Wednesday, May 28, 2014

These Broken Stars (Starbound, #1)These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Aboard the luxury spaceliner Icarus, Tarver Merendsen feels out of place among the wealthy and elite. His claim to fame, he is a military hero at the age of 18. One evening in the first class salon, he encounters a beautiful red-head dressed in blue. What starts out as promising soon turns embarrassing when he learns she is Lilac LaRoux, the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver is left feeling even more apart the before. When the Icarus is suddenly pulled out of hyperspace, Tarver and Lilac are thrown together in an escape pod. Landing on the nearest planet, they soon learn they are the only survivors of the crash. Now Tarver must save her and himself against almost unthinkable odds.
If you like the movie Titanic, you will love this book. It is like Titanic-In-Space. The characters are enjoyable and the plot twists abound. It is part of a trilogy so you can expect the story of Tarver and Lilac to continue.

View all my reviews

Friday, February 7, 2014

Book Review: Loula is Leaving for Africa by Anne Villeneuve

Loula Is Leaving for AfricaLoula Is Leaving for Africa by Anne Villeneuve
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Loula has had enough! She is tired of her three mean, horrible brothers. So she takes her essentials (her cat, her tea set and her best drawing) and heads for Africa. But she is not sure just where Africa is. Coming to her aid is Gilbert, the family chauffeur. He helps her find Africa on the map and away they go. With Gilbert in tow, Loula has the adventure of her life going to Africa.
I believe every child needs someone like Gilbert in their lives for those times when everyone else seems too busy to listen to them. Loula embodies every child who has run away (not very far) when feeling sorry for themselves. If only every child had a Gilbert. The muted watercolor illustrations give the story a soft comfortable feeling to let us know Loula will be alright. I wouldn't mind having a day like Loula every once in a while.
Recommended for children ages 5 - 10.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Book Review: I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

I Hunt Killers (Jasper Dent, #1)I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Jasper Francis Dent - good name for a serial killer right? And if your dad is the infamous William Cornelius "Billy" Dent aka The Artist aka Green Jack aka Hand-in-Glove aka the Gentle Killer, well then you are absolutely destined to join the ranks in the serial killer hall of fame. But Jasper, or Jazz to his friends, is desperately fighting his destined place in society. When a naked body turns up in his small town, Jazz does the only thing he can - he uses all Dear Old Dad taught him to hunt the killer. But in doing so, will Jazz become more like his father than even he is willing to admit?

This is a fast paced, thriller which could actually be right from headlines today. Jazz is absolutely driven by the fear he might become his father and take up the family business. At times I found him hard to like and a little scary. As a character he is unique: the child of a serial killer. As we find out about what goes on in Jazz's head, I began to wonder about the families and children of serial killers, how many might be out there and what their lives were like. Jazz's love for his girlfriend, best friend, the Sheriff and even his paternal grandmother make him a more likable character than if all we had was the son of a serial killer. I recommend this book for readers who like thrillers or who are interested in serial killers and their lives. Recommend for ages 15+.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Book Review: Ivy & Bean by Annie Barrows

Ivy and Bean (Ivy and Bean, #1)Ivy and Bean by Annie Barrows
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Bean knows nice is another name for boring and that is just what she thinks Ivy is. So when her mother tells her to go play with the "nice" girl across the street, Bean doesn't want any part of it. Bean is sure Ivy would never like the fun things she did - climbing trees, stomping in puddles and smashing rocks to find gold. Until one day Bean goes a little too far and has to escape her older sister. It's Ivy to the rescue! A bit of face paint and a few worms later, Bean quickly realizes Ivy just might be a more interesting than she had expected.
This is a wonderful start to a very engaging young reader series. It is the next step after Junie B. Jones but not quite Wimpy Kid Diaries - humorous, easy to read without the gross, farting joke quality. Ivy & Bean are two friends any girl would love to have in their circle. I would recommend this to young girl readers who have read all the Junie B's and are ready for a bit more of a reading challenge. Recommended Ages 8 - 10.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Book Review: How To Train a Train by Jason Carter Eaton

How to Train a TrainHow to Train a Train by Jason Carter Eaton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Have you ever wanted your own pet train? Well, here is the best guide on how to pick, find and train you very own pet train. Once you find your pet train, you can take it anywhere. Don't forget your train may take some time to adjust to its new life, so a warm bath or a good bedtime story will help it along. Once it is settle, you can begin to teach it a few tricks - like sit and rollover. If you are looking for a guide on how to train a train - this book is it!
Fun story with beautiful, eye-catching illustrations, you can't beat this book for a good picture-book read. It is a must read for all those train lovers out there, and a great read for anyone who is looking for something a little different. Recommended for ages 5+

View all my reviews

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Guest Review by Super Librarian of The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

From Goodreads: “Tana lives in a world where walled cities called Coldtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in a decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. The only problem is, once you pass through Coldtown’s gates, you can never leave. One morning, after a perfectly ordinary party, Tana wakes up surrounded by corpses. The only other survivors of this massacre are her exasperatingly endearing ex-boyfriend, infected and on the edge, and a mysterious boy burdened with a terrible secret. Shaken and determined, Tana enters a race against the clock to save the three of them the only way she knows how: by going straight to the wicked, opulent heart of Coldtown itself. I’m normally not a big fan of vampire books, but I decided to give this one a try based on the description alone. I’m glad I did because it definitely offered a unique and interesting vision of vampires. The world building was really well done. It was fascinating to learn Coldtowns were formed to see how the world reacted to the vampirism outbreak. Vampires were feared but romanticized at the same time. The structure of the novel added to the excellent world building. Chapters alternated between present day action and shorter chapters that flashed back to characters’ experiences in the past. This showed not only their personal experiences but also how the world changed as vampirism spread. The vampires in this book were scary and attractive at the same time. Before, I never really understood the attraction to vampires (I mean, I was on Team Jacob while reading the Twilight series), but this book helped me understand the attraction a little more. I think it has one of the best kissing scenes I’ve ever read! Tana has a love interest, but there is no love triangle, which is refreshing for a change. This was my first time reading Holly Black, and I will definitely seek out more of her books! As far as I know, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is a standalone novel. The plot was nicely wrapped up at the end, but I wouldn’t mind reading more books set in this world. If you’re looking for a good read with a creepy, chilling atmosphere with action and a bit of romance, give this one a try! Rated 4 out of 5 stars.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Book Review: The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud

The Screaming Staircase (Lockwood & Co, #1)The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Is there something strange around your neighborhood? Or a ghostly figure laying in your bed? Who you gonna call? Lockwood & Co. that’s who. London is in the midst of an epidemic - an epidemic of ghosts. England is now full of ghosts, specters and haunts of every sort and type (called Visitors.) To deal with the epidemic, psychic agencies that hunted ghost and eliminated them have sprouted up everywhere. Lockwood & Co. located at 35 Portland Row, London is such an agency: Anthony Lockwood, Lucy Carlyle, and George Cubbins. Each has their own special ability which allows them to detect and dispel ghosts. When Lockwood & Co. are asked to rid the most haunted private home in England of its many and deadly ghost, they cannot refuse. But this just might be the last Visitor Lockwood & Co. ever meet.
Jonathan Stroud has delighted again with The Screaming Staircase. I love a good ghost story. The Screaming Staircase is a good ghost story. While Stroud keeps the story mild enough I would have no problem recommending this book to children under the age of 13, the strong and likable character of Lucy and the mysterious Lockwood make up for any lack of gore and scare hard-edged gothic fans might miss. The England of Lockwood & Co., one overrun with ghosts, keeps the reader's interest. While we don't find out exactly what caused the Problem (maybe later in the series?), the many and varied manifestations of the Vistors and the ways they are dealt with make up for us lacking this knowledge.
I would recommend this book to adults and children 10+.

View all my reviews