Category: Review

Damaged

Author: Lisa Scottoline
375 pages in Paperback

Published: August 16, 2016
Dates Read: May 8- May 20, 2017

My Rating: 4 Stars

Book Summary from Amazon:

One boy. One lawyer. One chance for justice.

Ten-year-old Patrick O’Brien is a natural target at school. Shy, dyslexic, and small for his age, he tries to hide his first-grade reading level from everyone: from his classmates, from the grandfather who cares for him, and from the teachers who are supposed to help him. But the real trouble begins when Patrick is accused of attacking a school aide. The aide promptly quits and sues the boy, his family, and the school district. Patrick’s grandfather turns to the law firm of Rosato & DiNunzio for help and Mary DiNunzio is on the case. Soon Mary becomes Patrick’s true champion and his only hope for security and justice. But there is more to the story than meets the eye and Patrick might be more troubled than he seems. With twists at every turn and secrets about the family coming to light, Mary DiNunzio might have found the case that can make her a true protector, or break her heart…

With Lisa Scottoline’s trademark emotional depth and fast-paced action, Damaged will have readers riveted to the last page as they root for the beloved characters and their fight for justice.

Review:

I won a copy of Damaged from St. Martin’s Press via Goodreads. When I entered in the giveaway I did not know that it was the fourth in Lisa Scottoline’s newer Rosato & DiNunzio series.  This series was preceded by the Rosato & Associates series. I enjoyed Damaged, and even though it is the latest in the series I feel I did not miss much, other than some background on the characters.

Damaged is my first legal thriller by Lisa Scottoline and it will not be my last. I will actually listen to the rest of the Rosato & DiNunzio series from the beginning on audiobook since my local library offers it. I have read several of Scottoline’s books and she is becoming a favorite author of mine.

Mary DiNunzio is the focus of Damaged who is a partner at her law firm.  She is to be married in two weeks. Her fiancé Anthony and the wedding are a minor plot point in the novel though there was more attention towards the end.  I will admit I wanted more of this plot point, but the book focuses on Patrick (a ten-year-old dyslexic boy) and the cases surrounding him.  The first case is about Patrick being accused of attacking a school aide.  His schooling and disability comes into play in this case.  There is also a twist that occurs and a second more important case comes about involving Patrick.  The attorney on the other side in the school case is Nick Machiavelli and you can’t help but love to hate him. I hope he makes appearances in the rest the series. He is quite the scumbag villain and I love a well written villain!

One issue I had with Damaged and this may be from not reading the rest of the series, but Mary became attached to Patrick too quickly for me; It seemed an almost instant connection/attachment.  This could just be the kind of person Mary is or Patrick is just a boy you can’t help but instantly love. She advocates for Patrick very well and has his best interests at heart. She truly wants to help him.

I also liked John.  At first I did not like him, but we get to know him as Damaged progresses.  I hope he is central to future novels if he has not been a focus in the previous books in the series.

I loved Mary’s extended family!  They are an Italian family and are hilarious.  They are a comic relief and it was a welcome as at times this is an emotionally charged novel.  I hope they are in more of the Rosato & DiNunzio series.

I did notice that the books in the series follow the alphabet so far:

  1. Accused
  2. Betrayed
  3. Corrupted
  4. Damaged
  5. Exposed (To be published August 15, 2017)

It appears that Scottoline may be going the ‘Sue Grafton route’ with the books in this series following the alphabet.  Will she have 26 books in this series? Time will tell!

Damaged is recommended.

***Thank you St Martin’s Press via Goodreads for my copy of Damaged. It was a pleasure to read and I will be starting the series from the beginning in audio next!

Textrovert


Author: Lindsey Summers
234 pages in Paperback

Published: May 2, 2017
Dates Read: May 2-8, 2017

My Rating: 4 Stars

Book Summary from Amazon:

It’s bad enough when high-school senior Keeley grabs the wrong phone while leaving her small town’s end-of-summer fair. It’s even worse when she discovers that the phone she now has belongs to the obnoxious, self-centered Talon and that he’s just left for football camp … with her phone. Reluctantly, the two agree to forward messages for a week. And as Keeley gets to know Talon, she starts to like him. Keeley learns there’s more to Talon than the egocentric jock most people see. There’s more to Keeley, too. Texting Talon, she can step out of the shadow of her popular twin brother. Texting Talon, she can be the person she’s always wanted to be.

Sparks fly when the two finally meet to exchange their phones. But while Keeley has been playing a part online, Talon has been keeping a secret. He has a different connection to Keeley — one that has nothing to do with phones, and one that will make their new relationship all but impossible. Knowing what she now knows, can Keeley trust him? And can love in the present erase mistakes of the past?

My Review:

Keeley is the center of Textrovert. She is at the fair and unknowingly picks up the wrong phone. Once she discovers she has the wrong phone she begins conversing with Talon, who has her phone. They communicate via texts and some phone calls. Talon has left to attend football camp for a week so they decide to forward texts and phone calls during that week.

What begins as fun bantering and flirting for Keeley develops into feelings for Talon, despite the fact that they have not met. But things are not that easy. Once they meet to return each other’s phones there are some identity issues, secrets, and more. Will all this end their budding relationship or will they be able to overcome the many issues that come to the forefront?

Textrovert is a cute and sweet YA novel that can be read very quickly. I liked Keeley who is the ‘quiet one’. Her twin brother is Mr. Popularity; she has always lurked in the shadows. She will be starting her senior year of school and has no idea what she wants to do after graduation. I liked how we saw her grow and become comfortable with her true self over the course of the novel. For the most part I liked the relationship between Keeley and Talon, despite his secrets. At times you wonder if his feelings are real or is he putting on an act. It seemed sweet and not over the top. I liked how they took their time with the relationship; it seems on par with ‘real life’ teens versus some ‘book teens’ or teens in movies who go ‘full speed ahead’ without much thinking. There is some high school drama that presents itself over the course of Textrovert, which comes into play with who Talon really is.

I also enjoyed Keeley and her brother Zach’s relationship. They are twins and despite issues they have, you can see how much they mean to each other and how much they support each other. Despite some issues and differences, they truly need and care for each other.

Textrovert is about more than two teens getting to know each other through texts. It’s about how important truth is and learning who you really are.

This will make a great quick summer read for anyone who enjoys YA.

Textrovert is recommended.

**Thank you to KCP Loft for my copy.  I enjoyed reading it!

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Everything, Everything

Author: Nicola Yoon
Audiobook

Published: September 1, 2015
Dates Read: April 27- May 6, 2017

My Rating: 4 stars

Book Summary from Amazon:

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house; have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

My Review:

I saw the trailer for the movie version of Everything, Everything and it left me wanting to read the book.  I saw my library had it available as an audiobook, so I reserved it.  It is a shorter audiobook of six discs.  Madeline (Maddie) suffers from SCID (Severe Combined Immune Deficiency Syndrome) and can’t leave her home or she will get deathly ill. She only sees her mom and her nurse.  She is fine with the life she is leading, but then a family moves next door. She soon ‘meets’ Oliver (Olly) and they become friends.  They have conversations via email and instant messenger.  They start to fall for each other and then Maddie begins to want more in her life as she starts to realize what she has been missing.

Everything, Everything is a cute YA novel that I enjoyed.  Maddie is our narrator through her diary. She is very smart, and also a voracious reader (I like her!). Though, in the beginning of the novel Maddie does come off as a little ‘stalker-ish’ with her constant watching of Olly’s family and learning their schedules.  I had to remind myself that she is unable to leave her home so what else is she going to do? A new family moved in and they have a cute son… Of course she is going to watch them!

Olly is adorable and they are delightful ‘together’ through their communications.  They have the problem of wanting to be together, but her disease is preventing this from happening.  You can’t help but want Olly and Maddie to be together despite her disease. Through her diary, we experience all of Maddie’s feelings.

SCID is at the forefront of Everything, Everything, but the author did not research it enough as it is not accurately portrayed.  I will say this in regards to that issue: We get a small idea of what SCID or a serious disease could be like for someone that affects all aspects of their life. Although, I feel that if an author is going to use a particular disease at the forefront of their novel then it should be meticulously researched to be accurately portrayed. Despite the inaccurate portrayal of SCID, Everything, Everything is about a girl looking for some kind of normalcy in her life despite her disease.

There is an unexpected twist about ¾ into the novel. People seem to either like the twist or not. I was shocked with the twist and enjoyed all of Everything, Everything.  I can’t say anymore without giving away this twist.

The only negative for me with the novel was in the audiobook.  There is a male narrator that was used for Olly when he and Maddie are communicating via email and instant messenger, but when they talked in person he was not used. I did not see the point of having a male narrator for part of the novel when he could have been utilized for all of Olly.

Everything, Everything is recommended.  If you are going to read it, forget the inaccurate portrayal of SCID and enjoy it for the novel that it is. I do plan to see the movie as well.

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