Archive for the ‘brothers and sisters’ Category

The jacket blurb says it all: “the soul’s ability to connect outside the bounds of reason.”

subway loveIn the mind and time-bending novel about love, Laura boards a subway in the 1970s and ends up in a parallel New York City years in the heyday of the graffiti bedlam when authorities scrubbed away subway car art almost as fast as it was painted. She meets Jonas and an instant connection snaps between them. What I appreciate is that Baskin never editorializes on the bizarre connection through time and space. It just is. Laura endures a bizarre hippy mother, her abusing boyfriend, a mean brother and a distant father. The connection with Jonas is really the only positive connection in her life. He convinces her to confide all her hurts to her father. Their effervescent love story continues while their tagger friend, Zan, an artist of the subways, is planning the most expansive tag of the city: decorating an entire train with his art in one night. Laura and Jonas and Zan all seem to understand the almost reverent experiences they are enveloped in.  Read it!  Romance readers will adore it. Quirky story readers will love it.

(Having just attended a seminar on tagging, I now wonder if Zan contracted cancer later on. The toxic cleanser used by the city killed many of the taggers of the 80s).

Nora’s Website  baskin

Product Details I am a fan of Claudia Gray, and snatch up her books whenever they arrive at my review group!

With Bianca becoming a wraith and Lucas a vampire, Claudia Gray turns her attention to Balthazar’s story.  After the destruction of Evernight Academy during the horrific vampire war, a mortal student, Skye, returns home, and to her former high school.  Since she rescued Bianca at Evernight, Skye possesses the psychic  power of seeing the moment of death of persons at any location she enters.  Even as a child, she could already see and communicate with ghosts, the reason she was allows to enroll at Evernight.   Baltazar comes to help her with her new power, unknowingly subjecting Skye to the demonic obsessions of the one who killed him, the vampire, Redgrave.  In flashbacks, their lives and the life of Balthazar’s unstable sister-vampire, Charity, intertwine throughout four centuries of history.  Balthazar poses as a substitute teacher and enriched the class with his own Colonial American experiences.  There was a nice little rant about using primary sources rather than textbooks, which made me chuckle.  After a bloody accident in the snow, vampires, good and evil, discover drops of magical blood and seek the source:  Skye.  The cat and mouse game begins to possess Skye. This novel has “series’ written all over it, but there are not any clues  about more books on Balthy and Skye on Claudia’s website.  I would love to follow this story line more.  Having read all her books, I have to admit that they are entertaining reads, with unique vampires.

(Click on Claudia’s photograph to link to her website.  She does review  movies on her blog like Snow White and the Huntsman.  Can you believe she had never read or seen the Twilight Saga)?Image of Claudia Gray


What kind of man will create an unbearable family life because of his professional humiliation?

One son leaves to work in China. Another son does not return from college to visit home. They both leave their sister and mother to suffer from the emotional and verbal whippings of the father. They had their share. But Terra carries an extra burden, a large port wine birthmark that covers the side of her face. Another target for needling from her father. Terra’s mom takes her to Seattle for yet another attempt to cure the birthmark. On their way home they spin out on ice and rear-end Jacob and his mother’s SUV. And here starts amazing friendships that heal birthmarks deeper than the skin. Terra and her mother learn about themselves in…China!

You will not like the dad, but you will cheer for everyone else in this amazing story.

ENDERS’ Rating: *****

Justina Headley Chen’s Blog

If you think the economy is bad now, just imagine if chocolate was hard to find in the United States. Even worse that that: illegal! I think I would join Anya Balanchine’s gangster family that deal in the illegal importing and selling of chocolate. (Me shuttering!!!) Coffee is illegal also, but that is not a big deal. (I used to believe it turned your knees black, so what is the allure? But I digress.) Anya’s older brother, Leo, was permanently disabled in a “hit” meant for his father. In the same hit, their mother was killed. To add to the family trauma, as Anya and her little sister were playing under their father’s desk, hit men broke into their home and executed him while he sat at the same desk. All over the control of chocolate and coffee. Anya’s life is further complicated by a lousy boyfriend who is a villain. She is pursued by the son of the assistant DA, a star-crossed lovers situation if I ever saw one. Her grandmother, who should be the head of the family business, is slowly fading away. Even though Leo is older, Anya has to take on the burdens of her family. The lousy, now ex, boyfriend? He causes so much trouble that Anya ends up in jail at “Liberty House.” The extended family are not helping Anya’s dire situation either. I think the reader will really feel the pressure of a teenager who has far too many worries and responsibilities for her age, the horror of Liberty House, the economic decline of New York City, and the insanity that creates criminals.
ENDERS’ Rating: ****
Gabrielle’s Website


Tough girl Ceejay wants to be bad like her older brother who is stationed in Iraq. She takes on anyone, verbally and physically, to prove her ferocity. Friends start reporting to her that they have seen Bobby in town, weeks before he is to be released from duty. Once Ceejay finds him, Bobby has begun to hang out with the local wacko who dodges through the battle zone of the nasty Nogo Gatu and the heroic Yimmies. Bobby makes other strange choices. Ceejay watches with unbelief as her brother and Captain Crazy come to terms with the horrors of war.

ENDERS’ Rating: ***

Tim’s Website