Monday, October 9, 2017

When Angels Fall (WeHo Book #1) by Sherryl D. Hancock


33545822GENRE: Lesbian Romance

This is a book I found by a happy accident on Kindle. It was the first I read by Sherryl Hancock and it got me hooked. She does an amazing job at creating characters that you really get to know. The plot flows incredibly well and is definately character driven. The love story has it's ups and downs that are directly related to the flaws and strength of the characters. I would highly recommend this whole series.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

When Love Wins (WeHo Book 0) by Sherryl D. Hancock


33547899GENRE: Lesbian Romance, Military
I stumbled upon this series through Kindle Unlimited. I managed to read all the author had out in the series in less than a week. Needless to say I really liked it.
Hancock creates characters that you really like and want to get to know. Not all authors can do this and the extent in which she managed this feat is incredible. It makes you wish you could meet and hang out with these incredible people. 
In this first book(Book 0) you get to meet two of these incredible characters, Shenin and Taylor. They meet in the Air Force during the time of "Don't ask, Don't tell." They are best friends but more develops. They have to fight the murky world of being career military and being your true self.
The way this issue is approached was flawless. In fact Hancock understands the military because she also broached the subject of fraternization between officer and enlisted. It was those little things that make this story genuine and a must read.





Sunday, September 17, 2017

Jolt by Kris Bryant


20702686GENRE: Lesbian Romance
This was an enjoyable book. The storyline was cute and easy to follow. The characters were developed. Bethany as the narrator lends a quirky and awkward take on the story. The whole idea of love finding you no matter how hard you try to avoid it is always a good one. Especially when the relationship begins as a friendship. Good showing for a first book by Bryant.

The Lies (Zombie Ocean #8) by Michael John Grist


36096834GENRE: Post Apocalyptic
Grist continues his saga of the downfall of mankind. The plot lines clear up and then get all twisted again, in a good way, throughout this series. In THE LIES the characters evolve and become even more complex than they were before, especially Lara, Amo, and Anna. All three characters find out more about the world, themselves, and the force that controls them.
This book seems to be getting closer to an ending of the saga. It is almost like the three main characters all know what they need to do now. Looking forward to seeing what changes occure in book nine.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Searching For Forever by Emily Smith


20702892GENRE: Romance, Lesbian
The setting of a hospital emergency room is believable and leads me to think the author knows the environment. The characters were not shallow but not deeply developed it was almost to predictable. The dynamics of their relationship has the quirk of the attration being there but both fighting that for different reasons. 
Overall it was an enjoyable book. A nice quick read with some potential cold shower moments.

What Stands In A Storm by Kim Cross


22609348GENRE: NonFiction, Disaster
I remember hearing about the horrible tornados that struck Tuscaloosa. Who in SEC country didn't hear about it and feel pain even if the Tide were your rivals. 
What I didn't realize was how wide spread the tornado outbreak was in Alabama. Kim Cross does a magnificent job using investigative reporting and research skills to recreate the horrible event. She uses the actual words of survivors as well as those who were lost during those days. Through her words we feel the horror, hope, and healing that occured from this "act of God".
I recommend this book to anyone who is a weather geek, a disaster geek, or just like a truely heartfelt story told by a talented author.


Saturday, August 26, 2017

What Is Left Of My World by C. A. Rudolph


33404779GENRE: Dystopian
This is a slightly different take on a dystopian novel. It shows how they survive after and has flashbacks to before. It never really discusses the collapse. The pace was good and the characters developed. I could do without all the gun descriptions. I do like that is was a strong female protagonist but why make her so "troubled"? I will probably read the next in the series but not bumping it up in my book queue.

Sea Girt: The Last Town at the Jersey Shore by Vincent J. Dicks


34835474Genre: Nonfiction, History


This book is about my hometown so I had really high hopes for it. There was just too much information with little or nothing to do with the town. I did learn a few new things that I got to explore or point out when visited this summer but it was more regional than the town. I was also disappointed that it ended before getting into more modern times.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Magnus Chase: The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan


15724396GENRE: YA/Action and Adventure
As usual Rick Riordan does not disappoint! I am looking forward to see how this merges with Percy Jackson. I love all of these books because of the snarkiness of the characters that is not rude but funny and sarcastic. Also the fact that kids learn of mythology through these books is awesome. I hope he keeps them coming.


Sunday, July 16, 2017

Echoes Of A Dying World by Don Esquibel


34667590GENRE: Post Apocalyptic, Survival
What starts out as a weekend of celebration ends up being the end of the world as they know it. 
Terrorists blow up major cities and set off an EMP. Morgan and his friends understand quickly that something is wrong and set off to get to Morgan's parents, 500 miles away.
This was such a realistic portrayal of human nature that it was scary. Not sure if the actual event could happen as it did because it took lots of organization. It was the relationships between the group of friends and how they grew throughout the journey that make this book a fast paced read.
This book made me feel a range of emotions. It was so good I laughed and I cried. I want more.

Reunited by H.L.Logan


34320809GENRE: Lesbian Romance
This is a perfect lesbian beach read. It is not heavy and lots of romance(hot and heavy). It has a typical romance plot but sometimes you just want to read something like that.

Violent Ends by Various Authors


23341259GENRE: Contemporary Fiction
WOW! This book was amazing in many ways. Each "chapter" tells a perspective of the same event which is a school shooting. As a teacher we are always trying to get our students to think in different perspectives,this book does that to the extreme! I highly recommend this book although the subject matter may not be appropriate for younger children.

Nora & Kettle by Lauren Nicolle Taylor


26489591GENRE: Historical Fiction
This book is set after World War II and broaches a subject that is not often talked about, The Japanese Internment. Kettle is a young refugee from the internment camps who takes care of a small group of children like him. He insist they earn it honestly so life is hard but they have each other.

Nora is the child of a famous lawyer fighting for the rights of the Japanese but he has a dark side that only his family knows. She is determined to protect her younger sister from the harm that can come within their own house.

The two main characters are well written and the perceptions they have of each other before meeting speaks truth. The time and place setting is very well developed, it puts you there. I love that Taylor used the Japanese Internment as a base of her story. Perhaps more will learn about this tragic time in America.

Openly Straight by Bill Konigberg


16100972GENRE: Coming of Age/Gay
[Openly Straight] gets a new perspective on being a gay teenager. Rafe does not have the stress of coming out because in Boulder, CO he is out. In fact he is the face of being out and popular. He is just tired of being paraded around as the "gay" kid who is doing well. 

When he transfers to an all boys boarding school in the east he decided to go back in the closet and just be Rafe, the boy. Unfortunately it is hard to shove things back in when they already are out.

I really think this book is a great read for anyone but especially those young people who are questioning. The characters are genuine and even Rafe wanting to be normal is, well, normal. Labels are over rated and over used in our world and I think that is one of the points Konigsberg is trying to make. The other big point is just be yourself.

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.