Book ReviewEscape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library

Reviewer's Rating: 
5
This book was so good I'm going to throw a brick through the bookstore window so I can have my own hardcover copy RIGHT NOW!
Category: 
Publisher: 
Random House, 2013

I knew this book would be good for two reasons. My 'reluctant reader' 10 year old daughter told me I 'had to, had to, HAD to' read it and it was rated in the top ten books of 2013 at Goodreads.com. Pun intended, the author's last name is a great one for his style of reading which 'grabs' you. This is an adventure novel with action that makes it hard to put down. In addition, there are mind-teaser puzzles you can pause reading to try and sleuth on your own before reading further and finding the answer. The other intelligent twist to it all is a...

Book ReviewLegacy of the Clockwork Key

Reviewer's Rating: 
4
I truly enjoyed this book...and yet, it failed to rock my world because (see explanation in review).
Category: 
Publisher: 
Simon Pulse, 2013

First let me say, kudos on the cover!  Dark, whimsical, historical, mechanical bird?  Yes please!  And with a synopsis that hints at romance with a stable boy?  Huzzah! 

Kristin has written us a nice steampunk novel with a steamy first love to boot.  All the elements I love to read are here and they are well written.  The pacing is zippy, the plot of whodunit well woven, and the creative juices were flowing for all the mechanical devices and trickery involved. 

Book ReviewLawless

Reviewer's Rating: 
2
I don't need my money back but I'm willing to prop a door open with this one.
Category: 
Publisher: 
Scholastic Press, 2013

I gave this book to my 10 year old daughter for Christmas and at first, she seemed to be doing well, and then a quarter of the way in, she stopped completely. Curious, I asked her not to tell me about the book (we normally talk shop on the books we are reading) and I dove in to see what the problem was. The first thing I noticed was that our main gal M who was 12 years old acted and thought much like a 30 year old. Sure, you can say she had a different type of upbringing and her maturity was far advanced, but why would you want to advance her so much that young readers around her own age cannot relate? The second thing...

Book ReviewDeath and the Girl He Loves

Reviewer's Rating: 
4
I truly enjoyed this book...and yet, it failed to rock my world because (see explanation in review).
Author: 
Category: 
Publisher: 
St. Martin's Griffin, 2013

Yummy! A new book from Darynda Jones and what a treat it was AS USUAL! :) Right off the bat, I'll say one of the things I enjoyed most about this book was how the story took new turns. At the end of book two, Lorelei is leaving her hometown to try and protect her family by not being around them because the bad guys keep finding her and attacking her. The friendships and relationships Darynda has built up for us in books one and two are a major draw for readers so taking Lorelei away to create new ones made me wonder if they could be just as good as the ones we would miss...

Book ReviewThe Bride Wore Size 12

Reviewer's Rating: 
3
Don't you hate a fence sitter, and yet, this is where this book falls, not bad but not great.
Author: 
Publisher: 
William Morrow, 2013

I've had the pleasure of reading Meg Cabot's other works, including a previous one in this series and I stand by my earlier statement that she is a good go-to author in between my favorite authors. Meg does a great job of giving us a step-by-step daily job view of working at a college residence in the United States, and the stressors of getting married (both of which Meg herself has experienced!). There are also some nice spots of humor to be found in these pages as well so I tip my hat to her on that. The murder mystery component was a bit...

Book ReviewSilent in the Grave

Reviewer's Rating: 
4
I truly enjoyed this book...and yet, it failed to rock my world because (see explanation in review).
Publisher: 
Mira Books, 2007

Over the hustle and bustle of the holidays, I read this first book in the Lady Julia Grey series and I must say, it was quite enjoyable. There were a few factors that intrigued me to pick it up and give it a go. First, these are Victorian era murder mysteries. I was curious how the restrictions placed upon women would play out for Lady Julia - would the author be lenient or by the book so to speak for the times of her setting. Deanna chose to stay solidly true to the times and doing so meant the bendables of fiction could stray in other areas instead. What was most lovely...

Book ReviewThe Raven Boys

Series: 
Reviewer's Rating: 
2
I don't need my money back but I'm willing to prop a door open with this one.
Category: 
Publisher: 
Scholastic Press, 2012

There is a vein of gothic/horror novels being published in the young adult area of reading. I believe this is a branch out from the dystopia/apocalyptic popular books and after enjoying Sara Rees Brennan's Lynburne Legacy series, thought I'd give the goths another go, but a little goth goes a long way. You all know my standpoint in general with...

Book ReviewThe Thief

Series: 
Reviewer's Rating: 
3
Don't you hate a fence sitter, and yet, this is where this book falls, not bad but not great.
Category: 
Publisher: 
Harper Collins, 1996

I struggled a bit with how to review this book because of why I ever picked it up in the first place. I was in a Coles bookstore (surprise, surprise) and they often have staff picks on display. One employee named Hazel had prominently chosen the Selection Series by Kiera Cass as some of her favorites. BINGO! with me too so I checked out Hazel's other favorites and saw this series by Megan Whalen Turner. In addition to Hazel's personal recommendation, The Thief has won a bunch of awards that all sound super important so hey, let's give it a try, right? I have to admit that it is a well written book. The pacing is good, the character development good, the twisty ending also good but I couldn't help thinking this is a good 'boys' book. It's all boy characters until near the ending. The boys are dirty, stinky, and travelling together they...

Book ReviewTime Trapped

Reviewer's Rating: 
1
I never forget a book, but in this case I'll make an exception.
Author: 
Category: 
Publisher: 
GP Putnam's Sons, 2013

Book one of the Time Snatchers was a favored first book by an author that's practically local to my own location. Both of these made me want to love book two and I hope for Richards sake there are many out there who do because I'm just not one of them. This book is a frenzy. Caleb is truly stressed, trapped, and out of time/ideas. He is frustrated, angry, afraid, and in a corner. None of this, from a reader's perspective, is a big problem if there is equal balance of something lighter - romance, minor characters that are comedic in nature - but there is no balance to the burdens of Caleb. Richard does a good job of making us...

Book ReviewA Spark Unseen

Reviewer's Rating: 
4
I truly enjoyed this book...and yet, it failed to rock my world because (see explanation in review).
Category: 
Publisher: 
Scholastic Press, 2013

This was another hit out of the park by Sharon. When I reviewed the nominations and awards she's won from her first book, The Dark Unwinding, I smiled, very happy for her. I knew it! As much as I loved her first book, she does an even better job with book two. Often second books move too far in another direction in order to make it feel fresh and though Katherine and her maid Mary leave England for Paris, the feel of the characters remains the steady same and feels like 'home' to us as readers. Again, there is a good solid mystery to be solved and it...

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