Lucky Broken Girl…by Ruth Behar

Posted September 23, 2017 by thebookr in Books, Reviews / 0 Comments
Lucky Broken Girl…by Ruth Behar

‘Lucky Broken Girl’ is a middle-grade novel about a girl named Ruth. Ruth is growing up in 1960’s NYC. Her family is Jewish and Cuban . It is a semi-autobiographical novel about Ruth Behar’s childhood. ‘Lucky Broken Girl’s focus is on the year Ruth was in a full body cast following a car accident. ‘Lucky Broken Girl’ gives the reader a unique perspective about childhood injury. It explored, in gritty detail, the boredom, humiliation, sadness, and fear that Ruth experienced during her year in bed. This story was well written and I loved that none of the characters were picture perfect. Ruth could be whiny and self adsorbed at times. Her father is macho and controlling. While her mother is often resentful of Ruth’s situation. ‘Lucky Broken Girl’ is richly detailed. The diversity was well done and the history in ‘Luck Broken Girl’ was amazing. Ruth and her family are Cuban but are also Jewish so they demonstrate a wealth of cultural identity. Ruth also has a friend who is Indian so there was a lot of information about Indian culture and beliefs. This also made an amazing background story. Ruth’s grandparents had left Europe during the buildup to the  World […]

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Chasing Eveline…by Leslie Hauser

Posted August 27, 2017 by thebookr in Books, Reviews / 0 Comments
Chasing Eveline…by Leslie Hauser

Ivy is desperate to connect with the mother who abandoned Ivy and her dad. The closest connection she has to her mother is their mutual love of the 1980’s band ‘Chasing Eveline’. Ivy and her friend Matt mount several schemes to raise money for a trip to Ireland. Once in Ireland they hope to reunite ‘Chasing Eveline’. Ivy secretly hopes that her mother will be at the bands reunion. This was such a cute read. I loved all the crazy (‘I Love Lucy’ type) projects that Matt and Ivy used to make money. Ivy has big ideas that never quite worked out the way she planned. I really loved the perseverance that Ivy had to never give up on her dream. I loved the relationship Ivy had with her dad. I think it was a unique perspective to have a single dad raising a teenager. I also really liked the relationship Ivy had with Matt. Matt stood by Ivy no matter how crazy her ideas were. He really demonstrated what true friendship is. Getting rained on, getting thrown off stage,  getting booed where some of the things that happened to Ivy and Matt when they tried to raise money for their […]

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The Shadow of a King…by C.M. Gray

Posted August 19, 2017 by thebookr in Books, Reviews / 0 Comments
The Shadow of a King…by C.M. Gray

‘The Shadow of a King’, tells the story of Uther Pendragon, King Arther’s father. The story begins with Uther late in life and near death. The ‘The Shadow King’ then flashes back to Uther’s early reign. What I Loved: The concept of the story of King Uther’s father is an interesting one. Something that has not been done a lot in literature. Gray gave strong personalities to the characters. Uther, Morgan Le Fay, Gorlois, and Sir Ector, all had complicated and deep characteristics that added depth and interest to the story. The descriptions in ‘The Shadow King’ were also vivid and interesting. The Middle Ages are often romanticized. In ‘The Shadow King’ everything is described in gritty reality. Gray really brought alive how dark, dirty, and unhygienic the middle ages were. What Left Me Wanting More: Although I did like the flash backs, I wish they would have been more delineated. I was often confused when a flashback stopped and started. Also, the flashbacks were very long and I often had to go back to see what was happening before the flashback. There were also a few flashbacks within a flashback. Although, I did love almost all the chapters,I found […]

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The Bright Shawl…by Phyllis H. Moore

Posted August 17, 2017 by thebookr in Books, Reviews / 0 Comments
The Bright Shawl…by Phyllis H. Moore

Bella is terrified of her step-father. When her mother dies and her sister disappears, Bella knows she must plot her escape. My Thoughts: I am very conflicted about my feelings for this book. I decided to think on ‘The Bright Shawl’ for awhile before writing a review. I really enjoyed the story and it was a super quick read for me. The paranormal elements kind of threw me for a loop though and make the story somewhat hard to believe. What I Loved: I really liked the premise of the story. A girl struggling to escape her abusive, drug dealing step-father. The details of Bella’s living conditions really drew me in. I could totally understand why she would want to get away from her step-father. The prose of ‘The Bright Shawl’ was amazing. The author described everything is vivid detail. The characters are also well done. I also found the diversity of characters well done with Bella’s family being hispanic. Slade was by far my favorite chapter. He seemed like someone I would love to have as a friend and a fun guy to be around.  I love their personalities but would have loved to have more of a back […]

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The Book That Made Me…by Judith Ridge (Editor) et al

Posted July 31, 2017 by thebookr in Books, Reviews / 0 Comments
The Book That Made Me…by Judith Ridge (Editor) et al

‘The Book That Made Me’ is an anthology by several authors that tells about a book that influenced their life. ‘The Book That Made Me’ gives us a chance to  look inside the authors’ mind and how they first became inspired to write. I am not usually big on anthologies. I’m a cover to cover reader and I don’t like to skip stories (even if I don’t enjoy them). I find that with most anthologies there are stories/essays I love,  a few that are ok, and ones I just don’t enjoy. This was the case with the ‘The Book That Made Me’. When I started reading I noticed that I only recognized two authors, Markus Zusak author of ‘The Book Thief’ and Jaclyn Moriarty (whose sister Liane wrote ‘Big Little Lies’). After a couple of essays, I realized why. All the authors are either Australian or New Zealanders.  Because of this I didn’t recognize most of the books that inspired the authors. This left me disconnected from many of the stories. There were several stories that were inspirational and that I really did love. For example, Cathy Cassidy’s story about her love of ‘Watership Down’. Will Kostakis’ story of how not liking ‘Hatchet’ inspired […]

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Beneath the Skin…by Kyla Stone

Posted July 28, 2017 by thebookr in Books, Reviews / 0 Comments
Beneath the Skin…by Kyla Stone

Sidney Shaw has a terrible home life. Her former best friend now torments her. She covers up the pain by pushing people away. She also cuts herself. Sidney does everything she can to protect her little brothers. When that means Sidney strikes a boy who was bullying her brother at school, there are consequences. She now has to start group therapy with one of her school’s popular girls, Adriana. First off, this book has some big trigger points. For example self-mutilation, eating disorders, sexual abuse. Each of this things are important topics that affect many teens today. I thought that the author handled each of those topics well. They were each approach slowly and were woven into the tapestry of the storyline. This took away some of the shock factor that these trigger points could have invoked. Sidney as a character was very complex and relatable but very human. She did everything she could to fix things for herself and her family but often came up short. My favorite character was Lucas. He pulled Sidney out of her shell and helped her see the light at the end of the tunnel. I did like Adriana but I felt like maybe the insta-friendship between her […]

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The Unlikelies…by Carrie Firestone

Posted July 27, 2017 by thebookr in Books, Reviews / 0 Comments
The Unlikelies…by Carrie Firestone

Sadie is doing all she can to make it through a boring. Her main claim to fame is that her father, Woody,  is the local ice cream man. Then one day, while  working at the local farmers market, she saves a baby in distress. Sadie then gains local celebrity fame. She’s  invited to a local community service awards event. At the event her and the other four honorees(Jean, Gordie, Alice, and Val) decide to do good deeds for those in the community. They call themselves ‘The Unlikelies.’ They do this by spreading anti-trolling messages on social media and giving out cute care package. The main thing I loved about this book is the positive message it sends. That it’s important to be kind. Doing something small can change someones day. Another thing that I really enjoyed was the  subtle humor. This helped to lighten the mood of the book. The diversity was well done in ‘The Unlikelies’. Jean is Haitian, Val is Hispanic, and Sadie is half Persian. This really added another dimension to the story. The fact that all the kids came from different backgrounds but came together to ‘do good deeds’ really underscored the positive tone of the book. The only […]

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Lucky in Love…by Kasie West

Posted July 24, 2017 by thebookr in Book Tours, Books, Reviews / 0 Comments
Lucky in Love…by Kasie West

 Maddie leads a normal teenage life. The only exception is her family’s money problems. So when Maddie unexpectedly wins the lottery, she thinks her problems are solved. OMG, I have all of Kasie West’s books but this is the first one I actually read. I am drawn to books about lottery winners so I was pretty sure I was going to like ‘Lucky in Love’ but I Loved it. The story was just so good. One of the things that stood out for me was how Maddie handled everything. I think it would have been easy, since Maddie was a good student and good person, to make her above splurging and using money for crazy things. However, West made Maddie true to life. Any teenager who won that much money would surely go a little crazy. I also liked how Maddie’s parents and brother were portrayed as good people but they still had  issues. They relied on Maddie emotionally and then monetarily too much. I also thought it was important that those around Maddie began to treat her  differently once she won a lot of money.People with money and/or celebrity are treated differently in our society. That’s just how it is. Now lets […]

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The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter… by Theodora Goss

Posted July 7, 2017 by thebookr in Book Tours, Books, Reviews / 0 Comments
The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter… by Theodora Goss

‘The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter’ follows, Mary Jekyll. Mary is Dr. Jekyll’s daughter (of Dr.Jekyll and Mr. Hyde). She decides to explore her father’s mysterious past. I found this concept totally enthralling. Taking the story of ‘Dr.Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’ and expanding on it.  It  also added well-known literary characters along the way, such as the daughters of Dr. Moreau and Rappaccini. Even though the characters were not original to the story, I loved the unique spin that Goss gave them. I kept wondering which charter would be introduced next. It also made me want to read the classic novels that ‘TSCotAD’ is based on. I did like most of  the characters. I didn’t like the character of Sherlock homes in this book. I felt like he was just a catalyst to involve the girls in a murder investigation. Also, the whole thing with Justine’s story seemed forced. Like the author was forcing an alternate story then what was originally written by Mary Shelley in ‘Frankenstein’ . I loved the overall feeling of the story. Gothic and a bit dark without being too scary. Very Penny dreadful like. I’m didn’t really like the future dialogue that was interjected into the story-line. It […]

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The Disappearances…by Emily Bain Murphy-Blog Tour

Posted July 2, 2017 by thebookr in Book Tours, Books, Reviews / 0 Comments
The Disappearances…by Emily Bain Murphy-Blog Tour

WWII is in full force. Aila and Miles’ mother has just died. When their father is drafted, they have no choice but to stay with their mother’s childhood friend. Once there they realize things in the town of Sterling are different. Magical realism is a genre that is very hard to execute well. If it is done correctly it opens the door to a whole new world. Done incorrectly the story just seems silly. The ‘Disappearance’ is done so amazingly well that I was entirely enthralled. The story painted vivid pictures in my mind. The scenes are unbelievably detained and brought you into Aila’s world. I was extremely excited to realize that ‘The Disappearances’ is set in the 1940’s. A time without cell phones, computers, the internet, or even tv. The setting helps to highlight just how out-of-place the ‘disappearances’ are. The time frame also shows how much was sacrificed by everyone during WWII and what a time of uncertainty it was. The characters of Aila and Miles juxtaposed each other perfectly and I connected with Aila right away. Dr. and Mrs. Cliffton were quirky and fit well with the storyline. Another element that added a lot to the story is […]

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