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Tag Archives: Fiction

The Casual Vacancy- J.K. Rowling

Dark, unexpected, and vivid

In the small English town of Pagford, everyone knows everyone else’s business and privacy is a luxury. When Barry Fairbrother unexpectedly dies, the town is left with much unanticipated circumstances. A casual vacancy, as it is known on the town’s Parish Council.   The town has been going through a long term political struggle over who is responsible for the costs of supporting the poverty stricken area, the Fields. Fairbrother was an ally of those who wanted to maintain support for the Fields, and with his death, the two opposing sides square off. The politics of the Parish Council only set the stage for the book. The turmoil is the stage for the real story about the variety of people who call the town home and their daily struggle in life.

When the isolated town’s main source of gossip, the Parish Council message board begins to receive anonymous posting revealing some of the characters deepest and darkest personal secrets, a town already struggling with the death of one of their biggest personalities must reconcile their own places in Pagford.  There are a multitude of characters in this book and at times it is hard to follow, but through the course of the book their diverse personalities, personal hardships, familial loyalty, and relationships are explored. What follows is a well told story that reaches the underbelly of society and the dark truth of its residents. Abuse, drugs, rape, teenage hormones, and sexual affairs are some of the few topics explored in the interwoven stories of the characters.

This book was a struggle for me to start and I am still undecided about the end. The book really seems to not have a point to the plot, other than an exploration into the lives of the town’s residents, but I cannot declare that I did or did not enjoy the book. Overall I am still undecided, and I think readers will also be torn. If you are seeking another Harry Potter phenomenon, you will be highly disappointed. This is a book for adults and the topics inappropriate for young adults and children.

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Posted by on October 30, 2012 in Book Review, Books

 

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Sirens- Janet Fox

Unexpectedly fantastic- an electrifying coming of age tale combined with a mesmerizing setting and studded with mystery and romance

With the captivating and beautiful background of New York during the roaring 20’s, Janet Fox’s new novel, Sirens, offers everything readers could want. Women have recently gained the right to vote, and with that independence the desire for more freedoms than they ever had before. Seventeen-year-old Josephine “Jo” Winters is about to graduate high school and has plans to attend college and make a name for herself as a writer. But her father has other plans, and suddenly sends her to live with her aunt and uncle in New York with the objective of finding a husband. Between her father’s mob involvement in a bootlegging operation, and her brother Teddy’s disappearance, Jo realizes that there is more to this sudden move than fatherly concern for Jo’s future.

Unfortunately, Jo’s aunt and uncles home may not be as safe as everyone thinks. Jo’s cousin Melody also has a secret, one she hides behind a “flapper” lifestyle of drinking and partying. Teddy, a war veteran has been gone for a year, suicide, or so everyone believes. Everyone that is, except Jo. She knows his secret, and when Jo gets ahold of Teddy’s journal, as the secrets it holds are revealed, the truth turns dangerous for Jo and everyone she loves.

Louise “Lou” O’Keefe, has fallen in love with mobster Danny Conner. From a life of poverty, as Danny’s “moll”, Lou suddenly has an upgrade in life. The newest clothes, a mansion to live in, all the money from his “bootlegging” operation a girl could desire, and the man she loves. Lou is determined to keep Danny and insure her lifestyle, even if it means eliminating any threats. When Lou and Jo’s path cross, their two lives become tangled in unexpected ways.

Written in alternating chapters from Jo and Lou’s perspective, the truth behind Teddy’s disappearance, a violent political bombing, and Jo’s cousin Melody’s secret slowly unfold. Readers will be enchanted by the brilliant 1920’s New York lifestyle and setting, captivated by the characters, and addicted to the ever twisting plot. Filled with love, loss, and loyalty and an impressive look into the worlds of “flappers” and “mobsters,” Fox weaves a fascinating coming of age tale that speaks to the ever changing role and rights of women during the early 1920’s.

Recommended for readers age 12 and up. Sirens is scheduled for release November  8, 2012.

 
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Posted by on October 22, 2012 in Book Review, Books, Not Yet Released

 

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Origin- Jessica Khoury

An original plot, filled with action, romance, and intrigue and a new heroine fans will adore

Deep within the Amazon rain forest, groups of scientist have created something impossible. Strikingly beautiful and vibrant with life Pia, is the only one of her kind. With skin unable to break, Pia can never bleed and never die, she is immortal. But immortality is hard to bear alone. Knowing that everyone you know and love will one day die, drives Pia to become a scientist herself, and discover the secret to immorality and with that knowledge develop a race of immortals, and a Perfect immortal man of her own. Secluded within the small and secretive scientific community, Pia is completely unaware of the outside world. A world she hears about in whispers and sees through her glass house.

On the night of her seventeenth birthday, Pia discovers a hole in the electric fence that cages her, and escapes into the jungle. There she discovers a native village, and a boy Eio. Together they search for the truth about Pia’s origin, and what the scientist are really hiding in their secret laboratory. Their discovery uncovers some shocking truths and the consequences of seeking immorality no matter the costs.

Filled with beautiful scenery and endearing characters, Jessica Khoury first novel provides a shocking storyline that is thought provoking and emotionally intense,  readers will not want to put down Origin.

Recommended for readers age 12-17.

 
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Posted by on September 6, 2012 in Book Review, Books

 

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