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Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld

Review:

Afterworlds - Scott Westerfeld

Audience: Young Adult

Format: Hardcover/Owned

 

 

 

The most important email that Darcy Patel ever wrote was three paragraphs long.

– first sentence

 

Darcy Patel’s parents think she is going to college, but she has other plans. The young adult book she wrote during her senior year is going to be published and she is planning to live in New York on her own for a year and see if she has what it takes to be a “real” author. The advance Darcy received for her book is substantial and her sister helps her create a budget. But this is only half the story. In between Darcy’s story, we find her novel, the story of Lizzie who escapes a terrorist attack by pretending to be dead. But while “pretending” Lizzie travels to the Afterworld and meets some very interesting people.

 

So, we see Darcy trying to survive in New York, manage her relationships and money, and going through the doubts and struggles of a young writer. The story is very real and touching. We grow to love Darcy and root for her success. We see her through all the ups and downs a young girl first on her own might experience.

 

We also see Lizzie in a story filled with danger, supernatural beings, and the power to travel to the world people go to after death. We watch Lizzie struggle to figure out what her life is now and how she can survive in it and try to figure out her new powers and what they mean.

 

This book is fabulous and I really enjoyed it – not what I expected at all from looking at the cover. It was fun to watch Darcy grow up and hear her doubts about her novel. Then we get to read her book in between Darcy’s story. It’s like two amazing and completely different stories in one book.

 

I read this for Snakes & Ladders space #55. Is more than 500 pages long. I was worried it would take me too long, but I had a hard time putting it down.

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Snakes and Ladders – Update #8

Next roll:

1. Author is a woman – Grump by Liesl Shurtliff

9. Author’s last name begins with the letters H, I, J, or K – What the Night Knows by Dean Koontz

16. Genre: fantasy – The Last Gargoyle by Paul Durham

21. Set in Europe – The Boy at the Top of the Mountain by John Boyne

28. Written between 1900 and 1999 – The Bone Collector by Jeffery Deaver

35. Had been adapted as a movie – Mystic River by Dennis Lehane

43. Characters involved in the law – The Cutting Edge by Jeffery Deaver

48. A book you acquired in February 2019 – By a Spider’s Thread by Laura Lippman

Landed on:

55. Is more than 500 pages long

It took me a while to find one that fits this category that is over 500 pages but not over 800. I didn’t want to read something too long because I’ll never finish this game. (I know I can read a different book and only roll one die, but I’m being a little strict on myself about finding a book that fits.) I finally decided on Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld.

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By a Spider’s Thread

Review:

By a Spider's Thread (Tess Monaghan #8) - Laura Lippman

Audience: Adult

Format: Kindle/Owned

 

They were in one of the “I” states when Zeke told Isaac he had to ride in the trunk for a little while.

– first sentence

 

I purchased this book in February and I don’t remember why. Maybe I saw a review I liked or maybe it was on sale and sounded good to me. Anyway, the Snakes and Ladders square called for a book I acquired in February and I didn’t have many options. So, even though this is not the first book in the Tess Monaghan series and I don’t think I read any of the others, I decided to go with it.

 

Tess is an interesting, relatable character and even though I don’t know her background or what she has been through, I enjoyed this book. Tess is a PI and her client is an orthodox Jewish man (Mark) whose wife (Natalie) and three children have disappeared. But, it looks like Natalie left of her own volition, and took the children. Mark says there were no problems in their marriage and there was no reason for Natalie to leave. But, after looking into things, Tess realizes that there is more to it, and Mark isn’t telling her the whole truth.

 

I spent most of the book trying to figure out why Natalie would leave her husband and go off with Zeke. He’s an asshole and he is horrible to her children, especially Isaac. Who would put up with that? But I guess she has romanticized their relationship and thinks things will eventually get better. The main question I had was will she eventually put her children first?

 

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Snakes and Ladders – Update #7

 

 

 

 

 

1. Author is a woman – Grump by Liesl Shurtliff

9. Author’s last name begins with the letters H, I, J, or K – What the Night Knows by Dean Koontz

16. Genre: fantasy – The Last Gargoyle by Paul Durham

21. Set in Europe – The Boy at the Top of the Mountain by John Boyne

28. Written between 1900 and 1999 – The Bone Collector by Jeffery Deaver

35. Had been adapted as a movie – Mystic River by Dennis Lehane

43. Characters involved in the law – The Cutting Edge by Jeffery Deaver

 

Landed on:

 

48. A book you acquired in February 2019.

 

I thought this would be easy until I checked. I only bought two books in February 2019 (go figure). I only realized later I probably could have chosen a library book I borrowed in February – oh well. So, I chose By A Spider’s Thread by Laura Lippman.

 

Btw, did anyone else notice I close I was to that snake again?? I am having unbelievable luck in this game.

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The Cutting Edge

Review:

The Cutting Edge - Jeffery Deaver

Audience: Adult

Format: Hardcover/Owned

 

 

Is it safe?

– first sentence

 

No surprise – it’s not safe. At least not for the couple picking up their diamond ring. This is a Lincoln Rhyme novel after all, so there will be plenty of what you might call “unsafe” situations.

 

Nothing surprising here. This is a well-written crime story with a few twists I didn’t see coming. I recently read the first Lincoln Rhyme book and this is the 14th, so things have changed a lot. In the first book, Lincoln consults with the NYPD for the first time while he is considering how to end his life. In this one, Lincoln and Amelia are married, he is a well-known consultant, and he gets around in his wheelchair. The killer in this book is obsessed with diamonds or with engaged couples. We aren’t exactly sure at first.

 

I enjoyed the book and might read another Lincoln Rhyme novel in the future, but there are so many books out there with new ideas and my tbr is overflowing…

 

I read this for Snakes & Ladders space #43 Characters involved in the law.

 

 

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T4 – by Ann Clare LeZotte

Review:

T4: A Novel - Ann Clare LeZotte

Audience: Grade 6 & Up

Format: Hardcover/Library Copy

 

 

 

Hear the voice of the poet!

I see the past, future, and present.

I am Deaf, but I have heard

The beauty of song

 

And I wish to share it with

Young Readers.

A poem can be simple,

About a cat or a red

Wheelbarrow.

 

Or it can illuminate the lives

Of people who lived, loved,

And died. You can make

People think or feel

 

For other people, if you

Write poetry. In T4, the facts

About history are true, and

My characters tell the story.

 

– first page

 

During World War II, the Nazi’s Action T4 program called for the euthanasia of mentally ill and disabled people. Paula, a thirteen-year-old deaf girl, fled from her home, and her family, and went into hiding in order to survive.

 

This is a moving account of one little girl’s survival told through beautiful, unflinching language. I loved this book and highly recommend it to young readers. It’s a short book and a great introduction to the novel in verse format.

 

 

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Jellaby – The Lost Monster

Review:

Jellaby: The Lost Monster - Kean Soo

Audience: Grades 4-8

Format: Hardcover/Library Copy

 

 

I picked up this book because the cover was cute, but I didn’t really expect much from it. Well, I can say I was pleasantly surprised. Portia is a bright ten-year-old girl who is trying to adjust to life without her father. She is feeling pretty lonely because she doesn’t have friends at school and her mom is acting distant. Then she finds a shy, sweet, and quite large purple monster in the woods behind her house.

 

The illustrations are done in black, white, and shades of purple with red accents. Jellaby is purple with red stripes and Portia’s hair bow is red. Portia’s friend, Jason loves carrots and so there are spots of orange too (like Jason’s shirt).

 

The story is charming; I loved Portia, Jellaby, and even Jason. Jellaby is a monster with a heart of gold and this story will touch readers of all ages. 

 

Highly Recommended. I am borrowing the second book tomorrow. 🙂

 

 

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Snakes and Ladders Update #6

Next roll:

 

 

 

 

 

1. Author is a woman – Grump by Liesl Shurtliff

9. Author’s last name begins with the letters H, I, J, or K – What the Night Knows by Dean Koontz

16. Genre: fantasy – The Last Gargoyle by Paul Durham

21. Set in Europe – The Boy at the Top of the Mountain by John Boyne

28. Written between 1900 and 1999 – The Bone Collector by Jeffery Deaver

35. Had been adapted as a movie – Mystic River by Dennis Lehane

 

Landed on:

 

43. Characters involved in the law

 

For this one, I am reading The Cutting Edge by Jeffrey Deaver. It’s another Lincoln Rhyme story. I read the first of the series (The Bone Collector) for space #28. I guess I can see how he changed over the years.

 

I’m slowly plodding along…

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Mystic River by Dennis Lehane

Review:

Mystic River - Dennis Lehane

Audience: Adult

Format: Owned/Kindle

 

 

When Sean Devine and Jimmy Marcus were kids, their fathers worked together at the Coleman Candy plant and carried the stench of warm chocolate back home with them.

first sentence

 

I’ve had this book on my tbr since 2016 and I finally got around to reading it thanks to Snakes & Ladders. 🙂 I landed on space #35. Has been adapted as a movie.

 

The book starts with the boys during childhood and sets up the story of Dave’s abduction. Then we fast forward 20-something years and see the boys as adults with wives, children, and careers. The suspense builds gradually and the sequence of events that leads to the unfortunate conclusion of the story involves a great deal of coincidence and bad luck.

 

I watched the movie a couple of days after I finished the book and I loved it. They did a great job with the adaptation and only changed insignificant things. I highly recommend this book (and the movie) to fans of suspense dramas.

 

As I said, I read this for Snakes and Ladders and also for the Goodreads HA Mount TBR challenge. 

 

 

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Fathomless – audiobook

Review:

Fathomless - Greig Beck, Sean Mangan

Audience: Adult

Format: Audiobook/Owned

 

 

CARCHARODON MEGALODON
The largest and most fearsome predator to have ever existed on our planet. Rumors of its existence in our modern oceans have persisted for centuries. Now, in a new adventure, the rumors explode into brutal and terrifying reality.

 

I enjoyed this one. Cate and her fellow scientists, along with a Russian billionaire, and two crew explore an undiscovered cave, hoping to find a new species. They are underground in a small submarine and are attacked by a giant shark – Carcharodon megalodon. Believe it or not, after that, things get worse. Will they manage to escape the underground nightmare, and is the Carcharodon megalodon truly contained in that cave?

 

It took nearly 50% of the book for the action to get started, but once it did, I couldn’t stop listening. The claustrophobic feeling of the sub is magnified by the atmosphere of the underground cave and the fact that we know there is a traitor on board. And what’s not to love about a giant killer shark. 🙂

 

A couple of things bothered me about this book. First, the author used the word “leant” and people seemed to be leaning a lot. Second, we saw through the shark’s pov, but only for a short time in the middle of the book, and then never again. Lastly, I was bothered that this giant shark that could easily eat half a whale with one bite would ever bother eating humans. It seems as if a person would be like a crumb compared with the whale. Why would a shark that size chase and eat a bunch of people, when it could easily kill something larger and be satisfied for a week or more?

 

Anyway, a fun giant killer shark story. Now I have to get around to reading Meg.

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