Full Service Blonde by Megan Edwards
This was a great mystery. It is part of the Copper Black series (yay there could be more!) and follows Copper in her first "case" in Las Vegas.
I was sucked in by Copper and the story. This book was engrossing and nuanced and surprising. The characters are well developed, their interactions are realistic and flawed (just like real people) and the atmosphere is captivating. I didn't want to put the book down- like all the best books I had to know what happened, and what happens next.
I recommend this book for lovers of modern day mysteries and "cozy" mysteries, as well as anyone looking for a change of pace. I will certainly be keeping my eye out for more from Copper Black.
My Brigadista Year Katherine Paterson
First off- Katherine Paterson, y'all. Bridge to Terabithia was one of those books that if you haven't read it, chances are you've considered it. This new book is excellent- I found myself imagining the voices, the inflections, the accents.
My Brigadista Year is a first person told story of a fourteen year old girl (!!!) who volunteers to be one of Fidel Castro's Brigadistas, the roughly 250,000 strong volunteer corps that, in a year, skyrocketed the literacy rate of Cuba to over 90% of the entire population- it is thanks to these volunteers that Cuba achieved universal literacy.
*I want to stop for a moment and consider that literacy rate- currently the US adult literacy rate, that is the ability to read and comprehend above a fifth grade level, is between fifty and sixty percent. This is a problem, and it is something that I am passionate about helping to change- stay tuned in the future for more about that.*
This was a delightful and fascinating story- like I said, I was imagining the voices and inflections and everything as I was reading.
The second part of this review contains general spoilers- I asked the bigger chick four questions about My Brigadista Year: Her favorite part, her least favorite part, what she thought was the saddest part, and what she thought was the happiest part.
Favorite part: The main character’s name is Lora (mine is Laura, so I think she liked that there was a point of familiarity)
Least favorite part: When Lora had to leave her family to start brigadista training.
Saddest part: Someone dies later in the book.
Happiest part: A baby is born! (her emphasis)
Discussing books with chicks can be difficult- it is sometimes hard for them to articulate what may have touched them about a book, so asking concrete questions, such as what made you happy, what made you sad, what was your favorite/least favorite part, what scared you, etc.