January 20, 2014

Reviews in Brief: Thrills and Chills

Boston Jacky by L.A. Meyer. This historical adventure series is one of the few (maybe the only?) set of series books I find myself religiously following. I haven't been disappointed yet. For sheer fun and entertainment, as well as immersive historical detail, these books can't be beat. Narrator Jacky Faber, a plucky, smart, mischievous, and daring young woman, ages and grows and learns as she adventures her way through an exceedingly interesting time in history--the early 1800s. In this latest volume, the social turmoil of a young United States forms the backdrop to Jacky's attempts to branch out in business. Her new venture is the purchase of beloved but ailing tavern the Pig & Whistle, complete with a brand-new adjoining playhouse for musical and dramatic entertainment. However, the movement for women's suffrage has other ideas--because, during this time, the suffragettes also embraced temperance, and a tavern is of course a bawdy house full of unsavory influences. Meanwhile, love-of-Jacky's-life Jaimy Fletcher has finally come to Boston to join her, but, as always, he isn't sure if there's room for him in her ever-so-active lifestyle...And then there's the Irish Question, which Jacky is in the thick of, because of her profitable business shipping over Irish workers...This latest in the Bloody Jack series does an excellent job of integrating Jacky's adventures with the major historical happenings and social issues of the time.
Review copy source: Library | Buy from Indiebound

17 and Gone by Nova Ren Suma. I'm not going to be able to say TOO much about this one, because of spoilers, but I'd been looking forward to reading it for quite a while and was excited to find it at my library. Main character Lauren's life changes irrevocably the day her van breaks down and she catches sight of a "Missing" poster on a phone pole. The missing person is Abby Sinclair, 17 years old--the same age as Lauren--and she disappeared months ago without a trace from a nearby summer camp. And now Lauren is having visions of Abby. Convinced she's meant to somehow help Abby, Lauren begins delving deeper, and finds out that there are SO MANY girls out there who are 17 and just...gone. Disappeared. Never found. And now she's started to dream about them--about all of them. Why are they starting to haunt her, and what can Lauren do about it? What's she supposed to do? And is her desperation to save these girls so strong that it's taking over her own life? Though this one has a slower ramp-up in the first part of the book, it serves well to draw the reader into Lauren's viewpoint until we're just compulsively turning the pages, unable to stop watching.
Review copy source: Library | Buy from Indiebound

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