Sunday, December 21, 2014

Henni - Miss Lasko-Gross

I loved this clever and relevant allegory. Henni is a highly appealing character, and I was really drawn in to her journey (literal and metaphorical). The art was reminiscent of Persepolis, which I of course loved too. The only complaint I have is that I would very much like to know more about Henni's story, and what happens next - I am definitely hoping for a sequel or a series. This author has a couple previous books, and I will definitely add them to my virtual to be read pile. Recommended.

Plucked - Rebecca M. Herzig

Whenever I hear of some questionable "medical" practice from 100 years ago, such as using X-rays (!) to remove unwanted hair, I shake my head and wonder what people could have been thinking -  but then I also wonder: in 2114, which common practices of today will seem unbelievably questionable? This thought brings me to my review of this book, subtitled A History of Hair Removal. As someone who admittedly conforms (if lazily and inconsistently) to the American custom of shaving one's armpits and calves, I found the book to be fascinating; it's thoroughly researched and full of interesting information and even includes illustrations. One small note: this book centers mainly on hair removal customs in the United States, and I would have loved to know a bit more about the difference between the U.S. and other countries, for example, why it's more common for French women to leave their armpit hair intact. But all in all this was an unusual but intriguing book. Recommended.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Cause for Concern - Margaret Yorke

Wouldn't it be nice if all the horrible people who harm others would just disappear? The world would be such a better place. This book was a suspenseful character study, including horrible characters that harm others, that was skillfully put together in such a way that I really enjoyed wondering about how all the pieces fit together. I also appreciated the multiple points of view, as it allowed me to not only understand the thought processes and motivations of a bunch of characters, but care about these characters as well (well, most of them). This was another Library Sale book, and I wasn't familiar with the author before I brought this book home, but I'd definitely read her other books.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

And Only to Deceive - Tasha Alexander

Another Library Sale book that has been waiting to be read - and another book I wish I had read much sooner. I enjoyed this suspenseful novel. The narrator is very sympathetic and I liked her spirit. The story kept me guessing at what was really happening throughout the book. I think there may be a sequel, and I'd definitely check that out. A quick, entertaining read.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Our Father - Robert Tyler

This book was a fast read. I thought the story was well paced and I enjoyed all the different facets of it. I will say that I feel unsure of the author's message in some parts - I'm not 100% of the message I am supposed to take away. Maybe that's deliberate. In any case, the book seems somewhat eerily prophetic. I felt a lot of sympathy for some of the characters, and although I know they are fictional, I would hope that they could find peace and happiness.

Being Polite to Hitler - Robb Forman Dew

Not sure what to make of this book. In may ways it reminded me of this book. It wasn't a plotted story as much as it was a character study, but it seemed all over the place. A lot of the things that happened seemed random and had no real bearing on anything else. I enjoyed parts of it but others didn't make too much sense to me. I'm undecided about this one.

Edited to add: apparently this is part of a trilogy - if I had known that, I would have read the other books first. This may have made more sense to me if I had done that, too.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The City of Silver Light - Ruth Fox

Hague Publishing has done it again. This is an enjoyable YA fantasy book with a winning narrator and an intriguing story. I would have loved this book if it had been published when I was a kid. It's relatable to the "real world" but the fantasy elements are nicely intertwined, which creates a "this could happen to me, how cool" aspect to the story, which I always love as a reader. My only complaint is that it's too short - I wanted to know more about the titular city and the other goings on. Fortunately, there is a sequel so I can dive right in and find out what happens next. This book would make a great gift for that fan of YA/fantasy on your list this year! Recommended.