Christmas Break Reading

Oh, the joy of Christmas break. Even with the busyness right before Christmas with last minute (actually, first and last minute!!) shopping and preparations, I’ve still had time to read.

And it fills my heart with JOY. 🙂

Here’s what I’ve read this week:


I love Lysa’s style of writing- she’s SO real about her walk with God.

I finally dove back into the young adult world and was NOT disappointed! Sharon Draper is always a good choice.

Adult fiction is what lets me escape the pressures of life. And this one did just that. Even though it was eye opening about where our world could be headed. Now I want to see the movie!

So what have you been reading lately????

Touch and Go by Lisa Gardner Book Review


Touch and Go by Lisa Gardner

Goodreads Summary:

#1 New York Times bestseller Lisa Gardner, author of Catch Me and Love You More, returns with a heart-thumping thriller about what lurks behind the facade of a perfect family. 
This is my family:  Vanished without a trace…

Justin and Libby Denbe have the kind of life that looks good in the pages of a glossy magazine. A beautiful fifteen-year old daughter, Ashlyn. A gorgeous brownstone on a tree-lined street in Boston’s elite Back Bay neighborhood. A great marriage, admired by friends and family.  A perfect life.

This is what I know:  Pain has a flavor…

When investigator Tessa Leoni arrives at the crime scene in the Denbes’ home, she finds scuff marks on the floor and Taser confetti in the foyer.  The family appears to have been abducted, with only a pile of their most personal possessions remaining behind.  No witnesses, no ransom demands, no motive.  Just an entire family, vanished without a trace.

This is what I fear:  The worst is yet to come…

Tessa knows better than anyone that even the most perfect façades can hide the darkest secrets.  Now she must race against the clock to uncover the Denbes’ innermost dealings, a complex tangle of friendships and betrayal, big business and small sacrifices.  Who would want to kidnap such a perfect little family?  And how far would such a person be willing to go?

This is the truth:  Love, safety, family…it is all touch and go.

My Thoughts:

My first thoughts as I began to read this book were that I wasn’t really getting into it but would just plod through to finish. It was a surprising feeling since I love Lisa Gardner’s books.

BUT- I soon became spellbound. How could I have ever doubted her? 🙂

With a few twists and turns throughout and some shocking reveals in the last couple of chapters, this one did not disappoint!

5 out of 5 stars

The Nazi Hunters by Neal Bascomb Book Review


The Nazi Hunters by Neal Bascomb

Goodreads Summary:

A thrilling spy mission, a moving Holocaust story, and a first-class work of narrative nonfiction.

In 1945, at the end of World War II, Adolf Eichmann, the head of operations for the Nazis’ Final Solution, walked into the mountains of Germany and vanished from view. Sixteen years later, an elite team of spies captured him at a bus stop in Argentina and smuggled him to Israel, resulting in one of the century’s most important trials — one that cemented the Holocaust in the public imagination.

THE NAZI HUNTERS is the thrilling and fascinating story of what happened between these two events. Survivor Simon Wiesenthal opened Eichmann’s case; a blind Argentinean and his teenage daughter provided crucial information. Finally, the Israeli spies — many of whom lost family in the Holocaust — embarked on their daring mission, recounted here in full. Based on the adult bestseller HUNTING EICHMANN, which is now in development as a major film, and illustrated with powerful photos throughout, THE NAZI HUNTERS is a can’t-miss work of narrative nonfiction for middle-grade and YA readers.

My Thoughts:

I’m sort of divided on this book. While the premise of the story is a GOOD one (especially since I’ve become fascinated with anything Holocaust), this one was told in a FACTUAL way that got me bogged down in names and so much information. Of course, it is a work of non-fiction so that really doesn’t seem fair of me to take away from all of the hard work that the author must have put into writing this book. 

They say it’s for middle grade/high school, but 6th grade is considered middle grade, and I don’t think I have ANY 6th graders that would stick with this one. It was difficult for me to stick with it. 🙂 At times it felt like it just dragged on. Then again, that’s probably what this chase felt like to the ones who were hunting him down. That it would never end.

So, with all that being said, I did enjoy the story line-just wish it could have been told in less pages and details. Maybe what I’m saying is that I probably would have enjoyed this story told on a 4th grade level????

I gave it 4 out of 5 stars because the author accomplished what he set out to do: relay the hunting down of Adolf Eichmann.

Jodi Picoult Marathon

I have had a Jodi Picoult marathon this past week!!!

These are the books I’ve read:

The Tenth CircleThe Tenth Circle-MY FAVORITE

Salem FallsSalem Falls-Less than intelligent main character in my opinion

Perfect MatchPerfect Match-Never could like the main character. Really tried to. 🙂

They were all awesome-as I am a HUGE Jodi Picoult fan!!!! But The Tenth Circle was my FAVE!

And I’ve just started:

The Storyteller

This one mixes in some history with the holocaust which REALLY intrigued me!

I should have written my goodreads reviews RIGHT WHEN I FINISHED ALL 3 OF THESE. I’m too lazy to go back and review them in any kind of detail. Not that my reviews are real detailed to begin with. 🙂 They probably would be IF I would take notes WHILE I read. Oh, well. You get the picture. Or the story. 🙂

See Jane Run by Hannah Jayne Book Review


See Jane Run by Hannah Jayne

Goodreads Summary:

I know who you are.

When Riley first gets the postcard tucked into her bag, she thinks it’s a joke. Then she finds a birth certificate for a girl named Jane Elizabeth O’Leary hidden inside her baby book.

Riley’s parents have always been pretty overprotective. What if it wasn’t for her safety…but fear of her finding out their secret? What have they been hiding? The more Riley digs for answers, the more questions she has.

The only way to know the truth? Find out what happened to Jane O’Leary.

“A fast-paced thriller.”–Kirkus Reviews

“What a ride! Full of twists and turns — including an ending you won’t see coming!”–April Henry, New York Times bestselling author of The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die

My Thoughts:

I have to admit there were several times when I wanted Riley to just ask the question, ask it already. A little annoying but not enough to stop reading. 

This is a great YA novel with just the right hint of suspense, some twists to keep you guessing, mixed in with a healthy dose of teenage life.

Wanting to read another one by this author!

4 out of 5 stars

Every Last One by Anna Quindlen Book Review


Every Last One by Anna Quindlen

Goodreads Summary:

In this breathtaking and beautiful novel, the #1 New York Timesbestselling author Anna Quindlen creates an unforgettable portrait of a mother, a father, a family, and the explosive, violent consequences of what seem like inconsequential actions.
Mary Beth Latham is first and foremost a mother, whose three teenaged children come first, before her career as a landscape gardener, or even her life as the wife of a doctor.  Caring for her family and preserving their everyday life is paramount.  And so, when one of her sons, Max, becomes depressed, Mary Beth becomes focused on him, and is blindsided by a shocking act of violence. What happens afterwards is a testament to the power of a woman’s love and determination, and to the invisible line of hope and healing that connects one human being with another. Ultimately, in the hands of Anna Quindlen’s mesmerizing prose, Every Last One is a novel about facing every last one of the the things we fear most, about finding ways to navigate a road we never intended to travel, to live a life we never dreamed we’d have to live but must be brave enough to try.

My Thoughts: (Kleenex Needed!!!)

Mary Beth’s life is unraveling but it’s real. And still safe. Until the unthinkable happens.

This one will reach into the far corners of your heart. It read like a Jodi Picoult novel in my opinion. Another good reason to give it 5 stars.

5 out of 5 stars

I hope you’re ready for this one.

Magic Hour by Kristin Hannah Book Review


Magic Hour by Kristin Hannah

Goodreads Summary:

Until recently, Dr. Julia Cates was one of the preeminent child psychiatrists in the country, but a scandal shattered her confidence, ruined her career, and made her a media target. When she gets a desperate call from her estranged sister, Ellie, a police chief in their small western Washington hometown, she jumps at the chance to escape.

In Rain Valley, nothing much ever happens–until a girl emerges from the deep woods and walks into town. She is a victim unlike any Julia has ever seen: a child locked in a world of unimaginable fear and isolation. When word spreads of the “wild child” and the infamous doctor who is treating her, the media descend on Julia and once again her competence is challenged. State and federal authorities want to lock the girl away in an institution until an identification can be made. But to Julia, who has come to doubt her own ability, nothing is more important than saving the girl she now calls Alice. To heal this child, Julia will have to understand that she cannot work alone and must look to others–the people in the town she left long ago, the sister she barely knows, and Dr. Max Cerrasin, a handsome, private man with secrets of his own.

Then a shocking revelation forces Julia to risk everything to discover the truth about Alice. The ordeal that follows will test the limits of Julia’s faith, forgiveness, and love, as she struggles to ascertain where Alice ultimately belongs.

In her most ambitious novel to date, Kristin Hannah delivers an incandescent story about the resilience of the human spirit, the triumph of hope, and the mysterious places in the heart where love lies waiting.

My Thoughts:

I think this might be my favorite Kristin Hannah book yet! I couldn’t turn the pages quick enough to find out what was going to happen with Alice. This one packed a powerful punch!!

I’ve read a lot of books this past week-A LOT! But I think I would have to put this one at the TOP of my list!

For those of you that have been following my book reviews YOU MUST READ THIS ONE!!!!!!!!!! 🙂

5 out of 5 stars

Keeping Faith by Jodi Picoult Book Review


Keeping Faith by Jodi Picoult

Goodreads Summary:

One of America’s most powerful and thought-provoking novelists, New York Times bestselling author Jodi Picoult brilliantly examines belief, miracles, and the complex core of family.

When the marriage of Mariah White and her cheating husband, Colin, turns ugly and disintegrates, their seven-year-old daughter, Faith, is there to witness it all. In the aftermath of a rapid divorce, Mariah falls into a deep depression — and suddenly Faith, a child with no religious background whatsoever, hears divine voices, starts reciting biblical passages, and develops stigmata. And when the miraculous healings begin, mother and daughter are thrust into the volatile center of controversy and into the heat of a custody battle — trapped in a mad media circus that threatens what little stability the family has left.

My Thoughts:

Jodi has done it again- another book that left me spellbound!

She has a way of writing about such controversial issues, but ones that really make you think, and then she weaves characters into the story that are so real with things you like and things you don’t like about them.

I seriously think that Jodi Picoult may be the most talented author out there of adult contemporary fiction!

5 out of 5 stars

Every Breath You Take by Judith McNaught Book Review


Every Breath You Take by Judith McNaught

Goodreads Summary:

Unforgettable characters, sizzling romance, and riveting suspense: These are the trademarks of beloved author Judith McNaught. With millions of devoted fans and ten New York Times bestsellers to date, McNaught is a writer whose work just gets better with each new novel–and Every Breath You Take is the book readers have been waiting for. Returning to the lavish Chicago setting of her popular novel Paradise, and revisiting some of that book’s characters as well, this story will captivate in inimitable Judith McNaught style.

High atop a snow-covered hill, the stately old Wyatt mansion is perched like a crown, its stone spires pointing upward, its stained glass windows glowing like colorful jewels. Such opulence means success and, surely, happiness. But on the eve of wealthy philanthropist Cecil Wyatt’s eightieth birthday, all the money in the world won’t bring back his missing grandson, William Wyatt. The only thing for certain: Foul play was involved.

The family, the police, the media–all have tried in vain to discover the young man’s fate. Now suspicion has turned shockingly toward William’s own half-brother, the rather distant and enigmatic Mitchell Wyatt.

Kate Donovan never dreamed that a chance romantic encounter on a tropical island paradise would tag her as a suspect in a high-society murder case. But after Kate tangles with the darkly charismatic Mitchell Wyatt, she finds herself cast in a shadow of guilt and mistrust. As the Chicago police tighten their net, it will take all of Kate’s ingenuity to clear her name. With her calm, cool wit, and the help of a man who may or may not be a dangerous catch, Kate vows to claim the life and love she desires.

My Thoughts:

This is the first romantic book I’ve read in awhile, and it lived up to my expectations. A complicated situation though,that at one point I wanted to grab both of them and say- HEY, WAKE UP!!!!!! 🙂

Quite a range of emotions in this one-actually, enough to think it’s pretty realistic. Sweet and tender. A love that is intoxicating. That leaves you breathless.

Just the kind of book that lets you escape from real life for a little bit!

4 out of 5 stars

TEN by Gretchen McNeil Book Review


TEN by Gretchen McNeil

Goodreads Summary:

Don’t spread the word!
Three-day weekend. Party at White Rock House on Henry Island.
You do NOT want to miss it.

It was supposed to be the weekend of their lives—an exclusive house party on Henry Island. Best friends Meg and Minnie each have their reasons for being there (which involve T.J., the school’s most eligible bachelor) and look forward to three glorious days of boys, booze and fun-filled luxury.

But what they expect is definitely not what they get, and what starts out as fun turns dark and twisted after the discovery of a DVD with a sinister message: Vengeance is mine.

Suddenly people are dying, and with a storm raging, the teens are cut off from the outside world. No electricity, no phones, no internet, and a ferry that isn’t scheduled to return for two days. As the deaths become more violent and the teens turn on each other, can Meg find the killer before more people die? Or is the killer closer to her than she could ever imagine?

My Thoughts:

A GREAT YA mystery suspense novel. Just looking at the front cover made me want to read it!

4 out of 5 stars