Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Frozen by Mary Casanova

Sadie Rose has been cared for by the senator and his wife for 11 years, ever since she was found almost frozen to death in a snowbank near her dead mother.  For these 11 years Sadie Rose's voice remained frozen, until she finds hidden pictures of her mother and decides to start piecing together the mystery of her mother's death, and Sadie's place in this world.

This novel is set on the border between Minnesota and Canada during the 1920's.  Sadie is looking for a place to belong, for the family she feels she never had (the family she lives with has chosen never to adopt her).  She is also starting to learn to form her own opinion, especially about the development of the area she lives in and the logging industry.

Sadie Rose is a likable character, and her desire to belong and to be part of a family are ones that almost any reader can relate to.  The setting in this novel is a bit muddled, since I don't know the area, and it appears to be a large grouping of islands that the book takes place on, I wasn't able to really understand the setting.

I read this book quickly, but in the end I just thought it was OK.  I generally really enjoy historical fiction, and the 1920's are a time I enjoy reading about, but I just never found myself overly invested in the characters or the story.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

What We Saw at Night by Jacquelyn Mitchard

This review is based an ARC e-book I received from Netgalley

I was very excited to see What We Saw at Night as one of the books that I could request from Netgalley.  I'd read a review of it and the premise seemed really interesting  The story is about three teens in MN who have XP, a severe allergy to sunlight.  These teens live their whole lives in the darkness of night.   As a trio the teens (Allie, Rob, and Juliet) take up parkour and it is during one of their parkour adventures that they see the dead girl.  This event triggers a shift in the trio's entire world.

What We Saw at Night tries to be too many things. Allie is falling in love for the first time, Juliet wants to escape her small world, and Rob seems to be there just to be pretty.  Some characters are introduced and then dropped, and apparently everyone is so sympathetic to these teens and their XP that they are allowed to do virtually anything they want.  The mystery of the dead girl, and of a possible serial killer in a small town kept me reading through the uneveness of the rest of the book, but I was left unfulfilled by the book's cliffhanger ending.  The preview for the next book in the series (trilogy?) continues the author's self indulgence in Allie's perceived downward spiral, and I am not sure I can make myself read more of that.

I am still considering getting this for the library. The premise is very interesting, and I may be being overly critical.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I Love My Slow Cooker (US Edition) - a review

For my birthday my awesome fiance bought me a Kindle!  So, one of the first things I did was sign up for Netgalley and start working on reading some awesome e-books.  I requested, and was approved for, I Love My Slow Cooker: More than 100 Recipes for Delicious Meals for the Whole Family (US Edition).  This was the first cook book I looked at on my Kindle and I was excited.  I've just started using my slow-cooker, and honesty that thing is awesome!  I can put stuff in before I go to work, and when I get home later I have food already made!  Yay!

I decided I wanted to use the slow cooker this week, and figured that would be a good chance to use this Netgalley book to its full potential.  So, I opened the book and started looking for something to make.  The layout of the book was fine, and I was able to find the part with meat based recipes easily, the only problem was that none of the recipes looked like something I would eat.  Most of them would start out OK, but then they would add something like apricots to a dish with olives.  They just did not sound appetizing at all.  I ended deleting the book off the Kindle and not making anything from it.  I was sadly disappointed.