Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Pathfinder--Orson Scott Card

Title: Pathfinder
Author: Orson Scott Card
Publisher: Simon Pulse, 2010
Pages: 657 p.
Source: Library e-book
Compensation: None
Read: October 2016

Orson Scott Card's Pathfinder

I read Pathfinder nearly a year ago (yes, I know, I've gotten so horrible at these reviews. I think often of just scrapping this blog altogether, but it's hard to let go.) and my brain still hurts. It's the type of sci-fi time travel book that keeps you up at night thinking of paradoxes and how it all works. I loved it.

Rigg has had a strange education--taught by his unemotional father to excel in game theory and politics and survival. He has a strange talent too; he can "see" the paths of people's pasts. When Rigg's father dies in a freak accident, he must use his talents and skills to figure out the truth of his own past and his real identity. He teams up with a childhood friend, Umbo, who has a unique talent of his own and the two of them set out on a dangerous journey through the country and through time.

Juxtaposed with Rigg's story is another suspenseful one chronicling a spaceship that has split into 19 different versions of itself and its captain Ram. This story is completely gripping and while you know it will relate to Rigg's story eventually, it's quite fun to try to figure out how.

I really liked Rigg's character, as well as his super team of talented friends. I enjoyed the two separate stories and found myself thinking of the book often and wanting to read more. 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

I Woke Up Dead at the Mall--Judy Sheehan

Title: I Woke Up Dead at the Mall
Author: Judy Sheehan
Publisher: Delacorte, 2016
Pages: 288 p
Source: Library ebook
Compensation: None
Read: October 2016

This is another one of those books that I found while searching my library's ebook collection for something quick and fun. The title stuck out at me as something I might be interested in.

16 year old Sarah has her whole life ahead of her--until she wakes up dead at the mall. That's right, purgatory is at the mall. Sarah hasn't moved on because she still has unfinished business that she can't let go. Although there was nothing exciting or dangerous about Sarah's life, she was murdered and she needs to find out who did it. Her death coach wants her to find peace and accept that her life is over, but when Sarah has a pretty good idea who the culprit is and discovers that her father's life is also in danger, she knows she can't move on until she does everything she can to save his life. In the meantime she flirts with fellow ghost Nick and hatches a plan for them to stay together and avoid the dreaded "mall walker" curse of ghosts who lose focus and get stuck at the mall.

This was a solid ok read. It was nice and quick and entertaining. There wasn't anything really groundbreaking or extraordinary, but it was a good book.


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

I am Princess X--Cherie Priest

Title: I am Princess X
Author: Cherie Priest
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine, 2015
Pages: 256 p
Source: Library Ebook
Compensation: None
Read: September 2016

May and Libby are best friends who do everything together, including writing and illustrating a comic featuring a sword carrying heroine called Princess X. When Libby dies in a car crash, May is devastated and withdraws from everything. Until she starts noticing stickers around town with the Princess X image. She starts investigating and discovers an underground culture devoted to Princess X and becomes convinced her friend Libby is at the center of it all.

This was a good quick entertaining read. The story was interesting and suspenseful and kept me up reading late at night. I was looking for something to read on my iPad and the cover was intriguing enough to make me read the description. I can't truly remember if there were any formatting issues with the ebook and the illustrations, but I do remember thinking they were a nice touch.


Monday, February 06, 2017

Cursed--Jennifer L. Armentrout

Title: Cursed
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press, 2012
Pages: 304 p
Source: library ebook
Compensation: None
Read: September 2016
Jennifer L. Armentrout's Cursed

Ember and her younger sister have strange abilities ever since being in a car crash. Ember technically died in the crash, but she was brought back to life by her sister. In true yin-yang fashion, while her little sister can bring things back from the dead, Ember's touch is like poison and is fatal to anyone around her. Ember's Dad died in the crash (but was too dead-dead to be brought back) and her mom has been catatonic with grief, so Ember is left alone to take care of her little sister and try to keep their abilities a secret. Then she meets Hayden, a cute boy claiming he can help them both control their "gifts". Ember is intrigued by Hayden but suspicious of his adopted father who seems to be collecting kids with gifts. Is she helping her sister or leading them both into a trap?

I wanted to like this more than I did. I thought the plot was interesting, but it felt a bit incomplete. It was worth the read, but it could have been better. I was left feeling a bit unsatisfied, like there was more that could have been explored.


Friday, February 03, 2017

Holding Up the Universe--Jennifer Niven

Title: Holding Up the Universe
Author: Jennifer Niven
Publisher: Random House Children's Books, 2016
Pages: 400 p
Source: VOYA
Compensation: None
Read: September 2016
Jennifer Niven's Holding Up the Universe

Three years after Libby Strout was named “America’s Fattest Teen” and was airlifted out of her house, she is ready to start her junior year of high school and put her infamous past behind her. She is determined to make up for lost time and to be the girl who can do anything—if only her classmates will see her for who she truly is instead of just seeing her size. Jack Masselin is one of the cool kids, the popular kids, who seem to have everything easy. But Jack is hiding a big secret that could jeopardize his entire school life. Jack has a disorder called prosopagnosia, an inability to recognize faces. Each morning he wakes up his family and friends are strangers to him. Relying on hair styles (that can change) and personality traits to identify his family and friends is getting harder to do as Jack gets older. When Libby is the victim of a cruel joke and Jack is the reluctant perpetrator, they are both sent to group counseling, where they learn that they are not as alone as they thought.

Told in chapters alternating Libby and Jack’s point of view, Holding Up the Universe is a thoughtful story of friendship and love. Both Libby and Jack are vulnerable flawed characters who find peace when they find each other and the strength to be honest with themselves and their loved ones. A worthy addition to any YA collection, this story is engaging and difficult to put down.


Thursday, February 02, 2017

Haters, The--Jesse Andrews

Title: The Haters
Author: Jesse Andrews
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams, 2016
Pages: 336 p.
Source: Library
Compensation: None
Read: July 2016
Jesse Andrews' The Haters

Wes and Corey are all set for another boring summer at music band camp when they run into free-spirited singer Ash and have a totally inspired monster jam session. They decide that the three of them mesh so well together that rather than waste their time at camp, they should take their new act to the road. Because gigging across America is the only way to truly refine your musical chops. Their road trip is not without some hilarious drama.

I read this book while we were camping and I distinctly remember being in my sleeping bag with a flashlight because I couldn't put it down. I also remember trying not to giggle and wake my kids up. The Haters was an enjoyable coming-of-age book and is sure to delight music fans, as well as kids who just want a regular realistic funny non-dystopian read.


Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Star of Deltora: Two Moons--Emily Rodda

Title: Star of Deltora: Two Moons
Author: Emily Rodda
Publisher: Kane Miller, 2016
Pages:165 p.
Source: Purchased
Compensation: None
Read: July 2016

Disclaimer: I chose to buy this book and review it on my own. This review has NOT been paid for, but I did receive a 25% commission for purchasing the book through my Usborne Books & More Independent Consultant business.
Emily Rodda's Star of Deltora: Two Moons

Britta has passed the preliminary test to be the newest apprentice on the Trader ship, Rosalyn, in this sequel to Shadows of the Master. Now she must sail with the other three finalists and continue to prove she is worthy of working with the Trader Mab. Her sailing companions are as desperate as she is to win the contest, but one of them will stop at nothing to succeed, even if it means violence. As Britta navigates the dangerous path to Apprenticeship, she learns more about her father's mysterious quest for the Staff of Tier and begins to suspect there is something more sinister than ambitious humans on her journey. 

I enjoyed this one just as much as the first. It's a very quick read and full of adventure and intrigue.  I'm looking forward to continuing the series and getting some answers. 


Monday, January 30, 2017

Star of Deltora: Shadows of the Master--Emily Rodda

Title: Star of Deltora: Shadows of the Master
Author: Emily Rodda
Publisher: Kane Miller, 2016
Pages: 165 p.
Source: Purchased
Compensation: None
Read: July 2016

Disclaimer: I chose to buy this book and review it on my own. This review has NOT been paid for, but I did receive a 25% commission for purchasing the book through my Usborne Books & More Independent Consultant business.

Emily Rodda's Star of Deltora: Shadows of the Master

Shadows of the Master is the first in a series about a young girl desperate to be a trader like her father. Traders are sailors that explore different lands and trade the goods found there. Unfortunately for Britta she cannot reveal who her famous trader father was because he disgraced himself searching for a mysterious object. Britta has been living in hiding ever since, but when she has a once in a lifetime opportunity to compete for a position on her father's old ship, she knows she has to go for it.

I really enjoyed this quick fantasy novel. Britta is strong and brave, but not perfect. At times she is completely oblivious to things happening right in front of her. I was intrigued by the whole trading lifestyle, as well as the mysterious magical elements of the King in the Shadows watching her. Full of adventure and a bit of suspense, Shadows of the Master was enough to entertain both my nine year old daughter and me.


Friday, January 27, 2017

Flamecaster--Cinda Williams Chima

Title: Flamecaster
Author: Cinda Williams Chima
Publisher: HarperCollins, 2016
Pages: 535 p.
Source: Library
Compensation: None
Read: July 2016

Cinda Williams Chima's Flamecaster

This book is the first in a sequel series to Cinda Williams Chima's earlier series, The Seven Realms. I enjoyed that series immensely and Flamecaster was no different. This one takes place many years later and features the son of Han and Raisa, Ash. When a series of murders puts the royal family in danger, Ash escapes to the dangerous rival country, Arden. He gets close enough to the man behind the murders, the treacherous King, but can the healer Ash take a life instead of save one? At the same time, a young girl Jenna, is hunted by the King's people because of a mysterious mark on her back. Ash and Jenna are thrown together in their quest to overcome the cruel King.

I love this Universe and Chima has a way of making you care for characters. As a fan of the first series, the opening chapters were heartbreaking for me. I'm not exaggerating when I say I had a big ol' lump in my throat. While this series can stand alone--there's enough background information to understand the conflict--knowledge of the first series will enhance enjoyment of this one. As well as increase the sucker punch feel. Highly recommend!

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Thursday, January 26, 2017

Traveler--Arwen Elys Dayton

Title: Traveler
Author: Arwen Elys Dayton
Publisher: Delacorte Press, 2016
Pages: 402 p.
Source: Library
Compensation: None
Read: July 3, 2016

Arwen Elys Dayton's "Traveler"

Traveler is the second book in an interesting fantasy trilogy about a group of people who can manipulate time. The first book, Seeker, set the stage for the conflict. This second book continues where it left off. I read it half a year ago (yes, I am just reviewing it now, yes, I need to schedule my life better) and while some of the details are fuzzy as I try now to write the review, most of the story has stayed with me--which is one of my benchmarks for a good book.

Quin Kincaid is a strong heroine, battling her controlling evil father, her controlling revenge-seeking ex-boyfriend, and dealing with her new relationship with Shinobu. There's more history of the Seeker families, as well as information on the Dreads. It's absolutely necessary to read the first book in the series to understand any of what is going on, although there are flashbacks and reminders to events from Seeker. Once again, I found myself drawn to the Young Dread's story and I'm excited to discover that there is a novella all about her! I'm looking forward to reading that as well as the conclusion to the trilogy.


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