Friday, January 31, 2014

And We Stay by Jenny Hubbard

And We Stay is a fast, easy read. It is about a teenage girl named, Emily who finds her self attending attending boarding school in,  Amherst after the suicide of her boyfriend.

Emily is a poet and uses her poetry to express her emotions and secrets and while this in itself is a good idea, the poetry is so poorly written it distracts from the story. A story that is filled with a variety of topics, such as grief, regret, loss and recovery.

Hubbard's characters do not pull you in emotionally however, I feel that she purposely created a distance with her characters and audience in order to make you feel, Emily's state of mind and emotions.

Hubbard does have a knack for pulling you in with details....her descriptions of the winter and the moment, Emily's boyfriend commits suicide are vivid and breathtaking.

This book takes place in1995 and is written in third person, which can be a distracting factor if you don't care for that type of format. If you have a few hours to spare, I suggest you take a chance at reading this book. You can easily skip the poetry and not miss out on anything.

Grade: B-

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Wives of Los Alamos: A Novel by TaraShea Nesbit

The Wives of Los Alamos
 will be released, February 25, 2014

Imagine following your husband and his job to an unknown location. A location that you won't know about, until you arrive and can't reveal to anyone. All they know is that you are in, New Mexico.

Your cameras are confiscated upon arrive and your assigned house looks like all the others. Sometimes you walk into the wrong home thinking it's yours. The housing development is surrounded by barbed wire fence and you new born baby has a post office box on their birth certificates.

Your husband and his colleagues are building, the atomic bomb. You have no, knowledge of this until after it's dropped.

The women in this novel are trying to make the best of the circumstances they are in. They form close bonds with on another. They are cut off from their families and the outside world. They have to be resilient and make the best of their new home, which can be dusty, muddy, hot or freezing.

This novel is engaging and while they narrative is different what readers have grown accustomed to it is very fitting for this book.

High praises for, Nesbit.

Grade: A

Monday, January 27, 2014

Independent Study: The Testing, Book 2

Independent Study is the second book in, "The Testing" trilogy.  You must read, "The Testing" first or you will be lost. Don't expect a sophomore slump with this book.

School is in session, memories have been wiped clean and students are vying for internships. Cia has some memory of what happened during the testing, leaving her to question the motives of others.

Cia is given a heavier workload than other students, 9 classes which is virtually unheard of. This along with her unusual internship, has her burning the wick at both ends.

Cia, like other new college students have though go through an initiation period. Each degree of study has their own process and if you don't make it, you're "redirected".  Initiation is very much like, the testing process in that you have to be weary of who you trust. One false move can lead to death.

Expect a major cliffhanger!

Grade: A

Monday, January 20, 2014

Long Awakening, The: A Memoir by Lindsey O'Connor

The Long Awakening is a difficult novel to read. The reality of it is frightening. A day that should be full of happiness and pride can be taken from you in seconds.

Shortly after, Lindsey O'Connor gives birth to her fifth child, complications arise due to a bleed out and. Oxygen deprivation results in organ failure and brain damage, in an effort to minimize damages doctors put in into an induced 47 day coma.

 Lindsey gives details on her long journey to recovery and the support to received from her family, friends and community. The sacrifices made, especially those of her teenage daughter who leaves college to help care for her newborn sister.

Lindsey is a fighter and her memoir is well written and touching. I could do without all the passages on faith because it doesn't to the story.I would also stay away from reading this book if you are currently expecting a child and reading it could be traumatic and frightening.

Grade: B

Friday, January 17, 2014

House of Glass by Sophie Littlefield

House of Glass will be released on February 25, 2014.

House of Glass is an intense read. The characters are realistic and the plot is riveting. On an ordinary evening in suburbia, two men force their way into the Glass home and take the family hostage. 

Jen and Ted will do any thing to keep their 15 year  daughter and 5 year old son safe even if it means their own demise or that of their captures. They are forced into their basement and have to find a way to save their families life. 

They each have their own obstacles to overcome in order to make it out alive. 

Expect a spine tingling read. Your home is your sanctuary and when it's taken from you, you have to fight back to save your life and those you love in order to reclaim all that is yours. 

Grade: A

Monday, January 13, 2014

The Fiery Heart: A Bloodlines Novel by Richelle Mead

Fiery Heart is an excellent addition to the Bloodlines series.  Unlike most books in a series, this one can stand alone. I don't suggest that you read it before the other books because you will lose some of the emotional connections to characters and Mead's writing pulls you into her characters lives, making you feel as your part of it.

Fiery Heart is unique in that, Mead focus on the relationship of two beloved characters. We get to explore the inner workings of Sydney and Adrian's hidden, romantic and loving relationship. Sydney is being pulled in a million and one directions at once and each choices she makes had consequences.

The characters are maturing, relationships are evolving and ending will leave you gasping for the next installment that comes out this summer.

If you loved, Mead's Vampire Academy Series you will fall heads over heads in love with her, Bloodlines series.

Grade: A+

Overview: [B&N]

Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets—and human lives.
In The Indigo Spell, Sydney was torn between the Alchemist way of life and what her heart and gut were telling her to do. And in one breathtaking moment that Richelle Mead fans will never forget, she made a decision that shocked even her. . . .
But the struggle isn't over for Sydney. As she navigates the aftermath of her life-changing decision, she still finds herself pulled in too many directions at once. Her sister Zoe has arrived, and while Sydney longs to grow closer to her, there's still so much she must keep secret. Working with Marcus has changed the way she views the Alchemists, and Sydney must tread a careful path as she harnesses her profound magical ability to undermine the way of life she was raised to defend. Consumed by passion and vengeance, Sydney struggles to keep her secret life under wraps as the threat of exposure—and re-education—looms larger than ev

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Last Night at the Viper Room: River Phoenix and the Hollywood He Left Behind by Gavin Edwards

Last Night at the Viper Room is a memorable read. The time frame follows his life from birth to death.

River Phoenix was a rising star that had a promising life ahead of him, however his trouble life wasn't something he could put behind him.... no amount of success was enough to stir him  away from his addiction, that ultimately lead to his death.

His family lead a very unusual life, bizarre one would say. They belonged to a cult and the life and beliefs of that cult, took some of the shine out of, Phoenix causing him to resort to other methods in order to heal his soul.

This is an informative, gripping account of River's life. You will be hooked in from page one. This is perhaps one of the most detailed biographies, I have ever read.

A great book for any,  River Phoenix fan.

Grade: A

Monday, January 6, 2014

Waiting to Be Heard: A Memoir by Amanda Knox

Waiting to Be Heard gives insight into the Italian justice system.

In case you've been hiding under a rock the past few years, this memoir is about Amanda Knox and the gruesome murder of her roommate, Meredith Kercher.  The murder and trial(s) were sensationalized headlines, with truths and lies tossed about. In this memoir, Amanda is able to give her story, her side of things and clear up a few "facts".

I never had a firm opinion on, Knox's guilt or innocence, which was part of what intrigued me. Knox's memoir is hard to put down and gut wrenching. She gives details that showcase the phychological torture she endured at the hands of the Italian law enforcement, her time spent behind bars and the tole it took on her family.

Knox is articulate and does a good job of telling her side of the st
ory even when you don't understand the choices she made. I only wish that she had gone into more detail about her friendship with, Meredith.

Grade: B

Friday, January 3, 2014

Plague by Lisa C Hinsley

Plague will have you shivering .... it's descriptive, horrifying and emotionally charged.

Authorities are telling people that an outbreak of the plague isn't spreading but it is clean to Liz and Johnny that what is being reported can't be true. Their four year old son, Nathan is ill and showing tell tale sighs that he is infected with the bubonic plague.

They report it to the authorities and find themselves trapped in their home. It has literally been boarded up and all they can do is wait and watch. As time passes, their son becomes sicker and they slowly loss access to the outside world and they can only watch as more homes in their neighborhood become boarded up just like theirs.

You can feel the heat and hear the flies buzzing about. You feel the horror of watching a loved one die and waiting for your own demise. This is a perfect psychological horror novella that will creep you out and make you go what if?

Grade: A

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Necessary Lies by Diane Chamberlain

Necessary Lies is a powerful historical fiction novel that mainly takes place in the 1960s. It deals with a variety of issues and tackles the horror of eugenics that took place in United States.

It it told in alternating points of view. It is raw, real and eye opening. Ivy is a young teenage girl, who lives and works on a tobacco farm and Jane is a newly married, fresh out of college young woman who has just become a social worker.

Jane wants to make a difference and is fighting for what is right and Ivy is one of her clients. Jane becomes emotionally involved with Ivy and her family and this results in a variety of issues for her, in her marriage and work environment.

Ivy's family is poor and plagued by secrets and as the secrets surface to life, problems arise making a difficult life unbearably hard. Jane is forced to make a choice that goes against what she believes and she will do what's necessary to make things "right".

Expect an emotionally charged read,  full of wonderfully created complex characters. This is a book will haunt you. One you will share and recommend to others.

Grade: A++

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...