All Book Reviews

The Death of Mrs. Westaway
Ware, Ruth
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

2 1/2 stars. It was a fun Gothic-type novel, but nothing really memorable. If you just need something light to read with not too much substance (I call them "chewing gum" books), you may enjoy this title. This is my 3rd Ruth Ware novel to which I've given 2 1/2-3 stars so I think I'm done with her books.

Reviewer's Name: Krista M.
Awards:
The Rejected Writers' Book Club
Kelman, Suzanne
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

If you need a laugh-out-loud book with plenty of zany characters and a main character who happens to be a librarian, PICK UP THIS BOOK NOW!!! These are a wacky group of writers, and you will just have a good time following their adventures. Be sure to read the next two books in the series - "Rejected Writers Take the Stage", and "The Rejected Writers Christmas Wedding."

Reviewer's Name: Krista M.
Apollo 8
Kluger, Jeffrey
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

In August 1968, NASA made the bold decision to win a major battle in the Cold War by launching the first manned flight to the moon. President Kennedy's deadline of putting a man on the moon by 1970 was fast approaching, but Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and Bill Anders were up to the challenge to make a huge advancement in order to meat the deadline. Apollo 8 tells the full story of the mission from Mission Control to the astronauts' homes, from the test labs to the launch pad. Apollo 8 also gives a summary of the Mercury, Gemini, and the other Apollo missions and talks about the science behind the mission in an easy to understand manner. From the coauthor of the bestselling book about Apollo 13, Apollo 8 is a thrilling yer informative tale and a great resource to have. I highly recommend this book for anyone in high school or older who is fascinated by the space program or is doing a project on anything related to NASA.

Reviewer's Name: John B.
The Science of Breakable Things
Keller, Tae
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

I loved this book and its amazing way of taking a classic plot like a dead mother and transforming it into a mother than only seems dead, but is actually sick with depression. The main character, Natalie, misses how her mom used to act and be around her. When her teacher Mr. Neely requires a science project for school and suggests a egg drop, she enters the competition determined to win the cash prize. Natalie thinks she can use the money to take her mom and herself to see a rare blue orchid her mom used to study when she still worked. With the help of her best friend and a new acquaintance, will her hopes to have her mom back to normal splat right in front of her? I recommend this book for an easy, but inspiring read about friendship, family, and keeping hope alive.

Reviewer's Name: Cook, Anna
Genres:
Curtsies & Conspiracies
Carriger, Gail
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

As Sophronia Temminnick goes into her second year at Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality she is learning more and more ways to kill with weapons, poisons, and over tea. To infiltrate a hive of vampires. And to subdue you by simply looking at you. For this is no normal finishing academy, it is a school that is training her to be a spy. With 10 boys from Bunson's (school for evil geniuses in training) on board. Being friends with two boys Lord Mercy and Soap the sootie will be much harder than you will expect, considering that they are both fighting for her. As an unexpected trip to London appears out of nowhere what will Sophrnoia have to do to uncover the truth and save her friends?

Reviewer's Name: Anneka S.
The Scorpio Races
Stiefvater, Maggie
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

How would it feel to ride the most powerful and the fastest thing on the island of Thisbe? Well Sean Kendrick is doing just that, on his mount, the water horse Core. And what will it be like for Puck Connoly? The first woman to ride in the races, ever, on her island horse Dove? and how will this all play out when Mut Malvern on a breathlessly fast piebald mare, who wants to hurt Sean more than anything learns that Sean cares for Puck. What will happen in the corse of 2 weeks of training and a 5 minute race.

Reviewer's Name: Anneka S.
Genres:
America is Not the Heart
Castillo, Elaine
2 stars = Meh
Review:

Sometimes, this book had amazing descriptions about experiences and personalities. But the majority of the book was dreadfully dull and dragged on and on. The main character described, in detail, her hook-up stories and one-night stands, leading up to her more fruitful and lengthy relationship with a witty, quick woman named Rosalyn. I felt that although physical intimacy is a large factor in mature relationships, I really didn't need to hear about EVERYTHING they did to each other. I was drawn into the story because the plot seemed fascinating. In theory, it would be, but the author was so fixated on producing a lengthy novel that the story was drawn out. So the story line is this: Hero De Vera arrives in the US as an illegal Filipino immigrant. Her uncle welcomes them into his home, without questioning her very questionable past. The past where she dropped out of medical school, took up one night stands with near strangers, and joined the New People's Army, a discreet organization in the Philippines, where lots of murderous secrets lurk. Hero moves into her uncles house, and is welcomed into the work-alcoholic behavior of her uncle and aunt, who are trying to provide for their family and others. Their young, American-born Filipino daughter, Ronnie, is feisty and spunky. Hero meets Rosalyn and, almost instantaneously, begins to nurture a crush for her. That is, until their physical relationship begins. And THAT is when things got nasty. In conclusion, an intriguing plot, terrible writing, and unnecessary details on Hero's sexual pleasures. And it took a decent chunk out of my time, too.

Reviewer's Name: Jordan T.
Genres:
After Iris
Farrant, Natasha
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

This book is great! I loved how it captured a big-family dynamic, and how it completely dived into the mind of Bluebell, the twin of Iris, now dead. Bluebell struggles with her twin's death, the negligent behavior of her mourning parents, and the varying personalities of her eccentric remaining siblings. Her elder sister, Flora, is subject to outbursts, passionate rants, and dying her dreadlocks pink. Blue's younger siblings, Twig and Jasmine (yes, I'm aware they have stupid names) are temperamental and adorably obsessed with anything cute and fluffy. When Blue's parents hire a stay-in babysitter, Zoran, to tend to the kids full-time when the parents are away, Blue realizes that she doesn't have to live in the shadow Iris left behind when she died. She realizes she is her own person, outside of her deceased twin.

I LOVED this book! It's about a large family coping with loss, and a former twin coming to terms with her sister's premature death.

Reviewer's Name: Jordan T.
Genres:
George
Gino, Alex
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Since it was so short, it was a really quick read, but by no means an easy one. I loved it because it was so eye opening, real, and heart breaking. I hated it for the same reasons. It was incredible! The only reason it doesn't get 5 stars is because it ended too quickly. "George" is about a 4th grader who knows she's a girl born into a boy's body. As she struggles to keep this concealed from her peers, she debates if she even should keep the truth a secret. I don't want to spoil it too much, but she receives support from some peers, and uncertainty and... almost disappointment?... from others. Please read it, it's amazing! I loved it so much.

Reviewer's Name: Jordan T.
Genres:
They Both Die at the End
Silver, Adam
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

At some points this book was really slow, but all in all it was really good! Essentially it's about two teenage boys with completely different life styles. They're drawn together when they both receive the ominous Death Call, a government-issued alert that warns the recipient that they will die that day. Shaken, Mateo vows to stay inside his house, contemplating that he'll never see his dad wake up from his comma, never see his best friend's daughter grow up. Rufus is shaken as well, but, in a panic after getting chased by the police, wonders around downtown. Until, a mysterious app called Last Friend brings them together. They are strangers and totally different. But it doesn't stop them from hanging out on their last day, crossing things off their bucket list and saying their good byes.

Reviewer's Name: Jordan T.
Genres:
Wonder
Palacio, R.J.
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

This book was given me to as a present and I truly had no intention of ever reading it, but when I did, I was insanely shocked at how much I thoroughly enjoyed it. I hadn't read a book like it before and I really enjoyed the drama that was in the story. I knew the plot was going to be interesting but I was really worried about how they would make a plot that didn't seem to shocking for a kid's book. The bullying part was done really well and I believe that instead of telling kids not to be mean, this book should be included in anti-bullying campaigns instead. This book can actually show children, especially younger ones, the effects that bullying anyone will have on the person. I really enjoyed the switching point of view from Auggie and Via because it was super interesting to see how Via reacted to everything about her brother as well, and the problems she had because of who her brother was. Since I had planned on regifting this book, I'm super glad I read it and while it may not be in my top ten favorites of all time, it does have a special place in my heart now.

Reviewer's Name: Brenna C.
Genres:
Beneath
Smith, Roland
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

The book beneath fallows the story of a teenage boy trying to find his older brother in the abandoned subway systems of New York City. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes suspense books. I would maybe read this book again but for me it was just a one time read.

Reviewer's Name: Ashlyn H
Awards:
The Heart Forger
Chupeco, Rin
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

The Heart Forger is the second book in the Bone Witch series. This book is my favorite one so far. This fallows the story of Tea and her companions trying to find the Heart Forger after he goes missing. I would recommend this book only after you read the first book.

Reviewer's Name: Ashlyn H
The Bone Witch
Chupeco, Rin
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

The Bone Witch is a book based on the stir of a girl who has dark magic. When she discovers her powers she learn she has to defend her home from the monsters who want to destroy it. I would highly recommend this book to people who like fantasy books. I did enjoy reading it but the trilogy is not quite complete just keep that in mind when you read this book.

Reviewer's Name: Ashlyn H
Awards:
Plague Land
Scarrow, Alex
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

The book Plague Land is a new disease that is trying to wipe out life on earth. Over in England a family has to try and learn ways to outsmart and escape this disease. This book is very fast paced and a little gruesome. I really did enjoy this book. If you are fascinated with disease then I would highly recommend this book.

Reviewer's Name: Ashlyn H
Awards:
The Tuscan Child
Bowen, Rhys
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Loved this dual-timeline novel. Both stories were strong enough that they could have stood on their own, but together they were wonderful. The descriptions of a small town in Tuscany were so vivid that I felt like I was there, and the food in particular made me hungry! I've only ever read the Royal Spyness mysteries by Rhys Bowen, but they are among my favorite lighthearted mystery series. Now, I'm definitely going to have to pick up In Farleigh Field and her other mysteries!!!

Reviewer's Name: Krista M.
The Art of Inheriting Secrets
O'Neal, Barbara
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

My favorite so far of Barbara O'Neal's books, and my favorite of the year! This book was just beautiful in every way and just what I needed. Beautiful setting, family secrets, descriptions of food that made my mouth water, and one of the most beautiful love stories I've read in a long time. I honestly felt sad when this book ended. I will be recommending it to anyone looking for a mystery, a Gothic novel, a healing story, a foodie book, or a gorgeous love story. Just wonderful.

Reviewer's Name: Krista M.
The Honest Truth
Giemeinhart, Dan
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Overall a really amazing book about a boy with cancer who decides to climb up a mountain despite his decreasing health. Though he faces many challenges on his journey but his dog, Beau, helps him through it with unconditional love and support. It keeps you on the edge of your seat, never wanting to set it down. This book could be a challenging read for some, as you switch around perspectives multiple times, along with some particularly advanced work usage.

Reviewer's Name: Francesca J
Sisters
Teigemeier, Raina
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

This graphic novel is about a girl named Raina who couldn't wait to be a big sister but once Amara is born she realizes that sisterhood isn't the sunshine-rainbow-cakewalk she thought it would be. This book explores the big sister little sister relationship like no other book has done before. Family love, life lessons, and learning what it truly is to be sisters. Amazing #1 New York Times bestselling, Eisner Award-winning book that's definitely worth taking the time to read.

Reviewer's Name: Francesca J
The Fault in Our Stars
Green, John
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

This book is a heart-wrenching story about how you don't need a fairy tale situation to fall in love. Mr. Green's descriptions in this book are so good then even weeks after reading it, you could still have vivid images of the characters and settings. You may need a tissue or even book club friends to help you get through some of the moments and chapters in this book.
Overall A+ amazing book with exciting adventures and life lessons

Reviewer's Name: Francesca J

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