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A middle school librarian who reviews Mg and YA books.
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4 chewy brownies.
It's okay. I like the colors and it hints of a mystery but I don;t think it is overly eye catching.
Why I Wanted to Read This:
The synopsis! I was looking for a good middle grade book and this one sounded like the one. Here it is from GoodReads:
When you're the third of six kids, it's easy to get lost in the shuffle, but Sunday Fowler is determined that this summer she'll find the one thing that makes her stand out from her siblings. Romance?:
And when she discovers a silver box in the basement of the library her parents are renovating, she might just have found something to gain her the attention she so craves. Inside is a series of letters addressed to "The Librarian" and a manuscript. But who wrote them? With the help of annoying neighbor-turned-new-friend Jude, Sunday is determined to track down the author. And when she unveils this novel to the world, she'll be famous!
But uncovering this manuscript means stirring up secrets that some people in the town hoped to keep buried. And Sunday must decide if some things -- loyalty, trust, friendship -- are worth more than her name in the headlines.
Nope, but talk of crushes. And there is a wonderful love story.My Thoughts:
Sunday will be a character that will resonate with many, many children. She feels invisible within her family and longs to do something that will make her memorable. I think that most children of tween/early teen age wants to do something that makes them stand out. Because of that, many readers will think that Sunday should do what she was planning instead of doing the right thing.
However, as an older reader Sunday's obsession with making a mark bothered me. As a reader I could see the many, many ways that her family needed her and wanted her, but she was so blind to the attention her siblings got she couldn't see that. It made it a little hard to sympathize with her.
I like the friendship between Sunday and Jude. It was a good friendship, nothing more. She was kind of mean to him some time, or impatient anyway, but he put up with it. His adoration with her family was very sweet.
There is a very good mystery to be solved and a deeper, sweet love story. It's pretty clear to the reader what the outcome will be for the manuscript, but it's a good read to see how Sunday gets there.
With the way that Sunday's whole trip starts out it's easy to see why she is so determined to make her mark. I do wish she had told her mom and dad what happened instead of letting the wound fester for so long.To Sum Up:
Good mystery and sweet story. I will be buying this one for my library for those younger readers who want a mystery. The romance is also sweet and innocent and will be an added attraction for readers.
egalley requested and received from Egmont via NetGalley. Thanks!!
No matter what you think, the casting of Charlie Hunnam of Christian Grey was a good idea. Here's how I know. Up until it was announced that he was cast I had no desire to read these books or see this movie. At all.
Then it was announced Charlie got the role.
I love Sons of Anarchy so much. Charlie's Jax Teller is awesome and dangerous and sexy as hell. He is the main reason I love that show.
So, I decided to read the first book. I am now on the third one. They aren't bad and there is certainly something about them because I can't stop reading them and neither can most women I know.
The funny thing is that some people think they are superior to me because they read "adult" books and I read YA and MG books. I used to feel I was above reading Fifty Shades, but I can tell you now, I am not.
And as I read the book and the descriptions of Christian and the looks he gives Anastasia I realized that Charlie will be the perfect Christian. It was genius casting.
4 fudgy brownies with frosting.
Yes, I love it. It hints of suspense and horror. It is very eye-catching.Why I Wanted to Read This:
It had a very interesting premise and sounded like something the readers in my library would love. Here's the synopsis from Good Reads:
Hauntings are our business . . .Romance?:
Ghosts crowd the streets and houses of London. Anthony Lockwood, with his slightly grumpy deputy George, and his junior field operative Lucy, make up LOCKWOOD & CO, the small, shabby yet talented ghost-hunting agency.
After a series of calamitous investigations into the supernatural go awry, the team are desperate to prove themselves. Their opportunity comes in the form of a terrifying ghost, the Red Duke. But little do they know what perils lie in store for them at the haunted Bliss Hall.
No, but there might be a little flirtation between Lucy and Anthony.My Thoughts:
This is a great combination or horror, ghost and mystery stories. And how handy these are three that are very popular in my library. I cannot wait to get this one on the shelves. I think it's going to be very popular and I hope this is going to be a series because there were unanswered questions.
Kids are going to love that Anthony, George and Lucy are able to run their business on their own, no adult interference.
The last action scene versus the ghost is very intense and I liked that the author didn't drag it out. Once the action started he didn't let up, but he didn't make it too long either. It was just right. And it was tense and descriptive and scary, but nothing I felt that middle schoolers wouldn't be able to handle.
The whole idea of some ghosts coming back and only children being able to see and sense them is very intriguing. To Sum Up:
There is a lot more than can be done with the world this novel is set. I think this will be a big hit with middle grade readers!eGalley requested and downloaded from NetGalley via Disney.
Ugh! I didn't read hardly anything this summer.
I blame Netflix and smart TVs.
I only got 20 books read. That actually is pretty good, but I just had a lot of stops and starts. And I wanted to read a lot more than I did.
My favorite book of the summer was Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson. I only read it last weekend, which was labor day so I still count that. I am going to be reviewing it soon, it was very good. A ton of action!
I just got distracted a lot and watched a lot on Netflix.
But I still had a great summer.
How did your summer reading go?
I love coming back to school. I love, love, love when a new kid comes into their library and look around at all the books and computers in awe. It's not that we are super big, but we have two hand me down computer labs and a lot of books and most of them come from small rural schools where they don't have quite the size of library we have. It's always pretty gratifying though.
This morning I had one of my favorites from the past few years (he is one who has emailed me pictures of himself reading during the weekend)(he comes in every single morning to either talk about books or check out books--he's darling) come in to check out The Fault in Our Stars. Here's our conversation:
Me: John Green, good choice.
Him: You know John Green?
Me: Yes, I know John Green.
Him: (blathers on about various things) then: They are making this into a movie.
Me: Yes, I know.
Him: You know?! How do you know?
Me: I keep up on these things.
Him: Well, John Green and his brother have a youtube channel where they vlog and his brother sings songs and I want you to see one.
Him: After directing me to the video (which you can see here). It's about Harry Potter. Have you read the Harry Potters?
At this point, I just look at him and say: Keegan, it's like you don't know me at all!
Him: Well I am sorry, you are a grown up!!
It was so funny, I have giggled about it all day.
Prep School Confidential by Kara Taylor
4 super good no bake chocolate cookies.School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani
I adored this book! Loved the boarding school, typical New England prep, uniforms, headbands, all the trimmings. And murder. What I loved best was that Anne wasn't overly brave, she just really felt she needed to avenge her roommates death. She got caught in a few precarious positions, and wasn't afraid to let us see her cry. I loved both the boys she was attracted to--they represented both sides of the YA boy spectrum--the golden boy (Brent) and the bad boy (Anthony). She chose the way I would've as well, another thing I loved.
And I really liked the mystery, I wasn't able to figure it out at all. It kept me guessing and flipping pages as fast as I could! And overall it was a clean book, perfect for the mystery loving readers in my library!
3 soft snickerdoodles.Firecracker by David Iserson
I really enjoyed the premise of this book and Sophie and Agatha are both girls I rooted for. My main complaint about this, however, was the transitions. I felt most of them were kind of awkward and sometimes it took me a sentence or two to catch up. The idea that fairy tale characters are trained to be good or evil is very interesting and I do like the idea of there being a balance so sometimes evil actually wins. Both characters go through several changes, back and forth, as they come to understand who they truly are and who they truly can be. I enjoyed this story and will come back for the sequel.
4 yummy M&M cookies.
Although this doesn't really take place in a boarding school, Astrid only wants to get back to her boarding school. I love the look at public school through the eyes of someone who has never been there. Astrid has a lot to learn about living outside her family life, but she really has no desire to do that. The book leads us to believe that Astrid has no emotions, which isn't true. She has dislike and hate and the want for revenge. She is just really afraid to feel good things, as especially doesn't want to get close to anyone. There is a reason for that and it's pretty sad when the ready finds out. This is a good coming of age story, I rooted for Astrid the whole way.
3 chocolate whoopie pies.
Not really, but it is whimsical like the book!Why I Wanted to Read This:
I adored Once Upon a Marigold
and Twice Upon a Marigold
, the first two books in this series. I was so excited to hear there was a third one. Here's the synopsis from GoodReads:
Princess Poppy, the bouncing baby daughter of Queen Marigold and King Christian of Zandelphia-Beaurivage, is in terrible danger. The kingdom’s former torturer-in-chief and poisoner-in-chief have joined forces to kidnap the baby as an act of revenge for their exile! Can a ragtag parade of rescuers—including the king and queen, the evil kidnappers’ mortified children, five dogs, a white elephant, and a washed-up wizard—save Princess Poppy in time?Romance?:
Yes! Not only do we get to revisit Christian and Marigold, but another romance is brewing between Phoebe and Sebastian, two new characters.My Thoughts:
If you haven't read the first and second in this series please do! The kingdom that Christian and Marigold is fun. They are such cute books, so much fun to read. This one really completes the series and brings it all to a close.
Christian and Marigold are secondary characters in this book. They are both so enamored of their new baby, Princess Poppy, that it kind of takes the umph out of them. The enjoyable parts of Christian and Marigold aren't on display here, but with them moving aside we get to know two other characters--Phoebe and Sebastian.
I adored Phoebe and Sebastian. They are the offspring of Boris and Vlad, former enemies of the kingdom. They are very invested in solving the mystery of Poppy's kidnapping to help people view them as more than the children of the two worst criminals in the kingdoms history. Of course as they work together to help rescue Poppy they get closer and closer to each other.
The thing I really enjoy about these books is that even when there is danger it's not scary danger. It's still light and fun. This is a perfect middle grade book--excellent for kids not ready for anything more intense.To Sum Up:
I am buying this to add to my library collection. It's a good addition to this series and a fun, fractured fairy tale!
4 very yummy soft and frosted ginger cookies.
Yes, very pretty and definitely has the feel of a fairy tale.Why I Wanted to Read This:
I saw an add for book 2, Hero, which made me curious about this one. I don't know how this escaped my notice! Here's the synopsis from GoodReads:
It isn't easy being the rather overlooked and unhappy youngest sibling to sisters named for the other six days of the week. Sunday’s only comfort is writing stories, although what she writes has a terrible tendency to come true.Romance?:
When Sunday meets an enchanted frog who asks about her stories, the two become friends. Soon that friendship deepens into something magical. One night Sunday kisses her frog goodbye and leaves, not realizing that her love has transformed him back into Rumbold, the crown prince of Arilland—and a man Sunday’s family despises.
The prince returns to his castle, intent on making Sunday fall in love with him as the man he is, not the frog he was. But Sunday is not so easy to woo. How can she feel such a strange, strong attraction for this prince she barely knows? And what twisted secrets lie hidden in his past - and hers?
Of course!My Thoughts:
I just adored this book. I check it out from my public library along with the audio CDs. I started listening to it on a trip, but switched to the print version because I could read faster than listen. The audio version is wonderful and got me very hooked in the story.
This is a darling fairy tale and so perfect. There are a ton of references to other fairy tales and a lot of whimsy and nonsense, but there is also a darkness to this world. Some true evil! The dual tones were fun and kept me more engaged in the story.
I loved Sunday and Rumbold. One thing I really liked was the way the author discussed the transition for Rumbold between frog to man. It was hard on his body! He didn't just wake up a man and start moving around being a man, it was work. It made him more of a real person rather than just a manly fairy tale prince.
I loved Sunday's family and would like to hear a few more of their stories. It liked how the author drops us into the middle of this family and their stories. Sunday is the youngest in the family so there are already siblings who have died and met their own fairy tale princes. I would love it if we went back someday and heard more about Tuesday and Monday's stories.
The romance between Sunday and Rumbold was very sweet. I loved that Sunday was so willing to love a frog. And how she could feel a connection with Rumbold before even finding out he was her frog!
There is a lot of evil in this world as well. Scary stuff! The idea of fairy godmothers in this world is interesting because it seems most people have one and they are not always good fairy godmothers but they are still there helping or hindering.
There was just nothing too magical or romantic or fun in the world. It was fun to visit and I look forward to Saturday's story in Hero!To Sum Up:
A great new fairy tale that will be big with the reader in my library. Can't wait to book talk this one!
3 soft and chocolatey M&M cookies.
Yes, I think this is eye catching and young male readers wouldn't mind carrying this one around.Why I Wanted to Read This:
I was very curious about the synopsis and after starting to watch Under the Dome this summer I was even more interested in the idea of a town cut off. Here's the synopsis from GoodReads:
Fourteen-year-old Tucker Pierce prefers to fly under the radar. He’s used to navigating around summer tourists in his hometown on idyllic Pemberwick Island, Maine. He’s content to sit on the sidelines as a backup player on the high school football team. And though his best friend Quinn tells him to “go for it,” he’s too chicken to ask Tori Sleeper on a date. There’s always tomorrow, he figures. Then Pemberwick Island is invaded by a mysterious branch of the U.S. military called SYLO. And sitting on the sidelines is no longer an option for Tucker, because tomorrow may never come. Romance?:
It’s up to Tucker, Quinn, and Tori to uncover the truth about the singing aircraft that appears only at night—and the stranger named Feit who’s pushing a red crystal he calls the Ruby that brings unique powers to all who take it. Tucker and his friends must rescue not just Pemberwick Island, but the fate of the world—and all before tomorrow is too late.
No, but some crushes.My Thoughts:
I was going to do a quick review of this book but ended up feeling I had more to write. I want you to know there will be some mild spoilers in this review.
This was a very frustrating book to me. I enjoyed the whole thing, but Tucker, the main character, was very bothersome to me. I think he was pretty typical for a 14 year old, but as a grown up reader he kind of drove me nuts!
The action came quick and kept me interested in the story. Here's what bothered me about Tucker--he ignored his instincts. He said a few times that he wanted to talk to his parents to get answers "more than anything" but he let himself be swayed by two other 14/15 year olds. Peer pressure, I get that. But then he put his trust in a guy that he repeatedly told the reader he couldn't stand over talking to his mom or demanding to talk to his dad. That was the most frustrating part over all!
There are a lot of hints towards things happening and people knowing more than letting on (Olivia) but this book ended without giving a lot of answers. That bothered me a lot. Almost to the point that I don't want to wait for book 2 because I will forget all my questions by then!
However, as frustrated as I am by this book I believe that this will be big for readers in my library. There was a lot of action and relate able characters and a villain that is easy to hate. My readers will love this one and will be clamoring for books 2! (I know that first kid I am giving this too as a matter of fact!).To Sum Up:
Frustrating for this adult reader, but I think it will be very enjoyable for it's targeted audience!
4 yummy whoopies pies.
Yes! This is so sweet, but the girl is not a good representation of Chelsea.Why I Wanted to Read This:
I read Ms. Dalton's Sixteenth Summer
a few years ago and adored it. This isn't a sequel, it's a new summer romance. Here's the synopsis from GoodReads:
Chelsea isn’t looking forward to her summer at the lake. It’s the first time her family has been there since her grandmother died, and she can’t break out of her funk. But her summer takes a turn for the better when she meets a boy who works in the bookstore. Josh is cute, sweet, funny…and best of all, seems to like her as much as she likes him. As the days pass by in a blur of boat rides, picnics, and stolen kisses, she can’t believe how lucky she is. No one has ever made her feel so special, or so beautiful.Romance?:
But Chelsea knows her days with Josh are numbered. She’ll be heading home at the end of the summer—and he’ll be staying behind. Will this be Chelsea’s summer of love? Or will it be the summer of her broken heart?
Yes! A super sweet romance. My Thoughts:
I just love this romance! This will be a perfect book for my library. Sweet, innocent and perfect for girls starting to notice boys.
This is everything you want in a summer romance book: the first notice, the first time he notices you, the first dates, the first kiss, the first heartbreak. Everything is in here!
Chelsea was so sad about coming to Michigan because she was so afraid of how much she would miss her grandmother. But I like how the whole family rallied around each other and their pain. They made the summer the best they could and still followed their traditions and were able to learn a little bit more about each.
I loved both Josh and Chelsea. First and foremost, Chelsea is a big reader. And she meets Josh at a bookstore he works at because his parents own it. He feels a lot of responsibility towards the bookstore and his parents and that almost ruins his relationship with Chelsea. But, in the end age and love win out.
I love that Chelsea wasn't at all looking for romance--she is kind of bothered about how boy crazy her sisters are--but it just hits her out of the blue. Isn't that how the good ones happens?To Sum Up:
I am buying this for my library. It's fun and sweet and summery. Everything to love about a teen romance!
eBook requested and received from Simon & Schuster via Edelweiss.
4 dark chocolate chip cookies.
Yes! I love the colors and fonts. This is an eye catching cover!Why I Wanted to Read This:
I saw enough buzz about this when it first came out so I knew I had to read it. I loved the synopsis and was looking forward to visiting this new world! Here's the synopsis from GoodReads:
Sixteen-year-old Dusty Everhart breaks into houses late at night, but not because she’s a criminal. No, she’s a Nightmare.Romance?:
Being the only Nightmare at Arkwell Academy, a boarding school for magickind, and living in the shadow of her mother’s infamy, is hard enough. But when Dusty sneaks into Eli Booker’s house, things get a whole lot more complicated. He’s hot, which means sitting on his chest and invading his dreams couldn’t get much more embarrassing. But it does. Eli is dreaming of a murder.
Then Eli’s dream comes true.
Now Dusty has to follow the clues—both within Eli’s dreams and out of them—to stop the killer before more people turn up dead. And before the killer learns what she’s up to and marks her as the next target.
Yes! Not only is there insane chemistry (and a strong bond) between Dusty and Eli, she ends up having a relationship with another guy as well.My Thoughts:
I really enjoyed the world of magic and mythology that the author has created. It's organized, there is a government and they have even found a way to keep the magic under control. And there are some new supernatural creatures, like Nightmares. The main character, Dusty, is a Nightmare, but only half (her dad is a human). As the book progresses she learns how powerful she really is, which I always love. There are a lot of stories that can be told in this world!
I loved Eli and Dusty. Eli is just so hot and good. Wow! Hopefully they explore their bond in the next book, if you know what I mean!
And I really liked Dusty. The problem is that she didn't trust her own instincts enough. I think it's probably hard for her because this world was so new to her and then to be thrown together with Eli like that. I hope in the next book she asks more questions and trusts herself more.
I did have part of the mystery figured out, but the main big bad was a bit of a surprise. Also, I just didn't like Dusty's mom. I am actually not sure we are supposed to, so bravo. But, blech, what a bitch!To Sum Up:
A fun supernatural mystery with a lot of supernatural characters. Good start to a new series! I will be buying this one for my library.
4 fudgy, frosted brownies.
Yes! I love the colors and the font and the girls. I just adore this cover and know it will be eye catching to many readers in my library!Why I Wanted to Read This:
I love tween girl mystery books so when I read the synopsis for this one I knew I had to read it. Here it is from GoodReads:
Best friends and seventh graders Sophie Young and Grace Yang have made a game out of spying on their neighbors. On one of their midnight stakeouts, they witness a terrifying, bloody scene at the home of their bizarre middle-school counselor, Dr. Charlotte Agford (aka Dr. Awkward).Romance?:
At least, they think they do. The truth is that Dr. Agford was only making her famous pickled beets! But when Dr. Agford begins acting even weirder than usual, Sophie and Grace become convinced that she’s hiding something—and they’re determined to find out what it is.
Soon the girls are breaking secret codes, being followed by a strange blue car, and tailing strangers with unibrows and Texas accents. But as their investigation heats up, Sophie and Grace start to crack under the pressure. They might solve their case, but will their friendship survive?
Perfect for fans of The Mysterious Benedict Society, The Wig in the Window is a smart, funny middle-grade mystery with a REAR WINDOW twist.
Nope, but Sophie does have a crush on a fellow seventh grade boy.My Thoughts:
This is not a tame little mystery story. There is a lot of danger and action and a very intriguing mystery. One thing I liked (that I think will resonate with most kids) was how easy it was for Charlotte Agford to talk her way into Sophie's life. Because she was in a position of power at Sophie's school she was able to convince Sophie's parents of what was best for Sophie. That annoyed me a little bit because as a parent I would have my own judgements about what they did or were going through and how to handle it. However, Sophie's parents are really busy so it's easy to see how they were willing to hand her punishment over to someone else. And they did hold Sophie accountable for her actions which was good.
There were a few good twists, but not ones that I were expecting, which kept me hooked in the story.
A few things I read talked about how much they loved the friendship between Sophie and Grace. And while I did like it, there were so many doubts and hurts throughout the book that I had to wonder if it would last. And Sophie was able to make a new, good friend who is worth a second look. They ended on a good note but there were times during the books that I wondered if their friendship would even survive!
The villain, Charlotte Agford, was truly awful. Just gross! I am glad the author did not make her sympathetic, it was good to have someone dislike so much.
I liked how Sophie and Grace were able to solve the mystery and follow their instincts to prove there even was a mystery. They are smart, resourceful girls. I did really like that the author did make the danger real. I think will make this mystery even more attractive to young readers. Nothing was watered down.To Sum Up:
A great middle grade book that I will be buying for my library. Many young readers will enjoy this one!Book requested and received from HarperCollins. Thanks so much!
4 yummy blueberry lemon glazed muffins.
Yes! It's perfect, romance, summer, sea and sand. I also love the font and layout of the title.
Why I Wanted to Read This:
A contemporary summer romance based in Nantucket? Why wouldn't I want to read this?! Here's the snopsis from GoodReads:
For Cricket Thompson, a summer like this one will change everything. A summer spent on Nantucket with her best friend, Jules Clayton, and the indomitable Clayton family. A summer when she’ll make the almost unattainable Jay Logan hers. A summer to surpass all dreams.Romance?:
Some of this turns out to be true. Some of it doesn’t.
When Jules and her family suffer a devastating tragedy that forces the girls apart, Jules becomes a stranger whom Cricket wonders whether she ever really knew. And instead of lying on the beach working on her caramel-colored tan, Cricket is making beds and cleaning bathrooms to support herself in paradise for the summer.
But it’s the things Cricket hadn’t counted on--most of all, falling hard for someone who should be completely off-limits--that turn her dreams into an exhilarating, bittersweet reality.
A beautiful future is within her grasp, and Cricket must find the grace to embrace it. If she does, her life could be the perfect shade of Nantucket blue.
I adored this book. I whipped through it in one day. The romance was so sweet, the setting was amazing, there was some tension but not so much that made me feel uncomfortable or want to put the book down. Cricket really comes into her own, finding her own place in her world.
I loved the people Cricket was able to surround herself with--Liz, Gavin, Zack. Her relationship with Jules was so all consuming, it's like when someone gets a boyfriend and drops all their friends to just be with that person. That's how Cricket was with Jules and her family, so when she lost them she was really lost. Yes, Jules was a total bitch, but Zack was able to help Cricket see why Jules was being that way. I am not sure if they will ever repair their friendship, but Cricket grew so much that she might not need it to be what it was anymore.
The romance! It was so very, very sweet. I just adored Zack, what a great guy! He was just what Cricket needed, and it started so innocently. It was a surprise to them both and grew into something strong and real.
Most of all I loved Cricket. She still made stupid teenager mistakes and you know there will be more, but she was able to rise above them and make amends and she was able to help her mother get out of her funk. She was written like a real teenager, impulsive, head strong, lonely, sweet, forgiving--just all kinds of emotions. She was fun to read!To Sum Up:
A sweet summer romance book that I will want to visit again sometime!Egalley requested and received from Disney via NetGalley. Thanks so much!
4 yummy, soft ginger cookies.
It's okay. I don't love it but I also don't hate it.Why I Wanted to Read This:
I just adore Elizabeth Eulberg. She writes good contemporary girl power novels. Here's the synopsis for this one:
Don't mess with a girl with a great personality!Romance?:
Everybody loves Lexi. She's popular, smart, funny...but she's never been one of those girls, the pretty ones who get all the attention from guys. And on top of that, her seven-year-old sister, Mackenzie, is a terror in a tiara, and part of a pageant scene where she gets praised for her beauty (with the help of fake hair and tons of makeup).
Lexi's sick of it. She's sick of being the girl who hears about kisses instead of getting them. She's sick of being ignored by her longtime crush, Logan. She's sick of being taken for granted by her pageant-obsessed mom. And she's sick of having all her family's money wasted on a phony pursuit of perfection.
The time has come for Lexi to step out from the sidelines. Girls without great personalities aren't going to know what hit them. Because Lexi's going to play the beauty game - and she's in it to win it.
Yes! But it's not the main plot point.My Thoughts:
Lexi was awesome. She was smart and self-aware, even though she didn't have a lot of confidence in her looks. She gives some awesome speeches in the end of this book, cutting down a mean girl like anyone who was tormented by a mean girl always wishes they did! It was just refreshing by the end to see her stand up for herself and let all those great thoughts she was having come out!
Lexi's poor mom, she was the hardest character to read in this book. I just wanted to shake her and make her see what she was doing to her daughters. She is so mired in her own sadness and disappointment--living through Mackenzie is the only way she feels important. It made me very sad for her as well.
However, I cried and cried for Lexi when her mother did what she did to her. What an awful, awful thing. I really hope their mother takes a long look at what she has let her life become and makes some good changes. I was also glad that Mackenzie became a little bit more than just a one note pageant girl.
Lexi's friends are awesome, Benny and Cam. They supported Lexi and helped her through her time of self discovery. I liked that even though Lexi changed how she looked, it was more of just amping up what was already there. And she discovered that it is okay to look frumpy but it is also okay to primp. I really, really hope Taylor gives her another chance.
And the speeches Lexi makes! She is a sharp high schooler. In real life it probably wouldn't be this way, but she tells off a mean girl like you wish you could've in high school, and helps Mackenzie (hopefully) make changes in her life.
To Sum Up:
Going to buy this one for my library! Girl power!!
I just love taking road trips where A) I don't have to drive and B) my kids keep themselves entertained. I got FOUR books finished over the weekend on our latest trip (for soccer, of course).
I finished THE WIG IN THE WINDOW, which I had previously started and but was just able to get done.
I also finished BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA which I had also previously started.
Then I started and read two wonderful summer romance books: NANTUCKET BLUE and FIFTEENTH SUMMER.
Also, when I got home this was waiting for me in my mailbox. So excited!!
3 chocolate chip cookies.
Not really. It's okay and the rose does have meaning, but I don't think it;s really eye catching.Why I Wanted to Read This:
I adored Rachel Vail's books If We Kiss and Kiss Me Again, and contemporary romance books are favorites of mine. Here's the synopsis from GoodReads:
Josie is independent and fierce. She may flirt with boys or kiss them, but it doesn't mean anything, not even with Michael, who's more like a friend-with-benefits. So how can she explain what happens when Carson Gold goes after her? Carson Gold, the hottest senior, the one everyone secretly watches. . . .Romance?:
Maybe it's the same thing that causes all the girls to stare as he walks by. Or maybe it's something between them, something just he and Josie share.
Could you resist?
It's too much, when love finds you and pulls you under. It's too much, even for Josie.
Yes, that's what it's all about!My Thoughts:
I just love how some authors can nail what it's like when you like a boy way more than he likes you. It twists you up inside until you aren't sure who you are anymore. And poor Josie, she truly loses herself in her desire for Carson. At first she is so good about it, making it fun. But he really wants her to love him and only him and when the most beautiful, popular boy in school is pursuing you, it's really hard to not lost your head and heart!
I would like to hand this to any girl who loses herself like that. It just broke my heart to see Josie change her hairstyle and her clothes and start shirking her duties for this guy! But what was worse, was that Carson wanted her to! He totally pushed her to make those changes. He is not a good guy at all!
Josie's support group is fantastic and she will make it through this just fine, growing and learning all the way. I can't say I feel the same for Carson since he will probably be an ass till the day he dies!To Sum Up:
Great little romance with much to teach!
Book checked out from public library.
5 oatmeal butterscotch chip cookies.
Not really. I don't really like this one of the other version that is floating around. However, the new ones coming out are pretty cool (the ones with the blue scorpion).Why I Wanted to Read This:
My partner librarian does not read a ton. I know that sounds weird to say about a librarian. She has so many other strengths and I read a lot of the in our collection so we balance each other out fine. But when she take the time to read something it's something she loves. And she always talks about this book as one of her favorites. So I finally broke down and read it. Here's the synopsis from GoodReads:
Matteo Alacran was not born; he was harvested with the DNA from El Patron, lord of a country called Opium. Can a boy who was bred to guarantee another’s survival find his own purpose in life? And can he ever be free?Romance?:
Matt and Maria definitely have feelings for one another but they are too young to act on them.My Thoughts:
There are several things I like about this dystopian world. First the author gives us a little history of how we got there. Normally things are left up for interpretation so it was nice to read why the world ended up that way.
I also liked how the whole world was not one way, the author talks about other areas of the world and their struggles or riches. Mostly in dystopians the whole story is focused on just one region so we are left to assume that either the whole world is that way or there is only that specific region still thriving in a wasted world.
With the way this world was presented it was easy to see that this is actually a possible future for the human race.
Poor Matt, he just has no idea who or what he is supposed to be. Growing up with only two positive influences (kind of three is you count Maria, which it's hard to do because she is so hot and cold with him) doesn't leave a lot of room for maturity. And the fact that everyone is so quick to believe the worst about him!
I am not sure what El Patron's end goal for Matt was. Did he expect him to take over the business? Was his brain going to be implanted into Matt? Was he going to be harvested for parts? These are questions that were left unanswered, kind of. There was an answer of sorts, but I am not sure if that was what was planned for Matt or not.
With the overall bleakness of his world I really didn't expect that there could be a happy ending for Matt. And not that the ending was overly happy, there was much room for hope for him.To Sum Up:
A very different kind of dystopian book. A wonderful read for everyone!Book from my library collection.
4 chocolate chocolate chip cookies.Cover Love:
Meh. I don't really love it. She looks more like a barbie doll than a girl.Why I Wanted to Read This:
I am always looking out for good contemporary YA books and the author's cred didn't hurt at all (he is a writer for a few TV shows I like). Here's the synopsis from GoodReads:
Being Astrid Krieger is absolutely all it's cracked up to be.Romance?:
She lives in a rocket ship in the backyard of her parents' estate.
She was kicked out of the elite Bristol Academy and she's intent on her own special kind of revenge to whomever betrayed her.
She only loves her grandfather, an incredibly rich politician who makes his money building nuclear warheads.
It's all good until...
"We think you should go to the public school," Dad said.
This was just a horrible, mean thing to say. Just hearing the words "public school" out loud made my mouth taste like urine (which, not coincidentally, is exactly how the public school smells).
Will Astrid finally meet her match in the form of public school? Will she find out who betrayed her and got her expelled from Bristol? Is Noah, the sweet and awkward boy she just met, hiding something?
Not really? I give it a question mark because although Astrid develops feelings for Noah, she allows him to be her friend--which for her is more important than romance.My Thoughts:
Astrid doesn't need anyone. It's not that she can't make friends (although truly making friends would require a bit of a social overhaul) she just views friends as beneath her. She only wants people around her who can be useful to her. It's not that she doesn't have feelings, she just doesn't want them. Of course we readers can probably trace this back to what happened to her brother. And although that clearly wasn't her fault, she totally blames herself. I am sure she was pretty cut off from an sort of emotions from her parents after that happened. Her grandfather truly was the only person she could count on for years and that screwed her up as well. To have a shrink truly get into her head would be amazing!
I love that when she got to public school she gathered up misfits rather than trying to break into the popular crowd. She does it at first as her assignment for her shrink, but by the end recognizes that having friends is actually pretty great. And that these misfits are pretty great as friends.
She grows so much during the book! I cannot imagine growing up like her, very wealthy, in the spotlight. It's no wonder she is pretty screwed up in the beginning, although she wouldn't ever admit to being screwed up.
I adore Noah, just love him. He is so good for her! And he is so sweet and kind-hearted. Just wonderful! I wish I had a Noah in my life in high school.
I was glad the book focused mostly on Astrid with her family being peripheral characters (aside from her grandfather). With the eccentricities of her family it could have easily added more about them, but I was way more interested in Astrid.
Yes there is trauma, and yes she can be a bitch, but Astrid is a fully developed strong character who I am rooting for. She grows and changes and acknowledges her need for those changes by the end.To Sum Up:
A great coming of age book! Probably a little mature for my middle school library but I will be recommending it for the high schools in my district to add to their collections.eBook requested and received from Razorbill via Edelweiss.
I have to say that I miss mini-series. I grew up in the 80's and 90's when mini-series were king. I do love how there have been shorter series in the summers lately, but even those can't be considered mini-series because they are normally 10-15 episodes long (I really liked Harper's Island a few years back). That's not a mini-series!
Some of my favorite mini-series have been based on Stephen King books--It, The Stand (LOVED this one!), Storm of the Century. So it should go without saying that I am really, really excited for Under the Dome. I haven't read this book, mostly because I just haven't read many adults books over the last five years.
The previews for this one are just dynamic! I can't wait!
Are you going to be watching Under the Dome? Did you read the book?
Today all the books in the library that are checked out by students are due.
This gives us two weeks to track down overdue books and have kids pay fines.
It is a super busy time, but I love it because--
I get to organize shelves!
I love it when all the books are shelved and I can put series together and in order and the shelves are full. It makes me so happy.
I will post pictures!!
5 chocolate chocolate chip cookies.
Meh. Don't love it, don't hate it.Why I Wanted to Read This:
This one has been on my TBR forever. I noticed the movie was on NetFlix and wanted to watch it, but it is my general rule to only watch movies made from books after I read the book. So, I read the book-finally! Here's the synopsis from GoodReads:
Troy Billings is seventeen, 296 pounds, friendless, utterly miserable, and about to step off a New York subway platform in front of an oncoming train. Until he meets Curt MacCrae, an emaciated, semi-homeless, high school dropout guitar genius, the stuff of which Lower East Side punk rock legends are made. Never mind that Troy's dad thinks Curt's a drug addict and Troy's brother thinks Troy's the biggest (literally) loser in Manhattan. Soon, Curt's recruited Troy as his new drummer--even though Troy can't play the drums. Together, Curt and Troy will change the world of punk, and Troy's own life, forever.
No, in fact there are no female characters in the whole book. My Thoughts:Most of these thoughts I wrote as I was reading the book. There is nothing spoilerish but I wanted to remember a few things as I was going along.
I love how Troy's dad gets it. When we first meet him he seems like he will be such a hard ass, but he isn't. He is a really good guy--he knows that he isn't doing the best by Troy and recognizes that his son needs something like this to help him become more. He also really wants to help Curt, he's just not sure how much he should do.
The most heartbreaking relationship to me is Troy & Dayle's. When Troy is talking about taking Dayle on the subway when they were little and how Dayle looked up to him as a big brother it brought tears to my eyes. When do those kind of relationships change so much?
I love Curt so much it's not even funny! Everyone needs someone like Curt in their life. Maybe not a homeless, ADHD, local rock legend, but someone who will push you out of your comfort zone, who will challenge you to try something new, who doesn't easily take no for an answer, but will back down when you need them to.
It is heartbreaking to see Troy try and navigate this friendship--his first "grown-up" friendship. It's like seeing a girl twist herself into knots over a boy because she constantly think that he will leave her.
I just have to say again, I love Troy's dad. He's a retired Marine who lost his wife and has no clue how to raise two boys. BUT, he is trying and he is not bad at it and he wants the best for Troy, whatever that may be, even if it is punk rock and Curt.
It hit me about 3/4 of the way through that this book has no female characters in it. Well, a few very, very minor ones, but really, it's an all male book. An all male YA book. That is next to unheard of in YA lit!
Okay, now that I am done I have to say I loved it! This is a coming of age book. There were no magic fixes, no make overs for Troy or Curt, just people headed with hope in the right direction. Nailed it!To Sum Up:
This is just a very engrossing read that I want to shove in the hands of both female and make young adults. Excellent stuff!
4 fudgy brownies.
Yes, very eye catching!Why I Wanted to Read This:
I ordered it for my library and it was the first book I pulled out of the box. Caught my eye right away! Here's the synopsis from GoodReads:
The rules governing middle school are often a mystery, but for Eric Haskins, they’re a mystery he needs to solve, and fast. He’s a normal, average kid, until sixth grade starts. For some inexplicable reason, the class bully and his pack make Eric the Grunt. Even his best friend since first grade turns on him. Eric can’t figure out why he’s the Grunt until he hears about the Bully Book, a cryptic guide that teaches you how to “make trouble without getting in trouble, rule the school and be the man” and how to select the Grunt-the kid who will become the lowest of the low. Romance?:
Eric Haskins may be this year’s Grunt for now, but he’s determined not to stay at the bottom of the social ladder forever.
No but some sixth grade crushes are talked about.My Thoughts:
This was such a good commentary on how people follow the herd. Nobody really had any reason to not like or target Eric, they just did it because Jason started it. The author of The Bully Book had the hierarchy of life in a classroom nailed and everyone who used the book from then on used it perfectly. The sad part is that people who knew better, people who should've been better, still followed along.
I don't know that Eric and Donovan's friendship would've ever lasted because Donovan obviously wanted popularity, but he was an ass. I really wanted a scene where Eric had it out with Donovan and he admitted what he did was wrong. But that's not true to life.
Melody really drove me nuts. I can't believe she kept asking Eric why he was mad at her. Really? Really? Are you that wrapped up in yourself? His life was miserable and you didn't help at all! Of course he is made at you and he should be. Smiling at him once doesn't change how you haven't been there all year. Again, that is pretty true to life, but it was very frustrating!
I think the worst part is that most kids get this without having a book or manual to give them each step. It's so easy for them to turn on others for no reason. I see it every single day in the middle school, especially sixth grade. People say high school is the worst for kids and I think it can be bad, but I think middle school is actually the worst.
I didn't like the ending. I get it, the author is basically saying things don't change, and I know they don't. But, I wanted Eric to make them change. Or at least to be able to go forth into middle school with more hope. He changed how he felt, but I don't know if it was enough.To Sum Up:
A book that many, many kids could benefit from reading, from the top of the social hierarchy on down! Book bought for my library.
Last week one of my sons was sick. Not terribly sick, but what he has was contagious and he got ordered to stay home all week. So I stayed home with him for a day and a half. And I finally, finally got some books finished. My Currently Reading list is down to five!
I finished: You, Maybe by Rachel Vail; The Bully Book by Eric Kahn Gale (review coming tomorrow); Fat Kid Rules the World by KL Going (review on Wednesday) and The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey (which I reviewed last week after I finished it).
I also checked the first season of Deadwood out from my public library and am very caught up in that. I tried watching it when it was first on but the swearing and dirtiness kind of got to me. I got over it and am now loving it!
Right now I am reading The House of the Scorpion, one I have been wanting to read forever. It is completely engrossing!
What are you reading today?
I read the best news the other day!
Simon & Schuster is going to relaunch the Tripods series by John Christopher. So much goodness here!
The Tripods series is a series I read years and years ago, before dystopian books were "dystopian books." They used to be referred to as a "futuristic earth type story" (at least by me, that's how I would explain dystopian books to others).
John Christopher wrote the Tripods series, about an Earth that was inhabited by aliens, and some people who decided to fight against them. But the best part was that this took place in the far off future. It wasn't right after the invasion, it was years and years after the invasion.
I got into these books by reading the prequel first, When The Tripods Came. Then I looked into the Tripods trilogy, which I wish I had read before the prequel. No matter, it is still one of my favorite series.
I am so excited to add them to my library's collection and to get kids interested in them all again. I already have a list of kids I am going to have read them!
Yay for reprints!
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4 frosted ginger cookies.Cover Love:
Yes. I like the simplicity of this!Why I Wanted to Read This:
I didn't actually. I wasn't ever able to get into The Monstrumologist, another of Yancey's popular series, so I wasn't overly interested in this one. Until the week it came out. I was bombarded with reviews and author interviews and tweets about the book. So I decided to give it a try. So glad I did! Here's the synopsis from GoodReads:
After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.Romance?:
Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother—or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.
A little. But lots of characters that could end up in romances.My Thoughts:
This was so interesting. I had many, many thoughts while reading. Of course, as a seasoned reader I was looking for clues and hints the whole way. There ware a few things I missed and had to go back and re-read. There were also things that I figured out ahead of the main characters, mostly because I was looking for twists, whereas the main characters were looking for hope. It's easier to believe things and take them for face value when you want to cling to hope.
There were a few different points of views in this book--Cassie and Zombie were the main two, but there were a few chapters from Sammy (Cassie's little brother's point of view) and a few from one of the Others point of view. Cassie and Zombie are amazing though--of course I hold out hope that these two end up together, but there are other factors to consider.
I read one review that said not to go looking for spoilers. I took that to heart. Very often I go looking, sometimes because I am bored at the current point in the book and sometimes just because, but I am glad I did not go looking for spoilers for this one. There is one major twist that happens pretty early on and I think many people would put that into their reviews without really meaning to, so my advice is to go in blind.
This got me thinking a lot about alien invasions. And that is not something I really want to do. I like the Star Trek version of aliens, where we are all working together to make the whole universe a peaceful place. Not this version where aliens view us as a nuisance to be destroyed. To Sum Up:
Great action adventure with a lot of food for thought. I think this one will be a big hit!Book checked out from my local public library.