Saving Grace by Jane Green
**This review is based on an ARC from Netgalley. The book releases on Dec. 30, 2014.
Grace is the wife of a (former) bestselling author, Ted, and they are losing their ever-faithful, reliable family assistant at the beginning of this story. Grace is unsure how they will replace her, as she is the only one who can calm Ted in his fits and can keep Grace organized in her busy life. At a gala, it seems too good to be true that they meet Beth, a younger and plain woman who seems thrilled to take on the task and says that she “isn’t happy unless she’s busy!”….well, we all know what they say about things that seem too good to be true. Grace has always feared that she will wind up crazy like her mother, a woman who was diagnosed with manic depression/bipolar disorder, and it seems her fears start to come true as the story progresses. Is it really happening to her now or is something else going on? She has had a nagging feeling about Beth that she can’t seem to put her finger on. As she is trying to figure out her own life, she reconnects with old “family” in England and is able to piece together what is truly going on and tries to save her family. This was one of those stories that I wanted to keep reading and reading late into the night to find out what happened next. It was not action-packed or adventurous, but it was intriguing and though I knew what was essentially going on, it was interesting to find out the details. I would recommend this to family and other adult women. There is nothing overtly inappropriate about the book, I just don’t think my high schoolers would be as interested. Overall, it was a very enjoyable read!
We Should Hang Out Sometime by Josh Sundquist
**This review is based on an ARC from Netgalley, it releases on 12/23.
Okay, I’ll admit I am not much of a nonfiction reader. I usually find them tedious and repetitive to make my way through. However, I did not feel that was the case with this book. It reads very much like a fiction book, which was the first benefit to me; but, it is also funny so that is another plus. Josh is trying to figure out why he has never had a “real” girlfriend so he goes back and examines each pseudo-relationship he has had from Junior High and up. For each girl he talks about, he gives an in-depth background of how he met her, what their “relationship” was like, and where it went wrong. He then gives a short hypothesis and what he thinks happened and does an investigation by meeting with them in present-day and talking about their past. With some of them, he can easily find out what happened and with others he is still baffled as to what happened between them. Josh is eventually able to discover what it is that is keeping him from finding the right girl and having an actual relationship with her and the book ends with his present situation (not saying anything else!). Again, I am admittedly not a nonfiction reader, but I can see myself recommending this title to my high school students, boys and girls, easily and being able to talk about it in a way that will interest them. It is also a quick read, which is always a benefit for many of my students.
My rating: 4/5
Rite of Rejection by Sarah Negovetich
**This review is based on an ARC from Netgalley.
I am one of the many who feel I have grown tired and weary of new dystopian books because they start to feel all the same; however, I did not get that feeling with this particular book. Rite of Rejection takes place in a society where everyone has to go through Acceptance when they reach a certain age. They are presented to the public and put through a machine that either flashes green or red. If it flashes green, all is right and you are allowed to go on and become a member of society (a housewife if you happen to be a girl!)….but if the dreaded red pops up, you are banished and sent to the Pit with no explanation whatsoever. So, when good-citizen Rebecca is rejected by the machine and sent away, she has no idea why. As she goes through the Pit entry process, she is horrified at what is happening. She quickly bonds with a group of other “rejects” and proves herself worthy of becoming part of their family, which has the sole purpose of trying to escape their destiny in the Pit. When they are betrayed and caught in their attempts, they are severely punished and have to try to recover and find another way out by letting the world know the truth. This author did a great job of world-building for me, as I could envision what kind of place they were in and how horrible it must have been. Even though I suppose this book was set in the future, I got a feel of classic Southern charm as well in the beginning when they were talking about what their society was like so it didn’t feel overly techy or other-worldly to me. I will most likely be purchasing this and recommending to students in my school library.
My rating: 3.5/5