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Month in review

Reviews
The Alcatraz Escape by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman
Better Off Read by Nora Page
Braced by Alyson Gerber
The Chosen Ones by Scarlett Thomas
Crossing the Tracks by Barbara Stuber
The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora by Pablo Cartaya
Fleep by Jason Shiga
The House on East 88th Street by Bernard Waber
I'll Save You Bobo! by Eileen Rosenthal
A Just Clause by Lorna Barrett
Karma Khullar's Mustache by Kristi Wientge
Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova
Love & War by Melissa de la Cruz
Malaika’s Winter Carnival by Nadia L. Hohn and Irene Luxbacher (illustrator) Merman in My Tub, Volume 2 by Itokichi
The Minotaur Takes His Own Sweet Time by Steven Sherrill
Murder Past Due by Miranda James
Nurse, Soldier, Spy by Marissa Moss and John Hendrix
The Outlaw Varjak Paw by S.F. Said
Ragtag by Karl Wolf-Morgenländer
The Road is Yours Reginald M. Cleveland Rooster Joe and the Bully by Xavier Garza
Runaways, Volume 1: Find Your Way Home by Rainbow Rowell
Ship It by Britta Lundin
Square by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen
Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella
Time Ghost by Welwyn Wilton Katz
Wandering Son: Volume 3 by Takako Shimura
White Night by Jim Butcher
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum: rereading for the American road narrative

Miscellaneous
Canadian Book Challenge: 2018-2019
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (June 04)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (June 11)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (June 18)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (June 25)
May 2018 Sources
May 2018 Summary
On counting books: stop policing other people's reading
Thirty-one years of tracking my reading

Road Essays
Ignoring the eight percent
There are 216 road narrative stories (that I'm interested in)
Traveling between utopia and uhoria: an introduction to the use of space and time in Oz and Night Vale
Who is Dorothy?

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Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish


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Surprise Me: 06/23/18

Surprise Me

Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella is a standalone novel about a couple trying to keep their marriage fresh and interesting after hearing that they're both so healthy they might end up married for sixty-eight years or more. Beyond that, the set up is that they've been together for ten years (married for seven) and already feel like they can predict each other's every word, move, and opinion on things.

Sylvie challenges husband Dan to a "surprise me" contest where they each have do surprising things for each other. The first bunch of surprises are disastrous and Sylvie's not sure this was the right idea after all.

In the background of all these marriage hijinks is the on-going feeling of loss that Sylvie has for her father. He died unexpectedly in a car crash and she still hasn't gotten over it. Nor has her mother and it seems that Dan can't live up to the dead father's perfection.

If you've read through the Shopaholic series, you'll recognize plot elements that featured in Shopaholic and Sister but this time around they're taken more seriously. Rather that adults owning what they did when they were younger and rolling with it and the consequences of their actions, this book is about the fallout of bad decisions made worse by hiding the truth.

That said, there is still humor and Sylvie and Dan make a cute and believable couple. I would definitely read the further adventures of these two should Sophie Kinsella ever be inspired to revisit them.

Five stars

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