Friday, October 02, 2015

Chasing Secrets (2015)

Chasing Secrets. Gennifer Choldenko. 2015. Random House. 288 pages. [Source: Review copy]

Chasing Secrets was a book I definitely enjoyed reading. It's historical fiction. (The cover may not look like it is historical fiction. And that may be a good thing, perhaps, appealing to readers looking for some action and adventure.) The novel is set in San Francisco in 1900. (I'm relieved it's not set during 1906.) Lizzie Kennedy is our thirteen-year-old heroine. She was a delight to spend time with, for the most part. I really enjoyed getting to know her. Lizzie is herself without apology. And what Lizzie wants is to be taken seriously, that is for her dreams to be taken seriously. She wants to be a doctor like her dad. And he encourages and supports her. For he knows she's smart and capable. She's also got a heart for helping people. But he's not the only one who has a say in how she's raised. Her aunt and uncle--her wealthy aunt and uncle--are quite opinionated. And, well, they don't always agree. It may not sound like an action-packed novel, and perhaps that's my fault for poorly describing it. You see, I forgot to mention one little thing: the plague. Lies. Cover-ups. Secrets. Rumors. Death and Danger. Lizzie is determined to find answers. And there are plenty who are determined to keep Lizzie from finding out those answers.

But when this one isn't so life-and-death, it's a cozy-feeling coming-of-age story about friendship. So there's something for every reader.

I really enjoyed the characterization in this one. It was so well-done. Plenty happens, but, for me that wasn't what mattered most. I genuinely cared for the characters and enjoyed spending time with them.
© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


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

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