Faithful by Alice Hoffman

Book Description:

Published: November 1, 2016

Format: Audio/OverDrive

Growing up on Long Island, Shelby Richmond is an ordinary girl until one night an extraordinary tragedy changes her fate. Her best friend’s future is destroyed in an accident, while Shelby walks away with the burden of guilt.

What happens when a life is turned inside out? When love is something so distant it may as well be a star in the sky? Faithful is the story of a survivor, filled with emotion—from dark suffering to true happiness—a moving portrait of a young woman finding her way in the modern world. A fan of Chinese food, dogs, bookstores, and men she should stay away from, Shelby has to fight her way back to her own future. In New York City she finds a circle of lost and found souls—including an angel who’s been watching over her ever since that fateful icy night.

Here is a character you will fall in love with, so believable and real and endearing, that she captures both the ache of loneliness and the joy of finding yourself at last. For anyone who’s ever been a hurt teenager, for every mother of a daughter who has lost her way, Faithful is a roadmap.

 

Review –

This wasn’t as good as I thought it would be and I really did not like the character of Shelby. Granted, she went through a horrendous ordeal, but get a grip, girl and move on!

I knew she was just stringing Ben along and when she dumped him for the vet, I knew she would regret it. The vet was just too good to be true. I did like James from the very beginning and think he and Shelby match and cried when I read that he hadn’t given her the tattoo she wanted, but instead, a black butterfly, which had a very special meaning.

The ending was perfect. They pack up and head to California with no hint from the author of an hea. Now, that is real life!

 

 

 

The Tale of the Body Thief (The Vampire Chronicles #4) by Anne Rice

Book Description:

Published: October 4, 1992

At the beginning of the story, Lestat grows depressed and becomes remorseful because of his vampiric nature. Although he tries to limit his victims to murderers, serial killers and other criminals, he nonetheless caves into temptation once in a while and kills an “innocent” or someone who he feels does not necessarily deserve to die. Lestat also suffers from constant nightmares concerning his late “daughter,” Claudia, for whose death he blames himself.

The “coven” of vampires formed at the end of The Queen of the Damned has long since broken up, and Lestat has become extremely lonely. Among his only remaining friends is the mortal head of the Talamasca Caste, David Talbot, who is seventy-four years old. Although Lestat has repeatedly offered David the Dark Gift, David has always refused to become a vampire and keep Lestat company through eternity. Lonely and depressed, Lestat goes to the Gobi desert at dawn in a half-hearted suicide attempt. When he does not die, he goes to David’s home in England to heal.

A mysterious figure, Raglan James—the eponymous “Body Thief” of the story—approaches Lestat with what seems to be a cure for his ennui and depression. James sends Lestat several messages hinting that he has the ability to switch bodies. Eventually, he proposes to Lestat that the two of them trade bodies for a day. Against the advice of other vampires and David Talbot, Lestat jumps at the opportunity. Unfortunately, James has no intention of ever switching back, and Lestat is forced to scheme to regain his body.

Lestat nearly dies after becoming human again—his new body is wracked by pneumonia, which he ignores during a tour ofWashington D.C. in the middle of winter. He is saved by the care of a nun named Gretchen. He enjoys a short love affair with Gretchen before she returns to South America, where she works in a convent, and Lestat sets out in search of his body.

Lestat seeks help from other vampires but is completely ostracized by them. Marius is extremely angry at him for leaving such a powerful body to a thief and refuses to help him. Likewise Louis turns him away when he asks Louis to make his new body into a vampire, arguing that Lestat ought to be happy to be human again and also calls him out on his previous writings, accusing him of altering his actual past in favor of one that portrays him heroically. Lestat’s only ally is David Talbot.

Drawing from the Talamasca’s resources on the supernatural, Talbot reveals that James was a gifted psychic who once joined the order, but was kicked out for constant theft. He is a kleptomaniac who enjoys stealing for the thrill of it — it is revealed that every single thing he owns, from his house to his body, was stolen or schemed for. However, he also has major psychological problems, and his life is a series of cycles — he gets rich by theft, then often ends up in prison. Dying of cancer several years before, James tricked the inmate of a mental institution into switching bodies with him, allowing him a type of immortality.

It is James’ lack of imagination and petty thievery that allow Talbot and Lestat to track him down. Despite his newfound wealth and powerful new body, James continues to steal jewelry from people. He also makes a conspicuous show of his wealth, boarding the RMS Queen Elizabeth 2, and draining victims of their blood along the ship’s path. The pattern allows his pursuers to easily find him.

On the cruise ship, Lestat manages to regain his body with David’s help, but the sun is rising as he performs the switch and he must immediately flee to a safe place in which to spend the day. When he awakes in the evening he finds that both James and Talbot have disappeared.

Lestat finds David in Florida and is surprised to find that his friend, despite his earlier protestations, now wants to become a vampire. However, while taking his blood, Lestat discovers a final trick — when forced out of Lestat’s body, James took over Talbot’s body instead of returning to his own. Lestat angrily attacks James, crushing his skull. The blow proves fatal—the injury damages James’ brain and prevents him from leaving the dying body or trying to switch bodies before his current one dies.

At this point, Tale of the Body Thief reaches a false ending. Raglan James is dead. David has begun to enjoy life in his new, young body. Lestat returns to New Orleans, reunites with Louis, and begins to renovate his old house in the French Quarter. Above all, Lestat claims that he has finally come to accept his vampiric nature. However, Lestat then warns readers not to continue if they are happy with this ending.

Lestat then resumes the narrative, claiming that he has regained his “evil” nature. A few weeks later after reuniting with Louis, Lestat decides to make Talbot into a vampire against his wishes, and despite the role Talbot played in saving his life when everyone else abandoned him. Before engaging in the transformation, Lestat asks David if he’s ever had any luck with having physical affairs. David admits that he’s had a few, but not with much luck. Lestat then tells David what he’s about to do to him and tells him that he’s going to bring him over to him. Thus, indicating that Lestat is not playing around this time and that he really is going to do it. Lestat tells David that he won’t let him die and that he’s the only real friend that David has in this world. During the first part of David’s transformation, he at first he strongly resists Lestat’s domineering, assaultive and verbal advances despite Lestat’s warning not to fight him, but after a while he succumbs. Secretly though, Lestat really loves David fighting him. As this is happening, Lestat lets the readers in on his real emotions for David by thinking of David as having this scrumptious body with a very beautiful mind for ‘his’ beautiful friend and as ‘his’ beloved David. Also during the first part Lestat asks David if he loves him. Soon after David admits his love for Lestat and Lestat says that he feels the same way for David. After having immortality forced upon him, David disappears again. Lestat looks for him for a while, but upon having no luck he gives up and returns to New Orleans where to his surprise he finds that David has already contacted Louis.

David explains to Lestat that, in secret, this is what he always truly wanted. He tells Lestat that he is no longer angry with him, although he does usurp Lestat’s position of leadership, despite the latters’ protests. Having gotten rid of his old age, and now being immortal, David plans to visit Rio de Janeiro with Louis, and asks Lestat to join him. At the end, Lestat also realizes that, despite all that happened, he is still alone, has failed to regain his “humanity,” and has thrown away his only chance to make amends for his past misdeeds. (from Wikipedia)

Review –

Loved it but at times it seems to bog down in details, but I think that’s pretty common for the author. Very lengthy but if you like the vampire genre I recommend you add this to your “to be read” list.

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It’s Not Summer Without You (Summer#2) by Jenny Han

Book Description:

Published: April 27, 2010

Can summer be truly summer without Cousins Beach?

It used to be that Belly counted the days until summer, until she was back at Cousins Beach with Conrad and Jeremiah. But not this year. Not after Susannah got sick again and Conrad stopped caring. Everything that was right and good has fallen apart, leaving Belly wishing summer would never come.
But when Jeremiah calls saying Conrad has disappeared, Belly knows what she must do to make things right again. And it can only happen back at the beach house, the three of them together, the way things used to be. If this summer really and truly is the last summer, it should end the way it started–at Cousins Beach.

Review –

We found out, in the beginning of the second book of the Summer Trilogy, that when Conrad came to pick up Belly in December, they drove to Cousins Beach and stayed in the summer-house overnight, but all they did was kiss (a lot)  and drink hot chocolate. The relationship seemed to slowly  fall apart after that  and then after he took her to the prom in May he broke up with her. Now it is July and Jeremiah calls to say Conrad is missing and he wants Belly to help, so of course she’s going to go and help find Conrad. She packed her bags and tells her best friend Taylor to lie to her mother if she called because she is going to be her alibi. Jeremiah picks her up and then they drive to Brown University and talk to Conrad’s roommate, which is no help so they find another friend to ask  and they find out that he mentioned the beach so they know that he’s going to Cousins Beach so that’s where they go.

Once they get there  Conrad is mad that they came and told them to go right back but of course they don’t. They fight and  argue and Conrad says he still is not coming back. The next morning Belly finds out that Conrad’s father is planning to sell the summer-house and that’s why Conrad is here, not to disappear but to save the house. Conrad’s father says that he definitely is going to sell the house and there’s a lot of yelling and arguing but finally he leaves and they decide that they need to have a party because it’s the last night  in the house on the beach, so they get liquor and beer and pizza and Belly gets drunk and at 4 o’clock in the morning calls her mother and tells her the situation and her mother gets in the car and heads for Cousins Beach.

Once Belly’s mother gets there she tries talking some sense into the boys’ father, but to no avail-BUT finally he concedes and says he will not sell it because he now understands that the boys want to keep it as a way to staying close to their dead mother.

Conrad is still acting indifferent to Belly and her feelings for him. It’s true deep inside he knows he loves her but won’t admit it. Belly is hurt and Jeremiah confesses him feelings for Belly and they kiss and Belly is a bit taken aback at how the kiss makes her feel. It’s not said, but it’s implied that form a relationship because at the end of the book two years have passed and Belly is questioning if she has chosen the right boy.

Can’t wait to read the next book.

Five stars *****

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I Was Here by Gayle Forman

Book Description:

Published: January 27, 2015

Cody and Meg were inseparable.
Two peas in a pod.
Until . . . they weren’t anymore.

When her best friend Meg drinks a bottle of industrial-strength cleaner alone in a motel room, Cody is understandably shocked and devastated. She and Meg shared everything—so how was there no warning? But when Cody travels to Meg’s college town to pack up the belongings left behind, she discovers that there’s a lot that Meg never told her. About her old roommates, the sort of people Cody never would have met in her dead-end small town in Washington. About Ben McAllister, the boy with a guitar and a sneer, who broke Meg’s heart. And about an encrypted computer file that Cody can’t open—until she does, and suddenly everything Cody thought she knew about her best friend’s death gets thrown into question.

Review –

 I rated this book five stars *****

This book pulls at your heart-strings from the very the very first sentence, ” The day after Meg died I received  this letter, ‘I regret to inform you that I have had to take my own life.'”, and never lets go.

Cody and Meg have been best friends all their lives and Cody considered Meg’s mother her mother instead of Patricia, who most times couldn’t be bothered with motherly things.  They were different yet everyone in town said they were like two peas in a pod, and that’s why Meg’s suicide hits Cody so hard.  They had planned to go to the same college but things didn’t go as planned and Meg got a scholarship to a private school  away from home while Cody went to the local community college. Meg’s parents ask Cody to go to the Meg’s off campus house where she shares space with a few roommates so she does and when first meeting the them doesn’t like them at all. Once inside Meg’s room she’s shocked about how neat it is and that it looks like someone has already done most of the packing.  When asked about this, her roommates say that Meg left it that way. She finds out the Meg had a boyfriend for a short time and that he had broken her heart. When she meets Ben McAllister for the first time he hates him and lets him know why. He ***ked her friend and them dumped her. 

While going through Meg’s computer Cody finds that there are missing emails and encrypted files and with the help of a nerdy roommate find out that Meg had been posting to a suicide support board and that someone was encouraging her  so she makes it her goal to find this person and make him pay. During all of this and Ben are thrown together with some of the roommates and sparks start to fly.  She dislikes Ben and likes him at the same time and feels disloyal to Meg for thinking about him.   Both Cody and Ben have baggage from the past, more so Cody, but this brings them closer and without his knowledge or anyone elses, she goes onto the suicide support board hoping to smoke out Meg’s suicide mentor.  She does and asks Ben to travel with her to the home of the man so she can confront him. He doesn’t like it but he does because he has developed strong feelings for her. She confronts the man and instead of driving back to Washington with Ben, calls her Mom and says she wants to come home NOW. Her mom arranges for a plane ticket and Cody flies home to leave Ben to drive the 1000 miles by himself. When she gets home she goes to Meg’s parents home and tells them everyone from the beginning and they tell her they knew about the suicide support board, it had been in the police report, but didn’t know the identity of the man.  They tell Cody that Meg had depression but didn’t want her friends to know and that it came to her through Meg’s Mom who had it too, so Cody should not feel any responsiblity for Meg’s death. There was nothing anyone could have done once Meg made her final choice.  Cody goes home and Ben drives up and all is forgiven and they confess their ***ked  up love for one another and I cried like a baby. This book will remain with me for a very long time.

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The Treatment (The Program #2) by Suzanne Young

Book Description

April 29, 2014
Can Sloane and James survive the lies and secrets surrounding them, or will The Program claim them in the end? Find out in this sequel to The Program, which Publishers Weekly called “chilling and suspenseful.”How do you stop an epidemic?

Sloane and James are on the run after barely surviving the suicide epidemic and The Program. But they’re not out of danger. Huge pieces of their memories are still missing, and although Sloane and James have found their way back to each other, The Program isn’t ready to let them go.

Escaping with a group of troubled rebels, Sloane and James will have to figure out who they can trust, and how to take down The Program. But for as far as they’ve come, there’s still a lot Sloane and James can’t remember. The key to unlocking their past lies with the Treatment—a pill that can bring back forgotten memories, but at a high cost. And there’s only one dose.

Ultimately when the stakes are at their highest, can Sloane and James survive the many lies and secrets surrounding them, or will The Program claim them in the end?

Review –
 I didn’t like the book for the first few chapters because, to me, it was boring and dragged, but then it picked up and I found it to be as good as the first, The Program. Sloane and James (who wouldn’t be my pick for her) are on the run from The Program and little do they know that she has THE TREATMENT in her possession in the form of the little pill that Realm gave her. The pill returns all your memories and can lead too severe depression so only the strong survive.
There is a lot of running and  driving from  safe house to safe house and Dallas is one of the new characters met along the way. She is a leader of one of the rebel groups. Even with all the precautions they take they are infiltrated by someone sympathetic to the cause of The Program and are captured.  Things get out of control but they are rescued in the nick of time by Realm (he and James are now friends) and ways of The Program are made known to the public and all is good for Sloane and James.
I like this series very much and am looking forward to reading THE REMEDY, with is a prequel to The Program Series.
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Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick

Book Description

August 13, 2013
In addition to the P-38, there are four gifts, one for each of my friends. I want to say good-bye to them properly. I want to give them each something to remember me by. To let them know I really cared about them and I’m sorry I couldn’t be more than I was–that I couldn’t stick around–and that what’s going to happen today isn’t their fault.

 
Today is Leonard Peacock’s birthday. It is also the day he will kill his former best friend, and then himself, with his grandfather’s P-38 pistol.
Maybe one day he’ll believe that being different is okay, important even.
But not today.

From Booklist

It’s Leonard’s eighteenth birthday and, big surprise, nobody remembered. This birthday, however, is going to count—because Leonard plans to shoot cruel bully (and former best friend) Asher Beal after school. First, though, there is the small matter of gift giving, in which Leonard deliversfour presents to the four people who made his “worthless” life a little better: a noir film–loving neighbor, a violin prodigy classmate, asuperhot teen evangelist, and his favorite teacher. The single-day time frame provides a good deal of claustrophobic tension, as readers will hope against hope that one of these four people will be able to deflect Leonard from his mission. But this is far from a thriller; Quick is most interested in Leonard’s psychology, which is simultaneously clear and splintered, and his voice, which is filled with brash humor, self-loathing, and bucket loads of refreshingly messy contradictions, many communicated through Leonard’s footnotes to his own story. It may sound bleak, but it is, in fact, quite brave, and Leonard’s interspersed fictional notes to himself from 2032 add a unique flavor of hope. Grades 8-11. –Daniel Kraus

Review –
The first thing about this book that I noticed is the abundance of bad language but after I got past that I had a very depressing story to look forward to. This poor kid is turning 18 and his mother (who is unbelievably bad) doesn’t remember, doesn’t even live with him any more. Then his name!  How can anyone with the name of LEONARD PEACOCK be taken seriously? It is a very very depressing story and could have used better resolution at the end but it made me cry and I liked it when all was said and done.
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