Book Review: Firegirl

Book Review: FiregirlFiregirl
by Tony Abbott
on January 1st 1970
Pages: 147
Published by Little Brown and Company
Genres: Young Readers
Goodreads

"...there is..." Mrs. Tracy was saying quietly, "there is something we need to know about Jessica..."

From this moment on, life is never quite the same for Tom and his seventh-grade classmates. They learn that Jessica has been in a fire and was badly burned, and will be attending St. Catherine's while getting medical treatments. Despite her horrifying appearance and the fear she evokes in him and most of the class, Tom slowly develops a tentative friendship with Jessica that changes his life.

My Takeaway  My family and I listened to Abbott’s, Firegirl as an audiobook. It is about a girl named Jessica who is badly burned in an accident. Jessica transfers to a new school to receive treatments from the local hospital. The story is narrated by Tom, Jessica&#8217…

Book Review: Fatal

Book Review: FatalFatal
by John Lescroart
on January 24th 2017
Pages: 320
Published by Atria Books
Genres: Suspense/Thriller
Goodreads

Kate loves her life. At forty-four, she’s happily married to her kind husband, Ron, blessed with two wonderful children, and has a beautiful home in San Francisco. Everything changes, however, when she and Ron attend a dinner party and meet another couple, Peter and Jill. Kate and Peter only exchange a few pleasant words but that night, in bed with her husband, Kate is suddenly overcome with a burning desire for Peter.

What begins as an innocent crush soon develops into a dangerous obsession and Kate’s fixation on Peter results in one intense, passionate encounter between the two. Confident that her life can now go back to normal, Kate never considers that Peter may not be so willing to move on.

Not long after their affair, a masked man barges into the café Kate is sitting in with her best friend, firing an assault weapon indiscriminately into the crowd. This tragedy is the first in a series of horrifying events that will show Kate just how grave the consequences of one mistake can be.

My Takeaway  Fatal is suspenseful, fast-paced and enthralling. The novel shows how one single act can have tremendous and/or devastating consequences. This thriller is filled with compelling twists and turns, which will keep you guessing until the very end – a definite page turner! This is the first…

Book Review: The Girl Before

Book Review: The Girl BeforeThe Girl Before
by J.P. Delaney
on January 24th 2017
Pages: 320
Published by Ballantine Books
Genres: Mystery/Crime, Suspense/Thriller
Goodreads

Please make a list of every possession you consider essential to your life.
The request seems odd, even intrusive—and for the two women who answer, the consequences are devastating.

EmmaReeling from a traumatic break-in, Emma wants a new place to live. But none of the apartments she sees are affordable or feel safe. Until One Folgate Street. The house is an architectural masterpiece: a minimalist design of pale stone, plate glass, and soaring ceilings. But there are rules. The enigmatic architect who designed the house retains full control: no books, no throw pillows, no photos or clutter or personal effects of any kind. The space is intended to transform its occupant—and it does.

JaneAfter a personal tragedy, Jane needs a fresh start. When she finds One Folgate Street she is instantly drawn to the space—and to its aloof but seductive creator. Moving in, Jane soon learns about the untimely death of the home’s previous tenant, a woman similar to Jane in age and appearance. As Jane tries to untangle truth from lies, she unwittingly follows the same patterns, makes the same choices, crosses paths with the same people, and experiences the same terror, as the girl before.

My Takeaway  Imagine living in a house where you are only allowed to take a few personal items…The Girl Before is a clever psychological thriller filled with unique twists and an unexpected ending. For the most part, I found the novel attention-grabbing, but a little repetitive at times…

Book Review: Hidden Figures

Book Review: Hidden FiguresHidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race
by Margot Lee Shetterly
on December 6th 2016
Pages: 349
Published by William Morrow Paperbacks
Genres: Non-Fiction
Goodreads

The phenomenal true story of the black female mathematicians at NASA whose calculations helped fuel some of America's greatest achievements in space.

Before John Glenn orbited the Earth or Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of dedicated female mathematicians known as "human computers" used pencils, slide rules, and adding machines to calculate the numbers that would launch rockets and astronauts into space.

Among these problem solvers were a group of exceptionally talented African American women, some of the brightest minds of their generation. Originally relegated to teaching math in the South's segregated public schools, they were called into service during the labor shortages of World War II, when America's aeronautics industry was in dire need of anyone who had the right stuff. Suddenly these overlooked math whizzes had shots at jobs worthy of their skills, and they answered Uncle Sam's call, moving to Hampton, Virginia, and the fascinating, high-energy world of the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory.

Even as Virginia's Jim Crow laws required them to be segregated from their white counterparts, the women of Langley's all-black West Computing group helped America achieve one of the things it desired most: a decisive victory over the Soviet Union in the Cold War and complete domination of the heavens.

Starting in World War II and moving through to the Cold War, the civil rights movement, and the space race, Hidden Figures follows the interwoven accounts of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden, four African American women who participated in some of NASA's greatest successes. It chronicles their careers over nearly three decades as they faced challenges, forged alliances, and used their intellects to change their own lives - and their country's future.

My Takeaway  Hidden Figures is the extraordinary true story of the obstacles and triumphs of a group of African-American women Mathematicians who made history, and were essential in sending the first American astronauts into space. Shetterly does an exceptional job and vividly depicts the lives of these exceptional women…

Book Review: The End of Your Life Book Club

Book Review: The End of Your Life Book ClubThe End of Your Life Book Club
by Will Schwalbe
on June 4th 2013
Pages: 326
Published by Vintage
Genres: Non-Fiction
Goodreads

During her treatment for cancer, Mary Anne Schwalbe and her son Will spent many hours sitting in waiting rooms together. To pass the time, they would talk about the books they were reading. Once, by chance, they read the same book at the same time—and an informal book club of two was born. Through their wide-ranging reading, Will and Mary Anne—and we, their fellow readers—are reminded how books can be comforting, astonishing, and illuminating, changing the way that we feel about and interact with the world around us. A profoundly moving memoir of caregiving, mourning, and love—The End of Your Life Book Club is also about the joy of reading, and the ways that joy is multiplied when we share it with others.

This lovely book has a ton a quotes I like, but here are a few of my favorites: “I was learning that when you’re with someone who is dying, you may need to celebrate the past, live the present, and mourn the future all at the same time…