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Saturday, May 30, 2015

God Got a Dog (YA)

Book #70 Read in 2015
God Got a Dog by Cynthia Rylant (YA)

These poems were published several years ago as part of a larger collection called God Went to Beauty School.  In this collection, the poems are complimented by new, nicely done illustrations.  In this book, God does everyday, ordinary things....makes dinner, get a dog, opens a business; God is shows as being male and female, young and old.  These poems are cute.  This is a quick read.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Rules (YA)

Book #69 Read in 2015
The Rules by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie (YA)

At first glance, the premise of this story reminded me of I Know What You Did Last Summer.  In reality, this book was so much creepier.  August, a rich kid, is famous for throwing scavenger hunts.  Before graduation, he wants to throw the ultimate one and also wants to get some revenge on those popular kids who were not nice to his sister, who died a year ago.  He wants them to acknowledge their part of the bullying and tormenting that his sister faced.  But someone is killing off these kids one by it August?  Another one of the party goers?  Robin, who was not invited to the party but brought there by one of her friends, tries to figure out a way to get her friends to safety. 

This book totally sucked me in and I read it in one sitting.  The mystery had great twists and turns; I was never really sure who the killer would end up being.  The characters were complex and had many layers; they were not always nice people but they were interesting with their flaws.  This is the perfect summer read for teenagers and adults alike.  I received a copy of this book from the Amazon Vine program in exchange for a honest review.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Fangirl (YA)

Book #68 Read in 2015
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (YA)

This author has become one of my favorites.  She creates such realistic characters and makes them so interesting.  In this book, Cather and her twin Wren are starting college.  Wren is a party girl; Cather hibernates in her room.  The two may look identical, but they deal with their issues (Mom left them at an early age, Dad has some mental illness issues) very differently.  Both of their coping mechanisms come with consequences.  Along with their story is a parallel "fanfic" story of two characters from a famous fiction series; Cather writes fanfiction and is very successful at it.  While this book has a lot of humor in it, it is so well-written that it is able to deal with heavy emotional issues but still be an entertaining read while doing so.  I loved it.  I believe high school students and adults alike would enjoy this book.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Lock and Mori (YA)

Book #67 Read in 2015
Lock & Mori by Heather W. Petty (YA)

A teenage Sherlock Holmes meets Mori, teenager daughter of British detective Moriarity.  The two connect when a murder happens in a local park and both are drawn to investigating it.  Things hit very close to home as the investigation picks up speed and the two realize that there is a lot on the line.  This book was an interesting take on Sherlock Holmes and was a good mystery.  The two main characters were interesting and intelligent.  A bit of romance and humor rounded out the plot.  All in all, I enjoyed it.  I would recommend it to high school students and adults.  I received a copy of this book from the Amazon Vine program in exchange for a honest review.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Finding Audrey

Book #66 Read in 2015
Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella (YA)

I have read and enjoyed several of this author's adult books so I figured I would try this YA book by her.  First, let me say that the mother in this book drove me nuts.  She was so clueless about her kids and was a wreck when it came to parenting.  Aside from that, I really enjoyed this book which looks like a fluff read but deals with some heavy issues such as bullying, mental illness and family dynamics.  Amidst the heavy is humor and interesting characters.  Audrey is trying to get control over her life after going through a traumatic time at her high school.  Her struggle is real and honestly portrayed in the book.  Her journey has its ups and downs, all of which makes for an interesting read.  I thought this book was well done.  I received a copy of this book from the Amazon Vine program in exchange for a honest review. 

Saturday, May 16, 2015

This One Summer (YA)

Book #65 Read in 2015
This One Summer by Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki (YA)

I am not a huge reader of graphic novels but I liked this one.  Two young girls reconnect every summer at their family's cabins.  This summer, one is dealing with the problems her parents are having after her mother suffers a miscarriage.  While the format seems light and fun, the story tells with heavy issues such as possible divorce, adoption, teenage pregnancy and coming of age.  Both the writing and the illustrations were well done.  I enjoyed it.  I believe middle school girls would especially like this book.  I borrowed this book from my public library.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Shipwreck Island (YA)

Book #64 Read in 2015
Shipwreck Island by S.A. Bodeen (YA)

This book is a modernized version of the Swiss Family Robinson...with some Island of Dr. Moreau thrown in for good measure.  Sarah's father remarries and Sarah isn't happy about her new stepmother, or her new stepbrothers.  The parental units decide to take the whole family on a boat trip.  A storm hits and they become stranded on an island.  But that isn't their only problem; the island seems to have some interesting creatures on it.  This was a good, quick read that upper elementary and middle school girls and boys would enjoy.  The sequel is in my TBR pile.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Fillet of Murder

Book #63 Read in 2015
Fillet of Murder by Linda Reilly

This is the first book in a new cozy mystery series.  Talia has returned to her hometown after quitting her job and breaking up with her boyfriend.  She begins working at a diner that she worked in during high school and lives in her deceased grandmother's house.  A short time after her return home, a fellow business owner is murdered and Talia's boss Bea is considered to be the prime suspect.  Talia begins an investigation in order to clear Bea's name.  This mystery had good twists and turns which kept me guessing the murderer's identity until the reveal at the end.  I enjoyed the small town setting and the characters in the town.  Hopefully, in the next installment, calico cat Bojangles will play a more prominent role.  This was a great read.  I was lucky enough to receive a signed  copy of this book from the author; thank you Linda Reilly for sending me your great read!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Half Bad (YA)

Book #62 Read in 2015
Half Bad by Sally Green (YA)

Nathan is half white witch (good) and half black witch (bad).  His white witch mother is dead and his black witch father has never been around and is feared by most of the witch community.  Which parent will Nathan take after?  The Council is keeping close tabs on him to see.  This book, while almost 400 pages, is a quick read and has a plot full of action and twists and turns to keep readers engaged.  I think both high school girls and boys would enjoy this book.  I have the sequel, Half Wild, in my TBR pile. 

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Escape from Baxter's Barn

Book #61 Read in 2015
Escape from Baxter's Barn by Rebecca Bond

This book reminded me of Charlotte's Web, in the fact that all of the animals are working together for a good cause.  In this book, the barn animals realize that their owner has plans to burn down their barn to get insurance money.  They hope that he would let them out first but they can't be sure so they create an action plan to get all of them out safely.  Each animal has a distinct personality and a purpose to help the greater good.  This is well written and includes decent black and white drawings.  I received a copy of this book from Amazon Vine in exchange for a honest review.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Serval Son

Book #60 Read in 2015
Serval Son:  Spots and Stripes Forever by Kristine M. Smith

This book details Smith's ownership of Deaken, a Serval who she raised as a cat, not a wild cat.  She talks about the regulations she faced to own him and keep him, his health issues, people's assumptions about him and the joy he brought her.  A must read for cat lovers.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Looking for Alaska (YA)

Book #59 Read in 2015
Looking for Alaska by John Green (YA)

John Green is one of the most popular young adult authors today and a book like Looking for Alaska shows why.  Miles, a geeky, unpopular kid, decides he wants to look for his Great Perhaps and wants to attend private school away from home.  He connects immediately with his roommate Chip.  His social circle widens instantly when Alaska Young, pretty, moody, popular, notices him.  Miles now has a group of friends and they become close.  About halfway through the book, the unthinkable happens and the rest of the book shows the aftermath and the search to find out why.  This was a gripping, quick read that high school boys and girls would love. 

Friday, May 1, 2015

Murder, She Barked

Book #58 Read in 2015
Murder, She Barked by Krista Davis

This is the first book in cozy mystery series.  Holly goes to visit her grandmother at her bed and breakfast...which is extremely pet friendly.  On her first night there, she sees a man get hit by a car and begins to look into what happened.  Along the way, she picks up a stray Jack Russell named Trixie and the duo get themselves into some trouble, of course.  I enjoyed the setting and the animals in the book and the mystery part of the plot had good twists and turns.  I will read book #2.

April Reads

April Reads:

1.  Lemon Pies and Little White Lies (4/5)  4th in series
2.  Texts from Mittens (5/5)
3.  I'll Give You the Sun (YA)  4/5
4.  Woof (YA) 4/5
5.  Crazy Love You (4/5)  library book
6.  Blue Lily, Lily Blue (YA)  3.5/5  3rd in series
7.  Love and Other Perishable Items (YA) 3/5
8.  The Woman Who Stole My Life (4/5)
9.  My Zombie Hamster (YA)  4/5  1st in series  Kindle book
10.  Ellie's Story (YA)  4/5
11.  Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass (YA)  4.5/5  Kindle book
12.  World Gone By (4/5)
13.  Tombquest 2:  Amulet Keepers (YA)  4/5  2nd in series
14.  Relish (YA) 4/5  library book
15.  Bits and Pieces (YA)  5/5  library book
16.  The Rosie Effect (4/5)  2nd in series  Kindle book
17.  Life Unaware (YA)  5/5 
18.  The Storied Life of AJ Fikry (5/5)  Kindle book
19.  My Zombie Hamster 2:  Attack of the Clones (YA)  4/5  2nd in series

57 books read in 2015