Friday, March 30, 2012

Z Is for Moose

Z Is for MooseZ Is for Moose by Kelly Bingham

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Moose is so excited to be in Zebra's new alphabet book, but when it comes to the "M" page, Mouse is chosen instead. Moose is so upset, he tries to add himself to the following pages, much to Zebra's dismay. Zebra relents by the end, though.

Great book to read with your kindergarten-age kids (or earlier, if they're learning their letters in preschool). Starts out like a regular ABC book but gets funny by page "D."

View all my reviews

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our StarsThe Fault in Our Stars by John Green

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I still am not sure how I made it through this achingly funny, poignant book without sobbing. Maybe because most of it really is humorous, even the tragic parts. Dark humor sometimes, true, but witty.

Hazel Grace Lancaster is sixteen years old and slowly dying of cancer when she meets the love of her life, Augustus Waters (age 17), at a Cancer Support Group. Gus had lost a leg in his own battle with cancer a year and a half earlier but comes to the support group that night because of his friend Isaac who is about to lose his remaining eye to cancer surgery.

It sounds like this would be a total downer of a book, but John Green refuses to let that happen. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

For readers' advisors: character doorway primarily, story & language secondary, and there is one not-at-all-explicit sex scene.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Explosive Eighteen

Explosive Eighteen (Stephanie Plum, #18)Explosive Eighteen by Janet Evanovich

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It's really 3.5 stars, but she made me laugh out loud several times, so I'm rounding up to 4.

Stephanie is back from Hawaii and avoiding both Morelli and Ranger...since the last time she saw them was after she'd stun-gunned both of them and dropped them off at a Hawaiian hospital. A variety of folks are hounding her for a photo she accidentally arrived home with and then threw away, and at least one of the people is scary-violent. Meanwhile, Stephanie teams up with Lula to chase down some more skips so she can pay her bills. Lula + rocket launcher = disaster (and belly laughs)

For readers' advisors: story and character doorways, minimal sexual content (one sex scene that "fades to black")

View all my reviews

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Love in a Nutshell

Love in a NutshellLove in a Nutshell by Janet Evanovich

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Recent divorcee Kate Appleton needs money to fix up her parents' rundown lake house and turn it in to a B&B. When she loses her job at the Tavern, she insists Matt Culhane give her a job in his brewery/restaurant. He hires her to snoop around and figure out who is sabotaging his business with a series of "accidents." However, the vandalism turns dangerous, forcing Kate and Matt into a closer relationship, much to Matt's delight.

This book is fun to read: fast-paced and humorous. The dialogue and style is reminiscent of Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series, but with no swearing or sex (the latter thanks to a canine chaperone).

For readers' advisors: story and character doorways

View all my reviews

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Kissing Comfort

Kissing ComfortKissing Comfort by Jo Goodman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Comfort Kennedy has been in love with Bram DeLong for years, but she is not blind to his many faults, so when he unexpectedly announces their engagement at his brother's birthday party, she is less than thrilled. Especially since they aren't actually engaged. Bram's brother Bode is even less thrilled and far more suspicious. What caused this need for a sham engagement, and how can Bode extricate Comfort from his brother's mess before it destroys them all?

Jo Goodman is a licensed professional counselor working with children and families--which I hadn't known before--and I appreciated how that knowledge deepened the character development in this novel. Comfort survived a massacre as a child, and Goodman doesn't sweep that away as being conveniently in the past and therefore over and done. Even twenty years later, those suppressed memories continue to affect and haunt Comfort and worry the "uncles" who adopted her.

For readers' advisors: story and character doorways, setting doorway (1870s San Francisco), some steamy sex scenes, and a good dose of both humor and suspense.

View all my reviews

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Third Grave Dead Ahead

Third Grave Dead Ahead (Charley Davidson #3)Third Grave Dead Ahead by Darynda Jones

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Charley Davidson hasn't slept in 13 days. The moment she closes her eyes, her supernatural--and furious--boyfriend is there, doing all kinds of erotic things to her and completely preventing her from getting any rest. His anger is something she wants to avoid, so she's been drinking gallons of coffee and inventing zany ways to stay continuously awake. But now he needs her help to prove that the man he went to prison for killing ten years ago is not, in fact, dead. Meanwhile, she's searching for a missing wife whose husband is the prime suspect.

Darynda Jones writes such hilarious, fast-paced novels, I could not put this one down until I finished it last night. I sure hope she publishes the next one asap because I need to know what happens next! What other powers will Charley discover she has? How will she keep the demons from destroying them all? Will she and Reyes ever forgive each other? Will Charley ever be able to forgive her father? Will Cookie date Uncle Bob? And how does this new guardian of hers factor in? I thought I knew how the book would resolve, but there is an unexpected twist at the very end! Well, a couple of them, technically.

For readers' advisors: story and character doorways primarily. Swearing and steamy sex scenes (particularly early in the novel) may be too much for some readers.

View all my reviews