Young Adult

Book ReviewUntold

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.

Untold is my first truly Gothic horror/romance/suspense book and I have to say, it didn't disappoint. This is an intense ride from the get go and I was an eager reader for wherever the adventure took me on the next page. Having said that, I was under the impression that this 'sequel' to the first book, Unspoken, was going to tie it all together and be done. You can imagine my personal restraint when the book finished with a nail biting OH NO! WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?!! how dearly I wanted to chuck that book across the room for a satisfying smash against the wall. I could not fathom the...

Book ReviewEmerald Green

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: 
Category: 
Publisher: 
Henry Holt and Company, 2013.

It's a sequel kind of month for me. I have not one, not two, not even three but FOUR sequels on my reading shelf. It will be interesting to see which author has the best follow up - especially when I don't have the time to go back and reread everyone's first novel. Ideally, you gobble up a series like a tasters box of lindt chocolates. Each is unique, each is different but they are all made from the same mold. Your palate remembers the goodness since you are going straight from one to the other. At the end, you can easily say which was your favorite. But if, like this pile of books in front of me, you've left lots of time in between books, a sequel must have a certain pick up from the first book to take you back into that tasters choice, to remind you of everything that has passed for the characters. In the case of Emerald Green, the remembering was a bit painful...

Book ReviewFire

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: 
Firebird, 2010

A trilogy is a trilogy, right? Wrong. Book one comes first, then book two and sha-bam! Book three rounds it out to a trilogy finish, right? Nope. I read Graceling, the first in this trilogy and then dove into Fire. My dive felt like a head-first run into a brick wall. Fire is not a sequel or second book of anything - Fire is a completely new novel - with the exception of one character who falls into this world and then falls out. Not a second book at all, Fire, is a parallel book and it took me longer than I'd like to admit to forgive it for not having Po or Katsa from Graceling. If I can set aside my incorrect assumptions and expectations, Fire is...

Book ReviewThe Elite

Series: 
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!
Author: 
Category: 
Publisher: 
Harper Teen, 2013

My worry with a second book - when I've completely loved the first in a series - is that the author changes something. Let's face it, when you've been an obscure hopeful there is something fresh and new about your storytelling. After the success of a first novel you have a team of people helping you 'improve' and 'grow' as a writer. I tend to feel a bit disappointed in second novels, BUT NOT THIS ONE! :) I loved Elite as much, if not more than The Selection. Woo hoo! My reaction to these books reminds me a bit of...

Book ReviewThe Selection

Series: 
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!
Author: 
Category: 
Publisher: 
Harper Teen, 2012

This book made me feel like a little girl/teenager again. Growing up, I LOVED princess stories. In fact, I wrote a princess story in grade two that made it into our school's year book. Princesses and happy endings were my bread and butter and The Selection was an entire loaf and stick of butter for me. It reminded me of why I loved those types of stories to begin with - struggling girl with a heart of gold who loves her family puts herself forth for the prince to marry to help their situation. She goes into it with preconceived notions and prejudices that get her in hot water and then slowly fizzle away until she realizes she is falling in love with the prince. What is NOT to love about that premise, people! Sigh, I couldn't...

Book ReviewGraceling

Reviewer's Rating: 
4
I truly enjoyed this book...and yet, it failed to rock my world because (see explanation in review).
Category: 
Publisher: 
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2008

This book holds the distinction of being a very controversial book at the Elmvale Branch. Within a month or less of being on our shelves, an adult reader had taken it home to read. She brought it back and cautioned us that two pages had been ripped out. Why? Because it crossed a line you don't normally cross in Young Adult books. But more about that later...I've got to get you to read to the end of my review somehow, right? I found the first half of this book to be...

Book ReviewPendragon: The Merchant of Death

Series: 
Reviewer's Rating: 
1
I never forget a book, but in this case I'll make an exception.
Author: 
Category: 
Publisher: 
Aladdin Paperbacks, 2002

Well dang if I'm not hitting big, fat zero's on trying to find a series for my 14 year old son to read.  He and I both gave up on this book very shortly in.  For me, it was a sense the entire series was going to be based on overcoming hardship after hardship after hardship after....you get my idea.  I'm not a big fan of books like The Lord of the Rings because I feel so darn tired thinking of all those hills to climb, battles to fight, enemies to avoid.  It makes me feel exhausted when I read books like these and right off the bat, our main guy Bobby is in a bad way, then a worse way, then

Book ReviewThe Agency: A Spy in the House

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!
Author: 
Category: 
Publisher: 
Candlewick Press, 2009.

This book was donated to our library and being a second copy, my boss asked if I would be interested in reading it. She knows I like historical fiction and boy, was this book right up my alley! I love it when a favourite book gets pulled off your shelves, is reread and loved just the same a second, third or, in this case, my fourth time reading it. There is much quality in a book that can be good beyond the first reading.

There are a myriad of reasons why I love the Mary Quinn Mystery series. First, I...

Book ReviewThe Unnaturalists

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

I loved the cover of this novel. A historical setting, steampunk promise with a dash of fantasy I was hooked. I just wish the story itself had been as captivating. There are a few fundamental problems with The Unnaturalists. In a word - complex. I understand trying to craft a whole new twist on history cannot be an easy task, but Tiffany has us twisted upside down and 30 degrees to the left asking us to see straight ahead in a westerly fashion. Huh? Exactly my point. We've got...

Book ReviewScarlet

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!
Author: 
Category: 
Publisher: 
Fiewel and Friends, 2013.

If you've ever had a difficult time choosing between a caramel or fudge sundae put up your hand. Me too. But never fear, I've been motivated enough in the past by this question to come up with the perfect solution. First, you go to the counter and pretend you are ordering for a co-worker, "She would like a different type of sundae if you can possibly help me out today. She'd like a layer of hot fudge on the bottom, then ice cream and finally a healthy squirt of hot caramel sauce on the top. I'd really appreciate it; she's a little crazy so it's best to keep her happy. Thanks very much." That's verbatim my request at our local McDonald's a week ago and the staff, I think, were pleased with an odd request in the waning afternoon hours. And yes, it was delicious. Scarlett is exactly like that two-for-one taste bud sundae. There are two storylines that...

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