Thursday, January 3, 2019

The Strange and Deadly Portraits of Bryony Gray by E. Latimer

Genre: Middle Grade/Young Adult, Fantasy
Source: I received a copy form LibraryThing to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Bryony Gray is an orphan who lives with her aunt and uncle. Her mother died when Bryony was very young and no one will speak about her father. She is locked in her aunt and uncle's attic where she spends her time painting portraits. She is quite the young prodigy. Lately, there have been terrible news articles connecting her paintings with the disappearance of those who sit for her. Considering her father was considered cursed, and no one wants to speak of him, Bryony must draw her own conclusions. She has a patron who sends her all kinds of painting supplies. She has come to believe that her father is truly alive, and he is in fact her benefactor. One day during a sitting Bryony throws a tantrum that sets evil into motion.  While painting a lady who is acting spoiled and impatient; and having her aunt stand over her shoulder yelling at her, Bryony has had enough. She destroys the painting by ruining it with her paints. This sets into motion an evil like the city has never seen. Realizing she can leave the house, Bryony goes to the museum to discover that the paintings have come to life in a horrible way. She also discovers her neighbors who become her friends. Will they live long enough to figure out what the curse is all about and how to break it? Is it possible that there is something even more evil behind the evil destroying the city?

I loved this book. It was creepy, there were several different story lines going that all connected smoothly at the end. I would definitely read more by this author.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

The First Bear by Felicity Hansen

Genre: Children's Picture Book
Source: I purchased a copy

This is a cute story about how the first teddy bear came to be. The great bear in the sky watched over the children on earth below and saw how lonely they were. He took a cloud and fashioned it into a bear. he held it next to him to bring it to life and sent it to earth to become a companion to a child. The small bear was told when the child grew up it was to return to him to become a star. The little bear didn't listen. What was the great bear so afraid of?

This is a wonderful book for anyone who loves bears. It is beautifully illustrated and the story telling is superb. This will make a great gift for a child.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Whisper Me This by Kerry Anne King

Genre: Adult, Realistic Fiction
Source: I purchased a copy

This was a great and complex book.  Maisey Addington has little confidence in herself. As a single mother she believes that is the only thing she has ever done right. She receives a call about her mother being in a coma. They suspect her father had something to do with it since they found him sitting on the bed with her.  He had failed to call for help. He claims she wanted to die. They all realize there is something else going on with him.  Maisey had a strained relationship with her mother. She has no way to prove her mother wished to die because her mother’s papers were destroyed by her father. It had been quite some time since she had seen her mother.  He destroyed the paper telling her last wishes while he was trying to protect a long-held secret. Maisey discovers she has a twin sister named Marley. At her daughter’s urging she sets out to find her twin. What she learns is that her sister has known about her all along and their lives went in completely different directions.  Both of them have misconceived ideas about how things happened. Maisey remembers the trauma. This interaction gives both girls the opportunity to stand up to an abusive person in their lives.
This book was a great and realistic look at how an abusive situation can affect someone not only long term, but also generation after generation. The author took a sensitive topic and wove hope into all of it.  This is a book I would highly recommend to anyone.