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All Book Reviews

Book Review: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Shaffer, Mary Ann
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

This was a wonderful book written by the characters in the form of letters to each other. The story line was engaging. Historical fiction that takes place shortly after the Nazi occupation of an island between England and France. It felt as if you had spent time with new friends at the end of the book. Charming!

Book Review: The Book Thief
Zusak, Markus
2 stars = Meh

This book was too long and the author tried too hard to make it deep and poetic. But I read the whole thing, so it wasn't bad. I liked hearing about Hitler's reign from a German non-Jew perspective. Death as a narrator was okay, I guess. I don't know, it just didn't really work for me. Also, although it's technically a teen book, I think it's more suited for adults.

Book Review: Keeping Hope Alive
Hawa Abdi
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

I undertook Dr. Abdi's book with some trepidation. The glossy photos of her mugging with such celebrities as Katie Couric and one of my least favorite presidents made me doubt whether or not I could handle the political angle of the work. However, the book's straight forward style and charming asides soon won me over. It's a tale of a horrific slide into anarchy of once-promising country and the struggles of people who refuse to let go of their dream of what things could be, rather than the harsh realities they suddenly find crowding in on all sides. While shocks and tragedies to permeate the book, Dr. Abdi's consistency of spirit and her practical approach to medicine and everyday life leave the reader with a sense of what can be accomplished, not by believing in what everyone else is saying, but rather by believing that people have it in them to be great, no matter what evidence you are currently observing in their behavior.

Book Review: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
Riggs, Ransom
4 stars = Really Good

This was a really neat book. I really enjoyed the photos and the way they were woven together to make a fascinating story. I can imagine the author collecting odd photos and then constructing a story to link them all together. I wonder if there will be a sequel?

Book Review: Divergent
Roth, Veronica
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

Oh my gosh! This book was absolutely AWESOME! The storyboard was amazing! There is always something happening in this book whether it's action, adventure, romance, or sacrifice. I LOVED this book. I think I read it in one day! This is the book dystopian fiction lovers!

Book Review: The Ultimate Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy
Adams, Douglas
4 stars = Really Good

I finished 3 of the 5 books. Books 1 and 2 were AWESOME, 5 stars for sure, but Book 3 got a bit convoluted. But I love Hitchhikers, especially the bizarre jokes that manifest themselves throughout the book. Great bits include the bovine animal at the Restaurant at the End of the Universe that tries to tempt Dent and friends with various parts of its body for dinner; Slartibartfast and his award-winning fjords; The planet that tricked its mid-level personnel to leave it for Earth; The fact that Earth is actually a giant computer made by mice to determine the Question to the Answer of Life, the Universe, and Everything. Good stuff. Very, very funny.

Black Arts : A Jane Yellowrock Novel
Hunter, Faith
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

Black Arts is the 7th book in the Jane Yellowrock series by Faith Hunter. Jane is a tall, native american skinwalker who began her career as a rogue vampire hunter, who got into the security business protecting high level vampire properties in Louisiana as a result of her expert skills. Those skills are greatly enhanced by her "Beast", the spirit of a puma she accidentally trapped when she was a child, turning into a symbiotic working relationship. Beast, by the way, provides excellent humor in her "voice", and terms for "stupid pack animals" and her direct impressions of how silly humans can be.

In this book, Jane is still trying to fit into working within a team, Yellowrock Securities, after working most of her life alone. In rapid succession Jane is asked to help her missing best friend, two "ladies of the night" from Katie's Ladies who have gone off and not returned, spearhead the security preparations for a high level vampire gathering while trying to keep herself together as her personal world crumbles around her.

Black Arts takes the reader on an edge-of-your-seat, roller coaster ride of tension and emotion so artfully done that at the end of the book the reader is literally stunned. I bought my copy, ask the library for one, you won't regret it.

Book Review: Circles of Seven
Davis, Bryan
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

Wow! This is one of my favorite books ever! It is engaging, interesting, and super WOW! I love that the dragons come to life off of the page, and they seam to make you feel like you could see one flying around if you looked closely! :) It also has values that promote good thoughts, and birth wonderful new ideas! This is one of my ultimate all time favorite book!

Book Review: Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy
Fielding, Helen
4 stars = Really Good

Yay! I love Bridget. I can't help it. She has a special place in my heart. At times sad, at times frustrating, at times very funny, and completely full of heart, this book is the perfect homage to perhaps the most endearing heroine in chick lit.

Book Review: Still Foolin' 'Em
Crystal, Billy
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

Listen to the audio version of this book. Billy Crystal reads it and it's awesome. He's got such a great attitude about his life and his gratefulness permeates the pages. Thumbs up!

Book Review: Storm Front
Castle, Richard
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

Only one word could possibly describe this book....awesome. It was full of action and had a great balance of seriousness and humor. It had many twists and that were sometimes unexpected. I also thought it had a great, happy ending.

Book Review: The Lightening Thief
Riordan, Rick
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

Percy Jackson and the Lighting Thief is maybe the most strange novel I have ever read. I started reading by the recommendation of a friend. She told me it was about the Greek gods in the modern world, and I was skeptical, yet it turned out to be one of the best books I've read. This story is fascinating and strung with believable characters, voice, intriguing plot and even villains that you care for. This story is a must-read!

Book Review: Raising Dragons
Davis, Bryan
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

Do you like fantasy? If you like fantasy weaved into every day life, you will love Raising Dragons and the rest of the Dragons in our Midst series. The book starts out with Billy Bannister who figures out he is the son of a dragon. Now, if you think this sounds strange and unrealistic, you will be surprised. Bryan Davis writes in such a convincing way that makes you almost wonder if there might be dragons in our midst.

Book Review: The Mouse and the Motorcycle
Cleary, Beverly
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

I like the book. It is a wonderful author.

Book Review: Peter Pan
Barrie, J.M.
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

From the moment Wendy realizes she'll grow up, to the very end when Peter stole Mrs. Darlings thimbles, this book was brilliant, sad, and filled with adventure. I loved that Tinker Bell was a a 'common' fairy and that Hook was more three dimensional and not an all evil figure. The narrative was beautiful, clever, and even a bit melancholy. Peter is the tragic figure here. But of course, he's fine and happy. I loved how Wendy's daughter and granddaughter played into the mix. Perhaps you stay young forever through your offspring.

Michael Hague illustrates this volume brilliantly.

Book Review: Doomed
Palahniuk, Chuck
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

Doomed was the amazing sequel to Damned by Chuck Palahniuk. He, being one of my favorite authors, has yet to let me down, though I admittedly have always been skeptical of sequels. There was nothing disappointing about Doomed. It fulfilled all the same curiosities, gruesome details, excitement and dark humour that Damned had. The series is an account, written by a 13-year old girl as blog entries (Damned was written as letters to Satan).
Madison Spencer died and was sent to Hell to pay for her earthly crimes. It details her heroism and her mission to save the rest of the planet from going to Hell as she did. It's very imaginative, easy to read, and captivating.

Book Review: Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redempt
Hillenbrand, Laura
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

Wow. This book was gripping! The resilience involved with surviving as a POW in Japan was amazing to me. Louie Zamperini is one-of-a-kind. There was a dogfight towards the beginning of the book which ended the life of "Super Man" that was so astonishingly realistic I literally could not put down the book. Awesome. I highly recommend this book as a portrait of the World War II psyche.

Book Review: A Stolen Life
Dugard, Jaycee
4 stars = Really Good

Wow, this book was at times disturbing, perplexing, and heart-wrenching. It was interesting to hear about Jaycee's abduction from her point of view. I can see how it lasted 18 years as she was afraid of what would happen if she defied her abductor and as she wanted to protect her daughters. I couldn't help but feel for her mother, who must have been beside herself with worry. Jaycee is a very strong, brave, and resilient woman and I wish her the best.

Book Review: The Hunger Games
Collins, Suzanne
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

This was one of the best books i have ever read. The passion and romance was perfectly portrade. The Capital could not have been shamed in a more perfect way. I love you Pita. Go Team Pita.

Book Review: Three Rivers Rising: A Novel of the Johnstown Flood
Richards, Jame
3 stars = Pretty Good

Written in short verses, Three Rivers Rising is a fictional account of the disastrous Johnstown Flood that occurred in 1889. Several different characters are introduced, each on a different rung of the complex social hierarchy of the time, and each affected by the flooding in various ways.

The verse format seems to be catching on more in young adult literature, and though I do like how fast the book reads a result, I always feel like certain details don't get fleshed out well enough.

This story spends so much time examining people and their lives before the flood, but doesn't spend enough time describing the aftermath and how the survivors dealt with the incredible loss of life and property.

Book Review: Little Girl Gone
Campbell, Drusilla
4 stars = Really Good

This was a well-written portrait of an abused woman and her dependence on her boyfriend. I never understood how women could stay in abusive relationships, but this book showed how the situation can happen and how a woman can feel trapped, even deserving of such treatment. I didn't want to like the protagonist, after all she's assisting her boyfriend in an abduction that results in the stealing of the captive's newborn child. But she was a sympathetic character that grows with her friendship with Django. All in all, this is a good book that makes you think about abuse from the abused point of view.

Book Review: Gone
White, Randy Wayne
1 star = Yuck!

Waste of paper.

Book Review: Enclave
Aguirre, Ann
4 stars = Really Good

This dark, fast-paced thriller captures you on page one and doesn't let go until the end. The book is well-written, and one of the best dystopia novels I've ever read. The main character is a strong female lead, and the love interest actually seems real and interesting unlike other books. The book is about a girl who chooses to become a Huntress. This job entails hunting food, and slaying these zombie things called freaks. The setting is underground, and Deuce finds out secrets that are dangerous to the population. I recommend for 13 years and up, due to very graphic and dark scenes. I wouldn't call it scary though. This is a must-read for Fans of Divergent and Hunger Games It's the first in a trilogy, and the other two books are just as amazing as this one!

Book Review: Son
Lowry, Lois
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

What a truly AWESOME book. Filled with love, loss, adventure, and
creativity. I simply couldn't put it down!

Book Review: The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency
McCall Smith, Alexander
3 stars = Pretty Good

This was a good book. I enjoyed the adventures of Mma. Ramotswe. It was very insightful and funny and it was interesting to learn about Botswana and Africa in general. I'm not really a 'mystery' person, so that's mainly why it only got 3 stars.