Fiction

Book Review: The Most Magnificent Thing

The Most Magnificent Thing
Author: 
Spires, Ashley
Rating: 
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review: 

A girl comes up with a magnificent thing and hires a canine assistant to help
create it. No problem! They gather supplies and get to work. Things do NOT go
as plans. They try and try again, but are unable to make the magnificent
thing. Then the girl gets mad and then she hurts herself! Things are not
going well and she want to quit! Her assistant suggest a walk and then off
they go. As they reach the end, the girl realizes how to make her magnificent
thing and she gets to work. With persistence and creativity, they truly are
able to make the most magnificent thing.

Reviewer's Name: 
Carol

Book Review: That Is Not a Good Idea!

That Is Not a Good Idea!
Author: 
Willems, Mo
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

A very plump goose is met by a hungry fox who invites her to dinner. Will
dinner go as planned? This humorous book by Mo Willems reminds us to listen
to our inner gosling and expect the unexpected. The book involves simple text
and a minimum of words allowing readers to explore the pictures to understand
the story.

Reviewer's Name: 
Carol

Book Review: Math Curse

Math Curse
Author: 
Scieszka, Jon
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Some days you might feel that you are under a math curse where everything has
become a math problem. This is the story of a girl whose life is just like
that. Everything – even things that shouldn’t be math – now involve
math! Work along with her to solve the problems and therefore, solve the math
curse. Read and see if she succeeds.

Reviewer's Name: 
Carol

Book Review: The 39 Steps

The 39 Steps
Author: 
Buchan, John
Rating: 
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review: 

It’s weird to think that stories like The 39 Steps have only been around
for 100 years. Perhaps their ubiquity in modern action thrillers has made me
numb to their “man on the run” plotline, but I didn’t find this book to
be as interesting as I had expected. Sure, it’s short, but how many of its
twists and turns were merely repeating the same way of escaping the main
character’s pursuers time and again? And perhaps that’s the main issue I
have with this book: the main character seemed to be too skilled at eluding
capture for it to be believable.

I know the “wrong man” trope that thrusts an ordinary person into these
kinds of circumstances isn’t as realistic as it could be, but when Richard
Hannay just happens to know exactly what to do at each instance, I wonder how
“ordinary” he really is. Don’t get me wrong, the chase is exciting,
it’s just oddly convenient for the protagonist. Of course, maybe I was
already ruined by having seen Alfred Hitchcock’s version of this story in
The 39 Steps (1935), which added in elements of romance and changed some key
plot points.

In the end, The 39 Steps still stands as one of the originators of its genre.
Even if the style has morphed and evolved over time, it’s essential to
recognize where it came from and what its early influences were. If you’re
interested in the history associated with the genre, then this book for you.
Heck, if you have a few hours to kill in an airport or waiting room, this
book might be the ticket. Just don’t expect much out of it other than some
slightly-entertaining distraction.

A basic, if perhaps unbelievable story, in the early action-thriller genre, I
give The 39 Steps 3.0 stars out of 5.

Reviewer's Name: 
Benjamin W.

Book Review: There's Something About Sweetie

Cover
Author: 
Menon, Sandhya
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Sweetie Nair is fat. She doesn’t care, but her mom cares. Like, a lot. A lot a lot. Definitely too much. So much that so when Ashish, a hot local boy from a good (and crazy rich!) Indian family tries to date Sweetie, Sweetie’s mom shuts it down. But Sweetie won’t give up without a fight, and so she, Ashish and Ashish’s parents hatch a plan in which the kids will go on four dates. If it works out, they’ll tell Sweetie’s parents. If not, no harm done. Plus, what can happen in four dates? Turns out, a lot.

If you’ve read any of Menon’s other books, this one is completely on brand. I’ve read her other two books, and this one might be my favorite? It’s up there with Dimple, for sure. It’s a funny romantic comedy with endearing, mostly believable characters from a culture that’s different from mine. In addition to reading an adorable book, I get to learn a little bit about Indian Americans. This one has an added element of pointing out our society’s horrible ways of treating fat people. The way a folks react to Sweetie will have you seeing red – but you know it’s unfortunately totally realistic. Luckily, Sweetie is a self-confident young lady, and it was a joy to see her grow throughout the book. Ashish isn’t too bad himself! He has a very believable journey through the course of the book, and was a male lead you could root for even as he made a few terrible decisions.

TLDR: If you’re looking for a light, funny and very swoony read, this one will do it for you. I know it put a smile on my face.

Sandhya Menon is coming to PPLD to be the keynote speaker for Mountain of Authors! Meet her, listen to her give a talk and get a book signed on 27 April at 21c. More information about the event can be found here: https://research.ppld.org/mountainofauthors

Thanks to Netgalley and Simon Pulse for the advance copy, which I received in exchange for an unbiased review. There’s Something About Sweetie will be available for purchase on 14 May – don’t forget to put your copy on hold!

Reviewer's Name: 
Britt

Book Review: Allegiant

Allegiant
Author: 
Roth, Veronica
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

I absolutely loved this book! It is the third and last book in the Divergent series. It has romance, action, emotion, and an amazing dystopian world setting. If you love dystopian books that have action, with a twist of romance, then this book is for you! If you have not read the first two books (Divergent and Insurgent) then I suggest reading those first. You will love it! If I could I would give this book 4 and a half stars!

Reviewer's Name: 
Alli

Book Review: Something in the Water

Something in the Water
Author: 
Steadman, Catherine
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Great book! I really enjoyed the entire story line. It had me guessing until the big reveal. At times I wanted to yell at Erin "Girl! just walk away from it all and stop being so nosy!" I think Catherine Steadman created well developed characters. I wanted to know more about each of them. Maybe she will borrow from Tana French and some of the characters will get their own books. (Seriously, I am dying to know what the next favor is!). If you like page turners combined with mystery, this one is for you!

Reviewer's Name: 
Melissa M.

Book Review: The Lightning Thief

The Lightning Thief
Author: 
Riordan, Rick
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

An excellent introduction to Greek mythology and adventure, Percy Jackson and the Olympians provides an engaging storyline and an interesting set of characters. Perfect for early interest in literature and mythology alike, it is one of my first favorite series of books. Although it's a childish book, it attracts readers of all ages with its fun dynamics and interesting plot line. It is a clever modern twist on traditional stories. I would recommend reading for ages 9 to 12, but it can be enjoyed at any age.

Reviewer's Name: 
Settare R

Book Review: Queen of Air and Darkness

Queen of Air and Darkness
Author: 
Clare, Cassandra
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

The final installment of The Dark Artifices series by Cassandra Clare brings with it new mystery and adventure, as well as new love. Packed with action and intrigue, the book showcases a return of Annabel, as well as new characters, and the favorites you have grown to love. This book is my favorite of the series, and a good read that will last you either as long as you want it to or go by as fast as you can read. The characters are inclusive and diverse. It is fun and easy to get sucked into. Recommended for ages 14+.

Reviewers Grade: 11

Reviewer's Name: 
Settare R

Book Review: The Book Thief

The Book Thief
Author: 
Zusak, Markus
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

The Book Thief is a very well known book/movie and for good reason.
This story follows a young girl living in Nazi Germany who deals with her family hiding a Jewish man, the book burning's, and her own insatiable love for reading. The Book Thief gives an interesting perspective of World War II that we don't often see in historical novels with a story about a blind follower of the Nazi Regime but who also sympathizes with Jewish people. I really enjoyed this book as someone who loves WWII history and personal stories. I highly suggest this book to any reader, I think it is a very important story to read.

Reviewer's Name: 
Maddie K.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Fiction