Tuesday, May 30, 2017


by Jerome Charyn
published by self
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

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Stacking the Shelves: 5/14-5/20

For possible review (on Bookloons):
Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley
One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

First Reads from Goodreads:
Before the Rain Falls by Camille Di Maio
Say You're Sorry by Melinda Leigh
A Filthy Business by William Lashner

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Ramona and Her Father

Title: Ramona and Her Father
Author: Beverly Cleary
Publisher: HarperCollins
ISBN: 97800688221140
Why Read?: For Fun

Thoughts: This was another book that I had not read as a child but had read others in the series.  Ramona is still as entertaining now as she was then, but the new (2006) illustrations just do not fit with the 1975 text.

Rating: 4/5

Wednesday, May 10, 2017


Title: Salvage
Author: Alexandra Duncan
Publisher: Greenwillow
ISBN: 9780062220141
Why Read?: Early Reads

Thoughts: I was not sure about this at first as it started off as a space opera, but it turned out to be a very engaging story with some pretty deep themes.

Rating: 4/5

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing

Title: Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing
Author: Judy Blume
Publisher: Listening Library
ISBN: 9780739330371
Why Read?: For Fun

Thoughts: I never read this when I was little (although I did read some other books in the Fudge series).  Definitely a fun, quick read that will entertain adults as well as children, but most likely for different reasons.

Rating: 3/5

Monday, May 8, 2017

The Crooked Sixpence

Title: The Crooked Sixpence
Author: Jennifer Bell
Publisher: Crown
ISBN: 9780553498431
Why Read?: For Fun

Thoughts: Fun MG fantasy with a lot of mystery, but some faulty connections.

Rating: 3/5

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Stacking the Shelves: 4/30-5/6

For review (on Bookloons):
The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas

First Reads from Goodreads:
Trail of Miracles by Smadar Herzfeld
Looking Glass Lies by Varina Denman

Friday, May 5, 2017


Title: Truth
Author: Christina Benjamin
Publisher: self
ISBN: 9780988337503
Why Read?: For Fun

Thoughts: The first installment of The Geneva Project throws a lot of world-building at the reader, but unfortunately, not all of it makes sense.  Also, a not-always-likable main character does not help.

Rating: 2/5

Thursday, May 4, 2017

The Living

Title: The Living
Author: Matt de la Pena
Publisher: Brillance
ISBN: 9781480568754
Why Read?: For Fun

Thoughts: Not a big fan of natural disaster novels, especially lost at sea ones, but this has some great parts that do not involve being lost at sea.  I am curious to see where this goes in the next installment.

Rating: 3/5