In one word, Beware That Girl can be summed up as crazy. As you read, you can't decide if you like Kate or not. She's sneaky, two-faced, a bit selfishIn one word, Beware That Girl can be summed up as crazy. As you read, you can't decide if you like Kate or not. She's sneaky, two-faced, a bit selfish. But then she seems to change, right? Enter Olivia. Olivia is needy, damaged, and overly eager to have a friend. She spoils Kate, which again makes you not like Kate. Then you start to feel sorry for Olivia. Enter Mark. You know something is up with him pretty early on. Now you are pulling for both girls, hoping they don't get stuck in his web. But one of them does, and it has serious consequences for both girls.
Now you're like OMGoodness, and you want them both to have a happy ending. Probably one more than the other because she finally seems to have made an emotional breakthrough. and then.... and then... the ending leaves you with bug eyes. Now you're left thinking wtfizzle just happened, and oh this poor child. She's screwed. For life.
There you go. That's how nuts Beware That Girl is. The plot is pretty mellow and even paced. Nothing really psychological thriller about it until you reach the end. Then it jumps up into Single White Female/ Fatal Attraction territory. I'd say the twist in the end is what makes this one worth reading. You see the hints along the way, but just like with We Were Liars, you don't really understand how everything fits together until you're slapped in the face with it. ...more
This one starts off spookily enough. I was captivated by the idea that these kids returned with no memory of the previous 11 years. All kinds of theorThis one starts off spookily enough. I was captivated by the idea that these kids returned with no memory of the previous 11 years. All kinds of theories are thrown out there and sorted through, but the one that remains was a bit surprising and disappointing. But, as disappointing as it was, it was also the ending that made the most sense. I think if anything else would have occurred, I would have rolled my eyes.
The characters are just meh. Nothing earth shattering or really worth remembering long after the book is finished. I know that sounds harsh, but that's just how most books are. The Leaving isn't revolutionary, but it is a quick and mostly satisfying read. Overall, The Leaving wasn't as spenseful as I had hoped for, but it was a solid read. ...more
I dare anyone to read Duncan, the Story Dragon and not fall in love. If you can't tell, the illustrations are adorable and full of whimsy. Every pageI dare anyone to read Duncan, the Story Dragon and not fall in love. If you can't tell, the illustrations are adorable and full of whimsy. Every page is full of cuteness. As I followed Duncan on his quest to find someone willing to read a book to him, I could not help but smile. With every no he received, I felt his disappointment. Any reader will be able to relate to Duncan's plight; it is one we all share-- trying to find someone that loves books as much as we do! When Duncan does find a very surprising companion that shares his love of books, his story really takes off! Get ready for a grand journey with Duncan and his friend. ...more
The final installment in the Red Rising series delivered a satisfying finish to a beloved story line.
A good portion of Morning Star takes place in spThe final installment in the Red Rising series delivered a satisfying finish to a beloved story line.
A good portion of Morning Star takes place in space (hello epic battle sequences), which didn't really appeal to me much. I'm not a fan of sci-fi books, and spaceships and/or aliens is a sure fire way to lose my interest. But I stayed with it! Even though I felt this book started to drag on a bit (it's 524 pages) and got way too technical in the battle scenes for my tastes.
One thing I do love about this series is the characters. The third book, Morning Star, introduces more new characters. Yes, more characters that you will appreciate too. Of course, there is also more loss of previous characters that you will be sad over. The idea of honor even into death is powerful. It's hard to capture how much growth these characters undergo throughout this series. It's spectacular. The Darrow and Cassius from Red Rising are not the same Darrow and Cassius you see in Morning Star. But I think it's Sevro that steals the show in the end. He has really changed in spectacular ways. His crude nature is still there (and often brings humor to tense situations), but the little goblin develops a heart. I really enjoyed his story.
Morning Star also takes a pretty strong political stance. There are lots of hints at themes dealing with honor and class systems. I should probably reread this one just to make note of those from beginning to end.
Also, as to be expected, there are twists and turns galore. Sometimes it was hard to keep up! I usually can spot plot twists a good bit before they occur, but the jaw dropper of Morning Star caught be off guard. I didn't know what was happening until it was happening, and I swear it left me misty eyed. I don't think I've ever experienced a more satisfying ending for a character. Wow. Just wow.
I heard a rumor that there will be a spin off series, and I really hope that's true. As much as I liked the ending, I don't want it to be the end of these characters.
Snap! is a book about finding great imagination when things seem dire. It was really cute to see how Evan thought his day was ruined when the first crSnap! is a book about finding great imagination when things seem dire. It was really cute to see how Evan thought his day was ruined when the first crayon snapped, but then discovered that all was not lost. In fact, he found many things to do with each crayon! I enjoyed seeing all of Evan's projects and remembering what it was like as a child to do the very same things. The illustrations are great and capture the whimsy of Evan's adventures. ...more
I have to admit that this book caught my eye on the 2016-17 Sunshine State Reader list because it featured a sloth. See, my teenage son has a lot in cI have to admit that this book caught my eye on the 2016-17 Sunshine State Reader list because it featured a sloth. See, my teenage son has a lot in common with Sparky. In fact, sloths are his spirit animal. It only made sense that I would pick up Sparky! from the library.
As we read, I found myself smiling at all of Sparky's lackluster tricks. I couldn't help but thinking of the saying that goes something like "there is more to it than meets the eye". That sums up Sparky well.
While the story was simple and straight forward, and the illustrations felt more like sketches, I think Sparky! will appeal to many young readers. Especially those that have always wanted the "perfect" pet. ...more
It's a rare find to discover a sequel as good as-- if not better than-- its predecessor, but that's exactly what you get with Golden Son.
Have I mentiIt's a rare find to discover a sequel as good as-- if not better than-- its predecessor, but that's exactly what you get with Golden Son.
Have I mentioned how much this series rocks? I just cannot say enough about the writing. It's in a world of its own... kind of like our characters. Once again, the world building creates images that had me captivated. I really am not a fan of anything that takes place in space or has a hint of stereotypical sci-fi themes, but I ignored all that for this book. I didn't mind the spacecraft or the fact that these characters live on planets other than earth. It all worked beautifully.
With Golden Son you get new characters and new heartache. And oh that heartache... I felt the loss as if it were my own. Every emotion bubbled up right along with Darrow's. But then one heck of a twist was delivered that left me reeling. I remember just sitting there thinking "oh snap."