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review 2018-09-20 05:22
The Lemonade Crime (audiobook) by Jacqueline Davies, narrated by Stina Nielson
The Lemonade Crime: Lemonade Series, Book 2 (MP3 Book) - Jacqueline Davies,Suzy Jackson

Evan and his little sister Jessie are both in the fourth grade, not because they're twins, but rather because Jessie skipped a grade. Jessie is particularly good at math, very focused, feels strongly that things should be fair, and believes that rules are meant to be followed.

When one of their classmates, Scott, announces that he now owns a fancy new Xbox 2020, Evan sees red. He knows exactly where Scott got the money for it - Scott stole that money, over two hundred dollars, from Evan's shorts when they were swimming at a friend's house. Evan doesn't have any proof that Scott did it, but it's the only explanation. Then Jessie comes up with a plan: she's going to bring the truth to light in a court of law created by her and her classmates.

I checked this out from my library's Overdrive without realizing that the library owned the first book in audio as well, or I'd have started with the first book instead. It looks like I'll be listening to this series out of order.

And I do plan on listening to the first book. I enjoyed this second book in the series more than I expected to, considering that Middle Grade fiction usually reads too young for me (yes, I know that's the point - I'm not the intended audience for these books and I realize that). Jessie and Evan were great characters, both flawed in their own ways but still good kids.

Jessie didn't quite feel like she fit in. I sympathized with her trouble figuring out where to hang out during recess (or was it lunch? I can't remember). The way she really got into her courtroom plan reminded me a bit of myself. I could imagine her tossing and turning in bed, unable to stop thinking about all the things she still needed to do before the trial. She'd taken on the responsibility of both setting up as realistic a trial as possible and acting as Evan's lawyer.

Evan was really into basketball and had a bit of a crush on one of his classmates, Megan, who was also his sister's friend. I hated the way Evan acted in one particular scene, but the good thing was that he hated how he'd acted too, once it was all over, and took the time to try to do something about it.

This ended in a way that was more peaceful and friendly than I expected, and I liked the layers it added to the characters.

The peeks at Scott's home life hinted at his motives, even if Evan couldn't see them, and I'm looking forward to finding out character information I missed by skipping the first book.

(spoiler show)

One nice detail: each chapter began with a definition of a term or phrase relating to courtroom proceedings (for example, "perjury"). Usually it was something illustrated by a character's words or actions in that particular chapter.


(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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review 2015-02-06 14:11
The Perfect Mother by Nina Darnton
The Perfect Mother: A Novel - Nina Darnton

The Perfect Mother: A Novel - Nina Darnton 


The Perfect Mother by Nina Darnton is essentially a reworking of Defending Jacob with an Amanda Know twist. While Jennifer's daughter, Emma, is studying abroad in Spain, she is accused of a violent crime. As details of the crime emerge, Jennifer struggles with the realization that she may not know her daughter as well as she once thought.

It's a quick and enjoyable read, and would likely stimulate some interesting book club discussion, but overall I found the characters a bit shallow and felt the work as a whole was simply average. When it comes down to it, Defending Jacob did it first and did it better.

Disclaimer: This book has been provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2014-08-08 16:48
Always by Rachael Vaughn

Check out Rachel Vaughn's new book "Always", the thrilling sequel to "Second Chances", out now!

The small town of Mason encounters it’s first murder and a scared young man, Jamal David, is the prime suspect. Attorney Wade Anders and his assistant, Trey Ross, are determined to prove Jamal’s innocence even if it puts them both at odds with friends and family. When an investigation reveals information linking one of Trey’s newly discovered half siblings to the murder case, Trey’s loyalties are divided between his family and his client.

This suspenseful, small town, legal drama will keep you enthralled to the very end!

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review 2014-05-19 21:44
"Second Chances" Review
Second Chances - Rachel R. Vaughn

Kate Ross is an ambitious woman in a small Southern town. As a local attorney, she has her hopes set on becoming a judicial official, but a sudden sequence of unexpected events threatens her chances of progressing her career. When her son Trey is arrested and her own past secrets are on the verge of being exposed, a long-time friend re-enters her life and shows that Kate has been targeted by a disturbed man who is intent on personally destroying her. As Kate tries to keep herself safe and her secrets hidden, the past continues to encroach on the present just as danger continues to move closer to Kate.

In this thrilling novel of twisted suspense where everyone has a secret of their own to hide, each character hangs in the balance of trying not to reveal their own dark pasts to save themselves from destroying all relationships of the future. Can the truth set Kate free, or will it result in the destruction of her life forever?

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review 2013-11-29 13:53
Phillies manager Buck Sawyer to his team calling for retaliation
“Men,” he began, “you know I’m old school, and I’m proud of it. There are certain basic rules that still remain a part of baseball. One of them is that you gotta protect your own if they’re thrown at, or when somebody takes out one of us on a dirty play. We have to play hardball, and that means playing the game the way it’s supposed to be played. We need to respect each other enough so that we do what is necessary to protect our baseball family.
We lost our all-star second baseman for several weeks because of a purpose pitch that was thrown without any provocation from us. Today, we blew an opportunity to respond in kind with Wynne at the plate. Sometimes paybacks are a bitch, but we must send the Mets a message that we aren’t going to turn the other cheek. I want to read a line from Joe Garagiola’s book, Baseball is a Funny Game.
Garagiola said, ‘Baseball is a game played by human beings and governed by unwritten laws of survival and self-preservation
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