Summer 2012 Reads II

Did you read any of the books from yesterday yet? Come on!!!

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My beloved Jodi Piccoult finally churned out another one of her wonderful tales. Lone Wolf isn’t one of her novels that makes you race to the store for more tissues because you’ve already gone through three boxes, but it’s a wonderful book.

Luke Warren has spent his whole life researching and living with wolves. To the detriment of his family, he feels as though he belongs more with the wolves than with the humans. When he is in a terrible coma after being in a car accident with his daughter, Cara, his estranged son, Edward, returns to his family. Cara and Edward must decide the fate of their father. They are coming from different sides: Cara wants to keep her Dad on life support and hope for a miracle; Edward knows his Dad would not want to be a vegetable and wants to turn off his life support. Through the weeks of their decision-making, Piccoult takes you back through the story of Luke Warren and his wolves intertwined with the demise of his family.

Is this the most exciting book I’ve ever read? No. Is it an awesome book? Yes! I was intrigued by the wolf parts of the book; it’s really fascinating. I also felt a deep connection to the characters and their pain and sorrow that comes from being involved in your family completely falling apart. I also love her books because I don’t understand how she writes so well from so many different perspectives. I’m also in awe of the research she must complete for each of her stories. Amazing!!!

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When I started reading Bared to You by Sylvia Day, I had to double-check because I thought I had accidentally opened 50 Shades of Grey by EL James. When I realized that, in fact, I was reading the correct book, I then went to Amazon to see who published their book first because clearly one of them copied off the other. James’ book was published first, so you can come to your own conclusion. Basically, Bared is 50 Shades of Grey without the kinky S&M sex. It is well-written, the plot is a little better, but other than that it’s the exact same book. Do with that info what you will. I enjoyed it!

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The Butterfly Forest by Tom Lowe

Before I went on vacation, I loaded up my Kindle with books. Some of them I found for free, some I borrowed and others I accidentally happened upon on Amazon free or cheap lists. This was one of the latter. I went through Amazon’s list of free and under $5 books and looked at the ratings and chose a few. I got lucky!!! All of the ones I chose in that way were really good books that I had never heard of and might have missed.

In Butterfly Forest, former police detective Sean O’Brien is on a routine visit to WalMart when he stops a car jacking and possible kidnapping. At first it seems as though it was a random, isolated incident and the mother and daughter he saved were so thankful that Sean was there. However, it is quickly discovered that this was not random and that the kidnapper/carjacker is actually a killer who was after the young woman. Sean quickly becomes deeply involved in the case and tenaciously investigates the killer to discover what he’s after. It’s one of those books that is action-packed, filled with twists and turns and leaves you thinking about it for days after. It’s worth more than the $3 I paid for it! I’ll definitely be looking into Lowe’s other books as well.

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Black Listed by Luke Romyn

This is another of my accidental finds on Amazon. I know for a fact I would not have picked up this book on my own. First, it’s about the military. I have the utmost respect for the military, but those kinds of stories are not usually my cup of tea. Second, it’s a lot of bang-bang-shoot-em-up action which I don’t really enjoy, even in the movies. BUT, I loved this book. It was incredible!

The main character, Mike Swanson, is a serial killer. But he only kills bad guys. Romyn does a great job of creating a character that is a bad guy but you love him. Is he really a bad guy if the only people he killed were rapists and murderers who got off on a technicality? That’s your call. Mike is finally caught and in jail and has accepted the fact that his next home will be death row. All of a sudden, he’s kidnapped from jail by a SWAT team crew and taken to a location in a blindfold. He’s not sure whether to be relieved or scared. It turns out he’s been kidnapped by a man who’s building a mercenary army to take down the world’s most evil terrorists. Mike must train and fight hard to survive. When they finally are released on their mission, chaos ensues with twists and turns and tons of interesting characters. I love trying to figure out the mystery part of books. Who’s the bad guy? Who’s the traitor? How on Earth will this end? You won’t stop guessing until the last page of the book. It’s an awesome read!

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Secret Lives by Diane Chamberlain

I went all out and spent $4.99 on this one—watch out world!! Eden Riley is a super famous actress who is writing and starring in a screenplay based on her mother’s life. Her mother was an eccentric children’s book author who the world perceived as cold, distant and extremely odd. Eden is hoping to change the world’s view of her mother by delving into her past to uncover why she never left her cave where she wrote her stories. Yes, you read that right, her cave. Eden discovers that the past is not so simple and makes some shocking discoveries. She also falls in love with a convicted child molester along the way. Sounds interesting, right? It’s a great book. Nice, easy mind-candy!

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Gone Missing by Linda Castillo

This is the fourth book in the Amish murder/mystery series by Castillo. I love these books because both my husband and I are fascinated with the Amish. These books are also set in Ohio which is cool when you live here and have been to the places she mentions. They are also really great books! Kate Burkholder is a former Amish woman who is now the chief of police in her small town full of Amish. She has already solved three murder cases involving the Amish. In this book, Amish teenage girls are going missing and Kate is desperately trying to find them before it turns into murder case #4. With the help of her lover, Agent John Tomasetti, they race against the clock to find these girls alive. First they must figure out why these girls are being taken in order to find out who is taking them. It is action-packed! Another thumbs up to Castillo for this one!

P.S. I had to read the actual book for this one…from the library!!! Old school!! 😉
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Love You More by Lisa Gardner

I am a new fan of Gardner’s work after reading this one. She does a wonderful job of building suspense and keeps you guessing on every page. In Love You More, state police trooper Tessa Gardner is accused of killing her husband and 6-year-old daughter. Was it self-defense? Is the little girl really dead? Is Tessa a bad guy? If not, who IS the bad guy? Was her husband really abusing her? What the hell is going on?? I loved this book because I had no clue who did it, what was going to happen next and how it was all going to tie together. This was one of my favorites of the summer!!!

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The Giver by Lois Lowry

Add this one to my list of favorite juvenile fiction books. My niece, who is about to turn 15, recommended this one to me. It’s a short book and a very quick read. It is very unique. I just finished it and I’m not sure how I feel about it. The ending kind of left me hanging. If you’ve read it, I’d love to chat with you about it.

Jonas is an 11-year-old boy anxiously awaiting his 12th birthday when the community will decide what he will do for the rest of his life. In his community, there are no choices. You are assigned your career, your spouse, your children. You take pills to prevent “stirrings” that might lead to feelings of sexual desire. The children are born to the Birth Mothers whose jobs are simply to get pregnant and give birth. Each family is only allowed one boy and one girl. When you are old, or when you commit 3 acts considered wrong, or when you’re a baby and don’t thrive or are an identical twin, you are released to “Elsewhere”. There are no colors, no music, no animals, no sun, no weather at all, no choices. Everyone is happy because everyone and everything is the same. When Jonas turns 12, he is stunned to learn he has been chosen as “The Receiver” for his community. He will be trained to hold all of the memories for the community upon which he will make all the decisions for the community. All of them. How much food, how many children, their careers, their spouses, everything. At first it seems so honorable and wonderful, but Jonas quickly learns that it is painful and a huge burden. He also makes some startling discoveries that has him questioning his entire existence. The ending totally left me hanging which I’m sure was the intent. It is a definite must read!

Please share anything good you read this summer!! I’d love to hear all about it.

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7 responses to “Summer 2012 Reads II

  1. I haven’t read The Giver but it’s on my list. It is a series though so that may help with your ending a bit! I just finished Bared to You and had the same thoughts. I gotta say I think I liked Bared better. I’m currently working on The Book Thief. A truly great read if you haven’t already read it!

  2. I’m making some notes on these books. Sounds like we enjoy some of the same books. If you like a deal, have you checked out Ukazoo Books on Westwood? It is a used book utopia land, and one of my favorite places. They also have an incredible kids section. I highly recommend it for any lover of books! All books are buy 3, get one free. Paperbacks are $3.49…so if you buy in increments of 4, they end up being $2.49. Unless you have a coupon, then it gets even better.

  3. I have had the book The Giver for years – since I was young. It has always been one of my favorites and one that I will re-visit every few years. Until recently, though, I did not know that it was the first in a 4 book series. I have yet to read the rest of the series, but plan to do so in the near future!

  4. I need to read more. Sigh. Right now I’m mostly reading aloud to the pre-K set.

  5. I first read The Giver in 6th grade GATE at McCord! I re-read it about two years ago. It still resonates, and I agree that the ending is purposely left up to personal interpretation.

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