Title: The Agency: A Spy In The House Author: Y. S. Lee Publisher: Candlewick Publication Date: February 2011 Genre: Young Adult Historical Fiction, Mystery Series or Stand Alone: Series, Book One Synopsis can be found here. Review:I will be honest. I was hesitant to read this book. I’m not a big fan of historical Victorian England fiction. Perhaps I haven’t read enough of it, or perhaps what I had read was too dry for my taste. But this book series turned it all around for me. My friend Alethea at Read Now Sleep Later recommended I read it. Thanks to the powers that be that 1. She knows her stuff! And 2. I listened to her. This is one of those books secret gems that isn’t widely known, but my friends who have read it all love it. And what’s not to love? The mystery is rich and thrilling. Mary Quinn herself is multi-layered, full, diverse and complex. And her big secret? Well, I just wish there will be more characters modeled after her in the future! She’s an old soul in a teenager’s body, coming to terms with her past and her future. Facing danger at every turn. And perhaps, falling in love? The love story isn’t the central storyline in the book, which is refreshing in itself. James is a great companion for Mary and their conversations...Read More
Title: State of Wonder Author: Ann Patchett Publisher: Harper Collins Publication Date: June 2011 Genre: Adult Fiction Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone Synopsis can be found here Review: Marina Singh is sent into the unknown, the most remote region of the Amazon, to find her former teacher Dr. Annick Swenson. Dr. Swenson is working on creating a drug for Dr. Singh’s company- a drug that will enable women who are long past menopause to be able to conceive children. A drug that will bring their company millions of dollars. A drug that may be worth more than a life lost along the way. I haven’t read Bel Canto and had nothing to compare this novel to. I’ve heard wonderful things about Patchett’s writing and decided to listen to the audiobook. No one could have read it better than Hope Davis. She brought Marina to life, and made Dr. Swenson into a clear and sometimes even sympathetic character. And I’d like to mention quickly that the cover of the book is beautiful. It caught my eye right away. I loved the contrast between Marina and Dr. Swenson. To be honest, I found Swenson much more interesting than Marina. Marina, for all her good intentions, seemed weak and unsteady. Sure, she was pushed into going to the Amazon for a number of reasons, and the left over baggage between her...Read More
Title: My Name Is Memory Author: Ann Brashares Publisher: RiverheadPublication Date: June 2010Genre: Adult Fiction Series or Stand Alone: Series, Book One Synopsis can be found here. Review: Ann Brashares, best known for her Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants Young Adult series, takes on adult fiction in the first book to this stunning new trilogy. Every lifetime, the love of Daniel’s life is reincarnated into another being, and he must find her. Sometimes, he doesn’t find her until she’s old. Sometimes she’s too young. This time, they are just right. Around the same age and in the same high school, Daniel remembers his past tries over the centuries. But someone from Daniel’s past lurks one step ahead of him, and he is intent on punishing Daniel forever. I had never read Brashares’s other series, but was intrigued by the premise. A love story spanning hundreds of years? Sign me up! The true romantic in me swooned over the glittery cover and the promise of a well-told story. And after having read The Time Traveler’s Wife years ago, this seemed like something I would enjoy. I dove into the lyrical language and beautiful tone of this novel. The heartbreaking history of these characters weighs heavily on Daniel, the only one who remembers all his lives. Daniel is a sturdy and true character. Complex and lonely, his soul relives every loss...Read More
Title: Breathe My Name Author: R.A. Nelson Publisher: RazorbillPublication Date: November 2007 Genre: Young Adult Realistic Fiction Series or Stand Alone: Stand AloneSynopsis can be found here.Review:Realistic fiction becomes physiological thriller in this book. Frances Robinson is a typical high school teenager, but she’s hiding a secret only her family and best friend knows. Years before, she barely escaped her birth mother’s hands. Now her birth mother is out, asking Frances to see her, and to finish what they started. I knew going into it that this book was going to be intense. Nelson’s other book I read, and reviewed, was equally jarring, scary and emotionally explosive. Breathe My Name doesn’t let up for one second. The flashbacks are the most disturbing for me. Traveling back and forth between France’s current life and her former one leaves the reader feeling off balanced. You already know what’s going to happen, and every flashback leads you closer and closer, achingly close until the very end. Meanwhile, the present Frances is doing everything she can to come to terms with what this means to her. With her new boyfriend Nix in tow, they begin a journey that I wasn’t quite sure how it was going to end. Frances is a real, warm character. She has been through a lot, but she doesn’t come across as whiny, annoying or overly dramatic. She’s level...Read More
Title: Maybe This TimeAuthor: Jennifer Crusie Publisher: St. Martin’s Press Publication Date: August 2010 Genre: Adult Romance/Ghost Story Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone Synopsis can be found here. Review: Andie is ready to get married. She’s newly engaged and ready to start over, and forget about her ex husband North Archer. But as she’s severing ties, North pulls her in to babysitting two orphans who are now in North’s care. Andie realizes these two children aren’t acting out from being neglected. Something more sinister is at work and to save the children and herself, she has to uncover what. This is my first Jennifer Cruise book, and as I’m relatively new to the romance genre, I wasn’t sure what to expect. After being enchanted by this story, I went out and read a couple of other books by Cruise. While some reviewers thought this book was a little different from Crusies’s other works, that’s what I liked most about it. (I found Cruise’s other works to be lighter than this story.) There is a lot to like in this story. Andie is a smart and loyal character, just doing her best and trying to stay away from her handsome and emotionally detached ex husband. She’s had enough! But oh, who could really blame her for being pulled back in… North is sexy, standoffish and romantic all in one....Read More
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