21. April 2015 · Write a comment · Categories: Contemporary Fiction, Courtney, Teen Books

The Alex Crow by Andrew Smith, 336 pages, read by Courtney, on 03/29/2015

Ariel’s first life was lived somewhere in the Middle East. He had the distinction of being the only survivor in his village when the rebel forces clashed with the military. His path leads him first to a refugee camp and later to a foster home in America. Ariel’s new life is with a family in Sunday, West Virginia. His new father works for a large biotech firm and had found a way of bringing animals back from extinction as evidenced by the family pet: a bionic crow suffering from severe depression named Alex. Ariel and his new brother Max are sent off to a summer camp run by the company their father works for. It probably wouldn’t be so bad if the camp was a normal one. Instead it is a camp designed for technology-addicted teenaged boys, an affliction that affects neither Ariel nor Max. Needless to say, the camp is less than idyllic.
In the meantime, a man named Leonard is slowly making his way across America in a beat-up U-Haul. Leonard suffers from paranoid schizophrenia and consequently finds himself doing the bidding of a voice belonging to Joseph Stalin (his more destructive urges are kept more or less in check by another voice known only as 3-60). Leonard has also managed to get his hands on some nuclear material and has constructed a bomb, which rides cross-country with him in the back of the van. Since being around unstable nuclear material isn’t particularly good for one’s health, Leonard is, quite literally, falling apart.
In between these two narratives are the journals from an ill-fated 19th century Arctic excursion aboard the ship Alex Crow. They tried to find passage through the North before becoming trapped by ice. It doesn’t go well.
All three of these seemingly disparate narratives manage to fit together in Andrew Smith’s newest novel, which, in all honesty, is not the least bit surprising after reading last year’s excellent and unusual Grasshopper Jungle. Not only is this one completely unpredictable, it’s utterly hilarious. It easily captures the tone and character of teenage boys, for better and for worse. The writing is reminiscent of one of my all-time favorite authors, Kurt Vonnegut, which only makes it better in my opinion. My only criticism is that the biotech angle is so similar to that in Grasshopper Jungle that it feels almost derivative. The stakes here aren’t quite as grave in this one either. Still, plenty of food for thought and a thoroughly engaging read.

17. April 2015 · Write a comment · Categories: Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Tammy, Teen Books · Tags:

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, 213 pages, read by Tammy, on 04/16/2015

perks A moving and deeply touching teen novel. Charlie shares his thoughts and feelings with us through diary style writing as he experiences his freshman year of high school. Charlie is a sensitive, naive teen who is unsure how to join in. His English teacher encourages him to get more involved and to work on his writing. With the teacher’s encouragement he makes friends with a couple of seniors and now has a social life. He feels emotions deeply and often internalizes what happens around him including the death of his aunt when he was a child in a car accident. He holds himself responsible. This book does deal with other realities of teen experience including drugs and sex. One of the main characters is also a homosexual but the book presents his story as Charlie’s friend. His being gay is simply part of who he is. None of the topics brought up in the story are treated as taboo, but rather the reader experiences Charlies thoughts and feelings about them and the lessons he learns whether happy or painful ones.

13. April 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction

The Contract by Derek Jeter, 176 pages, read by Angie, on 04/13/2015

The Contract is the first in a planned series of ten by Derek Jeter. It is semi-autobiographical and deals with Derek’s first contract. The contract is between Derek and his parents and it is the set of rules he has to live by in order to attain his goal of being the shortstop for the New York Yankees. His parents are very supportive of his dream, but they have realistic expectations of what he is going to have to do in order to live his dream. In this book, Derek is in 3rd grade and eager to play shortstop during summer baseball. He is disappointed when he is placed on a team where the coach’s son gets the favored spot. Coach Kozlowski not only gives Pete the shortstop position and number 13, but he also ignores Pete’s unsportsmanlike behavior and multiple errors. Derek has to work hard to live up to his contract, respect the coach and his fellow players and do well in school.

This is a better than average middle grade sports story. My one big issue with the book is the fact that the kids are all in 3rd grade. I’m not sure why it has such young characters when all the things that happen seem more like 5th-6th grade situations. All of the baseball stuff seems implausible when the characters are only 8 years old. The kids also don’t talk and act like 8 year olds either. I think the book would have worked better if the kids would have been older. However, if you take away the age of the characters, the situations seem realistic. I also liked that the book doesn’t just focus on play-by-plays of the games, but actually delves into Derek’s life off the field. I think sports fans will enjoy this one even if the readers will be much older than the characters.

10. April 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Contemporary Fiction, Drama, Fiction, Humor, Mariah, Romance

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion, 295 pages, read by Mariah , on 04/04/2015

Don Tillman is a scientist who is socially inept. He does not pick up on social queues and does not hear irony. He is extremely intelligent, though, and moves fairly comfortably through life because he can judge reactions, if not facial expressions, and plan his behavior accordingly. He works at a university and keeps a very specific schedule down to what he eats each night of the week and at what time. He has exactly two friends. His life moves on day by day. Several dating disasters had convinced him that marriage would never be in his future. However, when helping with some research, it suddenly occured to him that a questionnaire, utilized appropriately, might help him find a wife. After an exciting start to the Wife Project, he meets Rosie. She does not fit any of his criteria, but his friend Gene convinces Don to ask her on a date as a “wild card.” After a wonderful evening, Don says goodbye to Rosie feeling that he has enjoyed himself, but not planning on seeing her again because she is unsuitable as a prospective wife. A conversation they had, sticks with Don, though, and he offers to help Rosie search for her father. This becomes the Father Project. Spending time with Rosie becomes one of Don’s favorite activities as the research throws them together and throws off his schedule. Neither Rosie, nor Don, find what they thought they were looking for, but they do find a happy ending.

This is, by far, my favorite book read this year. Don narrates the book, so the reader sees what he is thinking and feeling along the way. When he fails to grasp the implied meanings of important questions, you groan for him. When he bounces back with well thought out plans and decisions, you cheer for him. Written with humor and charm, this will definitely stay at the top of my “feel good’ book list.


08. April 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Madeline

Us by David Nicholls, 400 pages, read by Madeline, on 03/10/2015

‘I was looking forward to us growing old together. Me and you, growing old and dying together.’

‘Douglas, who in their right mind would look forward to that?’

Douglas Petersen understands his wife’s need to ‘rediscover herself’ now that their son is leaving home.

He just thought they’d be doing their rediscovering together.

So when Connie announces that she will be leaving, too, he resolves to make their last family holiday into the trip of a lifetime: one that will draw the three of them closer, and win the respect of his son. One that will make Connie fall in love with him all over again.

The hotels are booked, the tickets bought, the itinerary planned and printed.

What could possibly go wrong?

–from Goodreads.com.

07. April 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Horror, Kira, Poetry · Tags:

Sharp Teeth by Toby Barlow, 312 pages, read by Kira, on 04/05/2015

sharp teeth smed51 images (1)Sharp Teeth is a book about 3 different weredog packs that come into conflict.  It is also the story of Anthony, a dogcatcher, newly in love with one of the unbeknownst to him weredog; and of Peabody a police officer looking into the weird tings happening at the pound.  It is brutal, and has some violent scenes – if you dislike extended torture, just quit reading when Ruiz comes into the picture.

Despite the violence, I really liked the book.  It was 
well written, with little clues about what sharp-teeth-300x264was going to happen next, sprinkled throughout. This is Not my usual fare.

06. April 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction

Watch the Sky by Kirsten Hubbard, 272 pages, read by Angie, on 04/02/2015

Jory’s family is always on the lookout for signs. Signs can be anything and anywhere after all. Jory’s stepfather Caleb is always talking about signs and being ready. Jory’s mother believes in Caleb because he saved her from her previous life. Part of Caleb’s plan is to make sure they have as little contact with other people as possible and that the kids know they can’t trust officials or what others say. Jory has been homeschooled his whole life until this year. Caleb thinks sending Jory to school will help keep them off the radar. Jory’s mom still homeschools Kit, who came to live with them a few years ago when they found her in the pumpkin patch, and baby Ansel. Caleb finally reveals that the plan to save the family is to dig a bunker in the canyon behind the house. So every night the entire family digs and digs and digs. Because he is getting so little sleep Jory’s school work starts to suffer and he starts to question Caleb’s plans.

I am not sure what to think of this book. I really enjoyed the premise, but really disliked the ending of the book. I am kind of fascinated by survivalists and doomsday preppers. Part of me wants to be prepared too, but the other part of me thinks they are all crazy like Caleb. This is a book about family, but it is also about a family with a lot of mental illness issues. Caleb is clearly suffering from some type of PTSD from his days as a soldier. Jory’s mom doesn’t want to leave the house and suffers from migraines. Kit doesn’t speak and we have no idea what happened that led her to the pumpkin patch. Jory seems fairly normal but he is dealing with a lot. So that part was a fascinating look at a dysfunctional family. I think I would have been all for this book, but the ending soured it for me. It is just too abrupt and offers no conclusion for our characters. We don’t know what happens to any of them and we don’t find out anything about Kit’s backstory. I wanted more when I finished reading and wasn’t satisfied with the crumbs I received.

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley.

01. April 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Contemporary Fiction, Drama, Fiction, Literary Fiction, Multicultural Fiction, Noelle

The Story Hour by Thrity Umrigar, 317 pages, read by Noelle, on 03/12/2015

This novel explores the interpersonal dynamics and consequences brought about by an unlikely friendship between two women from vastly different walks of life and cultural backgrounds. Lakshmi is a recent immigrant from rural India who finds herself isolated and depressed in a country she struggles to understand while also struggling in an unhappy arranged marriage to an emotionally abusive man. A series of circumstances leads Lakshmi into the care of Maggie, an accomplished African American psychologist who is well established and known for her professionalism. As their therapy sessions progress, Maggie becomes increasingly compassionate towards Lakshmi’s struggles. Maggie is drawn (along with the reader) into the vibrant stories Lakshmi tells about life in her village in India. The women also come to realize they share deep bond as both suffered the loss of their mother at a young age. Soon the boundary lines between patient and doctor become blurred. As their friendship develops, Maggie empowers Lakshmi to realize her potential, despite worry over the ethicality of their relationship as patient and doctor. Just as their relationship seems at its most positive and productive, the plot twists unexpectedly. When unseemly truths from both women are revealed, the consequences are detrimental and challenge the women’s perceptions and acceptance of one another.
As a reader, I especially enjoyed the depth of character development and the author’s ability to weave life truths and human complexity into the story from both Maggie and Lakshmi’s perspective. I found Lakshmi’s narration rich and engaging, although the author’s choice to write in broken English might be a hurdle for some readers. I can see how the author meant the ending of the novel to complete a circle in Lakshimi’s narrative. However, to me the resolution felt abrupt and untethered, leaving the reader and characters with uncertain absolution. In any case, I thought the book was well written and I particularly relished the author’s exploration of storytelling and emotional intricacies in human relationships.

31. March 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Multicultural Fiction

Saving Kabul Corner by N.H. Senzai, 288 pages, read by Angie, on 03/29/2015

This is a companion novel to Shooting Kabul, but you don’t have to read that book to enjoy this one. Ariana’s family owns Kabul Corner, the Afghanistan grocery store in Wong Plaza. They are crushed when a rival store opens across the plaza. Not only is Pamir Market a new store, but it is run by a rival family from Afghanistan. When both stores are vandalized, Ariana and her friends realize neither of the families did it. So Ariana, her cousin Laila, friend Miriam and frenemy Wali investigate and uncover who is really behind the sabotage.

I really enjoy books about different cultures and I haven’t read much about Afghanistan. I liked the mix of people who had immigrated years before, people born in America and recent immigrants. It gives the reader a nice mix to the story’s of the characters. I also liked the fact that the families were a nice multi-generational mix. I thought the mystery was a bit far-fetched but maybe that was just the fact that the kids solved it without adult help. It did make me want to read the first book which is about Miriam however.

31. March 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction

Cute as a Button by Chloe Taylor, Nancy Zhang (Illustrations), 176 pages, read by Angie, on 03/30/2015

Zoey is running out of her prize money and needs to think of a way to make more money so she can buy more fabric. When her Aunt Lulu drops off Draper the dog she has a brainstorm. She makes an adogable doggie outfit for Draper and decides to start a business selling it. Her brother and dad help her set up a funding project online and things go great. Zoey is also dealing with the fact that her dad has started dating and one of her friends is feeling left out. When Draper dies things seem awfully sad, but Lulu gets a new dog Buttons who everyone loves just like Draper.

This was a cute if not stellar book. Zoey goes through a lot of things that other kids her age have to deal with. Of course most middle schoolers don’t start their own businesses or win national contests. I liked the dog part of the story a lot, but the rest of it seemed to get a bit much for me; or maybe just not enough.

29. March 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction

Win or Lose by Alex Morgan, 160 pages, read by Angie, on 03/28/2015

The Kicks are the middle school girls’s soccer team and they are headed for the championship. Devin is the seventh grade co-captain and new in town. Things get heated on the team when Devin is misquoted in the local paper. Suddenly it is is seventh graders against eighth graders and the team is not working together just when they really need to. I’m not a huge fan of sports stars writing books, mainly because the majority of them do not write well and it seems like they get published just because of their name. This book wasn’t terrible but it wasn’t anything spectacular either. There are some good lessons about friendship and teamwork in the book. There aren’t a lot of girls sports book so this does fill a need.

29. March 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Mystery

Absolutely Truly by Heather Vogel Frederick, 368 pages, read by Angie, on 03/28/2015

Truly Lovejoy comes from a long line of Lovejoys. When her father is injured in Afghanistan and loses his arm, the family picks up and moves to his hometown in New Hampshire. JT can’t be a pilot with only one arm and his injury has turned him into Silent Man. Truly misses her joking father and feels like she is invisible in her family of seven. It doesn’t help that her math grades are bad and she has to be tutored by her dad before he will let her join the swim team.

JT and his sister True have taken over the family bookstore, Lovejoy’s Books, while their parents join the Peace Corp. Truly isn’t thrilled with leaving Texas or her best friend. In Pumpkin Falls, she tries to go into stealth mode, but being 6-feet tall and new in a small town she definitely stands out. She is soon friends with Lucas and Cha Cha and solving a 20-year-old mystery. While helping out in the shop she finds an unmailed letter in a first edition of Charlotte’s Web. The clues in the letter lead the friends allover Pumpkin Falls and introduces them to a lot of interesting characters around town.

I really enjoy small town books with quirky characters and Pumpkin Falls seems to have its share. There is the busybody postmistress, the bag lady who seems to carry kittens in every pocked and the helicopter mom who can’t seem to let Lucas grow up. Pumpkin Falls also has a winter festival and a required cotillion for the middle schoolers. Then there is the frozen waterfalls and the fact that the town was founded by a Lovejoy. It all adds up to an interesting story. I liked the fish-out-of-water aspect of Truly’s tale and the fact that her dad is a wounded warrior. I thought the mystery aspect wasn’t that interesting and didn’t really add much to the story; however, the rest of it was really entertaining and a fun read.

29. March 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction

Fly Away by Patricia MacLachlan, 108 pages, read by Angie, on 03/28/2015

Lucy and her family are heading to Aunt Frankie’s farm. It is flood time when the river rises and they are going to help her aunt. Lucy is the odd duck in her musical family. She is the only one who can’t sing. Even her little brother Teddy who doesn’t talk can hum in perfect tune. Lucy wants to be a poet. She likes writing poetry, but doesn’t know if she is good enough and hides her poems from her family. She also hides the fact that Teddy sings to her every night. He doesn’t talk or sing to anyone but her. On Frankie’s farm Teddy starts speaking more and more starting when he says cow. As the river rises the family learns each other’s secrets and works together.

I wasn’t expecting to like this book as much as I did. It is a perfect beginning chapter book: short, simple language and a powerful story. I really enjoyed Lucy and her family, especially her relationship with Teddy. I like stories with close families and good relationships. My one quibble might be that the kids are all a bit too perfect. Teddy is two but says big words and sings in perfect tune. Middle sister Gracie draws really well. And of course Lucy writes wonderful poetry. I think it would have been just as powerful a story if the kids weren’t quite as special.

29. March 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction

The Map Trap by Andrew Clements, 144 pages, read by Angie, on 03/28/2015

Alton has loved maps since he was a baby. He draws maps, collects maps, wears maps and does geocaching. One day he takes his folder of secret maps to school to impress Quint. Big mistake. The folder of maps disappears and Alton starts getting ransom notes. He has to figure out who has his maps before they get all over school. His secret maps are like regular maps; they map things like Ms. Wheeling’s mind and the heights of the sixth grade and the smells of the school. If they get out people’s feelings could get hurt. This is a nice, short book for those readers who like a little gentle mystery. I really appreciated the creativity of Alton’s maps, but I got a bit irritated by Quint’s slang (it was a bit much). Good teacher interactions as well.

28. March 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Kira, Teen Books, Teen Books · Tags:

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart., 240 pages, read by Kira, on 03/25/2015

16143347  we-were-liars-mapSilhouettes of people jumping in oceantumblr_mxk4emjTkt1sm095go1_500tumblr_n5ohe5tCLG1sm095go1_500 Cadence suffered a terrible accident on her families summer vacation island at age 15.  It is 2 years later, and she is finally allowed to return to the family vacation home, to be with her cousins and family, and to try and retrieve her memories about what happened.   I’m reading this for a book-group I belong to.   I advise you to skip the reviews – you will enjoy it the book that much more.  I  liked the ending!

26. March 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction

The Missing Pieces of Me by Jean Van Leeuwen, 226 pages, read by Angie, on 03/25/2015

Weezie’s momma says she is a bad kid. Nothing she does ever seems to come out right whether it is making her momma tea or cooking dinner or picking flowers. Momma dotes on Ruth Ann and Jackson, but has nothing good to say to Weezie. Momma also doesn’t talk about Weezie’s daddy. She won’t even say his name or tell Weezie anything about him other than that he was a bad guy. Weezie wonders if finding her daddy would make any difference in her life. She has very little to go on: just a photo with a first name. She enlists the help of her friends Calvin and Louella to help her figure it out.

Weezie’s story seems to be one of heartbreak and loss, but on closer inspection it is one of hope and determination. Weezie is beaten down at every turn, by her momma and by some of her classmates. She doesn’t let that drag her down though. She is positive in spite of everything. She is an artist with true talent and is recognized by her teacher if not by her momma. She is a good friend to Luella and Calvin even when her momma tries to stop her from being their friend. She is a good big sister to Ruth Ann and Jackson even though her momma never recognizes her efforts. And she is a good daughter despite her momma’s indifference. I appreciate the fact that while the ending is hopefully it is not necessarily a happy ending. It is realistic in that momma has not made a big change in her attitude and Weezie’s homelife is still very much the same as it was. Sure she knows who her daddy is, but that has not really changed her circumstances. The Missing Pieces of Me is a wonderful story that I highly recommend.

26. March 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction

Lulu's Mysterious Mission by Judith Viorst, Kevin Cornell (Illustrator), 185 pages, read by Angie, on 03/25/2015

Lulu’s parents are going on vacation without Lulu. She is NOT happy about it and is even more unhappy when she learns they are leaving her with a babysitter. She tries everything she can think of to get rid of Sonia Sofia Solinsky, including introducing cats to the highly allergic babysitter, sneaking out the window and blockading herself in her room. It doesn’t matter what she does, Solinsky is always one step ahead of her. After the blockade is destroyed Solinsky lets it slip that she is actually a spy. Of course, Lulu wants to be a spy as well and begs Solinsky to train her. Solinsky demands obedience and once Lulu is on board she has a much better time with her babysitter. The only problem is that her parents missed her so much they are determined to never leave her again. That will not do! Lulu then has to convince them to keep taking vacations so she can have Sonia Sofia Solinsky keep training her. I really enjoyed Lulu’s third outing. This series is very tongue-in-cheek funny. I really enjoy the interjections of the author, which didn’t seem quite as plentiful as they were in other books. However, I liked this story and how Solinsky tames Lulu. I think Lulu fans will enjoy this one as much as the others.

23. March 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Teen Books · Tags: , ,

Everybody Sees the Ants by A.S. King, 279 pages, read by Angie, on 03/20/2015

Lucky Linderman isn’t lucky at all. When his grandma died she asked him to find his grandpa. Problem is grandpa was a POW in Vietnam and never came home. Lucky has been dreaming about rescue missions to save his grandpa ever since. Lucky is also being bullied by a horrible kid named Nadar McMillan. Nadar is one of those kids that every kid knows to avoid, but all the adults love. It doesn’t help that his father is a sue-happy lawyer. Nadar started bullying Lucky by peeing on his shoes when he was seven and hasn’t stopped. Lucky’s parents know he is being bullied, but can’t seem to find the energy or the drive to do something about it. His dad is a chef, works all the time and only wants to talk food when he is home. Dad has been so traumatized by growing up without a dad that he can’t seem to become one himself. Mom spends all her time in the pool swimming laps to avoid her unhappy marriage and her unhappy child.

It is not until Nadar physically harms Lucky so that others can see that mom finally does something. She doesn’t call the police or Nadar’s father; she takes Lucky and leaves. They head to Arizona and her brother’s house (mainly because it has a pool). Things seem to be looking up there. Lucky is bonding with his uncle and lifting weights and he meets a girl who helps build up his confidence in himself. Only problem is that the aunt is CRAZY. She is positive Lucky is suicidal and keeps wanting to help him in her own inept way. In Arizona Lucky learns some truths about himself and his family and starts to gain the confidence he needs to stand up to Nadar.

This is a book that might not be for everyone, but if you stick with it you are going to be rewarded. A.S. King always seems to write about the misfit characters who come into their own in her books. Like her other characters, Lucky is a real kid with real problems. He is picked on and bullied and misunderstood. Sure he dreams about rescuing his grandpa from the jungle prisons of Vietnam and sure he has a chorus of ants who offer commentary on his life, but that doesn’t make him crazy. In fact, the dreams and the ants help him work through what is going on around him. The ants offer a bit of light-heartedness to an otherwise fairly dark story.

18. March 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Children's Books, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Lisa

The Truth About Twinkie Pie by Kat Yeh, 352 pages, read by Lisa, on 03/18/2015

Take two sisters making it on their own: brainy twelve-year-old GiGi (short for Galileo Galilei, a name she never says out loud) and junior-high-dropout-turned-hairstylist DiDi (short for Delta Dawn). Add a million dollars in prize money from a national cooking contest and a move from the trailer parks of South Carolina to the Gold Coast of New York. Mix in a fancy new school, new friends and enemies, a first crush, and a generous sprinkling of family secrets.
That’s the recipe for The Truth About Twinkie Pie, a voice-driven middle grade debut about the true meaning of family and friendship.

From Goodreads.com.

At first I didn’t like this because there was too much telling, not enough showing, but about halfway through it finally hooked me and held me to the end. It had some pretty good recipes in it too.

12. March 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Mystery, Teen Books · Tags: , ,

The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die by April Henry, 213 pages, read by Angie, on 03/10/2015

Cady wakes up on the floor of a cabin with no memory of who she is or why she is there. She hears someone talking about “taking care” of her and knows she needs to find a way to escape. What follows is Cady’s race to find out who she is and why these guys want to kill her. She faces danger along the way, but she also finds help from unexpected sources. She meets Ty at a McDonalds and he immediately sets out to help her find out what is going on even though the men chasing her seem to be closing in on her. They do eventually find out who Cady is, but the bad guys seem to have created a smear campaign where she is either crazy or a murderer or a crazy murderer.

I enjoy April Henry’s books and had the pleasure of meeting her last year at a conference. She writes fast-paced mysteries that suck the reader in to the very end. Cady’s story was certainly intriguing. You had no idea what was going on. Was she an escaped mental patient? Was she a murderer? Or was she just an innocent girl caught up in something beyond her control? I liked the relationship between Ty and Cady and was glad that it didn’t get all romantic right from the start which would have ruined the believability of the story. I did find the revelations at the end maybe just a bit too out there, but it made for great storytelling and an enjoyable read.

2015-16 Truman Award Nominee.