Thursday, July 29, 2010

Book Review #1053 Tyrone's Story by Sigmund Brouwer

Book Review #1053
Degree's of Guilt: Tyrone's Story by Sigmund Brouwer
Rating: one star (out of four)

I was not a fan of this series. I'm not sure why I continued reading, expect I kind of wanted some sort of conclusion to the first two books. But I was highly dissatisfied. I didn't like the characters or their actions. While I thought the story had an interesting message, (taking a drastic look at drugs and the trials of misuse) I still felt like it was dark and heavy. The characters were not lovable and I did not really see the point of the series except it seemed to preach that drugs could have drastic and horrible consequences. It mainly showed how people could get caught on a path ruining other peoples' lives. Not something I'd recommend.
Book Review #1052
Bingo's Big Adventure by Julia King
Rating: two stars (out of four)

I was impressed with most of the photography in this book and enjoyed that the story was told this way instead of with illustrations. The colorful backgrounds that accompanied the text was also pleasing because it was not a boring white layout. I was a little disappointed in the textual story though and didn't feel like it was as engaging as the photos. But for the most part I enjoyed this book.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Book Review #1051
The Big Pets by Lane Smith
Rating: one star (out of four)

I was not impressed with this book. The story meandered around and didn't seem to have much of a purpose or a plot. The illustrations were weird, but not in an endearing way. I thought this book needed help - it was lacking something that would have made it decent. I don't have many books written by Lane Smith I don't like, but this is one of them.

Book Review #1050 Something Like Fate by Susane Colasanti

Book Review #1050
Something Like Fate by Susane Colasanti
Rating: one star (out of four)

I'm not realy sure how I stumbled across this book. It's not the sort of thing I typically read. Going into this book, you know what's going to happen - it's practically screaming at you from the cover. But you read to see how things unfold; how the story will be told. And while it was a fairly interesting predicament, I wasn't compeltely fascinated by the story. I knew things would get explosive - as only these types of relationships can get. But I wasn't impressed with the characters or the way they resolved things. I didn't enjoy this book and wouldn't recommend.

Book Review #1049
The Big Elephant in the Room by Lane Smith
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This was a humorous book. I liked seeing how the characters responded to each scenario and what it ended up escalating to. The illustrations were wacky and suited the mood of the book. The ending was funny and I enjoyed seeing how miscommunication could make such a crazy story.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Book Review #1048 The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

Book Review #1048
The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
Rating: one star (out of four)

I thought this book had an interesting premise and I wanted to see how the author dealt with this tough subject. But I was majorly disappointed. I thought the characters were shallow and I was annoyed with how they reacted. Sure, there were parts of the book that were very emotional and I even cried some...but at the end, I was a little sorry I had read this book. I didn't outright hate it, but I was definitely not a fan. I loved the poems though and enjoyed reading them at the start and end of every chapter. I felt like there needed to be more development in the love triangle as well - it seemed weak. (There was some mature content in this book if that sort of thing that bugs you.) While this story had some heart-breaking poignant sections about grief, I just couldn't get over some of the characters and their actions. I wouldn't recommend.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Book Review #1047 Beastly by Alex Flinn

Book Review #1047
Beastly by Alex Flinn
Rating: one star (out of four)

I was not a fan. I'm not really sure why I didn't like this book - there wasn't anything glaring or major, but it was like a bunch of little things that added up over time. I thought the relationships were superficial. I didn't buy the romance between the beast and the girl. It seemed too easy; it happened too fast and there wasn't enough development to make it believable. There were too many holes in the plot and things that were overlooked or brushed aside. It was just a disappointment. Not my favorite fairy tale rendition and I wouldn't recommend.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Book Review #1046
Time to Sleep, Sheep the Sheep by Mo Willems
Rating: two stars (out of four)

I didn't like this book as much as the others in the series and I'm not sure why. I loved the bright and simplistic illustrations, the cute characters and funny text, but for some reason, this book wasn't as funny. I still enjoyed reading it, I'm just not going to be buying it anytime soon.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Book Review #1045
The Wings of Leo Spencer by Jerome Parisse
Rating: one star (out of four)

This story kept me slightly interested and the storyline moved at a pretty fast pace, there were just some other negative factors that kept this book from getting a higher rating. I felt like some of the conversations were a little flat and I wanted the characters to be more well-rounded. I never felt attached to the main character or why he was being singled out. I also didn't like the portrayal of heaven and didn't see how Leo seemed to get away with stuff and everybody was fine with it. I didn't appreciate the ending and how easily the Father of Lies was defeated by 3 people, (children no less) and I didn't get why Leo's family could all of a sudden see him in the story. I did not see the point to this book. After getting to the end I wished I hadn't wasted my time reading the story. The plot didn't flow well and I didn't care for the characters at all. I'm not sure why I finished it...except that it was short and so I thought it wouldn't take much time. I might have also thought the ending would solve some of my confusion, but I was wrong. I would not recommend this book at all. The characters fell flat and the plot doesn't go anywhere.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Book Review #1044 The Siege of Macindaw by John Flanagan

Book Review #1044
The Siege of Macindaw by John Flanagan
Rating: four stars (out of four)

I'm not sure how Flanagan does it - but each of his books really drive the action forward and build such remarkable suspense. I really enjoy this series! I had only started out merely liking the books, but as I became obsessed and started rapidly reading all the books, I realized I needed to give them higher ratings. I think the action/adventure throughout this series is appropriate and doesn't go over the line into dark and disturbing. The characters are lovable and I couldn't help but sit on the edge of my seat and wonder what would happen next. I pretty much gobbled up this series. Definitely a recommend.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Book Review #1043 The Sorcerer of the North by John Flanagan

Book Review #1043
The Sorcerer of the North by John Flanagan
Rating: four stars (out of four)

As thrilling as past books! Flanagan seems to have this knack for leaving readers in stitches at the end of his books and I always want to immediately read the next one. That's why I pretty much read all of these books in such a short span of time. I couldn't make myself put them down or go and read something else. I was completely engrossed in this world and so in love with the characters and setting! This story was just as interesting as previous books and I thought Flanagan did a good job of creating believable suspense and character development. I kept reading and I wanted so badly to know how things would end. Definitely a series I'd recommend. I feel like both genders would appreciate this series too.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Book Review #1042 The Battle for Skandia by John Flanagan

Book Review #1042
The Battle for Skandia by John Flanagan
Rating: four stars (out of four)

When you think things are going to get better for the characters...Flanagan throws readers for another loop by incorporating something completely different and yet, still totally interesting into the series. I was hoping to see how things worked out for Will in this book, and I definitely got more than I bargained for - but it was good. Flanagan creates a good balance of high stake adventures without leaving readers annoyed or overly worried for the characters. I just was along for the ride and loving every minute of the plot twists. Also, I'm pretty sure my love for Halt grows by leaps and bounds in every book. I just can't get enough of him. Will is endearing too, but I feel like Halt will always be my favorite. I cannot wait to see what happens next in this series!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Book Review #1041 Need by Carrie Jones

Book Review #1041
Need by Carrie Jones
Rating: two stars (out of four)

While I thought this story had an eye-catching cover and interesting premise; the story didn't impress me much. It felt a lot like a bunch of other fantasy/urban fantasy books I had been reading lately and didn't have enough variation to make it stand out in the crowd. The main character didn't catch my attention and it was hard for me to relate to her struggles. I thought the story was interesting, but I wasn't super vested in the plot or people. I do think people who are fans of this type of fairy/werewolf/otherworldly creature type of fantasy will probably like this book. It just didn't cut it for me and I probably won't be reading the sequel.

Book Review #1040
Kestrel's Midnight Song by J. R. Parker
Rating: two stars (out of four)

I received this book as an advance readers copy. I thought the cover artwork was well done and I loved the magnificent bird. The huge bird were thought-out and displayed quite nicely as the cover art, it didn't have any cheesy elements or design flaws (that I could tell). The story's beginning was intriguing and left you wanting to know what happened next. I also thought the minor characters were well-rounded and had distinct personalities.

I wanted the main characters to be more fleshed-out, I never felt like I truly got to know them as well as I should have. I saw what they were doing through the course of the story, but I'm not sure if I knew exactly why they felt called to do the things they did. I wanted a better picture of what was going on inside their heads. Some of the story details were a little lacking - I didn't know why certain things happened or I was confused with how some of the characters had decided upon an action.

There were a couple parts in the story where I didn't follow the events because the timeline was unclear.  I also felt like there were some gaps in the plot where things were left unexplained or things were resolved too quickly. While I was interested in how the story was going, I didn't feel like some of the trials that happened were as difficult as I would have liked. I felt like the characters accomplished their tasks too easily. Some of the dialogue was a stiff or cumbersome. I didn't like Bart because I couldn't understand him, he didn't seem to serve much of a purpose (besides one factor). I felt like his character wasn't deep enough - sometimes I thought he was incredibly dull and I couldn't see why Micah would bother having him around at all. I felt like there was a lot of things left unsaid about his personality and I didn't see how well he fit into the story.

I didn't see the twist at the end and I thought the author did a good job of masking how that played out. I was surprised, but it was a good surprise. This book was written while the author was a teenager and while it did have an interesting and original concept, I thought some of the follow-through needed work. The main characters needed to be more developed and some of the plot structures needed tweaking to ensure a smooth and enjoyable read. I thought it was an interesting read and had good aspects, I just think it needs to be more polished before I could recommend it.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Book Review #1039 Princess of Glass by Jessica Day George

Book Review #1039
Princess of Glass by Jessica Day George
Rating: two stars (out of four)

For some reason, I didn't like this book as much as I had expected. While I was excited to be back in the same world as the twelve dancing princesses and I was looking forward to another perspective; I just didn't have as much fun in this book as previous George books. The characters were interesting and I thought the remake of Cinderella was relevant and intriguing. I just didn't find myself falling in love with the story. I figured out some of the plot twists before they were revealed and that was kind of fun - to stay on top of the story and such - but at the end I wasn't as satisfied. It had genuine characters, a good story, and was a clean read. It just wasn't quite what I was expecting and didn't catch my fancy. It was entertaining and I think if you like fairy tale remakes you'll probably enjoy this book.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Book Review #1038 The Icebound Land by John Flanagan

Book Review #1038
The Icebound Land by John Flanagan
Rating: three stars (out of four)

I can't help but love Halt. He's such an endearing a gruff and tough sort of way, but you clearly see how much he cares for Will and how he would be willing to do almost anything to keep him safe. This book took a really interesting turn and it was full of action and kept the story going at a fast pace. I was really wondering how the author was going to wrap up things with Will and Evanlyn. I pretty much raced towards the end of this book because I wanted to know what would happen next. Horace and Halt's adventures were good too - and I didn't feel that they distracted from the other aspects of the story.

Book Review #1037 The Last Dance by Melody Carlson

Book Review #1037
The Last Dance by Melody Carlson
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This conclusion to the Carter House Girls series was pretty good. I felt like it wrapped up things well and the drama and conflict were handled adequately. The characters did not make a lasting impression on me though and at the end of the series I didn't feel elation or joy that the girls were now grown up. I thought some of the girls were still obnoxious and I wasn't sad to see them go. But I did wish some things had worked out differently. Not sure I'd recommend the whole series unless you were already a Melody Carlson fan or appreciated this genre.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Book Review #1036 The Burning Bridge by John Flanagan

Book Review #1036
The Burning Bridge by John Flanagan
Rating: three stars (out of four)

I've really been enjoying this series. I thought this book did a good job of further developing Will and his skills. I also felt there was good relationship building. Flanagan incorporated interesting twists and turns throughout the story to keep readers engaged and especially anxious for the next book. It was a fast and adventurous read. It was a mix between fantasy and arthurian. It definitely made me want to read the next books!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Book Review #1035
The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan
Rating: four stars (out of four)

After I finished the first book in this series I was desperate to get my hands on the second. I'm not usually a big fan of zombie books, but I love this series! This book was completely different than I had imagined, but it was still as thrilling and adventurous as The Forest of Hands and Teeth. I was really intrigued by the way the tables had turned on the people and how they were living in this zombie-land. I also loved the title and cover; they are equal parts disturbing, interest-piquing, and eye-catching. I admired the main character and thought she was portrayed realistically. Definitely excited to see how it's all going to end in the last book! I'd recommend this series, especially for fans of dark fantasies and thrillers.