Monday, August 31, 2015

The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson

The Adoration of Jenna Fox (Jenna Fox Chronicles, #1)
This is an interesting and thoughtful-making dystopian YA novel.  Set sometime in the future after many people have died due to an untreatable outbreak because anti-biotics had become useless due to overuse, we meet seventeen year old Jenna Fox.  She has no memory at all - even of who she is, and her parents have told her she had been in an accident and was in a coma for the past 18 months.  They have given her video discs of her entire past life to watch and slowly, as they told her it would, her memory returns.  Something, however is off, and she realizes that they are not telling her the truth.  Mystery, intrigue and some romance abound in this well-written and gripping YA novel.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Center of Gravity

In this intense, fast paced psychological thriller told by three of the characters, we watch Eva's "perfect marriage" quickly degrade into a nightmare as her husband Mitchell totally loses it and tries to frame her as the insane one.  Their 8 year old son, Jack, also tells his side of the story.  Mitchell is overly controlling and manipulative and it is a bit surprising that Ava, who was a school counselor until her husband made her quit working, did not see how abusive he was any earlier.  The psychological and other abuse is realistic and chilling and I have known people who were in similar relationships and it rings quite true.  I found the book to be well-written and hard to put down.  I received this book free to review from Netgalley and I highly recommend it.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

George by Alex Gino

George by Alex Gino
Ten year old George is in 4th grade and although everyone sees her as a boy, she feels like she is a girl.  The story is told by George and is well done in the voice of a fourth grader.  She really wants to be Charlotte in her school's Charlotte's Web play, but her teacher thinks it is a joke when she tries out for the role.  Her best friend Kelly, however, gets the role and helps George to express her true self so that her mom and teachers begin to see that she is really a girl.  The story is well written, easy to read and written on a 3rd or 4th grade reading level.  I think that children will be able to read and understand and enjoy the story.

Friday, August 28, 2015

We Never Asked for Wings by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

We Never Asked for Wings by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
Compelling and well-written, this story tackles many disturbing issues including teen motherhood, child abuse, rape, illegal immigration, child neglect, bullying, alcohol abuse and more. It also includes young love and is the story of a single mother who is trying to make a better life for herself and her children. Letty has made many mistakes and she is not a likable main character. Her son Alex, is more likable and his romance is sweet. I love the author's writing and had a tough time putting this book down. I received this book free to review from Netgalley.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Food52 Vegan: 60 Vegetable-Driven Recipes for Any Kitchen by Gena Hamshaw

Food52 Vegan by Gena Hamshaw
This book has totally beautiful photos of the foods! I like that. I love that the recipes use whole foods with instructions for making your own oat and nut "milks" and how to make your own egg replacers from whole food products as well. It does not include using nasty processed soy fake meatlike crumbles and other highly processed replacement "foods". It is all real, delicious food! The recipes are well-written and easy to follow and the foods are delicious! I want someone to make all of them for me, but since that is not happening, I will have to make them myself. I really want to eat everything in this cookbook!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

The Magicians by Lev Grossman

The Magicians by Lev Grossman
Well, this book kept me reading it, but did not live up to what it could have been.  I rated it three stars because it was compelling enough that I kept reading, but perhaps it should be 2 1/2 stars if I could do that because after all that reading, I did not like the message nor the way it turned out.  It is rather a mash up of The Chronicles of Narnia and Harry Potter and it does have some fun and different magical elements.  But it is ugly.  Fillory, a total copy of Narnia, turns out to be much uglier and Quentin starts out unhappy and finds out that all the magic and even his favorite magical childhood story world can't make him happy and while it is well written and has some interesting elements, it is just so dreadfully depressing.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Witness Passing the Torch of Holocaust Memory to New Generations Eli Rubenstein with The March of the Living

Witness by Eli Rubenstein
This book is incredibly touching. Illustrated with photographs and quotes from Holocaust survivors, many of whom have participated in the March of The Living, this book is a factual and touching reminder of the Holocaust and the enormous suffering it caused. I received this book free to review from Netgalley for an honest opinion and I highly recommend it.