Sunday, January 06, 2008


The flu has wiped out my memory of books read before Christmas and drained me of the energy to try to remember them long enough to write a review.

Brothers, Boyfriends, and Other Criminal April Lurie. You'll just have to take my word for it that it is fabulous. Set in 1978, it is the story of one girl--her friends, her family, her neighborhood. It all works. It's just a good, good, thoroughly enjoyable book.

Circle the Truth by Pat Schmatz. Bordering between reality and fantasy, this one explore's one young boy's faith crisis. Does he or doesn't he believe? If only I could remember more of my impressions...but is gone.

Carpe Diem by Autumn Cornwell. Read this one the first week of December. Thought it okay. But a bit unbelievable in bits too. But not a bad read by any means. Again, if I could remember the details, I'd remember why I liked it as opposed to loving it. But I don't.

Cross My Heart and Hope To Spy by Ally Carter. I liked this one. I do remember that much. I didn't love it as much as the first book. But I enjoyed it. Fans of the first, will most likely enjoying this one.

Another Kind of Cowboy by Susan Juby. I have a personal bias. And it's not what you might think. Yes, it's about a teen boy who's getting ready to come out of the closet to his family, but that's not my bias. My bias? It's about horses. Personally, I'm not a horse person. I'm allergic to westerns even. Never went through the Black Beauty phase. Never went through the I-want-a-pony phase. Nothing. And the truth of the matter is, that this book is about a boy and a girl both coming from very different places who find comfort and friendship with horses and one another in some ways. Technically, it's not really about cowboys. It's about riding dressage. But a horse is a horse...still I admit that the parts narrated by Alex were enjoyable enough in most places. But the girl narrator, she just annoyed me. So I didn't really go for this one. But I think it is 90% me at least. I have no doubt the book will find readers who enjoy it thoroughly.

Parrotfish by Ellen Wittlinger. Liked the main character. Didn't care much for bits of the story. It's got a whole Christmas theme where the dad is all over-the-top and Martha Stewart-y. He *insists* on going above and beyond the call of duty as far as decorations go about three or four dozen times. To the point where his family has to wear nineteenth century clothes so their neighbors can look in on them being all cozy. Add to the mix, a new friend of the MC, Grady, who wants to be Tiny Tim and ride around on the dad's shoulder...and've got my "huh???????" as a result. But this book is a good mix of dark and light. And I don't mean to make light of it at all. What it does with Grady is very well done. And I would have appreciated it more without the trying-too-hard-in-my-opinion festivities. But it's a good book. And I would imagine most readers wouldn't be as irritated by the family as I am. From others I've talked to, it seems I'm alone on this one annoying me in that aspect.


Melissa 6:37 PM  

Glad you're feeling better... and if it makes a difference, I never went through the pony thing either. I only got around to reading Black Beauty in the last year or so. Westerns aren't that great. Though I did kind of like Lonesome Dove by Louis L'Amor.

Anyway. Glad you're back.

Post a Comment

I'm always happy to hear from you! To help fight spam, comment moderation has been set up for posts older than two days. Feel free to ask me questions or ask for recommendations!

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
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • 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.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

Unique Visitors and Google PR Rank

Free PageRank Checker

2018 Kitty Lit Challenge

2018 Kitty Lit Challenge
Link to sign-up page

Join the Victorian Reading Challenge

Join the Victorian Reading Challenge
Linked to sign up page

Family Tree Reading Challenge

Family Tree Reading Challenge
Link to sign-up page

2018 Share-a-Tea Challenge

2018 Share-a-Tea Challenge
Linked To Sign Up Page

2018 Charity Challenge (Sign Up)

2018 Good Rule Reading Challenge

2018 Good Rule Reading Challenge
Link to sign up page

2018 Picture Book Challenge

2018 Picture Book Challenge
Link to sign-up page

Join the 2018 Middle Grade Reading Challenge

Join the 2018 Middle Grade Reading Challenge
click image to go to sign up post

Good Rules Cheat List

Board books and picture books = new is anything published after 2013
Early readers and chapter books = new is anything published after 2013
Contemporary (general/realistic) = new is anything published after 2007
Speculative fiction (sci-fi/fantasy = new is anything published after 2007
Classics = anything published before 1968
Historical fiction = new is anything published after 2007
Mysteries = new is anything published after 1988
Nonfiction = new is anything published after 2007
Christian books = new is anything published after 2000
Bibles = new is anything published after 1989

My Blog List

(Old) Challenge Participants

Becky's Hosting These Challenges

100 Books Project: Fill in the Gaps

Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

  © Blogger template Newspaper III by 2008

Back to TOP