Hunt by Andrew Fukour
“Don’t Sweat. Don’t Laugh. Don’t draw attention to yourself. And
most of all, whatever you do, do not fall in love with one of them.”
This was an interesting take on the current vampire craze; everyone is
a vampire except for a few humans and most of them have been hunted
down and killed. Gene is a human who is “passing” as a vampire and to
pass requires great effort and constant watchfulness. He is in high
school and his father got bitten a few years ago and ran off in order
not to bite Gene, so he has been on his own. Now he is chosen to run
in a hunt for the last humans and fears that discovery is imminent.
How will he escape this dilemma with not only his life, but the lives
of some others who look to him for rescue? Great read!
2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson
This book is terrific for those who appreciate science fiction that is
richly imaginative; worlds, alien races, a radically transformed earth
and a talented but flawed heroine fill the pages.
The story kicks off on Mercury, in the city of Terminator, with a
death that will change the life of Swan Er Hong. The sequence of
events played out from this first tragedy will provoke and challenge
her, as she works to unravel who is behind the destruction that
threatens the “habitats” containing humans and other species on
different planets. More analytical readers may find gaps in the
narrative, but I wasn’t looking for them, I just enjoyed the book.
The Kissing List by Stephanie Reents
This selection of connected short is about four young women at the
beginning of their adult lives. The events in each story are not
necessarily unique but somehow the responses of the women are
definitely not predictable in the least. I felt a kind of kinship
with them and yet found them extraordinary. I imagined knowing women
like them, and admiring the strange ways they handled the life
situations they found themselves in at the same time. One woman went
to sort out her thoughts about being pregnant at a family cabin in the
country and found herself not only unable to kill the mice who had
taken over the place, but feeling like she was the intruder and so
yielded to their claim on the cabin.
This book is moving, funny and reads quickly.
I Am Forbidden by Anouk Markovits
This book is so well written and so engaging that I read straight
through it in one sitting. It traces the lives of two young people who
first meet in 1944, both children who have survived being murdered by
the Romanian Iron Guard. The young boy, Josef is “hidden”, raised by
the Christian maid formerly employed by his parents; he is later
reunited with the rabbi who took in the young girl, Mila, raising her
with his own children. The young boy ends up in New York, a Hasidic
scholar. The young girl is raised in Paris within the Orthodox sect,
the Satmar and becomes closely bonded with her “sister” Atara. The two
young women end up taking radically different paths as the approach
marriageable age. Mila stays within the religion, marrying Josef and
moving to New York and faces devastating choices that conflict her
heart with the laws of her religion. Atara, captivated by secular
books, history and culture, runs away and only reenters the story near
the end, as the two are reunited.
As the Crow Flies by Craig Johnson
This was a terrific, fun story. A Sheriff, a murder, a small western
town and a wedding on the Cheyenne reservation bring to mind the very
successful Tony Hillerman novels. This book, and I hope, the other
seven books with Sheriff Walt Longmire, is no genre copycat. The quiet
humor, the impossible situations that still seem real, and interesting
character development had me staying up late to finish this one; The
Sheriff, his daughter Cady, his undersheriff, his buddy Henry Standing
Bear and the new tribal police chief, Lolo Long, come through quite
clearly both through description and dialogue. I plan to go hunt down
the other books as soon as possible.
Oxford Messed Up by Andrea Kayne Kaufman
Can you really write an interesting love story about a young
“failed-to-launch” antihero, Henry, and his new suite mate, Gloria,
who suffers from an Obsessive-Compulsive disorder around germs and
human contact. Can you write it in a way that is compelling, that
sheds some understanding on what Gloria’s inner world/voice must be
like? Can love overcome all those challenges? Well, yes, you can
write the interesting love story, and yes, it is compelling. Love
alone does not quite overcome all the challenges but it helps. So does
Gloria’s inner strength supported by the possibility of both love and
a life and the idea that she could help Henry find that same strength
in himself. Ready to reread it!
A Partial History of Lost Causes by Jennifer duBois
This terrific story is really two stories; one is about Aleksandr
Bezetov and takes place in St. Petersburg, Russia. The other is about
Irina Ellison, from Cambridge Mass. She finds a letter from her
father, who died of Huntington’s disease, to Aleksandry, written to
him when his was the World chess champion. Irina's father wants to
know, “How does one proceed against a lost cause?”
Convinced that she has inherited Huntington’s, watching for the first
symptoms, Irina travels to Russia to find Bezetov and get an answer
for her father, and for herself. Bezetov, meanwhile has become a major
political player, a dissident who is compelled by his own moral
compass to stand for election against Vladimir Putin, putting his life
on the line. The back story, how these two lives intersect and how the
whole thing plays out makes this an epic well worth reading.
The Expats by Chris Pavone
This is a terrific espionage story which includes a mother with a
double life as a CIA agent, her brilliant husband who may be one of
the few banking/computer wizards to not make a fortune and a
mysterious swindle of fifty million dollars from an evil arms dealer.
From the US to Luxembourg to Paris this double, double cross keeps you
turning the pages. If you like smart, fierce female lead characters,
this book is for you.
The Night She Disappeared by April Henry
This is a young adult novel and I think it will be enjoyed by young
adults; and while I enjoyed it , there are other YA novels that you
forget are aimed at a specific audience. This is not one of them.
However, it has good writing, clear characters, a believable story and
strength behind the two main characters, Gabie and Drew that is
compelling. I did note that Gabie conveniently has two parents who are
doctors and thus always rushing off to the hospital, leaving her at
free will more than most teens.