Note about my Reviews

Dear Authors: The reviews in this blog are only personal opinions. I have absolutely no background in literature, writing or reviewing. I am a Librarian (actually a Library Technician for those who care OR know the difference) with a love for a good story. The opinions in the reviews are ONLY my OPINIONS. I am not commenting on the writers ability since well -- I am not a writer and never will be. If you are the author of any of the books reviewed here, my opinion is just that and not a judgment against you!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

This Dark Road to Mercy by Wiley Cash

This Dark Road to Mercy
by Wiley Cash
William Morrow (HarperCollins)
ISBN: 978-0-06-208825-3
Buy from Indigo

Description: The critically-acclaimed author of the New York Times bestseller A Land More Kind Than Home returns with a resonant novel of love and atonement, blood and vengeance, involving two young sisters, a wayward father, and an enemy determined to see him pay for his sins

When their mother dies unexpectedly, twelve-year-old Easter and her six-year-old sister Ruby are shuffled into the foster care system in Gastonia, North Carolina, a town not far from the Appalachian mountains. But just as they settle into their new life, their errant father, Wade, an ex-minor league baseball player whom they haven't seen in years, suddenly appears and wants to spend more time with them. Unfortunately, Wade has signed away legal rights to his daughters, and the only way he can get Easter and Ruby back is to steal them away in the middle of the night.

Brady Weller, the girls' court-appointed guardian, begins looking for Wade, and he quickly turns up unsettling information linking Wade to a recent armored car heist, one with a whopping $14.5 million missing. But Brady Weller isn't the only one hunting the desperate father. Robert Pruitt, a shady and mercurial man nursing a years-old vendetta, is also determined to find Wade and claim his due.

Random Thoughts
  • Fast paced, intriguing with plenty of action to keep you hooked in
  • Real, fallible characters. These never feel like caricatures, they feel so very real
  • Easter and Ruby are memorable little girls and you cheer for them - you even develop a connection to their deadbeat dad
  • Kind of sexist to say, but have a feeling this will appeal more to male readers
  • Child narrators can often be unreliable, but not so in this case.  Gives the story some much needed heart
  • Reads like a movie
  • Will appeal to baseball fans
  • Author does a fabulous job of setting mood
  • Oops forgot that one of the characters is a caricature - the hit-man.  Guy didn't feel like a person, more a machine and his background story is meh & doesn't make sense towards his hatred for the Dad
  • Author has obvious talent. Kept me reading even though I ad issues with the story. Will definitely be picking up his debut story
  • Hopeful ending - like me those!
  • Fabulous cover

Favorite Quotes/Passages

"Now, you tell me a child who survives something like that isn't going to do something great with his life. Or mine. That little boy's now living with his adopted family over in Belmont, about ten miles from the place where he should've died. He'll start first grade this year. There's a little bit of happiness out there in this world, and sometimes these kids are lucky enough to find it."

"Those girls were taken from Gastonia, sandy," I said. "And I  know they ain't worth millions of dollars, but they're worth something. And they deserve to be found before anything bad happens to them."

3.25/5 Dewey's

HarperCollins sent this to me as part of our Indigo Insiders program and I am in no way required to read or review.  Had to read though as I must decide which title is my favorite  between Cory and Shannon's Picks (Will take bribes kids)

Audio Book Review: A Higher Call by Adam Makos

A Higher Call: An incredible true story of combat and chivalry in the war-torn skies of World War II
by Adam Makos
Read by Robertson Dean
Berkley (Penguin)

ISBN: 9780425252864
Buy from Indigo

Description: Four days before Christmas 1943, a badly damaged American bomber struggled to fly over wartime Germany. At its controls was a 21-year-old pilot. Half his crew lay wounded or dead. It was their first mission. Suddenly, a sleek, dark shape pulled up on the bomber’s tail—a German Messerschmitt fighter. Worse, the German pilot was an ace, a man able to destroy the American bomber in the squeeze of a trigger. What happened next would defy imagination and later be called the most incredible encounter between enemies in World War II.
 This is the true story of the two pilots whose lives collided in the skies that day—the American—2nd Lieutenant Charlie Brown, a former farm boy from West Virginia who came to captain a B-17—and the German—2nd Lieutenant Franz Stigler, a former airline pilot from Bavaria who sought to avoid fighting in World War II.
A Higher Call follows both Charlie and Franz’s harrowing missions. Charlie would face takeoffs in English fog over the flaming wreckage of his buddies’ planes, flak bursts so close they would light his cockpit, and packs of enemy fighters that would circle his plane like sharks. Franz would face sandstorms in the desert, a crash alone at sea, and the spectacle of 1,000 bombers each with eleven guns, waiting for his attack. Ultimately, Charlie and Franz would stare across the frozen skies at one another. What happened between them, the American 8th Air Force would later classify as “top secret.” It was an act that Franz could never mention or else face a firing squad. It was the encounter that would haunt both Charlie and Franz for forty years until, as old men, they would search for one another, a last mission that could change their lives forever. 

Random Thoughts
  •  Could not stop listening to this I was hooked in from the very first paragraph
  • Won't lie, I really don't do a lot of non-fiction, but one of my customers insisted that I had to read this and I promised I would (Probably would have been a while to read, but saw it on the new arrivals for my library so I downloaded it right away for listening to)
  • Half way through listening I was already telling everyone that they had to read it - sold 3 copies at work as well  and made it a  Staff Pick and hadn't even finished listening to it (co-workers joking with me that they never thought they would see a non-fic Staff Pick from me)
  • Book is really staying with me and wanting to read more non fiction about this period of history
  • Think its an important read.
  • I spent a great deal of my childhood with my German next door neighbor ( I still dream about her Goulash and Spaetzle) , so I truly understood that not all Germans were Nazi's, but even with that, I really didn't understand what the German people went through
  • Reads like fiction (this is very impressive as much of the non-fiction I have been exposed to has been very dry) Hey Makos - think maybe you should teach some history 
  • Had me crying on many occasions for men, who in all honesty, may have tried to shoot down my grandfather and uncles
  • Really made me think and ponder about war and my preconceived notions and prejudices
  • Listened to it for free - but will be picking up a copy to keep and to pass on to others to read
  • Cannot wait to hear what indigogreenroom thinks about it - we must talk about this Cammy, I want to hear your thoughts
  • I would love to have a print of the painting mentioned in the book for my house (researched a little and it was like $3000 - hey if you got some extra cash, you could buy it for me since I cannot afford - love my bookstore job, but it pays crap LOL!)
  • What happened to the Jews during WWII is so overwhelming and must be focused on that we often forget (and lets face it hard not to focus on) what the German people faced as well.   Such a hard thing to discuss. I can see how many people might have a hard time reading considering their own, and their families, experiences
  • Author takes a small (but so beautiful moment) and turns it into a thought provoking  fascinating history lesson and glimpse into two very different, yet so similar, brave men who fought for what they believed in, yet kept themselves human in a inhumane world
  • Honest to god, I was never bored. You have to understand how miraculous this is. I'm the type of girl who reads to escape and have fun at this point of my life ( I got kids and work PT - I need to relax somehow) and rarely read non-fiction. Hope the customer comes back in who sold me on this book
  • I was on the edge of my seat during many of the battle scenes
  • The reunion scenes made me ball like a little baby - thank goodness I was walking the dog during this part.  Had to pick up my son at Kindergarten 20 minutes after I finished listening and my eyes were still red
  • Thoroughly researched
  • Appreciated how Makos talked about (introduction) about never wanting to hear about the "enemies" experiences, but how after talking with Stiegler, changed his mind and it changed his life
  • Why are you still reading this all over the place review, go grab yourself a copy and than give me a shout so we can talk about it
  • Learned so much about how the Nazi's came to power.  Most of my history teachers were dull as shit so I cannot remember if they talked about this or not. Had no idea that so many of the German people opposed Hitler and especially how much the Airforce tried to fight against Hitler and the party
  • To put it simply as the author does in one point "Can good men be found on both sides of a bad war?"
  • This is how we should teach history people 
  • Only problem about listening to audio books that it is a total pain in the ass to do quotes
 Memorable Quotes/Passages

"Every single time you go up, you'll be outnumbered. Those odds may make a man want to fight dirty to survive. But let what I'm about to say to you act as a warning. Honor is everything here. What will you do, Stigler, for instance, if you find your enemy floating in a parachute?"

"I guess I've never thought that far ahead yet," Franz said.

"If I ever see or hear of you shooting at a man in a parachute," Rödel said, "I will shoot you down myself. You follow the rules of war for you, not for your enemy. You fight by the rules to keep your humanity."

"In 1940, I lost my only brother as a night fighter. On the 20th of December, 4 days before Christmas, I had the chance to save a B-17 from her destruction, a plane so badly damaged it was a wonder that she was still flying.
The pilot, Charlie Brown, is for me, as precious as my brother was."

5 Dewey's

I borrowed the audio book from the Calgary Public Library - but I am buying a copy 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon

The Winter People
by Jennifer McMahon
Doubleday Canada (RandomHouse)
ISBN: 978-0-385-68145-2
Buy from Indigo

Description: West Hall, Vermont, has always been a town of strange disappearances and old legends. The most mysterious is that of Sara Harrison Shea, who, in 1908, was found dead in the field behind her house just months after the tragic death of her daughter, Gertie. Now, in present day, nineteen-year-old Ruthie lives in Sara's farmhouse with her mother, Alice, and her younger sister, Fawn. Alice has always insisted that they live off the grid, a decision that suddenly proves perilous when Ruthie wakes up one morning to find that Alice has vanished without a trace. Searching for clues, she is startled to find a copy of Sara Harrison Shea's diary hidden beneath the floorboards of her mother's bedroom. As Ruthie gets sucked deeper into the mystery of Sara's fate, she discovers that she's not the only person who's desperately looking for someone that they've lost. But she may be the only one who can stop history from repeating itself.

The Good Stuff
  • Wonderfully dark and creepy - yup I was a total wuss and wouldn't read this one past 8:00pm or I knew there would be no sleep  or weird dreams
  • Liked the description of the book that had photos from the past and present. Love books like that. It's so fascinating to see the changes of a town over the years
  • Sleepers really made me think of the white walkers from the Game of Thrones series.  
  • After bumpy start, book hooks you in and keeps you on the edge of your seat
  • Author does a fabulous job of setting the mood - you are totally creeped out and feel like you are part of the story
  • Past and present storylines are mixed well - never feels jumpy
  • Perfect for a cold and stormy night, tucked in with a comfy blanket, fire blazing and sipping on a lovely Pinot Noir
  • As with most books that switch from past to present, I felt more invested in the past - lets face it, it feels more mysterious - so this works extremely well for this tale
  • Loved and hated the loose ends to the story - totally could see this as a movie
  • As a Mom I totally felt for the maternal characters. I am not sure that even knowing, that I wouldn't do the same thing
  • Will definitely be looking for more by this author (and after finishing this review, I will be checking out what else she has written)
  • Been in a small town Vermont in the winter - yup can see how you can set a ghost story here - perfect setting (This is not a bad thing - Vermont is gorgeous - but there are area's that look bleak and unforgiving)
  • Fabulous cover - yeah I know you can't judge a book by its cover - but if you have a fabulous cover, people are going to pick it up - and with the market - you need that
 The Not So Good Stuff
  • Way too many dead children (at least no long vivid descriptions) 
  • Beginning jumped around a little and didn't grab me right away. Hope this doesn't put off some people as it does get better (could also be me though- sometimes life is crazy and  you cannot focus while reading)
  • SPOILER!!! Ok now this is just a personal thing, not really a bad thing, but it affected my reading of the story.  Reminded me at times of Pet Semetary.  I stopped reading King for 10 years because of that book.  I really have a hard time reading about sweet children brought back to life and well -if I go on this will be way too spoilery.  Hey I've got kids, I know they can be evil, but this goes a little too far for me. Yeah I know I'm being silly!
 Favorite Quotes/Passages

"She is the only one who might know what to say to me now, who might be able to offer true comfort. And I know, I just know, she would laugh when I told her I spat in the reverend's face!"

"Maybe she'd turn up. Maybe she wouldn't. Sometimes bad things-terrible things, even-happened."

"I think people see what they want to see. Sara's story is pretty amazing-everything she went through. But think about it: if you'd lost someone you love, wouldn't you give almost anything to have the chance to see them again?"

"We  all do what we think is best. Sometimes we make terrible mistakes, sometimes we do the right thing. Sometimes we never know. We just have to hope."

4 Dewey's

I received this from Random House in exchange for an honest review

The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman

The Museum of Extraordinary Things
by Alice Hoffman
Scribner (Simon and Schuster)
ISBN: 978-1-4516-9356-0
Buy from Indigo
Published: February 18, 2014

Description: Mesmerizing and illuminating, Alice HoffmanThe Museum of Extraordinary Things is the story of an electric and impassioned love between two vastly different souls in New York during the volatile first decades of the twentieth century.

Coralie Sardie is the daughter of the sinister impresario behind The Museum of Extraordinary Things, a Coney Island boardwalk freak show that thrills the masses. An exceptional swimmer, Coralie appears as the Mermaid in her father; alongside performers like the Wolfman, the Butterfly Girl, and a one-hundred-year-old turtle. One night Coralie stumbles upon a striking young man taking pictures of moonlit trees in the woods off the Hudson River.

The dashing photographer is Eddie Cohen, a Russian immigrant who has run away from his father Lower East Side Orthodox community and his job as a tailor apprentice. When Eddie photographs the devastation on the streets of New York following the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, he becomes embroiled in the suspicious mystery behind a young woman disappearance and ignites the heart of Coralie.

With its colorful crowds of bootleggers, heiresses, thugs, and idealists, New York itself becomes a riveting character as Hoffman weaves her trademark magic, romance, and masterful storytelling to unite Coralie and Eddie in a sizzling, tender, and moving story of young love in tumultuous times. The Museum of Extraordinary Things is Alice Hoffman at her most spellbinding

The Good Stuff
  • Hoffman is truly a poetic and "extraordinary" writer.  She is an exceptional storyteller who creates worlds full of ordinary, yet magical characters who stay with you long after you close the book
  • An interesting history lesson woven through the story, yet it never feels like a lesson
  • Loved how  Hoffman created characters that others would consider as one dimensional circus freaks, and made them the flesh and blood people that they are
  • My favorites scenes were the ones between Eddie and Beck
  • Each and every character feels real - even the dad who thoroughly disgusted me
  • Exceptional historical research obviously was put into this, Hoffman makes the period come alive and makes you want to learn more - but again it never feels like a history lesson, she just makes history come alive
  • Made me think of Jane Eyre in an entirely new way
  • First chapter hooked me in right away
 The Not so Good Stuff
  • A tad repetitive about key plot points 
  • The scene involving the fire and the animals at Dreamland was very disturbing for this sensitive reader (not a bad thing, just a heads up for other animal lovers like myself). Not to mention the other fire (I know I mentioned the one with the animals before the one with humans - I feel slightly bad too)
  • Insta Love (again not a really bad thing, just a tad irritating) - I still totally cheered for them to have a happy ending
 Favorite Quotes/Passages

 "In such great works I found enlightenment and came to understand that everything God creates is a miracle, individually and unto itself."

"But the newspapers want violence, retribution, crime, sin. In short, it's hell they're asking for."

"If we had no hurt and no sin to speak of, we'd be angels, and angels can't love the way men and women do."

4.25 Dewey's

I received this from Simon and Schuster in exchange for an honest review

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer

Annihilation (Southern Reach #1)
by Jeff Vandermeer
ISBN: 978-1-44342-839-2
Buy from Indigo

Description: Area X has been cut off from the rest of the continent for decades. Nature has reclaimed the last vestiges of human civilization. The first expedition returned with reports of a pristine, Edenic landscape; all the members of the second expedition committed suicide; the third expedition died in a hail of gunfire as its members turned on one another; the members of the eleventh expedition returned as shadows of their former selves, and within months of their return, all had died of aggressive cancer.

This is the twelfth expedition.

Their group is made up of four women: an anthropologist; a surveyor; a psychologist, the de facto leader; and our narrator, a biologist. Their mission is to map the terrain and collect specimens; to record all their observations, scientific and otherwise, of their surroundings and of one another; and, above all, to avoid being contaminated by Area X itself.

They arrive expecting the unexpected, and Area X delivers—they discover a massive topographic anomaly and life forms that surpass understanding—but it’s the surprises that came across the border with them, and the secrets the expedition members are keeping from one another, that change everything.

The Good Stuff
  • Unique and highly imaginative
  • Lots of twists and turns and keeps you on your toes trying to figure out what is going on
  • Incredible world building - full of unusual landscapes and creatures
  • Highly intrigued and looking forward to reading the next two books in the trilogy
  • Creepy and mysterious - have quite a few people at work who I think will eat this up
  • I know its a minor thing but the next books come out in May and September so the storyline will be wrapped up by the end of the year. For a person who reads as much as I do (and lets face it is older and the memory isn't as good as it once was) this will be refreshing considering that many trilogies take at least 3 years to conclude
  • Couldn't help myself - Area X felt like the setting of Lost (just a little) mixed a little with the X-Files
  • Hooks you in right away and at times you will find it hard to put down -- sorry Jeff. Also leaves you wanting more. I am quite sure there will be a huge demand for the second story
  • HarperCollins did a fabulous job of promoting this one!!!
The Not So Good Stuff
  • Characters are more of caricatures than fully developed characters
  • Hard to connect with the narrator
  • Difficult to review and provide favorite passages without spoiling anything

Favorite Quotes/Passages

"The beauty of it cannot be understood, either, and when  you see beauty in desolation it changes something inside you. Desolation tries to colonize you."

"Nothing that lived and breathed was truly objective - even in a vacuum, even if all that possessed the brain was a self-immolating desire for the truth."

"Maybe I don't know the answer. Maybe I just don't want to tell you."

4 Dewey's

I received this from HarperCollins (as part of being an Indigo employee) and am in  no way required to review or promote- I'm just such a book nerd I have to review every book I read

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Audio Book Review: The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches by Alan Bradley

The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches
by Alan Bradley
Read by Jayne Entwistle
Random House Audio
Buy from Indigo

Description: On a spring morning in 1951, eleven-year-old chemist and aspiring detective Flavia de Luce gathers with her family at the railway station, awaiting the return of her long-lost mother, Harriet. Yet upon the train's arrival in the English village of Bishop's Lacey, Flavia is approached by a tall stranger who whispers a cryptic message into her ear.

Moments later, he is dead, mysteriously pushed under the train by someone in the crowd...

Who was this man, what did his words mean, and why were they intended for Flavia? Back home at Buckshaw, the de Luces' crumbling estate, Flavia puts her sleuthing skills to the test.

Following a trail of clues sparked by the discovery of a reel of film stashed away in the attic, she unravels the deepest secrets of the de Luce clan, involving none other than Winston Churchill himself.

Surrounded by family, friends, and a famous pathologist from the Home Office - and making spectacular use of Harriet's beloved Gypsy Moth plane, Blithe Spirit - Flavia will do anything, even take to the skies, to land a killer.

Random Thoughts
  • Dear Mr Bradley this story broke my heart (in all the good ways of course) I often had tears running down my heart as I listened.  You have created such a realistic wonderful little imp that I often forget she isn't real and I want to hug her  and when she hurts I hurt
  • Flavia is growing and developing as a character - beautifully done
  • Sad and miss the humour of previous installments.  However, this story is so marvelously done. A true understanding on grief and how people react in so many different ways
  • Dogger is such a loveable character and it was nice to see some more of his background given and you love him even more
  • I often get frustrated with the father and want to smack him upside the head. I know you lost your wife but dammit you still have children that you need to interact with more - they are suffering too
  • It almost felt like an ending to the series but I hope its not.  The story ends and you have hope for Flavia and her families future and you want to read more about it.  But if there is never another story, you still feel like you know some of what will happen to her. Brillian Mr Bradley, positively brilliant
  • Like the addition of Undine - she is such a little foil for Flavia
  • Description of flying was delightful and loved Flavia's description
  • Understand why sisters have a hard time with each other - cannot say more than that as it would spoil it
  • Aunt Felicity, I am not surprised, but damn you are one cool lady
  • Again this installment will bring you to tears as it feels so very real and this is a family that you have come to love (even the Dad)
  • I want to live in their world (well not as someone who people want to murder) but it is such a close little community that feels like home. 
  • Understood Flavia's reaction to the stranger talking about her mother. Same thing happened when my dad died.  Kept it all together till some random stranger talked about my Dad and totally lost it on the poor bugger

Memorable Quotes
“I needed to be alone….the only thing for it was to go to my laboratory and do something constructive with strychnine.”

"Daffy had read to us selected passages from Lady Chatterly's Lover,  which was interesting if if you were keen on country houses, but far to full of gush and mush if you were not."

“We might as well face it: Death is a bore. It is even harder on the survivors than on the deceased, who at least don’t have to worry about when to sit and when to stand, or when to permit a pale smile and when to glance tragically away.”

4.75 Dewey's

Beautiful Jenn purchased this for me as a gift and I thank her with all my heart

Monday, February 10, 2014

Audio Book Review: Life After Theft by Aprilynne Pike

Life After Theft
by Aprilynne Pike
HarperTeen (Audio Book)
Buy from Indigo

Description: Moving to a new high school sucks. Especially a rich-kid private school. With uniforms. But nothing is worse than finding out the first girl you meet is dead. And a klepto.

No one can see or hear Kimberlee except Jeff, so--in hopes of bringing an end to the snarkiest haunting in history--he agrees to help her complete her "unfinished business." But when the enmity between Kimberlee and Jeff's new crush, Sera, manages to continue posthumously, Jeff wonders if he's made the right choice.

Random Thoughts
  •  Jeff is a truly likeable character and I adored his sense of humour and inner monologue
  • Realistic and tasteful sexuality
  • Adored Jeff's parents - especially his mom, quite frankly at times I hoped that I would be as good of a mom as his was
  • Narrator did an ok women's voice - not great, but ok.  Found him easy to listen to though
  • I am a sucker for ghost stories and this one was unique
  • Great twists and turns
  • Liked the development of Kimberlee's character
  • Great uses of humour
  •  Liked the discussions about faith and god - interesting and not preachy
  • Made me giggle
  • Sweet little story - would have loved it when I was the intended audiences age
  • Liked how author dealt with underage drinking, drugs, homosexuality and safe sex -- done in a non preachy way
  • Was a little frustrated with Jeff's feelings about Sera's past - though in authors defense  the character gets the fact that it isn't fair what he was thinking
  • Great opening chapter, totally hooks you in 
  • Will appeal to male readers - you know how I feel about the lack of male YA readers
  • Love the scenes between Jeff and the cop who helps him out at the mall (sorry guys cannot remember his name and had to return audio book to library, but he was a great character) 
  • Unfortunately the cover will put off male readers as it looks a mite girly (Hey I live with DH and two boys, I kinda get them now)
Favorite Quotes (Wish I had bookmarked some more parts- but it was cold this week while I was listening and too much work to take off the gloves and use the keypad on my phone - yes I am a wimp but I am old & it was  minus 25) 

“Talk about doomed love. He's gay, she's dead, stay tuned.”

"You'd think that if my head was going to make someone up it would give me someone nice. I was feeling officially betrayed. "

3.75 Dewey's

I borrowed this from the Calgary Public Library

Hollow City by Ransom Riggs

Hollow City
by Ransom Riggs
Quirk Books (Random House)
ISBN: 978-1-59474-612-3
Ages: 14+
Buy from Indigo

Description: The extraordinary journey that began in Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children continues as Jacob Portman and his newfound friends journey to London the peculiar capital of the world. But in this war-torn city, hideous surprises lurk around every corner. Like its predecessor, this second novel in the Peculiar Children series blends thrilling fantasy with never-before-published vintage photography to create a one-of-a-kind reacting experience

The Good Stuff
  • Not stop action. Big change from the  first story which I found quite slow at times.  I was on the edge of my seat and didn't want to put the story down
  • Some good surprises that I should have seen coming but didn't
  • Deliciously strange and truly unique
  • Fabulous cover and the use of antique photographs is fabulous
  • World building is out of this world - Mr Riggs you have a hell of an imagination
  • Great to see more development into what seemed to be more caricatures in the first installment
  • Appreciated the Personae at the beginning of the book, helped to jog my memory since I had read the first book so very long ago
  • Got a kick out of the scene where Jacob longs for the comforts of home like toothbrush and deodorant
  • Heck of a cliffhanger - how long do I have to wait now for the next book

The Not So Good Stuff
  • Creepy Clown picture and I thought Tim Curry as Pennywise was creepy LOL!
  • Felt the ages of the characters were off  at times felt like middle grade with teen scenes added in - hard to explain - not a bad thing really, just kind of jarring for me personally

Favorite Quotes/Passages

"It was dead,  of course: wet, chargeless, and fifty years from the nearest cell tower."

"But you  can't feel bad every second, I wanted to tell her. Laughing doesn't make bad things worse any more than crying makes them better. It doesn't mean you don't care, or that you've forgotten. It just means you're human."

“Do you ever find yourself climbing into an open grave during a bombing raid and wish you'd just stayed in bed?”

4 Dewey's

I received this from Random House in exchange for an honest review

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Audio Book Review: Speaking From Among the Bones by Alan Bradley

Speaking From Among the Bones
by Alan Bradley
Read by Jayne Entwistle
Random House Audio
Buy from Indigo

Description: Eleven-year-old amateur detective and ardent chemist Flavia de Luce is used to digging up clues, whether they’re found among the potions in her laboratory or between the pages of her insufferable sisters’ diaries. What she is not accustomed to is digging up bodies. Upon the five-hundredth anniversary of St. Tancred’s death, the English hamlet of Bishop’s Lacey is busily preparing to open its patron saint’s tomb. Nobody is more excited to peek inside the crypt than Flavia, yet what she finds will halt the proceedings dead in their tracks: the body of Mr. Collicutt, the church organist, his face grotesquely and inexplicably masked. Who held a vendetta against Mr. Collicutt, and why would they hide him in such a sacred resting place? The irrepressible Flavia decides to find out. And what she unearths will prove there’s never such thing as an open-and-shut case

Random Thoughts
  • The ending - OMG - now I have to wait for the next installment and its killing me - I am 22nd in line for the audio version.  I know I could just cheat and buy a copy at work, but I am so in love with listening to Jayne Entwistle read, I just cannot do it
  • Mentions and quotes from my favorite poem, The Highwayman
  • Middle of the book drags a wee bit and the mystery was sort of all over the place (Lets face it though, you really don't care, you just want to hear more of what Flavia is going to say or do)
  • Makes me laugh and sigh "Oh Flavia"
  • Find myself speaking in an English accent which is horrifying for my family and co-workers as I truly suck at accents
  • I love the little minx Flavia and wish she was real. She is such a delicious mix of devilish imp and sweet young girl that you just want to hug & get her some decent food. The description of Mrs Mullet's culinary creations leave me hoping at times that she will be the next victim)
  • I always want these books to be longer and I want to know more and more about all of the other residents of Bishop's Lacey
  • Me thinks Captain Awesome (@indigogreenroom on Twitter - trust me follow him) is going to get sick of me begging to bring Alan Bradley to Calgary - love you Cammy, please make this happen - will be your willing slave for life
  • The scenes between Flavia and her sisters are truly delightful.  Reminds me very much of times at how my brother and I tortured our sister
  • If you have not yet read (or better yet) listened to, I implore you to drop whatever you are doing and pick them up ASAP.  Please start with book 1!!!
  • Plenty of dark humour, as you all know I adore. I was raised by a nurse (love nurses their sick gallows humour is fabulous) , you have to understand it shapes you in sooo many ways
  • Ok major warning here - this is my 5th Flavia De Luce book and I have learned a lot about poisons.  Mess with my kids and I will use what I have learned
  • Opening chapter hooks you in
  • Please give me more Dogger - such a fabulous character and I love how much he cares and watches over Flavia.
  • As I have mentioned before, I would have paid way more attention in chemistry if someone had made it sound as enthralling as Flavia does

Memorable Passages

“There's an unwritten law of the universe which assures that the thing you seek will always be found in the last place you look. It applies to everything in life from lost socks to misplaced poisons. . .”

"The press was ruthless, but then so was the church."

"Whenever I'm a little blue I think of cyanide, whose colour so perfectly reflects my mood."

"Mistresses were a topic Daffy had sometimes spoken of but they did not hold the same interest for me as they did her. Unless there was murder involved, or poison, such as in the case of  Madame de Brinvilliers and the chevalier de Saint-croix, I didn't give a fig what people got into in their spare time."

"One more detective in the family would give us something to talk about during the long winter evenings, I thought. Guts, gore and Tetley's Tea."

4.5 Dewey's

I borrowed this from the Calgary Public Library