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
Title: Five Flavors of DumbAuthor: Antony John Publisher: Dial Publication Date: November 2010 Genre: Young Adult Realistic Fiction Series or Stand Alone: Stand AloneSynopsis can be found here.Review: Through a series of brave choices, Piper offers to manage Dumb, her school’s band that has just won an indie band rock award. She makes the band a deal that she can get them a paying gig in a month. Any other teenager, and this would have been a less interesting story, but Piper is hearing impaired, so an entirely new set of challenges await her. And she’s ready to overcome all of them. This book was recommended to me by various readers, so I’m not going to lie, I had some high hopes. And it lived up to all of them. Piper is a strong but struggling teenager. Her very young sister Grace is also hearing impaired, but Piper and Grace are treated very differently. The emotional rollercoaster Piper endures every night she goes home is heartbreaking. I felt all of Piper’s frustrations and sense of abandonment. Her complicated relationship with her parents was sharp and unbearable at times. I felt a real sense of injustice on Piper’s behalf. Finn, her brother, is a stable and well-rounded character who Piper grows closer to as the novel progresses. It’s easy to see why these two turn to lean on each other and...Read More
Title: Faithful Place Author: Tana French Publisher: Penguin Publication Date: June 2011 Genre: Adult Mystery Fiction Series or Stand Alone: Series, Book Three Synopsis can be found here. Review: Tana French continues to impress me with her layered mysteries and haunted writing. The first book in the series: In The Woods, is a creepy mystery that won many awards. Book Three is another addition to this fantastic series. Frank Mackey, a small supporting character that has popped up in the world previously, gets his own mystery to solve. Faithful Place is Frank’s old neighborhood, a haunted poor town he fled twenty some odd years ago. He goes back only to find some things don’t change, such as his abusive family. But he also remembers the night he left, and the girl who was supposed to leave with him but never did. So begins his own investigation into his past, and solving a mystery that perhaps should have remained unsolved. French’s stories are all haunting and beautiful, weaving Ireland and its people through like mythical beings. Honestly though, I think this is her best book in the series. Frank’s history is rich in detail, as is the town he once lived in. His family problems are laid bare, real and uncomfortable. The dialogue is beautifully written and I had to read slowly to get the full thickness of the words....Read More
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