Woah, life has been a little crazy here the last week or so! But, great news, we got another vehicle…so I haven’t been stranded at home!! Woohoo!!
It seemed like I read a lot last month, probably because of being home all month! ha!
Anyway, here is what I read in March. As usual, let me know if you have read any of these, or if you have any new titles! I usually just grab books off the library shelves, but I always enjoy reading recommended books!
Again, I will write what I thought of each book at the end of the description…
Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs – A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of very curious photographs.
It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.
A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.
What I thought: This book made the circuit of my friends. Over and over I saw them reading it and going on about it. I started it and didn’t get into it right away, but a few more pages in and I was hooked. The photographs in the book went so well with the story, it made you believe that there really were all of these children from years ago. I liked this book and am looking forward to the sequel!
Necessary Lies by Diane Chamberlain – Bestselling author Diane Chamberlain delivers a breakout book about a small southern town fifty years ago, and the darkest—and most hopeful—places in the human heart
After losing her parents, fifteen-year-old Ivy Hart is left to care for her grandmother, older sister and nephew as tenants on a small tobacco farm. As she struggles with her grandmother’s aging, her sister’s mental illness and her own epilepsy, she realizes they might need more than she can give.
When Jane Forrester takes a position as Grace County’s newest social worker, she doesn’t realize just how much her help is needed. She quickly becomes emotionally invested in her clients’ lives, causing tension with her boss and her new husband. But as Jane is drawn in by the Hart women, she begins to discover the secrets of the small farm—secrets much darker than she would have guessed. Soon, she must decide whether to take drastic action to help them, or risk losing the battle against everything she believes is wrong.
Set in rural Grace County, North Carolina in a time of state-mandated sterilizations and racial tension, Necessary Lies tells the story of these two young women, seemingly worlds apart, but both haunted by tragedy. Jane and Ivy are thrown together and must ask themselves: how can you know what you believe is right, when everyone is telling you it’s wrong?
What I thought: This was a fantastic book. There were parts that seemed to go on for a bit, but I thought in the end they really added to the story. The book kind of ended in a spot that I wasn’t ready for it to end. It was interesting reading about this time period, I haven’t read many books that are. I love that it is loosely based in North Carolina too. I could imagine what a lot of what she described looked like…
You Look Different In Real Life by Jennifer Castle – For the rest of the world, the movies are entertainment. For Justine, they’re real life.
The premise was simple: five kids, just living their lives. There’d be a new movie about them every five years, starting in kindergarten. But no one could have predicted what the cameras would capture. And no one could have predicted that Justine would be the star.
Now sixteen, Justine doesn’t feel like a star anymore. In fact, when she hears the crew has gotten the green light to film Five at Sixteen, all she feels is dread. The kids who shared the same table in kindergarten have become teenagers who hardly know one another. And Justine, who was so funny and edgy in the first two movies, feels like a disappointment.
But these teens have a bond that goes deeper than what’s on film. They’ve all shared the painful details of their lives with countless viewers. They all know how it feels to have fans as well as friends. So when this latest movie gives them the chance to reunite, Justine and her costars are going to take it. Because sometimes, the only way to see yourself is through someone else’s eyes.
Smart, fresh, and frequently funny, You Look Different in Real Life is a piercing novel about life in an age where the lines between what’s personal and what’s public aren’t always clear.
What I thought: This was a cute story that I really enjoyed! The characters were a great mix and I liked how they interacted. In the end I wanted to keep reading to see what else happened. I was also curious if they were going to have another book when the characters are 22 years old..
Full Ride by Margaret Peterson Haddix – Becca thought her life was over when her father was sent to prison for embezzlement. It didn’t help when he used her as his excuse: “How else is a guy like me supposed to send his daughter to college?” She and her mother fled their town and their notoriety, started over, and vowed never to let anyone know about their past.
Now a senior in high school, Becca has spent the last four years hiding in anonymity. But when it’s time to apply to colleges and for financial aid, her mother gives her a rude awakening: If she applies, her past may be revealed to the world
But Becca has already applied for a full-ride scholarship. And as she begins to probe deeper into the secrets of her past, she discovers that she and her mother might be in danger of more than simple discovery – by revealing the truth about their past, she might be putting their very lives in jeopardy.
What I thought: This is another story line that I enjoyed. It had some turns that you didn’t expect, but had you rooting for the main character throughout the story. I stayed up late to finish this one…
The Boy on the Bridge by Natalie Standiford – Laura Reid goes to Leningrad for a semester abroad as Cold War paranoia is peaking in 1982. She meets a young Russian artist named Alexei and soon, with Alexei as her guide, Laura immerses herself in the real Russia–a crazy world of wild parties, black-market books and music, and smuggled letters to dissidents. She must keep the relationship secret; associating with Americans is dangerous for Alexei, and if caught, Laura could be sent home and Alexei put under surveillance or worse. At the same time, she’s been warned that Soviets often latch onto Americans in hopes of marrying them and thus escaping to the United States. But she knows Alexei loves her. Right?
As June approaches–when Laura must return to the United States–Alexei asks Laura to marry him. She’s only nineteen and doesn’t think she’s ready to settle down. But what if Alexei is the love of her life? How can she leave him behind? If she has a chance to change his life, to rescue him from misery, shouldn’t she take it?
What I thought: This book was…ok. I liked it enough I suppose. I was interested in reading how life was in Russia in the 80’s, but some of the story seemed a little cheesy. It didn’t end how I thought, but in a way, I guess it did. Ha!
Minders by Michele Jaffe – A high concept, cinematic read with a surprising twist, MINDERS asks the question: who is really watching whom?
Q: If the boy you love commits a crime, would you turn him in?
Sadie Ames is a type-A teenager from the wealthy suburbs. She’s been accepted to the prestigious Mind Corps Fellowship program, where she’ll spend six weeks as an observer inside the head of Ford, a troubled boy with a passion for the crumbling architecture of the inner city. There’s just one problem: Sadie’s fallen in love with him.
Q: What if the crime is murder?
Ford Winters is haunted by the murder of his older brother, James. As Sadie falls deeper into his world, dazzled by the shimmering pinpricks of color that form images in his mind, she begins to think she knows him. Then Ford does something unthinkable.
Q: What if you saw it happen from inside his mind?
Back in her own body, Sadie is faced with the ultimate dilemma. With Ford’s life in her hands, she must decide what is right and what is wrong. And how well she can really ever know someone, even someone she loves.
What I thought: This was kind of a crazy book. I really enjoyed reading it though. The main character, for most of the book, is inside the mind of another character. It just gets kind of interesting. I could easily see this becoming a movie somehow. I know some people didn’t care for the story line, but I liked it!
Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech – “How about a story? Spin us a yarn.”
Instantly, Phoebe Winterbottom came to mind. “I could tell you an extensively strange story,” I warned.
“Oh, good!” Gram said. “Delicious!”
And that is how I happened to tell them about Phoebe, her disappearing mother, and the lunatic.
As Sal entertains her grandparents with Phoebe’s outrageous story, her own story begins to unfold — the story of a thirteen-year-old girl whose only wish is to be reunited with her missing mother.
In her own award-winning style, Sharon Creech intricately weaves together two tales, one funny, one bittersweet, to create a heartwarming, compelling, and utterly moving story of love, loss, and the complexity of human emotion.
What I thought: We read this during school for our monthly book. I sooo enjoyed this book and the kids did too. Had some humor in it, which was really nice. I loved all of the characters and finally understood where the story was going towards the end, I was pleasantly surprised, although that wasn’t the story line I had hoped for. Loved it!