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* 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.
Cry No More, by Linda Howard (R) ****- This is a re-read, but I read it many years ago and didn't remember much. I liked it, but I didn't love it, and now that I remember it better, I'm not sure I'll read it again. The main character was sympathetic, and her pain was palpable (especially as a mom). I thought she over-reacted at the end, though...still, it was an interesting journey to follow as she went from agony to acceptance. The story: Milla's son is stolen right off her back in a Mexican market when he's 6 months old. Milla can't accept that he's gone, and she devotes her life after that to seeking out stolen children (and even some adults). She and her new company are fairly successful, though Milla has given up everything else in her life (including her husband) to pursue this new venture. Her ultimate goal, finding the man who took her son, seems to be growing closer, however. Then she meets Diaz, the man rumored to be behind it all -- and her life changes once again. (Adult romantic suspense, released 2004, publisher: Ballantine Books)
Waiting, by Carol Lynch Williams ** I really enjoyed Williams' first book (The Chosen One), but her verse books haven't been as strong, for me. As with the last one I read, I skipped about 100 pages and the story continued on as if I hadn't -- in other words, I missed almost nothing in those pages. Also, the angst factor in this book is HIGH, and although there was a smidgeon of hope at the end (very tiny), I felt like the MC was simply too damaged for the story to have a solid ending. It could be very true to the type of pain someone feels when a loved sibling dies, however; so I don't want to dismiss it out of hand. The story: London's older brother killed himself, and London's family has fallen apart since then. She's trying desperately to get her mom to notice her (rather than blame her), and she uses a couple of boys to do so, trying to shock her mom out of a deep and troubled depression. At the same time, London doesn't know how to escape the pain herself. (YA free verse, released 5/12, publisher: Simon & Schuster)
Monument 14, by Emmy Laybourne ****+ I enjoyed this very much. First, it's set in Monument, CO, which I loved. Second, it's a natural disaster fic (which I also love). And third, it's a male POV and an intriguing story. I liked Dean and his brother, and I liked how the teens interacted and were forced to make adult choices (even those who were self-centered). It's set up for a sequel (though I don't know if that's the plan), and I'll be looking for the next one. The story: Life seems normal when a freak hail storm with grapefruit-sized hail pommels Dean's town, and Dean and the others on his bus are saved only because the middle-elementary school bus driver gets them into a local department store as shelter. Even so, a few of Dean's peers die, and soon he and 13 others (including the survivors from the middle-elementary school bus, like Dean's brother) are having to work together to make it. At first, they assume their parents will come and get them, but when they finally find an old television (as the internet is down) to get information, they learn that the hail storm was triggered by an enormous tsunami which has destroyed much of the East Coast. Dean and the others have more to consider when the nuclear reactor in their town is damaged in the storm, and the leaking substances alter the behavior of people depending on their blood types. Dean's type ends up in a crazy rage, killing and destroying everything and everyone who moves against them...and the teens have to protect themselves from the outside air completely if they have any hope of surviving. (YA dystopian, released 5/12, publisher: Feiwel & Friends)
Currently Reading: Struck