Thursday, August 27, 2009

Booking Through Thursday: Recent Fluff

What’s the lightest, most “fluff” kind of book you’ve read recently?

Deep in the Heart of High School was my recent fluffy read. I remember it being good, the whole plot in general, but I don't remember those little details. I didn't know the title was a play-on-words with Deep in the Heart of Texas until I read this book.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Darkness Under Water by Beth Kanell


This gripping, ultimately hopeful tale of an Abenaki-French Canadian girl in 1920s Vermont explores a dark episode in New England history.

Just as the waters of a river roar through her town, Molly Ballou's life is riding on a swift current, where change comes faster than a spring flood. As a half - Abenaki Indian, half - French Canadian girl in Vermont, Molly is slowly realizing that her family and others like them are being targeted by a governmental effort to rid the state of so-called "poor citizens." Not only is Molly facing discrimination, but she is also haunted by the ghostly presence of her drowned older sister and her grieving mother's evasive love. Curious about her family's traditions, Molly finds herself drawn to Henry, an Abenaki boy whose connection to the natural world provides solace when Molly's mother tragically loses a baby and grows increasingly ill. With Henry's support, sorrow gradually gives way to the joy of self-discovery — and allows Molly to look beyond hardship to a future of promise.


I learned a lot from this book though I didn't even pay much attention to when I borrowed it. After reading this, I've realized that the Roaring Twenties weren't so prosperous for everyone in America. I thought The Darkness Under Water would only be interesting whenever Molly's older sister's ghost. Molly's time at school and by the river were some of my favorite scenes. With nothing forgotten, the ending was just right.

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn


I have a meanness inside me, real as an organ.

Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in “The Satan Sacrifice of Kinnakee, Kansas.” As her family lay dying, little Libby fled their tiny farmhouse into the freezing January snow. She lost some fingers and toes, but she survived–and famously testified that her fifteen-year-old brother, Ben, was the killer. Twenty-five years later, Ben sits in prison, and troubled Libby lives off the dregs of a trust created by well-wishers who’ve long forgotten her.

The Kill Club is a macabre secret society obsessed with notorious crimes. When they locate Libby and pump her for details–proof they hope may free Ben–Libby hatches a plan to profit off her tragic history. For a fee, she’ll reconnect with the players from that night and report her findings to the club . . . and maybe she’ll admit her testimony wasn’t so solid after all.

As Libby’s search takes her from shabby Missouri strip clubs to abandoned Oklahoma tourist towns, the narrative flashes back to January 2, 1985. The events of that day are relayed through the eyes of Libby’s doomed family members–including Ben, a loner whose rage over his shiftless father and their failing farm have driven him into a disturbing friendship with the new girl in town. Piece by piece, the unimaginable truth emerges, and Libby finds herself right back where she started–on the run from a killer.

That was sick! In a very readable, attractive way. It was one of those books I could not hide away at midnight. Whenever I put it in the closet with the rest of my library book stash, it would be back in my hands five minutes later and I would be wondering who killed the Day family. My suspicions kept switching between people until the very end, which made me think I must have missed something! But when I realized I didn't, the pieces fell together to a beautifully written story that would not let go of me. I'm hoping Sharp Objects, also by Gillian Flynn, will have a similar impression.

Was it just me or did the presence of the Kill Club slowly fade? Bit by bit but not completely. I have a feeling it was intentional but after a while, I would forget Lyle's reasons of being around Libby.

Waiting on Wednesday (1)

Hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

I'm the kind of person who is really into series so here are three I cannot wait for.

Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

Summary from B&N

Paris, July 1942: Sarah, a ten year-old girl, is brutally arrested with her family by the French police in the Vel’ d’Hiv’ roundup, but not before she locks her younger brother in a cupboard in the family's apartment, thinking that she will be back within a few hours.

Paris, May 2002: On Vel’ d’Hiv’s 60th anniversary, journalist Julia Jarmond is asked to write an article about this black day in France's past. Through her contemporary investigation, she stumbles onto a trail of long-hidden family secrets that connect her to Sarah. Julia finds herself compelled to retrace the girl's ordeal, from that terrible term in the Vel d'Hiv', to the camps, and beyond. As she probes into Sarah's past, she begins to question her own place in France, and to reevaluate her marriage and her life.


My second favorite historical fiction book, first being Incantation by Alice Hoffman. At first, Sarah's story was what kept me reading and what made me cry when her story ended about fifty pages before the book did. Now both Sarah and Julia's story stay in mind, with Sarah's will to escape and rescue her brother and Julia's choice between marriage and what she wants.

It starts a little slow but it picks up smoothly. Taking place during one of my favorite time periods in history, I might never forget Sarah's Key.

A Visit to B&N = Trip to Heaven on Earth + A Review

The title is a bit of an exaggeration since I couldn't buy anything nor could I take any pictures of my favorite shelves at Barnes and Nobles. There's food, furniture and the unforgettable books, very homely. I can live there. Instead, I ran around trying to remember every title I want so I could get them at the library. But I did read Babymouse Dragonslayer! I've been waiting so long for it, or at least it felt like forever.

Summary from B&N

Get ready for the next big epic fantasy . . .

In a distant kingdom a growing darkness falls over the land.

One is called to defend . . . to bring hope . . . to slay the Mighty Dragon. . . .

Could it be . . . Babymouse? Find out when Babymouse leads her fellow Mathletes in the quest of a lifetime, a death-defying fight to win back both her school’s honor and the coveted GOLDEN SLIDE RULE. Our brave young hero must face not just the evil Owlgorithms but also her own personal dragon—MATH. Destined for glory, for greatness, for bookstores and libraries everywhere . . . this is the epic adventure fans have been waiting for!

This is, without a doubt, the wittiest of the Babymouse series. It wasn't just Math, Babymouse's least favorite subject, it's how slaying dragons fit so well with Babymouse's situation. She was on the matheletes doing problems I can almost call easy. The Babymouse series is good to read when you just want to unwind. Light and enjoyable everytime. The twelfth book in the series, Babymouse Burns Rubber, comes out January 2010.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Killer by Sara Shepard

My very first review, I'm too excited!

Summary from front book flap

In picture-perfect Rosewood, Pennsylvania, ash-blond highlights gleam in the winter sun and frozen lakes sparkle like Swarovski crystals. But pictures often lie—and so do Rosewood's four prettiest girls.

Hanna, Aria, Spencer, and Emily have been lying ever since they became friends with beautiful Alison DiLaurentis. Ali made them do terrible things—things they had to keep secret for years. And even though Ali was killed at the end of seventh grade, their bad-girl ways didn't die with her.

Hanna's on a mission to corrupt Rosewood's youth, starting with a very attractive sophomore. Aria's snooping into her boyfriend's past. Spencer's stealing—from her family. And pure little Emily's abstaining from abstinence.

The girls should be careful, though. They thought they were safe when Ali's killer was arrested and A's true identity was finally revealed. But now there's a new A in town turning up the heat. And this time Rosewood is going to burn.


I could not put it down. I read it everywhere to the point where I was tripping over myself, even if some aspects bothered me. The lack of communication between A and the girls is less than it was in the previous books. A appeared for the first time in chapter nine for goodness sakes! When I got over that, the book was better since all the girls are in different situations. And it's been a while since I've read the last book, Wicked, so Emily's boyfriend Isaac didn't make too much sense to me. He seemed out of place at first. But the best part for me were Hanna's chapters; I never liked jealous competition so much. Now it's time to wait for Heartless, coming January 2010. I am loving the pink with the Emily doll, which means the last book has to have Spencer. Or Ali? That'll be a shocker!

I do recommend the Pretty Little Liars series. Just don't spoil them like I do everytime.

The Beginning

It's only been a week since I read Au Courant, which had me thinking, 'The librarians think I'm insane lugging 50 books home every month.' Then thought after thought, blog after blog, I knew I had to start a blog. Writing reviews, reading reviews, dreaming of reviews, that is the life. This will be Killer Cliffhanger because I cannot get enough of cliffhanger endings. At the end of chapters, not entire books, because those make me jump around the house at three in the morning. But I am worried I won't be taken seriously because I'm a bit younger than other reviewers I've seen around and haven't read a book with more than 430 pages. Wish me luck, and expect many reviews in the future! .