Monday, August 4, 2014

Review: Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

Everything I Never Told You


Everything I Never Told You

A haunting debut novel about a mixed-race family living in 1970s Ohio and the tragedy that will either be their undoing or their salvation

Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet . . . So begins the story of this exquisite debut novel, about a Chinese American family living in 1970s small-town Ohio. Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee; their middle daughter, a girl who inherited her mother’s bright blue eyes and her father’s jet-black hair. Her parents are determined that Lydia will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue—in Marilyn’s case that her daughter become a doctor rather than a homemaker, in James’s case that Lydia be popular at school, a girl with a busy social life and the center of every party.

When Lydia’s body is found in the local lake, the delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Lee family together tumbles into chaos, forcing them to confront the long-kept secrets that have been slowly pulling them apart. James, consumed by guilt, sets out on a reckless path that may destroy his marriage. Marilyn, devastated and vengeful, is determined to find a responsible party, no matter what the cost. Lydia’s older brother, Nathan, is certain that the neighborhood bad boy Jack is somehow involved. But it’s the youngest of the family—Hannah—who observes far more than anyone realizes and who may be the only one who knows the truth about what happened.

A profoundly moving story of family, history, and the meaning of home, Everything I Never Told You is both a gripping page-turner and a sensitive family portrait, exploring the divisions between cultures and the rifts within a family, and uncovering the ways in which mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, and husbands and wives struggle, all their lives, to understand one another.

My Review:

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Everything I Never Told You is an absolutely amazing book. I loved everything about it. I really liked all the characters. Celeste Ng is such a beautiful writer, the words just flow off the pages. A great story about differences and a family that must overcome them during the most tragic of times. Everyone should read this book. 


Saturday, August 2, 2014

July 2014 Wrap Up

These are the books I read in July. 

The Neighbor (Short Story)

Every city has its wonders and mysteries. For the Pomerantz family, the most disturbing mystery at the moment is the identity and the intentions of their new neighbor, in this eBook original short story—a prequel to The City, the gripping and moving new novel by Dean Koontz.
 
The year is 1967. Malcolm Pomerantz is twelve, geeky and socially awkward, while his seriously bright sister, Amalia, is spirited and beautiful. Each is the other’s best friend, united by a boundless interest in the world beyond their dysfunctional parents’ unhappy home. But even the troubled Pomerantz household will seem to be a haven compared to the house next door, after an enigmatic and very secretive new neighbor takes up residence in the darkest hours of the night.

A Dust Bowl Tale of Bonnie and Clyde: A Short Story


A Dust Bowl Tale of Bonnie and Clyde: A Short Story

Sixteen-year-old Weldon Holland has had to grow up fast as he tries to support his family in the aftermath of the agricultural disaster of the Dust Bowl.

One night, a carload of strangers appears on the Hollands' property, carrying the air of incipient danger underneath a veneer of pleasantries. Weldon finds himself inexplicably drawn to the group of trespassing vagabonds who, despite being camped out on a hidden riverbank in the middle of nowhere, drive the most expensive automobile that Weldon has ever seen. 

In the unbearable, rainless heat of a Dust Bowl summer, Weldon will find himself mixed up in an encounter with the infamous bank robbers Bonnie and Clyde an encounter that changes the course of Weldon's life and history itself.

Rich with criminal and social history of the American West and a young boy's struggle to become a man,   
is just the beginning of Weldon Holland's story. 


Vertigo 42: A Richard Jury Mystery (Richard Jury #23)


Vertigo 42: A Richard Jury Mystery

The inimitable Scotland Yard Superintendent Richard Jury returns in another “literate, lyrical, funny, funky, discursive, bizarre” (The Washington Post) mystery, now with a tip of the derby to Alfred Hitchcock’s famous movie, Vertigo.

Richard Jury is meeting Tom Williamson at Vertigo 42, a bar on the forty-second floor of an office building in London’s financial district. Despite inconclusive evidence, Tom is convinced his wife, Tess, was murdered seventeen years ago. The inspector in charge of the case was sure Tess’s death was accidental—a direct result of vertigo—but the official police inquiry is still an open verdict and Jury agrees to re-examine the case.

Jury learns that a nine-year-old girl fell to her death five years before Tess at the same country house in Devon where Tess died. The girl had been a guest at a party Tess was giving for six children. Jury seeks out the five surviving party guests, who are now adults, hoping they can shed light on this bizarre coincidence.

Meanwhile, an elegantly dressed woman falls to her death from the tower of a cottage near the pub where Jury and his cronies are dining one night. Then the dead woman’s estranged husband is killed as well. Four deaths—two in the past, two that occur on the pages of this intricate, compelling novel—keep Richard Jury and his sidekick Sergeant Wiggins running from their homes in Islington to the countryside in Devon and to London as they try to figure out if the deaths were accidental or not. And, if they are connected.

Witty, well-written, with literary references from Thomas Hardy to Yeats,Vertigo 42 is a pitch perfect, page-turning novel from a mystery writer at the top of her game.

Where There's Smoke


Where There's Smoke

Bestselling author Jodi Picoult is a masterful storyteller, who “writes with a fine touch, a sharp eye for detail, and a firm grasp of the delicacy and complexity of human relationships” (The Boston Globe). Now, in this original short story, available exclusively as an eBook, Picoult introduces Serenity Jones, one of the fascinating characters from her eagerly awaited new novel, Leaving Time.

Even as a child, Serenity Jones knew she possessed unusual psychic gifts. Now, decades later, she’s an acclaimed medium and host of her own widely viewed TV show, where she delivers messages to the living from loved ones who have passed. Lately, though, her efforts to boost ratings and garner fame have compromised her clairvoyant instincts. When Serenity books a young war widow to appear as a guest, the episode quickly unravels, stirring up a troubling controversy. And as she tries to undo the damage—to both her reputation and her show—Serenity finds that pride comes at a high price.

Monument 14 (Monument 14 #1)


Monument 14 (Monument 14, #1)

Your mother hollers that you’re going to miss the bus. She can see it coming down the street. You don’t stop and hug her and tell her you love her. You don’t thank her for being a good, kind, patient mother. Of course not—you launch yourself down the stairs and make a run for the corner.
Only, if it’s the last time you’ll ever see your mother, you sort of start to wish you’d stopped and did those things. Maybe even missed the bus.
But the bus was barreling down our street, so I ran.
Fourteen kids. One superstore. A million things that go wrong. 

In Emmy Laybourne’s action-packed debut novel Monument 14, six high school kids (some popular, some not), two eighth graders (one a tech genius), and six little kids trapped together in a chain superstore build a refuge for themselves inside. While outside, a series of escalating disasters, beginning with a monster hailstorm and ending with a chemical weapons spill, seems to be tearing the world—as they know it—apart.

Sky on Fire (Monument 14 #2)


Friday, August 1, 2014

Weekend Reads, August 1. 2014

This is what I'll be reading this weekend.

Plague

Plague

London, 1665. A serial killer stalks his prey, scalpel in his hand and God's vengeance in his heart. 
     Five years after his restoration to the throne, Charles II leads his citizens by example, enjoying every excess. Londoners have slipped the shackles of puritanism and now flock to the cockpits, brothels and, especially, the theatres, where for the first time women are allowed to perform alongside the men. 
     But not everyone is swept up in the excitement. Some see this liberated age as the new Babylon, and murder victims pile up in the streets, making no distinction in class between a royalist member of parliament and a Cheapside whore. But they have a few things in common: the victims are found with gemstones in their mouths. And they have not just been murdered; they've been . . . sacrificed.
    Now the plague is returning to the city with full force, attacking indiscriminately . . . and murder has found a new friend.

Deception (Alex Delaware #25)

Deception (Alex Delaware, #25)

Her name is Elise Freeman, and her chilling cry for help comes too late to save her. On a DVD found near her lifeless body, the emotionally and physically battered woman chronicles a long ordeal of abuse at the hands of three sadistic tormentors. But even more shocking is the revelation that the offenders, like their victim, are teachers at one of L.A.’s most prestigious prep schools. Homicide detective Milo Sturgis is assigned to probe the hallowed halls of Windsor Prep Academy, and if ever he could use Dr. Alex Delaware’s psychological prowess, it’s now. As the scandal-conscious elite close ranks around Windsor Prep, Alex and Milo push to expose the dirty secrets festering among society’s manor-born. But while searching for predators among the privileged, Alex and Milo may be walking into a highly polished death trap.

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