Be omnivorous, don't just read one kind of book, read everything. - Richard Wagamese

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Review: Rhythm of Secrets by Patti Lacy

Title: Rhythm of Secrets

Publisher: Kregel Publications
Pages: 320
Source: Litfuse Blog Tour
Category: Christian Fiction, Historical Fiction
Rating: 5/5


Sheila Franklin is the preachers wife, she’s a strong upstanding citizen and she holds tight to her faith. What her husband and others don’t know, are far greater than they could ever have imagined? Sheila Franklin has a dark, hurtful past, a past that remains hidden. Sheila, or shall I say Sheba grew up with loving parents, a home filled with music, and great wealth. She was raised to believe everyone was on equal footing, something very unique during the 1940’s in New Orleans. Sheila wanted for nothing, and had it all, unfortunately a strange string of events begin to unfold and her life is changed drastically. Sheila endures a house fire, a fire which steals the lives of her parents. Quickly after the fire, she is shipped off to live with her loveless grandmother. A grandmother who despised her mother, and wants Sheila to forget about grieving. Sheba, a name given by her mother, is thought to be loathsome, and Sheba officially becomes Sheila. The life Sheila lives is very different from the home her parents raised her in, her grandmother is cold, collective and nothing like her mother. Sheila has a better relationship with the help, than her own kin. One summer Sheila is permitted to spend a few weeks with her Uncle. Thrilled, Sheila packs her things alleviated to be away for a few weeks. Although, Sheila never would have thought how significant these few weeks would be in her life. She never would have thought she would come home, a pregnant teenager. A teenager living in the 1960’s with not a lot of options. A grandmother who won’t stand for these actions. Since her indiscretions Sheila has carefully constructed her life, her marriage and her reputation. One phone call, a phone call that she has prayed for has finally come. Her perfectly performed role as the pastor’s wife is about to change. One the other end of her phone call is her son, the son she gave up for adoption. Samuel has his own intentions for contacting Sheila, and they may not be good natured. Sheila must now, more than ever keep her trust in God. Her future is looking murky, her marriage unsteady, and her reputation splintered.

Overall Impression:

This story really took me by surprise. I did not expect to enjoy it as much as I did. When I started the book, within the first couple of pages I was hooked. The style, and plot really grasped my attention from the beginning. Patti Lacy shifts the setting often, flashing between past and present. The plot is artfully woven, and is an extremely well written novel. The unique twists, and the descriptive writing really sets Patti Lacy apart from the others. Her writing is not mediocre, she is an extraordinary writer. This was my first Patti Lacy read, and I will be checking out her other books. This is one mesmerizing read, that you do not want to miss.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Review: Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston

Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 352
Source: Personal Copy
Category: Young Adult/Series
Rating: 4/5


17 year-old Kelley Winslow has moved to New York, and dreams of pursuing a career in theatre. She’s moved in with a very strange roommate, and attempts to make the best of it. Kelley’s world is consumed with theatre. When Kelley walks on stage, she can feel the magic of acting running threw her veins. In her recent play “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” Kelley is an understudy, but enjoying every minute of it. When she least expects it, the lead falls ill and Kelley has her chance to shine. Shine, she does not, she stumbles over and over her lines, she falls asleep onstage, and the director is not pleased. Kelley decides to focus and study in central park, she knows her lines but she can’t understand her sudden stage-fright. While Kelley is sitting quietly, she meets Sonny Flannery- a mortal who was taken as an infant and raised by fey. Sonny just seems like just another boy, but he’s about to have a bigger role in her life, and disclose a new world to Kelley. Kelley is studying when she hears a horse in the pond, it sounds like the horse is in trouble, and as she gets closer, she realizes the horse might drown if she doesn’t help. Kelley doesn’t think twice about it, she jumps in and helps the horse out. In the freezing cold, Kelly runs home to warm up, hoping the horse will go home and be safe. Shortly after arriving home, Kelley realizes the horse followed her home, he’s made his way into her bathtub and she can’t figure out how to get him out. Animal control has repeatedly hung up on her, and her very strict roommate is about to come home. Kelley has no idea what to do, and there’s more about to come her way.

Overall Impression:

I really enjoyed “Wondrous Strange,” Lesley Livingston wrote an incredible, fast paced story filled with unique, and memorable characters. This was her debut novel, and I can’t wait to continue the series. I’m new to the fey world, I haven’t read many books dealing with the fey, but this one felt distinct. I loved the characters, they all had great personalities. Kelley was snarky, strong, and a great heroine. The romance between Sonny and Kelley was charming. The emotions that Kelley goes through is very realistic, she’s in denial, shock, and slowly she moves to acceptance. The ending was really good, and i’m ready to jump into “Darklight.” Another great Young Adult read.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Review: Perfect by Sara Shepard

Publisher: Harperteen
Pages: 336
Source: Personal Copy
Category: Young Adult/Series
Rating: 5/5

Synopsis/Overall Impression:

Spencer, Aria, Emily and Hanna’s lives were perfect, they had all material things a girl could want, they were the “it” group in school, and there leader of the pack was Allison. Allison was the girl everyone loved, but secretly hated. As the series continues “A” is still unknown, and the girls suspicions are running wild. We begin to see the girls who were once torn apart, coming back together and re-bonding. “A” is becoming for vicious, and up’s the ante by revealing more secrets. The girls are living in terror, and the media has been repeatedly playing a leaked home video of the girls. The girls are struggling, life does not feel safe or stable. The girls begin to share some secrets that only Allison knew. Each girls come to the realization that “Allison” wasn’t always the best friend, and at times she could be really mean, teasing and taunting each of the girls.

I really enjoyed “Perfect” and thought Sara Shepard did a great job. Each book reveals more and more, and as a reader I’m hooked. The mystery is great, and the revelations are shocking. I feel that the books get better and better with each instalment, i’m not frustrated at the lack of details, I’m more intrigued and more entertained. These books keep me on the edge of my seat. I don’t want to give any spoilers. We see the girls struggle with their daily life, being a teenage is not easy. Loving your teacher, and being hurt by your best friend seems world shattering. Throw in a parents divorce, a mothers neglect, and a sister who has it out for you. Life is not easy for these four girls. Who will keep their secrets? Who can they trust? And more of all Who is “A”?

One little spoiler: “A” makes a mistake, one of the girls knows who “A” is, but now this girl is fighting for her life.