Monday, August 21, 2017

YA ARC Review: No Such Person

No Such Person by Caroline B. Cooney, July 14, 2015. 246 pages. Published by Delacorte Press. Source: ARC from Anya @ On Starships and Dragonwings.
Miranda and Lander Allerdon are sisters. Miranda is younger, a dreamer, and floating her way through life. Lander is older, focused, and determined to succeed. As the girls and their parents begin another summer at their cottage on the Connecticut River, Miranda and Lander’s sibling rivalry is in high gear. Lander plans to start medical school in the fall, and Miranda feels cast in her shadow.

When the Allerdons become entangled in an unimaginable tragedy, the playing field is suddenly leveled. As facts are revealed, the significance of what has happened weighs heavily on all. How can the family prepare for what the future may hold?
First Sentence
At first the police are casual.

I feel terrible that I did not get around to reading No Such Person till last weekend. I accidentally misplaced it in the process of reorganizing my book collection two years ago. I am just so grateful to have been gifted the arc from Anya as Caroline B. Cooney is one of my all-time favorite authors!!

  • First off, one of the things I found most enjoyable about No Such Person was how the story was told from a dual perspective; that of the two sisters. It gave the story a deeper perspective to see the events unfold through their eyes. It also gave a really good look into the mind of both characters; which was fascinating because you could see how things weighed on their minds and how the circumstances affected them. I was not expecting the story to be told from both viewpoints, but I really enjoyed it. 
  • Usually, I don't like books that are set in the northeast. I just don't, okay. But for maybe the first time ever, it did not bother me. Why, because the Allerdons' bad run of luck began brewing during the very first page. So it was not like there was a lot of time for the story to drag through descriptions of the setting before things actually started. I was so swept up in the story and the setting that I would have read additional two-hundred pages because the mystery was just that well written. 
  • What is it about this mystery that I enjoyed so much? Well, it was fascinating for two very different reasons. The first being that both of the Allerdons' girls were forced to learn some hard truths about themselves through the ordeal. They definitely learned some things that forced them to grow, so that in itself was really fascinating. The second part is the mystery itself. Even though I figured it out early on, it was still really creepy as it changed the character's perspective regarding neighbors she had known for years and years. Caroline B. Cooney did such a great job portraying the fear that no one could be trusted as the plot thickened. It was rather riveting even though I had made my guesses early on in the "game". 
Final Verdict: No Such Person- The character development and intense atmosphere made this one irresistible and impossible to put down. Could not be happier to read a "new" book by a beloved author!!!

No Such Person earns

An advanced copy of this book was received as a gift from Anya @ On Starships and Dragonwings. All thoughts are my own. 

Friday, August 18, 2017

Spinning Pages (21): The Poet's Dog/Softly and Tenderly

Oftentimes, while I'm reading a song will pop into my head because the book makes me think of it; sometimes the reverse happens and a random song will make me think of a book I have readSpinning Pages is a combination of my love for books and music. More often than not, the inspiration for these posts strikes while I have music thumping in my ears while exercising (kind of like how this feature came to be). 

This week on Spinning Pages, we are setting off into a winter storm where two children are taken in by the dog of a poet. As the three grow closer and mend their broken hearts a chance at new happiness is on the horizon. 

when you get down to it, The Poet's Dog needed a song that was

Softly and Tenderly by Rebecca Lynn Howard-
O for the wonderful love he has promised
Promised for you and for me
Though we have sinned, he has mercy and pardon
Pardon for you and for me

Come home, come home
Ye who are weary, come home
Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling
Calling, O sinner, come home
(lyrics are taken from Lyrics)

I actually have not listened to Rebecca Lynn Howard's Softly and Tenderly in, well, years and years. But it just popped into my head when I was thinking about Patricia MacLachlan's The Poet's Dog as it felt like the two were meant to be paired together. 
This time, it's more the melody of the song and then the lyrics that made want to put them together. When I read the book, it was one of those story's that is told in such a calm, subtle way that pairing it with a fast tempo song would just not work at all. As to the lyrics selected, well, it made me think of something that Sylvan, the Poet, had said to Teddy. A certain something that would slowly play out during the book.  

Curious to learn more of my thoughts on The Poet's Dog by Patricia MacLachlan, then be sure to check out my review!  

You can listen to Rebecca Lynn Howard's Softly and Tenderly below. I do hope that you'll enjoy the song. It is really funny how a song you haven't heard in ages can just "pop" back into your head at the most random of thoughts!!


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

I Want to Read It (66): A Most Magical Girl

I Want to Read It, a hybrid between WLW (or WOW) and what's on my to-be-read pile. Well, instead of focusing just on books I would like to acquire, I will be using it to feature books that I just want to read. From the ones, I want to buy to the one's sitting on my TBR at home.

A Most Magical Girl by Karen Foxlee, August 2, 2016. Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers. Source: Want to Read.
Annabel Grey is primed for a proper life as a young lady in Victorian England. But when her mother suddenly disappears, she’s put in the care of two eccentric aunts who thrust her into a decidedly un-ladylike life, full of potions and flying broomsticks and wizards who eat nothing but crackers. Magic, indeed! Who ever heard of such a thing?

Before Annabel can assess the most ladylike way to respond to her current predicament, she is swept up in an urgent quest. Annabel is pitted against another young witch, Kitty, to rescue the sacred Moreover Wand from the dangerous underworld that exists beneath London. The two girls outsmart trolls, find passage through a wall of faerie bones, and narrowly escape a dragon, but it doesn’t take long for Annabel to see that the most dangerous part of her journey is her decision to trust this wild, magical girl.

While I have only read one of Karen Foxlee's books, Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy, before, I did enjoy it immensley. So, yes, I am curious to see if A Most Magical Girl would be just as good (or even better). Even though the synopsis does not sound perfectly captivating, I am curious enough to give it a always, I hope a book will be better than my expectations!!

If you've read A Most Magical Girl, what did you think? Help a reader out!! 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Teaser Tuesday: The Poet's Dog

Teaser Tuesday is hosted by MizB of Books And A Beat. To participate, simply do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, August 14, 2017

All About Middle-Grade Review: The Poet's Dog

The Poet's Dog by Patricia MacLachlan, September 13, 2016. 96 pages. Published by Katherine Tegen Books. Source: Publisher.
Teddy is a gifted dog. Raised in a cabin by a poet named Sylvan, he grew up listening to sonnets read aloud and the comforting clicking of a keyboard. Although Teddy understands words, Sylvan always told him there are only two kinds of people in the world who can hear Teddy speak: poets and children.

Then one day Teddy learns that Sylvan was right. When Teddy finds Nickel and Flora trapped in a snowstorm, he tells them that he will bring them home—and they understand him. The children are afraid of the howling wind, but not of Teddy’s words. They follow him to a cabin in the woods, where the dog used to live with Sylvan . . . only now his owner is gone.

As they hole up in the cabin for shelter, Teddy is flooded with memories of Sylvan. What will Teddy do when his new friends go home? Can they help one another find what they have lost?
First Sentence
I found the boy at dusk.

I was sorely tempted to just never read The Poet's Dog as it looked like it was going to be one of those dog books that break your heart. You know that ones I'm talking about, right? Well, it was not like those ones, okay.

  • If you read between the lines in what I previously said about this book, then you can rest assured that reading it won't break your heart (in one fashion). While it might be deemed a spoiler to even hint at that, I always think one should be warned, whether for good or bad, when it comes to books about animals. You know, since they tend to, well, end sadly. Although there is still a sad element to this book, it is one that you would not really expect. 
  • The best way I can think of the describe Patricia MacLachlan's book would be, that it softly tells the story of how a dog and two children, brought together by chance during a winter storm, bring new hope and healing to each others' lives. To be quite frank, this book is not really a page-turner, it's more of a quiet and subtle story. 
  • While I did find myself enjoying it after I figured out that it was not going to rip my heart to shreds. For one thing, it was rather sweet seeing how all three of them bonding during the storm and how their encounter brought about a fresh start for each of them. It was, well, good but not great. Perhaps it was just not the right book for my reading taste. 
  • Overall, The Poet's Dog was a nice story with a warm message. The writing and storytelling were good, but not excellent. I just was underwhelmed when it came to this book. That being said, I really liked the ending of the book because it was just, well, heartwarming and so deserved. I would have been rather disappointed if it had ended any other way because he deserved all the good things!!
Final Verdict: The Poet's Dog- It was good, but not great. That's about all I can say at this point...

The Poet's Dog earns

A copy of this book was received for review consideration. All thoughts are my own.


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