I cannot stop crying. Sepetys debut novel tells the chilling and lesser-spoken-of tale of the displacement, forced migration, and forced labor of Lithuanians (and Latvians, Estonians, and Finns…) into Siberia by the Soviets in World War II. While our narrator, Lina, is only 15 years old when our story begins, Sepetys refuses to shy away from the more horrific elements. This is not a pretty book. I might even describe it as unflinchingly...

  Somehow, in all my excitement in October (aka: Overwhelming Busyness), I never managed to post my review for Anne of Ingleside! Well, better late than never right? It’s hard to believe there are only two books left after this… The 6th book in the Anne of Green Gables series, Anne of Ingleside finally introduces us to the Blythe children. It feels like a long time coming, but finally, Anne and Gilbert have their own little mi...

  Well. This book taught me something I can’t believe I didn’t know about myself until reading this book: I don’t like hard science fiction. Hard Sci-Fi waves technically accurate science into informed speculation by using intricate details to back-up the writer’s speculations.  While reading, when I found that I was incredibly engrossed in some parts and not others, I started to question why. I discovered two reas...

  I have nothing against short stories, but I tend to gravitate away from them when picking up a book to read. When I read short stories I am never disappointed. But for some reason, my fingers always itch for a novel. Perhaps it’s that addiction to character development? Who knows. What I do know, is that when my book club needed a last minute book added– I knew what I wanted on the list: A Tyranny of Petticoats. The story be...

  I recommended this to one of my book clubs for purely selfish reasons. A few different bloggers kept raving about this series over the past year on their blogs. It came up again and again– I knew I just had to check it out, but I didn’t want to read it in a vacuum. I was nervous this debut novel wouldn’t do anything for me. With such passionate followers for the series in the blogosphere, I wanted friends to help me se...

  I’m just going to get this out of the way — Yes, this 1940 Newbery Award winner certainly has some representation issues. Yes, Call It Courage does play on all the noble-savage action-adventure boy serial tropes, such as those in the Tarzan serials. Yes, it portrays sexism, bullying, and submitting to peer pressure in a positive light. Yes, it does fall into a bit of a predictable storytelling mode where our protagonist magi...

  I am a HUGE Rainbow Rowell fan. I am drawn to realistic characters, character-driven stories, and character/relationship development over the course of a story. This is what Rowell is known for! But I had never read her debut novel Attachments. Why? Part of it is that I didn’t want the magic to end. Now I have no more Rowell books to read! But part of it is also that it’s a debut novel– will I love it just as much? Wil...

  My Kids Lit Book Club met on Saturday, August 19th, the weekend of the Charlottesville white supremacist riots, feeling dejected. We had just finished reading an assortment of Dear America books, focusing on what young girl’s lives were like as America was coming of age. We felt dissatisfied with these books written by white men about women of color which didn’t feel authentic, and we felt like we were trapped in a world whe...

  One of my friends, Sarah Stern, is a comic artist. For her day job, mostly, she is a colorist and she is amazing (for real – check out her website!). Recently, Sarah announced that she will be doing the coloring for Zodiac Starforce: Cries of the Fire Prince. Obviously, that meant I had to immediately run out and read all the previous Zodiac Starforce comics to prepare for the Sarah Stern Coming. It was everything I had hoped it w...

  I firmly believe that there are times in your life when you read a book and it is perfect. Why? Because this is the exact moment in which you needed that book.  I might have found Dumplin’ at that exact right moment in my life. Willowdean’s journey of self-acceptance speaks to everyone who has ever felt insecure and frustrated with themselves. And perhaps… This journey was one I needed to see from the outside for once. All m...

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society
Book Review / January 8, 2016

Title: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society Author: Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows Genre: Historical Fiction Publisher: The Dial Press Release Date: July 29th, 2008 Format: eBook Pages: 274 Source: Library “ I wonder how the book got to Guernsey? Perhaps there is some sort of secret homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers.”  January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World W...

The Situational Leader: The Other 59 Minutes
Book Review / January 6, 2016

Title: The Situational Leader: The Other 59 Minutes Author: Paul Hersey Genre: Business Publisher: Warner Books (NY) Release Date: March 1st, 1985 Format: Hardback Pages: 128 Source: Owned The Situational Leader is the story of a manager responsible for achieving, developing people, and contributing to organizational success. (via Goodreads)   I read portions of this book back in 2009 when I was training to become a Store Manage...

Lock In
Book Review / January 3, 2016

Title: Lock In Series: Lock In (#1) Author: John Scalzi Genre: Science Fiction Publisher: Tor Books Release Date: August 26th,2014 Format: Hardback Pages: 336 Source: Library (Books n' Booze Book Club) A blazingly inventive near-future thriller from the best-selling, Hugo Award-winning John Scalzi. Not too long from today, a new, highly contagious virus makes its way across the globe. Most who get sick experience nothing worse t...

Ready Player One
Book Review / December 31, 2015

Title: Ready Player One Author: Ernest Cline Genre: Gamer Fiction Publisher: Random House NY Release Date: August 16th, 2011 Format: Hardback Pages: 372 Source: Library In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he's jacked into the virtual utopia known as the  OASIS. Wade's devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world's digital confines, puzzles that a...

The Opening Line
About Me / December 30, 2015

“Call me Ishmael.” – Herman Melville, Moby Dick … … Or, uh, well, don’t. Call me Jackie. “I am a sick man… I am a spiteful man.” – Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Notes from Underground   Actually, I’m neither of those things. I am a female bibliophile with a passion for sharing my opinions and discussing literature. “If you really want to hear about it, the first thing...