Winter Respite Reading Challenge

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty

The ChaperoneThe Chaperone by Laura Moriarty
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I read this book because I loved the cover and Louise Brooks intrigued me. I first heard of Louise Brooks when I was doing costumes for our local high school's production of "Thoroughly Modern Millie". She was an interesting character in this book, but the bulk of the story is about Cora, her chaperone. Her story has several quirks and turns.. Various issues were dealt with and shown in the perspective of the times when they were happening. There is a lot of depth to the story - many layers - but I don't want to ruin it for you. Cora was a little girl in an orphanage in New York City who was sent on an orphan train to the Midwest. She was adopted by a kindly couple and, when they died in a freak accident, a young lawyer from Wichita helped her settle their affairs. Later Cora and the young lawyer married, but nobody ever knew about her childhood. Many years later - 20 or so - Cora accompanied Louise Brooks, then 15, to New York City so she could attend the Denishawn Dance Academy where her career began. Cora looked for records of her birth parents and along the way she had some experiences that followed her back to Wichita and affected the rest of her life.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Irish Crystal by Andrew M. Greeley

Irish Crystal: A Nuala Anne McGrail NovelIrish Crystal: A Nuala Anne McGrail Novel by Andrew M. Greeley
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I read this book for the April (crystal) selection in the Rainbow Reading Challenge. It was a cute book, but it dragged a bit. I liked Nuala. She is Irish and typically spunky and her brogue came through really well. She and her husband, Dermot, are amateur - well, according to Dermot Nuala is never wrong - detectives. I couldn't really follow their method of discovering information, but they did solve the crime in the end. There was a lot of sexual references - albeit they were between Nuala and Dermot who were married, but still it was a little excessive for me. I guess anyone would be lucky to have a spouse who was so enraptured with him/her. Anyway, the book was okay, but I'm not going to run out and find another book in this series. Oh well.

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Sunday, July 8, 2012

Revealing Eden by Victoria Foyt

Revealing Eden (Save the Pearls, #1)Revealing Eden by Victoria Foyt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was given this book to review by the author in January and I am just getting to it. I apologize to Ms. Foyt, but it was really worth the wait! Yes, this book is about a post-apocalyptic society, but it's very different from other post-apocalyptic society books I've read. Light-skinned people, Pearls, are at the bottom of the pecking order and dark-skinned people, Coals, are the ruling class. Eden, a Pearl, undergoes getting a coating periodically so that she will appear dark-skinned and not upset the Coals. Her father, a Pearl, is also a scientist and the man who owns the Combs where they live sets him up with a laboratory so he can conduct research experiments. He is looking for a way to adapt the human race using characteristics from various animals so that humans can survive the outside world. At the time, everyone lived in tunnels underground called The Combs. On the night of the big trial, things happen and Bramford, the owner, ends up volunteering to be the test subject for this experiment, then kidnaps Eden and her father and takes them to a jungle far away. This story is about Eden's experiences with survival and how she learns what is truly important. A really good read!

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Monday, July 2, 2012

Rae of Hope by W. J. May

Rae of HopeRae of Hope by W.J. May
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received this book from the author to review. I loved it! It is a coming-of-age story, but it certainly is not typical. Rae spent her first years in England. One day, when Rae was 6, her mother told her to go play in her treehouse until she came to get her. Then there was a fire in the house that killed both her mother and father. Rae was taken in by her Uncle Argyle and his wife and led a typical life in New York until she was 15. Then her Uncle sent her back to England to a boarding school. She soon found out it was a "special" school for uniquely talented teenagers. This book just flew for me. I didn't want to put it down. It had the perfect balance of twists and Rae's developing emotions and friendships. I hightly recommend it and can't wait to see if there is a sequel.

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