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Book Review 27: The Gilded Lily by Deborah Swift

Book Review 27: The Gilded Lily by Deborah Swift

Image Courtesy of GoodReadsBuy on Amazon.comI discovered The Gilded Lily by Deborah Swift while wandering around our local Barnes and Noble shortly after Christmas. The novel was the only book facing out when I rounded the corner from the horribly organized Young Adult section into the General Fiction Adult area. The cover immediately caught my eye–a young lady in a hood cloak with an amazing red dress. After reading the back of the novel, I knew I had to use the last of my remaining Christmas gift cards to purchase this book. The Gilded Lily is a mystery novel that includes characters from Swift’s first novel. However, you don’t have to read the first novel to understand what’s happening in The Gilded Lily. There are hints of events that happened in The Lady’s Slipper, but it isn’t key to the story told in “Lily.” My favorite part of this novel were the two main characters, Ella and Sadie. Their personalities are richly drawn and you can feel them struggle to make it in the slums of London with little money. I was particularly drawn to Sadie. She was a hard worker and empathetic to everyone around her. She wanted to […]

0 Comments | Join in on the Conversation | Posted on June 23, 2014
Book Review #23: A Horse Called Trouble by C.K. Volnek

Book Review #23: A Horse Called Trouble by C.K. Volnek

I picked up A Horse Called Trouble by C.K. Volnek ages ago from Amazon.com. You see I can be sucker for horse novels and the title of the novel intrigued me. As an Arabian, my horse can be trouble some days for seemingly no reason at all. A Horse Called Trouble is a middle grade novel. Reading it as an adult, the plot direction seemed obvious and characters are caricatures. But when I stepped back and thought about how I felt in middle school and high school, this book has quite a bit of depth. We have all been in situations where it feels like everyone has given up on us and then we find the one thing we connect with, be it horses, books, a T.V. show or movie, that really brings the life back. And then we connect with other people who share that same passion and the world comes even more alive. Ms. Volnek did a great job at showing Tara’s progress from a shy girl who eventually finds strength in her passion and connection with horses. My favorite part about the novel were the descriptions of the farm, the horses and the barn. Those descriptions really […]

0 Comments | Join in on the Conversation | Posted on May 12, 2014
Book Review 22: Ashfall Series by Mike Mullin

Book Review 22: Ashfall Series by Mike Mullin

About a year ago, my friend and author, Jade Eby, introduced me to the Ashfall series by Mike Mullin. The trilogy takes place in eastern Iowa and northern Illinois after the super volcano that sits under Yellowstone Park explodes burying the Midwest in ash and triggering an extreme winter. For me, this series is gut-wrenchingly realistic. I live in eastern Iowa and travel frequently throughout eastern Iowa and northern Illinois. My in-laws live in Maquoketa and I’ve shopped at the Wal-Mart there. I drive over the Highway 13/Highway 20 overpass on the way to see my sister in Minnesota. And in late March, I drove by the Wal-Mart distribution center near Sterling, Illinois and I saw the turnoff on Highway 30 for Stockton. Since I live in the area and have visited many of the towns Mullin features across all three books, this is the most realistic apocalyptic fiction book I have ever read. He shaped the post-volcano world in such a way that my imagination would start to run wild and I started to ask myself questions as I read each book. What would I do if the super volcano erupted tomorrow? Where would I go? What skills do […]

4 Comments | Join in on the Conversation | Posted on May 5, 2014
Book Review #21: Running Away to Home by Jennifer Wilson

Book Review #21: Running Away to Home by Jennifer Wilson

This year the Linn Area Reads program chose Running Away to Home: Our Family’s Journey to Croatia in Search of Who We Are, Where We Came from and What Really Matters by Jennifer Wilson. I have never read one of the Linn Area Reads book before and was excited when I learned of their choice this year. Before I dive into my review, I wanted to share a little bit about the Linn Area Reads program. Founded in 2003, the project is sponsored by the Metro Library Network and Barnes & Noble. A book is selected each spring that will encourage discussion among the community. You can learn more about the project and the events associated with this year’s selection on their website. By adding Running Away to Home to my to-read list once the selection was made, I realized I might set a record for the number of non-fiction books I’ll read this year. I normally stick to fiction as many times I find non-fiction dense, boring and a little too real. Within the first few pages of the Running Away to Home I was sucked in and before I knew it an hour and half had passed along […]

0 Comments | Join in on the Conversation | Posted on April 22, 2014