Sunday, June 26, 2016

Review: The Gilded Cage

The Gilded Cage The Gilded Cage by Lucinda Gray
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Katherine Randolph had a simple life on her Virginia farm until a grandfather she never knew passed away and she discovered that her brother and she were his heirs. Katherine travels to Walthingham Hall as Lady Katherine and must learn as quickly as she can what she must do now that she is part of the English upper-class. When her brother drowns and she is forced into the role of sole heiress, she refuses to accept the notion that it was an accident. Was her brother’s death a willful act of murder? Is her life also in jeopardy?

The Gilded Cage is an historical fiction story that sounds better than it actually is. There were many parts of the story where I found my mind wandering and I was forced to back up and re-read in order to move on with the tale. The book is short and can be completed quickly, so readers who want to give it a try won’t have to decide mid book if they want to finish. Even though my mind did not want to stay focused on the events, the ending was good and I was happy I took the time to finish. This would be a good supplemental read between some larger books.

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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Review: The Memory Book

The Memory Book The Memory Book by Lara Avery
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sammie has always been bright and hard working. She is in the running for valedictorian, has been accepted into her first choice for college and plans to leave her small town and make something of herself. When she is diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder that is taking away her memories and quickly shortening her lifespan, she is determined to beat the disease. Out of her determination comes the Memory Book. Sammie makes notes to her future self with the goal of nudging memories and helping to keep her focused. Will these memories be enough?

The Memory Book is a stand-alone realistic fiction novel that will snatch reader’s attention from the beginning. The events are given as journal entries with additional nuggets included as extra posts from family and friends. Readers may find themselves torn with the knowledge of first crush and first love alongside Sammie. Avery has created an emotional rollercoaster that will leave the reader with a variety of feelings along the way. A must read that will appeal to male and female readers alike.

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Thursday, June 16, 2016

Review: Girl in the Shadows

Girl in the Shadows Girl in the Shadows by Gwenda Bond
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Moira has wanted nothing less than to become a stage magician like her father. Unfortunately, her father wants her to go to college and not think twice about magic shows. When an invitation to audition for the Cirque American mysteriously falls in her path, she takes the opportunity to try out all her secret magician tricks and become a great female magician. Moira is good, but when her stage magic begins to feel like real magic, she is thrust into a world that only few have experienced. Will Moira be able to take control of this newly found power? Does she have what it takes to become a great magician?

Girl in the Shadows is the second book in the Girl on a Wire series. Although this is a direct sequel to the first story, some may consider it a companion book since the main characters from the first book are only supporting characters in this tale. Because of this difference, readers who have not read the first book will be able to thoroughly enjoy this second book and most will be enticed to go back and read the first one, if they haven’t already. Bond has taken the little known world of the traveling circus and fashioned a story that is quickly devoured. A great escape read and I can’t wait for the next book in the series.

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Friday, June 10, 2016

Review: Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War

Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War by Mary Roach
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Mary Roach takes the topics that many modern soldiers must deal with and presents them in a way that even a civilian can understand. She spends time with scientists who are investigating panic, sleep deprivation, loud noises and even diarrhea. These scientists have made it their mission to discover the limits of their specialty and also devise ways to assist military personnel in many extreme situations. It doesn’t matter if the focus is underwear or stink bombs, Roach is willing to explore any topic and has presented a book that will keep readers thinking about a subject even after the book has moved on to another. Grunt is a great non-fiction distraction that can be read one chapter at a time or in one sitting.

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Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Review: And I Darken

And I Darken And I Darken by Kiersten White
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Lada Dragwlya is strong and vicious, but she is not a boy. She hopes that if she continues to be fierce and feared, her father will show her the attention she would have received as a son. Unfortunately, Lada and her brother Radu are sent as hostages to the Ottoman courts and they must learn to survive in a land not their own with the hope to return to Transylvania someday. Lada hates the Ottomans and is looking for an opportunity to get retribution and return to her own land, but when Mehmed, the sultan’s heir, becomes a friend, she is forced to question where her true heart’s love will lead her.

And I Darken is the first book in The Conquerors Saga. This dark historical fiction tale is full of intrigue and deception. Although White does not spend a great deal of time explaining this turbulent time period in history, readers will be able to understand the sweeping story and vast history that surrounds these characters. There is a lot of fighting and great deal of back room romance, yet the overall story is still appropriate for the youngest YA readers. This first stage in the saga is wrapped up to a point without a cliff hanger, yet White leaves the reader with a hint of what may come in the next adventure.

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Friday, June 3, 2016

Review: Ink and Bone

Ink and Bone Ink and Bone by Lisa Unger
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Finley has tried really hard to drown out the voices of the people only she can see by riding her motorcycle and getting another tattoo. After it seems that nothing can make the voices go away, she moves to The Hollows, New York to live with her grandmother. Her grandmother is a famous psychic, and Finley hopes that she will be able to teach her to at least quiet the voices. After a while her grandmother encourages her to help a mother try and locate her missing daughter. Finley hears and feels something, but she is so new in her training she is unsure how to use her gift to find Abbey. Will Finley unravel all the voices and signals to discover the truth about Abbey’s disappearance?

Ink and Bone is a stand-alone thriller that will quickly pull readers in and keep them turning pages constantly. Unger created a few storylines that are loosely connected and slowly pulls the threads tighter together until it is one continuous story. Readers will uncover the many secrets hidden inside The Hollows alongside Finley and most readers will need to wait until the big reveal to know who the real villain is. A great read that will be an enjoyable escape.

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