Thursday, August 25, 2011

YA Sequel

Where She Went by Gayle Forman

This is the sequel to If I Stay, a very powerful novel by Forman. In the frst book, Mia is in a tragic accident that takes the lives of her father, mother, and younger brother. Mia herself is left in a coma. As she fights for her life, Mia's byfriend and rising rock star, Adam, is by her side begging her to stay. Mia narrates, trying to decide whether to fight to stay alive or join her family.

Where She Went picks up about three years later and is told by Adam. He is a world famous rock star. Has a gorgeous actress girlfriend, house in LA, more money than he can use, and fans around the world. Yet, Adam is miserable. He doesn't know what happened between him and Mia. Why did she leave him?

Where She Went tells Adam's story of his rise to fame, what happened to Mia in that time frame, and what exactly drove them apart as they both try to regain their lives.

New to Me Author

Rogue Island by Bruce DeSilva

Liam Mulligan is a hard nosed reporter in Providence, RI, where he works his connections and reports on the many corruptions of the gritty city. But Mulligan's world is shaken as he follows and investigates a series of arson's in the New Hope district of Providence that is killing children, fireman, and others. s Mulligan gets closer and closer to unraveling the truth, his own life becomes in danger.

This was a new author for me (and I believe it is his debut novel). I really liked the old school smart ass, snarky, intelligent reporter feel. You could tell that the author has worked in a newsroom before. It felt authentic in a way. I also loved how the city of Providence was like a character in and of itself.

Another Patterson

Private by James Patterson
Private Series #1

Private is an international private investigation firm servicing the rich, famous, and high profile. The firm is made up of a team of experts at the top of their field and run by Jack Morgan. Currently, the team at Private is being pulled in a lot of directions as they try to find out the truth behind the murder of Jack's best friend's wife, whether NFL games are being thrown for bets, and trying to find out who is stalking and killing teenage girls.

I usually find Patterson's books very fast paced and entertaining so I was excited for this new series. But I had a hard time getting into it. I felt like I was being ulled in too many directions. I wish the NFL thing had been left out and the focus had been on the murder's. However, by the end, I was liking it more and began to understand the connections between all of the cases.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Two More Thrillers from Two Favorite Series!

The Immortals by JT Ellison
Taylor Jackson Series #5

Great 5th installment of the Taylor Jackson series. Love this series!!

Taylor is on her way to celebrate the reinstatement of her Lieutenant status and the reunion of her team, when they get called to a horrific scene. A teenage boy is found naked, dead from an apparent overdose, and with a pentacle carved into his chest. Taylor is quickly thrown into a logistical nightmare when she gets one call after the next. Five crime scenes in total with eight dead teenagers in all. Taylor must manage the multiple scenes while on the hunt for sadistic killers dabbling in dark magic and the world of vampires.

10th Anniversary by James Patterson
Women's Murder Club Series

Newly married Linday Boxer doesn't have much time to enjoy post-wedding bliss with Joe before she is called in on a case. An injured teenager who had just given birth is found left for dead on the side of a deserted road, her baby gone. There is no crime scene and Lindsay must search for clues and weed through the constant lies.

Meanwhile, one of her best friends Yuki is trying the case that can make or break her career. She badly needs a win on this one and Lindsay may have evidence that could cause Yuki's case to completely fall apart.

Another great Women's Murder Club story!

Meanwhile, back in Virgin River...

Forbidden Falls by Robyn Carr
Virgin River Series #8

The church in the center of Virgin River has sat in disrepair for many years. Without a pastor, no one in town had done anything to get the church back up and running. So, Hope McCrea put the church up for sale on Ebay.

Noah Kincaid was a fairly new minister, having changed life and career paths, and was in search of a parish of his own. Having received a good sized inheritance from his mother, Noah buys the church and restores it on his own with the Church's blessing.

While interviewing for the position of Pastor's Assistant, Noah meets the beautiful and flamboyant Ellie Baldwin who, like Noah, is starting life on a new path.

Another great installment of the Virgin River series.

The Aftermath of a School Shooting

Hate List by Jennifer Brown

Valerie and Nick made a hate list. They added all the people who bullied them, teased them, and made life difficult for them. Valerie thought they were just blowing steam. She had no idea what Nick was planning until that fateful morning. As Valerie tried to stop Nick from killing more people, she herself was shot in the leg. As she fell to the ground, Nick turned the gun on himself, ending the first nightmare and starting the next. Was Valerie a hero for stopping the shootout before more students were killed or injured? Or did she help Nick plan the killing rampage?

This was a powerful book and well done.

A Sweet and Fun Love Story

Sweet Love by Sarah Strohmeyer

Boston television reporter Julie Mueller is a single mom to a teenage daughter. She is working really hard to reach the next step on her career ladder, while competing with younger co-workers, caring for her ailing mother, and doing it all alone. On her own. Her mother and best friend sign her up for a baking class knowing that her first love, Michael, will be there. Julie and Michael have had a rocky past. Can she stand being in the same baking class with him and the beautiful woman hanging all over him?

This was a great story. I have never read this author before, but will look forward to reading more by her.

A Non-Fiction Book Club Read

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

I have to be honest, when I saw this was the July selection for my face to face book group, I groaned. A book about science? About cells? How boring. I am so glad I didn't toss it aside. Becasue this book had me from the beginning. First I was drawn in by wanting to know who Henrietta Lacks was. The heartbreaking story of a women raised in deplorable conditions in the deep south. Married and abused by her cousin. Moved north to Baltimore and the struggles they faced day and in and out. All before receiving the devasting blow of a fatal cancer diagnosis. The the author goes into the science. How the cells were grown, multiplied, distributed, and used for so many amazing scientific and medical discoveries. Skllot tells the science and the stry behind her research in a way that is accessible and interesting to the layman.

In the end, I was so glad I read this book. I knew nothing of the HeLa cells and all they have done for science. It brought up great discussion about the ethics behind medical research and taught me about horrifying research done on African Americans in the 1950's and 1960's. It was a fascinating and enlightening read.

Ah, true love!

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
#1 in the Perfect Chemistry Series

Brittany and Alex are from two totally different worlds. Brittany is the typical golden girl. Popular, gorgeous, from a wealthy family, and dating the star football player. But Brittany has secrets. She has a disabled sister she is constantly caring for and trying to protect, a father who is rarely around, and a mother whose severe anxiety makes life that much more difficult. Alex is from a poor area of Chicago and the member of a Latino gang. He is hot, but dangerous. The unlikely pair are forced to work together as chemistry partners. Set in Chicago, told from two different points of view, Brittany and Alex find true love in each other and in the process save each other's lives.

I really liked this book. I was pretty much glued to it from cover to cover and look forward to reading the rest of the series!


Displacement by Thalia Chaltas
YA - Witten in Verse

Vera's home has never felt like home. Her father dead, absentee mother, and now a sister who has drowned. Vera decides to take off. She ends up in a small California desert town, trying to find her place in the world, find herself, and find "home."

I liked this book. Not as much as Chaltas' first book, Because I Am Furniture, but it was good. I am not sure how many teen girls will see themselves in Vera though.