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Honeybeebooks

Honeybeebooks

Joined January 2019

Reading is elementary.
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Honeybeebooks
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Re: Conservation — “The lowly Tennessee coneflower tells us there is something to be done. It will not be easy, and it will cost money…But it can be done….A flower that for decades was believed to be gone forever now grows in great profusion on what appears to be pure rock. If ever there was a Lazarus flower, this would surely be it—brought back from the dead, thriving in stone.”

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Honeybeebooks
Fruitcake Murders | Ace Collins
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Mehso-so

I like to read a holiday mystery each year. There is nothing like a murder mystery to enjoy on cold quiet winter nights. The fruitcake Murders had a charming lead, Tiffany Clayton, as an intrepid journalist tracking a story just after WWII. Mix in two ex-marines and would be beaus, as well as three murders by fruitcake tin and it was a cozy mystery with some seasonal cheer. It tried to accomplish a lot but not my favorite read in this genre. 3⭐️s

SRWCF Mmmmm....fruitcake! 😋 1w
Honeybeebooks A seasonal treat and a killer murder weapon! @SRWCF 1w
SRWCF @Honeybeebooks 🤣 Bon Appétit! 1w
5 likes3 comments
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Honeybeebooks
A Study in Charlotte | Brittany Cavallaro
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Last read of 2021! I love most iterations of Holmes and a Charlotte is particularly appealing. This Charlotte and Watson are teenagers with adult vices and problems. I did need to set my usual credulousness aside to accept these behaviors and enjoy the story. Cue boarding school, fast friendship, a murder mystery and our intrepid H & W in peril. Success and survival are in doubt until the end. I 😍it. 2022 may be the year of YA. 4+⭐️

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Honeybeebooks
High Stakes | Iris Johansen
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Mehso-so

I read every suspense novel by Johansen, unfortunately I am less and less engaged with each subsequent title. I was mesmerized by Eve in Face of Deception so I have hung on but I may need to take a break. I had a hard time connecting to the characters and the ongoing themes of abuse and slavery are a turn off. Johansson does suspense well but villains that are merely beasts makes me wish their end would come more quickly. 2+⭐️

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Black Beauty | Anna Sewell
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Mehso-so

This pretty little edition of Black Beauty was given to me as a gift. I loved The Black Stallion as a child but could never get through BB or National Velvet. I bailed a few times on this one too and finally switched to audio to finish it. Much easier to believe in a horse that spoke such proper English that way! Definitely little to uplift your spirit. Much of it was just a bummer. It‘s a classic but not for me. 3⭐️s

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Knowing what was to come made this a challenging read. It was interesting to learn more about Dietrich Bonhoeffer‘s family, beliefs and theological writings. Reading the horrors of the Third Reich never gets easier. It was enlightening to learn about the resistance and disheartening to realize that their plots failed so the regime did not fall sooner. Bonhoeffer‘s impact on Christian theology and a believer‘s place in the world is undeniable. 4⭐️s

Jonathanw That was a good read, just got “Letters from Prison”. Next in the read list. I heard the original biography by his long time friend Bethge. Is even better read. 3w
Honeybeebooks I am definitely interested in reading some of Bonhoeffer‘s works. I might need to tackle the biography by Bethge too. 3w
4 likes2 comments
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“We will have to move through a very deep valley, I believe much deeper than we can sense now, before we are able to ascend the other side again. The main thing is that we let ourselves be led entirely and not resist and become impatient. Then it will all go right.” page 374

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Quiet, stoic, sturdy are the words that come to mind about these stories set in southwestern Minnesota. Snow and ice can hide unknown depths as can reticence and mild despair. I loved some of the imagery in “Beneath my skin like honey” and “Blue Snow.” I wish there had been more joy woven through these interconnected stories. 3+⭐️

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Mehso-so

Monsieur Perdu owns a floating literary apothecary where he dispenses books to mend souls. It is a lovely premise and the novel is filled with beautiful language and themes but it is achingly slow especially at the beginning. When Perdu finally realizes that he has lost 20 years of his life due to a misunderstanding, he begins a journey to rediscover himself. The friends and family he finds on that trip make it a worthwhile read in the end.

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The Bullet | Iris Johansen
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Mehso-so

Eve & Joe are back in action when his ex, Diane, asks for help. Diane is hiding a number of secrets including the discovery of a possible medical miracle. A discovery that a pharmaceutical exec. will do anything to bury. Diane's work has put a target on her back. Eve, Joe & their friends may just get caught in the crosshairs too. With too many characters, an unlikable heroine and unbelievable villain this was not a strong entry in the series. 3🌟

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Circe | Madeline Miller
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🌟🌟🌟🌟 Circe is a a goddess but her shrill voice and lack of power makes her the target of neglect and abuse. After turning a mortal into a human and a nymph into a monster she is exiled to Aeaea. Throughout her long immortal life, Circe is a pivotal figure in many well-known myths from Homer's Odyssey. Circe is a goddess but she is all too human as she strives to write her own story albeit one filled with pain, bravery and self-realization.

miaelisabet Lovely review! 3mo
19 likes2 comments
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Honeybeebooks
Ravished | Amanda Quick
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The usual formula but it was the usual fun too. Hariett is an enthusiastic fossil hunter and Gideon is the wealthy scarred aristocrat she calls upon to capture a band of thieves hiding loot in the cave she explores. Romance, misunderstanding and danger ensues before they find their happily ever after. 3🌟

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Blink of an Eye | Iris Johansen, Roy Johansen
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Kendra is back! Musician Delilah Winter has disappeared in a blink of an eye during a packed concert. Dr. Kendra Michaels has to use her almost preternatural senses to work to find Delilah but she can't do it alone. Jessie Mercado and Adam Lynch put their own unique set of skills to use to aid Kendra in the search. It would be a solid entry in the series except for some of the character development especially the villains. Almost 3🌟

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This is How It Always Is | Laurie Frankel
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The story of a family of five boys until it was not. A story of a family with a secret. More importantly the story of a family that loves each other unconditionally, no matter what that might look like. This was my first Laurie Frankel novel but it won't be my last. "Story is the best magic there is." 4+?

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And Now She's Gone | Rachel Howzell Hall
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Gritty, suspenseful and twisty. Grayson Sykes is searching for Isabel Lincoln. Can she be found? Should she? As Grayson closes in on Isabel, a dangerous enemy from Grayson's past begins hunting her. Can Grayson protect herself and find Isabel? Grayson gets help from her friends as she works to solve the disappearance and unravel a life of lies, but no one can help when she faces her greatest fear alone. 4 🌟s for Grayson & Rachel Howell Hall.

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The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek | Kim Michele Richardson
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Engaging novel with a resolute heroine that embodies the best of us despite hardship, abuse and the peculiar discrimination of being blue. Cussy Mary Carter is a young woman finding her way in the poverty stricken backcountry of Appalachia. Despite helping others in her role as a pack horse librarian she is ostracized and abused for being blue. When a cure is found Cussy finds she has to choose between being white or being blue. 🌟🌟🌟🌟

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No One Is Coming to Save Us | Stephanie Powell Watts
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Mehso-so

With a nod to The Great Gatsby, the novel gives the reader two interesting female leads, Ava and Sylvia as they each struggle to overcome the overriding issue that threatens to break them despite prevailing against so many other problems. Ava is trying to have a baby with a cheating husband and Sylvia is mourning the loss of a son as Jay returns to town to win their hearts. Unfortunately there is a lot of squandered potential in this novel. 2.5 🌟

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No One Is Coming to Save Us | Stephanie Powell Watts
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"That love we have for mothers has to be cut with vinegar and maybe even acid. Otherwise it will overwhelm us. She will overwhelm us. Great love invites pain, must have it or it becomes too big to contain."

Photo credit: "116/365 - 01/22/10 [365 Days @ 50mm] - Mother & Daughter" by Shardayyy is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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No One Is Coming to Save Us | Stephanie Powell Watts
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"One of the tricks of time is that your own ordinary life took on a sweetness in the retelling..."

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I was skeptical of this sophomore work by the author as I was unable to finish her debut. This was a welcome change in tone, setting and plot. Raised Pentecostal in AL, Gifty faces racism, an absent father and terrible loss. Her beloved brother dies due to addiction and her stalwart mother succumbs to catatonic depression. Gifty is driven to study and cure addiction and to reconcile her faith in both science and God. A poignant novel. 4⭐️s

6 likes1 stack add
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“But this tension, this idea that one must necessarily choose between science and religion, is false. “ p. 198

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A Place for Us: A Novel | Fatima Farheen Mirza
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Thoughtful examination of a family and the individual choices that bind and tear them apart. The nonlinear storytelling made it difficult to care about the characters immediately. The slow reveal of their motivations and experiences through flashbacks reveals a family that loves but doesn't always know how. 4🌟for a story that demonstrates we are often more alike than expected..

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A husband that loved best by striving to be what his wife wants instead of what he truly is, dies suddenly in a tragic accident. A grieving wife needs to work by the rumbling trains that took him from her. A lonely child and an even lonlier soldier poet find joy in simple pleasures. A poem written to a woman that two men love in very different ways. The author delivers a quiet story filled with loss, heartache and slowly unfolding hope. 3🌟

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Chaos | Iris Johansen
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Chaos introduces the character of CIA agent Alisa Flynn. Alisa's young ward, Sasha and her classmates are kidnapped and held hostage. Alisa enlists the aid of billionaire inventor Gabe Korgan and her friend Margaret Douglas to execute a daring plan to rescue the school girls. Fans of Johansen will quickly realize that Alisa's backstory echoes Catherine Ling's. Johansen's focus on strong female leads continues. 3+🌟

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Met Her Match | Jude Deveraux
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Met her match checked the boxes usually provided by Jude Deveraux for a Taggert or Montgomery story. This entry has Terri a small town local girl with a past falling for engaged Nate Taggert. Will They break each other‘s hearts? It was not as exhilarating as the early historical novels but it is always fun to catch up with the families. Is it Taggert or Montgomery for you? 3+⭐️s

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Definitely a pick after some of the other books I have had to read lately. There are need to reads and just for fun reads. This one falls into the second category. A lovable dog brings together a grief stricken woman and a down-to-earth musician. She is just coming back to the world and he is on the cusp of conquering it. Two creative souls find a way to make it work as they discover their unique playlist. ⭐️⭐️⭐️+

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Mehso-so

There is much to praise about this novel. Interesting plot, a little mystery and nicely descriptive. Unfortunately, it did not work well for me. I could not connect with Kya. How bad of me to not be more worried about an abandoned child! Unlike Kya and the townspeople, the author tried too hard to win me over. A 3 🌟 so-so for me.

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Chance of a Lifetime (Original) | Jude Deveraux, Tara Sheets
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Mehso-so

Fun premise with some interesting characters but execution was poor and the ending was unfinished and unfulfilling. It missed its chance. ⭐️⭐️+

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Mehso-so

Expansive survey of racial distrust and its detrimental effect on health, wealth and well-being in the US. 🌟🌟🌟

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The Mysterious Benedict Society | Trenton Lee Stewart
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Fun adventure. Pacing, tension and positive messaging makes for an exciting and uplifting story for kids. I will definitely recommend this one. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ for this kids pick.

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Born a Crime | Trevor Noah
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By turns funny and distressing, Trevor Noah's stories describe a country and institution that only existed in history books for me. I learned some hard truths. The lessons and love of his mother gave him the drive to honor his dreams and strive for success. 🌟🌟🌟🌟

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The Persuasion | Iris Johansen
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The Persuasion is another entry in the Eve Duncan series. Eve, Joe and Michael are important members of the cast but it is Jane and Caleb‘s story. The plot was a little convoluted, perhaps reflecting the characters, their relationships and their gifts but mounting tension, a robbery caper and a selfless act provide a satisfying thrill ride. Another lively game of cat and mouse by Johansson. 3+⭐️

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The Dry | Jane Harper
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Aaron Falk is a federal agent. He returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral and stays to look into the deaths as a favor. Of course there is an old mystery concerning him and he his often harassed as he works both cases. Last minute reveals and a near explosive ending ratchet up the tension. The narrator added to the strength of the setting and plot. Well done. So good to read a solid mystery. Feeling good so 5⭐️s. 😀

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I really need to try and schedule my library holds and book club titles better! This work and the last I reviewed are too much everything for this time of year. Nevertheless, The Snow fell...is beautiful and heartbreaking. The author built suspense and my dread deepened with every turn of the page. Hunger narrates and the angel gives the reader hope. Read but be prepared to suffer too. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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This was a revelation to me. Sadly I had little knowledge of the complex politics and wars in Chechnya before listening to it. However, it has inspired me to learn more. This novel and the events that inspired it were heartbreaking. The characters are richly drawn and Marra strips them down to their most basic and base selves. Their horrors and scars will stay with you as will their love and joy. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️+

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Murder on Cold Street | Sherry Thomas
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Another good entry in The Lady Sherlock series. This time Charlotte and her friends need to uncover secrets and solve two murders to exonerate Inspector Treadles. “Sherlock” was given only a bit part and Olivia begins to truly learn to manage her mother and to write her novel. Moriarity and his network remain in the shadows but will be a bigger threat in the future . Editing is needed but Murder on Cold Street is still a lovely escape. 3+⭐️

5 likes1 stack add
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Honeybeebooks
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Mehso-so

Mixed reactions to this one. Definitely a lot to unpack and think about related to poverty in plain sight, federal policy and rural America. I found the dialogue with August unsettling. As a north star she had an important part in motivating the author to break the cycle of teen pregnancy, violence, substance abuse and poverty that had plagued her family for generations. Thoughtful and thought provoking. 🌟🌟🌟

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Last Tang Standing | Lauren Ho
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A little too edgy for me at times but a fun romp nevertheless. Needed a change of pace from some of my other recent reads and this filled the bill. ⭐️⭐️⭐️+

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Drawing upon official records mixed with believable conjecture the author creates a narrative of the unsinkable ship‘s tragic voyage. The passengers, captain, crew, undertaker, rat and iceberg all tell their part of the story. Dread builds as the ship strikes the berg and sinks. We know the story but it never fails to affect us.

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“I am the ice.” “...there is a certain ship I long to meet. The Iceberg Pg. 7

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Alice Network | Kate Quinn
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4+⭐️s. Simply amazing. The story and characters are richly drawn and detailed by author Kate Quinn. They are both elevated by narrator Saskia Maarleveld‘s facility with languages and accents. I highly recommend.

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I am a fan of the original Jason Bourne series written by Ludlum but had not read any of the new tittles. I wanted to read a Brian Freeman work so I thought i would begin with this one. It is not every day I can mark off two items on my TBR list with one novel! A solid thriller and Jason was recognizable but I did hope for a little more character development. The plot did keep me interested in the outcome. Always good when the world is saved. 4⭐️s

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Apeirogon: A Novel | Colum McCann
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There is a lot to unpack and appreciate in this work. The core story is about the surprising friendship of two men that should be adversaries and their shared heartbreak and determination for peace. It is also an intricately drawn portrait of our interconnectedness to each other and the natural world. An apeirogan is a polygon with an infinite number of countable sides. This world is equally simple and complex. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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Apeirogon: A Novel | Colum McCann
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“Our politicians like to scare us. We like to scare each other. We use the word security to silence others. But it‘s not about that, it‘s about occupying someone else‘s life, someone else‘s land, someone else‘s head. It‘s about control. Which is power. “-Rami

BarbaraBB Such an impressive book 💚 1y
5 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Honeybeebooks
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Neil Gaiman has been on my TBR list for some time now. I had planned on starting with one of his most popular works but this one caught my eye and I plunged in. It was appealing and I often prefer a less is more approach to writing but in this instance I wished for a little more detail. Despite needing more from this slim novel it did whet my appetite and I will read another Gaiman.

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The One and Only Ivan | Katherine Applegate
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"I am Ivan. I am a gorilla. It is not as easy as it looks." As Ivan brings us into his life as the main attraction at The Big Top Mall we meet his friends Bob the dog, Stella and Ruby. Stella is an old elephant yet she secures a promise from Ivan. Keeping that promise will change the lives of all the animals at the mall. A lively reading by Grupper highlights the humor and compassion of this beautiful novel for all ages.

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The Map of Salt and Stars: A Novel | Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar
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Lushly descriptive with intertwined storylines that introduce the reader to memorable characters in each timeline. The two young protagonists demonstrate determination and teach us about faith in ourselves and something more. A beautiful novel and definitely a new favorite.

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“If you don‘t know the tale of where you come from the words of others can overwhelm and drown out your own. So, you see, you must keep careful track of the borders of your stories, where your voice ends and another‘s begins.” “Then stories nap the soul in the guise of words. “ p. 133

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“Music pattered to the ground, sweet as rose water.”
There are a number of lovely, lyrical turn of phrases in this novel including this one!

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This Tender Land: A Novel | William Kent Krueger
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This was my first WKK novel. I loved the characters although I was often shaking my head at their adolescent emotions and thoughts. I don‘t always understand an almost 13 year old boy. The events and issues the kids faced down were wrenching. The reveals near the end of the book were fun. They added an exclamation point to an already satisfying story.