Author: Jodi Picoult
Publisher: Atria Expected publication: March 1, 2011
Fiction, 496 pages
Source: Crazy Book Tours for review
Summary from Goodreads:
Zoe Baxter has spent ten years trying to get pregnant, and after multiple miscarriages and infertility issues, it looks like her dream is about to come true – she is seven months pregnant. But a terrible turn of events leads to a nightmare – one that takes away the baby she has already fallen for; and breaks apart her marriage to Max. In the aftermath, she throws herself into her career as a music therapist – using music clinically to soothe burn victims in a hospital; to help Alzheimer’s patients connect with the present; to provide solace for hospice patients. When Vanessa – a guidance counselor — asks her to work with a suicidal teen, their relationship moves from business to friendship and then, to Zoe’s surprise, blossoms into love. When Zoe allows herself to start thinking of having a family, again, she remembers that there are still frozen embryos that were never used by herself and Max.
Meanwhile, Max has found peace at the bottom of a bottle – until he is redeemed by an evangelical church, whose charismatic pastor – Clive Lincoln – has vowed to fight the “homosexual agenda” that has threatened traditional family values in America. But this mission becomes personal for Max, when Zoe and her same-sex partner say they want permission to raise his unborn child.
SING YOU HOME explores what it means to be gay in today’s world, and how reproductive science has outstripped the legal system. Are embryos people or property? What challenges do same-sex couples face when it comes to marriage and adoption? What happens when religion and sexual orientation – two issues that are supposed to be justice-blind – enter the courtroom? And most importantly, what constitutes a “traditional family” in today’s day and age?
Jodi Picoult is a good author. For me her books can be hit or miss but always they touch your heart or a nerve and get you thinking. SING YOU HOME did both. Touched my heart and a nerve. I often times wonder just what makes Ms. Picoult write what she does, not necessarily where her ideas come from but how she can grab an idea and make it into what she does. That is her gift.
The characters in this book are very well developed. Like most of her books each chapter is told in the voice of one of the characters. Zoe, Max or Vanessa. We hear their sides of the story because we all know there are always two sides to every story. I love this about Ms. Picoult’s writing. She really takes us deep into the minds of the characters but having them tell their story this way.
I love music but had never heard of music therapy. Once I started reading about it, it made perfect sense and I could really understand how much it would help people. Zoe has many patients, ranging from babies, to burn victims, to elderly people in hospice. That’s the thing about music, it has the power to touch every one of us in some way, good or bad. I have to say her therapy with the teenage Lucy was frustrating at times and downright funny at others. Did she breakthrough to her? You will have to read the book to find out.
There were a few things said in the book that really stood out for me. I read an ARC copy so I won’t give page numbers, etc just in case but I feel they will for sure make their way into the final edition.
Vanessa said at one point
“I know the first person I kiss won’t be nearly as important as the last person I kiss.”
That certainly made me think. I never looked at it that way. We all talk about our first kiss but do we think about our last kiss? Who we want that to be with? I agree 100%. My first kiss was sweet and yes important but my last kiss will be the most important kiss that I will ever receive in my life. Much more important than my first.
Zoe asks this question:
“What songs would be on a mix tape that describes you?”
Again, something to think about. Honestly? I haven’t been able to answer that yet and I may even make a blog post out of it. There are so many and my music taste change according to my moods. Very hard to come up with eight songs.
Last but not least Zoe explains:
“…..there are lots of different kinds of families, one isn’t any better than the other.”
I LOVE that statement. It is very true in our day and age. We have children of divorce, children of single parents, child of same sex parents, children being raised by grandparents and siblings and yet, they are all families, all special, all full of love and none is better than the other. Just different and we need to reach a place where those differences do not matter and are accepted.
There is what touched my heart. What hit a nerve? Ignorance. Supposedly religious people passing judgement on other people who do not fit their mold. Brainwashing and how easily it can be done. Close minded people that turn the Bible into what they want it to say and never think for a split second that the Jesus they love so much, who stands for love itself would never treat people or judge people like that. People who use any method to get their way, prove their point and don’t really care about the long term outcomes.
Overall this was a fantastic book. One of her best in my opinion. It will no doubt get you thinking. If you like Jodi Picoult this is not to be missed. If you never read one of her books, this is a good place to start.
Title: The Night Season
Author: Chelsea Cain
Publisher: MinotaurBooks (Coming March 2011)
Fiction, 336 pages
Source: Crazy Book Tours free for review
Summary from Goodreads:
Chelsea Cain launches the next stage of her bestselling series as Archie Sheridan works to regain his life and Susan Ward steps in to share the spotlight in this electric thriller from one of today’s most talented suspense writers.
With Beauty Killer Gretchen Lowell locked away behind bars once again, Portland detective Archie Sheridan can finally rest. Meanwhile, the city of Portland is in crisis. Several people have drowned in heavy rains that have flooded the Willamette River. But the medical examiner discovers that in fact the latest victim was poisoned before she went into the water—she didn’t drown. A little detective work shows that so far three of those previously thought to be accidental drownings have actually been murdered. Portland has a new serial killer on its hands, and Archie and his task force have a new case. Meanwhile reporter Susan Ward is following up on an entirely separate mystery: the dramatic flooding has unearthed a skeleton, a man who might have died during catastrophic flooding more than sixty years ago that washed away an entire neighborhood and killed at least 15 people.
As Archie follows the bizarre trail of evidence and evil deeds to catch his killer, he has to battle the rising waters of the Willamette first.
My Two Cents:
I actually thought I had read Heartsick but I guess I didn’t. The characters in this book were not at all familiar to me, could I possibly have read and forgotten? I doubt it so I will say this was my first book by Chelsea Cain.
That being said I can’t say I was pulled in from the start. The book held my interest because I liked the character of Archie so much. He is a sweet guy with some dark baggage that he is trying to overcome. His relationship with Susan was nice to watch.
The plot itself just didn’t grab me. I learned little useful tidbits like not to wear denim while hiking in the cold and wet weather. LOL I didn’t like not having all the background on the characters but that is my own fault.
Overall it was an ok book. You read it and decide for yourself.
Title: No, Daddy, Don’t!: A Father’s Murderous Act of Revenge
The horrifying true story of John Battaglia, an abusive husband who committed the ultimate act of violence and betrayal by murdering his two young daughters, as their mother listened helplessly on the telephone.
My Two Cents:
WOW, what a waste of a human! This John Battaglia was really a piece of work. Sicko is too nice a term for this guy. How in the world do you kill your kids just to punish your ex-wife? What kind of monsters do we have walking among us on this earth? There is no punishment that fits this crime.
This was a very well written book. The author does an excellent job of taking us into the sick mind of Battaglia, seeing how he was two different people when it suit him. He can charm your pants off, literally, then turn on a dime and beat the crap out of you. There is not really a whole lot I can say about this book. It is heartbreaking to read and at the same time as repulsed as you are, you stay glued to the pages.
If you are a fan of true crime give this a try but make sure you have your box of tissues close by.
Title: Pure Murder
Author: Corey Mitchell
Publisher: Pinnacle (June 1, 2008)
Nonfiction, True Crime, 320 pages
Two Innocent Teens The crime was unspeakable. On a summer night in Houston, two bright, beautiful, success-bound teenage girls crossed paths with a group of young men fueled with alcohol and rage. Four days later, when searchers finally found Jennifer Ertman and Elizabeth Pena, their bodies were unrecognizable…
An Orgy Of Violence
At first, the teenage boys grabbed Elizabeth, while Jennifer escaped. But Elizabeth’s desperate cries brought Jennifer back to help her best friend. Both girls were subjected to sexual assaults of every conceivable kind…and long, painful, drawn-out deaths…
For days afterward, the killers bragged openly about their crime. By the time prosecutors got the case, convictions for double murder looked like a “slam dunk.” But the families of the victims were in for a horrible surprise. In this terrifying case, justice would be a torturous journey…
My Two Cents:
What in the hell is the matter with people that these things happen? Two teenage girls trying to walk home, not bothering anyone are subjected to violence beyond imagining. And it’s all done them by teenage boys! One as young as 14!
It was heartbreaking to read the account of these murders. The guilty parties could have cared less, showed not one ounce of remorse. The families of the girls so broken, so hurt and confused. There is no making sense out of this kind of stuff.
What amazed me is what usually does. How these boys were picked up time and time again and always managed to get back on the streets and through the cracks until something like this happens. Our legal system needs some fixing.
Corey Mitchell is a great true crime writer who’s books read like a novel. He keeps us interested from beginning to end. This is a good read for any true crime fan but be warned, it is explicit and gory at times.
Blurb from Goodreads:
The End of the World is at hand!
Munir Habib’s life has become a nightmare. His tormentor has warned Munir not to report the kidnapping of his family, or else they will pay a terrible price. A friend realizes something is terribly wrong and tells Munir he doesn’t have to go to the cops. There’s a guy who fixes situations like this-Repairman Jack. Jack is backed into helping Munir despite his ongoing involvement in the cosmic shadow war between the Ally and the Otherness. Or perhaps because of it. He’s chafing at being forced into the defensive role of protecting the Lady, the physical embodiment of the consciousness of the planet Earth.
Meanwhile, the Septimus Order and the Kickers are seemingly working in concert on a plot to extinguish the Lady and open the way for the Otherness to take over our reality. To top it all off, Dawn Pickering finally goes into labor and delivers a baby she only glimpses as it’s whisked away, and is terrified by what she sees. Later she’s told the baby died, but she doesn’t believe it. Neither does Weezy. Neither does Jack. All these interlocking plots mean doom for humanity. But Jack never gives up or gives in.
My Two Cents:
I am in love with Repairman Jack. If I ever got into a bind he is surely the one that I would want to help me. I am so sad that this series will be ending after the next book but I do understand. Mr. Wilson has been warning us for a long time so there is no use getting mad at him.
You can read Fatal Error as a standalone but I would not recommend it. There is so much back story that you would miss out on knowing if you started here. Yes, you can still enjoy the book but for me anyway I don’t think I would have enjoyed it so much. I have a history with Jack, Gia, Abe, The Lady, etc, etc, etc.
This is quite a fast moving page turner. It only took me as long as it did to read it because I was savoring it. Big changes are coming and I am holding my breath for the next book. If you never read any Repairman Jack books I suggest you go right to your library and check out The Tomb.
F.Paul Wilson’s Official Website: Repairman Jack