Saturday, August 17, 2019

Short and Simple Reviews: A Wolf Called Wander, Meet the Sky, and The Things She's Seen

This is a place for books that I didn't fully review.
Maybe I listed my likes and dislikes, had a little short paragraph, or a few sentences to convey my feelings on the book, but whatever the "review" is, all of them are short and simple. (hence the clever name)

A Wolf Called WanderThe wolf star, brightest of all in the summer sky, shines over my home ground. I know every hidden lake and rocky ridge, but if my pack is not in the mountains, then it is no home to me. I feel a howl deep inside, but dare not let it out.

Swift lives with his pack in the mountains, until one day his home and family are lost. Alone and starving, Swift must make a choice: stay and try to eke out a desperate life on the borders of his old hunting grounds, or strike out and find a new place to call home. The journey Swift must go on is long and full of peril for a lone wolf, and he'll need to take every chance he can. Will he find the courage to survive all by himself?

Inspired by a true story, A Wolf Called Wander is about family, courage and survival. With beautiful illustrations from artist Mónica Armiño and an extra factual section about wolves and their environment, this book is perfect for animal lovers. 
  Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository

I picked this book up preciously because it's exactly the kind of book I would have picked up when I was in middle school. The book reminded me a bit of A Dog's Life: The Autobiography of a Stray, but this is from the POV of a wolf. This is a fairly quick read, the language is short and to the point. It really read the closest it could to the consciousness of a wolf. At times I had to translate what the wolf was referring to (for instance: black river means road). The book was also full of wonderful illustrations. The story of Swift (which is based on a real wolf, by the way) is not the easiest or the happiest story, but I still found myself wanting to read more of it and to see how his story would turn out. Overall, I thought this was a great book. (less)

 I hereby give this book
4 Stars
Meaning: It was amazing!

Meet the SkyIt all started with the accident. The one that caused Sophie’s dad to walk out of her life.
The one that left Sophie’s older sister, Meredith, barely able to walk at all.

With nothing but pain in her past, all Sophie wants is to plan for the future—keep the family business running, get accepted to veterinary school, and protect her mom and sister from another disaster. But when a hurricane forms off the coast of North Carolina’s Outer Banks and heads right toward their island, Sophie realizes nature is one thing she can’t control.

After she gets separated from her family during the evacuation, Sophie finds herself trapped on the island with the last person she’d have chosen—the reckless and wild Finn Sanders, who broke her heart freshman year. As they struggle to find safety, Sophie learns that Finn has suffered his own heartbreak; but instead of playing it safe, Finn’s become the kind of guy who goes surfing in the eye of the hurricane. He may be the perfect person to remind Sophie how to embrace life again, but only if their newfound friendship can survive the storm.

  Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository

I listened to this on audio. The book worked fine on audio but my main feeling after finishing it was that it's an okay book. It did deal with some serious subjects. The main character's sister has a traumatic brain injury, her dad left, and now a hurricane is heading her way. She's separated from her mother and sister and now has to survive with Finn, the boy who stood her up at a dance. I liked seeing (hearing?) the interactions between them and, again, it gets into some serious topics, but...I wish this book didn't go into romance. Maybe that's just me tired of romance being placed in so many books, but I just want more books to show that it's normal for a teenager to not be in a romantic relationship. I wanted to focus to stay on surviving the hurricane because that what the focus should be on? Although, it did have a strong focus on family even though the MC was not with her family most of the book. Overall, I did like this book.

I hereby give this book
3 Stars
Meaning: I liked it

The Things She's SeenNothing's been the same for Beth Teller since the day she died.

Her dad is drowning in grief. He's also the only one who has been able to see and hear her since the accident. But now she's got a mystery to solve, a mystery that will hopefully remind her detective father that he is still alive, that there is a life after Beth that is still worth living.

Who is Isobel Catching, and why is she able to see Beth, too? What is her connection to the crime Beth's father has been sent to investigate--a gruesome fire at a home for troubled youth that left an unidentifiable body behind? What happened to the people who haven't been seen since the fire?

As Beth and her father unravel the mystery, they find a shocking and heartbreaking story lurking beneath the surface of a small town, and a friendship that lasts beyond one life and into another... 

This is a strange but fairly quick read. It took me a bit to get into this book because, at the start, it read like an adult book rather than YA. I am an adult, but I get a bit suspicious when a YA book reads more for an adult audience. One of the MCs, Beth, is dead and is helping her dad solve a case. I think the fact that the book begins with solving a mystery with an adult (as a ghost) did not read YA at first. Especially since Beth had a lot of focus on her dad. As the book continued, it did shift so that Beth became a major focus. The book also has dual perspectives. The other perspective is from Isobel Catching and her entire POV is in verse as she tells Beth and Beth's dad what happened to her. Her story goes into the realm of unusual but it was very interesting. Both main characters are aboriginal and a lot of this book carries inspiration from aboriginal stories which was great. While it did take me a bit to get into this book, the ending was absolutely fantastic and surprising. I think the way this book came together will stick with me.

I hereby give this book
3.5 Stars
Meaning: It was almost amazing, but not quite

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