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JanB has commented on (11) products.

Prayers for Sale (Reading Group Gold) by Sandra Dallas
Prayers for Sale (Reading Group Gold)

JanB, December 15, 2013

This is the 6th book I’ve read by this author and it is definitely my favorite. The story takes place in 1936 with flashbacks to just after the Civil War. The location is Middle Swan, Colorado, a gold mining town high up in the mountains, where winters are long and conditions are harsh. 17 year old Nit and her husband Dick have just arrived and Nit is feeling lonesome for home and missing her family. She meets 86 year old Hennie, a 70 year resident of Middle Swan who takes her under her wing, introducing her everyone, becoming not only friend, but mother as well. Hennie has always been there to help those in need. I loved how nurturing she was and how she was such a good friend to everyone. She had such a kind and gentle way of giving to people the things they needed yet couldn’t afford. She gave them in a way that let them feel they were doing her a favor by taking the items and not accepting charity. A very sweet book with a very sweet ending. Highly recommended.
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Mistaken Identity by Lisa Scottoline
Mistaken Identity

JanB, November 12, 2012

This is one of my favorite Lisa Scottoline thrillers featuring lawyer Bennie Rosato.

When Alice Connolly calls and asks Bennie to defend her on a murder charge, she never expects to find a client that looks exactly like her. Alice shocks Bennie by telling her "I'm your twin". Bennie knows she doesn't have a sister or a twin. She grew up as an only child of a single mother, one who never told her who her father was or mentioned anything about a sister. She can't ask her mother as she is now in a nursing home and doesn't communicate. Bennie reluctantly takes the case even though she doesn't like Alice at all and doesn't for one minute believe they are related.

Through the course of the novel Bennie finds out secrets her mother kept, almost gets murdered when she digs for the truth about Alice's life, and works hard to save a client that she wishes she never met.
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Matched (Matched #1) by Ally Condie
Matched (Matched #1)

JanB, November 8, 2012

This is an interesting and quick read about a utopian/dystopian society where the government, here called The Society, controls and decides every aspect of it's citizen's lives. Cancer, heart disease, and birth defects have all been eradicated. Because of natural selection people now live longer, healthier lives. Your job, where you live, and your ideal match for a mate are all chosen for you. Free will and choice no longer exist. What happens if you rebel, want to choose your own path, or question things you shouldn't be questioning? What if you are matched with your best friend who you love, but fall in love with someone else, an aberration who is not allowed to be matched?

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The Great Wide Sea by M. H. Herlong
The Great Wide Sea

JanB, November 7, 2012

Although this isn't one of my favorite books for middle or young adult readers, I think a lot of kids would be interested in it, especially those who love stories with adventure and danger.

Most of the story takes place on a sailboat. After their mother dies in an accident, their father deals with his grief by selling the house and all their possessions, forcing his three sons to leave their lives behind and move onto the sailboat for a year long trip through the islands that make up the Bahamas. I think it would have been a good idea to have a picture of the sailboat with all the parts labeled and a glossary of terms included in the back of the book. I found it hard to relate to some of the vocabulary when I didn’t understand so much of it. Words such as V berth, bow pulpit, forestay, splashway, and EPIRB made no sense to me. Being able to flip back to pictures or definitions would have been helpful to better visualize what was going on. It also takes away from the story if I have to constantly get on the internet to look something up while I’m in the middle of the story.

It’s a good story on many levels. It is a story about coping after the loss of a loved one - in this case, mother and wife. It is a story about relationships and how they are tested when tragedy strikes. It’s a coming of age story and about learning to be a mature and responsible adult. It’s about brothers risking their lives to save each other and always being there. And it’s an adventure story with high drama, suspense, and excitement. It’s also educational with details about sailing and the Bahamas. Who knew there were hundreds of islands in the Bahamas? Not me. I think middle school students would love this book, especially boys. It would also make a great read aloud.

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Port Mortuary (A Scarpetta Novel) by Patricia Cornwell
Port Mortuary (A Scarpetta Novel)

JanB, November 6, 2012

If you're looking for an engrossing and exciting Kay Scarpetta novel to dig into, keep looking, this one isn't it. Where Dr. Scarpetta was once a brilliant doctor who wasn't concerned with how others perceived her, she now obsesses constantly about everything she says and does and questions every decision she makes. She is a sad, paranoid, and barely recognizable Dr. Scarpetta. She has lost all her self-esteem and seems confused throughout most of the book. There is absolutely no passion between her and Benton, her FBI profiler husband. They relate to each other as one would a co-worker. I used to stay up past my bedtime to read a Scarpetta novel because I couldn't put it down. I could barely slog through this one and kept yawning and falling asleep after 4 or 5 pages. Conversations go on for endless page after page, repeating the same information over and over, but going nowhere. This will be my last Patricia Cornwell novel. There are too many other books out there much more deserving of my time.
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