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2024 Bookish Books Reading Challenge (Hosted by Yours Truly)

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My Progress:

11 / 30 books. 37% done!

2024 Literary Escapes Challenge

- Alabama (1)
- Alaska
- Arizona (1)
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- California (3)
- Colorado (1)
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- Georgia (1)
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- Washington, D.C.* (1)

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- Ireland (2)
- Italy (1)
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My Progress:

23 / 51 states. 45% done!

2024 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

My Progress:

16 / 50 books. 32% done!

2024 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge

21 / 50 books. 42% done!

Booklist Queen's 2024 Reading Challenge

My Progress:

43 / 50 books. 86% done!

2024 52 Club Reading Challenge

My Progress:

38 / 52 books. 73% done!

2024 Build Your Library Reading Challenge

My Progress:

25 / 40 books. 63% done!

2024 Pioneer Book Reading Challenge

15 / 40 books. 38% done!

2024 Craving for Cozies Reading Challenge

My Progress:

9 / 25 books. 36% done!

2024 Medical Examiner's Mystery Reading Challenge

2024 Mystery Marathon Reading Challenge

My Progress

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

Mount TBR Reading Challenge

My Progress

22 / 100 books. 22% done!

2024 Pick Your Poison Reading Challenge

My Progress:

58 / 104 books. 56% done!

Around the Year in 52 Books Reading Challenge

My Progress

42 / 52 books. 81% done!

Disney Animated Movies Reading Challenge

My Progress

60 / 165 books. 36% done!
Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Southern Family Secrets Novel Engrossing, Compelling

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

When you come from a line of strong women who've been scandalizing your small Mississippi town for the last 45 years, your reputation is pretty much doomed from the start.  It doesn't matter that 15-year-old Mosey earns stellar grades and stays away from boys.  She's a Slocumb, which means she'll end up barefoot and pregnant before she has a chance to graduate high school.  Just like her mother, just like her grandmother.  No one expects anything less.  Except Mosey, who refuses to follow the future-less path fate has laid out before her.

Still, everyone knows big trouble comes calling for the Slocumb women every fifteen years.  This year is no exception.  While digging a swimming pool on their property, a worker unearths a rusted treasure box with a tiny skeleton inside.  Mosey's as shocked by the discovery as her grandmother is, but the revelation causes Mosey's mother to utter the first intelligible word she's said since her recent stroke—mine.  Struggling to make sense of that startling proclamation, Mosey begs her grandmother for answers.  Ginny "Big" Slocumb doesn't have them—at least not all of them—but she'll die before she lets the scandal destroy her family.  Big will do anything, risk everything, to protect Mosey and her stroke-ravaged mother.  Even if it means covering up a shocking secret from the past.  

I love me a lush multi-generational novel brimming with family secrets and Southern charm.  I've recently discovered Joshilyn Jackson, whose novels deliver just that.  Although I didn't enjoy A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty nearly as much as The Almost Sisters, I still found it engrossing.  Centered around three headstrong, intriguing women, the story pulled me in and made me care about what happened to this dysfunctional, yet devoted family.  The mystery at its core kept the novel interesting, even if the Big Reveal didn't feel all that surprising.  While A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty definitely gets sad and depressing—way more so than you'd expect judging by the book's light, frothy cover—it's a compelling read that kept me turning pages.  It's not my favorite Jackson novel, but overall I enjoyed it.  

(Readalikes:  The Almost Sisters by Joshilyn Jackson.  Also reminds me of novels by Anne Rivers Siddons and Karen White, although White's books are gentler—more in the PG-13 range—but with less personality than those by Jackson and Siddons.)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

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

To the FTC, with love:  I bought a copy of A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty with a portion of the millions I make from my lucrative career as a book blogger.  Ha ha.

Mutant Bunny Island Enjoyable in All Its Goofy Glory

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

If 10-year-old Perry Owens had his druthers, he'd spend all day every day reading comic books and gorging on junk food.  Who needs nature?  Or friends?  Or an ordinary, mundane life in the real world where nothing exciting ever happens?  Perry would rather imagine himself inside Ocean Blasterzoids, his favorite comic series.  There's always something thrilling going on there.

When Perry finds a distress note inside the newest comic Uncle Zeke has sent in the mail, he's startled.  The message doesn't say much, but it's pretty obvious that the man needs someone with Perry's unique skill set to help him.  Traveling alone to Bunny Island, he soon realizes that something is very, very wrong in America's 37th Favorite Vacation Destination.  Not only is Zeke missing, but his island home is covered in ... bunnies.  Impossibly adorable, the cute little rabbits can almost distract one completely from the fact that a lot of strange things are going on.  Almost.  Perry vows to figure out what has happened to his uncle no matter what it takes.  Can a comic book couch potato step up and become the kind of hero he's always imagined himself to be?  Or will the overwhelming cuteness overload be the death of him—and everyone else on Bunny Island?

I'm not generally a fan of silly tales like Mutant Bunny Island by Obert Skye, so I was surprised by how much I ended up enjoying this zany mystery.  It's wacky and campy and kooky and, overall, a lot of fun.  A quick read with lots of engaging comic book-style illustrations (by Eduardo Vieira), Mutant Bunny Island will appeal to reluctant readers who dig graphic novels and fast-paced, easy-to-read adventure stories.  I'm not sure I'll be seeking out more Obert Skye books (although his newest, Wizard for Hire, looks good), but I didn't end up hating this one like I thought I would.  In fact, I quite liked it in all its goofy glory.

(Readalikes:  Hm, I have no idea.  Suggestions?)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for some scary scenes

To the FTC, with love:  I received a finished copy of Mutant Bunny Island from the generous folks at HarperCollins.  Thank you!
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Tress of the Emerald Sea by Brandon Sanderson


The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain

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