Standalone Sunday: The Farm


Standalone Sunday was started by Megan over at Bookslayer Reads.

What is Standalone Sunday?

Each Sunday bloggers feature a standalone book (one that is not part of a series) that they loved or would recommend. The standalone can also be one you want to read. There is so much focus on books that are part of a series that standalone books seem to be forgotten. They can be just as great as book series!

Here is my selection for this week:

The Farm

If you refuse to believe me, I will no longer consider you my son.

Daniel believed that his parents were enjoying a peaceful retirement on a remote farm in Sweden. But with a single phone call, everything changes.

Your mother…she’s not well, his father tells him. She’s been imagining things – terrible, terrible things. She’s had a psychotic breakdown, and been committed to a mental hospital.

Before Daniel can board a plane to Sweden, his mother calls: Everything that man has told you is a lie. I’m not mad… I need the police… Meet me at Heathrow.

Caught between his parents, and unsure of who to believe or trust, Daniel becomes his mother’s unwilling judge and jury as she tells him an urgent tale of secrets, of lies, of a crime and a conspiracy that implicates his own father.

I loved Tom Rob Smith’s Child 44 series.  I was sad to say goodbye to Leo at the end of that series. Leo really grew on me, but why wouldn’t he? The series was three books and decades of Leo’s flawed life. I think that is why the character grew on me, he was flawed!  When I found out Tom Rob Smith wrote another book, I became excited. I can’t wait to read this one as it sounds really good!

First Line Friday #36

Today’s First Line Friday is part of a three book series. The author is not writing anymore but I loved this series when I first read it several years ago. I was actually send this copy from the author as a birthday gift. One of the characters has Autism, and Jennifer Laurens takes this from personal experiences with her own child.  Maybe one day her muse will return and she will write again!

I opened my eyes and found myself in a dark room.

I met someone who changed everything. Matthias. My autistic sister’s guardian angel. Honest. Inspiring. Funny. Hot. And immortal. That was the problem. What could I do? I did what any other girl would do-I fell in love with him. Zoe’s sister darts in front of cars. Her brother’s a pothead. Her parents are so overwhelmed; they don’t see Zoe lost in her broken life. Zoe escapes the only way she knows how: partying. Matthias, a guardian sent from Heaven, watches over Zoe’s autistic sister. After Zoe is convinced he’s legit, angel and lost girl come together in a love that changes destiny. But Heaven on Earth can’t last forever.



The Great Gilly Hopkins

Author: Katherine Paterson
172 Pages
Published: March 3, 2009

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 Stars

Description from Amazon:

This Newbery Honor Book from bestselling author Katherine Paterson will simultaneously tug on the heartstrings and cause laugh-out-loud laughter. Eleven-year-old Gilly has been stuck in more foster families than she can remember, and she’s disliked them all. She has a reputation for being brash, brilliant, and completely unmanageable, and that’s the way she likes it. So when she’s sent to live with the Trotters-by far the strangest family yet-she knows it’s only a temporary problem. Gilly decides to put her sharp mind to work and get out of there fast. She’s determined to no longer be a foster kid. Before long she’s devised an elaborate scheme to get her real mother to come rescue her. Unfortunately, the plan doesn’t work out quite as she hoped it would…

Kim’s Review:

I started out this book, hating Gilly Hopkins. No wonder she changes foster homes so fast, she’s a nasty little girl! And I know, she’s had a hard life, the foster care system is hardest on the kids, and I should probably have more compassion . . . if it makes it any better, I did kinda, sorta like her by the end of the book. She thinks she’s smarter than everyone else in the world. She behaves in horrible ways just to get a rise out of people. And she has to have her own way or she throws a fit. If I behaved like that, my mom would have tanned my hide and I wouldn’t have been able to sit down for a week! Yes, I know, compassion. She was abandoned by her mother, shipped from one house to another.

Thankfully, she begins to learn important lessons throughout the story. And the person who I loved more than anyone in this book is Miss Harris, Gilly’s teacher. Miss Harris found a way to relate to Gilly in a way that makes Gilly think she’s still in control, but is willing to learn and make changes. I’d love to think that I had, at the very least, a good impact on my students when I taught. My kids were a little older and not as troubled as Gilly, but being the one that the girls came to when they needed advice about boys, being the one that the boys felt comfortable enough with to come eat lunch in my room everyday . . . I’d like to think that I was somewhat successful. And Trotter was a saint, with such patience, showing Gilly and W.E. love, no matter what the situation. And dear old Mr. Randolph. I’d love to have a blind little old man coming to my house every night for dinner, if he was like Mr. Randolph. Even though this is classified as a kids’ book, I wouldn’t recommend this to kids. I would absolutely recommend this to teachers, but also to anyone else who wants a good, heartwarming read.