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Thursday, April 30, 2015

My Zombie Hamster 2: Attack of the Zombie Clones

Book #57 Read in 2015
My Zombie Hamster 2:  Attack of the Zombie Clones by Havelock McCreely (YA)

This was a cute sequel to a cute book.  Anti-Snuffles is back and he is not alone.  He has clones with him as well as other undead animals.  There is also the complication of a mad scientist trying to turn the town into zombies and Matt and his friends must save the day.  This was a cute, quick read filled with lots of humor.  I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for a honest review.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry

Book #56 Read in 2015
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

I have enjoyed this author's young adult books previously but this book I absolutely loved.  A.J. Fikry is a cranky bookstore owner, whose wife had died in a car accident.  A.J. begins to open his heart again when Maya, a little girl, enters his life.  By taking care of her, he saves himself.  This book is a book lover's dream...set in a bookstore, beloved books mentioned throughout, books used as a way to connect friends and family and a lively debate of print vs. e books are all included in this book.  Besides the books, there is humor, romance and even a mystery or two.  The characters are ones that readers will connect with and care about and root for...all while hoping that the book will keep going.  I highly recommend this one.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Life Unaware (YA)

Book #55 Read in 2015
Life Unaware by Cole Gibson (YA)

This was a powerful read which I could not put down.  Set in a high school where, like most, there are the popular kids and those who are on the fringe, Regan is a popular girl, daughter of a famous politician.  Then all of her private messages, where she is judging her classmates, are taped to the lockers belonging to those she had talked about.  Regan becomes a social pariah immediately and this book tells of the bullying she faced.  Nolan, her friend's brother, becomes her only friend and the two decide to do a video project where Regan apologizes to those she had hurt.  This book shows the truly vicious nature of bullying and how it affects its victims.  I think high school girls would eat this book up.  It was well written and the characters were complex and interesting.  I received a copy of this book from the Amazon Vine program in exchange for a honest review.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Rosie Effect

Book #54 Read in 2015
The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion

This is the sequel to The Rosie Project.   In this book, Don and Rosie are readying for their impending parenthood.  Don, in his own special way, is investigating what it takes to be a father.  Somehow, he ends up getting himself in trouble in a variety of ways.  Don is a quirky, Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory type of character, and I enjoy him.  I'm not a huge fan of Rosie and in this book felt that she wasn't really treating Don that well but overall I root for the couple's happiness. 

Friday, April 24, 2015

bits and pieces (children's)

Book #53 Read in 2015
bits & pieces by judy schachner  (yes the lowercase is on purpose)

This was a beautifully illustrated children's book about two cats, one old and one young, who love each other to pieces.  Tink teaches the young kitten the ways of cats.  When Tink is an old cat, he gets out of the house with his family noticing.  Will Tink ever find his way home?  A wonderful story for cat lovers, young and old alike.  I borrowed this book from the public library.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Relish (YA)

Book #52 Read in 2015
Relish: My Life in the Kitchen by Lucy Knisley (YA)

This is a memoir, told in a "graphic novel" format, about the author's connection to food, which she had throughout her life.  All of her memories are linked to food.  Food is the thread that keeps her connected to the people in her life.  Her father shares a love of eating good food.  Her mother shares a love of cooking/baking.  I also enjoyed that some of it was set in Rhinebeck, NY which is not that far away from where I live.  The description of that area makes me want to drag my husband on a day trip there this summer vacation.  I enjoyed this book and think foodies will as well.  I borrowed this book from the public library.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Tombquest 2: Amulet Keepers (YA)

Book #51 Read in 2015
Tombquest 2:  Amulet Keepers by Michael Northrop

This is the second book in a young adult adventure series.  Alex, his friend Ren and his cousin Luke are in London to find the second Death Walker and see if they can locate Alex's mother.  They are almost immediately in danger and need to work together in order to survive.  This series has a lot of Egyptian connection in it and its plot has lots of twists and turns to keep readers engaged.  The third book comes out in the fall.  I received a copy of this book from the Amazon Vine program in exchange for a honest review.

World Gone By

Book #50 Read in 2015
World Gone By by Dennis Lehane

This is the third book in the Joe Coughlin series; however, it is my first book by this author and I had no problem reading this book as a stand alone.  This is a gritty read, showing the world of gangsters in the 1940s.  These men live, and die, by different rules.  Joe Coughlin is an advisor to a head gangster and while certainly not a good guy by any means, to call Joe a bad guy is to sell him short.  Joe loves his son and is loyal to his friends, even if that puts himself in harm's way.  This was a great read and it flew by.  I borrowed this book from a friend.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass (YA)

Book #49 Read in 2015
Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass by Meg Medina (YA)

Piddy has recently changed high schools.  Almost immediately, for no reason that she can think of,  resident bad girl Yaqui Delgado is rumored to want to fight Piddy.  Piddy begins to be bullied and harassed by Yaqui and her group of girls.  Piddy doesn't want to admit it and by not doing so, her grades begin to flounder and her personality changes drastically.  This book shows how difficult high school can be on students and the effect that bullying has on its victims.  It was a powerful read and I think high school girls especially would love it.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Ellie's Story (YA)

Book #48 Read in 2015
Ellie's Story by W. Bruce Cameron (YA)

This is an adaption of Cameron's bestseller, A Dog's Purpose, geared towards middle school readers.  Ellie is a search and rescue dog and this book details her training and how she becomes a success at search and rescue.  The book is told from Ellie's point of view so readers are able to know her thoughts on things like car rides, cats and the people she meets.  It was a cute read and had decent black and white illustrations.  I received a copy of this book from the Amazon Vine program in exchange for a honest review.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

My Zombie Hamster (YA)

Book #47 Read in 2015
My Zombie Hamster by Havelock McCreely (YA)

This was a cute, quick read.  The zombie invasion has happened and there is a police squad to get rid of the undead.  Matt is hoping for a video game for Christmas but is instead given a hamster named Sniffles.  Sniffles soon goes to the big hamster cage in the sky and comes back as anti-Sniffles.  Anti-Sniffles escapes from Matt.  Matt and his friends need to find him and fast!  Anti-Sniffles is apparently infecting other animals in the woods.  The whole idea of what is a Zombie hits Matt close to home when an event occurs.  There is a sequel coming out to this book in August.  I would think that upper elementary and middle school students would enjoy this book.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

The Woman Who Stole My Life

Book #46 Read in 2015
The Woman Who Stole My Life by Marian Keyes

Stella is stricken with a disease that leaves her paralyzed within her own body.  She is unable to communicate except through blinking.  Eventually she recovers and realizes that while she was out of commission, a lot had changed in her marriage, in her relationship with her children and in her other aspects of life.  Eventually a book is published about her ordeal and she becomes a public figure of sorts.  That is not without its price either.  This book was good, Irishchick/women's fiction.  Keyes is a foremost writer in this genre.  Her characters are flawed, believable and interesting.  Readers will fill invested in Stella and want things to work out for her.  This book has romance, humor and a plot that is filled with interesting twists.  I enjoyed it.  I received a copy of this book from Amazon Vine in exchange for a honest review.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Love and Other Perishable Items (YA)

Book #45 Read in 2015
Love and Other Perishable Items by Laura Buzo (YA)

Amelia is 15 years old.  She works part-time at a grocery store and has a crush on Chris, a 22 year old college student/coworker at the grocery store.  Of course this crush is the focus of Amelia's world and she does not understand why, despite the age difference, the two can't become a couple.  Chris has his own issues to work through.  This was a good, quick read and had a good deal of humor in it.  I also enjoyed the references to books throughout this read.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Blue Lily, Lily Blue (YA)

Book #44 Read in 2015
Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater (YA)

This is the third, and I think final, book in a young adult paranormal series.  Gansey, Blue and crew are very close to finding the ley line and the mystical person that will be able to grant them a favor.  Blue is mostly concerned about finding her missing mother and avoiding Gansey's death.  This book bogged down a bit for me in the middle but overall it was a good read.  This series definitely needs to be read in order as each installment picks up right where the previous one left off. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Crazy Love You

Book #43 Read in 2015
Crazy Love You by Lisa Unger

This was a good mystery read and had a lot of twists and turns.  Ian is a graphic artist and Priss has been his savior since they were both small.  But Priss has a violent streak and really goes after those who have hurt Ian.  She is also extremely jealous of Ian's new girlfriend, Megan.  Ian's mother is mentally ill and throughout his life people did not believe that Priss was real; they felt that Ian had inherited some of his mother's illness.  This was a read that would suck readers in immediately.  The action was steady all through the book.  The characters were interesting and multi-layered.  I enjoyed it.  I borrowed the book from my town library.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Woof (YA)

Book #42 Read in 2015
Woof by Spencer Quinn (YA)

I love this author's Chet and Bernie books.  This is a Birdie and Bowser book.  Birdie is an 11 year old girl who gets a shelter dog, Bowser, for her birthday gift from her cranky-on-the-outside grandmother.  A prize fish is stolen from Birdie's family's bait shop and she decides to investigate and try to find it, like her cop father (who is dead) would have done.  This puts Birdie is some risky situations but Bowser is there to keep an eye on her.  Bowser tells the story and it is fun reading the insights of a dog's mind.  This was a good, quick read.  Middle school readers especially would like it, I believe.  I received a copy of this book from the Amazon Vine program in exchange for a honest review.

Monday, April 6, 2015

I'll Give You the Sun (YA)

Book #41 Read in 2015
I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson (YA)

Noah and Jude are twins who are extremely least until they turn 13.  Jude begins to battle with her mother over fashion and makeup.  Noah realizes that he is falling for Brian.  A tragedy strikes their family and secrets keep the twins from being there as each other's support through this trying time.  Noah narrates their 13th year; Jude their 16th year.  What a difference three years can make.  This book was a good read.  Noah and Jude were complex and interesting characters.  This book had good writing with elements of romance, humor and good plot twists in it.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Texts from Mittens

Book #40 Read in 2015
Texts from Mittens by Angie Bailey

This is a perfect gift book for cat lovers.  Mittens is a cat with a cell phone and a data plan with no limit.  He texts his human mother constantly about his needs for treats, the ability to watch Judge Judy and how he has his canine brother.  Mittens is an online sensation and this book is a collection of some of his best texts.  Cute read.  I received a copy of this book from the Amazon Vine program in exchange for a honest review.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Lemon Pies and Little White Lies

Book #39 Read in 2015
Lemon Pies and Little White Lies by Ellery Adams

This is the fourth book in a cozy mystery series.  Though I haven't read the others yet, I had no problem understanding the characters and backstory to this series.  Ella Mae has magical powers, one of which is she can put her emotions into the pies that she is making.  She has become the magical queen of her small town and that is being threatened by Minue, an evil lady of the lake type.  Will Ella Mae be able to save her friends and family from this evil force?  The characters were interesting in this book and of course I was partial to Ella Mae's Jack Russell, Chewy.  He reminded me of my Jack Russell, Emma.  The small town setting added to the coziness of this book.  I will read the first three books in this series and any additional ones.  I received a signed copy of this book from the author; thank you Ellery!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

March Reads

March Reads:

1.  American Sniper (4/5)
2.  Mockingjay 4/5  (YA) 3rd in series
3.  An Ember in the Ashes (5/5) (YA)  1st in series
4.  The Tutor (4/5)
5.  The Witch Hunter (5/5) (YA)
6.  Zane and the Hurricane (4/5) (YA) library book
7.  Where They Found Her (4.5/5)
8.  Crash and Burn (4/5)  (YA)  library book
9.  A Court of Thorns and Roses (5/5)  (YA)  1st in series
10.  The Book of Speculation (3/5)
11.  The Friendship Riddle (4/5) (YA)
12.  Diary of a Harry Potter Addict (3/5)
13.  Leaving Time (4/5)

38 books read in 2015