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review 2020-05-25 03:31
Drowned Cities by Paolo Bacigalupi
The Drowned Cities - Paolo Bacigalupi

Audience: Young Adult

Format: Hardcover/Library Copy


Chains clanked in the darkness of the holding cells.

- first sentence


This book comes from the same universe as Shipbreaker. In this book, Mahlia and Mouse managed to find each other and escape the Drowned Cities and live with a doctor in a small town. One day, they find a bioengineered half-man (Tool) nearly dead in the jungle. Mahlia believes Tool will save them and help them travel north beyond the Drowned Cities to a place of safety and opportunity. But Mouse is taken by the soldier boys and Mahlia must decide whether to risk everything to try to save her friend or escape to a place where freedom is possible.


This is a heart-pounding story of loyalty, survival, and adventure and I loved it! Though it is a bit gory at times, so be warned.


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review 2020-05-22 23:53
Schrodinger's Parents
The Dead and the Gone (The Last Survivors, Book 2) by Pfeffer, Susan Beth [Hardcover(2008/6/1)] - Susan Beth Pfeffer

Title: The Dead & the Gone

Series: Life As We Knew It #2

Author: Susan Beth Pfeffer

Publish Date: January 18, 2010

Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books

Format: Kindle

Page Count: 341 pages

Source: Library

Date Read: May 15-16, 2020



This second book in the series takes place at the same time the first book takes place, so if you want to read this book first and then the first book you can. Both books need to be read before going on to books 3 and 4.


Alex Morales has a lot on his plate as he nears the end of his junior year at Vicent de Paul Academy. He has dreams of being the first Puerto Rican POTUS; near future dreams include going to Georgetown for college. His family moved to NYC when he was five; his family includes Papi, Mami, older brother Miguel, and younger sisters Bri and Jamie. At the start of the book, Alex is working his after school job at the neighborhood's pizza place when THE EVENT happens....and he doesn't even observe it. He's working and talking to customers. As he walks home to the family's apartment, there are signs things are bad, but he also notices its NYC and these scenes happen. Once home, his sisters fill him in but Alex isn't too worried, since grown ups in the government and experts in science are probably already working on a solution. It's NBD. This will last a week at the most.


Oh Alex, have you met 2020?


THE EVENT, as I learned in book one, is that a meteor/asteroid knocked the moon out of its orbit and now the moon and the Earth are much closer to each other than is proper. The moon is responsible for a whole lot of regulating things on Earth as it turns out. 


Papi is back in his coastal hometown in PR so that he can attend his mother's funeral. He should be back on Saturday, but he never calls/writes/anything and yeah, flying back is so not an option RIGHT NOW. But the tides are out of control and so are the tsunamis, so chances are Papi didn't stand a chance. Yet the kids don't know for sure he's dead, they just don't know if he is alive. Mami got called in to work; she is a nurse at a hospital in Queens. She, too, doesn't communicate with the kids back in the apartment; she did have to take the subway to her job, and the subway was flooded. Alex goes to Yankee Stadium to see the recovered bodies in his search for Mami, but no dice. So the kids don't know for sure if she's dead, but they also don't know if she is alive. Folks, this is a case of Schrodinger's Parents! 


Miguel is a Marine stationed at Twenty-Nine Palms (dude, that sucks, sorry to hear that), but just as he is deployed he calls home to let Alex and the girls know he is okay and headed to Texas. A deployment from Twenty-Nine Palms to Texas sounds worse than my two trips to Iraq. Anyway, there is a clear sign that Miguel is okay and is being taken care of by the Marines. And then it is just a survival story of Alex and his two sisters while the world goes to hell in a handbasket. Ultimately, Alex and Jamie leave NYC on a bus headed for camp of religious survivors (nuns, priests, etc). 


There is a little violence (food riot) and innuendo regarding sex trafficking of minors/young women, but there is a lot of death as par for the course with an apocalyptic tale. There is also a lot of mutual aid and helping hands; there is class inequality and how corruption and connections help people survive. There is a lot of religion in this book, but it is woven deeply into the characters' lives and beings that it makes sense to have this much religious theme without it being overwhelming. The city itself is a character, giving flavor to scenes like the one at Yankee Stadium or when Alex goes to the more well off section and sees life around him looking more normal. Money makes not normal times seem more normal and bearable. I liked Alex and his sisters right off the bat; they're smart, hard working and most importantly city kids who rely on instincts to help them out. 


I plan on reading books three and four sometime this summer.


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text 2020-05-22 15:47
The Write Reads Ultimate Blog Tours ~ Harrow Lake

The Write Reads Ultimate Blog Tours ~ Harrow Lake



Source: imavoraciousreader.blogspot.com/2020/05/friday-featured-spotlight-twr-ultimate.html
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review 2020-05-22 05:15
I'll Take the Lie Review and GIVEAWAY!

About the Book


Book:  I’ll Take the Lie

Author: Nancy E. Wood

Genre:  Christian YA

Release Date: June 28, 2019

Does the truth really set you free?

Paige Hall doubts it, after her boyfriend Justin tells her he’s over it, leaving her with a broken heart and crushed dreams. When Justin disappears, she can’t help but try to find out what happened to him. But when the more she searches, the more problems arise, she can’t help but wonder if it would be better to just accept the lie…

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author


Nancy E Wood was born into a missionary family and lived in Hungary until she turned twenty. Her whole childhood, she loved reading and stories, writing some of her own, but never believing she actually had the talent to be an author. Speaking multiple languages, she never thought she would be good enough in any to become a wordsmith.

Her senior year of high school, she was encouraged to write short stories, one of which turned into Perfect, a novel that couldn’t stay short. After sharing it with a few people, she decided to get it published a couple years later. She went to college in Florida, where she studied English and Music. After graduating, she married and moved to California. She published her second standalone book, I’ll Take the Lie, in the summer of 2019 and is currently working on a sequel to Perfect. She also runs a blog for young women, where she writes relatable and motivational posts that point to God. She has also done some speaking in different Christian schools and youth groups, encouraging teens to pursue Christ through some of the most difficult years of their lives.

More from Nancy


What’s truth? Why is it important? Does everyone have their own kind of truth or is there only one?

Those were questions I was dealing with in my college Apologetics class while I wrote I’ll Take the Lie, and I thought that theme would fit so well into the story.

The idea came to me a long time ago. I was really into The Great Gatsby at the time and wanted to write a story from a bystander’s point of view. Originally titled What’s Wrong with Alex?, Paige, the worried sister of Alex, who drastically changed over his first semester of college, wants to find out what happened to him. But the deeper I went into the story, the more Paige’s character shone through, and she soon became the protagonist with her ex boyfriend’s mysterious disappearance. The whole theme tied into what I was studying about apologetics and truth, so the messy pieces all came together into a solid plot.

Paige isn’t a believer, and she doesn’t really care about the idea of truth and spirituality until she gets dragged into it. It’s my hope that this book story helps young adults like me think deeper and question their beliefs. We get so caught up with our own happiness, we don’t always want to accept the hard truth. But, like Paige, we need to think about whether we can keep living pretend lives or if the truth really does set us free.

My Review


“Who would’ve known that saying yes to the hottest football player would lead to me sitting in a police station alone, waiting to be questioned in his disappearance?”

After finishing this book, I feel as though I’ve just watched a program on Investigation Discovery, and that’s not a bad thing. I found this story to be quite compelling and easy to read as far as comprehension is concerned. Despite figuring out the solution to the mystery fairly early on, I did not want to stop reading until that last page was turned. I’ve always enjoyed mysteries, so it’s a treat when I have the opportunity to get a review copy of one.

As indicated by its title, “I’ll Take the Lie” features a first-person narrator, high school senior Paige Hall, whose ex-boyfriend goes missing at the outset. Author Nancy Wood does a commendable job of introducing Paige’s backstory, as well as that of the other characters, at a measured pace that keeps things interesting. By withholding some information, she sets readers up for surprises later on, a technique which I personally find enjoyable in this genre. In my opinion, there were not many likable characters in this story, but I did like Freddie for his loyalty and kindness. Amy is likewise endowed with patience and the love of Christ, which stands in stark contrast to the majority of Paige’s family.

In fact, it’s the family and relationship dynamics that bothered me about this book. While bearing in mind that of course no meaningful relationship is without its conflicts, those in “I’ll Take the Lie” are destructive and dysfunctional. From the Hall family itself to each member’s personal lives, there are multitudinous issues which those involved attempt to ignore or brush away, leading to tragic consequences. As Paige begins to question, “Justin had been the best thing that had happened to me. But had he also been the worst?” This is a story that remains true to life because Wood portrays young people as they can be in real life, with the partying, cheating, and getting drunk and high. In spite of this, however, she does keep this an otherwise clean book, with no profanity or bedroom scenes. The faith element remains very subdued, and only in the final chapters does it start to truly shine through, revealing that God has a purpose for each of us, and for our pain. Don’t settle for the lie; trust the Lord and see Him at work in your situation.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.


Blog Stops





To celebrate her tour, Nancy is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.


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review 2020-05-20 05:41
Anne of Green Gables
Anne of Green Gables - L.M. Montgomery

Yes, this is my first time reading it.  I was book shopping back in January with my 9 year old niece and she was pressuring me to read Little Women, which isn't going to happen, and in a panic, I volunteered to read Anne of Green Gables instead.


Keeping in mind that I'm 40 years beyond the target audience for this book, omg, it's so twee.  468 pages and about 368 of them so twee and precious I almost gave up and dnf'd it.  Suffice it to say, I identified most strongly with Marilla.  But if I skimmed the gratuitous expository narrative, there was a charming story that kept me going (after a 3 month hiatus).  And as Anne grew up, the story got progressively easier to read.  That part of the story earned it the extra half star.


The reasons this book is a classic are clear, though I'm confident I wouldn't have been much more enamoured of this book when I was in its target audience; even as a child I lacked the requisite imagination to feel like Anne was a kindred spirit, and Heidi pretty much killed the orphan sub-genre for me anyway.  But I have one niece for whom this book might be a perfect fit, and I'll be holding in on my shelf for her next visit, assuming that happens before she's old enough to drive, given current border closures.  Or maybe I'll just send it to her in the post.

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