Monthly Archives: March 2013

Waiting….

I am fairly certain that I have mentioned how much I loath and detest waiting for things! I buy a new article of clothing, I have to wear it as soon as possible. I buy a gift, I can hardly contain myself until the person opens it. Well, imagine my chagrin when I reach the end of book one of a trilogy/series and have to WAIT NEARLY A YEAR for book two! I can’t even tell you…….Anyway, the book in my cross-hairs right now is Altered by Jennifer Rush. Those of you who know me particularly well will understand why I picked up the book to begin with (see cover).  I wasn’t expecting much…sometimes the cover is the best part of the book. This time, though, the cover was just the beginning and I thoroughly enjoyed the read!

AlteredAnna is an ordinary girl living with her father in an idyllic farm house…where there’s a basement laboratory holding 4 ridiculously handsome boys. Okay so “ordinary” doesn’t really describe her life in the least. Her mom died when she was a baby and all she has of her is a picture and her journal/cookbook. Each day she goes down into the basement lab to help her father study and monitor the boys’ progress. It’s her job to take their blood and analyze it, recording any changes or anomalies. It’s not so bad, really. Cas is goofy and tells great jokes. Trev is her confidant and who knows her secret feelings for Sam, the alpha male and most gorgeous boy she’s ever met. The only fly in the ointment is Nick, who, for no reason she can figure, hates the very sight of her. None of the boys remember anything before they woke up in the lab five years earlier, which is strange and piques Anna’s curiosity enough to break into her father’s study to read their files. She only gets as far as Sam’s when men from The Branch come to take the boys away. The Branch is a mysterious organization for whom her father works and who “own” the boys. They use the opportunity to escape but are surprised when Anna’s father wants them to take her with them. As they make their way, putting as much distance between them and their captors as possible, the boys and Anna try to piece together what little information they have and deal with the flashes of memory Sam begins to have. They quickly realize that, if they are going to survive, they will have to find out who they used to be and why they were chosen.

This isn’t quite a dystopian story because the whole world has not catastrophically altered but there are certainly some elements of dystopia in the story. It’s a rather clever take on the age-old genetic mutation theme. The characters are well-formed and believable, though there are moments when you have to do a mental double-take. Anna’s role in the story ends up being pretty interesting and somewhat unexpected. Fans of sci-fi will definitely enjoy this!

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Processing…Complete

Okay, so I’ve had some time to think things over and my good friend Dwan Simmons asked me a couple of great guiding questions so, here it is…

Kami has an imaginary friend…or at least that’s what everyone has always thought Jared was to her. They would talk for hours and when one was frightened or excited or emotional in any way, the other was right there to talk things through. Kami is 17 now but her link to Jared is just as strong; she just has to work harder to hide it. One ordinary day, two new boys come to school. They are both very nice looking, especially the blond and gregarious Ash. They are Lynburns, one of the families that founded Sorry-in-the-Vale, one of the many quaint villages that dot the Costswold countryside. There’s something not quite right about them or the reaction of the townsfolk reaction to their return and soon, Kami realizes that one of the boys is far more familiar to her than she ever expected.

The story trots along brilliantly. The characters are quirky and absolutely hilarious (Sarah Brennan, you certainly know how to turn a phrase). This is one of those books you might want to read in private unless you want to constantly explain why you are laughing out loud. Anyway, all of a sudden (or it seemed that way to me) MAGIC makes inserts itself into the story. That was the part I was having trouble with. Now don’t get me wrong…I love a good fantasy story, especially if there are star-crossed lovers involved but, for some reason, I wasn’t expecting this. Sure the telepathy (from infancy, mind you) was a bit out there but magic? Anyway, all’s well that ends…with a cruel and clever cliff hanger!!!

If you like to laugh and you enjoy a good fantasy tale, you should definitely pick up Unspoken. If you don’t like those two things but do like a good romance, you should also pick up Unspoken!

 

 

 

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Processing…

Have you ever read a book that was so….something that you just have to put it aside until you can sort out your thoughts/feelings? Maybe not…maybe this just happens to geeky readers who immerse themselves or become immersed in stories so that it’s like having to step out of the skin of the teller or of one of the characters. Weird, I know. Anyway, the book is Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan and you will just have to tune in later to hear what I have to say…once I’ve worked out what it is I have to say. SIGH…Great cover, though!!!

unspoken

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A REAL Interesting Story

In looking for books to add to my school’s summer reading list, I made myself read a nonfiction book…and I actually liked it! Of course, it helps that it’s written in prose so reads a lot like a novel. It’s all about a plot to steal Lincoln’s dead body! Pretty Gruesome!

For me, the secret seems to be format (I suspect that it’s the same for my middle school students). If it’s written like a novel, there’s a pretty good chance I’ll like it…especially if there’s a really good story to tell! Truth is often stranger than fiction, as they say!

Lincoln's Grave RobbersCounterfeit money has been a problem for as long as there has been paper money. In fact, the Secret Service was created solely to deal with counterfeiters. One man was the bane of Secret Service’s existence. Benjamin Boyd didn’t start out to be a counterfeiter. He was a talented engraver who figured out that he could make more money (literally) printing currency. When he is finally apprehended and faces a long jail term, those who depended on his money hatch a dastardly plan to break him out!

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