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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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20 10, 2016

Review: Moon Chosen by P.C. Cast

By | October 20th, 2016|Categories: Children's Books, Paranormal, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Series, Young Adult|Tags: , , , , |2 Comments

Rating:

moon chosen book coverReviewed by Jennifer Jensen

Mari feels like an outcast among her clan, called Earth Walkers. Like her mother, she has the unique ability to use the powers of the moon to heal. But her father, a man she never knew, was of another clan. Once Mari bonds with a canine Companion, she begins to learn more about the people whom her father belonged to. Mari had always expected to take up her mother’s mantle, but destiny has chosen another path for her. Mari, with the help of her Companion, and Nik, the son of her clan’s rival, may be the one needed to bring solidarity between the two tribes.

P.C. Cast has been a longtime favorite author of mine, with the exception of her co-authored House of Night series. Moon Chosen was an obvious read for me; I was curious to see how P.C. Cast would do solo-penning a YA series, but unfortunately for me, this effort failed on a few fronts.

27 09, 2016

Review: The Dead Boyfriend by R.L. Stine

By | September 27th, 2016|Categories: Children's Books, Horror, Young Adult|Tags: , , |3 Comments

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the dead boyfriend book coverReviewed by Jennifer Jensen

In 2014, the YA thriller author R.L. Stine relaunched his popular Fear Street series with Party Games. Yesterday, the fifth book in the relaunch series, The Dead Boyfriend, was released, ready to terrorize a new generation of readers. Although I’m not the target audience anymore for R.L. Stine publications, I can’t help but read them every now and then just for the nostalgia.

The Dead Boyfriend is a first-person narrative told in diary format. Caitlyn is over the moon about her new boyfriend Blade, until he stands her up one night. A little overly emotional, Cynthia haunts places she suspects he might hang out and discovers him with another girl. When she confronts him about his betrayal, Caitlyn finds herself with a new title: murderer.

4 09, 2016

Review: The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

By | September 4th, 2016|Categories: Children's Books, Myths & Legends, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Young Adult|Tags: , , , , , |1 Comment

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star touched queen book coverReviewed by Amanda Farmer

The Star-Touched Queen is the first in the Star-Touched Queen series and it doesn’t disappoint. I knew I wanted to read this story just by looking at the cover–it is beautiful and who doesn’t want to read a book where the main character is cursed with a horoscope that promises a marriage of death and destruction? I had to know more. I also loved that it was inspired by Indian folklore.

This book drew me right in from the very beginning. I loved the writing and didn’t want the book to end. I still want more of Maya and Amar (prince of Akaran)–they were perfect for one another and complimented each other so well. I enjoyed reading about Akaran and the Otherworld realms. Akaran is not what it seems. It holds many secrets of its own and Maya must unravel them before it’s too late.

3 09, 2016

Review: Ruined by Amy Tintera

By | September 3rd, 2016|Categories: Children's Books, Love & Romance, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Young Adult|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

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ruined tintera book coverReviewed by Sarah Lelonek

There is a lot of young adult fiction out there. I know, I’ve read a ton of it. However, I prefer YA lit that has a fantasy element and a little magic and war thrown in. If you’re into the same kinds of books, Ruined by Amy Tintera may be a good book for you.

Set in a kingdom on a different planet in a different time, Em Flores is a bit of an outcast. Not only is she from the conquered realm of Ruina, a place where people have magic, but she was born a shell of sorts, meaning she doesn’t possess the same magic as her peers. Even though she was meant to be queen of Ruina, her “useless” self was passed on as royalty. But when her sister is kidnapped and her parents are killed by the ruling kingdom, it is time for Em to assert herself by infiltrating the castle as a princess with wicked fighting abilities. What she didn’t expect was love to be a part of her mission.

26 08, 2016

Review: Throne of Lies by Sara Secora

By | August 26th, 2016|Categories: Children's Books, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Series, Young Adult|Tags: , , , , |1 Comment

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throne of lies book coverReviewed by Jessa Larsen

Princess Amythesta is on the horizon of her 18th birthday and has absolutely no patience for the requirements and duties delegated to her as the princess of Northwinds. Currently betrothed to a horridly behaved highborn, she truly dreams to be free of her royal duties, but at what cost?

As Amythesta pushes the boundaries and vexes her parents thoroughly, she finds herself entangled in secrets and heartbreak. Will she be able to accept her duties as the royal heir to the throne? Or will she find true love and unexpected freedom? Only time will tell.

18 08, 2016

Review: Awesome America by Katy Steinmetz

By | August 18th, 2016|Categories: Ages 12 and Under, Children's Books|Tags: , |1 Comment

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awesome america book coverReviewed by Alyssa Katanic

What better time to gather with your little ones to learn more about America than during a presidential election year? Time for Kids has introduced a wonderful new book to help in this endeavor titled Awesome America: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the History, People, and Culture by Katy Steinmetz.

Awesome America includes a timeline of the nation from Native Americans through the present day. Not only does it cover major historical happenings like wars, civil rights, and national achievements, but it also provides snapshots into cultural icons, sports, and our diverse landscape.

15 08, 2016

Review: Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes

By | August 15th, 2016|Categories: Children's Books, Depression & Mental Illness, Love & Romance, Social Issues, Young Adult|Tags: , , , , |4 Comments

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girl against the universe book coverReviewed by Christen Krumm

I had no idea what I was in for, going into Girl Against the Universe. Paula Stokes hits on the tough issues—OCD, PTSD, teen stress and anxiety—all with poise and tasteful humor. Girl Against the Universe had me laughing, tearing up (because I cannot remember the last time I cried over a book—shame!), and quickly turning pages all through this year’s summer vacation.

Maguire is cursed. Or at least has horrible case of bad luck. From being the only living survivor in a terrible car wreck to house fires and crashing roller coasters, the universe clearly has it out for her. To keep those she loves—and innocent strangers around her – safe, Maguire decides the best thing is for her to hide her life away in her room.

12 08, 2016

Review: Animal Bites Books by Laaren Brown

By | August 12th, 2016|Categories: Ages 12 and Under, Children's Books|Tags: , |2 Comments

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animal planet farm animals book coverReviewed by Alyssa Katanic

Animal Planet has been a loved source for learning about the habits of all different kinds of animals for decades now. Their cable network has put forth wonderful programs for animal lovers of all ages. They have also put out some amazing books, the newest of which is their Animal Bites series by Laaren Brown. Within this series, young readers can explore the habits & habitats of Polar, Ocean, Wild and Farm animals.

As always, the Animal Planet photography in these books is amazing! The pictures are gorgeous and include full page and two page spreads, as well as smaller pictures and collages.

8 08, 2016

Review: The Last Time We Were Us by Leah Konen

By | August 8th, 2016|Categories: Children's Books, Family, Friendships, Love & Romance, Social Issues, Young Adult|Tags: , , , |2 Comments

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last time we were us book coverReviewed by Amanda Farmer

When I read the description for The Last Time We Were Us, I thought it would be right up my alley. I love friendship stories–throw in one of the friends having juvie in their past and I am sold.

This is the story of Liz who wants nothing more than to be popular, have the perfect boyfriend, Innis, and rebuild her friendship with Jason, who has just gotten out of juvie for hurting Innis’ brother, Skip. This book is described as a southern story but there wasn’t a whole lot of southern charm in it. And even though there were a lot of typical teenage issues covered, I didn’t feel that the author handled any of them in the right way.

I struggled with reading this book and had to put it down many times.

30 07, 2016

Review: If You Were Me and Lived In Ancient Greece by Carole P. Roman

By | July 30th, 2016|Categories: Ages 12 and Under, Children's Books|Tags: , |2 Comments

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if you were me and lived in ancient greece book coverReviewed by Alyssa Katanic

I have so much enjoyed Carole P. Roman’s If You Were Me and Lived In… series, which introduces young children to cultures from around the globe. These sweet, simple books are great interest sparkers for young children just beginning to learn about the world outside of their own community. Roman introduces them to modern countries with rich roots like Kenya, Peru, Hungary, and many others, with a simple format that includes vocabulary from the native language, foods, traditional costumes, festivals, and favored vacation spots. Her newest series in this line, however, is historical!