Book Review: The Forgotten Locket

The Forgotten LocketThe Forgotten Locket by Lisa Mangum

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Got this early release and met Lisa Mangum today. It was really neat.

As for the book. ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. good, clean, ending. Not toooooo convenient, but perfectly wrapped up and a scene earlier in the book made it clear what was to come a ways in the future so when it ended you knew everything was as it should have been.

Dante. Great male lead character... Not creepy or possessive, but still as 'into' her as we girls like to believe is possible from men...

Lots of lovey dovey whatnots, but definitely not gag-worthy. The kinda stuff that makes you smile and makes you wanna give your man a kiss for good measure.

The series is vair, vair good (Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging has changed my vocabulary forever) and worth the time it takes to read. All three of my books are now signed by the author and I plan to hold onto them forever and reread them frequently.

Better written, cleaner, and more satisfying to read (no crazy convenient endings that wrap everything up but leave a sour taste of disappointment in your mouth) like Twilight... And Dante is NOT a stalker.

Tch. This was just such a good series. A good mix of romance and intrigue, conflict and resolution... things (like I said) were wrapped up nicely, but believably.

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Book Review: Chicken Cheeks

Chicken CheeksChicken Cheeks by Michael Ian Black

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Seriously. this is what couts as great children's literature nowadays?! What happened to authors like Audrey Woods? Those were books worth reading. This book is up for a Beehive Nomination... really? This whole book is just a bunch of illustrations of the rear ends of animals and 'cute' little rhyming or alliteration with animal names. This is the kind of 'literature' we want shaping our children's minds? bah. Lame and ridiculous. Since when do we have to buy into the message that our children will only be entertained by crude humor? Not a book I would own and not a book I care to have my kids to read.

Waste of time - waste of money.

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Book Review: Impossible

ImpossibleImpossible by Nancy Werlin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A fairly quick read, though I read fairly quickly.

For those interested: AH! One of the first YA fiction fantasy books I have read that doesn't make teen sex expected. Main male interest - virgin. and he's 20. I love it! I think that yes, there's the reality, but it's also important to let kids know that there are people out there who wait. It isn't a HAVE to. Didn't notice any language either, which is cool. I appreciate those types of things, so there it is.

As for the writing and the characters and plot development.... this was a neat book. It was an interesting concept (going off the idea that the song 'Scarborough Fair' is actually a legend) that took fantasy in a new way and brought it into the 21st century. I enjoyed the book the whole way through and there were several times where the author did just a terriffic job of really making you feel what the characters would feel -- really, really.

I kind of came away... hm... not in LOVE with the book and not really thrilled and yet, at the same time I was. Really divided on that.

Good characters that you can like (or hate depending on their role) and it dealt with some heavy issues, though not as much as I think might have been realistic (rape, teen pregnancy, abortion, mental illness, etc.). I just think there sn't enough time devoted to them, but if there had been it might have been too much... like the book would have become more than a fun fantasy... I don't know.

Let me know what you think.

Anyway. Not a waste of time. Fun, quick read.

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Book Review: Story of a Girl

Story of a GirlStory of a Girl by Sara Zarr

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Some language, for anyone who would like to know. 'F' word multiple times and other language.

I don't know. It was a well written book. You really felt for Deanna and felt what Deanna was feeling. In the end nothing major changes, and that's what I was looking for, but I guess that's why it's realistic fiction -- nothing big typically changes, just little stuff that can impact your life in a big or small way depending on what you and others around you choose. I like a more fairy-tale world when I read, usually. I like things to work out, not conveniently, but still perfectly. So this wasn't my type of novel, but it was well written, it was real, it makes you feel. At the end of the day, if a book can make you feel something... well, that's pretty cool.

Not a waste of time. As far as realistic fiction goes it's not too bad.

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Book Review: Mr. Chartwell

Mr. ChartwellMr. Chartwell by Rebecca Hunt

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Hm. Well. This book was an interesting take on depression. Rebecca Hunt uses the figure of a large, black, beastly dog over turning and overtaking people's lives to attempt to illustrate the despair and life-owning horror that is depression. I really thought the imagery et. al was interesting and fresh. I like the language of her writing, but was often bored and slogging through. I was determined to finish reading and I did, but it was difficult.
I find, by searching google, that Churchill referred to his depression as 'the black dog' and so it is not as creative as I imagined; however, she makes it literal and yet imagined and therefore brings his 'black dog' to life.
I don't know. I  mean, it was interesting, and the relationship between the characters and depression was interesting.... I suppose you could really, really discuss it at length and talk about how perhaps people with depression hate it and yet are comfortable with those feelings -- they are resigned to it. And there's the refusal to talk about it and acknowledge the proverbial 'elephant (in this case a big, black dog) in the room which goes along with the stigma in society of it being a weakness and not to be discussed...
Overall, I found this book to be good at showing us perhaps what people who suffer with depression are dealing with, but also slightly boring and difficult to slog through. I think it wasn't a waste of time, and it really  made me think, but it was also just... boring. If it sounds interesting to you, you may want to give it a chance, but if not I don't know that you're missing anything.

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Book Review: Amy and Roger's Epic Detour

Amy & Roger's Epic DetourAmy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

For those who care: A few 'F' words (3 or 4 times, maybe), not much other swearing. Some eluding to naughtiness. Other than that I would say it's clean.

As far as story, characters, etc. This book seemed very well researched. Like, she probably took this road trip to write the book. It made me want to hop in the car and drive across country, which is, you know, good that she wrote well enough to do that. The characters are likeable -- flawed just enough to be 'real'. You identify with them, you feel for them... good characterization, I think. The story was nice. Not much actually happening except emotionally and in the relationship department. So if you're expecting a gripping plot, this book probably isn't for you.

Overall, it was an enjoyable read, a good love story, dealt with some deep emotional thingsz (death, drug addiction in the family, and a break up or two).

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Book Review: The Brooklyn Nine

The Brooklyn NineThe Brooklyn Nine by Alan M. Gratz

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A story in nine innings that shows brief snap shots of baseball's history through the eyes of different generations of a family -- spanning the years 1845 - 2002.

This book was well written, though the stories were cut off far too early in a lot of th innings and entered into far too late in others. I was left wondering a lot and I don't really care for that. I also didn't like how at the end things could have comefull circle -- and they did in a way -- but the characters didn't know about it.

All in all and entertaining and well written book that focuses on baseball throughout America's history and the impact it might have had on individuals. I love baseball, I love the idea of baseball, I love the history and nostalgia of baseball... I really did enjoy this book. If you are at all interested in the history of baseball, but told in a fun fictional rt of way, I think you will like this book.

Not a waste of time!

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Book Review: The Total Tragedy of a Girl Named Hamlet

The Total Tragedy of a Girl Named HamletThe Total Tragedy of a Girl Named Hamlet by Erin Dionne

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A story about a girl trying to find her place in a family full of stand-outs. A girl trying so hard to fit in at school that she can't be happy and learning that just being who you are -- and owning it makes life so much better and easier.

It's so cute. I had fun reading this book and think you might to. It's about an eighth grader. Usually I think books are written for a younger age group than the characters are (ie junior high characters are interesting to elem. kids and high school characters are interesting to middle schoolers) but I actually think this book would suit middle schoolers well.

NOT a waste of time.

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Book Review: The Last Waltz

The Last WaltzThe Last Waltz by G.G. Vandagriff

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was impressed. This is a long book, and there's a lot of back and forth between the characters but it is interesting and enthralling. I couldn't put it down.

The Last Waltz follows a young girl of 19 from pre-ww1 Vienna, Austria to when she becomes a 40-something woman at the start of ww11 in Austria. She falls in love, but also learns about fidelity and the deeper love that can grow in a marriage. She is sometimes foolish and selfish and plays (unwittingly in some ways) with the hearts of the men who love her -- which makes her character real and flawed (which as you know, I find almost necessary). She becomes an outspoken political activist as much as a woman could be in those days.

The book was well-researched and well-written and terribly interesting.

Though it was long I felt it was not a waste of time at all.

I didn't like the ending, but it didn't ruin the whole book for me.

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Book Review: The Candy Shop War

The Candy Shop WarThe Candy Shop War by Brandon Mull

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was impressed with this book. I wasn't sure what to expect or whether I'd really like it.

This book was not as quick a read as I thought, but it was entertaining and exciting the whole way through. I can't even recall any parts that seemed to drag -- which is a good thing!

As far as it goes... I'm not sure I'd really consider this a children's book. It's not as dark as Harry Potter 5 and 6 but it is darker than I thought it would be.

The whole premise of the book is that wizards can't use magic because it works best on children so they exploit children to further their cause. Which means they are okay with asking kids to do some really dangerous or bad things.

I don't know that this would be a book I'd let me little ones read -- but maybe preteens.

It's clean as far as language and what-not goes and it is entertaining but thematically I think it should be read by an older children's audience.

If you are looking to read it for yourself I think you'll enjoy it. It isn't a quick read, like I said, it is fast paced and fun. The characters are fun, though there's not as much characterization as I might like. You don't really feel at the end of the book like you know all the main characters well. And sometimes I got them mixed up with each other because they didn't stand out individually.

Not a waste of time!

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Book Review: Incarceron #1

Incarceron (Incarceron, #1)Incarceron by Catherine Fisher

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I wasn't sure what to expect with this book. I had heard mixed things. Honestly, though, I was impressed. It was pretty well-written (no over-used adjectives and cheesy, lame bits the pop up out of nowhere and completely drop you out of the story they're so awful) and had a fast-paced story line that kept you reading. Interesting enough characters that make you feel for them or hate them.
I didn't like how the book started off. It took me a few pages to figure out what was happening because it was so confusing.
Overall this is an interesting book. A pretty quick read. And! I didn't feel like I wasted my time reading it, so... bonus.
Similar to Maze Runner and Hunger Games (Dystopian society ruled by the corrupt forcing the poor to stay that way and keeping the wealthy very wealthy. Murders and corruption abound. The corrupt who rule also keep the people naive and don't let them have new technology.)

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Book Review: Pillage

PillagePillage by Obert Skye

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Nice and squeaky clean which is great. A fun book, a quick read, a good story, likable characters, worth the time it takes to read, and well-written (I have been impressed with Obert Skye's writing style).

This book was fast paced and interesting with plenty of intrigue and characters who you could care about. Even though it's fairly short, there are a lot of good descriptors that pull you in and help you fell like you are there, watching it happen.

Worth your time to read! If you liked Leven Thumps, you won't be disappointed by this other series, I believe.

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Review: Eat, Pray, Love

Eat, Pray, LoveEat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Hm. Well I don't have any existential crises in my life so I didn't really connect with a lot of what Liz Gilbert went through, but she definitely had some nice ideas and some nice things to say. I was happy to read that she found peace with herself, with her life, and with her needs.
Even though her ex-husband becomes something of a nutter in the divorce (and this is, of course written from her perspective, not his) I feel sorry for him. She focuses on what she did to try to make the divorce better, but she doesn't seem to acknowledge, truly, that she left. She married him and so he created plans for their future -- including a house and kids. When she didn't want those things it was good of her to be honest, but it was also honest and expected that he would be hurt and angry. His whole life plan and happiness was ripped out from under him and it was out of his hands -- there was nothing he could do -- she was leaving.
So. An interesting book. Interesting to read her search for God and peace and a nice ending that's real (it is non-fiction, after all).
A few 'F' words and other language but it's not too prevalent. In case you are watching out for that.
Not a waste of time, per se, but not necessarily my type of book. Well-written with characters that come out of the page as themselves and not just her remembrance of them.

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Book Review: Curduroy Mansions

Corduroy MansionsCorduroy Mansions by Alexander McCall Smith

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The characters in this book are (aside from Eddie) extremely likable. There are a lot of characters, though and so there were a lot of stories going on. Far too many, in my mind. This is only in the sense that there wasn't enough time devoted to each story and the endings were so open. I like it a lot more knowing there's another book because that means I don't have to let the ending ruin the book for me. It was still pretty slow and it was nice and cozy but a little dull at times. A nice read and a cozy read. All in all not necessarily a book you should seek out and desperately need to read, but if you do you will probably enjoy it.

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