Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it is too dark to read. ~Groucho Marx

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Anya Balanchine series by Gabrielle Zevin

I love love love this series! It's a little bit dystopia, a little bit romance, a little bit action, not at all boring, and a whole lot of DIFFERENT! Different from anything else on the shelf...in my opinion!

Check out a previous review: Because It Is My Blood 

Check out Gabrielle Zevin's webpage!

Check out my video review:

Friday, September 13, 2013

The Carolyne Letters by Abigail B. Calkin

image from www.familius.com
The Carolyne Letters: 
A story of birth, abortion, and adoption
by Abigail B. Calkin

Amelia, like so many literary women, has fallen in love with a complicated, unreliable, infuriatingly irresistible man. No matter how  educated or progressive she is...she just can't stay away from Geoff. Set in various romantic, European locations during the 1960s, Calkin has constructed the very believable diary of a young women trying to overcome the pain of her past while making the most important decision of her future. Told in three parts, Calkin very creatively imagines Amelia's differing futures had she decided to keep her baby, abort her, or give her up for adoption. 

As I said earlier, The Carolyne Letters is very believable as the diary of a struggling young woman. Understandably, it can drag at times, becoming repetitive and overly dramatic...but it realistically depicts the narrator's very personal, internal battle.

See The Carolyn Letters and other books by 
Abigail B. Calkin by visiting her Amazon page
or visit her official website

Many thanks to the author and Heidi Hurst of BookSparks 
for sharing this book with me to review.

Calkin, Abigail B.. The Carolyne Letters: A story of birth, abortion, and adoption. Familius LLC, 2013. Print. ISBN:9781938301155 Paperback.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Guest Reviewer: Gracey!

The book and the movie!

Gracey's Thoughts
           Let me start with some differences between the book and the movie. In the book, Stanley, the main character, has weight problems. In the movie he doesn't. Well, I read the book and saw the movie a couple months ago so that was the only difference I could find. Now there were a lot of similarities, But there was on that was really specific. Stanley was walking home and this kid was on a bridge and he threw some famous basketball player's sneakers on his head so Stanley ends up going to the "detention camp."

Arielle's Thoughts
       This is one of my all-time favorite books! I was so excited when Gracey decided to review it! I've been a fan of Louis Sachar for as long as I could remember. I wanted to go to Wayside School where everyone was a little off their rocker, cows wandered the hallways, teachers were totally wild, and the elevator only went up! Holes is a completely different kind of book:  the setting has an air of magic, Stanley feel completely real and yet his situation is completely fantastical! If you've never looked at an onion and thought, "I could totally take a bite out of that right now!" You've got to read this book! The eating-onion scene has stuck with me for years...I remember feeling convinced by Sachar's writing that an onion could really be delicious to eat like just like an apple. That's powerful writing!

Of course, the movie is excellent also! Check out this trailer!

Image from goodreads.com and video from youtube.com
Sachar, Louis. Holes. New York: Scholastic, 1998. Print. ISBN: 9780439244190

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Eve by Anna Carey

Eve by Anna Carey

"I knew, perhaps with more certainty than I knew anything else, that this was a good man."

image from goodreads.com
This is a fun new dystopian series that reminds me of the Birthmarked series by Caragh O'Brien. 

Maybe not my favorite but you should check it out if you're a fan of "end-of-the-world-books." I would recommend  Unwind by Neil Shusterman, Divergent by Veronica Roth, or Birthmarked by Caragh O'Brien instead.

From the publisher: The year is 2032, sixteen years after a deadly virus—and the vaccine intended to protect against it—wiped out most of the earth’s population. The night before eighteen-year-old Eve’s graduation from her all-girls school she discovers what really happens to new graduates, and the horrifying fate that awaits her. 

Fleeing the only home she’s ever known, Eve sets off on a long, treacherous journey, searching for a place she can survive. Along the way she encounters Caleb, a rough, rebellious boy living in the wild. Separated from men her whole life, Eve has been taught to fear them, but Caleb slowly wins her trust...and her heart. He promises to protect her, but when soldiers begin hunting them, Eve must choose between true love and her life.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Guest Reviewer: Gracey!

image from goodreads.com

Among the Hidden
by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Caution: Spoilers!
Among the Hidden is an exciting story about a boy named Luke and he is a third child. Where he lives you can only have two children. One day, when Luke looked out the window, he saw another child in his neighbor's house. Luke was curious, so he snuck over there and it turned out to be a third child. Her name is Jen. So Jen and Luke start seeing each other daily. But something terrible happens: she gets killed. Jen's dad introduces Luke's parents to a fake I.D. Luke gets it but he has to live in a different home and leave his real family. Luke is really doing this for Jen. 

Watch the official movie trailer!

video from youtube.com

image from imdb.com
Wreck-It Ralph
Caution: Spoilers!
Wreck-It Ralph is in a video game. Ralph is a bad guy in his own game called Fix-It Felix Jr. In his game Felix is the good guy. Ralph wants to be a good guy so he switched to different games. In the game world, they call is going "turbo." Ralph gets into this game called Sugar Rush. Ralph helps this little girl names Vanellopy. So he helps her become a non-glitch and she becomes princess of her game. So Ralph goes back to his game but he still didn't get a medal or become a good guy but he still feels like one for helping Vanellopy.

Watch the official movie trailer!

video from youtube.com

Music Review!
Taylor Swift has a lot of cute and fun songs but her latest two songs are about one break up. The songs are called We Are Never Getting Back Together and I Knew You Were Trouble. I respect that Taylor expresses her feelings by writing songs. When I'm feeling sad, mad, or even happy I usually draw. I really like Taylor Swift.

Thanks for these awesome reviews, Gracey! 
If you'd like to have your reviews featured and win more entry forms into our Summer Reading Drawings...
write a few paragraphs about a book, movie, CD, or website and turn them in at the library's First Floor Desk! 
Or, you can email them to aloy@boone.lib.ia.us.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Three similar books

A Monster Calls
by Patrick Ness
The Silver Kiss
by Annette Curtis Klause
by David Almond

Three books that are reminiscent of one another. Dark yet hopeful stories that explore a young person's encounter with a mysterious stranger. All three books read like dreams...or nightmares. Its hard to tell where the science fiction starts and the reality ends. The biggest common thread shared by these three books is the looming tragedy and grief shared by the protagonists. The strangers are the unexpected harbingers of peace, discovery, and acceptance. Definitely check out these books!

image from goodreads.com
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
This is a powerful book about love, loss, fear, and discovery. Conceived by author Siobhan Dowd shortly before her premature death, Patrick Ness built the idea into a spooky, stick-with-you story. Jim Kay's nightmare-scape illustrations definitely help to create a sense of mystery and foreboding.

From the publisher: The Monster showed up after midnight. As they do. But it isn't the monster Conor's been expecting. He's been expecting the one from his nightmare, the nightmare he's had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming... This monster, though is something different. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor. It wants the truth.

image from goodreads.com
The Silver Kiss by Annette Curtis Klause
Paranormal romance meets action-adventure meets reality in this young adult classic. This book is a perennial favorite among teens at Ericson Public Library! Zoe is reeling from the realization that her mother is dying...and wary of the dark, brooding stranger she's running into everywhere. The stranger's cloudy, mysterious history makes this book read like a suspenseful thriller.

From the publisher: Zoe is wary when, in the dead of night, the eerily handsome yet frightening Simon comes to her house. Simon seems to understand the pain of loneliness and death and Zoe's brooding thoughts of her dying mother. When Simon reveals that he's of the undead, a vampire looking to avenge his mother's gruesome murder, Zoe must let her heart guide her through a tangle of fear and desire.

Read my previous review of this book.

image from goodreads.com

Skellig by David Almond
In addition to being a Printz Award book, Skellig was recognized as an Iowa High School Award Winner. Haunting, mysterious, and touching...everyone should give this very quick read a chance. Anxious and troubled by his baby sister's poor health, Michael discovers a man secretly living in the family's unused garage. Or at least he thinks he's found a man. More dreamlike and hopeful than nightmarish, Skellig is, in my opinion a Young Adult classic.

From the publisher: Michael was looking forward to moving into a new house. But now his baby sister is ill, his parents are frantic, and Doctor Death has come to call. Michael feels helpless. Then he steps into the crumbling garage and encounters a strange being who changes his world forever.

There is a companion book to Skellig called My Name is Mina. Also, the book was made into a loosely-translated movie in 2009. Watch the movie trailer!

video from youtube.com

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

"You can't exactly blend in when you were born to stand out."

R.J. Palacio
Oh. my. gosh. You guys, best book I've read in a long time. Definitely fits with where teen and juvenile literature is headed right now...kindness. kindness. kindness. Kids are tired of fighting, hatred, bullying, and meanies. Kindness is the new coolness. I'm buying a dozen paperbacks...one for every kid in my life. I would definitely recommend this book for kids, adults, and teens...fans of The Fault in Our Stars (John Green, DFTBA) would love this book! The covers of the two books even look alike! (Not sure what I'm talking about? Click here.) There is a reason this book has been on the top of the New York Times Best Seller list for middle-grade fiction for 24 weeks! 

The author has created powerful characters that are likable, approachable...just totally real! Situations and relationships that are beautifully built. The whole book is structured creatively and told in a way that will keep readers of all ages flipping the pages to the very end!

If you haven't read Wonder... do it...now!

"It is not enough to be kind...be kinder than necessary"

There are so many excellent quotes from this book...but they all boil down to being kind, courageous, and a good friend. And...the fact that those three qualities rely heavily upon one another.

Here's what the publisher says:

I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse.

August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school—until now. He's about to start 5th grade at Beecher Prep, and if you've ever been the new kid then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie's just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he's just like them, despite appearances?

R. J. Palacio has written a spare, warm, uplifting story that will have readers laughing one minute and wiping away tears the next. With wonderfully realistic family interactions (flawed, but loving), lively school scenes, and short chapters, Wonder is accessible to readers of all levels.

book cover from goodreads.com and video from youtube
Palacio, R.J.. Wonder. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2012. Print. ISBN:9780375869020  Hardcover. U.S. $17.99