Tag Archives: Book Review

Three Day Summer REVIEW

Three Day Summer by Sarvenaz Tash

Available in Print.

For three days in 1969, the Woodstock music festival made the small town of Bethel, New York, the center of the rock world. Thousands of people gathered in the name of peace to hear some of the biggest names in music. Two of those people are Michael and Cora, and this is how they met and spent those three days.

Michael drove from Massachusetts with his friend Evan, his girlfriend Amanda, and Amanda’s two friends. He’s not sure what to do with his life. Go to college? Join the military? He’s also not sure about his girlfriend Amanda. Sometimes it seems like she doesn’t even like him, so why is she with him at all?

Cora lives in Bethel on a farm. Her dad has nothing but disdain for the people coming to the festival. He is a veteran with great pride in his oldest son’s current service in Vietnam. He’s not as happy with Cora and her war protesting twin brother. Cora wants to be a nurse…no, she really wants to be a doctor, a lofty goal for a woman from a small town in those times. She works as a candy striper in the medical tent at the festival.

Michael takes some acid with bad results, so his friends take him to the medical tent where he is attended to by Cora. Michael doesn’t remember much about their first encounter, but soon realizes Cora is nothing like Amanda. Separated from his friends, Michael asks Cora to hang with him.

The festival allows to Michael and Cora to escape their worries for a bit: Cora’s strict father and her brother in Vietnam; Michael’s future and his issues with Amanda. Michael gets lost in the music and takes Cora with him. They run into famous people and share in the generosity of their fellow festival goers. Neither, of course, knows the mythical quality that Woodstock will one day represent to generations. But we do, so we can go along with them to feel just a little bit of what it could have been like for those three days of peace, love and music.

The Forgetting REVIEW

forgettingThe Forgetting by Sharon Cameron

Available in Print, eBook & eAudio.

Canaan is a quiet city on an idyllic world, hemmed in by high walls, but every twelve years the town breaks out in a chaos of bloody violence, after which all the people undergo the Forgetting, in which they are left without any trace of memory of themselves, their families, or their lives–but somehow seventeen-year-old Nadia has never forgotten, and she is determined to find out what causes it and how to put a stop to the Forgetting forever.

Premise sounds interesting, right? I was immediately drawn to this book because I wanted to know why. Why did they forget? Why doesn’t Nadia forget? And so on and so on.

This story line kind of reminded me M. Night Shyamalan’s ‘The Village’. My first thought was that Canaan was a government experiment. But it really is so much more than that. It was a great story to read and follow along as Nadia put together the pieces and solved the mystery of Canaan and the Forgetting.

Cameron’s writing style flows well as Nadia’s internal narrative. She encomapasses the emotions that Nadia wrangles with while still laying down the foundation of the Forgetting mystery. I was hooked by the characters’ forgotten pasts as well as the impending future of the next Forgetting cycle. As Nadia battles to solve the mystery before time runs out, we also jump back and forth to the past of the city and to the possible ramifications of the future.

This book is a great read for anyone that enjoys sci-fi, fantasy or a good mystery. Love the X Files and psychological thrillers? Add this book to your list!

Happy reading!
Maggie
Warren Branch

A Shadow Bright & Burning REVIEW

shadowA Shadow Bright & Burning by Jessica Cluess

Available in Print & eBook.

This book snagged my attention early on because of three things: London, Victorian era and magic! It is the first in a series but I’m not sure how many books Cluess plans on writing. The story revolves around Henrietta Howell, an orphaned girl who discovers that she has sorcerer abilities. She’s taken to London to study under one of the great masters and be commended by the queen. England is under assault from the Ancients who were released into the world by magicians. All the sorcerers are trained to battle the ancients and Henrietta might be the prophesied ‘girl sorcerer’ who will save them all. No pressure, right?

I enjoy a good fantasy book and this one fits the bill. It doesn’t stray too far from typical magic good and evil traits but the characters are fun and the mystery surround Henrietta’s parentage and magical abilities keeps me interested to see what happens next in the series. Henrietta is a solid lead protagonist but the supporting characters intrigued me even more.

There is Rook, Henriatta’s long time friend from the school she grew up in. He was attacked by one of the Ancients and is considered ‘unclean’. Henrietta won’t part with him when she is taken to London and he is brought along for the ride. Their relationship is complicated and Rook undergoes a transformation in London that only adds more layers to their complications.

The newest members of Henrietta’s life are her fellow peers training as sorcerers. Since she is the first female sorcerer in a while, she is surrounded by young men. Two of these men stand out the most to her, Magnus and Blackwood. As you can imagine, complicated love triangles will ensue!

If you are a fan of fantasy and magic, give this new series a try. I found that it had enough action and mystery to keep me reading and I’ll be slightly impatiently waiting for the next installment in the series!

Happy reading!
Maggie
Warren Library

The Greatest Zombie Movie Ever REVIEW

The Greatest Zombie Movie Ever by Jeff Strand

Available in Print & eBook.

The Greatest Zombie Movie Ever by Jeff Strand

Justin, Gabe and Bobby have been making short horror movies for a while. When things fall apart on their most recent one, they decide to make an epic movie, one to stand among the best. They will make the greatest zombie movie ever. OK, so they have no money, no actors and only two months to do it (Gabe is leaving for the summer so they have to get done before the end of school). What could go wrong?

The first order of business is finding the perfect lead actress. Alicia is the best choice except for the fact that she is Justin’s major crush. She agrees to the part but wants to see the script. No problem she is told. They will show it to her on Monday. They have a whole weekend to write the script – they each can write a third. It is totally worth not sleeping and possibly failing a test to make the greatest zombie movie ever.

As you can imagine, further complications happen causing many compromises along the way. An obnoxious birthday party clown, Bobby’s crazy uncle, a male lead who has way to much chemistry with Alicia, an angry principal, broken equipment, a few injuries and one house destroying fire are not enough to make them stop the production. But Gabe begins to question whether they are really still trying to achieve their goal.

Three good friends and lots of humorous situations make for a quick, fun read.

Smash & Grab REVIEW

smash-and-grabSmash & Grab by Amy Christine Parker

Available in Print.

Girl meets boy. Boy likes girl. Boy and girl rob a bank. OK, it’s more complicated than that. Let’s start with the boy…

Christian lives in rough part of Los Angeles. Even though he is a good student and gets accepted to college, he has not been able to avoid being involved with a gang. The gang takes care of his alcoholic dad’s debts as long as Christian fulfills his obligations: robbing banks with his crew.  The crew (aka the Romero Robbers) stage hold ups and keep some of the money with the rest going to the gang leaders. Keep the jobs quick and small – get too ambitious and you get careless. That’s how you get caught. But now Christian’s boss wants a big job: breaking into a vault.

Lexi goes to an exclusive private school. She, her brother and their friends do extreme activities (like illegally BASE jumping from the top of an office building). Her life is pretty good until her father is arrested for a fraud scheme at the bank where he works. Her family’s accounts are frozen and the school kicks her and her brother out. Lexi is so angry that her father’s boss is probably also guilty but continues to live his luxurious life. She must find a way to take him down even if it means breaking into the bank to find incriminating evidence.

After a few chance encounters, Lexi and Christian have an attraction, but are suspicious of each other. Once they reveal their plans, they decide the best course is to team up to rob the bank – him to get money and her to get documents. They need each other, but they have different objectives that do not always mesh.

The story is involved, suspenseful and a fun exploration of a topic not often seen in teen books.