Here's Amazon's synopsis (it's better than what I would write at this point :)):
What if you could visit heaven and hell, traveling when and wherever you wish . . . without ever dying? What if your teenage daughter, the joy of your life, had died a tragic death and you discovered a way to visit her? What if there were people and beings, on both sides of the grave, who want to stop your return? These are the questions facing novelist David Kauffman. As a single parent he is devastated when his young daughter meets an untimely death. Desperate to contact her, he meets Gita Patekar, a beautiful and committed Christian with a scarred and shame-ridden past. She works for “Life After Life”―an organization dedicated to tracking and recording the experiences of the soul once it leaves the body. Despite Gita’s warnings that God is opposed to contacting the dead, David uses the organization’s computer to try to find his daughter. In the process they discover Gita’s organization has some very deep and dark secrets. A suspense-filled game of cat and mouse begins―both on earth and beyond the grave―as the couple work together, fall in love, and struggle to expose the truth . . . until they come face to face with the ultimate Love and Truth.
my brief thoughts: I really enjoyed this! The writing is not spectacular (it's not bad, it's just a little simple), but the pacing is good, the plot is interesting, and the characters are relatable and engaging. I read this book quickly, and I am definitely looking forward to the 2nd and 3rd in the series!
FOUR out of five stars.
I thought the first half was very interesting, but the second half felt more like the author's blog/autobiography/expose on race. It had potential, certainly, but, IMHO, could have used a stronger editor.
THREE out of five stars.
The Island of Dr. Libris
I liked the end a lot, but the bulk of the book was unoriginal and lazy - relying on already written characters and literary tropes to move along a slow plot.
THREE out of five stars.
Snow White and the 77 Dwarfs
I was just altogether unimpressed with this. It felt like the author thought s/he was really clever, but s/he really was not. So, instead of 7 dwarves, there are 77, so her chores are neverending. So, after 1 day, she seeks out the evil queen for some sleep. ?! But the illustrations were nicely done! :)
TWO out of five stars.
Betsy's Story, 1934
It was cute and I thought it picked up the pace and ended well. I "saw it coming" pretty early, though I am definitely an adult reading a kid's book in this case ;) It's about a rich little girl in England and her cousin in America who's lost her fortune and is struggling. And the rich little girl in England (Betsy) knows that there are additional secrets, some good and some bad, that are being kept from her by her mother and, seemingly, her relatives and/or house-servants. So she sets out trying to discover the secrets before the adults deem it time for her to know them.
The little girl was headstrong (she is 11 going on 12) and entitled and unaware of real life, it seemed. But she was sincere in her desire to help those less fortunate than herself when presented with the opportunity. Her intentions were often misguided and, well, childish of course, but she seemed eager to do right and understand more so she could do more. I thought there were interesting morals at play here, but the overall story seemed to be ... I don't know, too black and white, too simple, too abrupt, even for the appropriate age.
But like I said, cute and sweet and an ok way to pass a little time. :)
THREE and a half of five stars.