Read in a single sitting (it's short), Come Closer is the kind of thriller I expect to pick up and never get. It's pulse pounding, page turning fun. IRead in a single sitting (it's short), Come Closer is the kind of thriller I expect to pick up and never get. It's pulse pounding, page turning fun. It reminded me of Rosemary's Baby (not in subject, but in feel). It was published in 2003, which I find surprising as it seems like these characters would have had cellphones and several of the plot points would have been very different had they had phones. I really enjoyed the frugality of words here, there is not one wasted sentence, there are no paragraphs filled with endless, boring descriptions. Amanda is fully formed at the beginning of the story and we meet her and then watch her begin to fall apart.
I found this one through Jen Campbell's Youtube channel. It was the way she sold it, I think, that made me pick it up. I knew the movie existed, but II found this one through Jen Campbell's Youtube channel. It was the way she sold it, I think, that made me pick it up. I knew the movie existed, but I have not yet watched it. I very rarely give out 5 Stars, but then, I very rarely read a book that sinks it's hooks in so deep. Honestly, there is no way to describe this book without getting into the plot, so I'm going to say this: this is the closest I have ever come to reading something that feels like an episode of Black Mirror. I think I'm fascinated with Isserley. I'm also enjoying the pondering of what genre to throw this in. Oh, well, everything can't be put in a box.
This is going to stick with me for a very long time. Do all of his books leave readers feeling like this?
Add this man to the "what important person would you invite to dinner list". I loved this. So casually mentioned that he was besties with Victor HugoAdd this man to the "what important person would you invite to dinner list". I loved this. So casually mentioned that he was besties with Victor Hugo and Alexandre Dumas. You know, just two dudes. ...more
I am such a sucker for a survival story. And don't get me wrong this is THAT kind of survival story- it has nature, danger, bears, making fires, etc.I am such a sucker for a survival story. And don't get me wrong this is THAT kind of survival story- it has nature, danger, bears, making fires, etc. Our little heroine, Megan, is in real danger. But it also another kind of survival story-surviving that weird time between childhood and teenager years. That time in a relationship when one friend needs the total support of another. It made more difficult because Megan just lacks the maturity to handle any of this, but she grows up in this story. Kelley really nailed 11 year old Megan's voice. I thought she was spot on, and her growth is apparent but not in your face.
Here is a quote I that struck me. "Let me tell you the whole trouble with the world. You never get to choose between something you want and something you don't want. Your mom never says, "Would you like broccoli or a chocolate-pudding cup?" Your mom says, "Would you like broccoli or cauliflower?" (pg 187)
Yep, Wiser Megan, I feel ya.
Highly recommended for 8 to 10 year olds.
It loses a star for Megan's poor treatment of My Side of the Mountain. She learns to regret that. ...more
I know so very little about this time period. History class never made it this far by the end of the year, but I imagine that anyone in a similar situI know so very little about this time period. History class never made it this far by the end of the year, but I imagine that anyone in a similar situation would be able to relate to the main character's story. I think this is one of those reads that opens a reader's mind and heart and creates the reader empathy I am always on about.
It took me a month to read this because I have to read an essay, think about it for awhile and then read another essay. I'm not going to lie, I didn'tIt took me a month to read this because I have to read an essay, think about it for awhile and then read another essay. I'm not going to lie, I didn't enjoy many of the essays in this collection. I have actually seen videos of Lindy West telling stories and maybe it's her delivery, but they seemed more powerful to me. Two in I regretted not getting this in audio book format. Oh, well. A solid 4 stars because I did get something out of it and I'm glad to recommend it to interested readers. ...more
Holy smokes, this book. I started it Thurs. night and read every spare minute until yesterday when I finished. Had I been less busy,3 Crowns would havHoly smokes, this book. I started it Thurs. night and read every spare minute until yesterday when I finished. Had I been less busy,3 Crowns would have been finished in a night. Blake's storytelling is just mesmerizing. I loved Anna Dressed in Blood. This one though-hoo boy!
Here's the thing, had I known it was going to be a series, I would not have read it yet. I'll probably have a hundred plus books in by the time the second one comes out and I wont remember this super intense plot. So, be forewarned! I may end up have to reread.
I'm going to stay spoiler-free here and say that I loved each of the queens equally. I just don't have a clear favorite and I think they have one of the worst scenarios I've ever read in fiction (just shy of The Hunger Games).
This also a very feminist read- and before you even say that she is degrading men I just want to point out that ALL of the males in this story are the EXACT stereotypes of the female characters in every high fantasy story since the dawn of time. There is the one that is a lover, that creates tension in warring houses, there is the bridegroom to be auctioned off to increase a powerful family's standing, and there is a martyr who wants to protect the hero at whatever cost. Just because they are not locked in towers awaiting queens to rescue them the tropes are all present and have been cleverly gender reversed. It's all a bit delicious actually.
To recap: I love, love, loved this. I wish like hell I had not read it. Not yet. ...more
This is a super charming story about a little girl who visits a street corner loaning library everyday to borrow a new book until the government decidThis is a super charming story about a little girl who visits a street corner loaning library everyday to borrow a new book until the government decides to shut the "illegal" library down. It's also the story of what one person, even a non-voting person, can do in an election to bring about real change. It's all handled so very simply that I felt an emotional disconnect- I think I was convinced early on that there was no way this could ever have an unhappy ending and all conflict was removed for me. A young middle grade reader could fall under it's charms. Recommended for the 3rd to 5th grader reader who enjoys realistic fiction and who maybe has a budding interest in politics. It also takes place in a city in India, but it is never described beyond the block (which makes sense as it's a child's POV), so there isn't much to learn there, with the exception of some Indian dishes being described and Hindi lessons in school being mentioned. The story, otherwise is pretty universal for any democratic location. ...more
Trouble the Water introduces readers to two very brave characters who are trying to solve two mysteries: what is up with the cabin in the woods and whTrouble the Water introduces readers to two very brave characters who are trying to solve two mysteries: what is up with the cabin in the woods and where did that old dog come from? In pre-Civil Rights Kentucky the colored folks and the white folks get along "okay" as long as no one troubles the water. When a young colored girl and a white boy team up to find the owner of an old dog, it leads them to troubled water of a different kind.
This story is historical fiction at it's best: a small slice of Americana. What really works here are the strong characters and the surprising changes in POV. We have some very surprising narrators here! I would rate this high interest and best for upper middle grades/early high school. ...more
Uhg! I wish I had started with the first one as Hilda's world seems awesome but I feel a step behind in understanding it. I love the art. It has a oldUhg! I wish I had started with the first one as Hilda's world seems awesome but I feel a step behind in understanding it. I love the art. It has a old-time comics feel to it (maybe it's the colors and the panels-think Peanuts) but really they feel modern. I love the story and will be searching out more Hildafolk, pronto. ...more
I'm glad this series has fans, but I found it to be the same old, same old. We have yet another special snowflake with the makings of an insta-love trI'm glad this series has fans, but I found it to be the same old, same old. We have yet another special snowflake with the makings of an insta-love triangle (although I'm not buying that 1. Theron and Meira could even know each other enough to be in love and 2. Mather even feels that way toward Meira, sorry-it didn't come through.) There is a mostly unexplained, one dimensional big bad. There are all of these rules for magic that the reader has to accept and then watch as they unwrite themselves (I find this a common trope in high fantasy anyway).
Chapter 12 is the YA straight girl equivalent to a fan service spread in a manga chapter. I did love the line on pg 235, "Spring is coming" HA! I liked the gypsy feel of the beginning of the story.
I really liked this: "Is it possible? To be both what Winter needs and what I want? Instead of fighting for ONLY what I want, or surrendering to ONLY what Winter needs, to find a balance between the two?" pg 192 How refreshing to see such a level of maturity in a pretty stock character. Bonus points too for not shoving it down our throats how attractive Meira is. \
I don't care enough to continue the series, but I'm glad it's finding readers. It's a little Game of Thrones-lite for my taste.
Sometimes the star system just doesn't cut it. This book is excellent. Would I recommend it? It depends. This is a beautifully written novel about theSometimes the star system just doesn't cut it. This book is excellent. Would I recommend it? It depends. This is a beautifully written novel about the most horrifying thing a parent could think about. It's so tense that I had to put it down and read something else at night. I felt so strongly for Elizabeth (actually saw through Elizabeth's eyes many chapters). It hurt to read this. It wasn't at all what I expected after reading and loving A Head Full of Ghosts. I'm not sure I would have read it if someone described it to me. I just picked it up because Tremblay wrote it.
This punched me in the gut, "The urge to be the one who disappears suddenly becomes a compulsion. Maybe the people who go away are the ones who are not afraid, not sad, and not alone. Maybe there's a place where they gather and say things like 'What is to be done with all the silly people we left behind?'"
This frantic, tense story is peppered with supernatural (maybe) elements that may be the result of extreme stress. The story gets scarier and scarier and some of the imagery, while not bloody, is not for the cowardly.
The story did not go where I expected it to go and lingered on things I am used to a writer glossing over. I found myself losing patience with it every once in a while. Tremblay, for example, completely nails how pre-teen boys speak to one another. It's completely realistic and not something I seek out to listen to. Because I was forced to I felt I suffered under it a bit. This is me pushing past the urge to constantly read stories about people I feel I can relate to and instead reading stories about people. Disappearance at Devil's Rock is not a horror novel, and I think it's important to say it because a reader looking to read one will be disappointed. It is a novel about a horrific situation. With supernatural elements. ...more
I had a few days to let this one sink in and I am sticking with my 5 star rating. This novel rocked. Blue makes a deal with the devil in order to findI had a few days to let this one sink in and I am sticking with my 5 star rating. This novel rocked. Blue makes a deal with the devil in order to find her sister Cass. As a result, she finds herself on an epic road trip across the US. How rare to find a story where the main character is not a special snowflake who has to save the world. Instead, Blue has nothing and is put into situations where she has to figure it out on her own. Blue consistently rises to the occasion.
If you are tired of the usual YA tropes, read this. If you want a great road trip book, read this. If you love music, read this.