Thursday, February 06, 2014

Half A Chance (2014)

Half A Chance. Cynthia Lord. 2014. Scholastic. 224 pages. [Source: Review copy]

I really enjoyed Cynthia Lord's new novel, Half A Chance. Lucy and her family have just moved to New Hampshire. It is summer. Lucy is new and nervous about finding friends. She meets Nate and his family on her first night there. Lucy and Nate and Emily become friends quickly. But one of Nate's friends isn't so happy to see him spending time with Lucy: Megan. And if the truth is admitted, Lucy does seem to monopolize Nate's time with this new and exciting photography contest. Lucy and Nate have teamed up on this scavenger hunt and are trying to take amazing photos. Lucy is contemplating entering the contest even though her father is the judge of the contest.

Half A Chance is a very nature-friendly book. The kids are always, always outside and doing something. One of the stories in the book has them observing loons (and recording their observations and sending them off to a society).

What I enjoyed even more than the photography or the bird-watching was the focus on family and friendship. I really liked Nate's family. I loved his Grandma Lilah. I thought the handling of her dementia was nicely done. It was honest and bittersweet.

© 2014 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
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I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
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  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

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