Sunday, May 31, 2015

Mindtouch by M.C.A. Hogarth

Mindtouch by M.C.A. Hogarth
This is an intriguing book about an alien who can read minds who goes to a psychology college on a planet filled with people who have been genetically engineered to be part animal. I really felt that part was not explained very well. Jahir, who is an alien who could live for thousands of years, becomes roommates with Vasiht'h who is one of the animal/humans who can also read or touch minds with others. They find themselves falling into platonic love as they try to help others with their psychology. I received this book free to review from Netgalley.

Friday, May 29, 2015

The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles Book 1) by Mary E. Pearson

The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson
This is the first audio book that I have ever listened to. There were things I liked about the audio experience and things I did not like and the fact that it was audio did influence what I thought about the book some. I liked the portability of the audio on my phone and the fact that I could listen to it while driving and while walking. I think I walked a bit farther than I would have because I wanted to listen to more of the story. However, I mixed up a couple of the characters and I did not quite understand a few things because I was listening to the book rather than reading it. The story is a YA paranormal fantasy/romance with a 17 year old girl in a love triangle. Ugh. Thanks a lot Stephanie Myers. I am so tired of the 17 year old girl with two guys in love with her genre. However, the story was good in spite of that. Princess Lia runs away from an arranged marriage, becomes a barmaid in an inn, happily and meets to men who fall in love with her, one having been sent to kill her for political purposes and the other the prince she tried to avoid marrying, but she had never met him so she had no idea who he was. There is action, intrigue and adventure and romance in this first book in the series. I enjoyed it and look forward to the next book.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek by Maya Van Wagenen

Popular by Maya Van Wagenen
Such a great book! I cannot believe that an 8th grade girl wrote this! In this memoir, Maya goes through her 8th grade year trying out the tips she found in an old book that was written in the 1950s - "Betty Cornell's Teenage Popularity Guide". Maya changed her diet, her wardrobe and even got the courage to go outside of her comfort zone and talk to everyone in all the different social groups in school. She tells her story openly and honestly with a lot of humor and wisdom. I loved this book and I think middle and high school kids will enjoy it as well.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Saving Lucas Biggs by Marisa de los Santos and David Teague

Saving Lucas Biggs by Marisa de los Santos
Told alternately by 13 year old Margaret in 2014 and her friend Charlie's grandfather Josh in 1938, Margaret travels to the past, time travel being a gift that her family possesses, but has been cautioned not to use, in order to save her father's life in the present. However, history resists, as her family has been told, so, can travelling to the past really make a difference? To save her father, Margaret has to try. The story is compelling and well told. I enjoyed it and I think other people will enjoy it as well.

Friday, May 22, 2015

A Tale of Two Mommies by Vanita Oelschlager, Mike Blanc

A Tale of Two Mommies by Vanita Oelschlager
This is a sweet, simple story for young children about a boy with two mommies. I like the illustrations, they are cute and colorful. The boy's friends ask him which mommy helps him climb a tree and which one helps when he skins a knee among other things in this rhyming story. I think the book is lovely and children and parents will enjoy it. I received this book free to review from Netgalley.

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
Quite disturbing psychological thriller. Told in turns by three women, none of whom are really likable characters, involved in convoluted ways with one another and with three men who are also not likable characters. One is murdered, and the rest are all suspect. The book is compelling and creepy.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

A Better World (Brilliance Saga #2) by Marcus Sakey

A Better World (Brilliance Saga, #2)
When will the third book in this series be written? This book was totally fantastic and it really made me think about what people in general are like. In this book, Nick Cooper is still trying to save the world and the battle between the norms and the abnorms continues. Lots of action, drama, plot twists and more action occur in this book. I loved it and look forward to the next one.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

All The Little Fathers by Margaret Wise Brown

All the Little Fathers
This simple little book about different animal and insect fathers playing and interacting with their children has lovely illustrations. I think it would be a nice Father's Day book for a child to give to their father for them to enjoy together. I received this book free to review from Netgalley.                  

Friday, May 15, 2015

At The Water's Edge by Sara Gruen

At the Water's Edge by Sara Gruen
Sara Gruen is a fabulous storyteller and that shows in this historical romance. Maddie, her husband Ellis, and his best friend Hank, leave their partying, rich socialite lives in Philadelphia behind and sail off to Scotland to search for the Loch Ness monster in 1942 in the middle of WWII after a disagreement with Ellis's parents. Being in Europe during the war opens Maddie's eyes to the reality of war, but it does nothing for Hank and Ellis, who drunkenly search for the Loch Ness monster. Maddie befriends the people who work at the Inn where they stay and retells her past in a series of memories or flashbacks. As her husband Ellis becomes more withdrawn from her, the handsome innkeeper, Angus, becomes much more interesting to her. I received this book free to review from Netgalley and I highly recommend it.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The Girl at Midnight (The Girl at Midnight, #1) by Melissa Grey

The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey
This YA paranormal romance is quite similar in very many ways to Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I think that people who have not read Daughter of Smoke and Bone will enjoy this book more than those of us who have read it. There are just too many parallels. Echo is a 17 year old girl who lives part time with the Avicen, who are bird people who use magic and are hidden from humans. The Avicen are in a long time war with the Drakharin, who are dragon people - also magical and hidden from the human race. Echo can use magic to travel through ordinary doors through a world between to other countries and locations almost instantaneously. When she steals a music box for The Ava, her Avicen mentor, Echo is thrust into a series of events that brings her together with the handsome prince of the Drakharin who she does not know is a prince as together they seek the mythical firebird that is supposed to bring peace to both races. The book is good, though unoriginal, and ends with a cliffhanger. I received this book free to review from Netgalley.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Creature Comforts by Trisha Ashley

Creature Comforts by Trisha Ashley
This is a nice British romance set in a charming village. Izzy has dumped her fiance and moved back home to Halfhidden and is determined to find out what happened the night she was in a car wreck at age 16 and went to heaven and nearly died. She helps her aunt with her dog rescue business and starts her own clothing business and meets her handsome new neighbor. I received this book free to review from Netgalley.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Look Where We Live!: A First Book of Community Building by Scot Ritchie

Look Where We Live! by Scot Ritchie
This is a cute and fun informative book for children about communities. The story follows five friends and their dog as they enjoy a street fair that is raising money for their local library. Including a yard sale, car wash, community clean up, a lemonade stand at a retirement home,a community garden and lots of fun activities the multicultural group of children experience their community and have lots of fun. The book ends with an art activity and a glossary. I like the bright, colorful illustrations and think this book will be fun to read and use in schools and homes. I received this book free to review from Netgalley.

Paper Towns by John Green

Paper Towns by John Green
With it's philosophical ramblings and a teenage boy searching for a girl, this book reminded me a lot of "Looking For Alaska". Like Alaska, Margo is beautiful, strong, independent and outwardly perfect, but inwardly unhappy, sad and seeking something she is not quite able to define. Quentin, a senior in high school has lived next door to Margo since they were two years old and has crushed on her for years. After she drags him out late one night and engages his assistance in a variety of pranks, she disappears - runs away - something she has done before. When he learns that she has left clues each time she ran away before, Quentin begins looking for clues to where she has gone and then he and his best friends Ben and Radar along with Margo's best friend, Lacy begin to follow the clues to track down Margo. I imagine this will make a good movie since it includes teens, partying, an epic road trip and lots of humor.

Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polonsky

Gracefully Grayson
Sad and moving yet encouraging as well, this is the story of 12 year old Grayson, who dreams of being a girl. When he tries out for, and gets the lead role in a school play, of Persephone, a female role, trouble ensues at home and at school. Yet, through it all, Grayson learns to open up and be on the outside, who he has always felt he was on the inside. I received this excellent book free to review from Netgalley.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Buzz Kill by Beth Fantaskey

Buzz Kill by Beth Fantaskey
In this YA mystery/romance/thriller, seventeen year old Millie, a reporter for the school newspaper, uncovers several mysteries as she investigates the murder of the head football coach from her school. When her own father becomes the main suspect, and she learns the truth about Chase, the cute football player whom she is becoming friends with, she tries even harder to find out who the murderer is - without becoming a victim herself! I enjoyed the references to Nancy Drew books, and the wonderful librarian. I think this is a fun book that many teens will enjoy.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The Misadventures of Salem Hyde: Spelling Trouble (The Misadventures of Salem Hyde #1) by Frank Cammuso

The Misadventures of Salem Hyde: Spelling Trouble (The Misadventures of Salem Hyde, #1)

This is a cute graphic novel for children in 3rd - 6th grades. Salem is a witch who has a bit of trouble controlling her magic, so her parents get her an animal companion - a service cat who helps her with her spelling and her spells.

What She Left Behind by Ellen Marie Wiseman

What She Left Behind by Ellen Marie Wiseman
This story is told alternately by Clara, who was a teenager in 1929 and was committed to an insane asylum by her wealthy parents for loving a poor immigrant and Izzy, a 17 year old in foster care who is trying to deal with the fact that her mother is in prison for shooting her father. As Izzy learns about Clara from her journal and letters, she deals with her own issues. Clara's story is sad and disturbing and it is even more disturbing to realize that people really were horribly mistreated in insane asylums during that time period. The book is intriguing and was hard to put down.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Odd and The Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman

Odd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman
Fabulous, fun, totally Gaiman take on Norse mythology. Odd leaves home and is befriended by a fox, a bear and an eagle, who are of course, Norse gods who have been turned into those animals by a Frost Giant and it is up to Odd to convince the giant to leave so that winter can leave his town and spring can come. I just loved this story and I think that others will too!

Alistair Grim's Odditorium (Odditorium, #1) by Gregory Funaro

Alistair Grim's Odditorium by Gregory Funaro
Action, adventure,mystery and magic abound in this YA fantasy about Grubb, a 12 year old boy who escapes his life as a chimney sweep and winds up in Alaistair Grim's Odditorium, a magical building full of magical objects or odditoria. An incident with Mac McClintock, a talking pocket watch leads them all into trouble as they are pursued by the horrible Prince Nightshade and his dreadful undead army of Shadesmen. There are fairies and banshees, Doom Dogs, a ninja and more in this action packed story that I am sure kids will enjoy.
I received this book free to review from Netgalley.

The Vanishing Coin by Kate Egan, Eric Wight (Illustrations), Magician Mike Lane

The Vanishing Coin (The Magic Shop Book 1)
Mike has just started 4th grade and due to his ADHD, he is already having problems in school because he can't sit still. His parents won't let him play soccer so he will have more time to concentrate on school, he goes home from school with his new next door neighbor Nora, who is in his grade, but in the gifted and talented class and a bully named Jackson is picking on him. After Mike and Nora find a magic shop though, Mike begins to learn to do magic tricks and Nora helps him with his school work and things start looking up. This short book is great for elementary school children in about 2nd through 5th grades.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing (Tupelo Landing, #2) by Sheila Turnage

The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing by Sheila Turnage
Sixth grader Mo LoBeau along with her co-detective friend Dale, solve yet another mystery in their small town and this one involves a ghost! This book is funny and action packed and I think that elementary and middle school kids will enjoy it a lot.

Friday, May 1, 2015

The Nethergrim by Matthew Jobin

The Nethergrim by Matthew Jobin
In this YA fantasy, three 14 year old teens are drawn into an epic war against evil. Edward, who secretly reads books about magic, Katherine, who Edward is crushing on, but she likes someone else, and Tom, a slave who is regularly beaten. The setting is medievalish and they fight monsters who have been sent by the Nethergrim, who no one really knows what it is, but they know it is evil. This is the first book in a series and I think young people will enjoy it.