Book Review–Six Feet Over It by Jennifer Longo

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This is the 75th book from my 114 in 2014 Reading Challenge.

 

Picture source: Goodreads.com
Picture source: Goodreads.com

 Six Feet Over It by Jennifer Longo
Published August 26th, 2014 by Random House Books for Young Readers

Home is where the bodies are buried.

Darkly humorous and heart-wrenchingly beautiful, Jennifer Longo’s YA debut about a girl stuck living in a cemetery will change the way you look at life, death, and love.

Leigh sells graves for her family-owned cemetery because her father is too lazy to look farther than the dinner table when searching for employees. Working the literal graveyard shift, she meets two kinds of customers:

Pre-Need: They know what’s up. They bought their graves a long time ago, before they needed them.

At Need: They are in shock, mourning a loved one’s unexpected death. Leigh avoids sponging their agony by focusing on things like guessing the headstone choice (mostly granite).

Sarcastic and smart, Leigh should be able to stand up to her family and quit. But her world’s been turned upside down by the sudden loss of her best friend and the appearance of Dario, the slightly-too-old-for-her grave digger. Surrounded by death, can Leigh move on, if moving on means it’s time to get a life?

 

 

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The idea for this one was interesting, but hard for me to get into until I was about a third of the way in. However, once I got into it, things were pretty good. The characters are quirky and memorable, the setting is unique, and the story is fun yet deep on an emotional level. The writing style didn’t sweep me off my feet but I found Leigh’s humorous voice to be endearing once I warmed up to her.

This is one of those wacky, unpredictable stories with fun characters and an unusual setting. While reading this, my furbabies passed away unexpectedly and while that may be a factor in why I found this book so hard to get into at first, I think in a way it has also helped me cope with that major loss.

Would love to see more books like this in the future. I also love how this is based on the author’s past life–would have never imagined such a thing would really happen.

 

 

 

3halfstars

 

 

 

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Book Recommendation: Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin

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Picture Source: Goodreads.com
Picture Source: Goodreads.com

Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin is one of the best horror books I’ve read this month. I saw the movie before I realized it was a book, and while the two are pretty close, it’s still a pretty good book. Recommended especially if you like witches or twisted stories.

 

Intrigued?

 

Rosemary Woodhouse and her struggling actor-husband Guy move into the Bramford, an old New York City apartment building with an onimous reputation and only elderly residents. Neighbours Roman and Minnie Castavet soon come nosing around to welcome them and, despite Rosemary’s reservations about their eccentricity and the weird noises she keeps hearing, her husband starts spending time with them. Shortly after Guy lands a plum Broadway role, Rosemary becomes pregnant and the Castavets start taking a special interest in her welfare.

As the sickened Rosemary becomes increasingly isolated, she begins to suspect that the Castavet’s circle is not what it seems.

 

 

 

 

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Book Review–Playing With Matches by Suri Rosen

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This is the 55th book from my 114 in 2014 Reading Challenge.

 

 

Picture Source: Goodreads.com
Picture Source: Goodreads.com

Playing With Matches by Suri Rosen
Published September 9th 2014 by ECW Press

 

A cross between Jane Austen’s Emma, Dear Abby, and Yenta the matchmaker!

When 16-year-old Raina Resnick is expelled from her Manhattan private school, she’s sent to live with her strict aunt-but Raina feels like she’s persona non grata no matter where she goes. Her sister, Leah, blames her for her broken engagement, and she’s a social pariah at her new school. In the tight-knit Jewish community, Raina finds she is good at one thing: matchmaking! As the anonymous “MatchMaven,” Raina sets up hopeless singles desperate to find the One.

Can she find the perfect match for her sister and get back on her good side, or will her secret life catch up with her?

In this debut novel, Suri Rosen creates a comic and heartwarming story of one girl trying to find happiness for others, and redemption for herself.

 

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I won a copy of this book from the Goodreads First Reads Giveaway program. Many thanks to the publisher/author for giving me the chance to read and review this book from the Goodreads First Reads program.

To be perfectly honest, I had a shaky start with this book. While the synopsis sounded really interesting and I loved the cover, the beginning wasn’t doing much for me. The story started off kind of slow, the baseball stuff confused/annoyed me, and then there was the character of Raina (Rain), who was unlikable at first. Which I guess is ironic considering how Raina believes others feel about her during the course of the book. I guess about halfway in, I was in love with this book and the characters–including Rain.

I’ve never seen a book like this before. I know little about Jewish culture, but the entire matchmaking was fascinating. I loved the direction that the matchmaking went in this book and felt the author did a great job presenting the pros and cons of the services Rain provided.

While the story itself is interesting and flies by pretty quickly, it’s the characters that really make my heart feel warm and fuzzy inside. I loved the relationships between Rain and her sister, other family members (especially Bubby), her clients, her principal, and the old professor (who reminds me of Arthur Abbott from The Holiday). Rain also has some pretty awesome character development. She really grows during the course of the book, which makes this into a sort of coming-of-age book as well.

It was also refreshing to see a book about romance without the main character being involved in actual romance. The dates were fun to read about, too.

In fact, the entire book was light-hearted and quirky yet also had its emotional moments. I’m really happy that I got the chance to read this one, and can’t wait to see what else Suri Rosen has written/will write. I’d love to see more books like this. Loved it and definitely recommend.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher for this review. These opinions are my own; I was not required to write a positive review, nor was I compensated for this review.

 

 

 

 

5stars

 

 

jncname

Book Recommendation: The Haunted Mask II by R.L. Stine

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Picture Source: Goodreads.com
Picture Source: Goodreads.com

 

A few weeks ago, I recommended Goosebumps: The Haunted Mask. I also recommend the second book, The Haunted Mask II.  In a way, I kind of enjoyed it more than the original. If you liked the first, you’ll probably enjoy this one, too.

 

Intrigued?

 

Just call him prune face!
Steve Boswell will never forget Carly Beth’s Halloween mask. It was so gross. So terrifying.
But this year Steve wants to have the scariest costume on the block. So he gets a mask from the same store where Carly Beth got hers. It looks like a creepy old man. With stringy hair. A wrinkled face. And spiders crawling out of the ears!
Steve’s definitely got the scariest mask around. Too bad he’s starting to feel so old. And so tired. And so evil . . . .

 

 

 

 

jncname

Book Recommendation: Pet Sematary by Stephen King

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Picture Source: Goodreads.com
Picture Source: Goodreads.com

 

Pet Sematary is a nightmare for all those who love and own animals. A great read that also has a pretty good film adaptation to go with it. A story you will never forget.

 

Intrigued?

 

Sometimes dead is better….When the Creeds move into a beautiful old house in rural Maine, it all seems too good to be true: physician father, beautiful wife, charming little daughter, adorable infant son — and now an idyllic home. As a family, they’ve got it all…right down to the friendly cat.But the nearby woods hide a blood-chilling truth — more terrifying than death itself…and hideously more powerful.

 

 

 

 

jncname

Book Recommendation: The Haunted Mask by R.L. Stine

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Picture Source: Goodreads.com
Picture Source: Goodreads.com

While Goosebumps: The Haunted Mask is geared more toward middle grade readers, it’s one of those childhood books that I can enjoy even as an adult. While these books never scared me, I have always loved them. If you have kids in your life who like spooky stories, they might enjoy this one. And if you’ve never read it, maybe you’ll like it, too, no matter what your age.

 

Intrigued?

 

A young girl purchases the most frighteningly lifelike Halloween mask and then, to her horror, discovers that she is unable to remove it from her face.

 

 

 

 

jncname

Book Review–Dexter by Design (Dexter #4) by Jeff Lindsay

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This is the 48th book from my 114 in 2014 Reading Challenge.

 

Picture Source: Goodreads.com
Picture Source: Goodreads.com

Dexter by Design (Dexter #4) by Jeff Lindsay
Published January 1st 2008 by Doubleday

 

The macabre, witty New York Times bestselling series (and inspiration for the #1 Showtime series, Dexter) continues as our darkly lovable killer matches wits with a sadistic artiste–who is creating bizarre murder tableaux of his own all over Miami.
After his surprisingly glorious honeymoon in Paris, life is almost normal for Dexter Morgan. Married life seems to agree with him: he’s devoted to his bride, his stomach is full, and his homicidal hobbies are nicely under control. But old habits die hard–and Dexter’s work as a blood spatter analyst never fails to offer new temptations that appeal to his offbeat sense of justice…and his Dark Passenger still waits to hunt with him in the moonlight.

The discovery of a corpse (artfully displayed as a sunbather relaxing on a Miami beach chair) naturally piques Dexter’s curiosity and Miami’s finest realize they’ve got a terrifying new serial killer on the loose. And Dexter, of course, is back in business.

 

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The plot and themes in this one are probably my favorite out of the series so far. I like that this one focused more on Dexter’s complicated relationship with his sister and his conflicting emotions concerning “Harry’s Code.” The mentor aspect toward Rita’s kids is also interesting.

The last book wasn’t all that appealing to me. This one kept my attention for the most part, though it tended to drag toward the end. And maybe it’s just me, but it seemed like the writing wasn’t as good as in the first two books. I also kept stumbling upon typos.

Now that I have finished the TV series, I am intrigued on how the book series will end.

Not my favorite out of the series due to the writing and the slow ending, but probably my second.

 

 

3stars

 

 

 

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