Friday, July 29, 2011

Something, Maybe

Something, MaybeSomething, Maybe by Elizabeth Scott

AR Reading Level: 4.4
On the library stacks: YA Fiction
Recommended for: Grades 9+

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

After some heavier reading lately, I was ready for something fun. Reminiscent of Sarah Dessen's books, this is a perfect summer read that I thoroughly enjoyed!

Like most teens, Hannah wishes her parents were normal. But unlike most teens, she is the product of a relationship between a Hugh Hefner-esque celebrity and one of his "special girls." Living in a small town with her mom, money is tight as they try and support themselves without support from Hannah's father. Hannah has spent five years ignoring him, even though deep down she's hurt that he is not a part of her life.

Hannah works at a burger drive-thru call center, where she works with two guys from school. She has a major crush on Josh and wonders if he even knows she's alive. Finn, however, annoys her beyond all reason both at work and school. With the help of a friend, Hannah begins to recognize true love and to work out her inner conflicts both with her parents and in her love life.

Also reviewed by: So Many Books, So Little Time ~ Book Nut ~ Not Enough Bookshelves ~ Becky's Book Reviews ~ Your link here?

Source: BookMooch

Monday, July 25, 2011


Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand

AR Reading Level: 7.7
On the library bookshelves: Adult Non-fiction
Awards: Publishers Weekly Best Book; Christy Award/Honor; Los Angeles Times Book Prize

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Unbroken is the story of Louis Zamperini, the son of Italian immigrants, who had a passion for running. At the age of 19, he attended the 1936 Olympic games in Berlin, running the 5,000 meters. He looked poised to take the 1940 games by storm as he inched towards breaking the 4-minute mile record when World War II broke out and he enlisted.

Louis became a bombardier in the Pacific fighting theater. In 1943, his plane had mechanical trouble, and he went down into the ocean. He survived a horrific six-week ordeal on the ocean and was eventually captured by Japanese forces. He spent the remainder of the war as a POW in Japan.

This book is absolutely incredible. It's not just the meticulously researched history that makes this book sparkle. There is a raw humanness to Hillenbrand's writing that gives her story life. The things that have happened in this man's life are truly mind-boggling. I learned not only more about WWII reading this book, but I was able to think a lot about the personal attributes of integrity, forgiveness, faith and endurance. This is definitely going to be a standout favorite for the year.

Also reviewed by: Gerbera Daisy Diaries ~ The Boston Bibliophile ~ Lesley's Book Nook ~ At Home With Books ~ Bibliophile by the Sea

Source: Kindle Purchase

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Death of Ivan Ilyich

The Death of Ivan IlyichThe Death of Ivan Ilyich by Leo Tolstoy

AR Reading Level: 8.8
On the library stacks: Adult fiction

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I read Anna Karenina about six years ago and loved it. This is my second Tolstoy and I was thrilled that Melissa recommended it. I was kind of shocked when I realized that it is actually a small little novella and easily read in a day.

Ivan Ilyich is a high-court judge in Russia. He felt his life was simple, peaceful and respectable. As he aged, anything unpleasant in his life (like a nagging wife) was sidelined as climbed social and professional ladders. But when Ivan receives a promotion he feels he more than deserves, he starts to notice a pain in his side and an odd taste in his mouth. Numerous doctors are called in, but it seems none can make an accurate diagnosis. Everyone knows Ivan is dying, but no one seems to want to acknowledge it, least alone Ivan. Eventually, Ivan must face the truth that his days are numbered. Upon review of his relatively short life, he starts to consider that perhaps his priorities were not what they should have been.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It packs an emotional punch and gets to the core of human nature. Tolstoy could have written this book today and it would be just as applicable. It's not a happy story, but one that is guaranteed to make you think and reflect about living life without regret. Definitely recommended!

Source: BookMooch

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

City of Fallen Angels

City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments #4)City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

AR Reading Level: 5.2
On the library stacks: YA Fiction
Series: Mortal Instruments #4
Recommended for: Grades 9+

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Now that I have finally finished this book, I am caught up in this series! It has been difficult listening to others chat and avoid spoilers, but now I am also in the know. ;) I will try not to include any major spoilers in this review, however.

This book opens up about six weeks after City of Glass ended. Everyone is back in New York, settling into a routine. Jace seems more distant than he usually is, and everyone is worried about Simon as a fledgling vampire. There was an unresolved issue from the last book that ultimately rears its (very) ugly head, resulting in a major climax and cliffhanger at the end of this book.

I liked this book fine, but I think I'm just a little burned out on this series right now. Although the world creation is really incredible, the plot points seemed a little recycled. There were some new twists in here that I did appreciate, but I think I'm done with warlocks, faeries, vampires, werewolves, demons and Shadowhunters for a little while.

Also reviewed by: Book Thoughts ~ Fuzzy Cricket ~ Becky's Book Reviews ~ Your link here?

Source: Borrowed