Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Book Review: The Summoning (Darkest Powers, Book 1), By Kelley Armstrong

The Summoning (Darkest Powers, Book 1)
By: Kelley Armstrong
ISBN: 0061662690
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When a sudden resurgence of seeing things that aren't there lands Chloe in a home for troubled teens, Chloe must choose between accepting her mental illness and exploring the possibility that what she believes about the world is wrong.

The Summoning, book one in the Darkest Powers Trilogy, is a young adult, urban fantasy that includes magic, necromancy, and themes of mental illness. The story is told in the first person, moderately paced and includes a number of tense and creepy moments. Readers should be aware that the ending is abrupt and inconclusive.

The Summoning Contains:
  • A word starting with a b is changed to witch mid pronunciation
  • Theft
  • Various rule breaking
  • Use of drugs/sedatives to try to control people
  • References to a young woman getting her period
  • Brief reference to using cleavage as a pocket
  • A joking remark (in a non sexual context) about it being the first time a teen boy had a teen girl in his bed.
  • Two references to a teen boy only wearing boxers and having a naked chest.   
  • Two teens are falsely accused of doing something unspecified but of a sexual nature.
  • A character with a speech impediment is teased
  • References to a cut bleeding a lot.
  • Physical Violence (Includes someone being hit over the head with a brick and someone being thrown across a room.)
  • Dead and decayed bodies (unpleasant but not super gruesome) and gross descriptions of ghosts appearing as they were in death (eyes hanging out of sockets, burn damage, hanging victim)


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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Book Review: Afterworlds, by Scott Westerfeld

By: Scott Westerfeld
ISBN-10: 1481422340
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Darcy has written a book titled Afterworlds and is on the road to getting it published. Lizzie, the main character in Darcy’s book, is stuck in a paranormal universe parallel to the real world, and is still getting used to her new job as a psychopomp, a.k.a. a grim reaper.

Afterworlds is two separate books in one novel. One story follows Darcy, and the other Lizzie. Each of the girls’ tales are entwined, and they take turns narrating by alternating chapters.

Afterworlds is an informative, medium-paced young adult book, and includes:

• Profanity (many uses of the F-word)
• Violence (a terrorist attack, a serial killer murdered young girls, killing)
• Darcy is in a homosexual relationship throughout most of the book, and she and her girlfriend kiss and cuddle
• Reference to “hooking up”
• Underage drinking

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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Book Review: Wonder, by R. J. Palacio

By: R. J. Palacio
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

By: Brian Selznick
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
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
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
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
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
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
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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