When Astrid Jones and her family moved from New York City to Unity Valley, PA, none of them quite realized how drastically their lives would change. Astrid’s mom became so concerned with how other people saw her and so controlling that it seemed nothing Astrid did was ever even close to good enough. Her little sister, Ellis, was so concerned with popularity and upholding her reputation that she’d probably have disowned Astrid if it would have guaranteed her immunity from the rumor mill. This apparently pleased her mom, though, since she frequently invited Ellis to “mommy and me” nights out. And their dad? When he wasn’t moping about his lack of job prospects and smoking pot in the garage or attic, he seemed content enough to sit silently while his wife belittled him in front of the kids. Continue reading
Ever the sucker for a cool book cover, it only took one glance at this book for me to decide I *had* to read it. The fact that I loved Winger, also by Andrew Smith, certainly didn’t hurt. I have to admit, though, that I had a hard time getting into this story at first. Perhaps I was just too tired to “get it,” since I do most of my pleasure reading at bedtime, but I felt myself getting kinda lost in the beginning. It reminded me of how I felt when I read The Marbury Lens — which makes a lot of sense, considering the fact that Andrew Smith also wrote that book. In the beginning, there were a few moments where I thought to myself, “Wait! Was that supposed to be the ‘real’ Finn or the character [also named Finn] from his dad’s book?” In hindsight, I guess it may have been written like that on purpose, since Finn often felt trapped in his father’s story, but it made me feel a little crazy not to know what was going on! Fortunately, things got less confusing and everything fell (more or less) into place by the end of the story.
It’s always fun to escape real life in the pages of a book, and I find it somehow more satisfying to read a book about a sweltering summer heat wave when I’m living through a snow-filled winter storm. Add that to the fact that all of Sara Zarr’s books are pretty darn amazing, and you have a fantastic reason to read this book right now!
OK everybody… I am geeking out BIG TIME over here because Emma Watson will be playing Belle in Disney’s new [live action] Beauty & the Beast movie! So, since I am obsessing over *that* fairy tale remake, I thought it only made sense to do a book review for *another* fairy tale remake I recently enjoyed. As I’ve admitted before, I’m a reader who often chooses to read/listen to a book based on my gut reaction to its cover. I read tons of book reviews as I make purchasing decisions, so I often forget what most of the books are about before they arrive. Even though I must have read a review for this book (since I decided to purchase it), nevertheless, I didn’t remember a thing about it. I honestly thought it was going to be a murder mystery or an action thriller when I saw in on the shelf a few months ago. Since I was nearing the end of my audiobook and I saw that the downloadable audiobook for this title was available via OverDrive, I decided to just go for it… Color me surprised when I started listening and realized it was more like Beastly than Dark Song! Continue reading
I read this book in early fall, but I felt like it would make a good January post. You know, with people making New Year’s resolutions about living their best lives and all? After almost losing my father in September, this book really resonated with me. I know it sounds super cliché, but both my real life experience and this book reminded me of just how short life can be — and how often we waste our time and energy on things that don’t even truly matter. Sometimes, you just have to say “F- IT!” Continue reading
I don’t know if this makes me crazy/strange, but I just HAD to hold off on reviewing this book so that it could be my 666th post! What better way to celebrate this milestone than with a book with a modern day grim reaper on the cover? ;-) (Sadly, it seems that my WP dashboard and the message I got after posting my last review disagree on how many posts I’ve previously posted… so this could potentially be my 667th post, but I’m just gonna pretend it’s my 666th post anyway!) Continue reading
Though it’s been quite a while since I’ve watched TV on a regular basis, I have to admit that I used to be absolutely obsessed with true crime shows like Law & Order and Criminal Minds. I could seriously binge-watch Criminal Intent like it was my job. So, I was thrilled to discover that this story was basically an extended episode of Criminal Intent with teenage trainees thrown in the mix! This story also reminded me quite a bit of the Jasper Dent books because Cassie was so much like Jasper — she was unbelievably good at reading people AND that she was also hunting a killer. The main difference, nevertheless, was that she was hunting the killer who murdered her mom whereas Jasper was hunting a random killer as a way to prove (to society and himself) that he didn’t/wouldn’t take after his serial killer dad. Continue reading