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Showing posts from February, 2016

The Julius House

The Julius House
Charlaine Harris
Berkley, 1995
Audience: Adults, Older Teens
Source: Library

From Goodreads:
Love at first sight turns into newlywed bliss for former librarian Aurora Teagarden-until violence cuts the honeymoon short.

Wealthy businessman Martin Bartell gives Roe exactly what she wants for their wedding: Julius House. But both the house and Martin come with murky pasts. And when Roe is attacked by an ax-wielding maniac, she realizes that the secrets inside her four walls—and her brand-new marriage—could destroy her.


Normally, I’m not much of a Hallmark Movies person. I do watch the channel because I like some of the shows they re-run, which is how I found out about the Aurora Teagarden movies. I had grown tired of the books, but I watched and enjoyed both movies. After seeing the second movie, I was suddenly determined to pick up where I left off in the series.

Once I picked up The Julius House, I remembered why I wasn’t too excited about it. This book was slow going. T…

Mr. Lemoncello’s Library Olympics

Mr. Limoncello’s Library Olympics
Chris Grabenstein
Random House Books for Young Readers, 2016
Audience: Younger Teens, Children
Source: My Own Bookshelf

From Goodreads:
Welcome, boys and girls, readers of all ages, to the first-ever Library Olympiad! Kyle and his teammates are back, and the world-famous game maker, Luigi Lemoncello, is at it again! 

This time Mr. Lemoncello has invited teams from all across America to compete in the first ever LIBRARY OLYMPICS. Will it be fun? Like the commercials say. . . HELLO? It’s a Lemoncello! But something suspicious is going on . . . books are missing from Mr. Lemoncello’s library. Is someone trying to CENSOR what the kids are reading?! In between figuring out mind-boggling challenges, the kids will have to band together to get to the bottom of this mystery.

Now it’s not just a game—can Mr. Lemoncello find the real defenders of books and champions of libraries? Packed with puzzles, clues, and thrilling surprises, this is a deliciously fun, actio…

The Great American Whatever

The Great American Whatever
Tim Federle
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2016
Source: E-Galley
Audience: Older Teens

From Goodreads:
Quinn Roberts is a sixteen-year-old smart aleck and Hollywood hopeful whose only worry used to be writing convincing dialogue for the movies he made with his sister Annabeth. Of course, that was all before—before Quinn stopped going to school, before his mom started sleeping on the sofa…and before Annabeth was killed in a car accident.

Enter Geoff, Quinn’s best friend who insists it’s time that Quinn came out—at least from hibernation. One haircut later, Geoff drags Quinn to his first college party, where instead of nursing his pain, he meets a guy—a hot one—and falls hard. What follows is an upside-down week in which Quinn begins imagining his future as a screenplay that might actually have a happily-ever-after ending—if, that is, he can finally step back into the starring role of his own life story.


I expected this book to be more like the 

A Darker Shade of Magic

A Darker Shade of Magic
V.E. Schwab
Tor books, 2015
Source: E-Galley, Library
Audience: Older Teens, Adults

From Goodreads:
Kell is one of the last Travelers—rare magicians who choose a parallel universe to visit. 

Grey London is dirty, boring, lacks magic, ruled by mad King George. Red London is where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London is ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne. People fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. Once there was Black London—but no one speaks of that now.

Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell smuggles for those willing to pay for even a glimpse of a world they’ll never see. This dangerous hobby sets him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-p…

Extraordinary Means

Extraordinary Means
Robyn Schneider
Katherine Tegen Books, 2015
Audience: Older Teens
Source: E-Galley/Library

From Goodreads:
At seventeen, overachieving Lane finds himself at Latham House, a sanatorium for teens suffering from an incurable strain of tuberculosis. Part hospital and part boarding school, Latham is a place of endless rules and confusing rituals, where it's easier to fail breakfast than it is to flunk French.

There, Lane encounters a girl he knew years ago. Instead of the shy loner he remembers, Sadie has transformed. At Latham, she is sarcastic, fearless, and utterly compelling. Her friends, a group of eccentric troublemakers, fascinate Lane, who has never stepped out of bounds his whole life. And as he gradually becomes one of them, Sadie shows him their secrets: how to steal internet, how to sneak into town, and how to disable the med sensors they must wear at all times.

But there are consequences to having secrets, particularly at Latham House. And as Lane and Sad…

Audacity

Audacity
Melanie Crowder
Philomel Books, 2015
Audience: All Teens
Source: Library

From Goodreads:
A gorgeously told novel in verse written with intimacy and power, Audacity is inspired by the real-life story of Clara Lemlich, a spirited young woman who emigrated from Russia to New York at the turn of the twentieth century and fought tenaciously for equal rights. Bucking the norms of both her traditional Jewish family and societal conventions, Clara refuses to accept substandard working conditions in the factories on Manhattan's Lower East Side. For years, Clara devotes herself to the labor fight, speaking up for those who suffer in silence. In time, Clara convinces the women in the factories to strike, organize, and unionize, culminating in the famous Uprising of the 20,000. 

Powerful, breathtaking, and inspiring, Audacity is the story of a remarkable young woman, whose passion and selfless devotion to her cause changed the world.


I read Audacity because I had heard good reviews on…

I Survived: The Joplin Tornado

I Survived: The Joplin Tornado
Lauren Tarshis
Scholastic Paperbacks, 2015
Audience: Children
Source: Library

From Goodreads:
A destructive force is about to hit the city of Joplin...

Eleven-year-old Dexter has always wanted to see a tornado. So when he gets the incredible opportunity to go storm chasing with the famous Dr. Norman Rays, he has to say yes!  Dr. Rays is the host of Tornado Mysteries, the show that Dex and his older brother, Jeremy, watched every night until Jeremy joined the U.S. Navy SEALs and left Joplin.

Dex certainly knows how deadly tornadoes can be, but this one isn't heading toward Joplin, and wouldn't it be great to have a brave and exciting story of his own to tell Jeremy when he comes home? But when the tornado shifts direction, Dexter's bravery is about to get seriously tested...


Another book about a boy separated from his parents during a historical disaster. This one was a bit different though, because it had scientific elements also. I’m sure that…

Humans of New York

Humans of New York
Brandon Stanton
St. Martin’s Press, 2013
Source: Library

Humans of New York: Stories
Brandon Stanton
Macmillan Australia, 2015
Source: Library

Many people know the premise of Humans of New York. Photographer Brandon Stanton interviews and takes pictures of New Yorkers. He meets so many interesting people who have so many things to say. Some have had hard lives, some are full of joy. It’s a diverse world out there, and Stanton captures it beautifully. Teens will love it, because in each book, they will recognize themselves in at least one story. Fantastic. I wish I would have thought of it first.

The Clasp

The Clasp
Sloane Crosley
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015
Source: Goodreads
Audience: Adults

From Goodreads:
Kezia, Nathaniel, and Victor are reunited for the extravagant wedding of a college friend. Now at the tail end of their twenties, they arrive completely absorbed in their own lives—Kezia the second-in-command to a madwoman jewelry designer in Manhattan; Nathaniel, the former literary cool kid, selling his wares in Hollywood; and the Eeyore-esque Victor, just fired from a middling search engine. They soon slip back into old roles: Victor loves Kezia. Kezia loves Nathaniel. Nathaniel loves Nathaniel.

In the midst of all this semi-merriment, Victor passes out in the mother of the groom’s bedroom. He wakes to her jovially slapping him across the face. Instead of a scolding, she offers Victor a story she’s never even told her son, about a valuable necklace that disappeared during the Nazi occupation of France.

And so a madcap adventure is set into motion, one that leads Victor, Kezia, …

Finding Audrey

Finding Audrey
Sophie Kinsella
Delacorte Books for Young Readers, 2015
Audience: All Teens
Source: E-Galley, Library

From Goodreads:
An anxiety disorder disrupts fourteen-year-old Audrey’s daily life. She has been making slow but steady progress with Dr. Sarah, but when Audrey meets Linus, her brother’s gaming teammate, she is energized. She connects with him. Audrey can talk through her fears with Linus in a way she’s never been able to do with anyone before. As their friendship deepens and her recovery gains momentum, a sweet romantic connection develops, one that helps not just Audrey but also her entire family.

A few teen booksabout Audrey Hepburn came out around the same time as this book. I thought this was another one about her. It had Audrey in the title, it was by Sophie Kinsella - sold! I’ll read it! However, the book was NOT about Audrey Hepburn. Instead, it was a giant panic attack.

Once I understood what the book would be about and adjusted accordingly, I loved it. I fini…

The Paper Cowboy

The Paper Cowboy
Kristin Levine
G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers, 2014
Source: E-Galley, Library
Audience: Younger Teens

From Goodreads:
Though he thinks of himself as a cowboy, Tommy is really a bully.  He's always playing cruel jokes on classmates or stealing from the store. But Tommy has a reason: life at home is tough. His abusive mother isn't well; in fact, she may be mentally ill, and his sister, Mary Lou, is in the hospital badly burned from doing a chore it was really Tommy's turn to do. To make amends, Tommy takes over Mary Lou's paper route. But the paper route also becomes the perfect way for Tommy to investigate his neighbors after stumbling across a copy of The Daily Worker, a communist newspaper.

Tommy is shocked to learn that one of his neighbors could be a communist, and soon fear of a communist in this tight-knit community takes hold of everyone when Tommy uses the paper to frame a storeowner, Mr. McKenzie. As Mr. McKenzie's business slowl…