Want to Read Wednesday, January: 1/25/2017

This past week was busy and allowed for less reading time than usual and significantly less time to read  about books. As a consequence, my To Read list on Goodreads did not grow. However, I did receive several new advance reader copies that I’m looking forward to reading.

perfectPerfect by Cecelia Ahern

Publication Date: April 4, 2017

Source: NetGalley

Publisher’s Description: Celestine North lives in a society that demands perfection. After she was branded Flawed by a morality court, Celestine’s life has completely fractured–all her freedoms gone.


seven-days-of-youSeven Days of You by Cecilia Venesse

Release Date: March 7, 2017

Source: NetGalley

Publisher’s Description: Anna and the French Kiss meets Before Sunrise in this smart and swoony debut.

beautiful-broken-girlsBeautiful Broken Girls by Kim Savage

Release Date: February 21, 2017

Source: NetGalley

Publisher’s Description: After two teenage sisters, Mira and Francesca, drown themselves in a neighborhood quarry, their next-door neighbor Ben receives post-mortem letters from Mira. This letter challenges Ben to track down the hidden, cryptic notes hidden in seven places alluding to where the two secretly touched. As Ben uncovers each note, he starts to unravel the hidden lies and secrets that these girls kept, and just how complicated their bonds with the outside world were.


echoes-in-the-canyonEchoes in the Canyon by Marco Behrens

Release Date: November 23, 2016

Source: Web Review Request

Publisher’s Description: Myra Louise, a desert tortoise, and her close friend Minnie Squawking Bird, a cactus wren, live in the Arizona desert with their friends Stinky and Smelly—javelina brothers who have a propensity to seek out adventure…and trouble. The javelinas are schemers and dreamers, and Myra Louise and Minnie Squawking Bird have a full-time job keeping the boys grounded and heading in an appropriate direction. Luckily there is also wise Joe Fox—the law in this part of the desert—and his pals Reynard Fox and Hunter Coyote. Echoes in the Canyon is an entertaining look at the critters of the Southwest desert and their antics, and each chapter ends with lessons learned. Above all, this delightful book offers a deeper understanding and appreciation of the Arizona desert and the amazing animals who dwell there.

Just looking at this list of new books to read has me pining for a string of snow days!

Knightly and Son by Rohan Gavin

Knightly & Son

Bloomsbury, 2014

The best way that Darkus Knightly knows to spend time with his father is probably immoral. As a minor, and since his dad never gave him permission, he’s not really allowed to read the private eye’s casebook. But since Mr. Knightly has been in a mysterious coma for four years, it’s the only way for Darkus to get to know his father better. When his father does wake up, he desperately needs Darkus’ help to find and stop the evil that is wreaking havoc through a book called The Code. Soon Darkus, Knightly and a cast of amusing characters are bombing around London in a classic black cab doing their best to save the world.

Knightly and Son is an engaging read and a cracking good mystery. The story, with its larger-than-life characters and evil magic doesn’t take itself too seriously. The humor is engaging: a Scotland Yard detective whose accent and vocabulary often leave everyone uncertain of what he’s said, a finicky celebrity stepdad, a stepsister whose hair color changes constantly. Even as the humor makes the book engaging, there are great insights into humanity through the characters here. The relationship between the Knightlys is painful and heartwarming in turns, and all the characters seem to struggle with their own complex needs, wants, and realities, making them all the more appealing.

Because of Knightly and Son’s depth, pace, and humor, I’d recommend it to lots of different kinds of readers. Plus, it’s got London. Who doesn’t love a book set in London? Knightly and Son #2 K-9 is out, too. I hope it will be another fun and funny middle grade read.

Since You’ve Been Gone by Mary Jennifer Payne

Since You've Been Gone

Dundurn, January 24, 2015.

In the last five years nothing about Edie’s life has been stable: not her school, not where she lives, not her friends. Everything is about running and about hiding and everything is uncertain, except for her mom. Edie’s mom has always been there for her, to comfort her and make sure that she is safe. But this last move is the most jarring yet, and suddenly Edie has lost not only her friends, school, and apartment, now–with one flight overseas–she’s lost her country, too. And when even Edie’s mom doesn’t return home from work, Edie’s got to figure out how to survive in this new place and who might help her find her mother.

Since You’ve Been Gone reads easily and quickly. Though some of the details of the story are glossed over, Edie’s plight feels real and desperate, and it certainly drew me in. The difficulties of Edie’s life, an abusive father, being bullied at school, are no light matter, and I felt rather breathless as I read how she dealt with each new blow.

Payne has a habit of beginning paragraphs with a very obvious and simple sentence before going on to more descriptive writing. At first, I had a tough time sticking with the story because of this, but the premise and plot were strong enough to pull me through. As the story went on I noticed it less. Perhaps reluctant readers would profit by these simple statements at the start of paragraphs to help guide them through unfamiliar words or structures later on. They’ll certainly be likely to keep reading to find out what happens to Edie!

I read this electronic ARC courtesy of NetGalley. Since You’ve Been Gone releases January 24, 2015.

‘Tis the Season for Scary Stories


As the leaves turn, the weather cools, and the sun sets early my mind turns to stories that put their characters into creepy settings, encountering things both magic and mysterious. Here are some links to my recent reviews of middle grade and young adult novels that are perfect to read before Halloween.

Middle Grade:

The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier

The Thickety: A Path Begins by J. A. White

Grave Images by Jenny Goebel

Young Adult:

Strange Sweet Song by Adi Rule

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

Cryer’s Cross by Lisa McMann