I read and really enjoyed Don't Stop Now. It's just one of those books you pick up read, escape for a few hours and when it's done, you realize it's bI read and really enjoyed Don't Stop Now. It's just one of those books you pick up read, escape for a few hours and when it's done, you realize it's brain candy. Nothing too harsh to think about (in these days following the Wall Street Journal article) and it's the kind of book that definitely has it's place in the midst of young adult books that deal with harsh subjects. We need the break every once in awhile to just kick back and not really think when we read a book and Don't Stop Now did that for me. (Just so you know I am not knocking books that deal with teenage realities, I read them as well and think they have an important place among young adult books.)
Now that is not to say there aren't issues in the book, there are and some of them are difficult, but they are on the periphery and the fun of the road trip is in the spotlight.. Lillian (Lil) and Josh are the stars as they go off across the country to find Penny who leaves a cryptic message that just says "I did it.". Penny has been a sort of friend this year, one on the periphery where it seems she wants to be. But Lil vaguely remembers her talking about a guy she met that lives in Portland and a plan to fake her kidnapping. This is all Lil and Josh need to take off across the country on a quest to find Penny and bring her back since it appears that she has faked her own kidnapping. As they travel they sort through why she left, what she needed to get away from and also Lil deals with her feelings for Josh who has been her best friend since freshman year. Lil has crushed on Josh since they met. So in between the wacky places they visit and the strange conversations they seem to have, they work through problems and face new ones one by one.
I really love Ms. Halpern's writing, it sounds just like a teenage girl and a teenage boy right after graduation. I also love intuitive things that Lillian would say or think like this quote below when Penny's dad called Lil because Penny was needed that day to babysit her little sister Annabelle:
"And no, it's not a shocker. Sometimes I think the only reason her parents had Penny was so that they'd have a babysitter for Annabelle. Like My Sisters Keeper, but in reverse and without cancer."
Then some things are just funny like:
"Right. They're very concerned with historical accuracy at the Don Q Inn. That's why they plopped a heart-shaped bed in the middle of a cave"
And sometimes Lil just seems to get to the heart of the matter:
"I think you just don't want to deal with the fact that we're getting old. Not man-boob old, but old enough. It kind of sucks that we have to, you know, be responsible and stuff, but it's also kind of cool. We get to be responsible. For our own lives. Instead of relying on people and being disappointed, we get to rely on ourselves. You can't do that when you're mooching off your dad and playing music in his basement."
Whatever the time or setting during this book, Ms. Halpern gets to the heart of the matter of what it is like to be a teenager just graduating from high school and on the cusp of becoming an adult. And she does it in a playful way that makes the book just plain fun to read. I would deem this a perfect summer read whatever your age. Bad language is kept to a minimum and sex is only alluded to. It's good clean fun and a fun book to read....more
Shattered Souls was one of those books that to me was so intriguing and different that it was hard to put down.
I picked this one up on a day I was hoShattered Souls was one of those books that to me was so intriguing and different that it was hard to put down.
I picked this one up on a day I was home sick from work. It was one of those blah days that I really didn't expect any book to capture my attention, but Shattered Souls captured my attention from the very first page. I liked Lenzi, I wanted to know more about her so I kept reading and then the story kept building and the plot kept accelerating and next thing I knew I was halfway through the book. It really grabbed me.
The characters were interesting. Lenzi was my favorite and I really liked Alden as well. Zak annoyed me at times, but I think that was the point. No matter whether I liked them or not I fell that Ms. Lindsey did a wonderful job with the characters. I felt I really got to know them, especially Lenzi and Alden and at the end I wanted to know them even more. I think they will even stick with me for some time to come.
I loved the ghost story part, it was well done and had me intrigued. The fact that Lenzi could talk to lost souls was really interesting and gave the book that little bit of extra thrill. There is also romance and I loved that angle of the book - it is young love at it's best and I enjoyed reading it.
If you like your young adult reading with paranormal mixed with romance then this is the book for you. If you like your paranormal to be a little different from the average book, then this is the book for you. If you enjoy well-plotted and interesting characters then run, don't walk on December 8th to get a copy of Shattered Souls (or use your finger to pre-order online from an indie bookseller). ...more
If I could only review this book in a few words it would read like this: "Run, do not walk, to your nearest bookstore and buy this book or download itIf I could only review this book in a few words it would read like this: "Run, do not walk, to your nearest bookstore and buy this book or download it to your ereader. This is a book that cannot be missed!"
Okay it was more than a few words, but that pretty much sums it up for me. This is one of my best reads of the year. Let's move onto why since I have gushed enough and not backed it up, because people generally read reviews to find out why the reviewer liked or did not like the book (or in this case love, love, love!)
First of all - I think this book is a must-read for anyone with a teenager or parents who will have teenagers in the future (I fall into this category). Ms. Fowler has been through a situation similar to the storyline of the book and she makes this plain to anyone interested in the book. Sexting is a problem and we as parents need to be educated about it so we can help steer our kids away from this and guide them in those teenage years. Now this isn't a parenting manual by any means, it's a fictional story, but it has warnings all in it to parents of teenage boys and teenage girls about sexting and the problems it can cause in the lives of the teenagers taking part in this along with how it affects the lives of the families involved.
One thing I especially loved was getting the story from both sides, from Anthony and his mom's side and also from Amelia and her parent's side. Also the look at a genteel southern family versus a single mother who is a transplant to the area. Ms. Fowler does not take sides, I think she really gives all her characters a fair shake in this book. Now there are characters you don't like, but they are redeemable and Ms. Fowler helps you see the reasons for the way they act. That really helps. I like that she hasn't made this a book that stands up and tells you which side is right, but like Jodi Picoult often does, presents you with the social problem and lets you read and enjoy and decide how you feel about the characters and the situation. I love that in a book and Exposure is packed full of internal debate for the reader and it's presented in a way that you just can't put the book down and when you finish you cannot stop thinking about the characters and the issues.
Exposure is also a love story. Can two teenagers really know what love is? Amelia and Anthony think they do, but some of the people around them don't think so. It's a Romeo and Juliet type story of hidden love because the daughter's parents wouldn't agree. I loved getting to know both of them and seeing their love from each side. It is a beautiful love story and a great addition to the storyline of the book. One that I think is important because it shows that all kids aren't completely lust-driven when they do things like Amelia and Anthony do in the book.
I'm afraid I'm rambling, but I really don't want to give away anything in the book, because the surprises are one thing that really made the book for me. It seemed every page I turned something new cropped up and I was enthralled. It was very hard for me to put Exposure down to go to my son's baseball game on Sunday and as soon as I came home, you can be sure I picked it right back up and read until the kids demanded supper.
So again in short, if you love stories that make you think, stories that grip you from the first page and love stories then this is a book for you. Even if you aren't sure you fall into the category that reads this book - this book is for you. Ms. Fowler is brilliant at weaving a story that both interests you and educates you. Exposure is beautiful, it's thought-provoking and it will keep you reading right until the last page....more
I wasn't sure what to expect with Strings Attached, but I loved every minute I was reading it. It's highly entertaining look at life in New York CityI wasn't sure what to expect with Strings Attached, but I loved every minute I was reading it. It's highly entertaining look at life in New York City and Providence, Rhode Island in the 1940s and 1950s. The reader views the story through the eyes of Kit, who has always wanted to entertain and is finally living out her goal of trying to make it on Broadway in New York. But things aren't going as planned. Then an old friend of the family drops into her life and her luck changes for the better, or does it? What does Nate Benedict want from her, is it simply to get her back together with his son Billy who has joined the Army and is soon to head off to Korea or are there different motives at work in Nate's mind?
I loved how this book jumped back and forth in time, teaching the reader more about the characters and their motives for things that are happening in the present and leading up to the major revelations near the end of the book. I found myself so engrossed in whatever time the book was in at the moment that I never really tried to figure out where the book was going and therefore was truly surprised at the events near the end of the book.
Ms. Blundell does a wonderful job with creating and fleshing out her characters along with plotting at the perfect pace to make Strings Attached a hard book to put down....more
Zero Day is a thrill-ride that is scary and yet you can't quit turning the pages either. I enjoyed this possibly plausible techno-thriller from Mr. RuZero Day is a thrill-ride that is scary and yet you can't quit turning the pages either. I enjoyed this possibly plausible techno-thriller from Mr. Russinovich from start to finish.
I really liked the characters. For a suspense/thriller that is really plot-based, a fair amount of character development went into the main character of Jeff. The rest of the characters aren't as fleshed out, but their motives and reasons for doing what they do and who they are aren't as integral to the plot. Jeff was likable and realistic. I was rooting for him through the whole book.
I also liked that the story was told from varying points-of-view. From the different good guys and from the various bad guys and the ones that were kind of in-the-middle as well. This was a great way to tell the story and thankfully Mr. Russinovich kept the number of characters down to where it was never too confusing about who was speaking and which characters were involved in that chapter.
The suspense kept the story moving pretty well. There were a few times when I felt it was a little bogged down in techno-speak, but never enough to make me want to put the book down. It seemed every time it started to bog down, something would happen to suck me right back into the story.
A good techno-thriller that is reminds me of the early Tom Clancy novels that I first read where I was afraid that book would get into the wrong hands and give the other side ideas. It's that kind of scary, but that is also what makes it a good read, especially when you have good guys like Jeff working to save the day without realizing he is the one who can save the day. It's a character like Jeff that really makes this book for me personally....more
The first thing I have to say about this book is the fact that it really felt like I was in the 1940s in the midst of WWII. Ms. McMorris does a fabuloThe first thing I have to say about this book is the fact that it really felt like I was in the 1940s in the midst of WWII. Ms. McMorris does a fabulous job of setting the tone and setting of the book. I felt like she really did her research from the way the characters talked to the various settings, they just felt right. No accidental usage of current slang to take me out of the moment. The era is the book is wonderfully done.
Next is the characters. I love Liz and Julia and Betty grew on me. Betty seemed a little stuck on herself at first but as I read more about her I started liking her more and more. Liz seems to be the star of this book while still having storylines involving Julia and Betty. I am in hopes that more books will follow and will tell the continuing stories of Julia and Betty. In this book Liz is engaged, but then she meets Morgan the night before he heads off to serve in the war. Then she sees him with Betty and gives up on the feelings she felt. Then the curveball is thrown when Betty asks Liz to write to Morgan for her since she doesn't know what to say. A relationship grows through the letters and leads to the main storyline of the book.
I found the letters fascinating and a wonderful way to get to know the characters. The letters are interspersed with accounts from each of the characters lives and it's a great way to get to know all the main players in the book and also to see life on the home front and on the front lines. The focus is on the characters though and how they grow and change during the book because of the way they affect one another.
The book is beautifully written and completely captivating. I hated putting it down to do other things and was anxious to pick it back up. I could read it in a busy room with no problem, that was how engrossed I would become in the book. The romance is sweet, the end is great, the tension building is wonderfully done and I just can't gush enough about this book. This is Ms. McMorris' debut and I can't wait to see what she writes next. ...more
A Creed in Stone Creek was a very enjoyable novel. I liked the setting, I liked where the plot was going and I enjoyed the characters. I will be readiA Creed in Stone Creek was a very enjoyable novel. I liked the setting, I liked where the plot was going and I enjoyed the characters. I will be reading the rest of this trilogy as well as picking up some of her other series books now. Linda Lael Miller writes a book that brings you right into the story and keeps you there until the conclusion. The characters feel like your friends and you just don't want to say goodbye at the end (and thankfully you won't have to, because I am sure Steven, Matt and Melissa will be making appearances in the next two books as well).
Let's start with the characters. I feel like this is Ms. Miller's strong suit - giving us great characters. I loved getting to know Melissa, Steven and wonderful little Matt. I also like the fact that she added a child to the mix of characters. It adds that extra depth and fun with precocious Matt. He really adds to the story and doesn't take anything away from the romance at all. In fact I love the fact that he adores Melissa from the start.
Another thing I enjoyed was the setting. The town takes on a life of it's own in this book and I have never kept it secret that I enjoy small town novels. Stone Creek is one of those towns where everybody knows everyone's business and most of the people care deeply about the town and the people around them.
There was also good tension in the book with Melissa being a prosecutor and Steven coming in as a new defense attorney. That added to the tension and growing romance between the characters and made a great obstacle for the two of them to overcome to find their love for each other.
While the romance is not prominent it is there, I see this more of a character or relationship novel than a romance and if you look at it like that you will really enjoy it. The romance is there, but it's not as front and center as some other romances I loved. But that didn't take away from the storyline for me. The storyline kept me interested and I kept turning the pages to learn more about Melissa and Steven and the town of Stone Creek. ...more