20. March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Contemporary Fiction, Drama, Fiction, Rachel, Teen Books

Friday Never Leaving by Vikki Wakefield, 322 pages, read by Rachel, on 03/19/2014

In this wrenching, exquisite coming-of-age novel, Friday discovers what makes a family-and a home.

Friday Brown has never had a home. She and her mother live on the road, running away from the past instead of putting down roots. So when her mom succumbs to cancer, the only thing Friday can do is keep moving. Her journey takes her to an abandoned house where a bunch of street kids are squatting, and an intimidating girl named Arden holds court.

Friday gets initiated into the group, but her relationship with Arden is precarious, which puts Friday-and anyone who befriends her-at risk. With the threat of a dangerous confrontation looming, Friday has to decide between returning to her isolated, transient life, or trying to help the people she’s come to care about-if she can still make it out alive.

19. March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, Fiction, Historical Fiction

Brotherhood by A.B. Westrick, 368 pages, read by Angie, on 03/15/2014

This is the story of Richmond, Virginia after the Civil War. The war ended three years prior, but the conflict is no where near done. Shad and his family live in Richmond. One night Shad follows his brother to a Klan meeting and joins the brotherhood. At first he thinks it is all meetings and singing songs and playing pranks, but then things get serious. It doesn’t help that Shad has started teaching colored children how to sew in return for reading lessons. Shad has always thought he was stupid because he couldn’t read, but now he learns that he just switches some letters around and can read after he learns some tricks. Everything changes when the Klan kills his teacher and wants to torch the colored school. Shad has to decide if he is going to stick with the Klan or try and do what is right.

This is a very powerful story that isn’t often heard. You read a lot of books about what happened during the Civil War, but not a lot about reconstruction. You also don’t learn a lot about the poor Southern families who didn’t own slaves and who fought in the war for freedom not slavery. I really enjoyed the rawness of this story and how honest it was in its portrayal. My only quibble, and its a minor one, was the scene where Rachel, the colored teacher, first meets Shad on the street. She is extremely forward with him and doesn’t act anything like a just freed slave would act. During the rest of the book she acts much more restrained. That one scene really stood out to me and felt inaccurate. Other than that the rest of the book seemed like it could have really happened.

19. March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, Contemporary Fiction, Fantasy, Fiction · Tags:

B.U.G. (Big Ugly Guy) by Jane Yolen, Adam Stemple, 328 pages, read by Angie, on 03/16/2014

Sammy Greenburg is bullied at school. He has a smart mouth and can’t seem to help mouthing off to the bullies. He makes friends with new kid Skink who helps a bit with the bullying situation, but isn’t always around. During bar mitzvah lessons he learns about golems. He decides to make a golem to help him out. Gully, the golem, does protect him from the bullies and he becomes his friend. Sammy, Skink and Gully form a band and get a gig performing at school. Of course Sammy’s rabbi tries to warn him about the danger golems can be to those around him. Sammy has to decide what to do about Gully and the bullies.

There are parts of this book I really liked. I liked the lessons on bullying and making friends and making good decisions. However, this was kind of a clunky book to read. It starts with a chapter on golems going crazy in Isreal featuring Sammy’s rabbi. Doesn’t seem to fit with rest of the story except when the rabbi tells the story later to illustrate how dangerous golems can be. I also didn’t buy just how horrible the bullies were. Bullies are of course mean and terrible and they do really bad things, but do most 6th grade bullies try to kill their classmates? I don’t think so. I found it strange that no one questioned Gully’s appearance (which is gray down to his teeth) or the fact that he just shows up and starts going to school nor do they question his disappearance. Even though this book isn’t supposed to be exactly realistic, it has so many realistic elements that the fantastical bits really stood out and didn’t work.

19. March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction

Cheesie Mack Is Running like Crazy! by Steve Cotler, 256 pages, read by Angie, on 03/18/2014

Cheesie Mack is starting 6th grade and middle school. He decides to run for class president, but finds out one of his friends is also running. So they hatch a plan to get Georgie, Cheesie’s best friend elected instead. Cheesie becomes Georgie’s campaign manager. Cheesie also has to contend with his 8th grade sister Goon (June) who wants to sabotage him at every turn.

This is a book for fans of Diary of a Wimpy Kid and books like that. Cheesie is a funny character that I am sure boys will like. The story is fine, but nothing really that special. However, this book isn’t the most fun to read. It makes constant, and I do mean constant, references to the earlier books in the series. And they are not your harmless references, but pitches to make you go out and buy the previous books. It doesn’t tell you what happened but says things like “you can read about that in my other book”. There are also a lot of references to the website in addition to the books. It is super annoying to read these things over and over and over again.

19. March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Mystery, Tracy

Some Lie and Some Die by Ruth Rendell, 181 pages, read by Tracy, on 03/15/2014

A mutilated body found at a rock festival.

In spite of dire predictions, the rock festival in Kingsmarkham seemed to be going off without a hitch, until the hideously disfigured body is discovered in a nearby quarry. And soon Wexford is investigating the links between a local girl gone bad and a charismatic singer who inspires an unwholesome devotion in his followers. Some Lie and Some Die is a devilishly absorbing novel, in which Wexford’s deductive powers come up against the aloof arrogance of pop stardom.

With her Inspector Wexford novels, Ruth Rendell, winner of the Mystery Writers of America Grand Master Award, has added layers of depth, realism and unease to the classic English mystery. For the canny, tireless, and unflappable policeman is an unblinking observer of human nature, whose study has taught him that under certain circumstances the most unlikely people are capable of the most appalling crimes.

19. March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Tracy

Quentins by Maeve Binchy, 368 pages, read by Tracy, on 03/08/2014

Maeve Binchy follows the enormous success of Scarlet Feather with a new book, Quentins, that delivers the hallmark storytelling that has kept her millions of fans happy for more than twenty years.

Is it possible to tell the story of a generation and a city through the history of a restaurant? Ella Brady thinks so. She wants to film a documentary about Quentins that will capture the spirit of Dublin from the 1970s to the present day. After all, the restaurant saw the people of a city become more confident in everything, from their lifestyles to the food that they chose to eat. And Quentins has a thousand stories to tell: tales of love, of betrayal, of revenge; of times when it looked ready for success and of times when it seemed as if it must close in failure.

In Maeve Binchy’s magical new book you will meet new friends and old. The twins from Scarlet FeatherSignora from Evening Class, and Ria from Tara Road all drop by, as do a host of new friends-Mon, the ever-cheerful Australian waitress, and Blouse Brennan, whose simplicity disguises a sharp mind and a heart of gold.

Quentins is presided over by the apparently unflappable Patrick and Brenda Brennan, whose efforts have made the place a legend in the life of Dubliners and visitors alike. But even the Brennans have a story, and a problem, that is hidden from the public gaze.

As Ella uncovers more and more of what has gone on at Quentins, she begins to question the wisdom of capturing it all in a documentary. Are there some stories that are too sacred to be told, some secrets that must be kept? By getting to know the people that pass through the doors of Quentins, Ella has finally gotten to know herself.

19. March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Mystery, Tracy

House of Stone by Barbara Michaels, 384 pages, read by Tracy, on 03/05/2014

When young professor of English Karen Holloway happens on a privately printed volume of verse dating from the early nineteenth century, it’s all in a day’s work. But when a battered manuscript bearing the same mysterious attribution, “Ismene, ” turns up, Karen realizes that it is an important discovery that could be the making of her academic career. Karen immerses herself in a headlong search for the true identity of the unknown author, tracking the provenance of the manuscript to Virginia’s historic Tidewater region. She is not alone in her quest; academic rivals shadow her steps, trying to gain possession of the valuable manuscript, and the locals are more inquisitive about her activities than seems natural. Fortunately, Karen has the help of her eccentric and able mentor, Peggy, whose historical expertise proves to be invaluable. And, as she painstakingly deciphers the crabbed, charred pages, she begins to wonder whether she has the assistance of Ismene herself. Is the tale of Gothic horror that Ismene tells not a novel but a memoir, the very possession of which may jeopardize Karen’s life? Ismene’s legacy calls out from the past, from an eerie world fraught with terrifying impressions of fire and ice that will not die until the painful truths that inhabit houses of stone are revealed.

19. March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Mystery, Tracy

Death of a Policeman by M.C. Beaton, 272 pages, read by Tracy, on 03/01/2014

Local police stations all over the Scottish Highlands are being threatened with closure. This presents the perfect opportunity for Detective Chief Inspector Blair, who would love nothing more than to get rid of Sergeant Hamish Macbeth. Blair suggests that Cyril Sessions, a keen young police officer, visit the town of Lochdubh to monitor exactly what Macbeth does every day. Macbeth hears about Blair’s plan and is prepared to insure that Cyril returns back to headquarters with a full report. But Cyril is soon found dead and Hamish quickly becomes the prime suspect in his murder.

19. March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Melody, Romance

Carter Reed by Tijan, 302 pages, read by Melody, on 03/18/2014

Emma decided to skip the gym and went home early. It was the last easy decision she made because she found her roommate being raped by the boyfriend. She had two choices. Call the cops and be killed by his family’s mafia connections or kill him first and hope to survive. There was no choice to her. She killed the bastard first and went to the one person who could protect her. Carter Reed. He’s a weapon for the rivaling mafia family, but he’s also Emma’s secret. Not only was he best friends with her brother, but she’s the reason he became that weapon in the first place.

19. March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Melody, Romance

Mine to Crave by Cynthia Eden, 280 pages, read by Melody, on 03/17/2014

HE TAKES WHAT HE WANTS.

From the moment that billionaire casino owner Drake Archer sees Jasmine Bennett, he’s obsessed. Consumed by desire for the mysterious redhead, Drake will do anything necessary to claim her. Yet as desire rages between them, danger is stalking ever closer. Drake’s past isn’t dead, and the ex-Special Forces agent will soon have to face the ghosts he left behind.

SHE’S HIDING SECRETS.

Jasmine isn’t who she pretends to be. She’s a woman on a mission—and she’s supposed to be stealing secrets from the mysterious Drake. Falling for him isn’t on her agenda, but when lust and love tangle together, all the rules get broken.

AN ENEMY IS CLOSING IN…

When Drake learns of Jasmine’s betrayal…all hell breaks loose. He knows that he should turn his back on her, but it’s too late for him. He can’t let her go, but he can teach her a lesson. No one betrays him…not without paying a heavy price. Drake will destroy all of the enemies on his trail, he’ll bury his past, and he’ll teach Jasmine to want only him…just as much as he craves her.

19. March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Jessica, Romance

The Ex Games 3 by J.S. Cooper, 74 pages, read by Jessica, on 03/14/2014

The stunning conclusion to The Ex Games novella serial is here!

What other secret is Brandon hiding?

Seven years ago, Katie Raymond made a mistake that cost her the love of her life. Now, Brandon Hastings is back in her life and it seems like he is determined to make her pay for her previous mistakes.

When Katie overhears a private conversation, she has no idea just how deep the secrets go. She gives, Brandon one last chance to prove his love to her, but when he violates her trust one last time, she doesn’t think she can ever forgive him.

But then, Brandon tells her the one thing that is guaranteed to turn her world upside down and she’s not sure if her life will ever be the same again.

19. March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Jessica, Romance

The Ex Games 2 by J.S. Cooper, 64 pages, read by Jessica, on 03/14/2014

Seven years ago, Brandon Hastings and Katie Raymond had a relationship that other couples envied. They loved each other more than anything, but one lie ruined their relationship forever.

Now, Brandon is the CEO of the company that Katie works for and she is finding it hard to be around him without wanting to touch him and be touched by him. Katie gives in to one moment of weakness with Brandon, and he reveals a secret that breaks her heart once again.

Katie is determined that she will not let Brandon break her again and they go back in forth in a mouse and cat game that has them both wondering what’s really going on. Just when Katie thinks she can take no more, one more secret is revealed that will make her question everything she ever thought she knew about Brandon Hastings.

19. March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Jessica, Romance

The Ex Games by J.S. Cooper, 61 pages, read by Jessica, on 03/14/2014

Handsome billionaire, Brandon Hastings was Katie Raymond’s first love. They had a whirlwind romance that captivated her heart and took her on a sexual journey she never wanted to end. Their future together looked bright until Brandon found out that Katie was keeping a huge secret from him. Once he realized the truth, he broke her heart and she never saw him again.

Seven years later, Katie has finally moved on and accepts the position of her dreams at Marathon Corporation as an executive manager. The only problem is, Brandon Hastings bought the business a month after she started working there.

Now Katie has to fly to San Francisco to attend a company-wide orientation and she is scared that Brandon is going to fire her on sight. Little does she know that Brandon has lot more planned for her and this time he’s the one keeping a secret.

19. March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Melody, Romance

Promise me Darkness by Paige Weaver, 368 pages, read by Melody, on 03/14/2014

“He was my darkness and I was his light. We couldn’t exist without each other.”

For me, life was simple. I went to school and studied. I spent time with my friends and stayed out of trouble. I didn’t drink or swear and I only dated gentlemen. I was the typical good girl with a bright future. My world seemed perfect.

But that was about to change.

Ryder Delaney was the one imperfection in my life. He was the bad boy, the black sheep, the one your mother always warned you about. He had only one hard-and-fast rule – Don’t fall in love.

But some rules were meant to be broken.

We were best friends, inseparable since childhood despite our differences. I knew the real man hiding behind the tattoos and bad attitude. He knew all my secrets and dreams. But he didn’t know there was one thing I wanted and couldn’t have…him.

But sometimes Fate has a way of intervening. Soon our world collapsed. War erupted. Darkness prevailed. Alone and on the run, our only goal was to survive and to ignore the feelings we had for each other. But love is powerful…

and so is the darkness.

17. March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Fairy Tales and Folklore, Fiction, Kira · Tags:

The Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman, 325 pages, read by Kira, on 03/15/2014

grimlegElizabeth takes a job at the New York Circulating Materials repository where objects including items from the Grimm tales are loaned out.  However, someone is stealing from the repository and she and her fellow pages investigate.  I really enjoyed the story – its Not perfect, but very entertaining and creative.

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17. March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Humor, Kira, NonFiction

Dave Barry's Greatest Hits by Dave Barry, 287 pages, read by Kira, on 03/14/2014

Dave BarryMore Humor by Dave Barry.  You have to get into the storytelling mode, for Barry’s humor to work, and then it catches you!
I very much enjoyed this book!

 

 

17. March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Sarah, Science Fiction, Teen Books

Allegiant by Veronica Roth, 526 pages, read by Sarah, on 03/04/2014

Ok, so I read Divergent and Insurgent…wonderful…then I read Allegiant.  First, the idea behind it was great.  It starts off right where Insurgent left off and leads into Tris and Four joining a group to find out what is on the other side of the fence surrounding their city.  They discover they are part of an experimental group with genetic implications.  New allies and enemies are made in the compound where they are staying.  I have mixed feelings on this one.  The other two were told from the exclusive point of view of Tris while this one bounced back and forth between Tris and Four.  Sometimes, the continuity was not there to keep up with the story.  Although it was helpful to hear Four’s view, I enjoyed Tris’s storyline better.  Their relationship was tested, and they alternate between loving and fighting.  Overall, it did not live up to my expectations, but it was still pretty good.

17. March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Nikki, Romance

Bound: The Mastered Series by Lorelei James, 401 pages, read by Nikki, on 03/16/2014

BoundÄ-682x1024Former small-town girl Amery Hardwick is living her dream as a graphic designer in Denver, Colorado. She’s focused on building her business, which leaves little time for dating—not that she needs a romantic entanglement to fulfill her. When her friend signs up for a self-defense class as part of her recovery after an attack, Amery joins her for support. That’s where she meets him.

Ronin Black, owner of the dojo, is so drawn to Amery that he takes over her training—in public and in private. The enigmatic Ronin pushes Amery’s boundaries from the start, and with each new tryst, Amery becomes addicted to the pleasure and to him. But when Amery senses Ronin is hiding something, she questions her total trust in him, despite the undeniable thrill of his possession….

15. March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction, Noelle · Tags: , ,

People of the Book: a Novel by Geraldine Brooks, 372 pages, read by Noelle, on 03/03/2014

Inspired by a true story, People of the Book is a novel of sweeping historical grandeur and intimate emotional intensity by an acclaimed and beloved author. Called “a tour de force”by the San Francisco Chronicle, this ambitious, electrifying work traces the harrowing journey of the famed Sarajevo Haggadah, a beautifully illuminated Hebrew manuscript created in fifteenth-century S pain. When it falls to Hanna Heath, an Australian rare-book expert, to conserve this priceless work, the series of tiny artifacts she discovers in its ancient binding-an insect wing fragment, wine stains, salt crystals, a white hair-only begin to unlock its deep mysteries and unexpectedly plunges Hanna into the intrigues of fine art forgers and ultra-nationalist fanatics.

        

 

 

14. March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Judy, Thriller/Suspense

Private #1 Suspect by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro, 382 pages, read by Judy, on 03/13/2014

Private’s Jack Morgan is accused of a horrible murder-and not even his own world-class investigators can prove he didn’t do it.  Since former marine Jack Morgan started Private, the elite investigation firm has been sought out by the famous and powerful to handle their problems.  Private’s detectives are the smartest, fastest, and most technologically advanced in the world-and they always uncover the truth.  But when his former lover is found killed in his bed, Jack instantly becomes the number one suspect.   As the police focus on Jack, the Mob strong-arms him into recovering $ 30 million in stolen pharmaceuticals for them.   And the beautiful manager of a luxury hotel chain persuades him to solve a string of murders at her properties.    Now, while Jack fights for his life, one of his most trusted colleagues threatens to leave Private-and Jack realizes he faces the most clever and powerful enemies ever.