Tuesday, October 28, 2014
This is a gripping, too true story of modern day pirates. I had a hard time putting it down. I am, however, a little dismayed by Amy's relationship with the pirate. I'm not sure if it is a little too fairy tale-esque or not. It seems like the relationship is romanticized but then again, there are definite reminders of who and what he is. Overall, a good read.
A great, great dystopia in an already crowded field! I thought I knew what was happening but I was still surprised by lots of things in the story. Truly evil characters, constant danger and strong protagonists.
Wow, a lot happens in this book! I wasn't sure about it as I read and finished it but in reflection I think it has more to offer than I originally thought. Sorting out the different factions in the magical world and what they each wanted got confusing for me but it comes down to some good guys and some bad guys so I don't know that it matters in the end.
I found the book less engaging than it sounds from the description of what is happening and got frustrated with Torrey pushing Luis away when he was obviously better for her than the popular girls. But Torrey's growth throughout the book does seem realistic by the time we get to the end of the whole thing even though it was annoying in the process.
Monday, October 27, 2014
Sounds great, right? But there was way too much lead-in to the real action of the story. And although I dislike formulaic things, I was wishing that Shiloh was a little more feisty like some other heroines and wouldn't be the drugged sheep the administrators were expecting. I just had a hard time getting through the book.
Friday, October 24, 2014
I'm still not sure if Emmy was actually seeing ghosts or not but that's not really the point of this book about loss, guilt and grieving.
Nothing too deep happening here but a good choice for something light but not so light it provides no fun. I'm sure I would appreciate the Southern setting even more if I were a belle myself but it seems to me that Hawkins did a good job of presenting the south in a stereotypical but not demeaning way. The aunties and the owner of the tea shop are a hoot and the way the town rallies at the ball is great as well.
This is a fun book for fans of To Kill a Mockingbird and for adults but I really question its appeal to middle schoolers. Lucy's mom's approach to living her life was low key but refreshing. Actually, that sort of sums up the entire story.
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
I was promised by a couple of readers and numerous reviews that this book had an explosive twist at the end. I don't know that I was as surprised as I thought it would be, but it is still a pretty good resolution to the story. Even if you don't know that some big reveal is coming it is obvious from the writing that Cady has some secret she has blocked out of her brain and I was eagerly turning pages trying to figure out what had happened. The family is deeply flawed and yet loves each other deeply as well. Just like many real families. Try it for yourself!
This is a powerful book but difficult to read in its gritty look at the reality of dealing with a prodigal child. Clare is also a difficult character at first in her desire to protect her brother in spite of his many issues. But the ending of the book and her realizations are good, if hard won.
Although Margaret uses time travel to help her cause this is really more in the historical fiction realm. Usually, that's something that would make me uninterested in the story but I was caught up in the events at the mining camp and the rebellion that took place there. The resolution for Margaret's father felt drawn-out but was still satisfying in the end.
The bare bones of the story is ripped from the headlines but it becomes much more multilayered from there. At first there is just the lack of agreement amongst the narrators but as the book goes on the pressure of living in the neighborhood becomes the more central point. I was really saddened by Tariq's best friend struggling to stay clear of the gang but finding that he might not have any other choice. And was Tariq keeping his word that he would not ever join the gang or was he already in? It depends on which narrator you believe. A really thoughtful, honest look at life in a gang-ridden neighborhood that doesn't rely on stereotypes.
Monday, October 20, 2014
While I liked this book it could've definitely lost about 100 pages to make it a better read for me. I will say, however, that I was happy with the ending and the realizations the characters had which surprised me and saved this from being a typical romance.
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Great start to this book but then I lost interest for the most part. In particular, I had a difficult time with Kyra and Tyler's relationship which was too fast and intense for me to believe. However, the very end of the book was intriguing and now I'm interested in seeing what exactly has happened to the characters at the beginning of the next one.
Maggie is a likeable character if a little nerdy. Her parents are also fun. I thought they were really retro until I finally realized that the book is actually set in the 1970's. The name of Dad's disease doesn't come up until at least halfway into the book which I found a little frustrating but I think the book is presented in the way a child would actually be experiencing living with this.
Monday, October 6, 2014
This book has a fun premise and the to-do list keeps the plot moving along. But the story was much too long for me given what there was to work with. And I found myself very frustrated by the bumps in Emily and Frank's relationship. 100 or more pages shorter and I would recommend this as a light read.
Saturday, October 4, 2014
Such a cute story! I love Cat and his expressions throughout.
Scan is a fast-paced adventure with lots of bad guys to spare. The human compound was scarily realistic! What the device actually is wasn't entirely clear to me but that didn't really matter to the action of the story.
Friday, October 3, 2014
This book is meant for a young audience but I really liked it, especially with that in mind. Eliza is funny and sweet and the chapter titles made me laugh. Her struggle with martial arts was realistic because they aren't easy! And being forced to interact with Madison revealed things about both girls. The cover looks young and silly but I think there is more depth to the book than the cover might convey.
I really liked this book even while I didn't like Cricket much. But you're not supposed to like Cricket much for most of the book. She is spoiled and says many politically incorrect things to and about the disabled kids she is working with. In her note at the end the author talks about people having honest reactions to those with disabilities and not being perfect. I think that presenting a character (and others who talk about their own initial reactions) who struggles in this way is so much more approachable for people - most of whom are going to have some issues - than having a book populated by goody good characters. Even when Cricket comes around she is still not a paragon of virtue or good manners. But that's what I liked about the book! Great story!