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July 2011 Wrap Up

Okay, so this post is long overdue. xD Practically half a month overdue. But with a week’s vacation and a load of summer reading to get finished before school starts next month (!!), I’ve been freaking out much more than is necessary. Thankfully, things have calmed. In time for me to tell you what I read last month:

Losing Faith-Denise Jaden
Cryer’s Cross-Lisa McMann
Peter and the Shadow Thieves-Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson
The Spell Book of Listen Taylor-Jaclyn Moriarty
Shine-Lauren Myracle
Storm Thief-Chris Wooding
Song of the Sparrow-Lisa Ann Sandell
Delirium-Lauren Oliver
Peter Pan-J.M. Barrie
Fractured: Happily Never After?-Joanna Karaplis
Past Midnight-Purnhagen
A Nail Through the Heart-Timothy Hallinan

Books I purchased: 3
Won in Contest: 1
Borrowed from friend: 0
Checked out from library: 6
Review books: 2
Pages read:4086

Challenge Status:

Show Me the Free: 1/12
2011 Debut Author Challenge: 1/12
Edgar Awards Reading Challenge: 1/5
2011 Book Blogger Recommendation Challenge: 9/15
Retold Fairy Tales: 9/6
Nicholas Sparks Reading Challenge: 1/4

I read 12 books in July, and out of all of them, I’ve got to say that there were plenty of new favorites for me here. From old classics like Peter Pan to a brand new series starter like Delirium, this month had loads of books that I’ll be returning to again and again.

How was your July?

4 stars · fiction · mystery · series

A Nail Through the Heart by Timothy Hallinan

A Nail Through the Heart

Author: Timothy Hallinan

Pages [hardcover]: 336

Favorite Characters: Miaow & Superman

Summary:

Poke Rafferty was writing offbeat travel guides for the young and terminally bored when Bangkok stole his heart. Now the American expat is assembling a new family with Rose, the former go-go dancer he wants to marry, and Miaow, the tiny, streetwise urchin he wants to adopt. But trouble in the guise of good intentions comes calling just when everything is beginning to work out. Poke agrees to take in Superman, Miaow’s troubled and terrifying friend from the gutter. Then he agrees to help locate a distraught Aussie woman’s missing uncle and accepts a generous payment to find a blackmailing thief. No longer gliding carelessly across the surface of a culture he doesn’t really understand, suddenly Poke is plodding through dark and unfamiliar terrain—and everything and everyone he loves is in terrible danger.

Review:

 It took me an awfully long time to read this book, but not because it wasn’t good. I’m bad at reading stuff on my Nook, mostly because I often forget to charge said object. But that didn’t make me lose interest in A Nail Through the Heart. I kept coming back to see how Poke was going to solve this case.

This book had a cast of great characters. I loved all of them. From Miaow and Superman, both young but mature beyong their years, to Rose and Poke, everyone had a distinct personality and I grew to look forward to each character’s next appearance. Even the villians were fantastic in their own way; creepy, maniacal, the stuff of nightmares. Some of the things they were described as having done disgusted me.

That said, there are some themes in here that might offend readers, as I usually review YA titles and I happened to get this adult fiction book. Touchy subjects are dealt with fairly, I think, and not lightly at all. They only enhanced the story and made it more real, and gruesome.

I ended up loving A Nail Through the Heart, though truthfully I started it with many doubts. I’m glad I saw it through, because I became entangled in the story line and entranced by the character’s lives. I’ll be picking up the next book featuring the very same characters. I give this novel 4/5 stars.