Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Book Review: Split Second

Split Second (King & Maxwell #1)
By: David Baldacci
Published: Grand Central Publishing
Page Count: 512
Source: Library Audiobook
Audience/Genre: Mystery/Suspense

Buy it at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Indiebound

Michelle Maxwell and Sean King seem to have very little in common aside from a career in the Secret Service. But when Maxwell's presidential candidate protectee is suddenly kidnapped, King's experience with the murder of his own proteceee years earlier becomes invaluable when it is revealed that the two cases have some eerie similarities. If you're looking for a great mystery/thriller, filled with political intrigue, a touch of sexual tension, and a few well-placed red herrings, make Split Second your next read. 

Teaser Tuesday: A Desperate Fortune, The Martian Chronicles, Don't Look Back, & Stray

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly feature, hosted by MizB of A Daily Rhythm.

"Scottish history, in general?"

"Not much."

"Well now, my country has a complicated past. A group of tribes all trapped together by geography, who'd sooner stab each other in the back than build a nation," was his summary.

~ A Desperate Fortune by Susanna Kearsley, Kindle Location 225

"For God's sake, what are you doing?" shouted Garrett, rattling about. 

 "I'm being ironic. Don't interrupt a man in the midst of being ironic, it's not polite. There!"

~ The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury, pg. 178-179

Monday, November 23, 2015

Book Review: Smoke

Published By: Lake Union
Publication Date: October 20, 2015
Source: Kindly Provided by Publisher
Audience: Adult - Fiction

Smoke mainly revolves around two women in a small Colorado town that is battling a wild fire and trying to save the things they hold dearest. Elizabeth is a thirty something whose marriage has hit a snag due to trust issues and fertility complications. Elizabeth isn't sure how things with her husband, Ben, will end up, but the one thing she knows for certain is that fire is in her blood and as the flames inch closer to her home she will do everything in her power to keep the destruction at bay. As Elizabeth battles flames and a crumbling marriage, Mindy, her former best friend, is fighting her own battles. She feels like she's losing her children and trying to fit in with the other parents at the elite high school her kids attend exhausts her. Mindy has devoted her entire life to her family, but she finds that maybe at some point she should have done more for herself.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Magic Lamp Sunday 11/22/15

We discovered this feature at Ya-Aholic, where it ran on Fridays. It sounded like a fun addition to our lineup, but fits better here on Sundays. It's based on the basic Magic Lamp = 3 wishes idea. Since there are so many of us, though, we're just taking one wish each per week. 

If we had a Magic Lamp, we'd wish:  

Paula: I wish I had time to go see Mockingjay part 2 again today. I can't stop thinking about it! Inspired by Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins.

Aimee: I wish I could visit Mars. Inspired by The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury. 

Julie: I wish I'd pursued my dream of going to law school. Inspired by Split Second by David Baldacci.

Andrea: I wish that I could have attended boarding school in London like Rory. Inspired by The Shadow Cabinet by Maureen Johnson

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Book Review: Shut Out

Shut Out
Published By: Poppy
Publication Date: September 2011
Page Count: 273
Source: Purchased by Reviewer
Young Adult - Contemporary

Shut Out was a pretty good read with a fairly good plot that was written really well. I saw the romance plot coming a mile off though I'm afraid. Lissa starts off the story going out with Randy, the Quarterback, who ditches her at every opportunity to run off and instigate or retaliate to the soccer team's attempts to prank him. Randy is just too much of an oblivious fool... He is really dense about Lissa's feelings and she seems only patronisingly fond of him. His days were absolutely numbered, even before Lissa thinks up a "sex strike" to try and win back his attention and end the silly feud. 

What's Your Status? 11/21/15

Check back each Saturday to find out what's been keeping the Larks busy this week.

Reading Lark's Review Status:

Reading Lark's Post Status:

Friday, November 20, 2015

Book Review: This Raging Light

This Raging Light
Published By: HMH Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: December 22, 2015
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher via NetGalley
Audience: Young Adult - Contemporary

Lucille's life isn't going so well. Her parents are both absent and she is left on her own to raise her younger sister, Wren. Lucille doesn't want anyone to know about her situation because she fears that she and Wren will be separated. As things become more and more desperate, Lucille begins to wonder if she is capable of holding everything together.

This is certainly a novel that tugs at your heartstrings. I felt deeply for Lucille and Wren's plight. I understood their need to stay together in their home which held everything familiar and memorable. On the other hand, I struggled with this choice because as an adult and a teacher, I would never want a teenager to have to make these decisions and live this sort of life. I'm not naive enough to believe it doesn't happen for some, but it does make me sad that parents don't always follow through on the best course for their children. Luckily for Lucille and Wren, they have guardian angels in their neighborhood who begin to bestow acts of kindness upon the sisters. Those moments made my heart swell and remember that there is still goodness in the world - even when things seem pretty bleak.

The Shopping Lark #194

Each Friday, Reading Lark is going to feature some new releases each week to help give you some ideas of what to buy next. This is not an exhaustive list of this week's releases - just some novels that caught our eye. Feel free to share what books you're excited about that came out this week in our comments section.

YA Releases for the week of 11/16-11/22:

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Book Review: Lying Out Loud

Lying Out Loud (Companion to The DUFF)
Published By: Scholastic Press
Publication Date: April 28, 2015
Page Count: 304
Source: Purchased by Reviewer
Young Adult - Contemporary

Man, I needed this book. I spent weeks wading through just 100 pages of a dull-as-ditchwater legal thriller, which I eventually had to ditch, and then I picked this up. Lying Out Loud was everything the legal thriller wasn't. Delightfully written, light, fluffy, engaging and funny. It was a literary breath of fresh air into my stuffy reading rut. 

 I simply loved The Duff, which is in some ways the precursor to Lying Out Loud (LOL). I could really identify with Bianca, and I loved her sass. I was delighted to discover that Sonny was just as good a heroine. She is a pathological liar, but charming and funny with it. It's her lying that gets her into trouble though. She lies to avoid harsh truths about her family situation and in the end, the lies (predictably) cause her more pain than she could have imagined. She does end up swearing off lying, and there is a nice moral in that. 

Throwback Thursday: The Pigman


Throwback Thursday is a new feature at Reading Lark. We'll still be doing some Book Boyfriend Posts and Book BFF Posts on Thursdays as well, but the Larks wanted a little variety on Thursdays. Throwback Thursday will allow us to throwback to some of the reads we've loved -- whether it's a book reviewed last year, a book we hid under the covers to read as a teen, or a picture book from our childhood -- we hope you'll enjoy reliving the memories as much as we do!

The Pigman
By:Paul Zindel
Published: 1968


I have so much middle school love for this book! In 7th grade, when asked to choose an author to do a research project on, Paul Zindel was at the top of my list, largely due to this fantastic book. I felt remember feeling older while reading it, with high school students as protagonists and mystery that seemed more mature than Encyclopedia Brown (another of my book loves), I look back and identify this book as my transition from kid books to YA and adult novels. And I'm happy to say that it holds up almost 50 years later, and I listit among the options for book projects in my high school classroom.

Summary via Goodreads

When sophomores John and Lorraine played a practical joke a few months ago on a stranger named Angelo Pignati, they had no idea what they were starting. Virtually overnight, almost against their will, the two befriended the lonely old man; it wasn't long before they were more comfortable in his house than their own. But now Mr. Pignati is dead. And for John and Lorraine, the only way to find peace is to write down their friend's story - the story of the Pigman.

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