Some Things I've Read Lately, Volume 2
I love a good legal/crime thriller, and The Last Plea Bargain is one of the best I have read in a long time. At more than 350 pages, it is quite long, but I never once felt like the story was dragging. I hate when I see a "twist" coming a mile away or when I can guess the ending too early on in a book, but that was not a problem here. In fact, I was fooled right up to the end, along with the main character. If you like John Grisham-type legal fiction, you need to grab this book up now. The female protagonist was a fun change for this genre, and I realize now how few and far between the female main characters are in Grisham's books. I will definitely be reading more by Randy Singer!
Laugh with the Moon, by Shana Burg
This book, written for middle grades, was easily one of my favorites of the spring. Thirteen-year-old Clare is still dealing with the aftermath of her mother's death when her father (a doctor) whisks her away to a remote African village for a year. Laugh with the Moon is a simple, yet heartfelt and emotional chronicle of Clare's time in Malawi. With genuine characters and poignant plot lines, this book is great for younger teens or anyone else looking for a beautiful story.
The Lifeguard, by Deborah BlumenthalThe beach, budding teenage romance, a slightly crazy family member, and a touch of the supernatural....what more can you ask for from a summer read? Though the secrets and supernatural elements could have been fleshed out quite a bit more, The Lifeguard is perfect light summer afternoon reading.
Exclusively Yours, by Shannon Stacey
Every once in awhile, a girl just needs a good old-fashioned romance novel. Exclusively Yours is just that, with bearable (and even likable) characters, chemistry, and an entertaining storyline. This is another book that would be perfect for a long summer afternoon on the beach or by the pool. (Sensing a theme here?)
Very odd. It felt like there should be so much more to this story. There were paranormal elements, but then it was almost like the author backed off in that regard, so nothing was ever explained. When it was over, it felt more like I had read a detailed outline than the whole book.
A super cute YA book about a teenager who takes paparazzi photos as a side job. As one of the few people in "the business" young enough to pull it off, Jo is assigned an undercover job to get photos of a hot young celebrity at a vague-sounding retreat center. Predictably, Jo finds herself attracted to the superstar, but the rest of the story was actually pretty surprising. This one was not nearly as fluffy as it seemed from the start, and despite the characters' terrible names and the maddening use of the term "papping" to describe the action of working as paparazzi (is that a real term? I have no idea.), I liked it quite a bit.
Despite a little bit of cheesiness, I really liked this book as well. The main character, Addy, is selected by her principal to go on a reality show to compete to win a date to prom with the U.S. President's teenage son. There are hints of backroom deals and scandalous behind-the-scenes behavior, calling to mind any recent season of The Bachelor and other reality shows. But the real story centers more around Addy, her faith, and how she chooses to use it during her time on the show she never wanted to be on in the first place. One of my favorite quotes related to faith and witnessing is "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are", and it perfectly fits Addy's experience in First Date. It's a really fun story, with a wholesome, feel-good plot.
What are YOU reading this month???
(And by the way, the winner of the giveaway for a copy of Brand New Human Being is Amy! Congrats, Amy, and I'll be emailing you for your address.)