Heather's books

Sarah's Key
The Help
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
New Moon
Breaking Dawn
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
The Lightning Thief
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
The Notebook
Eat, Pray, Love
The Time Traveler's Wife
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Heather's favorite books »

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Coming-of-Age YA novel

Looking for Alaska

Looking for Alaska

 By: John Green

Genre: YA

Pages: 231

Published: 2006

Read: May

3 out of 5 stars 

Another coming-of-age novel that I feel all teens can enjoy. I feel the story portrays enough aspects of teen life to be relevant to all teens in one facet or another – from love, school, drugs, and friendships.  It shares characteristics with Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, however I personally enjoyed the writing style of Looking for Alaska more.  Being an adult and reading this novel, I definitely believe they would be more enjoyed if read while a teen. I have read Will Grayson, Will Grayson by both John Green and David Levithan and loved it. I highly recommend it.

This is John Green's first YA novel. His website is www.johngreenbooks.com.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

YA Historical Fiction

Out of The Easy

Out of the Easy

 By: Ruth Sepetys

Genre: YA Historical Fiction

Pages: 346

Published: 2013

Read: May

5 out of 5 stars 

Historical Fictional is said to be the new craze for young adults. With stories like this one, there is no doubt. This book is truly amazing. I really liked Between Shades of Gray (also YA historical fiction), but I Loved Out of the Easy.  Told in the voice of 17-year old Josie, it is the story of being raised during the 1950’s by a mother who not only is a prostitute but doesn’t even acknowledge her daughter.  Sepetys tells the story with compassion and wonder.  This story reminds me a little of The Diviners by Libba Bray.  They both bring mystery and friendship to their novels.  I definitely look forward to reading lots more YA historical fiction in the months to come.

Becoming one of my new favorite authors, you can see more on Ruth Sepetys at www.ruthsepetys.com

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

From a Local Johnsburg, Illinois Author



 By: Susan Rae

Genre: Romance Suspense

Pages: 304

Published: 2005

Read: May

4 out of 5 stars 

This is the second time I read this novel and I must say I enjoyed it more the second time around – increased it a star.  However, I personally think it would market better if not classified as a romance.  There is more suspense in the story than romance and what mystery doesn’t include a little romance. Rae develops her characters well and keeps the reader engrossed in the story.  I was able to solve the case quickly, however there were enough twists and turns others may not. As in most romance novels, you can’t help but fall in love with the hero.  As an added bonus, the story line takes place in my local area – Chicago and Richmond, Illinois. Of course, this is because the author lives in the same town as me. In fact, I know her and her family personally.

This is Susan Rae’s first novel of three. Her third novel, ICE Blue, is the sequel to Heartbeats. Her website is www.susanrae.com

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Romance Suspense E-book

Slip Into the Night

Slip Into the Night

 By: Tracie Ingersoll Loy

Genre: Romance Suspense

Pages: E-book

Published: 2011

Read: May

2 out of 5 stars 

I enjoyed this book because it was more mystery than romance, but the mystery wasn’t very suspense. The aspect of the story I enjoyed the most was the description of the Washington area.  The author does a great job illustrating the surroundings and definitely allows the reader to fall in love with Kip.  I would have enjoyed similar depth in the mystery of the book as I felt it fell flat. The pieces just did not fit together for me, however if the reader is more into the romance novels they may find the story a great read.  Be forewarned, if dieting or hungry you may not want to read at the time. I have been craving a big, warm cinnamon bun since the beginning of the book. It is a good first novel for the author.

Tracie’s website is www.tracieloy.com

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

New Favorite of 2013

Me Before You
Me Before You

 By: Jojo Moyes

Genre: fiction

Pages: 369

Published: 2012

Read: May

5 out of 5 stars 

This is a love story, but so much more. It is thought provoking and eye opening. The story makes you reflect your life for weeks afterwards. It is very true to life in that life can change at any given moment.  The characters are so well developed that you can’t help but fall in love with them. Lou is the kind of girl I would love to be; patient, understanding and most importantly compassionate. Her sister, on the other hand, is the completely opposite. I hated her, but she added to the story and emphasizes the compassion in Lou. This novel is easily my favorite of 2013 and added to my all-time favorite list of titles. A MUST read. This is her latest book of 17 and I can’t wait to read the rest J

Her website is www.jojomoyes.com

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Worst book of 2013...

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore

By: Robin Sloan

Genre: fiction

Pages: 288

Published: 2012

Read: May

1 out of 5 stars 

I HATED this book. I was so excited to read this novel….what booklover wouldn’t?? It’s about a mysterious bookstore open 24 hours a day. But, it’s more about googlers and technology and the mystery has nothing to do with the books themselves. I daydreamed a lot while reading it and wanted to give up, but trudged on hoping it would grab my interest. It never did L. Very little of the book even took place in the quaint, very intriguing-sounding bookstore. This was one of the few books that I hoped the ending would make the book worthwhile to read, but that never happened either. While it was well written and I believe the author has the technology knowledge to write a book of this context; it just wasn’t for me.

The most intriguing part – the cover of the hardcover edition glows in the dark – VERY COOL. This is Sloan’s first novel and I will probably not be looking for any of his future novels, but if you are a fan his website is www.robinsloan.com

Monday, May 6, 2013

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

 By: Stephen Chbosky

Genre: YA fiction

Pages: 213

Published: 1999

Read: May

2 out of 5 stars 

I was disappointed with this book. I expected a much better novel. While it was well written and I don’t see why it should be “challenged”, the story just didn’t grab me. I think this may be one of those young adult novels where you need to be a young adult to really enjoy it. I usually love books written in letter or diary form, but it aggravated me that the story never revealed who the letters were written to, if it was just a diary, or why it was written in letter form in the first place. I was hoping this would be revealed at the end of the story and it never was. I also could have done without the storyline of the very personal relationship between Charlie and his teacher, whom he called by his first name. It creeped me out a bit.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

YA Graphic Novel

Smile (Smile, #1)


By: Raina Telgemeir

Genre: YA graphic novel

Pages: 224

Published: 2010

Read: April 

4 out of 5 stars 

This coming-of-age YA graphic novel is based off of the author’s 6th grade experience when she had to get braces. It is a terrifically illustrated and told in her own voice as a 6th grader.  Smile is definitely the most humorous feel good book I have read in a very long time. Anyone could read this book and truly enjoy it. The story reveals the feelings every girl, and even boys, have during those awkward pre-puberty years of your life.  Telegemeir is also the author of a series of graphic novels based off one of my childhood favorite series, The Babysitter’s Club.  By the end, you will definitely be smiling.
Telegemeir’s website is www.goraina.com

Another YA Challenged Novel



By: Laurie Halse Anderson

Genre: YA fiction

Pages: 208

Published: 2001

Read: April 

4 out of 5 stars 

I loved this “challenged” YA book. Written over 12 years ago, it is still a relevant classic book for any time. Originally an outgoing teen, this freshman get shunned by her peers for calling the cops at a party, but no one knows the truth for her reason. She decided to stop speaking and withdrew instead into her own head. I enjoyed every aspect of this book, especially the “voice” and character building of Melinda.  This is a book that I feel will grab any teen, or adult, that ever went through a difficult time with peers because of an event that appeared to be a “mistake”.  As with the other challenged books I have read, I would encourage ALL teens to read this novel rather then tell them they shouldn’t read it. Anderson provides a great perspective from the troubled teen view and the effects of being the ones labeling the teen as an outcast.

Anderson has written several controversial novels for teens, you can see them all at www.lauriehalseanserson.org.