09/24/12



Book Review

Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger

Release Date: October 2, 2012
Author Info: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Publisher: Aladdin
Age Group: Middle Grade
Shelfability: Acquire
Pages: 496
Format: Advance Reader Copy
Source: Publisher
Interest: Debut
Challenge: Debut Author Challenge, YA/MG Fantasy Challenge

I’ve been reading a lot of wonderful middle grade novels recently and Keeper of the Lost Cities is no exception! I loved this book!

Twelve year old Sophie is a child prodigy. She’s a smarty pants, has a photographic memory and she’s a telepath! Oh, and she’s an ……. uh, maybe I shouldn’t tell you. Sophie discovers that she’s not quite normal and finds herself in a whole new world. Making new friends and perhaps making a few mistakes along the way. And I think that’s all I’m going to say about that!

This story was so much fun! It was an epic adventure. I loved getting to join Sophie on this experience and can’t wait to do it again!

I hate to compare this book to Harry Potter, (because honestly there is no comparison!) but I got that same sort of feel when reading this novel. Not so much of the mortal peril that Harry faces. But some of the same elements, like discovering something new about yourself, being whisked into a world that you had no idea about, the adventure and the wonderful cast of characters. It was everything that I wasn’t expecting and more!

Despite the massive four hundred plus pages in this novel, it seemed like it flew by! I couldn’t flip the pages fast enough. There was a great pace to the novel, I loved the world and never felt like the author was telling me about the world, I felt like I was discovering it’s secrets right along with Sophie. That’s not always an easy feat when introducing a reader to a realm beyond our own.

This was definitely one of my favorite reads, as well as one of my favorite middle grade reads. I’ve always wanted to read more middle grade and Keeper of the Lost Cities has convinced me I must make this happen! I can’t wait to see what Sophie does next!

 

09/20/12



Book Review

Audition & Subtraction by Amy Fellner Dominy

Release Date: September 4, 2012
Author Info: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Publisher: Walker & Company
Age Group: Middle Grade
Shelfability: Acquire
Pages: 272
Format: Hardcover
Source: Author
Interest: Author
Challenge: None

Tatum and Lori are inseparable. When Tatum found out her parents were getting separated, she basically lived at Lori’s. There friendship should be able to overcome everything. Right? There is a new boy at school, Michael. Not only has he caught Lori’s eye, he’s also up for the same spot as Tatum in the District Honor Band. Tatum isn’t sure that Lori is in her corner now that Michael is her boyfriend.

This book was adorable! It was sweet, fun and just enjoyable to read.

I loved the relationship between Tatum and Lori. Middle school is such a intense time, friendships are bound to be tested just as the characters were in this book. Poor Lori. I wanted to be mad at her and disappointed in some of the positions she puts Tatum in. I mean seriously, what kind of friend would do that! But then it’s easy to forget what it felt like at that age when a boy likes you and you can’t believe it because you never thought in a million years a boy would like you. It’s intoxicating. I know I made stupid decisions just like Lori because of a boy.

I loved the fake date with Aaron. How Tatum could not see how obviously head over heels that boy was for her, is beyond me! I think that Tatum definitely beat Lori out on the awesome boyfriend. Maybe Michael irked me a bit since he was the reason for some of Lori’s insane actions.

In addition to dealing with loosing her best friend and worrying about getting a spot on the District Honor Band, Tatum is also facing challenges at home with the separation of her parents. I loved how Amy intertwined all of that and made it seem seamless. It could have gotten really hairy there and it didn’t.

Great characters, a wonderfully told story and just plain fun.

Comments Off
05/08/12



Book Review

One for the Murphys by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

One for the Murphys by Lynda Mullaly HuntRelease Date: May 10, 2012
Author Info: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books (Penguin Group for Young Readers
Age Group: Middle Grade/Young Adult
Shelfability: Acquire/Borrow
Pages: 224
Format: Advance Reader Copy
Source: Publisher
Interest: Debut Author
Challenge: Debut Author Challenge, The Completely Contemp. Challenge
Buy the Book: Amazon

When we meet Carley she is being released from the hospital and finding herself in the care of a foster family. As a reader, we don’t initially know how Carley got to be where she is, but through flashbacks in the story we are made aware of the horrors that Carley has had to endure.

Carley has never known what a loving household is like. She hates herself for not hating this foster family. We watch her struggle as she comes to terms with herself and with the actions of her mother.

One for the Murphys was an incredibly touching novel. There were several times that I felt tears brewing in my eyes. (Although there were plenty times when I was laughing too!) I wouldn’t describe One for the Murphys as a sad story. It’s not a sad story, it’s a hopeful story. It’s about family and love. It explores different types of love and although they are different, one isn’t less powerful than the other.

To me, Carley seemed much older than her twelve year old/thirteen year old self. Although it worked, because Carley has seen and experienced things that no twelve year old should have to.

I really enjoyed all the characters. The three Murphy boys, Mr. and Mrs. Murphy…. Carley’s friend Tori, even Carley’s teacher Mr. Rueben. They were all incredibly written. I battled the most with Carley’s mother. I couldn’t decide if I felt sorry for her or not. I think perhaps she needed someone in her life like Mrs. Murphy and it’s a shame she didn’t have that.

We don’t get that fairy tale happy ending, but we get a realistic one. And we are left with the hope that Carley is a better person for her experiences and that she will continue to thrive because of her time with the Murphys.

You should add One for the Murphys to your reading pile! It’s a quick read and it will definitely touch your heart!

11/01/11



Book Review

Every Thing On It by Shel Silverstein

Every Thing On It by Shel Silverstein

Release Date: September 20, 2011
Publisher: HarperCollins
Age Group: Middle Grade/Young Adult
Shelfability: Acquire/Borrow
Pages: 208
Format: Hardcover
Source: Publisher
Interest: Author
Challenge: None

Have you ever read a book with everything on it? Well, here it is, an amazing collection of never-before-published poems and drawings from the creator of Where the Sidewalk Ends, A Light in the Attic, and Falling Up. You will say Hi-ho for the toilet troll, get tongue-tied with Stick-a-Tongue-Out-Sid, play a highly unusual horn, and experience the joys of growing down.

What’s that? You have a case of the Lovetobutcants? Impossible! Just come on in and let the magic of Shel Silverstein bend your brain and open your heart.

I’ve been a fan of Shel Silverstein since my early days of reading. I remember reading Where the Sidewalk Ends, A Light in the Attic, and Falling Up! When I received a copy of Everything On It for review I was instantly taken back to those days in elementary school where my view of poetry expanded beyond the world of rhyming poems. I remember being fascinated by the worlds he created in a just few simple lines.

As an adult reading the poems in Every Thing On It, I was still fascinated! I giggled just like I did as a small girl. I marked my favorites and read them over and over again.

Two poems stood out to me in this book. The Clock Man, which you might not appreciate as much as a child, but understand all to well as an adult! Also, Happy Ending. Which I’m going to share below.

Happy Ending? by Shel Silverstein

“There are no happy endings.
Endings are the saddest part,
So just give me a happy middle
And a very happy start.”

A wonderful book of poems for children and adults alike! I’ll never be to old to read Shel Silverstein!

Comments Off
10/21/11



Book Review

Between the Sea and Sky by Jaclyn Dolamore

Between the Sea and Sky by Jaclyn Dolamore

Release Date: October 25, 2011
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Age Group: Young Adult
Shelfability: Acquire
Pages: 240
Format: E-ARC
Source: NetGalley
Interest: Author
Challenge: None

For as long as Esmerine can remember, she has longed to join her older sister, Dosinia, as a siren–the highest calling a mermaid can have. When Dosinia runs away to the mainland, Esmerine is sent to retrieve her. Using magic to transform her tail into legs, she makes her way unsteadily to the capital city. There she comes upon a friend she hasn’t seen since childhood–a dashing young man named Alandare, who belongs to a winged race of people. As Esmerine and Alandare band together to search for Dosinia, they rekindle a friendship . . . and ignite the emotions for a love so great, it cannot be bound by sea, land, or air.

This was such a FUN book to read! When I had to put it down I was so excited to step back into the world and visit with these characters.

I first became of fan of Dolamore in her debut novel Magic Under Glass, and I have to admit that Between the Sea and Sky has moved right past Magic Under Glass and into the number one position.

I’ve always been fascinated with mermaid mythology. I really wanted to be one when I was younger. I blame it most specifically on Splash with Tom Hanks. I am absolutely loving all the mermaid books that seem to be hitting the shelves in the YA section and I even more impressive was how Dolamore interprets and represents the siren myth.

The story had a fairy tale feel to fit, it was very whimsical and had beautifully detailed worlds! I was fascinated not only by the world of the mermaids that Dolamore created but also the world of winged people and how she seamlessly intertwined the two!

The romance was so sweet! I could see it coming, but it was still fun watching these to figure out their feelings for one another

This would be a great novel for younger YA readers too!

Comments Off


Featuring Recent Posts WordPress Widget development by YD