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Showing posts from March, 2016

George

George
Alex Gino
Scholastic Press, 2015
Source: Library
Audience: Everyone

From Goodreads:
BE WHO YOU ARE.

When people look at George, they think they see a boy. But she knows she's not a boy. She knows she's a girl.

George thinks she'll have to keep this a secret forever. Then her teacher announces that their class play is going to be Charlotte's Web. George really, really, REALLY wants to play Charlotte. But the teacher says she can't even try out for the part . . . because she's a boy.  

With the help of her best friend, Kelly, George comes up with a plan. Not just so she can be Charlotte -- but so everyone can know who she is, once and for all.


I wasn’t sure that I would like this book. The plot didn’t sound like it would captivate me and I was trying to limit myself to books that I actually wanted to read. (I tend to read books based on reviews and word of mouth, not whether or not I actually think I’ll enjoy them.) In spite of my efforts, I heard all of the …

The Taxidermist’s Daughter

The Taxidermist’s Daughter
Kate Mosse
William Morrow, 2016
Source: E-Galley
Audience: Adults, Older Teens

From Goodreads:
In a remote village near the English coast, residents gather in a misty churchyard. More than a decade into the twentieth century, superstition still holds sway: It is St. Mark’s Eve, the night when the shimmering ghosts of those fated to die in the coming year are said to materialize and amble through the church doors.

Alone in the crowd is Constantia Gifford, the taxidermist’s daughter. Twenty-two and unmarried, she lives with her father on the fringes of town, in a decaying mansion cluttered with the remains of his once world-famous museum of taxidermy. No one speaks of why the museum was shuttered or how the Giffords fell so low. Connie herself has no recollection—a childhood accident has erased all memory of her earlier days. Even those who might have answers remain silent. The locals shun Blackthorn House, and the strange spinster who practices her father’s ma…

Flunked

Flunked
Jen Calonita
Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, 2015
Source: Library
Audience: Younger Teens, Children

From Goodreads:
Would you send a villain to do a hero's job? An exciting new twisted fairy tale series from award-winning author Jen Calonita.

Full of regret, Cinderella's wicked stepmother, Flora, has founded the Fairy Tale Reform School with the mission of turning the wicked and criminally mischievous into upstanding members of Enchantasia.

Impish, sassy 12-year-old Gilly has a history of petty theft and she's not too sorry about it. When she lifts a hair clip, she gets tossed in reform school-for at least three months. But when she meets fellow students Jax and Kayla, she learns there's more to this school than its sweet mission. There's a battle brewing and she starts to wonder: can a villain really change?


I have a few more complaints than usual in this post. AND WAY MORE SPOILERS.

So proceed with caution.




Overall, it was a fun fairy tale book. It had loads of ma…

The Revenant

The Revenant
Michael Punke
Picador, 2015
Source: Library
Audience: Adults

From Goodreads:
The year is 1823, and the trappers of the Rocky Mountain Fur Company live a brutal frontier life. Hugh Glass is among the company’s finest men, an experienced frontiersman and an expert tracker. But when a scouting mission puts him face-to-face with a grizzly bear, he is viciously mauled and not expected to survive. Two company men are dispatched to stay behind and tend to Glass before he dies. When the men abandon him instead, Glass is driven to survive by one desire: revenge. With shocking grit and determination, Glass sets out, crawling at first, across hundreds of miles of uncharted American frontier. Based on a true story, The Revenant is a remarkable tale of obsession, the human will stretched to its limits, and the lengths that one man will go to for retribution.

I read The Revenant because I was interested in the movie version. I found the story fascinating, and I couldn’t believe how muc…

Pip Bartlett’s Guide to Magical Creatures

Pip Bartlett’s Guide to Magical Creatures
Jackson Pearce and Maggie Stiefvater
Scholastic Press, 2015
Source: Library
Audience: Children, Younger Teens

From Goodreads:
From bestselling authors Maggie Stiefvater and Jackson Pearce comes an exciting new series full of magical creatures, whimsical adventures, and quirky illustrations.

Pip is a girl who can talk to magical creatures. Her aunt is a vet for magical creatures. And her new friend Tomas is allergic to most magical creatures. When things go amok—and they often go amok—Pip consults Jeffrey Higgleston’s Guide to Magical Creatures, a reference work that Pip finds herself constantly amending. Because dealing with magical creatures like unicorns, griffins, and fuzzles doesn’t just require book knowledge—it requires hands-on experience and thinking on your feet. For example, when fuzzles (which have an awful habit of bursting into flame when they’re agitated) invade your town, it’s not enough to know what the fuzzles are—Pip and Tomas…

Calvin

Calvin
Martine Leavitt
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015
Source: Library
Audience: All Teens

From Goodreads:
As a child, Calvin felt an affinity with the comic book character from Bill Watterson’s Calvin & Hobbes.

He was born on the day the last strip was published; his grandpa left a stuffed tiger named Hobbes in his crib; and he even had a best friend named Susie. Then Calvin’s mom washed Hobbes to death, Susie grew up beautiful and stopped talking to him, and Calvin pretty much forgot about the strip—until now. Now he is seventeen years old and has been diagnosed with schizophrenia. Hobbes is back, as a delusion, and Calvin can’t control him. Calvin decides that Watterson is the key to everything—if he would just make one more comic strip, but without Hobbes, Calvin would be cured. Calvin and Susie (is she real?) and Hobbes (he can’t be real, can he?) set out on a dangerous trek across frozen Lake Erie to track down Watterson.


I suppose this is an outdoorsy book - one I wouldn’t n…

Kindred Spirits

Kindred Spirits
Rainbow Rowell
Macmillan Kids UK, 2016
Audience: Everyone
Source: My Own Bookshelf

From Goodreads:
'Everybody likes everything these days. The whole world is a nerd.'
'Are you mad because other people like Star Wars? Are you mad because people like me like Star Wars?' 
'Maybe.' 

If you broke Elena's heart, Star Wars would spill out. So when she decides to queue outside her local cinema to see the new movie, she's expecting a celebration with crowds of people who love Han, Luke and Leia just as much as she does. What she's not expecting is to be last in a line of only three people; to have to pee into a collectible Star Wars soda cup behind a dumpster or to meet that unlikely someone who just might truly understand the way she feels. Kindred Spirits is an engaging short story by Rainbow Rowell, author of the bestselling Eleanor & Park, Fangirl and Carry On, and is part of a handful of selected short reads specially produced for World…

Brooklyn

Brooklyn
Colm Toibin
Scribner, 2010
Source: My Own Bookshelf
Audience: Adults, Older Teens

From Goodreads:
“One of the most unforgettable characters in contemporary literature” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette), Eilis Lacey has come of age in small-town Ireland in the hard years following World War Two. When an Irish priest from Brooklyn offers to sponsor Eilis in America, she decides she must go, leaving her fragile mother and her charismatic sister behind.

Eilis finds work in a department store on Fulton Street, and when she least expects it, finds love. Tony, who loves the Dodgers and his big Italian family, slowly wins her over with patient charm. But just as Eilis begins to fall in love, devastating news from Ireland threatens the promise of her future.


I bought Brooklyn a long time ago, and finally decided to read it when it became a best picture nominee for the Academy Awards. I enjoyed reading it, but it was a slow-moving story. It can be summarized completely in two paragraphs - no pr…

The Grownup

The Grownup
Gillian Flynn
Crown, 2015
Audience: Adults
Source: Library

From Goodreads:
A canny young woman is struggling to survive by perpetrating various levels of mostly harmless fraud. On a rainy April morning, she is reading auras at Spiritual Palms when Susan Burke walks in. A keen observer of human behavior, our unnamed narrator immediately diagnoses beautiful, rich Susan as an unhappy woman eager to give her lovely life a drama injection. However, when the "psychic" visits the eerie Victorian home that has been the source of Susan's terror and grief, she realizes she may not have to pretend to believe in ghosts anymore. Miles, Susan's teenage stepson, doesn't help matters with his disturbing manner and grisly imagination. The three are soon locked in a chilling battle to discover where the evil truly lurks and what, if anything, can be done to escape it.

Ugh.

The first seven or so pages of this short story were about the main character’s career - giving h…

Little Robot

Little Robot
Ben Hatke
First Second, 2015
Source: E-Galley, Library
Audience: Children, Younger Teens

From Goodreads:
When a little girl finds an adorable robot in the woods, she presses a button and accidentally activates him for the first time. Now, she finally has a friend. But the big, bad robots are coming to collect the little guy for nefarious purposes, and it's all up to a five-year-old armed only with a wrench and a fierce loyalty to her mechanical friend to save the day!


This book totally reminded me of Lilo and Stitch. I read it during a 15 minute break at work. The story, mostly told through the art, is one of unlikely friendship. Adventure and peril keep the reader engaged. Personally, I missed dialogue, but I think reluctant readers will love Little Robot.

Ruth Galloway Series

The Crossing Places
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010

The Janus Stone
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011

The House at Sea’s End
Quercus Publishing, 2011

Elly Griffiths
Audience: Adults, Older Teens
Source: Library

Man, I love this series. It’s like a less-intense, slightly more realistic Indiana Jones.

Except it’s a woman, in England, that solves mysteries.

It’s so good! The first two were incredibly similar as far as the nature of the mystery goes. The third mixed it up a little - an excellent choice. In addition to archeology and mystery, there’s relationships and romance and drama to keep things interesting. I can’t wait to read the rest of the series. However, I hope that the formula gets mixed up a bit in the next few. Ruth always seems to be in danger, and I think it would be nice to see someone else in peril at the end of the book. Unfortunately, Ruth isn’t my favorite character - Cathbad, of all people, takes that title. I never would have guessed that from the first book! My advice …

One

One
Sarah Crossan
Greenwillow Books, 2015
Source: E-Galley, Library
Audience: All Teens

From Goodreads:
Grace and Tippi. Tippi and Grace. Two sisters. Two hearts. Two dreams. Two lives. But one body.

Grace and Tippi are conjoined twins, joined at the waist, defying the odds of survival for sixteen years. They share everything, and they are everything to each other. They would never imagine being apart. For them, that would be the real tragedy.

But something is happening to them. Something they hoped would never happen. And Grace doesn’t want to admit it. Not even to Tippi.

How long can they hide from the truth—how long before they must face the most impossible choice of their lives?


What a unique subject to cover! I loved that it was in verse, too. I felt like Crossan authentically captured the twins’ thoughts and feelings. I learned so much about conjoined twins - something I had never really given much thought to before. I’m such an introvert myself, the thought of constantly being wit…