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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 […]

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A Penny Lost…by Aspen Bassett

Posted October 8, 2017 by Karen in Books, Reviews , , / 1 Comment
A Penny Lost…by Aspen Bassett

‘A Penny Lost’ is the story of Penelope Grace (Penny) a high school student who can read other’s emotions. Penny feels overshadowed by her identical twin sister, Dinah. She also feels neglected and ignored by her parents. One day Penny sees the sad aura of a home that used to have a  very happy aura. When Penny and Dinah investigate, a machine sucks Penny into a time-traveling universe. Dinah is left behind but Penny is accompanied by the young scientist who invented the machine. What I Loved: I really loved time-travel novels. When they are done correctly, they can be so enthralling. ‘A Penny Lost’ was fast paced and interesting. I also really loved the back story about how they became time travelers. The explanation of the time-traveling universe was simple and easy to follow. One of the issues I had with Alexandra Braken’s  novel’ Passenger’ was how much explanation and world building went on and how little action took place. I also really loved the times that they traveled to and I enjoyed how Penny shaped events that took place in history. I connected with the characters of Penny and Stranger as well as Ricky and his wife. I […]

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The Bright Shawl…by Phyllis H. Moore

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 Disappearances…by Emily Bain Murphy-Blog Tour

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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Laerka…by Laura Matthias Bendoly

Posted June 6, 2017 by Karen in Books, Reviews , , , / 0 Comments
Laerka…by Laura Matthias Bendoly

‘Laerka’ is a modern-day retelling of  the fairytale ‘The Little Mermaid’. Stella is a teenager in modern-day Savannah, Georgia. While working a part-time job in Savannah’s port, she sees a women (who she thinks is a mermaid) jump from a Russian container ship into the ocean. What I Loved I thought the choice of  Savannah, Georgia as the setting for ‘Laerka’ was a great choice. Savannah is such a unique  and beautiful place. It also has a rich history and a vibrant port culture. This makes it the perfect choice for ‘Laerka’ . The historical and nautical information was interesting and helped to add to the story line. ‘Stella’ herself as a character was well-rounded with a unique voice. Even though she is a teenage girl, she is very strong and self motived. She helps her father with his fishing business and is able to drive and navigate though Savannah’s waterways with precision. I also loved the absent-minded professor that ‘Stella’ worked for. He was quirky and funny. Another great ‘character’ was ‘Laerka’s’ mermaid dress. It was able to not only transform the looks of the wearer but to also transform the way the way the wearer feels about themselves. What Left Me Wanting More One […]

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