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Cerrito’s first novel is excellent. Ryan is incarcerated for murder. His story is revealed gradually, alternating flashbacks to his life before the murder with present day scenes from his time in Great Oaks School. The tension throughout the book is just perfect, and “what really happened” is revealed at just the right time. This book would be excellent for middle schoolers, and lends itself to many meaningful writing assignments.

True Colors by Kristin Hannah

21st September 2009

I read it.  It was fine.  It got better as it went along, but never really drew me in.  I probably won’t remember much about it in a few weeks.

I am so delighted to have discovered Sandra Dallas.  Her books are just fantastic.  The Persian Pickle Club is a group of quilters who have been meeting for years to quilt, gossip and support each other through thick and thin.  Queenie Bean loves the Pickles, but when Rita moves to town, Queenie is thrilled at the prospect of having a younger Pickle join their the club.  But Rita isn’t as interested in quilting as she is in solving a murder mystery that the rest of the club would just as soon see go unsolved.

New Mercies by Sandra Dallas

17th August 2009

Dallas veers from her typical story setting (Midwest plains) and sets this book in Mississippi.  Nora travels from Colorado to Mississippi to claim an inheritance from an aunt she never knew.  As she settles her aunt’s estate, Nora uncovers some secrets in her family tree, and finds peace in her own life as well.

If I didn’t know how outstanding Dallas’ books could be, I would’ve said this one was pretty good.  But I know her books can be so much better.  The two things I enjoy the most about Dallas’ books are the strong friendships that her female characters develop, and the unique and powerful conversations they enjoy together.  New Mercies didn’t have those strong friendships, and the character development felt kind of flat.  I had to struggle to finish this one.

Foreign Body by Robin Cook

08th February 2009

Your typical Robin Cook novel with evil corporate villains, sleuthing doctors and unsuspecting patients.  Told in Cook’s subdued, understated tone that downplays the seriousness of the subject matter.  For example, upon discovering that her friend has been kidnapped, Laurie’s reaction is to say, “This is a major disaster.”  You think?  Cook’s books help pass the time in a waiting room, but are usually a last resort for me.

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