Wednesday, October 26, 2016

review: the chameleon by merrick rosenberg

Before writing The Chameleon, Merrick Rosenberg taught organizational communication and leadership, including the DISC model, for decades. According to the preface of The Chameleon, Rosenberg received feedback that it was difficult for people to remember Dominant-Interactive-Supportive-Conscientious, so he decided to equate each style with a bird in hopes of making it easier for people to understand and remember. Throughout The Chameleon, Rosenberg discusses the personality styles via fables. The fables seem intended to make the traits relevant, relatable, and easy to understand, but the use of names like Xander, Xenia, Sarah, Samuel, and Sadie actually made things a little confusing (it would’ve been far easier to remember who was who if the same letter names had corresponded to the letter of the bird—why not have E names for the Eagles?). Each section ends with bullet points on the important takeaways—many of these are fantastic and the bullet points make for easy reference—but Rosenberg doesn’t elaborate on how to take action. For example, one suggestion here is “manage your emotions when dealing with button-pushers who are different from you,” which is great advice, but hard for someone to implement without an action plan.
3/5
Review copy provided by the publicist, The Cadence Group.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

review: evil librarian by michelle knudsen

When an attractive new librarian arrives at Cyn’s school, she immediately notices a change in her best friend, Annie. Cyn initially thinks Annie is simply experiencing her very first crush (albeit an inappropriate one), but soon realizes there is something dark about the new librarian. Cyn has a crush of her own on a classmate, who she teams up with to defeat Mr. Gabriel after the pair see him in his demon form complete with wings and horns. Mr. Gabriel is on to them, but willing to let them live given their involvement with the high school’s performance of Sweeney Todd, which happens to be a favorite among demons. Evil Librarian is a thrilling and hilarious paranormal novel that is grounded in many of the realities of high school. The characters all feel authentic (even the demons) and there’s never a dull moment.
5/5
Review copy provided by the publisher, Candlewick.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

review: so damn lucky by deborah coonts

As a UFO convention hits Las Vegas, Lucky O’Toole finds herself involved in yet another mystery—a magician appears to have died during his final performance—while her personal life becomes unexpectedly complicated. With the UFO convention as a backdrop, conspiracies abound as Lucky is pulled into a world of secret government experiments. The plot involving the magician and the way Deborah Coonts ties it in with the UFO convention keeps the pace of So Damn Lucky moving forward, but Lucky’s romantic interests become diversions in this third book of the series.
4/5
Review copy provided by the publicist, FSB Associates.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

review: the candidate by lis wiehl

After uncovering the shady goings-on at her new employer in The Newsmakers, Erica Sparks has settled into the job. There’s always a new story for a journalist to cover though and the (fictionalized) 2016 presidential election is giving Erica plenty to do, especially after a bomb kills one of the candidates. As Erica investigates the bombing and looks into the background of the man who became the nominee as a result, she realizes there’s something not quite right about the presidential candidate and someone is determined to stop Erica from finding out.

As in The Newsmakers, Lis Wiehl (with Sebastian Stuart) does an excellent job of portraying Erica and the TV news industry. The plot is stellar (and timely!) with the reveals about the candidate unfolding with perfect pacing. The only thing lacking in The Candidate is the ending where the motivation behind the conspiracy should be laid out, but isn’t.
4/5
Review copy provided by the publicist, FSB Associates.