Good Books and the Random Movie

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31 August 2015

All Our Pretty Songs (Metamorphoses #1)

All Our Pretty Songs by Sarah McCarry is the first book in her Metamorphoses trilogy.

Friends since birth, two girls will have to choose between love and their friendship. Set in the Pacific Northwest, Aurora and the unnamed narrator are as close as sisters. Though they look like opposites - both in dress, houses and economic class - they are inseparable. Their mothers were best friends when they were younger, too.

During the summer before their senior year a musician comes to town; both girls are drawn to him. Jack has a musical gift, his playing put people into a kind of trance. Even though everyone else has picked Aurora, Jack likes the narrator. But she and Aurora are not the only ones who have noticed Jack's gift. His music has called a magic from below. A magic that may have been why Aurora's musician father disappeared when she was a kid.

It is up to the narrator to protect the people she loves - if she can - while they are drawn to the dark forces. How can they not see the sinister side like she can? And once they decide, how can she stop them?

McCarry, Sarah. (2013). All Our Pretty Songs. New York: St. Martin's Griffin.

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30 August 2015


Looks by Madeleine George is a book about a new friendship.

Meghan Ball is practically invisible in her school - in spite of the fact that she is the largest person at Valley Regional High. People say things in front of her as if she is not there. She has no friends, but recognizes potential in a new student.

Aimee Zorn is as thin as Meghan is large. She is outwardly angry. And on the first day of her freshman year she sees a group of boys picking on a large girl and no one doing anything to stop it.

Meghan tries to warn Aimee when she starts to hang out with Cara. They are on the literary magazine together and Cara seems interested in her poetry. Meghan is sure it will end badly, like her friendship with Cara ended badly.

George has created a realistic book about how it feels to be different or invisible in high school. Her characters seem like stereotypes but are complete people who are not seen as whole by their shallow classmates. Looks is what can happen with the support of even one friend.

George, Madeleine. (2008). Looks. New York: Viking.

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29 August 2015

Tumbledown (Sequel to Desolation Point)

Tumbledown by Cari Hunter, a sequel to Desolation Point, is a thriller that will have readers biting their nails until the end.

Alex Pascal and Sarah Kent survived a terrible chase through the wilderness in Washington state two years ago. After their ordeal and escape, the FBI told them to lay low. They were not put into witness protection, but there was a chance that the white supremacist group would try to find them to exact revenge for spoiling their plans.

Now Sarah and Alex, using a new last name, are living in a small town in Maine. Alex is on the local police force and Sarah is a first responder studying to become an EMT. Their lives are good. They still keep a watch around their cabin and have a good lock on the gate, but life is what they want it to be.

When Sarah gets called to assist with a birth (because the only ambulance near by has already pick up a heart attack case) she gets her picture in the local paper. When Sarah and Alex find the picture, they are worried that it will be seen. But it is such a small town...

Caleb Deakin has not stopped looking for the two women he blames for his father's death. He has paid a lot of money for a computer that will scan for their names and images each day. When he gets a hit he immediately packs for a trip to Maine.

Hunter has created another book that will keep readers up late for the thrill ride.

Hunter, Cari. (2014). Tumbledown. Valley Falls, NY: Bold Strokes Books.

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22 August 2015

The English Spy (Gabriel Allon #15)

The English Spy by Daniel Silva is the fifteenth book in his Gabriel Allon suspense / espionage series. Allon is an Israeli Mossad agent, though he has wanted to retire for years and keeps being pulled back in to take care of problems.

The death of an English princess sets off a series of investigations that quickly lead the head of MI-6 to conclude that there are only two men capable of capturing (or killing) the man responsible.  Graham Seymour meets with the head of the Office, Israeli's version of MI-6, and gets approval to contact Gabriel Allon.

Gabriel is about to become a father. His wife is about to give birth to twins. The last thing Gabriel wants is to hunt down an assassin - and one of the world's foremost bomb makers. But Gabriel does what needs to be done both to protect the innocent and to settle old debts.With the help of an ex-SAS officer who has turned assassin, Gabriel will hunt down the Real IRA bomber.

Silva is a masterful story teller. He is a brilliant writer. His books are fast-paced with realistic characters we hope are in the world protecting us. Start the Gabriel Allon series at the beginning with The Kill Artist. Or start with his WWII espionage masterpiece, An Unlikely Spy. You will  not be disappointed!

Silva, Daniel. (2015). The English Spy. New York: Harper.

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17 August 2015

A New Hope (Thunder Point #8)

A New Hope by Robyn Carr is the eighth book in her Thunder Point romance series. Thunder Point is a small, close-knit town on the Oregon coast. Carr's books do a great job in allowing readers to keep up with characters from previous novels in the series.

Ginger has been in Thunder Point for just a few months. She was sent to live with her aunt, Ray Anne, due to a depression her parents did not know how to help her through. Ray Anne gave her a make over and got her a part-time job at the local florist - things that she hoped would be small steps to getting Ginger out of her head.
Now Ginger loves her job. She is making good friends and she sees a future. 

Matt Lacomette has had a bad year himself. Since his divorce he has been know as Mad Matt by his family members - moping around without his previous lighthearted personality. And at his sister, Peyton's, wedding he made an ass of himself. Now he has to find the young woman he offended to apologize.

While neither Matt nor Ginger is ready to try another relationship, they hit it off right away. And both can use a friend.

Carr has created a lovely town filled with people who readers will befriend and keep in their memories for a long time to come.

Carr, Robyn. (2015). A New Hope. New York: Mira.

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15 August 2015

Taking the Heat (Girls Night Out #4)

Taking the Heat by Victoria Dahl is the fourth book in her Girls Night Out romance series.

Veronica Chandler is Dear Veronica - an advice columnist for the Jackson paper. Her column is popular and readers assume she is an expert in love. But Veronica feels like a fraud. While she gives great advice, she has never been in love herself. She doesn't even let her friends know that after running away to New York to follow her dreams, it turned out she hated the city. Now she is home in Jackson Hole living in one of her father's buildings. To make matters worse, her boss has decided she should do a live advice show at the local pub.

Gabe MacKenzie is new to Jackson Hole. He is a librarian, specializing in digital collections. He has been hired by the Jackson public library to create a e-book collection. For Gabe, it is a dream job - good hours doing something he loves and lots of free time to rock climb. His coworker has asked him to join them for a night out - at a local advice show.

Dahl is a great writer who creates fully developed characters. Any of her books would break the stereotype that romance books are not well written or well developed. Her books are wonderful and sexy, filled with humor. Pick one up today!

Dahl, Victoria. (2015). Taking the Heat. New York: HQN.

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05 August 2015

Prudence (Custard Protocol #1)

Prudence by Gail Carriger is the first book in her new Custard Protocol series - set in the same world as the Parasol Protectorate series, but twenty years later, in an alternate history Victorian England were supernatural creatures (vampires and werewolves) have equal rights as humans.

Prudence Alessandra Maccon Akeldama, aka Rue, has three of the most influential parents in London. Her blood parents are a werewolf and a preternatural who both work for the Queen. Her adoptive father, raised by him for political and security reasons, is a rove vampire and also works for the Queen. Together, the three of them plus the greater werewolf pack and vampire drones, raised Rue to be a self-sufficient, strong young woman.

When Rue is gifted a dirigible by her father, Lord Akeldama, she immediately sets about setting up a crew to set sail for India. Dama is sending her to explore a new tea that could become all the rage in London. Joined by her best friend, Primrose Tunstell, her brother Percy Tunstell and Quesnel Lafoux, Rue is planning a one to two month float. What she does not know is that Dama has other plans for her along the way. Plans she may have been told if they had not unexpectedly left a full day early.

Filled with beloved characters from her previous series, and introducing the next generation, Carriger has begun another wonderful series. While it is difficult to pinpoint one favorite book, her Parasol Protectorate, Finishing School and now Custard Protocol series are definitely up there on the list of the most fun I have had reading. Carrigers books are creative and delightful. If you have not yet been introduced, start reading them today!

Carriger, Gail. (2015). Prudence. New York: Orbit.

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01 August 2015

Boyfriends with Girlfriends

Boyfriends with Girlfriends by Alex Sanchez is a story of two sets of friends.

Allie and Lance has been best friends for years. They tell each other everything. Lance has known for years that he is gay, but has never had a real boyfriend. Allie has been dating Chip for years.

Sergio and Kimiko are also best friends and share everything. Sergio is bisexual and just went through a breakup with his girlfriend. Kimiko is lesbian but has not yet dated.

Lance has a date with Sergio and wants Allie to come when they meet. They agree to meet at the mall. Lance and Sergio hit it off well and decide to go on a date. Allie and Kimiko also hit it off and Kimiko is smitten. Allie has a boyfriend but lately been thinking that they have grown apart.

Sanchez has created four realistic characters who are exploring the world of dating and sexuality. His writing is sensitive and his characters are well developed.

Sanchez, Alex. (2011). Boyfriends with Girlfriends. New York: Simon & Schuster.

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