Saturday, June 24, 2017

Stacking the Shelves: 6/18-6/24

First Reads from Goodreads:
Abducted Innocence by Sandra Bolton

Received in July's Fresh Fiction Box Not to Miss:
Heartbreaker by Stacey Kennedy
Where the Pieces Fall by Blue Saffire
The Beginning by Ranay James
Run to Ground by Katie Ruggle
One Week to the Wedding by Olivia Miles
Dating You Hating You by Christina Lauren
Freedom's Price by Christine Johnson
The Simplicity of Cider by Amy E. Reichert

Becoming Lin

Becoming Lin
by Tricia Dower
published by Caitlin
2016
ISBN 978-1-987915-07-5

Becoming Lin is Tricia Dower's follow-up to her earlier work, Stony River.  While Stony River was a coming-of-age story, Becoming Lin is a coming-into-her-own story.

After the trial for her attempted rape, Linda Wise wants a new life where she can make a difference.  After hearing a young preacher, Ron Brunson, talk about the Freedom Ride a few years before, she decides she wants to marry him.  Despite warnings from her mentor to finish her degree, she does marry Ron and is soon off to Minnesota to a be a pastor's wife.  Ron, though, is very liberal in his thinking, and encourages her to finish her degree while they both help drafter dodgers escape the Vietnam War.  Despite the excitement of protests and having a young son, Linda - now Lin - still wants more and sets off to find it.

Once again, Dower does an excellent job of capturing the feel of the time period.  However, having all of the focus on one character, even though Lin is a very well-fleshed-out character, takes away some of the intensity that existed in Stony River.

Becoming Lin is still a good read, even if it is missing some of the intensity of its predecessor.  Tricia Dower is definitely a woman's historical fiction writer to look out for.

Rating: 3/5

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Mission Moon

Title: Mission Moon
Author: Drew Brockington
Publisher: Little Brown
ISBN: 978-0-316-30745-1
Why Read?: For Fun

Thoughts: Cute start to the CatStronauts series, but could have used a little more humor.

Rating: 3/5

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Diary of a Young Girl

Title: The Diary of a Young Girl
Author: Anne Frank
Publisher: Gemma Halliday
ISBN: 9781943587223
Why Read?: For Fun

Thoughts: If you keep the title in mind while reading instead of the historical outcome, this really is a fascinating look into the mind of a teenager from wartorn 1940s Holland (but it is also an important historical document, too).

Rating: 4/5

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Stacking the Shelves: 6/11-6/17

For possible review (on Bookloons):
Words on Bathroom Walls by Julia Walton
What to Say Next by Julie Buxbaum

Friday, June 16, 2017

Key Change

Title: Key Change
Author: Barbara Valentin
Publisher: Gemma Halliday
ISBN: 9781943587223
Why Read?: Fresh Fiction

Thoughts: Very clever title on so many levels for this cute, edgy, and unafraid rom-com.

Rating: 4/5

Thursday, June 15, 2017

A Lion Among Men

Title: A Lion Among Men
Author: Gregory Maguire
Publisher: William Morrow
ISBN: 9780060859725
Why Read?: For Fun

Thoughts: Although this was basically two characters' backstories, I enjoyed it more than Son of a Witch.

Rating: 4/5

Monday, June 12, 2017

Lola Levine Is Not Mean!

Title: Lola Levine Is Not Mean!
Author: Monica Brown
Publisher: Little Brown
ISBN: 9780316258364
Why Read?: For Fun

Thoughts: I enjoy MG books when I need some light reading, but this one just lacked the creativity I come to expect from the genre.

Rating: 2/5

Red Handed

Title: Red Handed: The Fine Art of Strange Crimes
Author: Matt Kindt
Publisher: First Second
ISBN: 9781596436626
Why Read?: For Fun

Thoughts: At first, this appears to be short stories of strange crimes, but then they slowly start to meld together to create one heady read.

Rating: 4/5

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Dolce

Title: Dolce
Author: Rachel Blaufeld
Publisher: self
ISBN: n/a
Why Read?: Fresh Fiction

Thoughts: Some parts were fun, some parts were annoying, and the end was just too unbelievable.

Rating: 2/5

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Stacking the Shelves: 6/4-6/10

For possible review (on Bookloons):
Spoonbenders by Daryl Gregory
Single-Minded by Lisa Daily
Now I Rise by Kiersten White

First Reads from Goodreads:
Hidden Threat by Connie Mann
The Good Widow by Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke
The Year of Counting Souls by Michael Wallace

LibraryThing Early Review:
Mars Girls by Mary Turzillo

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Anne Frank Remembered

Title: Anne Frank Remembered
Author: Miep Gies and Alison Leslie Gold
Publisher: Oasis
ISBN: 9781608144822
Why Read?: For Fun

Thoughts: Miep's story really fleshes out the events before, during, and after what is covered in Anne Frank's diary.

Rating: 4/5

Monday, June 5, 2017

Second Chance Summer

Title: Second Chance Summer
Author: Jill Shalvis
Publisher: Grand Central
ISBN: 978-1-4555-8673-8
Why Read?: Fresh Fiction

Thoughts: Shalvis created some good characters and left a lot of their stories open for more.

Rating: 3/5

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Make Your Kid a Money Genius (Even If You're Not)

Title: Make Your Kid a Money Genius (Even If You're Not): A Parent's Guide for Kids 3 to 23
Author: Beth Kobliner
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
ISBN: 978-1-4767-6681-2
Why Read?: For Fun

Thoughts: This book has some very good advice, but it is heavily focused on being able to pay for college.

Rating: 4/5

Stacking the Shelves: 5/28-6/3

For possible review (on Bookloons):
And I Darken by Kiersten White
Urban Enemies by Joseph Nassise, ed.

Received in June's Fresh Fiction Box Not to Miss:
Lexie by Kimberly Dean
A Suitable Affair by Erica Taylor
Why the River Runs by JoAnna Grace
In the Cowboy's Arms by Vicki Lewis Thompson
The Most Dangerous Duke in London by Madeline Hunter
What Hope Remembers by Johnnie Alexander
The Darkest Corner by Liliana Hart
Lethal Lies by Rebecca Zanetti

Friday, June 2, 2017

Not Quite What I Was Planning

Title: Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous & Obscure
Author: Smith Magazine, ed.
Publisher: Harper Perennial
ISBN: 978-0-06-137405-0
Why Read?: For Fun

Thoughts: I wish these were divided into sections of some sort.  I think they would have flowed better and made for a more engaging read.

Rating: 2/5

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Jerzy

Jerzy
by Jerome Charyn
published by self
2016
ISBN 978-1540574176

Jerome Charyn has a distinct style that really brings out the humanity of the protagonists of his historical fiction novels.  Jerzy Kosinski is the perfect subject for Charyn.  Unlike his other novels, Kosinski is not the narrator of Jerzy; rather, his story is told by other figures from his life.  And his story is not for the faint of heart - it is raw, gritty, and, quite frankly, depraved.

An interesting technique that Charyn uses in Jerzy is to tell the story in reverse chronological order.  The first character who narrates Kosinski's life is one he did not meet until closer to his death; the very last section, concerns Kosinski's childhood.  Telling the story this way is like peeling back layers to show the real inner-workings of Kosinski and how he grew.

Jerzy is perhaps the most disturbing of all of the Jerome Charyn's novels I have read so far, and that unnerved me which made it hard for me to get into, or even just concentrate on, the story.  Charyn is a very talented writer, but, as Jerzy shows, his writing is not for everyone.

Rating: 2/5

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Rose Under Fire

Title: Rose Under Fire
Author: Elizabeth Wein
Publisher: Bolinda
ISBN: n/a
Why Read?: For Fun

Thoughts: I did learn a lot from this work of historical fiction, but it just was not as amazing as the first book in the series, Code Name Verity.

Rating: 3/5

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Stacking the Shelves: 5/21-5/27

For possible review (on Bookloons):
The Sandcastle Empire by Kayla Olson
Wicked Like a Wildfire by Lana Popovic
Julia Defiant by Catherine Egan
More of Me by Kathryn Evans