Thursday, May 31, 2012

Justine's Thoughts: Summer at Willow Lake by Susan Wiggs


Summer at Willow Lake
[Lakeshore Chronicles - book 2]

By Susan Wiggs

Source: Borrowed from Sarah at Read Away the Day
Pages:
 534
Book Description:
Real estate expert Olivia Bellamy reluctantly trades a trendy Manhattan summer for her family's old resort camp in the Catskills, where her primary task will be renovating the bungalow colony for her grandparents, who want one last summer together filled with fun, friends and family. A posh resort in its heyday, the camp is now in disarray and Olivia is forced to hire contractor Connor Davis—a still-smoldering flame from her own summers at camp. But as the days grow warm, not even the inviting blue waters of Willow Lake can cool the passions flaring or keep shocking secrets at bay. The nostalgic joy of summers past breathes new promise into a special place and people…a promise meant to last long after the season ends.

A quote:
If you're drowning for real, and nobody believes you, then you sure as hell better figure out how to swim.

Thoughts:
Expectations: The first thing I saw was the cover, which I was much too hesitant about. I admit to be an extreme judge of book covers *shame*, but I really dislike it. However, Sarah was also much too insistent that I read it. And if she wants me to read this book so much, then it must good! In the end, she was right. Summer at Willow Lake is refreshing and lovely.

About Setting: It alternates between the city and Camp Kioga, which I had no trouble with whatsoever. The descriptions are written easily but engrossingly. You just can’t help but close your eyes and feel like transporting into the novel. For me it made me wish that I went to camp as a young teen! It sounds like a new and exciting experience.

About Characters: Olivia “Lolly” Bellamy comes from a big, wealthy family who owns Camp Kioga. She’s now a smoking, fit, professional real estate stager who used to be the lonely fat kid at camp. I found her character very appealing; she’s funny and real and serious with the right amount of strength in mind. Connor Davis is the good looking bad boy from Olivia’s past. And boy, how I love him. Together, they’re the ‘it’ couple, which makes me so, so happy. There are also many other characters who I look forward to read about in the other novels in this series. Such characters include Daisy and Julian, Max, Uncle Greg, and more.

About Plot: Olivia is in charge of reconstructing Camp Kioga for her grandparents’ 50th wedding celebration but her contractor is Connor Davis, who she shares a past with. Together, they must work to make the place look extravagant. That takes them back to old times and memories they shared with each other. As a child every summer, Olivia goes to Camp Kioga and spends time with Connor Davis. As the story switches from present day to their pasts and back and forth, we get to see how their relationship forms and develops. The story also touches upon other characters and their main backgrounds, making it overall enjoyable as well as satisfying.

Overall Rating: Y Y Y Y Y
Summer at Willow Lake is the perfect read if you’re looking for some way of escapism. It’s even more perfect in the summer, with the fresh feelings of the sun and the sky. I enjoyed it thoroughly and it will always be one of my pleasure reads.




Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine.


All These Lives by Sarah Wylie

Release Date:
June 5th, 2012


Sixteen-year-old Dani is convinced she has nine lives. As a child she twice walked away from situations where she should have died. But Dani’s twin, Jena, isn’t so lucky. She has cancer and might not even be able to keep her one life. Dani’s father is in denial. Her mother is trying to hold it together and prove everything’s normal. And Jena is wasting away. To cope, Dani sets out to rid herself of all her extra lives. Maybe they’ll be released into the universe and someone who wants to live more than she does will get one. Someone like Jena. But just when Dani finds herself at the breaking point, she’s faced with a startling realization. Maybe she doesn’t have nine lives after all. Maybe she really only ever had one.







Saturday, May 26, 2012

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is held weekly by Kristi at The Story Siren.

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Borrowed

Leftovers by Laura Weiss


This is a schedule post because by this time I will be away for work for the summer. But I just had to add this book since I'm taking it with me! It may not be much but it's something. Thanks Steff for letting me borrow it, you kind soul! She knew the books I have right now won't last me long ;) She's also the one who's curious about Fifty Shades of Grey and is willing to read it to see what the hype is going on about. On another note, I think it's time to switch to a new meme that features new books...except I don't know what meme to adapt. Anywho, I will check back in three weeks!

Have a great weekend!


Friday, May 25, 2012

Friday's Finest


Friday's Finest is a new meme hosted by Justine from A Bookful of Thoughts.
Rules:
~Post a quote that really stuck to you after reading it in a book.
~Make sure it isn't a spoiler!
~If you'd like, expand on what you think it means and why you chose it.

Lola and the Boy Next Door
by Stephanie Perkins

You should show encouragement whenever you can. People try harder when they know that someone cares about them.


This quote is important, I believe. Encouragement can make such a difference to a single person. It can entirely boost their self-esteem by a little or by a lot. Still, you're making a good difference.



Thursday, May 24, 2012

Justine's Thoughts: Wither by Lauren DeStefano


Wither
[The Chemical Garden Trilogy - 1]
By Lauren DeStefano
Source: Won from Becky at Stories and Sweeties
Pages:
 358

Book Description:
What if you knew exactly when you would die?

Thanks to modern science, every newborn has become a ticking genetic time bomb -- males only live to age twenty-five, and females only live to age twenty. In this bleak landscape, young girls are kidnapped and forced into polygamous marriages to keep the population from dying out.

When sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery is taken by the Gatherers to become a bride, she enters a world of wealth and privilege. Despite her husband Linden’s genuine love for her, and a tenuous trust among her sister wives, Rhine has one purpose: to escape -- to find her twin brother and go home.

But Rhine has more to contend with than losing her freedom. Linden’s eccentric father is bent on finding an antidote to the genetic virus that is getting closer to taking his son, even if it means collecting corpses in order to test his experiments. With the help of Gabriel, a servant she is growing dangerously attracted to, Rhine attempts to break free, in the limited time she has left.

A quote:
The world seems so clean if you only looked up.

Thoughts:
Expectations: There is a lot of word about Wither everywhere around the blogosphere. Everything I read has been positive, too. Wither is one of the first YA dystopian novels I’ve ever read and I was expecting for it to be mind-blowing. Although it did not reach my level of expectations, I found that I really, really loved it.

About Setting: The haunting society was so vividly described, especially with DeStefano’s incredible writing. The inside and the outside of the mansion seem interesting. I mostly liked the outdoor gardens; the orange grove sounded beautiful. The entire setting is a bit limited because Rhine spends most of her time at the mansion, although sometimes she gets the chance to visit the city. We also travel back in time to what life was like for Rhine and her twin brother, Rowan, before she was chosen to be a bride. Sometimes I would even stop and pause after reading a paragraph so I could absorb it all in and make sense of things.

About Characters: I fell in love with the characters. It was magnificent. Rhine is one great heroine and I adore her. She always had the determination to escape and return to Rowan. One thing I liked about her was that she would take the time to think things through and she would always stand strong. Her relationship with Gabriel slowly blossoms in Wither. From the description, it may seem like there would be a lot of romance, but truthfully there isn’t much.

My favourite characters are the Sister Wives: Jenna and Cicely. Jenna is older while Cicely is younger than Rhine. Each of them have their own individual personality traits that it’s easy to tell them apart. Jenna is miserable as she has come to realize that she’s spending the little time she has left in the mansion. On the other hand, Cicely is happy in the fact that she as well as Jenna and Rhine are living in a mansion with benefits rather than those who are living in the city. The three characters form a relationship that tugs at my heart. The other characters like Gabriel and Housemaster Vaughn and Linden have yet to be developed thoroughly in the next two books. I think of Gabriel as an innocent boy who I’m very eager to get to know more of, Housemaster Vaughn is just this frightening, eerie, mad scientist, and Linden is actually a decent guy who you would kind of feel sorry for. All the characters have something interesting about them that you would easily characterize them with.

About Plot: The plot is so very original. The society is set in the future with cancer and other illnesses cured and treated although resulting to an even deeper trouble with the population. The cure has caused a shorter lifespan for both men and women. With this untreated issue and with the dying population, women are treated harshly with pressure to have babies. It sounds like a horrifying world, one with polygamy marriages, diseases, and scientific experiments. Rhine has been chosen to be in a polygamy marriage with Linden and two other girls and she sets her mind on one thing and that is to escape. That leaves a limited setting with not much exposure to the outside world. For me, it felt like something was lacking. I do, however, love Lauren DeStefano’s writing. It is flawless and smooth and all kinds of beautiful. I am just hoping to see more and more of it as well as more of the other characters in the next instalment.

Overall Rating: Y Y Y Y
With an original, fascinating storyline, a haunting sense in setting, and a marvellous mix of characters, I most definitely won’t miss out on book 2, Fever.



Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine.


Never Enough by Denise Jaden

Release Date:
July 10th, 2012


From the author of Losing Faith, a novel about two sisters and the eating disorder that threatens to destroy their family.

Loann’s always wanted to be popular and pretty like her sister, Claire. So when Claire’s ex-boyfriend starts flirting with her, Loann is willing to do whatever it takes to feel special…even if that means betraying her sister.

But as Loann slips inside Claire’s world, she discovers that everything is not as it seems. Claire’s quest for perfection is all-consuming, and comes at a dangerous price. As Claire increasingly withdraws from friends and family, Loann struggles to understand her and make amends. Can she heal their relationship—and her sister—before it’s too late?







Monday, May 21, 2012

books i'm packing with me

So as I said, I'm heading a bit up north to where I'll be working and staying this summer. Only until the beginning of August, but I'll be visiting home a few times on some weekends. It's exciting, really, because there's a whole team of staff who I've yet to meet and holidayers who I'll tend to! I'll be one of three Health Care Aides working with other Counselors and I am so blessed to have such an opportunity!

As for books...of course, there will be space in the suitcase for books! For now, I've only decided on 3 books to take with me. These, I decided, will be my summer books. Oh my goodness, mentioning summer books makes me want to jump in delight because it makes me picture the beach, the sand, the nice hot summer sun, and who doesn't love that?! 

Alright, I won't delay no more so here are the 3 books:


Divergent by Veronica Roth
Won from Cindy at Oodles of Books

In a future Chicago, 16-year-old Beatrice Prior must choose among five predetermined factions to define her identity for the rest of her life, a decision made more difficult when she discovers that she is an anomaly who does not fit into any one group, and that the society she lives in is not perfect after all.


Looking for Alaska by John Green
Borrowed from Steff

Miles Halter is fascinated by famous last words and tired of his safe life at home. He leaves for boarding school to seek what the dying poet Francois Rabelais called the "Great Perhaps." Much awaits Miles at Culver Creek, including Alaska Young. Clever, funny, screwed-up, and dead sexy, Alaska will pull Miles into her labyrinth and catapult him into the Great Perhaps.




Invincible Summer by Hannah Moskowitz
Won from Cindy at Oodles of Books

Across four sun-kissed, drama-drenched summers at his family’s beach house, Chase is falling in love, falling in lust, and trying to keep his life from falling apart. But some girls are addictive....
Not your typical beach read.


Yes, that is ALL! But I wish I had more to take with me! I know this is not going to last me long, especially since these are all pretty good books. I'm still considering buying more books. But I'm not usually a book-buyer type of person so that may be troublesome (this is why I rejoice when I win books). I only buy books when I absolutely have to. I bought Lola and the Boy Next Door, see that's an example. I loved the book.

Now I'm considering buying: Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson (author of Amy & Roger's Epic Detour! Seriously, I want this book!), Between Shades of Grey by Ruta Sepetys (I heard it's sad, so sad -- which may be just what I need), and A Little Wanting Song by Cath Crowley (was recommended to me and I so badly want to read it)....and there's a whole lot more. Seriously, a bookish person has an endless book wishlist, isn't that right?



Sunday, May 20, 2012

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is held weekly by Kristi at The Story Siren.

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From the Library

Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan


Friday, May 18, 2012

TGIF - A Book Blogger is Born

Ooh, look at me trying other memes! This is the summer me, everybody! But I'm about to leave to work for summer next week so this is sad times blogging-wise. I promise to visit!

TGIF is a weekly meme hosted at GReads! It's all about sharing and discussing with other bloggers. 

This week's question is:
A Book Blogger is Born - What made you decide to start your very own book blog?

I first started on Livejournal -- you can even see my old blog! It's called Endless Books. So original, I know. Why I started blogging about books was because I didn't have much bookish friends. I didn't have anyone to talk to about the books I was reading. And trust me, at that age when you're reading teen books and you have something exciting to say, it feels like you're going to burst because you neeeed to tell someone but you can't! That's why I turned to the blogging community. I was so happy to share my thoughts with people who knew what I was talking about, who knew which part of the book was worth shrieking about. And I've never felt so close with other bloggers.

I then made friends with people in the blogging community, gave and accepted recommendations, and spoke with some authors. I am so, very thankful for everyone who's visited, commented, or participated in my blog. Without you, I believe this blog would be completely different!


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine.


The Thing About the Truth by Lauren Barnholdt

Release Date:
July 10th, 2012


In this humorous love story from the author of Two-Way Street, an unlikely romance is the best sort of surprise—but the wrong secret can ruin everything. Kelsey’s not going to let one mistake ruin her life. Sure, she got kicked out of prep school and all her old friends are shutting her out. But Kelsey’s focused on her future, and she’s determined to get back on track at Concordia High.

Isaac’s been kicked out of more schools than he can count. Since his father’s a state senator, Isaac’s life is under constant scrutiny—but Concordia High’s his last stop before boarding school, so Isaac’s hoping to fly under the radar and try to stay put for a change.

When Kelsey and Isaac meet, it’s anything but love at first sight. She thinks he’s an entitled brat, and he thinks she’s a stuck-up snob. So it surprises them both when they start to fall for each other. Kelsey’s happy for the first time in months, and Isaac’s never felt this way about anyone before...But nothing’s ever completely perfect. Everyone has secrets, and Isaac and Kelsey are no exceptions. These two may have fallen hard, but there’s one thing that can ruin it all: the truth.



Is it me or are there many springing novels by Lauren Barnholdt? Not that I'm complaining because I absolutely love her books. I was a big fan of Two-Way Street (my old-school review can be found here) and I loved her writing style. In this one, it had me from "humorous love story" -- who doesn't love one? I have got to get a hold of Lauren's other books!



Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday

So for some reason I thought today was Monday! These summer days...I swear I'm going crazy. I think I'm pretty late with this post too. It's my first time participating in this meme but it seems so fun and I was so excited to join in! Happy Tuesday, everybody!

Top Ten Tuesday is weekly held by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's topic is:
Top Ten Authors I'd Like To See On A Reality Show

Authors are really awesome to me. I see them chattering away on Twitter allll the time and I could see how awesome they are! I haven't met authors....which saddens me...so I think this topic would be a great way to fantasize. Haha. And as you may see, I'm all about the young adult authors. :)

1. Megan McCafferty - There was once a time when I listened to Barry Manilow's songs all day. And I must say it is all because if Megan McCafferty and her Jessica Darling series. I'd love to see her and the wit that underlay those books on a reality show.

2. Stephanie Perkins - Her books are hilarious and full of sweetgoodnessohmygosh and from her tweets, she really is a hilarious human being. Her unique spark would be such a hit on a reality show!

3. John Green - Who doesn't watch the Vlogbrothers?! Speaking of which, there's a new video on Youtube right now. I stay updated, you know. This guy should be on everybody's lists. I don't know another person who speaks intelligently, rapidly, and courageously. Haha. John Green is an idol and it would be so cool for him to dominate on reality shows where you must use your head!

4. Jackson Pearce - Okay, I have to admit that I haven't read a single one of her books. I am missing out, I know. BUT I have seen many of her Youtube videos and she's lovely! And funny!

5. Maureen Johnson - I also haven't read any of her books...and I know, I know I'm terrible! But from her tons and tons of tweets, she's a very outspoken person! One who could be so entertaining on a reality show.

6. Robin Benway - I used to follow her blog all the time! I really don't know what happened. But I know she has fantastic taste in music. And seriously, she's pretty funny.

7. Ally Carter - Love her book series. Clearly she has one giant sense of adventure! I wonder how that would be applied if she does appear on a reality show.

8. Meg Cabot - Ah! The glamour and the sparkle! She is quite a woman with lots of fabulous books out. I have a sense she's a super woman.

9 & 10. Margaret Stohl & Kami Garcia - If these two can write a book, they most certainly can do everything else together. I think. Well, it would be interesting to watch them work together on a reality show, right? Go teamwork!



Sunday, May 13, 2012

In My Mailbox


In My Mailbox is held weekly by Kristi at The Story Siren.

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From the Library

What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen

Won from Cindy at Oodles of Books

Invincible Summer by Hannah Moskowitz
Divergent by Veronica Roth
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Another book from the library with DVDs again, haha. I can't get enough of the DVDs and most of all they're free to loan from the library! :) 

I missed Sarah Dessen sooo much!! I'm too excited to start reading this one :D The description of Invincible Summer has always made me want so badly to read the book...so let's give this one a try. And finally, Divergent. Finally, finally, finally. I get to become a part of the hype now once I finish reading the book hopefully. I AM JUST SO HAPPY. THANK YOU CINDY, AND THANK YOU LIBRARY!!!



Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine.


If I Lie by Corrine Jackson

Release Date:
August 28th, 2012


A powerful debut novel about the gray space between truth and perception.

Quinn’s done the unthinkable: she kissed a guy who is not Carey, her boyfriend. And she got caught. Being branded a cheater would be bad enough, but Quinn is deemed a traitor, and shunned by all of her friends. Because Carey’s not just any guy—he’s serving in Afghanistan and revered by everyone in their small, military town.

Quinn could clear her name, but that would mean revealing secrets that she’s vowed to keep—secrets that aren’t hers to share. And when Carey goes MIA, Quinn must decide how far she’ll go to protect her boyfriend…and her promise.



Hmm, mysterious. The description makes me so very curious. So it seems that these characters are in very complicated relationships! All it does is make for a one good novel, which I am quite excited for! 







Saturday, May 5, 2012

In My Mailbox


In My Mailbox is held weekly by Kristi at The Story Siren.

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From the Library

Lie by Caroline Bock
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Finally, another book from the library along with 3 DVDs! Cheers! Summer is so kind.

...Speaking of summer, I will be working at a camp/resort for the summer where there will be limited internet available. That means I won't be able to actively blog and comment. It makes me sad. But I will promise to put up some posts and visit your blogs once in a while. You guys are so awesome for sticking with me! :)



Friday, May 4, 2012

Friday's Finest


Friday's Finest is a new meme hosted by Justine from A Bookful of Thoughts.
Rules:
~Post a quote that really stuck to you after reading it in a book.
~Make sure it isn't a spoiler!
~If you'd like, expand on what you think it means and why you chose it.


Anna and the French Kiss
by Stephanie Perkins

I love you as certain dark things are loved, secretly, between the shadow and the soul.


In honour of the review that was *finally* put up yesterday, here is to Anna and the French Kiss! And its marvelous characters and snazzy setting!



Thursday, May 3, 2012

Justine's Thoughts: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins


Anna and the French Kiss
By Stephanie Perkins

Source: Bought. Like it was a total must-own. I just HAD to.
Pages:
 372
Book Description:
Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris—until she meets √Čtienne St. Claire: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home.

As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near-misses end with the French kiss Anna—and readers—have long awaited?

A quote:
The more you know who you are, and what you want, the less you let things upset you.

Thoughts:
Expectations: I knew it would be really good. But hell, I didn’t expect it to be THAT FREAKING GOOD. It’s crazy impossible! It’s super fantastic! This book is all the major good things combined. I am serious.

About Setting: (Mostly) The City of Light, the most romantic place in the world, *ahem*...Paris! Sigh, what a glorious place. The way Perkins described everything made it so vivid in my mind. It made me want to visit so badly. And meet an amazingly gorgeous English/American boy. Oh and Kilometre Zero at night? What a magical scene.

About Characters: We have Anna Oliphant, our lovely heroine. The way she narrates is gripping and entertaining. She’s hilarious and awesome. She even has a movie reviewing blog, where she posts about movies. So she’s left alone in a foreign school, which was very easy to relate to given that I was in the same situation years ago. Yes, language barrier included. But eventually she makes friends, who are a magnificent bunch. One of those is Etienne St. Clair. Oh my fudgy crepes, I don’t know where to start. He’s the perfect fictional guy EVER. The only problem is that he has a serious girlfriend, Ellie, who had already graduated from School of America in Paris (SOAP). Our Etienne is gorgeous, witty, and pretty hilarious. No wonder he’s such a big hit in school. He has a certain type of charisma that would make you instantly love him. Of course, that’s regardless of his height. He’s short, which buggered me a bit, I admit. But like Anna said, if he’s got such a flawless face and artsy hair and an English accent, you wouldn’t even notice his height. The other relationships also were really well explored, whether it was a friendship, a family or a romantic relationship.

About Plot: Who wouldn’t be afraid and upset when suddenly you’re shipped off to a foreign country? Not to mention leave your current life on hold in hopes that everything would go back to normal when you return. That’s Anna’s situation. She left her best friend, her mom and brother, and her almost boyfriend behind in Atlanta in exchange for a new life in Paris with new friends. For me, I would love for that chance, especially if Etienne is a part of that sensational package.
Some parts may be a little predictable, but that didn’t matter at all with wonderful characters and a remarkable setting. What I love about this book is that it has a little touch of everything, with the exception of romance, of course. There is a lot of romance, which I totally appreciated. There were family issues, betrayal, friendship,

Overall Rating: Y Y Y Y Y [Plus one if I could.]
Anna and the French Kiss is all the delicious things you hope it to be! I guarantee that you will not be disappointed and it is needless to say that this will be my ultimate recommendation. The end.
Stephanie Perkins, I must congratulate you on creating the hottest fictional boy. You’ve succeeded to make all the fans swoon at the thought of him and ache for his existence!



Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine.


The Glimpse by Claire Merle

Release Date:
June 7th, 2012


Once you've seen into the future, can you change your destiny?

In a near future, society is segregated according to whether people are genetically disposed to mental illness. 17-year-old Ana has been living the privileged life of a Pure due to an error in her DNA test. When the authorities find out, she faces banishment from her safe Community, a fate only thwarted by the fact that she has already been promised to Pure-boy Jasper Taurell.

Jasper is from a rich and influential family and despite Ana’s condition, wants to be with her. The authorities grant Ana a tentative reprieve. If she is joined to Jasper before her 18th birthday, she may stay in the Community until her illness manifests. But if Jasper changes his mind, she will be cast out among the Crazies. As Ana’s joining ceremony and her birthday loom closer, she dares to hope she will be saved from the horror of the City and live a ‘normal’ life. But then Jasper disappears.

Led to believe Jasper has been taken by a strange sect the authorities will not intefere with, Ana sneaks out of her well-guarded Community to find him herself. Her search takes her through the underbelly of society and into the pits of the human soul. And as she delves deeper into the mystery of Jasper's abduction she uncovers some devastating truths that destroy everything she has grown up to believe, but she also learns to love as she has never loved before.



Phew, dystopian is so hot these days! I can never get enough of it. This one has a really cute yet dark cover. I like the whole thorns + love thing, which fits in with the description. And the description is quite intriguing! It may make one heck of a novel....so we'll see about that when it comes out. Shouldn't take too long -- it's only June, right? (Oh the waiting!)