Saturday, June 27, 2009

Book Review #787
As You Wish by Robin Jones Gunn
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This is an interesting development in the relationship between Christy and Todd. I kept reading because I wanted to know what would happen and if they would actually end up together. I liked it, but thought that sometimes Christy's thoughts were repetitive or tedious. I'd still recommend though.

Book Review #786
Aurelia by Anne Osterlund
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This book kept my attention, but throughout my entire reading of it I felt like something was lacking. I wanted more details in the plot and some more development of the character. The romance felt a little flat, I wanted it to be a larger thread in the story. The main character was interesting, but a little predictable. The ending left me slightly unsatisfied, but didn't totally sour my opinion of the book. I'd probably recommend.

Book Review #785
Lament by Maggie Stiefvater
Rating: one star (out of four)

This book lacked several things that would have made it better. I wanted more development of the main character. I thought she fell far too easily to the fey and I also felt sorry for her best friend. This book was also kind of violent sometimes and had some language. I was not pleased with the outcome and I wanted a better resolution. I would not recommend this book.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Book Review #784
Also Known As Harper by Ann Haywood Leal
Rating: two stars (out of four)

I liked this book, but I didn't find it completely amazing or brilliant. The premise was a little simplistic, but it still had a couple twists and turns in the plot to make it unpredictable and enjoyable. The characters were fleshed out nicely, but I could have used more story and background information. I enjoyed this book and would probably recommend.

Book Review #783
Until Tomorrow by Robin Jones Gunn
Rating: two stars (out of four)

While I found this book interesting and sometimes amusing, I didn't "click" with the main character, Christy. Sometimes I was annoyed with her doubts and insecurities and other times I really appreciated her honest portrayal of her feelings. I wanted to bang Todd upside the top of the head a couple of times for being so lackadaisical. I thought this book was entertaining and if you are already a fan of the Christy Miller series I'd recommend.

Book Review #782
Ruby Unscripted by Cindy Martinusen-Coloma
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This was an interesting book, but I wanted more details and descriptions. I didn't feel like I knew the characters very well and I thought the plot could have been more developed, it was a short book. I thought Ruby was an intriguing character, but I never fell in love with her and her life, I wasn't anxious to see what would happen to her next. The book also could have ended better. I probably wouldn't recommend.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Book Review #781
We Are Extremely Very Good Recyclers 
(characters created) by Lauren Child
Rating: two stars (out of four)

I liked the premise of this book, and thought it did a good job of encouraging children not to waste.  I did feel like parts of the story were a little jumbled or out of place, but I still enjoyed reading this book and would probably recommend.

Book Review #780
Rotten Teeth by Laura Simms, illustrated by David Catrow
Rating: one star (out of four)

This book was very interesting...a little too interesting.  I was disgusted by some of the illustrations and descriptions.  The story wasn't impressive and I didn't care for any of the characters.  I wouldn't recommend.

Book Review #779
Good Morning To You, Valentine by Lee Bennett Hopkins, illustrated by Tomie dePaola
Rating: two stars (out of four)

I was not impressed with all the poems in this book.  Some of them were cute, but the majority just didn't do anything for me.  I liked Tomie's illustrations though.  I probably wouldn't recommend.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Book Review #778
Luna by Julie Anne Peters
Rating: zero stars (out of four)

I picked this book up without reading what it was about. You'd think by now I'd quit doing this sort of thing. Well, I was in for a big surprise when I started reading it. I was interested in how the author would make this book work, but I was sadly disappointed in the content and the overuse of cliche and stereotypes. The characters were flat and not fully developed. They were going through the motions, but I never believed anything they said or did. There were also some scenes that I thought were immoral and unnecessary for the plot. A couple of the side characters really bothered me as well, I couldn't get why the author made them so annoying and despicable. I did not like this book at all and I would NEVER recommend it.

Book Review #777
Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon
Rating: one star (out of four)

I found this book disturbing and dark. I did not appreciate a couple scenes that were either violent or disturbing and sometimes both. These scenes were described in enough detail to make me squeamish. I thought the book was really interesting, but I didn't like the story line as much as I should or how it ended. Even though the ending could be described as "realistic" it just didn't fly for me because of all the other fantasy elements. The author could have easily pulled off a something a little happier for the characters. I would not recommend this book.

Book Review #776
Wings by Aprilynne Pike
Rating: three stars (out of four)

Initial thoughts: I'm wavering on whether this book is 2 stars, or 3. I can't decide because of the ending, that left me going, "What?! That can't be the ending! No, wait, I'm sure there's more pages..." and realizing that this is probably a series and I am in big trouble because this book was just published 1 month ago.

Review: This book was really intriguing. I liked how the author took an aspect that is pretty common and made it her own. I liked the main character and felt that her struggles were real, they didn't seem fake or forced. The love triangle was interesting as well, I couldn't help but root for David though. I would recommend this book, it is an alternative faerie book set in a contemporary setting.

Book Review #775
Saving Juliet by Suzanne Selfors
Rating: one star (out of four)

The major problem I had with this book was how unbelievable everything seemed. I didn't like the main character and thought that some of her thoughts and actions weren't natural, but a bit forced. Troy was a character I had a hard time with because he was stereotyped and I thought he was phony. I would have liked this book more if the characters and storyline had been more developed and had more descriptions. There was one scene that I didn't like at all and it didn't need to be that in-depth and the main character's reaction to it was not good, she should have had more thoughts and feelings. I would not recommend.

Book Review #774
Define "Normal" by Julie Anne Peters
Rating: two stars (out of four)

There were a couple interesting plot developments in this book that kept me mildly interested, but I wasn't overly impressed. I liked that the characters were not complete stereotypes and had problems they were trying to resolve, but I wanted the author to go deeper into their characters and make them more real. The cover is what first attracted me to the book, but it didn't turn out to be as interesting as I would have liked. I probably wouldn't recommend.

Book Review #773
The Ordinary Princess by M. M. Kaye
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This book had sweet sentiments and a nice storyline, but I found it a little, well, ordinary. There was nothing remarkable about this book, and it was actually a little predictable. I liked the main character though, and I felt like she was real person, if not a little random for a princess. This story was simplistic, but I enjoyed it. I might recommend.

Book Review #772
The Loser's Guide To Life And Love by A. E. Cannon
Rating: one star (out of four)

I kept expecting things to get better with this book. While I thought the concept and predicament of these characters would be a funny and amusing tale, the plot often fell short. I didn't care for the main character and thought he lacked substance that would have made him more dimensional and likable. The best friend was too weird for my taste, I couldn't see how these two guys had remained friends. I wouldn't recommend this book.

Book Review #771
Carter Finally Gets It by Brent Crawford
Rating: zero stars (out of four)

I was completely NOT impressed with this book. It is degrading, immoral, and portrays teenage boys as rude, aggressive, insensitive nitwits who aren't deserving of any girl's attention whatsoever. The sexual content of this book was offensive and I thought the plot was going no where and held no relevant information. A total waste of time. This book is extremely offensive and tries to play it off as crude humor or sloppy freshmen boys who don't know better. I'm sorry, but if you are in high school you know better then to treat people like that. I have zero tolerance for books that are demoralizing for women and girls. I would never in a million years recommend this book.

Book Review #770
Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin
Rating: one star (out of four)

I picked up this book because the premise sounded really intriguing and I wanted to see how the author would develop the plot. I was annoyed with the beginning, I kept waiting for something more interesting to happen. Every couple pages I would say, "okay, maybe the next section they'll do something" but I was bored. It only got interesting when they got to the island. Once they were on the island there were several problems with the characters. I never really cared for the main character, and I thought her relationship with Owen were unrealistic and superficial. I didn't see the attraction for either characters and could have cared less about their problems. The ending is what really did it in for me. I did not like it at all and I wished it had ended differently. I don't know if the author was trying to prove a point or just look at things from a different angle, but I was not impressed and it ruined it for me. I would not recommend this book.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Book Review #769
The Perils Of Quad by Carl Joglar
Rating: three stars (out of four)

The first sentence was excellent.  It left me intrigued.  Without even thinking, I was already reading the next couple of lines.  The story was fairly good about keeping you hooked and guessing.  I don't remember ever being bored.  After I put it down, I found that the story would wander around in my head for a little bit.  I was impressed with all the science fiction elements, I just wished that they had been a little more developed.  The main character, Bodi, was likable.  I loved all his other "names", especially the robotic version.  The beginning of this book was a tad bit different from the middle and the ending.  It was a little slow going, but once things got up to speed, it went along fairly smoothly.  I absolutely loved the way Carl threw in all assortments of words that have faded from everyday use.  The style of language was superb and I enjoyed seeing some of my favorite words in print.  

I was pretty caught up in the story.  There were several parts throughout the book where the story would shift suddenly and I would go, "what?" then "no way!" and eagerly turn the page to see what would happen next.  But along with those startling discoveries were some loose ends.  There were just a couple bits of things that never got explained, or dropped out of the picture completely.  They were slightly unnerving, but I was easily able to forgive them because of the general feel of the rest of the story.  I would have liked it if some of the other characters were a little more developed - like Phoenix and Bodi's mother.  Some parts of the story were a little disconcerting.  The story would jump from one spot to anther with just a sentence.  I would have liked some more closure before jumping off to the next segment.  

I really enjoyed this book.  It kept me reading. The story was engaging, and I wanted to know what would happen next.  My only complaints were some unmentioned plot details, scenes I wanted more fleshed out, and slightly jarring switches from scene to scene.  This book reminded me of Maximum Ride by James Patterson crossed with science fiction, only not nearly as violent and graphic.  I would recommend.

Book Review #768
The Quilt Story by Tony Johnston, illustrated by Tomie dePaola
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This was a sweet story.  I liked how it all tied back together and made a loop.  The illustrations were lovely, it is hard not to like Tomie's endearing drawings.  I would probably recommend.

Book Review #767
Olivia Saves The Circus by Ian Falconer
Rating: three stars (out of four)

Olivia's imagination is quite spectactular.  She can get into all kinds of trouble just by thinking.  I love watching what sort of antics Ian Falconer will cook up for this delightful character.  The pictures made me laugh.  I would definitely recommend.  

Book Review #766
Westward Ho, Carlotta! by Candace Fleming, illustrated by David Catrow
Rating: two stars (out of four)

The pictures in this book are quite crazy.  But insanely enough, they match the story fairly well.  This story is bizarre and far-fetched.  But it somehow manages to be slightly entertaining - making it not a complete waste of time.  Still, this book is not something I'd go around recommending right and left.

Book Review #765
The Long, Long Letter by Elizabeth Burr, illustrated by David Catrow
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This book was a little odd.  I'm not sure it is something that kids would enjoy.  I found it very strange and was a little puzzled when I finished it.  The ending was nicely wrapped up and all, but I didn't feel anything.  I probably wouldn't recommend.

Book Review #764
Our Tree Named Steve by Alan Zweibel, illustrated by David Catrow
Rating: three stars (out of four)

This was such a sweet book.  I loved the illustrations, the colors, faces, and characters were so marvelously drawn, especially Steve.  I had tears in my eyes when I finished this book.  I would definitely recommend.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Book Review #763
Willy And May by Judy Schachner
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This was a sweet story.  I liked the relationship between the aunt and the niece.  The illustrations were lovely, I caught myself staring at them sometimes longer then the text.  I would probably recommend.

Book Review #762
The Grannyman by Judy Schachner
Rating: three stars (out of four)

This was such a sweet book about an old cat.  I loved the illustrations, they were comical, endearing, and brimming with life.  I would definitely recommend this book, especially if you were a fan of cats, particularly ones full of spunk.

Book Review #761
Kit And Kat by Tomie dePaola
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This was a fairly entertaining and cute read.  I liked how the cats solved all their problems.  It was fun to see what they would do in each circumstance.  I would probably recommend.

Book Review #760
Cinderella Skeleton by Robert D. San Souci, illustrated by David Catrow
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This book is a cross between Tim Burton's two films 'The Corpse Bride' and 'Nightmare Before Christmas' mixed with the generic Cinderella story.  It is a very odd mixture.  There were some things that I thought were a little too creepy, and some things that almost made me smirk.  Still, this book was just a little to0 off for my tastes.  I would be wary of recommending it to young children.  The illustrations do their fair share of portraying the story and might frighten some kids.  

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Book Review #759
Where Do Balloons Go by Jamie Lee Curtis, illustrated by Laura Cornell
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This was an interesting book.  The pictures were pretty bright and amusing.  I liked the concept of the book, but wasn't quite satisfied with the ending.  I would probably still recommend though.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Book Review #758
Secrets In The Hills by Kathleen Ernst
Rating: two stars (out of four)

A nice book.  I liked all the references to Spanish and Mexico, they gave the book a more real feel.  I thought Josefina was a little young to be contemplating her future so seriously, but I appreciated how close she was with her family.  I would probably recommend to fans of the Josefina series.

Book Review #757
Olivia Counts by Ian Falconer
Rating: three stars (out of four)

A crazily funny book told only in the voice that is Olivia.  This board book was cute and fun, I would recommend.

Book Review #756
Olivia's Opposites by Ian Falconer
Rating: three stars (out of four)

This a cute little book, told in Olivia's spunky style.  I enjoyed this short board book and would definitely recommend, it is highly amusing.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Book Review #755
A Thief In The Theater by Sarah Masters Buckey
Rating: two stars (out of four)

Kit is a take-charge sort of girl, who doesn't let setbacks easily overtake her.  I thought this book was fairly entertaining, and I was puzzled over who was the thief until they revealed it at the very end.  I would probably recommend for fans of the Kit series.