Heather's books

Sarah's Key
The Help
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
New Moon
Breaking Dawn
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
The Lightning Thief
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
The Notebook
Eat, Pray, Love
The Time Traveler's Wife
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Heather's favorite books »

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Fictional Account of a True Crime

Quiet Dell

Quiet Dell

By: Jayne Anne Phillips

Genre:  Historical Fiction

Pages: 464

Published: 2013

Read: October

4 out of 5

This novel is a fictional account of a true crime in 1931. Taking place in the Chicago area, a man that was known by several pseudonyms seduces widows and then murders them and their families. Because you know it is fictional, you will forget it is based on true murders. However, at the same time, because the characters feel so real you will forget that Phillips invented some of them, their dialogue, and circumstances – it is so realistic, yet a horrendous reenactment of the crime. Phillips does a great job developing the characters and unfolding the events with vivid descriptions. Included in the novel are several actual photographs of the Eicher family, town and other crucial events. This is an excellent choice for book clubs, historical fiction fans and true crime readers.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Better than Twilight

The Silver Kiss by Annette Curtis Klause
The Silver Kiss

By: Annette Curtis Krause

Genre:  YA Paranormal

Pages: 198

Published: 1992

Read: October

3.5 out of 5

Krause is one of my favorite paranormal authors. In fact, I don't understand how the Twilight series was the series that made vampires and werewolves such a popular read with all ages. By far, both this novel and Blood and Chocolate were better written and more interesting. She also wrote a short story, Kissing Dead Boys that I highly recommend.  I still find the concept of humans falling in love with vampires/werewolves so quickly and the females being so vulnerable unbelievable. However, I didn't feel the humans in Krause's novels were quite as ditzy as Bella in the Twilight series. If a fan of Twilight, I recommend Krause and dare you to compare. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Another Neil Gaiman Audio

Odd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman

Odd and the Frost Giants

By: Neil Gaiman

Genre:  Juvenile fiction

Pages: 104

Published: 2008

Audiobook: 2 discs (1 hour 30 mins)

Read: October

1 out of 5

I have learned that I either love or hate Gaiman's stories. The ones that are all fantasy I can't get into as much as I would like. My favorites of his are The Graveyard Book and The Ocean at the End of the Lane.  With that said, I listened to this one on my Ipod while cleaning my house, so I was a little distracted.  I continually drifted off and when I started paying attention again I was lost. This story just couldn't hold my interest.  I, personally, didn't care for the story, however I do recognize that Gaiman's storytelling is superb and particularly his narration of his books. I recommend this book to young children, age 7-12, especially boys and girls loving the fantasy genre.   

The Value of Reading

The Reading Promise by Alice Ozma
The Reading Promise: My Father and the Books We Shared

By: Alice Ozma

Genre:  nonfiction

Pages: 304

Published: 2011

Read: October

3.5 out of 5

I loved the project this father and daughter conquered. Reading together at least 10 minutes a night for 3,218 days. It started when Ozma was in 4th grade and continued until the day she left for college. Her father read to her every time. Her father was a school librarian, so obviously he taught the value of reading, but he also taught the value of reading out loud. As Ozma didn't know she was going to write a book on The Streak, as they called it, she didn't remember every book they read but the ones she does are listed in the back. The story itself was more about how their reading bonded the two of them more than the books themselves. It is a pleasant story, however the last 5 chapters or so were my favorite - what happened after The Streak.


Another Teens' Top Ten nominee

Six Months Later by Natalie D. Richards
Six Months Later

By: Natalie D. Richards

Genre:  YA Mystery

Pages: 323

Published: 2013

Read: October

4 out of 5

This is one of those books that immediately grab your attention, but you remain leery of it. Will it be able to follow through on the mystery, but also hold the realistic feel?  Chloe falls asleep in study hall to wake up 6 months later remembering nothing – How is that possible? This was a quick, fast-paced and intense book. Every time I thought I figured it out, a twist occurred. However, the characters could have been defined more, especially Blake and Adam. I also found a small discrepancy in the book, but because of the intense pace of book my guess is most readers won’t catch it.  I hope the incident that caused Chloe’s memory loss could never happen in real life; however it was not disappointing or so unbelievable that it ruined the book. 

Monday, October 6, 2014

A collection of Horror Short Stories

The Restless Dead by Deborah Noyes
The Restless Dead: Ten Original Stories of the Supernatural

Edited By: Deborah Noyes

Genre:  YA horror

Pages: 272

Published: 2007

Read: September

3 out of 5

These stories varied in content and interest level- a great quality for a collection of short stories. Because it is difficult to rate as a whole, I will review my favorite and least favorite stories. My favorite was Kissing Dead Boys by Annette Curtis Klause (author of Blood and Chocolate) who writes an incredible story on revenge for her sister’s death. In the author’s note, Klause explains how the plot of the story came about. My least favorite was No Visible Power by Deborah Noyes (the editor). The story had a good promising premise, but quickly became disjointed and difficult to follow. It was as though it was originally a longer story and sections were cut so it could be included in this collection of short stories.

wasn't very realistic to me

Side Effects May Vary by Julie  Murphy
Side Effects May Vary

By: Julie Murphy

Genre:  YA realistic fiction

Pages: 330

Published: 2014

Audiobook: 8 discs (9 hours 15 mins)

Read: September

2.5 0ut of 5

I was really bothered by the main character, Alice. She was a manipulative, back stabbing, friend-using witch. Usually getting emotionally charged by a book doesn’t negatively affect my passion for the story, however I never understood why Alice was more upset about her cancer going into emission then when she found out she had it in the first place. This would have more sense if it foreshadowed that Alice was suicidal or depressed; to me she just seemed wicked. I have never heard or met anyone who decides to seek out revenge and “use” their best friend upon discovering they have cancer. I felt sorry for Harvey; he was na├»ve. I expected the story to be more realistic. But I guess side effects may vary, right?