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Grasshopper Jungle
I have to say, I was disappointed by Grasshopper Jungle.

I happened to be at the American Library Association annual conference this year and I happene
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Jul 03, 2013
The Underneath
**spoiler alert** A reading journal of Kathi Appelt’s The Underneath, as captured in emails to a friend who enjoyed it

Subject: Progress Report #1

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Nov 10, 2008
A Tale Dark & Grimm (A Tale Dark & Grimm, #1)
I've always liked an analogy for reading I once heard from an English teacher: sometimes your relationship with a book can be just like relationships ...more
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Jan 24, 2011
Sacred Scars (A Resurrection of Magic, #2)
"He hates Somiss," I breathed. "So long as he knew we all cared about him and--"

"Hate is complicated," Gerrard interrupted me again.

"No, it isn’t," I
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Sep 22, 2009
The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp
I'm sure Kathi Appelt is an excellent storyteller, but I just can't see it. While I enjoy her themes and plot elements, something about her folksy-cut ...more
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Sep 30, 2013
The Marbury Lens (The Marbury Lens, #1)
I felt so sick.

This is when it started falling apart.

I know that now.

Jack shares this on page 53, still quite early in his book, but well after he's b
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Jan 17, 2011
Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work
"I know one thing: that I know nothing."
- Socrates

For the past few years I've had a fascinating and fun journey working my way through a good collect
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Jun 24, 2013
Never Glue Your Friends to Chairs (Roscoe Riley Rules, #1)
Wonderfully understated, dry sense of humor. I was smiling the whole time I read it and often laughed out loud. A Junie B. for boys.

The junk drawer is
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Jan 27, 2009
A Boy and A Bear in a Boat
It seemed to be just one episode of a longer story so it didn't have a proper beginning or ending, it was all just part of the middle. There was no wa ...more
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Dec 05, 2012
Half-Moon Investigations
My name is Moon. Fletcher Moon. And I'm a private detective. In my twelve years on this spinning ball we call Earth, I've seen a lot of things normal ...more
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Sep 09, 2009
Zombie Spaceship Wasteland
I apologize ahead of time for not even trying to aim at Point B, or even starting from Point A. Comedy and terror and autobiography and comics and lit ...more
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May 28, 2011
Picture Me Gone
Have you ever seen a terrier at work? It stands stock-still, quivering all over with anticipation, waiting for the moment the slip collar comes off. T ...more
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Dec 10, 2013
Winger (Winger, #1)
Fairly early in Winger, narrator and protagonist Ryan Dean West describes a Venn diagram that would look something like this:

Even though the overlap i
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Feb 23, 2013
Page by Paige
Wow! This has to be one of the best depictions I’ve come across of the interior mental life of a shy, introverted, creative, insecure, reflective mind ...more
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Oct 26, 2011
Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures
This is a perfectly fine story characterized by excellent writing--it's Kate DiCamillo, after all, so of course it is--but something about the tone ru ...more
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Jan 05, 2014
The Night Gardener
"I think I figured it out." She sniffed, looking up at the stars. "Hester asked me what the difference between a story and a lie was. At the time, I t ...more
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Nov 24, 2014
A Whole Nother Story
Three stars for the story itself, five stars for the smart aleck storytelling and audiobook narrator, so I averaged it out to a four. Because there is ...more
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Jun 06, 2013
Nearly ten years ago there was a morning I was feeling unwell, though I suspect it was the physical manifestation of emotional weariness and tapped en ...more
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Jun 08, 2013
Archvillain (Archvillain, #1)
Imagine Superman appearing in Smallville in the middle of a meteor storm as a twelve-year-old instead of as an infant, with Lex Luthor the only witnes ...more
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Sep 27, 2012
How could I not give this a positive review with such obvious panders as:

Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them.


A good library wil
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Aug 21, 2010
Fly by Night (Fly By Night, #1)
I have to admit that I almost didn't read this book. The cover art gave the impression it might be a bit light and the banner across it that it might ...more
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Apr 30, 2008
Wonderful storytelling for a wonderful story that had me hooked from the opening paragraphs.* Both simple and complex. Light and accessible and easy e ...more
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Jun 06, 2013
We Are All Weird: The Myth of Mass and the End of Compliance
Seth Godin writes in sound bites. This is the second of his slim “manifestos” that I’ve read, and that seems to be his approach. It’s scatter shot, ra ...more
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Mar 22, 2012
Passenger (The Marbury Lens, #2)
I hated being forced into doing the "guy thing," but I couldn't let Frankie start off this new day by labeling me as some kind of enemy outsider in fr ...more
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Dec 29, 2012
Breakfast on Mars and 37 Other Delectable Essays
In the following pages, you'll catch a glimpse of something most people have never seen in the wild. We've let essays out of their cages, and we've se ...more
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Oct 29, 2013
The Nethergrim
I thoroughly enjoyed this one, a dark fantasy with a good dose of gritty feudal realism. Often fantasy stories for young readers feel sketchy and simp ...more
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Sep 18, 2014
Owly, Vol. 3: Flying Lessons
My first thought was to say the Owly tales illustrate the power of optimism, but that’s true only so much as Owly’s attitude motivates his actions. Re ...more
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Feb 25, 2010
Raining Cats and Detectives
I really love this series.

I read the first two volumes a while back and liked them, but now that I've revisited the story with volumes three through f
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Mar 25, 2013
Divided We Fall (Divided We Fall, #1)
I am Private First Class Daniel Christopher Wright, I am seventeen years old, and I fired the shot that ended the United States of America.
This book
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Jul 17, 2014
SMASH: Trial by Fire
A great character/story that young readers will both relate to and fantasize about, drawn appealingly and told well.

Andrew is small for his age and pi
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Dec 16, 2014
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