Books: 3 Mini-Reviews (aka What’s Good to Read)

I read a lot, and don’t always have time to write full, formal reviews of everything. Rather than not sharing some really great books, I decided to try these mini-reviews. Enjoy!

These are the three books that I’ve read this week, and my thoughts. They are in no particular order.

Lily and the Octopus by Steven Rowley:

A sweet, funny, sad story of a man and his beloved dachshund, Lily and the Octopus actually made my cry. Although the theme is a bit depressing, there are plenty of happy moments, and the sadness is worth it, as you will cherish this wonderful glimpse into the history of a very special relationship. I recommend this to anyone who likes a unique, quality read. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves dogs, and understands that they are worth the effort, even when they make you cry.

 

Teeth by Hannah Moskowitz:

Teeth tells the story of a teenage boy who moves to a remote island with his family in search of a miracle cure for his sick younger brother. The story itself is compelling, but the book really shines when it focuses on the feelings that tough, hip, foul-mouthed Rudy has for his brother and for his new friend. There are supernatural elements in the book (magic fish, and one very special character), but I would not classify this as fantasy. Instead, I think of it as realism, with a touch of the unknown. One note: Rudy, as the first-person narrator, swears a lot. Although it is part of his character, and makes him seem like a real teenager, I would proceed with caution in recommending this to older kids. (It is definitely too adult for younger ones.)

 

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin:

This is an unusual and intriguing story, told by first-person narrator Mara. Mara has been through a trauma, and is trying to get her life back on track. Unfortunately, she is hampered in this by some strange happenings. The story moves along at a nice pace, and is occasionally interspersed with dreams/memories of the past events that helped lead Mara to her present situation. In addition to Mara herself, the other relevant characters (her brothers Daniel and Joseph, and classmates Noah and Jamie) are clearly drawn and appealing. One note: this is book 1 of a trilogy, so plan accordingly. The story ends with a startling revelation, so plan to acquire the second book (The Evolution of Mara Dyer) before you finish this one.

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