Friday, August 18, 2017

Review: The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women

The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women by Kate Moore
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

So I'll be the dissenting vote on this popular book--I thought the writing style was horrendous. I loved the IDEA, but, whoa, the phrasing and repetitiveness drove me nuts. I listened to six disks of the audiobook and I couldn't take it anymore. And I was bored.

It sucked that this happened to these ladies, and the facts shocked me. I'm glad I learned about what happened to these defenseless workers who were at the mercy of their employers.

But I wanted to start a drinking game with certain phrases because I heard them way too many times. Also, Angela Brazil's narration didn't help things--very stilted at times.

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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Review: Everybody's Son

Everybody's Son Everybody's Son by Thrity Umrigar
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Left home alone for a week unsupervised, nine-year-old Anton barely escapes from his low-rent apartment. He kept waiting for his mom to come home, but she was found in a crack house, and so Anton ends up in foster care. Judge Coleman steps in. He and his wife are still grieving from the son they lost in a car crash, and fostering young Anton might be the help they need to live (and love) again.

This book REEKS of white privilege--the rich and powerful white couple takes in the poor mixed black kid in order to make sure the boy turns out "okay." Anton has to confront this when he finds out the truth about his adoption, during the same time that he's on the campaign trail for governor. Yeah, governor.

Love how the novel tackles race and privilege, and how it was a fast and easy read. But the dialogue and word choice was iffy at times, and seemed forced.

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Review: The Fourth Monkey

The Fourth Monkey The Fourth Monkey by J.D. Barker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you like serial killer thrillers, read this one! The Four Monkey Killer, 4MK, is all about the see no evil, hear no evil, say no evil, do no evil thing, and he's great at killing daughters in order to punish the fathers. His diary is pretty gruesome and interspersed throughout the rest of the novel from the point-of-view from the police detective who has been on the 4MK's case from the beginning in Chicago. Yay, a Chicago setting!

This is no great piece of literature, but it's just what I was looking for--a fast-paced, low reading level thriller with interesting characters.

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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Review: Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body

Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So raw and vulnerable to read, let alone to think about what it took to write this memoir. Hit close to home in a lot of ways, which is true for many readers, I think, judging by the ratings.

Damn, she's a great writer.

And here is what she writes about Charleston, Illinois, and Eastern Illinois University. From pages 294-295, "We were three hours from Chicago, so my blackness was less of a curiosity, more of a threat. And there were the black students on campus, the nerve of them, daring to pursue higher education. In the local newspaper, residents wrote angry letters about a new criminal element--the scourge of youthful black ambition, black joy. In my more generous moments, I tried to believe the locals were using anger to mask their fear of living in a dying town in a changing world."

I feel like I need to re-read that last sentence on a regular basis.

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Review: Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body

Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So raw and vulnerable to read, let alone to think about what it took to write this memoir. Hit close to home in a lot of ways, which is true for many readers, I think, judging by the ratings.

Damn, she's a great writer.

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Review: The Facefaker's Game

The Facefaker's Game The Facefaker's Game by Chandler J. Birch
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Thoroughly enjoyable YA fantasy! Interesting world-building--magical and Victorian-ish and just a good read. Impressive debut.

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Review: Star Struck

Star Struck Star Struck by Val McDermid
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Quick and easy listen about a private investigator who becomes a bodyguard to a soap opera star in Manchester, England. Quite an enjoyable listen, good narration and production, and I enjoyed getting to know Kate Brannangan, even if this is the 6th book in a series. I'm kinda wondering if I interlibrary loaned this on mistake--why would I request #6 in a series when I haven't read the ones before? Oh, well, I still enjoyed the listen!

It was a trip back in time--CD-ROMs! bad online dating via email messages!

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Review: Borne

Borne Borne by Jeff VanderMeer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Love the plot--a future world where Rachel finds "something" and raises it to become a person. The strange piece of biotech is an unknown, but she cares for it, despite her boyfriend warning her, and the thing, Borne, grows quickly enough that it wants its own apartment in a few months. The plot was fascinating, but I was bored quite often while listening to the audiobook--lots of telling and explaining, but not much action going on, which makes for boring listening while in the car.

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Thursday, August 3, 2017

Review: Eliza and Her Monsters

Eliza and Her Monsters Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Plenty of teen angst in this one. Eliza is the author of a very successful online comic, but you wouldn't know it by looking at her. She has no friends in real life, and is quite the depressed introvert. But then a boy comes along. Of course.

I couldn't help but think of Fangirl and The Fault in Our Stars as I read this, but I know not many teens would have read both of those.

Good depiction of depression, anxiety, fandom. Includes pages from her webcomic, as well as chat/text conversations.

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Monday, July 31, 2017

Review: The Best We Could Do

The Best We Could Do The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Darn good. Read this is you loved Stitches or Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood

Review to come in SLJ AB4T.

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Review: Purgatory

Purgatory Purgatory by Ken Bruen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

As much as I love Gerard Doyle, I must remember to not listen to audios of Ken Bruen's novels. Just too confusing with his way of writing. I had a hard time knowing when new sections started, and even the quotes (love the quotes from other mystery novels) were confusing because I thought they were part of the story, until I heard a title and author's name.

I do love how Bruen can turn a phrase with a few words though--it's just better read in print for me.

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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Review: Gwendy's Button Box

Gwendy's Button Box Gwendy's Button Box by Stephen King
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I really wanted an evil clown to jump out at the end or for the main character to accidentally blow up the world. Instead, I was treated to a subtle, mysterious read, but not the HORROR I was expecting.

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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Review: American Street

American Street American Street by Ibi Zoboi
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I see why people think that this book will be discussed at the Printz table! The magical realism bits (is it still magical realism when religion is involved?????) were my favorite--without them, this book would have been too difficult for me to read. Detroit in the neighborhood of American and Joy Streets isn't an easy place to live. When Fabiola comes to live with her aunt and cousins (while her mother is detained at the airport), she doesn't quite fit in. Her American family is too loud and too street. But "Fabulous" adjusts and decides that she must do whatever it takes to bring her mother to Detroit, even if that means sucking up to her cousin's evil boyfriend or snitching to the cops. Things don't turn out well.

Loved the beautiful writing and the tales of Haiti. I couldn't help but think of In Darkness.

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Review: American Street

American Street American Street by Ibi Zoboi
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I see why people think that this book will be discussed at the Printz table! The magical realism bits were my favorite--without them, this book would have been too difficult for me to read. Detroit in the neighborhood of American and Joy Streets isn't an easy place to live. When Fabiola comes to live with her aunt and cousins (while her mother is detained at the airport), she doesn't quite fit in. Her American family is too loud and too street. But "Fabulous" adjusts and decides that she must do whatever it takes to bring her mother to Detroit, even if that means sucking up to her cousin's evil boyfriend or snitching to the cops. Things don't turn out well.

Loved the beautiful writing and the tales of Haiti. I couldn't help but think of In Darkness.

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Monday, July 24, 2017

Review: The Torment Of Others

The Torment Of Others The Torment Of Others by Val McDermid
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I had to suspend belief a few more times than I would like while listening to one of these mystery thrillers. But Gerard Doyle kicked ass narrating it, of course!

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Saturday, July 22, 2017

Review: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This audio will win some awards! Beautifully told story of Eleanor and her coming of age, even if she is now in her late twenties. She's always been a bit awkward, but, hey, she deserves the right. Her story is one we've heard before, but Honeyman has created a unique and lovely voice in her main character. I laughed out loud while listening to the audio--the narrator did the funny parts fantastically!

Great book club read, but I think it has some teen appeal, too. All ages love quirky people.

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Review: Die Easy

Die Easy Die Easy by Zoë Sharp
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It's so rare that Book #10 of a series is just as good as book #1. But this series is darn good. I'm looking forward to the next one!

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Review: Die Easy

Die Easy Die Easy by Zoë Sharp
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It's so rare that Book #10 of a series is just as good as book #1. But this series is darn good. I'm looking forward to the next one!

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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Review: She Rides Shotgun

She Rides Shotgun She Rides Shotgun by Jordan Harper
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Gritty, dark, engrossing read about a smart girl caught in the crossfire between her dad and the California gang what wants to kill him. I wish these worlds didn't exist in real life.

Review to come in SLJ AB4T.

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Review: The Bloomsday Dead

The Bloomsday Dead The Bloomsday Dead by Adrian McKinty
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Once again, Adrian McKinty delivered an amazing listen, and Gerard Doyle can whisper in my ear anytime. Even if he's whispering about torture and Irish mob hits. This novel is full of both, and it kept me entertained on a cross-country roadtrip just fine!

If you like thrillers and action movies and kickass characters, give McKinty a try.

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Review: Revolution

Revolution Revolution by Piet Hein Wokke
My rating: 0 of 5 stars

Not a fan of the writing style. I stopped reading on my kindle at 23%.

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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Review: Beartown

Beartown Beartown by Fredrik Backman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a slow-going adult read about small town sports. The "small town sports" category is enough to draw me in, even if this is about hockey, a sport that I don't know too much about. This takes place in Sweden, supposedly, although it screams "Northwoods" to me, and could have been set in Minnesota or Canada or northern Wisconsin or anywhere that hockey is king.

I've read my share of small town sports stories, including two from around me: One Shot at Forever: A Small Town, an Unlikely Coach, and a Magical Baseball Season and Catch. All of them have something in common--the belief that small town sports are all that matters. I see that where I currently live, too, where softball is king. It's what girls are supposed to play. And, if you play softball in our town, you're expected to win, because, you know, the town always wins.

With these high expectations come assholes. And, like in the true tale of Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town, "good" athletes are accused of bad things and often get away with it. We're heard horror stories about it with Speak and All the Rage. And Asking For It and all the other books I've read about rape and high school students (there are a lot of them).

Beartown is expected to win in hockey. So much so that the hockey players can skip class and call their teachers "sweet cheeks" and not be punished. They can strut down the hallways and not need to worry about leaving their anger on the rink--it's okay if they explode. In this novel, we get to know Kevin, the current and future star who is sure to turn pro, Amat, the little 14-year-old son of the rink cleaning lady, and Maya, the team GM's daughter who wants to be a professional musician. The story you have read before, but the way Backman tells it is unique. The rape culture in Beartown is hard to comprehend--it's even different for a woman to have a career and be a mother at the same time.

This was a difficult read for me, but I'm glad I pushed through it. Yes, it's about hockey, but it's really a character study of the teens and their parents and the stupid business sponsors of the team. Small town sports. Gotta love the hypocrisy and the inflation of the egos.

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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Review: This Is Really Happening

This Is Really Happening This Is Really Happening by Erin Chack
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wonderful collection of short stories that make up this memoir. Almost all will make you laugh. I listened to the audio that was read by the author, and it would have been better with a professional reader, but I stuck with the production. Chack's voice is very teen-friendly and the book is full of coming-of-age moments. I laughed out loud in the car listening to the story about the menstrual cup. Trust me. It's funny!

Maybe this will receive some Morris love?

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Monday, July 10, 2017

Review: Cat Castles: 20 Cardboard Habitats You Can Build Yourself

Cat Castles: 20 Cardboard Habitats You Can Build Yourself Cat Castles: 20 Cardboard Habitats You Can Build Yourself by Carin Oliver
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The perfect book to keep my 14-year-old entertained in the summer. She's made the airplane already and has plans to make more of the projects. Yes, they're simple, but, on the plus side, she's learned how to use a hot glue gun and a box cutter.

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Friday, July 7, 2017

Review: Ararat

Ararat Ararat by Christopher Golden
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

If you like your Biblical stories with a touch of horror and gross, this book is for you! Explorers think they've found Noah's ark up high on Mt. Ararat, but things don't go well when they start excavating it and the remains found on board. There's a bit of religious supernatural going on, and I was a tad freaked out by the end.

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Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Review: Miranda and Caliban

Miranda and Caliban Miranda and Caliban by Jacqueline Carey
My rating: 0 of 5 stars

I was eventually bored silly by this audiobook ( I stopped on Disk 5 of 9)--nothing was happening and the voice of Miranda is so sickly sweet that I didn't want to listen. I need more exciting audios in the car to keep me awake while I'm driving.

I prefer my Shakespeare to be more violent--give me Hamlet and Macbeth and King Lear retellings, please.

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Monday, July 3, 2017

Review: Absence of Light: A Charlie Fox novella

Absence of Light: A Charlie Fox novella Absence of Light: A Charlie Fox novella by Zoë Sharp
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Quick little novella about Charlie Fox's latest adventure. This time she's sent into an earthquake zone to provide security, but ends up solving a murder and a jewelry heist. I'd still love to watch a movie about Charlie!

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Review: An Almond for a Parrot

An Almond for a Parrot An Almond for a Parrot by Wray Delaney
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I love a good historical smut book, but I couldn't handle all the talk of body parts being root vegetables. I was giggling and rolling my eyes, which probably wasn't what was supposed to happen.

And, ewww, child prostitution.

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Sunday, July 2, 2017

Review: Ginny Moon

Ginny Moon Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another wonderful and sweet book to add to the genre of literature from the point-of-view of an autistic child/teen. Ginny is 14, and constantly obsessed with going back to her old apartment and getting her baby doll from the suitcase under the bed. The problem is that her birth mom, Gloria, abused Ginny, which is why Ginny now lives with her "forever mom and dad."

Ginny's thought processes are difficult to listen to at times, but it's worth the ride. This is a great feel-good tale that's perfect for teens and adults. Should be a great book club read for public libraries, too.

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Thursday, June 29, 2017

Review: Disappeared

Disappeared Disappeared by Francisco X. Stork
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sara and her brother Emiliano live in Juarez, Mexico, and both are getting into trouble. Sara is a writer at the local newspaper, and she just won't let the public forget the local disappearing women--she writes a weekly column about the women. It hits close to home for her--her best friend Linda was one who was taken, and Sara hopes that she's still alive and not being too badly abused/trafficked. When Sara is threatened to NEVER write about her friend Linda or else her family will be hurt, she is torn between what is right and what will save her family.

Emiliano is in love with a beautiful rich girl, and he knows that all his little money-making schemes won't ever get him to her level. So when a local big shot offers an illegal deal that would get him rich quicker, he struggles about the decision.

Both siblings end up in a lot of danger, and it turns into quite the action/adventure novel at the end.

Love that Sara's point-of-view is included, even though she isn't a teenager anymore, and that the setting is Mexico.

There were a few parts in the ARC that I hope get fixed--for example, Emiliano doesn't know that his older sister is afraid of heights and needs the bottom bunk. That just seems weird. I also wondered about the 20-pound laptop Sara owned--doesn't that seem awfully heavy? They haven't weighed that much since the 1980's, and no one really even owned a laptop back then.

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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Review: Jane, Unlimited

Jane, Unlimited Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'm pretty sure this will get some attention at the Printz table--the writing is pretty darn good. Very similar to Agatha Christie at times, but then the book continues to show what happens when the main character makes a different decision at a certain point in the book. It did get a tad repetitive toward the end, but, hey, then it gets really weird, and you just have to keep reading!

This is the kind of book you have to read twice to really get--I found myself flipping back and forth a lot.

Definitely different from Graceling. A lot more sophisticated and I'm sure this is the book the author has been wanting to publish for a long time!

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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Review: The Wolf Road

The Wolf Road The Wolf Road by Beth Lewis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Absolutely LOVED this audiobook. I wanted to keep driving in order to listen, which is always a good sign! The production was amazing, the narrator perfect, and, once I got past the poor grammar of the main character, I was sucked into the woods and Elka's story. It's a bit twisted, which I like, but redemption is available, which I like, too.

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Monday, June 19, 2017

Review: Burntown

Burntown Burntown by Jennifer McMahon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Great combination of magical realism, paranormal, fantasy, contemporary heartache, family love, and all around mess of every genre. Don't give up when it gets weird--it's worth it.

Review to come in SLJ AB4t.

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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Review: Saints for All Occasions

Saints for All Occasions Saints for All Occasions by J. Courtney Sullivan
My rating: 0 of 5 stars

I stopped on Disk 4 of the audiobook, and I think it's the production's fault. The narrator was just speaking too slowly and carefully for me--I was bored silly while I was driving. I usually love historical novels about the Irish, but this would be better for me in print so I could skip past the slow parts.

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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Review: I See You

I See You I See You by Clare Mackintosh
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Scary to think that there might be crazies out there watching you and keeping track of your commute on a website so that nasty men can track you down and ask you for coffee. Or rape you. Or kill you. I did find the premise of this novel fascinating (and scary), but the way it was told was a bit slow for me. The ending sped up like crazy though! Make sure you stick with it until the epilogue.


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Sunday, June 11, 2017

Review: Flame in the Mist

Flame in the Mist Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ooo...I think all the reading of Laurence Yep when I was younger means that I'll always like any kind of action novel with samurais. And this novel didn't disappoint! Mariko's bridal party is attacked on the way to the emperor's palace, and she must try to survive and find her attackers. That means pretending to be a boy, of course, learning to fight, and using her wits to survive. I was reminded of Mulan when reading this, as well as Hearn's Across the Nightingale Floor, but those aren't bad things. Lots of action, a tad of romance, and the ending will have you wanting the sequel right away!

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Review: The Hollywood Daughter

The Hollywood Daughter The Hollywood Daughter by Kate Alcott
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Jesse grew up in Hollywood--her dad was THE publicist for Ingrid Bergman. And so Jesse was torn between her parents--her father tried to keep work away from home, since Jesse's mother was a strict Catholic who listened to priests call Hollywood evil.

A little too much of the idolizing Ingrid Bergman and antagonizing about growing up Catholic in Hollywood for my liking, but I know this adult book will have its audience. I enjoyed learning more about the Communism witch hunt and the silly rules that the commission imposed on the movies--three second kisses only! And so that's why the lovers pulled away to talk before kissing again. :)

The majority of the book is about Jesse's high school years, but the ending is all about confronting her past and going back to California to see her Catholic school before its torn down.

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Friday, June 9, 2017

Review: Feral

Feral Feral by James Demonaco
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The beginning of this book was really promising as an adult book for reluctant readers. A chemical lab goes bad and accidentally releases a chemical into the air that makes all men go feral. The women who survive the men's zombie-like antics must hole up in camps to survive. Very This is Not a Test and all those put together. But I always try to remember that not all teens have read widely, so this kind of genre might be good for them.

However.

I stopped reading when the romantic stuff started driving me nuts. I'm sorry, but these women are trying to survive and they aren't going to stop sleeping with guns to choose instead to sleep with their head on the chest of the one non-feral man they found. I wanted more of a Firefly female character--like Zoey. The love stuff comes after kicking ass.

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Thursday, June 8, 2017

Review: La Princesa and the Pea

La Princesa and the Pea La Princesa and the Pea by Susan Middleton Elya
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I barely remember the Spanish I learned years ago, but I loved using context clues to figure out what the Spanish words thrown into this mostly English children's book mean. They rhymes helped!

Illustrations were cute, intricate, diverse, and I loved the illustrator's explanation of using Peruvian textiles at the end of the book.

And there is a twist at the end that makes this version of Princess and the Pea (I never really liked the original tale) different. And better!

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Review: Come with Me

Come with Me Come with Me by Holly M. McGhee
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Good concept and a much needed one in this day and age. The little girl is scared about everything going on around her and asks her parents what she can do to make the world a better place. They reply with simple things--going to local grocers, saying nice things to diverse people, riding they subway.

But it really seemed like pages were missing. The "They rode the train through the tunnels underground" was odd--no followup? I'm sure it was meant to reference something about a previous subway attack, but no young person would ever get that message that riding a subway equals winning a battle over fear, especially in my neck of the woods.

And what was the deal with the page about setting the table? That page really seemed out of place, unless it was meant to be an etiquette lesson in the middle of a book about living your life even while bad things are going on in the world.

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Review: Sarabella's Thinking Cap

Sarabella's Thinking Cap Sarabella's Thinking Cap by Judy Schachner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Beautiful illustrations and a lot of different ideas to study on each page! Children who love looking for details will enjoy this one.

As for the story, I thought for sure that Sarabella the daydreamer was going to start writing out her ideas. Or that she was going to get some concrete ideas to help her concentrate on her schoolwork. But the simple explanation of "Sarabella began to imagine what her thinking cap might look like. And then she turned back to her work." didn't cut it for me--why was she able to concentrate this time?

I'm sure this will come on the Caldecott table though--acrylics, gouache, collage, and mixed media are all good things.

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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Review: All Rights Reserved

All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved by Gregory Scott Katsoulis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.5 stars

4 stars for the concept--love the idea that lawyers control everything, even the words that we speak in this close-to-real-life future. Everyone in the dome wears a cuff that charges you for each word you speak after the ceremony when you're a teen. No one bothers to read the Terms of Service in this world (I might read them after reading this book) and no one except the rich have books. Parents are taken from children because they are sued for illegally downloaded music generations ago ("we owed the Musical Rights Association of America more than six million dollars in damages.") and forced to work to pay off their debts to the copyright holders.

3 stars for the writing style because there were parts that were disjointed and just didn't read smoothly, especially the ending about Speth's late night rendezvous to find the book that holds all the secrets to this world. I kinda felt preached at about the first amendment, but maybe younger teens wouldn't feel that way? But the idea that lawyers and the rich will control everything through patents and copyrights doesn't sound too out there. Speth is another strong female kickass character, although she does something in the middle that I wasn't a fan of--you'll see when you read. But Speth isn't flawless--she makes mistakes.

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Thursday, June 1, 2017

Review: A Shadow Bright and Burning

A Shadow Bright and Burning A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this audiobook more than I thought I would. There isn't much new in this fantasy, but I enjoyed the ride and it kept me company on a drive to and from Tennessee!

Ancients and a magical main female character who can kick some ass aren't new to fantasy YA, but I still enjoyed the ride.

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Review: Once and for All

Once and for All Once and for All by Sarah Dessen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Classic Sarah Dessen--a sweet romance with a bit of emotional trauma and a few chuckles. The smiles surprised me--this book had funnier moments than what I remember from her previous titles.

Louna is a cynic--she works for her mom's wedding planning business, and she knows that true love isn't always possible. She has her own kind of heartache, too, and when her mom hires a young man for the summer, Louna tries to hold herself distant.

But, love.......happens when you least expect it.

Sweet and perfect summer read. Not too much angst here, which is nice. Dessen just won the Edwards award for lifetime achievement--you can see her at the Edwards lunch at ALA in Chicago later this month!

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Review: Red Sister

Red Sister Red Sister by Mark Lawrence
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Review to come in SLJ AB4T.

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Thursday, May 25, 2017

Review: The Best Man

The Best Man The Best Man by Richard Peck
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Peck seems like he can just whip these feel-good middle school stories out of his back pocket! Love how this coming of age novel (based in the Chicago suburbs) covers the main character finding out that his uncle is gay. Um, yes, everyone knows but Archer. But this isn't an "issue" novel, it's just an escape into a kid's normal world and all of its ups and downs. I've wanted to escape into this author's worlds since I was a kid myself, and he still has the touch. Richard Peck is a master of kid lit.

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Monday, May 22, 2017

Review: Every Wild Heart

Every Wild Heart Every Wild Heart by Meg Donohue
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Quick and easy book club reader about mothers and daughters that could have been published by a Christian publisher, even though there is no mention of religion.

Gail Gideon is a talk show guru who became famous ranting about her ex-husband. Now, as the mother of a shy 14-year-old, she's worried because after a fall from a horse, her daughter is acting differently. Nic is now outspoken and acting on the impulses that she used to keep to herself.

Throw in some romance for both of the characters, and you have this book, along with a playlist at the back, as well as book recommendations for other mother-daughter reads like Where'd You Go, Bernadette.

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Review: MatchUp

MatchUp MatchUp by Lee Child
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was pretty freaking amazing! It was great to see all my favorite characters get into some situation with some of my other favorite characters. And most of the stories were good! Very impressive collection. Review to come in SLJ AB4T

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Thursday, May 18, 2017

Review: A Piece of the World

A Piece of the World A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I have Christina's World hanging in my spare room--that painting has always made me think and appreciate my rural upbringing. And, so, of course, I had to read this historical fiction novel written about the life of Christina Olson, the woman in the painting. It's slow-going, but the audiobook narrator was good, and I stuck with it until Wyeth painted the famous work at the end of the novel.

I didn't care for Orphan Train either, so I won't be reading anymore by this author.

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