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review 2015-09-15 03:53
Fairly trite romance
Taken Away - Patricia Yager Delagrange

“I never wanted to be pregnant. I want to paint. I don’t want to burp a baby, feed it bottles, change dirty diapers. Shit! You know that.” – Serena Middleton, wife of Dr. Jessee Bradford

 

Serena never wanted to be married. Never wanted to have a baby. But, she did both. Sophia is a beautiful child, and Serena seems to settle. She is painting, Jessee is working as a veterinarian in a 24-hour emergency animal hospital, and they are happy.

 

Then one day Jessee comes home to an empty house. And neither the FBI nor private investigators can find Serena and Sophia. Kidnapping? Or did Serena simply run, taking Sophia with her? Jessee doesn’t know and, subject to panic attacks and severe depression he decides to leave Santa Monica and return to his home in Iowa to take over his grandfather’s veterinary practice.

 

There, he learns to relax. To enjoy his grandparent’s company, and even finds someone to love. But then? A visit to a gallery changes everything. Is Jessee’s life destroyed? Or will all his dreams come true?

 

There are things I liked about the story, and other things that didn’t quite work for me. The book it written in first person, which sometimes works, but in this case simply led to “telling not showing.” It made the story slow going, and I found myself flipping pages to get past the boring parts. Delagrange also devolves into the trite and corny much too heavily for my tastes. For example, there is an instance at the very end, involving Laura, that was just too ‘smarmy on steroids’ for me. It was OK, but not a book I will keep in my stash.

 

I received Taken Away from the publisher in exchange for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own.

Source: soireadthisbooktoday.com
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review 2015-01-27 15:34
LAST STOP ON MARKET STREET by Matt de la Pena

Like most little boys, CJ is curious about many thing.  He wonders why he and his nana have to ride the bus instead of owning a car, he wonders why the man on the bus is blind, he wonders why the neighborhood is so dirty, but most of all, CJ wonders why they have to go to the soup kitchen to help every week after church. With great patience, nana answers every question. Her answers make CJ look at the world around him and see things differently. By the time they reach the LAST STOP ON MARKET STREET, CJ is happy they made the trip.

This is the kind of story that gives you a warm feeling inside. You can feel the love between CJ and nana on every page. This is a great look at the importance of public transportation and volunteering.

 

 

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review 2014-04-21 15:03
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

 

Book cover for We Were LiarsE. Lockhart delivers an interesting tale of four teens who vacation each summer at their grandfather’s private island near Edgartown. Cady looks forward to her summers on the island. After a series of tragedies, Cady begins having migraines and has lost her memory of the events surrounding one of them. When she returns to the island, she begins to remember. We Were Liars takes the reader on a ride filled with love, adventure and heartache. This is one of the books that you will not want to put down; but if you do, you will be drawn back to it time and again.

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review 2013-12-03 15:23
As Luck Would Have It
The Thing About Luck - Cynthia Kadohata

As luck would have it, Summer's parents were called away to Japan to take care of an ailing relative. Summer's grandparents are going to fill in for the parents to help pay the mortgage for the family. Summer and her brother accompany the grandparents as they take on jobs with a harvesting company. Summer helps her cantankerous grandmother cook the meals for the crew while her grandfather drives a combine. When bad luck strikes the family again, Summer must make a decision to help rescue her family as only she can or obey her grandmother. The story shows us how Summer overcomes obstacles that many tweens face, including trouble that comes from having her first kiss.

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