I feel like the last few weeks have been but a blur...meetings and River Days, working and meetings, preparing and Relaying and meetings some more!
In between, though, I really have been trying to keep up with my reading...and I hope to read a LOT more in the next few weeks....
But for now, the reviews!
Becoming Sister Wives by Meri, Janelle, Christine, Robyn and Kody Brown
I've been a fan of "Sister Wives"on TLC, so when I saw the Browns had written a memoir about their faith and becoming one family, I was interested to see if it revealed more than the show. It certainly delves more into how each wife joined the family, and also sheds light on some of the animosity and "growing pains" that were associated with becoming one polygamist family. The writing was fairly pedestrian and there was nothing terribly shocking, but it was another view of the family than just the show...
Never Tell by Alafair Burke
I really like Burke's "Ellie Hatcher" series of mystery novels, so I was looking forward to reading this twisty, turny thriller. A young, wealthy New York City girl is found dead, presumably of a suicide, though her family refuses to believe it's so. Ellie at first dismisses it out of hand, but then things begin to spin and change...revealing something more. Another great novel in the series!
Defending Jacob by William Landay
This was recommended to me by my friend Nat, and it was a great courtroom thriller in the vein of "Presumed Innocent". A young boy is found murdered in a neighborhood park, and DA Andy Barber is among the first on the scene, horrified to find it's a classmate of his son, Jacob. Within days, however, the lens shifts and Jacob is the presumed killer. What follows is the courtroom wheelings and dealings of Jacob's trial, while throughout the novel....another trial is happening that isn't revealed until the second to last page. I have a lot of unresolved issues with this novel, and it did seem to drag a bit in places, but overall it was a great mystery, a great reveal, and an intriguing premise. Recommended!
Keepsake by Kristina Riggle
I really, really liked this novel, though I'm not sure I can summarize why. Trish is a single mother of two boys, and she knows she isn't perfect. But when her younger son is hurt at home and Child Protective Services arrives for a home visit, it becomes glaringly clear that Trish is a hoarder, just as her mother was. Trish, her estranged sister, a college friend, her ex-husband, her kids and her father form an uneasy alliance to try and clean her home, keep her children safe, determine why she is the way she is, and answer lingering questions about her mother. A really interesting, fast, engaging read.
Tribute by Nora Roberts
You can't go wrong with a dishy Nora Roberts novel, particularly and audiobook when you are on the road a lot, and this one fit the bill. A former child actress, an abandoned farm, a hunky neighbor and a decades-old grudge - good times!
Divergent by Veronica Roth
This was recommended to me by fellow librarian Heather as a "better than Hunger Games" read, so I had to check it out for myself!
(I don't know about "better than", but certainly "as good as"!)
In a future Chicago, when students turn 16, they must choose a faction to join - often, that of their family, but sometimes, a student chooses differently...Tris is just such a girl. Of the five factions, she chooses Dauntless, the brave, reckless faction completely different from her home faction of Abnegation (the selfless). After that, the story rockets off into politics, training, intrigue, romance and an ever-likely war. I can't really summarize this young adult novel adequately except to say I loved it, I raced through it, I couldn't stop thinking about it, and I already have the second one (Insurgent) checked out for vacation. ;-) HIGHLY recommended!
Off the Grid by P.J. Tracy
I've been a fan of mother-and-daughter writing team Tracy since their debut, Monkeewrench. This one again features our Monkeewrench crew in a supporting role, as well as our returning Minneapolis cops, Magozzi and Rolseth. This was a solid mystery, but didn't seem to have the same zing, the same page-turner quality as their past novels, and I found myself easily drifting away from the story to do something else. I'm still a fan of their work, but I would say this wasn't their strongest novel to date.
Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin
This young adult novel was recommended at ALA by Jodi Picoult's daughter as one of her favorite novels, so I thought I'd have a quick read. Fifteen year old Liz Hall has died and ended up in Elsewhere, where she will age backwards until she's a baby again, ready to rejoin the earth. Elsewhere is idyllic, and her friendly grandmother is there to help her transition, but Liz still yearns to be alive, back with her family. This was a really intriguing premise for a novel, and I thought it handled a lot of topics and touchy subjects well, while still being really readable. Recommended for teens!
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