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.
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.
Finished Virals by Kathy Reichs. I received this from the publisher. It will be released on Tuesday.
Tory Brennan (niece of Tempe Brennan, who you may know from Kathy Reichs’ other series of books and/or from the TV show Bones) is sort of your typical teenage girl. Except for the fact that her three best friends are boys, she’s just moved in with her dad (who she pretty much just met) a few months ago after her mom died and the fact that she’s totally obsessed with all things science-related. She and her friends (Ben, Shelton and Hi) spend most of their time sneaking onto a nearby research island or hanging out in a bunker that they’ve found that most people don’t know about.
It’s all sort of downhill from there for them. There’s a murder mystery (technically more of a cold case mystery) and some sort of weird virus…it’s complicated and best discovered as you read. But it’s also incredibly fun.
I love the fact that Tory is smart and not completely boy obsessed. Does she have a crush? Yes. Is it all she thinks or talks about? No. And did I say that she’s smart? :) Yes, there’s a bit of the “And I would’ve gotten away with it if it hadn’t been for you meddling kids!” here, but I used to love the Scooby Doo cartoons so that sort of added to the fun for me.
If you’re a fan of Bones or Kathy Reichs, read this book. It’s young adult fiction, but don’t let that stop you. It’s smart and a complete page turner. It’s a little over 450 pages and I read 300 of those pages in one afternoon.
This is the first of a series, which makes me incredibly happy. (I am less pleased by the fact that I have to wait until next SUMMER to see what Tory and her friends are up to next.)
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. :)
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.
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.)
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.
Finished Call Me Kate: Meeting the Molly Maguires by Molly Roe. This was a review copy sent to me by the publisher.
This is historical fiction, set immediately before and during the Civil War. Katie is a 14-year-old girl living in a small town. She has to help her family make ends meet after her dad is injured in a mine accident. She is sent away to work as a servant. During this time, Irish men are being drafted into the war if they don’t have $300 to pay or can’t send someone else to fight for them. A secret Irish organization, The Molly Maguires, are planning something big to fight this. Katie finds out after hearing people talk and realizes one of her best friends from back home is involved. She knows she has to do something, but what? And how can a teenage girl do anything anyway?
I really enjoyed this book. It teaches kids about history without being preachy and it has several good messages. I think the best one is that one person can make a difference, because it’s very easy to get bogged down in the way things are and not try to change them.
I liked Katie–she’s an average girl, not particularly smart (although she is smart) and not particularly brave. She’s an average kid, in other words, and I think her story might help other average kids step up to try and make a difference in their own lives, too.
And I liked that while the Irish were treated horribly, it was also pointed out that the way to combat violence isn’t with more violence. Also, it shows that being brave isn’t not being afraid, it’s doing what’s right even though you’re afraid.
Very interesting book, one I think many kids will enjoy–even ones who aren’t fond of history. I think Katie is relatable enough that people will read her story and learn a little without it even seeming like learning.
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.