Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Broken Spell

Broken Spell by Fabio Bueno was amazing! I really enjoyed Wicked Sense, the first in the series about a young witch sent to Seattle to find The Singularity, the most powerful witch ever to exist. Skye, the young witch charged with this task is unique in her ability to sense witches, even from a great distance. In this sequel, Skye has found The Singularity, but has chosen to hide her identity.  It is up to her and her boyfriend, Drake to keep The Singularity a secret until she can get a hold on her unprecedented powers. With danger and tragedy facing their small group of friends, Skye and Drake will have to decide if they are going to work together or apart. 

I was caught up in this story from the first page. I found so much exciting magic in this book, it left me breathless! The story was gripping and intriguing. I could not put this book down. I had a difficult time not sneaking my iPad in to the classroom with me. All of the characters were vivid and full of history. I was excited to learn more about the world of witches. There were also some new characters introduced that I have strong opinions about, but I'm not sure what those opinions are yet. I cannot wait for the next installment in this great series! 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Wicked Sense

Skye is a witch with the unique talent of being able to sense when other witches are around. It is up to her to go to Seattle to find the most powerful witch that has ever lived. She wants to remain inconspicuous, but her incomparable beauty makes her irresistible to Drake. Their new found friendship leads them to trouble as they both search for the Singularity in The high school. 

I really liked this story. The characters were well-developed. The story was full of suspense. I love a world that contains witches. I only wish there had been a little more magic thrown in. Or some explanations of spells. But this is just a personal preference because I love to read about magic. 

I would love to read more about Mona and her life, but I am hoping that will be in the next book. I am really excited to see what happens next in the lives of these characters. This book is so well written that it could be read as a stand alone, but I am very glad that there wil be more!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Where'd You Go, Bernadette?

I laughed out loud. That is the mark of a great book. Not often do I laugh out loud. I might chuckle, or grin, usually I just inwardly "humph." But when I laugh, whole-heartedly, out loud, I know I have been entertained. Where'd You Go, Bernadette? is the story of young, Bee and her eccentric mother Bernadette. Bee is impossibly intelligent with eclectic tastes and very little self-editing abilities. But where Bee is outgoing and impish, her mother is somewhat of a hermit. Keeping to herself in their large, run-down home, she uses an assistant whom she met on the Internet to do all of her shopping, or anything that requires interaction with people outside of her home. Bree's father, a genius at Microsoft, has all but forgotten about his family when his wife goes missing. This story is sad, hilarious, and poignant. I didn't want the story to end. But when it did, I was not disappointed. There is a little bit of language in the book. 


Dystopian YA fiction is a genre I had sort of gotten bored with. I have read the Hunger Games Trilogy. I have read the Matched Series. I've read some Zombie apocalypse novels and I thought I was done. I had grown a little bored with this type of story. But I kept hearing about Divergent by Veronica Roth and decided to take a chance. I'm glad I did. I have heard many comparisons to the Hunger Games, but, to be honest, the only similarities I found were that they are both about a girl, and they are both dystopian.  Divergent is about a strong, young woman who must choose between staying with her family in the home in which she grew up, with the standards she has come to respect, or choose another path. Choose the community that she has always admired and has felt a kinship with. There is a bit of a love interest, no YA novel would be complete without one.  Tris, the main character, has conflict, turmoil, teenage angst. And while all of this is not incredibly original, it is very entertaining. Don't let other reviews turn you off, if you are kind of tired of Dystopian fiction. This is a great story, with great characters. There are sequels to the book, that I may or may not read, but I believe this book does well to stand on it's own. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Proof of Heaven

Colm is a little boy who is dying. He knows it. His mother knows it. His doctor knows it. Coming to terms with this knowledge, Colm tries to placate his mother by pretending to believe in the healing powers of faith that she believes in. But he grows tired, physically and mentally. It is time for Colm to tell his mother the truth: There is no God and there is no life after death.
In Mary Curran-Hackett’s “Proof of Heaven,” a little boy is trying to deal with a very grown-up problem of facing his own mortality. He knows he is going to die but he has one mission on this earth that he would like to fulfill before his life ends and that is to meet his father. He knows it will hurt his mother if he tells her this, so he does his best to do this on his own.
With the help of his Uncle Sean and his doctor, he is confident that he will be able to find his father and gently break the news to his mother of his impending death. While Colm’s mother, Cathleen will stop at nothing to save her son. Her faith in God is unwaivering, as is her faith in their doctor and new friend, Dr. Basu. She knows that there is a way to heal her young son and restore his health so that he can grow up with her.
This book asks questions about love, death, and the afterlife. It is an exploration of the unbreakable bond of mother and child. It is about what makes a family. Most of all, this book is a journey about faith. It is about the different phases of faith in people’s lives. There are many ways to exhibit faith, whether it be through the ritual of religion, whether it be through science, or whether it is simply through the faith we have in our friends and family. This book is a reconnaissance of faith in all of it’s facets.
This is Curran-Hackett’s debut novel. She uses experiences from her own life to paint a very real picture of a boy and his mother who seem to be out of hope, but are never out of faith.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Violets of March

Emily Wilson has a seemingly perfect life. She has a perfect husband, a great career as a writer, and she lives is a beautiful apartment in Manhattan. Then her husband throws her a curve ball and all at once her marriage is over

To escape her own melancholy, she goes to visit her Aunt Bee on the West Coast. There she finds peace, a little romance, and something she never bargained for: a mystery.

Emily finds a journal at her aunt’s old house that contains a story of love and betrayal, but she cannot figure out if the story is real or fiction. The more she reads, the more involved she becomes and the more determined she is to find out who wrote this story. She has to figure out who the main players are in this story before she can get to the bottom of what really happened.

When Emily comes to terms with who the people are in the story and the end result of everything that happened, she is able to sort her own life out and free herself enough to find love and invite it into her own life.

“The Violets of March” by Sarah Jio is very much a romance. But because there is a great mystery involved, I did not mind the romance too much. It wasn’t mushy or boring as most romances tend to be.

While The book did not totally keep me enthralled, it was a fun, quick read that let me escape a little into that West Coast, beach front, life.  I did not necessarily identify with the main character, as my life is as far from hers as possible, but I could sympathize with her plight.

I was also very intrigued by the mystery surrounding the journal that she found. This was definitely the best part of the book. I wanted to know who the people were. Were they people that Emily knew? And where are they now? This dual storyline kept me reading with anticipation.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Language Of Flowers Column 24

In Victorian times, before there was texting and Facebooking, there was floriography. This “language of flowers” used various flowers and floral arrangements to send coded messages to others. It allowed individuals to express feelings that they might not want to speak aloud.

“The Language of Flowers,” by Vanessa Diffenbaugh introduces a young woman aptly named Victoria who has an affinity for flowers and their meanings. She can communicate through flowers what she cannot communicate through words or any other way.

Victoria grew up in the foster care system. When she turns eighteen, it is time for her to find a job and take care of herself. She becomes homeless and plants and cultivates a garden of her own in a public park. When a florist discovers her talents, Victoria also realizes that she has a gift for choosing the right flowers for the right occasions for the right people.

Victoria is not a likable character. She is mean. She makes very bad choices. She has been hurt so much in her life that she hesitates to let anyone into her life. But I found myself drawn to her. I sympathized with her. I wanted to go back in time and take care of her as a 9 year old and tell her that everything was going to be okay.

This book takes place in the present as well as Victoria’s past. We find out why Victoria became the way she is.

I cried while reading this book. I sobbed while reading this book. I know some people might find it a bit sentimental, but I could not stop reading it. I read the book in one sitting.

Some people I have talked to feel like the character is so unlikable that they could not relate to her at all. I guess I have always had a soft spot for children in the foster care system. I was glad Victoria was a fictional character, but I worry so much that there are many children in our system that are just like her. It breaks my heart that they children can slip through the cracks.

The story was not the only thing that I loved about the book. There was so much information about this Victorian Language of Flowers that I had to know more! I find it fascinating all of the meanings of the various flowers. And flowers that so many of us associate with certain feelings, mean the opposite! For example, I have always thought of sunflowers as being happy and bright and cheerful, but the Victorian meaning is “haughtiness.”

At the end of the book, Diffenbaugh encloses Victoria’s dictionary of flowers and their meanings. It is definitely a reference that I will use in the future. This book made me want to send flowers to a friend. Of course, I haven’t done that, yet. I always figured, why send flowers when you can send chocolate? Is there a Language of Chocolate out there? That is something I need to get fluent in.