Saturday, March 31, 2012

Great Story Teaches about Bullying

Short or Tall Doesn't Matter At All, by William G. Bentrim, is a wonderful story about a fifth-grade girl who deals with bullying because she’s much shorter than her classmates. Elisabeth’s main nemesis is Dominique the Dominator. She picks on Elisabeth on the school bus and at school. She’s unrelenting. We’ve all been victims of bullies or maybe have bullied others. Our children need to learn the dangers of bullying and need to know how to get help if they find they are a victim. This is a great little story showing how the victim comes to the aid of the one who bullies her. And the end result is perfect! Read it to your children. Thanks, Mr. Bentrim, for another job well done!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Good History Lesson

In The Coming Revolution Dr. Richard Lee lays out what our forefathers had in mind and how our country has evolved. There’s a lot of good historical fact in this book and is definitely easy to read. However, Dr. Lee is strictly conservative in his thinking, which is fine – for him. But it may not be for others. There is definitely no middle in his estimation – extreme left or the conservative right. Part of this country’s problems lie in the fact that people do not compromise.

If you’re conservative or if you want a good history lesson, this is an excellent book. Others may find it too one-sided. I did, but I did enjoy the history.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Interesting But Over the Top

Final Price, by J. Gregory Smith is a mystery that’s good but seems to go a bit too far. Buying a car can be frustrating but in this book, it’s downright dangerous. The salesman takes out severe revenge if his customer goes elsewhere. The Chinese detective is an interesting character. Along with his “seeing” sidekick they manage to solve the crimes. The main characters are described very well. The customers are an interesting set of folks. But there are just too many of them and these “incidents” happen too quickly. Mr. Smith should have built up the suspense with each customer a bit more and have fewer of them.

Other than that, I think this is a good book if you’re into gory mysteries.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

A Creepy Loser

Children of the Fog, by Cheryl Kaye Tardif is a mystery, and a mighty creepy one at that. This story was beyond unbelievable! A seemingly brilliant author tricks her cheating husband into having a son. Then the son’s kidnapped by “The Fog.” Without giving away the story to those who may feel obliged to read it, I’ll just say the ending is a surprise but it’s no illogical you may find it difficult to get to the end. Don’t waste your time.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Historical Fiction Thriller

Isle Royale, by John Hamilton is historical fiction – my favorite type of book. So I was delighted when I picked it up. The story is about two families who man a lighthouse on Isle Royale in Lake Superior. They live a quiet, some may say boring, life in this desolate area. I learned a great deal of history and detail about the area as I read. The setting is 1924 and the adventure begins when a gang of bootleggers pounce on the lighthouse keeper and his family. LeBeck, the bootlegger, is the former friend of Clarence and Collene MacDougal. He’s also Collene’s former lover. He wants to take her away from this boring life on the island. Between love letters and flashbacks, the author gives much detail about the horrors of World War I.

Despite all the history, the story itself is one of adventure complete with murder and gore. The unlikely heroes of the story are two teenagers and a bunch of old men. This thriller is a bit hard to believe but the historical facts seem to be accurate. If you’re a World War I buff or want to learn more about Isle Royale, this is the book for you.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Never Smile at Strangers

Never Smile at Strangers, by Jennifer Minar-Jaynes is a story where teenagers begin to disappear in a small southern town. There are various suspects as the author manages to show the bad qualities of each of her many characters. I found myself suddenly suspecting one character after the other but I also managed to explain to myself why each was innocent. The true criminal was not one I had questioned until toward the end of the book, but there was even more of a surprise ending, which I had not expected.

I’m not into gory details and this book is full of them. But I got through those descriptions because I wanted to get to the end of the book and find out “who dunnit!” There is one major complaint and I know I’ve written about this before with other books. The typing and grammatical errors were littered throughout the book. Self-publishing is great for those who want to get their work in print in today’s tough market. But, writers, please get someone to edit your books before going to the expense and trouble of self publishing. Believe me, you’ll sell far more books if they’re not full of errors. If I wasn’t reviewing a book and it was so full of mistakes, I would have put it down long ago. And I definitely wouldn’t recommend it to anyone else.

Other than my one big complaint of grammatical and spelling errors, I can recommend this book. It’s a quick read and full of suspense.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Fast but Predictable

Ryan’s Return, by Barbara Freethy, tells the story of two families in a small town. Everyone knows everyone’s business. Or so they think. There was a fair amount of suspense but with a little imagination the end result was predictable.

Years ago Ryan left town abruptly after an argument with his father Jonas. He has a love-hate relationship with both Jonas and his brother Andrew. He’s a famous photo journalist and returns to town when he receives an invitation from Kara, the president of the chamber of commerce. The story unfolds with many secrets revealed along the way.

Ryan’s Return is an easy book to read (I read it in two sittings) and entertaining. My biggest complaint is that the storyline is highly predictable. The appearance of a ghost, however, really threw me for a loop. But if you’re ready to curl up with a light book, Ryan’s Return is for you.