Category: Review

Twenty and Ten

Author: Claire Huchet Bishop
Published: March 30th 1978
76 pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

During the German occupation of France, twenty French children were brought to a refuge in the mountains. One day a young man came to their school with a request: Could they take in, and hide, ten Jewish refugee children? Sister Gabriel spoke up. “The Nazis are looking for those children. If we take them we must never let on they are here. Do you understand?” Of course the children understood—but how would they hide them if the Nazis came?

Kim’s Review:

I first had this book read to me all the way back in 5th grade. I loved it then and when I found it on sale at Book Outlet, I got myself a copy, my mother in law a copy, my mom a copy . . . Hey this book will make an awesome Christmas gift for the nieces and nephews this year! Sweet! It’s one of those books that sticks with you. It’s a children’s book, but handles the mature topics of the Holocaust and Nazis in a way that kids will safely understand.

The kids at the school handled the German soldiers better than many others did during WW2. Somehow, they took some of the most annoying kid qualities and twisted them into heroic actions. I have nothing but good things to say about Twenty and Ten and I absolutely recommend it to everyone, especially to any kid, whether they like to read or not. This would be such a great resource for teachers in their classrooms. In a world that shies away from teaching the Holocaust, this is a great foundation for the younger kids to have in preparation for later more mature lessons and conversations.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

The Odds of Loving Grover Cleveland

Author: Rebekah Crane
Published: December 1, 2016
272 pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

According to sixteen-year-old Zander Osborne, nowhere is an actual place—and she’s just fine there. But her parents insist that she get out of her head—and her home state—and attend Camp Padua, a summer camp for at-risk teens. Zander does not fit in—or so she thinks. She has only one word for her fellow campers: crazy. In fact, the whole camp population exists somewhere between disaster and diagnosis. There’s her cabinmate Cassie, a self-described manic-depressive-bipolar-anorexic. Grover Cleveland (yes, like the president), a cute but confrontational boy who expects to be schizophrenic someday, odds being what they are. And Bek, a charmingly confounding pathological liar.

But amid group “share-apy” sessions and forbidden late-night outings, unlikely friendships form, and as the Michigan summer heats up, the four teens begin to reveal their tragic secrets. Zander finds herself inextricably drawn to Grover’s earnest charms, and she begins to wonder if she could be happy. But first she must come completely unraveled to have any hope of putting herself back together again.

Kim’s Review:

This book was another one of those with a group of teenagers being overly dramatic about almost everything. I understand that these kids actually have problems, and I appreciated that fact to no end, after all these contemporary books I’ve been reading lately. However, there were also times when I wanted to grab one of them, shake them, and tell them to grow up! I don’t have patience with whining, with “woe is me” attitudes or with temper tantrums. Y’all already know my views on teenage suicide, so I won’t get back into that. I felt so much for Counselor Madison, for Carey, the head of the camp, and their plight in having to try to help all these teens at camp. Everything was constantly “me, me, me” and that got really tiring, really quick. But as I said, the fact that these were all truly troubled kids made this read a little more genuine. I think I would recommend this book to teachers, and occasionally to a teenager who is have attitude problems.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
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Save the Date


Author: Mary Kay Andrews
Published: June 3, 2014
Audiobook

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: April 13-27, 2018
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

Can this wedding be saved?

Up-and-coming floral designer Cara Kryzik is about to score the wedding of a lifetime—one that will solidify her career as the go-to-girl for Savannah society nuptials. The only problem is, life seems to be conspiring against her. Cara’s implacable father, “The Colonel”, doesn’t believe in Cara’s business savvy and is about to call in his twenty-thousand-dollar loan. Then, on the morning that someone steals her dog, Cara’s refrigerator goes on the blink, turning twelve thousand dollars’ worth of gorgeous blooms into road kill. And if that’s not enough, the dog-napper, Jack Finnerty, turns up at her latest wedding and then mysteriously leaves her stranded on the dance floor.

All this turmoil will be solved if Cara can pull off the lavish Trappnell-Strayhorn wedding. The payday will solve all her problems—even the looming problem of a celebrated florist named Cullen Keane who is moving into her turf from Charleston. But the wedding is in six weeks, the bride is acting strangely (even for a bride) and the stepmother of the bride is becoming Cara’s biggest headache. What Cara needs is to focus, but that’s not easy when Jack is turning up at every wedding in Savannah (the man seems to know everybody), with Cara in his sights and seduction on his mind.

When Brooke Trappnell spirals into a shocking crisis and the wedding is in jeopardy, Cara must come to the rescue and figure out what she really believes in. Is it love? Is it her own strength? In the end, for everyone, “Save the Date” has more meanings than one. Told with Mary Kay Andrews’s trademark wit and keen eye for detail, Save the Date is one you won’t want to miss.

Jessica’s Review:

Almost three years ago, Save the Date was my introduction to Mary Kay Andrews (MKA as her fans know her. This will also how she will be referred to in this review.) I was looking for an audio book to listen to next in the car and saw this one and picked it up. Now I love MKA: She is one of my ‘go to authors’ and I have enjoyed almost all of her books that I have read.

MKA writes chick lit, which makes for the easy ‘beach read’ that can be read quickly and enjoyed just as much. I liked Cara this time and before. The humor with the dogs is hilarious.  There is some seriousness to the novel as well: Will Cara lose her business? Will she pay her dad back?  Will Brooke’s wedding actually happen??? It had been three years since I had listened to Save the Date, so I did not remember a lot of details.  I wanted to listen to it again as MKA’s newest book (which is out tomorrow, May 8th) The High Tide Club features Brooke Trappnell.

I enjoyed Save the Date as much this second time around as I did the first time.  It takes place in Savannah and I live in Georgia, as does MKA herself.  Yay, a local author!  You know I am all about sharing the booklove, especially if the author is local to me: whether they are a   mainstream author or an Indie author!

If you are looking for a quick, easy, and fun read this summer, grab some of Mary Kay Andrews novels, starting with Save the Date.

Save the Date is recommended.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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