Teenage Jenna is determined to search for her mother, a scientist who studied grieving elephants and who disappeared one night from the hospital when Jenna was a toddler, after a terrible accident at the elephant preserve which left another handler dead. Jenna just wants to know if her mother is still alive, and she recruits psychic Serenity Jones and ex-cop-turned-detective Virgil Stanhope to help her. The story shifts chapter by chapter between different narrators, building to the big reveal which will leave you saying, "WHAT just happened here?" It has definite overtones of a particular movie that I can't tell you the name of or it will ruin the book, but once you read it, you'll understand. Another Picoult novel which threw me for a curve in the last three chapters (Full Disclosure--there has only been ONE Picoult novel I have EVER figured out ahead of time, and that was House Rules). The "aha" moment seems a bit contrived, and I'm not sure it works with the whole novel, but it does make sense of everything in the end. Definitely a book I'm glad I "read" (Thanks, Audible!)
Anyone who knows me know what a nut I am for Stephen King (I have most of his books in first edition hardcovers in my study), so as soon as he publishes another one, I'm online to Barnes and Noble! I'm doing these together because Mr. Mercedes introduces us to the characters and then Finders Keepers starts exactly at one tragic climax in the book and follows another character's storyline. Along the way we befriend a great cast of characters--Bill Hodges the ex-cop turned private detective, Holly Gibney his secretary who is definitely on the autism spectrum, and Jerome Robinson the neighborhood lawn boy now turned college student who comes back home for the fun. And it is fun watching these three in action; I hope Mr. King plans on writing more about their adventures. This is a cast of characters with whom I enjoy spending my time. Plenty of action and suspense thrown in (but no sci-fi creepiness, for other King fans who know his work!)
Another "book club" read (thanks SDEWT!) which I thoroughly enjoyed. I'm not a big nonfiction fan, but this one hit the spot. Journalist Gwendolyn (Wendy) Bounds and her partner leave New York post-9/11 to find a little peace and encounter just that in Garrison, N.Y., home of Guinan's Pub. The book makes you want to jump in the car and head to New York. Sadly, Jim Guinan is not longer with us, but I'm sure he's enjoying a round or three with St. Peter. I also hate to admit that I'm somewhat jaded in light of the questions regarding the veracity of Three Cups of Tea. I'd like to think that everything happened in this book just as Wendy describes it--it appeals to my optimistic side. A great book for a summer day, a screened porch, and a glass of peach iced tea. Enjoy!
A murder mystery set in Wisconsin, with a twist. The story is told from the point of view of Sally O'Malley, who is a most convincing, but not necessarily reliable, narrator! There is a serial killer in the area who is targeting little girls, and Sally is convinced she knows who it is. She'll convince you too--until she finds out she's wrong! I love this book because of its Wisconsin setting--if you grew up in a small town in Wisconsin, you'll be able to relate, too.
I picked this book up at Barnes and Noble to kill some time--ended up having to buy it and stayed up all night until I was finished! So that tells you that it's low Lexile but high interest. The main character Clay Jensen receives a box of cassette tapes in the mail from his friend Hannah--who killed herself the week before. Each tape contains the story of one person who had an effect on her life and her decision to commit suicide. I'll just say it's a book that stays with you.
I literally just finished this over the weekend. A fascinating look into the mind of the anorexic/bulemic. Anderson did her homework before writing this book, and it shows in the stark honesty of the characters of Lia and Cassie. "Watching" Lia add calories in her head as she tries to eat as little as possible was absolutely heart breaking. A fast YA read, but one you won't want to put down until you get to the end.
I also learned that there are whole websites dedicated to encouraging anorexia called "pro ana" websites (shout-out to former student Savannah Rohloff who did an excellent speech for my class on this subject). I checked one out--it broke my heart. Anorexia is as much an addiction as alcoholism or drug abuse.
A definite favorite!! This is just a sweet, sweet read. Precious Romotswe inherits 180 head of cattle from her father and opens her own detective agency in Botswana. I loved the book so much I bought the HBO series from iTunes. The secretary is a stitch. The little boy who does odd jobs (Wellington, whose name is bigger than he is) is a treasure. You MUST read this!!
Wow wow wow! If you're a science fiction fan, it's a no-brainer! Katniss Everdeen is the 16-year-old protagonist, growing up in Section 12 in what was the US. Every year 24 young adults (2 from each district) are chosen by the Capitol, to be wined and dined on their way to a fight to the death! This is a trilogy that has been gathering fans quickly, especially since the release of the third novel Mockingjay. A great SSR option!
I'm not a fan of nonfiction, but I'm a HUGE fan of historical fiction, and Ken Follett's companion novels fill the bill. Set in England - I LOVE England! Characters that go against the typical grain - I LOVE it when characters act like real people! Detailed descriptions of cathedral building - I felt absolutely TRANSPORTED when touring the cathedrals of England. I do have two gripes--Follett's antagonists are supremely evil (and I just have a problem with characters that have absolutely no redeeming qualities at all), and the incredible latitude given his female characters. In a time when women were more property than person, I have a hard time believing that a female openly living with her lover would attain the position of the prioress of Knightsbridge Cathedral. For those who enjoy audio books, the audio versions narrated by John Lee were a joy to listen to.
I really tried NOT to read this, just because of all the hype, but I'm glad I did. If you like murder mystery/action type books, this is it with a Swedish twist. Journalist Mikael Blomkvist is on his way to jail for libel. A slight detour leads him to take on the investigation of a missing person in the midst of his troubles. I found some really interesting writing conventions in this novel that have me wondering if they're typical of Swedish authors (such as the page-long product placement ad for Apple computers!) I couldn't put it down! **Parental discretion advised (for "adult situations")**