Welcome to the MOSL Book Challenge

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Mockingjay / Suzanne Collins

The third entry in The Hunger Games trilogy, Mockingjay does not disappoint in the action-packed narrative (after a bit of a slow start), but I found it the least satisfying of the three. The emotional engagement of the three main characters is all but over and Katniss is so tired it is amazing that she manages to survive the fighting. She does, and "retires" to a life where the Hunger Games seem relegated to a closed book, when all along she seemed destined for a greater role in the new world. 400 p.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Unwind by Neil Schusterman

Unwind (Unwind, #1) Amazon book description:

In America after the Second Civil War, the Pro-Choice and Pro-Life armies came to an agreement: The Bill of Life states that human life may not be touched from the moment of conception until a child reaches the age of thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, a parent may choose to retroactively get rid of a child through a process called "unwinding." Unwinding ensures that the child's life doesn’t “technically” end by transplanting all the organs in the child's body to various recipients. Now a common and accepted practice in society, troublesome or unwanted teens are able to easily be unwound. With breath-taking suspense, this book follows three teens who all become runaway Unwinds: Connor, a rebel whose parents have ordered his unwinding; Risa, a ward of the state who is to be unwound due to cost-cutting; and Lev, his parents' tenth child whose unwinding has been planned since birth as a religious tithing. As their paths intersect and lives hang in the balance, Shusterman examines serious moral issues in a way that will keep readers turning the pages to see if Connor, Risa, and Lev avoid meeting their untimely ends.

This was a selection for my book club. After reading the book description and the reviews, I did not want to read it. But I always try to read my book club books, so I did. It is a Young Adult book, and so many of these deal with dark and grisly topics. Parts of it I hated – the description of the ‘unwinding’ particularly. It certainly kept me wanting to read more though, to see what was going to happen to the three Unwinds. It is suspenseful and thought-provoking.  Not for the faint of heart, but raises a lot of ethical and moral questions worthy of thought and discussion.

352 pages

If You Take a Mouse to School by Laura Numeroff

If You Take a Mouse to School If you take a mouse to school, he'll ask you for your lunchbox. Then he'll want a sandwich to go in it, and then he'll want to share your backpack... Once at school, he'll spell a 'word or two' on the blackboard, conduct a science experiment, create his own 'book'.... You get the idea. Just as much fun as 'If You Give a Mouse a Cookie', and 'If You Take a Mouse to the Movies', and sure to please the children in your life.

32 pages

Martha and Skits by Susan Meddaugh

Martha and SkitsMartha, the talking dog (her secret is that she eats Alphabet Soup) welcomes rambunctious new puppy Skits into the house. As do most puppies, Skits creates chaos, even though Martha tries to teach him some manners, and all her secrets. However, the alphabet soup doesn’t work; Skits never learns to talk. But he does have another talent, one helps his family find him when he gets lost.

This is a delightful story that the children in your life, and maybe the adults, too, will love. I do.

32 pages


Author: Jen Calonita
Pages: 352
Following her grandmothers diagnosis with Alzheimer's, Isabelle is jetted off into the world of rich and fabulous! the only problem is everyone at school and even her own cousin hate her. Can she make it?
I actually liked this book, it was a juicy quilty pleasure and will probably read the next book in the series,  Winter White when it is released.
Here is the inside cover blurb:
Fifteen-year-old Isabelle Scott loves her less-than-charmed life by the boardwalk on the wrong side of the tracks in North Carolina, but when a social worker must place her to live with a long-lost uncle and his preppy privileged family, she's taken away from everything she's ever known.

Unfortunately, inserting Isabelle into the glamorous lifestyle of Emerald Cove doesn't go so well. Cousin Mirabelle Monroe isn't thrilled to share her life with an outsider, and, she is ready to pull her hair out of her head over all the rumors and backstabbing that lurk beneath their classmates' Southern charm about her new family member. Like each other or not, Izzie and Mira are going to learn to get along, especially when they learn a life-changing secret that will turn both their worlds upside down.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever By Jeff Kinney (Book 6)

In this book, Greg thinks there is a Santa's Scout. He is watching over Greg and rodrick.. It snowed hard before Christmas so it messed up Santa's delivery schedule, mom had to have the kids guessing gifts out of trash bags. Very funny to read.

217 Pages

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth By Jeff Kinney (Book 5)

Although he has not reached full-blown puberty quite yet, Greg learned the ugly truth that every child comes with an “expiration date,” and when you’re no longer a cute kid, nothing is as easy as it used to. Greg’s middle school focus as the school year gets under way is replacing his best friend, Rowley, with whom he had a falling out over the summer.
217 pages

Diary of a Wimpy kid: Dog Days By Jeff Kinney (Book 4)

It is summer vacation time and Greg, the self-confessed "indoor person", is living his ultimate summer fantasy: no responsibilities and no rules, and playing video games indoors with curtain down. Or hanging out with his best friend in country club. But mom has different vision for summer: starting “reading is fun” group.
214 Pages.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules by Jeff Kinney (Book 2)

This book is about Greg's older brother Roderick making his life anything but a cake walk. How mom wants them to have quality time together by asking Roderick to pick up Greg from swimming practice but it does not always work out as she planned.
Even though Rodrick makes Greg's life harder, Greg thinks that Rodrick rules the whole school and even other places. 

224 Pages

Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney (Book 1)

This month my 7-year-old son and I continue our journey with Greg Heffley by borrowing all the books in this wimpy kid series. This is the first book.
It all started when mom gave Gregory a diary even though he told her to get a journal. Greg writes about life's challenges and funs in middle school. Very funny.
224 pages

When She Woke by Hilary Jordan

When She Woke
Amazon book description:

Hannah Payne's life has been devoted to church and family. But after she's convicted of murder, she awakens in a new body to a nightmarish new life. She finds herself lying on a table in a bare room, covered only by a paper gown, with cameras broadcasting her every move to millions at home, for whom observing new Chromes--criminals whose skin color has been genetically altered to match the class of their crime--is a sinister form of entertainment. Hannah is a Red for the crime of murder. The victim, says the State of Texas, was her unborn child, and Hannah is determined to protect the identity of the father, a public figure with whom she shared a fierce and forbidden love.
A powerful reimagining of The Scarlet Letter, When She Woke is a timely fable about a stigmatized woman struggling to navigate an America of the not-too-distant future, where the line between church and state has been eradicated, and convicted felons are no longer imprisoned and rehabilitated but chromed and released back into the population to survive as best they can. In seeking a path to safety in an alien and hostile world, Hannah unknowingly embarks on a journey of self-discovery that forces her to question the values she once held true and the righteousness of a country that politicizes faith and love. 

I liked this book. It addresses a lot of issues we’re dealing with in our society today, and is very thought-provoking. It is the ultimate reality show. However, in the last 75 pages of the book, it seems to lose its way. The ending was disappointing, but overall, I would recommend it for the way it highlight some of the major problems of the day.

352 pagesShow More

Breaking Twig by Deborah Epperson

Product Details
Becky Leigh Cooper, called Twig by her boyfriend, grows up in Georgia in the1960’s and ‘70’s. She is adored by her Dad and Grandpa Eli, but both die when she is quite young. Her abusive Mother, Helen, re-marries, and soon her stepfather,Frank, is also enchanted by Becky, which makes Helen even more abusive. Becky’s coming of age is tumultuous, as she bounces back and forth between her mother Helen's abuse and her stepfather Frank's tenderness. Her struggle to prevail grabs
the reader from the first, and doesn’t let go.

My only complaint about the book is that it is available as a Kindle ebook only.  This limits its availability.

325 pages 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Darkness Under the Sun by Dean Koontz

I read this book via recommendation from Paul Matthews. It was very odd but good. And it draws you in to see how it ends.

Audio Time: 1 hr. 35 mins.

Pages: 60

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

"The Black Hawk" by Joanna Bourne

This novel should have been named after the heroine, not the hero, since it is more her story than his.  Adrian Hawkhurst ("Black Hawk") and Justine DeCabrillac ("Owl") meet in Paris in 1794 when they are 13.  Both are orphans learning the spy trade during the French Revolution.  He's the son of a British prostitute and unknown father, and her French aristocratic parents were murdered two years earlier after which she was horribly abused.  Hawk ends up working for the British intelligence while Justine spies for the Police Sècrete.

Their story is told in flashbacks through their various meetings to 1818 London when someone stabs Justine with a poisoned knife a few blocks from Hawk's home.  Although they haven't met in three years, he helps her recover and together they go after her attempted assassin.

This was different from any other historical romance that I've read.  Justine and Hawk both risk their lives for their countries, sometimes fighting for the same cause and sometimes not.  Their love for each other is not all consuming, but is one of the few constants in each others lives.  The writing is descriptive in unusual ways, and both characters are jaded but not hopeless.  I'd like to read more by this author.  304 pages.

Two Little Girls in Blue by Mary Higgins Clark

This is a great book. Two little twin girls are kidnapped when their parents are at a party. The parents put up the ransom of 8 million dollars to get the girls back. But they only get back one girl but she swears that her sister is still alive. The FBI start a deseperate search. You must read this to see how it ends. I love her books!! Pages: 336

New York to Dallas by J.D. Robb

(Posted for Paul Mathews)

Eve Dallas goes back to Dallas, TX, where it all started. Kidnappings, rapes, family trouble in her past and a conclusion to all of this at last.

Audio: 12 hrs. 25 min.
400 pages

Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons by Lorna Landvik

This is a hiliarious book. I loved every minute of it. It has some really surprising parts. It focuses on the marriages, children, and lives of 5 friends that start a book club in the 60s. Then it just goes through years of their lives. It is such a great book! I highly recommend it. Pages :416

Monday, March 26, 2012

Olivia Bean: Trivia Queen

Author: Donna Gephart
Pages: 278
Olivia loves trivia , she watches Jeopardy religiously as this was something she and her father loved. Now her parents are divorced and she has lost her best friend. Olivia's father moved across the country and doesn't seem to have much interest in her or her brother now. Will she get his attention?

cover blurb:  Olivia Bean knows trivia. She watches Jeopardy! every night and usually beats at least one of the contestants. If she were better at geography, she would try out for the show’s kids’ week. Not only could she win bundles of money, she’d get to go to the taping in California, where her dad, who left two years ago and who Olivia misses like crazy, lives with his new family.

Freaky Fast Frankie Joe

Pages: 248
Author: Lutricia Clifton
It's hard to move to a new place but even harder when it's with 6 people you don't know and one of them hates you. Frankie Joe has a rough time of it but makes new friends and just keeps trying and comes out better in the end.

Eleven-year-old Frankie Joe Huckaby, forced to live with the father he never knew, a stepmother, and four stepbrothers in Illinois, starts a delivery service to finance his escape back to his mother in Texas, not realizing he is making a better life for himself than he ever had with her.

I Hunt Killers

Author: Barry Lyga
Pages: 360

Jazz is the son of one of the worst and notorious serial killers America has seen, he has groomed Jazz to be the same. Now there is another killer in town and everyone seems to look at Jazz and wonder if he is involved. He has to prove himself  innocent and put his life on the line to catch the criminal and save lives.
Intereseting read, I liked it all in all. This book was suspenseful without being too gruesome as some of these same type of books aimed toward adults can be and kept me interested.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

This Body of Death / Elizabeth George

DI inspector Lynley returns to New Scotland Yard as an advisor to the new acting superintendent, Isabelle Ardery, as she struggles to prove her worth in solving a puzzling murder. The usual cast of characters at the Yard play off each other and try not to read too much into Lynley's return. The mystery stretches across London and down to Hampshire and back, and ties in to an old crime, the story of which is artfully interwoven with the modern crime. 692 p.

A Grave Denied /Dana Stabenow

A class of school children visit a receding glacier in Alaska and discover the body of the Park handyman. Kate Shugak is drafted by the park ranger to assist in the investigation, and in the process becomes a target herself. 325 p.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

"The Soldier" by Grace Burrowes

After fighting in the Napoleonic wars in Spain and France for eight years, Devlin St. Just, the new Earl of Rosecroft, moves into a neglected estate he's been given in the English countryside for his military duties.  His new neighbor is a young lady who makes her living by baking for the townspeople who otherwise look down on her for her family's social station and past sins.  Emmaline Farnum meets St. Just when she is looking for her six-year-old cousin, Winnie, who has a habit of roaming the countryside on her own.

This is an unusual historical romance that's a bit difficult to describe.  The three main characters, Devlin, Emmie, and Winnie, are fully formed but not the stereotypical ones usually found in these types of books.  Devlin suffers from PTSD and tries to work through it.  We're given details of the brutality he saw while fighting the French.  Emmie also suffers from mistakes she's made in the past, and does what she thinks is best for Winnie's future even though it may break all three of their hearts.  This was a lovely book, and I'm hoping to read more by this author.  403 pages.

Here Comes the Bride by Rita Herron

I chose this book because it was written by a bestselling author who was new to me and the plot sounded like a quick, lighthearted romp. Marci and Kimberly are identical twins in appearance, but couldn't be more different in personality. Marci is spontaneous, outgoing and flirtatious while Kimberly is thoughtful, shy and looking to settle down. Marci agrees to be a fake fiance for a weekend to help out sexy Austin McDane, then gets a better offer and asks Kimberly to take her place. Kimberly gets more than she bargained for when being a fake fiance turns into a spur-of-the-moment wedding. This book was actually a special-author cut of a title from 1999, Mirror, Mirror. Approximately 175 pages.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

American Pickers by Libby Callaway

Two guys who have been picking for over 30 years.  There is this one place they worked on for over 15 years before this fellow would let them see any of his collection, it’s not always easy being a picker sometimes lots of hard work. These guys will admit over all they love their job.

224 pages.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Darkness Under The Sun by Dean Koontz

(Posted for Paul Mathews)

Young Howie Doughly was burn victim of his father’s doing. He meets a man on top of an empty downtown building who was born defective, who claims to be a harvester, but finds a larger evil and his future is influenced by the interaction.

Very long audio book at 1hr. 35 min. 
60 pages.

Monday, March 19, 2012

One Summer by David Baldacci

(Posted for Paul Mathews)

After the death of his wife, who was going out to get his medicine, he recovers from a disease that was diagnosed as 100 percent fatal. Now he must now put life and family back together. 

352 pages; 8 hrs. 55 min. audio.