Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The Book that Matters Most by Ann Hood

4 stars
R- 2-3

This was another "not great timing" book for me, but I still enjoyed it.  It's a little predictable and possibly cliche, but at the end of the day how can you not enjoy a book about books?

Overall, it maybe wasn't amazing, but it's worth a read.

(Can you tell I'm playing crazy catch up with reviews?)

Monday, October 24, 2016

Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan

5 stars

Weird and wonderful and quirky and heart-wrenching and heart-warming and....

Oh just go read it, would you?

This one did actually take me a little bit of time to get into, but ultimately I loved it.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Mom Zone Mysteries by Sara Rosett

Mimosas, Mischief, and Murder (#6)
Mistletoe, Merriment, and Murder (#7)
Milkshakes, Mermaids, and Murder (#8)
Marriage, Monsters-in-Law, and Murder (#9)

4 stars (each)
R- 1

I got very behind on this enjoyable cozy mystery series, but I've caught up.  (It helps that books take a year or so to be written and published but I can read them in a day or two.)

And just as was the case with the earlier Ellie Avery mysteries, these are fun fluffy stories.

Unfortunately I have AWFUL timing, reading the one about the grandfather's death less than a month after my own grandpa died.  That was rough.

(Isn't he adorable??  Sigh.  We miss you, Grandpa.)

Even though it was a rough read, though, it was still a really good story.

All in all, I'm still totally enjoying this series, and I'm all caught up until March.  My only drawbacks I'm seeing are the increasing number typos (which is unfortunately true for oh-so-many series) and the unfortunate trend in titles.  I liked the earlier titles better than the current onslaught of triple Ms.

Bottom line-- if you haven't tried these yet, you should.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Raven Queen by Pauline Francis

2.5 stars

I so wanted this to be good.  It's totally my thing and I was excited to read it.


It just.... wasn't.

I can't quite put my finger on why.... the writing is fine.  The story is interesting.

But it just didn't work.

I think my issue (at least in part) was the level of liberties taken with historical characters/events.  There just doesn't seem to be evidence to support this take on Jane and the half the book is from the perspective of an admittedly entirely fictitious character.

I don't know... it just didn't work for me.  I think the story would have been better either A) sticking closer to what we actually know about Jane or B) as complete fiction that maybe is very loosely based on an actual event.


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Be Different by John Elder Robison

Adventures of a Free-Range Aspergian
with practical advice for Aspergians, misfits, and their parents

4 stars
nonfiction, memoir


I picked this up browsing my library, partly because I have suspicions about where one of my children may fall on the spectrum, partly just because it sounded interesting.

And it certainly was interesting.

And after reading it I'm wondering about more of the people in my household, lol.

Highly recommended.  This blend of humor, candor, and experience is a very readable look at life with Asperger's.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Last Chance Llama Ranch by Hilary Fields

3 stars
R- 3

Reader's Choice

A fun, cute story about finding your place.

Main reason it doesn't get 4 stars? Language.  Holy cow.  If you took out the profanity it could have been shorter than 474 pages.  Seriously.

And yes, I get that there are people who talk that way, but there aren't any in my life and I'm happy with that.

Overall, if language doesn't bother you (there is also risqueity) then this really is a good story and you should give it a try.

Bonus for those who've read Fields' other book (Bliss), Serafina makes an appearance in this one, handing out treats and sage advice.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Wilma Tenderfoot by Emma Kennedy

Wilma Tenderfoot and the Case of the Frozen Hearts
Wilma Tenderfoot and the Case of the Putrid Poison
Wilma Tenderfoot and the Case of the Fatal Phantom
Wilma Tenderfoot and the Case of the Rascal's Revenge

5 stars (each)

Oh how we've been enjoying Wilma Tenderfoot!

This is a great middle-grade-ish (Wilma is 10, I'd say mid- to late elementary crowd mainly, though middle schoolers may also enjoy them) mystery series with a delightful narrative voice.

The characters are lovable (if sometimes bizarre), the setting is silly, the stories are sometimes zany.

Overall, it's all a bit wonky, but in the very best ways.

These are a MUST READ.  Boo loved them; I loved them.  (Mister doesn't read mysteries.  He's weird.)

You'll laugh, you'll cry.

Go get them.  Seriously.  Right now.