Monday, January 16, 2017

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell, 522 pages

"Carry On" is the fan fiction that a character was writing in Rainbow Rowell's book "Fangirl".  That said, this is a stand-alone book that doesn't require the reading of "Fangirl" to appreciate.  Don't let that stop you though.

"Carry On" features a magical world and school, similar, yet different, from the world of Harry Potter.  

Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy pretty much hated each other all through the Harry Potter series.  Our hero here, Simon Snow, and his nemesis, Tyrannus Basilton Grimm Pitch "Baz," end up in a totally different dynamic.  Witty, funny, exciting, magical, thrilling. . . a great read, or in my case, listen.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp 288 pages

Opportunity, Alabama is a small town. Here, the principal gives a welcome speech at the beginning of a new semester. As the students get up to leave, they discover that the doors to the auditorium are locked. Except for one, the one door that stands a boy with a gun. 

Claire is outside on the track, running with three others and her coach. Tomas is in the principal's office looking through student's files. Sylvia and Autumn are stuck in the auditorium with the rest of the high school. In just 54 minutes, their worlds are turned upside.  

Friday, January 13, 2017

The Curse of the Boggin by D. J. MacHale 242 pages

When supernatural phenomena start following Marcus O'Mara around, he discovers a key that leads to The Library, a place where all the stories of the living and dead are kept that will help him and his friends solve a terrifying mystery.  He will have to face a monstrous creature, a boggin, that has the ability to induce hallucinations that feel all too real.  Marcus needs all of his courage and wits to protect his family and the Library.  This is the first in the Library series.  A note from the author at the beginning makes it clear that all the other titles to follow may be read in any order.  The first one is the only one that needs to be read before others.  I really enjoyed listening to this one.  I think it would appeal to kids who like a bit of scary and a bit of mystery in 3rd grade and up.

Archon by Lana Krumwiede 313 pages

Picking up several months after the first book in the Psi Chronicles series, Archon finds Taemon struggling with the aftermath of his decision to remove psi from all of Deliverance.  His motivation was for all the right reasons, but not everyone is adapting to life without telekinesis well.  He and his friend Amma are searching for his parents, rumored to have been thrown in asylums as instigators.  Then Taemon discovers that his father may have been captured and taken by the Republikites.  Taemon and Amma set off to rescue him, even though it is extremely dangerous.  What they discover could make matters far worse than they ever would have anticipated and sets you up to really want to read the third book in the series as soon as possible!  I highly recommend this series to anyone who likes a little Fantasy/Sci-Fi.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

No Man's Land by David Baldacci, 420 pages

No Man's Land is #4 in Baldacci's John Puller series.  Chief John Puller, Jr. works for the US Army Criminal Investigation Command.  In this outing, retired General John Puller, Sr. (our John's father) is accused of murdering his wife over thirty years ago.

John Puller, Jr. begins an investigation to find out what really happened to his mother when she disappeared when he was just 8 years old.  Government conspiracies and lots of bad people get in the way of finding out what happened.  Veronica Knox and Robert Puller step in to help. 

Verdict:  not too deep but enjoyable.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Story Thieves by James Riley 416 pages

When Owen sees his classmate Bethany climb out of a book, everything changes in his life. Owen talks Bethany into letting him come with her into the new Kiel Gnomenfoot book. Owen promises that he will not do anything but watch as the story unfolds. However, Owen does not keep his promise. When he interacts with the characters in the story, things go terribly wrong. Owen must become the hero that he wants to be, to help fix everything. 

Ticket to India by N.H. Sanzai 288 pages

Maya travels with her mother and older sister from San Francisco to Pakistan, after the death of her grandfather. They are going to help Maya’s grandmother make the move to California with them. Before traveling back to the States, Maya’s grandmother wants to embark on a secret trip to India to family heirlooms that were left when the family fled during Partition. When Maya and her sister learn of the trip, they blackmail their grandmother into taking them with her. While traveling, the trio gets separated. Maya enlists an orphan boy named Jai, to help track down the treasure. 

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Turbo Twenty-Three by Janet Evanovich, 288 pages

Evanovich makes it easy to keep track of this series.  We are at volume #23 in the Stephanie Plum series. 

Stephanie Plum is a bounty hunter in New Jersey.  She has her parents, her wacky grandmother, her sidekick Lula, her boyfriend Joe and her other boyfriend Ranger.

All the usual suspects are here, but instead of the often present strange animal we have an angry clown.  Stephanie catches some bad buys, buys the obligatory new old car and waffles between Joe and Ranger.  A nice little read or listen if you don't want to think to hard. 

Friday, December 30, 2016

Twelve Days of Christmas by Debbie Macomber 288 pages

When Julia meets her Scrooge of a neighbor Cain, her best friend tells Julia that she should kill him with kindness. As Christmas approaches, Julia decides to keep a blog titled The Twelve Days of Christmas. Her first attempts at being kind to Cain are met with resistance, however her blog becomes a hit. Julia is very persistent and chips away at Cain’s icy exterior. Julia as well as Cain develop feelings for the other, but Julia has not told Cain about her blog. She is afraid how Cain will react if or when he finds out. Will their chance of love be ruined?  

Finding Father Christmas & Engaging Father Christmas by Robin Jones Gunn 352 pages

Miranda Carson travels to England on a spur-of-the-moment trip in search of her biological father. Miranda is led to Carlton Heath because a photograph of a little boy sitting on Father Christmas’s lap. The photography studio’s information is printed on the back of the photo. When Miranda starts looking for the shop, she learns that the studio is no longer. What she does find is a family who welcomes her with open arms. When Miranda discovers who her father is, she is faced with a decision that will hurt the people she is starting to love.