I'm desperately in "getting ready to go on vacation" mode, but need to do some housekeeping on ye olde blog first, including a bevy of book reviews, so let's go!
I Now Pronounce You Someone Else by Erin McCahan
This sounded like a promising YA novel, but sort of devolved into typical teen fantasy of marrying the soulmate, no matter the cost, and the lead character swore she wasn't related to her own family, because how could someone as fabulous as her be saddled with such a strange family. It was...a bit trite, honestly. But maybe I just wasn't in the right frame of mind...
The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors by Michele Young-Stone
This was just sort of a weird, quirky read...two lead characters who barely meet in the novel are intertwined by those around them in sort of a clever and interesting way, but I found that I couldn't focus on the story or the characters - it just didn't "gel" with me...which was a shame, as I was quite excited about reading it...and even now, I feel like I can't adequately explain it, which means I didn't retain much of the story at all. Sigh.
Getting the Pretty Back by Molly Ringwald
Who my age doesn't love Molly Ringwald? This book wasn't what I expected, but I loved its easy, breezy style nonetheless. This isn't a biography or anything, but rather an exploration of dating, finding the right lipstick, and tips for a good life - be it finding clothing staples or the perfect mate. Just an easy read in Ringwald's conversational style...
North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley
I can't quite tell you what I loved about this YA novel, but I loved this novel. :-) Characters with great depth (a girl with a birthmark, an adopted Asian boy), an unlikely romance (one of those "will they or won't they" achy ones), travel to a foreign land, and coming to terms with our own flaws and beauty - this novel had it all, and I think lots of teen girls would really enjoy it. A great read!
Pray for Silence by Linda Castillo
I really enjoyed Castillo's first novel, so I was eager to read her followup, again featuring a formerly Amish "Englischer" police chief and her small community of Painters Mills, which is a mix of English and Amish. When a mass murder on an Amish farm rocks her quiet town, Kate must again race against time to solve the murder before something happens to her or those she cares about....a great mystery read with a nice "Amish" twist!
Dark Harbor by Stuart Woods
Another Stone Barrington novel, another Tony Roberts narration - another great combination! This time Stone takes up residence in Maine after a cousin dies under mysterious circumstances. Filled with "the usual suspects" and Stone's typical candor and humor. Great!
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender
This has been getting rave reviews, and I loved the premise: Rose can actually *taste* the emotions of the person who prepared her food, from her mother's sadness and longing to a chef's anger to a cook's delight. Mixed in with this magical-but-not-magical tale is unrequited love, a seriously weird brother, parents who are together but apart, and a main character who seems to drift through life completely rudderless and without ambition. I liked the writing well enough, and the characters well enough, but I wanted to tell Rose to SNAP OUT OF IT. Get a job, get a life, get an education, get something! I found myself so frustrated with her, I ended up resenting the ending...but nonetheless, an intriguing read.....
I also have to give a big "Thank You!" to Dizzy C, for including me in her list of blogs for the "Lovely Blog Award" - I'm just tickled! Thank you!
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