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11 / 30 books. 37% done!

2024 Literary Escapes Challenge

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23 / 51 states. 45% done!

2024 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

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16 / 50 books. 32% done!

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6 / 26.2 miles (second lap). 23% done!

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23 / 100 books. 23% done!

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58 / 104 books. 56% done!

Around the Year in 52 Books Reading Challenge

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42 / 52 books. 81% done!

Disney Animated Movies Reading Challenge

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61 / 165 books. 37% done!
Wednesday, January 25, 2017

I Found You A Liked-It-Didn't-Love-It Psychological Thriller

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Single mom Alice Lake lives a lonely life by the sea in East Yorkshire.  The 41-year-old takes care of her "Bennetton" children, makes crafts out of old maps, and minds her own business.  Until she notices a strange man sitting on the beach near her cottage.  He remains there all day, barely moving, despite the inclement weather.  The man seems harmless, although he's dazed and can't remember his name or the reason for his vigil at Ridinghouse Bay.  Despite her reservations, Alice offers the man a room for the night.  As a single night turns into many more, she grows increasingly curious about who the stranger is and what he might be hiding.

Meanwhile, in London, Lily Monrose is searching for her missing husband.  The 21-year-old has only been married for three weeks.  She can't imagine where Carl could be.  When she notifies the police of his disappearance, she's shocked to learn that there is no such person as Carl Monrose.  Stuck in a foreign country with no one to lean on, Lily doesn't know where to turn.  

As both women search for answers, shocking secrets will come to light.  What will they be left with when the truth is finally revealed?

I Found You (available in the U.S. on April 25, 2017), a psychological thriller by Lisa Jewell, tells a tense, twisty tale.  It's an intriguing page turner that kept me reading and guessing.  The novel gets depressing, even a little bizarre in places, but overall, it's a compelling read.  Although I didn't love I Found You, I liked it well enough that I'll search out more books by Jewell.  

(Readalikes: Reminded me a little of Coffin Road by Peter May)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for language, sexual content, violence, and depictions of illegal drug use

To the FTC, with love:  I received an e-ARC of I Found You from the generous folks at Atria Books (an imprint of Simon and Schuster) via those at NetGalley.  Thank you!

El Deafo An Entertaining Autobiographical Graphic Novel About Acceptance of Others—and Yourself

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

After a battle with meningitis, 4-year-old Cece Bell loses her hearing.  Thrust into a confusing new existence, she must learn how to cope with an overwhelming disability.  She's excited to start school, especially when she receives a powerful hearing aid that will help her communicate better with those around her.  Unfortunately, the Phonic Ear is such a bulky, visible instrument that it makes Cece feel even more conspicuous.  It's tough being different from her family, friends, and classmates.  Cece's emotions bounce from anger to sadness to loneliness to embarrassment to triumph when she finally learns to think of her deafness not as a disability, but as a superpower.  El Deafo won't let hearing loss stop her from being everything she wants to be.  And neither will Cece.

Author/illustrator Cece Bell chronicles her experiences as a deaf child in El Deafo, a graphic novel based on events that really happened to her.  Although it's a thick (and super heavy) book, the story it tells is fast, funny, and compelling.  It's very real—achingly so in places—but that's what makes it so impacting.  Reading about Cece's trials should help readers empathize with those who are "different" as well as making them realize that everyone feels out of place for some reason or another.  El Deafo is entertaining, yes, but it also teaches some important lessons about awareness, acceptance, and turning perceived weaknesses into avowed strengths.  Definitely hand this to your middle graders—they'll be better for reading it.  

(Readalikes: Reminded me a little of Wonder by R.J. Palacio)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for brief, mild language (no F-bombs) and cartoon nudity (Cece is depicted in her underwear and without a shirt on -- cartoons are not graphic)

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find
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