Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Book Review Club (March 2011)

Thanks for stopping by! It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's time for bunches of great book reviews. And just so that you know how passionate we are about bringing wonderful books to your attention, I'd like to point out that this is our TWENTY-SEVENTH meeting!! Wow! Kind of boggles the mind! I'll keep my review relatively short so that you keep scrolling to the many links to outstanding reviews. Enjoy!


Have you ever read anything by Eileen Cook? She writes adult, young adult (like this book I'm reviewing today), AND middle-grade (the first will be out this April). Yes, yes, she is versatile. And talented. And extremely funny.

From the cover flap of THE EDUCATION OF HAILEY KENDRICK: Hailey Kendrick always does exactly what's expected of her. She has the right friends, dates the perfect boy, gets good grades, and follows all the rules. But one night Hailey risks everything by breaking a very big rule in a very public way...and with a very unexpected partner in crime. Haeiley gets caught, but her accomplice does not, and Hailey takes the fall for both of them...They say honesty is the best policy--but some secrets are worth keeping, no matter the cost. Or are they?

What you can expect from an Eileen Cook novel? 1. perfect plotting: There's not a loose end in sight. 2. laugh-out-loud humor: You'll have a stomachache. 3. characters to love and root for 4. a YA with nothing racier than a few kisses (which is very useful if you have a child who reads "up". 5. Oh, and did I mention the STARRED Kirkus review? "Cook has whipped up a real treat."

My, my, this may be the first time I've blogged about Eileen without using sarcasm. You see, we know each other in real life and have THAT kind of a relationship. Well, it's actually much more her than me... Hmmmm...if you've got a sec, check out this humorous (if I do say so myself) interview I did with Eileen about a year ago. There's even a photo of Eileen Cook in her jammies! Mwahaha!

And, now, drum roll, onto marvelous and varied book reviews! Please click through. You'll be glad you did!


Kaye of the Book Review Forum: TIGER RISING by Kate DiCamillo (Middle Grade)

Sarah Laurence: JERSEY TOMATOES ARE THE BEST by Maria Padian (Young Adult, reviewed by both Sarah and her daughter)

Alyssa Goodnight of the Writers' Road Less Traveled: THE ESPRESSOLOGIST by Kristina Springer (Young Adult)

Stacy Nyikos: TWISTED by Laurie Halse Anderson (Young Adult)

Keri Mikulski: HATE LIST by Jennifer Brown (Young Adult)


Jenn Jilks of Cottage Country: DEAD AIR by Rochelle Krich (mystery)

Scott Parker: BRUNO, CHIEF OF POLICE by Martin Walker (mystery)

David Cranmer of The Education of a Pulp Writer: RIPLEY'S GAME by Patricia Highsmith

Prairie Rose of Prairie Rose's Garden: THIS BODY OF DEATH by Elizabeth George (mystery)

Beth Yarnall: LIVE WIRE by Harlan Coben (mystery)

Linda McLaughlin: SECRET SANCTION by Brian Haig (Legal Thriller)

Linda McLaughlin: THE IRON DUKE by Meljean Brook (Steampunk)

Patti Abbott: A GESTURE LIFE by Chang Rae Lee

Staci of Life in the Thumb: THE BIRD HOUSE by Kelly Simmons


Ellen Booraem of Freelance Ne'er-do-well: ABBEY LUBBERS, BANSHEES & BOGGARTS: AN ILLUSTRATED ENCYCLOPEDIA OF FAIRIES by Katharine Briggs (Odd as it seems, Ellen and I felt this was the best place to list this review! Now, aren't you curious? :) )

(Note to Reviewers: Leave a comment or shoot me an email if you find an error. Nothing would surprise me; I was interrupted about a million times while setting up this post!)

Thanks for visiting, everyone!


  1. I am so late today, Barrie! Sorry.
    My review is here!
    My daughter & granddaughters are visiting, we call my daughter 'Mom', and feel a certain amount of pressure in tidying! She does channel my late mother... As I was cleaning up, covering cat-covered couches (Caitlin is allergic!), I feel tingling up my spine, so I know my mom is watching and enjoying.
    cheers from Perth!

  2. Yeay, Eileen's book is out. It sounds like a winner!

  3. Hi Stacy! Long time no see. Ah Barrie- what would I do without you? And your willingness to post pictures of me in my unmentionables.

  4. Eileen: You know you can always count on me!! ;)

    Stacy: We did have a lot of fun together in OKC, didn't we?!

    Jenn: You weren't late by my time. ;) Thanks for posting. I just read your review.

  5. Great review – humor is tricky to write but fun when done well. I want to check out this book. I also enjoyed rereading that funny interview. What a perfect friend for you! Thanks for hosting another book review club!

  6. Sounds like a fun book. I love it when it's funny enough to make your stomach ache. :)

  7. You've given plenty of good reasons to get it STAT!

  8. I can't wait to read Eileen's latest. :) Love her work.

    Thanks for the review.

  9. I have this queued up on my Kindle and am VERY much looking forward to it--I agree, Eileen is hilarious!

    Cannot believe this is the twenty-seventh Book Review Club get-together!

  10. Love the plot of this book--and I peeked at the interview, and love the "revenge" plot, too. They seem totally off the wall and wonderful! I don't read a lot of ya/mg realistic fiction, but I might make an exception here.

  11. I don't usually read young adult novels, but after reading your review, Barrie, I will have to check out one of her novels for adults--sounds like the kind of writer I would enjoy! Thanks for hosting the meeting once again!

  12. So many books to read. I better get off this computer NOW!

  13. Gabe: I know what you mean. Sometimes I feel a little overwhelmed after these book reviews because I find so many book I want to read.

    Rose: Her adult book is called UNPREDICTABLE. I think you'd like it. ;)

    Ellen: I think you'll appreciate how tightly plotted Eileen's books are. And, of course, the humor is great. She really is very funny in person, very quick witted.

  14. Alyssa: I think Eileen would be right up your alley! I know, I know--TWENTY-SEVEN! Incroyable!

    Keri: You're very welcome, Keri. And I think you'd enjoy this book. It didn't get a starred review for nothing. :)

    Green Girl: :)

    Sarah: I agree. Humor is hard to nail.

    Linda: Thank you again for writing TWO reviews!

  15. I LOVED reading Hailey! Such an awesome book.

    Barrie - I'm glad you got the bobble! So glad to hear they're being sold at Target now. I didn't know at the time that there was also a 32 oz bottle, so I might upgrade to that soon. How are you liking it? I really like mine but my only bones to pick are: 1) it makes a WHOOSH noise when I take a sip and, 2) it's kind of a weak stream... so if I'm super thirsty, I can't chug out of it, lol.


Comments are always welcome!