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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...

Friday, February 17, 2017

Lincoln in the Bardo- by George Saunders - Book Review

February 1862, 154 years ago - Willie Lincoln, age 11, son of then president Abraham Lincoln, died of typhoid fever. After Willie's death, newspapers reported that Abraham Lincoln visited his entombed remains- removing Willie from his tomb and holding his now dead son. George Saunders encapsulates this moment of grief into "Lincoln in the Bardo". Told from the perspective of others caught in the "bardo"- a purgatory, Saunders explores the mind of a mourning Abraham Lincoln, through a truly masterful weaving of fiction and non fiction. "Lincoln in the Bardo" is an absolute must read, and one of my favorites so far in 2017.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

My Husband's Wife - by Jane Corry - Book Review

"My Husband's Wife" is one of the twisty, turniest books I have read in a long time! No joke, by the end of the book  I had completely lost count of all of the unexpected surprises along the way. "My Husband's Wife" is told from the perspective of several characters, including Lily and Carla. When the book begins, Lily is a new lawyer as well as a newlywed wife to her husband Ed. Carla, a nine year old girl who lives with her mother, lives down the hall from Lily and Ed. Sixteen years later when their paths cross again, Lily and Carla are challenged by their circumstances, lies, and loves - past and present. And just how will things end, well...

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Last Night At Tremore Beach - by Mikel Santiago - Book Review

"The Last Night at Tremore Beach" is one of the darkest, creepiest books I have read in a while- probably since "Behind Closed Doors" by B.A. Paris - which I loved ( check out my review here). The main character, Peter, is struck by lightning and begins having lucid and increasingly terrifying nightmares. Nightmares showing him what would be a terrifying sequence of violent crimes against his friends and family - leaving Peter, and the reader, wondering - are these nightmares omens of his future or is Peter losing his mind?

Friday, February 10, 2017

My Utmost - by Macy Halford - Book Review

As soon as I read the synopsis for "My Utmost" I knew I wanted to read it. I instantly felt a connection with the author Macy Halford, a former book blogger for "The New Yorker". Besides book blogging, Macy is also from Dallas, Texas, a hop- skip and jump from where I currently live. I knew her memoir would resonate with me - and I was right. I was surprised though, by just how much I would be able to relate to, and be inspired by, her story.

Monday, January 23, 2017

The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett - by Chelsea Sedoti - Book Review

Looking at the cover of "The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett" I'm pretty sure most readers would not be able to correctly guess the book's plot. In an ultimate test of "do not judge a book by its cover", this book most certainly does not match the bright yellow cover and flower petals it is adorned with. " The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett" was absolutely not what I expected at all - in some not so great ways, but also in some awesome super surprising ways...

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Pretty Little World - by Elizabeth LaBan and Melissa DePino- Book Review

As an introvert, reading the description for "Pretty Little World" by Elizabeth LaBan and Melissa DePino gave me shivers - three families combine their homes and disaster / self discovery ensues.  Throughout reading the book I just couldn't stop thinking - how could anyone just give up their space, privacy, and in my case, sanity like that? And then I'd catch myself, because on the other hand as a mom, I can absolutely relate to the need for assistance from "the village", and how dependent you can be on others for your household to run.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The River at Night - by Erica Ferencik - Book Review

"The thing is I don't mind the occasional twinge, because it takes me back there, to all that happened on that river in those woods, and reminds me that there are things that I should never forget. Not that I ever could."
Looking for a book that will keep you up past your bedtime? I just finished reading "The River at Night" and holy smokes, I couldn't put it down! This book is a suspenseful thrill ride and it surprised me in so many ways!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Everything You Want Me To Be - by Mindy Mejia- Book Review

"He's not an evil man. Evil is simple. It's a child's explanation for why people do bad things. The truth is always more complicated and worth pursuing..." - Everything You Want Me To Be

I absolutely love books that keep me guessing - not just who did it, but why, and how and when! This book had me on my toes until the very last page! "Everything You Want Me To Be" is an amazingly twisty page turner, that is insightfully written, and I completely loved it!