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Showing posts from January, 2011

The Broken Road

I LOVED this book! I loved it so much that I started rereading it this morning! I love Shannon Guymon's characters, they are exactly the kind that I love to read about, who seem like they're old friends, and they keep showing up in her books so that you can find out what happens to them! Allison has moved back to Alpine to take care of her younger brother and sister, but Allison has no friends in Alpine. You see, she moved there because she figured it would be the last place on earth their dad would look for them. He committed a huge scam in Alpine 5 years ago, and everyone there hates him, because he took their money and ran away to Texas with it. They hate Allison, her brother Talon, and her sister Aspen too, but Allison figures that it's better to be hated and not have any friends than it is to risk being found somewhere else by their father. Allison hadn't realized just how bad it would be, though she does on the first day of school when Talon gets yelled at by…

The Pharaoh's Daughter

This book is the second book about Isabelle Webb, I could tell that I should have reread the first one before starting this book, because I had a really hard time remembering the first book at all. Anyway, if you can't tell from the cover this book takes place in Egypt, but I really wasn't sure what time period as I read the book. I thought from some of the things they said that it was supposed to be awhile ago, but I wasn't quite sure when. They did talk about the girls wearing corsets, but that was later on in the book. Anyway, Isabelle, her kind of boyfriend, James and his brother Phillip are looking for some girls who were kidnapped in India. One of them is Isabelle's ward Sally, the other is a girl who doesn't yet know she's an orphan named Alice. What they don't know is that their enemy is already in Egypt. He's looking for a special stone called the Jewel of Zeus, which only people with a special birthmark are supposed to be able to find, …

The Kiss of a Stranger

Kay, so I have a confession to make. I started to read this book last night at about 6:30 or 7 by about 10 (with stops in between to get the kids to bed) when I was pretty tired from my cough medicine, I only had 22 pages left to read. I could not see straight, medicine does really nasty things to me, so I went to bed with just a few pages left. I finished it this morning, and bumped the book I was going to talk about today until tomorrow! This book was awesome, I LOVED it! The book is set in England, around Jane Austen's time, my absolute favorite time period! Crispin is a very eligible bachelor, so eligible in fact that all the mothers are chasing him for their daughters, and all the daughters are chasing them on their own too! He goes to the country to escape just one such young lady, Miss Bower, but she follows him. She's following him around a garden hinting that he should ask her to marry him, when he spies a way out of this dreadful situation. He sees someone th…

Ramona Quimby, Age 8

Yet another book that I read with our 5 year-old, our 10 year-old has also been enjoying either listening to me read them, or reading them herself later. In this book, Ramona is starting 3rd grade. She's had some adjustments to make with her dad going back to school, her mom working full time and her school itself. Ramona has had to switch schools and her sister Beezus has moved on to Junior High. Ramona gets to take the bus to school now, but she still has to wait at the Kemp's house afterward for some one to get home. Poor Ramona, she doesn't have a bike like Howie and his friends so she's stuck playing with Willa Jean instead of riding bikes. It's not so fun and then she remembers her Sustained Silent Reading that she gets to do at school and it becomes an easy way to get Willa Jean to leave her alone! With a new teacher, a bunch of new friends, including Yard Ape, and a new school, Ramona is set to have an awesome year as a 3rd grader....or is she!

Trespass

I'm guessing this is the last book in this trilogy, mostly because of how it ended. The historical fiction books in this series, Traitor,Tribunal, and Trespass are about the second world war. Natalie and Hans have just gotten engaged, but are torn apart by Victor Rostov who's been chasing them through all three books. Hans decided to give up his freedom so that Natalie could be free and go home to America where she belonged. Little did he know that Victor Rostov has kidnapped her and forced her to live in Russia, working as a nurse and living in deplorable circumstances, all because he has determined that she had a Russian father. He kidnaps her from her cousin's house and tells her that her fiancée is dead. He doesn't do all of this out of greed however, his daughter has been taken and sent to a work camp to make him do what the Russian leaders want him to do. They want Hans to make a bomb and they originally wanted Natalie to become a Russian citizen, but for s…

Palace Beautiful

This book was written by a local author, I've been waiting forever for them to get it at the library and they finally did! This book is intended for tweens, but I really enjoyed it too! Sadie (13) and Zuzu (9) have just moved from Texas to Salt Lake City to be near the grandmother who is getting older. They live in a really old house and they have a neighbor Bella, who likes to come and play. One day while they are playing in the attic, they come across a little secret room with the words Palace Beautiful written across the doorway. Also in the little room, they find a journal, a very old picture, and a very old necklace. Reading the journal they find that the room was 13 year-old Helen White's favorite hiding place and her Palace Beautiful. Helen lived in Sadie and Zuzu's house in 1918, during the terrible flu outbreak and that's a lot of what she talked about in her journal. The normal details of their lives, the flu outbreak and how their family was affected by…

Cross My Heart

Jillian lives happily in LA, with her boyfriend and her advertising job. Her boyfriend Jack convinces her that she needs to take part in a Love Study, but doesn't tell her it's all a setup to see if she's still in love with her ex fiancée from Boston, Geoffrey. The test results show that she's still in love with Geoffrey and Jack wants nothing else to do with Jillian, which works out just as well because she wants nothing else to do with him either. At work the next day Jillian finds out that she's being transferred to Boston to go up against a different ad agency that just happens to include her ex. The whole reason she moved to LA in the first place was that he stole her ad idea and promotion that she should have had. On the plane she meets Allen, he demeans her profession because his ex fiancée dumped him for an advertising executive. Little do they know that the advertising executive that his fiancée dumped him for was Geoffrey. This starts off a crazy lo…

Chocolate Roses

I read Jane Eyre as a girl and I really liked it, so when I saw that this was a parody on that book I was excited to read it. Janie and her sister own a little chocolate shop, Chocolate Art Forever, that makes chocolate creations including roses. Every Tuesday Roger Wentworth comes into her shop and orders a chocolate rose to be delivered to a woman at a care center. Janie has fallen for him, she's never really talked to him so she doesn't know whether he's married or not. When he moves into the apartment next to hers with his young daughter, Emily, she starts to feel that there may be a chance for them as a couple someday. Someone is following him around, so Janie helps out with Emily, and falls even more in love with both the man and his daughter. That is, until she learns that he's married. His wife is nuts so they don't live together, but he obviously still loves her. Then there's her calling on the Activities Committee. There's never a dull mom…

Midway to Heaven

I read this book when it originally came out a few years ago, but now the movie's coming out pretty soon, and I couldn't remember the plot, so I decided to read it again. Ned is a normal father, he lost his wife, Kate, a couple of years before and his youngest daughter Liz is going to BYU. If you can't tell from the title, Ned lives in Midway. One day right before Thanksgiving Liz tells Ned that she's going to be bringing a friend who can't go home to their Thanksgiving dinner. What she neglects to tell him is that she's been dating the guy she's bringing home and that she's pretty sure that she's in love with him and will be marrying him. She wants him to meet David first and form an opinion for himself without any input from Liz. David seems way to perfect to Ned. He likes to run hard and far, cook and he's trying and talking about learning to be humble. Needless to say, the weekend doesn't go well and includes some lying to Ned on t…

Kay'sville

I've really enjoyed the Rhea Jensen series by Sheralyn Pratt, they've all been super good, funny and clean. And Sheralyn is a genuinely nice person, so I had to laugh when I found out that the latest book was banned by Deseret Book and Seagull Book. That basically just means that they won't carry this book in their stores, but you can special order it. I thought that it was fun to go into the store and special order their banned book. But, I digress! This book is told completely from Kay's perspective. I really liked how at the start of the chapters there was a bit from Kay's memories of before she met Rhea. There's been a murder, and Kay's the one assigned to cover it, but the officer in charge of talking to the media on this case is none other than Ken Dahl, of course, Kay and Ken have a bit of a history, but you'd have to read previous books to know that. Kay has to talk Ken into helping her out as she searches for evidence as to who murdered the …

The Widower's Wife

17 year-old Jillian Gray has been hurt by her fiancée Nathan, hurt badly enough that she's decided to become a mail order bride. Dalton McCullough's wife died in childbirth during the birth of their last child and on her deathbed she made him promise to remarry so that the children would have a mother and he could be happy again. He decided that he would request a mail order bride but specify that there would only be a platonic relationship. That arrangement suits Jillian just fine. There's only one problem, as soon as they meet they are both attracted to each other. Unfortunately, Nathan Shaw is still looking for Jillian, he doesn't think that their relationship should have ended. This was a sweet book, I enjoyed the comedy of how Jillian and Dalton met in the train station, and I enjoyed their love story as well.

Ramona and Her Father

I know we're not reading these in order, but our 4-year-old doesn't care which order we read them in and there weren't very many choices at the library this time. In the beginning of this book Ramona's father loses his job. Ramona doesn't know just how much this will impact her life at the time, but it impacts it greatly. Not just in the way you would think, although it does that way too. Ramona's family can't just go out to eat at her favorite burger restaurant even occasionally anymore. But another way it impacts Ramona is that her father is around a lot more and they kind of start to annoy each other a little bit. It seems to Ramona that her dad is always looking for the things that she does wrong, and he seems to be smoking an awful lot too. Ramona finds out from her big sister Beezus what cigarette smoke is doing to her father's lungs and she can't stand that thought. So she starts an all out war against his smoking, much to his dismay. …

Winning Mr Wrong

Charley is a clumsy girl, who has never really dated anyone for longer than 3 months. She happens to see an internet article on a way to win men's hearts with dark chocolate, hard to find gifts, compliments, nights on the town, tall buildings, funny movies, surprise intimacy, making great memories, and saying I Love You. It sounds simple enough, so Charley decides to try it out on her high school crush Max. Little does she know her handsome neighbor, Damien, that she thought would never be an option for her has already fallen in love with her. He agrees to help her with her idea to win Max, because he happens to know him too. But he has a secret about Max that he doesn't want Charley to find out about. Thus the hilarity begins. Charley tries all of the ideas from the internet with disastrous results. Just when she thinks she might finally have Max's affections she realizes that Max may not be what she wants after all. This was a cute, clean and hilarious book, I wou…

Secondhand Charm

Julie Berry writes really fun fairy tale type stories. I really liked her other book The Amaranth Enchantment, so I was excited to read Secondhand Charm. Evie is the heroine of this book. She's a young girl, about to finish the village school, dreaming of going to college to be a doctor just like her deceased parents. She seems to have an ability to heal. Her life changes the day that the king of the land comes to her small village on a tour of his kingdom. She along with her best friend, Priscilla, is given a scholarship to college. She's thrilled, although her grandfather who's raised her is not, but a series of mishaps on the way to college makes her dream seem unattainable. Her friend Aidan who also happens to be the young man that she likes tries to do everything he can to help her, even posing as her husband to get her to college. This was a fun book, it has a lot of twists and turns, you'll never guess what comes next!

The Lost Hero

We had this book on hold at the library for so long, about 6 months I think. (I think there's actually still about 450 hold on this book, so we'll hurry and get it back so everyone can read it!) This book was definitely worth the wait. Jason wakes up on a bus, with a bunch of kids, obviously a school field trip, but he has no idea how he got there. Leo thinks he's Jason's best friend and he wonders why he's acting so weird. Piper thinks she's Jason's girlfriend, but he doesn't seem to even like her anymore. But both Leo and Piper have secrets. Piper can talk people into giving her things and Leo can build almost anything you can imagine. Their teacher Coach Hedge seems like a normal if gruff and mean teacher, Until a bunch of monsters led by the "cool" boy in school attack on their field trip to the Grand Canyon, then he turns into a Satyr. But luckily Annabeth rescues them. She thought she was going to be rescuing Percy, because he&#…

Matched

This is the newest book by Ally Condie, it's marketed to national audiences and has already won several awards, even though it came out just after Thanksgiving. I had to make sure I got this one for Christmas, so I ordered it for myself, the day after Thanksgiving when I had free shipping. Then I had to make myself not think about it, for a really long time, which was hard, because I kept seeing it in stores and on blogs and e-mails.... It was definitely worth the wait! If you've liked the Hunger Games books, then you'll enjoy this one as well. There are a lot of similarities in the two series. The governments are both terrible, but I'd say the government in this one is probably worse. They don't allow people to choose their own spouses, they are matched with some one the government thinks would help them to have healthy kids with, thus the name. It's Cassia's 17th birthday, and her matching ceremony happens to be the same day, she goes with her par…

Ramona and Her Mother

I read this book with our 4-year-old, she's really into Ramona right now, go figure. Maybe it's the really cool Selena Gomez song at the end of the movie that she loves, I don't know, but it's been really fun to read these classic books with her! I'm not sure that I've ever even read all of these before, even in my own childhood, but they're funny and I think these still are even current economy wise. In this book Mr Quimby has just found a new job at the Shop Rite Market, which he hates, but it does help the Quimby's financial situation to have him working again. Ramona must spend most afternoons with her friend Howie, his grandmother, and Willa Jean, and of course, there's a lot of silly fun with them there. You can tell from the cover that Ramona is going to squirt toothpaste somewhere. I loved what they did with that in the movie, how they put it in a plastic bag for her to use! The book's solution was pretty good too!

Pies and Prejudice

This is the newest book in a fun series where girls read classic books with their mothers and have a group discussion. These books have kind of become a traditional gift for our 10 year-old to get for Christmas. I'm grateful she's such a quick reader that I got to read it sooner than later! This book finds Emma Hawthorne and her family moving to England for a year. She's excited, but knows that she will miss her friends, her cat, and her boyfriend Stewart dearly. Her best friend, Jess, isn't quite sure what she will do without her. Right before Emma's family leaves the Mother-Daughter Book Club throws a huge going away party, they surprise Emma and her mother with the book that they are going to read for the year, Pride and Prejudice, which makes a lot of sense because the Hawthornes are going to be living right in the middle of Jane Austen's stomping grounds, in Bath England. And of course, Mrs Hawthornes favorite book is Pride and Prejudice. Emma'…

Identical

I don't remember how I learned about this book, one of the other book blogs I read sometimes may have talked about this one. I thought the idea was kind of cool, it's about two identical twins, but I opened it and the whole thing was a story of poems, my first thought was that it was a little strange, but when I got reading it, I thought it was pretty cool. Anyway, I only got to about page 20 when I found an f-word, I stop after one of those. It seems like when you get one of those so early in a book there are usually more. I'm not sure what it is with the New York Times list authors, but they usually have more swearing and every other thing that you don't want to read about too! Anyway, I won't recommend this one, even though I'm sure that the story is perfectly lovely!

Farm Fresh Murder

I happened to see this book spotlighted in a magazine a couple of months ago, I think it was the Wasatch Woman one that comes with the newspaper. It was written by a woman that lives here in Utah, so I thought that I'd try it out! Becca works at Bailey's Farmer's Market, which her twin sister Allison manages, she makes jams and preserves on her farm that her aunt and uncle left to her when they died. One day she's running late getting her preserves to Bailey's when Allison calls her and tells her to get there urgently. Little did she know that what awaited her was the murder of a man that she really didn't know. Matt had only worked there a week or two, but he's already had a heated discussion with Abner Justen, one that was seen and heard by several witnesses. So when he's killed Abner, who's like a father to Becca, is the number one suspect. Especially when he disappears. Becca can't just let Abner go to jail for killing someone she do…