All Book Reviews

Right This Very Minute
Detlefsen, Lisl H.
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

Do you know where your food comes from? Each meal (or snack) you eat comes to you compliments of a farmer. This simple book details the stories of the varied food that children are eating. You’ll learn about the breakfast of pancakes, orange juice, and maple syrup and the trail mix snack. You’ll also learn about the lunch, dinner, and dessert and where they come from. This book doesn’t stop there. It encourages you to think like a farmer and begin to grow your own food.

Reviewer's Name: Carol
Fantastic Fingerprint Art: Pets and Farm Animals
Bailey, Susannah and Daubney, Kate
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Using some paint, pens, and your fingers, you can make amazing fingerprint art! This title in the series concentrates on animals – both pets and farm animals. You can experiment with making lizards, fish, and birds or create a variety of bunnies and chinchillas. There are many animals to choose from. Which ones will be your favorites?

Reviewer's Name: Carol
Genres:
Weather Words and What They Mean
Gibbons, Gail
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Gail Gibbons has another winning book with her updated Weather Words and What They Mean. She uses simple language to explain weather terminology and meteorology. You can learn about temperature, air pressure, moisture, and wind. Our weather is always changing. Learn about what causes the changes and how they might affect us. Also, learn some interesting weather facts. Remember to heed storm warnings and be careful in serious weather.

Reviewer's Name: Carol
Give Bees a Chance
Barton, Bethany
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Many of us don’t appreciate the amazing things that bees do for our world – we’re much too afraid of being stung! This book is for bee-phobics. In an interactive way, Give Bees a Chance tells about different kinds of bees, types of honeybees, bee anatomy, and honey. You’ll also learn why bees sting and the impact that bees have on our food chain. Please, please, please Give Bees a Chance!

Reviewer's Name: Carol
Genres:
The Iron Trial
Black, Holly
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

We all believe what we are conditioned to believe. For Callum Hunt that means believing magic is evil and corrupt. When his invitation to the Iron Trial arrives, he vows to please his dad and fail the trial. Instead his plan backfires royally and he is chosen by the best master in the whole magisterium. Against his dads best interests, Call attends the magisterium and discovers maybe magic is not as bad as he thought. That is until disaster strikes the Magesterium.

Any fan of fantasy or adventure will get lost in the world of the Magesterium. The book is full of friendship, trials, and fun twists. In The Iron trial you never know what awaits you around the next corner.

Reviewer's Name: Lauren G.
Genres:
Spin the Dawn Cover
Lim, Elizabeth
1 star = Yuck!
Review:

I picked up this book as it was being sold as “Project Runway meets Mulan” which sounded really intriguing, especially to this reader who loves both Project Runway and Mulan. And that description really does fit the first third of the book or so – our main character, Maia, poses as a boy to take her father’s place in a royal tailor competition. However, the potential of this part of the book is really under realized. There was a lot of room for plots within plots and court intrigue, but the whole thing is pretty quickly abandoned so that Maia could go on a quest for three objects with a cute boy who is very much off limits. If you are thinking to yourself, “isn’t that the plotline of like, half of all YA fantasies” then you, dear reader, are correct. With that said, though, I think many teens, especially those new to the genre, will really enjoy it. For me, an interesting and unique premise quickly gave way to a fairly pat YA fantasy. 1 star – I didn’t like it.


Thanks to Netgalley and Random House Children's Knopf Books for Young Readers for the eARC which I received in exchange for an unbiased review. Spin the Dawn is available now.

Reviewer's Name: Britt
City of Thieves
Benioff, David
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Could not put this book down. The story kept me guessing about what might happen next, but the two main characters were brought to life by the author's ever-present humor of humans in tough situations. One of the best books I've ever read.

Reviewer's Name: Karen P.
Awards:
Genres:
Book Review: The Wedding Date
Stoneley, Zara
1 star = Yuck!
Review:

Ugh. But I finished it. The writing was terrible and the plot was contrived. Such an annoying book. But, like I said, I finished it. The problem could be that this was more of a romance novel then chick lit. I don't like romances but I do like check lit. Either way, two thumbs down.

Reviewer's Name: vfranklyn
Genres:
Les Misérables
Hugo, Victor
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Jean Valjean has been in prison for 19 years. On the day he is freed, he walks to the city of Digne, which is over thirty miles away. Exhausted, he searches for food and shelter, but is rejected at each place he goes to because he was a former convict. Finally he is told to ask the Bishop of Digne for help. The Bishop agrees without hesitation. Valjean wakes up early in the morning and steals the Bishop's silverware. He is caught and brought back to the Bishop, but the Bishop saves Valjean from returning to prison by pretending that the silverware was actually a gift. He even gives Valjean silver candlesticks as well. The Bishop convinces Valjean to turn around his life.

Exceptionally strong character development was a highlight for me. Some themes in this classic are sacrifice for others and unexpected generosity; for example, Valjean has an opportunity to shoot his worst enemy, but instead decides to free him. The plot also weaves the connections between characters magnificently. This book has made me experience emotions more strongly than any other book I've read.

Les Miserables is a relatively long novel; Victor Hugo (the author) is willing to become verbose frequently. I actually enjoyed its details, which made me more immersed in the story. If you don't usually read books with philosophy, it may take a little getting used to. Even if you have already watched the play, the book is still worth considering; there is plenty of extra material in the book that the play skips.

Reviewer's Name: Byron S.
Song for the Unraveling of the World
Evenson, Brian
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

At the beginning of this year, one of my reading goals was to try a new genre. The short story genre is the genre I never new I needed until I read this book. The strength of short stories, in my opinion is the ability of the author to do a lot within a small amount of space; creating strong character development, great world building and meaningful messages within each story.

Within a few pages Everson manages to create character driven stories that are terrifying, full of paranoia and delusion and at the same time haunting and beautiful. From a girl without a face, to a therapist who never leaves his patience alone, to a film director willing to do anything to get the perfect final scene, these stories evoke a sense of fear and explores exactly what we will do to fulfill our most inhuman impulses. These stories provide a great introduction to a genre I now love. I can’t wait to see what else Everson does, he is definitely one to watch. Thank you to Eidelweiss and Coffee House press for the Digital Review Copy for review!

Reviewer's Name: Tawnie
The Goose Girl
Hale, Shannon
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

This book was the essence of the life and struggles that can be overcome with the strength that women can hold when they believe in themselves. This book has given me a moral that treats the spirit in telling us that we can do anything if we strive for and work hard to achieve it. Great book, and great writing style. Loved every happy, and bittersweet moments that were inhabiting this story.

Reviewer's Name: Skyla N.
The Serpent's Secret
DasGupta, Sayantani
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

‘The Serpent’s Secret’ is the first book in the series ‘Kiranmala and the Kingdom beyond’. The plot line of the story was very interesting. One unique feature of this book was that it had a lot of riddles in it. This story is about a regular girl named Kiran. She lives in New Jersey. One day, Kiran finds that there is a rakkhosh demon in her house. Her parents have vanished. She has to leave her house to find her parents, accompanied by Neel and Lal.

Reviewer's Name: Shreeya R.
Awards:
Wings of Fire
Sutherland, Tui
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

There are seven tribes at war. The prophet says that 5 dragon from different tribe who are born on the brightest night will stop the war. These 5 dragon which are taken and raised in a cave escape. This book is along with the amazing along with all of the Wings of Fire books.

Reviewer's Name: Kelsea
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Rowling, J.K.
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is a fun and entertaining book to read. Harry is at Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry with a new defense against the arts teacher, Alastor Moody. Finding out that Hogwarts is hosting the triwizard tournament everyone is excited. Having to be a certain age to compete in the tournament Harry is not aloud to participate.Two other schools come to compete in the games. One person from each school will contend in the games. When the night when students names get chosen out of the goblet of fire it spits out three different names and then Harry Potter. Harry is shocked. After Dumbledore agreed that Harry could play, they begin the triwizard tournament. the first challenge is for each person to take a golden egg from a dragon. the second task was to figure out a way to breathe under water and save someone. The third and most difficult task was to go through a maze and reach the triwizard cup first. Harry and Cedric the other Gryffindor contestant decide to touch the triwizard cup at the same time. The cup was bewitched and brought Harry and Cedric to a graveyard. And Voldemort comes back.

Reviewer's Name: Grace B.
Genres:
The Fault in Our Stars
Green, John
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Hazel Lancaster is battling cancer and has been sense she was 13. Now she is 16 and has had more than one near death experience. This book is an amazing book that could make you smile and cry at the same time. I would definitely recommended this book to people who have read 100 days by Nichole McInnes. It is a romantic tale of Hazel Lancaster and Augustus Waters trying to find answers to there favorite book while battling cancer. I would recommend the book for tweens, teens, and adults.

Reviewer's Name: Natalie M.
Paper Towns
Green, John
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Have you ever had someone in your life just leave or disappear? Quentin was best friends with Margo Roth Speilleman. One day when they we around seven years old they found a dead body laying against a tree. Years later they are seniors in high school and are not as good as friends anymore. Graduation is nearing and people are turning out reckless. One night Margo convinces Quentin to go help prank her cheating boyfriend and her backstabbing best friend who her boyfriend was cheating on her with. After that night Margo suddenly goes missing and Quentin ends up falling in love with her. Soon he finds that Margo left clues for him to crack and hopefully find her! This book will have you wrapped up in romance, mystery, comedey, and adventure.

Reviewer's Name: Lilyana B.
Lincoln's Last Trial
Abrams, Dan
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Lincoln's Last Trial was a fantastic read and I could not recommend it more. The book follows Robert Roberts Hitt, a steno man - one who records what is said during a trial. His latest job is a trial where Peachy Quinn Harrison was accused of murder. Abraham Lincoln, a well-known lawyer, is hired to defend him. This trial's victory is what ended up launching Lincoln into the presidency, and was the presidential candidate's last murder trial. Everything said in this book is true, but it is written in the style of a fictional book, making it an easy read for anyone. As the author follows Hitt in the buildup to the trial and during it, he discusses various things relating to the events occurring at the time. This makes the pace of the book fairly slow, as lots of information is given in-between events, but it is certainly worth it. Lincoln's genius as a lawyer, the advice he gave to law students, and details only his friends would know (he kept papers for cases in his hat!) are all revealed. Overall, I would definitely recommend this book, especially if law, history, and government are of interest.

Reviewer's Name: Rosina R.
Gone
Grant, Michael
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Gone, by Michael Grant is a fast paced dystopian sci-fi story about a small town in California by the name of Perdido Beach . The plot quickly pulls you in, leaving you emotionally invested in the characters. Personally, the second I was finished, I was onto the next book! The main character is a young boy named Sam Temple. After all of the people aged 15+ vanish, the remaining teens and children look up to him as their leader, even though he constantly tries to deny the huge responsibility. After a gang of bullies start to take over the town and kill and mutilate the people who won't bow down to them, he takes a stand to protect the rest of the innocents. Gone is the first in a series of five books. I would recommend this book, and by extension series, to anyone that enjoys superpowers, violence, and heartbreaking sacrifices.

Reviewer's Name: Emily G.
Wonder
Palacio, R. J.
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Have you ever felt out of place? Like all you want is to fit in with the crowd, but it seems impossible? If so, you'd get along well with August Pullman. Ten-year-old August (Auggie) Pulllman is about to go into fifth grade at Beecher Prep, ready to face the world with his Padawan braid and astronaut helmet. But there are two things that get in the way: 1. He's been home-schooled all his life. 2. Auggie has Treacher Collins Syndrome, (TCS) a rare condition that occurs in one in fifty-thousand births. Because of his TCS, Auggie has downward-slanting eyes, a small jaw and chin, and the development of his facial bones and tissues are altered, causing him to have had twenty-seven surgeries -- and also causing some kids in his school to be scarred with night terrors. Everyday, Auggie is constantly challenged with overcoming whispers, side-glances, and even public humiliation from his peers that could get him killed one day. Auggie's world isn't all that bad though: he has two loving parents, a dog named Daisy, his older sister Olivia (Via), Via's friends Miranda and Justin, and his two new best friends, Summer and Jack, all of which are willing to do anything for Auggie, embarking on every incredible adventure he has so he doesn't have to face life alone.
Wonder is a magnificent book, filled with the challenges that every child and adult alike have to go through, whether or not they have a facial deformity. It is incredibly touching, and finds ways to connect with the reader and captivate its audience so much so that you won't be able to put the book down once you pick it up! Although many people would be disturbed by the imagery used to describe characters like Auggie Pullman, R.J. Palacio is able to create such a lovable and relate-able character that you just can't help but throw appearances aside and route for Auggie throughout the novel. You'll really wish that you could give him a hug the more you read the book, especially with the multiple POVs R.J. Palacio writes with, allowing you to observe Auggie's wonder of a story from every possible angle.

Reviewer's Name: Aimee W.
The Traitor's Game
Nielsen, Jennifer A.
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

The Traitors Game" about a girl named Kestra and a guy named Simon. Throughout the story Kestra and Simon argue and disagree but eventually come together to help defeat Lord Endrick along with a group of rebels named the Coracks and a tribe called the Halderians. I liked how the author was able to put so much description into small moments in the book but at the same time I also felt that there wasn't enough description in parts which I didn't enjoy as much. I chose to read the book because my father suggested it and I really enjoyed the read. I think that anyone from around 12 to 18 years of age would enjoy this book.

Reviewer's Name: Drew I.
Genres:

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