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Friday, March 24, 2017

Mercies in Disguise by Gina Kolata - Book Review

I simply can not imagine being in the shoes of Amanda Baxley. I can't imagine that my grandfather, uncle, and father have died from a degenerative brain disease. I can't imagine that I being faced with the decision of whether to find out if I have the same disease. And I can't imagine the myriad of ways in which life would be different if I found out that the genetic test was positive, or negative. "Mercies in Disguise" follows the story of the Amanda Baxley, and the Baxley family as a whole, as they deal with the emotional and physical blow of this terrible disease. The book also delves into the background, research, and discovery of several degenerative brain diseases.
Keep reading to see my thoughts on "Mercies in Disguise"...

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Follow Me Down by Sherri Smith - Book Review

"Follow Me Down" by Sherri Smith is set in the fictional town of Wayoata, North Dakota. In typical small town USA fashion, Wayoata likely has five or six traffic lights, a local grocery store,  and a high school sports team for everyone to rally around- and rarely, a serious crime. The town is shocked when a beautiful high school senior girl is murdered, and one of her teachers, the lead suspect, goes missing. Like Mia, the main character, I was equally charmed and wary of Wayoata - never knowing who to trust, or what might happen next. And just like a good small town rumor mill, "Follow Me Down" sucked me in....

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

One of the Boys by Daniel Magriel - Book Review

" I did not want him to hit me. I did not want him to have to hit me." - One of the Boys

Reading "One of the Boys" by Daniel Magriel is a lesson in the power of parental love over children. In 176 beautifully written pages, Magriel explores the vulnerability and limits of such a crucial relationship. Between drugs, divorce, and abuse the relationships between "the boys" in this novel are pushed to the limits. Overwhelming, shocking, and heartbreaking, " One of the Boys" explores how meaning and stability are defined in our relationships and within ourselves.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

The Most Dangerous Place on Earth by Lindsey Lee Johnson - Book Review

Before reading this book, I'm not sure I had ever really thought of middle school and high school as a dangerous place. I mean outside of a few extreme examples, going to school is rarely life or death. In " The Most Dangerous Place on Earth" the author, Lindsey Lee Johnson, shows just how those years can be dangerous, and why...

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The Orphan's Tale- by Pam Jenoff- Book Review

"The Orphan's Tale" begins with a particularly tragic part of our history- during the Holocaust, Jewish infants were ripped from their parents' arms and sent to camps on trains- many not surviving the journey to their grim destination. When sixteen year old Noa stumbles upon a train car full of these infants, she rescues one and runs for the forest. While fleeing the Nazis, Noa is discovered by a circus, and joins them training to become a trapeze artist. Her trainer, Astrid, is Jewish and hiding with the circus, as well. "The Orphan's Tale" follows Noa and Astrid as they cope with the secrets they hide from each other, and those that they must hide from the world.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Universal Harvester by John Darnielle- Book Review

“Not everybody wants to get out and see the world. Nothing wrong with that. Sometimes you just want to figure out how to fit yourself into the world you already know.” - Universal Harvester by John Darnielle 

The back cover summary of "Universal Harvester" by John Darnielle is super unsettling and also incredibly intriguing. Jeremy works at a video rental store in a small town in Iowa during the late 1990's - his day to day work life is pretty relaxed and predictable. Suddenly, though, customers are returning tapes reporting a problem - there is something on the tape, something that doesn't belong. "Universal Harvester" follows Jeremy- and others affected by the tapes - past, present, and future. I enjoyed reading this chilling and unique book- check out my review below!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Setting Free the Kites- by Alex George- Book Review

Robert Carter and Nathan Tilly's friendship begins in an unlikely place-  their middle school's bathroom.  Nathan saves Robert from a dreaded middle school swirlie- and their friendship naturally takes off from there! "Setting Free the Kites" by Alex George tells the story of the friendship between Robert and Nathan, who find each other during a particularly tumultuous time in their lives. Certainly a time when they needed a friend the most. P.S. I absolutely *loved* this book...