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Thursday, December 31, 2015

Earnest


Book #150 Read in 2015
Earnest by Kristin Von Kreisler

Jeff and Anna are a happy couple.  They adopt Earnest, a sweet yellow lab, from a shelter.  Things are moving along nicely towards marriage and children until Jeff's work on Anna's grandmother's old home, which would mean tearing the house down, destroys the trust between the couple and they split.  They share joint custody of Earnest but their separation is wearing on him.  He just wants his people back together in one home.  This was a good, quick read and Earnest, the dog, was a wonderful character.  Jeff and Anna are realistic characters, both with their flaws and both with their good points.  I received a copy of this book from Amazon Vine in exchange for a honest review.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Tales of Beedle the Bard


Book #149 Read in 2015
The Tales of Beedle the Bard by JK Rowling

This is a collection of wizard fairy tales; the last one is the Deadly Hallows that shows up in book #7 of the Harry Potter series.  Each fairy tale has footnotes from JK Rowling in it as well as notes from Dumbledore.  A cute, quick read for Harry Potter fans.

Not If I See You First


Book #148 Read in 2015
Not If I See You First by Eric Lindstrom

Parker became blind when she was seven years old; her mother had a drunk driving accident while Parker was in the car with her.  Her mother did not survive the accident.  Parker's blindness makes her put up walls around herself and she does not want special treatment from anyone.  Her world is rocked years later when her father dies.  Her aunt, uncle and cousins move into her house and she has a lot to deal with.  On top of all that, two high schools merged and Parker has to deal with Scott, a boy who hurt her so badly in middle school.  Parker soldiers on...but how long can that last?  This book was a great read about friendship and courage.  Parker, while flawed, is an interesting and engaging character.  High school girls as well as adults would enjoy this book.  I received a copy of this book from Amazon Vine in exchange for a honest review.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Dear Pen Pal


Book #147 Read in 2015
Dear Pen Pal by Heather Vogel Frederick

I wish this series was around when I was in middle school and my mother was still alive; I think we would have enjoyed reading these books together.  This is the third book in the series.  A group of girls are friends and members of a mother/daughter book club.  Each book focuses on a different group member but the chapters are told in alternating narration of all the girls.  In this book, Cassidy's mother is having a baby, Megan's mother and grandmother are still fighting, Jess heads to a private school etc.  These books focus on real issues faced by middle schoolers with the books that the book club is reading as a parallel story/backdrop.  I enjoy these books.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

This Raging Light


Book #146 Read in 2015
This Raging Light by Estelle Laure

This was a powerful read.  Lucille's father flips out and tries to choke her mother to death.  He is taken away by the police.  Shortly after, Lucille's mother takes off to parts unknown, leaving Lucille in charge of the house and her little sister, Wren.  Lucille tries to be mother and father to her little sister and tries to keep the duo off the CPS radar.  On top of all the adult problems she's handling, there is also the typical teen issues of love, school and friendship.  Readers will instantly love these engaging characters and root for all to be ok in the end.  This book was well written.  I received a copy of this book from Amazon Vine in exchange for a honest review.  High school girls as well as adults would love it.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (illustrated edition)


Book #145 Read in 2015
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by JK Rowling (illustrated)

This is a beautiful book.  This is the first of the Harry Potter series and the illustrations are lush and beautiful.  Harry discovers he is a wizard and heads to the Hogwart's school of magic to learn how to use his magical powers.  This is my all-time favorite series, with wonderful characters, interesting plots and magical reading.  This series is a must-read for both children and adults.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Wink Poppy Midnight


Book #144 Read in 2015
Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke

This book was told by alternating narration of the three title characters.  Wink is the odd farm girl.  Poppy is the mean girl who bullies others.  Midnight loves Poppy but realizes she uses his feelings for her against him.  Midnight and Wink grow close and this does not set well with Poppy.  It is hard to tell who the good character is in the book at times; all of the characters are flawed and have a combination of good and bad qualities.  This was a quick read and I think high school girls especially would like it.  I received a copy of this book from Amazon Vine in exchange for a honest review.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Rebel of the Sands


Book #143 Read in 2015
Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

This was a good young adult/adult fantasy read.  Amani is a feisty young lady who recently lost her mother.  Her aunt does not like her, her uncle is debating marrying her and her cousin is jealous of her.  Amani needs to get away from that house and when a mysterious foreigner, Jin, crosses her path she sees a way to do so.  But the way will not be easy, fraught with war, danger and magic.  Good characters and excellent writing made this a read that was hard to put down.  I highly enjoyed it and think high school students and adult readers would enjoy it.  I am wondering if there will be a sequel....I received a copy of this book from Amazon Vine in exchange for a honest review.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Pretty Is


Book # 142 Read in 2015
Pretty Is by Maggie Mitchell

This was a good read.  I enjoyed the upstate NY/Adirondack setting since that is local to me.  Two girls, Lois and Carly May, are abducted by a man who brings them to upstate NY to an isolated cabin.  He seems to be trying to "save them" from "female corruption".  Eventually, the police find the cabin and rescue the girls.  The book then spends the bulk of time years later, when the girls are grown ups.  Lois is a college professor and Carly May has reinvented herself as Chloe, an actress.  Lois, under a pen name, has written a novel loosely based on the abduction and that book is being made into a movie.  Chloe has a part in the movie and the two will be reunited for the first time in years.  Lois also has issues with one of her students, who is stalking her and questioning her about the abduction.  Is he the abductor's son?  Overall, this book was well written and interesting.  It had a lot of twists and turns to it.  I received a copy of this book from Amazon Vine in exchange for a honest review.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Messenger of Fear


Book #141 Read in 2015
Messenger of Fear by Michael Grant

This is the first book in a young adult fantasy series.  Mara is with a young man who is seemingly the Messenger of Fear.  He judges people who have done wrong and if they play his game and lose, he rains a horrible punishment down upon them.  Mara is apparently in training as a future Messenger of Fear.  This book has some violent parts to it but it is an engaging read that will hook both high school students (girls and boys) and adults alike.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Louisana Saves the Library


Book #140 Read in 2015
Louisiana Saves the Library by Emily Beck Cogburn

This was a great southern fiction read; it reminded me of Ashton Lee's series set in a library down south.  In the Louisiana book, after losing her job as a Library Science Professor at a college, Louisiana is hired at the Alligator Bayou public library.  The public library is sorely lacking in programming and resources and Louisiana wants to modernize it and make the library the hub of the small town.  The director is resistant to that idea and a local politician wants to close the library.  As if those career issues were not enough, Louisiana's ex-husband is moving to a nearby town and getting remarried.  This book was a great read for those for whom a library is near and dear to their heart.  There were great Southern characters in it, nice literary references and a good balance of romance and humor.  I received a copy of this book from Amazon Vine in exchange for a honest review.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here


Book #139 Read in 2015
Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here by Anna Breslaw

Scarlett Epstein is one of the best written, gritty teenage characters in a long time.  She is devastated by the cancellation of her favorite television show, of which she has written tons of fan fiction and has a following of fans for her writing.  Scarlett does not belong to the popular crowd in her high school and that knowledge allows her the freedom (sometimes too much so) to release her thoughts freely verbally to others.  But Scarlett is not an evil girl and readers will find her flaws to make her even more interesting to them.  Good ya realistic fiction.  I received a copy of this book from the Amazon Vine program in exchange for a honest review.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

November Reads

November Reads:

1.  Diary of a Haunting (YA)  3/5  library book
2.  The Masked Truth (YA)  5/5
3.  These Shallow Graves (YA)  5/5
4.  Salt to the Sea (YA)  5/5
5.  The Bunker Diary (YA)  4/5
6.  The Rosemary Spell (YA)  4/5
7.  I Feel Bad About My Neck  3/5
8.  Clockwork Angel (YA)  5/5  1st in series
9.  The Heroine's Bookshelf 4/5
10.  Vanishing Girls (YA)  4/5  Kindle book

138 books read in 2015

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Vanishing Girls


Book #138 Read in 2015
Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver

This was a good young adult book.  Nicole (Nick) and Dara are sisters that are less than a year apart in age but light years apart in personality.  Nick is the good sister and Dara is the one who is always in trouble.  The sisters begin to grow apart when Dara begins dating Parker, the neighborhood boy who has been Nick's best friend since childhood.  On their way home from a party one night, there is a car accident and Nick tries to make it up to her sister....will she be able to?  This was a good read though I guessed "the twist" pretty early on in the book....but it was well written and was an engaging read.

The Heroine's Bookshelf


Book #137 Read in 2015
The Heroine's Bookshelf by Erin Blakemore

This book is a book for book lovers.  The author chronicles major female characters (Jo March, Scout Finch, Jane Eyre) and details what these characters have taught her and brought to her life.  She ends each character section with recommendations of when to read these books and what other books readers may enjoy.  It was a nice, quick literary read.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Clockwork Angel


Book #136 Read in 2015
Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

This is the first book in The Infernal Devices series, a prequel to The Mortal Instruments series.  In this book, Tessa arrives in London to reunite with her brother.  She is instead kidnapped by two sisters, the Dark Sisters, who torture her to "train" her to control her supernatural power--Tessa can shapeshift.  Tessa did not know any of this growing up and has no idea what is happening to her.  She is rescued from the sisters by Will, a Shadowhunter in training.  Shadowhunters are people who have angelic power and keep the peace against the bad supernatural beings.  Will brings Tessa to the Institute, where she meets more shadowhunters and she enlists their help to find her brother.  Will she find him in time to save him from evil vampires?  This book is a great read and this series is just as good as the Mortal Instruments series.  I cannot wait to check out the TV show starting in January based on these series.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

I Feel Bad About My Neck


Book #135 Read in 2015
I Feel Bad About My Neck by Nora Ephron

This is a cute read about the joys and trials of being a woman.  Ephron tackles things like beauty, menopause, weight gain etc.  The short stories are humorous and honest.  I recommend this light read.

Friday, November 20, 2015

The Rosemary Spell


Book #134 Read in 2015
The Rosemary Spell by Virginia Zimmerman

This was a good read, especially for kids who love to read.  Rosemary is friends with Adam and Shelby who are brother and sister.  Shelby is starting to have more mature interests (boys etc) but the three are pretty close.  Rosemary finds an old journal in her new room and she believes it belongs to Constance, a local poet who once lived in the house where Rosemary lives now.  But this journal seems to have magical powers...especially when the kids say a poem/spell and Shelby disappears...from their presence and their memories.  Will they be able to get her back?

This was a good mystery, especially for middle school readers.  The main characters were intelligent and interesting.  Overall, I enjoyed this book.  I received a copy of this book from Amazon Vine in exchange for a honest review.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Bunker Diary




Book #132 Read in 2015
The Bunker Diary by Kevin Brooks

Be prepared to throw this book across the room when you finish it.  Linus, a teenage runaway, is kidnapped and brought to a underground bunker.  He is soon joined by other victims.  The man who brought them there controls everything--lights, heat, food etc.  Why has he done this?  This book takes on a sort of Lord of the Flies mentality at times and the lack of reasoning as to why this is happening frustrated me.  That being said, I could see high school boys liking this book.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Salt to the Sea


Book #132 Read in 2015
Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

I have loved each of this author's books; I think her writing just gets better with each new book.  In this one, told by multiple characters, an odd group of people are trying to remain safe in the war between Nazi Germany and Russia.  Each character has quite the story and together, they are a sort of unique family.  This is a quick read and will immediately engross readers.  This book also covers the greatest maritime disaster in history....one that I knew nothing about.  High schoolers and adults would love this book.  I highly recommend it.  I received a copy of this book from Amazon Vine in exchange for a honest review.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

These Shallow Graves


Book #131 Read in 2015
These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly

This was a great mystery/historical fiction read.  Jo is an intelligent young woman of a well-to-do family.  She dreams of having the freedom to choose her path in life--whether it is to become a journalist, to marry who her family wants her to marry or to not marry at all.  Then her world is rocked when her father dies, of an apparent suicide...or was it?  Jo begins an investigation into what really happened to her father, with the help of dashing newspaperman Eddie.  Of course, she falls for him even though they are not a socially acceptable match.  Close to 500 pages, this book flew and will keep readers engaged from the first page to the last.  The characters, most of whom are flawed, are intriguing and well written.  I highly recommend this book.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

The Masked Truth


Book #130 Read in 2015
The Masked Truth by Kelly Armstrong

I enjoy this author's Otherworld series and wanted to check out her new YA book and I was not disappointed.  From start to finish, this book was one that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.  Riley was at a babysitting job when the couple she was babysitting for was murdered.  Riley hid under a bed with the little girl and both were unharmed.  But Riley felt like she should have done something to help Mr. and Mrs. Porter and she feels guilty about not doing anything.  Therefore, she is in therapy.  She heads to an overnight group therapy session and that turns into chaos when the group is invaded by men with guns, looking to ransom one of the others in therapy who has a very rich father.  Will Riley escape unharmed again?  This book had violence in it but overall, I think a high schooler could handle it.  I received a copy of this book from Amazon Vine in exchange for a honest review.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

October Reads

October Reads:

1.  The Way I Used to Be (YA)  4/5
2.  We'll Never Be Apart (YA)  4/5
3.  A Skeleton in the Family (4/5)  1st in series
4.  The Marvels (YA)  4/5  library book
5.  A Window Opens (4/5)  library book
6.  Everything Everything (YA)  5/5  library book
7.  A Step Toward Falling (YA)  5/5

128 books read in 2015

Diary of a Haunting


Book #129 Read in 2015
Diary of a Haunting by M. Verano

This was a good, creepy read for Halloween weekend.  A family moves into a creepy old house in Idaho and feel that the house is haunted and full of bad energy.  Creepy things keep happening to them.  Will they be able to cleanse the house of its bad energy before it's too late?  Told in a series of journal entries, this book was a quick read.  It dragged a bit for me....I was like ok how is this going to end?  But overall, it was a decent horror read.  I borrowed this book from the public library.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

A Step Toward Falling


Book #128 Read in 2015
A Step Toward Falling b y Cammie McGovern

Belinda is a special needs, high school student who is attacked at a football game.  Emily and Lucas are two students who did nothing to help her.  Their punishment is community service at a center which holds classes for special needs people.  As they do their hours, they realize how much they hurt Belinda by doing nothing.  They want to help her now.  But first, they need to figure out how to help themselves so that they do not step up again if need be.  This was a good read.  The characters are interesting and real.  I highly recommend this book.  I received a copy of this book from Amazon Vine in exchange for a honest review.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Everything Everything


Book #127 Read in 2015
Every thing Every thing by Nicola Yoon

Madeline has a hugely compromised immune system.  Her mother keeps her in the house, with the air filters and where she can be safe.  In her teenage years, Madeline wants more, especially when Olly, a cute boy, moves in next door.  The pair begin an email correspondence and friendship.  Madeline begins to wonder if living and loving is more important than being healthy.  This book was a good read.  It was painful at times but that was because the author did such a good job of developing her characters.  High school girls would love this book.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

A Window Opens


Book #126 Read in 2015
A Window Opens by Elisabeth Egan

Alice's husband learns he won't make partner at the law firm so he leaves and sets up his own firm.  This means that Alice needs to consider finding a full-time job and giving up her part-time book editor job at a magazine.  Alice finds a full-time job and struggles to juggle being a working mom who also has a father dying of cancer.  Alice deals with realistic struggles and readers will connect with her.  There is a decent amount of book talk in this book which was an added bonus.  I borrowed this book from the public library.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The Marvels


Book #125 Read in 2015
The Marvels by Brian Selznick (YA)

Selznick seamlessly weaves illustrations and prose together in his books, telling the story in two different manners.  In this book, Joseph runs away from boarding school to go meet his uncle.  The two eventually connect and bond, though that does not happen without its issues.  The uncle's house is a place of great history and story and Joseph immediately feels a connection to it.  I borrowed this book from the public library.

Friday, October 9, 2015

A Skeleton in the Family


Book #124 Read in 2015
A Skeleton in the Family by Leigh Perry

This is the first book in a cozy mystery series where Georgia is an adjunct college professor whose family has had Sid, a talking, moving skeleton, since she was a small child.  Sid often pipes in with life advice, career counseling and humor.  In this book Georgia and Sid try to figure out who murdered another college professor, who seemingly has a connection to Sid...in life and death.  This book had a good mystery, humor, interesting characters and a strong plot.  I have the next two books in my TBR pile.

We'll Never Be Apart


Book #123 Read in 2015
We'll Never Be Apart by Emiko Jean (YA)

Alice is in a mental institution after a fire kills her boyfriend, Jason.  She becomes drawn to fellow patient Chase and tries to get him to help her get to her sister Cellie....whom she plans to kill for setting that fire.  Will Alice ever get her head back on straight?  This book is a roller coaster of a read....powerfully emotional and well written.  The pain in its pages is raw and real.  I was sent a copy of this book from Amazon Vine in exchange for a honest review.

Friday, October 2, 2015

The Way I Used to Be


Book #122 Read in 2015
The Way I Used to Be by Amber Smith

At the start of this book, Eden is raped by her brother's best friend.  He tells her no one will believe her if she tells them what happened...so she doesn't.  This decision sends Eden down a path that no one would have ever predicted for her.  Told in four sections (each section is a grade level in high school) readers will read about Eden spiraling out of control and desperately in need of help.  This book is powerfully raw and heavily emotional...and oh so good....Smith writes well and has her characters complex enough to keep readers engaged for over 350 pages.  I received a copy of this book from Amazon Vine in exchange for a honest review.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

September Reads

September Reads:

1.  Tombquest:  Valley of Kings (YA)  5/5  3rd in series
2.  Sophmores and Other Oxymorons (YA)  5/5  2nd in series  library book
3.  Dumplin'  (YA)   5/5
4.  Crenshaw (YA)  5/5
5.  Need (YA)  5/5
6.  Dead Boy (YA)  4/5
7.  Browsings (3/5)  library book
8.  The Scorpion Rules (YA)  4.5/5
9.  The Bubble Wrap Boy (YA)  4/5
10.  The Edge (YA)  5/5  2nd in series
11.  At Home with Books (5/5)  library book

121 Books Read in 2015

Sunday, September 27, 2015

At Home with Books


Book #121 Read in 2015
At Home with Books by Estelle Ellis et al

This book is perfect for book lovers.  It shows lovely photographers of the libraries of the rich and famous and literary.  Each person's section details that person's organizational method when setting up the library.  It is amazing how a room filled with books can provide insight into a person's inner workings.  I borrowed this book from my public library.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

The Edge


Book #120 Read in 2015
The Edge by Roland Smith

This is the sequel to Peak, which was a good read.  In this book, Peak is back and is requested to go on a "climb for Peace".  He agrees and heads to Afghanistan for the climb; his mother, a former climber, accompanies him.  Shortly after their arrival, Peak's mother and fellow climbers are kidnapped and Peak decides to try to follow their trail and rescue them.  Will he succeed?  Or will he be killed? This series is great for middle school and high school readers...especially reluctant and boy readers.  Peak has matured since the first book, which helps make him a believable hero.  I received a copy of this book from Amazon Vine in exchange for a honest review.

Friday, September 25, 2015

The Bubble Wrap Boy


Book #119 Read in 2015
The Bubble Wrap Boy by Phil Earle

Charlie is known at school at the little, clumsy kid.  His mother is very overprotective and won't let him do anything.  Needless to say, Charlie's newfound love of skateboarding would not meet Mom approval so he hides it from her.  He soon learns that his mother has been hiding one heck of a secret from him.  Will the discovery of secrets bring this family closer together or tear them apart?  This is an excellent book for middle schoolers.  I received this book from the Amazon Vine program in exchange for a honest review.


Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Scorpion Rules


Book #118 Read in 2015
The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow (YA)

In order to keep countries from declaring war on other countries, leaders and royals are forced to give up their children as hostages.  They are the keepers of the peace.  If war breaks out, the hostages are killed; this killing is caused by their parents making bad decisions.  Greta is one such hostage but she begins to question her way of life when Elian, a new hostage, arrives at the compound.  Will Greta's mother sacrifice her child for her country?  This book was full of action, as well as some romance and humor.  High school students as well as adults would enjoy this book.  I was sent this book by Amazon Vine in exchange for a honest review.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Browsings


Book #117 Read in 2015
Browsings by Michael Dirda

Browsings is a collection of year-long columns that Dirda wrote about his love of reading, books, libraries and book sales.  It was nice to read about someone with a similar love for words and books.  I could relate to his excitement over finds at a book sale.  These columns were quick, good reads.  I borrowed this book from the town library.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Dead Boy


Book #116 Read in 2015
Dead Boy by Laurel Gale

This would make a good Halloween read aloud for upper elementary students/read for middle schoolers.  Crow was dead but his parents wished him back...but he's not quite alive.  His mother won't let him go outside or go to school...she is worried what people would think when they smell him (it isn't a nice smell) or see maggots come out of his ears.  Crow just wants to have friends.  He finally gets one when Melody moves into the house next door.  Crow and Melody go trick-or-treating (the one night of the year that Crow can fit in with the crowds) and they come across a magical shape-shifter.  Crow realizes that his parents didn't tell him the whole story about how he died and how they brought him back.  Will he ever be able to live a normal life?  This was a quick read that was creepy but not too scary, had humor in it and a plot with enough action to keep readers engaged.  I received a copy of this book from Amazon Vine in exchange for a honest review.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Need


Book #115 Read in 2015
Need by Joelle Charbonneau

I enjoyed The Testing by this author and jumped at the chance to get this book to review.  It did not disappoint.  This book had twists and turns throughout the entire book.  Need is a new media site where the local high students receive invitations to join it and then they are asked "what do you need?"  If it is a true need, their wish will be fulfilled.  If it is a want, not a need, as most requests are, the students are giving a task to do to have the need met.  A first seemingly harmless, the tasks soon take on a sinister, and often deadly, turn.  How many people will be harmed before someone stops this site?  This book was a gripping read and both high school boys and girls, as well as adults, would enjoy it.  I received a copy of this book from Amazon Vine in exchange for a honest review.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Crenshaw (children's)


Book #114 Read in 2015
Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate (children's)

Jackson is in 4th grade and has a little sister named Robin.  He also has an imaginary friend named Crenshaw, who is a cat the size of a human.  It has been a few years since he last saw Crenshaw but one night he returns to Jackson's life.  Jackson's parents are having financial issues and facing eviction.  Jackson doesn't want to go back to living in the family's mini van.  Can Crenshaw help Jackson navigate the path to talking to his parents about these serious issues?  This book was well-written and handled serious issues in an appropriate way for its targeted reading age group.  I love this author's writing.  I received a copy of this book from Amazon Vine in exchange for a honest review.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Dumplin' (YA)


Book #113 Read in 2015
Dumplin' by Julie Murphy (YA)

Willowdean (called Dumplin' by her mother) is an overweight teen, living in Texas.  Will doesn't shy away from her size; she calls herself fat and tries not to obsess over her weight.  She is a well-adjusted, intelligent and confident girl.  Or at least she is until she has a fight with her best friend and has a handsome boy tell her that he likes her.  Then she begins to doubt her self-worth.  Will Willowdean be able to bounce back to her old self?  This book is full of sarcastic humor and great characters.  There is some teenage romance in it but it is low-key.  Dumplin' is a great protagonist and her story will inspire readers.  I think high school girls will love this book.  I received a copy of this book from Amazon Vine in exchange for a honest review.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Sophomores and Other Oxymorons (YA)


Book #112 Read in 2015
Sophomores and Other Oxymorons by David Lubar 9YA)

This is a sequel to a good YA read, Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie (which came out in 2007).  Scott Hudson has survived freshmen year of high school and sophomore year is upon him.  He realizes that he has reached a point where he might actually begin to enjoy high school--until he meets a few of his new 10th grade teachers, gets into some trouble and realizes that his old friend Kyle is still avoiding him.  This book has a lot of humor in it, as well as realistic dilemmas faced by high school students.  The characters are intelligent, flawed but realistic and interesting to readers.  Both high school boys and girls would like this series.  I borrowed this book from the town library.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Tombquest: Valley of the Kings (YA)


Book #111 Read in 2015
Tombquest:  Valley of the Kings by Michael Northrop (YA)

This is the third book in a middle grade paranormal/mystery series.  Alex is trying to find his mother as well as dealing with Death Walkers....Egyptian Gods who are coming back to life.  "The Order" is trying to use the Death Walkers to bring evil into the world.  Alex, with help from his friend Ren and his cousin Luke, are trying to stop the order.  These books are quick reads packed with lots of actions and both male and female students in middle grades would enjoy these books.

August Reads

August Reads:

1.  Never Always Sometimes (YA)  4.5/5
2.  The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up (3/5)
3.  Bless Her Dead Little Heart (5/5)  1st in series
4.  Took (YA)  4.5/5
5.  Made You Up (YA)  5/5  library book
6.  The Book of Ivy (YA) 5/5  1st in series
7.  Max the Brave (4/5)  children's
8.  The Revolution of Ivy (YA)  5/5  2nd in series
9.  Walk on Earth a Stranger (YA)  5/5  1st in series
10.  Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore (5/5)  Kindle book
11.  The Ghost and Mrs. Mewer (5/5)  2nd in series
12.  Legacy of Kings (YA)  4.5/5  1st in series
13.  Not After Everything (YA)  5/5  library book
14.  Voracious (5/5)  library book

110 books read in 2015

Sunday, August 30, 2015


Book #110 Read in 2015
Voracious:  A Hungry Reader Cooks Her way Through Great Books by Cara Nicoletti

This is a great read for book lovers and foodies.  It is separated in three sections of reads and recipes:  childhood, adolescence and college years and adulthood.  Nicoletti talks about why each of these books had an impact of her and what food memory stuck with her.  At the end of each "chapter" she includes a recipe from each book.  While I don't cook, I enjoyed reading about why she selected these books, the impact they each had on her and what food imagery stuck with her.  I borrowed this book from the public library.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Not After Everything (YA/adut)


Book #109 Read in 2015
Not After Everything by Michelle Levy (YA)

Tyler's mother committed suicide and he was the one who found her boy.  He enters his senior year of high school angry, sad and withdrawn...he quits the football team, his grades (straight As) begin to plummet and he distances himself from his friends and cheerleader girlfriend.  As if his mother's death isn't enough to deal with, Tyler is hiding a highly abusive father from his friends, his school officials and his therapist.  Will he ever be able to get his life together again? 

At times, Tyler is a character who is hard to like but he is so raw, so real that readers will continue to root for him to find happiness again.  This book can be painful at times to read but it is powerful at the same time.  I recommend it to high school students and adults.  I borrowed this book from the public library.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Legacy of Kings (YA)


Book #108 Read in 2015
Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman (YA/adult)

This was a great historical fiction read with a touch of fantasy thrown into the mix.  Set in 340 BC and having Alexander the Great as one of the main characters, this book has it all--action, romance, intrigue and humor.  There are several strong female characters in this book, which I liked.  The writing flowed and made the over 400 pages go at a quick pace.  The second book comes out next fall and I will definitely read it.  I read online recently that this book will be turned into a TV program and I could see that.  I believe high school students and adults would enjoy this book.  I received a copy of this book from the Amazon Vine program in exchange for a honest review.

Monday, August 24, 2015

The Ghost and Mrs. Mewer



Book #107 Read in 2015
The Ghost and Mrs. Mewer by Krista Davis

This is the second installment in a cozy mystery series.  Holly has moved to Wagtail, a very pet-friendly town, to help her grandmother at her inn.  It is Halloween time and ghost hunters have come to town to film a special.  They get a little more than they bargain for when a young woman turns up dead.  Was it an accidental drowning or muder?  Holly begins her own investigation to try to help her friend Dave, a local police officer.  Aided by terrier Trixie (who reminds me on my Emma) and Twinkletoes, a calico cat, as well as a host of two-legged friends, this book is suspenseful enough to keep readers guessing until the end.  Additionally, the book includes pet food recipes, from the author's knowledge with one of her own pets who suffered from bad food allergies.  She began to cook food for her pets herself.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore


Book #106 Read in 2015
Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

I loved this book....as much as I loved another bookstore book, The Storied Life of AJ Fikry.  In this book, Mr. Penumbra, like the title says, owns a 24-hour bookstore.  Clay is the night clerk at the store and realizes that this is no ordinary bookstore.  While popular titles are sold in the store, the mainstay of customers want the "back shelves"....books that seem to be full of puzzles and are not purchased, but borrowed and then returned.  Clay begins to investigate and realizes that there is a secret society within the clientele of the book store and that they are trying to decode a message from centuries ago.  Written well with a mix of past and present (Google plays a large role), this book is a perfect blend of mystery and fantasy.  Sloan has created interesting characters and a wonderful setting in the bookstore.  I highly recommend this read.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Walk on Earth a Stranger (YA)


Book #105 Read in 2015
Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson

This is the first book in a YA trilogy by the author of The Girl of Fire and Thorns.  Set during the California Gold Rush, this book has a touch of fantasy in which the main character, Leah, can "sense" where to find gold.  She is asked to head to California by her good friend Jefferson, who is heading there to try his luck and get away from his abusive father.  This book has action, interesting history, great characters, romance and humor.  Over 400 pages, it was a quick read because I did not want to put it down.  I would recommend this book to high school students (both boys and girls) and adults.  I will continue this series.  I received this book from Amazon Vine in exchange for a honest review.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Revolution of Ivy (YA)


Book #104 Read in 2015
The Revolution of Ivy by Amy Engel (YA)

This sequel picks up right where book #1 left off and the excitement lasts throughout the entire book.  Ivy and Bishop, along with friends Caleb and Ash, head back to Westfall once they hear that Ivy's sister is due to be executed and that Westfall is in shambles.  Even though Callie betrayed her, Ivy cannot just sit back and let her sister be killed.  There were some unexpected twists and turns in this book and that just made it a better read.  Once again, Engel has crafted a story filled with action, romance and humor.  I highly recommend this series to high school students and adults.  I received a copy of this book from the Amazon Vine program in exchange for a honest review.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Max the Brave


Book #102 Read in 2015
Max the Brave

This book was a cute picture book.  Max is a kitten, courageously looking for a mouse.  He meets many other creatures instead.  This would be a nice read aloud for children.  I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a honest review.

The Book of Ivy (YA)


Book #103 Read in 2015
The Book of Ivy by Amy Engel (YA)

This was a great dystopian read and a great series starter.  Ivy is arranged to marry Bishop, the President's son.  Her father has hated the President for years and wants Ivy to work against her in-laws, getting secrets for him and eventually killing Bishop.  What he hadn't factored into his plans was that Ivy would fall in love with her new husband.  She struggles to find a way of saving his life without betraying her family, even if it is at a huge cost for her. 

This book was a great read and the characters were interesting and complex.  It had elements of mystery and romance in it.  High school students would enjoy this book, as well as adults.  I hope to start #2 today.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Made You Up (YA)


Book #101 Read in 2015
Made You Up by Francesca Zappia (YA)

Alex has schizophrenia.  This has caused her to be ostracized by her fellow classmates.  Her actions have caused her to be put into a different school, where she decides to not say anything about her illness.  She thinks things are going well until she is outed by a vicious classmate.  Then people begin to avoid her again.  Alex struggles to live like a normal teen and have a normal relationship with her friends and boyfriends.  But her illness makes that very difficult to do.  This was a honest and powerful look at a mentally ill teen.  It was a great read that I would recommend for both high school students and adults.  I borrowed this book from the town library.