Thursday, November 30, 2017

Feet of Clay a Discworld Novel

Feet of Clay (Discworld, #19)Feet of Clay by Terry Pratchett
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I love Discworld, and Feet of Clay did not disappoint. There are so many twists and turns that I could not have predicted how everything was going to turn out. The cast of characters makes the book entertaining on a whole new level, and makes you question everything anyone does.

Terry Pratchett books are always great for the humor, especially since almost nothing is said or done as a joke. The seriousness of the characters heightens the humor.

I have not read the other books in the City Watch portion of the Discworld series, but they are on my list. I want to read more about the city watch and visit these characters again.

Author: Terry Pratchett
Publisher: HarTorch (Note: Publisher is based on the edition I read)
Publication Date: 1996

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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Old Misery

Old MiseryOld Misery by James Sage
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Old Misery is a humorous quick read. It tells the story of a little old lady and her apple tree. I found the story to be entertaining and unexpected. That's a large feat for such a short story.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Author: James Sage
Publisher: Kids Can Press
Expected Publication Date: 01 May 2018

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Diary of a Maxed Out Kid

Diary of a Maxed Out KidDiary of a Maxed Out Kid by Vic Connor
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is the first book in the series. Max is a kid growing up in Russia in the 80s. This is just as a warning, since some of the names and situations may be a little difficult to understand if you do not know Russian culture. This isn't a major problem, it just makes it harder to relate to some of the situations in the book.

Overall, I find Max to be a likable character. He's a boy's boy with a heart of gold. I hope his character continues to develop through the other books.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Author: Vic Connor
Publisher: Helvetic House
Publication Date: 13 Dec 2014

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Live Fearless

Live Fearless: A Call to Power, Passion, and PurposeLive Fearless: A Call to Power, Passion, and Purpose by Sadie Robertson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I think everyone, religious or not, should read this book and at least take some of the lessons into your life. There is good advice in its pages. As I read the book, I constantly thought about some of the stories and messages. They stay with you even after you finish reading. The only thing that really threw me, was the different versions of the Bible used. I only use one version, so it felt odd reading verses with wording I didn't recognize. It is interesting to read the different versions and see things from a different point of view. The message doesn't change, but your connection to it might.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Author: Sadie Robertson
Publisher: Thomas Nelson: CHILDREN'S
Publication Date: 06 Feb 2018

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Percy Jackson's Greek Heroes with TONS of Sass

Percy Jackson's Greek HeroesPercy Jackson's Greek Heroes by Rick Riordan
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I used to like the Percy Jackson books, but by this point, it's just too much. I decided to finish it off with Percy Jackson's Greek Heroes with an open mind. Just because I'm over the series, doesn't mean a one off book can't be amazing. This book fell flat.

The illustrations were awesome, props to John Rocco, but the stories were all over the place. Maybe it's just me, but Percy's voice was way to prevalent. It was all over the place. It felt more contained in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods. This book seemed to be less about the actual heroes stories, and more about the snide side comments. Maybe I just relate to the other book more.

The size of the book was also an issue with me. I know it helped with the images, but the book is heavy and hard to deal with. I used a pillow to prop the book up on my lap.

All of this of course is my own personal opinion. I know there are people out there that really like Percy, so they will not have a problem with the abundance of side comments. Everything depends on what you like.

Author: Rick Riordan
Illustrator: John Rocco
Publisher: Disney - Hyperion Books
Publication Date: 2014

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Wild Born (Spirit Animals)

Wild Born (Spirit Animals, #1)Wild Born by Brandon Mull
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This is one of those books that I'm not really sure of. I think I need to read the rest of the books in the series before I really decided. Part of my problem was the names of people and places. In my mind, it was hard for me to keep them straight. That's something that I'm sure will be resolved after I read more of the books. It's an interesting premise, and I can see how it could make a great story. I'm intrigued enough to keep reading the books.

Author: Brandon Mull
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Date: 1 Jan 2013

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Raymie Nightingale for Beehive Book Awards

Raymie NightingaleRaymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Raymie Nightingale is about three girls with secrets that slowly come out as they become friends. It's a coming-of-age story that shows what each of the girls is going through as their views on the world change. I liked the development of the characters, but there was too much going on. I know some of the situations were made up, but it became hard for me to remember who was who, and who didn't really exist at all. This would be an enjoyable book for children in elementary school.

I read this book for the Beehive Book Awards.

Author: Kate DiCamillo
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publication Date: 12 Apr 2016

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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Real Friends

Real FriendsReal Friends by Shannon Hale
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Real Friends is the autobiography of Shannon Hale as she struggles with finding friends in elementary school. The story is portrayed as a graphic novel, with the illustrations telling as much of the story as the words. This book is a great example of how events that seem insignificant to an adult can be life changing to a child.

I believe there are many children out there that could relate to the feelings of Shannon as she struggles to find real friends. Even as adults, I think people can relate to being insecure around others and wondering what they think about you, and what they might be telling people behind your back.

I was asked to read this book for the Beehive Book Awards.

Author: Shannon Hale
Publisher: First Second
Publication Date: 2 May 2017

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The List

The ListThe List by Patricia Forde
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The concept for this book enthralled me. Showing how words have power by taking them away is something I've never seen done before. Using names like Noa and Ark did make me feel uncomfortable. I understand the symbolism behind those choices, but I still would have preferred something else.

Because many of the characters only speak List, the words that are still allowed in Ark, there are times when the dialog is choppy. It's hard to read, but that seems to be the point. When something as simple as a word is taken away, you realize how much harder you have to look to find a way to express what you are trying to say. In a world where most words have been taken away, the villagers no longer have a way of expressing pretty much anything. This makes it easier for those that do have all the words to stay in control.

The end of the book becomes really dark, so if you are looking for a fun light-hearted read, this is not it. If you are looking for something that forces you to think about human nature, this is a good book to read. The List is a good book, it just was a little too dark for me.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Author: Patricia Forde
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Publication Date: 1 Aug 2017

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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Nothing Happens in this Book

Nothing Happens in This BookNothing Happens in This Book by Judy Ann Sadler
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The illustrations help make this book. There are clues as to what is going to happen in the illustrations. It is a cute book for kids that is more than just words on the page.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Author: Judy Ann Sadler
Publisher: Kids Can Press
Publication Date: 01 May 2018

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Rebel, Bully, Geek, Pariah

Rebel Bully Geek PariahRebel Bully Geek Pariah by Erin Jade Lange
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is one of those books that drew me in because of the cover. The story was great. There were plenty of twists and turns to keep me interested. The four main characters have back stories that help explain choices they make. Each one starts out as either the rebel, bully, geek, or pariah, but slowly come to realize that a person is not just a label. There are many different facets of a person.

The time jumps did leave me a little confused. When I finished the book, I realized that I hadn't really understood the beginning at all. I will have to read it again to see if I can figure out what I missed the first time.

Author: Erin Jade Lange
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Publication Date: 16 Feb 2016

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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Why Not Me

Why Not Me?Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I will admit, I have never watched anything that Mindy Kaling has been in, but decided to read this book. It was humorous, but was something that is really only appropriate for adults. It was a little too crude for me. If you are okay with adult humor, this is a book that you will probably enjoy.

Author: Mindy Kaling
Publisher: Three Rivers Press
Publication Date: 15 Sept 2015

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Allies of the Night

Allies of the Night (Cirque du Freak, #8)Allies of the Night by Darren Shan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

After reading the first book in the Zom-B series, the Cirque du Freak series still holds my interest, but it doesn't seem as dark or gory as it used to be. The story continues from past books, and brings the reader along with Darren as he searches for the Vampaneze Lord. Throughout the book, you wonder who the Vampaneze Lord is and why Darren seems to be given special attention by him.

This book takes the reader back to a location and characters that have been mentioned before. While Darren still looks like a teenager, everyone he used to know is an adult. This makes it a little difficult for him to explain why he still looks the same as he did years ago. His looks also get him in trouble when he does not appear to be going to school, even though there is an application for him.

Many mysteries are brought up throughout the book, with very few of them being resolved. This tactic draws the reader into the rest of the series.

Author: Darren Shan
Publisher: Little, Brown Young Readers
Publication Date: 2002

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Mutts Spring Diaries

The Mutts Spring DiariesThe Mutts Spring Diaries by Patrick McDonnell
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I've always liked the Mutts comics, but this one fell a little flat. The layout makes it look like someone took Mutts comics and then glued them into a notebook. It didn't feel like a real book.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Author: Patrick McDonnell
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
Publication Date: 16 Jan 2018

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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The Axe of Sundering

The Axe of Sundering (Adventurers Wanted, #5)The Axe of Sundering by M.L. Forman
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

There was a lot of buildup for this book. The initial publication date was pushed back when the author had health issues. This is understandable and a valid reason to not have the book ready. I think that the delay in publishing made it so the author felt he needed to get it out as soon as possible, and the story suffered for it.

I have read all the other books in the series and was looking forward to seeing how it ended. I honestly thought there would be more than five books, but this one has been announced as the final book in the series, so it had to have a strong send off. This book felt completely disconnected from the rest of the books. It was okay I guess, but Alex started getting really annoying, and characters and story lines that had been throughout the rest of the series were randomly dropped. What happened to the rest of the magic bags that Alex was supposed to be returning? All of the previous books had him return a bag, but if my math is correct, he still had at least three by the end of the series. Nothing was mentioned about them at all.

There were a lot of new characters, but they didn't seem to serve any real purpose. They were just fillers. There were plenty of characters that had been present for most of the series that I would have loved to see again. I believe there were only three that were mentioned, two of which were only mentioned for a moment. I couldn't really connect with the new characters. They hadn't been around long enough for me to care about what happened to them.

This series could have done with at least a couple more books. It was a disappointment to wait so long only to end up reading a book that seems disconnected from the rest of the series.

Author: M.L. Forman
Publisher: Shadow Mountain

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Shoeburn and the Ill Fitting Necklace

Shoeburn and The Ill-Fitting Necklace (The Ruffet Conundrum #1)Shoeburn and The Ill-Fitting Necklace by Shoeburn Ruffet
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

This book was too out there for me. There were too many tangents that had nothing to do with the actual story. I couldn't tell if Shoeburn was being sarcastic or really didn't know what was going on. He is a very unlikely protagonist. This book would be great for those that like dry humor and under-dog stories, but it wasn't something I particularly enjoyed. I had a hard time keeping track of who everyone was and how all of their characters fit together.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Publication Date: 31 Oct 2017

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WychettsWychetts by William Holley
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I think the premise of the book was interesting, but I couldn't get past the main characters. I understand that they were young, but they were a little too childish and annoying to me. There wasn't a lot of character development, and the story was not interesting enough to make me want to read the next one in the series. Of course, the characters could grow during the rest of the series, but it didn't pull me in enough to keep reading. Middle-grade kids that like fantasy would probably really like this book. I'm sure they would relate to the characters more than I did.

Author: William Holley
Publication Date: 16 Aug 2013

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Raggedy Ann Stories

Raggedy Ann StoriesRaggedy Ann Stories by Johnny Gruelle
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I grew up with Raggedy Ann dolls, so I really enjoyed the stories. This book is one that would be really enjoyable for little kids. I liked the stories, but as an adult, I'm not sure if I would read it again to myself. If I was reading to a child, this would be a go to book. I like that it's not one long story. It's broken out into small stories that do not have to be read in order. I think having it broken out into smaller stories keeps a child's attention, which is what you want when reading.

Author: Johnny Gruelle
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: 1918

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One of Us is Lying...Who Killed Simon

One of Us Is LyingOne of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is one of those books that I picked up at the library just because the cover looked interesting. I'm glad the story lived up to the cover. Throughout the whole book you wonder, who killed Simon. The four main characters all have major secrets that they don't want exposed. These secrets make them look both guilty and innocent.

In today's world of technology, the search for Simon's killer leaps into the national spotlight. Thanks to all the different social media outlets out there, new evidence is discovered as the story progresses. You have to wonder, how much of this information is true, and how much is being used to frame someone that is innocent.

One of Us Is Lying is a page turner that mixes truth with lies to the point that the reader doesn't know what to believe. The ending was one that I didn't see coming, which is always satisfying.

Author: Karen M McManus
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: 30 May 2017

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Friday, November 3, 2017

7th Grade Revolution

7th Grade Revolution7th Grade Revolution by Liana Gardner
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

7th Grade Revolution is one of those books that is so close to being a 4-star, but, because I now know what happens, it takes away some of the suspense. I wish there was a way to read the book over again, without remembering what I already know. It is a great read the first time around when the mystery is still there.

The character development was great. With so many points of view, the reader has an inside look into the students' personal lives, and therefore, knows why some of the things they do are so important. There is a complexity to the story that is brought in by knowing the past of some of the students.

The farther I read, the more invested I was in the story. The mystery was great, but the fact that the students did everything without any adults guiding them made the story. It was a good reminder that you don't have to be an adult or even have an adults help to do great things. Everyone is capable of greatness, even if they are kids. In fact, in this book, the adults could stand to learn from the children.

I only had two issues with the book, but they are minor. I read the book on my kindle, so I don't know if a physical book would make a difference, but to me, the images were really dark and hard to make out. I could have done without them. I also had a problem keeping the characters straight. With so many points of view, it was hard for me to remember all the story lines for the different students. It is completely possible that it is just me having difficulties keeping things straight in my head. I'm sure a second read-through would help me understand who is who.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Author: Liana Gardner
Publisher: Vesuvian Books
Publication Date: 24 Oct 2017

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