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Showing posts from 2016

Minute Review: Beware That Girl (Teresa Toten)

The Haves. The Have-Not

Kate O’Brian appears to be a Have-Not. Her whole life has been a series of setbacks she’s had to snake her way out of—some more sinister than others. But she’s determined to change that. She’s book smart. She’s street-smart. Oh, and she’s also a masterful liar.

As the scholarship student at the Waverly School in NYC, Kate has her work cut out for her: her plan is to climb the social ladder and land a spot at Yale. She’s already found her “people” among the senior class “it” girls—specifically in the cosseted, mega-wealthy yet deeply damaged Olivia Sumner. As for Olivia, she considers Kate the best friend she’s always needed, the sister she never had.

When the handsome and whip-smart Mark Redkin joins the Waverly administration, he immediately charms his way into the faculty’s and students’ lives—becoming especially close to Olivia, a fact she’s intent on keeping to herself. It becomes increasingly obvious that Redkin poses a threat to Kate, too, i…

Review: Morning Star (Red Rising #3) by Pierce Brown

Darrow would have lived in peace, but his enemies brought him war. The Gold overlords demanded his obedience, hanged his wife, and enslaved his people. But Darrow is determined to fight back. Risking everything to transform himself and breach Gold society, Darrow has battled to survive the cutthroat rivalries that breed Society’s mightiest warriors, climbed the ranks, and waited patiently to unleash the revolution that will tear the hierarchy apart from within.

Finally, the time has come.

But devotion to honor and hunger for vengeance run deep on both sides. Darrow and his comrades-in-arms face powerful enemies without scruple or mercy. Among them are some Darrow once considered friends. To win, Darrow will need to inspire those shackled in darkness to break their chains, unmake the world their cruel masters have built, and claim a destiny too long denied—and too glorious to surrender.




The final installment in the Red Rising series delivered a satisfying finish to a beloved story line.  

Review: Golden Son (Red Rising #2) by Pierce Brown

Golden Son continues the stunning saga of Darrow, a rebel forged by tragedy, battling to lead his oppressed people to freedom from the overlords of a brutal elitist future built on lies. Now fully embedded among the Gold ruling class, Darrow continues his work to bring down Society from within.

A life-or-death tale of vengeance with an unforgettable hero at its heart, Golden Son guarantees Pierce Brown’s continuing status as one of fiction’s most exciting new voices.
It's a rare find to discover a sequel as good as-- if not better than-- its predecessor, but that's exactly what you get with Golden Son. 

Have I mentioned how much this series rocks?  I just cannot say enough about the writing. It's in a world of its own... kind of like our characters. Once again, the world building creates images that had me captivated. I really am not a fan of anything that takes place in space or has a hint of stereotypical sci-fi themes, but I ignored all that for this book. I didn't min…

Review: Red Rising (Pierce Brown)

Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations.

Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children.

But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity already reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet. Darrow—and Reds like him—are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.

Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity's overlords struggle for power. He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilization against the best and most brutal of Society's ruli…

Picture Book Saturday: The Skunk by Mac Barnett

When a skunk first appears in the tuxedoed man's doorway, it's a strange but possibly harmless occurrence. But then the man finds the skunk following him, and the unlikely pair embark on an increasingly frantic chase through the city, from the streets to the opera house to the fairground. What does the skunk want? It's not clear—but soon the man has bought a new house in a new neighborhood to escape the little creature's attention, only to find himself missing something...




The Skunk appears on the 2016-2017 Sunshine State Reader list for young readers this year. To prepare for book clubs, I decided to give it a try. To be honest, I am not entirely sure what gave this book so much appeal when I have read some amazing (and very deep) picture books. At first glance, this is a cute story with comic-like illustrations. The story is fun to read and will make kids giggle. There wasn't much to really make you think or spark a discussion, except for maybe the ending when the…

Anna Dewdney passes away

My heart aches and my eyes keep leaking... 


The Llama Llama books were a staple in my house for years as my youngest son learned to read. They made bedtime extra special as he would snuggle under the covers while I read. When a new book in the series came out, he would get so excited about going to the book store to get a copy.

And when it came time to clean the book shelf in his room to make way for larger, more grade appropriate book, the Llama Llama books never moved. They have a permanent spot on his shelf, even at 9.

So when I woke up this morning to hear that one of our favorite authors has passed away from brain cancer, I was devastated. Maybe it's because I am still grieving the loss of my beloved grandmother, but this news felt like the wound was ripping open again. I am deeply and profoundly affected by the loss of Ms. Dewdney. I am sad I never had the chance to meet her, as she was scheduled for a school visit when she was diagnosed. For obvious reasons, that visit was…

Minute Review: Wizard at Work (Vivian Vande Velde)

The wizard has big summer plans: To garden, fish, and nap. The only thing better would be if he had someone nice to share the days with. But the only people who show up want him to rescue yet another princess, lift the usual vile curse, confront a fearsome ghost, deal with a pack of magical hooligans, harvest a crop of golden cucumbers, and on and on. . . .
With everything he has to do, it's no wonder the wizard is all by himself! Who'd want to help him do all of that?



Readers will enjoy four short stories that weave a delightful tale of a wizard that just wants a break. Throughout the tales, readers can expect to encounter familiar characters and stories, but don't be fooled. There are definitelytwists along the way. Wizard at Work is a quick read and suitable for readers in grades 1-3. Simple ink drawings correspond with the stories throughout the book to help younger readers visualize what is happening. 

I think this book would make a great read aloud in class or a bed tim…

Review: Pip Bartlett's Guide to Magical Creatures

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 also must trace the fuzzles’ agitation to its source, and in doing so, save the whole town.



Get ready for a really cute novel for younger readers. While I …

Joshua and the Arrow Realm book trailer reveal

LEGACY launch party + giveaway