A Walk In The Sun by Michelle Zink

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Review by: fmarie0112

A Walk in the Sun by Michelle Zink follows Rose Darrow through her eventful summer on her family farm. Her mother had recently passed away and ever since, Rose’s plans for the future have been completely altered. Her once-attentive father is consumed by grief, and her friends are getting ready for the adventures that come after high school. Rose resigns herself to hold her small world together – until a ranch hand is hired to help out over the summer.
Bodhi Lowell left home as a kid and hasn’t looked back since. Years of working farm jobs has given him the one thing he wants most: freedom to travel without answering to anyone. He’s already looking past his job at Darrow Farm and plans on leaving in September – until he meets Rose.
Neither Rose nor Bodhi can deny the sparks flying between them, but with the end of summer looming, they must decide if it’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.
I read this book in one day on a road trip to New York. It is the first book I have read by Michelle Zink and I have to say, I wasn’t sure about reading it at first. While I wasn’t initially positive I would like the book, I gave it a try anyway and I was not disappointed. The author does an excellent job of capturing the progression of the relationship over time. In the beginning, Rose is uncomfortable around Bodhi. Due to her mother’s death, she finds it difficult to get close to anyone. But over the course of the summer, Bodhi is able to get Rose to open up. ultimately, he will be the one to help Rose truly recover from her mother death. I would highly recommend picking up this book, it is an easy read and can be found at your local library.

The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

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Review by: fmarie0112

I have only read a handful of Sarah Dessen books, but every time I pick one up I am never disappointed. All of the books I have read by this author have been extraordinary and The Truth About Forever is no exception. The story follows the summer of a young girl named Macy. Macy has her whole summer planned out – working at the library, studying, and spending time with her mother, sharing silent grief at the traumatic loss of her father. One thing she didn’t plan on was landing a job at Wish Catering, with the chaotic crew that feels more like family. Or digging up feelings of the past with the renovation of the families old beach side cottage, left untouched since the death of her father. Or Wes, an artistically talented boy with a past. But Macy soon discovers that the things you expect the least are sometimes the things you need the most.

This book addresses many issues, such as death of a parent, parental stress, peer pressure, and self-expectations. They way that Sarah Dessen skillfully expresses how these obstacles make the character feel and how she ultimately overcomes them creates an interesting plot and character development that makes you want to keep reading to see what happens next. The Truth About Forever would receive a 5/5 rating from me, as would many more of Sarah Dessen’s books. Her stories leave you on the edge of your seat, unable to put the book down until you’ve finished. I would highly recommend you give this book a shot, as well as anything else written by Sarah Dessen.

The Wonder of Us (Book Review)

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Review by: apiazza4

The Wonder of Us by Kim Culbertson is a dual-perspective novel about two friends traveling around Europe. Abby and Riya have been best friends since preschool, but when Riya moves to Berlin for a year they stop talking. To mend their friendship, Riya decides to invite Abby to do a tour around Europe for two weeks. Abby is really into history and the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, so Riya thinks her itinerary will be perfect. Instead of going to the actual wonders, Riya connects other sights to them. The two girls are “chaperoned” by her cousin, whom she finds very annoying.

Abby feels like she barely knows Riya anymore because she acts and dresses differently. Also, she doesn’t seem very anxious to get back to Yuba Ridge, California. During their time apart they have been keeping secrets from each other and this trip will finally bring them out. This secret keeping makes them get into fights on their first stop in Florence.

The next cities they go to are Zurich, Berlin, and Edinburgh. Abby finds out Riya’s life changing secret, can’t handle it, and decides to go back home. Will everything work out or will they stop being friends forever?

I really liked this book because it felt very real since it could happen in real life. The ending even made me sad. I recommend this book because it was interesting and a real page-turner.

Death After Life

 

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The day started well. He had felt a curious sense of calm as he rocked out of the Tempur-pedic, flossed his teeth twice, and made eggs, two of which he fed to the turtle. Six capsules went down with eight ounces of fruit punch, and in a bathrobe, he sat down at his 1963 Remington, and began to type.

By eleven, he had checked email at that infernal laptop. His agent had signed him up for a gig: some ridiculous Christmas farce they were filming next spring. Did he truly look old enough to be that heifer’s grandfather? Sure, she was a Disney starlet, but she was twenty-seven. He Googled her. This depressed him.

Afternoon brought those Asian cleaning ladies around. In accordance, he locked his underwear drawer, where he kept his most precious treasures. Those cleaning people stole everything. Just last week, he noticed two small ornamental statues missing in the foyer, and two months prior, he saw them leave with the vacuum!

Four tablets were swallowed with eight ounces of fruit punch.

At three, he took a shower in the guest bath, and under the water, realized that he’d forgotten a towel. He exited nude and dripping, but for a hand towel lain across his hairy shoulder, and startled a woman with a feather duster on his way to the bedroom. He dressed quickly in a Chinese print button down and slacks, and promptly left.

His driver had the day off, so he drove himself to the hospital. That evening, he would be hosting the black tie opening of its new psychiatric wing.

Seventy doctors, a gaggle of nurses, and the press cheered as he cut the ribbon and led the group inside. Pictures were taken, champagne was passed around, his decade old Oscars were celebrated. The place was beautiful, with walls of glass, botanical gardens, and non-offensive artwork. It put him in a festive mood. He even posted a selfie with the top doc.

On the drive home, lights raced past him smearing like a color palate, and he thought of his wife, who was a painter. She’d be home by now. He looked at his wrist, to check the time, and nearly ran off the road. His watch was gone. Those cleaners! They must have gotten into his underwear drawer after all. Or, perhaps someone at the event had stolen it. There had been quite a lot of drink going around…

As soon as he screeched into the driveway, he ran to his bureau and removed his treasure: seven precious watches, in twenty-four karat gold, in platinum, in diamond. Now, he had a duty to fulfill. He wrapped them delicately in various undergarments, tucked them in a hat, and drove off once more.

His friend took them in like orphans, as he knew she would. He didn’t stay longer than a quick exchange on her door mat. And then he left for home.

Who could you trust in this world? The vast darkness was deep enough to ingest anyone whole. His life was an abyss that swallowed up his blockbuster hits, his fortune, his happiness. Where were the award shows now? Where was the gratitude?

He dressed for bed, pondering this, and kissed his wife on the cheek. She was reading, and smiled at him as he explained that he didn’t want to miss the Tonight show.

Then he went to the bathroom. He did not take his pills.

His hands yearned for a razor blade. What they found was a small pair of scissors.

The next morning, every news headline read: BROCK BOWER, 61, FOUND DEAD IN HIS LOS ANGELES HOME.

 

©MTL

http://www.mavisknightley.weebly.com

Under the Egg by Laura Marx Fitzgerald

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In an old brownstone in New York, there’s an abstract painting of an egg. It was painted by Jack Tenpenny a few years ago. Or maybe neither of those things are true.

When Theodora Tenpenny spills rubbing alcohol on this painting, it melts away to reveal something completely different – an ancient-looking Madonna and Child painting. Theo doesn’t know for sure where it came from, but she has an idea…

Because before he died a month ago, Jack Tenpenny was a security guard at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Because if it wasn’t stolen, where did her grandfather get it?

In addition to this new mystery, she needs to keep the house going on $462  (no income) and make sure her mother remembers to eat (not just drink tea and try to solve Fermat’s Last Theorem).

And sort out her new-and-slightly-confusing friendship with the enthusiastic / pushy daughter of two superstar actors, who actually wants to help her solve the origins of The Painting.

Will they sell it? Return it to its rightful owner (who may or may not be alive)? Can they even find the owner? And what will happen if the police take The Painting?

Well, they aren’t getting it if Theo has anything to say about it.

With *purposefully* dislocated shoulders, annoying French people, a Mets fan, a flock of chickens, a really smart Toasty Nuts seller, and quite a bit of World War Two history…

I give you Under the Egg.

Nest

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Nest by Esther Ehrlich is a 326 page realistic fiction novel. This book is about Naomi Orenstein, “Chirp”, who loves to bird watch and lives with her sister, dad, and mom. Chirp loves her life until her mom develops a serious disease which changes their family forever. Her family tries to deal with new issues that form around school, the neighborhood, and everyday life. Chirp’s mom loved to dance, but once she found out she had a serious illness, she became very depressed because she realized she could never dance again. Eventually, Chirp’s mom had to be moved to a mental health facility, leaving the rest of the family behind. Chirp begins to wonder if her family will ever be the same cozy “nest” that it used to be. I thought this book was a good read except that the end was very sad. I would definitely recommend!

NEED

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NEED by Joelle Charbonneau is a 335 page realistic fiction book. The book is about a high school that is introduced to the newest networking site called NEED. If you need anything, all you have to do is send in a NEED request and perform a small task to get what you asked for. Kaylee Dunham is a student who goes to Nottawa High School. When she gets an invitation to join NEED, she knows that she needs a kidney for her brother, who is very sick. Kaylee decides to send in a request for the kidney because she knows that she needs to find a donor match before it’s too late. Throughout the story Kaylee realizes that most of the requests on the NEED message board are not actually needs, but wants. As the number of members in the website go up, the tasks get more out of hand. Kaylee is determined to find out who started NEED and how to put a stop to it. This book was really interesting but a little bit creepy when you get to the end of the book, but I still would recommend it!