Final Girls

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Final Girls
Riley Sager
4.5/5 Stars

From the Publisher: Ten years ago, college student Quincy Carpenter went on vacation with five friends and came back alone, the only survivor of a horror movie–scale massacre. In an instant, she became a member of a club no one wants to belong to—a group of similar survivors known in the press as the Final Girls.

The novel opens in present day, with Quincy trying to cope with life as a final girl.  The amnesia caused by the trauma of her experience and the sudden suicide of Lisa - a final girl herself, leave Quincy wondering who she can trust and who may be stalking her. As time progresses, Quincy’s horrific past is revealed slowly through a series of flashbacks.  Quincy must face the fact that, in order to survive, she must remember what happened that night - at Pine Cottage.

I first heard about this novel when the author was interviewed on the Fan Theory podcast.  The title caught my attention right away.  I was familiar with the concept of a ‘final girl’ after watching the movie Final Girl starring Abigail Breslin.

I had high expectations for Final Girls, and I was not disappointed.  I thoroughly enjoyed the twists and turns - and was pleased when the Sager’s ending was so much better than what I had imagined.

Kids Say the Darndest Things

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

As a teacher, I have heard some wild comments from students. And, I am always amazed how perceptive kids can be.

After enjoying my summer off, I had lunch with a colleague last week. She spent the summer working with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

One morning in the library, she was stopped by Diana, who was soon to be in second grade. “My grandmother used to be a teacher,” Diana proudly informed her. “That’s why she died.”

Wow! I’ve been back in school for a few weeks – I get it!

My Son, The Non-Reader

I woke up this morning at about 8:00. I turned over, looked at the clock - nothing. Like every other morning, I tried CNN - nothing. Eventually, my sleepy mind realized that the power was off. Of course, this was the perfect opportunity to read - the house was quiet, my son was still asleep. Heaven!

When my 15 year-old son finally woke up, he instantly noticed the lack of electricity. Stunned, he walked into my room...

Son: What am I supposed to do, nothing works.

Mom: Go outside.

Son: It's too hot.

Mom: Listen to your iPod.

Son: It's not charged.

Mom: Clean your room. (Well, it was worth a try!)

Son: I can't, there's no T.V.

Mom: What?

Son: I have to watch T.V. when I clean my room.

Mom: Well, read a book.

Son (laughing hysterically): You've got be kidding!

Someday, I can only hope that my son experiences the joy that I have - immersed in books.

I have been able to capture his attention with a few graphic novels. But, as for other books, he would rather cut the grass with nail clippers. I will not admit defeat yet - I still have a few years to work on him!

The Wedding Planner's Daughter

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Wedding Planner’s Daughter
Coleen Murtagh Paratore
4/5 Stars

From the Publisher: Twelve-year-old Willa Havisham is a classics reader, a cherry-cordial eater, and quite possible the world’s worst wisher. But when she and her glamorous single mother, Stella, move to Bramble, Cape Cod, Willa’s wishes are beginning to come true: She makes her first-ever best friend, Tina. She bonds wither her hip, candy-making Nana. And best of all, steely Stella is falling for Willa’s English teacher Sam – he’s perfect dad material! But before Willa can marry off her mother, or dance with her adorable crush, Joseph, disaster strikes…

Can Willa undo the damage before Stella misses her chance to say “I do?”

Every once in a while, I like to read a book for sheer enjoyment. When I’m in this mood, I seek out a novel that is fast paced, entertaining, and a lot of fun. The Wedding Planner’s Daughter has all of these qualities, and more! From the drama of Willa’s relationship with her mother, to the mystery of what makes a perfect wedding – this book is perfect mix of and humor, romance, and action.

If you are looking for a book for your pre-teen, give this one a try.


Monday, October 13, 2008

The winner of "The Guardian" is hylianvampire.

Thanks to everyone who entered!


Sunday, October 5, 2008

Anisha Lakhani
5/5 Stars

From the Publisher: All she wants to do is teach. For Anna Taggert, an earnest Ivy League graduate, pursuing her passion as a teacher means engaging young hearts and minds. She longs to be in a place where she can be her best self, and give that best to her students.

Turns out it isn't that easy.

Landing a job at an elite private school in Manhattan, Anna finds her dreams of chalk boards and lesson plans replaced with board families, learning specialists, and benefit-planning mothers. Not to mention the grim realities of her small paycheck.

And then comes the realization that the papers she grades are not the work of her students, but of their high-priced, college-educated tutors. After uncovering this underground economy where a teacher can make the same hourly rate as a Manhattan attorney, Anna herself is seduced by lucrative offers--one after another. Teacher by day, tutor by night, she starts to sample the good life her students enjoy: binges at Barneys, dinners at the Waverly Inn, and a new address on Madison Avenue.

Until, that is, the truth sets in.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book! Being a teacher myself, I understood where Anna was coming from - wanting to make a difference, unsure where to begin, and longing for support from those around her.

Lakhani's characters grab you from the first page. Anna Taggert is a truly likable heroine - I found myself cheering for her until the very end. Although she falls prey to the lure of easy money, she works heard to regain her integrity. Similarly, the students of Langdon are not what they seem. at first glance, the appear merely spoiled and lazy. But, as Anna works with them, we seem them begin to bloom - and we witness how they are manipulated by the world in which they live.

I have to admit, I have been a reading slump lately. But, this was the perfect book to get me back on track. If you are looking for a book you can loose yourself in - pick this one up!

Teaser Tuesdays

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The rules are:

1. Get the book you are currently reading.
2. Open to a random page.
3. Share two “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.


Today's teaser is from Schooled by Anisha Lakhani page 36:

"Impulsively, I took a piece of chalk and wrote MS. TAGGERT in cursive writing with big, sweeping strokes. Even the smell of chalk was thrilling."


Sunday, September 21, 2008

This week's giveaway is an ARC of the young adult novel - Guardian by Julius Lester.

From the Publisher: When one teenage boy chooses not to tell the truth, an innocent man is lynched, and the boy must bear the burden of shame and suffer the pain of losing a friendship.

Not since To Kill A Mockingbird has there been a more haunting and poignant novel about what happens when a group of people deny human rights to others.

Leave a comment to enter. I will choose the winner on Saturday, September 27th.

Good Luck!


Congratulations Gwendolyn - you are the winner!


Joanne Dahme
3/5 Stars

From the Publisher: From moving to a new house to making new friends and preparing for high school, life for the new girl in town can be unsettling. But thirteen year-old Courtney is unprepared for how creepy life in Murmur, Massachusetts turns out to be. Her ivy-covered house overlooking the antiquated cemetery next door is one thing, but Courtney finds herself thrust into a full-fledged haunted adventure after meeting Christian and Margaret Geyer, a strange father and daughter with unfinished family business. The body of their ancestor, Prudence, has gone missing from beneath her ivy-carved tombstone and must be returned to its final resting place in order to break the spell that looms over Courtney’s house. To add to the suspense and help solve the mystery, authentic documents and photographs are set at the beginning of each chapter pertaining to Murmur, Courtney’s house, and the infamous cemetery. Will Courtney uncover the secret lurking within the dark, dank underbelly of her ivy-covered basement?

I found this book book to be a quick and, only somewhat, enjoyable read. Throughout the first half of the book, the plot was interesting and well-developed. I was disappointed in the end of the novel, as many of the plot elements were not sufficiently 'tied-up' - too many loose ends.

Courtney, the main character was authentic and believable. The characters that surround her, however, seemed a bit flat and undeveloped. I understood where Dahme was going with the characters of Christian and Margaret - they just weren't interesting.

I love a good ghost story, but I expect to be captivated and intrigued. After reading Creepers, I was left wanting more - more insight, more suspense, and more satisfaction.