Category: Reviews

Antipodes…by Michele Bacon-Blog Tour

Posted March 25, 2018 by thebookr in Book Tours, Books, Reviews / 1 Comment
Antipodes…by Michele Bacon-Blog Tour

  We are super excited to be part of the Antipodes blog tour! We had a chance to do a Q&A with author Michele Bacon.    Q&A 1.What inspired you to write Antipodes? ​​The landscape and people of New Zealand. I loved living there, and would have stayed forever, had I been able. ​​ ​​2.Could you explain what an antipode is and how it relates to the story? ​​An antipode is a direct or exact opposite, and many of Erin’s experiences in New Zealand are opposite to those in the States. ​Australia and New Zealand are called The Antipodes, because they appear to be on the opposite side of the Earth from most other landmasses, so both definitions are relevant to my book. To find your own town’s antipode on a globe, swap the N/S of your latitude and add/subtract 180 to your longitude. For instance, I lived in—and Erin visits—Christchurch, whose coordinates are 43.5S, 172.6E. A Coruña, Spain is 43.5N, 8.41W. Their centers don’t match precisely, but the cities overlap on an antipodal map. Most antipodes are in the ocean. The antipode of my home in Seattle is in the Indian Ocean.   ​​3.Do you have a daily writing […]

Divider

No Sad Songs… by Frank Morelli

No Sad Songs… by Frank Morelli

Gabe is used to helping care for his ailing grandfather. Then tragedy strikes and thrusts eighteen-year-old Gabe into the position of primary care giver for his grandfather with dementia.   They’re so many things to love about, ‘No Sad Songs’. The thing I love most is that the book is set in the 1990’s.  This is a time period I haven’t seen a lot of in YA fiction ( or really fiction in general). The nineties are such a nostalgic time period. It is the last decade were our lives were not totally run by cell phones and computers. The simple things in the life of a teenager was very evident in this story. Gabe’s main worries are eating pizza and attracting girls.   The most important theme in, ‘No Sad Songs,’ is caring for someone with dementia. This novel really highlights the divesting situation or a child or grandchild caring for a parent or grandparent with this disease. The dementia sufferers often don’t know who they are or where they are anymore. For example, Gabe’s grandfather constantly relives his time fighting in WWII. Game’s flashbacks also really highlight Gabe’s pain as he remembers the wonderful times with his grandfather. I have read […]

Divider

Faithful…by Alice Hoffman

Posted March 3, 2018 by thebookr in Books, Reviews , , , / 0 Comments
Faithful…by Alice Hoffman

Seventeen year old Shelby and her best friend, Helene, are in a horrific car crash. Helene is left in a permanent coma. Shelby recovers physically but she follows a path of self-destructive behavior. Shelby’s behavior is not only a way to punish herself for the accident but also a way to form a barrier to her mental recovery.   Having read Hoffman’s previous book, ‘The Rules of Magic’, I went into, ‘Faithful’, with the impression that it would have paranormal elements. When the story begins, I thought that the story would follow both Helene and Shelby. I was pleasantly surprised when, ‘Faithful’ turns out to follow Shelby’s mental health after the crash. I’ve put off writing this review for a while. I wanted to give some thought into how I really felt about ‘Faithful’.   I really love Shelby’s story. In many ways, Shelby is just an ordinary person trying to overcome a tragedy. The way that Hoffman portrays Shelby as a flawed human but as an overall good person really endeared her to me and the story in general.   Shelby’s PTSD follows a true to life behavior pattern. Since Shelby blames herself for the accident, she justifies her […]

Divider

The Bone Sparrow…Zana Fraillon

The Bone Sparrow…Zana Fraillon

Subhi is born in a refugee in an internment camp. He has never seen the outside world. He has no books, no school, and not enough food, water, or clothes.   Every once in a while I stumble on a book that totally takes me by surprise. One that I haven’t heard anything about. A book that you had no idea would be so meaningful, impactful, wonderful, and life changing. One that rips out your heart, and in the process makes you a totally different person. ‘The Bone Sparrow’ is definitely one of those books. I had absolutely no idea what ‘The Bone Sparrow’ was about going in to it. Right before I started reading it, I read over the synopsis, so I had a vague idea that it was about a refuge.  I was not at all  prepared for the punch that ‘The Bone Sparrow’ gave me.   First thing is that Subhi is only ten years old. Honestly, the story did seem as if it is  told by a ten-year old. As the mother of three kids around this age, I am stunned at what Subhi had to endure. Lack of enough food, clothes, water, places to bathe, a school, or […]

Divider

The Carlswick Deception…by S.L. Beumont

The Carlswick Deception…by S.L. Beumont

    ‘The Carlswick Deception’ is a series of mystery/detective. Each novel can stand alone as back story is given about what happened previously in the series.   Stephanie is an art history student at Oxford. In the past she had an internship with the arts and antiques unit at Scotland Yard. In ‘The Carlswick Deception’, Stephanie is called by Scotland Yard to show a detective around Oxford in relation to a case. Of course soon Stephanie becomes involved in said case.   I love mystery/detective stories. However, sometimes I find the main character detectives to be somewhat dull and boring. This was not the case in the ‘The Carlswick Deception’. I found the character of Stephanie interesting and very charismatic.  I also love the character of Luke, the detective Stephanie is working with. I, however, am not a fan or her boyfriend James. He seemed rather dull and kind of wishy-washy. I also find it as a stretch with the police letting a college student help investigate such high stakes crimes (including interviewing witness, and following felons etc) .This seems to be a trend of British detective stories involving a lay person  as detective (Agatha Raisin, Grantchester, Father Brown etc.) They […]

Divider

Turtles All the Way Down… by John Green

Turtles All the Way Down… by John Green

Aza is a high school student who struggles with severe OCD (she constantly worries that C.Diff is going to kill her). She must fight against her own mind and help her friend Daisy find a fugitive billionaire and claim her reward. Oh, John Green, how I love to hate you. I told myself there was no way on earth that I would ever read another John Green book.  Then I found out that ‘Turtles All the Way Down’ is about OCD. I’ve had severe OCD since I was a child so here we are.   I’m going to separate this review in two separate areas. First a general review and secondly how well Green paints an accurate picture of OCD.   First the Book In General: John Green is the master of writing a book that’s easy to read. All his books have been quick reads for me. His prose is among the best I’ve read in YA but a good book is about so much more than the prose. A great novel is complex and imaginative  and deep and original and (for a contemporary) true to life. So to begin ‘TATWD’ has all the normal John Green tropes: double entendre […]

Divider

Dress Codes for Small Towns…by Courtney Stevens

Dress Codes for Small Towns…by Courtney Stevens

Billie McCaffrey is a gender fluid teen who lives in a small Kentucky town. Even though she is the daughter of the town’s preacher, she is living life by her own terms. This is to chagrin of both her father and the rest of the town of Otters Holt. At the beginning of ‘Dress Codes for Small Towns’ Billie is at a lock-in with her best friends . Billie and her friends ( who she calls them the hexagon) do something that results in major damage to the church. This and the future of the town’s fall festival is the main focus of the characters in DCFST.  I went into ‘Dress Codes for Small Towns’ having heard really great things about it. DCFST does have many original concepts such as a teen who can’t quite pin down her sexuality, the dynamics of small town America, and loving parents that are not perfect. What I Loved: I found  that Stevens has a  John Green type writing style. It  moves the story along quickly and is easy to read. I love Billy and her diverse set of friends. Her friends all have different personalities and different backgrounds. I also love that a small […]

Divider

The Scent of Rain…by Anne Montgomery

The Scent of Rain…by Anne Montgomery

‘The Scent of Rain’, centers mainly around Rose. Rose is a teenager living in a fundamentalist Mormon community. The main storyline centers on Rose’s terrifying  life. The story is told through multiple points of view. The POV’s are those of Rose, Adan ,the FLDS ‘prophet’, Trak, Chase, and Brooke (Adan Trak, Chase, and Brooke are neighbors and not part of the FDLS community).   One of my favorite topics to read about is subcultures that are embedded within our own communities. ‘The Scent of Rain’ takes on the huge task of bringing to light the FLDS community. Absolutely nothing prepared me for the inner workings of the FLDS.   FLDS members never leave their small community. The women must dress, and style their hair a certain way. Young girls are forced into plural marriages with older men. Most importantly everyone must follow whatever the ‘prophet’ dictates. The ‘prophet’, in Montgomery’s story, is a mentally ill man who dictates his every whim to the community. He lives a lavish lifestyle (with over 70 wives) while the rest of his community scrape together a meager existence.   The characters in ‘The Scent of Rain’  added to an already amazing storyline. The various points of […]

Divider

Corner of Ocean and Bay… by Gina Azzi

Corner of Ocean and Bay… by Gina Azzi

Nessa and Jacie have been friends since kindergarten. When they both have had a terrible year, they decide to take up Jacie’s aunt’s invitation to stay with her at her home on the Jersey Shore. Jacie and Nessa plan to live summer to the fullest before they begin their senior year of high school . On the surface, ‘Corner of Ocean and Bay’ seams like a fun summer beach read. This novel does touch on the fun, carefree, lifestyle of teens on vacation. However, Azzi takes it a step further and explores some of the harsh realities of being young. While Nessa is the ‘good girl’ and Jacie is the wild one, both girls have their own ups and downs. Jacie and Nessa handle their romantic relationships in very different ways. Nessa takes the slow approach with the new boy she meets while Jacie jumps into a new relationship impulsively. Although I can’t really delve into both Jacie and Nessa’s romantic interests without spoiling the plot, I will say Jacie heads off in a dangerous direction. I really loved both Jacie and Nessa, although I kept thinking that Nessa was a little too good. There were even times that I […]

Divider

My Life as a Bench…Jaq Hazell

My Life as a Bench…Jaq Hazell

Seventeen year old Lauren ‘Ren’ Miller has just died. She finds that her spirit lives on inside her own memorial bench. Although the story is called, ‘My Life as a Bench,’ it is really the story of Lauren contemplating her life after her death.   Ren can’t eat or sleep. She can only observe people as they pass by.  Every night Ren must mentally relive her life over and over. Her only companion is the old bench next to her. Ren learns that the other bench is named Lionel. Lionel was elderly baker before he died. Lionel has his own life story to tell.   The undercurrent of the story is that Ren has unfinished business that must be resolved before she can be at peace. Ren’s boyfriend is in jail on charges of killing her. She knows that he didn’t do it. She pleads with people who walk by to help her exonerate her boyfriend but no one is able to hear her.   When I first heard about ‘My Life As a Bench’, I was really unsure how the author was going to pull of this premise without the story being super cheesy. Hazell did a remarkable job making this both […]

Divider