City of Shadows by Ariana Franklin 4* set in Berlin in 1920's to the early 30's. Revolves around a young Russian woman who works for a shady nightclub owner. he wants her to help prep a woman who may or may not be the murdered Romanov's daughter Anastasia. Not only was the story fascinating but it was so interesting reading about Hitler's rise to power from the people's point of view.
Leftovers by Laura Weiss 4* not listed as a YA but it read like one to me. The story revolves around 2 teenage girls with troubled home lives. Quick, easy read, couldn't put it down until I finished.
The Magician's Assistant by Ann Patchett 4* the story of the woman who is a magician's assistant (and best friend) for 22 years. They finally marry right before he dies. When he does, she finds out about a family he said was dead. The story is an exploration of his childhood and why he tried to forget it.
The Gathering by Anne Enright DNF ughhhhh, a story set in Ireland, but Maeve Binchy, she ain't! I got about 1/3 of the way through in the hopes it would get better but the story just bounced from one era to the next from one paragraph to the next it it was impossible to keep up. the writing was so murky I could never figure out what she was trying to say! I never like critically acclaimed novels, so why I tried this one is beyond me!
Slammerkin by Emma Donoghue 3* the story of Mary, turned out of her house by her mother when she's a teenager in London during the 1700's. What's a girl that young to do out in the streets with no skills or money? A sad story but I found myself hoping she would end up pulling herself up out of the streets.
Carry Me Home by Sandra Kring 4* set in a small town during WWII. It's told by a boy who is "slow". He had a fever when he was young and it "fried" his brain. His brother and friends head off to war and he is left behind. Interesting look at how life was like during the war (rationing, waiting for telegrams to say a loved one had died, polio).
Keeping the House by Ellen Baker 3* the story of a family over several generations (during WW I and II). the exerpts about wifely duties out of Ladies Home Journal were hilarious and made me sooo glad times have changed! the stories were good, but it just jumped back and forth too much for me to really feel anything for any of the characters
Lessons From a Dead Girl by Jo Knowles (YA) 3* the story of a troubled teen and her friend, who she torments
The Year of Fog by Michelle Richmond 4* a woman is walking on the beach with her fiance's daughter and looks away for a minute. the girl disappears. the book chronicles their search and despair and how they each handle their grief differently. it's one of those books you can't stop thinking about after you finish.
The Children's Blizzard by David Laskin 4*(NF) the true story of a blizzard on the Dakota-Nebraska prairie on Jan 12th, 1888, has great background on a lot of the families involved, dragged a bit when it came to the weather forecasting
The Hiding Place by Trezza Azzopardi 2.5* the story of a family of sisters with a mentally unstable mother and a gambling father. Depressing story that just jumps all over and is hard to follow. I had to push to finish it.
The Patron Saint of Liars by Ann Patchett 4* a woman finds out she's pregnant and runs away from her life. she isn't in love with her husband and can't see having a baby, so she goes to a home for unwed mothers run by nuns.
White Crosses by Larry Watson 4* set in 1957 a sheriff of a small town in Montana goes to the scene of an accident with the principal of the elementary school and an 18 year old girl in one car together. it looks like they are running away together. the sheriff makes a decision that night that will affect the rest of his life.
Forgotten Ellis Island by Lorie Conway 4* (NF)fascinating history of the hospital at Ellis Island, a little repetitive in parts, but overall a terrific book. loved all the pics of the immigrants, really brought the book alive.
Blueberry Hill by Marcia Evanick (audio) 3* romantic fluff. Not my typical type of book, but was a cute story. The only thing that drove me insane was the reader kept pronouncing Bangor "bangER". NO ONE in Maine pronunces it that way!!!
Francesca's Kitchen by Peter Pezzelli 3* light easy read about a widowed grandmother who becomes a nanny for a single mom with 2 children
Boy A by Jonathan Trigell 3* a sad tale of a boy who commits a horrific crime with a friend when he is a child. He is finally released from the prison system when he's 24 but for his own safety he is always know as Boy A. The story follows his life when he is released plus flashbacks to his childhood and time in prison.
The Liar's Diary by Patry Francis 4* a plain Jane school secretary's hum drum life is shaken up when she is befriended by the
sexy new music teacher. Her whole life is blown apart when secrets come out.
Pieces of My Sister's Life by Elizabeth Joy Arnold 2.5* The story of the relationship between 2 twin sisters and their neighbor boy best friend. I found the entire story unbelievable. Only gave it 2.5* since I actually finished it.