Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Meddling Kids

This was a fun, over the top, nostalgic read. I've always been a huge fan of the classic kids cartoon, Scooby Doo, so I was more than ready to devour an adult "continuation? of Scooby's gang. Due to copyright and all that, the names are all changed as are their personalities. Nate (Shaggy) borders on the edge of crazy and voluntarily has shut himself in a loony bin, Andy (Velma) is super butch, strong, and obsessed with weapons, Kerri (Daphne) is the gorgeous super smart college dropout, and Peter (Fred) became a Hollywood success only to commit suicide and of course we can't forget Tim (Scooby), their faithful companion. Thirteen years after they solved their last mystery the gang reunites to put to rest some lingering doubts they had about the weird circumstances surrounding the Sleepy Lake Monster. It's been years since they've worked together, but they quickly realize that this one might be more than a man in a mask. Lots of fun, I want more!

Friday, August 11, 2017

The Identicals

This was a refreshingly light, easy beach read.I enjoyed it. It's not one that will stick with me forever, but it was easy to lose myself in the story and pass the time. The story follows two estranged middle aged twins. One of the twins lives on Martha's Vineyard and has bounced from job to job, a free spirited, drinking, husband stealing man. The other works for their mother in Nantucket, operating an upscale boutique and trying to reign in her rambunctious teenage daughter. The twins haven't spoken in nearly fourteen years but the untimely death of their father brings them together. They decide to "switch lives" for the summer, Harper helping out with the store and the rebellious teenager, while Tabitha goes to Martha's Vineyard to gut and re-sell their father's house. Little do they know how much their lives are about to change.

Dreams to Remember

I love music biography's but this one felt lacking to me. It wasn't solely about Otis Redding (only about 95% him.....) and talked a lot about Stax Records and a few other soul singers (but only in relation to Otis). It was very clinical and skimmed over a lot of Otis' life in favor of talking about his recording sessions, rumors about his infidelities and death, and his managers and music companies. This book lacked soul. It was flat, one dimensional, and unexciting. Which is a shame, it's the Big O for crying out loud! I would much rather check out some other Otis Redding biographies. Something with a little more heart.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The Possessions

I wanted to like this book I really did. But it never took a hold of me. It never possessed me.... for lack of a better word (see what I did there). The main character isn't easy to relate to or have empathy for, in fact I couldn't find myself caring about ANY of the characters in the novel (and there weren't many!). In this modern society people can speak to their loved ones who have died by going to certain clinics and having people channel their spirits. Edie has been a body (one who can channel the dead) for five years, longer than anyone else ever has. She doesn't mind that her body gets more use by others since she doesn't have any life to speak of. But that all changes when Patrick Braddock comes into her room to speak to his dead wife. For some reason she becomes obsessed with his wife and with Patrick and it's all she can focus on. One thing leads to another and boom. You have a boring novel. Honestly, save your time and pass on this. It was beautifully written by I couldn't care less for the plot or the characters.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

What To Say Next

Buxbaum, Julie. What To Say Next. 8 CDs. unabridged. Books on Tape. 2017. ISBN 9781524709518. 

Compelling, uplifting, and utterly engaging. Bestselling teen author, Julie Buxbaum (Tell Me Three Things) writes a charming opposites attracts romance between a popular young girl and a socially awkward and isolated young man on the autism spectrum. After Kit's father tragically dies, she finds herself receding and unable to keep up with the pressures of social life. Unable to deal with the mundane daily gossip and social climbing she decides to sit with David, an outcast, someone she knows will not pester her. Slowly and over the course of a few weeks the two find they have more in common then they could ever fathom. They begin to trust each other with secrets that they can't tell anyone else and Kit enlists David to help her figure out the exact reason her father died and the accident project is born. Little do they know how much it will complicate things. Wonderfully narrated by Kirby Heyborne and Abigail Revasch, both whom manage to bring their characters to life. Kirby has a flat monotone voice perfectly fitting the complicated character of David and Abigail narration is young and refreshing. Refreshing, honest, and charming. For fans of Rainbow Rowell and Jennifer Niven. - Erin Cataldi, Johnson Co. Public Library, Franklin, IN

Friday, August 4, 2017

Dying for You

I've never read any of Mary Janice Davidson's paranormal romances before and after reading this short story collection I think I'll be passing. They were cliche, cheesy, and practically written for kids (minus the sex scenes). Each of the four short stories was horribly predictable and flat. The romances were over the top, unimaginative, and lacking. There are two short stories about falling in love with ghosts, one about a witch hunter, and another about a vampire and werewolf falling in love. Honestly the short stories could have all even been shorter. I wouldn't have minded one bit.

Evicted

Utterly engrossing, this groundbreaking look at poverty and the fight to find housing in America's cities will forever change how people view homelessness and the oft told saying, "Just work harder." Harvard sociologist Matthew Desmond spent years living in the slum of Milwaukee to understand how deep the problem went and to experience first hand how the nation's poorest are living. Desmond discovered that poorest people were/are spending more than EIGHTY PERCENT of their income trying to find housing, and what they get isn't even substandard. In big cities like Milwaukee, Landlords know there is little to no incentive to clean places up when they can just evict a tenant for complaining and find someone else who is desperate enough to live in squalor. Eye opening and horrifying, Evicted follows six different people, poor black mothers in the ghetto to white trash junkies in trailer parks as they tackle the housing crisis dead on. No matter how hard to struggle to get ahead, the system is rigged against certain demographics, the main being African American women. The amount of research put into this is staggering, as are the implications. Desmond ends with suggestions on how we as a country can come together and end this crisis. After all, doesn't everyone have a right to a roof over their heads?! A must read social justice piece that sheds poverty in a new light.