Friday, December 25, 2009

Jingle Boy
By Kieran Scott

Paul Nicholas and his family get really into the Christmas season and their holiday traditions – Paul waking his parents at five on Christmas morning blasting John Denver and the Muppets – A Christmas Together and having the most elaborate Christmas light display in town is the family’s claim to fame. But this year Paul is certain Christmas is going to be the best ever. He will be starting his dream job as a mall Santa soon, knows he will be getting the Jeep of his dreams under the tree, and, for the first time in his life, has a girlfriend to celebrate with. That was before. Before loosing his personalized Santa hat (that he never leaves the house, or, more particularly, his room without from Thanksgiving to Christmas) at the mall, loosing his girlfriend to his Santa co-worker, his dad electrocuting himself while setting up this year’s lighting display and setting the house on fire; most of the damage occurring in Paul’s room, and his mother losing her job. Will Paul ever regain his Christmas spirit, or will it be permanently replace with the spirit of Scrooge? A truly “feel-good” Christmas read that puts the reader into the holiday spirit. Readers who love the holiday season, and all of its tidings, will enjoy this humorous book and place it on their shelves next to How the Grinch Stole Christmas! and A Christmas Carol to be enjoyed year after year.

Merry Christmas from Lee’s Reads!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Beating Heart: A Ghost Story
By A. M. Jenkins

When seventeen year old Evan moves into an abandoned for decades, old Victorian house with his mother and younger sister shortly after his parents’ divorce, he is less then thrilled. Shortly after moving in, Evan begins to have dreams, reoccurring dreams of a sexual nature with an unknown pale-haired girl which makes his brunette girlfriend, Carrie, more noticeable of his emotion withdrawal and becomes more demanding about their relationship. When Evan finds a metal box filled with letters and newspaper clippings he learns that a sixteen year old girl with pale-hair died in the house. Could this be the girl he has been dreaming about? The story unfolds using two uniquely different voices; that of the ghost girl told through lyrical poetry, and that of Evan told through a third-person account in present tense, which makes this a decent quick read. The two voices bring past and present together that collide by the end and changes both ghost and boy forever. Sex does play a major role in the story but not in a graphic way that would made this book inappropriate for the teenage reader.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Dead Connection
By Charlie Price

Alienated from school and home, Murray finds sanctuary in the cemetery, where he communicates with the dead, particularly his friends Edwin, Dearly, and Blessed. When he hears a new voice he believes it could be Nikki, the missing cheerleader from school, but how can he tell others without them thinking he is crazy. Then comes Pearl, the daughter of the cemetery caretaker, who becomes Murray’s only living friend as she ties to enter his world and helps him explain to others what they have figured out. This suspenseful page-turner is told through multiple points of view of those involved in the investigation of Nikki’s disappearance from Murray discovering the new voice in the cemetery, Pearl helping him anyway she can, the deputy piecing together clues to the case, a possible eye witness, and an officer with a drinking problem among others. The story twists and turns through the different storylines and just when the reader thinks they have figured out the mystery, another twist brings new possibilities. The changes between points of view might be a little confusing at first while the reader is introduced to new characters and how they fit with the overall story though after the first few chapters the change in character perspective adds to the suspense of the story as individual storylines begin to merge with others and reveal hidden secrets.