**spoiler alert** True friendship is such a wonderful and powerful thing and you're so very lucky when you have it. Sarah Addison Allen shows that so...more**spoiler alert** True friendship is such a wonderful and powerful thing and you're so very lucky when you have it. Sarah Addison Allen shows that so beautifully in The Peach Keeper. We all need that friend in our lives who we know we can call on no matter what. The friend who will love us unconditionally. The friend who will be our wall of protection through the dark times. The friend we want to call, as Willa dreams for her and Paxton, just to say good night to. I loved the bonds of friendship in this book - between Agatha and Georgie, Paxton and Sebastian, and Paxton and Willa. I loved watching the characters discover love and discover themselves. I liked Colin and Willa, but I adored Paxton and Sebastian. I loved seeing them all grow and fall into the wonderfulness of life as they decided to risk leaving their safe, comfortable existence for absolute happiness. (less)
Olivia is overjoyed when she wins a writing contest and famous author and priest Father Mark Brendan becomes her mentor. Everyone loves Father Mark an...moreOlivia is overjoyed when she wins a writing contest and famous author and priest Father Mark Brendan becomes her mentor. Everyone loves Father Mark and wants to be in the class he teaches at the university and it is not lost on Olivia just how lucky she, a high school student, is to have him notice her. I felt that at the beginning of this book, Olivia viewed Father Mark in a near godlike manner, but he made me very uncomfortable. He became personal with her almost instantly, but in a subtle way, so it wasn't like anyone could say for sure that he was being inappropriate instead of just nice. But then, Father Mark thoroughly invades Olivia's life. As a reader, I was aware of it, her friends were aware, but Olivia was not. Her inner voice kept trying to tell her that perhaps something wasn’t right, but she talked herself out of listening because she felt an obligation to be grateful to Father Mark. When she finally does realize that the way he acts with her is terribly wrong, it hits with the force of a hammer to the head. Then, Olivia's fear is palpable. Father Mark, who is creepy long before Olivia realizes he is, becomes creepier once she knows what we already know. I would have liked more at the end of the novel. The end came very quickly and maybe I'm just nosy, but I wanted to see the confrontation - even if it was just a small scene, with no words spoken, of Olivia showing up with her support and Father Mark seeing them and knowing it was the end of the line. Overall, a good story. (less)
Sewing, crocheting, crafty Tess Dobson has the weight of the world on her twelve-year-old shoulders as she finds herself, her deaf eight-year-old brot...moreSewing, crocheting, crafty Tess Dobson has the weight of the world on her twelve-year-old shoulders as she finds herself, her deaf eight-year-old brother, and her mother, living in an assisted living facility in Schenectady, New York, once her virtually penniless mother moves them there from San Antonio, Texas in the middle of winter. Unfortunately, she’s more adult than her mother, Delilah, who suffers from Shooting Stars (undiagnosed Bipolar Disorder). Delilah refuses to take the time to properly learn sign language, so she can barely communicate with her son (she leaves that to Tess), is always getting them evicted from their homes since she spends the rent money, and is always looking for the next big business opportunity to invest in. Now, Delilah’s latest idea is to take the very last of their money and buy an ice cream shop. Tess immediately captures your heart as she worries about them ending up homeless if this idea crashes, as she mothers her little brother - and her mother, and worries about when Delilah is going to have another episode of Shooting Stars. It’s always so unfair when a child has to give up childhood and become an adult way before it’s time for them to be one. With an absentee father, all Tess knows is how to rely on herself and do what needs to be done so that she and her brother have some semblance of normality. There is no other family involved, so there’s no one to force Delilah to get the help she needs. Thank goodness, Tess and Jordan find a family with the seniors who are their neighbors. They move around so often, I can only assume Child Services never has a chance to become involved. The title Rocky Road refers to young Tess’s life as well as her favorite ice cream flavor. She’s so grown up for her age, it’s sad. By the end, you care about them so much, you just hope that everything will turn out better for them all down the road. I really liked this one.
This book was both funny and serious. I liked the main character, 12-year-old Mina, who was convinced that she and her family were the reincarnation o...moreThis book was both funny and serious. I liked the main character, 12-year-old Mina, who was convinced that she and her family were the reincarnation of President Lincoln and his family. There is such a range of topics touched,that I think it would be a great read for children and their parents to read together. The Civil Rights Movement and the marches and riots involved, the Vietnam War, puberty, interracial dating, and children in a divided household, to name a few, provide plenty to discuss. (less)
Likeable protagonist, Willie Traynor's friendship with the last juror, Miss Callie is what stands out the most with this one. The relationships Willie...moreLikeable protagonist, Willie Traynor's friendship with the last juror, Miss Callie is what stands out the most with this one. The relationships Willie develops, in general, are what give the book a little flavor. Overall, I thought the story was slow-moving and didn't really enjoy it. The very end was sad but was narrated beautifully on the audio.(less)
**spoiler alert** When I first got to the big reveal, I thought, "What the...WHAT?" Then, when I began to think about it, I had to smile - and shake m...more**spoiler alert** When I first got to the big reveal, I thought, "What the...WHAT?" Then, when I began to think about it, I had to smile - and shake my head. This series has been built on twists and turns from the beginning. Because of that, the fact that Reed and Noelle are sisters should not have surprised me in the least. I like it! I can't wait to see how everyone at Easton reacts to the news and how Reed and Noelle change because of it.
How I feel about my favorite series going supernatural remains to be seen. I like supernatural YA novels and I read quite a few of them, but I never saw Private heading in that direction or thought it needed to. But by now, I should know to just expect the unexpected. I'm going to trust that when all is said and done, I'm going to ask myself how I could have ever had any uncertainty about it.
For me, the book as a whole was an intriguing break from the consistent personal misfortune that usually plagues Reed. The Privilege series is a couple of years ahead of this one, so I knew that Noelle was in no danger of dying. My guess was that for some reason, Reed was being tapped for another secret society in which Noelle was involved, and at the end of the ordeal, she was going to be seriously pissed at Noelle for scaring her so much. I don't know how many secret societies a person can be in, but that was as far as my imagination went. The actuality was much better!