Current reads

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

July, August, and Sept reads

Somehow the summer zoomed by and I forgot to post!!


Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay 3.5* parallel stories both set in France, one during the Jewish round up in 1942 and on in 2002. A woman writer starts doing research into the French Jewish round up of 1942 and finds that she has ties to it that she was previously unaware of.

The Echo Maker by Richard Powers 3* a man is in an accident and ends up wit Capgras, which means he recognizes his sister, but thinks she’s an imposter. Parts of the book were really good, parts dragged…..

The Divorce Party by Laura Dave 3* quick, easy read chick lit story of a couple of have been married for 35 years who are having a divorce party. Also tells the tales of their children and their love interests.

Await Your Reply by Dan Chaon 3.5* ARC Three stories that eventually link together at the end. One story revolves around Ryan. A college student flunking out, he finds out his father is actually his dead-beat uncle. He leaves college to be with his father, and they run illegal scams that eventually leads to a horrific end. Another revolves around Miles, a man who has wasted his life looking for his schizophrenic twin brother. The third story revolves around Lucy, a teenage girl whose parents are both killed in an accident. She ends up running off with one of her teachers, who is not what he originally seemed. That is a reoccurring theme, people not being who they first appear. I read Chaon’s other book You Remind Me of Me. I find his books to be too depressing for my taste, but this one was interesting enough to make me want to get to the end to understand how everything comes together.

While My Sister Sleeps by Barbara Delinsky 2.5* Molly’s sister Robin, a runner hoping to compete in the Olympics has a heart attack during a practice one day and the drama abounds! Molly feels guilty, her mom blames her, then secrets come out while Robin is in a coma. I don’t like Delinsky’s books but read this because it was rec’d. Just too soap-operish for me.

The Story of a Marriage by Sean 3*

Dreamers of the Day by Marie Doria Russell 3* the first part of the book starts off strong, but the seocnd half is more about Egypt than the characters.

The Sweet By and By by Todd Johnson 2.5* ladies in a nursing home and their daughter and hair dresser

The Overland Trail by Wendi Lee 4* the story of a newly married girl who travels West with her husband

A Page Out of Life by 3* too chick-lit for me about a group of women who bond over scrapbooking

Long Lost by Harlan Coben 3* not his best, but okay read


Scottsboro by Ellen Feldman 4* a fictional account of the Scottsboro trial 9 black men accused of raping 2 white women.

Through the Storm by Maureen Lee 3* set in England during WWII, revolves around the lives of the people who inhabit one street. Her writing reminds me of Maeve Binchy, but set during the war.

The Master Planets by 3* a young man who is on the verge of a great musical career finds out his mouth was a resistance fighter during WWII and his life changes.

Lights Out Liverpool by Maureen Lee 3* set in England during WWII, revolves around the lives of the people who inhabit one street. Her writing reminds me of Maeve Binchy, but set during the war.

Fablehaven by Brandon Mull YA 2 children go to stay with their grandparents while their parents are away on a cruise. They find out that their grandfather is a groundskeeper to a land that contains magical creatures. I found it a little young for my taste, but my 11 yr old loved it.

Life Sentences by Laura Lippmann 2.5* an author who has written 2 memoirs and is struggling to write another book, comes across the news that one of her friends from childhood was accused of killing her infant. She spent 7 years in jail because they could never find the body and she never admitted anything. The author digs around in the past to see if she can uncover what happened. I usually love Lippmann, but I found this story had a lot of build up, and then the ending was anti-climatic and disappointing.

The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa 2.5* a housekeeper goes to work for a mathematics professor who was in a car accident and is short term memory only lasts 80 minutes. I found all the math boring.


Desperate Passage by Ethan Rarick 4* the true story of the Donner party’s disastrous trip

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley 3* written from the perspective of an 11 year old aspiring chemist. She finds a dead body in the family’s garden and tries to solve the mystery of who murdered the man.

Still Alice by Lisa Genova 5* the story of a Harvard profesor who is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s

One Second After by William R. Forstchen 3* what happens after the entire US loses all electricity due to a terrorist attack. The scary part is Newt Gingrich did the foreword and said it is very possible this could actually happen. The story itself is okay, a little unbelievable in parts.

Patriots: A Novel of Survival in the Coming Collapse by James Wesley Rawles DNF this is another story of what happens after society falls apart after a tragedy, but the characters were like cardboard figures. I just couldn't finish. It's more like a handbook of what to do than a novel IMO.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

June reads

I had trouble getting into anything this month and I hated the endings on most of the books, so take my reviews this month with a grain of salt!!

Lament, The Faerie Queen’s Deception by Maggie Stiefvater 3* YA Deidre is a gifted harpist who draws the attention of fairies. She begins to discover talents of being able to see fairies and telekenisis. Fairies aren’t playful sprites in this book, they bear ill will towards humans like Deidre.

Clara Callan by Richard B. Wright 4* set in the 1930’s it revolves around Clara, a small town teacher. Starts off a little slow, but then you realize even small town teachers have hidden secrets. Set in Canada and NY where Clara’s sister Nora is a famous radio personality.

A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick 4* a rich man advertises for a “reliable wife” in the early 1900’s. The woman who responds and eventually arrives is not what he expected.

Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri 4* interwoven stories from different Indian families in America. I normally don’t like short stories, but these all fit together and it was a great read.

The World Below by Sue Miller 4* the parallel lives of Georgia and her granddaughter Catherine decades apart, while it seems they don’t have much in common, Catherine later finds they do. The novel tells of Georgia’s youth and her time in a sanitarium due to TB in her teens. Catherine is a twice divorced mother of 3 trying to decide whether to move to her grandmother’s old house or continue on as she is, when she comes across Georgia’s old journals.

The Weight of Heaven by Thrity Umrigar 3* A couple’s son dies at the age of 7 unexpectedly and takes a toll on their marriage as the husband blames the wife. They move to India hoping to get away from all the memories of their son. Once there the husband finds a surrogate son in their housekeeper’s child causing tension between both families.

Life Without Summer by Lynne Griffin 3* a woman is devastated when her 4yr old daughter is killed in a hit-and-run accident. She starts seeing a therapist who or may not be connected in some way.

The Piano Teacher by Janice Y. K. Lee 3.5* parallel stories set in Hong Kong in the 1940’s at the start of the war and then 10 years later after the war.

A Short History of Women by Kate Walbert ARC 3* An interesting look into several generations of women within one family. It starts with the first woman in the 1920’s who starves herself for women’s suffrage leaving behind 2 children in the process. It goes on to tell each generation’s story. I just didn’t feel much connection with any of the characters because she skipped from generation to generation. Overall it was an interesting look at each generation’s issues, but the characters themselves didn’t have enough depth.

Shanghai Girls by Lisa See 3.5* 2 sisters try to make it out of Shanghai right as the Japanese are attacking to meet their husbands in America. They have been forced into arranged marriages by their father. They finally arrive in America and it’s not at all what they thought. Would have be 4* but I hated the ending!!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

May Reads

The Invisible Wall by Harry Bernstein 4* the story of his life growing up poor and Jewish in England during the early 1900’s, reminded me of Angela’s Ashes

Secrets to Happiness by Sarah Dunn 4* cute easy chick lit….Holly’s life post divorce. She tries to talk a married friend out of having an affair, she dates, and she adopts a dog. She is also contacted by an ex’s new girlfriend.

The Accidental Mother by Rowan Cowen 3* British chick lit Sophie hasn’t seen her childhood friends Cassie for years. Sophie has been concentrating on her career and Cassie has been dedicated to motherhood. Sophie is taken totally by surprise when she is notified Cassie has died, and left Sophie as the guardian to her 2 small children.

Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews 3* I’m not that big on fantasy, but this was a decent book. It reminded me of adult Harry Potter meets Twilight. It has magic, shape shifters, and vampires. It took me a while to get into it. The author refers to previous occurrences like there was a book before this one, but this is her debut novel, so??? I just found those parts odd since she didn’t go into great detail, just touched on things that I felt should have been delved deeper into. I’ll probably read the next in the series. Quick, easy read.

The Girl She Used to Be by David Cristofano 4* the story of a girl who has to go into the witness protection program at the age of 6 when she and her parents witness a horrific crime. Finally at the age of 26, she just willing goes when the mob family finds her. Fast, easy read, couldn’t put it down even though it wasn’t totally believable.

Cast in Shadow by Michelle Sagara 3* fantasy Kaylin is a member of the Hawks (police) and has tried to move on from her life on streets as a child. All the bad memories come rushing back when children start dying in the same way they did when she was a child.

The Rift by Walter J. Williams DNF the story of a huge earthquake centered in the southeastern US. He just flipped from person to person, I couldn’t get a feel for any of the characters. I gave up about halfway through.

Some Assembly Required by Lynn Kiele Bonasia DNF chick lit overkill there is an autistic boy whose mother dies at age 22 of a brain aneurism, his uncle is an alcoholic who falls off a cruise ship and gets lost at sea, there’s cancer, a man leaving his gf of 4 years after cheating on her, she moves to a new town, etc etc. I gave up halfway through. Just TOO much drama!

Storm Glass by Maria V. Snyder 4* the start of a new series by her, but continues with a lot of characters from the Study series. This one focuses on Opal and her studies at The Keep. She goes on her first mission to help the Stormdancer Clan which has had 2 of it’s Stormdancers killed.

Bones of Faerie by Janni Lee Simner 2.5* YA seems too young even for a YA book. It’s the story of Before and After the war between humans and fairies. Just not much of a story IMO.

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan 4* YA (reminds me of The Village mixed with zombies). Mary is stuck in a small enclosed town that is run by The Sisterhood and protected by The Guardians. On the outside are The Unconsecrated (zombies). She dreams of life outside of her small village and what is on the other side of the forest. I didn’t like the end, but more because I didn’t want it to end.

Harriet and Isabella by Patricia O’Brien 4* the fictionalized account of the adultery trial of Henry Beecher (Harriet Beecher Stowe’s brother) and the rift it causes between Harriet and her sister Isabella. Fascinating look at that time (1870’s). The trial dragged in part, but otherwise a terrific story.

Moon Called by Patricia Briggs 3* fantasy Mercy is a shape shifter who turns into a coyote. She lives in a city with werewolves and vampires. She ends up helping out a young werewolf when he comes to her shop looking for a job and some bad guys follow.

Closer to Fine by Meri Weiss 3* too much drama in one book for me (AIDS, cancer, gay and lesbian issues, family drama). Also too much talk about music. Alex has issues coping after her brother dies of AIDS. Her best friends try to help her through (one is gay and his father can’t stand him because of that).

Saturday, May 2, 2009

April reads

Shelter Me by Juliette Fay 4.5* When Janie’s husband dies in an unexpected accident, she is just trying to keep it together for her 2 young children. Then she gets an unexpected surprise when a contractor comes to her house to build a porch her husband had commissioned as a surprise for her. I ended up liking this book more than I thought I would. I felt such a connection with Janie. She is sad and bitter, but also funny and thoughtful.

The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb 3* the story revolves around the Columbine shootings. He’s a teacher there and she is the school nurse. They suffer numerous problems due to post-traumatic stress. The story is good but it drags out too long and involves too many characters and delves back centuries into his family’s history. Should have been 2 different books IMO.

Cutting For Stone by Abraham Verghese DNF I WANTED to like this book because everyone raved about it but it took me forever to even get 250 pages in and I just could NOT finish it…..

A Life of Her Own by Emilie Carles 3* her autobiography… parts were fascinating, parts boring. She tells of her life in France in the 1900’s

Defiance by Nechama Tec 3* the true story of the Beilski brothers. Jewish brothers who kept 1200 Jews safe in the woods during WWII. Parts dragged, and it was frustrating to have to constantly look at the footnotes to see who said what.

More Than It Hurts You by Darin Strauss 3* a woman brings her child into the emergency room twice under weird circumstances and ends up accused of harming her own child (Munchausen). The media ends up turning the allegations around and saying the African American doctor was pinpointing her because she (Dr. Stokes) was a reverse racist.

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer 5*

New Moon by Stephenie Meyer 3* I felt this should not have been a stand alone book. It could have been summed up much faster IMO and was basically a lead off for the next book.

Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer 4*

Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer 5*

Prayers For Sale by Sandra Dallas 3* the story of the growing friendship between a young woman new to town and an older widow who has lived there longer than almost anyone else. Set in 1936 in a small mining town. Not my favorite by this author….I found the ending far fetched and sewn up too nicely.

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford 4* the story of friendship in the 1940’s between a Chinese boy and a Japanese girl. Her family is rounded up and sent to a Japanese relocation camp.

The Last Bridge by Teri Coyne ARC 4* Alex Rucker returns home after a neighbor calls to tell her that her mother has committed suicide. After a 10 year absence, the past comes rushing back. The story flashes back to her childhood and the abuse she and her family received from her alcoholic father. Alex is now an alcoholic herself, trying to blur the painful memories. Though the book is dark and depressing, I couldn't put it down until I found out what happened to Alex. I ended up reading it in one evening.

Handle With Care by Jodi Picoult 3* definitely not my favorite by her….for some reason as I was reading it, it felt so familiar like I had read it before. It’s the story of a family dealing with the youngest daughter’s illness which causes her to break bones easily. The mother decides to sue the obstetrician who missed the diagnosis during the ultrasound. I disliked the ending, felt very contrived, almost like an afterthought…“oh let’s add this”.

My Lover’s Lover by Maggie O’Farrell 2* big disappointment! I loved After You’d Gone, but this one STUNK. It’s the story of Lily who falls in love with Marcus (after less than a week!), moves into his apartment where there are signs of his ex everywhere. Then it goes into the ex’s relationship with Marcus. I didn’t like or understand any of the characters.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

March reads

Some great reads this month! The Help may be my favorite book of the year and the Study series were very good also. The Kind One was also good. I wasn't sure if I'd like it, so ended up pleasantly surprised!

Black & White by Dani Shapiro 3* the relationship between a mother and daughter is strained because the mother (a professional photographer) gains fame using her daughter as a subject throughout her childhood. The controversial nude photographs make her feel like an object. After the daughter becomes an adult she runs away from home and doesn’t speak to her mother for 14 years until she gets the call from her sister that her mother is dying.

The Kind One by Tom Epperson 4* set in the 1930’s California, Danny has amnesia but is told he works for Bud “the Kind One” Seitz, a mobster. Danny questions everything he is told about himself because he doesn’t like guns or know how to shoot or like violence. He is asked to protect Bud’s girlfriend who he starts to fall in love with. He starts to learn nothing is as simple as it seems, including himself.

‘Til Morning Light by Ann Moore 3* the continuing story of Gracelin. Good story, but wrapped up a little too neatly (and unbelievable).

The Help by Kathryn Stockett 5* may be the best book I’ll read all year, definitely the best I’ve read in a while. It is set in Jackson, Mississippi in the 60’s. The story revolves around a young white woman who starts writing about the plight of black maids in the south. I laughed and cried, such a great read. It’s hard to believe people ever thought that way and that is was accepted and passed down from generation to generation!

Irreplaceable by Stephen Lovely 3* a man’s wife is hit by a truck while riding her bike. She is an organ donor so her heart goes to a woman who is a wife and mother. The story revolves around him, her and the man who hit his wife. I just never really felt any connection to any of the characters.

Wake by Lisa McMann YA 3* Janie gets sucked into other people’s dreams when they fall asleep. Interesting concept that didn’t really go anywhere. The rest of the story was pretty unbelievable. Light, easy read.

The Laws of Harmony by Judith Ryan Hendricks 3.5* Received as an ARC. Sunny grows up on a commune in New Mexico and dreams of the day she can get away to a “normal” life. The accident that kills her younger sister continues to haunt her. After college she ends up in Albuquerque living with Michael. After he dies in a car accident she finds out he wasn’t all that he seemed. She once again runs from her life, this time to a small town on San Miguel Island. She finds that the past never goes away though and she must deal with it. Overall a pretty good read, I was actually disappointed when the story ended.

Sister of my Heart by Chitra Bangerjee Divakaruni 3.5* Sudha and Anju are cousins who grow up in the same house close as sisters and best friends in India. Then, they both are forced to get married when their financial situation suddenly changes. One will go all the way to America, the other will stay in India and have a traditional marriage.

Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder 4* Yelena is in the dungeon waiting to be hung for murder when she is picked to be the Commander’s food taster. She learns all about poisons, but she also befriends some of the staff in the castle. She also starts to understand her past a little better. Great read, can’t wait to read the next in the series.

What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell YA 3* set right after WWII, it shows how sheltered teens were back then. Evie falls for her step father’s war buddy, and life changes for them all.

Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork 3*, Marcello (who has Asperger’s Syndrome) has to go work for his father’s law office for the summer “in the real world”. There he meets Jasmine, a nice pretty girl who works in the mail room and Wendell, the spoiled son of one of the partners. He finds out things are not always black and white and people not always what they seem.

Magic Study by Maria V. Snyder YA 4.5* the continuing story of Yelena. She travels to Ixia to meet her real family and learn to control her magic. She finds not all family members are welcoming, as some think she’s a spy from the north. I couldn’t put this book down until I was done, even better than the first one. Can’t wait to read the next!

Unwind by Neal Shusterman YA 3* the stories of 3 teens whose parents want to “unwind” them aka donate all of their body parts. They go on the run to avoid going to the harvest camp and end up in “the Graveyard”, which is a safe haven for teens such as themselves.

Fire Study by Maria V. Snyder 4* the third book follows Yelena to the Keep where she is working on being a soul finder, but once again there are forces against her. This time it comes out of fire. Not as good as the second book (spent too much time recapping the other 2 books IMO), but still very enjoyable.

A Mouthful of Air by Amy Koppelman 3* a woman has depression and tried to kill herself and the book is about her trying

Thursday, March 12, 2009

February reads

No stand outs this month, just okay books....

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood 3.5* set in the future, where there is no longer a United States, it’s now the Republic of Gilead. Women are not allowed jobs or money, or any freedom. There are several classes of women : childless Wives, the housekeeping Marthas, and the reproductive Handmaids, who turn their offspring over to the "morally fit" Wives.

Leaving Ireland by Ann Moore 3.5* the continuing story of Grace, this time her travels to America and her life and friends there.

The Little Giant of Aberdeen County by Tiffany Baker 3* Truly is a “little giant” her entire life and suffers for it, while her sister is the complete opposite…..just ehhhh for me, though I know everyone is raving over this book.

Wife Goes On by Leslie Lehr 3* chick lit about a group of divorced women

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie YA 3* the story of a teenage Indian boy who decides to go to the local “white” school instead of the one on the reservation

The Wishbones by Tom Perrotta 3* a man plays in a wedding band and finally asks his girlfriend of 15 years to marry him…then regrets it.

They Did it With Love by Kate Morgenroth 3* chick-lit mystery, The story of 5 rich women in a CT suburb who are members of a mystery book club. One of them is murdered and the rest try to solve who did it.

Perfect Family by Pam Lewis 3* the youngest sister of a “perfect family” is found drowned at the summer home. They find out their family is not as perfect as they all believed. The book starts out strong, but the ending is a tad hokey.

Cost by Roxana Robinson 3* the youngest child of a family is addicted to heroin. It’s the story of the family’s struggle to get him clean.

The Professor’s Wives’ Club by Joanne Rendell 3* chick lit about professor’s wives

Touching Snow by M. Sindy Felin YA 4* a story of abuse told by a young Haitian girl

Two Rivers by T. Greenwood 3* a widower raises his daughter by himself after his wife dies when the baby is born. A train derailment in the town he lives in changes his life when he takes over a black pregnant teenager.

When the Finch Rises by Jack Riggs 4* historical fiction set during the 60’s, revolves around 2 12 yr old boys who are friends and live in a small mill town in NC.

Picturing the Wreck by Dani Shapiro 3* a psychoanalyst has an affair with a patient. His wife leaves him, taking his son. 30 years later he finds his son and makes contact.

The Common Bond by Donigan Merritt (ARC) 3* I received as an ARC a few months ago but had trouble starting it as I had so many other good books in my TBR pile. Once I did finally start it, it was just ehhh. I loved the Hawaiian setting, the people and the culture. The other part was basically a love story between Morgan and Victoria. It’s ill-fated from the start as she was dating his best friend when she cheated on him with Morgan. The book starts when Morgan returns to Hawaii after Victoria’s untimely death, which he blames himself for.

The Air We Breathe by Andrea Barrett 3* set during WWI in a hospital for destitute tuberculosis patients in the Adirondack Mountains in NY. One of the wealthier patients that lived in a nearby house starts a weekly learning group that ends up causing tragedy.

Thousand Pieces of Gold by Ruthanne Lum McCunn 4* biographical fiction of Lalu Nathoy/Polly Bemis. Sold by her father during hard times in China, captured by bandits, sold as a prostitute, she eventually is brought to America where she is bought by an evil Chinese saloon owner. She befriends another saloon owner and her life eventually begins to change for the better. Told during the gold rush years, very interesting look at life during that time.

The Secret River by Kate Grenville 3* William commits a crime in 1806 in England and is sent to Australia to serve his sentence. There he eventually tries to better his life by acquiring land, but the native people are not too happy about his (or the other white settlers) presence. Reminded me a lot of the Native Americans and the white settlers in America.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Jan. 09 reads

Testimony by Anita Shreve 4* a sex scandal at a private school involving 3 male students and one underage female student shows how anyone’s life can change at any time and that there’s always more than one side to a story

Plague Year by Jeff Carlson 4* scientists that are trying to cure cancer release nanotechs into the world that kill people unless they are above a certain elevation. So all survivors are trying to carve out a life in high altitudes.

Lucifer’s Hammer by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle 4* life after a comet hits earth and lots of countries and big parts of the US are gone. Looting, hoarding, killing. Makes you ashamed of the human race, but then you wonder what you would do to save your family from starvation.

The Vanishing Point by Mary Sharratt 4* After ruining her reputation in England, May is sent to Maryland to marry a distant cousin she has never met. Later her sister Hannah follows her but when she gets there, May is gone and Hannah falls in love with her sister’s husband.

Dying to Live by Kim Paffenroth 3* life after zombies. Not very detailed or believable, but an okay read, quick and easy

Black Flies by Shannon Burke 4* written by an ex-medic, the story rings very true. It’s a gritty, graphic novel about a new medic in Harlem. You’ll be ashamed how the medics are treated, but then you will be ashamed by how some of the at in return. You won’t be able to put the book down until you are finished. Quick, easy read, I finished in a day.

The Road to Wellville by TC Boyle 2* set in the early 1900’s at a ritzy “health resort” that preaches vegetarianism along with other odd “cures” for ailments, it pokes fun at the health craze…it just wasn’t my type of book. By about page 350 I started skimming somewhat.

December by Elizabeth Hartley Winthrop 3* a couple struggles when their 11 yr old daughter stops talking for over 9 months.

Time of My Life by Allison Winn Scotch 3.5* a woman is transported 7 years in her past, back to a boyfriend she still thinks about and before her marriage and daughter. Will she change her life this time around?

After You’d Gone by Maggie O’Farrell (reread) 4.5* a woman is in a coma and her life is told in flashbacks by her and her family. The narration jumps around a bit much at first, but gets better (or else you get used to it)

Wildwood by Drusilla Campbell 2.5* disappointing as I liked Blood Orange, but this one was too unbelievable, you don’t feel much for the characters. It’s the story of 3 friends bound by something that happened when they are 12. They carry the secret throughout their lives, but it all comes to a head in their 50’s.

Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott (YA) 4* tragic and horrific, like a train wreck. Once you pick this book up, you won’t be able to put it down until you finish it. Alice is abducted at 10 by a pedophile. He keeps her until the age of 15 when he wants her help to find her replacement. You can’t book the book down until you’ve found out why she doesn’t get help when she has ample opportunities to get away, how he got her in the first place, and why she would help him.

The Fifth Child by Doris Lessing DNF I TRIED to finish this book but just couldn’t. It was bizarre. A young couple has 4 kids they can’t afford so they are supported by his rich father (first irritant). Then they have a 5th child that they think is “different”. They don’t like him thinking he seems like a caveman and their family withdraws their help. There was just nothing I liked about this book, could not finish!

Skin Hunger by Kathleen Duey 4* YA 2 interwoven stories, one about a girl who can speak in her mind to animals, and the story of a boy who goes to wizard school. The only disappointment was that the book ended. Can’t wait to read the next in the trilogy!

Arranged Marriage by Chitra Banjerjee Divakaruni 4* short stories about Indian marriages. I don’t usually like short stories but these were all good.

The Wednesday Letters by Jason F. Wright 2* didn’t realize it was Christian fiction when I bought it! An elderly couple dies the same night and their 3 children find the letters their father wrote their mother every year for 40 years. HATED the ending!! Soooo unrealistic!

The Ladies’ Lending Library by Janice Kulyk Keefer 2.5* Story set in Canada during the summer of 1963. Revolves around several Ukrainian families. It just had too many characters, I had trouble keeping track of them all and really didn’t feel any connection with any of them.

Gracelin O’Malley by Ann Moore 3.5* set in Ireland during the 1840’s. Gracelin is a 15 yr old girl whose father marries her off to a wealthy landowner. At first all is well because she gives him the heir he so badly needs, but then things start to go downhill. Also, horrible famine sweeps Ireland affecting everyone.

Safelight by Shannon Burke 3* same writing style as Black Flies, but I just didn’t connect with the characters as much. It revolves around a paramedic that likes taking pictures of the people they go to help. He also becomes involved with a girl who is HIV positive.

The Mammy by Brendan O’Carroll 3* the story of an Irish family. At the beginning of the book the father dies and the mother is left to care for her 6 children. Funny and sad rolled into one.