Book Reviews by Today, I Read…

January 31

Comments: 2

Review: Trapped by Michael Northrop

by Ann-Katrina

Trapped cover Title: Trapped
Author: Michael Northrop
ISBN: 978-054521-0126
Story Length: 240 pages
Genre: Young Adult/Psychological Thriller

Back Cover of Trapped

The day the blizzard started, no one knew that it was going to keep snowing for a week. That for those in its path, it would become not just a matter of keeping warm, but of staying alive.

Scotty and his friends Pete and Jason are among the last seven kids at their high school waiting to get picked up that day, and they soon realize that no one is coming for them. Still, it doesn’t seem so bad to spend the night at school, especially when distractingly hot Krista and Julie are sleeping just down the hall. But the power goes out, and the heat. The pipes freeze, and the roof shudders. As the day adds up, the snow piles higher, and the empty halls grow colder and darker, the mounting pressure forces a devastating decision…

Three Quick Points About Trapped

  • Point 1: A smooth read. There was nothing difficult in the reading. One word flowed into the next, one sentence into the next, and one paragraph into the next.
  • Point 2: Underwhelming characters. Each character seemed like a slightly varied stock template, from the bully who wasn’t so bad after all to the hormonally challenged teenage boy to the super hot blond.
  • Point 3: A pressure cooker with too little pressure. The students’ situation was dire, no doubt about it, but there wasn’t enough character variation to spark true conflict.

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December 15

Comments: 1

Review: Dewey’s Nine Lives by Vicki Myron with Brett Witter

by Ann-Katrina

deweys-nine-lives

Title: Dewey’s Nine Lives
Author: Vicky Myron with Brett Witter
ISBN: 978-0525-95186-5
Story Length: 320 pages
Genre: Pet Stories

Description of Dewey’s Nine Lives

Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World was a blockbuster bestseller and a publishing phenomenon. It has sold nearly a million copies, spawned three children’s books, and will be the basis for an upcoming movie. No doubt about it, Dewey has created a community. Dewey touched readers everywhere, who realized that no matter how difficult their lives might seem, or how ordinary their talents, they can-and should-make a positive difference to those around them. Now, Dewey is back, with even more heartwarming moments and life lessons to share.

Dewey’s Nine Lives offers nine funny, inspiring, and heartwarming stories about cats–all told from the perspective of “Dewey’s Mom,” librarian Vicki Myron. The amazing felines in this book include Dewey, of course, whose further never-before-told adventures are shared, and several others who Vicki found out about when their owners reached out to her. Vicki learned, through extensive interviews and story sharing, what made these cats special, and how they fit into Dewey’s community of perseverance and love. From a divorced mother in Alaska who saved a drowning kitten on Christmas Eve to a troubled Vietnam veteran whose heart was opened by his long relationship with a rescued cat, these Dewey-style stories will inspire readers to laugh, cry, care, and, most importantly, believe in the magic of animals to touch individual lives.

–From Amazon.com

Three Quick Points About Dewey’s Nine Lives

  • Point 1: Some overlap. I purchased the first book so did expect some overlap in the recounting of Dewey’s related stories, but it’s hardly noticeable. It just gives the book an air of familiarity.
  • Point 2: Immensely readable The prose style is casual, much like a friend telling you a story.
  • Point 3: Surprisingly heart-rending. I expected to smile, perhaps giggle, while reading, but I never expected to cry (at least, not as much as I did).

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November 30

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Review: Health Scare by Rene Moret

by Ann-Katrina

Health Scare Health Scare by Rene Moret focused on the main reasons why the U.S health care system is in the trouble it’s in today. The first thing I have to say about this book is that it’s very easy to read and understand.  It’s not filled with complicated analogies, the points are broken down into simple terms that even a layperson can understand.

The problem is that physicians are scared to practice medicine because a lawyer waits around every corner ready and available to sue.  So as Mr. Moret mentioned, physicians practice defensive medicine in case they have to defend themselves in a lawsuit.  The basis of the U.S. healthcare system as it stands today is the promotion of “sick care” vs promoting “wellcare”. Continue reading »

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July 29

Comments: 12

Review: Stolen by Lucy Christopher

by Ann-Katrina

Stolen Cover

Title: Stolen
Author: Lucy Christopher
ISBN: 978-0-5451-7093-2
Story Length: 304 pages
Genre: Young Adult Drama

Three Quick Points About Stolen

  • Point 1: Slow. No, that’s not right. In fact, a new word needs to be coined because “slow” (and all its various synonyms) is inadequate.
  • Point 2: The camel won. It was the only character that felt genuine. Ty came close, but meh. Let’s not start on Gemma.
  • Point 3: A twisted love story. Still, it was an interesting take on the evolution of Stockholm syndrome. Continue reading »

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July 28

Comments: 5

Review: Broken by Karin Fossum

by Ann-Katrina

Broken Cover

Title: Broken
Author: Karin Fossum
ISBN: 978-0-1510-1366-1
Story Length: 272 pages
Genre: Adult Literary Fiction

Back Cover of Broken

A woman wakes up in the middle of the night. A strange man is in her bedroom. She lies there in silence, paralyzed with fear.The woman is an author and the man one of her characters, one in a long line that waits in her driveway for the time when she’ll tell their stories. He is so desperate that he has resorted to breaking into her house and demanding that she begin.

He, the author decides, is named Alvar Eide, forty-two years old, single,works in a gallery. He lives a quiet, orderly life and likes it that way—no demands, no unpleasantness. Until one icy winter day when a young drug addict, skinny and fragile, walks into the gallery. Alvar gives her a cup of coffee to warm her up. And then one day she appears on his doorstep.

Three Quick Points About Broken

  • Point 1: Where’s the mystery? A quarter of the way through, I realized this wasn’t a traditional whodunit mystery—it wasn’t a traditional mystery in any sense.
  • Point 2: It’s about characters under a microscope. Flawed but hauntingly natural characters crafted with aplomb.
  • Point 3: Smooth prose and pacing, for a translation. Lost in translation isn’t a cliché for nothing, but if anything was lost in this translation, I didn’t miss it. Continue reading »

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