Friday, May 26, 2017

The Eagle's Quill by Sarah L. Thomson 224 pages

After finding Benjamin Franklin's original key that he discovered lightning with, Sam, Marty, and Theo are headed to Glacier National Park in search of their second Founding Fathers' key. They are lead to a Montana Ranch in search of Thomas Jefferson's quill that he used to sign the Declaration of Independence. Not far behind them is Gideon Arnold, who kidnaps their chaperone and the ranch owners. Sam, Marty, and Theo must work together with Abby, the daughter of the ranchers. In order to get the adults back, the group must find the quill and give it to Gideon. They enter the wilderness where they encounter a bear, a mountain lion, and the waterfall. Will they be able to find the quill and keep everyone save? Again, this was another fast read with interesting historical facts. 

The Eureka Key by Sarah L. Thomson 240 pages

Sam is a master at puzzles. When he wins a contest, Sam learns that he will get to travel across America for the summer. What Sam didn't know is that he would be taking this trip with Martina, a history buff, and Theo, a descendant of George Washington. Sam was recruited to help solve puzzles and clues that were left behind by the Founding Fathers of America. The Founding Fathers left seven keys that will unlock an invention created by Benjamin Franklin, a secret weapon that would help defend the U.S. While Sam, Marty, and Theo are looking for their first key in Death Valley, they come across a group of thugs who are working for Gideon Arnold, a descendant of Benedict Arnold. Together, Sam, Marty, and Theo must work together to make it out of a secret cave while searching for the key. This book is a fast read and reminds me of National Treasure

Saturday, May 20, 2017

The Rules by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie 352 pages

The best of Callabrese High have come together for a final scavenger hunt put on by August DeYoung and he wants to make sure that it is one that they remember. August believes that many of the invitees played a part in his sister's death and he wants them to admit to it. Secrets are coming to light when the teens start completing their tasks. But after a while, players start turning up dead. After witnessing a fellow player being pushed out of a loft from a hangman's noose, the remaining members of the scavenger hunt learn that they are playing by the rules of someone else's game. They have to break the rules to survive but can they make it out alive?

This was read by Robbie Daymond and follows multiple point of views.

Twisted by Hannah Jayne 320 pages

Bex Andrews is moved across the state of North Carolina to escape her past of being Beth Anne Reimer, a daughter of a serial killer. Beth Anne was seven years old when her father went on the run from the law, leaving her with her grandmother. In Raleigh, Beth Anne was picked on by other kids and was called a murderer like her father. When Bex moves to Kill Devil, she wants no one to know about her past. She has become a normal girl with two foster parents who treat her like their own and friends. She is afraid to let them know who she really is, because she knows that they will hate her like everyone else has. But you can never really escape your past and there are girls turning up murdered. Bex is approached by Detective Schuster, who she knew back in Raleigh. Detective Schuster wants Bex to reach out to her father and bring him out off hiding. Bex takes to the internet and is approached by her father. Her father is in Kill Devil and wants to take Bex with him and run away again. Who should Bex trust her father or Detective Schuster? 

Friday, May 19, 2017

The Baker's Daughter by Sarah McCoy, 295 pages

This is one of those books that has a story happening now (2007 in the United States) and then (1945 in Germany.)  Then details the life of Elsie Schmidt, who is 17, working in her family bakery in the middle of Nazi Germany.  Now mostly focuses on Reba, a reporter who meets Elsie and her daughter Jane.  Reba comes to Elsie's German Bakery to get a feel-good Christmas story about Christmas in Germany.

Most World War II related books I read tell the story of the Holocaust or life in England during the war.  This told the story from the perspective of Germans and their lives under Nazi propaganda and rule.  It also had a nice juxtaposition dealing with modern life and illegal immigration in America.  When do we get passes for how we treat people?  This is a book club book for the library this year and I am looking forward to our discussion.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

The Dare by Hannah Jayne 288 pages

Erica was Brynna's best friend. When Brynna dares Erica to jump off the pier into the ocean, Erica never resurfaces. Brynna blames herself and she goes off the deep end into drinking and drugs. After wrecking her mother's car, Brynna is sent to rehab. Brynna's parents feel that a move is what is best for Brynna. Brynna decides to stay off the radar at her new school, but plans change when she meets Evan on the first day. For the first 6 weeks of school, Brynna thought she could be normal again. All of a sudden, Brynna receives a tweet from Erica, asking if Brynna remembers her. How can she receive a tweet from a dead girl? Brynna is convinced that Erica is alive. So much that she is driving herself crazy. Is Brynna crazy or is Erica really alive? And if it isn't Erica, then who is terrorizing Brnna?

Saturday, May 13, 2017

What Waits in the Woods by Kieran Scott 228 pages

Callie and her two friends go on a camping trip for 5 days in the woods. Callie's boyfriend Jeremy tags along, even though it was supposed to be a girls-only camping trip. Callie is a city girl and this is her first time camping. When Penelope and Lissa tell her the tale of the Skinner, Callie freaks out. Why would these girls bring her on a trip, when there is a killer in the woods? Ever since then, Callie believes that someone is following them. After getting lost on the trails, the group comes across a stranger, Ted, who agrees to help them. Strange things start to happen, Callie helps hearing a laughter, 5 dolls appear in the fire pit, and they have even seen a figure moving in the trees. When Lissa comes up dead, no one knows who they can trust. Will Callie make it out of the woods alive and will the killer be found?   

Friday, May 12, 2017

In Such Good Company: Eleven Years of Laughter, Mayhem and Fun in the Sandbox, 288 pages

I am a fan of Carol Burnett and try to listen to all of her books.  This book is about the 11-year run of her musical variety show The Carol Burnett Show.

She lovingly tells stories about the cast, crew, guest stars and sketches.  I listened to this book, which I recommend, because included are interviews from actors Vickie Lawrence, Harvey Korman, Tim Conway and costume designer Bob Mackie, among others.

Carol Burnett is good people and this book was totally enjoyable. 

Thursday, May 11, 2017

The Pants Project by Cat Clarke 267 pages

Liv is 11 years old.  Liv is starting a new school.  A school with a very strict dress code, including that girls must wear skirts.  There's one big problem with this.  Liv is not a girl.  Finding a way to tell her moms that she is trans is hard enough without discovering that her best friend is more interested in being popular than being her friend anymore.  One thing that Liv absolutely cannot let go is getting the stupid dress code changed.  Why can't people dress in the clothes that make them feel like themselves?  Liv finds unlikely friends and the end of the book is not just hopeful, but really lovely.  The nice thing about this book was that, while it dealt with the issue of transgender, it wasn't so unrealistically optimistic as Gino's George.  This had a much more believable timeline for its characters.  I loved it.  I thought that Liv was a truly cool and strong character, and I appreciated the message that we are who we are and that's something we should all appreciate.

The Strain by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan 401 pages

Yikes.  If you don't like horror, don't read this book!  I got almost halfway through it several years ago and had to stop because it was giving me nightmares.  No joke.  It was really good, though, so I wanted to finish it and finally made the effort.  I only read it at lunch, at work.  It was still very unsettling.  This is not your average vampire novel.  It is desperate and terrifying and the vampires are not even remotely sexy, so forget that nonsense.  I'm pretty proud of myself for making it all the way through, but I don't know how soon I'll be able to tackle the sequels!  I highly recommend this to people who love to not be able to sleep at night.