All Book Reviews

Book Review: The River Of No Return
Ridgway, Bee
3 stars = Pretty Good

I REALLY wanted to love this story - it has everything I usually enjoy in a book, and I was hoping it would come close to Diana Gabaldon's Outlander. But I couldn't bring myself to care too much about the characters when there was SO much going on. I felt like there wasn't enough of anything to appeal - the love story was somewhat tepid, the time travel portion was not utilized as much as it could have been, the politics were too convoluted.
Not to mention that I was horribly disappointed that the ending was left wide open to presumably include a sequel. I did give it three stars as, even with the above comments, I could not put the thing down. The historical aspects of the book were interesting, and the writing was compelling, in my opinion. I am also very curious what is up with Mr. Mibbs, I think he was one of the most interesting characters in the book.

Krista
Book Review: The Time Keeper
Albom, Mitch
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

OK, so I picked up this book expecting a fiction novel about, like, time travel or something. But, instead I got the most amazing book in existence! Though there is some religious reference, I would recommend this book to anyone who loves reading! I recommend this to a more mature, advanced audience because it has a pretty advanced story line, but this is probably the most amazing, touching, cool book I've ever read. I read it in 1 1/2 days, just couldn't put it down! A must-read for everybody.

Isis
Book Review: Eldest
Paolini, Christopher
3 stars = Pretty Good

Okay...I LOVED Eragon, the first book in the Inheritance Cycle, but then I read Eldest. I feel like the author wanted to put in so much about some things I lost interest. In this book, Eragon looks at all the different religions in his world. I mean, that's alright, I guess. Just not for me. I actually didn't exactly read the Elves religion. There were highs, though.

You got to see more to some characters that I really like. It switches perspectives from Nasuada, Eragon, and Roran, which I think is good because it got old sometimes when I was reading ALL of Eragon or ALL of Roran. I enjoyed meeting new characters, such as King Orrin, but not others, like Oromis, who seemed too much like Brom, a wise, old person who knows SO much and has a depressing back story. Just not the kind of character that I like.

There are also some parts with Eragon's love interest, which I found awkward and weird. For one thing, Eragon is WAY too young for the elf girl. Then, when she tells him this, he gets morbidly depressed. Not the kind of thing that is good for a story- at least not for this one. I enjoyed the first book, but this one was just a little too bumpy for me. I still can't decide if I actually liked it, or if I just liked the parts with my favorite characters. Overall, it was ALRIGHT, but not as good as the first book.

Carli
Book Review: The Road to Oz
Baum, L. Frank
4 stars = Really Good

I enjoyed this book. I like the whimsical settings and characters. I will definitely be checking out some more Oz books :) I think that both kids and adults will get enjoyment out of this classic story. I recommend it if you're a fan of The Wizard of Oz.

Rachel
Book Review: It's a Magical World
Watterson, Bill
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

Ah, Calvin and Hobbes. What's not to love? It's the best comic strip ever written, IMO. Timeless and super clever. Calvin and Hobbes occupies a special place in my heart.

vfranklyn
Book Review: Wedding Night
Kinsella, Sophie
3 stars = Pretty Good

This was textbook chick lit. It was good fluffy fun. Well written, but definitely not deep. But that's okay, sometimes it's good to read a fun book. I could see this being made into a chick flick with JLo or Sandra Bullock. Cute summer read.

vfranklyn
Book Review: Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban
Rowling, J. K.
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

I love love loved this book! I've never read it before, and would recommend it for anyone! My second fave out of the Harry Potter series (first is Order of the Phoenix!)

Sawyer
Book Review: Inferno
Brown, Dan
2 stars = Meh

Dan Brown's latest novel is not up to snuff with his previous work, but still has that great mix of culture, art, and history that Brown fans love. Angels & Demons is the highlight of his work for me, and this novel was not developed in the way I would have hoped. Not a big fan of this one, but it was worth a read. Not one for my bookshelf, since with this novel, Langdon's world becomes far more distanced from ours than in previous novels. I don't feel like Brown did a good job in suspending my disbelief, where in his other Langdon novels, I was pulled right in. So, meh. I think Brown is tired of Langdon.

Casey
Book Review: Plain Truth
Picoult, Jodi
2 stars = Meh

Meh. I don't know why I keep reading Jodi Picoult books. The twist endings always annoy me. I liked reading about the Amish, but overall was underwhelmed.

vfranklyn
Book Review: The Fault in our Stars
Green, John
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

This book, like all of John Greens books, was absolutely fantastic!
It's basically a romance novel about a girl living with cancer. It was funny and heart wrenching and inspirational. I would highly recommend this book to anyone.

Marissa
Book Review: Ender's Game
Card, Orson Scott
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

While some may despise this terrific sci-fi novel, I absolutely loved it.
Sure it is a bit mature, but it is really for a understanding audience. I enjoyed the battle games and Ender's resourcefulness. This is perhaps one of the best sci-fi novel I have ever read

Scaddi
Book Review: Angelfall
Ee, Susan
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

This book takes a refreshing approach to the theme of angels vs. humans that in now way leaves you thinking you just read a young adult story. Great drama, excellently managed with great timing and suspense. A 17 year old is responsible for her emotionally challenged mother and physically challenged younger sister in a post apocalyptic era brought on by...warrior angels. The younger sister is kidnapped by two of the angels and the 17-year old has to find her while her mother deals with her emotional issues as best she can..good read.

Pauline
Book Review: Revolution
Donnelly, Jennifer
4 stars = Really Good

This was an engaging read. The parts about revolutionary France were particularly interesting. The protaganist was only mildly annoying which is good for a teen book. I also liked that it touches on music history and theory, French Revolution, and genetics. Overall, I'd recommend this book.

vfranklyn
Book Review: Inferno
Brown, Dan
4 stars = Really Good

Dan Brown has done it again! In Inferno, he has blended a concoction of cultural history, shadowy power brokers, and cutting-edge apocalyptic science into an intriguing potboiler.

Our hero, Robert Langdon, is tossed headfirst into a violent, shifting conflict between European authorities and a brilliantly mad scientist who is obsessed with Dante's Divine Comedy.

Naturally, said mad scientist is bent on world destruction/domination and the key to stopping him lies in deciphering clues hidden in the medieval masterpiece and the art and architecture of Florence, Italy.

Most readers either love or hate Dan Brown's writing. If you enjoyed his signature style in the Da Vinci Code and his other novels, Inferno will be a great read. If you find a lot of art history and cultural background boring, it might seem like the Seventh Circle of Hell. The addition of some thought-provoking scientific threats that reminded me of Michael Crichton were a definite plus for me.

All in all, a worthwhile addition to the series, even though Langdon fails to save the world! Or does he? Hmmm.

Alan
Book Review: The Greater Good
Mitchell, Sandy
4 stars = Really Good

As my first Ciaphas Cain novel, I was really impressed. This book will show new readers what the universe of the year 40,000 is like. The main plot has the imperial navy and the main character, Commisar Cain, fighting to drive off the hive fleets of the tyranid invasion.

Matt
Book Review: Ender's Game
Card, Orson Scott
1 star = Yuck!

I despised this book. Although I respect Card's mastery in the sci-fi genre, this was not one of his wonder-books. He failed to capture the personality of the childrens' ages, and parts of it were beyond gruesome, especially after you realized it was a 6-11 year old participating in those actions. The time-frame was speedy; the child went from 6 to eleven years old within 100 pages. Also, the Locke and Demosthenes part was plain confusing. Not a fan.

JBird
Book Review: Leviathan
Westerfeld, Scott
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

This book is the best in the entire world. A mixture of steampunk, history, and mystery, it made me fall instantly in love. I loved how it took World War I and turned it into a sci-fi-ish adventure following the perspective of two teenagers from completely different backgrounds and motives. You should most definitely give this one a try!!!

JBird
Book Review: The Bully Book
Gale, Eric Kahn
4 stars = Really Good

This book was really good. It was a fast read and was very engaging. There's even some advice to parents to ask their kids if they are being hurt or made fun of in school. Asking specifically may open the door for a hurting teen to confide. But mostly this is a great mystery for young people about bullying.

vfranklyn
Book Review: The Longest Way Home: One Man's Quest for the Courage to Settle Dow
McCarthy, Andrew
2 stars = Meh

This book was okay. There was quite a bit of navel-gazing going on. But there was also the occasional interesting bit. Meh.

vfranklyn
Book Review: Tales from a Not-So-Fabulous Life
Russell, Rachel Renee
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

This book is funny and strong willed. It is a diary of a girl who has just started in a new school and she has no friends. She has to deal with a bully and an embarrassing family. I loved this book!

Ariel
Book Review: How to Draw More Manga
Coope, Katy
1 star = Yuck!

I checked this book out because I thought I could get a good tip or two out of it. I was sorely dissapointed.It was positively full of misinformation!Avoid this one-definitely.

TW
Book Review: White Butterfly
Mosley, Walter
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

Walter Mosley knows how to tell a story like no one else. He captures life in the fifties in Southern California for black folks in Watts and surrounding areas shortly after WW1. Boy Oh Boy...His books are actually stories told to him by his father when he was a young man growing up in that era. Humor and suspense await anyone who has the pleasure to pick up any of his well written books.....

Melinda
Book Review: The Raft
Bodeen, S. A.
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

When you start reading this, you can't put it down, kinda like the Hunger Games. I would recommend this to people who like to read action/adventure. This is about a girl who goes on a plane and it crashes and all she has is a raft, a total stranger named Max, and a bag of Skittles.
They have no water and there are sharks in the area and no sign of help. Will they survive?

Rachel
Book Review: I Suck at Girls
Halpern, Justin
4 stars = Really Good

This book is very clever, funny, and sweet. The author talks about his misadventures with girls in a very self-deprecating manner. His father even makes a showing in the book, to hilarious effect. Thumbs up!

vfranklyn
Book Review: Halfway Home
Sheldon, Mary
4 stars = Really Good

This is an awesome book! I found myself laughing out loud and just couldn't put it down. Ms. Sheldon's style of writing is one that will get you caught up in the lives of mothers and daughters everywhere. Highly recommend for a great read.

Rebecca