Tag Archives: The Lying Game by Sara Shepard

WWW Wednesdays – February 27, 2013

WWW Wednesdays

My bookshelf

- What I’m currently reading 
The Lying game #4 - Hide and Seek by Sara ShepardThe Lying Game #4: Hide and Seek by Sara Shepard. I’m half way through and it’s still a guilty pleasure.

- What I recently finished reading
Die Trying by Lee Child. I just couldn’t put this book down and I felt it was better than the first Jack Reacher book, simply based on that reason. To me, a great book makes me want to keep flipping the pages, no matter the story or the topic. Jack Reacher is a mysterious and fascinating character. I really enjoyed following his train of thought, and his decision-making and deductive skills. I don’t want to give away the story, so I’ll just say I learned a lot about how the FBI and the various government branches work together (or not). I’m looking forward to reading more Jack Reacher books.

- What I think I’ll read next
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate, which is based on the true story of a gorilla who lived in a cage inside a circus-theme mall in Washington State.

My kids’ bookshelf

Chloe And The Lion by Mac Barnett- What they’re currently reading
- Chloe And The Lion by Mac Barnett. Mac, the author of this book, fires Adam, the illustrator, over their differences on what should happen to Chloe. Then Mac hires another illustrator, who somehow reiterates what Adam previously said. So Mac decides to hire Adam back, but there’s a slight problem. Mac made the lion eat Adam and now, he’s not sure how to get him out… This hilarious story will probably make it to my top favorite children’s books of 2013. My kids can’t have enough of it and they ask to read it again and again.

Z Is For Moose by Kelly Bingham. This is another favorite read at our house right now (we’ve been very lucky with our book selections recently). Moose, is very eager to play his part in the alphabet book Zebra is putting together, until he reaches the page with the letter M and realizes he’s not on it. What happens next is the result of a very disappointed moose and quite a messy alphabet book, until Zebra finds a spot for Moose after all.

Big Chickens by Leslie Helakoski- What they recently finished reading 
We’ve enjoyed several books by Leslie Helakoski all around the same theme… big chickens! Each story follows the same recipe: the chickens enjoy time in the chicken coop but one of them wants to explore and spread his wings. Soon the rest of the chickens follow and they all get in trouble. Funny illustrations to go with adventure, peril, courage, and happy ending – what more could you ask for?
- Big Chickens
- Big Chickens Fly The Coop
- Big chickens Go To Town

- What I think they’ll read next
I don’t know but I’m sure it will be good stuff. What about you? Any books you or your kids are reading you’d like to share?

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WWW Wednesdays – February 20, 2013

WWW Wednesdays

Sorry, I missed last week’s WWW Wednesdays update. It’s not because I didn’t read any books - I sure did! – but simply because I couldn’t find enough time to write about them. And this week’s Wednesday update is one day late for the same reason. But hey, now you get to read about the really cool books we’ve enjoyed these past couple of weeks. There are some really good ones in there…

By the way, did you notice I created a new header for my blog? I’d love to hear what you think of it.

My bookshelf

Die Trying by Lee Child- What I’m currently reading
Die Trying by Lee Child. This is the second book in the Jack Reacher series and I can’t put it down! I read Killing Floor, the first in the series a few weeks ago and I just realized I never posted my review, so here it is below.

- What I recently finished reading
- Killing Floor by Lee Child. After reading A Wanted Man and liking it, I wanted to go back and read the very first book in the Jack Reacher series. And boy, was I smart to do that. It was excellent! I love the writing style, the story, the mysteries, the Jack Reacher character, his reasoning and deductive skills, and his coldblood behavior when it comes to saving his life and the lives of others. I am hooked and I’m looking forward to slowly reading every single book in the series.
- Chomp by Carl Hiaasen. This book is my first experience with Carl Hiaassen and it won’t be my last. Chomp is a young adult novel people of all ages will enjoy. I myself found it very entertaining in many ways. Chomp deals with a lot of subjects in under 300 pages: reality TV, environmental issues, family, financial stress and abuse, just to name a few. Hiaasen takes a big bite of fun at reality TV, which he reveals is nothing but real. Derek Badger is a phony copy of the late and wonderful Steve Irwin, and he had me laughing at every scene he’s in. I enjoyed the bond between middle-school aged Wahoo and his father and seeing how much they work hard to support each other through their hard times. If you’re looking for an entertaining read that will make you question what you see on TV, this is the book for you. I’ll definitely be adding Hoot to my to-read list now.
- Coma by Robin Cook. A few weeks ago, I mentioned this story looked familiar. Well, I don’t think I read the book before but I sure saw the movie! I remember seeing it on TV in the early 80s and being really freaked out about the story.
Let me start with a few flaws I see in this book:
1) Being Robin Cook’s first novel, it could have used more thorough editing. I’m not sure why it didn’t. Also, the first third of the book was a little too slow paced for me. The editing could probably have fixed that too.
2) Some of the underlying themes seem outdated today, almost 40 years after the book was written. Woman doctors are a lot common today and I doubt there is as much sexism as described in this story. How do I know? I’ve watched plenty of ER and Gray’s Anatomy’s episodes, so I’m fully qualified. ;-)
3) The main character is very stubborn and determined to figure out what is going on in the hospital. I can’t imagine a medical student blowing off her residency on the very first day to investigate a couple of unsuspicious coma cases.
That being said, this story is riveting and I couldn’t put the book down when I got to the last third. The issue the book tackles with is still very relevant today and it put some very chilling thoughts in my mind.

- What I think I’ll read next
- The Lying Game #4: Hide and Seek by Sara Shepard. I can’t wait to read this book, although I know there are probably four more books after this one before the story ends (talking about milking this series all the way to the bank…). Sutton is the narrator and the peculiar thing about her is, she’s dead, and she doesn’t remember who killed her. Her long-lost twin sister somehow appears in Sutton’s town and people mistake her for Sutton, so she plays the game along to try to find her sister’s killer. This is a real nail biter (although I have a pretty good idea who the killer is by now) and I love this guilty pleasure.

My kids’ bookshelf

Nightsong by Ari Berk- What they’re currently reading
- Nightsong by Ari Berk. My kids LOVE this book and I bet it will appear on my top favorite children’s books for 2013. If you have young children, you HAVE to read this book with them. It’s a wonderful story about becoming independent and confident as you start flying on your own. The text is very poetic and the illustrations are simply magical (see below). Chiro, a young bat, feels nervous about flying on a very dark night without his mother for the first time. His mom advises him to rely on his “song” to find his way around and not go past the world he knows unless he’s sure he can make his way back. This is what his mom tells Chiro before he leaves:
“Sense is the song you sing out into the world, and the song the world sings back to you.”
Here’s Chiro singing her song to view the world in front of her. Just beautiful.

Nightsong by Ari Berk

Nightsong by Ari Berk

- On Meadowview Street by Henry Cole. I love how this book shows children what little positive changes they can make around them, and how these changes will multiply once other people follow their lead. After they move into their new house on Meadowview street (without any meadow in sight), Caroline and her parents decide to stop mowing their lawn and encourage wildflowers to grow. Many birds and animals start visiting their yard and neighbors follow Caroline’s lead until the whole street lives up to its name. What a great message to give our kids!

Mooseltoe by Margie Palatini- What they recently finished reading
Mooseltoe by Margie Palatini. We’ve read this book before and we enjoyed it a lot, so we had to get it from the library again. Moose thinks he has all of the Christmas preparations taken care of, until his family points out he forgot the Christmas tree. And there are no more trees left in town. Oh my, where will Santa put the presents? Moose isn’t about to let his kids down and you can probably guess from the book cover how Moose will save the day, or rather Christmas night.
- Moosekitos: A Moose Family Reunion by Margie Palatini. Moose plans the perfect moose family reunion but it doesn’t turn out quite as he expected. Everyone seems to be going off on their own instead of spending quality time all together. With a little help from mosquitoes, Moose may just get the family reunion he’s been hoping for.

- What I think they’ll read next
I don’t know but I’m sure it will be good stuff. What about you? Any books you or your kids are reading you’d like to share?

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Our favorite adult literature and children’s books of 2011

WWW Wednesdays

You may have noticed I didn’t post a WWW Wednesdays update yesterday. I simply ran out of time. It was my mom’s last vacation day with us and I couldn’t find enough time in front of the computer to write up my weekly update.

Between shades of gray by Ruta Sepetys

Between shades of gray by Ruta Sepetys

I did want to share with you a wonderful book I just finished a few days ago called Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys. What an amazing book to learn about this less often told part of history, i.e. Stalin’s own ethnic cleansing of large parts of Eastern Europe that killed 20 million people (he sure got bragging rights over Hitler in the genocide category). Sepetys based her book on her own family’s experiences as well as testimonies from many Lithuanian families. This gives her story a very real feeling when you understand this type of events really happened to millions of uprooted families sent to Siberian forced labor camps. This is a poignant, personal first novel I highly recommend.

Now, instead of doing my weekly WWW Wednesdays update, I thought I’d make a list of our favorite books we read in 2011 and I encourage you to read them too.

My best adult literature book picks of 2011

A dog's purpose by W. Bruce Cameron

A dog's purpose by W. Bruce Cameron

A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron. By far the best book I’ve read this year. It made me laugh, it made me cry and made me enjoy a story about dogs when I’m a cat person. Great storytelling.

The Lying Game by Sara Shepard. Such a great premise and angle for this murder mystery book. I couldn’t put it down and went on to read book #2 in the series, Never Have I Ever. Read it, you won’t regret it.

Room by Emma Donoghue. The first third of this book (the captivity part) kept me on the edge. The rest of it sucked me right in and surprised me several times on the way. This is a wonderful book on a very painful subject.

My best children’s book picks of 2011

The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson

The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson

The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo’s Child by Julia Donaldson. Rhyming stories of a tiny mouse outsmarting a terrifying larger than life gruffalo.

 The Mr Putter & Tabby book series by Cynthia Rylant. These are wonderful, funny, kind and sweet stories about Mr Putter, his cat Tabby, his neighbor Mrs Teaberry and her dog Zeke. Our very favorite are Mr Putter & Tabby Paint the Porch, Mr Putter & Tabby Pick the Pears (zing!) and Mr Putter & Tabby Feed the Fish (bat bat bat…).

There Are Cats in This Book and its sequel There Are No Cats in This Book by Viviane Schwarz. These are interactive, hilarious books to read over and over with the kids, even if you’re not a cat person. Kids love to memorize all the lines and read the story on their own, laughing out loud.

What are your favorite book picks for 2011?

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WWW Wednesdays – December 7, 2011

WWW Wednesdays

My bookshelf

The Christmas wedding by James Patterson- What I’m currently reading
The Christmas Wedding by James Patterson. I’m reading this book for my upcoming book club meeting in a couple of weeks. The reviews on Amazon are not very kind and so far this book is super easy to read but mostly fluffy and not well written in my opinion. Let’s see where this goes…

- What I recently finished reading
Out of Our Minds: Learning to Be Creative by Sir Ken Robinson. This book was very interesting but I don’t think it went far enough to explain what really needs to be changed about our educational system to help kids get ready for the 21th century economy. I recently found out Robinson’s book called The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything is supposed to be excellent so I’ll be reading it very soon.

Never Have I Ever by Sara Shepard. After reading The Lying Game and being sucked into the story of Sutton’s mysterious disappearance and Emma’s awkward replacement for her long lost twin sister, I couldn’t wait to read the sequel. And I’m so glad I did! I read this book in a couple of days and had a hard time putting it down (my kids got in the way…). The mystery continues and unfortunately I just saw there’s not only a #3 but also a #4 book in the works. Argh, I want to know who killed Sutton, although I now have a picked suspect. I hope it’s not whom I think it is though, because I really like that character, but it would make for a very shocking ending. If you like fast paced mysteries and nailbiters, this book is for you, but read The Lying Game first.

- What I think I’ll read next
The Christmas Thief by Mary Higgins Clark and Carol Higgins Clark. I impulsively grabbed it off the shelf at the library since I’m a Mary Higgins Clark fan. It’s supposed to be funny and mysterious, so we’ll see. I love reading books about Christmas this time of year.

My kids’ bookshelf

Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg- What they’re currently reading
- The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg. We’re actually reading the French version right now, called Boreal Express. It’s one of our favorite books about Christmas and the magic of Santa Claus, with beautiful illustrations to go along the sweet story.
- Oliver and Amanda’s Christmas by Jean Van Leeuwen. A cute, short chapter book about Oliver and Amanda getting ready for Christmas. My favorite part? Oliver making a list of 22 toys for Santa, not because he needs them but because he wants them. Jean Van Leeuwen KNOWS kids.
- The Adventures of Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey. Two fourth-grade boys who write comic books and love to pull pranks manage to turn their school principal into their superhero Captain Underpants. This is a chapter book with very funny illustrations. My five-year old can’t stop looking at it and asking us to read it. I’d say it’s a hit. Should I add we’re fans of Dav Pilkey? The guy is brilliant.
 
- What they recently finished reading
- Penguin and the Cupcake by Ashley Spires. This is the funny story of a Penguin who decides to head North to satisfy his cravings for cupcakes with pink icing. On his way, he meets Polar Bear and Walrus who can’t help but interrupt the story as they think Penguin’s storytelling skills are a little far-stretched.
- How Chipmunk Got His Stripes by Joseph Bruchac and Raccoon’s Last Race : a Traditional Abenaki Story by the same author. Both books are inspired from Native American stories that explain how the chimpmunk and the racoon managed to look the way they do today. They both start as teasing, arrogant animals who can’t keep promises and learn the consequences of their poor behavior the hard way. These books sure make my kids think about a few things.
 
- What I think they’ll read next
I hope to get more books with a Christmas theme soon.

What about you? Any books you or your kids are reading you’d like to share?

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