“What We Saw at Night” by Jacquelyn Mitchard. Soho Teen, 2013. $17.99.
Allie suffers from xeroderma pigmentosum, a disease for which exposure to the sun can be deadly, that means she must avoid the sun completely. At night, she and two friends, Rob and Juliet, also suffering from XP, decide to partake in an activity called “parkour.” Parkour consists of military-style leaping from tall buildings.
During one of these nighttime adventures, Allie witnesses what she thinks might be a murder. This puts into motion the mystery that is central to the book and its sequel. She finds her friends disbelieving of what she thinks happened and Allie begins to doubt what she saw. It is only when she persists and digs deeper that she uncovers something sinister that may jeopardize not only her life, the life of her friends, and her friendships along the way.
Anna Guerra, Denham Springs
“What We Lost in the Dark” by Jacquelyn Mitchard. Soho Teen, 2013. $17.99.
If you’ve read the first book, you’ll want to read “What We Lost In The Dark” to see what happens.
Still stunned over the events at the end of “What We Saw at Night,” Allie and Rob try to distract themselves from what happened to Juliet. Thus, they take on a new activity. Rob introduces Allie to deep-diving into lakes and other water sources to great depths with no oxygen source. It’s during this new found activity that Allie discovers several bodies that she believes may be linked to who she believes is a serial killer. Allie’s obsession escalates to even more dangerous levels than in the first book.
Because “What We Lost In The Dark” assumes knowledge of the first book, Mitchard doesn’t review the details that she set forth in that book, thus you will want to have read that book first. However, after reading the first book, “What We Saw At Night,” will keep you turning pages building to a satisfying conclusion.
Anna Guerra, Denham Springs
“One Woman Farm: My Life Shared with Sheep, Pigs, Chickens, Goats, and a Fine Fiddle” by Jenna Woginrich. Storey Publishing, 2013. $16.95.
According to Jenna Woginrich, “people who farm have a different way of understanding time, one based on sunlight and seasons, ebbing and flowing in activity like river water.”
In “One Woman Farm,” she offers an extremely romantic treatise on her life as a small farmer and a Celtic pony enthusiast. Sometimes she seems a bit defensive. The life of a farmer can be lonely and clearly not everyone understands her choices.
While I enjoyed learning about shearing day and llamas, I was hoping to learn more about how exactly she transitioned to this life. Although it does have fun tips on how to make goat cheese or slaughter a pig, this book is not a guide to becoming a farmer. With charming illustrations and little quotes interspersed throughout, this book is more of a daily devotional?“the gospel of dirt, life, sex, and death.” It is a rose-colored window into a beautifully old way of life, designed to make us city-dwelling 9-to-5ers crave a simpler time.
Brittany Hart, New Orleans