Thursday, November 29, 2012

(74) Why I Let My Hair Grow Out

Title: Why I Let My Hair Grow Out by Maryrose Wood
Publisher: Berkley Books
218 pages
Genre: YA

Synopsis: Being sent to your room is one thing. But being sent to another country?

Morgan's boyfriend dumped her on the last day of school-it seemed the only thing to do was to hack off her hair and dye the stubble orange. Unfortunately, Morgan's parents freaked and decided a change of scenery would do her good. So they're sending her off on a bike tour of Ireland.

But Morgan gets more than she bargained for on the Emerald Isle-including a strange journey into some crazy,& once upon a time corner of the past. There, she meets fairies, weefolk, and a hunky warrior-dude named Fergus, and figures out that she's got some growing to do-and she doesn't just mean her hair.

Review: This book took me by surprise, I wasn't sure what to expect but the beginning made me think I was in for another angsty teenage drama but I was wrong.  Oh sure there were the snarky teenage comments but it isn't one big bitch fest and Morgan actually learns a lot about herself and how helping others isn't a drag but actually feels pretty good.

I love the Irish folklore thrown in throughout the book when Morgan gets transported back into some time long ago to find that she has another half that flits back and forth through time because she has faerie in her. This book is witty, fun and actually has a lesson of sorts.  I'm glad I found it buried on my shelves.

Monday, November 26, 2012

(73) The Kingdom

Title: The Kingdom (Graveyard Queen) by Amanda Stevens
Publisher: Mira Publishing
384 pages
Genre: Mystery, paranormal

Synopsis: Deep in the shadowy foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains lies a dying town…

My name is Amelia Gray. They call me The Graveyard Queen. I've been commissioned to restore an old cemetery in Asher Falls, South Carolina, but I'm coming to think I have another purpose here.

Why is there a cemetery at the bottom of Bell Lake? Why am I drawn time and again to a hidden grave I've discovered in the woods? Something is eating away at the soul of this town—this withering kingdom—and it will only be restored if I can uncover the truth.

Review: I got hooked on this series when I read the first one which I received as an advanced readers copy. This installment of the series delves into Amelia's past and adds even more supernatural aspects to this story.  Amelia has always seen ghosts but was warned about interacting with them.  She followed those rules until recently and now it seems like she is drawing them to her.

Amelia accepts a job to help restore a cemetery on a remote island, that seems to be calling her.  But is the island really calling or is it her trying to escape the ghosts that haunt her most recent romance with a police officer?

I really liked the story, the ghostly tension, and the romantic tension but I think it pushed the envelope with some of the unknown supernatural aspects. The information you discover about Amelia and her past from her trip to this remote location gives you enough chills without adding anything to it. While I don't want to disclose it for fear of spoilers I just felt that some of the added fantasy detracted from the story instead of adding to it.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Teaser Tuesday 11/20/12


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along!

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser Tuesday is from: The Boys in the Trees: A Novel by Mary Swan

"And then he was running through the long grass, wiping at the blood that made it hard to see but not slowing, still running.  The roaring fell away behind and he knew mother would step into the worst of it, but he didn't care; at that moment he didn't even care."

Thursday, November 15, 2012

(72) Lucretia and the kroons

Title: Lucretia and the Kroons (Kindle Single) Victor Lavalle
Publisher: Spiegel & Grau
100 pages
Genre: YA

 I received this book as an advanced electronic galley from netgalley.com

Synopsis: Being young doesn't protect you. Horrors come for kids, too is a lesson Lucretia "Loochie" Gardner learns the hard way in this gripping novella. Loochie is a plucky 12-year-old from Queens living in an apartment complex rife with rumored creatures from the underworld. She struggles to come to terms with her best friend Sunny's ongoing battle with cancer, as the two have been inseparable for years. When Sunny returns home from her latest round of treatment, the girls make a plan to hang out at Loochie's--without parental supervision. But Sunny doesn't show, and Loochie dives into twisted waters in her quest to find her best friend.

Review: Creepy and spooky I'm not sure this is a novella for children.  Loochie winds up in an in-between place where she is chased by Kroons (decaying broken crack addicts), flying rats and saved by her best friend Sunny.  It is a tale of friendship, loss. This is such a disturbing little story I'm not sure if I liked it or didn't but it certainly made an impression.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

(71) Mother Number Zero

Title: Mother Number Zero by Marjolijn Hof
Publisher: Groundwood Books
180 pages
Genre: YA, children

Synopsis:  No one in Fay's family looks like anyone else, because Fay and his sister, Bing, were adopted. Fay only knows that his birth mother escaped the war in Bosnia, and that he arrived in his new home with nothing more than a squeaky toy and a few clothes. But when Fay meets Maud, the new girl in town, she's curious about his birth mother and about what it's like to be adopted. And on top of that, she says smack in the middle of the street that she likes him.
Suddenly Fay is full of questions — mother questions and Maud questions. Who is his birth mother, or mother number zero, as he calls her? Why did she give him away? Is it bad to want to find her? And what should he do about Maud? Could he be in love without realizing it? With his parents' help, Fay begins to look for mother number zero, and as the search unfolds, he finds some surprising answers to his questions.

Review: This book is great to get the conversation started about birth parents, their situations and what happens when one child is able to find their birth parent and the other isn't. The emotions were very realistic and the conversations were well done. This would be a great read for parents whose children are starting to question where they came from and also for kids 9 and up.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

(70) Leadership & Self Deception: getting out of the box

Title: Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting out of the Box by The Arbinger Institute
Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publisher
216 pages
Genre: Business, Self-help

Synopsis: Leadership and Self-Deception uses an entertaining story about an executive facing challenges at work and at home to expose the precise psychological processes that conceal our true motivations and intentions from us and trap us in a “box” of endless self-justification. Most importantly, the book shows us the way out.

Review: This is a great book that can help you take a step back and really look at what is going on both at work and at home.  By using or being aware of the concepts in this book and being able to step out of the box we can help improve our relationships at home and at work.  It will also help make our work environment more productive and if the entire organization were to learn these lessons it could make the company work more effectively and more productively.

The book is written in the form of a story which makes it very easy to read and to understand.  Of course "getting out of the box" isn't as easy as it seems. While the concepts are easy, the practice of getting out of the box is difficult. It takes a lot of self awareness and practice.  I believe that it is an ongoing process and it is very easy to fall back into the box.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

(69) Easy

Title: Easy by Tammara Webber
Publisher: Berkley Trade
336 Pages
Genre: YA

Synopsis: Rescued by a stranger. Haunted by a secret. Sometimes, love isn't easy... He watched her, but never knew her. Until thanks to a chance encounter, he became her savior... The attraction between them was undeniable. Yet the past he'd worked so hard to overcome, and the future she'd put so much faith in, threatened to tear them apart. Only together could they fight the pain and guilt, face the truth--and find the unexpected power of  love.

Review: Dumped by her high school sweetheart Jacqueline is trying to find her way without him.  Skipping most of her classes she tries to get herself back on track with the help of an email tutor Landon and her room mate. After a frat party Jacqueline finds herself in a scary situation, a boy from her class Lucas, comes to her rescue and saves her. As Jacqueline tries to piece back her life she finds herself torn between her email tutor Landon and her real life savior and bad boy Lucas.

This book was better than I expected and the way Webber deals with rape and the emotional toll it takes is fabulous. She does a good job of showing the emotional toll on the woman and those who love her. Although this is a heavy subject matter the story doesn't feel heavy. As well as a story of survival it is also a story of taking back your power and learning who you are.
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