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Perfect Scoundrels by Ally Carter (4.5 stars)
Things are finally sort of normal for Kat, Hale, and their band of teenage thieves after they've pulled off two of the greatest heists of the century. Then Hale's grandmother dies suddenly and leaves the family's vast business empire not to his father, but to him. When the family butler smells a rat and hires Kat to investigate, she's torn between finding the truth for Hale's own good, and protecting her still-new relationship with him. These books are definitely exciting, but I love them most for their picture of what real family is, wherever you might find it.

Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close (4 stars)
This novel about a group of friends from college is more like a collection of interwoven short stories. Each woman has her turn in the spotlight: Isabella, the romantic who starts over in a new career; Abby, the child of hippie parents, who falls in love with a classic prep; Lauren, whose "temporary" waitressing job drags on for years; Mary, who finds a great man with a seriously overbearing mother. These stories are funny, touching, and relatable, and Jennifer Close's prose is just a joy to read.

Next to Love by Ellen Feldman (4 stars)
In a small Massachusetts town in 1943, three best friends marry three men who are about to go off to war. By the end of the war, all of their lives are in pieces. This novel is about how they rebuild (or not) over the next two decades. I felt like Feldman tried to cover too much at times, which came off a little forced and rushed (especially at the end), but overall, the story is well-done.

Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern (3.5 stars)
Another entry in the "Next Fault In Our Stars" sweepstakes, this YA novel follows Amy, a bright, funny girl with cerebral palsy, and Matthew, a shy guy with OCD, through their senior year of high school and beginning of college. To help her learn about making friends, Amy requests peer aides for her senior year instead of the adults who have always helped her through her daily tasks. She specifically requests Matthew, by whom she's been intrigued since he challenged her overly-sunny attitude the previous year. Soon their relationship starts taking turns that surprise them both. While some of the plot twists were pretty crazy (I actually saw the main one coming and thought, "Oh, please don't go there"), I liked Amy, Matthew, and their friends, and appreciated a glimpse into the lives of people dealing with these difficulties.


Books for February: 4
2015 year to date: 13

December 2015

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