Fri, July 18, 2014

Mini Reviews

So many reviews, so little time!

For some reason, I never got around to doing full reviews on these books, but wanted to share my brief thoughts with you. Thus, “Mini Reviews” (aka, Anna Is Lazy)!

Fixing Delilah book cover

Fixing Delilah by Sarah Ockler

About the book:

Things in Delilah Hannaford’s life have a tendency to fall apart.

She used to be a good student, but she can’t seem to keep it together anymore. Her “boyfriend” isn’t much of a boyfriend. And her mother refuses to discuss the fight that divided their family eight years ago. Falling apart, it seems, is a Hannaford tradition.

Over a summer of new friendships, unexpected romance, and moments that test the complex bonds between mothers and daughters, Delilah must face her family’s painful past. Can even her most shattered relationships be pieced together again?

Rich with emotion, Sarah Ockler delivers a powerful story of family, love, and self-discovery.

My thoughts: A lovely book, and one I’m sad it took me so long to read! The writing was gorgeous, and I totally cried. Loved the family and friendship dynamics. It’s a contemporary I’d HIGHLY recommend.

Landline book cover

Landline by Rainbow Rowell

About the book:

Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble. That it’s been in trouble for a long time. She still loves her husband, Neal, and Neal still loves her, deeply — but that almost seems besides the point now.

Maybe that was always besides the point.

Two days before they’re supposed to visit Neal’s family in Omaha for Christmas, Georgie tells Neal that she can’t go. She’s a TV writer, and something’s come up on her show; she has to stay in Los Angeles. She knows that Neal will be upset with her — Neal is always a little upset with Georgie — but she doesn’t expect to him to pack up the kids and go home without her.

When her husband and the kids leave for the airport, Georgie wonders if she’s finally done it. If she’s ruined everything.

That night, Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past. It’s not time travel, not exactly, but she feels like she’s been given an opportunity to fix her marriage before it starts . . .

Is that what she’s supposed to do?

Or would Georgie and Neal be better off if their marriage never happened?

My thoughts: Definitely not the Rainbow Rowell you associate with YA, which is fine by me, but probably not a good fit for actual young adults. It’s a quite dark story about the difficulties of marriage. Her writing is as sharp as ever, but I think you should definitely keep the tone and content in mind!

Sabriel book cover

Sabriel by Garth Nix

About the book:

Sent to a boarding school in Ancelstierre as a young child, Sabriel has had little experience with the random power of Free Magic or the Dead who refuse to stay dead in the Old Kingdom. But during her final semester, her father, the Abhorsen, goes missing, and Sabriel knows she must enter the Old Kingdom to find him. She soon finds companions in Mogget, a cat whose aloof manner barely conceals its malevolent spirit, and Touchstone, a young Charter Mage long imprisoned by magic, now free in body but still trapped by painful memories. As the three travel deep into the Old Kingdom, threats mount on all sides. And every step brings them closer to a battle that will pit them against the true forces of life and death—and bring Sabriel face-to-face with her own destiny.

With Sabriel, the first installment in the Abhorsen trilogy, Garth Nix exploded onto the fantasy scene as a rising star, in a novel that takes readers to a world where the line between the living and the dead isn’t always clear—and sometimes disappears altogether.

My thoughts: Everyone loves this book, but like Tamora Pierce’s stories, it just didn’t pop for me. I think it’s the type of book I would have ADORED at, say, age 12. But it just came to me too late in life, I’m afraid.

Strange and Ever After book cover

Strange and Ever After by Susan Dennard (Something Strange and Deadly #3)

About the book:

In the conclusion to the trilogy that Publishers Weekly called “a roaring—and addictive—gothic world,” Eleanor Fitt must control her growing power, face her feelings for Daniel, and confront the evil necromancer Marcus…all before it’s too late.

He took her brother, he took her mother, and now, Marcus has taken her good friend Jie. With more determination than ever to bring this sinister man to justice, Eleanor heads to the hot desert streets of nineteenth-century Egypt in hopes of ending this nightmare. But in addition to her increasingly tense relationships with Daniel, Joseph, and her demon, Oliver, Eleanor must also deal with her former friend, Allison, who has curiously entangled herself in Eleanor’s mission.

With the rising dead chomping at her every move and Jie’s life hanging in the balance, Eleanor is convinced that her black magic will see her through to the bitter end. But there will be a price. Though she and the Spirit Hunters have weathered every battle thus far, there will be consequences to suffer this time—the effects of which will be irreversible. And when it’s over, only some will be able to live a strange and ever after.

Susan Dennard will leave readers breathless and forever changed in the concluding pages of this riveting ride.

My thoughts: The gothic/steampunk setting for this series never really worked for me. It’s just not my thing. But I like Dennard’s writing and thoroughly enjoy following her on Twitter, so I’m glad I gave it a go. I’m just hoping her next books have a setting/theme/topic a little more appealing to me. It’s not you, book, it’s me!

The Sound of Letting Go book cover

The Sound of Letting Go by Stasia Kehoe Ward

About the book:

For sixteen years, Daisy has been good. A good daughter, helping out with her autistic younger brother uncomplainingly. A good friend, even when her best friend makes her feel like a third wheel. When her parents announce they’re sending her brother to an institution—without consulting her—Daisy’s furious, and decides the best way to be a good sister is to start being bad. She quits jazz band and orchestra, slacks in school, and falls for bad-boy Dave.

But one person won’t let Daisy forget who she used to be: Irish exchange student and brilliant musician Cal. Does she want the bad boy or the prodigy? Should she side with her parents or protect her brother? How can she know when to hold on and when—and how—to let go?

My thoughts: I remember adoring the writing, but I actually remember very little of the plot specifics. If you love verse novels, I’d say absolutely read this one. It was quite well done. But because of my fuzziness on the plot, I wouldn’t start here if you’re new to the genre.

Have you read any of these books?

Anna Reads young adult book blog

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  1. Anna said:

    I LOVE Fixing Delilah! Sarah Ockler always writes such wonderful books.


    Posted on: Fri, July 18, 2014

  2. Ginger @ GReads! said:

    Fixing Delilah: THIS BOOK. Talk about showing up late to the party. Man I’m so glad we discovered this one.

    Landline: Agreed, definitely a mature Adult read. Of course fans of RR will still read it, regardless of age, but not sure the younger folks will take away the same messages.

    The Sound of Letting Go: This was actually my first verse novel & I LOVED it. So it may be a good starting point for some. The writing style did not affect the tone of the story for me, which made it easy to follow through with.


    Posted on: Fri, July 18, 2014

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