I've never read a book by CJ Lyons before, but I know I will again. I knew she wrote adult thrillers and her latest, Broken, is her YA debut. I went i...moreI've never read a book by CJ Lyons before, but I know I will again. I knew she wrote adult thrillers and her latest, Broken, is her YA debut. I went into this book with a certain expectation and was completely surprised by the ending.
What was the surprise? I can't tell you without spoiling the book!! However, I can tell you all what I loved about the book before the ending.
Fifteen-year-old Scarlet Killian is finally getting the chance to be a normal teenager. After years spent battling a rare heart ailment, Scarlet is battling her toughest challenge -- high school. Her mother (technically she is her step-mother but in every way that counts she is her mom) has dedicated her life to keeping Scarlet alive, almost to the point of obsession. Her father loves her, but spends most of his time working. They've done all they can to keep Scarlet in a cocoon. But Scarlet desperately wants out. No more home-schooling, no more pills, no more hospitals, no more special diets, and no longer feeling like a freak.
Sometimes it helps to hear a lie instead of the truth. It hurts to hear the truth. Sometimes it makes you feel better to be in denial. Eventually you...moreSometimes it helps to hear a lie instead of the truth. It hurts to hear the truth. Sometimes it makes you feel better to be in denial. Eventually you start to believe the lies told to you. You start telling your own lies, and you begin to believe those too. What happens when those lies catch up to you? Will your world totally collapse? Will you have the strength to pick up the pieces?
All of that and more is going on in Lies You Wanted to Hear by James Whitefield Thomson.
Matt was a man who lived by rules and reason. He stays inside the lines. But after a blind date with the free-spirited Lucy, Matt is immediately smitten. Lucy is wild. Lucy is outspoken. Lucy doesn't take life too seriously. Lucy is the opposite of Matt. Reading the book, I thought he should just run from her. Lucy is still pining away for her on-again off-again boyfriend Griffin. Matt is more of a distraction for Lucy than actual boyfriend material. Matt is the man you take home to meet your parents. Griffin is the man you sneak around with in the backseats of cars and seedy motel rooms.
Imagine looking at the face of the person you once trusted with your life. Then imagine looking at that person and not recognizing who they are. The p...moreImagine looking at the face of the person you once trusted with your life. Then imagine looking at that person and not recognizing who they are. The person you once loved like family betrays you in the worst possible way. Years later you find the strength to go on, but that betrayal still cuts you to the bone. One day you want to see that person pay for their crimes not just against you and your family, but against humanity. But bringing that person to justice could be the hardest fight of your life.
In Ronald H. Balson's thoroughly engrossing novel Once We Were Brothers, Ben Solomon makes it his life's mission to bring Elliot Rosenzweig to justice for his crimes as a Nazi officer.
Nearly 20 years ago, I went on one of many family trips to Orlando, Florida. I went to Disney World, Universal Studios, and Sea World. For some dumb r...moreNearly 20 years ago, I went on one of many family trips to Orlando, Florida. I went to Disney World, Universal Studios, and Sea World. For some dumb reason I thought it would be a good idea to sit in the first row at Sea World. I thought it would be cool to be splashed by Shamu (or maybe it was one of his descendants). My 11-year-old brain didn't think about the consequences. STUPID!!! I walked around for the rest of the day wet, with stringy hairy, and dry skin due to the saltwater. Why am I bringing any of this up? Reading Friday's Harbor by Diane Hammond brought back the memory!
Recently, I watched the documentary Blackfish, which is about Tilikum -- a whale in captivity at Sea World. The documentary and this book left me with such a deep respect for killer whales. The documentary certainly painted the dark side of killer whales. Friday's Harbor did the same thing, for me, but in a softer and more playful manner.
In this book, Viernes a.k.a Friday is slowly dying in his small pool in Bogota, Colombia. He's a big creature, but utterly alone.
I'm not even sure how to start this review. Some books are just so far out of my comfort zone, that I'm not sure what to say about them. Extracted by...moreI'm not even sure how to start this review. Some books are just so far out of my comfort zone, that I'm not sure what to say about them. Extracted by Sherry D. Ficklin and Tyler H. Jolley is one of those books. It's not a bad book, it's just different from what I normally read.
Looking at the cover, I thought this was a science fiction or steampunk novel. There is definitely a story there, and an air of mystery.
The Tesla Institute trains a special group of young adults called Rifters. They're trained in the art of time travel. They protect the time stream. I seriously wanted to write that they're protecting "the space time continuum." While I was reading this, I couldn't help but think about the movie series Back to the Future.
An amateur sleuth with a knack for spotting grammatical errors? It might sound strange, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading about copy editor Miranda "Ra...moreAn amateur sleuth with a knack for spotting grammatical errors? It might sound strange, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading about copy editor Miranda "Rannie" Bookman and her adventures in Almost True Confessions by Jane O'Connor.
This is the second in a series, but I don't think you need to read the first book to understand this one. Why did I enjoy the book? As a former newspaper copy editor and as someone trying to get into book publishing, I totally get her humor. If I see a mistake in a newspaper article or book, I just want to fix it. I'm sure I've made plenty of grammar mistakes on this blog, but I do my best to limit them. In the book, Rannie cringes at the sight or sound of improper grammar. All I could do was laugh. Like all copy editors, she has her quirks. She only works with a certain kind of pencil. She also has a deep addiction to peanut butter and jelly!!
At the height of World War I, a small French town is under the tight control of German soldiers. There is little food to go around. There is little in...moreAt the height of World War I, a small French town is under the tight control of German soldiers. There is little food to go around. There is little information about the war. One woman, Sophie Lefevre, is determined to go on. She and her sister, Helene, run a small hotel and restaurant. They do the best they can to shield their children from the horrors of the war. Sophie's husband Edouard is off fighting in the war for France. Sophie knows she will see him again. All she has to hold onto is the portrait Edouard painted of her. Everyday she stares at the painting, wondering if she will ever be that girl again. The girl in that picture didn't have to fear German soldiers. The girl in that picture didn't have to worry where her next meal was coming from. The girl in that picture was happier and prettier. The girl in that picture is gone.
It's hard to put into words my thoughts on January First by Michael Schofield. I can't help but feel sorry for January "Jani" Schofield, her brother,...moreIt's hard to put into words my thoughts on January First by Michael Schofield. I can't help but feel sorry for January "Jani" Schofield, her brother, Bodhi, and her parents Michael and Susan. At just age six, Jani was diagnosed with schizophrenia. It took months and months of violent outbursts, hallucinations, and suicide attempts before Jani was given a definitive diagnosis. The path to get there was long and fraught with hopelessness.
I've seen a lot about this family on various television shows, but I think those programs only scratched the surface. I think the book goes much deeper than a television show can. The book is solely from Michael Schofield's perspective. I definitely felt like I was in his head. I could totally understand why he and his wife felt like giving up. Jani's violence was just so unpredictable. A cry or a whimper from her little brother was enough to set her off. If she didn't get to hit or throw something at Bodhi, Jani just couldn't rest. She has to hit him or her mind can't rest. When her parents tried to protect their infant son, Jani is quick to hit them -- violently.
A young girl born into slavery wants more out of life. She wants to walk without being watched. She wants to earn a living without being watched. She...moreA young girl born into slavery wants more out of life. She wants to walk without being watched. She wants to earn a living without being watched. She wants to go beyond the gates of the plantation without fear of being whipped. She wants to be free mentally, emotionally, and physically. This girl, Sarah Campbell, is a dreamer.
Theodora Allen, the wife of Cornelius, is also a bit of a dreamer. She dreams of days spent playing with her future grandchildren. She wants a closer relationship with her sons. She wants a respectable husband for her daughter, Clarissa. Most of all, she dreams of the day when her opinions will matter. A day when her husband, the master of a large plantation, will listen to her speak rather than beating her into submission.
Author Marlen Suyapa Bodden transports readers back to 1850s Alabama in The Wedding Gift. It was a time when slavery was a way of life in the South, but it was also a time of shame in the North.
Helen Honeycutt fell in love with Emmet Justice. They both have jobs in television. The newlyweds are off to spend their summer at Moonrise, a stately...moreHelen Honeycutt fell in love with Emmet Justice. They both have jobs in television. The newlyweds are off to spend their summer at Moonrise, a stately home in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Sounds beautiful and romantic doesn't? For most couples it would be, but Helen and Emmet aren't most couples. Why? No matter how hard she tries, Helen will always be living in the shadow of Emmet's first wife Rosalyn. And......someone or something is trying to push Helen out of the picture.
If you've read Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier, then you will totally get all of the references in Cassandra King's new book Moonrise. I have not read Rebecca, but I don't think you need to.
Emmet and Rosalyn had a close-knit group of friends -- Tansy and Noel, Linc and Myna, and Kit. To some, especially Tansy, Helen is an outsider. Or as Tansy put it, Helen is "The Bride."