Book Bloggers Spreading the Love (2)

Monday January 31, 2011

For a full explanation of  Book Bloggers Spreading the Love go HERE

As we all know one of the many benefits of being an active book blogger who has been around awhile is receiving books for review from authors and publishers. Face it, its pretty awesome! For the most part when I finish reviewing a book I always donate them to my school library but I always have a few on hand that aren't appropriate for a middle school library or perhaps I already have a few copies and don't necessarily need another one. Sometimes I donate them to other schools in my district but I've always wanted to pass them on to other reviewers...
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Up for grabs this week....

Fallen Angel
by Heather Terrell
HarperTeen
January 2011
Goodreads summary: Heaven-sent? Ellie was never particularly good at talking to boys—or anyone other than her best friend and fellow outcast, Ruth. Then she met Michael.

Michael is handsome, charming, sweet. And totally into Ellie. It’s no wonder she is instantly drawn to him. But Michael has a secret. And he knows Ellie is hiding something, too. They’ve both discovered they have powers beyond their imagining. Powers that are otherworldly.
Ellie and Michael are determined to uncover what they are, and how they got this way . . . together. But the truth has repercussions neither could have imagined. Soon they find themselves center stage in an ancient conflict that threatens to destroy everything they love. And it is no longer clear whether Ellie and Michael will choose the same side.

In this electrifying novel, Heather Terrell spins a gripping supernatural tale about true love, destiny, and the battle of good versus evil.
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**If you are offering a book, grab the "Spreading the Love" logo above add your name to the Linkz below.

**If you'd like to review the book I'm offering, leave your name and a link to your blog in the comment section.  

Thanks for looking and even if you don't participate, please tweet or blog about this meme if you would be so kind!

In My Mailbox (55)

Sunday January 30, 2010
In My Mailbox hosted by The Story Siren and inspired by Alea @ Pop Culture Junkie is a way to share what new books you get each week.  They can be books you borrowed from the library, bought, traded, won or received for review.

As you can see I had a little fun with Photoshop this week :) Maybe I'll keep it this way maybe not but it was fun!

Have a great week!

Thanks to Scholastic and HarperTeen for some great review books this week!



The Chaos Num8ers #2
by Rachel Ward
March 1, 2011
Chicken House (Scholastic)
Goodreads Summary: The curse of the NUM8ERS continues in Rachel Ward's CHA0T1C, earth-shattering sequel! Adam has more than inherited his mother's curse: When he looks in someone's eyes, he not only sees the date of their death...he feels the searing, shocking pain of it. Since Jem died, Adam has lived by the sea with his great-grandmother, Val. But when rising tides flood the coast, they return to London. The city is an alien, exciting, frightening place. Most disturbing of all, Adam can't help but clock how many people's numbers are in January 2027; how many are on New Year's Day. What chaos awaits the world? Can he and Sarah stop a catastrophe? Or are they, too, counted among the "twenty-sevens"?







Consumed, Possessed #2
by Kate Cann
February 1, 2011
Point
Goodreads summary: The thrilling sequel to POSSESSED finds 16-year-old Rayne still entwined in the creepy history of Morton's Keep -- and about to discover that she's the only one who can stop the evil lurking there. 
Rayne's countryside escape has proven to be anything but -- the remote mansion house where she lives and works holds terrible secrets, and she feels trapped there. And when a new manager shows up, things take an even more sinister turn.

Rayne doesn't know who to trust -- even the ghosts of Morton's Keep seem to be warning her. It's up to Rayne to overcome the ancient evil lurking here -- but how?








May (Daughters of the Sea #2)
by Kathryn Lasky
March 1, 2011
Scholastic Press
Goodreads summary: Book 2 in Kathryn Lasky's shimmering quartet about mermaid sisters and supernatural love. May feels her life drying up. The sea calls to her, but her parents forbid her from swimming. She longs for books, but her mother finds her passion for learning strange. She yearns for independence, but a persistent suitor, Rudd, wants to tame her spirited ways. Yet after her fifteenth birthday, the urge to break free becomes overpowering and May makes a life-changing discovery. She does not belong on land where girls are meant to be obedient. She is a mermaid-a creature of the sea.

For the first time, May learns what freedom feels like-the thrill of exploring both the vast ocean and the previously forbidden books. She even catches the eye of Hugh, an astronomy student who, unlike the townspeople, finds May anything but strange. But not everyone is pleased with May's transformation. Rudd decides that if can't have May, no one will. He knows how to destroy her happiness and goes to drastic measures to ensure that May loses everything: her freedom and the only boy she's ever loved.



Storm Runners

by Roland Smith
March 1, 2011
Scholastic Press
Goodreads summary: Chase Masters and his father are "storm runners," racing across the country in pursuit of hurricanes, tornadoes, and floods. Anywhere bad weather strikes, they are not far behind. Chase is learning more on the road than he ever would just sitting in a classroom. But when the hurricane of the century hits, he will be tested in ways he never could have imagined.












Rival

by Sara Bennett Wealer
February 15, 2011
HarperTeen
Goodreads summary: Meet Brooke: Popular, powerful and hating every minute of it, she’s the “It” girl at Douglas High in Lake Champion, Minnesota. Her real ambition? Using her operatic mezzo as a ticket back to NYC, where her family lived before her dad ran off with an up and coming male movie star.

Now meet Kathryn: An overachieving soprano with an underachieving savings account, she’s been a leper ever since Brooke punched her at a party junior year. For Kath, music is the key to a much-needed college scholarship.

The stage is set for a high-stakes duet between the two seniors as they prepare for the prestigious Blackmore competition. Brooke and Kathryn work toward the Blackmore with eyes not just on first prize but on one another, each still stinging from a past that started with friendship and ended in betrayal. With competition day nearing, Brooke dreams of escaping the in-crowd for life as a professional singer, but her scheming BFF Chloe has other plans. And when Kathryn gets an unlikely invitation to Homecoming, she suspects Brooke of trying to sabotage her with one last public humiliation.

As pressures mount, Brooke starts to sense that the person she hates most might just be the best friend she ever had. But Kathryn has a decision to make. Can she forgive? Or are some rivalries for life?



Purple Heart
by Patricia McCormick
Paperback Available February 15, 2011
B+B
Goodreads summary: When Private Matt Duffy wakes up in an army hospital in Iraq, he's honored with a Purple Heart. But he doesn't feel like a hero.

There's a memory that haunts him: an image of a young Iraqi boy as a bullet hits his chest. Matt can't shake the feeling that he was somehow involved in his death. But because of a head injury he sustained just moments after the boy was shot, Matt can't quite put all the pieces together.

Eventually Matt is sent back into combat with his squad—Justin, Wolf, and Charlene—the soldiers who have become his family during his time in Iraq. He just wants to go back to being the soldier he once was. But he sees potential threats everywhere and lives in fear of not being able to pull the trigger when the time comes. In combat there is no black-and-white, and Matt soon discovers that the notion of who is guilty is very complicated indeed.

National Book Award Finalist Patricia McCormick has written a visceral and compelling portrait of life in a war zone, where loyalty is valued above all, and death is terrifyingly commonplace

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Thursday January 27, 2011

Unearthly 
by Cynthia Hand
January 4, 2011
HarperTeen
Goodreads Summary: In the beginning, there's a boy standing in the trees . . . . 


Clara Gardner has recently learned that she's part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn't easy.

Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place—and out of place at the same time. Because there's another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara's less angelic side.

As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she'd have to make—between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?

Unearthly is a moving tale of love and fate, and the struggle between following the rules and following your heart.

Why I liked it... Although the topic of angels is nothing new, I thought that the premise of people with angel blood (descendants) have a purpose to fulfill. I also liked that the author put the a quote from the bible:

The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of men and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown. Genesis 6:1-4

I've always found this scripture interesting and if you do any research on it you will find TONS of different opinions. Some say proof that angels did, and may still, walk among us. Food for thought eh?


I liked the writing, the flow of the story and how there were mysterious elements through out the story that were not given away at ALL. What I mean is that as a reader, I knew there is way more to Clara's mom...you just totally get that feeling. In a lot of books, this "mysterious" element is exposed at the end for a climax/"wow" factor. The author doesn't give it all away at once which means we have stuff to look forward to in the next book!


Characters....Clara is a realistic and likable teen and she makes a few decisions in the book that a very real and fallible teen would probably make. She tries to be a good friend about as hard as she focus on her "purpose" it just seems that other things are always getting in the way!
Her younger brother Jeff and her mother, who I mentioned earlier and who I think has a much more complicated story than we know.


There is also Tucker and his twin sister Wendy. Of course Christian who Clara is having visions about and a new quirky friend Angela.

Oh and a creepy mysterious, scary guy who I think we will find out more about in upcoming books!


Final thoughts... I think this is a great addition to the paranormal romance set. The writing is strong and the story is interesting and flows nicely. Between the cover and the topic itself I'll have a whole herd of readers ready to check this one out!

Waiting on Wednesday (33)

Wednesday January 26, 2011



Waiting on Wednesday...books I can't wait to read hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine










Wildcat Fireflies
Fenestra #2
by Amber Kizer
July 11, 2011
Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Goodreads Summary: Meridian Sozu is a Fenestra—the half-human, half-angel link between the living and the dead. She has the dark responsibility of helping souls transition safely into the afterlife. If people die without the help of a Fenestra, their souls are left vulnerable to be stolen by the Aternocti, a dark band of forces who disrupt the balance of good and evil in the world and cause chaos.

Having recently lost her beloved Auntie—the woman who showed her what it meant to be a Fenestra—Meridian has hit the road with Tens, her love and sworn protector, in hopes of finding another Fenestra. Their search leads them to Indiana, where Juliet, a responsible and loving teenager, works tirelessly in the nursing home where she and several other foster kids are housed. Surrounded by death, Juliet struggles to make a loving home for the younger kids, and to protect them from the violent whims of their foster mother. But she is struggling against forces she can't understand . . . and even as she feels a pull toward the dying, their sickness seems to infect her, weighing her down. . . .

Will Meri and Tens find Juliet in time to save her from a life of misery and illness? And will Meri and Tens' own romance weather the storms of new discoveries?
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I've been waiting forever for this book to come out! I loved Meridan and this one looks even better! Check out Meridian HERE if you haven't read it yet!

Here's a link to my review of Meridian....HERE

Book Bloggers Spreading the Love (1)

Monday January 24, 2010

As we all know one of the many benefits of being an active book blogger who has been around awhile is receiving books for review from authors and publishers. Face it, its pretty awesome! For the most part when I finish reviewing a book I always donate them to my school library but I always have a few on hand that aren't appropriate for a middle school library or perhaps I already have a few copies and don't necessarily need another one. Sometimes I donate them to other schools in my district but I've always wanted to pass them on to other reviewers...

So, finally, as a New Years resolution I've decided to start a new meme (maybe its new, after all this IS the internet, is anything really "new"?)

This is what I propose...

Every Monday I will offer a book to a fellow book blogger who has never read or reviewed the book I'm offering. They will leave a link to their blog and promise to read and review the book I send them. See how simple that is! I will randomly choose a name, contact that person and send them the book! Presents, yeah!

Maybe you'll join me, maybe you won't but it will posted here on Mondays each week! If you have some books sitting on a shelf that look lonely and could bring a smile to someone elses face, I hope you'll participate! 

**If you are offering a book, grab the "Spreading the Love" logo above add your name to the Linkz below.

**If you'd like to review the book I'm offering, leave your name and a link to your blog in the comment section.  

Thanks for looking and even if you don't participate, please tweet or blog about this meme if you would be so kind!

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This weeks pick:
by Conrad Wesselhoeft
October 25, 2010
Houghton Mifflin
When you piss off a bridge into a snowstorm, it feels like you’re connecting with eternal things. Paying homage to something or someone. But who? The Druids? Walt Whitman? No, I pay homage to one person only, my brother, my twin.

In life. In death.
Telemachus.

Since the death of his brother, Jonathan’s been losing his grip on reality. Last year’s Best Young Poet and gifted guitarist is now Taft High School’s resident tortured artist, when he bothers to show up. He's on track to repeat eleventh grade, but his English teacher, his principal, and his crew of Thicks (who refuse to be seniors without him) won’t sit back and let him fail.





In My Mailbox (53)

Sunday January 22, 2010
In My Mailbox hosted by The Story Siren and inspired by Alea @ Pop Culture Junkie is a way to share what new books you get each week.  They can be books you borrowed from the library, bought, traded, won or received for review.

As you can see I had a little fun with Photoshop this week :) Maybe I'll keep it this way maybe not but it was fun!

Have a great week!







































Win A Copy of Newberry Award Winner!!!

Friday January 21, 2011

When You Reach Me
by Rebecca Stead
Wendy Lamb Books

Now available in paperback!

This remarkable novel holds a fantastic puzzle at its heart. By sixth grade, Miranda and her best friend, Sal, know how to navigate their New York City neighborhood. They know where it's safe to go, and they know who to avoid. Like the crazy guy on the corner.

But things start to unravel. Sal gets punched by a kid on the street for what seems like no reason, and he shuts Miranda out of his life. The apartment key that Miranda's mom keeps hidden for emergencies is stolen. And then a mysterious note arrives, scrawled on a tiny slip of paper. The notes keep coming, and Miranda slowly realizes that whoever is leaving them knows things no one should know. Each message brings her closer to believing that only she can prevent a tragic death. Until the final note makes her think she's too late.

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It’s The Westing Game meets A Wrinkle in Time in this powerful, critically acclaimed tale that People magazine called “absorbing.” Stead effortlessly drops readers into the dynamic world of 1980s New York, where they’ll find themselves charmed, captivated, and hanging on to her every word.  WHEN YOU REACH ME unfolds with brilliant precision and vivid imagination in a very real setting, with a thrilling time-travel twist. 



*Booklist Starred Review
*Newbery Medal/Honor
*Horn Book Starred Review
*Publishers Weekly Starred Review
*Kirkus Review Starred Review
*School Library Journal Starred Review


Win a signed copy! 
Please leave a comment below
and please...Tweet away!

Winner will by announced February 4, 2011
Make sure to leave an email address in your comment 

Vixen by Jillian Larkin

Thursday January 20, 2011

Vixen (Flappers #1)
by Jillian Larkin
December 14, 2010
Delacorte Press
Goodreads Summary: Every girl wants what she can’t have. Seventeen-year-old Gloria Carmody wants the flapper lifestyle—and the bobbed hair, cigarettes, and music-filled nights that go with it. Now that she’s engaged to Sebastian Grey, scion of one of Chicago’s most powerful families, Gloria’s party days are over before they’ve even begun . . . or are they?

Clara Knowles, Gloria’s goody-two-shoes cousin, has arrived to make sure the high-society wedding comes off without a hitch—but Clara isn’t as lily-white as she appears. Seems she has some dirty little secrets of her own that she’ll do anything to keep hidden. . . .

Lorraine Dyer, Gloria’s social-climbing best friend, is tired of living in Gloria’s shadow. When Lorraine’s envy spills over into desperate spite, no one is safe. And someone’s going to be very sorry. . . .

From debut author Jillian Larkin, VIXEN is the first novel in the sexy, dangerous, and ridiculously romantic new series set in the Roaring Twenties . . . when anything goes.

Review: I was immediately drawn to this book because I've always loved the Flappers era. I wish all the womens fashion from that time period would come back! The dresses, hats, wraps and shoes are so feminine and beautiful...Just take a look at the cover! 

Here's a pic of some "authentic" fashions...aren't they awesome??!!
Anyway, on to the review :) Now I've read around the blog-o-sphere that this read is similar to The Luxe series by Anna Godbersen and I admit it does contain some similar plot elements but I don't think it had the same feel at all. For one thing, The Luxe is a much more "mature" series, in my library it's marked as 14 and up...face it, there are some pretty steamy scenes in those books! On the other hand Vixen is much lighter and although there is some inferring in regards to sex, the author leaves a lot to the imagination.
The Prohibition and Speakeasy parts of the book add to the historical aspects of the book and bolster the rebel attitude of girls who lived the Flapper lifestyle. Most people think of Flappers as just a style during the 1920's but in reality it went much deeper than that. Flappers were the rebels of their day...  "women who wore short skirts, bobbed their hair, listened to jazz, and flaunted their disdain for what was then considered acceptable behavior. Flappers were seen as brash for wearing excessive makeup, drinking, treating sex in a casual manner, smoking, driving automobiles and otherwise flouting social and sexual norms." (from Wikipedia)
 
At first I wondered if it was really authentic for girls who were so sheltered in the upper class to risk losing their social status to be a Flapper, but I suppose there are rebels in every socioeconomic level throughout history. Gloria, Lorraine and Clara wanted out of the suffocating lifestyle and expectations that they were born into and the Flapper lifestyle would be a likely temptation to girls their age who looked to the seemingly sexy, glorious lifestyle the Flappers flaunted. Clara's experience is probably the most realistic of the three as she remembers the good and the bad of her Flapper experience. 


Best friends Gloria and Lorraine each have their own motivations for sneaking out to the off-limits Speakeasy and eventually their experiences there could drive them apart. Lorraine is determined to get spoiled, rich boy Marcus' attention by being the best Flapper she can be while Gloria finds her self falling for the clubs drummer, Jerome Johnson. 


The story is ultimately about the price the girls will pay for rebelling against the expected norms of their social set and how it impacts their lives. There are a couple of "wow" moments at the end and of course its left wide open for the sequel, Ingenue out in September 2011.


There are quite a few references to drinking and smoking due to the fact those are some pretty key elements to the Flapper lifestyle and, well, Speakeasy's were places to drink during prohibition! Regardless, I don't feel it was glamorized and I think this book is perfectly fine for ages 12 and up.

Mad Love by Suzanne Selfors

Wednesday January 19, 2011

Mad Love
by Suzanne Selfors
January 4th 2011
Walker Books for Young Readers 
Goodreads Summary:  When you're the daughter of the bestselling Queen of Romance, life should be pretty good. But 16-year-old Alice Amorous has been living a lie ever since her mother was secretly hospitalized for mental illness. After putting on a brave front for months, time is running out. The next book is overdue, and the Queen can't write it. Alice needs a story for her mother—and she needs one fast.

That's when she meets Errol, a strange boy who claims to be Cupid, who insists that Alice write about the greatest love story in history: his tragic relationship with Psyche. As Alice begins to hear Errol's voice in her head and see things she can't explain, she must face the truth—that she's either inherited her mother's madness, or Errol is for real.

Review: I just have to say that I really enjoyed this
book! It has a lot of different elements that I value in a book that don't always end up being in one story. Let me list them for you...
  • romance (a really, not-really love triangle...maybe?)
  • fantasy
  • real-life trauma and issues
  • the importance of family and friends
Those are just a few things! My heart breaks for Alice as she does everything she can to protect her mentally ill mother. There has been a complete role-reversal here, at sixteen Alice is living in her mothers apartment complex (an investment purchase from her romance novel sales) and tries to make sure the bills are paid, books are signed and food is bought. One of my favorite parts of the book is the atmosphere of the small apartment complex. All the tenants around her help Alice anyway they can and they each have their own quirky little story.

The love story in this book is all mixed up and could actually be between two different couples...(intrigued? I know you are!) With Cupid involved (supposedly) you know things are bound to get completed especially if you know anything about Cupid's history! I loved reading about Ero and Psyche and maybe, like me, this book will inspire readers to read other lore about this legendary couple!

The odds are against Alice....can she write a romance novel to save the day? Can she get it done in time (she has a couple of different deadlines here...one involves Errol) Is she really hearing voices and seeing things or is she destined to become mentally ill like her mother? Funny and heartbreaking the author never makes light of the plight of mental illness but the addition of the fantasy/myth aspect adds a little upswing to the story. Maybe, like Alice, you'll be left wondering "Do all romantic stories HAVE to have a happy ending?"


I like this book for my library because readers who enjoy realistic fiction will also enjoy it as much as those fantasy lovers!


Great for readers 12 and up


Visit the author's website here www.SuzanneSelfors.com

Warped by Maurissa Guibord

Monday January 17, 2011

Warped 
by Maurissa Guibord
January 11, 2011
Delacorte Press for Young Readers
Goodreads Summary: Tessa doesn't believe in magic. Or Fate. But there's something weird about the dusty unicorn tapestry she discovers in a box of old books. She finds the creature woven within it compelling and frightening. After the tapestry comes into her possession, Tessa experiences dreams of the past and scenes from a brutal hunt that she herself participated in.

When she accidentally pulls a thread from the tapestry, Tessa releases a terrible centuries old secret. She also meets William de Chaucy, an irresistible 16th-century nobleman. His fate is as inextricably tied to the tapestry as Tessa's own. Together, they must correct the wrongs of the past. But then the Fates step in, making a tangled mess of Tessa's life. Now everyone she loves will be destroyed unless Tessa does their bidding and defeats a cruel and crafty ancient enemy.

Review: This book hooked me right away because Tessa and her father run a book store and have an affinity for old books. I LOVE buying old books! I have stacks of them. There is just something about a dusty old book with its yellowed pages and frayed edges that makes me want it...maybe I'm just terrified someone will throw it away!

The story opens with Tessa and her father at an estate sale where they end up purchasing some boxes that contain two particular items....an old tapestry with a unicorn embroidered on it and a VERY old book with weird writing in it. From the very beginning Tessa feels a weird connection to the tapestry and when she touches it she seems to be transported back into a different place and time. When Tessa pulls a piece of thread that is hanging out of the tapestry and a few minutes later a guy appears....well needless to say things are getting weird.

Tessa is close to her dad but she doesn't want to reveal to him what she's been experiencing or the fact there is a mysterious boy in her bedroom named Will who claims to be from the 15th century. Her mother died in an accident 4 years ago and her dad has recently started dating which has been a touchy subject between them. Instead, Tessa turns to her best friend Opal and they start researching some clues they've found about their curious situation.

In the meantime we also find out that the tapestry and old book they received in the estate sale were not meant to be sold. The owner of the items is furious and demanding the items be returned. Who the owner is may be the key to why Tessa feels strange around the tapestry and is having those weird flashbacks.

Mix in The Fates who periodically narrate portions of the story and here we have a total package! Mystery, romance, intrigue with a big splash of fantasy. Oh, and most important...the star-crossed lovers whose love connection seems to span five whole centuries.

A very enjoyable read. I look forward to more books from this talented debut author!

In My Mailbox (52)

Sunday January 16, 2010
In My Mailbox hosted by The Story Siren and inspired by Alea @ Pop Culture Junkie is a way to share what new books you get each week.  They can be books you borrowed from the library, bought, traded, won or received for review.


























Other Words For Love by Lorraine Zago Rosenthal
The Charmed Return (Book 6 of The Faerie Path) by Frewin Jones
The Enchanted Quest (Book 5 of The Faerie Path) by Frewin Jones

I'll have some student reviews for the The Faerie Path series...I haven't read them but they are a fantasy series fav in the library!



















Badd by Tim Tharp
Daughter of Xanadu by Dori Jones Yang
Real Live Boyfriends by e. Lockhart























Bloody Times: The Funeral of Abraham Lincoln and the Manhunt for Jefferson Davis
by James L. Swanson
This is a special adaption for young readers of the authors bestselling book Manhunt and Bloody Crimes 

I also bought this week:












Shadowspell (Faeriewalker, #2) by Jenna Black













Hexbound (Dark Elite, #2) by Chloe Neill

Book Review - Hush by Eishes Chayil

Friday January 14, 2011

Hush
by Eishes Chayil
September 14th 2010 
Walker Books for Young Readers 

Goodreads Summary: Inside the closed community of Borough Park, where most Chassidim live, the rules of life are very clear, determined by an ancient script written thousands of years before down to the last detail—and abuse has never been a part of it. But when thirteen-year-old Gittel learns of the abuse her best friend has suffered at the hands of her own family member, the adults in her community try to persuade Gittel, and themselves, that nothing happened. Forced to remain silent, Gittel begins to question everything she was raised to believe.

A richly detailed and nuanced book, one of both humor and depth, understanding and horror, this story explains a complex world that remains an echo of its past, and illuminates the conflict between yesterday's traditions and today's reality.

Review: This is one of those reads that will stick with you for a long time and if you're anything like me, Google-ing all the cultural references through out the book. I didn't know much about Hasidic Judaism or Chassidim but I did a lot of research while reading. It's a little confusing at first because the author (who uses a pseudonym) blends fiction with the truth in respect to the religious aspects of the book in order to prevent "finger-pointing" a specific sect of the religion.


I really like reading about other cultures/religions because it seems to really add depth to a story when you tie in all the traditions, habits and nuances that make them unique. Plus you are learning something at the same time! While reading about the Chassidim in the story I kept having to remind myself that the story is set in present day because their way of life seems so outdated. With the traditions such as arranged marriage still practiced to this day.

Gittell is an intriguing character and serves as an excellent narrator to the story. As she tells the story of her best friend Devory, growing up together and how things suddenly start to change, an ominous feeling appears as the signs of what is really happening to Devory present themselves.

The chapters alternate between Gittell at around age twelve and her present day seventeen year-old self as she deals with the aftermath of what happened to Devory while preparing for her own marriage and all that comes with it.

This is a deeply moving story and I went through a variety of emotions while reading it...anger, frustration, sadness and laughter. The timely topic of abuse and its cover-up touches all races, religions and cultures. The author, who herself experienced something similar, selects her own culture as a background to the story but in reality it could be anyone who lives in a family and/or culture who chooses to ignore what they don't want to deal with.

With this sensitive subject the book is appropriate for ages 14 and up.

Finalist for ALA Awards 2011 arrows William C. Morris Award

In My Mailbox (51)

Sunday January 9, 2010
In My Mailbox hosted by The Story Siren and inspired by Alea @ Pop Culture Junkie is a way to share what new books you get each week.  They can be books you borrowed from the library, bought, traded, won or received for review.



















Timeless by Alexandra Monir
Tutored by Allison Whittenberg
Warped by Maurissa Guibord















All Just Glass by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
All You Get Is Me by Yvonne Prinz
Teenie by Christopher Grant
















Fallen Angel by Heather Terrell
The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen























The Shadow Project by Herbie Brennan
The Amanda Project by Amanda Valentino and Melissa Kantor

Dark Divine Contest Winner!

Friday January 7, 2011


The Lost Saint: A Dark Divine Novel
by Bree Despain
December 28th 2010
EgmontUSA


The Winner is....

Julie @ A Tale of Many Reviews!


Congratulations Julie!