29. August 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Leslie, Teen Books

Revived by Cat Patrick, 336 pages, read by Leslie, on 08/12/2013

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Having been brought back from the dead repeatedly by a top-secret government super drug called Revive, and forced to move so the public does not learn the truth, fifteen-year-old Daisy meets people worth living for and begins to question the heavy-handed government controls she has dealt with for eleven years.

Very intriguing storyline, what would happen if we could revive people from death?  It opens all sorts of dialogue for book discussions.  I liked it and would recommend it for sure.

29. August 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fairy Tales and Folklore, Fiction, Leslie, Teen Books

Towering by Alex Flinn, 296 pages, read by Leslie, on 08/09/2013

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“A contemporary retelling of Rapunzel told from the alternating perspectives of three teens whose fates unknowingly bind them together to destroy a greater evil”

While I really like the twisted fairy tales, this one left me feeling like the book was reaching but not quite hitting the mark.  It didn’t flow well, although I like the premise of it.

29. August 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fairy Tales and Folklore, Fiction, Leslie, Teen Books

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer, 454 pages, read by Leslie, on 08/02/2013

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Scarlet Benoit and Wolf, a street fighter who may have information about her missing grandmother, join forces with Cinder as they try to stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana in this story inspired by Little Red Riding Hood.

I so enjoy fairy tales retold.  I like the way the author weaves the old tale into a new setting.  I also love science fiction and this blends very well.

29. August 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Sarah

Handle With Care by Jodi Picoult, 477 pages, read by Sarah, on 08/27/2013

I seem destined to pick books told from different viewpoints!  Charlotte’s second pregnancy seems to be going perfectly fine until an ultrasound shows that her daughter has a brittle bone disease and has already broken 7 bones while still in the womb.  Willow is extremely fragile so her older sister, Amelia, can not play with her normally or share her love of ice-skating with her.  Through a series of unfortunate events, it becomes clear that this family is struggling financially and emotionally to deal with the day to day tasks.  An opportunity arises that might give them a way to provide for Willow for the rest of her life, but is it worth trading off important relationships?  This story is very moving and really makes you think about what you would do for YOUR loved one if you were in the same situation.  This story is not for the faint of heart.

29. August 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: History, Informational Book, Janet, NonFiction

Haunted Ozarks by Janice Tremeear, 156 pages, read by Janet, on 08/28/2013

Haunted Ozarks     We live in an area of the Ozarks that has a very interesting history.  Some people who lived here before are not content to be forgotten.  The lay of the land is so varied that many types of living arrangements have developed through the years. From the earliest man living here, about 10,000 BC, to the present, many groups of people have had experiences that have left a busy history in this region – the Mound Builders, the Baldknobbers, and the Jessie James gang, to name a few.  There have also been happenings that involved many people, such as the Civil War and the Trail of Tears.  It seems that when some people die untimely, their spirit remains in that area.  Many stories are Indian legends.    Every county has at least one place where the restless bodies are known to be seen or heard, things are moved, or one feels the presence of another body.  Many homes are named in this story: Ha Ha Tonka, Leeper Mansion near Chillicothe, Houston House at Newburg, the Iberia Academy, the Kendrick House at Carthage, and Ozark Avalon were a few.  There are also many castle-like homes which have haunted legends.  Along with the stories are old sayings and superstitions listed.  This is a very interesting book with lots of historic information.

28. August 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fantasy, Fiction, Paranormal, Tammy, Teen Books · Tags:

Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle # 1) by Maggie Stiefvater, 409 pages, read by Tammy, on 08/28/2013

Blue is the teen daughter of a psychic and has grown up in a house of women all with different psychic abilities but she doesn’t have any powers except to boost the powers of anyone she’s around. She’s fine with that but sometimes she wishes she knew what it felt like to see and feel something magical.

She’s also been careful to never fall in love or even kiss a boy or let one kiss her because every psychic she’s ever been too has told her that she will kiss her true love and then he will die. Then on St. Mark’s Eve her mother sends her with a visiting psychic, Neeve to the abandoned church yard to see the “soon to be dead” walk by. She has never seen them herself even though she comes every year with her mother. Her job has always been to boost her mom’s psychic ability and write down the names as her mother says them. But something is different this year and there with Neeve she sees a boy emerge from the darkness and he speaks directly to her. His name is Gansey.

Blue discovers that he is a Raven Boy, one of the student’s attending the local private school, Aglionby. She’s always avoided the raven boys, they can only mean trouble and she could mean trouble for one of them. But she is drawn to Gansey in a way she can’t explain. raven boys

28. August 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Drama, Fiction, Pamela, Romance

The great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, 180 pages, read by Pamela, on 08/21/2013

The great Gatsby is one of the great classics of twentieth-century literature.gg

This exemplary novel of the Jazz Age has been acclaimed by generations of readers. The story of the fabulously wealthy Jay Gatsby and his love for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan, of lavish parties on Long Island at a time when The New York Times noted gin was the national drink and sex the national obsession, it is an exquisitely crafted tale of America in the 1920s.

28. August 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Pamela

One Summer by David Baldacci, 337 pages, read by Pamela, on 08/25/2013

one summerJack, terminally ill and preparing to say goodbye to his family, has a miraculous recovery after his wife is killed in a car accident and struggles to reunite his family at her childhood home on the South Carolina oceanfront.

This was a great story, easy to read, but a clincher toward the end.

28. August 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Mystery, Pamela, Thriller/Suspense

9th Judment by James Patterson, 355 pages, read by Pamela, on 08/20/2013

9th judgmentA young mother and her infant child are ruthlessly gunned down while returning to their car in the garage of a shopping mall. There are no witnesses, and Detective Lindsay Boxer is left with only one shred of evidence: a cryptic message scrawled across the windshield in blood red lipstick.

The same night, the wife of A-list actor Marcus Dowling walks in on a cat burglar who is about to steal millions of dollars worth of precious jewels. In just seconds there is an empty safe, a lifeless body, and another mystery that throws San Francisco into hysteria.

Lindsay spends every waking hour working with her partner Rich–and her desire for him threatens to tear apart both her marriage and the Women’s Murder Club. Before Lindsay and her friends can piece together either case, one of the killers forces Lindsay to put her own life on the line–but is it enough to save the city?

28. August 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Mystery, Pamela, Thriller/Suspense

8th Confession by James Patterson, 361 pages, read by Pamela, on 08/16/2013

8th confessionWhen a preacher with a message of hope for the homeless is found brutally executed, reporter Cindy Thomas knows the story could be huge. Probing deeper into the victim’s history, she discovers he may not have been as saintly as everyone thought…

Rich, beautiful, and powerful, Isa and Ethan Bailey were living in the spotlight as San Francisco’s perfect couple–until they are found dead in their luxurious home.

As the hunt for two criminals tests the skills of the entire Women’s Murder Club, sparks begin to fly between Detective Lindsay Boxer and her partner, Rich Conklin, making it difficult to stay focused on the case. The electrifying new chapter in the Women’s Murder Club series, THE 8TH CONFESSION serves up the mile-a-minute twists that only James Patterson can deliver.

27. August 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Autobiographies, History, Kim, NonFiction · Tags:

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank, 274 pages, read by Kim, on 08/27/2013

It was wonderful to read this book again after so many years.

Discovered in the attic in which she spent the last years of her life, Anne Frank’s remarkable diary has since become a world classic; a powerful reminder of the horrors of war and an eloquent testament to the human spirit. In 1942, with Nazis occupying Holland, a thirteen-year-old Jewish girl and her family fled their home in Amsterdam and went into hiding. For the next two years, until their whereabouts were betrayed to the Gestapo, they and another family lived cloistered in the “Secret Annex” of an old office building. Cut off from the outside world, they faced hunger, boredom, the constant cruelties of living in confined quarters, and the ever-present threat of discovery and death. In her diary Anne Frank recorded vivid impressions of her experiences during this period. By turns thoughtful, moving, and amusing, her account offers a fascinating commentary on human courage and frailty and a compelling self-portrait of a sensitive and spirited young woman whose promise was tragically cut short.

27. August 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Brian, Fiction, Graphic Novel, Horror · Tags:

American Vampire by Scott Snyder, 192 pages, read by Brian, on 08/17/2013

American Vampire is the first in series about a new breed of vampire in America.  This breed is more cunning and vicious compared to most vampires portrayed in literature, hence, they don’t sparkle in the sunlight.  Stephen King wrote this novels with long time graphic novelist Scott Snyder.

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26. August 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Brian, Fiction, Graphic Novel

Batman: The City of Owls Vol. 2 by Scott Snyder, 208 pages, read by Brian, on 08/08/2013

City of Owls in a continuation of the Night of Owls in volume one this Batman series.  The Court of Owls have been in Gotham City from the very beginning of Gotham’s existence.  Their power is something Batman has not really seen before and by crippling Batman they have their chance to take over Gotham City by using an elite group of fighter called the Talons.  This book is fasted paced and comes very close to hitting a home run.

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26. August 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Brian, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Horror, Mystery, Paranormal

Joyland by Stephan King, 283 pages, read by Brian, on 08/23/2013

I’ve got the Joy Joy Joy Joy down in Joyland. Where? Down in Joyland.  Stephen King has once again delivered another masterpiece of a short story.  Joyland isn’t scary or sexy but more of a mystery.  Sure there is a ghost a bad guy and a pretty lady but this story has a sweetness to it and heartache as well.  Character development is King’s greatest strength and I thank him for it.  The carnival has always been a fascination with me.  It is mysterious and creepy and even though I’m a rube, I just love the atmosphere of it.

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26. August 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Brian, NonFiction, Science · Tags:

Wolves Unleashed by Andrew Simpson, 216 pages, read by Brian, on 08/16/2013

Wolves Unleashed, is a nonfiction book that takes the reader on an incredible journey into the lives of wolves.  Andrew Simpson is our guide on this journey. Andrew is an animal trainer for Hollywood and his animals have been seen in numerous films.  Besides the story, there are fascinating pictures of the wolves.  This is a must read for anyone who enjoys animals.

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26. August 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Brian, Fiction, Graphic Novel

Hawkeye: My Life As a Weapon Vol. 1 by Matt Fraction, 136 pages, read by Brian, on 08/26/2013

Who is Clint Barton?  Hawkeye, of course, the sharpshooter from the Avengers fold.  Clint doesn’t have special powers, money to build super cool toys, he just has skillz.   In this novel, Clint, with the help of ex-Young Avenger, Kate Bishop is recruited by the S.H.I.E.L.D. to intercept a package before it damages his reputation forever.  The reader is allowed into Clint’s past to see what makes him click.hawkeye

26. August 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fairy Tales and Folklore, Fantasy, Fiction, Kira · Tags: , ,

The Dark Mirror. by Juliet Marillier, 512 pages, read by Kira, on 08/25/2013

the-dark-mirror  Bridei, is taken from his family at age 4 to live with the Pictish druid Briochan, a strict taskmaster.  His education starts at dawn, and ends late into the evening; what he is being educated to be he does Not know, and doesn’t get an answer when he asks.  A fairy infant is left on their doorstep one auspicious night when Briochan is away on travels.bridei__tuala_the_dark_mirror

Bridei names the infant Tuala, and they become close friends.  When Briochan returns, against his better judgement he lets Tuala stay, but makes it clear to her that any mistep, will result in her banishment.

 

This was a very engaging story – {though the first chapter was a little slow}.  I very much enjoyed the tale, and can’t wait to read the next title in the series.

25. August 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Award Winner, Fiction, Science Fiction, Teen Books

Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick, 263 pages, read by Angie, on 08/24/2013

Imagine a love that transcends time; a love that will manifest seven times. That is the story of Eric and Merle or Erik and Melle. The story starts at the end in the year 2073 on the strange island of Blessed when Eric and Merle meet. But this is not the first time they have met; this is the last. We see each previous time as we travel backwards to the beginning. Eric and Merle are always present and always on Blessed Island, but they are not always the same lovers. Sometimes they are brother and sister, sometimes mother and son, sometimes father and daughter and sometimes doomed lovers. We learn their stories in each chapter until we get to the beginning and find out how their doomed love began.

This was an amazing book. The storytelling was pretty much perfect and I really couldn’t put it down. I loved Eric and Merle each time we met them and I really liked that they were not always lovers. Sedgwick explored all the types of love in their seven lives. I like the mystery of the island and its secret side with the dragon orchids which may or may not make you eternally young. I liked that some of the other characters seem to travel through time with our lovers. Their lives are intertwined and doomed to repeat over and over again. I think my favorite story might have been The Painter, but I enjoyed them all. This is a spooky, fascinating love story that will really stick with you.

25. August 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Fiction, Paranormal, Romance, Teen Books

The Archived by Victoria Schwab , 328 pages, read by Angie, on 08/24/2013

Mac is a Keeper; it is her job to patrol the Narrows and return awakened Histories to the Archive. Histories are people who have died (sort of like ghosts but corporeal); the Archive houses all the Histories (sort of like a cross between a graveyard and a library). The Librarians maintain the Archive and send assignments to the Keepers like Mac. Mac inherited her job from her grandpa, Da, who was a Keeper up until his death. She is the youngest Keeper in history and good at her job. Then her brother is tragically killed and her family moves to the Coronado for a fresh start. The Coronado is a dusty, crumbling hotel turned apartments and it seems the site of a tragic past no one wants known. Mac discovers that the history of the Coronado has been tampered with and Histories associated with the Coronado have been changed. Then there is the increase in escaped Histories, the cute, goth Keeper in her territory and the strange young man hanging out in the Narrows. Things do not add up and the more Mac digs the worse things become.

Mac is a tragic figure, full of pain and loss and misery. She lies constantly to protect her job, she misses her little brother and her Da, and she is scared to touch anyone because people are loud with thoughts and feelings that she can hear. I found this story intriguing. I liked the idea of an Archive housing the dead with Librarians able to read them. I’m not sure why this is necessary, but it was interesting. I liked Mac and Wes (the goth Keeper) and how Wes brought a lightness and a sense of fun to Mac’s world. I did think the story moved a little slowly and/or could have been edited down. I liked the mystery but I thought it was drug out too long and the explanation/conclusion was hurried at the end of the book. There is a lot of world-building in this book and Schwab does a great job setting it up. This is the start of a series so I am a little intrigued about where she is going to take it from here.

No Crystal Stair is a mix of fiction and nonfiction. It details the life of Lewis Michaux from birth to death and everything in between. It is written by his great niece. Lewis was born the son of a fish seller in Newport News, Virginia. He was one of 11 children; his mother also had 4 babies die at birth. All the children and the hard work eventually drove her a little crazy. His father was an ambitious and driven man who worked his way up to a successful business. Lewis’s brother Lightfoot became a well-known and successful preacher, who started several churches on the East Coast. Lewis tried many things in his life, some legal some not so legal, before he moved to Harlem and decided to educate the Black community. He believed that if you were ignorant of your history you were just a negro. So he wanted to inform Blacks about who they were and where they came from. He opened his National Memorial African Bookstore in the heart of Harlem. Starting with just five books, he built the store up to a quarter of a million books. All of his books were by Black people and about Black people. The bookstore became the meeting place for people like Malcolm X and others interested in helping the Black Community. Lewis, called the Professor, thought it was his duty to help and educate those around him. His place was a sanctuary, a school, a pulpit and a store. Eventually, the state forced the closure of the store and Lewis died of cancer shortly after. But his legacy lives on in those he helped and the lives he improved.