Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It felt like coming home to read these characters again, and I enjoyed the script. I couldn't help but picture the movie characters as I read. I laughed aloud once (which rarely happens when I read), but I was ticked that the stupid Time Turner was involved again. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban was my least favorite movie because of that confusing thing!

Loved the relationship between the older and younger generations, and the combinations of the Malfoys and Potters. Yes, I kept picturing Malfoy from the current Flash television shows as the Draco in the book, so that made it even better!

Overall? Enjoyable read. Familiar characters. Typical action of what's already been done in previous books but with a second generation of characters--nothing really new here. Would I see the play? Probably not. Unless I got a sweet deal on the tickets.

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Monday, October 24, 2016

Review: The Glittering Court

The Glittering Court The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I haven't listened to more "mainstream" YA titles in awhile, so I thought I would give this historical fantasy a try. I knew this was a title that some teens love and some adults hate, and I see why. It's a little like The Selection and over the top--girls are picked off the country-like-British street and "taught" to be ladies. Then, after traveling to Adoria (um, America), they are married/sold off to men who need ladies to help them become gentlemen in their new land. No mention of the words "slave trafficking" but I was sure thinking of it as I listened. Adelaide, the main character makes the reverse decision--she quits being a countess and runs off to make her own choices, and ends up being the poor church mouse who works in a mine to help her common husband pay off her bride-price. All very Harlequin-ish, which is what some people love, I know.

The narrator MADE this audiobook, and she is why I kept listening. Loved her accents, and the clean production. Kristen Sieh is a narrator I'll be looking for again.

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Friday, October 21, 2016

Review: Lady Cop Makes Trouble

Lady Cop Makes Trouble Lady Cop Makes Trouble by Amy Stewart
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Enjoyable romp for the quasi-deputy Constance Kopp. She's supposed to be a sheriff's deputy in Bergen County, New Jersey, but it's still not exactly clear if the sheriff has the right to hire a female deputy. When a convict escapes the hospital on her watch, she knows that she has to be the one who hunts him down. And she does! She breaks all the taboos for women at the time--traveling into New York City without an escort, going to a hotel alone, and wandering through the bad parts of the city alone to find her witnesses and suspects. Some unexpected developments brew in the the #2 of the series--is there something stirring between Constance and the Sheriff? Hmmmmm.......

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Thursday, October 13, 2016

Review: Homegoing

Homegoing Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

READ THIS BOOK!!! ALL OF YOU!!!

This is a stunning debut--can't wait to read the next book from Yaa Gyasi. I've always been a sucker for historical family fiction--I want to know where people come from and how they get where they are. I'm fascinated by genealogy and how it effects where we end up.

Hundreds of years ago, Effia and Esi, two half-sisters, are born in Ghana. With the tangled history of the Fante and Asante people and the ugly world of the slave trade, they and their ancestors lead very different lives. I listened to the audiobook (which was freaking amazing--Dominic Hoffman is an awesome narrator) and would have liked to flip through the print book a bit to refresh my memory of the family trees of the characters, but I managed just fine. From coal mining in the South to the Great Migration to Harlem jazz clubs, the narratives tell the varied stories of how Africans came to the U.S., and how they became Americans.

Perfect reading for this election season. It's beautiful, inspiring, and a darn good listen/read--it's going to sweep a lot of awards, I hope.

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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Review: Mrs. Roosevelt’s Confidante

Mrs. Roosevelt’s Confidante Mrs. Roosevelt’s Confidante by Susan Elia MacNeal
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Probably the best in the series that I've read so far--Maggie travels back to the United States with Prime Minister Churchhill and becomes entangled in a mystery with Eleanor Roosevelt. One of Eleanor's secretaries is found murdered, but Maggie knows that things aren't exactly right at the crime scene. Thanks to her investigation, the mystery is solved, and an innocent black man isn't executed (or lynched, really) for murder in the South. It's 1942 and norms are being broken all over the place--love how morality, gender, and homosexuality are addressed in this series.

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Friday, October 7, 2016

Review: Killer Instinct

Killer Instinct Killer Instinct by Zoƫ Sharp
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I thoroughly enjoyed this first book in a series that was first published in the UK. Charlie Fox is a woman who is on a mission--she teaches self-defense classes for women all over the small towns in northern England, so that no other woman has to go through what she did. While serving in the British forces, she became a victim, even though her own parents never believed her story. Now that she's changed her name and determined to be strong, she gets roped into serving as a bouncer at a local night club--she knows pressure points and martial arts, and she's a big change from the 300-pounders with no necks that usually work the club floors. While working, she is roped into the search for the murderer of a few young women in the area--they were raped and brutally killed. Luckily Charlie can figure it all out.

I read the American edition of this book, and Lee Child writes the intro--he loves this author. I do, too! It's a typical mystery, but I LOVED the main character--she's not perfect, but I want to be her best friend. I'm looking forward to reading the next book, if I can find it.

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Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Review: Wolf Hollow

Wolf Hollow Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a literary children's book that seemed like it was written for adults. I'm not the best reader of middle grade fiction--I don't work with that age, and I grew up reading Christopher Pike when I was in middle school. And, honestly, I understand why. Do kids like this book? It seems like something that teachers will want to add to the curriculum--another historical fiction book so students can learn about "back then," as well as some tragedy to make the kids cry. (Can you tell that my junior high reading class read Bridge to Terabithia AND Where the Red Fern Grows?) There are a lot of vocabulary words to pick out for lessons and symbolism galore.

I listened to the audio, which was lovely. Odyssey, anyone? But there were times that I wanted the plot to pick up speed, and I can't imagine many twelve-year-olds having more patience than me.

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Monday, October 3, 2016

Review: March: Book Three

March: Book Three March: Book Three by John Lewis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Amazing art! I didn't read the first two volumes, and YA readers can jump right in like I did. The art draws you in, and the story keeps you there until you finish. SO MANY COMPARISONS TO TODAY AND #blacklivesmatter. This should be in all high school libraries, and social studies teachers could easily use parts of it for classroom discussion.

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