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.
Out of Sight, Out of Time, by Ally Carter ***** I loved this! There are so many reasons this series is at the top of my list for great girls' reading: 1) Cammie is strong and vulnerable at the same time (and this book deepened that -- it wasn't nearly as light as the others, but she still persevered and showed her inner strength); 2) Just as Cammie gets older and matures, so do the emotions and circumstances deepen; 3) Despite the growing tension and struggles, it's still a 'clean' read (meaning, even tween girls can read this, and although they may not understand some of the deeper feelings, there's nothing here they shouldn't be reading); 4) All the relationships are growing with Cammie, and I love how they're portrayed. Yeah, I just really loved it :D It sounds almost like the next one could be the last (or at least, the last in this series -- the great thing about this idea is that Carter can definitely continue writing Cammie and her friends -- they'll simply get new goals or problems to overcome). The story: Cammie wakes up in a convent at the end of September -- the problem is, she remembers yesterday as the last day of spring term (ie, June). She's in bad shape physically, and worse, she can't remember a single thing about her summer. Once back at Gallagher Academy, everyone wants to know what happened to Cammie. Soon she and Zach and her friends are trying to retrace her steps. Along the way, the Cavan seems to know more than they should, and they try to capture Cammie more than once -- and her memory doesn't seem to be returning...but she knows it has something to do with her dad and his death. Cammie's memory continues to fail her, and she feels like she's failed everyone and doesn't know who to trust. (YA adventure/suspense, released 3/12, publisher: Hyperion)
[Errors and Omission, by Lee James **** I liked this, though it's grittier than my usual fare. It reminded me of L.A. Confidential, the movie version, in many ways. The MC was tough and somewhat jaded, the mystery had many layers (but was based in the usual human vices), and the ending not exactly happy. But the characters were definitely interesting, and I enjoyed the unraveling of the mystery (even though Austin wasn't my favorite person, and the mystery centered around him and his family). Mostly, I liked Kirk (the MC), so it kept me engaged. The story: Kirk is the private investigator for his father's law firm, and when one of their top clients asks for help in the death of a son and brother, Kirk is put on the case. Though at first he disregards the mom's and brother's convictions that rock-star Brent is still alive, when Austin's (the brother) husband is murdered and someone comes after Austin too, Kirk starts thinking Brent might be alive. Soon, his involvement brings a killer after him, as well, and Kirk has to work with Austin to find Brent and figure out who wants to destroy Austin's and Brent's family -- before Kirk loses his own life and that of everyone he cares about. (Adult detective/thriller, GBLTQ, released 2/12, publisher: Dreamspinner Press)]
[Inherit the Sky, by Ariel Tachna ****+ I really enjoyed this. Mostly, I loved Caine and his strength. I loved how he was comfortable with who he was and how whenever circumstances brought him down, he pulled himself together and fought back. I also loved that he decided that even if the man he loved wouldn't (or couldn't) love him in return, he would not let that determine his own happiness. I thought the setting was interesting (Australian sheep farm), and the details of that type of life were intriguing (though, because I like things like that, I could've used even more). Caine is the type of person that I'd like to know in real life, and reading about him and how he worked through things was right up my alley -- and the ending was exactly the type of happy I especially enjoy! The story: Caine's mom inherits a sheep farm in Australia -- perfect timing for Caine, whose job is going nowhere and whose personal life is slowly disintegrating. Caine decides to go out and take over the running of the farm, even though he knows nothing about it. The foreman and the workers are nervous, thinking Caine will sell the farm out from under them (some of whom have lived and worked there most of their lives). But Caine is determined to do the right thing, and he studies and works hard, even though his stutter and his growing feelings for Macklin (the foreman) trip him up. It only gets worse when a couple of the workers discover Caine is gay, but Caine lets his strength show and hopes he can make his family -- and Macklin -- proud. (Adult romance, GLBTQ, released 2/12, publisher: Dreamspinner Press)]
On Deck:...still deciding -- it's always hard after reading great books.