Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Gripping, Suspenseful...Harlan Coben Delivers...Again!

When thinking of edge of your seat, page turning suspense-thrillers, the name Harlan Coben should be one of your top five authors. I was first introduced to Coben in 2001 with his novel Tell No One. I have been obsessed with his writing ever since.

I guess you could say I am a very lucky person. I got to meet Mr. Coben in 2012 during the Texas Library Association Annual Conference . Most recently I was selected as one of Penguin Random House First to Read members to preview The Stranger. This exciting thriller will be released March 24, 2015.

The Stranger
by Harlan Coben

I am purposefully writing my first impressions and review now because I do not want to provide any spoilers for those of you who will not be able to get your hands on this great spine chilling stand alone novel for another two weeks. I have approximately 80 pages left in the book and can hardly wait to finish reading. The suspense is actually driving me to write faster so I can get back to reading. That is what Coben does, he forces you to make a decision, turn the page and continue reading or take care of your every daily responsibilities...work, chores, family, etc. Sorry, family, but  I'm going to read just one more page, chapter...I'll see you when I have finished this book!

The Stranger (not only the title, but one of the characters) comes to you and reveals a secret (or lie), yours or that of a loved one. Is it more beneficial to you to allow your secret to be told or to pay to keep it hidden? Everything about this tale takes me back to Sir Walter Scott's epic poem Marmion and the line, "Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive!" To what lengths would you go to protect a secret and your family? Little white lies, where can they lead? What are the consequences that must be faced when / if you are revealed?

I highly recommend reading The Stranger as soon as you can get your hands on a copy. It will not only keep you turning the pages through the night, but it will also keep your mind running, pondering choices and decisions you make every day.  It is a fabulous, quick read (because you don't want to put the book down!). I'm cutting this review short simply so I can go find out how the book ends.

*To comply with the guidelines set by the Federal Trade Commission, Penguin Random House, has provided a complimentary electronic copy of this book for review purposes. My review is in no way influenced by the author or publishing company and is solely my opinion.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Dear Dragon Goes to the Aquarium

Dear Dragon Goes to the Aquarium
by Margaret Hillert
illustrated by Jack Pullan

The Dear Dragon series of books do not have the same appeal as classic children's books like Where the Wild Things Are, however my students love the books. The newest title, Dear Dragon Goes to the Aquarium, will be one that is quickly checked out from my library shelves. The bright, colorful illustrations, and fun Dragon will immediately appeal to young children eager to read of his next adventure. Reading Reinforcement activities included at the end of the book allow parents to interact with their child helping them to become a better reader. By creating a fun character, Hillert (a former first grade teacher) has encouraged young children to want to read and provided parents and caregivers tools to assist in the engagement of these emergent readers.  As long as Hillert writes Dear Dragon books I will by purchasing them for my young students because she knows how to produce a fun story which will not only entertain young children, but also motivate them to want to read more.

*To comply with the guidelines set up by the Federal Trade Commission, Norwood House Press, has provided a complimentary electronic copy of this book for review purposes. My review is in no way influenced by the author or publishing company and is solely my opinion.