Review: Rust & Stardust by T. Greenwood

Heartbreaking. That’s the only thing I can say about this one. Even more so because it’s based on true events.

It’s 1948. Young Sally, still reeling from the death of her father, is desperate to fit it. So, on a dare, she steals a notebook from the local Woolworth’s. This one childish mistake sets in motion a chain of events that will have lasting repercussions. When a man posing as an FBI agent approaches her outside the store, Sally’s innocence and gullible nature guarantee that she’ll believe him. But what excuse for her mother, who allows this man to take Sally off on a supposed trip to the seashore? The only excuse I can think of is that it was a different time, simpler and more trusting.

For almost two years, Sally is victimized by Frank. They travel across the country, Sally being held against her will. Along the way, there are people who see something in Sally. And these people even make attempts to help her without truly knowing the extent of her abuse. Still, Sally must reach within herself and have the courage to speak up before she can be rescued.

While some liberties have been taken in the telling of Sally’s story, the fact remains that she was a real person and a real kidnapping victim. An interesting side note: Sally’s story was the inspiration for Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita.

~Thalia

Buy It Now: Rust & Stardust

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Review: Don’t Wake Up by Liz Lawler

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I love medical mysteries.  Some of my classic favorites are from Robin Cook, the master of the genre.  So when I read the description of this new one, I just knew it was for me.

When Dr. Alex Taylor wakes up on an operating table, she’s naturally confused.  Did she suffer an accident that she can’t remember?  Nope, it’s something much more sinister.  Or at least that’s what she believes.  But her story of abduction by a madman is so absurd that nobody believes her, even though she’s a highly respected surgeon.  And then when strange things continue to happen, her credibility is further damaged.  And her sanity is called into question.  Can she get anybody to believe that her experience is somehow connected to a series of mysterious deaths?  And will it be too late to save herself?

This is a classic thriller.  It has all the elements needed for a suspenseful who-dunnit.  A great summer read!

~Thalia

Buy It Now:  Don’t Wake Up

Review: Stained by Cheryl Rainfield

20140725-085358-32038195.jpgI’m a sucker for young adult books,especially those with a strong female protagonist. And when a book comes highly recommended from a friend, it’s a must read for me.

Sarah has had a hard life. Although she comes from a solid and loving family, a large port wine stain on her face has made her the subject of stares, giggles, rejection, and teasing for as long as she can remember. She’s created her own little world with a couple of select friends and her passion for reading and writing comic books. Still, she longs for a somewhat normal life where people will look past her appearance. Then everything changes when she becomes the victim of an abduction. As she tries to escape her captor, she finds herself examining her beliefs and drawing upon inner strength she didn’t know that she had.

This is a book about many things. It’s about teasing and bullying, going far beyond the normal teenage stuff. It’s about being strong at heart while still being vulnerable to both words and actions. And it’s about standing up for yourself and others, even when the world around you makes it hard.

This one was a tough read. It doesn’t sugarcoat the horrors that Sarah went through, and the descriptions are pretty graphic. However, it’s not meant to be a rose-colored glasses kind of story. In order to appreciate Sarah’s strength and resilience, you really have to feel her experiences. Still, use caution if choosing this book for younger readers. Although it was a book that I couldn’t put down, it was highly disturbing at times.

~Thalia

Buy It Now: Stained