Friday, March 6, 2015

Book of the Week - Before He Finds Her by Michael Kardos

Melanie Denison has spent most of her life, the last fifteen years, living in a small single wide with her aunt and uncle. Home schooled until twelfth grade and not allowed to go much of anywhere or do much of anything, she has obeyed because the family is in hiding. She knows that when she was two and a half, her father murdered her mother and disappeared which is why the Denison family disappeared into the Witness Protection Program with the toddler formerly named Meg Miller. If her father finds her all will be lost. After graduating from high school she begins to steal a few hours here and there from her schedule at a nearby junior college and her job to go off on her own which is how, at age 17, she finds she is pregnant. An epiphany in math class about fractals makes her decided she is not going to let her baby grow up in hiding, sending her on a quest to find her father before he finds her. Along the way we meet a dying journalist for whom the case has been his white whale and go back into the lives of her parents and those who knew them.

What I really liked about this twisty tale of suspense was that it kept surprising me. Just when I knew I had it figured out something else would divert my suspicions.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

February Reads

February was the worst reading month I ever had in my reading life. I had two cataract surgeries and one of them left me unable to see much out of my right eye. Fortunately, even though I read so few books this month, three of them were outstanding. Of course, all the books posted are ones that I enjoyed enough to finish and can recommend them. I do not finish reading books that I can't recommend and I only keep track of the books I finish.

Edge of Dreams won't be out until April and at that time I will post it as a book of the week. I found Moonlight Water by Meredith and Win Blevins, a delightful experience. It features a great depiction of the high desert West, characters who become real, and just the right touch of whimsey and mythic reality with an appearance by Edward Abbey. Jo Walton's The Just City is utopian science fiction combined with classical mythology, time travel, and philosophy. Another stunner from the highly acclaimed Walton.


Sunday, February 1, 2015

January Reads

I honestly don't remember a month in my life when I read so few books. There has been a lot going on in my life. I'm loving my job as manager of the New Castle Branch Library and researching several things I'm interested in. I've developed some vision problems that have limited the amount of time I can read but hopefully in the next few weeks that will be behind me. The other limit on my reading has been my dh has discovered cable tv and we now have pretty much unlimited high speed internet which equates to binge watching tv series on Netflix so there has been a lot more watching than reading going on. Fortunately February is off to a good start. Today I read Fairest, the latest in Marissa Meyers' excellent Lunar Chronicles, got more than halfway through reading Black Dove, White Raven on my iPhone before my eyes gave up, and then relaxed with the very enjoyable first 90 pages of Moonlit Water by Win and Meredith Blevins.

Anyway here are the books I finished reading in January. It was great to read a couple by favorite authors, some quality SF, great YA, a couple of romances reviewed for Booklist, as well as a few that I read just to be outside my comfort zone.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Book of the Week - When by Victoria Laurie

Whew! Now that I am done with my award committee work for a few weeks I can free range read.

When is a terrifically entertaining read. It uses the same premise Rachel Ward used in her Numbers series; the protagonist can see the date someone is going to die by looking at them. I loved the Numbers series and its apocalyptic plot.

When is a fast paced thriller. It is the story of Maddie, the only child of an alcoholic mother, who has one friend and keeps a low profile. Her mother gets booze money by having Maddie do "readings" for clients because when Maddie looks into a face, whether in person or viewing a photo, she can see the date that person will die. When a client who has a child with cancer brings in a photo, Maddie is happy to tell her the child will outlive the disease but she sees an imminent date when she glimpses a photo of another child. The mother perceives this as a threat and when her son does goes missing Maddie becomes the prime suspect. Things go from bad to worse as a girl who her best friend has a crush on disappears and Maddie is linked to her, too. The climax is wonderful!

In addition to the top notch thriller plot, When also explores issues of friendship, bullying, isolation,  and teens shouldering adult responsibilities. It is early in the year but this is going on my Top Ten for now.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

2014 Top Ten

Wow! It has been a wild year. I had a hard time narrowing my list down to ten and I'm sure if I sat down and redid my list ten times, each time would be a little different. They are listed in no particular order.