Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Seventh Witch by Shirley Damsgaard

The Seventh Witch (Ophelia and Abby, Bk 7)
 This is the latest book in the Ophelia and Abby series (#7!) and the series is going strong!

Abby, Tink, and Ophelia have gone to visit their aunts to celebrate Mary's 100th birthday.  While there, Ophelia becomes aware of a feud between her family and another local family, but when no one wants to talk about it, her curiosity gets the better of her!  After finding a dead body (again!), she begins to investigate the other family, and in the process, she unearths some dark, ugly secrets.

There isn't as much magick as in previous books, which I kind of missed, but her relationship with Ethan moves forward, and we get more information on her ancestors, especially Abby's mother, Annie, which adds quite a bit to the story.

All in all, it wasn't the best book in the series, but it was still a very good read.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Push: A Novel (Paperback) by Sapphire

Push: A Novel (Paperback) by Sapphire

As everyone (I think!) knows, this is the book that the movie Push is based on.  It is an excellent novel, told from the perspective of Precious Jones, an abused teenager who has been kicked out of school because of her pregnancy (this takes place in the mid 80s).

With a deep-seated need to better herself, Precious begins to take classes at an alternative learning center, where she finally (at age 16-17) learns to read.

The life Precious has led is horrific and heartbreaking, but her spirit is amazing.  Still, the story is not a happy one, but rather can be considered deeply inspiring.

The Girl Who Chased the Moon: A Novel by Sarah Addison Allen

The Girl Who Chased the Moon: A Novel by Sarah Addison Allen 

 This was an exceptional book.  Sarah Addison Allen is quickly becoming an all-time favorite writer.  Her writing is just so beautiful, and I love how she incorporates the most amazing magic in her books.

In this novel, Emily has come to her mother's home town to live with her grandfather after her mother's death.  She quickly realizes that the mother she knew was completely different from the Dulcie that the town remembers.  As she tries to discover what her mother was really like, and why her mother kept so many secrets from her, she finds love, acceptance, family, and magic.

Julia has returned following her father's death - finding that he was in debt, she took over his restaurant with a self-imposed time limit of 2 years before selling the restaurant.  As the 2 year anniversary approaches, she must finally deal with the past so that she can live happier in the present.

If you enjoyed The Sugar Queen and Garden Spells, you will love this one.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane

Shutter Island

WOW!!  This book is absolutely fantastic! 

I had no idea what the book was about when I picked it up - only that it had been made into a movie.  So a few days ago, I had started and put down two other books, and then picked this one up.  I didn't have high hopes, because I just was in a reading funk - and it grabbed me right away!  I didn't get much reading done yesterday, but today, I just kept on going until I finished it.

In a nutshell- Teddy, a U.S. Marshall, lands on Shutter Island to help track down a patient who has escaped from the hospital there - a hospital for the criminally insane.  He and his partner quickly realize that they are being lied to at every turn, and are determined to solve the mystery of the hospital, as well as the missing woman.  At the same time, Teddy must also face some demons of his own past.

Lots of intrigue, a great mystery, and fascinating characters and setting - this book is a gripping page-turner. 

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Godmother: The Secret Cinderella Story by Carolyn Turgeon

Godmother: The Secret Cinderella Story

After hearing so much about this book, I finally grabbed it and read it in one big gulp.  This was a great read!  The writing is truly magical.

This is Lil's story - she was Cinderella's fairy godmother and after she failed her duty, she was banished from the fairy world and into the human world.

She works at a bookstore, and lives a quiet life as an old woman.  Until she meets Veronica, and comes to believe that the fairies are coming back for her and giving her the chance to redeem herself.  If she can find true love for Veronica, maybe she can finally be forgiven and return to her home and family.

There's a lot of sadness, loneliness, and loss in this book - Veronica's first love died, George is divorced, and Lil craves to be reunited with her family and home.  But there's beauty too, and hope for redemption - will Veronica and George be able to move away from the past and fall in love?  Will Lil be forgiven, most importantly by herself?

This book is both lovely and heartbreaking.

On My Wishlist

On My Wishlist is a weekly meme hosted by Book Chick City, which will be posted every Saturday. It allows us to share the books we haven't bought yet but are waiting to be bought and devoured. If you would like to take part and have your own 'On My Wishlist' post then you can find more info here.

Since my Wishlist is so huge, I'll try to limit my list to books that are actually in the bookstore that I might just have to go buy:

Pretty In Ink (A Tattoo Shop, Bk 2) :: Karen E. Olson
Ghouls Gone Wild (Ghost Hunter, Bk 4) :: Victoria Laurie
Bundle of Trouble :: Diana Orgain
If Books Could Kill (Bibliophile, Bk 2) :: Kate Carlisle
and something that's NOT a cozy!  The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks :: Rebecca Skloot


Friday, March 12, 2010

One of My Favorite Blogs + One of My Favorite Writers = Check it Out!

Check out my friend Jennifer's blog and read Sarah Addison Allen's entry!

Coming soon -
Product Details
The Girl Who Chased the Moon: A Novel by Sarah Addison Allen

I, for one, can't wait!!!!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl


Beautiful Creatures

It would be easy to say this book is about Ethan and Lena, in love, and dealing with overwhelming obstacles.  But that short-changes the book.  There's so much more, and with a book that has this much depth, it's hard to know where to start.

Lena is an outsider in more ways than one - she's new to town, which is Gatlin - a small Southern town that never changes.  The town, and the school, refuses to accept her - except Ethan can't stay away from her.  As he is pulled towards her, he becomes an outsider.

There's magic - Lena is the niece of reclusive Macon, and Ethan discovers that they have powers, as do others in their family.  And Lena seems to be more powerful than any of them.  As her 16th birthday draws closer, she grows more and more terrified of the future.

There's history - the town of Gatlin has many layers, from the forceful and formidable DAR to the Civil War fanatics who recreate a battle each year.

And there's family - Ethan's mother who died, his father who can't seem to overcome his grief, Amma who is his caregiver.  And his friend Linc, who is much like a brother to him and who stays by his side.

This is a wonderfully written book, and well-worth the read.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Reading Now...

The Girl Who Fell from the Sky by Heidi W. Durrow

The Girl Who Fell from the SkyThis debut novel tells the story of Rachel, the daughter of a Danish mother and a black G.I. who becomes the sole survivor of a family tragedy.

With her strict African American grandmother as her new guardian, Rachel moves to a mostly black community, where her light brown skin, blue eyes, and beauty bring mixed attention her way. Growing up in the 1980s, she learns to swallow her overwhelming grief and confronts her identity as a biracial young woman in a world that wants to see her as either black or white.

In the tradition of Jamaica Kincaid's Annie John and Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye, here is a portrait of a young girl-- and society's ideas of race, class, and beauty. It is the winner of the Bellwether Prize for best fiction manuscript addressing issues of social justice.

The story is not a happy one - it deals with murder, abandonment, loneliness, alcoholism, and of course the bigotry that Rachel must face, while still trying to deal with the loss of her family.  But the novel is beautifully written, a nice paradox to the ugliness of the subject.

It's interesting as well to set the story of race in the 80s.  The 1960s are such a popular setting, but this works so much better. Twenty years after the Civil Rights movement and we see that much has not changed at all - in fact, as the Grandmother notes, it's gotten worse - with the startling observation that much of the pain is inflicted on the black community by other blacks.  

There's the mystery as well - did the mother throw her children from the roof and jump?  Or was someone else up there pushing them to their deaths?  The truth is shocking, and heartbreaking.

This novel is well-worth the time, and will give readers much to ponder.  Highly recommend.