02 July 2016

Finding Perfect; Elly Swartz

Finding PerfectFinding Perfect by Elly Swartz
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Rounding down from 4.5.

The portrayal of OCD and stress were spot on: how Molly's life is seemingly out of control, and perfection is the only way to gain some sense of "normal". It's easy to see kids in a similar situation having a similar reaction/solution. What felt a little off was the ending, that the resolution felt pat in some ways. Still, that may not matter to the target audience and this exploration of how things can spiral out of control is well worth the read.

ARC provided by publisher.

The Replacement Crush; Lisa Brown Roberts

The Replacement CrushThe Replacement Crush by Lisa Brown Roberts
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

No surprises in this contemporary romance, but who needs them? Overall, a very satisfying beach read.

ARC provided by publisher.

Unfolding; Jonathan Friesen

UnfoldingUnfolding by Jonathan Friesen
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

25% of the way in, didn't care enough to unfold the rest. Why? Pacing (too slow), too many teasers as to what was going on with the town and Stormi (but paced so slowly), and did I mention slow? So many promising notes, but terribly drawn out. DNF.

ARC provided by publisher.

Ghosts; Raina Telgemeier

GhostsGhosts by Raina Telgemeier
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So much to love here, but one problem (YMMV): the cystic fibrosis part needed to be explained at the end. Unless they know someone who has it, knowledge of treatments and prognosis won't be understood by the target audience, so a page or two of information at the end feels necessary.

ARC provided by publisher.

28 June 2016

The Loose Ends List; Carrie Firestone

The Loose Ends ListThe Loose Ends List by Carrie Firestone
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Dealing with a beloved grandparent's death is never easy, and it's even harder when you know it's imminent. So the part of the book that dealt with that issue, of coming to grips with the loss of a stable, loving influence, is wonderful. The love story, the over-the-top trip? Meh. Been there, read that. Also, the idea of euthanasia, while timely, may be problematic for readers - this book does a decent job of talking about the pro side, but still...

Change by Design; Tim Brown

Change by Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires InnovationChange by Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation by Tim Brown
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Not the worse buzz book I've read but still far too heavy on the "here's how I/my company became great" and too light on the "steps you can take". I get it - IDEO does some interesting things and using design thinking can help change how your workplace does things beyond the same old/same old but there were far too many repetitive moments.

The Little Water Sprite; Otfried Preussler

The Little Water Sprite (New York Review Books Children's Collection)The Little Water Sprite by Otfried Preu├čler
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Thank all the publishing gods for New York Review Books and their reprints - this is so cute and wonderful and I can't wait to share it with my greatnieces and -nephews. The Little Water Sprite does just what you'd expect in exploring the world around him, experiencing life on land, meeting people and finally ice in winter. Love!

Frayed; Kara Terzis

FrayedFrayed by Kara Terzis
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Maybe this was a problem caused by reading an eARC, but often it was difficult to tell which was the letter and which was backstory. Even during the obvious letter parts the writing sounded like it was supposed to be backstory (and there's far too much description in each than necessary - surely Kristen would know what things looked like at home). DNF. ARC provided by publisher

08 May 2016

Frannie and Tru; Karen Hattrup

Frannie and TruFrannie and Tru by Karen Hattrup
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Great sense of place and characters, but somehow it still didn't work: the characters were a bit stock (well drawn stock, but stock just the same). Frannie's summer growth didn't really seem to change her, nor did it confirm who she already she was, it just happened while she rather passively let it happen - and that's tricky when she spends so much of the book trying to make things happen or being angry! It's difficult for me to put my finger on the exact thing that was wrong, I just wasn't wowed by this one.

ARC provided by publisher.

Saving Montgomery Sole; Mariko Tamaki

Saving Montgomery SoleSaving Montgomery Sole by Mariko Tamaki
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Can we please have a moratorium on the gay best friend who loves theatre? or art? It'd be great if once that GBF was into sports or nothing special. Beyond that, this is a perfectly ok book about not judging before getting to know another person and about questioning who you are and what you believe.

ARC provided by publisher.