May 5, 2015

At the Water's Edge by Sara Gruen

Written with the backdrop of WWII, three Philadelphia socialites set out for Scotland in search of the Loch Ness monster.  Color blind Ellis and flat-footed Hank are unable to serve their country during the war and are seemingly oblivious to that which is raging on around them.  While the men are off to track down the elusive Loch Ness monster each day, they leave behind Maddie, Ellis's wife, who befriends the people living and working in the quaint village of Drumnadrochit.  The nearness of the war and its effects open Maddie’s eyes to a harsh reality and makes her take a closer look at those she thought she loved.  

A lovely story set in a beautiful landscape and troubling time frame.  Sara Gruen is wonderful at creating a setting that becomes a character of its own.  Plus, the WWII history she brings to the story is just another reason why I love her writing.  She perfectly weaves history, setting and a love story to make a great novel.

January 18, 2015

When by Victoria Lauri

Maddie Fynn's life hasn't been too easy up till her Junior year of high school.  Since birth, she's been able to see a unique string of numbers on every person's forehead.  When her father dies at a young age, the numbers finally make sense.  They are each person's individual death date.  For almost a decade after, she has blamed herself for her father's work-related death, as her mother has been drinking herself into an early death of her own.

However, when Maddie gives a 'reading' to make extra cash things get much worse.  Maddie informs a wealthy woman, who has come to inquire about her ailing daughter, that it's her very heathy son who will die next week.  All kinds of attention is brought on Maddie for his mysterious death.  What follows is an intense, suspenseful ride as Maddie is suspected of murder, her best friend is thrown in jail, and her Ma's alcoholism hits an all-time low.  Can Maddie learn to ignore the numbers or will she use her gift to help those in need?

July 13, 2014

The Lost by Sarah Beth Durst

Fleeing her mother’s potentially bad test results, Lauren Chase skips out of work, gets in her car and drives straight East out of LA.  When the radio will only play static and there hasn’t been a turnoff or even another vehicle in what feels like hours does Lauran come out of her trance and realizes she needs to turn around.  After an inconvenient dust storm, an off ramp appears that leads Lauren to a small town with a ‘Welcome to Lost’ sign.  Since it’s getting late, Lauren pulls into a crumbling motel to rest for the night before heading back to her mother.  She encounters some very strange folk in her short stay in Lost.  On her way out of town in the morning she gets caught in the dust storm again and is lead back to Lost.  Again and again until she runs out of gas.  It’s official:  Lauren is Lost.

This was a stay up late read for me.  Like Wonderland and Oz, Lost is a magical place that can be both magnificent and dangerous.   I definitely got lost in this book (lame pun intended, sorry).  

July 6, 2014

The Martian by Andy Weir

What. A. Fricken. Amazing. Crap-your-pants. Thrill-Ride of a Book!!!! I loved every page!  You must go get it now!

June 23, 2014

One Past Midnight by Jessica Shirvington

Every night, at exactly midnight, Sabine switches lives. She's still Sabine, 17 year old girl on the cusp of graduating high school.  However, her families are different, her location is different and her future in both lives is definitely different. Sabine's physical presence crosses over too, so when she breaks her arm falling down in one life, she spends all day trying to figure out how to make a broken arm look like an accident in her second life without throwing herself down the stairs. But when she Shifts at midnight with two functioning arms she knows something has changed. She now believes the opportunity to choose her better life is finally available. Will Sabine make the right decision?

One Past Midnight is a great book that shows it's not always greener on the other side.  Also, I love Shirvington's other series: The Embrace Series.

May 14, 2014

Open Road Summer by Emery Lord

In Open Road Summer, we get to ride along on a music tour across the country with America's Sweetheart, country music star, Lilah Montgomery and her BFF.  However, Lilah, Dee to her closest friends, is not the headliner or this fun summer read but rather her troubled best friend Reagan O'Neill.  Both girls are working on getting over a tough time in their lives and what a better way to do it than a girls' road trip complete with sold out concerts, live TV appearances, and magazine photo shoots.

However, when a photoshopped picture of Dee and her ex-boyfriend is leaked, her PR team needs to do some major damage control while Reagan needs to step up as Dee's best friend after years of their roles being reversed.  But when the PR team's answer is to bring in good guy Matt Finch as Dee's opening act and to let the rumor mill believe Dee and Matt are an item, Reagan has a difficult time keeping her feelings for Matt under control so as not to ruin Dee's public image any further.  What transpires is a feel good story of two best friends who are there for each other first and foremost despite fame.