Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The Book Review Club (May 2015)


Happy May, and welcome to this month's meeting of The Book Review Club! We have a lot of good reviews today. Please click through below my post. You will not regret it. Promise! Before I forget, next month we'll be meeting a little later than usual...On WEDNESDAY, JUNE 17.  May trivia: Happy Birthday (in alpha order) to George Clooney, Sigmund Freud, Willie Mays and Orson Welles!
LULLABIES FOR LITTLE CRIMINALS 
by Heather O'Neill (debut bk, adult, literary)

I can say unequivocally that LULLABIES FOR LITTLE CHILDREN is one of the best adult books I've read in the last couple of years. It was published in 2006 by Harper, which means a) I've been living under a rock for nine years or b) my to-be-read pile is out of control. Your choice. :)

A lot of people loved this book. In 2007, it won Canada Reads AND the Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction AND was shortlisted for the Governor General's Award. Wow! It was short and long listed for too many other awards to list. Let's just say my love of LULLABIES FOR LITTLE CHILDREN puts me in good company!

In a Nutshell: The novel follows 12/13 year old Baby (yes, that's what her 15 year-old parents named her!) for two years while she lives in rundown apartments with her heroin-addicted father, does a stint in foster care, goes to school, looks for love, and survives, survives, survives.

What I Loved: EVERYTHING! Oh, what? You want more detail than that? Well...the voice pretty much jumps off the page and hits you right between the eyes. It's that perfect. Baby is very pragmatic, smart, often humorous (I bet you didn't see that coming) and is trying to come of age on the streets of Montreal. Of course, she's looking for love in all the wrong places. Of course, she makes mistakes with drugs and alcohol. But, oh my, you are rooting for this character till the wee hours of the morning. And the ending? Let's just say I cried. I'm not saying whether it ended on an upbeat note or not (no spoilers from me!). I'm just saying it was an emotional ending.

From the Book: "That first night in the new place, Jules dismantled the fire alarm so that he could smoke in peace. I loved when he smoked a cigarette with the lights off. The smoke in the dark looked like the dove that whispered the future to saints in paintings."

What I Must Mention: This book is gritty. We're talking child prostitution, heroin addition, abandonment. Personally, I'm fine with reading gritty. And it's not in-your-face graphic or anything. In fact,  I'd say another strength of the book is that it deals with some tough subject matter and keeps the reader turning pages.

Dear FCC: Bought this one with my own credit card. 

 And now....onto the rest of our reviews. Please click through. You won't want to miss a single one!

 PICTURE BOOK REVIEW

 Jenn Jilks: PLASTIC ISLAND by David Cuellar


MIDDLE GRADE/YOUNG ADULT FICTION BOOK REVIEWS

Alyssa Goodnight: IF YOU FIND THIS by Matthew Baker (MG)

Jody Feldman: ROLLERGIRL by Victoria Jamieson (MG)

Sarah Laurence: THE DISAPPEARANCE OF EMILY H. by Barrie Summy (MG)

Beth Bonini of TRAC: THE DOOR THAT LED TO WHERE by Sally Gardner (YA)


ADULT FICTION BOOK REVIEWS

Ellen Booraem: THE SILKWORM by Robert Galbraith (JK Rowling) (mystery)

Linda McLaughlin: MIDNIGHT ROSE by Lucina Riley

Lucy Sartain of Ranting and Raving: GONE GIRL by Gillian Flynn(thriller)

Patti Abbott:  WADE INTO WAR by Scott Parker (mystery) **Yes, it's our very own Scott Parker**

Prairie Rose of Prairie Rose's Garden: THE DOG WHO SAVED ME by Susan Wilson

Ray Potthoff: BLACK RIVER by S.M. Hulse (western)

Stacy Nyikos: MY BRILLIANT FRIEND by Elena Ferrante

Stacy of the Cat's Meow: MISSING REELS by Farran Smith Nehme

NONFICTION BOOK REVIEW
Jenn Jilks: THE ANTHROPOCENE by Christian Schwagerl



Note to Reviewers: Any errors (broken link, missed review, etc), just shoot me an email or leave a comment. Thank you so much for your reviews!



11 comments:

Sarah Laurence said...

LFLC looks intriguing. I'll check it out. Thanks for hosting and for writing the fun book I reviewed!

Rose said...

I must be living under a rock, too, because I've never heard of this book. Thanks for the recommendation!

Jennifer A. Jilks said...

Have a great summer, Barrie! And trip!!!!
cheers

troutbirder said...

Most interesting review, Barrie. Being published in 2006, perhaps it presaged last years Pulitzer Prize novel by Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch. Stories of lost children leave me depressed. Tarts book though was both very well written & gritty....

Bee said...

I haven't even heard of this book, so you aren't the only avid reader who is living under a rock next to a large TBR pile! It does sounds rather wonderful. My book also has characters who come from the mean streets. I think that we all need some grit to exercise our empathy -- especially if we are fortunate enough to come from cushier circumstances.

Lucy said...

Sounds like a great read. Thanks for the review. :)

Alyssa Goodnight said...

I'm not sure I'm up for the grit. :) This vaguely reminds me of one I read and enjoyed…but I was cringing the whole time!

That said, I'm glad you enjoyed it. :D

Stacy said...

I don't mind gritty, as long as I like the characters. I'll have to give this one a try.

Linda McLaughlin said...

The book sounds really good, but maybe a little too gritty for me right now. I'm still needing fluff and I probably will for the rest of the year.

Barbara Martin said...

I'm not much for gritty in the city, and would rather have a nice romance or nature adventure story. But for those that do, I'm certain they won't be disappointed.

Caryn Caldwell said...

Wow! That does sound good! And to think I hadn't even heard of it before this -- not that I remember, at least. And I would think I'd remember such a great title.

And thanks for the warning on the grittiness. I wondered why it wasn't YA when I read the character's age, but after your description I think I may have figured it out.