Beth's Book-Nook Blog

Reviews of What I've Been Reading….

Virtual Author Book Tour for LUCKY STRIKE by Bobbie Pyron

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I’m happy today to be part of the blog tour for Bobbie Pyron’s middle grade read: LUCKY STRIKE.

In this enjoyable novel, Nate Harlow turns 11 on April 11. He has always had the worst luck, and he’s never been popular, so he makes a wish that his luck will change. For the first time, he blows out all the candles on his cake. And then things get a little crazy. Nate is struck by lightning and when he recovers he finds he has the power to make anything he touches “lucky”. But how much is real luck, and how much is just believing in yourself? And will Nate’s new-found popularity cause him to forget his true friends?

I really enjoyed this book and will be giving it to my ten-year old son to read. Nate is a likable and realistic character, and the characters of his small Florida town are fairly unforgettable. My favorite was his best friend Gen (Genesis — daughter of the pastor), who is as brilliant as she is unpopular and misunderstood.

Great messages in this story, and yet fun to read and well-paced. I’d recommend it for summer reading!

Thank you for having me be part of the blog tour and for my copy of the book!

You, too, can follow the tour, read other reviews and excerpts, and even win a copy!

Follow the Tour:

Teddy Rose Book Reviews Apr 2  Spotlight & Giveaway

Rockin’ Book Reviews Apr 7 Interview & Giveaway

Hott Books Apr 8 Review

Always Reiding Apr 9 Review & Excerpt

Geo Librarian Apr 10 Review

Curling Up With A Good Book Apr, 13 Interview & Excerpt

fuonlyknew Apr 14 Review & Giveaway

Once Upon A Story Apr 15 Review & Excerpt

Beneath the Jacket Reviews Apr 16

Indie Review Behind the Scenes Apr 17 Live I 6 pm cst

Cassandra M’s Place Apr 20 Review & Giveaway

The Crypto-Caper Review Apr 21 Review

In Bed With Books Apr 22 Review,Interview & Excerpt

Allison’s Book Bag May 24 Review & Interview

Mary’s Cup of Tea Apr 27 Review

Deal Sharing Aunt Apr 28 Review, Excerpt & Giveaway

Bound for Escape Apr 30 Review

What U Talking Bout Willis? May 1 Review

Lisa’s Writopia May 4 Review

Books, Books, and More Books May 5 Review & Excerpt

Beth’s Book-Nook Blog May 8 Review

Sweet Southern Home May 11 Review

One Frugal Girl May 15 Review

You can find out more about author Bobbie Pyron on her website:

Bobbie Pyron Outside

http://www.bobbiepyron.com/

LUCKY STRIKE front cover

You can see this book on Amazon where I am an Associate. It is published by Arthur A. Levine Books and is under 300 pages:

Lucky Strike

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Quick YA Review: CODE NAME VERITY by Elizabeth Wein

Since I had recently read ROSE UNDER FIRE, I went back and read CODE NAME VERITY, which comes first (though it can be a stand alone book). This is an extraordinary depiction of a friendship during WWII, told from the writings of a British female POW, held by Germans for spying, and then from the perspective of her friend, the female pilot who flew them there. Their story is heart-breaking and haunting, and stayed with me long after I finished reading.

An intense read, I’d recommend it to older YA readers and definitely to adults who enjoy historical fiction of the WWII era.

I can’t say more without giving it all away. I’ve debated for weeks how to even write this review, and settled on this very short blurb!

See this book on Amazon where I am an Associate and where I got mine:

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Review: SILENT NOON by Trilby Kent

If you read my blog, you know I enjoy reading books by a former student (now grown up!), Trilby Kent. Trilby published SILENT NOON this summer in Great Britain and Canada. I was able to get it on Kindle here in the States.

In SILENT NOON, it is the early 1950’s, and Barney Holland is sent on scholarship to a boys’ boarding school in England. Post-war England is still recovering and the boys are a scrappy lot. Barney doesn’t fit well with the others, and finds a companion in the older (but troubled) pupil Ivor. Then one of the teacher’s daughters starts attending school as the only girl (she was sent home from her boarding school) and she and Barney form an unlikely friendship. Unfortunately, all the plots converge into a somewhat traumatic and unsettling ending.

There’s a lot going on in this book: peer relationships, budding sexuality, a ghost story, and more. Trilby has a wonderful way of making post-war Britain come alive. The details of daily life are quite vivid and one can feel both the coldness of the dormitory and the coldness of the relationships. One note: if you are looking for a neatly tied up ending with full resolution to all plot lines, this isn’t the read for you! I really enjoyed it, and it kept me thinking about it afterwards.

You can see it on Amazon for Kindle, where I got mine (and where I am an Associate):

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Review: ALL THE SUMMER GIRLS by Meg Donohue

I had the chance to hear Meg Donohue read from her new book at my local fave indie bookshop (The Concord Bookshop) where I purchased her ALL THE SUMMER GIRLS. This is a great summertime read as it’s set on the Jersey Shore.

Three longtime girlfriends, Kate, Dani, and Vanessa, reunite for one long weekend at the beach. Each one has her own issues and problems: Kate’s fiance has just broken up with her and she then learns she is pregnant; Dani has substance abuse problems and can’t keep a job, meanwhile she is trying to write a cathartic novel; Vanessa is feeling tied down as a stay at home mom and has learned that her husband has strayed. All three are still feeling the loss of Kate’s twin brother, Colin, who tragically drowned when they were last at the shore several years earlier. Each of them also carries her own guilt and secrets about that final night, too.

All in all I liked this book. Ms. Donohue’s writing is fluid and the characters are well-developed. I did feel a bit “old” reading this. The characters are all twenty-nine and still getting their lives together. (I’m in my forties and twenty-nine seems a long time ago!). They all also have experienced a lot of drama! While I liked the subplot of the secrets surrounding Colin’s death, I didn’t feel like I got to really know him as a character. He was definitely headed for self-destruction, and I wasn’t entirely sure why each girl blamed herself so much for his death, but I did like the theme of self acceptance and self forgiveness that came through at the end.

If you are looking for a summer read about friendship and self growth, then take a look at ALL THE SUMMER GIRLS!

See this book on Amazon where I am an Associate:

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YA Review: The Girl in the Wall by Daphne Benedis-Grab

Yes – it’s another YA thriller read about wealthy prep school kids – one of my favorite genres for a quick, downtime, finish-in-one-sitting read. In this story, which I got through Net Galley, high school senior Sera is forced (by her parents) to go to her ex-best friend Ariel’s birthday party. The only thing she’s really looking forward to is seeing current pop idol Hudson Winters perform. However, right at the height of the party, masked men break in and start killing everyone, holding the majority of the teens hostage, while they seek to take over Ariel’s dad’s multi-billion dollar company. In the initial chaos, Ariel slips unnoticed into a secret passageway in the walls and plans on staying there until the crisis is over. Only Sera knows where she is (she is her ex-best friend after all!). Will Sera rat her out in order to save her own life? Will everyone continue to be brutally murdered as this book goes on? Will we figure out who is behind this violent atrocity? Read it to find out! Due to violent/disturbing scenes, I have to say not for the younger set. Kudos to Ms. Benedis-Grab for making some of the “prep school” kids not ridiculously rich and all of them fairly typical!

See it on Amazon where I am an Associate and it can be pre-ordered (releases in December; kindle already available):
Thanks, Net Galley and Merit Press, for my copy!

 

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Review: The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen

My Kindle suggested that I would like “The Peach Keeper” by Sarah Addison Allen, so I downloaded a sample. I found myself immediately pulled into the story, so I purchased it. “The Peach Keeper” tells the story of two 30-year-old women in North Carolina: down to earth Willa Jackson – who owns a natural products hiking store/coffee shop – and Paxton Osgood – the head of the ladies society who still lives at home (though in her parents’ pool house). Paxton has worked to renovate a lovely estate, the Blue Ridge Madam, once owned by Willa’s family and is hosting a gala event for her ladies society. When Paxton reaches out to Willa to attend, the past is re-opened, and their relationship and that of their grandmothers are re-examined in a new and extraordinary light.

I really enjoyed reading this novel! It had some mystery to it (a skeleton is found while renovating the Madam) as well as some light romance (both Willa and Paxton has love interests that they are fighting against). There was also an air of mystical realism in this story: the smell of peaches, a ghost that haunts them, pictures moving to places where they weren’t put, etc.

I hadn’t read anything else by Ms. Allen, but this novel made me want to!

If you enjoy stories about women and the relationships they forge – as well as they strength they convey – then you’ll probably enjoy this book!

See this book on Amazon where I am an Associate:

Check out the book trailer! (via You Tube – also found on Amazon)

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