26. November 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Adult Books, Drama, Fiction, Noelle

Sleepwalking by Meg Wolitzer, 215 pages, read by Noelle, on 11/23/2014

So, I like Meg Wolitzer and thought I’d give her first novel a go.  

Published when she was only twenty-three and written while she was a student at Brown, Sleepwalking marks the beginning of Meg Wolitzer’s acclaimed career.  Filled with her usual wisdom, compassion and insight, Sleepwalking tells the story of the three notorious “death girls,” so called on the Swarthmore campus because they dress in black and are each absorbed in the work and suicide of a different poet: Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, and Wolitzer’s creation Lucy Asher, a gifted writer who drowned herself at twenty-four.  At night the death girls gather in a candlelit room to read their heroines’ work aloud.https://p.gr-assets.com/200x200/scale/books/1347380170/1058274.jpg

But an affair with Julian, an upperclassman, pushes sensitive , struggling Claire Danziger—she of the Lucy Asher obsession-–to consider to what degree her “death girl” identity is really who she is.  As she grapples with her feelings for Julian, her own understanding of herself and her past begins to shift uncomfortably and even disturbingly. Finally, Claire takes drastic measures to confront the facts about herself that she has been avoiding for years.

25. November 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Paula · Tags:

The Art of Racing In The Rain by Garth Stein, 321 pages, read by Paula, on 11/23/2014

enzo

Nearing the end of his life, Enzo, a dog with a philosopher’s soul, tries to bring together the family, pulled apart by a three year custody battle between daughter Zoe’s maternal grandparents and her father Denny, a race car driver.

 

A truly touching and moving story.  I fell in love with Enzo about 2 pages in! I cried.  Repeatedly.  Loved this book!

 

 

25. November 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Contemporary Fiction, Drama, Fiction, Literary Fiction, Noelle, Paranormal

Rooms by Lauren Oliver, 320 pages, read by Noelle, on 11/06/2014

Wealthy Richard Walker has just died, leaving behind his country house full of rooms packed with the detritus of a lifetime. His estranged family, bitter ex-wife Caroline, troubled teenage son Trenton, and unforgiving daughter Minna, have arrived for their inheritance. But the Walkers are not alone. Prim Alice and the cynical Sandra, long dead former residents bound to the house, linger within its claustrophobic walls.

24. November 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Jessica, Romance

Raven's Seduction by M.T. Stone, 222 pages, read by Jessica, on 11/24/2014

81rq9ZnyJyL._SL1500_All I wanted, was to add some excitement to my boring life…

The way it was explained, it seemed too good to pass up. Then I met Gunner… he was definitely too good to pass up.

It won’t hurt to give it a try. I can always walk away. Or so I thought.

What is he doing here? He tried to ruin my life once before.

I guess walking away is no longer an option.

This was all an elaborate trap and there is only one way out. It’s time to be strong.

I wish I could have my boring life back.

23. November 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Kim, Romance, Thriller/Suspense

Simon says die by Lena Diaz, 416 pages, read by Kim, on 11/23/2014

Madison McKinley knows someone is stalking her. The police tell her she’s imagining things, and they’re too busy trying to find the “Simon Says” killer to investigate. But day by day, hour by hour, Madison’s terror grows stronger, and not even the return of FBI Special Agent Pierce Buchanan into her life can calm her fears. Besides, how can she ask Pierce for his help after the way she ended things between them?

Pierce still wants Madison’s love, and his drive to protect her is more powerful than ever. He believes she’s in danger, even if the cops don’t. Finally, as more people start dying and the evidence mounts, the police turn their attention to Madison—as a suspect. Was Pierce a fool to trust her again, or are they both caught in a complex game that neither will survive?

23. November 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Melody, Romance, Thriller/Suspense

Explosive attraction by Lena Diaz, 288 pages, read by Melody, on 11/23/2014

Detective Rafe Morgan knew that, as a psychologist, Darby Steele was used to people coming to her in need. But now she was the one in danger. A serial killer had made her a pawn in a sick game, sending her photos of his targets with clocks counting down. As a part-time bomb technician, Rafe was uniquely capable of keeping Darby safe. Usually psychologists rubbed Rafe the wrong way, but when it came to Darby, his urge to protect and serve went way beyond the badge. Getting to know the beautiful doctor had opened Rafe’s eyes and his heart. But if their elusive bomber had his way, Rafe would never get a chance to prove just how far he’d go to keep Darby alive.

23. November 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Melody, Romance, Thriller/Suspense

Her dying breath by Rita Herron, 350 pages, read by Melody, on 11/23/2014

Journalist Brenda Banks is on the verge of the biggest story of her career—if she can stay alive long enough to finish it. A serial killer is targeting men in the small town of Slaughter Creek, leaving behind a twisted trail of clues meant only for Brenda. It’s a dangerous, deadly game, one she cannot master without the help of FBI Special Agent Nick Blackwood, the man she’s loved since high school—and whose tormented past could hold the key to catching a killer.

Nick Blackwood barely survived childhood at the hands of his father, a sadistic mastermind known as the Commander. Since he left town, he’s spent his life chasing criminals—and trying to forget the beauty he once loved. But when a murder investigation brings him face-to-face with Brenda Banks, Nick cannot ignore the smoldering fire she rekindles in his troubled soul. Allowing Brenda into his heart means letting down his guard—and that’s just what the killer is counting on…

23. November 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Kim, Romance, Thriller/Suspense

He kills me he kills me not by Lena Diaz, 368 pages, read by Kim, on 11/22/2014

Four years ago, Amanda Stockton was forced to play a serial killer’s twisted game of chance. Since then, she has retreated from the world, bearing the scar from her ordeal and the burden of a terrible secret. But when another woman is found dead, clutching a long-stemmed red rose, Amanda knows she can hide no longer.

If there were any other way, Chief Logan Richards would never ask the only surviving victim for help. But it’s clear this killer will not be stopped and Amanda is the only link. Torn between catching a madman and winning the trust of the woman he’s come to love, Logan is caught in a dangerous game with Amanda. And there’s no guarantee they’ll come out on top.

22. November 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Katy, Mystery

Invisible City by Julia Dahl, 295 pages, read by Katy, on 11/17/2014

Dahl_1024x1024“Just months after Rebekah Roberts was born, her mother, an Hasidic Jew from Brooklyn, abandoned her Christian boyfriend and newborn baby to return to her religion. Neither Rebekah nor her father have heard from her since. Now a recent college graduate, Rebekah has moved to New York City to follow her dream of becoming a big-city reporter. But she’s also drawn to the idea of being closer to her mother, who might still be living in the Hasidic community in Brooklyn. Then Rebekah is called to cover the story of a murdered Hasidic woman. Rebekah’s shocked to learn that, because of the NYPD’s habit of kowtowing to the powerful ultra-Orthodox community, not only will the woman be buried without an autopsy, her killer may get away with murder.”

It was tough to put this one down! A great debut novel and good read for Gillian Flynn fans.

21. November 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Jessica, Romance

What If by Rebecca Donovan, 352 pages, read by Jessica, on 11/20/2014

91gey6FQqFL._SL1500_What if you had a second chance to meet someone for the first time?
Cal Logan is shocked to see Nicole Bentley sitting across from him at a coffee shop thousands of miles from their hometown. After all, no one has seen or heard from her since they graduated over a year ago.

Except this girl isn’t Nicole.

She looks exactly like Cal’s shy childhood crush, but her name is Nyelle Preston and she has no idea who he is. This girl is impulsive and daring, her passion for life infectious. The complete opposite of Nicole. Cal finds himself utterly fascinated-and falling hard. But Nyelle is also extremely secretive. And the closer he comes to finding out what she’s hiding, the less he wants to know.

When the secrets from the past and present collide, one thing becomes clear: Nothing is what it seems.

21. November 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Tammy, Teen Books

Where she Went by Gayle Forman, 264 pages, read by Tammy, on 11/17/2014

where she wentThe sequel to If I Stay, the story starts three years after the last book. This time the story is told entirely from Adam’s point of view as well. Adam is still dealing emotionally with what happened after Mia’s accident. The story tells how he is coping (or not) with his band’s sudden fame and his own popularity in the midst of his sadness and anger. A moving work that has a lovely ending.

 

21. November 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Romance, Thriller/Suspense

Dying to tell by Rita Herron, 354 pages, read by Melody, on 11/20/2014

What happened to Sadie Nettleton’s twin sister at the psychiatric hospital all those years ago?

Sadie Nettleton fled Slaughter Creek ten years ago, leaving behind the only home she’d ever known—and the only man she ever loved. Unable to cope with her sister’s madness, or the terrible secret she and her sister share, Sadie swore never to return. But when her grandfather is murdered, and her sister charged with the crime, Sadie has no choice but to come back and face the ghosts of the past…

For Sheriff Jake Blackwood, time has not dimmed the love he felt for Sadie Nettleton—or the pain of her leaving. Now that she’s back, he’s determined to help her uncover the truth about her grandfather’s death and what happened to her sister at the asylum. As their investigation leads them deeper into a world of secrets, lies, and betrayal in Slaughter Creek, Sadie becomes the target of a madman who will do anything to keep the truth buried. Jake would give his life to protect Sadie. But can he again risk giving her his heart?

20. November 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris Grabenstein, 304 pages, read by Angie, on 11/19/2014

Alexandriaville has been without a public library for 12 years. Luigi Lemoncello is a famous inventor of games and puzzles who grew up in Alexandriaville. He has turned the old bank into the most amazing library ever and in order to celebrate its opening he holds a contest for 12-year-olds. The winning twelve 12-year-olds get to attend a lock-in at the library. It turns out to be more than a lock-in though. The library is full of games and puzzles the kids have to solve in order to find the way out of the library. The winners get to be Lemoncello’s spokesperson. Kyle is one of the twelve lucky kids selected to participate in the lockin. He is a huge fan of Mr. Lemoncello’s games and does a great job with all the challenges in the library. He is joined by other kids from school, some friends some not. The kids eventually pair up into two teams to solve all the puzzles. The other team is headed by Charles who is your typical bad guy with a superiority complex. The kids learn how to operate within the library and how to be true to Lemoncello’s dream for the perfect library space.

This book is a librarian’s dream book full of puzzles that require library knowledge to solve. The kids learn about the dewey decimal system and how the library is set up. The games are tricky using books and rebuses and library cards. The library itself is more wondrous than any library could ever be. I love how the characters are constantly referencing book titles; you could create a pretty good reading list from the titles listed in these pages. My only complaint was the characters. They are all pretty stereotypical with little depth. I think this is a book kids will gravitate towards though…who doesn’t love puzzles!

20. November 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, Fiction, Graphic Novel

El Deafo by Cece Bell, 233 pages, read by Angie, on 11/20/2014

El Deafo is a semi-autobiographic account of the author’s childhood. Cece started out as a normal kid, but at age four she got meningitis and lost her hearing. This fabulous graphic novel details Cece’s struggles with different hearing aids, friends, boys, school and everything else kids have to deal with. Cece was able to hear and speak before she became ill so she still retained some ability after losing her hearing. She was able to manage day to day life by learning to read lips and wearing a hearing aid. The book does a wonderful job of describing Cece’s difficulties in making or keeping friends. Some of the kids thought she was weird because she was deaf, some over compensated and treated her differently, and a few were actual friends. In order to overcome her difficulties, Cece created a superhero alter-ego named El Deafo, which the author also did in real life. El Deafo could do all the things Cece couldn’t do. I was definitely reminded of Smile while reading this book. Bell does an excellent job of recreating her childhood and making it accessible to young readers. Like Telgemeier’s Smile and other books, I think this one is going to be really popular.

19. November 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, Fantasy, Fiction

The Iron Trial by Cassandra Clare and Holly Black, 295 pages, read by Angie, on 11/19/2014

Call Hunt is probably the only kid who ever tried to fail at getting into the Magisterium. Call’s father is a mage so Call knows about magic, but his father hasn’t done any magic since Call was a baby. Call’s mom was killed in the last mage war, leaving only a note that said to kill the child. Despite all his efforts Call does get into mage school and is whisked off to be an apprentice for the most prestigious mage Master Rufus. Along with Tamara and Aaron, Call studies magic and learns to fit in at school. There are the typical school situations, Jasper the Bully, Celia the Crush, Drew the Bullied and of course the unspeakable evil who wants to destroy everything. Call is also given more information about how his mother died, what his father actually thinks of him and the truth behind his background. The last is a pretty big shocker that is definitely going to play out in future books.

I admit that I thought this book was a bit of a chore to get through. The comparisons to Harry Potter are plentiful and this book just doesn’t compare in terms of story and quality. Call is definitely no Harry. In fact, he is an obnoxious brat a lot of the time and not the easiest character to root for. A lot of the other characters just seemed one dimensional and under-developed. The world building is decent, but I thought the magic and the previous wars could have been fleshed out a bit. It is set in the modern real world, but it doesn’t really explain how magic interacts with the world. It seems that normal people don’t know about magic yet there are all these chaos animals out there and there have been a lot of mage wars. Not sure how they keep all that from the general public. This is the beginning of a five-part series; not sure I’ll read the rest but I do hope it improves.

18. November 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Lisa, Teen Books

Althea & Oliver by Cristina Moracho, 366 pages, read by Lisa, on 11/18/2014

What if you live for the moment when life goes off the rails—and then one day there’s no one left to help you get it back on track?

Althea Carter and Oliver McKinley have been best friends since they were six; she’s the fist-fighting instigator to his peacemaker, the artist whose vision balances his scientific bent. Now, as their junior year of high school comes to a close, Althea has begun to want something more than just best-friendship. Oliver, for his part, simply wants life to go back to normal, but when he wakes up one morning with no memory of the past three weeks, he can’t deny any longer that something is seriously wrong with him. And then Althea makes the worst bad decision ever, and her relationship with Oliver is shattered. He leaves town for a clinical study in New York, resolving to repair whatever is broken in his brain, while she gets into her battered Camry and drives up the coast after him, determined to make up for what she’s done.

Their journey will take them from the rooftops, keg parties, and all-ages shows of their North Carolina hometown to the pool halls, punk houses, and hospitals of New York City before they once more stand together and face their chances. Set in the DIY, mix tape, and zine culture of the mid-1990s, Cristina Moracho’s whip-smart debut is an achingly real story about identity, illness, and love—and why bad decisions sometimes feel so good.

18. November 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Melody, Romance, Thriller/Suspense

The Marshal's Witness by Lena Diaz, 224 pages, read by Melody, on 11/17/2014

Everyone has secrets. Hers may get them killed.

Breaking protocol and going on the run with a protected witness wasn’t in U.S. Marshal Ryan Jackson’s plans. And even though Jessica Delaney’s testimony nearly put away a crime boss, Ryan can’t afford to trust her. Still, the duty-dedicated marshal will do whatever it takes to protect Jessica and uncover the mole leaking her new identity. But staying seconds ahead of the ruthless killers on their trail is easier than keeping himself safe from Jessica’s unexpected vulnerability and irresistible determination.

Now, as the net around them tightens, Ryan’s deepest loss may be the one danger he never anticipated.

18. November 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Fiction, Jessica, Romance

Letting Go by Molly McAdams, 336 pages, read by Jessica, on 11/17/2014

91tgtfeijzL._SL1500_Grey and Ben fell in love at thirteen and believed they’d be together forever. But three days before their wedding, the twenty-year-old groom-to-be suddenly died from an unknown heart condition, destroying his would-be-bride’s world. If it hadn’t been for their best friend, Jagger, Grey never would have made it through those last two years to graduation. He’s the only one who understands her pain, the only one who knows what it’s like to force yourself to keep moving when your dreams are shattered. Jagger swears he’ll always be there for her, but no one has ever been able to hold on to him. He’s not the kind of guy to settle down.

It’s true that no one has ever been able to keep Jagger—because he’s only ever belonged to Grey. While everyone else worries over Grey’s fragility, he’s the only one who sees her strength. Yet as much as he wants Grey, he knows her heart will always be with Ben. Still they can’t deny the heat that is growing between them—a passion that soon becomes too hot to handle. But admitting their feelings for each other means they’ve got to face the past. Is being together what Ben would have wanted . . . or a betrayal of his memory that will eventually destroy them both?

17. November 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Melody, Romance, Thriller/Suspense

Shattered valor by Elaine Levine, 374 pages, read by Melody, on 11/14/2014

Every step leads her deeper into danger…

Eden Miller has her life arranged exactly as she wants it–until a reunion with her high school BFFs places her in the middle of a turf war with a ruthless prison gang, their terrorist allies, and the hunters tracking them. Her every move draws her deeper into the danger surrounding Ty Bladen and his team of terror fighters, but his seductive charm and engaging smile make her believe his promises of protection.

A secret is a dangerous thing…

When the terrorists Ty Bladen is tracking infiltrate his remote ranch in Wyoming, he learns the past he buried cannot be so easily escaped. Though he’s recovering from a bullet wound he received in Afghanistan and is hunted by an unseen enemy, he knows he can’t leave Eden alone to face the danger swirling around her, danger he and his team have brought to her–even if the has to risk letting her near his frozen heart. But when she learns his terrible secret, will she stay or will she run?

17. November 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Melody, Romance, Thriller/Suspense

Simon says die by Lena Diaz, 416 pages, read by Melody, on 11/15/2014

Madison McKinley knows someone is stalking her. The police tell her she’s imagining things, and they’re too busy trying to find the “Simon Says” killer to investigate. But day by day, hour by hour, Madison’s terror grows stronger, and not even the return of FBI Special Agent Pierce Buchanan into her life can calm her fears. Besides, how can she ask Pierce for his help after the way she ended things between them?

Pierce still wants Madison’s love, and his drive to protect her is more powerful than ever. He believes she’s in danger, even if the cops don’t. Finally, as more people start dying and the evidence mounts, the police turn their attention to Madison—as a suspect. Was Pierce a fool to trust her again, or are they both caught in a complex game that neither will survive?