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review 2019-06-17 19:25
Review: Dear Sister by Francine Pascal
Dear Sister (Sweet Valley High #7) - Francine Pascal

Title: Dear Sister
Author: Francine Pascal, Kate William
Series: Sweet Valley High, 7
Format: ebook, bind-up
Length: N/A
Rating: 3 stars


Synopsis: Sweet Valley is stunned by the news: Beautiful young Elizabeth Wakefield lies in a coma, on the brink of death after a horrible motorcycle accident. Elizabeth's boyfriend Todd is consumed by guilt; he was driving and escaped unharmed. He feels totally helpless. All he can do is wait for a change in Elizabeth's condition--a change that might mean the loss of the only girl he's ever loved.
But no one is more shattered than Elizabeth's twin, Jessica. As she keeps watch over the silent body of her sister, she's overwhelmed by despair. Without Elizabeth, can life go on?


Favourite character: N/A
Least favourite character: Elizabeth & Jessica


Mini-review: This was one of the first Sweet Valley High books I ever read. I’m not that I understand the human brain enough to know if the plot of this book is plausible, but it makes for an interesting read, even if I did want to smack both twins.


Fan Cast:
Elizabeth Wakefield/Jessica Wakefield - Lili Reinhart
Todd Wilkins - Blake Michael
Alice Wakefield - Laura Dern
Ned Wakefield - Patrick Warburton
Mr. Collins - Armie Hammer
Bruce Patman - Gregg Sulkin
Ken Matthews - Brandon Larracuente
Bill Chase - Dylan Playfair
Enid Rollins - Joey King
Lila Fowler - Danielle Campbell
Winston Egbert - Joey Bragg
Mandy Farmer - Ella Balinska
Jean Percy/Joan Percy - Matia Jackett
Max Dellon - Ross Lynch

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review 2019-01-13 17:41
I'm still glad I was an only child
Dear Sister - Alison McGhee,Joe Bluhm

Dear Sister by Alison McGhee (with illustrations by Joe Bluhm) was a happy accident. It happened to be returned while I was working at circulation and when I flipped through it I was intrigued enough to check it out for myself. The book is written in a series of letters and drawings from a boy who has just been saddled  blessed with a baby sister. His parents want him to write to her so they can put it in her baby book but he has his own ideas of what to write. From the start, his letters and drawings are quite hostile and he makes a point of saying that the 'wardens' have forced him into contributing. Their relationship is typical of an older sibling who has no interest in catering to an annoying, screaming infant/toddler/preschooler. Their age difference is about 8 years which explains a lot of the animosity. He always refers to her as 'sister' because the name he had picked out for her (and which wasn't used) was so good that he'd hate to slip up and call her that because then she'd be sad that it wasn't her name. This is one of those perfect little books that shock you when you realize they're not more in demand. It felt totally authentic and the illustrations were absolutely fantastic. They were a mix of childlike drawings which aged up with the character and a few realistic looking pencil drawings from a third person standpoint. The whole story is heartwarming and the ending was so sweet that I actually cried. What a great little book! 10/10


A/N: I discovered that Joe Bluhm illustrated one of my favorite William Joyce books The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore and now I'm on a mission to find more of his work. No wonder I liked the drawings in this so much! XD


Source: Amazon.com


                                  Source: Amazon.com


What's Up Next: I'm waiting on another volume of the Elfquest Archives so that I can hopefully do my reviews in one post. We shall see...


What I'm Currently Reading: The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova (reread)

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2016-07-07 23:26
Sister Dear by Laura McNeill
Sister Dear - Laura McNeill

All Allie Marshall wants is a fresh start.  But when dark secrets refuse to stay buried, will her chance at a new life be shattered forever? Convicted of a crime she didn’t commit, Allie watched a decade of her life vanish – time that can never be recovered. Now, out on parole, Allie is determined to clear her name, rebuild her life, and reconnect with the daughter she barely knows. But Allie’s return home shatters the quaint, coastal community of Brunswick, Georgia. Even her own daughter Caroline, now a teenager, bristles at Allie’s claims of innocence. Refusing defeat, a stronger, smarter Allie launches a battle for the truth, digging deeply into the past even if it threatens her parole status, personal safety, and the already-fragile bond with family. As her commitment to finding the truth intensifies, what Allie ultimately uncovers is far worse than she imagined. Her own sister has been hiding a dark secret—one that holds the key to Allie’s freedom.






Ten years ago, pre-med student Allie was set up to have one great life in front of her. About to embark on a medical career, she also had a beautiful little girl and a perfect loving and supportive boyfriend. Then one night's events had Allie suddenly facing down a murder charge. After sitting in prison for a decade, all the time proclaiming her innocence, Allie is now out on parole and determined to rebuild her life and clear her name of the wrongful accusations.


Easier said than done though, she quickly comes to find out. Everyone in town still questions Allie's innocence, making it near impossible for Allie to find a job. Little hard to turn around your life if you have no income to bankroll the changes! The struggle to start again only strengthens Allie's resolve to get to the bottom of the truth of that fateful night so that she can finally try to put this business behind her once and for all. The truth that starts to surface turns out to be stranger and more dangerous than she could've ever imagined. 


Caroline, that pretty little girl is now a hurt and confused teenager, raised by Allie's sister Emma. Caroline barely has any memory of her mother and it doesn't help that her opinions of Allie are influenced by the brainwashing of Emma, who has built up a lifetime of bitterness against her older sister. Allie was always the perfect one, the admirable school career, the kind, helpful, pretty one her parents doted on. Comparatively, second child Emma was treated like a bit of a stick in the mud. It seemed nothing she did was ever quite right, no matter how hard she tried... so she just stopped trying and embraced being the wild child. When Allie is sent to prison, it's a chance for Emma to step up and finally win her parents' approval as the responsible, mature child who wasn't sent to prison. Now that Allie is out, Emma isn't ready to give up the life she's built as Caroline's surrogate mother and the darling child of her parents and she's willing to go to nearly any lengths to hold onto the life she's come to love. 


Though the thriller aspect of the plot wasn't quite as strong as I had hoped, there were still enough question marks around the characters to keep me turning pages. I think my main disappointment with the thriller element was that the build up was good and showed potential but there was some dropping the ball when it came to the follow-through. I also felt that sometimes the flashback scenes, mainly the way the reader was only given small snippets at a time, were dragged out throughout the plot a little longer than necessary. It brought down the overall pace of the story a bit. I will say though, I found the ending to be a strong one with a satisfying epilogue. The one thing I would've liked a better conclusion to is what happened with the relationship between Caroline and Russell, since Russell was actually one of my favorite characters in the whole book.


Sister Dear is a strong candidate when choosing potential titles for your next book club round up. It offers topics for meaty discussions such as the treatment of convicted felons after their release, or the glorification of sports players or coaches, even to the point of being willing to overlook highly unethical, even illegal behavior in favor of maintaining fanhood. It also looks at sibling rivalries turned twisted, which is bound to get club members talking! 



FTC Disclaimer: In the case of this book, both TNZ Fiction Guild and BookLookBloggers.com kindly provided me with copies of this book in exchange for an honest review. The opinions above are entirely my own. 


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review 2016-05-23 23:28
Sister Dear - Laura McNeill


This book was good, however my neck was turning redder and redder as I read it (meaning I wanted to hurt somebody REAL good as in redneck style, HA!). I can't say why (don't want to spoil it for you) but it was definitely a jaw dropper when I finally figured it out. I was ready to go for blood!

While good, I think it did take a little long and could have been shortened as I was growing tired of hearing how much better Allie's sister could be as a mother. That was definitely getting on my nerves. However, I would still recommend this book as I felt it certainly worth reading once you got to the "real story".

Thanks to Thomas Nelson for providing me with an ARC so that I could review it and give my honest opinion.


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text 2016-05-17 00:31
Sister Dear
Sister Dear - Laura McNeill

Two Sisters, one jealous sister, and a trail of unbelievable acts.

Could you really be that jealous of someone and have such a desire for revenge t​hat you would go to any lengths ​t​o ruin that person's life?

​We meet Allie as she is released from prison after​ ​ten years for a crime she didn't commit, Emma, Allie's sister who raised Allie's daughter, and Caroline, Allie's 15-year-old daughter.

Allie was released from prison and returned to her home town in hopes of reconciling with her daughter, but all wasn't easy especially in the small town of Brunswick where the residents didn't forget what happened ten years ago and wouldn't change what they believed.

Allie knew she hadn't killed a man, but the jury and the town still accused her and shunned her.

Being a felon in her small, home town wasn't working out too well for Allie.  Emma subtly and cruelly made things difficult for her sister and niece and would stop at nothing to keep Caroline as her own.  Caroline was embarrassed to have anyone know her mother was out of prison and back in Brunswick.

All of the characters had a lot of baggage to deal with along with the jealousy factor that definitely did a lot of personal damage.

The characters in SISTER DEAR were for the most par​t ​not trustworthy.

Emma was a sister that I am glad was not mine.

The sheriff was not likable at all and definitely a ​sheriff who had some secrets.

I liked Allie and Caroline, though, because they seemed genuine.

SISTER DEAR is unmistakably a tension-building page turner that keeps your interest from the opening sentence.

Be sure you have a lot of time when you begin SISTER DEAR because you won’t be able to stop reading.  

The last 20 pages became even more suspenseful...I was nervous.  :)  5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher and Litfuse Publicity in return for an honest review.

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