Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Orchard of Hope (The Orphanage of Miracles, #2) by Amy Neftzger

The Orchard of Hope by Amy Neftzger

In this second book in the series, Kelsey is off on an adventure to save hope. The king has sent her with two travelling companions; Roland, who is death and appears as a fox to Kelsey, and Maggie, a girl with no apparent talent who is unable to see or hear Roland. As they travel to the orchard of hope to try to save it from being eaten by the wolves, Nicholas is being trained in sorcery by a scatterbrained magician named Moss and Newton, a gargoyle who Moss has brought to life. Both parties are occasionally assisted by Megan, the wise healer who is also a leopard. Rather a mix of parable and fantasy, this is an excellent story although it does end with a rather steep cliffhanger. I received this book free to review from Netgalley and I highly recommend it.

Friday, October 17, 2014

What Einstein Didn't Know: Scientific Answers to Everyday Questions by Robert L. Wolke

What Einstein Didn't Know by Robert L. Wolke
This is a well-written book with simple easy to understand explanations of the science behind every day things. It is a cornucopia of scientific trivia written in a way that most people can understand including facts about things like why and how iron is added to food, the science behind espresso, what blurping is and what causes it, why flames are different colors and more. There are many explanation about how chemistry works in our everyday lives in things like soda, rubber, styrofoam, auto glass, prestressed concrete, rust, and antifreeze. Thre is information about natural events as well like ocean breezes and waves, and the greenhouse effect and more. I received this book free to review from Netgalley and I highly recommend it.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Lagasse Girls' Big Flavor, Bold Taste--and No Gluten!: 100 Gluten-Free Recipes from EJ's Fried Chicken to Momma's Strawberry Shortcake by Jilly Lagasse, Jessie Lagasse Swanson

The Lagasse Girls' Big Flavor, Bold Taste--and No Gluten! by Jilly Lagasse
I like that this cookbook, as they state, uses ingredients that you can actually find in the grocery store like Arrowhead Mills Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Mix. The recipes are well written and look yummy, but many of them seem very labor intensive. This is gluten free gourmet cooking. And if that is what you are looking for, you will enjoy the recipes in this cookbook. I received this book free to review from Netgalley.

Since You've Been Gone by Mary Jennifer Payne

Since You've Been Gone by Mary Jennifer Payne
Intriguing, sad and touching, this is a story about how domestic abuse can affect young people. For years, Edie and her mother have been on the run, leaving as soon as her father catches up with them. When they go from Canada to London, they think they have outrun him, but then, Edie's mother disappears. Assisted by Jermaine, a classmate who Edie has inadvertently gotten into trouble, Edie searches for her mother and tries to avoid being caught. The book is a fast paced quick read. I received it free to review from Netgalley.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Spellbound and Determined by Dax Varley

Spellbound and Determined by Dax Varley
This is a very cute, fun, lighthearted YA paranormal romance. After a strange man comes into Cam's grandmother Mimi's new age magic shop, she finds that he has dropped an ancient spell for power supreme. Deciding that power supreme would help her high school GPA, Cam enlists the help of her best friend, Reade, and Zach, the smartest boy in school to find the bizarre ingredients needed for the spell. As Reade pursues wacky ways to get the new boy Troy to fall in love with her and magic shop customers buy items to try to make things go the way they want, Cam studies Shakespeare with Zach and Mimi finds a love interest who is a fantastic cook. Meanwhile, the strange man who dropped the spell seems to be following Cam and her friends as they procure the spell's ingredients. I received this book free to review from Netgalley and I enjoyed it and highly recommend it.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Girl, the Gold Tooth and Everything by Francine LaSala

The Girl, the Gold Tooth and Everything
This book starts out kind of slow and confusing, partly because the main character, Mina, is confused because she is suffering from amnesia and is not real clear about what is real and what is not. I skimmed some of the first part of the book to get to the plot. Mina has a 3 year old daughter and her husband Jack travels a lot for work. They are having financial problems and bill collectors call frequently. So frequently that Mina has become phone friends with one of the bill collectors. Because her doctor has said that she should recover her memories on her own, no one will fill Mina in about her past or what happened to cause her to lose her memory. Her elderly neighbor Esther, helps her by babysitting her daughter, but the other younger neighbors do not like Esther. As her memories begin to return, Mina meets her Uncle Alex and a friend named Char'a-tee, only to learn a little while later that her uncle died two years ago. Fearing that she is losing her mind, Mina tries to dig into her past even though the doctor has told her not to. She finds more trouble than she had imagined. I liked the story once I got into it, but it had some inconsistencies and really unbelievable parts. I received this book free to review from Netgalley.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Jacob, King of Portalia (The Pillars of Life Trilogy # 1) by Casey Clubb

Jacob, King of Portalia (The Pillars of Life Trilogy, #1)
Totally fabulous YA fantasy. I received this book free to review from Netgalley. As a coming of age story, this book is about a young boy facing his fears and discovering his strengths. As a fantasy, it is about a world in a parallel universe that Jacob accidentally opens a portal to and learns that he is heir to the throne. Only he has the power to save that world and earth from evil beings. As a book about LGBT, it is about a young boy who, like many, is afraid of what other people will think if they know that he likes boys instead of girls and who tries to hide what he is because he is afraid of it. I found the book to be a fabulous fantasy and an empowering story. I look forward to reading the next book in the series.