Saturday, April 21, 2018

SEEKING MANSFIELD by Kate Watson

Sixteen-year-old Finley Price has perfected two things: how to direct a world-class production, and how to fly way, way under the radar. The only person who ever seems to notice Finley is her best friend, the Bertram's son Oliver. If she could just take Oliver's constant encouragement to heart and step out of the shadows, she'd finally chase her dream of joining the prestigious Mansfield Theater.

When teen movie stars Emma and Harlan Crawford move next door to the Bertram's, they immediately set their sights on Oliver and his cunning sister, Juliette, shaking up Finley and Oliver's stable friendship. As Emma and Oliver grow closer, Harlan finds his attention shifting from Juliette to the quiet, enigmatic, and thoroughly unimpressed Finley. Out of boredom, Harlan decides to make her fall in love with him. Problem is, the harder he seeks to win her, the harder he falls for her.

But Finley doesn't want to be won, and she doesn't want to see Oliver with anyone else. To claim Oliver's heart—and keep her own—she'll have to find the courage to do what she fears most: step into the spotlight
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 Finley Price is content to lay low and not cause any waves, or even little teeny ripples, in life. He movie star dad died and her mom turned to drugs, alcohol and abusing Finley and her brother so Finley is taken out of the home and placed with her godparents.  So techinically, Oliver Bertram is her godbrother (is that possible?), whom she is secretly in love. 
Oliver has felt protective of Finley since she was the scared little girl who moved in with his family. And he's been in love with her too. Of course, neither Oliver nor Finley know the other is crushing and neither will admit it as they feel their restraint is helping the other. 
THEN Hollywood moves in next door and Finely can't stay hidden any longer, espeicalyy once Harlan Crawford decides he's going to draw her out of her shell and force her to see how aweomse and beautiful she really is. Harlan's sister, Emma, decides Oliver will now be her boyfriend. 

SEEKING MANSFIELD is an engaging story of love, dreams, relationships and finding out who you really want to be. 
I loved the characters and their interactions! Ms. Watson wrote deep characters with motives and desires and agendas that all translates to growing and learning. I loved the different inside jokes and games the siblings had and the talk of theater and movies added depth to the story. 

No swears (that I remember)
Kissing
No violence

Saturday, April 14, 2018

YOU BRING THE DISTANT NEAR by Mitali Perkins

Five girls. Three generations. One great American love story. You Bring the Distant Near explores sisterhood, first loves, friendship, and the inheritance of culture--for better or worse. Ranee, worried that her children are losing their Indian culture; Sonia, wrapped up in a forbidden biracial love affair; Tara, seeking the limelight to hide her true self; Shanti, desperately trying to make peace in the family; Anna, fighting to preserve her Bengali identity--award-winning author Mitali Perkins weaves together a sweeping story of five women at once intimately relatable and yet entirely new.



  





Opening scene:

"The swimmers have finished their races and are basking in the sun."

I loved the culture, characters, food and family love in this book.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

DAUGHTER OF THE SIREN QUEEN by Tricia Levenseller

Alosa's mission is finally complete. Not only has she recovered all three pieces of the map to a legendary hidden treasure, but the pirates who originally took her captive are now prisoners on her ship. Still unfairly attractive and unexpectedly loyal, first mate Riden is a constant distraction, but now he's under her orders. And she takes great comfort in knowing that the villainous Vordan will soon be facing her father's justice.

When Vordan exposes a secret her father has kept for years, Alosa and her crew find themselves in a deadly race with the feared Pirate King. Despite the danger, Alosa knows they will recover the treasure first . . . after all, she is the daughter of the Siren Queen.



  


Opening line:

"The sound of my knife slitting across a throat feels much too loud in the darkness."

This book drew me in from the very beginning in this fast paced pirate story full of mostly female, kick butt characters who very individual and fun to read.
Alosa has all the pieces to the treasure now (after killing a TON of pirates) and now she and her dad can go and take the siren treasure together. That is until she learns more about her dad and her mom and things take a huge turn and she's not sure who to trust, including herself.
I love the way Alosa takes care of and cares for her crew. She's fiercely loyal to them as they are to her. They would follow her to the ends of the earth and to death if that's what she thought was the best for people.
I'm ready for the next book!

Language: over 30 swears
Sex: kissing, makeouts,
Violence: who crews of pirates killed, fighting,

Thanks to netgalley for the early read

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Never That Far by Carol Lynch Williams HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY!

Libby Lochewood is twelve years old in 1967 when her grampa dies of a heart attack. She is devastated at losing her best friend. Now that Grampa's passed on, it's just her and her father, and he is so overcome by grief that he can barely get out of bed in the morning.

The night of the funeral, though, Grampa's spirit appears in Libby's bedroom and tells her three important things: first, that she isn't alone or forgotten--"The dead ain't never that far from the living," he says; second, that she has "the Sight"--the ability to see family members who have died; and three, that there is something special just for her in the lake. Something that could help her and her father--if she can find it. He kisses Libby on the cheek and vanishes in a soft glow of light and color.

Libby begins her search along with her friends Bobby and Martha, but it's hard to know if they've found what Grampa wanted her to find since they don't really know what it is. As Libby's father falls deeper and deeper into depression, Libby and Grampa work together on a plan to help her father believe that their loved ones who have died are much closer than he thinks. But it will take all of Libby's courage and her gift of Sight to convince her father and help him believe that the dead are never truly gone.

Never That Far is set in the lush, rural landscape of southern Florida and is a middle-grade novel about friendship, hope, and the power of family love.


  Opening line:
""What you doing, girl?" Daddy said when the burying was done.

Libby is going through a hard time. Her very best friend, her grampa, just died and her daddy isn't paying any attention to her. He's caught up in his own sorrows that stem back before this new death.
That night, her grampa's spirit visits her to comfort her and tell her a few important things. The most important: "The dead ain't never that far...". He also tells her there is a treasure out at the lake on their property. Libby's adventures are about to begin with the help of her new friend Bobby. She finds peace and love and something very, very special, more special than gold bouillon.
If there is a child or parent going through the loss of a loved one, this story is a great reminder that our loved ones are always close, even if we don't see them

NEVER THAT FAR is a story of love, family and most importantly, finding a soft spot to land surrounded by a loving family, both past and present.


Thanks to netgalley and Shadow Mountain for the early read.