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.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Books Read in November

Here are the books I finished this month. I only finish books that I like enough to recommend to other readers, keeping in mind that no two people ever read the same book and that each and every book is a unique collaboration between the writer and the reader, filtered through the reader's experiences, beliefs, and knowledge.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Book of the Week - Evidence of Things Not Seen by Lindsey Lane

In the beginning, I wasn't sure I liked this story of the people of a Texas town where a high school boy, who was obsessed with quantum physics, disappeared one day. As the time after the disappearance grows, a variety of residents show who they are by talking about the missing Tommy Smythe. Along the way other stories are told.

The structure is challenging and I was glad I stuck with it because eventually I  was captivated by the various narrators, the essential questions, and its ambiguity. A stunning debut.

While it is not science fiction, it will appeal to readers who like the big questions often posed in SF.  My gut feeling read-alikes for it would be Ultraviolet by R. J. Anderson and Cecil Castelucci's First Day on Earth.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Teen Romance - Adrenaline Crush by Laurie Boyle Crompton

Thrill-seeker Dyna lives on risk but it almost kills her when she plummets onto submerged rocks in a swimming hole. Rescued by a perfect guy who, not really her type falls in love with her, she faces a lengthy recovery and the prospect of never climbing mountains again. Forced into an alternative rehab program by her mother she meets others with horrible injuries including a nineteen-year-old one legged former soldier. It is an interesting and refreshingly brief but emotional teen romance. Kudos on the nicely depicted caring parents, a couple of bikers covered in tattoos.