Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Review: Emmy & Oliver

Emmy & Oliver Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What happens when your best friend from childhood finally returns ten years after he'd been kidnapped by his dad? Can you pick the friendship back up, where you left off? So many things have changed, not to mention that you are teenagers, now.

I adored Emmy & Oliver. We've all seen the missing children pictures, and the television shows that help keep the children in our minds. Emmy is Oliver's best friend at seven years-old, and the one left behind when Oliver's father doesn't bring him back after a three day weekend. For the next ten years Emmy's life is shaped by Oliver's disappearance. She becomes the good child, the one who always does what is expected of her, pleases her parents, doesn't rock the boat, goes to be every night at 9 pm, even when she is 17! She takes a lot in stride, understanding of her parents need to protect, her. Yet, cracks are starting to form, she lies about her activities; she's learned to surf, but never told them about it. She's applied to a college two hours away, when Mom has made plans for her to live at home and go to community college for the next two years.

When Oliver comes back, it's hard on everyone. He's not the same little boy who vanished, but he and Emmy resume their friendship, tentatively at first, but then it clicks. He's able to talk to her, and her to him. I liked seeing how torn Oliver was about his dad, he loved him. Things aren't always black and white even when there is a clear right and wrong. I liked that there was fallout from Oliver's return, it felt real and not TV movie "happily ever after."

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Review: Very in Pieces

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Magonia by Maria Dahvan Headley

Aza Ray has spent her life struggling to breath, the fact that she’s made it to fifteen years is nothing short of a miracle.  At her worst, she hallucinates ships in the sky with people sliding down ropes to the earth.  But what if she wasn't hallucinating?  What if there was another world up in the sky that coincided with our own below? What then? On earth she has a family who loves her, and who have gone to great lengths to keep her alive. She has Jason, her best friend, an OCD geek genius, who could maybe be something more than just a friend.

I was about 70% done when I realized I’d started another series. It’s okay, the world is interesting enough that I want more information. t have all the back story, yet, but I’m hoping we’ll get some of that in the next book. I also need some more world building of Magonia itself.  I have  lot of questions, just like Aza.  

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Galgorithim by Aaron Karo

Shane has fashioned himself into a modern day Cyrano de Bergerac, after having his own heart broken.  He wants to spare other guys from the humiliation of failure.  All they need is confidence and a plan.  Shane has the plan, and he’s willing to share.  Shane is a very likable guy who just wants to help other guys.  He’s not seeking payment and he’d rather not advertise his services or have others spread the information either.  “Deny ‘til you die.” is his motto.  Shane’s best friend Jak, a girl, knows nothing of Shane’s “community service.” All is well until the girls find out the secret, and that they have been “targeted.”  Then nobody's happy.  

Shane made me laugh out loud several times.
(loc 852) “Did I mention she’s wearing really short jean shorts? The front pockets are sticking out below the shorts and onto her thighs. Occasionally I forget my own name.”
(loc 1564) “A half-naked white guy and a half-naked black girl embracing in a bathtub.  We look like a Benetton ad.”
(loc 1728) “Jak, you are really bad at getting blackout drunk. You remember everything.”
(loc 1775) “Sigh, I feel like I joined an adopt-a-teacher program. I just can’t abandon him now.”
(loc 1864) “Adam looks like he robbed a big and tall store under the cover of darkness. But together they pass for the cliche version of an illicit office romance, sleeves rolled up, hands accidentally touching over a stack of paperwork.”

This is the second Cyrano referenced book I've read this year and a funny book that both genders will enjoy. Read alikes: Abundance of Katherines by John Green and Sway by Kat Spears.