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Saturday, December 31, 2016

The Memory of Things


Book #140 Read in 2016
The Memory of Things by Gae Polisner

This book is set in New York City on 9/11.  Kyle crosses the bridge and makes it home when the towers fell.  His dad is a first responder and is at Ground Zero.  Kyle found this teen girl alone and wandering and brings her home with him.  Who is she? Did she lose her parents in the towers?  This book realistically portrays the horrors and the heroes of 9/11.  A recommended read for high school and adult readers.  I borrowed this book from the public library.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix


Book #139 Read in 2016
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling (re-read)

This is the fifth book in the Harry Potter series.  In this book, the Order is once again fighting against Lord Voldemort.  Harry is still struggling with being the Chosen One.  This book has good action, great characters and continues to develop wonderful storylines.

Murder Most Howl


Book #138 Read in 2016
Murder Most Howl by Krista Davis

This is the third book in a cozy mystery series.  Holly is running the Wagtail Inn while her grandmother is on vacation.  Of course a murder happens not long after and Holly begins her own investigation.  This series has an intelligent main character, interesting secondary characters, a cozy inn setting and cute animals who are part of the story.  It is one of my favorite cozy series.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Dash and Lily's Book of Dares


Book #137 Read in 2016
Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

A reader has to love a book that is set partially in The Strand, one of NYC's famous bookstores.  Lily leaves a red notebook there for someone to find and Dash is that someone.  The two begin a written communication and book of dares that eventually leads them to meet.  Will they begin a friendship?  A romance?  Both?  A nice YA Christmas-time romance book that I highly recommend to high school and adult readers alike.  I borrowed this book from the public library and the sequel is on its way to the library for me.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Wonder Woman at Super Hero High


Book #136 Read in 2016
Wonder Woman at Super Hero High by Lisa Yee

This is the first in a young adult series.  This is a series set in a high school for super heroes in the making.  Wonder Woman leaves Paradise Island to enroll in this school and her sheltered upbringing causes some moments of confusion for her to fit in to school.  This was a good quick read that middle school readers, as well as high school readers, as well as adult readers would enjoy.  I borrowed this book from the public library.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse


Book #135 Read in 2016
In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse by Joseph Marshall III

This is a good way for younger readers to learn about Crazy Horse.  Battle details are told in between Jimmy's road trip with his grandfather.  This makes the book flow well and won't bog down readers with the historical details.  I borrowed this book from the public library.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

The Plot to Kill Hitler


Book #134 Read in 2016
The Plot to Kill Hitler by Patricia McCormick

Famous young adult literature author McCormick takes on a non-fiction piece in this book.  This is geared towards young adult readers and details a conspiracy by Germans to kill Hitler to stop his madness against Jewish people.  It was a quick read and was written in a way that made it seem like fiction rather than a textbook.  Young adult readers would appreciate that.  I borrowed this book from the public library.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

What Light


Book #133 Read in 2016
What Light by Jay Asher

This is a sweet love story that is a perfect Christmas read.  Sierra's parents head to CA one month a year to run their Christmas tree farm.  Sierra, this year, meets up with Caleb, a local boy, and is drawn to him.  But there are rumors of his violent past and the time table that is working against them.  Will they find love in spite of the obstacles?  Great read for high school girls and adults.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Cat Got Your Diamonds


Book #132 Read in 2016
Cat Got Your Diamonds by Julie Chase

This is the first in a cozy mystery series.  Lacy owns a pet clothing/treat shop, which was broken into and the thief was then murdered.  Lacy, at first, is a suspect which brings Jack, a detective, to her door.  Lacy begins her own investigation which places her in peril frequently but Jack tries to keep her safe.  This was a good mystery and kept me guessing as to the murderer's identity until the end.  I received a copy of this book from Amazon Vine in exchange for a honest review.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Nickeled and Dimed to Death


Book #131 Read in 2016
Nickeled-and-Dimed to Death by Denise Swanson

This is the second installment in a cozy mystery series, where Dev owns a dime store.  In this book, her lawyer friend Boone is accused of murdering one of his clients and Dev begins her own investigation.  At the same time, she is caught between two would-be suitors:  Noah and Jake.  A good cast of secondary characters and an intelligent heroine make this a good cozy series.  I borrowed this book from the public library.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Ever the Hunted


Book #130 Read in 2016
Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill

This was a good read.  Britt's father is killed and her best friend Cohen is the suspected murderer.  Britt must find him and bring him back to the king for justice but she realizes, once she finds him, that he is innocent.  The two pair up to find the real murderer and perhaps learn more about Britt's family in the process.  This book is a good mix of action, romance, magic and interesting characters.  High school and adult readers alike would enjoy this book.  I received a copy of this book from Amazon Vine in exchange for a honest review.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Reading in the Wild


Book #129 Read in 2016
Reading in the Wild by Donalyn Miller (re-read)

I wanted to re-read this book in the framework of using it with my Young Adult Literature class.  Miller lives to inspire students to become wild readers--those who love reading and want to share that love with others.  I hope the same for my students.  I recommend this book to all teachers and parents, regardless of grade assignment or ages of children.  A must read!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

A Shade of Vampire


Book #128 Read in 2016
A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest

This is the first in a paranormal series.  When I started reading it, I thought it was going to be a 50 Shades-like book with vampires but it turned out to be a good read.  Sofia is kidnapped and taken to an island of vampires and gifted to Derek, the vampire Prince.  Derek is drawn to Sofia and not just as a meal and the two form a bond.  But will their love have a chance to deepen?  I borrowed this book from the public library.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

The Forgetting


Book #127 Read in 2016
The Forgetting by Sharon Cameron

Every twelve years "the forgetting" happens in Nadia's town and all of the people forget what has happened in the past 12 years, relying on what they have written down in their books to fill in the gaps.  Except Nadia.  For some reason, Nadia never forgets.  Why?  Is it a good thing or a bad thing?  Fans of Divergent and The Hunger Games will enjoy this action-packed read, with interesting characters and romance to keep readers hooked.  I received a copy of this book from Amazon Vine in exchange for a honest review.  Honestly, I highly recommend it.

Saturday, December 3, 2016


Book #126 Read in 2016
Felines of New York by Jim Tews

Yet another must read for cat lovers.  This book highlights the cats of New York--with beautiful pictures and sarcastic  commentary.  I highly recommend it to make you smile!

Friday, December 2, 2016

Cats on Instagram


Book #125 Read in 2016
Cats on Instagram

A must read and perfect gift for any cat lover!  Cute cat pictures from Instagram with little captions throughout.  I borrowed this book from the public library.

November Reads

November Reads:

1.  The Darkest Corners (YA)  4/5
2.  The Mystery of Hollow Places (YA)  4/5  library book
3.  Maus 2 4/5  2nd in series
4.  Light as a Bird (YA)  4/5
5.  Shop Cats of New York 5/5
6.  Shadow House (YA)  3/5  1st in series  library book
7.  The Last Kids on Earth (YA)  4/5  1st in series  library book
8.  The Couple Next Door (5/5)  library book
9.  Book Love (5/5)
10.  The Book Whisperer (5/5)
11.  Heartless (YA)  5/5 

124 Books Read in 2016

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Heartless



Book #124 Read in 2016
Heartless by Marissa Meyer

From the author of The Lunar Chronicles, this book is an origin story for the Queen of Hearts (Red) from Alice in Wonderland.  It provides her back story of how she became mean and heartless.  While a big book, it is a quick read because it sucks readers in immediately with great writing, wonderful characters, lots of action and romance.  I highly recommend it.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The Book Whisperer


Book #123 Read in 2016
The Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller

This was a re-read.  I had read this book and taught an in-service on it years ago but felt it was time to re-read it with the focus on incorporating strategies from it into my Young Adult Literature class.  Miller instills a love of  reading into her students and fosters a community of readers in her classroom.  I hope to do the same.  I recommend this to teachers and parents.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Book Love


Book #122 Read in 2016
Book Love by Penny Kittle

This book was a great read about establishing and maintaining a community of readers in your classroom.  I shared parts of it with the students in my Young Adult Literature and would recommend it to my teaching colleagues.  I enjoyed it.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

The Couple Next Door


Book #121 Read in 2016
The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

This was a good mystery/thriller book.  Anne and Marco's baby daughter is kidnapped.  Who has her? Who is involved?  This book has many twists and turns to keep readers engaged and a host of dysfunctional characters to keep it interesting.  While an adult book, I think high school readers would enjoy it too.  I highly recommend it.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

The Last Kids on Earth


Book #120 Read in 2016
The Last Kids on Earth by Max Brallier

This is the first book in a post-apocalyptic series, perfect for upper elementary or middle school readers.  Jack is slaying zombies and monsters, with his ultimate goal rescuing the girl whom he has a crush on....he believes she has locked herself  in the school.  With help from his best friend Quint and reformed bully Dirk, he plans a rescue mission.  This book has lots of action and humor and illustrations to go along with the story.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Shadow House


Book #119 Read in 2016
Shadow House by Dan Poblocki

This creepy cover immediately caught my eye.  A group of teenagers each get an invitation to an "academy" but when they arrive, they realize that they are now trapped in a haunted house with vengeful spirits.  The illustrations are creepy as well.  There is decent action throughout the book and I could see middle school readers really enjoying it.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Shop Cats of New York



Book #118 Read in 2016
Shop Cats of New York by Tamar Arslanian

This is a book of beautiful cat photographs and short cat biographies of New York City's cats that live in bookstores, grocery stores and other businesses.  This would be a great gift for cat lovers.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Be Light Like a Bird


Book #117 Read in 2016
Be Light Like a Bird by Monika Schroder

Wren's father dies in a plane crash at the beginning of the book.  Her mother won't talk about her dad and that isn't helping Wren get past her grief.  The two move a few times and Wren feels as if her mother is pushing her away.  She meets Theo in her class and the two begin a friendship.  Theo has had a parent die as well--his mother.  The two band together to try to save a local wetland area and in the end, end up saving their relationships with their surviving parents.  I recommend this book for middle schoolers.  I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for a honest review.  I enjoyed this well-written book.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Maus 2


Book #116 Read in 2016
Maus 2 by Art Spiegelman

This is the graphic novel sequel to Maus and picks up where that book left off.  Vladek continues to tell his son Artie about his time in the concentration camps and life after the holocaust.  It has forever changed Vladek.  This was a good read.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

The Mystery of Hollow Places


Book #115 Read in 2016
The Mystery of Hollow Places by Rebecca Podos

This was a decent young adult mystery book.  Imogene's mother left Im and her father when Im was just a baby.  Then one day her father has disappeared.  Imogene feels that his disappearance is linked to her mother's and begins her own investigation.  Will she find answers about many things?  Will this reveal some insight into herself?  This was a good read.  I borrowed the book from the public library.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

The Darkest Corners


Book #114 Read in 2016
The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas

When Tessa and Callie were young, Callie's cousin Lori was murdered and the two girls were witnesses who helped put "the Monster" in jail.  But did they truly know what they saw?  Years later, Tessa returns to her hometown because her father, who is in jail, is dying.  Will she find her estranged mother, missing sister and the truth while back home?  This is a gritty good read.  High school girls and adults would like it.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Behind Closed Doors


Book #113 Read in 2016
Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris

This book is one that a reader will not be able to put down.  Jack and Grace seem to be the perfect couple--but what is really going on in their marriage?  This book makes Gone Girl look like a fairy tale.  This book is a great psychological thriller and I highly recommend it.  I borrowed this book from the public library.

The Fifth Petal


Book #112 Read in 2016
The Fifth Petal by Brunonia Barry

This book was a great read for Halloween time, set in Salem and dealing with witches.  Characters from Barry's book The Lace Reader make an appearance.  A murder happened years ago where four women were killed.  Rose was a suspect then.  Present day, Rose is taken into custody for killing a teenage boy.  Did she?  There is more to this story than meets the idea....history of Salem townspeople past and present comes into play.  Written well, this book is a good read.  I received a copy of this book from Amazon Vine in exchange for a honest review.


Sunday, October 23, 2016

Daughters Unto Devils


Book #111 Read in 2016
Daughters Unto Devils by Amy Lukavics

I enjoyed this author's creepy good book The Women in the Walls so I decided to try this one and was not disappointed.  This was like a Little House on the Prairie ghost story.  Amanda and her family move to an abandoned house which will be bigger than their original house.  But the house has blood stains everywhere.  Turns out bad things happened in that house....will the pattern be repeated with Amanda's family?  This was a good, quick read and perfect for near Halloween.  High school readers and adult readers will enjoy it.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Mr. Lemoncello's Library Olympics


Book #110 Read in 2016
Mr. Lemoncello's Library Olympics by Chris Grabenstein

This is the second book in a series that book lovers (children and adults) will enjoy.  In this book, another competition has been arranged by Mr. Lemoncello, with the winners promised a full college scholarship.  Library and book knowledge is key to win, as well as a good ability to figure out riddles.  A good, quick read--I enjoyed it.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Nine, Ten


Book #109 Read in 2016
Nine,Ten by Nora Raleigh Baskin

This is a book that centers around the 9/11 attacks, telling that story from the perspective of different children in the different attack locations.  It is a child-friendly read about a horrible thing.  It showed the effect of the attacks on people who were not necessarily directly involved.  It was well done and could work for middle school and high school readers.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The Bookshop on the Corner


Book #108 Read in 2016
The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan

Nina is a librarian whose library is downsizing and going digital.  She brings carloads of excessed library books home every night after work.  What will she do with these books?  What will be her next job?  She goes to Scotland to look at a van for sale in the hopes of starting a mobile book shop.  Will a job be all she finds or will she find romance and a place to call home?  This was a good, quick read with aspects of romance and humor in, as well as homage to books that bibliophiles will love.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

The Girl with All the Gifts


Book #107 Read in 2016
The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey

This is a different kind of zombie book.  Melanie is on a military base school, where the students are brought into their classroom by soldiers and are strapped into their chairs.  They are hungries (zombies).  But Melanie is a different type of zombie and doesn't want to eat her teacher Ms. Justineau, of whom she is very fond.  This book started slowly for me but was worth it in the end.  I enjoyed it.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Moo


Book #106 Read in 2016
Moo by Sharon Creech

Creech has another hit with Moo which will be a great read for middle school readers.  Luke and Reena's family moves to Maine and the siblings need to adjust a bit to the farm animals and country life they encounter.  They are asked by their parents to help a nearby elderly woman who has Zora, a stubborn cow, along with a pig, a cat and a snake.  The siblings end up liking their new home more than they thought they would.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

The Sun is Also a Star


Book #105 Read in 2016
The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

I love Yoon's book Everything Everything and was excited for a chance to review her new one and it did not disappoint.  Natasha is a teenage girl, a undocumented immigrant, a believer of science and not love.  Daniel is a Korean American teenage boy with the soul of a poet, even though he is supposedly going to college to become a doctor.  The two meet, connect and dare we say fall in love?  Is it love?  Fate? Destiny?  The ending totally makes this book....read it!  I received a copy of this book from Amazon Vine in exchange for a honest review.  Loved it.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Scourge




Book #104 Read in 2016
The Scourge by Jennifer A. Nielsen

The Scourge is a plague that has killed many people and is making a reappearance so the Governor has quarantined all ill people to Attic Island to The Colony to live out their final days.  But is all as it seems?  Ani and Weevil are brought to The Colony and immediately begin to question the going ons on the island which does not endear them to the wardens.  What will happen to these two brave kids?  This would be a good read for middle and high school readers.  It is full of action.  I received a copy of this book from Amazon Vine in exchange for a honest review.
Book #103 Read in 2016
Frost Blood by Elly Blake

Ruby is a Fire Blood, meaning fire burns within her and she can use it as a weapon.  The Frost Bloods rule the Kingdom and are hunting Fire Bloods.  Ruby is broken out of prison by some monks who want her to free the Frost King from his curse by using her fire.  This book reminded me of the His Fair Assassin series, which is a compliment because I loved those books and loved this one as well.  This is the first in the series and I highly recommend it to both high school readers and adult readers.  I received a copy of this book from Amazon Vine in exchange for a honest review.

Friday, September 23, 2016

My Best Little Buddy


Book #102 Read in 2016
My Best Little Buddy by Tom Templeman

This book is a must read for cat lovers.  Tiger and Sophie are cat siblings owned by Tom and his wife and this book details their lives with the cats from kitten hood until old age.  The cats come alive through Templeman's apt descriptions.  A great read!

Speed of Life


Book #101 Read in 2016
Speed of Life by J.M. Kelly

Twin sisters Amber and Crystal are raising baby Natalie together.  Their parents are more than slightly dysfunctional so the twins have pretty much raised themselves and have plans for life after high school.  Those plans go astray when Crystal's Guidance Counselor finds a college far away which has a mechanics program that seems tailor made for Crystal.  Will the sister stick with their original plan or will their future  take a different path?  This was a good read and high school students would enjoy it.  I received a copy of this book from Amazon Vine in exchange for a honest review.

Monday, September 19, 2016

The Rains


Book #100 Read in2016
The Rains by Gregg Hurwitz

This is, of course, the first book in a series.  That being said, I want book #2 now.  In a small town, brothers Patrick and Chance live with their aunt and uncle after their parents died in a car accident.  One night the adults in their town are taken over by a parasite that makes them do horrible things to the children.  Some sort of air-borne spore is causing it and seems to affect those 18 or older.  Will the brothers be able to save their fellow young townspeople?  This book was action packed and a quick read.  Highly recommend for high school readers.  I received a copy of this book from Amazon Vine in exchange for a honest review.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

The Book that Matters Most


Book #99 Read in 2016
The Book that Matters Most by Ann Hood

Ava's husband has left her for another woman.  To try to bring some happiness back to her life, she joins her best friend's library book club.  The theme of the book picks is "the book that matters most" and each member select a book choice.  Besides book club, which allows her to meet a much younger man, Ava is also stressing about her daughter, Maggie, who is in Europe and making bad choices.  I read this book in one sitting.  It was a wonderful read.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

The Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko


Book #98 Read in 2016
The Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko by Scott Stambach

This was an odd book but I liked it.  Ivan is a deformed young boy who lives in a Russian orphanage/hospital.  He has one arm, nubs for legs and loves to read and write.  This book tells his story....as he sees it.  He describes fellow patients, his daily routine and the various nursing staff who rotate in and out of his life.  It is a quick read.  I received a copy of this book from Amazon Vine in exchange for a honest review.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

The Secret Life of Lincoln Jones


Book #97 Read in 2016
The Secret Life of Lincoln Jones by Wendelin Van Draanen

Lincoln and his mother have moved to a new town to escape mom's abusive boyfriend.  Every day after school, Lincoln heads to where his mom works--a nursing home for people with dementia.  Lincoln spends his time there doing homework and writing stories but eventually he becomes invested in the patients.  Lincoln has a tough time fitting in at school but finds his way in the long run.  A good read.  I received this book from Amazon Vine in exchange for a honest review.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

The Heavens May Fall


Book #96 Read in 2016
The Heavens May Fall by Allen Eskens

I requested this book for review because I liked The Life We Bury by this author.  A few characters from that book carry over to this book (you do not need to have read the other book to appreciate this one but you should read it because it's very good).  In this book, Ben is a lawyer whose wife has been murdered.  Max is the homicide detective convinced Ben killed his wife.  Boady is Max's friend and Ben's lawyer which is making life interesting.  This is a great mystery with good twists and turns.  I recommend it.  I received a copy of this book from Amazon Vine in exchange for a honest review.

The Women in the Walls


Book #95 Read in 2016
The Women in the Walls by Amy Lukavics

The creepy cover of this book caught my eye.  This is a great horror read for this time of year.  Young adults and adult readers alike will enjoy this book.  Lucy's mother is dead and her Aunt Penelope has gone missing.  Lucy and her cousin Margaret hear women calling them from the walls of their house.  Who are they?  How did they get there?  This book does have some graphic violence in it that readers could find jarring.  That being said, it is a gripping read and I recommend it.  I received a copy of this book from Amazon Vine in exchange for a honest review.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Security


Book #94 Read in 2016
Security by Gina Wohlsdorf

This was a creepy read.  A grand opening on a swanky new hotel is happening soon.  However, there are two killers picking off the staff one by one in gruesome ways.  This book was slow at times (more suspenseful than action packed) and the murder scenes were graphic but overall it was a good read.  I do wish that readers knew who the killers were and why they went after these people; that made the book fall a little flat for me.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Address to Die For


Book #93 Read in 2016
Address to Die For by Mary Feliz

Maggie, her husband Max, their two boys Brian and David, dog Belle and cats Holmes and Watson move to a country home that Max inherited from his late aunt.  As they begin to try to settle in, they first find a dead body in their basement.  Then, vandalism happens to their home.  Is someone trying to get them to leave before they even unpack?  This was a good mystery read...cozy but with an edge to it.  The characters were interesting.  I enjoy the little organizational tips (homage to Maggie's job as a professional organizer) at the beginning of each chapter.  The mystery had good twists and turns which will keep readers guessing.  I will continue reading this series.  I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for a honest review.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Girl on a Plane


Book #92 Read in 2016
Girl on a Plane by Miriam Moss

This is a story about Anna, a 15 year old girl, who is on her way to boarding school when her plane is hijacked.  The author went through a similar ordeal as a teenager and she felt that now was the time to write about it, fictionalizing it.  This book was emotionally raw and displayed the emotions of the hostages while they were wondering if they would live or die.  This book was fairly action packed and would be a recommended read for high school and adult readers alike.  I received a copy of this book from Amazon Vine in exchange for a honest review.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Somewhere in Between


Book #91 Read in 2016
Something in Between by Melissa De La Cruz

Jasmine is a top scholar, cheerleading captain, hospital volunteer and all around success story.  She wins a national college scholarship and is extremely happy.  Her parents--not so much....as they must tell Jasmine that she cannot accept the scholarship as their Visas had expired and they are undocumented immigrants and not US citizen.  Add to this storyline a romance with a rich senator's son and you have an interesting read.  This book is very timely given all the current news and is more than just a teenage romance.  I  recommend it for high school girls.  I received a copy of this book from Amazon Vine in exchange for a honest review.