CATACOMB by Madeleine Roux

September 24, 2015
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Asylum (Book 3)

Dan, Abby, and Jordan have survived Brookline Asylum and Warden Crawford and his henchmen twice now and are due some downtime. Plus, they’ll all be headed off to college soon – or at least Dan and Jordan will, Abby is still undecided. So when Jordan packs up to move to New Orleans where he’ll be living with his more accepting uncle, the three decide it’s a great opportunity for a road trip. What they don’t know and can’t even begin to suspect, is that they are still yet to be free of the shadow of Brookline Asylum.

This third title in the series finally answers some of the questions Dan and the readers have had about his parentage. And what better place to set that tale than one of the most mysterious cities in the United States?

I loved the fact that the book brought the trio to New Orleans, but I honestly expected something of a different story. We already knew that there was a character in Sanctum connected to Louisiana and that character does ultimately play a hefty role in this third story just not in the way I’d expected (meaning I kind of expected some of the plantation stuff hinted at in Sactum). That aside, it was definitely a welcome return to Dan and his friends.

The story does loosely connect to Brookline Asylum, but is less asylum and experiments and more voodoo and conjuring (appropriate for the setting). And of course we do have more of my favorite aspect of the series – the weird photos to set the tone of the story. While this third installment didn’t take the exact route I thought it would, it was a nice surprise in terms of the change of direction in keeping the series going.

9/15 Becky LeJeune

CATACOMB by Madeleine Roux. HarperCollins (September 1, 2015).  ISBN 978-0062364050.  336p.

Kindle

 


THE SPARROW SISTERS by Ellen Herrick

September 18, 2015
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Sorrel, Nettie, and Patience, the last of the Sparrow line, are quite well respected in their little town of Granite Point. Together the three run a nursery that supplies plants and arrangements for folks near and far, and Patience sells holistic and natural remedies made from the herbs and flowers of her medic garden.

For newcomer and doctor Henry Carlyle, Patience’s potions defy most everything he believes in. Sure plants are the basis for many medicines, but Patience has no formal training and, to his mind, can’t possibly be a reliable substitute for a licensed medical practitioner. Of course that’s before Henry meets Patience and gets to know her. The doctor soon falls head over heels for the healer and even begins to see the merit of her work.

But then Patience is blamed for the death of a young local boy. Suddenly, the townspeople who have relied on her help begin to turn against her and even as her most staunch supporters rally to her side, it may not be enough to help the Sparrows or Granite Point get through this tough time.

The Sparrow sisters are enchanting characters. Three sisters who were orphaned early on and ultimately never married – not that there isn’t time for that – they’ve relied on one another to get themselves through hard times in the past and are determined to do so once again. But this time they’re facing something that could ruin everything they’ve built in Granite Point.

The Sparrow history is so tightly woven into that of the town itself that it’s not just the nursery or the sisters’ reputations that are at risk. The town also suffers because of Patience’s fear and sorrow. And it’s not the first time in Granite Point or Sparrow family history that such a thing has happened.

Ellen Herrick’s debut is a mesmerizing and gorgeous read. With its lush and vibrant detail, strong sisterly bonds, romance, and just a hint of magical realism it brings to mind the works of Sarah Jio and Sarah Addison Allen, making The Sparrow Sisters the perfect read for fans of both authors. And while this tale stands on its own, there’s more than just a hint of possible additional Sparrow sisters’ tales – something I certainly hope we get to see in the very near future.

9/15 Becky LeJeune

THE SPARROW SISTERS by Ellen Herrick. William Morrow Paperbacks (September 1, 2015).  ISBN 978-0062386342.  384p.

Kindle

Audiobook


LANDLINE by Rainbow Rowell

July 28, 2014

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UPDATE:

Win a copy of the Landline audio book!

Macmillan Audio has offered up an audio book on CD for one lucky reader! Check out this excerpt read by the extraordinary Rebecca Lowman.

Send an email to contest@gmail.com with “LANDLINE” as the subject. You must include your snail mail address in your email.

All entries must be received by August 12, 2014. One (1) name will be drawn from all qualified entries and notified via email. This contest is open to all adults over 18 years of age in the United States only. One entry per email address. Subscribers to the monthly newsletter earn an extra entry into every contest. Follow this blog to earn another entry into every contest. Winners may win only one time per year (365 days) for contests with prizes of more than one book. Your email address will not be shared or sold to anyone.

Review:

Rainbow Rowell seems able to shift between Young Adult and Adult books seamlessly. This is her latest, and while ostensibly for adults, those who love teen books will undoubtedly enjoy this one too.

I listened to the audiobook, narrated by Rebecca Lowman, who also narrated Rowell’s Eleanor and Park.  She does a fine job here.

Georgie McCool is a comedy writer working with her writing partner, Seth, on a hit TV show she hates. Seth and Georgie have their own idea for a sitcom and a week before Christmas, finally get a call from the network looking for several scripts.

Georgie panics as she, her husband Neal and their two young daughters are supposed to go to Neal’s parents for Christmas, out in Omaha.  Georgie needs to stay home and write, so an unhappy Neal takes the kids to Omaha himself.

When Georgie calls, her calls all go directly to voicemail until the mailbox is full. Her daughters call her sporadically, but she never talks to Neal. That is, until the night she crashes at her mother’s house and uses the landline in her old bedroom to call Neal’s house, not his cell. Somehow, she ends up talking to Neal – but not present day Neal, this is Neal back in 1998, a week before he proposes to her.

Suspend your disbelief and go along on an adventure through Georgie & Neal’s past to their present, and let me warn you that you will be laughing and crying along the way. Rowell writes these amazing characters that are warm and loveable yet still feel real,  but most of all, they are simply unforgettable. Teen book or adult, all her books are just a joy to read.

7/14 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

LANDLINE by Rainbow Rowell. St. Martin’s Press (July 8, 2014). ISBN 978-1250049377. 320p.
Audiobook: Macmillan Audio; Unabridged edition (July 8, 2014). ISBN: 978-1427239327
Downloadable: Audible Audio Edition. Macmillan Audio. Listening Length: 9 hours and 3 minutes.


A MAN CAME OUT OF A DOOR IN THE MOUNTAIN by Adrianne Harun

March 21, 2014


The devil has come to town and for Leo Kreutzer and his friends life will never be the same.

Theirs is a small town, one that relies on the local logging industry for much of its economy. For years, native girls have been going missing but until now it’s never directly touched Leo and his friends. Recently graduated, they all find themselves in a bit of an odd spot: Leo is taking summer correspondence courses at his mother’s behest while also helping care for his ailing uncle, Jackie has taken a job in the kitchen at the logging camp, Ursie is working in housekeeping at one of the town’s few motels while her brother Bryan does the occasional work for the local drug gang, and Tessa spends her days looking after her sister’s kids. It’s this break—the time between school and really entering the real world—that leaves Ursie, Jackie, and Bryan particularly vulnerable to two strange newcomers: Hana Swann and Keven Seven.

Adrianne Harun’s debut is an oddball of a read. The story itself is a blending of mystery, folklore, and magical realism and Harun’s style is not only intriguing but somewhat hypnotic. The narrative is interspersed with legends and tales as told by Leo’s Uncle Lud. Each of the stories serve as little interludes that not only give the readers perspective into Leo’s character and the local culture, but also influence both the reader and Leo in teasing out the truth about Swann and Seven.

It’s a fascinating book that likely won’t appeal to everyone, but is a magical and engaging read for just the right audience.

3/14 Becky Lejeune

A MAN CAME OUT OF A DOOR IN THE MOUNTAIN by Adrianne Harun. Penguin Books (February 25, 2014). ISBN 978-0670786107. 272p.