and the money they made. The Who, elder statesmen, have just released Quadrophenia and plan to put this album on display like they did with Tommy. Led Zeppelin, craves the critical attention that The Who attains and is touring around the United States in their first major press. Alice Cooper champions a true stage presentation of their music with Billion Dollar Babies. Each band has something different to offer the audience but underneath it all, they just want attention. This is the start of rock stardom with all of the excess and lays the foundation for any musical wannabe to attain.
I found this book truly fascinating even though it presents a history of each act and contains a lot of facts about the background of each. There is a lot of analysis. interviews with the people who supported each act and goes into the business behind a major band during this time period. Yes, the drugs and groupies are all mentioned and a lot of the stories I had heard in passing are all present. Led Zeppelin's groupies, Keith Moon's drugs and Alice Cooper's alcohol are given fair play. I have met several people mentioned as supporting characters and found that reading their history put a whole new spin on it for me. ...more
When Marcus Sullivan, owner of a Napa Valley winery, walks in on his girlfriend with another man, he swears that he will never fall in love again. WheWhen Marcus Sullivan, owner of a Napa Valley winery, walks in on his girlfriend with another man, he swears that he will never fall in love again. When Nicola, known as Nico and a famous pop star, has her life torn apart by a loser boyfriend who posts nasty pictures of her to destroy her reputation, she swears she will never fall in love again. The pair both decide that what will fix what they are feeling is a good one night stand. The pair lock eyes in a San Francisco night club and well, as they say, the rest is history. Well, their one night stand doesn't exactly turn out to be that! Sounds pretty standard, right? Nope, not at all. In another author's hands, this romantic tale could be full of cliches and a typical story line. Wow, Andre nailed this installment of the Sullivans!
We also get a better introduction to two more Sullivans: Lori and Smith. As a choreographer, Lori has spent a lot of time with Nicola on her music video and Smith, the famous movie star, lends his SF house to Marcus. I have high hope for both since I was teased with Lori and her mystery phone calls, while Smith is down right funny. He seems the complete opposite of his oldest brother, Marcus, who is a straight-laced business man at first glancet. I adored how Lori corners Marcus into visiting her at work and he realizes exactly who Nicola is! This is one seriously hot romance that just makes for a fun read! I am really enjoying how the characters are all connected and now can't wait for the next installment, Can't Help Falling in Love. ...more
Rapunzel lives in her forest tower with her adoptive mother, Mathena, where women come for cures of broken hearts, femalMY THOUGHTS ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT
Rapunzel lives in her forest tower with her adoptive mother, Mathena, where women come for cures of broken hearts, female issues, and other needs. Mathena has rescued her from an abusive home and taught her the ways of nature and magic. Once it was accepted that witches and magic were possible but times change and now the craft is unspoken. With her stunning looks and beautiful voice, travelers stop and wonder, write songs about Rapunzel. She dreams of a man to love her and when that man becomes taken with her, she revels in the wonder of it all.
The man turns out to be a prince, promised to another and even though they are in love, it cannot be. Over time, the local women tell of the wedding and then a birth and Rapunzel wonders what might have been. Of course, this wouldn't be a fairy tale without the main character getting her prince, but it turns out that being a witch has its benefits. A small twist is that she turns out to be pregnant, but soon looses the child. The Queen dies, helped along by Mathena, and Rapunzel becomes the new queen and stepmother to Snow White.
The story weaves together both tales seamlessly and naturally. The interplay of both good and evil in Rapunzel makes it even more believable. I adored Godmother and this story was a bit more direct in that you aren't guessing the true identity of each character. There is a lot of female empowerment laced through out about how women must take charge of their own lives. It also delves into the fact that a lot of decisions are gray areas and can lead to unwanted consequences in that one small choice can lead to horrible consequences. ...more
Jessica is starting to get the hang of being a virago and things have been quiet in the town of Nightshade. Her relationship with DMY THOUGHTS LOVED IT
Jessica is starting to get the hang of being a virago and things have been quiet in the town of Nightshade. Her relationship with Dom, the lead singer in Side Effects May Vary is going well, that is until his ex shows up at the invitation of his mother. With nothing to do one night, Jessica and her friends head off to a local art exhibit where the painting look like your worst dreams. After the show, they hang out at the beach where they see a strange ghostly horse and coincidentally, Jessica and two of her sisters are signed up for horse riding lessons at a new farm.
At the farm, Jessica sees a ghostly girl named Sanja, who confesses she is a Mara, a person who can cause nightmares and also the horse they saw at the beach. Soon after a murder is reported quickly followed by her brother's girlfriend going into a coma. When another murder occurs, Jessica starts putting clues together that point to the murderer. Daisy makes a wonderful appearance, helping Jessica solve the crimes with her psychic abilities.
This is a wonderful installment to the Dead Is series and I love how Jessica is learning to trust herself and her abilities more. She is growing from an insecure freshman to a more secure person. I love recommending this series since even the most reluctant reader can easily pick up on the characters and plot. Parents: this one is super safe, just some kissing and bit of alluded to violence. ...more
Starla is almost 10 years old when she is put on restriction AGAIN by her grandmother, where she lives in a small town iMY THOUGHTS ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT
Starla is almost 10 years old when she is put on restriction AGAIN by her grandmother, where she lives in a small town in Mississippi while her father works on an oil rig. The disappointment grows when Starla realizes that she will miss the Fourth of July parade and fireworks. Told to stay home, she sneaks off to watch them anyway. Caught by a neighbor, she is put on even more restriction and when she overhears her grandmother say she will be sent to reform school, she decides to be proactive and run away before that can happen. Starla decides that her mother who is living in Nashville and is a "famous singer" is her destination. As she is walking down the road, dying of thirst, a woman with a baby picks her up.
The woman, Eula, offers a ride in her broken down truck and Starla accepts rather than go to some horrible place her grandmother might send her. The story covers their trip to Nashville and all that they encounter. I am just going to get this out of my system now: The Secret Life of Bees, The Help, Huckleberry Finn were what came to mind while reading this one. The pair bring to light to horrible racism that still exists in the South today but was even worse in the early Sixties. As Starla witnesses the injustice that Eula faces on a daily basis, you can see the wheels turning in this bright child's mind and how she is trying to understand why things are so unfair. The fighting spirit is also strong in her as she tries to make everything right for those she cares about.
Her grandmother is not quite evil, but you can tell that her feelings about Starla's mother transfer over to how she feels about her granddaughter. I don't want to give anything away but it does have a happy ending for all involved. There are themes of child abuse, domestic violence, social mores that make no sense including how unwed mothers were treated and the fact that Starla barely escaped being known as a bastard. This would make an excellent book for a club since there is so much to discuss. This has to be one of my favorite books that I have read this year....more
Ben is a Democratic political consultant, with his career quickly unraveling, when he gets a phone call from a Republica MY THOUGHTS ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT
Ben is a Democratic political consultant, with his career quickly unraveling, when he gets a phone call from a Republican candidate. After seeing himself on all the cable news shows as essentially a loser, he takes the position with Andrew Harris Mansfield, directing the young, superstar senator's quest for the presidency. Andrew's wife, Abby, has a trust fund equivalent to a small nation. Abby is actually the one who wants Ben on their side and with wise counsel to her husband, they are the perfect political couple with no known skeletons. As Ben becomes closer to the couple, he discovers the girl he is lusting after is actually Abby's twin sister, Maddy.
Ben is told to leave Maddy alone, both by Abby and Ben, although he can't figure out why. Maddy has a bad girl past and even she doesn't want a serious relationship. He also finds that she has an old boyfriend lurking in the wings. As the pair become closer, he also becomes the victim of a hacking scandal by the current Vice President (think evil Cheney), also on the campaign trail. Ok, I just gave away a bit of the plot detail here but the twists and turns of this one will make you want to read this one quickly. The hacking scandal is only the tip of the iceberg. Everything seems so true to life, especially with what is happening with all of the leaks in the news right now.
This is amazing. I always think I know where a plot like this is going, you know, identical twins, evil Vice President, but this caught me way off guard. I was surprised by the turns this one took. If you have never read a book by Brown before, you need to and this would be an excellent start. I adore all of her books and she can take characters to places most authors only dream about. I am really glad that she seems to put something out every three months or so since I would really have withdrawals. ...more