Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Book Review: Wonder, by R. J. Palacio

Wonder
By: R. J. Palacio
RJPalacio.com
ISBN-10: 0375969020
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Auggie has been homeschooled all his life and is about to start going to public school. If the idea of being the “new kid” at school wasn’t terrifying enough, Auggie has another problem he’s worried about: his face has been deformed since birth, and he knows other kids won’t react well to his disfiguration.

Wonder is an emotional middle grade contemporary novel. It includes:

• Bullying
• Insults
• Kids fighting and physical, as well as verbal, assaults
• Auggie’s older sister has a boyfriend, and they kiss a few times
• Some seventh-graders smoke

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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Book Review: Wonderstruck, by Brian Selznick

Wonderstruck
By: Brian Selznick
www.WonderstrucktheBook.com
ISBN-10: 0545027896
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Ben and Rose are both deaf, and they both run away to New York one cold, stormy night—Rose to pursue her dream of becoming an actress, and Ben to find his father whom he has never met. But the children’s stories are set fifty years apart, so how will they come together, in the end?

It includes:

• Stealing
• Someone’s mother is divorced
• One character is the result of a brief romance
• Some drawings are spooky and suspenseful
• Smoking

Wonderstruck is indeed a wonder-filled middle grade novel. Rose’s tale is told through drawings, and Ben’s through words. The story is hopeful and uplifting, especially the way it ends.

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Monday, March 6, 2017

Book Review: The Reluctant Assassin (W.A.R.P., Book 1), by Eoin Colfer

The Reluctant Assassin (W.A.R.P., book 1)
By: Eoin Colfer
www.EoinColfer.com
ISBN-10: 1423161629
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In Victorian London, Riley is an apprentice to the evil assassin, Garrick. In the future, Chevron, nicknamed Chevie, is a young FBI agent. With the help of a brilliant and slightly destructive time-traveling invention, Riley and Chevie will team up to defeat Garrick before he can carry out his plan to conquer the world.

It contains:

• Violence (people are killed by a canon, knives, and guns; descriptions of blood, a woman is cut in half, poisoning, kidnapping, a forced tattoo, mutations, illnesses, and fistfights)
• Profanity (a few uses of d*mn and h*ll)
• Drinking and smoking

The Reluctant Assassin is an entertaining science fiction novel by the author of Artemis Fowl.

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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Book Review: Burned (Burned, Book 1), by Ellen Hopkins

Burned (Burned, book 1)
By: Ellen Hopkins
www.EllenHopkins.com
ISBN-10: 1416903542
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Pattyn lives in a strict religious community where her father beats her and her mother. Searching for any kind of escape from her difficult, everyday life, Pattyn starts having a secret and forbidden relationship with a boy at school . . . But soon her father finds out and sends her to live on her aunt’s peaceful ranch as punishment, where Pattyn’s emotions finally begin to settle down and she meets the man of her dreams, Ethan.

Burned is written in free verse and deals with some harsh subjects, and the ending is sad and unsatisfactory. Readers should be aware that the main character’s family’s Mormon religion is portrayed in a negative light, though Pattyn’s aunt talks freely about the love of God. There is also a sequel titled Smoke.

It contains:

• Profanity (F-word, sh*t, b*tch, d*mn, and cr*p)
• Sexuality (making out, several sex scenes without much description, mention of a condom breaking)
• One of Pattyn’s brothers is homosexual and his father disowned him
• References to periods and period pads
• Reference to miscarriages
• Violence (a car accident, a husband beats his wife and daughters, hunting, planning murders)
• Drinking beer, alcohol, and wine; one character is an alcoholic

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Monday, February 20, 2017

Book Review: Emerald Green (Precious Stone Trilogy, Book 3) by Kerstin Gier

Emerald Green (Precious Stone Trilogy, book 3)
By: Kerstin Gier
KerstinGier.com
ISBN-10: 1250050812
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Gwen and Gideon are having serious relationship issues, but Gwen can’t even deal with that at the moment as she is busy trying to figure out the prophecy of the Circle of Twelve, which she will play a huge role in.

It contains:

• Some passionate kisses
• A few references to women’s breasts
• Reference to a striptease
• Suggestive reference to sex
• Profanity (sh*t, b*stard, d*mn, h*ll, and one *sshole)
• Violence (references to blood, some injuries)

The language is a bit heavier in this book than in the previous installments, but the violence and sexuality are about the same as in Ruby Red and Sapphire Blue. Fans of the Precious Stone Trilogy shouldn’t be disappointed with this funny and thrilling conclusion.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Book Review: River Marked (Mercedes Thompson, Book 6), By Patricia Briggs

River Marked (Mercedes Thompson, #6)
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By: Patricia Briggs
Website
ISBN-10: 0441020003
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Honeymoons are suppose to be worry free, but between the fey, river monster, and near death experiences – Mercedes Thompson (friendly neighborhood mechanic and shape shifter) finds her honeymoon anything but.
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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Book Review: Nevermore (Maximum Ride, Book 8), By James Patterson

Book Review: Nevermore (Maximum Ride, Book 8), By James Patterson
By: James Patterson
jamespatterson.com
ISBN: 0316101842
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Many things are not what they seem.

Max's life has finally mellowed out, but a new movement is cropping up all over the place.

Its goal: To kill Fang.
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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Book Review: The Retribution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer Trilogy, Book 3), by Michelle Hodkin

The Retribution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer Trilogy, book 3)
By: Michelle Hodkin
www.MichelleHodkin.com
ISBN-10: 1442484233
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Mara is back with her friends Jamie and Stella as they search for Noah Shaw to free him from a group of controlling scientists, while at the same time trying to find out more information about their strange powers.

It includes:

• Profanity (including the F-word)
• Attempted rape
• Violence (murders, bloody hallucinations)
• A lengthy sex scene that is not described more than the character’s feeling for each other
• One teen girl thinks she might be pregnant
• Lying

The Retribution of Mara Dyer is the final installment in a paranormal romance trilogy, and in this book there is even more gore and sexuality than the previous novels, but less scary scenes. Some fans of the first two books might not be pleased with how everything turns out.

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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Book Review: Inkheart (Inkworld Trilogy, Book 1), by Cornelia Funke

Inkheart
By: Cornelia Funke
www.CorneliaFunke.com
ISBN-10: 0439709105
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Meggie’s father Mo has a job mending books and they live a happy, quiet life together, always on the move from one place to the next. But when they’re captured and brought to a castle with strange-looking creatures, Meggie learns a secret her father has been hiding that has to do with the disappearance of her mother.

It contains:

• Mild profanity (h*ll, d*mn, bloody, *ss, God)
• Violence (people are held hostage, sword fighting, some bad guys might be scary to younger readers, a villain is killed)
• Farid has a crush on Meggie
• Some villains have tattoos and piercings

Inkheart is the first book in a rich, lengthy middle grade fantasy trilogy. The story is told through many point of views, and the plot is absorbing. Inkheart is a great read for fantasy fans and book-loving tweens.

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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Book Review: Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson

Speak
By: Laurie Halse Anderson
madwomanintheforest.com
ISBN-10: 0374371520
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Melinda has a terrible secret: she was raped last summer, and she hasn’t told anyone about it. Now Melinda hardly speaks a word, but as the traumatizing event in her past continues to haunt her, and the pressure from her friends at school builds up, Melinda realizes she needs to find her voice and stand up for herself.

It contains:

• Flashback rape scene (some description)
• Sexual assault
• References to sex
• Reference to abortions
• Profanity (b*tch, d*mn, h*ll, p*ss)
• Some drinking at a party

Speak is an important young adult book focusing on a serious topic. Readers should be able to relate with Melinda’s small, scared, young voice, and will cheer for her as she finds confidence in herself. There isn’t much language, and the rape scene is only vaguely described in the main character’s memory, but the subject is still weighty, so I would only recommend this book for mature teens.

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