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Welcome! The ultimate luxury for me is curling up with a good book and a warm blanket. The next best thing is reviewing books and sharing them with others.

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14 04, 2017

Review: Fate of Flames by Sarah Raughley

By | April 14th, 2017|Categories: Adventures & Thrillers, Children's Books, Dystopian, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Series, Young Adult|Tags: , , , , , , , , |3 Comments

Rating:

fate of flames book coverReviewed by Jessa Larsen

Four girls, each with control over one of the four elements, are the only force that stands against humanity and it is in their hands when Phantoms, massive beasts made of pure terror, appear and begin destroying the biggest cities in the world. Since the appearance of Phantoms, cities have taken measures to protect the remaining civilizations and four girls continue to fulfill their duties as heroes. When one Effigy dies, another becomes her replacement in an instant, continuing her duties, for as long as they’re needed.

5 04, 2017

Review: Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett

By | April 5th, 2017|Categories: Children's Books, Humor, Love & Romance, New Experiences, Social Issues, Young Adult|Tags: , , , , , |4 Comments

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alex approximately book coverReviewed by Kelly Ferjutz

It was several lifetimes ago that I was a teenager, and a mostly unsuccessful one, at that. My interests were not necessarily those of others of my age. My high school was really, really BIG on diversity in all things, so we all managed to fit in there, somewhere, somehow.

I wasn’t exactly sure I’d be able to successfully climb into Bailey’s head for the length of the book, but I found it surprisingly easy, as a matter of fact.

Bailey’s home life has been truly unusual, especially since her parents were divorced. Mom, a high-powered lawyer, stayed in the Washington DC area, where she joined a new firm, and sort of half-heartedly made a home for Bailey.

3 04, 2017

Review: The Path of Decisions by Mike Shelton

By | April 3rd, 2017|Categories: Adventures & Thrillers, Children's Books, Myths & Legends, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Series, Wizards & Witches, Young Adult|Tags: , , , , , , , |1 Comment

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path of decisions book coverReviewed by Caleb Shadis

The Path of Decisions is the second book in Mike Shelton’s series The Cremelino Prophecy. When I reviewed the first book, I pointed out how the story felt a little rushed, or almost abridged for a fantasy novel. I will say that this one has a lot more meat on its bones. It still is a very fast paced book for a fantasy and pretty lean, but I suspect there are many people who don’t like fantasy because of the bloat, and would really enjoy this series for being streamlined.

Darius is young, and filled with confidence after his success dealing with the the ‘invading’ army from the south. The King has summoned him back, and since the real reason for the summoning was not given to the messenger, he didn’t realize the urgency of the command. As a matter of fact, he resents being commanded home. So when he also hears about the troubles being stirred up by the Preacher and his ‘supposed’ army, he decides to take a detour on the way home and ‘deal’ with the upstart.

27 03, 2017

Review: A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi

By | March 27th, 2017|Categories: Children's Books, Myths & Legends, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Series, Young Adult|Tags: , , , , |4 Comments

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crown of wishes book coverReviewed by Richard Wisniewski

Wishes. Hopes. Desires. They can either drive one to the pinnacle of success or the abyss of demise. Roshani Chokshi transformed the traditions and beliefs behind wishes, hopes and desires to what is bound to become a New York Times bestseller. Crown of Wishes is the second installment in a series, and Chokshi truly flexed her writing capabilities from the very first page.

The story is broken out into chapters narrated by different characters. This provides for quite a unique vantage point later in the book. In all honesty, this was one of my favorite aspects of the book and has become my preferred way to tell a story. 

21 03, 2017

Review: The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco

By | March 21st, 2017|Categories: Adventures & Thrillers, Children's Books, Paranormal, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Wizards & Witches, Young Adult|Tags: , , , , |4 Comments

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bone witch book coverReviewed by Sarah Lelonek

I knew I would like this book. The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco intrigued me with its descriptive story telling and unique characters. I fell in love with the world the author created, and wanted to know more about every character.

Tea lived in a small town–a town that is part of a magical world where only certain types of magic are warmly regarded. When Tea accidentally summons her brother back from the dead, she has to come to terms with being a “bone witch” and a wielder of the dark arts. As Tea begins her training as an asha, a wielder of strong magic, she learns all magic is not equal and some is prosecuted against–even if she and the few other bone witches are all that stands between life and death for her world.

19 03, 2017

Review: We Are Still Tornadoes by Michael Kun & Susan Mullen

By | March 19th, 2017|Categories: Children's Books, Dating & Sex, Death & Dying, Family, Friendships, Love & Romance, Social Issues, Young Adult|Tags: , , , , , , |2 Comments

Rating:

we are still tornadoes book coverReviewed by Alisha Churbe

We Are Still Tornadoes is written entirely in letters. It is classified as a Young Adult read, but hits on the older end of the spectrum, as the characters have just begun their first year of college after high school, on the edge of turning 19 years old. The novel is set in the early 1980s, making the letter style normal, as the characters do not have much access to technology.

The book is just short of 300 pages, but there is plenty of white space due to the letter format. There is plenty packed into the letters filling out the story nicely. The story is entirely told with letters to and from two characters: Cath and Scott.

16 03, 2017

Review: Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow

By | March 16th, 2017|Categories: Children's Books, Depression & Mental Illness, Emotions & Feelings, Physical & Emotional Abuse, Social Issues, Suicide, Young Adult|Tags: , , , , , , |4 Comments

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girl in pieces book coverReviewed by Alexander Morrison

Charlotte Davis was a homeless addict who dealt with her pain by cutting herself, until that no longer sufficed and she tried to commit suicide. Committed to a psychiatric facility to heal and to try and learn to deal with some of her issues, Charlie seems to be recovering slowly, but the facility is expensive and what little family she has left in the world can’t support it anymore, so she’s sent away. A friend in Arizona takes her in, but that’s only the start of her journey, as the wounds of her past are never far from the surface. She has to try and hold down a job, find a place to live, navigate romantic drama, and most importantly–not cut herself. But the stress of not having enough money and of bad relationships with damaged people push her to the edge. Can she survive, or is Charlie too wounded to allow herself to heal?

10 03, 2017

Review: A List of Cages by Robin Roe

By | March 10th, 2017|Categories: Children's Books, Family, Friendships, Physical & Emotional Abuse, Young Adult|Tags: , , , , , |5 Comments

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a list of cages book coverReviewed by Kate Schefer

Adam Blake is having the best senior year. He’s surrounded by good friends, does well in all his classes despite his ADHD, and even landed an elective period as the school counselor’s assistant, which basically means texting his friends and roaming the halls. He’s got this whole thing figured out, and everyone believes him; he’s irrepressibly effervescent (partly due to the ADHD and partly due to his positive demeanor) and never lets anything discourage him. But one month into the school year, Dr. Whitlock tells him to go find a student who’s been avoiding her, a freshman named Julian. The same Julian that Adam and his mother had fostered five years earlier, before his uncle Russell took custody of him and cut off all contact.

3 03, 2017

Review: Animal Planet Strange, Unusual, Gross & Cool Animals

By | March 3rd, 2017|Categories: Ages 12 and Under, Children's Books|Tags: , , |9 Comments

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animal planet strange unusual animals book coverReviewed by Sarah Dalton

I lost custody of Animal Planet Strange, Unusual, Gross & Cool Animals almost immediately. I opened the package it came in and my 9-year-old swooped in and said, “COOL!  Can I read that, please?” That was an easy answer–I handed it over. I never dreamed I’d have to track it down in his room after lights out to get it back so I could review it. My entire family has thumbed through this book and exclaimed over some interesting fact or another. We all have our favorite facts. My personal favorite is that in 2015 a grad student in Australia discovered two new types of a Peacock spider. Though the spiders have their scientific names, their common nicknames are Skeletorus and Sparklemuffin. Yep. A spider named Sparklemuffin. That brings me joy. I finally stashed this book in my backpack and took it to a restaurant to read in peace and still ended up helping my server track it down online so she could buy it for a friend. 

19 02, 2017

Review: I’m Not your Manic Pixie Dream Girl by Gretchen McNeil

By | February 19th, 2017|Categories: Children's Books, Dating & Sex, Friendships, Love & Romance, Social Issues, Young Adult|Tags: , , , , |4 Comments

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manic pixie dream girl book coverReviewed by Lauren Cannavino

Beatrice Giovanni and her best friends, Spencer and Gabe, have been the targets of bullies all throughout high school. Starting their senior year, Bea decides that enough is enough and decides to find a way to reverse the bullying trend. Armed with newly discovered confidence thanks to her new boyfriend Jesse and fresh with the promise of a new start at her dream school MIT, Bea devises a plan that she feels is foolproof. Known not so affectionately throughout campus as “Math Girl”, Bea calculates the ultimate formula, one that will cultivate popularity for her and her friends.