Mini-reviews: The Boy Who Couldn’t Sleep and Never Had To by DC Pierson; Not My Daughter by Barbara Delinsky; and The Liar’s Diary by Patry Francis

Title: The Boy Who Couldn’t Sleep and Never Had To
Author: DC Pierson
Genre: Science fiction
Publisher: Vintage Books
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Source: Print copy from my personal library
First line: All the newspapers and TV pundits are calling this fall’s freshman college class the “Symnitol Generation,” but if the activity up and down my dorm hallway is any indication, this fall’s freshman college class is the “Stand Around Each Other’s Laptops and Play the First Thirty Seconds of Every Song on the Hard Drive Generation.”

I had really high hopes for this book about a teenager who finds out that his new best friend doesn’t sleep. Never has. And as a result, his brain is capable of amazing things. The premise is unique and there is a lot of humor here, which I enjoyed (except for the juvenile boy humor, which was to be expected), but the story simply fizzles out. I’ve discovered lately that the ending of a book will make or break it for me. I can love a book all the way through, but if the ending disappoints, I’ll never rate it higher than 3 stars.

Title: Not My Daughter
Author: Barbara Delinsky
Genre: Contemporary fiction
Publisher: Anchor
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Source: Audiobook from the public library
Audiobook reader: Cassandra Campbell
First line: Susan Tate never saw it coming.

This was my first Barbara Delinsky novel, and I started listening to it because it is narrated by the delightful Cassandra Campbell. I was pleased to discover that the story and writing were just as wonderful as Campbell’s reading. Susan Tate is a single mother of a 17-year-old daughter, a daughter she conceived when she was 17 years old. She has made a life for herself and is a successful high school principal. But when her daughter confesses that she is pregnant, by choice, and so are her two best friends, the life she has built begins to crumble. I am excited to see that our library has a few more of Delinsky’s titles on audio – also read by Cassandra Campbell.

Title: The Liar’s Diary
Author: Patry Francis
Genre: Contemporary fiction, psychological thriller
Publisher: Plume
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Source: Print copy from my personal library
First line: There was so much talk about the new music teacher before she arrived that her coming was almost anticlimactic.

Jeanne Cross, the high school secretary, is instantly drawn to the new music teacher, Ali Mather. She’s not the only one, and Ali leaves a swathe of brokenhearted men in her wake. As Jeanne and Ali’s friendship deepens, she begins to have unsettling questions about her son’s and husband’s fascination with Ali. This psychological thriller is another book that started out with a bang and ended with a whimper. The ending had quite a twist, a twist that, to me, just did not seem plausible.

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5 Responses to Mini-reviews: The Boy Who Couldn’t Sleep and Never Had To by DC Pierson; Not My Daughter by Barbara Delinsky; and The Liar’s Diary by Patry Francis

  1. Sandy
    Twitter: youvegottaread
    says:

    I think maybe that first book is about my son? Haha. Kid hates to sleep. My book club read a Delinsky novel, and I can’t say it blew us away but was entertaining enough. I would listen to anything, though, narrated by Campbell.
    Sandy┬┤s last post ..Where She Went – Gayle Forman

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Sandy – I’m getting the sense from reviews that I’ve read that Delinksy is a bit hit-or-miss.

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