Reviewed on the Mundie Moms Guilty Pleasures blog:
This is my first Abbie Glines book. I've heard a lot of great things about her books. In fact I've g...moreReviewed on the Mundie Moms Guilty Pleasures blog:
This is my first Abbie Glines book. I've heard a lot of great things about her books. In fact I've got a few of her books sitting on my shelves waiting to be read. I've heard a lot of great things about her newest release, Take A Chance. When I was asked to be apart of the tour, I jumped at the chance to read Harlow's story.
I liked Harlow. She is one of those sweet, down to earth girls, who just wants to be noticed for who she is, and not who her father is. Given the world her rock and roll of a legend father is apart of, I love that he tried to shield her from it, and that she didn't fall into the partying, doing drugs, and sleep around atmosphere. She had this sweet innocence about her that the rest of those around her no longer had. Harlow is also a girl who while is innocent, also comes across as shy, and an easy push over. The more I read about Harlow, the more I realized she's definitely none of those things. I loved the feisty side of her that ends up coming out.
Have you ever wondered what happened to your homework, or who took the remote control for the TV? Or who makes you yawn and why do you sometimes get a...more Have you ever wondered what happened to your homework, or who took the remote control for the TV? Or who makes you yawn and why do you sometimes get a song stuck in your head? Well William Joyce's newest must have read for children answers all those questions and more! The MISCHIEVIANS are responsible for those things and much more. What? You never heard of them? Neither did I until I read this book and now everything makes sense.
I knew there had to be a reason why we can have so many half pairs of socks, and why I always yawn, and why for some reason in my kids's bathroom there's never any toilet paper let, and yet everyone claims it wasn't them. We have a bad case of The MISCHIEVIANS. Those pesky little creatures are up to no good.... well not really no good. They're up to some good. After all they're doing what they know how to do.
After reading this book I feel like I finally have the answer to a question no one has been able to answer. These guys are responsible for the things that happen around our house that no one can explain. William Joyce gives the best answers to my burning questions. Chalk full of William Joyce humor, The Mischievians is a book that both children and parents will enjoy. This book has brought plenty of laugher during our bed time reading. It's also encouraged my kids to use their imaginations to come up with their own Mischievians. At the end of the book William left a page for kids to document their own Mischievians, and he wants the kids to share it with him. You never know, he just might use it in one of his up coming books (see the back of the book for more details).
I will say I loved some of William's other books more than this one, but it gets a solid 5 stars from my kiddos who loved this book.
Little Owl's Night is an adorable bed time story that young children, or if you're a child at heart and love owls, will fall in love with. It's simpli...moreLittle Owl's Night is an adorable bed time story that young children, or if you're a child at heart and love owls, will fall in love with. It's simplistic story telling and vivid illustrations make it easy to follow, and enjoy. Though the story isn't an exploration like I thought it would be, it is one of those lovely children's picture books that leaves a smile on your face.
Readers will love following the night's journey with Little Owl as he flies through the forest on his way to his tree and mother, to get ready for bed. On his journey he sees his woodland friends, and takes in the night activities around him. One of my favorite things about the book besides Little Owl, was seeing all his woodland friends and what they were up to. Upon returning home, he asks his Mama about the fast approaching morning. I liked how Divya gives readers both the night life in the woods, and what transpires as the sun begins to rise. Baby owl is asleep before Mama Owl finishes her story and the sun is up, but readers get to see all the that happens as the woodland animals who are up all night head to bed and the morning animals awake.
As I mentioned above, I loved it! I'd definitely recommend this for young children. The story's text is perfect for toddler's who can't sit too long, and is easy for them to understand. The illustrations are just right for this age group as well. They've not overly detailed, and well suited for young ages with the bold colors and simple artwork. I'm not a toddler, and I thought the entire book was adorable.(less)
I am a huge Samantha Young fan. I've been reading her books since back when she started self publishing her YA series, and a couple new adult/adult bo...moreI am a huge Samantha Young fan. I've been reading her books since back when she started self publishing her YA series, and a couple new adult/adult books. So, a long time fan. When I learned that she had a new series, and a new, adult contemporary one at that, I couldn't wait to purchase this book and read it. This was one of these first new adult books I had read, at least at that time. I read this right after it was released.
On Dublin Street show cases some of the things I love in Samantha's books. These are things I've come to realize are signature to her writing, such as plenty of snark, great character chemistry, and moments that emotional invest me with her story. Oh yeah, this book has sexy times, and plenty of laugh out loud times. I loved that combination. In between those moments, are also moments of heart break. Samantha does such a great job at balancing all of these elements perfectly.
I really liked the way this story started off. The pacing was great, the characters were enjoyable, and the mystery behind Scarlet's lack of...more3.5 stars
I really liked the way this story started off. The pacing was great, the characters were enjoyable, and the mystery behind Scarlet's lack of memory and her ties to the Archer Brothers was intriguing. In fact, I really enjoyed the first half of the book, and the ending, but some where in the middle the story faltered a little bit for me. I was excepting more than what I got. Though I felt the story was great up to this point, once the big reveal happened, and I found out the history and the ties between Scarlet and the Archer brothers I felt like something was missing after that. Don't get me wrong, it's still a good storyline, but I felt it fell a little flat after that and then gained momentum again for that killer ending. Between the big reveal and the end I excepted a little more of something. A little more action or romance, or suspense. Essentially I was looking for the WOW moment to make this story really stand out among the rest, or at best give me something to fuel my appetite leading up to the reveal moment and that didn't happen for me.
This story did give me intrigue, hooked me at the beginning of the book, presented me with a love story that has spanned centuries, and has a few twists that left me wishing the sequel was already out. It also gave me a fabulously written swoon worthy guy, Tristan. It's not that I didn't enjoy his brother Gabriel, because I did. Gabriel holds the promises of forever and that sweet fairytale kind of true love, while Tristan has this whole angst, secretive, exciting thing going on. While both guys might look like Greek Gods, the chemistry between Tristan and Scarlet was fabulous! I loved everything about these two, and felt what they had and didn't have was believable. Kudos to Chelsea for writing this unique relationship in a way that didn't feel like "just another" love triangle. I started to see what Scarlet saw in both guys, but got what she really felt with Tristan. I seriously can't wait to find out what really happened between these two.
The curse and history that bonds these three characters together was enchanting, heart breaking and a little swoon worthy all at the same time. Okay it's a little romantic...that kind of tragic romance that you want to read more about, because there's one girl, two brothers, a curse, and true love. One's destined to love this girl forever, but can never have her, while the other is connected to her and can painfully find her time after time, only his curse kills her the closer he gets to her. See what I mean. I know, it's a killer of a curse. That's the part of the book that hooked me. Well that and there's secrets among secrets in this book, and I have the sinking feeling that the person responsible for this curse is unsuspectingly very much apart of Scarlet's life. Over all Anew gave me just enough to hook me and now leaves me patiently waiting to get my hands on Awry! I can't wait to discover all that unfolds with Scarlet, Tristan and Gabriel in this sequel. You can be sure I'll be picking up this sequel shortly.(less)
I'm not sure what I was expecting when I picked up this book, but it definitely wasn't what I got. Deborah Harkness wowed me with her debut. It was si...moreI'm not sure what I was expecting when I picked up this book, but it definitely wasn't what I got. Deborah Harkness wowed me with her debut. It was simply one of those fabulous reads that I wanted to devour, but instead found myself savoring everything that was going on. It's a story that's part adventure, part mystery and one part a uniquely crafted paranormal historical read. I loved the story's fascinating mix of intrigue, rich history, exciting paranormal elements and it's good old fashion romance.
You guys know how much I love well crafted, intriguing, complex characters. Deborah's protagonists, Doctor Diana Bishop and centuries old vampire/renowned scientist Matthew Clairmount fit that bill perfectly! These two took intrigue and complex to a whole new level. The fact that these two were so highly intelligent added to their over all character appeal for me. They weren't intelligent in the "I have no idea what you're talking about" way, but in the wow, Deborah really had her work cut out with these guys. They were times I felt like I was sitting in on their conversations vs reading about them. It was refreshing for me to read about characters who have intellect, as well as history smarts.
Witches, Vampires, and Demons oh my! There's a lively cast of paranormal favorites here, or more like classic paranormal favorites. I felt like Deborah really did her homework on these characters and I enjoyed the own unique spin she gave each of them, which made for some authentic characters. Each character gave something back to the story. It also added some fabulous tension between Diana, who's a witch and the vampire Matthew. We all know witches and vampires don't go round holding hands and hanging out all the time together, but there's something these two offer each other aside from help and looking for answers they're both in need of. I loved the chemistry these two have. It's hot, complex and sometimes a little comical.
Aside from the characters I really loved this story's setting. Oxford was the perfect setting for this book, and I felt like it fueled some of the story's overall appeal for me. I also enjoyed this story's over all plot line. It was highly engaging and kept the over all story entertaining and engaging for me. Sure there's a few moments where it's a little slow, but the majority of the story just flows. One of the things I loved about Deborah's writing was how descriptive it was. Normally I would have said it was a little over done, but it really worked with this book, because there's so much to this story's rich history and historical setting. I felt Deborah's attention to details, both little and big went along way in this book. I can only imagine how much time she spent on researching.
A Discovery of Witches is an adult book with a ton of appeal for us "adult" YA readers who love a well crafted story with plenty of paranormal elements, historical references, fabulous character chemistry, adventure and a good mystery. It's one I'd highly recommend picking up!(less)
This is a fantastic history through music series that Scholastic has started and one I highly recommend checking out. John Adams: The Voice Heard 'Rou...moreThis is a fantastic history through music series that Scholastic has started and one I highly recommend checking out. John Adams: The Voice Heard 'Round The World not only teaches readers and listeners about the history of the birth of our nation, but gives a brief, well told story about John Adams, one of the great leaders in American history. Narrated by David McCullough, and music accompanied by the Boston Landmarks Orchestra, this is a CD that families, classes and fans of history of any age can enjoy.
The CD is fabulous! The music really sets the tone for David's narrations and it's one that's both engaging and entertaining. Though the companion book that comes with the CD is short, it's full of fascinating facts about the draft of The Declaration of Independence, the birth of our country and is a richly detailed short story that describes the kind of leader and man John Adams was. I really enjoyed the illustrations and the quotes that are featured through out the book as well. This book and CD will truly be a huge hit with parents, kids, educators and librarians. It's one that's perfect for having at home, for home school curriculum and class rooms settings. I think John Adams himself would be pleased with this tribute to him.(less)
At First Bite is a fun vampire story for tweens and younger readers. This is the second book in the Poison Apple series I've read, and boy do I wish t...moreAt First Bite is a fun vampire story for tweens and younger readers. This is the second book in the Poison Apple series I've read, and boy do I wish these were around when I was younger. This story introducers readers to tween vampire, Ashlee Lambert, who moves from her posh NYC apartment out to to L.A. were her famous mother gets her own reality tv as a judge. Ashlee not only has to make new friends and deal with a whole new school, but she's still learning about being a vampire. The cool thing about the vampires in this book is that they shift into bats, don't drink animal blood and can go outside. Though she's the lone vampire in her family (who have no idea she is one), Ashlee has a mentor there to help her. Things get a little out of hand once she's in L.A.
Though Ashlee's kind are the "good" vampires and drink Sanga, a blood substitute for human blood since they don't attack humans, there are vampires called the Dark Ones. These vampires do attack humans and it's up to Ashlee to figure out who the Dark One is at her new school that keeps attacking the students and staff. Ashlee for me was a fun character to read about and one I think fans of this series will enjoy meeting. It's not just the paranormal part of this story that makes it a fun read, but also the relatable side to it as well. Ashlee learns some important lessons at her new school like what being a true friend is all about, and having money and being with the popular crowd isn't always as fun as it seems.
This is a fun read and one I'd recommend for both younger and tween readers. It's clean cut and a great introduction into both this series and paranormal themed books.(less)
I absolutely love this series, as each book featured in it takes the reader back into a different time in our country's history. It's both an exciting...moreI absolutely love this series, as each book featured in it takes the reader back into a different time in our country's history. It's both an exciting and educational read. Though I'm out of the targeted age range for these books, I find them to be just as engaging as I would if I was reading these as a young reader. Barry Denenberg does a brilliant job at giving the reader an inside view of the life of a young girl living through the Civil War.
Emma Simpson has grown up in the south in a rather comfortable life style, but tragedy soon strikes her family and all but robs her life of all that she holds dear. This brave young teen holds true to her faith, firm in her love and finds solace in reading Jane Eyre. Emma's lost her brother to the war, her father is off fighting in the war, she's lost many she's known around her to war, disease, and poor heath, including her mother. Barry does an amazing job at showing the toll this war took on the lives of those who lived through it, fought during it and survived it. It doesn't matter if you were from the North or the South, this was a war that effected everyone, and Emma's story is one of bravery, heartbreak and courage.
I highly recommend picking this book up. It's a fabulous fictional read with a lot of historical references set during the Civil War. I think this is a book readers of all ages will enjoy.(less)
A really cute read with equally adorable illustrations that will capture any young readers attention. I love how simple this story is and how colorful...moreA really cute read with equally adorable illustrations that will capture any young readers attention. I love how simple this story is and how colorful, simple and elegant each of the pictures talks are. This story talks about the beautiful world around us that's full of color, music and the best thing of all, YOU. It's the perfect book to have at home, in a preschool setting, or story time, as kids will be able to relate to the colors, different musical sounds, and most importantly the love that's mentioned in the book. If you're looking for that perfect book to get your kids for Valentine's Day, I'd recommend picking up this adorable story about love and friendship. It's a book you'll want to keep out all year round.(less)
I loved Amelia Bedelia when I was younger, and I enjoy seeing her in a younger form, but this is not a story that connected well with my kids as many...moreI loved Amelia Bedelia when I was younger, and I enjoy seeing her in a younger form, but this is not a story that connected well with my kids as many things were a little over their heads. For example during the Valentine party one of the students asked for punch, so Amelia punched him. While I understood the concept behind that my kids did not and I had to explain it to them. Having said that, I think the over all concept of having Amelia Bedelia act the way she does at this young of an age doesn't work well with the targeted age group. It missed the mark from original charming Amelia. Don't get me wrong, we enjoyed reading about Amelia's mishaps during Valentine's Day and how she was able to fix things, but overall this is a story that didn't connect with my kids or myself. (less)
Fans of Pinkalicious will love reading about Pinkalicious's Valentine story. She not only learns the importance of making a nice card for a friend, an...moreFans of Pinkalicious will love reading about Pinkalicious's Valentine story. She not only learns the importance of making a nice card for a friend, and how fun it is to do something like that, but she learns the importance of making something and getting a gift made from the heart. This is adorable story comes with Pinkalicious stickers and cute Valentine Day cards, a must have for any Pinkalicious fan.(less)
All little Hedgehug wants to do is find someone who he can give his Valentine card to as well as his little heart. Try as hard as he might, no one fin...moreAll little Hedgehug wants to do is find someone who he can give his Valentine card to as well as his little heart. Try as hard as he might, no one finds his spikes lovable, cuddly or even huggable. By the end of the day Hedgehug gets his hopes up and heads home to deal with his broken heart, that is until someone surprises him with a Valentine's of his own. I love that Hedgehug gets his happy ending from someone who "likes his spikes." This is a cute Valentine's day read that's the just the perfect length to read at home or in preschool / kindergarten settings.(less)
This adorably illustrated story shares a powerful message with kids about sharing. I loved the simple rhyming words, and cute illustrations that were...moreThis adorably illustrated story shares a powerful message with kids about sharing. I loved the simple rhyming words, and cute illustrations that were featured on each page. This is a book that will be a big hit for young children. It's great to have at home and in preschool settings. (less)
I thought this was a cute children's book and it's one my kids enjoyed, which is always a big thing for me. It's a story about a young squirrel who gu...moreI thought this was a cute children's book and it's one my kids enjoyed, which is always a big thing for me. It's a story about a young squirrel who guesses all the reasons why his daddy loves him, and in the end of a fun day playing in the woods with his dad he learns it's, because he's his daddy's own. Certain parts of this reminded me of Love You Forever, which at first started to turn me off of the story, but I felt as the story went on there were plenty of differences to make this book enjoyable in it's own right. The illustrations alone are fabulous! My daughter loved looking at each page's adorable pictures. (less)
An interesting story with a unique voice and cast of eccentric characters makes for an intriguing read. There's something about the quirkines...more3.5 stars
An interesting story with a unique voice and cast of eccentric characters makes for an intriguing read. There's something about the quirkiness of the story that kept me reading it, when normally this style of writing isn't my thing. Dead End in Norvelt has this great mix of history, laugh out loud moments, lots of history, and some entertaining characters. I was really drawn to the voice of twelve year old Jack, who's the only child to two constantly feuding parents, and lives in the small town of Norvelt, named after Eleanor Roosevelt. For some reason while reading this book I kept alternating between the voices of Napoleon Dynamite and Ralphie from A Christmas Story as the story's narrators in head. The story kind of has a similar feel to both of these movies. It's one part funny, one what "what the heck is going on" and one part intriguing that I couldn't put it down.
Set in what I believe is the early 1960's, the entire feel of the book matches that time period. From the way the characters act, the things they say, what they do and their mind set. Jack himself is a kid that just can't catch a break. He finds himself grounded for the summer after playing with some of his father's weapons from the war he fought in and for mowing down his mother's rows of corn so his father could build a bunker. I seriously grew frustrated with Jack's parents, especially since they're the cause of some of his poor choices. He literally got caught up between their feuding and both of them telling him to different things. He had to pick which parent he was going to disobey. Poor guy. His saving grace from being grounded is his elderly neighbor his mom sends him to help each morning, Miss Volker. She is hilarious and just calls it like she sees it.
Wrapped up into Jack's story is a old fashion murder mystery, the threat of the Hells Angels coming to down, a father who's anxious to get his bomb shelf built along with his run way for his war plane he's building and mother who's more worried about growing food and feeding the poor than what's going on with Jack. There's a lot that's wrapped up into this story, and I don't think my review will do this book justice. It's one you really have to pick up and read for yourself. It really felt like I was getting a glimpse to Jack's journal from growing up and the summer he learned an important life lesson. It's realistic, the humor in this book comes at all the right moments, and it's story with an important life lesson learned for Jack. It's truly a book that will be appealing to many ages and I can see why it's won both the Publisher's Weekly Best Children's Fiction and Horn's Best Fiction Books in 2011.(less)
The Survivors is the first book in a promising series with the same name. Full of unique paranormal lore and a variety of paranormal characters with a...moreThe Survivors is the first book in a promising series with the same name. Full of unique paranormal lore and a variety of paranormal characters with a wide range of abilities, Amanda Havard does a great job at introducing readers to her intriguing world. I loved that this series starts out with the Salem Witch trials. There's been little YA books that have their stories tied to this historical event, and I thought Amanda did an incredible job with creating a series that starts off with this horrific event. Though The Survivors doesn't go into details about the Salem Witch trials, the characters that emerge in this book are children who accused of being witches and driven out of their village a couple weeks after the trail was over.
Being a huge paranormal fan, I really enjoyed the wide range of paranormal characters that are apart of Sadie's story. They cover everything from Witches, Vampires, Shape-Shifters and more are. Though they're deemed "out casts" or aren't considered real in the human world, they all live within in their own family groups trying to blend into a world they've never been accepted into, with little to no human contact for the most part. I loved how their old world views clashed with the world's more modern day views. Being an immortal and hiding out of view from humans since the 1600's would take a toll on me. Luckily Sadie isn't a character who sits by idly and allows those leaders of her "family" to make all the decisions for her. She puts herself out there and wants to learn more about who she is, her family's history, how The Survivors, whom are immortal, can be killed. In doing so she goes to place that's forbidden.
I liked that while The Survivors all live within the human world, they find blending in with humans sinful. The fact that Sadie doesn't let that deter her makes me admire her all the more. She has this fierce determination about her that I loved. She's definitely a strong willed character, and someone I enjoyed getting to know. I admire her independence, her quest for answers, and her ability to live among humans no matter how hard it is. A character who matches Sadie's personality well is her romantic interest Everett. They have this sweet, innocent romance that at times made me want to push them together and tell them to just make out already. I will say I respected Everett and Sadie's strong values and their ability to stick to them. Everett is someone I'm definitely looking forward to getting to know more about. The twist about his family that's revealed towards the end of the book is great!
Aside from the characters, I really enjoyed the historical references and the paranormal history and lore that Amanda created. I loved being able to travel all over the world with Sadie in her quest for answers. Her determination to find out more about her history, how Survivors can be destroyed and so forth as she visits different places looking into the paranormal myths present in each location, added some of the excitement into the story line. I enjoyed The Survivors and I thought Amanda did a great job at laying the foundation for the rest of the series, but I felt like something was missing from the book. Given what some of the characters are, I had excepted a little bit more action in this story than there was. I'm looking forward to Point of Origin, and finding out what's in store for Sadie and family next. (less)