Tag Archives: ARC

212 – Moonlight Mile

Finished Moonlight Mile by Dennis Lehane.  This was a review copy, sent to me by the publisher.

This is a Kenzie/Gennaro book and is also a sequel to Gone Baby Gone.  In that book, a four-year-old girl goes missing and Patrick and Angie have to find her.

In this book, the girl is now 16 and is missing again–a runaway this time.  Her mom (who, of course, is the same stellar parent she was in Gone Baby Gone) says her daughter is fine, but her aunt doesn’t believe it.  She gets Patrick to agree to look for her again.

I love Patrick and Angie and I was really happy when I read that there was going to be another book in the series (the first in several years).  This book completely exceeded all expectations.  It’s dark and brooding, which I love, but there’s a sense of hope, too.  I’m pretty sure this is going to be the last in the series, which makes me sad, but at least I got to see them again.  And at least they were left in a good place.

(And can I just say one last time how much I love these people?)

Recommended for people who like their mysteries to have moral conflicts and no easy answers. 

226 – The Daughters Break the Rules

Finished The Daughters Break the Rules by Joanna Philbin. I received this from the publisher at BEA.

This is the second (of three) books about Hudson, Carina and Lizzie.  This book focuses on Carina, who is the daughter of a billionaire.  Her father essentially cuts her off (he’s not a jerk; Carina totally deserves it) and so she has to adjust to living in Manhattan with a cell phone from the 90s, a MetroCard and $20 a week.  To fund a skiing trip with a crush, she tells a few white lies and gets a job as a party planner.  So except for the fact that she has no experience, super awesome!

I love this series.  I think I even prefer it to the first book.  I love books about friendship (and this one is Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants-esque, only without the altering viewpoints within the book) and I love transformation/redemption stories.  Put them together (as this one does) and I am a very hapy Kelly.

So take this trip with Carina and see how she goes from being privileged and spoiled to being a much better and nicer person.  You’ll see a lot of the plot twists coming, but the ride’s a fun one.

225 – My Reading Life

Finished My Reading Life by Pat Conroy.  I received this from the publisher.  It will be released November 2.

I’m a big fan of books about books and reading, and this book is one of the reasons.  Each chapter is about a different book, author or inspiration for Conroy in his life or in his work. 

Those include Gone With the Wind (LOVE!), James Dickey (who was actually Conroy’s teacher), his English teacher (who introduced him to Joan Baez and The Catcher in the Rye) and his mother, a bibliophile to rival all bibliophiles.

Ultimately, you probably already know whether you want to read this.  If you don’t like Pat Conroy or books about reading, you’re probably not going to want to go anywhere near this book.

But if you do…well, you’re in for a treat. :)

224 – You Had Me at Woof

Finished You Had Me at Woof by Julie Klam.  I received this from the publisher.  It will be released Thursday.

This is about a woman who rescues Boston terriers.  And, more than that, it’s about the special bond people have with their dogs.  You might think that it’s a given that I’d like this kind of book, but I usually don’t read “yay, dogs are awesome!” books.  I like this book because it’s great and well-written, not because it’s about dogs. :)

If you’re not a dog person, read this anyway.  It’s not weird and all “dogs are better than people.*”  It’s smart and funny and when I was a few chapters in**, I went and ordered her first memoir.

You should absolutely read this book, especially if you have, have had or ever hope to have a dog.  But if you’re a cat person, read this anyway.  It’s wonderful and you’ll thank me later.

I feel like I overuse this sentence, but I want Julie Klam to be my best friend.  And I want her dogs to have playdates with Sam. 

* = although they ARE.

* = it was actually lesson seven, about “losing a friend,” so I took a break from the book so I could finish crying.

222 – Nightshade

Finished Nightshade by Andrea Cremer.  I received this from the publisher at BEA.  It comes out tomorrow.

Calla is the leader of a pack of werewolves.  (They don’t call themselves that, but I do.)  Her whole life, she’s known that she will eventually be joined to another pack leader, Ren.  Their two packs will merge and form a new wolfing clan*.

So she knows what her life will be and she accepts it.  And then she meets this other guy…

I really liked this book.  It’s got everything I love in YA–kickass heroine, angsty love triangle, paranormal aspect.

If you’re in the mood for an incredibly fun read, absolutely grab this book tomorrow.  (But as a head’s up, there is a major, MAJOR cliffhanger.)

* = “Werewolf bar mitzvah, spooky, scary.”  (Sorry.  I love 30 Rock.)

219 – Revolution

Finished Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly.  I received a copy of this from the publisher at BEA.  It will be released October 12.

I read her novel A Northern Light on a coworker’s recommendation, so when I saw a stack of ARCs of this at BEA, I was overjoyed and made sure to grab one. 

Andi is a teenage girl in Brooklyn.  Since her younger brother’s death, she’s been able to stop blaming herself.  She’s on anti-depressants and she’s flunking out of school.  The only thing she cares about is music.  (Music in general and playing guitar in particular.)  Also since her brother died, her dad moved out and her mom’s essentially gone; all she does is paint.  But when the school contacts her dad to say that there’s a good chance she won’t be graduating, he comes home and tells her that she’s going to Paris with him over winter break.  (Best. Punishment. EVER.)

While there, she finds a diary written by another teenage girl during the French Revolution.  While she reads the diary, she finds parallels between her life and Alexandrine’s life, and this starts to help her overcome her own grief.

I LOVED this book.  Like seriously, hardcore LOVED this book.  You’d think, given the subject matter (dark depression, dead family member, French Revolution) that it’d be completely depressing, but it’s not.  Instead of focusing on the evil that we do to each other and the darkness that’s in most of us, it’s more about how easy it is to do one thing that will make the world a little bit better.

Please read this book.  I like it so much that I can’t explain it well, but I can’t imagine that you won’t love it, too.

133 – The Reversal

Finished The Reversal by Michael Connelly.  This was a review copy I received from the publisher at BEA.

I was ridiculously excited to see that Michael Connelly was doing a signing at BEA, because I’ve been reading his books since around the time I graduated college.  I’ve read almost all of them now, and I’ve loved all that I’ve read.  (I mention this because if you haven’t read Michael Connelly and you like suspense novels, you need to start reading him NOW.  He does legal thrillers like this one and also what I guess you’d call police procedurals.)  So yeah, getting to briefly meet him?  AWESOME.  And yay for me, ’cause I didn’t embarrass myself, either. :)

This is another one in his Mickey Haller series, but Harry Bosch is in here a lot, too.

Mickey Haller is a defense attorney, but he’s been persuaded to “cross the aisle” for the retrial of Jason Jessup, who was convicted in 1986 of kidnapping and murdering a 12-year-old girl.  DNA evidence seems to clear him, but there’s more to the case than DNA.  So long story short, Haller agrees to do it, provided he can choose his second chair (he picks his ex-wife, Maggie McPherson, who’s been dubbed Maggie McFierce) and investigator (he picks Harry, because if you get your pick of cops to help you, you ALWAYS pick Harry).

So anyway, yes, another excellent offering by Michael Connelly. :)  I’m always excited for people who haven’t read Michael Connelly before, because his books are consistently excellent and because I haven’t met anyone who hasn’t enjoyed his books after reading one.

217 – Bloodthirsty

Finished Bloodthirsty by Flynn Meaney.  I received this from the publisher at BEA.  It will be released October 5.

The unfortunately named Finbar is 16 and fairly used to getting picked on at school.  He’s pale and awkward and really shy.  But when his family moves to New York, he has an epiphany.  He doesn’t have to be seen as a freak who’s allergic to the sun.  (Yes, he’s literally allergic to the sun.)  He can cash in on the popularity of vampires by subtly leading people to believe that he IS one.

I realize that teenage girls are completely ridiculous sometimes (which I say with love, seeing as how I used to be a teenager myself), but how he manages to get a bunch of them to really believe he’s a vampire is beyond me. :)

But this is a really funny book and I would like to see more from Finbar.  Finbar takes self-deprecation to an art form.  He’s incredibly smart and funny (at his own expense, as well as at the expense of others) and this book was a really fun way to spend a few hours.

216 – The Witches’ Kitchen

Finished The Witches’ Kitchen by Allen Williams. This was a review copy I received from the publisher at BEA. It will be released October 5.

Toad wakes up in the middle of a weird kitchen.  I say “weird” because it keeps changing.  It belongs to two witches (sisters) and it’s always dark.  Incredibly dark.  There is no sun in the kitchen.  And again, things in it keep moving (but only when you don’t look).  Oh, and also, most of the other things in the kitchen are not friendly.

But fortunately Toad does manage to make some friends.  They set out to find the Widows, who will (hopefully) give them a way to get out of the kitchen and escape from the witches.  (The witches have a plan for Toad; it is not a nice one.)

This is technically a middle-grade book (which I point out because the website directs you to the teen version of Little, Brown).  I don’t think it would be too scary, but it’s hard to say for sure because I’m reading this as an adult and I don’t really spend time with little kids.  So maybe read it first if you’re not sure if your kid could handle it.

I really enjoyed it, though.  It’s a fun story and, like The Graveyard Book, reminds me of old-school Tim Burton.  There are also really gorgeous (and creepy) pencil illustrations throughout the book.

Completely recommended.  (And I think this would be a fantastic movie.)

215 – Mostly Good Girls

Finished Mostly Good Girls by Leila Sales.  I received a copy from the publisher at BEA.  It will be released on October 5.

Violet and Katie are best friends and have been for years.  But now things are changing.  They’re 16 and Katie is starting to date this guy.  He’s not mean to her or anything, but he’s just kind of a waste of space and Violet thinks her friend can do better. 

I completely adored this book.  Violet reminds me a lot of myself in high school–she’s smart and funny and largely invisible. :)  She’s also very sarcastic.  But she cared about school a lot more than I did (which is probably why she’s going to end up at Harvard and why I got nowhere near there).

I really liked Violet.  I hope she appears in another book.