August 29, 2012

The Twisted Window

The Twisted Window
by Lois Duncan
originally published 1987
e-book available August 28, 2012
publisher:  Open Road Integrated Media
source:  NetGalley

Aeons ago, I gobbled every Lois Duncan book I could find.   It was a delight to read The Twisted Window this month.  The story is focused on Tracy Lloyd, a new student in her high school.   One day, a boy who doesn't even go to this school approaches her in the school cafeteria.   Why? 

He follows her home through the park.   Creepy!   Again, why?  What is his motive?   Eventually, he tells Tracy what he wants from her.

The boy Brad and Tracy look through a warped window at something he wants -- ergo, the name The Twisted Window.  There are twists all-around, some caught me by surprise, some I suspected.   In addition, the word "twist" is frequently used, such as "She gave the knob a twist."   "... looking at life in a twisted way."    An enjoyable, easy-reading book. 

Even though this book was originally published in the late '80's, it has been updated to include today's items such as cellphones.    A new generation of readers will become hooked on Lois Duncan! 

August 11, 2012

The Time Keeper

The Time Keeper
author:  Mitch Albom
publisher Hyperion
to be published September 2012
source NetGalley

Long before Mitch Albom became a book author, he was a sports columnist for the Detroit Free Press.  Every once in a while, my friend who lives near Detroit would email me to say, "Mitch wrote a good column today, grab a hankie for a good cry."   Then I'd go on-line to read his column.  

Albom's fingers on the keyboard turn out golden prose, whether a column or a book.  The Time Keeper is like a combination of precious metal.

The story opens with Dor who lives four thousand years ago.    Albom's explanation of Dor's thought processes in figuring out numbers and time is pure silver.   God watched Dor while the world changed.  One day, in order to stop time, Dor climbs the Tower of Babel and is punished.

The golden part of the novel is about a high-school girl named Sarah Lemon.  She is lonely and unloved.  She develops a crush on a classmate Ethan.   Sarah is eager for time to pass quickly for their first date.   Soon, though, her heart is broken, as happens to unpopular lonely high school girls.

Our platinum character is Victor, the fourteenth richest man.  Money, however, cannot cure him when he has terminal kidney cancer.    However,  he has come up with an alternative use for his money.

Dor, Sarah, Victor --- three very different, intertwined characters with different problems and needs and perspectives on Time.   Will they meet?  How, where, when?  How will they influence each other?   The answers to these questions are precious gems.

This novel doesn't mention Eccelesiates 3, but it does tell us there is a time for everything: a time to be born, a time to die, a time to ..........  I tell you, it is time to read this book!

August 5, 2012


Touched by Cyn Balog
to be published August 14, 2012
source NetGalley

Would you like to foresee the future?    Nick Cross, AKA Crazy Cross, in Touched would warn you that this is not a gift, but a curse.

Some facts about Nick:
  • he is in high school
  • ultra-sensitive to smells
  • was raised by his grandmother because his anxious mother spends all her time in her bedroom
  • has much anxiety
  • feels like a freak
  • has only a few friends he can talk to.  Therefore, he talks mostly in his head to himself. 
What Nick's schoolmates don't know about Nick is he can foresee the future.  "You Will..." which frequently go through his head is a premonition of what will happen in the next few seconds.   If Nick manages to avoid that "You Will" step,  his long-term future changes.  

I thought SLEEPLESS was marvelous and that Cyn Balog couldn't write a better book, but she outdid herself with TOUCHED. Towards the end I kept reading faster and faster and faster.   At one point, I had a question in my mind about "the powers" and what exactly they did.  She answered that question to my relief.  The end took me by surprise too.

In one of Balog's blog posts, she described her insecurity (she's one of the contributors to Dear Bully.)  This makes me realize that's how the fictional character Nick Cross felt.  As the saying goes:  like mother, like son  OR  like author, like character. 

August 4, 2012

Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend

Memoirs of an Imagainary Friend 
author Matthew Dicks
to be published late August 2012
source NetGalley
audio clip at Macmillan Audio

When I read the opening excerpt, I was instantly hooked!

Budo, our narrator, is an imaginary friend.   No one can see or talk to him except Max who imagined him in the first place five years ago, and other imaginary friends.    Max has Aspergers and difficulty making decisions.   Budo helps him,  so Max has kept him around.  Therefore Budo is  ancient at age five.

While Max is asleep, Budo goes places near the house.  One of his favorite places is the gas station.  One night there is a hold-up robbery and someone is shot.  Gasp!

Another night, a boy two grades ahead of Max, throws a rock through Max's bedroom window. This causes Max to "freeze."

One day Max disappears from school!  Budo knows how he left, but he doesn't know where Max went.  Neither do we.   There's a mad search for Max, where is he?

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, although at times some of Budo's thoughts and narration are simplistic.  But of course, he's an imaginary friend who has a difficult time figuring out the "real" world.  

August 3, 2012

Mother of Pearl

Mother of Pearl
publisher Abingdon Press
to be published September 2012
source NetGalley

Pearl's mother is Barrie, a high-school guidance counselor.   Guidance counselors, as you know, see teenagers at their best and their worst, all the while working with them for their best possible future.

Barrie's daughter Pearl is seventeen-years-old.  She is betrayed by her boyfriend.  Then she withdraws from her family.  Barrie says "Mothering is not for cowards."   I chuckled,  how true!

Barrie also rationalizes "Teenagers are supposed to begin withdrawing from their parents at this age.  It's all part of the march of independence that will move her away from home..."   In addition to troubles with Pearl, Barrie copes with a prying mother,  a workaholic husband, and colleagues at her high school.  

One day, her world turns upside down and changes the lives of her family.

I enjoyed this book immensely, and read it in a two-day span which is unusual for me.  Recommended.