May 4th, 2012

tennis

Friday Four...

1. Today's a furlough day (we had two this year), so we get an extra-long weekend. It's great for us (we get to sleep in and have a much more relaxing morning), but if I worked outside the home, I'd be pretty frustrated by this time of year with the numerous school breaks. :/ CO is 49th in school funding...

2. This time of year also marks teacher and staff appreciation -- so I'm excited to get to the craft store and see what creative stuff we can come up with!

3. I also have 4 books coming in the next few weeks -- yay!

4. Last weekend, we had everyone over here for a couple of reasons, one of them being we thought my parents would be out of town this weekend (we usually get together the first Sunday of each month). Well, turns out they're not leaving town -- and so they wanted us to come over again...and I'll be honest. I'm getting burned out (which I've mentioned before) on family stuff. Between my family and DH's mom and dad (who are divorced, so if we see them, it's two different outings), we've had something family-related every weekend for...wow, a long time. Still, I feel guilty for telling my mom no (sigh). The funny thing is, it's her b-day on Saturday and we're taking her out -- so it's not like we won't see them at all. And next weekend is Mother's Day, and we're going to a movie together...still, the guilt creeps in.

Here's to a guilt-free, first Friday of May! :)
e looking into distance

Book Reports (57-59)...

For those of you who happened to Google your title and ended up here, please know that one star is not a bad thing in Robin's world -- just the fact that I picked up your book and started it means that somewhere it's getting good buzz (or that your blurb was really cool). 'R' means it's a re-read. Brackets mean it's an ARC or e-galley. I'm linking to Tattered Cover's pages for the ARCs.

If you'd like to see my recent four-plus- and five-star recommendations, visit Robin ReadsnWrites.

* I didn't make it beyond the first 20 pages.
** I made it to the end, but I either skimmed or skipped large sections.
*** I might have skipped/skimmed, but I liked it and might read it again.
**** I read at least 95% of the book and it was good -- probably will be reread.
***** I read every word, and I loved it! A favorite and definite reread.



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The False Prince, by Jennifer A. Nielsen ***** I loved this! It reminds me (in all the best ways) of The Lost Prince, by Frances Hodgson Burnett. It's definitely more contemporary than that, however (I have reread TLP many times, but I couldn't get my son to read it even once because of the small print and detailed ideas). I loved Sage's humor, I loved the changing interactions between Sage, Roden, and Tobias, I loved Mott's loyalty, and I loved how it all was resolved in the end. Did I suspect the underlying truth from the beginning? Well, yeah. I was fairly certain from page one about the truth, but I think that's because I *have* read TLP so many times. Still, it's a sign of a great book that even though I suspected, and even once it was revealed (about 2/3 through), I still couldn't put it down and had to see how everything played out. My only (extremely minor) complaint has to do with the vagueness of the final scene (not how the book ends, but the actual setting of the scene) -- for the only time during the book, I couldn't picture what was going on, and it seemed like everything (and everyone) faded to the background a bit while the plot was figured out. Still, very minor, and it didn't detract from my delight in the book at all! When I used to read TLP, I'd imagine what it would be like if there was a sequel -- and as the books says 'Book one', I'm guessing there is one here -- yay! :) The story: Sage is plucked from his orphanage and taken, with three other boys, to a noble's land. This noble, Conner, has a plan to 'restore' their country's security -- or so he claims. Sage has no interest in restoring anything, and he wants nothing more than to find his way from Conner...but soon, Sage is concerned for the other boys. For Conner's plan is to replace a dead prince with one of them -- and Conner can only take one. The others are disposable, and Sage fears that their involvement means certain death for the boys who aren't chosen. He begins to work his own plan within Conner's, and soon things are more complicated and tricky than he expected -- is it more than a pick-pocket and thief can manage? And what if he's chosen to be the false prince, what will he do then? (lower YA/Tween fantasy, released 4/12, publisher: Scholastic)

[Boys of Summer, coll. by Steve Berman (and he wrote one of the stories too) **** I enjoyed this. Some of the stories were truly fantastic, and only a couple of them didn't suit my tastes. Mostly, they're sweet, romantic, hopeful tales of two boys falling in love. The couple which didn't work for me were because the ending wasn't quite an ending -- they were a little abrupt. Still, these are filling a needed niche, imo, and I think they're well done for that. The stories: During the long, hot days of summer, these stories discuss various aspects of falling in love -- in non-traditional ways, boy with boy. (YA romance, GLBT, released 5/12, publisher: Bold Stroke Books)]

Shades of Twilight, by Linda Howard (R) ****+ Yeah, I found another Howard fav that I'll be rereading on a regular basis, I'm sure. I like feeling that rush of protective grief for Roanna as everyone around her misunderstands her -- and I love how it's resolved in the end. :)

On Deck: I'm kind of at loose ends with books, as often happens after I read something I adore...but my next book comes in on Monday, so perhaps that will help. Till then, we'll see what strikes my fancy, no? :)