Freakling by Lana Krumwiede

Taemon lives in a society where psi, the ability to move objects with your mind, is all important. No one would move objects any other way. It is unthinkable. Almost as unthinkable as not having powers. The powerless are exiled to dud farms to live in their primitive ways. Taemon never really considers what that means until he loses his abilities and is sent away.

This is a middle grade book so it is a quick read. The world building for a society entirely controlled by the power of the people’s minds was well done. The effects of that mind power are well thought out. For example, people aren’t able to read books because anything their mind knows about they can control. Knowledge is tightly and jealously managed.

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Cas inherited the family business. He kills the dead. He travels with his mom finding ghosts that hurting people and removes the ghosts. He’s looking forward to his biggest kill yet – Anna Dressed in Blood. She’s his most powerful ghost yet. But when he meets her he realizes that something is very different about this one.

All the reviews I read of this book talked about how truly scary this book is. Maybe I watch way too many supernatural television programs but this book seemed pretty normal to me. I liked the first half of the book but the second half wasn’t as interesting.

The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier

Honor travels from England with her soon-to-be-married sister. When her sister dies unexpectedly, Honor continues on to her sister’s fiance’s house on the Ohio frontier. In this rough area the skills and values that Honor prized at home aren’t needed as much as the ability to do domestic work. She soon realizes that her house is on the way to Oberlin, a town known for harboring runaway slaves. As a Quaker, Honor feels it is her duty to help but other people in her town don’t feel the same way.

Quilting, Underground Railroad, and it takes place near where I live – what’s not to love? This was a great explanation of how the Underground Railroad may have worked and the risks involved. It also brought up the different ways that women were expected to behave in frontier America.

The Calling (Darkness Rising) by Kelley Armstrong

Teenagers from the small town in Vancouver are developing strange powers such as shapeshifting. Now they have been kidnapped but crash on an island near the coast. They have to get back to civilization without knowing who it is safe to trust.

This is part of a series that ties in with another series. Confusing? Yes. There isn’t any summary in the book so you have to remember what went on the the others. That’s a pet peeve of mine. If you have a complex backstory either give a summary or work some reminders into the story somewhere.

This book takes place in the same world as her adult Women of the Otherworld series. It offers a few glimpses of that world but the kids in this book are totally unaware of the existence of other supernaturals. They don’t know what they are turning into and the implications. There are more books upcoming in the series so this one doesn’t really have good closure. It just seems like a stepping stone on the way somewhere else.

The Giving Quilt by Jennifer Chiaverini

At Elm Creek Quilt Camp the week after Thanksgiving is set aside for making charity quilts. Several campers come to learn how to make simple quilts to give away to Project Linus. This book tells the story of five of them.

I like books in this series that have this format. Five women are introduced and then each of them is explored in more depth. I used the quilt block that they are making as day two of my February sampler quilt for Quilts of Valor.


The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Isaac, Hazel, and Augustus are teenagers with cancer. They are struggling with how to live and love and be normal teenagers in between surgeries and hospitalizations.

My overwhelming thought when I got this from the library was that Sheila was going to be so proud. She’s been preaching that everyone should read this and she is right. It is warm and funny without being sappy. It tells the truth about what I imagine these kids would be going through. Will my girlfriend still love me if I’m blind? How can I be independent from my parents who are clinging tightly because they know I’ll die soon? When do I get to choose what, if any, treatment I receive? In between all that there is also the adventure of a lifetime to meet an author that Hazel loves. It’s hard to explain so you should probably just read it!