As always, I’m going to include the ones that stand out and aren’t part of a series that I haven’t been reviewing in succession. Brace yourself, I’ve read a lot of books since my last update.
Part-Time Princesses by Monica Gallagher: 4 stars – My first graphic novel, black and white images tell the story of four teenagers who are working summer jobs until they can start the real world. Unfortunately, this does not go according to plan and they quickly find themselves sinking back into new roles while trying to redefine themselves.
The Stepsister Scheme by Jim C. Hines: 3 stars – A new take on some old fairy tale favorites, tells of the life of Cinderella after she marries her prince, and other princesses who are not what they seem. Entertaining and little a fluffy, good distraction reading.
The Lightning Thief graphic novel by Rick Riordan et al: 5 stars – A great depiction of the imaginative world of Percy Jackson. Same story but told with colorful pictures: 12 year old Percy discovers he is a demi-god and the gods think he stole a magical item from them.
Heaven by Angela Johnson: 3 stars – A melancholy tale about a young girl who discovers something about her family that conflicts with her image of them and the world. Reasonably done but without enough detail for my taste.
This One Summer by Mariko & Jillian Tamaki: 4 stars – Another graphic novel that spoke to me. This one about a young girl and her summer cabin where she goes every year with her parents. But this year, her parents are fighting, her childhood friend seems too immature, and she develops a crush on a local older boy.
Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer: 4 stars – I’ve tried to read this novel many time and this round, it actually stuck. Maybe because it was an audiobook about Artemis’ adventures to catch a fairy and save his family from destitution.
Wicked Appetite by Janet Evanovich: 5 stars – What an amazing find. Magic, hot guys, and a little danger, this book has it all. Bakery chef, Lizzie, is in for a big surprise that comes in a hunky package. A guy named Diesel needs her help to track down a magical stone which turns people into gluttons.
Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight: 5 stars – A wonderfully sad yet fascinating story told through prose, text messages, emails, and Facebook posts about how a young girl killed herself and the mother’s quest to find out why. Powerful and crushing, very realistic and the back and forth of past and present was excellent.
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Alexie Sherman: 4 stars – Humorous, sad, uplifting, heartbreaking. The tale of a young Indian who wants better for himself than being stuck on the reservation. But his adventures in the all white school down the road aren’t quite what he anticipated. Filled with drawings that add character.
Red Kayak by Priscilla Cummings: 4 stars – A young boy embroiled in the after math of a tragic accident, how he is coping and how he feels responsible. This book is more about learning right from wrong and developing a moral code than anything else. Well done.
What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell: 3 stars – A family’s misadventure in Florida, young love, heartbreak, and death. The young girl who was right in the middle of everything and what she actually said about it. Set back after WWII, follows themes of that time including Antisemitism and post-war adjustment.
Ethan, Suspended by Pamela Ehrenberg: 3 stars – Ethan is forced to live with his grandparents in a black DC neighborhood after an incident at school. He is the only white, Jewish kid in this new place and it definitely causes more than one issue for him. An interesting read from a different perspective.
The Fairy Tale Detectives by Michael Buckley: 4 stars – Two orphan girls find themselves surprisingly adopted by a strange woman claiming to be their grandmother, which is impossible because their parents said she was dead. Unfortunately, that’s the least exciting thing that happens in a town full of fairy tale characters including Prince Charming, Jack the Giant Slayer, and Puck.
A World Without Heroes by Brandon Mull: 3 stars – Slow to pick up in pace, lots of over information without explanation at first, but eventually the speed increasing and the adventure begins! Jason has been thrown in a new world and he is trying to find a way to get back but along the way discovers lots of secrets that were better left hidden.
The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor: 4 stars – A revival of an old story, Alice in Wonderland. Told from Alyss’ perspective, the princess of Wonderland, as she gets tossed into this world following a coup staged by her aunt. Years later, she is sought out and must return to take her rightful place on the throne.
Inkheart by Cornelia Funke: 2 stars – I had a very hard time getting into this story. A wonderful idea about a young girl who discovers that her father can literally read books into life which means his life is in danger, however the style was long and drawn out and not as full of adventure as I had hoped.
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas: 4 stars – Feyre kills a wolf to help feed her family and is stunned when a High Fae comes to claim her life for the action. However, he gives her a deal: come live with him over the wall instead and he will leave her family in peace. She agrees and discovers that maybe she will be better off for it.