It has been over a year since all the adults disappeared from what is now known as the FAYZ, leaving everyone fourteen and under to cope on their own....moreIt has been over a year since all the adults disappeared from what is now known as the FAYZ, leaving everyone fourteen and under to cope on their own. It certainly hasn't been easy and, even though some of the kids have superpowers, many have died. The end seems to be in sight - the dome covering them is now transparent and their parents standing outside the dome seem oh so close. But they are now facing their biggest threat yet as the Gaiaphage has been reborn as Diana's mutant daughter Gaia. Gaia is the strongest enemy they've ever faced - she is determined to destroy all of them before going out into the world and destroying everyone else. She is only afraid of one person - Little Pete - but he will need a lot of help, including a new body, if he is going to be able to destroy her.
"Light: A Gone Novel" is the sixth and final book in Michael Grant's Gone series for young adults and it truly does bring the series to a satisfying end. Fans of the series know these books are a roller coaster ride with plenty of danger, battles, and carnage and this book is no different. Fans will also know no one is safe - it is no spoiler to say that some beloved characters may not survive. Truthfully, when Gaia was first introduced she seemed to me to be a bit over-the-top, almost laughable, but as she and her powers grew she became one of the most terrifying villains I've ever encountered in a book. The more she became aware of her powers (and Grant does this brilliantly) the scarier she became. Again, it is not spoiling anything to say that there is an epic battle in this book - I am surprised at who eventually stepped up to the plate. This book has a mixture of everything: hope, fear, danger, battles, heroes (both expected and unexpected), and survival. The ending really does bring the series to a satisfying end - kudos to Grant for pulling it off so successfully.
"Light: A Gone Novel" is one of those books that would not leave me when I finished it - I love the ending but am sorry the series is over. (less)
School Psychologist Skye Dennison has enough on her hands with her job, engagement to police chief Wally Boyd, and the ghost she is convinced haunts h...moreSchool Psychologist Skye Dennison has enough on her hands with her job, engagement to police chief Wally Boyd, and the ghost she is convinced haunts her house. The last thing she needs is to be pulled into one of Bunny Reid's schemes but somehow she is there when Bunny runs a cat show/speed dating event. Skye is convinced this won't turn out well but even she isn't expecting that one of the participants will be murdered.
I always like my visits to Scumble River and "Murder of the Cat's Meow" is no different. This book is a nice mixture of murder mystery, humor, and a bit of the paranormal. Skye is one of my favorite characters in a cozy mystery and I love reading the details of her busy overbooked work life. I also love her interactions with the various people in her life, not only Wally but her best friend Trixie Frayne (love that nod to the Trixie Belden series), Bunny, former students Justin and Frannie, and various members of her large family. I also like the haunted house aspects which are more amusing than frightening. Bunny never fails to amuse with her inappropriate clothes and over the top schemes. As for the mystery aspects - the mystery is intricately plotted but not one of my favorites. There are not enough suspects and the identity of the killer seemed to come from nowhere. The plot also relies a bit too much on coincidences and Skye being in the right place at the right time to unveil a major clue. However, I was so caught up in the story that this didn't bother me all that much.
"Murder of the Cat's Meow" is another nice entry in Denise Swanson's Scumble River cozy mystery series. (less)
Libby Morgan has worked hard to make partner in the law firm she works at sacrificing much including her marriage. She finally feels like the partner...moreLibby Morgan has worked hard to make partner in the law firm she works at sacrificing much including her marriage. She finally feels like the partner offer will come soon but instead, much to her dismay, she is laid off. It takes time to adjust to the idea of having to find a new job but she comes around, starting a new life - learning to knit, rocking babies, mentoring a troubled teenager, and making new friends. Even her love life is looking up thanks to Dr. Phillip Stone. Libby's life has changed for the better but will she revert back to her old habits?
"Starting Now" is a nicely done novel about a woman who discovers that there is more to life than working all the time. Libby is a nicely written character who flourishes when she has a chance to to redo her life - a very real character who stumbles along the road to change. Her romance with Phillip Stone is also nicely done - nothing is easy for these two but their romance is well-written and believable. Mixed in with the romance between Libby and Phillip (and a sweet secondary romance) there is a deep, moving, surprising, and unexpected plot line. I won't give it away except to say I admire the sympathetic way author Debbie Macomber treated Ava's character. Although this book is part of Macomber's Blossom Street series and fans of that series will enjoy meeting up with the characters from the Blossom Street books, (mostly Lydia and her family), this is a standalone book so if you haven't read any of her other Blossom Street books you can easily read this without feeling like you're missing anything.
"Starting Now" is a wonderful novel about a second (and even a third) chance at happiness. Well done!
After losing to the New York Yankees in the 2003 playoffs, the Boston Red Sox fired manager Grady Little and hired Terry Francona in his place. Their...moreAfter losing to the New York Yankees in the 2003 playoffs, the Boston Red Sox fired manager Grady Little and hired Terry Francona in his place. Their choice paid off quickly as the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004 and again in 2007. For a while all was well in Red Sox Nation but the good times didn't last as Francona lost control of the clubhouse and players and after a disastrous 2011 season Francona was fired. “Francona: The Red Sox Years” is the story of Francona's roller coaster years as Red Sox manager.
Written by Dan Shaughnessy and Terry Francona (Shaughnessy wisely writes in the third person and doesn't pretend the book is solely written from Francona's point of view), “Francona: The Red Sox Years” is an interesting look back at his years as manager of the Red Sox. If you are a diehard Red Sox fan you probably won't learn anything you didn't already know when reading this book, but it is still fun to look back at the excitement of two World Series wins and anguishing to read and relive the horrors of Tito's last season in Boston. While the Boston media has made much of the way Francona bashes Red Sox management in the book I found it not nearly as bad as portrayed in the media. Yes, Francona was upset at the way he was treated at the end and it is clear he is not a John Henry fan, but his biggest beef still seems to be about whoever told the media he had a “problem” with prescription drugs. Francona doesn't reveal anything in this book that isn't public knowledge - for example he acknowledges the breakup of his marriage but doesn't go into the details of why/how it happened. It is clear who his favorite players were - even David Ortiz who had his battles with Francona gets a pass in this book - and who he didn't like (not that Manny Ramirez probably cares!). Shaughnessy does an excellent job of quoting Francona - I could hear Tito's voice in my head while reading the book. In the end, I think despite the fact that Francona clearly has his opinions about Red Sox ownership, the book is pretty evenhanded. Francona admits that he made his share of mistakes and does appear to happen disinterested at times towards the end of his time in Boston.
“Francona: The Red Sox Years: may not have anything new to say but it is still an interesting look at the manager who brought a World Series win to Boston for the first time in 86 years. (less)
When her friend Violet La Rue decides to stage “A Midsummer Night's Dream” librarian Lindsey Norris has no intentions of auditioning but happily agree...moreWhen her friend Violet La Rue decides to stage “A Midsummer Night's Dream” librarian Lindsey Norris has no intentions of auditioning but happily agrees to work backstage. She's hoping being busy will help her get over her breakup with Sully but soon finds that impossible since Sully is also working backstage. However, actor Robbie Vine is willing to try and help her get over Sully. Before she can begin sort out her feelings for each of them, tragedy strikes and Lindsey discovers there is danger backstage and she may be the next victim.
“Read It and Weep” is the fourth book in Jenn MacKinlay’s Library Lovers cozy mystery series - a series that I like more and more with each book. Much of the action in the book takes place not at the library but at the theater where the group is putting on the play. This is a nice change of pace and offers some interesting behind the scenes glimpses of what it is like to put on a play. Four books into the series the characters are well-developed and feel like old friends -even Ms. Cole who added an unexpected bit of humor to the book. The mystery itself is well plotted (if a bit over-the-top) with the lot of twists and turns. Some of these twists are easy to figure out; others may seem a little unfair but did ultimately remind me of an Agatha Christie mystery. The one thing I didn't like about this book is the Sully/Lindsey/Robbie triangle which reminds me a bit too much of the romantic complications in McKinlay's Cupcake Bakery cozy mystery series - at times I found that the romance aspects were taking over the mystery aspects. Hopefully this will get settled in the next book(s) in the series.
“Read It and Weep” is a nicely done cozy mystery. (less)
It is Christmas time at the Pennyfoot Country Club and Cecily Sinclair Baxter is looking forward to her favorite things about the holidays - her frien...moreIt is Christmas time at the Pennyfoot Country Club and Cecily Sinclair Baxter is looking forward to her favorite things about the holidays - her friend Madeline's exquisite decorations, the caroling, Phoebe Carter-Holmes Fortescue’s pageants (even if they usually end disastrously). One tradition she wouldn't mind not happening is the murder mystery that seems to happen each year. Alas, she won't get her wish as a body is found washed up on the shores near the Pennyfoot - and the death was no accident. Cecily is once again caught up in trying to solve a murder but will her actions put those closest to her in danger?
“Mulled Murder” is the last book in the series of Pennyfoot Country Club Holiday Cozy Mysteries. While I am sorry the series is ending, I am pleased with the way author Kate Kingsbury wrapped up the series. The storylines for most of the characters, especially the household staff, were tied up and many left a smile on my face. As for the mystery itself, it is nicely done. There are a lot of new characters in this book, many of whom have secrets, so there are plenty of suspects to keep readers guessing as to who the killer is. There are a lot of twists and turns in this book - not all involving the murder mystery - that will keep readers delighted. As for Phoebe's last pageant, you won't be disappointed :-)
“Mulled Murder” is a fitting ending to a long-running cozy mystery series that will be missed.