Thursday, April 30, 2015

My Last Kiss by Bethany Neal - OPTIONAL

Neal, Bethany  My Last Kiss, 358 pgs.  Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Macmillan), 2014.  $17.99  Content: Language: PG-13 (7 swears); Mature Content: PG-13; Violence: PG-13.   

Cassidy is dead, but she doesn’t see a bright light that she should go towards and she finds herself in limbo on earth.  She can’t remember her past and she can’t remember the circumstances surrounding her death, but she quickly learns that everyone believes she committed suicide and her boyfriend Ethan can see her.  Cassidy’s story goes back and forth between memories of before her death and her friends and family grieving after her death all the while uncovering what really happened.   

Cassidy’s story pulled me in from the beginning and I wanted to uncover the mystery of her death.  I liked the minor characters but sometimes I had a hard time with Cassidy’s poor decisions that hurt others.  The mature content is underage drinking and drug use and the violence leads to her death, but isn’t grotesque.   

MS, HS-OPTIONAL.  Reviewer, C. Peterson.   

An Illustrated Treasury of Hans Christian Andersen's Fairy Tales - OPTIONAL

Anderson, Hans Christian  An Illustrated Treasury of Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairy Tales, 207 pgs. Illustrated by Anastasiya Archipova  Floris Books, 2014.  $16.95  PICTURE BOOK  Content: PG.   

This collection holds eight of Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy tales including: Thumbelina, The Little Mermaid, Princess and the Pea, the Snow Queen, The Brave Tin Soldier, The Emperor’s New Suit, The Christmas Tree and The Little Match Girl.  There are beautiful illustrations on every page spread with 1-2 paragraphs per picture.  Some of the stories are sad, such as The Brave Tin Soldier, The Little Mermaid and The Little Match Girl, ending in death, so I put the content at PG.  Although the illustrations are magical they are light and pastel and this book doesn’t stand out as anything more special than other collections by this author.   

EL-OPTIONAL.  Reviewer, C. Peterson.      

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters - OPTIONAL

Winters, Cat  The Cure for Dreaming, 342 pgs.  Amulet, 2014.  $17.95  Content: Language: PG-13 (16 swears; Mature Content: PG-13; Violence: PG.   

Olivia lives in Seattle during the early 1900s.  She lives with her father who is a dentist and he detests all of the women’s suffragist propaganda, but Olivia believes that women are as intellectual as men.  One night, Olivia goes to a hypnotist with her friends and is easily hypnotized in front of a crowd.  Olivia’s father decides he wants to have the hypnotist take away Olivia’s “wild” thoughts of women’s rights which leads to many complications for Olivia.   

The historical period of women’s rights is explored in an interesting way and makes the reader empathize with what it would feel like to not have a voice.  The characters are interesting, especially the hypnotist and his sister, but Olivia’s character is sometimes hard to feel connected to.  There are pictures throughout the book of the time period.  

 MS, HS-OPTIONAL.  Reviewer, C. Peterson.