Review: Protecting the Enemy

Protecting the Enemy
Protecting the Enemy by Christy Newton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Newton brings us another fast-paced, suspenseful romance with Protecting the Enemy. Newton offers a little more steamy, yet tasteful, sexuality in this new story about Julianna and Reid who are assassins with heart. Both are led to believe that they are killing for the “right reasons” and discover that things are not what they seem to be.

Julianna wakes up in a hospital with total memory loss. Her rescuer gives her a new life and identity, as an assassin. When she meets her next mark, Reid, something finally flashes in her memory and she hesitates. What follows is a brief cat and mouse between the two as they each try to figure out the truth of the situation. Reid has been ordered to kill Julianna because she has switched sides and is working for the enemy, but when they both discover that they were taking orders from the same person, they realize that nothing is as it seems. Suddenly they are on a mission to discover why their boss pitted them against each other and wanted them both dead when they both had been doing exactly what was asked of them.

The story has a few twists and turns, which builds the suspense. Weasel is an interesting and fun/nerdy character that I am happy to see stayed with them throughout the story as a sort-of sidekick, providing them with technical assistance. This is definitely the best out of all of Newton’s books so far.

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Review: We Have Always Lived in the Castle

We Have Always Lived in the Castle
We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I’m not sure what to think about this book. I kept expecting there to be more to it. Maybe at the end they would turn out to be ghosts already, or maybe after we discover the *not terribly shocking* truth about the poisoning, Cousin Charles could turn up dead, because really, who would miss him? .

I think I read this because it was on a list of horror book must-reads somewhere and it sounded just odd enough to try. I’m not really sure this book qualifies as horror, in my own opinion. No supernatural elements. No active murder, the poisonings already happened. Just a bunch of angry and nasty townspeople who have nothing better to do with their time than to torment two girls and then later feel guilty about it and decide to show them some kindness by leaving food for them.

Constance is kind of a bland and odd character. Very passive and a people-pleaser. Uncle Julian is pretty cool, when he is actually present. I would have liked to have seen more into his papers and writing. Did he know who the poisoner was? Cousin Charles is the gold-digger who turned up to try to steal their supposed fortune out from under them. Merricat, Mary Katherine, is the real voice and heart of the story.

By the end of the book, I was left wondering, is that all? That’s it? I can’t say it wasn’t well written, because I obviously would have read more and wanted to know more about these characters, but I do wonder what was the point? By the end of the book the two girls/women are left living in a burnt up home, using mainly 2 rooms and the entryway only. They had no clothing except what was on their bodies and their Uncle Julian’s couple of outfits. They relied on their garden and the guilt/remorse of their neighbors for food. Eventually it seems they would have to leave the confines of their home, and what then? They end up more reclusive at the end of the book than when they began.

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September Update

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Bitter as of 9/5

Bitter as of 9/5

This is Bitterblue (named after a book character) as of Sept. 5th. Just thought I’d share! :) 

In other news, I am in a bit of a reading slump. Nothing much has interested me lately so it’s taking three times longer to get through each book. I’m hoping it ends soon.

Work is going great. The Teen Advisory Board has officially begun and I already have several book review submissions and TAB members scheduled to help at events this month. I’m also getting some great ideas for programs from them, so it’s working pretty much how I had hoped it would. In fact, I hope to try to do a TAB-inspired and led program or two in November. We are kicking around some ideas for writing workshops for Nanowrimo and a poetry slam/open mic event. This month we are offering a teen tie-dye event, so that will be fun. 

In other work related news, I will be going to the YALSA YA Lit Symposium in November, which I am excited about. As I read the offerings, I am once again torn by the excellent sessions and can’t decide which ones to attend. I’m going through the schedule now and saw a poster session with this title, “The Effects of Pinterest on Reading Attitudes in Adolescents.” Interesting. I can’t begin to imagine what that will be like. Author Jennifer Nielsen will be at the author lunch I am going to, which is cool since I’ve read her books, and liked them (always a plus). R.L. Stine will be at the closing, which is awesome since when I was a teen I think I read every book he had out then. I’ll probably be cutting out a little early to make my flight, so I hope I get to hear him for a few minutes. 

Next week I will be co-teaching a class on Pinterest to some library staff. We are doing two classes this fall. We used google docs to collaborate and prepare materials (I love google docs). I think it will go great. We covered things pretty thoroughly.

I can’t remember if I shared about Shark Week after the fact, but it was a success. I think we circulated every shark book we had. I saw some kids doing the drop-in craft, and we had a few take pics inside the shark’s mouth. I think it went over pretty good. Our in-house board games are going over well, also. We had over 100 people play them this past month. 

In other, other less work-y news, I visited my first Bed & Breakfast and it was a disaster. Let’s just say that it was no home away from home. 

That’s all I have time to share for now!! Ciao. :-)

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