September 25, 2011

Pregnant Pause - review

Pregnant Pause
author Han Nolan
published September 2011

Eleanor is seven months pregnant.  Ellie, formerly a wild girl, says it well, "I'd hate to have me for a kid."   Her parents have the expected reactions when they find out about her pregnancy.  Dad storms around the house and says, "payback time."  Now that she's expecting a baby, uh-oh what will the baby be like?  Her missionary parents tell her she has to go back to Africa with them or go live with her married sister.  No Way!   Ellie tells her parents she will get married instead.

Eleanor and her new husband live at a camp run by her in-laws.  On their wedding night, he goes out partying with his friends.  That's the kind of loyalty he gives her.

On top of pregnancy and the partying-boozing hubby,  she has to cope with the camp kids,  the MIL (mother-in-law), and the Old Bag. 

This is a fun quick, yet serious, read ---   more social issues are covered than teen pregnancy ...  I'll let you discover those issues yourself.

September 16, 2011

Friday Blog Hop 9-16-11

Today's Friday question from
Book Blogger Hop

“As a book blogger, how do you introduce yourself in your profile?”

When I read the question, I thought "huh?  Simply post my profile!  That's the easiest answer."
Then I realized it may be time to update my profile (not that it needs much updating), but to add a tab at the top of the page and separate the "about me" from the "review policy."  
So, thanks Jen, for the nudge to do a bit of house-cleaning around my Reflections with Coffee.
 

September 15, 2011

A Plague Year - review

A Plague Year
Edward Bloor
Publishers Alfred A. Knopf
source:  Around the World Arc Tours

Feel like going back to the classroom for some teacher lectures?  Want to learn some new and old facts?  Then A Plague Year is for you. 

The story is a journal by Tom Coleman, a junior high student who studies the PSAT prep book in his spare time;  we get many vocabulary words.   Tom lives in Blackwater, Pennsylvania;  his journal begins September 10, 2001.  You know what is going to happen the next day.

Tom quotes his teachers.  One compares the bubonic plague to the plague of meth coming.   He includes vocabulary sentences:   The au pair pared a pear for the pair of peres.  Tom works for his father in the grocery store.  One of Dad's best employees is Bobby who has  Down's.  

Tom goes to drug counseling group -- there we are "treated" to more lectures about the dangers of drugs.   Tom seems like one Perfect kid.  He disobeys his parents only once, when he goes on a road trip.  He's at the top of his class.   I wasn't sure if I wanted to throw the book across the room or to keep on reading because of all the lectures.  

There is one funny scene where Tom and his cuz go to a frat house in a nearby college town on a honor-vengeance road trip.   Great vengeance! 

I was curious about all the lessons in this book so I checked the author's biography on his website.  Yup, he is a former high school English teacher.

September 12, 2011

Thirsty? - Savoring Living Water review

Thirsty?  

granddaughter Madeleine Isabella 2 years ago
Need to quench your thirst for the Lord?  Even better, want to savor the Living Water?  You can do that with the new e-book Savoring Living Water by Katie Orr and Lara Williams.

I received a review copy because I filled out a survey many weeks ago.  I liked the e-book so much that I immediately printed out all the pages.  It is short but packs a powerful punch to the thirst.

Here's what's inside: reasons to recognize our thirst, studying, memorizing and applying God's Word.  On-line study tools -- several I wasn't aware of.  And the best part:  journal-guide pages for you to write your own responses.

Both authors are contributors at Do Not Depart which focuses on memorizing scripture.  Naturally their e-book has some pointers on memorization.

Katie at Living Devotionally and Lara at To Overflowing plan a big party Tuesday September 13 with giveaways on their blogs.

Amazon.com now has this e-book for your Kindle if you can't wait until tomorrow.  


September 10, 2011

Unbecoming of Mara Dyer - review

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
author  Michelle Hodkin
to be published September 27, 2011
source Around the World Arc Tours

Goodreads summary:
Mara Dyer doesn't think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.It can.
She believes there must be more to the accident she can't remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.
There is.

One of the most intriguing opening sentences ever is:
"My name is not Mara Dyer, but my lawyer told me I had to choose something.  A pseudonym."

The story opens with Mara and her friends "playing" with a Ouija board.  Remember those?   This gives off an omnious atmosphere.   The chapters are short and end with sentences that make you want to rush to the next chapter.   Example: "Six months later, they were both dead."

One nitty-gritty point I had was that Mara's family (both parents are professionals) packed up and quickly  moved to another state within a few weeks after Mara's accident simply because Mara wanted to.  What about their clients and practices?   Not that easy to set up new practices right away in this economy.

By the time I reached the end of the book, there was a bit of confusion, so I had to read backwards to clarify some points in my mind.   Great sentences and great intrigue at the beginning,  however, 450 pages is quite too many.

September 8, 2011

Friday Blog Hop 9-9-11

Book Blogger HopCrazy for Books blog asks:
“Many of us primarily read one genre of books, with others sprinkled in. If authors stopped writing that genre, what genre would you start reading? Or would you give up reading completely if you couldn’t read that genre anymore?”

That wouldn't be a problem for me!   I read almost any genre, in fact I like  variety.  I'd go nuts if I was limited to one genre.   Reading one genre leads you to notice stereotypes,  to see what I mean, look at the Top Ten Stereotypes in YA Fiction. 

Friday! Every Day a Friday - review

Friday is coming on Tuesday!


Once you begin Joel Osteen's Every Day a Friday, your outlook on life changes.

I received this book for review,  read a few pages, then immediately got my journal to scribble down some notes and lines.  

You see the difference in one letter:  I've got to vs. I get to.   Think about it:  "I've got to clean house, ugh"   vs.  "I get to clean house, I have a home to clean."    Brought this up in Sunday School last Sunday when we were talking about attitudes.

Couple times recently in an argument with my hubby, I said (thank you, Pastor Osteen), "You aren't going to steal my joy."  That takes him aback. (wink)

Sometimes a good friend of mine is a bit late to Sunday School because she likes to watch Joel and Victoria Osteen on t.v.  Sometimes she slips out of church a bit early in order to get home to catch his program.    I promised her my review copy.  In the meantime, I'm going to set my TiVo to "see" him for the first time.

Even though Osteen repeats himself  throughout the book,  his enthusiasm is contagious.  If only more grumpy people would pick up a copy, how different our world would be!   I'm not saying you're a grump, but here's a way to win a copy plus a bag and mugs (which I'm drooling over) on Facebook between today and Monday evening.


Every Day A Friday
author Joel Osteen
source:  Faith Words

BTT - reading now?

Booking through Thursday asks about our queue

What are you reading now?

 Reading so many review books, life is such a joy today ... one is 
Commune of Women by Suzan Still
Would you recommend it?  most definitely!

 And what’s next?  I'm dropping everything when my pre-order of Wonderstruck comes on September 13.   My friend Julie (we used to work together) of Seven imps before breakfast alerted me to it way back in June and I immediately pre-ordered my copy.    Here's the author Brian Selznick talking about it.

What about you?  Anything special?  Leave a comment here.   And if there's a memorable 2011 book to nominate, please go to Indie Lit Awards and make your nominations.  Seven genres!

September 4, 2011

Dark Eden - review

Phobia!!!

That is what went through my mind while I read  Dark Eden
author:  Patrick Carman
to be published November 2011
iPhone and Android apps out now
source:  Around the World Arc Tours

plot:  Will Besting is 15 years old.  He's an auditory learner (sorry for the "teacher-speak", been in the education field a long time).  Will has been going to a psychologist for several years because of his fears.   His technical skills help him figure out a way to download auditory files of his sessions and the sessions of the doctor's other patients.

One day the doctor tells him she wants him to go to a treatment kind of place with six other patients his age.    By the time he meets the other six, he already knows about their phobias thanks to the auditory files he has stolen.   Will makes plans.....

My thoughts: the advanced Reader's copy was an enjoyable read. The middle part describing the immersion therapy dragged a tiny bit, however the surprises at the end were things I didn't expect. Well worth the read!

September 3, 2011

10 Stereotypes in YA Fiction - guest post

Today's post is by Rhiannon Paille, author of a new series, Ferryman and the Flame.   Her book FLAME OF SURRENDER (The Ferryman and The Flame #1) comes out November 1st, 2011.  

Stereotypes ... intriguing.  See if you agree with the ones Rhiannon has listed.  If you think of others, please leave a comment.


Top 10 Stereotypes in Young Adult Fiction
guest post Rhiannon Paille
I’m only one person, and I might not read every YA book out there, but in the ones I have picked up on, these are the common themes I’m always seeing.
10) High School
Why is it always set in High School? I can’t vouch for every other writer out there, and this doesn’t skim every book, but most of them deal with High School. I have to say, I liked the ones that weren’t set in that monotonous death trap.
9) New Hot Guy at High School
In the first or second chapter, some crazy hot guy graces the pages and the best friend of the female protagonist is like, “OMG HE’S SO HOT!” Followed by a lot of squeeing and the female protagonist hiding in embarrassment or shame.
*raises eyebrow*
8) Girl is a danger magnet
Female protagonist is saved by male hotness (I dunno if he’s a protagonist yet, I mean he comes off all dangerous and swanky and I’m like, he could be committing identity fraud for all I know.) And the female is always slipping on a banana peel, careening down stairs, or something to that effect.
FYI: Guilty as charged although . . . in my defense, it was at a waterfall . . .
Also, loved Moira Young’s waterfall scene in Blood Red Road, THAT was pure genius in terms of male saving female . . .
7) Some council finds Girl / Boy to tell them who he/she is
This always makes me cringe. It’s like, the female protagonist is going along and then bam! Her parents or some mysterious creepy dude comes up and says “Chloe? We’ve been looking for you, come with us please.” Follow it up with a whole lot of info dump and all of a sudden she’s part of some elite force of super human mutant ninja turtles and this birthright was hidden from her blah blah blah.
FYI: Also guilty as charged, but I have reasons for that and it’s not like Krishani’s ancestors come to find him, he ends up going to them but still . . .
6) The bad guy is obvious
He’s like the quiet nerd or the guy that lurked around the hallway, the guy who showed up at the wrong time, the love triangle dude, you get the idea. This guy is always around and he has a few lines and he even comes off as a friend sometimes, and then no, he’s not a friend, he’s really the ugly evil character.
5) The bad guy is a lame choice and does nothing for the plot
You know, Tom Culpeper was one of my favorite villains because he was useful. Others have been there just because someone needs to be bad.
FYI: Guilty as charged, although the Valtanyana are scary in their own right and the whole story wouldn’t work if nobody cared about owning the flames you know
4) The female protagonist is the chosen one, one in all the world chosen to fight against the forces of evil. She is the Slayer.
Oh sorry, I forgot this wasn’t an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but in a lot of books, the females are inundated to some rank of warrior class and told that it’s their job to fight against the things that go bump in the night.
3) He’s “dangerous but sexy”
And we’re back to every guy in fiction. I mean it, every guy in fiction. The only saving grace of this poor stereotype is Jace, who knows he’s the ultimate hot guy and doesn’t mind telling people about it every chance he gets. Mirror mirror on the wall, we know who is the hottest of them all.
2) Some teenager is hundreds of years old (or a vampire, or an immortal, or has some seriously awesome past life memory recall ability)
Yeah . . . apparently in these characters age doesn’t necessarily mean maturity. I also sometimes wonder why someone hundreds of years old would be interested in a teenager. (Because that’s a whole new level of robbing the cradle)
1) Someone has “powers”
*headdesk* Every book I read has someone learning that they can shapeshift, or teleport, or see ghosts, or see the future, or hear thoughts or make things move with their mind, etc. etc.
FYI: Guilty as charged although, my characters don’t think that what they are and what they can do is cool, quite the opposite, it’s scary, overwhelming, it comes with a crapload of responsibility they’re not ready for and it means they can’t be together. Plain put, it sucks, which is sort of what I remember of my childhood and finding out I could see ghosts and read minds and feel other people’s emotions. 

More about Rhiannon:  Rhi was never a normal girl. She tried, but she couldn’t get rid of the visions, the voices in her head, and the hallucinations. When she was on the edge of crazy, someone pulled her back and explained it all. She wasn’t insane. She was psychic, really psychic, too psychic. Her life was an urban fantasy wrapped in a paranormal romance and served with a side of horror. To escape her everyday weirdness she began writing fantasy. She frequents twitter and facebook, but if you really want to get to know her you should visit her site: www.rhiannonpaille.com