Friday, March 31, 2017

The Mermaid Collector by Erika Marks - Reshelved Books

Hello dear For the Love of Dewey Readers!

After finishing  Julia's Daughters by Colleen Faulkner I thought I was going to have a terrible book hangover and have trouble getting into a new book.  It was snowing outside, so I wanted something beachy to take my mind off of the snow -- but not summery.   I had just packed up a bunch of books in preparation for my big move coming up this spring (including most of my to-read pile) and found this one that I have been meaning to read for probably 3 years now.  I'm terrible, I know.

These are all books...except for that red box...

At first I thought that Erika Marks' The Mermaid Collector was going to be too much fantasy based.  I guess I wasn't sure what exactly to expect and I was a little bit apprehensive.  But nonetheless, I started reading it and had trouble putting it down.  

The lighthouse on the cover looks just like the Portland Lighthouse
 I was lucky enough to visit this past fall.

This novel is as much of a love story as it is a historical fiction and ghost story about the origin of local myth and legend.  It follows the present day stories of Tess Patterson and Tom Grace, two people who have given up on love, lost parents to tragic deaths, and are struggling to heal themselves and learn to trust others.  Tess Patterson has grown up in Maine, living near the water with both her mother and step-father, until her mother commits suicide by drowning in the cove.  Tom Grace, comes to costal Maine when he inherits the light keeper's house after his family falls victim to a tragic hit-and-run accident.  An accident that takes the life of his parents.  What makes this book stand out from other novels that deal with love, tragedy, heartbreak, and family issues is seen from the historical flashbacks that tie the custom of the annual Mermaid Festival of the present to the novel's mermaid lore of the past.     

This novel offers reader's glimpses of  the couple that perviously lived in the Light Keeper's house back in the 1800's by telling the mermaid legend in segments that leave the reader wanting more.  Showing how  love, loss, tragedy and the past can have haunting and lasting impressions on the future.  Do ghosts exist in the physical sense?  Or a ghosts the rippling effects the past has on the present? 

So my dear Fothe Love of Dewey readers, I give you ANOTHER rating of 5 out of 5 coffee beans

I could not put this book down, and I was so sad when it was over.  I have such a terrible book hangover that now I don't even know what I want to read!

Does anyone have any suggestions? 


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Will You Find Us?

Not to long ago we read about a campaign via our Twitter Page (@theloveofdewey) about book fairies.  Yes, you read that right.  Magical book fairies that leave books in unexpected and mysterious places for readers to find, devour, and pass on.  I absolutely loved this idea and ordered some stickers right away.  You can read more about them on The Book Fairies' website

After ordering my set of stickers, I had to order business cards for a Mid-Atlantic Regional Archiving Conference (MARAC) I am presenting at this spring.  But of course, I did this at midnight and in my sleep-deprived state put the wrong professional web address on them and had to order more.  Does anyone with a MLIS really need personal business cards?  Now I have 100 non-useable and 100 useable ones.... But that's not what I really wanted to tell you...

While I was ordering my second batch of library business cards I decided to create some for For the Love of Dewey.  Wouldn't it be fun to hid them around town?  In places like the coffee shop, at the park, in the bathroom at the mall?  Wouldn't it be even better if we placed our cards inside a beloved book for people with bookish hearts to find?

So here is the For the Love of Dewey movement inspired by The Book Fairies and my business card accident.  For those of you who find a card, a book, or both, come to our blog and tell us!  Tell us that you found our card and what you think of the book.  And when you're done reading it, leave it somewhere for another book lover to find.  Let's see how far these books and the love for all things dewey can go!     

You can comment below here, on our Book Club page, or our GoodReads group.  Come and spread the bookish love! 


Monday, March 27, 2017

Flight of Dreams by Ariel Lawhon - #TheBookDrop

Happy Monday Deweys!

Drum roll promised... Here is my review of Flight of Dreams
*the crowd goes wild*

Flight of Dreams by Ariel Lawhon was the featured March 2017 #TheBookDrop The Jane box book.
--> This is a reshelved book but I wanted to make the main focus on the title of the post that this book is from #TheBookDrop.  #TheBookDrop is a subscription box that I'm subscribed to and I find it to be quite awesome!  It's also a box that isn't crazy expensive.  It's nice to know that every month, I'll have a book delivered to my doorstep (which to me is like waking up on Christmas morning and finding those presents under the tree).  Buying books now is something that's still a little challenging because Baby C is still too little to be out in public places. 

#TheBookDrop included the book, a letter from Ariel Lawhon and a bookplate. 

I really enjoyed this book which I am surprised to find myself saying.  I usually don't go toward novels that are based off of historical events. (I have nothing against history, it's just not my thing when I'm picking out a book). 

I am a Jersey Girl and sadly I knew NOTHING of the Hindenburg! I don't know why and I am rather embarrassed to say that.  It was something happened down in South Jersey and I knew that a blimp (I wasn't even calling it a ZEPPELIN) caught fire but nothing more.  For some reason I thought that the Lindbergh kidnapping five years before was related to the Hindenburg - it's not. 

Usually the box includes the book and why the curator of the box chose the book.  What was really cool about this month's #TheBookDrop box is that it included a letter from Ariel Lawhon.  In her letter she explained her inspiration behind Flight of Dreams.  As we know, my new thing is researching an author's inspiration for their novel.  So this was like being able to have my cake and eat it too!

I started writing this post before I got super far into the book.  I figured that if I researched the Hindenburg beforehand, it would provide me with a better understanding of what was being presented in the book as historical fact and how Lawhon's imagination took those facts and spun everything into a wonderfully captivating story. 

A little backstory on the Hindenburg Zeppelin or a dirigible... The ill fated event occurred on May 6, 1937 in Lakehurst, NJ at the Lakehurst Naval Air Station, where only 62 survived out of the 97 on board.  The Hindenburg made trips from Germany to New York and to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Hindenburg was named the German elected president in 1925. The Hindenburg was the first zeppelin to be constructed around carrying helium-- helium is a natural gas that is less flammable than hydrogen.  Due to restrictions in the United States (it was feared that Hitler would use the helium for "military purposes"), the Hindenburg was unable to fly with helium -- it was redesigned to be flown with hydrogen instead. The Hindenburg was 803 feet in length and could travel at a speed of 80mph.  It was decorated with the flag of the Nazi Party--the new German national flag at the time in 1936, and it bore the symbol of the Olympic Rings to promote the Summer Olympic games-- in 1936 the Summer Olympics took place in Berlin. 

Now... full ahead into the book!

I loved how the book was written with such detail.  On every page, Lawhon was able to paint a clear picture of the characters and the environment that surrounded them.  Lawhon also based her characters on the passengers on the Hindenburg at the time of the fire - which I also thought was really cool (as you can see, I told you that I don't read historical fiction!).  Her characters also shared the same fates as those who they were based on-- if someone had passed away in the book, it was because they passed away in the explosion (which she explains at the end of the novel).  

The book focuses between five different characters: Emilie - "The Stewardess", Max - "The Navigator", Edward- "The American", Werner - "The Cabin Boy" and Gertrud - "The Journalist". The novel also takes place over the course of three days, which was the duration of the final flight from Frankfurt, Germany to Lakewood, New Jersey. As the reader, you see how each character interacts with one another and how they feel.  Each character provides information to one another that pulls the book together.  Whether its from the crew interacting with each other, the passengers with another or the crew and the passengers speaking to each other.

The stories of these five people are intertwined- the story is intricately woven.

I felt like you could feel the love that Max Zabel had for Emilie Imhof, the way that he cared for her and the desire that they shared for one another.  I found Max to be handsome, he reminded me a lot of G (who is a merchant marine) and Emilie was a character that I couldn't get a good read on--she was very secretive.  The character who I was very interested in learning more about was Edward Douglas ("The American"), I wanted to know who he was and why he there.  I thought that he was a rather creepy character- one that you couldn't get away from. Werner Franz ("The Cabin Boy") was another character that I really liked- a fourteen year old boy who grew up right in front of your eyes with the turn of every page.  Gertrud Adelt was a character who wasn't all that she seemed- she was portrayed as having a rock solid exterior but she did have her moments of softness. Both Emilie and Gertrud were characters who were defying the boundaries in Germany at that time-- Emilie was the first stewardess aboard a Nazi airship and Gertrud was a journalist (one who didn't seem so keen on the Nazis).

Flight of Dreams is nothing short of literary awesomeness and I give this book five (5) out of five (5) coffee beans.  It's a captivating page turner and it leaves you guessing at every page especially during the fateful final day when the Hindenburg is in flight.  Its a little bit romance, a little bit of a mystery and a whole lot of wonderful reading!


P.S. For those who are curious, these are the links to the websites that I found background information on the Hindenburg!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Julia's Daughters by Colleen Faulkner - Reshelved Books

Guys, I think I found a new favorite author!

I stumbled across Julia's Daughters by Colleen Faulkner in the dollar store where I was looking for a bucket.  As someone who is in the process of moving and renovating a home, did I need a new book? No.  Should I be buying a new book? No.  Do I have the money for a new book?  Not really... I need housewares.  But I was drawn to this book not only because the cover is gorgeous and #bookstagram worthy, but because it sounded SO good and authors like Susan Wiggs, Holly Chamberlin, and Cathy Lamb have raved about Faulkner's other work. So I came home with both a bucket and a new book.  

Isn't this book just beautiful? 
Imagine you had a daughter who died as a passenger in a tragic car accident because the person driving ran a stop sign...But what if the person driving was your other daughter? 

Julia's Daughters explores the story of a family who lost a daughter to this type of tragedy, following the grief, guilt, and healing that parallels a journey of a mother and daughter road trip from Las Vegas to Maine.  The premise for this book sort of reminded me of Night Road by Kristin Hannah. (It's an awesome and gut wrenching read. You should definitely check it out!) Anyway, Julia's Daughters switches between the voices of the mother, Julia, and her two remaining daughters, Haley and Izzy, to show not only how grief effects them individually but also how they come to heal together. Lately I have been reading a lot of young adult fiction and have been in a reading slump regarding adult fiction.  Reading a novel like this, with both adult and young adult character perspectives, was a surprising and nice transition between genres.

This novel was such a quick read.  I started it on a Sunday evening and finished it on a Tuesday.  When I wasn't reading it I was WISHING I was reading it.  Aren't those the best kind of books?

And so I leave you my dear For the Love of Dewey readers, with a rating of 5 out of 5 Coffee Beans.

And the best part?  Faulkner's other novels look just as good.  


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Everything, Everything By Nicola Yoon - Reshelved Books

Hello fellow For the Love of Dewey Readers!  *Woof, Woof!* I just read an amazing book that left we with a complete and utter book hangover.  This book, just like the photo below, is EVERYTHING. 
Dogs and books are everything. 

I stumbled upon Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon while I was scrolling through Facebook one evening before bed.  Someone had shared a trailer to a movie that was coming out and it looked good. I don't really watch movies, but when I found out it was also a book I got SO excited.  I immediately placed it on hold at my library, and it was everything I hoped it to be and more.   

I LOVED photographing this book. 

So, what would you do if you had a terrible illness that suppressed your immune system to the point where you had to live inside, be homeschooled online, only see certain visitors monitored for their health, and breathe filtered air?  What kind of person would you be?  Do you think that you would know what you were missing if you never knew it was there?  For Madeline Whittier this is her reality and the only life she has known.  Madeline  has a rare disease known as SCIDS, which the novel describes as a disease that surprises her immune system to the point where any "trigger" has the point to kill her.  I have never heard about SCIDS before, so I decided to learn more about it.  As a future librarian and person with anxiety, I probably shouldn't have Googled it but I did.  Did I mention that I wasn't feeling well when I read it?...  Anyway for those of you who are curious, here is a link to a website dedicated to SCIDS.    

Back to the book. 

One day, a new family moves into the house next door.  The boy, who is about her age, and his sister go to Madeline's house to bring over a bundt cake, but over course they can't come in and Madeline's mother cannot accept the cake.  This sparks an interest and  online friendship that blossoms into sneaky yet sterilized visits between Madeline and her new neighbor, ultimately causing Madeline to question her life, her dreams, and love.  

A For the Love of Dewey rating of 5 out of 5 coffee beans! This book is gripping, it is inspiring, and it's a bookish love story.  Check out the trailer to the movie to be released this year!


P.S.  Nicola Yoon liked our post on Twitter!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

After the Fall by Kate Hart- Reshelved Books

Hello again Dewey Family, 

This time I present you with After the Fall by Kate Hart.

This book was wonderful! I really did enjoy it.  After the Fall was another book that I could not put down! It was laced with such emotion and it made you feel for the characters (and I don't think that's an easy thing to do!)

NOW, I know what you guys are saying "But Jillian you've been reading books that fall into this category... You reviewed Thirteen Reasons Why *and* The Most Dangerous Place on Earth". Yes yes, I did...this is something that I can not deny. 

Side Note: I promise that I am going to review March's #Bookdrop next - Flight of Dreams by Ariel Lawhon. I'm in the process of reading this book 

(PSA for our IG! @fortheloveofdewey -- you'll be able to check out all of our current reads here... Or you can look up to your left... Right under all of those tabs...)

After the Fall is Kate Hart's debut novel.  Knowing that this was her debut novel and nothing else about the novel didn't satisfy me.  I was wanting to know about this book!

SO! I figured that I would start incorporating a little bit of the background information that I find about the authors (if this is a debut novel) or try to find the inspiration the novel (if it's posted within the vast internet) -- wish me luck, this may be a failed idea. haha.   

With my trusty curiosity in hand, I searched the internet high and low in hopes to find Hart's inspiration...

My searching did pay off!  I was able to find an interview with Ms. Hart from 2010 on the blog We Do Write, you can view the interview here. In her interview with Dorothy from We Do Write, Kate said that her inspiration for After the Fall came from a "local hiking accident" - that sparked her to wonder how she and her friends would have been able to handle the same situation. It wasn't until I finished the book that in the final pages that Hart mentions how her own assault and the loss of a friend influenced her book. 

(Wandering Bark Books had an interesting Q&A with Hart as well - you can find how she handled the love triangle that is in the book.  You can read that Q&A here).

On to the book...

After the Fall follows Raychel Sanders and Matt Riachardson, two best friends since forever. Matt secretly likes Raychel and Raychel is secretly dating Matt's younger brother, Andrew. 

As the reader, you can really feel for Raychel.  You feel for her when you hear how she's been assaulted by Carson (not once but *twice*).  You feel for her when she thought that maybe Carson did actually like her for her and not for anything else like the rumors that follow her. You feel for her again, when she learns who her mother is dating and when she gets into a big fight with Matt; resulting in massive disappointment.  A horrible hiking accident happens causing life as Raychel and Matt know it falls apart. Life will never be the same for either of them and neither will be their friendship. 


If you don't want to know what happens... DON'T READ PAST THIS LINE!! 
I don't want to ruin anything for those of you who do want to read the book. 

I felt bad for Raychel. I did. No one deserves to be assaulted. No one deserves to be taken advantage of like that. To lose that sense of trust and security. To be stripped down and to be made to feel so vulnerable. That's wrong in every possible way. As I wrote before, it broke my heart to read that her character was happy that there someone out there who was interested in her for her and not because of the rumors about her. To me, that's heartbreaking. 

But (I know I shouldn't start a sentence with "but") Raychel did start to irritate me when she was (for lack of a better term) "sneaking around" with Andrew. I thought that was really crappy of her character.  This guy has been your friend for (what's mentioned in the book) the better part of a decade, and you go and start dating his brother without saying anything to him! That's really crappy! I'm sorry guys. Matt genuinely cared about Raychel (even though we could see that his character was quite overbearing) and I think that's why it bothered me so much that she didn't say anything to him until everything started to fall apart.

To me, it seemed like Raychel's relationship with Andrew seemed a little out of left field. I didn't find it to be very developed- it just kind of happened. I didn't even really get the vibe that she was crushing on him until she borrowed his shirt.  

Carson's assault on Raychel was a formative part of the book (IMO) but it seemed to have died off... Then the reader hears about Carson again, when Raychel takes her "revenge" on him (if you can even say that) and when he apologizes.  Part 2 had a whole different focus -I felt that that was a little strange. 

I was sad at the end of the book.  I guess I wanted Raychel and Matt to see past their differences and to come together once again.  I didn't want to see them end. They had been friends for so long, that it was sad to seem them continue to drift apart.  

As the saying goes: all good things must come to an end...

After the Fall gets a review of four (4) coffee beans out of five (5).


Websites Referenced:

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland - Reshelved Books

One Fish, Two Fish, Blue Fish, Lots of Fish.....
Isn't this cover just awesome!?  I know we've talked about this before, and how you should never ever judge a book by it's cover...but I'm guilty once again.  I had stumbled across this cover while scrolling through our #bookstagram and thought the fish just looked so real. And they do, right?

Anyway, upon doing some detective work to figure out more about this book I read a Goodreads summary that compared Sutherland's Our Chemical Hearts to Rainbow Rowell's Eleanor & Park and John Green's The Fault in Our Stars.  I wasn't a big fan of The Fault in Our Stars but I absolutely devoured Eleanor & Park, so I decided to give this book a chance, checking it out of my local public library.  

This book is just...WOW.  It has elements of tragedy, of grief, and of death as found in The Fault in Our Stars, but it also has an Eleanor and Park love story while giving the reader a glimpse into various family dynamics.  This novel shows the struggle of finding balance with life and grief, as well as with daily responsibilities in conjunction with the larger picture that makes life actually worth living.  This novel tells the story of love, of loss, of heartbreak, and of healing.  It's also told from a male perspective, which makes it a great novel for both boys and girls to read.  I don't want to tell you anything more, I just want you to read it.  

So my dear For the Love of Dewey readers, I give you my rating of 5 out of 5 coffee beans!

Please add this book to your To-Read List!


Monday, March 6, 2017

How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather - Reshelved Books

Witches, ghosts, Salem, and pumpkin lattes...No, it's not October, but how could I pass up a book that takes a modern look into the Salem Witch Trials by placing Samantha Mather, a descendent of Cotton Mather, inside this spooky town?

I found How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather (yes, the author is a decedent of Cotton Mather as well) at Target. I walked around the store with it in my arms 3 times until I decided that yes, I needed to buy this book.  For those of you who aren't up to snuff on your witchy history, the Salem Witch Trials occurred in the 1690's in Salem, MA with the killing of 20 people who were accused of witchcraft.  Cotton Mather was a minister who, as according to Wikipedia, tried to prove that demons were alive and real in Salem (Wikipedia, 2017).  

Reviews of this book as found on it's Google Books page claim it to be a mixture of the Salem Witch Trials and Mean Girls.  I guess I can see how this is kind of true.  In this book, Samantha's father goes into a coma, resulting in Samantha and her step-mother returning to her father's hometown of Salem.  Once in Salem, Samantha learns about her heritage and how it makes her disliked by the kids in her school who are descendants of the people murdered during the witch trials.  The descendants take on the role of the "popular" crowd, targeting Samantha and making her feel uncomfortable and bullied.  Hence, Mean Girls.  

I enjoyed this book up until the point where the book began to take a dive away from the witchy history of Salem and Samantha, and shift towards a supernatural Casper-like ghost story that was too flamboyant to be believable.  This is seen where Samantha makes friends and falls in love with a ghost, as well as by how the person who her step-mother is quickly changes....almost too fast.  

For this reason, I am going to give this novel 3 out of 5 coffee beans.  I didn't like the ghost friendship or the elements at the end, but I did enjoy the novel overall.  

For readers who are looking for a historical novel with a modern twist, this probably isn't the book for you.  However, for reader's who enjoy ya paranormal reads,  even if elements may not be too believable, then give this book a try! 


P.S.  According to a little stalking I did on Adriana Mather's GoodReads and Instagram accounts, not only is this novel going to become a movie BUT Mather is also coming out with a second book that takes Samantha and places her on the Titanic.  Apparently, Adirana Mather's ancestors were also on the Titanic.  How crazy is that?.... And, she's an actress? (Not the actress in the book trailer though!)  

Take a look at the book trailer. This might be one of those rare instances where the movie is slightly better than the book...What do you think? 

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Thirteen Reasons Why (Th1rteen R3asons Why)-Reshelved Books

Five Coffee Bean Review!

You guys....

Last night I finished one of the best books I have ever laid eyes upon...

Let me tell you, it isn't not easy reading when you have a 7 week old. There's always laundry to be done, bottles to be washed and diapers to be changed. 

But you guys, this book was so good... I was reading when baby C was napping and before I went to sleep.  I traded precious sleep time to read this book! Low and behold, all of that paid off because I finished the book in less than 24 hours. 

Thirteen Reasons Why (Th1rteen R3asons Why) by Jay Asher would be the book. 
Yes, you're looking at the original cover art...not the 10th Anniversary cover art!

What did I like about this book you ask? Everything!
What did I not like about this book? Nothing!

I know that this book is going to be adapted into series on Netflix (premiering March 31st, in case any of you were wondering.  Comment down below if you're going to be watching!). Which prompted me to read the book. I never picked up this book in the past because I was judging a book by its cover (which is hypocritical on my part).

I will not deny that the trailer for the series looked really good and that's why I decided to read the book. (Otherwise I probably still wouldn't have read the book. And I'd seriously be missing out!)

The book follows Clay Jensen and the a set of 7 tapes that came into his possession.  These tapes accompany a map that mysteriously ended up in his locker. The tapes focus on the stories of 13 different people, while the map highlights specific areas in town. The tapes are narrated by Hannah Baker, a girl who took her own life days before. 

The set of tapes were sent to 13 different people, all of whom Hannah encountered and played a part in the downward spiral of her life.

Along side Clay, you hear the harrowing story of what happened to Hannah as she walks you down memory lane; starting from when she first moved in until her last days. 

As the reader, you can really feel for Hannah as she tells her story.  I felt like I wanted to jump into the book and help her before she took her own life. Hannah should have never felt like she was alone because in truth, she wasn't. 

Asher penned an emotional read and was able to build up a great story.  The back cover mentioned his inspiration for Thirteen Reasons Why, which is (I think) brilliant. I loved how from that inspiration, he fashioned a wonderful novel.  

Asher's ability to weave suspense, mystery and emotion is why I deem this book worthy of five (5) coffee beans.  

See you at the next book!