Sunday, September 30, 2012

This Common Secret: My Journey as an Abortion Doctor by Susan Wicklund and Alex Kesselheim

Dr. Wicklund book gives you a glimpse of what it is like to be an abortion provider. Despite death threats and angry protesters she continues to spend six days a week, driving and  flying to clinics, so that she can provide safe and early term abortions.

Dr. Wicklund provides counseling and asks her patients over and over if the abortion is their choice and if  it is what truly what they want. She is absolutely dedicated to women's health and their rights.

This book is emotional as are the stories within it. This is a compelling story that should be read by all.

If you feel as strongly as I do about women's rights and you should (especially right now during this election time) take the time to read this book.

This book is well written, poignant and informative.

Grade: A

Friday, September 28, 2012

Dare Me: A Novel by Megan Abbott

Dare Me is about a group of teen girls, cheerleaders to be exact and their coach. The cheerleaders all lack self confidence and emotional control. They are vying for attention and popularity. There is the typical "leader of the pack" --- mean girl and her followers.

Addy and Beth are best friends, Beth is the typical mean girl and Addy is her side kick. Then a new coach, Coach French enters the picture and the dynamics of the group even loyalty change to a degree. Everyone with the exception of Beth, love the new coach.  Addy quickly finds herself caught between Coach French and Beth, which results in a fight for power.

Beth is conniving, sneaky and power hunger. She will do anything to maintain control, even if it means destroying lives.

The writing is ok and the book is rather average. It started off strong and then just sorta flopped around like a fish out of water. This cheerleader/murder mystery book is just average and predictable. It doesn't really live up to the hype.

Grade: C

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Mask by Dean Koontz

The Mask is one of, Dean Koontz's older novels. It is quite a bit different from his more modern works. and is still quite an excellent read. It is rather riveting. This book is about forgiveness and redemption.

Koontz is an phenomenal storyteller and how he manages to write one great book after another is beyond me.

The Mask is spooky and the character's are fairly interesting.  The book is about a young couple who essentially take in a young girl who has amnesia. The young teen can't recall anything about herself and when she tries to she becomes frightened. Under hypnosis she reveals three different names, each one more peculiar the last.

Research uncovers that the names she revealed are of women who are no longer alive and have a rather violent history. Read the rest to find out who is in danger and who makes it out alive.

Fair warning --- the books ends abruptly.

Grade: B+

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Unwholly is brilliant. It's a wonderful addition to the long awaited installment in the Unwind trilogy. Shusterman creates a frightening and realistic world. The characters are unforgettable and the plot is superb. There are many bone chilling twists and turns.

There is a modern twist on the Frankenstein theme and all the character's have their own stories. The stories are told in alternating points of view --- it flows seamlessly. Shusterman manages to give each character their own voice, which is difficult to do, when there are so many of them.

There a new character's, new plots and the writing is so powerful that you can't help but to love this book more than the first one and let me tell you, Unwind haunts you long after you finish reading it. This book does not fall into the "sophomore slump".

I simply can't wait for the next installment. I just hope it doesn't take another six years.

Grade: A+

*** You absolutely must read, Unwind before reading this book. It does not stand alone or  you will be lost.

Overview (B&N):
Thanks to Connor, Lev, and Risa—and their high-profile revolt at Happy Jack Harvest Camp—people can no longer turn a blind eye to unwinding. Ridding society of troublesome teens while simltaneously providing much-needed tissues for transplant might be convenient, but its morality has finally been brought into question. However, unwinding has become big business, and there are powerful political and corporate interests that want to see it not only continue, but also expand to the unwinding of prisoners and the impoverished.
Cam is a product of unwinding; made entirely out of the parts of other unwinds, he is a teen who does not technically exist. A futuristic Frankenstein, Cam struggles with a search for identity and meaning and wonders if a rewound being can have a soul. And when the actions of a sadistic bounty hunter cause Cam’s fate to become inextricably bound with the fates of Connor, Risa, and Lev, he’ll have to question humanity itself.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Ten Days by Janet Gilsdorf

Ten Days by Janet Gilsdorf goes on sale, Tuesday, October 25, 2012.

Anna and Jake have been married for over six years and are busy raising two young boys under the age of three. Anna is a teacher and Jake is a successful orthopedic surgeon. Everything is rather ordinary and their marriage is seemingly strong --- until one night --- that changes their lives forever.

Baby, Eddie falls ill and Anna known for her ability to go overboard, calls her husband, Jake. She gives him a quick overview of, Eddie's illness and Jake makes the assumption that is is just a run of the mill cold. Anna suppresses her mothers instinct puts Eddie to bed and falls into a deep sleep brought on by the exhaustion of caring for a sickly child.

In the morning, Anna checks on Eddie. She finds him limp, cold and unresponsive. She quickly gathers, Chris and they rush of to the hospital. It is determined that, Eddie has meningitis and his life hangs in the balance. Anna refuses to leave, Eddies side and rather then lean on one another for support, Jake and Anna blame one another.

Whew --- you would think that would be enough to keep you hooked in but there is a lot more underneath the surface, such as, a little girl in Eddie's daycare comes down with meningitis and an epidemic is feared. Jake complicates life further by reaching out to his ex-girlfriend.

The plot along with all the sub-plots pull you in and keep you entertained. The characters are well written, interesting and believable. You can actually feel the pain the characters are undergoing and will easily find compassion and frustration towards both Jake and Anna.

Grade: A

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Partials by Dan Wells

The year is 2076 and time for the human race is running out. The youngest living child is 14 and all subsequent infants die from the, RM virus.

The virus along with a violent war with the partials has left the human population nearly depleted. The partials are genetically engineered humanoid soldiers, who rebeled against humans and have not been seen or heard from in eleven years. They are strong, powerful and immune to the virus.

Kira, works as a medic and every time an infant dies a part of her breaks. She is on a mission to find a cure and this cure means finding and capturing a partial. It is a risky mission but it might be the only solution for the survival of man kind.

Partials is well written, exciting and full of interesting characters. Pick it up today, the sequel, Fragments comes out early next year.

Grade: B

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Maid's Daughter: Living Inside and Outside the American Dream by Mary Romero

The Maid's Daughter is a perfect book for a Sociology and/or Latin Studies course. I found it of interest since I studied both while in college. It is far from perfect as it only studies one individuals view and life circumstance.

It chronicles 20 some years of, Olivia's life. Olivia is the daughter of a Mexican immigrant who was, a live in maid in Los Angeles. Olivia and her mother live many years with one Anglo family inside of a prestigious gated community.

This book discusses, Olivia's struggles during her adolescence and young adult life. It explores the contempt, Olivia had for her mother's employees and her struggles with her sense of belonging and self identity.

It is well written and explores ONE individuals struggle with class, race, identity and contempt.

I found that I was easily angered by Olivia. She is rather self-indulgent and selfish. She seems to have little to no appreciation for the advantages she was given by being raised in a more affluent neighborhood with individuals who could "make things happen."

While, I can fully understand the frustration and some of the anger she had, I can't get around how ungrateful she is/was about opportunities that came her way. Some people, will understand my frustration and others won't.

Anyway --- keep in mind that this book is more of an academic, scholar one.

Grade: B+

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Mother of Pearl by Kellie Coates Gilbert

Mother of Pearl is an excellent read for Jodi Picoult, Barbara Delinsky and Kristin Hannah fans.

Barrie Graeber has two wonderful children and a loving husband. Life in general is pretty good and things seem to be going well until her daughter, Pearl is betrayed by her best friend and boyfriend. Pearl becomes withdrawn and pulls away from her friends and family. Barrie shrugs is off as normal teen angst until ---

One heart wrenching morning, Barrie is given the worst news a parent can ever receive, her beautiful young daughter is dead. She is grief stricken and on a mission to find out what happened to Pearl in the hours before her death. As things unravel she begins to find out that there is something more sinister going on in her hometown, that has to do with her daughters death.

I don't normally pick up books by christian publishers but this one is worth there. It isn't preachy and there isn't a lot of religions aspects to it. It's is worth the read. The character's and realistic and Gilbert delivers an amazing read with this debut novel.


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Risking It All by Jennifer Schmidt

Memphis and Kennedy have been best friends since college. One drunken night, Kennedy asked Memphis to kiss her, forever reshaping their friendship.

Kennedy not only loves, Memphis but fears his Casanova ways. He has never been one to stay in a relationship and despite how flawed hers is with her boyfriend, she knows that anything further with, Memphis might just result in losing her dearest and closest friend or breaking her hurt.

Despite her reservations, Kennedy accompanies, Memphis on a photo trip to, Alaska.  This is where things get steamy, complicated and intense.

To find out more, pick up your copy today.

Grade: B-

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

My Dead Friend Sarah: A Novel by Peter Rosch and Ariele Jerome

Max is a recovering alcoholic living with this wife in, New York. He keeps having prophetic dreams about a young woman's death. He makes it his mission to find out who she is and warn her. That day finally arrives and he starts to stalk her.

From here on out, the story starts to build and Sarah goes missing. The, police starting looking at Max as a person of interest. He pleads his innocence but his life starts to slowly unravel.

This is one amazing psychological thriller, that keeps your fully entertained and on edge. You will be hooked but let me warn you, the ending is one you might not be pleased with.

The character's are well written and the plot development is amazing. Read this book today.

Grade: A

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Giant George: Life with the World's Biggest Dog by Dave Nasser and Lynne Barrett-Lee

Giant George has been sitting on my night stand for over 8 weeks, not because I didn't want to read it but because I had a pile of other books to read in front of it. I should have put this book to the front of my pile. I read it in less than three hours.

This book is well written, joyful and rather interesting. George is not only the world's largest dog but he is also incredibly adorable and full of personality. He went from being the runt of his litter to the largest dog, ever!

David Naesser and his wife are like all us other dog parents out there. Overprotective, loving and a bit crazy. Dogs, have a way of crawling into your heart and making it expand with love. George is no different, he is massive but his human family still see him as their baby.

This is their story and it is a spectacular one at that. I am in love with this gentle giant and you will be too once you finish reading this gem of a book.

Grade: A+

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Rise of Nine (Lorien Legacies, Book 3) by Pittacus Lore

The Rise of Nine is the third book in the Legacy series and it is written by point of view from three different characters (Four, Six and Seven). The voices aren't all that different so you have to pay really close attention to who the storyteller is.

The plot is packed with action and a lot of things happen. New legacies appear and more members of the Garde find one another.  I don't want to give anything away because this book is very involved and so much happens. Events occur all over the planet, each more exciting than the last.

It is well written and exciting but it ends way to sudden! Expect to be left hanging.

Grade: B

Friday, September 7, 2012

The Kill Order (Maze Runner Prequel) by James Dashner

It's been a bit of time since I blogged but I have been out of commission. I had surgery last Friday and am finally getting to the point where I am awake more than asleep, which means I finally finished a book and I can stay up long enough to blog about it!

The Kill Order is the prequel to the Maze Runner Trilogy. I assumed that it would answer questions but all it did was add more. This book does not focus on the main characters from the Maze Trilogy, it's a different set of characters and they aren't nearly as exciting but it is very interesting to learn about the Solar Flares and the  Flare virus.

This book basically explains the events that lead up to the trilogy but it feels jarring.  It did not really hold my attention as the previous books and I felt unfocused, however that could be because I was doped up on some pretty strong painkillers.

The book is overall pretty good despite the flaws, the main one being unanswered questions.

Grade: B-

The Accidental Beauty Queen by Teri Wilson

Charlotte Gorman is a librarian, a "nerd" and enjoys being casual and comfy. Her twin sister, Ginny is an famous instagram conte...