Mini Reviews

Okay, it's time for another installment of "mini reviews" ... these are books I read and enjoyed, but feel like just making "comments" on rather than an actual, full-fledged review. Thus, mini reviews.

Just One Day
Gayle Forman
Dutton, 2013

I've been hearing a lot of buzz about this one, especially as the release date for Just One Year gets closer, and when I saw it listed on the New Arrivals list for the library system, of course I snapped it up. And devoured it. Wow. Just wow.

Basic premise is the idea that one day can change your life, can change who are are. Allyson's one day was in Paris (as "Lulu"), with the beautiful and slightly mysterious Willem as her guide into "living spontaneously". What began as a quick foray into rebellion became so much more, as Allyson began to see another side of life. Another side of herself. Every day after became a struggle between who she was and who she can be. Ultimately, she begins a quest -- to rediscover the glimpses of the girl who wandered Paris, to find Lulu, and see if that girl could possibly be real, and also to find Willem.

The story's engrossing, and while it doesn't seem like anything that'd ever happen to me, it still felt almost possible. I think we can all relate to Allyson's quest to find herself, on some level we've all wondered who we really are, deep down inside. And when it ended, I was really, really glad that Just One Year is coming out this fall, to fill in all the missing pieces!

Book provided by my local library.

Marissa  Meyer
Feiwel and Friends, 2013

Even though I'm not a big robot girl, I enjoyed Cinder, the first installment in the Lunar Chronicles. It had twists and loops and interesting characters. I like Scarlet even better! Scarlet is a firecracker of a girl (must be the red hair), on a mission to find her missing grandmother. Enter Wolf (no lie), who is a fairly hunky mystery, and to whom Scarlet is strangely drawn. They begin a journey to Paris, in attempts to find Gran, and end up finding ... well, unexpected developments. Meanwhile, Cinder has managed to escape from prison, and has picked up a fellow inmate as first mate, Thorne. As they struggle to avoid recapture, their point of destination is finding Scarlet. Which they do, in a pivotal moment, and suddenly everyone is on one ship. And things get interesting. And then they stop. Leaving us hanging and waiting for Book Three, Cress, coming next spring. The agonies.

I loved Scarlet as a character, and as an added layer of complexity to the overall story. This is a series that is building steadily, gaining momentum as it gains details. We learn more of Cinder's backstory, and continue to discover just how messed up the Lunar Queen is (seriously, that woman is insane). Wolf is also a super interesting character, and I loved the tension and chemistry between he and Scarlet. As much as everything is building, I have very, very high hopes for Cress.

Book provided by my local library.

The Chance
Karen Kingsbury
Thorndike Press, 2013

I've never read a Karen Kingsbury book before, but read this at the insistence of a coworker. Wow ... what a story. She was right, it was what I needed to read at the moment.

Ellie and Nolan have been best friends since, forever. But when Ellie's world falls apart, and she discovers she's being whisked away from Georgia all the way to California, they make a pact. Writing each letters, telling the whole searing truth, they bury them beneath one of Savannah's old live oak trees and promise to come back, in eleven years, and read their words. It's a promise of hope, something to hold on to during the painful days of separation to come. Over the years, it becomes both a mocking reminder of things that once were, and maybe, just maybe, a half-prayer of what could be. Ellie's world is so very different from Nolan's, he's an NBA star with a public faith and the nation's attention; she's a single mother with so many hurts and half-healed scars she doesn't know what she believes anymore. But fate's a funny thing, and one thing leads to another until Ellie finds herself back in Savannah. Face-to-face with Nolan.

It's a beautiful story. A story of second chances (or third, or sixth). A story of hope. A story that, like my coworker said, will make you believe anything can happen. And the Savannah setting? Oh, be still my beating Southern heart.

Book provided by my local library.


  1. Love your mini reviews! I'm going to have to do that (maybe), especially with the August TBR Readathon. The Chance looks like something I'd really enjoy. Thanks!

  2. I liked Scarlet more too-I felt it really took the series to a whole nother level and now I'm really excited for Cress!