You may get the feeling that I only post about great books or that I think all the books I read are great books. That would make little sense. I read a lot of books. Most I’ve picked out because I think I will like them. I don’t always. Perhaps you think that I am posting good reviews for friends. Not so. I haven’t reviewed a friend’s book yet. Although that is fixin’ ta change y’all. Right here, right today, I’m going to review three books written by friends. And I’m going to throw in mention of a few books that I do not recommend just to keep things interesting.
Rodney Walther has written a good book about a boy and his father and baseball. If any writer can make me cry, it’s Rodney. Once I read a short story he wrote and in three pages I was bawling. He has hit a home run with Broken Laces. It’s about a man wrapped up in himself (I can’t imagine – how unrealistic, right?). Jack can’t get off the phone long enough to have any real-time with his sweet family. Then he witnesses his wife killed in a car accident. To top it off, he loses his job. He is lost. But the book isn’t about the loss. It is about Jack connecting to the part of his life that he hasn’t really ever understood, his young son. Broken Laces is well-written with a line of action that is straight forward and easy to follow. Anyone would like this book. Great read!
What happens when your imaginative child comes home from school and reports that her/his new teacher is a witch who wants to eat all the children? You laugh and tell your child that he/she will still be going to school in the morning. Right? Right. But what if it’s TRUE? Nikki Loftin has written a middle-grade novel called The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy. In it little Lorelei’s school suddenly burns down. So a wonderful new school is built – in three days. It seems a little strange and that playground is definitely too good to be true. But Lorelei is dealing with a lot of troubles what with her dad marrying a terrible woman and Lorelei missing her mother so much. So she doesn’t consider the fantastic school with the darling playground sinister in any way. But when her friend Andrew goes missing she begins to suspect all is not what it seems. This fresh take on Hansel and Gretel is well-paced and has just enough page-turning suspense to keep a kid (like me) up all hours reading it. I was a little disappointed with what happens to the kitchen help but I loved the playground sand (because I’m ghoulish that way). Loved the book and I recommend to for all middle-school kids. Wonderful!
Want a little suspense, mystery, and Caribbean island yore mixed with that Bloody Mary? You must read Pamela Fagan Hutchins book Saving Grace. Katie Connel is a successful lawyer dancing daily with alcohol until she realizes that her one true love Nic doesn’t find her inebriated state very sexy. When she realizes that she has lost his respect and possibly any hope of snagging him, she does the only thing a girl in her situation can do. Get sober. Even if she isn’t an alcoholic. And how will she do that? On a Caribbean vacation of course. Except anyone who has ever been to the Caribbean knows that everyone on the islands drink – morning, noon, and night. But she is on a serious mission. She must find out why her parents went to the island on vacation the year before and while there, drove over a cliff and died. Her investigation proves only one thing, nothing is as it seems. But she does feel herself recovering from the alcohol (though she isn’t an alcoholic), and from Nic only to find herself head over heels for an abandoned shell of a mansion in the middle of nowhere. And possibly the house is occupied by a “jumbie”. The suspense keeps the pages turning with unanswered questions such as “Who is the P.I. she hires talking to and why does he keep denying it? Why was her non-drinking father drinking when he died? The novel is well paced, the action moving me forward through the story. I did question why a mysterious woman is seen at the mansion on p.61 but not mentioned again for some time later, the bee incident isn’t clear until afterward, and the finding of the ring is a little too coincidental but overall I was really wowed by the book. The action-packed, lean-forward-in-your-seat ending left me wanting a drink. Although I’m not an alcoholic. Buy the book!
With all these good books I’m going to leave the duds for tomorrow. Thank you for reading!