Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Book Review: Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson

By: Laurie Halse Anderson
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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Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Book Review: Third Grave Dead Ahead (Charley Davidson, book 3), by Darynda Jones

Third Grave Dead Ahead (Charley Davidson, book 3)
By: Darynda Jones
ISBN: 125000828X
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When a guilty husband tries to hire Charley (PI and Grim Reaper) to find his "missing" wife, Charley is determined to find her before it's too late. But her plans get thrown askew when things with Reyes take a hostile turn.

Third Grave Dead Ahead
picks up Charley's story a few weeks after the conclusion of book two, Second Grave on the Left. This installment includes more of the fun banter, ADD tendencies and quirks that make Charley Davidson such a unique and authentic feeling character. The pacing is consistent with prior books and there are interesting revelations, relationship turns, and plot twists to keep everything moving throughout.

Third Grave Dead Ahead is an adult novel and includes:
  • Profanity: B*tch, various words referring to poop and it's origin, d*mn and various iterations of the F word
  • Detailed Sex Scenes & Make out Scenes (full nudity, erections/orgasms, fingers & intimate places, etc)
  • Conversation about size of male privates
  • References to arousal and desire to be aroused
  • Admiring men's bodies in sexual ways
  • Reference to sexual and physical abuse of child
  • Psychological abuse
  • Death, past murders, intent to murder, attempted murders
  • Injuries
  • Torture (references to pain, blood, and some details true grading specific damage being done)
  • Ghosts
The Charley Davidson series is an investigative Urban Fantasy with a significant Paranormal Romance element.

More Charley Davidson Books:
  • Book 1: First Grave on the Right (Review)
  • Novella 1.5: For I Have Sinned
  • Book 2: Second Grave on the Left (Review)
  • Book 3: Third Grave Dead Ahead (Review)
  • Book 4: Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet
  • Book 5: Fifth Grave Past the Light
  • Book 6: Sixth Grave on the Edge
  • Book 7: Seventh Grave and No Body
  • Book 8: Eighth Grave After Dark (Review)
  • Book 8.5: Brighter Than the Sun (Review)
  • Book 9: The Dirt on Ninth Grave
  • Book 10: The Curse of Tenth Grave (expected publication 2016)
  • Book 11: Untitled (expected publication 2017)

Reader who enjoy Charley Davidson may also enjoy Burn for Me by Ilona Andrew.

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Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Book Review: Blue Sea Burning (The Chronicles of Egg, Book 3), by Geoff Rodkey

Blue Sea Burning (The Chronicles of Egg, book 3)
By: Geoff Rodkey
ISBN-10: 039925787X
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Egg is determined to defeat Roger Pembroke once and for all with the help of his best friend, Guts, the girl he loves, Millicent, and some hearty pirates.

Blue Sea Burning is a middle grade book that includes:

• Violence (cutting off someone’s hand, someone falling into lava and burning up, whipping a child, sword fighting, battles, and explosions)
• A dash is used in place of swear words, and some characters swear in a made-up language
• Kissing
• Pirates drinking

This final book in the action-packed, pirate-filled trilogy is an exciting and satisfying conclusion.

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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Book Review: This Song Will Save Your Life, by Leila Sales

This Song Will Save Your Life
By: Leila Sales
ISBN-10: 0374351384
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All Elise ever wanted was to be normal; to fit in at school. But when her attempts to be more like the popular kids fail, she tries to commit suicide, but fails at that, too.

Now Elise just feels like her life is a big, hopeless mess—that is, until she accidentally stumbles upon a night club and meets a group of friends who happen to be just as weird as she is.

This is a young adult book that contains:

• Attempted suicide
• Bullying
• Profanity (b*tch, godd*mn, sh*t, and lesbo)
• Someone tries to take advantage of a drunken character
• Sexual references
• An underage character makes out heavily multiple times with an adult
• Sneaking out at night
• Lying to parents
• Teens drinking and smoking; one adult is a recovered alcoholic and drug addict

This Song Will Save Your Life is a gripping and sometimes depressing story about a girl struggling to accept herself, but in the end the message is hopeful and uplifting.

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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Book Review: Finnikin of the Rock (The Lumatere Chronicles, Book 1), by Melina Marchetta

Finnikin of the Rock (The Lumatere Chronicles, book 1)
By: Melina Marchetta
ISBN-10: ISBN-10: 0763643610
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Finnikin, his guardian Sir Topher, a young novice named Evanjalin, and a thieving boy, Froi, all set off on a journey to Lumatere, the ravished kingdom that is in desperate need of a new ruler.

It contains:

• Sexual references
• Someone has sex with a prostitute (the scenes cuts off before anything happens)
• A married couple has sex in a tent and other characters can hear them
• Kissing
• References to past sexual activity
• Physical attraction
• Attempted rape
• Descriptions of a past massacre
• Drinking
• Minor profanity

Finnikin of the Rock is a moderately-paced first book in a young adult fantasy trilogy. It should be appropriate for mature teen readers.

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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Book Review: Two Ravens and One Crow (Iron Druid Chronicles, Book 4.5) by Kevin Hearne

Two Ravens and One Crow (Iron Druid Chronicles, Book 4.5)
By: Kevin Hearne
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When the crow goddess took Atticus off to get his healing tattoo repaired, he believed the Morrigan was the most dangerous thing he'd face. That was before she announced their dinner out with Norse gods - gods with a laundry list of good reasons to want him dead.

Two Ravens and One Crow is a short story set roughly six year after the events of Tricked (Iron Druid Chronicles, book 4). The story fills in some events briefly alluded to in the following book(s) and provides some key background information for Atticus' life prior to the events of Hounded.

It is not necessary to read Two Ravens and One Crow before reading Trapped.

It contains:
  • References to aroused male physiology
  • References to orgasm & ejaculation
  • Full male and female nudity
  • Sexual innuendos 
  • Magically forced Sex/rape (floor play seen, actual event off camera)
  • References to mistresses, casual sex partners and booty calls
  • Mutilation
  • Killing & premeditation of murder
  • Language includes sh*t, *ss h*le
  • Injuries: Bullet wound, blood, references to someone being torn apart

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Friday, December 9, 2016

Book Review: Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher

Thirteen Reasons Why
By: Jay Asher
ISBN-10: 1595141715
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Clay receives an unnerving package in the mail containing audiotapes from his dead classmate Hannah, who recently committed suicide. Through the tapes, Hannah explains the thirteen reasons why she killed herself.

Thirteen Reasons Why is a gripping and disturbing look at teen suicide and bullying. It contains:

• Profanity (sh*t, b*tch, d*ck, p*ss, d*mn, h*ll, *ss, and God)
• Sexual content (rumors calling a girl a slut, references to private parts, references to sex, a boy gets an erection, kissing, making out, and sexual innuendo)
• Sexual assault (a boy grabs a girl’s butt, a girl describes allowing a boy to feel her up but not liking it, a boy peeks in a girl’s window, a boy touches a girl’s legs and won’t stop when she tells him to)
• Rape scene (not described)
• Someone dies in a car crash
• Teenagers fighting
• Vandalized property
• Lying to parents
• Drinking at parties
• Contemplating suicide

This young adult standalone is well-written, but because of the serious topic and some disturbing content, I would not recommend it for anyone under fourteen.

Readers who enjoyed Thirteen Reasons Why might like other realistic fiction novels:


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Thursday, December 1, 2016

Book Review: Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days, Book 1), by Susan Ee

Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days, book 1)
By: Susan Ee
ISBN-10: 0983597014
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Penryn is trying to save her crazy mother and disabled little sister, Paige, in a chaotic angel apocalypse. One day when they’re on the run, Paige is captured by a flock of angels, and a desperate Penryn must team up with an obnoxious angel called Raffe to rescue her sister.

Angelfall is a young adult book that has many intense scenes. It contains:

• Physical attraction
• Raffe wears nothing but a towel in one scene
• Penryn wears an alluring outfit in order to gain entrance to a building
• A pair of twins convince Penryn to start a fight with another girl because they think it will be hot
• Violence (angels battle each other with magical swords, tiny demons eat humans, tearing off wings, scorpion-like angels sting and suck the life out of humans, mutilated children’s bodies are stacked in a pile)
• Some uses of d*mn and h*ll
• Drinking
• An angel claims he is agnostic

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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Book Review: How to Save a Life, by Sara Zarr

How to Save a Life
By: Sara Zarr
ISBN-10: 0316036064
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Mandy is a pregnant eighteen-year-old who comes to live with Jill, a high school student, and her mother. Jill’s mother plans to adopt Mandy’s unborn baby, and at first Jill hates the idea of a stranger moving in with them, but as she gets to know Mandy and learns some disturbing information about her past, she finds sympathy for the girl and is able to relate her sorrow with the recent death of her father.

How to Save a Life is told through Mandy and Jill’s point of views, and is a subtly emotional and heartfelt story. However, it is a young adult book and contains the following inappropriate content:

• Profanity (one or two F-words, sh*t, and cr*p)
• A flashback scene of having sex with a stranger in a field
• References to rape
• References to drinking, being hungover, and smoking cigars
• References to a boyfriend and girlfriend having had sex
• A girl mentions getting a tattoo

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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Book Review: The Invention of Hugo Cabret, by Brian Selznick

The Invention of Hugo Cabret
By: Brian Selznick
ISBN-10: 0439813786
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Hugo lives in a clock tower at a train station, and he spends his time winding the clocks, stealing to survive, and trying to fix a mysterious automaton his father left behind. When Hugo sees a girl with a key around her neck at the station, he knows he’s one step closer to solving the mystery of the automaton.

It contains:

• Stealing
• A boy’s hand is crushed in a door

The Invention of Hugo Cabret is a middle grade book about a lonely, young, orphaned boy. The story is told half in words and half in drawings and might seem a little depressing at first, but it does have a happy ending.

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