Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Written in Verse

What am I reading now?  Elevated (Elana Johnson)

Annnd . . . what do I think so far?  I highly recommend this book! I bought it the day it came out, started reading right away, couldn't put it down until I finished it, and then started telling all my reading friends to get it.

The book is written in verse, so it's a very quick read, but there is so much emotional impact that you won't be disappointed with the time spent.

Blurb:
The last person seventeen-year-old Eleanor Livingston wants to see on the elevator—let alone get stuck with—is her ex-boyfriend Travis, the guy she's been avoiding for five months.

Plagued with the belief that when she speaks the truth, bad things happen, Elly hasn’t told Trav anything. Not why she broke up with him and cut off all contact. Not what happened the day her father returned from his deployment to Afghanistan. And certainly not that she misses him and still thinks about him everyday.

But with nowhere to hide and Travis so close it hurts, Elly’s worried she won’t be able to contain her secrets for long. She’s terrified of finally revealing the truth, because she can’t bear to watch a tragedy befall the boy she still loves.


Books in Verse
Other books I've enjoyed that are written in verse:

Out of the Dust (Karen Hesse)
This gripping story, written in sparse first-person, free-verse poems, is the compelling tale of Billie Jo's struggle to survive during the dust bowl years of the Depression. With stoic courage, she learns to cope with the loss of her mother and her grieving father's slow deterioration. There is hope at the end when Billie Jo's badly burned hands are healed, and she is able to play her beloved piano again. 

Taken by Story (Angela Morrison)
Leesie Hunt has many rules: No kissing. No sex. No dating outside the Mormon faith. When Michael Walden?a deep-sea diver who lost his parents in a violent hurricane?arrives in town, Leesie sees someone who needs her. They fall for one another, even though his dreams are tied to the depths of the ocean and hers to salvation above. Will their intense chemistry be too strong to resist? Leesie and Michael must make the hardest choice of their lives: whether to follow their beliefs or their hearts. Readers will be swept away by this tale of forbidden romance told in online chats, Leesie's chapbook poems, and Michael's dive log. 


And of course
Theodor Seuss Geisel
And since it's almost March 2nd--Happy Birthday, Dr. Suess!


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Rereading Some Favorites


What am I reading now? The Shadow Reader (Williams), Devil's Cub (Heyer) and Persuasion (Austen)

Annnd . . . what do I think so far?  These books sit on my Favorite-of-Favorites Shelf and are among a few dozen books I'll reread whenever I get a chance.

About Rereading
I was dreading this week's blog post because I hadn't read anything new. I read 2-3 books a week, this week included, but they were all favorites of mine. In fact, I reread Persuasion every year for Valentine's Day. It's a beautiful story about rising above your upbringing and becoming the person you want most to be. It's a tribute to the lasting power of loving and growing into love. Devil's Cub reminds me that people can and do change. The Shadow Reader shows how we can be so caught up in our lives that we miss really living, seeing the truth and making choices for ourselves instead of for the circumstance.

I reread books. I love how the first time I read a book, I'm pulled into a new place and new lives. On the subsequent readings, I see connections in the story I didn't see before. I don't have to focus in the plot but relax into the story without trying to find out what's happening and who everyone is. Because I'm not so interested in the surface story, I have greater appreciation and understanding at a deeper level for the emotion being conveyed. It's like visiting old friends.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Fallen Angel

What am I reading now? Fallen Angel (Lisa Swinton)

Annnd. . . what do I think so far? I love the premise of this book. Insta-love that has time to grow into something deep. Both of the people are changed for the better because of the way they were thrust together. Thanks, Lisa. Great book!

Here's the book blurb: 
Antonio does not believe in love at first sight until he sees her fall into a street in Milan and get hit by a motorcycle. Compelled to know if she can return his affection, he becomes Renatta’s hospital volunteer only to learn that the accident erased her memory. Together they must discover her past, present and future. In the way of happily ever after stand her opera career, tyrannical mother, and fiancĂ©.  Antonio must win Renatta’s heart before she bends to the will of her mother and marries Marcello.  Failure means a lifetime of loneliness, for love at first sight never happens twice.  
About the Author
Lisa Swinton caught the romance bug early by way of fairy tales and hasn’t been able to cure it since. Instead, she feeds her addiction with romance novels and films. In between being a doctor’s wife and mother of two, she occasionally puts her B.A. in Musical Theater to good use via community theater, church choir and teaching the art of singing. In her elusive spare time she enjoys researching her family tree and baking (especially with chocolate). She loves to travel, Jane Austen, and all things Italian. In her next life, she plans to be a professional organizer

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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Companion Novels

What am I reading now? The Stranger She Married (Donna Hatch)

Annd . . . what do I think so far?  What do a man crippled in the war, a pirate and a man who is practically perfect have in common?
They're brothers.

This is the first in a three-book companion series--three books so far, but I hope there will be more. The books follow the love stories of brothers in early Victorian England. There is another brother that isn't married yet and a sister who might have a wonderful story potential. Here are the covers of the 2nd and 3rd books.

Companion Novels
I read a lot of books and most of them are a series. Since I read right as they come out, there is often a year lag between installments of the story. The advantage companion novels have over a regular series is that they are fully formed stories with intriguing beginnings and satisfying endings. No cliff-hangers!