Author: Craig Lancaster Publisher: Riverbend Publishing Genre: Contemporary Fiction My price: $3.99 What would it be like to live in a world where no one seems to understand you, or to value the same things you ? That’s Edward’s life. He values data and organization and routine. He keeps a daily log of the weather report. He watches a Dragnet episode every night in consecutive order. It seems like he’s the only one who cares about these things. Scratch that—Edward wouldn’t settle for assumptions. But he does tell us that when he tried eHarmony, “its system and its twenty-nine levels of compatibility couldn’t find anyone for [him].” That’s a pretty convincing proof point. Edward is a 40-something man who’s been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I have little first-hand experience with Asperger’s and OCD. [Note: Medical professionals have recently removed Asperger's Syndrome from the list of clinical diagnosis; instead, the diagnosis will be folded into the Autism spectrum]. I’ll be reviewing the book from purely a literary standpoint, treating Edward just like any other character. If you’re curious about how one person diagnosed with Asperger’s related to the novel, I highly recommend you check out the website “Life With Aspergers.” She has a great take on 600 Hours of Edward: “600 Hours of Edward features an Aspie protagonist (Edward). It’s the first novel I’ve read which does so. At first, I wasn’t sure exactly how well I’d be able to identify with Edward. After all, he’s a fiercely OCD aspie with a fixation on weather and Dragnet. His social issues are also so severe that he’s generally unemployable. Since I’ve never been unemployed, I didn’t think that I’d relate all that well. I was surprised. It’s true that in the beginning, I didn’t identify with him much at all but as I … Continue reading
Author: Gwen Hayes Publisher: Self-published Genre: Young Adult (YA) Fiction My price: $2.99 I realized a few weeks ago that I’d been reading twisted books that give me tons of nightmares, so I asked Twitter for suggestions on light-hearted books to read. My Twitter friend @KHarveyWrites suggested that I try So Over You as a break from all of the darkness. While So Over You isn’t all rainbows and butterflies, it certainly was a good change of pace from the creepy books that had me checking my shower for the boogeyman. (Don’t worry– reviews of the “creepy books” are on the way!) The main character in So Over You is Layney Logan, an ambitious high school senior who lives for journalism. For three years she’s waited for the opportunity to be named editor-in-chief of the school newspaper, but the reality doesn’t quite match up to the dream. The newspaper is losing its funding, and Layney is forced to share the editor’s throne with Jimmy Foster, her high school nemesis. Her hatred for ‘Foster’ only grows when he pitches a money-making idea: a calendar profiling a boy from each of the school’s clubs. Not a terrible idea—except that he wants Layney to go on a blind date with each guy and then write an article on what high school girls are looking for in a guy. Although some girls would jump at the chance for an assignment like this, Layney is not like most girls. She decides to suffer through the assignment in hopes that it really will generate some money for her paper. Over the course of the book, Layney goes on dates with 12 high school boys, each one different from the next. As these things go, learning about each guy helps Layney learn more about herself. While … Continue reading
Author: Jeanne Martinet Publisher: Liza Dawson Associates Genre: Contemporary Fiction My price: $3.99 This book came on my radar with impeccable timing. I had just finished talking to my family about the Mayan’s prophesy of the end of the world, expected 12/21/12. Of course we laughed and joked about it, but I’m sure in the back of our heads, each of us thought, “But what if?” Etiquette for the End of the World is a highly hilarious story of a woman’s exposure to the end of the world prophesy. Tess is a late-30-something woman who has spent several years writing an advice column for her local paper. After she’s dumped unceremoniously by her boyfriend, disinherited by her father, and estranged from her family, her columns become angrier. She’s then dumped by her employer as well. Once she’s sunk to the very bottom, she stumbles into a new gig: writing an etiquette book for a fringe group, the World Organization for Omniscient Solstice Harbingers, aka WOOSH. The group’s focus is to plan for the end of the world on Dec. 21, 2012. Like other books, in their interpretation of the Mayan prophesy, the world will not go ‘poof;’ instead, it’ll make way for a new “golden age,” where spirituality and connection to the land will be more important than technology and modern comforts. As part of their goal to serve as “midwife” to the new era, they tell Tess: “We want, and need, an interpersonal handbook to help people deal with each other, to promote civilized behavior… in times of great turmoil, humor what gets people through.” So, despite her heebie-jeebies about the group, Tess takes their money and sets to work writing an etiquette book for the end of the world. At several points throughout the book, we get to read some of the hilarious … Continue reading
Author: Steena Holmes Publisher: Winter’s Press Genre: Contemporary Fiction My price: $3.99 If you’re looking for a book that will keep you on the edge of your seat — and constantly on the verge of tears– Finding Emma is a book for you. The novel is filled with heartache that thrusts the reader fully into lives of the characters. Megan is a loving mother to three little girls, Hannah, Alexis and Emma. The girls are tiny bundles of energy, and in just a short scene, we see a glimpse into Megan’s normal, but hectic life. In the few minutes where Megan turns her attention away from her daughters, three-year old Emma disappears. The details of the disappearance are quite vague, which in some ways helps the readers sink into Megan’s shoes. What happened? Where did she go? Will she ever return? The book quickly jumps to two years in the future. Emma is still missing, and Megan hasn’t given up hope that her daughter will be found. In the wake of Emma’s disappearance, Megan puts on a strong face for the community, organizing supervised walks to school and assemblies for kids to help keep them safe. But on the inside, Megan is a constant wreck. Her older daughters have learned quickly that they can’t be a minute late without their mom freaking out. Megan’s distanced herself from her husband, who urges her to move on from the loss for the sake of the rest of the family. As I was reading the book, I never once felt that Megan was overreacting or behaving in a way that seemed out of character or beyond the realm of real life. Because of this, she’s a very sympathetic character, even as we watch her life continue to spiral out of control. One of my favorite aspects of the book was the … Continue reading
Author: M.R. Cornelius Publisher: Self-published Genre: Science Fiction My price: $2.99 *This book was recommended to me by the author. I did not receive a free copy of the e-book or any other compensation in exchange for my review. The review is filled with my own opinions, as always.* I received an email from author M.R. Cornelius, inviting me to read The Ups and Downs of Being Dead. As soon as I saw the short synopsis, I had to download the book sample — and then the book – immediately. The book opens with the workaholic, 57-year old Robert watching a bunch of doctors freeze his body, a la Walt Disney and that guy from Forever Young. We learn that he’d been diagnosed with cancer. He chose crypto-freez-o (trademark pending) technology so that when there’s a cure for cancer, scientists can revive his body and bring him back to life. Little does Robert know that while his body is frozen, his soul will roam the Earth—not at all the 75-year sleep Robert was expecting. He soon meets two other frozen souls, Maggie and Sam, who’ve been assigned to greet him and others who’ve chosen to be frozen. In a few hilarious scenes, these old people help Robert adjust to being, well, dead. They show him how to walk through walls, and how to playfully irritate the living. There’s something so joyful about a group of very old dead people jumping around the city, climbing mountains, and playing jokes on the living. They also give Robert advice on how to spend his decades-in-waiting, and warn him against going home to check in on his family. Of course, Robert promptly ignores their advice and visits his family—and is shocked at what he finds out. His son, Robbie, is a drugged-out disaster with terrible taste in women and friends; his unloving wife has clearly moved … Continue reading
I really enjoyed the book Turquoise, and the characters and themes really hit a chord with me. However, I thought the book could be trimmed a fair amount, and some of the over-the-top declarations were a bit much for me. Here are some other reviewers’ thoughts on the book to help you figure out if Turquoise is the right book to add to your to-read list!
Author: Ayshe Talay-Ongan Publisher: Sid Harta Publishers Genre: Literary Fiction My price: $8.16 I’ve just finished reading Turquoise, and I feel like I’ve lost a good friend. The book follows Yasmin, a young Turkish woman, through nearly two decades of her life, beginning in the late 1970′s. Through the course of the book, we live Yasmin’s life alongside of her, following along her ups and downs, good decisions and bad. Her story doesn’t sound incredibly unique: young woman falls in love with a married man. But it’s the little details, the twists and turns of her life that keep the story so engaging. The author, Ayshe Talay-Ongan, has a very unique writing style. It take a few pages to get into it, but once I did, I fell fully into the story. It’s told in the first person, present tense, so when Yasmin picks up an olive to nibble on, we pick up the olive with her. (On a completely unrelated note, don’t read Turquoise on an empty stomach. A Turkish cookbook is next on my list of books to buy!) Due in part to the rich descriptions, Yasmin’s world feels very real. Gosh, when I put down the book, I almost felt compelled to speak in the same familiar, flowery language as Yasmin. At times the description is overdone, making wish we could see a bit more of Yasmin’s life instead of just her detailed thoughts on the world around her.
Hello reader friends! Cheer by Leslie Gordon has only been on the “shelves” since August, and blogger feedback has been a bit limited. But here are a few additional reviews to help you decide if Cheer is right for you: A.M.B from misfortuneofknowing.wordpress.com echoes my comments on the shifting perspectives, and calls the book “genuine with its realistic characters.” Over the novel’s 176 pages (not that Kindle has page numbers), we witness the Dahl family’s healing process, with each chapter focused on a different character. Ella’s and Jenny’s chapters are in first person, while Ethan’s chapters are told in third person, a shift in point of view that I found mildly jarring at first. There are many emotional moments, some that were so sad that I needed a break. However, the plot was compelling enough for me to resume reading until the very end, a hopeful conclusion that the sympathetic characters deserve. I am so curious to know what the future holds for this family. You will have to read the book to know what I mean. Brenda Steele from the Chicklet Club rated the book 7 out of 10 stars. She says: This fabulous debut novel is written in the style of Jodi Picoult. The author concentrates on the three main characters which allows the reader to get to know them all well. Have you added Cheer to your reading list? Stayed up way too late to finish it (like yours truly)? Let us know in the comments below.
Author: Leslie Gordon Publisher: Self-published Genre: Literary Fiction My price: $2.99 Despite the peppy-sounding title,Cheerwas one of the saddest books I’ve read in a very long time. The first character we meet is Ella, is a 14-year-old star cheerleader who believes she’s responsible for the death of her little brother, Riley. Ella quells any inkling of teenage rebellion and tries her hardest to be a model student, model cheerleader, model daughter… all to make up for the fact that she blames herself for her brother’s death. Instead of acting out in the usual teenage fashion, Ella cuts herself in discreet places. She takes pleasure in the pain, and it is absolutely heartbreaking. In spite of all of this, her parents barely acknowledge her. Her mom, Jenny, is one of the most insufferable characters. She, too, feels guilty for her son’s death. Instead of grieving or forgiving herself, she dedicates most of her energy to trying to conceive another child. She constantly explains how she doesn’t bond with her daughter, how she wasn’t interested in her as a baby, how she’s mad at Ella for her role in Riley’s death. Even though I could sympathize with her tragic loss, her lack of interest in her remaining family made her chapters almost unbearable.
Hi friends– Just a quick note to let you know that you’re not on the wrong site! I’ve made some changes to the layout and design of Indebooks. Hopefully this makes it easier for you to navigate and find older reviews. Please feel free to get in touch with any questions or comments. Thanks for reading! Have a great three-day weekend!