Claire is used to being ignored, passed over and pretty much invisible. So when she is almost murdered in her bedroom anMY THOUGHTS ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT
Claire is used to being ignored, passed over and pretty much invisible. So when she is almost murdered in her bedroom and makes eye contact with the gunman, she can't believe she is really the intended target. The boy with the gun usually gets away unnoticed and he is shocked when he tries again and she stares him down. No one ever notices Nix and that is part of his skill set and charm. He soon realizes that Claire is just like him -- a Nobody -- and she is the most gorgeous girl he has ever laid eyes on. Claire feels the same way and it is really love at first sight which is pretty amazing considering these two are never noticed at all.
Nix really doesn't understand why the secret society he works for as an assassin wants this girl gone. So he does something he has been trained not to: question authority. Of course, this sets him on a new life path and he takes Claire with him in order to save her from the Society and their evil plans for world domination. Of course, Claire readily agrees to go along since no one will miss her anyway. Her parents continually forgot about her throughout her life anyway.
The pair go on a whirl wind of a race to survive the Society and unravel the plans they have to take down Claire and now Nix. Claire discovers that she is better than Nix at disappearing and learns that being invisible has its advantages. I really enjoyed this sweet romance built on a bit of a paranormal thriller and mystery. The pair prove that in being nobody they are unique and someone. I found this stand alone just a true treasure and would really enjoy reading about Claire and Nix again in the future. Parents: There is some kissing, cartoon violence and some language. ...more
Liza's baby sitter, Anna, has told her tales about the Spindlers, spider-like creatures that live below and steal the souls of unsuMY THOUGHTS LOVED IT
Liza's baby sitter, Anna, has told her tales about the Spindlers, spider-like creatures that live below and steal the souls of unsuspecting children which they feast on. She knows the telltale signs, such as not acting normal, which in her little brother's case means brushing his teeth without complaint, going to bed without an argument and just generally behaving. So when these things start happening, she knows without a doubt that Patrick's soul has been stolen. Much like Alice in Wonderland, Liza discovers a passageway that sends her Below into the land of under-dwellers.
There she meets Mirabelle, a rat, who helps Liza make her way to the Spindler's nest and save her brother's soul. There are challenges to the journey and you wonder whether Liza has it in her to save her brother. This page turning adventure would be a pleasure to read out loud and reminded me a bit of The Tale of Despereaux and Spiderwick Chronicles . I really enjoyed Liza and her imagination. There are also lots of wonderful characters involved and this would be a wonderful gift for a youngster just starting chapter books. ...more
Every January, I try to get back into shape and this year I think I found the perfect book to help me out. I can't get to a gym anMY THOUGHTS LOVED IT
Every January, I try to get back into shape and this year I think I found the perfect book to help me out. I can't get to a gym and with a bad back, some exercises are just impossible for me to try. I am now working through this program and I find that it is really easy to do. No special equipment, no special things, just a door and some floor space to make the whole thing work. You can make the exercise as easy as you need it to be and for anyone with injuries, it is easy to work up to doing more repetitions as the author recommends.
I have found that my strength is increasing and I can easily work in these movements. I really recommend that you find a very stable door - I use the fire door between my house and garage. I was afraid that using one of the other interior doors would be too much of a strain on the hinges. I really don't mind doing these movements and the whole program reminds of a fitness class that I took in college that had me in the best shape ever. I really recommend this easy to use guide to getting you back into shape. ...more
A small town in Kansas has seen it's share of troubled economic times and a lot of people and pets are losing their homes. With noMY THOUGHTS LOVED IT
A small town in Kansas has seen it's share of troubled economic times and a lot of people and pets are losing their homes. With no other financial means, a lot of sweet dogs end up in the shelter run by Todd. The city is running out of money as well which leads to a limited amount of funds for the shelter and an overwhelming amount of animals being abandoned. As Todd tries to overcome his own disabilities and maintain an independent life, it all may be threatened if the shelter is forced to close.
At the shelter, he meets Laura, who has her own physical limits and Todd trains a reserved Lab to assist her. The dog named Christmas (from the first book in this series), brings out the best of everyone as they fight to save the shelter. Laura encourages Todd to be the best he can be and stand up for what he believes in. There is a collective sigh of release when Todd again pulls off a Christmas miracle again. I loved the story and was in tears the first chapter since it starts out with an abandon dog injured in a car accident. I was so glad that it had a happy ending. This book can stand alone but it is nice to read them in order. ...more
This adorable picture book with just the right amount of words gets across a wonderful bilingual story. I can imagine reading thisMY THOUGHTS LOVED IT
This adorable picture book with just the right amount of words gets across a wonderful bilingual story. I can imagine reading this one out loud to a young person and imitating all of the sounds in the story. I read this on my iPad and the quality of the images were spectacular. This little book packs a big punch as far as learning opportunities since it covers two languages and even works in sounds. I really enjoyed this book....more
Foster kid, Wirt inadvertently discovers he has magical ability when he is threatened by three boys with bodily harm and escapes whMY THOUGHTS LOVED IT
Foster kid, Wirt inadvertently discovers he has magical ability when he is threatened by three boys with bodily harm and escapes when he disappears. The only problem is that he doesn't really believe in magic, so when he lands in a giant tree house that is home to a magical academy. The academy trains future magicians to help the rulers of all hundreds of worlds that overlap. There he is admitted to the academy on scholarship and soon makes a home among the students. He makes fast friends with three: Spencer, the smart, rich kid who takes him under his wing and the brilliant Alana, another scholarship student who is assigned to help Princess Priscilla rule in the future.
These teens attend classes much like the ones in Hogwarts and have teachers that help them work through spells and transformations. As Wirt becomes used to the idea of magic, things start to go wrong at the school. Magical items entrusted to the school are disappearing and with the finances there in disarray, the kids are set out to find a missing chalice that has mythical powers. Their quest takes them through many obstacles and trails. Spencer makes Wirt realize that he has worth and that he is wanted at the school, something he has never felt before in all his foster homes.
Alana also plays a part in welcoming Wirt and I can't wait to see where their relationship goes. She is smart and witty. Priscillia doesn't play that much of a role in this one but I can see her coming into her own. I really enjoyed this one and I have been meaning to read something by Gow for awhile after meeting her at the Orange County Children's Book Fest. I am sure that this one won't be my last. Parents: not much to worry about here and other than a kiss and not much violence, this should be alright for even the youngest teens. ...more
Gifted sisters Marnie and Nelly have buried their abusive parents in the back yard after finding them both dead and withMY THOUGHTS ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT
Gifted sisters Marnie and Nelly have buried their abusive parents in the back yard after finding them both dead and with good riddance since they have paid little or no attention to them since either can remember. The brilliant Marnie acts out, using sex, alcohol and drugs to numb herself while her younger sister uses a posh accent and retreats into a world of culture as an unnaturally gifted violinist in defense of their home life. Growing up in state supported housing while their parents receive aid, neither one wants to be put in a foster home, so they devise a plan to stay on their own until Marnie turns sixteen in a year. Their next door neighbor, Lennie, senses something wrong with the girls but isn't quite sure what. Oh, and Lennie has a few law issues himself, like being caught with an underage boy in the park that led to being registered as a sexual offender, which really wasn't his fault since the boy told him he was legal.
If you aren't offended so far, read on. Next up is Marnie's married, drug-dealing, boyfriend that keeps them afloat for a few months by paying her to work the ice cream truck he uses to supply the neighborhood. Things get really weird when his boss shows up and demands the money that their lowlife father owes him. Things get even weirder after that. As the girls, now with the help of Lennie, avoid all manner of grown ups and the law, their life actually gets better. Lennie serves them regular meals, gives them a place to sleep and makes them feel wanted for the first time in their life. Told in these three alternating voices, the story is a dark comedy filled with emotion.
Of course, in Marnie and Nelly's lives, nothing goes according to plan and their long-lost grandfather shows up to claim them. As Marnie quickly figures out, he is probably the reason their mother was not very maternal. Their plan lasts about four months and it quickly falls apart as the authorities and drug dealers come calling. This book is so wonderfully weird and filled with touching moments that had me at times sad but also laughing. There are quite a few interesting twist and plot turns that are so far fetched but at the same time believable. I really loved this one. ...more
BOOK PORN. Plain and simple, this is as good as it gets for us book lovers. If you enjoy reading Post Secret and reallyMY THOUGHTS ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT
BOOK PORN. Plain and simple, this is as good as it gets for us book lovers. If you enjoy reading Post Secret and really want to know why someone gifted a certain book or why that person enjoyed it or hated it, this is your peek into that their thinking. I love reading stuff like this. There is a wide range of emotions, everything from "why did I get this" to "this means so much". Much like The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories, this is one you can pick up and read whenever you like. Probably my favorite from the whole collection is one where lovers gifted each other books and they both wrote essentially that the romance was over with this exchange.
This is one of those vicarious experiences that let you peek into the minds of like minded people. I know I had a lot of these books on my shelves or had read them in the past and it was really interesting to find what these same books had meant to them. I will revisit many times since it lends itself to rereading. I think that this would make the perfect gift for that book lover that has read everything. ...more
Bianca, an actress, has many admirers but few actual friends, so when her good friend, Adam, is murdered, she attends his funeral aMY THOUGHTS LOVED IT
Bianca, an actress, has many admirers but few actual friends, so when her good friend, Adam, is murdered, she attends his funeral and this makes her a suspect as well as bringing the unwanted attention of his enemies. Mac, his brother in arms and closest friend, seeks her out since he knows she was the last one seen with him. He also catches her whispering to Adam's casket that she will keep his secrets which to Mac, is a worry since he and Adam are part of the shape-shifting Imnada and their secret is a point of survival for his tribe. On the other side of the coin is the Others, fey creatures, that are the mortal enemies of the Imnada. Renata's family has been murdered and she aims to track down the killers which she knows are Imnada.
There is an immense amount of world building in this fist installment. I was really taken by Bianca and her back story as an abused wife and how her father had taught her botany which now will help Mac unravel Adam's secret and possibly that will help the survival of his race. There are a lot of other minor characters that I hope will be present in future books. The Wallace family, who gives shelter to Mac and Bianca. The fact the Renata is drawn so evilly just makes her that more of a villain as she seeks her revenge. I am not sure where the series will go but this looks like a great start. ...more
Jaime, the youngest of three, has spent the last year caring for her mother who died from Ovarian cancer. Her oldest sister has alwMY THOUGHTS LOVED IT
Jaime, the youngest of three, has spent the last year caring for her mother who died from Ovarian cancer. Her oldest sister has always been perfect and dynamic, soaring quickly through law school and ignoring the fact that she has a family. Her older brother and his sarcasm has used Jaime as the butt of his jokes to the point of being cruel. The only reason she puts up with this oaf is because of his daughter, Hannah. So when even his religious wife can't contain his anger, Jaime loses it at Thanksgiving when he baits her one last time. She decides that she is fed up with her non feeling sister and ignorant brother and puts an ad on CraigsList for a new family to spend Christmas.
The four people that answer the ad are truly characters. An elderly lady that is an artist and truly has her act together but too far from her family. A single man with a passion for rescuing dachshunds! A transgendered person that is truly a wonder and full of understanding even though she has been abused constantly and now estranged from her extremely Christian family. A young college student who just lost the love of her life in a car accident. When all of these people come together for a holiday dinner, things get increasingly strange but they do form a bond that will leave life long emotions.
I really enjoyed the whole story and found it really believable. The characters were all people I seemed to recognize. Jaime realizes that her family will never be what she wants it to be and her husband, Eric doesn't have the family she needs/wants. I appreciate that he went along with the whole scheme with good humor and love. Even though it doesn't go exactly how Jaime wants it to go, I think she got just what she needed. I adored Riley's writing and the humor she captures in little things. If you enjoy Laurie Notaro's fiction works, you are going to love this one.
Book Two picks right up where Book One left off, as the five remaining mothers vie for four spot in the Pacific HeightsMY THOUGHTS ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT
Book Two picks right up where Book One left off, as the five remaining mothers vie for four spot in the Pacific Heights Moms & Tot's Play Group. Now, with the secrets starting to spill between the four friendly ones, each now knows a bit more about the others. Jade's pole dancing comes to light when Bettina's husband recognizes her, although she already let that cat out of the bag to the others. Jillian's divorce is still a bit under wraps but after she waits on Lorna and Bettina, she had to admit to the group that she is in dire straights. Lorna, herself has finally admitted her own secret, well, at least to her husband about her son's condition and she has been an a pillar of support for the others even while she is the victim herself of viscous rumors. Ally admits that she is not married and uses her gay best friend as a front for the group.
As Kelly tries to manipulate Bettina towards the finish through the Thanksgiving holiday, she herself gets played much like a great episode of Survivor. I so enjoy this series and I am always stunned a bit sad when each book ends. At least there are more books to be released every three months, so the countdown is not that long. These stories are the perfect read to take along on your smart phone since each chapter can be easily read while waiting. I think it took me about two hours to get through this one. I swear I feel like a junkie with Josie Brown and I just can't get enough of these characters.
This book is why David Levithan is an acclaimed author. He can take a small idea and very few words to make an impact that would take most authors a lThis book is why David Levithan is an acclaimed author. He can take a small idea and very few words to make an impact that would take most authors a lot of words. This small book based on definitions and span the alphabet is a new take on a romance that falls apart. The tale goes back and forth in time and takes small things that lead up to how a relationship actually builds and then breaks. Although it is mostly a sad look at a romance, there is a lot of humor and heart woven in through the short chapters. Fans of Six Word Memoirs and Post Secret will adore this one. ...more
Recently widowed and now Mrs. Westman, Lady Sophia Huntington has fallen on hard times, banished from her family after eloping against their wishes, sRecently widowed and now Mrs. Westman, Lady Sophia Huntington has fallen on hard times, banished from her family after eloping against their wishes, she resorts to managing a gambling establishment to support herself. At a masked event, she has just won an outrageous wager which should set her up to be respectable and possibly be forgiven by her father when she meets a man who threatens to reveal her secret life. Dominic St. Claire would like nothing better than to expose Sophia and exact revenge for what the Huntingtons did to destroy his family's fortunes. Even though, they are now quite successful actors, owner theaters and gambling halls, he want to reinstate the family name. When Dominic sets out to use her by winning her heart then dumping her at the alter, he finds that she is very adept at the game he is playing.
Although Dominic tries to be deceptive with Sophia, he can't hide what his heart feels and this leads to conflicting emotions. Sophia has heard about the families' feud and she doesn't feel that is an all important thing in her life. For all of his plans, Dominic finds that he must protect Sophia and when the gentleman she won the wager with begins to stalk her, the story becomes even more intriguing. I loved how the two tried to fight their attraction and how that attraction played out with passion. There is a wonderful chemistry between the pair and I loved how Sophia always remained true to herself. This was a very fun read! ...more
Sophie and Cameron grew up together in the countryside and their childhood is filled with adventure and true friendship, so when thMY THOUGHTS LOVED IT
Sophie and Cameron grew up together in the countryside and their childhood is filled with adventure and true friendship, so when the time is right, Cameron proposes and Sophie turns him down. Not because her is a bastard nor that she doesn't love him, but the fact that as the vicar's daughter, she has a lot of family responsibilities and the timing is off. They part ways and Sophie thinks she will never see him again. That is until she meets him in London in a club where she shouldn't be. Cam is now a rake, pirate and thief and the last member of the Hell Hounds a group of reprobates that frequent the wrong places to be. When he realizes that Sophie is in the wrong place and that is indeed her, he starts to follow her to find out why she is there.
So through this story of intrigue, he finds that Sophie's father is being blackmailed and she has no clue that he could even know anything of value. So when Cam appears, she cannot believe that this is the same man she grew up with. Sparks fly and the reunion is pure gold. Cam still has feelings for her and she reciprocates. Although that takes most of the book for the pair to realize that they have more in common than they originally thought. There are lots of little plot twists that will have you quickly reading this one through. I found this to be a quick read that will have you swept off your feet. I really enjoyed the fact that even though Sophie is the daughter of a preacher, she still has a bit of wile in her blood with which she can outsmart even the most ingenious criminal. Even though this is the third book in the series, you can easily pick this one up by itself. ...more
Adrena McFarlan (Dree) lives with her father and two younger sisters,Lena and Murie in the Scottish highlands. There she seems to hMY THOUGHTS LOVED IT
Adrena McFarlan (Dree) lives with her father and two younger sisters,Lena and Murie in the Scottish highlands. There she seems to have a special gift where the animals in the forest and birds in the trees sense her feelings and keep her safe. Hawks are circling in the sky above her family's lands, letting her know that something there is amiss. When she meets three strangers there searching for an escaped slave and they beat a hasty retreat when the hawks come to her rescue, attacking them. When the dust settles, she is very disturbed when a man the size of a monition, Magnus Gilbraith, startles her. She wonders if her senses are failing her since she can normally feel any disturbance in her forest. Of course, the first question she asks him is if he is married since her father is intent on marrying her to the first man she finds acceptable.
Magnus has his own history of being disowned as the third son and when he is captured and enslaved, his family doesn't try to ransom or rescue him. With the offer of a family and marriage to Dree, he feels he can restart his life and fight for his new family's land that has been taken by a usurper to the Scottish throne and a relative of the McFarlan clan. While the two seem perfectly matched, both have reservations but are strongly attracted. They understand the commitment required of them. This is the first book in a new series, so there is a lot of set up for the next books to come. I love Dree communication with the animals and at one point, I kept thinking of Disney's Snow White where the birds of the forest flocked around her. This series has a lot of promise and I can't wait for the next one which will be about Lina. ...more
Olivia has returned home in shame since her marriage was nothing more than a scam, and her husband a bigamist. Her father, a memberMY THOUGHTS LOVED IT
Olivia has returned home in shame since her marriage was nothing more than a scam, and her husband a bigamist. Her father, a member of Parliament, knows she can recover and encourages her to get back in the social life in London. She reluctantly agrees and knows she will have to play this just right or she will be forever an outcast. Carlow, her cousin, sets her up for failure by betting his friends that none of them can be the first to bed her. Roland Devere, drunk, accepts the bet, and sends her a note with an indecent proposal. Once he recovers from his hangover, he realizes that he has made a mistake and tries to make amends, but she is going to gamble that she can use him to get back into society with his "proposal". With her father's blessing, she starts to make the social rounds with him as her fiancee.
There is a lot of action as the two weave through society and romance blossoms between his sister, Margo, and Olivia's father, Arlington as well as this perfectly match pair. The story is full of intrigue that involves both families and the relationships flare white hot! The best thing about this series is that you don't need to read them in any order since it involves new, but related characters that are all unique individuals. I really enjoy Carr's writing style since it captures the time period while remaining contemporary and with lots of humor intertwined. Now, I can't wait for the next book in the series. ...more
Stone Rhodes has lost his wife, and with two young girls to raise, has not been interested in moving on with his life. As Ruby's oMY THOUGHTS LOVED IT!
Stone Rhodes has lost his wife, and with two young girls to raise, has not been interested in moving on with his life. As Ruby's oldest son, she and her Ladies at the Cut 'n' Curl have given up on ever getting him out of his rut of work and taking care of Lizzy and Haley. Haley was in the car when a drunk driver killed his wife and even though she was only two when the accident happened, she still hasn't gotten over it. Haley has been telling her father that an angel is weeping over him and when she demands an answer from her, she is told he must open his heart and move on. This sets Haley in motion, in the way only a young girl at Christmas who wants a special present can campaign.
When Lark Chaikin, takes her father, Abe's, last wishes to heart, she travels to Last Chance to spread his ashes on the Golfing for God putt putt, which is owned by Stone's father. Apparently, there was some interaction between Stone's grandfather and Lark's father where the grandfather died the night Abe left town. Lark has a lot of issues mostly stemming from her job as a Pulitzer Prize winning photojournalist where she covers the horrors of war and natural disasters. After witnessing her mentor and friend die in a bomb blast, she doesn't think she will ever work again. She finds herself quickly intertwined with the ladies of the Cut 'n" Curl as they nurse her back to health when she is taken ill. They also want to take care of her mental as well as physical.
As the town's history becomes clear to Lark, she wonders if she will ever be able to take care of her father's last wish and move on with her life. Of course, the Ladies know what is best for both Stone and Lark and there are some really sweet and AWWW moments as these two damaged people come together under the magic of an angel and the holidays. There is also a wonderful subplot of high school aged, Lizzy and her spunky ways trying to grow up under the watchful eyes of her father. She is one I want to read more about. This one will leave you a bit misty eyed, but cheered at the same time. I need to go back and read the story of Stone and Sharon and their romance. I just need that novella now so I can be all caught up in Last Chance....more
Cassie works at her father's construction company with her four overbearing brothers. That wouldn't be so bad, exceptMY THOUGHTS LOVE, LOVE, LOVED IT!
Cassie works at her father's construction company with her four overbearing brothers. That wouldn't be so bad, except her father thinks she should be office help only. She really wants to be and architect and work in the field. When she is expected to attend the company Christmas part, she does what she always does to get her family off of her back about her social life: she hires an escort. So when a handsome guy shows up at her office at the right time and dressed in a tux, she thinks she hit the escort jackpot. Of course, the handsome guy plays along when he sees Cassie, since, hey, who would turn down a beautiful girl in a slinky red dress!
As the party progresses, Cassie has a few too many and one thing leads to another before she discovers exactly who this guy is. It turns out even more interesting when the guy turns out to be James Sutton, her family's business rival. The two have a chemistry that is flammable, of course, in all the right ways. In fact, there is an accidental fire towards the end that had me howling! There is also a little subplot between Amy, her loyal assistant, and one of Cassie's brothers. With so many brothers, this book has the promise of a really good series.
I just loved the story and there is a lot of depth to all of the characters, even those who make brief appearances like her overprotective brothers. There is also lots of well worked in moments of tension, all kinds of tension, both steamy and plot driven. Everything moves forward at a perfect pace and this was really the right book at the right time for me. It really made me forget my troubles for the five hours it took me to read this. YAY! ...more
Rae's father left when she was a baby and her mother has moved on and in with Dean, a man Rae is not fond of. The only tMY THOUGHTS ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT
Rae's father left when she was a baby and her mother has moved on and in with Dean, a man Rae is not fond of. The only thing she really knows about her father is that he was a fan of Nirvana and that leads to her love of the Foo Fighters whose songs carry her through the worst of days. She works at a job she adores, assisting at Full Bloom, the only flower shop in her small town. She has a close circle of friends and never fails to go out of her way to be kind, even though life hasn't been kind to her. When her English teacher suggests the students submit their poems for an anthology, Rae will only submit hers as "anonymous" and the school seem to explode with hidden grief as the submissions grow with deep revelations to spark a poetry revolution.
When Nathan, the son of a nationally known author, moves to town, he is everything that Rae thinks she wants in a boyfriend until he becomes obsessive and possessive. As Rae feels that she finally has everything a teen her age could desire, she knows something is wrong with Nathan, something she can't deal with at all right now. Things get progressively worse at home with her step father, Rae finds herself keeping secrets from everyone who reaches out to her with offers of help. At this point, I am seriously in tears. I think Rae will never find peace or the happiness that she deserves.
On the other hand, is Leo, who works next door at a coffee shop for his parents. He has been the constant in Rae's life, always being there for her even when she doesn't realize it. He pays attention to her, talks to her and lets her forget that she has trouble at home. The story is told through flashbacks between the past few months and the present while Rae is in the hospital in horrible pain. What puts her there will stun even the most jaded reader. I am leaving out a lot of details but this is really a story of good triumphing over evil even though there is so much pain that Rae must endure. I wonder how many kids endure what she did?
Even though this is Schroeder's first book that isn't written entirely in verse, the same emotional story telling and gorgeous writing is wonderfully put together. There are lots of poems sprinkled through the story in the form of Rae's poetry journal and brings a lot of emotional background to her personality. Parents: There are mentions of domestic violence, stalking, alcohol and drug abuse, and some kissing, none of which are overtly graphic. Overall this is really a clean read which is a real lesson in empathy towards others. ...more
The tiny book of tiny stories is just like the first although I thought it was a bit darker than the first installment.MY THOUGHTS ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT
The tiny book of tiny stories is just like the first although I thought it was a bit darker than the first installment. Each page is a delight and each story will leave you pondering the thought behind each one for hours. There are some truly melancholy and some seriously silly little gems. I think my favorite one is: "I'm tired of being tired of being tired of being." Which just hit me at moment of sheer despair and when I turned the page a whole new emotion hit me. This book will appeal to fans of Six Word Memoirs. Fingers crossed the site will continue to explore these micro stories and more volumes will be published. ...more
Lemon was born to her single mother when Stella was only seventeen. The two have been a team since her birth, always driMY THOUGHTS ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT
Lemon was born to her single mother when Stella was only seventeen. The two have been a team since her birth, always drifting from one town to another when her mother decided she had enough with where they were living or a bad breakup with a current boyfriend. Her unusual name came about because of her mother's artistic inclinations and how she gets hooked on a new color each month. As Lemon drifts through life she decides that she needs to experience sex and her first encounter is with the local stoner boy at her last school. She finds nothing life altering in the act and thinks maybe another encounter would make her "feel". As Lemon picks possibly the worst choice, a 27 year old tattoo artist that she meets when Stella wants new ink, she becomes pregnant.
Lemon and Stella move to a new town in West Virginia for her senior year and there Lemon at least makes a friend, Emmy, who will support and encourage her. For all of the hopelessness of Lemon's life, she never seems feel sorry for herself. Instead, she always has a book in her hand and finds the good in small things. She accepts responsibility for the pregnancy and tries to make realistic plans for her and the baby. This baby makes her think about her own father and she wants to make peace with him and that part of her life before moving forward with her own. Emmy and Lemon make plans to go to San Francisco on an adventure and Lemon has hope that she can find her father.
As Lemon pages through a maternity book from her mother, she finds a small note with her father's address and finds him once they arrive. Staying at a dive, Lemon also makes contact with Aiden, a boy who cares for her and treats her how she should be treated. The meeting with her father, Ryan, is a turning point for Lemon as she finds traits in herself that are directly from her father. Her love of reading has always been a mystery to her, since her mother never cared much for books. The moment when Lemon discovers books inscribed by her mother to her father is a turning point for her.
The growth in character and determination is just wonderful. Her relationship with her mother turns into respect when Lemon realizes that her mother isn't as flighty as she first thought. Even when Emmy must cut the trip short because her father is wounded in the Afghanistan war, the pair support each other. Lemon finding that she is indeed worthy of love and that her mother has always tried to do the best for her was a true revelation. This is just such a beautifully written story that most teens will enjoy. Parents: there is some drinking, language and discussions of sexual situations, but nothing graphic. ...more
Jalen and her best friend, Ellie, are visiting the psychic for a reading on her thirteenth birthday as she has for years with her g MY THOUGHTS LOVED IT
Jalen and her best friend, Ellie, are visiting the psychic for a reading on her thirteenth birthday as she has for years with her grandmother, except this year, her grandmother is in the hospital. When the pair of newly minted teens enter the store, Ellie suggests buying something from the store but she can't find anything until the two come upon a small book of the zodiac that is bound in chains and not for sale. So they take it. When Jalen unlocks the book, she unlocks a new horoscope sign, one that has been buried in the ages and threatens to upset the universe unless she can defeat the other gods that rule the stars and would like to take over the power from that thirteenth sign.
Not that Jalen believes in all this hocus-pocus, but when she is confronted by the gods, she has to think there is something to all this astrology stuff. As the pair team up with with Ellie's brother, Brennan to defeat the gods from the star signs (Taurus the bull puts up an amazing fight) and they must defeat them all or every one's personality will shift. There is a noticeable shift already in Ellie's personality. Most of the time, Jalen also must deal with missing her grandmother and how much her strong mother's personality has changed into a weeping whiner.
The story is fast paced and full of great imagery which is much like Percy Jackson, except with a female protagonist. As the pair combat the villains and vanquish them, they go back to being just stars. There is also a stranger Parts of this story reminded me a bit of how Christopher Moore might write a kid's book. There is just some cartoon violence, a kiss here or there and lots of fun. I really enjoyed this middle grade adventure. ...more
Photographer Dale Ryan has captured the joy of living and sleeping with her wonderful dogs. Her lovely home is packed wiMY THOUGHTS ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT
Photographer Dale Ryan has captured the joy of living and sleeping with her wonderful dogs. Her lovely home is packed with all sorts of amazing objects that are displayed with such care that it looks like a page ripped out of Home Beautiful. . This is a gorgeous book that should be left out on your coffee table for all to enjoy. I am so jealous of the author's garden and dogs! I love that she allows her dogs to roam free throughout the place. They are part of her family and it shows. I do wonder how she can get any rest with those three big Shar Peis in bed with her. I would love to kick the dachshund out of my bed, but she is just too smart and can sneak back in whenever she likes.
Ryan used complimentary colors that hid all the pet hair, something I didn't think about when I tried to do my own home in creams and whites. That just didn't work out with two black dogs. I have since adjusted to more autumn colors, much as Ryan has used in her own home, and now have a dog that blends in so well with the furniture that she is hard to find at times. She makes things as pet friendly as possible for her dogs. There are lots of little tips to help make your home and garden as pet friendly as possible. I am going to treasure this book! ...more