The first third of the book is laugh out loud hilarious. Really; you think, "Ruddy dump the repo job and do stand up comedy." Ruddy is a Repo Man in tThe first third of the book is laugh out loud hilarious. Really; you think, "Ruddy dump the repo job and do stand up comedy." Ruddy is a Repo Man in the infinitesimal town of Kalkasa Michigan. His paycheck supports the rundown bar his sister inherited from their parents. His days are all grimly similar until he meets Katie, she puts a lift in his step and a twinkle in his eye. The problem of her almost engagement to a local deputy is minimal.
While minding his own business during his shift as bar bouncer for his sister Ruddy hears a seemingly disembodied voice, it takes a while but Ruddy realizes that the voice does have a body- his! Following Ruddy's especially vivid dream of a murder it seems the victim, Alan Lottner has taken up residence in Ruddy's psyche. The thing is this is an opinionated and super bossy murder victim!
Think about it- what would happen if you went to the sheriff with details of an 8 year old murder. Might you be a prime suspect?
A tragi-comedy of errors this is a tale of a warm-hearted antihero who captures our hearts as he blunders his way to justice for Alan.
This was Highly Recommended among a group of readers I was with so I sought the book out. sweet story of young love with a twist. I think a lot of kidsThis was Highly Recommended among a group of readers I was with so I sought the book out. sweet story of young love with a twist. I think a lot of kids are going to like it. ...more
I liked this retelling of Snow White a lot. I don't know how to review the story without giving away the plot twists. Suffice to say that this standsI liked this retelling of Snow White a lot. I don't know how to review the story without giving away the plot twists. Suffice to say that this stands nicely in the Sci Fi / Fairy tale re-imagining right next to Cinder. ...more
The book opens with Jack's mother's funeral. The deal is, there is no body- just Mom's car sailing off a cliff into the ocean with nobody in it. A notThe book opens with Jack's mother's funeral. The deal is, there is no body- just Mom's car sailing off a cliff into the ocean with nobody in it. A note is found but Jack knows, his mom would not leave him like that. Enter grim, oh, let's just say it, evil Aunt Edith. She is taking custody of Jack and hauling him up to San Francisco. Once there Jack teams up with Hitch (Alfred Hitchcock's alter ego) to solve the mystery of what happened to Mom and when she disappears, Aunt Edith as well. Mr. Averbeck evokes the feel of post war San Francisco as twists, turns crosses,and double crosses seem to thwart the clever duo's efforts to untangle the layers of the plot hatched by nefarious villains determined to capture ill-gotten gain. ...more
Mysti has a challenging life and school has never been great socially but she has always been able to count on her chubby and witty best friend AnibalMysti has a challenging life and school has never been great socially but she has always been able to count on her chubby and witty best friend Anibal. That is, until this year. She has not seen Anibal all summer (grounded) and now that the school year has started he has informed her that he does not want her talking to him or acting like they know each other at school. He has slimmed down, developed some style and wants blend with the popular crowd and Mysti is "a girl who does not fit in".
Add to that a mom who will Not leave the house for anything and a dad who fell from a tree and is in a coma at the hospital. So many family responsibilities fall on Mysti's slim shoulders.
What Mysti has to do is develop Courage for Beginners and face the many, many demons that surround her. She has unlikely allies and heretofore unknown intrinsic resources. Instead of cruising through 7th grade in the same old rut, Mysti grows and develops by facing her problems and challenges....more
A deftly written story narrated by Rose, a 10 year old girl who drifts to the functional end of the autism spectrum. Obsessed with homonyms, rules, he A deftly written story narrated by Rose, a 10 year old girl who drifts to the functional end of the autism spectrum. Obsessed with homonyms, rules, her dog Rain (reign/rein)she lives on the outskirts of town with her sad, barely employed dad who really is flummoxed and frustrated by Rose's behaviors. Amid all his confusion, he knows he has done one good thing, give Rose her dog Rain.
All in all this is a story of the characters doing the hard thing because it is the right thing, even a great personal cost. ...more
Set just on the cusp between gaslight and electricity there is a glow and a slightly slowed pace in the story of this particular Alice's adventures.
LiSet just on the cusp between gaslight and electricity there is a glow and a slightly slowed pace in the story of this particular Alice's adventures.
Living with just her father since her mom passed away, Alice is a rule follower, except when she doesn't follow rules. For example the night she has stayed up past her bedtime to do her homework. (Real rebel, huh?) This means she is awake when her father arrives home late from work. She misses him, so she decides to go downstairs and greet him, after all she has that good homework excuse for being awake. She is stopped short when she hears that Father is not alone. She knows eavesdropping is certainly against some rule, but.... When she creeps to the crack in the door she is in for a new surprise. Father is conversing with a fairy- not just any fairy, a nasty, threatening fairy. Yeeks, Alice creeps back to her bedroom.
In the morning when Alice would have asked about the visitor, she finds Father preparing for a sea voyage. Alice is to wait for his return at home. Within days news of a storm that has swallowed the steamer Gideon and her father along with it arrives. Alice is bundled off to an unknown uncle who lives in a gothic mansion with a mysterious forbidden library on the grounds.
Alice knows she is caught in circumstances she cannot resist and now her efforts are to come to understand what is going on with her father, this strange house, and more to the point what about that library?
When she meets a talking cat (can this be any stranger than that nasty fairy?) he shows her how to enter the library. Once in she is literally captured by the magic of the place and finds herself inside a book and hunted by the perilous creatures within.
This kicks off Alice's magical adventures in the Forbidden Library. With twists, turns, crosses, and double crosses we learn right along with Alice that this is not just a perilous life she has been tossed into but one in which every-single-person-she-knows has an agenda that excludes caring one bit about her. It seems to me as each challenge emerges that Alice's principles and courage are her one constant ally.
Book 2 should arrive soon. I am looking forward to it. ...more
Fun read. MacCallan and Levi have been best friends forever. Now they have to realize that they are more than friends. Told in alternating voices theFun read. MacCallan and Levi have been best friends forever. Now they have to realize that they are more than friends. Told in alternating voices the kids relate in typical teen snark the path they follow to realizing that they really are more than friends. ...more
A wonderfully layered story that shifts from the 9/11 Twin Tower destruction to the Spanish Civil War by way of a London based perfumery. A family stoA wonderfully layered story that shifts from the 9/11 Twin Tower destruction to the Spanish Civil War by way of a London based perfumery. A family story of love, loss, war, betrayal and redemption.
The book opens with the tragic end to a long affair with Joe the father of the child she is carrying in the Twin Tower disaster. One moment he is walking into the Towers for a meeting, then, nothing. Emma's mother has succumbed to a long struggle with cancer, she has left Emma her immense talent as a perfumer, her multinational perfumery, a stack of letters and a villa in Spain.
Because of Joe's shenanigans Emma knows she will lose the perfumery and decides to go to Spain and restore the Spanish villa. Her Grandmother Freya is against this for her own reasons.
Emma's time in the small Spanish town and her restoration of the Perfume Garden surrounding her villa slowly reveal the secrets of the devastating Spanish Civil War and Emma's own family.
Ultimately satisfying as all the strands of the story hesitantly come to light and make a way for Emma and her baby to find a home, a family and a place.
A cute story; Emily moves with her family frequently; their parents goal? A quest to live in all 50 states and blog about it. The constant in Emily'sA cute story; Emily moves with her family frequently; their parents goal? A quest to live in all 50 states and blog about it. The constant in Emily's life for the last few years has been The Book Scavenger Game invented by Garrison Griswold who is based in San Francisco. When Emily moves to San Francisco she is eager to live in the city where her favorite game started. In fact on the day she arrives Mr. Griswold is scheduled to announce his new game. Instead he is mugged and left in critical condition. When she visits the site of the mugging she happens upon a clue for Griswold's unannounced game and finds herself in a race for the prize with a cast of shady characters who are staking out the crime scene.
In the course of chasing the mystery Emily learns lots about friendship and we learn a lot about ciphers, puzzles and mysteries.
Lots of fun and especially great for residents of the San Francisco Bay Area. The author has also created a website: www.http://bookscavenger.com/ where readers can look for and hide books. Fun....more
Caitlin is living in a tiny town with her Aunt, Uncle and cousin. She watched her dad die when she was five and tNotes based on an uncorrected galley.
Caitlin is living in a tiny town with her Aunt, Uncle and cousin. She watched her dad die when she was five and this last year Mom wasted away from cancer. Fully expecting to live with Gran, continue her clothing designs and move on to college, the rug has been pulled by social services and she is forced to live with her mother's estranged sister Rachel.
Caitlin is a walking, talking storm of rage. Her emotions run so high that she attracts the attention of a demon who will materialize to meet her. To prevent this, local vampires assign a high school age protector to Caitlin and the paranormal romance is off and running. Aidan is appealing,supernaturally attractive, caring, and intensely tormented by the circumstances of his life.
The story is engaging, Temple West has created characters that are interesting and she ties up the immediate crisis by the end of this book but the story appears to have more volumes to come. I for one am curious about many issues touched upon and abandoned. Why is Rachel estranged from her sister? Will Aidan defy the council? Will his father return? What does Aidan's father mean when he refers to what Caitlin is? And what is with the horrific dreams, is it just salacious horror or foreshadowing?
Billie and Liberty are likeable girls caught in an impossible situation. Mom has died(; hit by a Ford Explorer crossing the road, her neighbor Julie wBillie and Liberty are likeable girls caught in an impossible situation. Mom has died(; hit by a Ford Explorer crossing the road, her neighbor Julie who clearly has issues of her own steps in and looks after the girls. When she finds Liberty and Billie's dad's contact info she lets him know the girls need him and he shows up in his RV to collect them. Dad is an accomplished nature photographer who Mom refuses to talk about. The small family embarks on a summer road trip to photograph the desert near Four Corners.
The book opens when Dad abandons the girls at an isolated gas station in the desert when he has had enough and just cannot cope with the girls, the responsibility, and the pressure of having people (even family) around. We come to understand why Mom does not speak of him. Liberty has to summon every survival strategy she knows to head back to LA and Julie who for some reason is ignoring all their phone calls.
Certainly a story of resilience and love- but also harrowing as two young girls make their way across the desert finding unlikely help and ultimately finding a place to land.
Kids will read along and perhaps find a model for courage and character as they read Liberty's words. I feel like the grinch when I say the improbability and peril of the girls' situation troubled me. ...more
Dear Opl is an ambitious novel narrated by angry thirteen year old Opal who is struggling.
Dad has left, Mom is overworked, younger brother Ollie wearDear Opl is an ambitious novel narrated by angry thirteen year old Opal who is struggling.
Dad has left, Mom is overworked, younger brother Ollie wears women’s costumes every- single- day, (super creative ones) G’pa has moved in to help and is slowly crafting his place in the household.
What Opl describes is a family in pain. Dad did not leave, he died. Opal’s snarky humor and compulsive chocolate habit is her way of stuffing grief and loss out of sight and out of mind. Ollie’s dress up is not gender bending, it is a carefully crafted strategy for Mom. G’pa watches all this and waits for the best moment to carefully slip in a bit of his well-earned wisdom.
Even though Mom is swamped she is doing her best to nudge Opal from sweats into skinny jeans. She benignly ignores Ollie’s efforts. When Opl’s eating sends her blood sugar perilously close to a diabetic diagnosis, changes are out of Opl’s hands. At the same time Opl’s snark finally goes over the top and alienates her best and only friend. Alone and hungry Opl has time and space to make the changes she needs to inside and out.
Addressing pathetic American fast food/junk food habits, bullying, coming to terms with loss, family dynamic, the dinner table, self-image, snap judgements, surface judgements, friendship, homeless vets, yoga, and what bookstores bring to a community Shelley Sackier and her awesome editors have written a story to please kids and adults. ...more