é behavior. Likewise, Charlene falls hard for the duke and debates giving up her charade and the money that goes with it to disclose her true identity.
Verdict Bell's talented debut is full of characters whose antics, from the clever to the ridiculous, will have readers laughing out loud. Charlene is smart and tough and easily steals the show with her gutsy nonconformity. Regency romance fans will delight in this expert start to a fun new series.
This review was originally published in Library Journal Xpress Reviews: Fiction, April 14, 2016.
Tuesday, June 28, 2016
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
Sophie is a little girl who has been kidnapped by a giant and taken far away into a land of giants. Her kidnapper is a good giant. He is the BFG, the Big Friendly Giant. He goes among neighborhoods at night, unseen, blowing dreams into the bedrooms of sleeping children. Unfortunately, Sophie has spotted him at work and he must now protect his secret, but in this land of giants there are others who would eat, and do eat, little children. Sophie, with the aid of the BFG, hatches a plan of action.
Dahl, who began writing children's books late in life, has an uncanny, unsentimental way of capturing the imaginations of young readers. He creates unique characters and situations, all in an environment that is fantasy and yet totally believable. Who wouldn't enjoy a story with a little girl among giants who fearlessly becomes a heroine? Who wouldn't care about a friendly giant who had no schoolin' and uses words like kidsnatched (kidnapped), human beans (human beings), and chiddlers (children)?
The BFG, first published in 1982, has taken its place among Roald Dahl's many other masterworks. It has even captured the imagination of that most remarkable of big screen dream weavers, Steven Spielberg. Spielberg's film version of The BFG will be released in the summer of 2016.
Monday, April 18, 2016
Ron Chernow's biography is considered by many to be the best account of Hamilton's life. It is long and dense but, in the words of one critic, it is that happy rarity, "a popular biography that should also delight scholars." Hamilton's brilliance and foresight shine with dazzling effect in Chernow's storytelling and analyses. If we think that politics and the press are poisoned in our own time, we learn that the modern era may pale beside the vitriol of early America. It was not just reputations that were contested in such contentious times. The founding fathers argued over the direction of the country. There were fundamental differences over executive authority, the implied clause in the constitution, and federal precedence over states' rights In short time, the two party system would emerge and dominate the politics of American culture. It is this background that leads to the fatal encounter between Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton in July of 1804.
In 2015, Chernow's biography became the inspiration for Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda's blockbuster hip hop musical. Miranda read the book while on vacation in 2008. Seven years later, 700 people waited in line for lottery tickets for the opening night preview of his musical on Hamilton's life. While they waited they could have read the book.
Saturday, April 9, 2016
An excellent mystery series opener by Armstrong, City of the Lost is placed in a truly unique setting where technology is minimal and the town's civilians must rely on each other to survive. Armstrong's writing shines by building complex, damaged characters who struggle with intimate relationships, romantic and platonic, but she is also able to render taut, exciting action scenes that will keep the reader turning the pages to the end. This book will be published mid-May. While you are waiting, check out Armstrong's other mystery series with folklore elements called, "Cainsville."
Thursday, March 31, 2016
The humor and suspense keep the pages turning, making this a book for every reader and not just science fiction fans. And even though there is a lot of science, math, and technological jargon, Mark's matter-of-fact journals parse out the essentials, so it's easy to keep up. Conceptualizing everything Mark describes might be another matter, but the movie version of the The Martian has fantastic visuals so be sure to check that out as well as the book!
Friday, March 18, 2016
Verdict Weaver (A Duchess in Name) expertly drafts a compelling history for these childhood friends, and readers will be immediately invested in the pair's affection and future outcomes. Nate and Amelia's chemistry smolders; their heat is kindled from a shared past rather than instant attraction, which makes their reckless bid for happiness truly believable. This series tale stands well on its own and is certainly one to savor.
This review was originally published in Library Journal Xpress Reviews: E-Originals, March 3, 2016.
Saturday, March 12, 2016
Williams writes a compelling story of marriage and army life. The story is based on the only fatal nuclear accident in the U.S.