Sunday, January 22, 2012

My TBR Shelf

A TBR shelf is a badge of honor for every reader. I don't have a huge collection of TBR books, but I do have enough to fill a shelf! Like every reader, I have a problem with buying books when I already have many unread ones at home. This is my small but mighty TBR shelf, and it is bound to just keep growing!

Although my shelf is small, I have a TBR notebook that is several pages long! I am a libraryaholic, so I get most of my books at the library. I write the name and author of the book, then write by each book what library it can be found at. That way I have an idea of what I am getting at the library!
Happy reading!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

REVIEW: Another Kind of Monday by William E. Coles, Jr

Title: Another Kind of Monday
Author: William E. Coles, Jr.
Grade: C+
*I checked this book out from the library

Synopsis from Amazon:
When Mark borrows a copy of Great Expectations from the school library, he finds, concealed between two pages, an envelope containing three crisp one-hundred dollar bills.There is also a note mysterious but intriguing, that invites the finder to embark on a quests. If Mark can puzzle out the meaning of a series of enigmatic verse clues meant to lead him on a treasure hunt around his hometown of Pittsburgh, then, like Charles Dicken's Pip, he is promised a fortune. But he must follow certain rules - like working in absolute secrecy -- or the deal is off. Rewarded by gifts of money, Mark uses the clues to move from one strange Pittsburgh location to the next - an abandoned steel mill, an old astronomical observatory -- when suddenly the rules of the quest change...

The main reason I got this book was because it is set in Pittsburgh, and I grew up in Pittsburgh. The book talks about specific places, buildings, and streets in the Pittsburgh area and I loved being able to picture in my mind where each event was taking place; from Shady Side, to the Frick Mansion, to the reservoir in Highland Park. Each time Mark solves a part of the puzzle, he is lead to a different part of the city. During his quest, Mark must team up with someone and he picks Zeena, a girl who is the complete opposite of Mark. The building of the relationship between the two really adds an interesting twist to the story. The must learn to work through their differences in order to solve the puzzle. I will tell you that I found the ending to be very anticlimactic and I was not very happy with how it ended. I gave the book a C+ because I did not find the plot very interesting. The main thing that kept me reading was the fact that I could picture in my mind the main parts of Pittsburgh that were mentioned. It is not a book though that I would re-read.

Happy Reading!

Friday, January 20, 2012

REVIEW: The Dirt by Lori Culwell

Title: The Dirt
Author: Lori Culwell
Grade: A+
This book was sent to me for review.
Synopsis from the back of the book:
Lucy Whitley cannot wait to get out of Palm Desert. It is not a place for a frizzy-haired science nerd. Particularly when her fashion obsessed older sister Sloane is the head of a clique of pretty girls who rule the school-- and practically the whole town.
Fortunately life is about to change forever. Lucy's dad is getting re-married, and then she can transfer to a boarding school in Connecticut, escaping all the mean girls and the endless whispers about the Whitley family scandal. Everything is going to be perfect-- as long as the wedding goes smoothly.

I absolutely loved this book!! It is a Hollywood drama/suspense/chick lit novel all rolled in to one perfect blend of a book! Lucy lives with her dad and two sisters. Her mom and sister Megan disappeared years ago and have not been heard of since. Lucy can not wait to move out of her family's drama filled house and attend a boarding school hundreds of miles away. When Lucy starts to feel that everything is falling into place, a girl that claims to by Megan, Lucy's lost sister, appears at Lucy's dads wedding. Everyone's future plans get thrown out of the window.

I was hooked as soon as I read the back cover. It was a quick and easy read that kept me wanting more! Every character in the book adds a fun and different part to the story line. They are all so different, but work together to create a great read! Lucy as the only normal sister is someone that I could really relate to. She is a typically teenager who just wants a normal family and daily life. The book kept me hooked until the very last page and I wanted the book to continue on. I can definitly see the possibility for a series about the Whitley family! I recommend this book for any young adult/chick lit fan out there and for those who do not normally enjoy young adult fiction. This is a book I think anyone could enjoy!

Happy reading!

*I was sent this book for review and my opinions are my own and not influenced by the author or publisher.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Review: Wayfarers by Winifred Cook

Title: Wayfarers
Author: Winifred Cook
Grade: B +
I received this book for review!

Synopsis from Facebook:
The majestically beautiful Hawthorne Manor, a sprawling plantation, in pre-civil war Tennessee sets the stage for this amazing story of love, hate, loss, and redemption. When Jeremiah Hawthorne, the master of Hawthorne Manor, is murdered by highwaymen late one night, it sets into motion this complex and absorbing saga involving the family he left behind: His widow Mary-Beth, the beautiful but cruel mistress of the plantation who cares for no one but herself, and her son Jerry, a handsome young boy who experiences the loss of his innocence at a tender young age.

Also caught up in the grief, loss and betrayal experienced by the Hawthorne family are the other residents at Hawthorne Manor - the slaves. Daniel, Jerry’s best friend and slave playmate who was given to him when they both were toddlers and Beulah, his mother and Jerry’s nana, have never known any other life but the one at the manor, having worked and lived there all of their lives. But with the death of their master they are subjected to the harsh realities of their situation and the cold hand of their mistress Mary-Beth, who sells them away without a second thought despite the desperate pleas of her son Jerry, who has grown to love Beulah and Daniel.

As their family life is shattered, both Jerry and Daniel have to mature quickly to make their way in drastically different circumstances, both affected by the Civil War. Wayfarers is the story of how their extraordinary bond, in spite of their divergent paths; endures the turbulent and sometimes violent ravages of time

I was very surprised by this book. Historical fiction is not typically a genre I read, but I wanted to give this book a try. I very much enjoyed reading it! The book has a history background, but the historical part is not overwhelming to the reader. The reader is able to see the characters of Daniel and Jerry grow up through different circumstances that is brought on by their race. The book spans Jerry and Daniel's teenage years, so you are able to really learn about the characters and can find yourself identifying with their struggles. Jerry is white and Daniel is African American so you can see how it was to grow up during the Civil War era from two very different points of view. It made me truly horrified to see how slaves were treated. I wanted to scream and cry when Daniel and, his mother Beulah, are separated. It's amazing to think how far our country has come over the last hundred or so years.

I must say that it started a little slow, but once I got about 20 pages in, I was hooked. It wasn't the quickest read, but it definitely made me think while reading (which is pretty good for Christmas break!). Wayfarers has something for everyone; romance, action, horror, etc... You can find out more about the book at Mr. Cook's website! Thank you for the opportunity to read and review this book!

Happy reading!