Posts Tagged ‘family relationships’

The final installment to The Forest of Hands and Teeth Trilogy was not disappointing!

Annah has been surviving on her own in the Dark City for a long time. In fact she has been waiting for Elias to return to her for 3 years. Elias joined the Recruiters 3 years before and has not returned to the city. Annah still has hope that he will come back to her. Finally realizing that she cannot wait forever she is determined to go searching for him. On her way out of the city though she sees someone entering that looks very familiar. In fact she looks just like Annah! She knows immediately that it is her sister that she and Elias left in the Forest many years before.

While searching the city for her sister Annah meets Catcher. She is attracted to him but unable to let her heart care for someone else. At the same time a massive horde has attacked the city. Annah risks going back to her flat to gather personal belongings and weapons. When she arrives she finds Elias there waiting for her. They escape to the island that the Protectorate is living on. The Protectorate hold Annah, her sister Abigail(now Gabry) and Elias hostage and demand that Catcher in his immune state make trips into the city finding supplies to keep the island inhabitants alive.

Annah is elated to finally be reunited with her sister. With that elation comes heartbreak though as she sees the bond between Abigail and Elias. Their love cannot be denied.

The island is a nightmare for Annah. The Recruiters are cruel and heartless. Their commander Ox has stated that Annah and her group should stay clear of the Recruiters because if anything happened he would definitely side with his men. All seems hopeless. Annah begins to wonder why people continue to struggle to survive the massive hordes that are taking over the earth.

All is not lost though and Annah has to believe that all humanity will not be wiped out by the undead.

As with the other 2 books in the series The Dark and Hollow Places is a roller coaster ride of excitement and heart-stopping action. The last several pages had me biting my nails and reading as fast as I could to see the final outcome!


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Mona’s dreams of opening a coffeehouse/bookstore are about to be realized. She has just purchased an old Victorian house with every dime she has saved up for the last 10 years. Mona is stubborn and determined to do all of the work herself. She realizes after her first look at the place though that she is going to need a handyman to help her in order to get it ready for the opening of tourist season in 6 weeks.

It is not easy for Mona to hire Joe. Mona is independent and does not need any romantic entanglements in her life. Plus there has yet to be a man who meets all of her requirements. She has only found that man in Jonah, a character in her favorite author’s books. He is her ideal man and she refuses to settle for anyone less.

After she hires Joe several things happen to make her realize that someone is trying to sabotage her dream. She feels that she does not deserve to realize her dream. She feels that God could not possibly want to bless her with granting her dreams because of the deep guilt that she is carrying around.

Joe has his own secrets to keep. He has been wandering around for most of his life. He can’t afford emotionally to become attached to Mona. From the moment they meet though he is drawn to care for her. Unable to forgive the father who left him and his brother and mother when he was 15 he can’t seem to grasp that he has become just like him. Always running away from his troubles.

Joe has come to Deep Haven to visit his brother that he hasn’t seen in years. He feels guilty about that but soothes his guilt with the fact that he has paid for his brother to stay at a group home. Even when he realizes he has feelings for Mona he cannot reveal to her the true nature of his brother’s handicap. But he is keeping another secret from her that may even be more damaging than that.

For the most part I liked the characters of the book. I did get a little tired of the constant battle that both Joe and Mona had within themselves to keep their “deep dark secrets” and to deny the attraction that they felt for each other. Also there seemed to be a lot of teary eyes in this one. I’m not a fan of a character that constantly cries. It seemed like both Joe and Mona were always welling up. It got kind of old. Not only did Mona and Joe keep secrets from each other, it seemed that the author wanted to keep these secrets from the reader too. Maybe if some of Mona and Joe’s reasons for keeping secrets had been revealed sooner in the story the tears and fears would have been more understandable to the reader.  

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Monica and her father are estranged. Her father gave up his family for his country. Now his job has put Monica in jeopardy. Terrorists have kidnapped 3 American citizens. They have now threatened to kidnap Monica if her father does not give in to their demands.

Mark and his partner Evan Cooper(Coop) are sent to protect Monica. They are part of the FBI’s HRT(Hostage Rescue Team). Monica thinks that everyone is overreacting and refuses to go to a safe house. She agrees to let Mark and Coop protect her in her home, but doesn’t see the need to disappear. Unfortunately these terrorists are serious about their need for revenge on both her father and on the United States.

Coop and Monica have an instant attraction towards each other. Coop is a man of few words though. Monica has written a book entitled “Talk the Walk” stating that words are necessary in relationships.  Monica has a faith in God that Coop does not understand or think is logical. But he is soon to learn that faith may be all that he can trust in when Monica’s life is thrown into even more danger.

I liked the action of this book. The story was suspenseful and entertaining. I thought that the issues of faith were portrayed very weakly though. I appreciate a spine-tingling story without all of the cursing and sex that you find in mainstream fiction. I look forward to reading Irene Hannon’s next two books in this Heroes of Quantico series.

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Layla is a contractor. An unusual profession for a woman. But she is very good at her work. In fact she has just been nominated for a prestigious award. When one of the homes that she has built burns down and a dead body is found in the remains Layla becomes a suspect.

Maddox is the detective working the case. He too is good at his job. His one regret is that he was never able to find the person who murdered his mother. With a broken relationship with his father, and resentment towards a God that would allow his mother to die Maddox is only too willing to believe the worst of Layla.

Layla decides that she is going to try to discover who burned the house and murdered the person inside. While seeking answers from the various people that she contracted to work the site the killer realizes that she needs to be warned off. Layla is side-tracked when people she knows are brought to the hospital with bleeding noses that won’t stop and respiratory problems. The doctors can’t figure out what is the common denominator in the symptoms and they can’t identify what is causing the symptoms.

When Layla’s sister Alana’s fiance’ is hurt in an explosion, Maddox and his partner decide that they need to protect Layla from whomever is trying to hurt her. With their growing attraction for each other sparks fly! But Layla’s faith baffles Maddox. As the mystery unfolds and relationships are mended Maddox begins to see how faith is an important part of our existence.

As the killer becomes more desperate Maddox and Layla race the clock to find out the reason behind the killings. Will they be in time to prevent another tragedy?

Robin Caroll has written an excitement-filled story that will keep the reader wanting to turn the pages until the very end.

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Dear Pen Pal is the 3rd installment of The Mother-Daughter Book Club series. A group of girls and their mother have formed a reading group to discuss books that they read throughout the year. In Dear Pen Pal the group is reading Daddy-Long-Legs by Jean Webster. This year the mother’s have paired the girls up with another Mother-Daughter book club group. This group is in Wyoming. The mother’s from both groups decide that the girls should become Pen-Pals. When the mother’s say Pen-Pals they do not mean IM’ing, or texting or e-mailing Pen-Pals. They mean actually sitting down and writing a letter and mailing snail mail Pen-Pals. You must read the first two books to be able to follow the characters.

Meet the girls:

Becca: Becca is the newest member of the group. The girls still cannot decide if she is a friend or an enemy. So they call her a “frenemy”. Becca’s mom has decided that this is the year that she is going to “improve herself” all of her outlandish outfits make quite an embarrassing situation for Becca. Becca’s pen pal is Zoe Winchester. Zoe’s mom is the mayor of their town. Will Becca and Zoe hit it off or are they too much alike to ever be friends?

Cassidy: Cassidy is a girl-jock. she loves sports. She is the first girl to be on the all-boys ice hockey team. Cassidy’s dad has passed away and her mother has recently re-married. To add to Cassidy’s disgruntlement with the situation her mother and step-dad inform her and the group that they are going to have a baby. Cassidy is not happy. Cassidy is paired up as a pen-pal to Winky Parker. Winky’s family own a Dude Ranch. Cassidy is not getting along with all of the changes in her life. Will this new little one soften her heart?

Jess: Jess’s family own a farm. They work hard and there isn’t much money to spare. Jess loves her home and loves her friends. Jess is given a scholarship to Colonial Academy. A very prestigious boarding school for girls. Jess doesn’t want to leave her friends at Walden Middle School. In order to please her family she agrees to go. She is placed in a room with Savannah, a senator’s daughter. Savannah is a typical priviledged girl and the girls do not get along. Jess is paired up as a pen pal with Madison Daniels. Jess’s mother figured since Jess loves to sing and Madison loves to play the guitar that the girls should have music as a common interest. Jess likes Emma’s brother Darcy. When Savannah asks Darcy to go to a dance with her the little bit of friendship that Jess felt towards her evaporates. Will the girls ever learn how to get along?

Emma: Emma loves to write. Emma loves to read. Walden Middle School has decided to make students wear uniforms this year. Will Emma find that the “Pen is mightier than the sword” and be able to change the faculties mind about uniforms? Emma has a boyfriend, Stewart is Becca’s brother. Will Emma be the first club member to be kissed? Emma is paired up as a pen pal with Bailey Jacobs. Bailey’s mother owns a bookstore. The girls are sure to get along!

Megan: This year Megan’s grandmother moves in with her and her family. Megan seems to get along better with her grandmother than she does with her own mother. Megan’s mother doesn’t understand Megan’s interest in fashion. Megan doesn’t understand why she is an only child. Why does her mother have to be so different? Megan is paired up as a pen-pal with Summer Williams. Summer sews quilts and Megan sews clothes, it should be the perfect match right?

So far I have enjoyed all three books in the Mother-Daughter Book Club series. I am looking forward to the next installment. All 3 books deal with friendship issues and with social issues. These novels are  so refreshing from the novels that deal with drugs and sex. I know that middle schoolers are dealing with those issues too, but there are also kids that aren’t dealing with those darker issues of life. BUT they still are having to deal with acceptance among their peers, family issues, and other growing up issues. Life isn’t all rose-colored glasses, and neither are these novels.

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