05 October 2019

The Last List of Miss Judith Kratt; Andrea Bobotis

The Last List of Miss Judith KrattThe Last List of Miss Judith Kratt by Andrea Bobotis
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The time shifts can sometimes be difficult to interpret: is this today, or in 1929? The South Carolina town of Bound doesn't seem to have changed much in the intervening years, but Judith Kratt is realizing that things have changed and she needs to make a list of those items in her house that haven't. There is great description of the people and town, although I have to admit Judith was initially a hard sell.

eARC provided by publisher.

The Bookwarderers; Anna James

The Bookwanderers (Pages & Co., #1)The Bookwanderers by Anna James
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the perfect book for those who loved Inkheart and other children book favorites. As a start to a series the premise is set up well, yet leaving room to expand things in future books rather than staying within this books' boundaries. Sometimes these books use favorite books that are not familiar to the target reader, instead relying on those they loved most. The start here leaves me hoping that we'll continue meeting those that my middle grade readers will know and also appreciate meeting.

04 October 2019

Starsight; Brandon Sanderson

Starsight (Skyward, #2)Starsight by Brandon Sanderson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A worthy sequel to Skyward, with Our Heroine Spensa traveling from her homeworld to the world of those trying to keep her world isolated from everyone else. No spoilers, though, about why and how and what happens there. What I will say, though, is there needed to be more MBot/Spensa (one of the things I loved about the first book) and definitely more Doomslug. I will say that I can't wait for Book 3!

eARC provided by publisher.

The Bone Houses; Emily Lloyd-Jones

The Bone HousesThe Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Grave diggers and graveyards are always creepy and Ryn, the grave digger/grave tender for her village, knows that others distrust her because of what she does even though it protects them from what seem like zombies (the titular "Bone Houses"). Suddenly there's more activity around the town, and Ryn's attempts to keep everyone safe is that much harder. Plus she and her siblings might lose their home. And then there's the mapmaker, Ellis. While much of this feels familiar, the way things come together will hold readers attention and feel new. There are great questions raised about life and love hidden in the tale of love and revenge and curses and redemption.

eARC provided by publisher.

03 October 2019

The Headmaster's Papers; Richard A. Hawley

The Headmaster's PapersThe Headmaster's Papers by Richard A. Hawley
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A quiet epistolary novel about a Head of School who simply hasn't kept up with the times or with how the school has changed over the 30 years he's been Head. Over the years I've met faculty and administrators who are, to one degree or another, like Greeve (and seriously, that name? hmmmm....), so many parts rang very true to me.

The Poison Garden; A.J. Banner

The Poison GardenThe Poison Garden by A.J. Banner
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Too much of a soap opera to be a real thriller, but a good beach read. Nice island atmosphere, stock characters.

eARC provided by publisher.

02 October 2019

The Long Call; Ann Cleeves

The Long Call (Two Rivers, #1)The Long Call by Ann Cleeves
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I loved Cleeves' Shetland series and have enjoyed watching Vera's career and relationships with her staff grow. So a new series? Ok... I"m up for it. In addition to the mystery, we dip into Matthew's family life, his religious upbringing and leaving all that behind (and getting kicked out of his family as a result). It's all complicated and all intertwined, at least in this book. Whether this will play a role in future books, well, we'll see.

Deadly Little Scandals; Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Deadly Little Scandals (Debutantes, #2)Deadly Little Scandals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you haven't read Book 1 (Little White Lies) it won't matter that much. Some of the relationships can be complicated at first but soon it ceases to matter and it's just fun. The old-school older generation has secrets (gasp!) and it's up to the younger generation to figure them out. Of course they do, and of course their parents and grandparents aren't happy. Throw in secret societies and it's a great beach/cabin read.

eARC provided by publisher.

01 October 2019

Africaville; Jeffrey Colvin

Africaville: A NovelAfricaville: A Novel by Jeffrey Colvin
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

So much in this book - more usually is less but here, less left me wanting more. That there was a vibrant community of blacks in Halifax after the war, settled by escaped slaves and others, was news. Who wouldn't want to learn more? Then we meet the Sebold family and the ways in which family history and identity can change over the generations, sometimes wittingly and sometimes not. And again, more, please. This story lost points because the elisions and the lack of opportunity to explore the questions raised in greater detail.

eARC provided by publisher.

Miss Pinkerton; Mary Roberts Rinehart

Miss PinkertonMiss Pinkerton by Mary Roberts Rinehart
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

For fans of Golden Age Mysteries.