Wednesday, June 21, 2017

To Have Loved & Lost by Eliza Andrews


32867150GENRE: Lesbian Romance
So, this one is not so much fluff. It has a dark side. The two main characters have recently and tragically lost the people the loved. They meet in a support group. Can they save each other?
This is a very well written book and the characters are well developed. There are times you want to smack them and other times hug them. The secondary characters are pretty good too. Be aware there is some explicit content in this book. That said, I was disappointed when this book ended.

Starstruck by H.L. Logan


35051097GENRE: Lesbian Romance
Yes this is fluff but it is entertaining fluff I can relate to more so than straight romance. It is a cute story about an aspiring young actress and a star who are cast in a lesbian romance movie. Neither are gay, or so they thought.
As with all romance no matter who is involved they are not realistic. You read these for pure enjoyment to escape reality in a cheesy way. I love that I found this genre. Logan is a good storyteller and creates likable characters who you just want to cheer for.

Memory of Water by Emmi Itaranta


18505844


















GENRE: Post Apocalyptic

The premise of this story is global warming has flooded a large part of the world and the amount of potable water is limited. Noria is a tea master, one of the last. She was trained by her father and it is rare for a female to be a tea master. She is keeping a secret though one that could be deadly for herself and those who know her.

I really wanted to like this book. The ideas and plot are fantastic but the story drags. So much more could have been done with this to make it work better. It is well written just the pacing needs work.

Between No More( In Between Life And Death Book #3) by Ann Christy


25345046GENRE: Post Apocalyptic, Zombie
This is the third book and it does not disappoint. Veronica and Jeremy managed to make it to the hospital but it is not what they expected. The guy in charge is kinda crazy. They find allies though who vow to find a cure and give her what she needs to cure the tumor. Now to cure the in-betweeners but not everyone wants that.
The pace takes a break with the waiting but it fits the mood of the novel. Don't worry it will speed up quickly. The POV is still Veronica because Emily is an in betweener but not like the other ones which gives Veronica hope.This is a must read and Ann Christy knew we all woulod want more so wrote the backstories to other characters to follow up. 

Forever Between (Between Life and Death Book #2) by Ann Christy


25249701GENRE: Post Apocalyptic, Zombie
The story of Emily and the kids she saved continues. Emily's tumor has come back and she has little time to live. The nanite that cured her may be available at the hospital by the military base as well as helping find a cure for the in-betweeners that her mother was working on. It is up to Veronica, one of the children Emily saved, to make the trip to save her friend.
This installment is another fast paced trip with well developed characters. There are twists and turns at every corner as Veronica and Jeremy fight to not only save Emily but possibly the world they once knew. The story telling in these books is just superb.

The In-Betweener (Between Life and Death Book #1) by Ann Christy


25225875GENRE: Post Apocalyptic, Zombies
This is not just another zombie book it is more thought provoking. A nanite has been developed to cure illnesses. Emily has a rare and deadly brain cancer and the first generation of the nanites were used to cure it. Her mother works in the program with the military somehow so she knows when things go horribly wrong. An update causes people who should be dead to come alive but with only minimal insticts-eat meat. How will Emily survive?
This fast paced book shows how good intentions can go wrong when in the wrong hands. Emily is a truely genuine character and shows that humanity can survive even in the worst conditions. It is a very fast paced book and I had to get the rest of the series. 




Sunday, June 18, 2017

The Awakened by Sara Elizabeth Santana


27266676GENRE: Post Apocalyptic, Zombie
This was a very high paced zombie novel. Zoey, the main protagonist, has been raised by her father and he made sure she could defend herself. She has been tormented by her next door neighbor Ash all he life. Now they have to survive together.
Santana creates characters that you feel like you know. They are like normal teenagers until the Z Virus hits. This was a very fast read and I really look forward to reading the next installment.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Driving Lessons: A You Know Who Girls Book by Annameekee Hesik


23849143GENRE: YA Lesbian, Coming of Age
This is the second book about Abbey Brooks. She survived freshman year with a few emotional scars but she definately knows who she is. Now she has to figure out how to tell her mom. Oh, and find a girlfriend who won't break her heart. Nothing big.
I love that Hesik writes from the heart. It makes the characters real. I flew through this book and went hunting for the next one. It is not out yet. Supposedly in July so I am eagerly awaiting it to find out what happens to Abbey next.

The You Know Who Girls:Freshmen Year by Annameekee Hesik


18903663GENRE: Lesbian Fiction, Coming of Age
This is an incredible book about finding out who you are and the trials that come with it. Hesik creates believeable characters that you just want everything to work out for, The pace is steady and made me feel like I was back in high school again with all the drama and confusion. This is definately a book I can recommend to students because it is not explicit. In fact it is almost painful in it's curiosity and innocence, in a good way. 

Solitaire by Alice Oseman


20618110GENRE: YA, Mystery, Romance(Kind of)
[Solitaire] is one of those books that came across my feed as "We Think You Might Like". It was compared to John Green and Rainbow Rowell. I will agree with that but British, definately British. It has lots of unexpected twists and turns and is written so well you get through the book in no time. The fact that I was kept guessing until almost the end was amazing.

Washed Away:Flood of 1913 by Geoff Williams


14458908GENRE: NonFiction, Disaster
The Great Flood of 1913 is perhaps the biggest disaster that no one has heard about. It impacted fourteen states and was not only a flood but also a tornado outbreak. The impact was felt for a long time through many communities.
This is a well researched and constructed narractive of the events during the disaster of 1913. It not only adequately explains the scientific and historic aspects of this event but really focuses on the humanistic angle. By telling the stories of the people that were effected by this event it makes it very readable as well as informative. 

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Keeping You A Secret by Julie Ann Peters


272315GENRE: Lesbian YA
This is out and out a love story. The fact that it is two girls just adds another dimension. Cece is the 'out' lesbian. Holland is the girl everyone wants to be, ecept she is pretending. When she stops pretending to herself she begins to realize how very hard being yourself and love can be.
I thought this book was good. As a teacher I think Julie Ann Peters does an excellent job of capturing what it means to be young and gay. I feel comfortable recommending this book to some of my students especially my LGBTQ kids. It has a good messege and hard realities.

Dare, Truth, or Promise by Paula Boock


357625GENRE: Lesbian YA
You can tell this book is not written by an American author because the style is just slightly different in a good way. The characters are believable as is the story itself. I really felt for the characters as they were trying to love each other in a world that did not want them to. A quick, easy and fulfilling read.



Girl Walking Backwards by Bett Williams


392552GENRE: Lesbian, Coming of Age
Why do we always fall for the wrong girl? Probably because we do not know any better. That is what most of this book is about. Skye is a typical teenage character who is surrounded by typical teenage characters. The plot is typical but still good. This wasn't a blow me out of the water type book but it was definately readable.

No Darkness Without Dawn by Dayna Lorentz


18667946GENRE: Survival, Dystopian(Small Scale)
This is the final book in the trilogy and although it does wrap somethings up it kinda leaves a "that's it?" feeling. The characters do not seem to develop any more than they did in the second book except Marco whom I hated throughout the series. Usually the concluding book in a trilogy is the biggest because all the revelations that come but this was the shortest. I think this could have been done as two books instead of three and ended stronger. That said I suggest you read all three together for the best experience.

No Easy Way Out by Dayna Lorentz


16101135GENRE: Survival, Dystopian
In [No Easy Way Out] Lorentz continues the saga of the people stuck in the mall after a plague is unleashed. Alliances are formed but someone is not being truthful. Oh yeah, the bodies are piling up.
This is a fast paced continuation of the previous book [No Safety in Numbers]. The story takes some minor twists and turns and you find out more about the characters. The interesting thing is how the characters see each other is not what the reader see's. Love being omniscient!

Friday, June 9, 2017

What We Left Behind by Robin Talley


22082075GENRE: LGBTQ Topics, Coming of Age
The premise behind this book is a sweet high school romance that is tested when they leave for college. The twist come when T meets other genderqueer people and begins to question who she really is. This is all completely normal I was just not impressed with the way the book dealt with it. Too many stereo types. Also I felt that the people around T were pushing for a decision that T was not ready for. Experimenting is part of life but no one should be pushed one way by peers. It is a journey only that person can take. Also, all the labels! We are all just human. I enjoyed this book but it frustrated the heck out of me at the same time.

The Legacy Series by Ellery A. Kane


29455854GENRE: Post Apocalyptic, Action
Emotions are completely under control using medicines. This may seem like a good thing but in the hands of the wrong people they could create the perfect killers.
This series has a very steady pace that just makes it easy to read. I suggest getting the whole series at once since you will not want to stop. The characters all seem to hide their own secrets that seem to come out at the most inopportune times. This complexity keeps you guessing throughout the whole series until the end.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Kissing Kate by Lauren Myracle


270367GENRE: Coming of Age, LGBTQ Topics
Have you ever gotten drunk and made out with your best friend? Well that is the premise of this story the problem is Lissa wasn't drunk. This causes a rift between her and Kate just as Lissa may need a friend to help her figure out what is going on.
Do not expect any hot and heavy going on here. This book is all about the angst of trying to figure out who you are and the pitfalls along the way. It is a good teenage book and Myracle does a good job creating believable scenarios and characters.

Hell Divers by Nicholas Sansbury Smith


29343106GENRE: Post Apocalyptic, Action, Science Fiction
After World War III has decimated the planet the surviors live on satellites orbiting the Earth. Unfortunately they are not meant to be used for as long as they have and most have crashed. Hell divers dive down to Earth to get supplies needed to keep the ships in orbit until the planet is safe again.
It is a very interesting premise. Society uses the band aid of escaping to space once we detroyed the planet but again lack of planning still puts us on the brink of extinction. Enough of that though. This book is very high paced it will keep you on the edge of your seat throughout. I just found it was a trilogy so I guess my reading queue just got longer.

Smokejumper by Jason Ramos and Julian Smith


18209876GENRE: Non-Fiction, Memoir
Being a smokejumper is a dream of mine like being a storm chaser. At 43 I don't think I will ever jump into a fire so I will have to be satisfied reading about it. This is a well told story that not only tells what it is like to be a smokejumper but also the history of this elite group. I now need to research the Triple Nickels. This book, like any good book, has led to more reading exploration. I highly recommend this book so you too may live another life.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

The Long Way Home (Strengthen What Remains #5) by Kyle Pratt


30818689GRENRE: Post Apocalyptic, Novelette
Another companion novel to tie up loose ends. Trevor heads to Seattle to get his son and his family. He finds his pregnant daughter in law. He finds her as the bomb goes off. They fight to get back home.
Again great characters. The way this family fights to stay together and help others is why I really like these types of books. 

Nightmare in Slow Motion (Strengthen What Remains #4) by Kyle Pratt


29953258GENRE: Post Apocalyptic, Novelette
This is a companion novel in the [Strengthen What Remains] series. Peter is a Seattle police officer so when the world falls apart he does his job until the end.
I really liked the character of Peter. He stands for all that is good with first responders. It does help tie up some lose ends in the series.

Sunset Rising Trilogy by S. M. McEachern


28163495GENRE: Post Apocalyptic, Action
When the world  was going to be destroyed the elete had a way out. Unfortunately they ended up with too many others. The "pit" is where the poor lived and worked to sustain the "dome". Sunny is from the pit. Jack is from the dome. They help each other escape.
It has almost a [Hunger Games] feel to it with some [Handmaid's Tale]. The charcaters of Sunny and Jack are typical but complex enough to keep the story interesting. I really like that Sunny is a strong character. I read all three stories in one sitting so I would say the pace was pretty good. I would recommend this book series.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Rule of Hearts (Battle Halle Davies #2) by Sara Ryan


313197GENRE: Coming of Age, Romance, Lesbian
I was hoping that this book would be more of a continuation of Empress of the World but it is really just about Battle and her dysfunctional family. It is still well written but the characters are not as deep as in the first book and Battle just seems like she is going from girl to girl. Not unrealistic just doesn't fit with the story that was begun in the first book.

Empress of the World (Battle Hall Davies Book #1) by Sara Ryan

47944GENRE: Romance, Lesbian, Coming of Age

While at camp for gifted kids Nic meets Battle. They both like guys but fall for each other. Is love worth losing friendship

This was a cute book about trying to figure out who you are and the pitfalls along the way. This can be especially hard for gay kids since society tells you it is wrong. Throughout this book all the characters grew and changed. It was typical teenage drama with a gay twist.

Braving The Storms(Strengthen What Remains #3) by Kyle Pratt


27313819GENRE: Post Apocalyptic, Action
As if nuclear destruction and a possible civil war due to corrupt politicians wasn't enough here comes a plague. I know it sounds like alot but knowing the scenario it is a likely continuation. Kyle Pratt does a magnificent job of painting a picture of the devestated nation and the surviors just trying to get by. The added political intrigue is just a topping on the cake, A must read.

A Time To Endure (Strengthen What Remains #2) by Kyle Pratt


23783662GENRE: Post Apocalyptic, Action
 The story of Caden continues as the country falls apart and he tries to keep his family togather and safe. This book was even a better pace than the first one. The only drawback was the overtly christian references. I understant that most people who read these types of books tend to be more conservative but there are quite a few of us who are not and maybe not even christian.That said the characters continued to get stronger and the story just kept clicking along at a fast pace. I finished the book in one night.

Through Many Fires (Strengthen What Remains #1) by Kyle Pratt


18298007GENRE: Post Apocalyptic, Action
After a terrorist detonates a nuclear weapon in Washington D.C. Caden does what he can to get home to his family in Washington State. The action just keep going with this story and the plot is so plausible it is scary.
I really enjoyed the survival aspect of this book and how tha characters would never give up. I look forward to the next book.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Pages For You by Sylvia Brownrigg


124854GENRE: Romance-Lesbian
I read this book on a recommendation. It has been talked about with much praise from many people I admire. The idea of finding love, losing self, and finding self is very good and this book covers it well. My issues is the style and format of the book. I like things that flow and it is choppy because it is written in a series of letters it seems. The voice is incredible and I will recommend this book but for me there was no flow just a series of photos with some missing.

Rain & Ruin (Endless Winter #2) by Theresa Shaver


27830772GENRE: Post Apocalyptic
Skylar breaks her own rule and saves two boys. It is Rex and his brother. She takes the whole group in to save them but bad things come with them. 
The story gets more complex in this book mainly due to teenagers and relationships. Watching how they grow and change is like being there. Shaver does an excellent job of understanding and conveying the human condition.

Snow & Ash (Endless Winter #1) by Theresa Shaver


25337158GENRE: Post Apocalyptic

A nuclear war has ravaged the world. Skylar Ross's parents were prepared but they left her an her infant brother alone. 
Rex Larson is left at the side of the road when his mother gets killed. He is taken in by a stranger and another helps them get to safety with instructions what to do.
It is an interesting survival story. Plausable but a bit of a stretch. As with the other books I have read by Theresa Shaver the characters are the thing. She loves you to get attached and shee how they grow and change. Also she almost always has one you want to hate. I would recommend this book to any of my students or anyone for that matter.

Frozen (Stranded #5) by Theresa Shaver


34094599GENRE: Post Apocalyptic
The students are home but are they safe? After saving their town from captors they are not adjusting to being treated like kids again. When winter comes they get stuck inside but a plague takes hold in the town. It is time for the Mapleleaf Mafia to save the day again as well as their sanity.
The evolution of the characters and their relationships continues as Quinn loses himself, Josh is forced to take lead with Alex. I am looking forward to the next book in the series to see what happens.

City Escape (A Stranded Novel) by Theresa Shaver


22061335GENRE: Post Apocalyptic
Mrs. Moore knew that leaving was the best chance for survival so she sent ten students on their way home. She could not leave those she was in charge of though so she must stay in the city that she knows means death. Unless she can convice the other to leave before it is too late.
Again the characters make this book. I loved the character of Mrs. Moore and hated the one parent. This book tries to fill the gap of what happened to those that stayed behind. 

Home (Stranded #3) by Theresa Shaver


17928881GENRE: Post Apocalyptic
After an EMP hit ten students fight to get home to Canada from Southern California. Five go by land and five by sea. Those journeys are told in books 1 and 2 of this series this is what they find when they get home.
The friends all thought all would be good once they made it home. What they find is that their town has been taken over by a gang who is holding all the people hostage. The fight is not over yet as they plan to save their town.
The characters continue to evolve in this book. We find out more about the kids families and it explains alot. I love the way Shaver writes and how she focuses on the characters growth and emotions. Very well developed stories that keep you wanting more.

Sea (Stranded #2) by Theresa Shaver


16124077GENRE: Post Apocalyptic
After an EMP hit while they were on a class trip in California the students teacher encourages them to get home to Canada. Five students go by land and five go by sea. This is the story of those that go by sea.
The chracters in this book are not as likable as the characters in Land. Although Emily is Alex's best friend she is definately not as strong as Alex. There is a lot more turmoil in this book that is caused by the characters personalities. That said, you also get to see the characters grow and show their true selves, some good, some bad. 

Saturday, June 3, 2017

The 1959 Yellowstone Earthquake by Larry Morris


29379001GENRE: Nonfiction, Disaster
I always like a good disaster book. This one really caught my eye because it is the event described in The Miseducation of Camron Post so I wanted to learn more. 
Unlike some disaster books written from a purely scienticfic perspective this book focused on the human element. This is really what interests me since you see the true nature of humanity during tragedy. The way the author follows the various peoples stories and intertwines them when necessary makes you feel like you are there and seeing the events happen.



The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth


11595276GENRE: Coming of Age, LGBTQ Content
Camron has her first kiss and her parents get killed in an accident that night. She feels it is her fault and it creates some self loathing. She does know she can not change who she is. Unfortunately her conservative Aunt who takes custody of her thinks she can.
This is a very different coming of age novel. It really gets to the idea of being sure and unsure at the same time when you realize you like people of the same sex as you. The character of Camron is very complex. Even though she is rough around the edges you are cheering for her. Her aunt and others you want to punch. Love her grandma though just wish she was stronger.
The setting in this story is as important as the characters. It is almost a character of it's own. Especially Quake Lake, which runs throughout the story. Interesting thing is that Quake Lake is a real place and the earthquake describes really did happen. I read another book about that. I just wish the story of Cameron had continued.

She Loves You, She Loves You Not by Julie Anne Peters


9415955GENRE: Lesbian Romance, Coming of Age
Julie Anne Peters was the first books I heard about that dealt with lesbian issues. The ideas of being disowned and confused are common. In She Loves You, She Loves You Not Alyssa is cuaght with her girlfriend by her father. The girlfriend plays dumb and blames Alyssa. Dad sends Alyssa away to live with a mom she hardly knows. 
Sadly this stuff really does happen. Even though there is some real "cheese" in this book and it does lend to some stereo typing it is a good read especially for teens who are begining to figure out who they are. This is a good book to let young LGBTQ people know they are not alone. 

Sunfall:Advent (Book # 2) by D. Gideon


34859631GENRE: Post Apocalyptic, Survival, Coming of Age
This book continues the journey of Ripley and her friends to get home. It also focuses more on what is happening at home while the journey is taking place. The chracters are really what makes these stories. You get truely invested in them. Ripley and her crew traveling are one story. Then you have Dotty and Bill doing their best to help everyone andfinding out unpleasent truths along the way. 

Sunfall:Journey (Book1) by D. Gideon


33651830GENRE: Post-Apocalyptic, Survival, Coming of Age
This is a prepper book but not like the whole "stock pile everything and get your guns ready" type. It is more realistic in how to prep, more planning. The story, though, tells about the things you can't plan for which are your emotions.
Ripley and her friends are at college when the event happens,(The book explains it better than I can so I will let you just read it.) They are determined to get home to their families and throughout the journey face unexpected trials and surprises. The characters really drive this book.
I enjoyed this book so much I immediately read the second one and I am eagerly anticipating another. 

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Tell Me Again How A Crush Should Feel by Sara Farizan


20312458GENRE: Coming of Age, Romance(Lesbian-PG)
This books does an amazing job or taking us through the complexities of coming out not only to others but to ourselves. The diversity of cultures really hits on what life really is like including the "toxic" people we may come in contact. Farizan does an amazing job capturing the emotions of her characters. Also it is nice not to have an LGBTQ novel that is all about sex but more the complexities of feelings and relationships.

The Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley


32954321GENRE: Historic Fiction, Romance(Lesbian)
We all know that when integration of schools came about not all people were happy with it. This book explores that time and the difficulties of it with a new twist. Not only do the main characters have to struggle with the differences of color they also have to struggle with the feelings that have. Feelings that can even today get you hurt.
The characters of Sarah and Linda are both complex and you see Linda evolve alot throughout the novel. The setting is realistic enough and the romance gives it a different twist. I really enjoyed this book for both the history and the broaching of lesbian romance.

Time Zero by Carolyn Cohagan


26779743GENRE: Dystopian 
In Time Zero Carolyn Cohagan describe a world run by fanatics. The point of view is from a young girl growing up in this time and being forced into a marriage against her will. Some seem to compare the descriptions to more radical Islam nations now but I do not see the difference between how some men deem women as property now in the U.S. 
Depending on your perspective when you read this book it will appear different. I read this book during the presidential elections and saw it as poignent and scary. I do not think the autor is too far from the truth as to what could happen.

Dreamland by Kevin Baker


92862Genre: Historic, Literary Fiction
Dreamland captures what it was like to be in the Guilded Age but not rich. He weaves the chracters within the setting of New York City and Coney Island just as a master would weave a tapestry. The combination of shirtwaist workers, gamblers, and gangsters makes this an enjoyable read. It can get a bit confusing but if you know anything about New York at this time life was always a bit confusing and harried.

Mornings in Two Pan by B.K. Froman


24579867GENRE: Humor, Mystery
 Jiggs and his father have never seen eye to eye but without any women left to keep them from fighting they just stay apart as much as possible. When Jiggs finds an old skull on his family land his father tells him to let it be. This leads to finding out more about his family than he ever knew.
The quirkyness of the charcters in this book add a lighter note to the mystery and family drama. Even the cow has personality. The mystery is the underlying plot of this character driven novel. It is almost like a Fargo of books mixed with Northern Lights. Yes, I am showing my age but the chracters are just amazing.

1964 (Made in Yorkshire #1) by James Farner


25224711Genre: Literary Fiction
James Farner creates realistic charcters that are just trying to survive everyday life.  Richard Warren is 10 when the book begins and like any boy of his age growing up in a pretty boring working class environment he can get into some trouble. This trouble leads him to some coming of age events.
It has an interesting view of the class division in society and how that can effect someones perception. Farner does a great job of developing charcter and setting. They are what drive this story more so than the plot which at times seems choppy. Still a good read.

H2O by Virgina Bergin













     GENRE: Post Apocalyptic, YA

    H20 is a different type of post apocolyptic read. First off the killer is bacteria in water, not really something you can avoid. Secondly the main character, Ruby, is not a prepper, survival type but a regular self centered teen. She only survives long enough to figure things out becuase of the people around her but that makes her more realistic. How many teens do you know are preppers or care about anything but their cell phones? As a long time middle school teacher I can tell you not many.

    It was a steady paced quick read. I plan on reading the next in the series. It is in my "pile". 

    Monday, May 29, 2017

    The Wall by Jen Minkman


    29739506GENRE: Science Fiction, Dystopia
    Imagine living life on an island with a wall down the middle. You believe that the people on the otherside are wrong or bad because that is what you have been taught all your life. Then you meet someone from the other side.
    I really enjoyed this book and being the person I am saw a social commentary in it about not judging others just by what we hear. The characters were interesting and especially in their own curiosity in societies that don't cultivate that type of thought. I think this would be an interesting book to read with a class and see where the discussion would lead.



    The Double Agents:A Men at War Novel by W.E.B. Griffin


    411987 GENRE: Action Adventure, Historic Fiction, Military, WWII




















    The Double Agents continues the adventures of  Dick Canidy and the O.S.S. as they try to stop Hitler and the Nazi's. It is well written and researched as all of Griffin's books. Each time I read one it is like meeting up with old friends. As for the plot there is just enough history added in with the fictional characters to appeal to any history buff.