Thursday, August 29, 2013


WARNING:  If you choose to read this book, you will call in sick to work, laundry will pile up, children, husbands and pets will be forced to fend for themselves, houseplants will die...well, not really.  You'll be done with this book WAY before any real damage is done to home or career. You just might be a little sleep deprived, because once you start Divergent by Veronica Roth, you will not be able to stop.

The setting is post-apacalyptic Chicago. In order to ensure a balanced society, the people who are left have been organized into Factions according to their strengths. The Erudite seek knowledge, the Candor value truth, the Amity are peaceful, the Abnegation seek to be selfless and the Dauntless try always to be brave. It has been decided that a person can only belong to one faction, so at 16 the children are tested and must choose whether to stay in a faction that doesn't fit them, or leave their families forever to join another. For once you leave your faction you can never go back; you become factionless. But what happens if you have an aptitude for more than one faction?  What if you could fit in two or three? This is exactly what happens to Beatrice "Tris" Prior. She learns that she is considered Divergent, a skill feared by the powers that be. She must keep her test results a secret, or die. But WHY?? That is what Tris and you, dear reader, must discover.

I read a review that claimed this will be the next Hunger Games, and I completely agree.  Divergent is the first book of a trilogy, the second being Insurgent, which was also riveting! Allegiant, book #3, is available October 22nd, so read them fast before the movie comes out. Seriously, go read. Now.


Monday, August 12, 2013

A Literary Mash-Up

If you've been LOOKING FOR ME, I am under SIEGE from a MONSTROUS surplus of books I've read but not written a LETTER about.  I am living under the SHADOWS of my shirked responsibilities, so to feel carefree and YOUNG again I will say FAREWELL to my procrastination and begin with...

I ADORE D. E. Stevenson. She wrote endearing books with fascinating characters, and I think she would have been a kick to party with. But that's just a feeling I get. The Young Clementina tells the reader a story of love, betrayal and redemption in WWI England and beyond. The ending is rather abrupt, but I still loved it. Go forth and read her books.

Call the Midwife, Shadows of the Workhouse by Jennifer Worth.  I am a Call the Midwife groupie. I'm not sure why I find this subject and time period so interesting, but it probably has to do with the fact that I didn't have to experience it. So, after reading the first book in the series, I immediately ran out to buy the other two. They do not disappoint. And workhouses really sucked.

Call the Midwife, Farewell to the East End. I can hear you wailing, "Say it isn't so!!!" (Or maybe that's me.) Yes, this is the final book in the series. The PBS show has stayed pretty true to Jennifer Worth's memoirs, but I will have no problem if they expand into original material in the future. As long as they stay true to the originals. We want more Chummy and Sr. Monica Joan!!!

Mary Russell is back in Laurie R. King's A Montrous Regiment of Women. She has graduated from Oxford and is about to come into her inheritance, but the biggest development in this story is her relationship with Mr. Sherlock Holmes. Will she become more than his apprentice?? First she has to navigate the halls of the New Temple of God and discover if its charismatic and powerful leader is somehow involved in the suspicious deaths of several young heiresses. Can you spell CULT?

Which brings me to A Letter of Mary. This time Mary and Holmes are trying to deduce who killed an amateur archeologist soon after leaving an ancient scroll and mysterious box with said detectives for safekeeping. You'll never believe who wrote the letter on the scroll, so I won't tell you.  ha ha.  Anyway, I love King's books.  Read them please.

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo continues the story of Alina and Mal and their fight against the Darkling and all the other creepy dudes threatening Ravka. Things aren't looking great for them at the end, but I'm sure it will all work out in the third book which had better be published sooner than later so I can find out how everything is resolved. I like happy endings.

Beth Hoffman rocks! She writes the most heartfelt books with such interesting and original characters. Looking for Me is about appreciating the beauty of life around you, whether it be furniture, people or Mother Nature, and to do it before it's too late. And you never know where a random act of kindness might lead you. Also, never give up hope. There's a lot going on in this book. Start reading!!

Phew. Back to reading, and it's a page turner! Be back soon...TBC