Mini-reviews: Prized by Caragh O’Brien; Daddy’s Girl by Lisa Scottoline; and Rainbow Valley by L.M. Montgomery

Title: Prized
Author: Caragh O’Brien
Genre: YA dystopian fiction
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Source: Print copy from the public library
First line: She grabbed the hilt of her knife and scrambled backward into the darkness, holding the baby close in her other arm.

Goodreads blurb: Striking out into the wasteland with nothing but her baby sister, a handful of supplies, and a rumor to guide her, sixteen-year-old midwife Gaia Stone survives only to be captured by the people of Sylum, a dystopian society where women rule the men who drastically outnumber them, and a kiss is a crime. In order to see her sister again, Gaia must submit to their strict social code, but how can she deny her sense of justice, her curiosity, and everything in her heart that makes her whole?

This is an excellent second book in O’Brien’s dystopian series. Gaia encounters a new community that has managed to thrive in this desolate future, and attempts to build a new life there. I enjoyed this one every bit as much as I did the first in the series, and absolutely can’t wait to read the final book in the trilogy.

Title: Daddy’s Girl
Author: Lisa Scottoline
Genre: Thriller
Publisher: Harper Audio
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Source: Audiobook from the public library
Audiobook reader: Barbara Rosenblat
Audiobook length: 9 hours and 49 minutes
First line: Nat Greco felt like an A cup in a double-D bra.

Goodreads blurb: The unlikely heroine of this Lisa Scottoline thriller, mousy University of Pennsylvania assistant law professor Natalie “Nat” Greco, finds herself in way over her head when an unintended visit to a minimum-security prison in nearby Chester County puts her in the middle of a deadly uprising — and places her at the center of an elaborate plot that involves an incarcerated crime boss and more than a few improbable conspirators.

Greco’s classes at Penn Law — the History of Justice, for example — aren’t nearly as well attended as those taught by charismatic and handsome prof Angus Holt. Greco herself is far from immune to Holt’s charm, so when he asks her to accompany him to Chester County Correctional Institution to lecture to inmates involved in an externship program, she quickly agrees. But the professors’ visit soon turns deadly; a riot erupts, and amid the chaos Greco finds herself alone with a dying correctional officer who has been stabbed through the heart with a metal shank. His last words are a cryptic message to his wife: “It’s under the floor.” Soon thereafter, Greco is inexplicably set up for the murder of a state trooper and is forced to become a fugitive from justice while she tries to unravel the mystery of the dying man’s words.

This is my second Scottoline, and I am impressed. I loved the character of Nat Greco, a petite woman who has always been treated as weak by her father and brothers, but who, in reality, is fiery and strong. I enjoyed the romantic storyline, as well as the mystery. Scottoline also threw in a curve ball at the end that had me reeling. I will definitely be reading and/or listening to more of her work.

rainbowvalleyTitle: Rainbow Valley
Author: L.M. Montgomery
Genre: Historical fiction
Publisher: Bantam Books
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Source: Print copy from my personal library
First line: It was a clear, apple-green evening in May, and Four Winds Harbor was mirroring back the clouds of the golden West between it softly dark shores.

Goodreads blurb: Anne Shirley is grown up, has married her beloved Gilbert and now is the mother of six mischievous children.

These boys and girls discover a special place all their own, but they never dream of what will happen when the strangest family moves into an old nearby mansion. The Meredith clan is two boys and two girls, with minister father but no mother — and a runaway girl named Mary Vance. Soon the Meredith kids join Anne’s children in their private hideout to carry out their plans to save Mary from the orphanage, to help the lonely minister find happiness, and to keep a pet rooster from the soup pot. There’s always an adventure brewing in the sun-dappled world of Rainbow Valley.

This is my least favorite of the series, but it is still worth reading. I think the main reason I don’t like it as much is that Anne is mostly absent throughout the book. Most of the book is about the Meredith children who become friends with Anne’s kids. Their adventures are entertaining enough, but it doesn’t have the same magic as the other books in the series.

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11 Responses to Mini-reviews: Prized by Caragh O’Brien; Daddy’s Girl by Lisa Scottoline; and Rainbow Valley by L.M. Montgomery

  1. Sandy
    Twitter: youvegottaread

    I think the only one I’d think about reading is the Scottline novel, but I have read a couple of hers already and found them a little predictable and contrived. Maybe I just went in with the wrong expectations…

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies

      Sandy – I definitely wouldn’t call the Scottoline books I’ve listened to on the same par as a Tana French or Gillian Flynn, but they are entertaining enough. πŸ™‚

  2. Melissa
    Twitter: avidreader12

    I completely agree with you about Rainbow Valley. I missed Anne so much! But I felt like the next book, Rilla, really tied the series up beautifully.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies

      Melissa – it’s been so long since I’ve read Rilla – I’m looking forward to a reread!

  3. Kathleen says:

    Scottoline is always good for an exciting read!

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies

      Kathleen – I have two more of her books out from the library on audio. πŸ™‚

  4. I love the cover of Prized!

    I enjoyed the one Scottoline book I read, and keep meaning to read more by her. She’s such a funny woman in person. I had the chance to meet her at a book festival a few years ago and she seemed really nice.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies

      Wendy – I love hearing about how people get to meet authors in person! I live in such a rural area, and the nearest city is Spokane, which very few authors visit.

  5. Robin of My Two Blessings
    Twitter: robnmccormack

    Love the cover of Prized. Checked it out and downloaded the first book in the series Birthmarked. Thanks!

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