Friday, January 31, 2014

Rock Harbor Lost & Found Book Review

Lost & Found: Rock Harbor Book 2 by Colleen Coble and Robin Caroll

Emily O'Reilly, the main character from Search & Rescue: Rock Harbor Book 1, is age 14.  Just so you know, I did not like the first book a lot, but I LOVE this one.  This book was amazing!  I did not guess the end, and the story was just so good.  In this book, there are three mysteries going one.  All those stories going at once got insane!

Mystery one:  Emily's best friend, Olivia, finds out she is adopted.
Mystery two:  Someone sets the school on fire.
Mystery three:  Emily's Step-mom goes missing.

I gave this book 5 Stars.  I would recommend Lost & Found for ages 10 and up.  The reason that I would say 10 and up, is because the story line with Emily's Step-mom going missing is a bit scary.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Andi Unexpected Book Review

Andi Unexpected: Andi Boggs Book 1 by Amanda Flower

I loved this book; it was so good and fun!  Andi and her sister are moving in with their Aunt (their Dad's Sister), because their parents died working in the jungles of Central America.  Andi is 12 years old, and her sister, Bethany, is 15.  Their Aunt Amelie (cute, but weird name, I know) is an English Professor who lives in Ohio in an old farmhouse (I love the farmhouse!).  There is a mystery surrounding Andi's real name, and it involves a hidden door, and some history about the great depression. There is also a cute kitty named Mr. Rochester (I know a cool name for a cat.  When I get my new cat, I'm going to name it that, if it is a boy.)  I really, super related to the characters.  The story is a little bit funny and I LOVED the end.

I gave this book 5 Stars, and I recommend it for people ages 8 to 108.

The next book in the Andi Boggs series is not out yet. I don't know when the book will be released.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

A Horse to Love (formerly titled The Trouble with Skye)

Keystone Stables Book 1 re-released as A Horse to Love, but formerly titled The Trouble with Skye  by Marsha Hubler (personally, I like the first title better).  The cover makes this look like a baby book, it is NOT.  This has some bad stuff in it, not for little kids!  I was surprised at the content, but the story itself is not bad, interesting, much more so than I expected.  Read on to see what I mean.

The Keystone Stables has eight books in the series, just so you know.  I have read five of them.  Skye Nicholson, the main character, is age 13 in book 1 (she ages throughout the series).

Skye is a foster kid, who is a bad kid.  Keystone Stables is her very last chance before going to prison!  Keystone Stables is a horse ranch run by Tom and Ellen Chambers, a loving Christian couple.  The Stables hosts camps, youth retreats, and the Chambers are foster parents for Morgan and Skye.  Skye's had a rough life, she's never even met her Mom or Dad.  She never felt like she was wanted at any of the foster homes.  She fell in with a bad crowd (this is where some of the bad stuff is like drugs and alcohol content).  If this was a movie, it would probably be rated PG13 for drugs, alcohol, and scary situations.  No foul language though. 

I'd say this is a good book for people who like horses, and are older than 12.  I really like this book, it was really enjoyable, quick read. I read the whole book in one day.  The story would make a really good movie.  All of the books in this series are already published (all with dual titles, which makes them hard to find sometimes).  I found the dual titles in the back of the book, and Good Reads has both titles online.  I gave this book 5 Stars.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Rock Harbor Search & Rescue Book Review

Rock Harbor Search & Rescue by Colleen Coble and Robin Caroll:

Emily O'Reilly is age 13, but she has her birthday in the book, and is 14 in half of the book.  This is about when Emily gets framed for stealing an expensive necklace, and of her finding who did steal the necklace.  This is a book about all things Search & Rescue, and puppies.  This was an okay read.  I liked it, but did not love it.  I did really like the characters, and all the references to The Princess Bride.  The characters felt like I knew them in real life, and I could relate to the main character.  I gave this book 3 & 1/2 Stars, because it wasn't a 4 Star and it wasn't a 3 Star.

I recommend this book for people ages 10 to 15.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Back Before Dark Book Review

Back Before Dark is the second book in the Code of Silence Series.  I loved this book more than the first one, and I LOVED the first one.  I gave the first one 5 Stars (you can read my review of Code of Silence HERE), so have to give this one 6.

So, now, on to what this one is about.  The kids are back, and cooler than ever.  We've got Cooper, Gordy, Hiro, and the guy who was not so nice in the first book, but now is... Lunk!  The first three are age 13, and I believe Lunk is 14.

This is about Gordy getting kidnapped.  That is all I can say without spoiling you.  So, I'll give you some more stuff I loved about the book.  I love how up to date it was.  Like when one of the kids sees a Twinkie, and he thinks, "I have not eaten a Twinkie since the rush to buy them when Hostess was going out of business."  I also like that the book was funny and scary at the same time.

I would recommend this book for people ages 12 and up.  I'm not putting on age limit on the upper end, because I think you could relate to these characters at any age.  The reason I did 12 and up is becuase I think younger kids might not deal very well with the situations involved in kidnapping.  They don't categorize this book as a thriller for nothing.  The book is written by a Christian author, and there are Christian references throughout the story.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

SkyShip Academy Series

First I have to tell you that these are the first two books of the SkyShip Academy Series.  There is already a third book (published in October of 2013, but I have not read that one yet).  The books are backwards in the picture; The Pearl Wars is the 1st book, and Crimson Rising is the 2nd one.

The first book was a real shocker.  I thought I was just reading a book about another dystopian society.  That was not the case at all. I can't tell you what happened, because that would be a major spoiler.  The only hint I'm going to give you is "think Superman".

There are two societies in the book:  the Skyship dwellers, and the Surface dwellers.  The Skyship dwellers are like rebels; they don't follow the government. The Surface dwellers are people who live on the destroyed earth that was dried out by a nuclear holocaust, which was supposedly from Russia.  The only way to run and operate things is by an invention that uses these pearls that fall from the sky to power everything, including the Skyships that the Skyship dwellers live on, and all the buildings and appliances that the Surface dwellers use.

There are two main characters: Jesse Fisher, a Skyship slacker, and Cassius Stevenson, a Surface operative (like a spy).  There are both age 15.  I guessed one of the two major plot twists that happened in this story. I'm not going to tell you what the twist is, because that is a major spoiler, too.

I give Pearl Wars 4 Stars. I recommend it for ages 12 and up, because there is violence and death.  There may also be use of mild curse words by adult characters in the book once or twice.

Unfortunately, I cannot tell you much about Crimson Rising, because it involves too many spoilers to tell you anything productive about the book.  The series continues on with the same characters, and adds a couple new ones.  I gave this book 4 Stars also.  I think I liked this book even better than the first one.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Review of Kris's War (formerly titled Code Name Kris) *Updated*

*This book could  (I *think* I read some in it, but it has been a long time, and I don't even have the book any more. I know that book two has language and uses God's name in vain.)  have some language*

This book is set in Denmark, during World War II.  I like the original title, Code Name Kris, because the main character is actually Jesper, but his undercover code name is Kris.  His story is told mostly in flash backs.  We catch up to present day towards the end of the book.

As you can see in the picture of the book, the book is really tattered, and from the sticker that I got it at Goodwill.  Goodwill is a really great place to get books.  I did not damage this one myself (no bathtub reading this time).

This book was really sad.  War is sad. The flash backs start out when Jesper was around 14 years old, and the Nazi's had taken over Denmark.  He gets in with the rebels that are fighting back against the invaders.  One day, on a sabotage mission, the mission goes wrong, and they (including Jesper) get captured.  The group gets rescued, but not before Jesper gets seen by a man who can identify him.  Then Jesper has to go underground, and change his name to Kris. During his time underground, he helps out with the underground newspaper. The underground newspaper was cool to read about, because I already knew about these newspapers from reading a series by Robert Elmer written about WW II in Denmark.

I give this book 5 stars.  It was really well written and enjoyable.  I would recommend this for kids ages 12 and up, because the story was violent and scary (including torture).

Monday, January 20, 2014

Book Review of The Outsiders

The Outsiders is one of my favorite books.  Here is my review from the Summer Reading Program:

This book is so well written. I feel like I know the characters in real life.  I want to hug Johnny, kiss Pony boy, and this is the first, and only, book I have cried over characters' death.  This book is set in the 1960's, with references to Elvis and the Beatles, the time of Greasers and Socs (Socials, or Socialites).  The book begins with Pony Boy coming home from a movie starring Paul Newman.  This is an intense book, a fast read (only 156 pages).  At lot of the story is about the conflict between the lower class and the upper class in small town America.  You will travel back to the time of drive-in movies and soda in glass bottles.  There is never a dull moment, from fights to murder, running from the law, a fire, saving children in danger, and suicide.  That may sound scary, but this story is worth reading again (in fact, I already have read it again.).

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Graphic Novels by Raina Telgemeier

So, we're going to start with Smile, because Smile is on the left, and Americans read left to right.  Smile is based on the true life story of the author, set in California.  Raina starts out as a 6th grader, and by the end of the book is in High School.  The book is about the tragedy of her teeth and her life in general.  If you are afraid of blood and dentists, I do not recommend that you pick this book up... unless it is a fear you need to get over by reading this book.  This is a graphic novel, and a quick read; I read the book in one sitting.  The pictures are fun and entertaining, like a comic book.  If you don't love comic books, you may not like this book.  This is a Historical book, because it's set in the 1980's... okay, maybe not so Historical (sorry, Mom).  Seriously, I loved the detail in the pictures of the cool '80's garb.  I really enjoyed this book.  I have read Smile multiple times, and it just gets better with each read (that's really cheese-ball-ie, but it's true).

Now, on to Drama, which I did not like.  I felt like nothing happened in the plot. Unlike in Smile, where the plot was very interesting, and you just wanted to know how it ended up.  Also, I didn't like way the book dealt with "gay" people; it was really annoying.  I did like the clothes and drawings in the book.  I also like the main character's hair.  This is also based on the author's experiences, but names were changed, even the main character's to protect people.  I didn't like this book as much, not nearly as entertaining as Smile.

So, in the end, what I would say is read Smile, don't read Drama.  And a quick note:  Smile 2 is supposed to be released this year (2014).

Saturday, January 18, 2014

AirQuest Adventures Book Review

This particular copy is a bind up of all three books in the AirQuest Adventures series by Jerry B. Jenkins, who is a New York Times best selling author, and I've read some of his other books.  I've enjoyed everything I've read by Mr. Jenkins.  I picked this up in Iowa at a Family Christian store.

Crash at Cannibal Valley is book 1.  Chad and Kate are the two main characters, brother and sister, they are like age 13 and 11 respectively.  The siblings age throughout the series.  Their Dad was in the Air Force, but he retires in the first book.  After a tragedy occurs, the family decides to start an organization called AirQuest Adventures.  The main purpose of this organization is to help missionaries all over the world using airplanes.  In this first book, the title says it all, they are flying a doctor in to help a mission, and they crash in Cannibal Valley.  That is very early in the book.  The rest of the book is filled with story of the crash and if they are all going to survive.  The plot line is intense and very hard to figure out what is going to happen next.

Book 2 is called Terror in Branco Grande.  In this story, they are flying supplies into Branco Grande, Amazonia in South America.  Their Dad is wrongfully accused and arrested for smuggling.  Chad and Kate have to save him.  That's all I can say without spoiling this exciting read.

Disaster in the Yukon is the title of Book 3.  This adventure takes place in Canada and Alaska.  AirQuest Adventures is helping a newly formed school for kids whose parents are missionaries.  A blizzard happens and there is a girls with Type 1 Diabetes, who is almost out of insulin.  The rest of the kids are sick.  If you are a hypochondriac like me, it's very scary to think about all the sickness and no medicine.  Lives are in the balance once again. 

I recommend this series for ages 9 to 17.  Unless you are a super sheltered nine year old, because people die and things get scary. This is written by a Christian author so there is no foul language or inappropriate content.  

Friday, January 17, 2014

The Secret of Sarah Revere (Book Review)

The Secret of Sarah Revere, is written by Ann Rinaldi.  So, ya'll know who Paul Revere is, right?  He's the guy who said "The Redcoats are coming!", while riding through the countryside on a horse.

The Secret of Sarah Revere is the story of Paul's daughter, well, one of his daughters.   He has like five daughters.  I can't hardly keep track of all of them.

The book is Sarah's point of view of the Revolutionary War, told mostly in flashbacks.  This is a really good book about the Revolutionary War.  I liked that I knew who most of the characters were, because I watched the TV Series Liberty's Kids (which is SO good, by the way).

You will like this book if you enjoy reading about American History, and especially if you enjoy Revolutionary War history.  There is not much to say about this book, because there is a lot of history, and a lot would be spoilers.  I will say, there is more than one secret in the book.  One of the secrets is who fired the first shot of  the war.  I should also tell you that this book is very sad, a lot of people die.
*Updated* recommend for ages 12+ there is also lots of drinkingb(not done by the main character,that I remember but by other people), some bloody​ness (NOT to do with this next thing) and mentions of menstration.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Turtle in Paradise Book Review

Turtle in Paradise, by Jennifer L. Holm, is about an 11 year old girl named Turtle.  Turtle, I love that name.  I would totally name my daughter that.

Turtle in Paradise is set in 1935, during the Great Depression.  Much like today, people had a hard time finding a job. So, when her Mom gets a job with a lady who dislikes kids, Turtle is sent off to live with her Aunt and her cousins in Florida.

This book has all kinds of cool stuff in it, like family secrets, and buried treasure.  I loved the funny names, like Kermit, Pork Chop, and, of course, Turtle.  I loved Turtle's character development.  I loved all the references to Shirley Temple and Little Orphan Annie.  This book is extremely funny!  I laughed out loud, A LOT, while reading it.  This is a Newberry Honor book, and the author is a three time Newberry Honor award winner.  I loved that Turtle's cousin's had a club called "The Diaper Gang".  I thought it was funny how they had a secret to cure diaper rash.

I give this book 5 stars, and recommend it for ages 7 to 15, or anyone who is a history buff.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Powerless Book Review

Powerless, by Matthew Cody, is the story of a boy name Daniel, who is 12 years old.  His family moves in with his Grandma, who is dying, to take care of her.  Soon he meets kids who have superpowers, in fact a whole town of them.

So, you think you would like to have superpowers, do you?  Not if at 13, you lose your powers, and your memory, and your friends.  One boy, on the day of his 13th birthday, writes "You can fly!" all over his room on the night before his 13th birthday, so that when he wakes up, he will remember.  Only when he wakes up, he thinks that being able to fly was just a dream.

The question I am going to pose now is, "Who, or what, is taking the superpowers from these kids?"  Is it age?  Is it a meteorite?  Is it a super-villain?  Is it one of the super-kids?  The answer lies in this book, and in a World War II era comic book, and possibly, regular, powerless Daniel.

This was a really good book!  The story was both funny and suspenseful.  This book messed with your brain like crazy!  One minute you thought something was going on, and the next you realized that wasn't the deal at all... something else entirely different was happening.

I would recommend this for people ages 6 to 16, and any adult who has a love of comic books and comic book history.  I am super (pun-intended) excited for the next book in the series, called: Super.  One of the reviews I read said this was a book for middle school boys.  I said, "I am a middle school girl, and I loved it!".  You are very wrong Mr. Sir, who wrote that review!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Code of Silence Book Review

Code of Silence, by Tim Shoemaker. starts off when 13 year olds Cooper, Hiro, and Gordy are at Frank and Steaks, and the place gets robbed.  One of the robbers sees Cooper, and then the robber steals the key to Cooper's house out of his pocket.  The robbers knock out the owner, putting him in a coma.  Two of the robbers are wearing police uniform pants.

The owner reminds me of Whit from Adventures in Odyssey.  He is a really nice, jolly, Santa Claus-type of guy.  He's very nice to the kids in town, all the kids love him.

The police found Cooper's backpack, sweatshirt, and a school book at the scene of the crime.  Now they are hunting for a kid who must have hurt Frank (the owner of Frank and Steaks).  The three friends don't know what to do. They don't know who really hurt Frank, the robbers might even be police officers since two of them were wearing police uniform pants.  Who can they trust?  "Telling the truth could get them killed.  Remaining silent could be worse." ( quote from back cover of Code of Silence)

This book was very good, awesome in fact!  The story was very interesting and fast paced.  I would give it 5 stars because the characters felt real and the story was very well written.

Something I said after reading this book:  "I care about these people!  I spent over 300 pages with them!" (quote from me, some days ago)

I am extremely excited to pick up the next book in the series, which is titled: Back Before Dark.  I recommend checking these books out.  The 2nd book is already released, unlike most books I read... where I have to wait for the next book in the series to be published!

Monday, January 13, 2014

My Bookish New Year's Resolutions

Here are my Bookish New Year's Resolutions:

1. Read 150 books (I read 114 in 2013, so I need to up my game!).

2. Re-read 20 books.

3. Read 5 Classics.

4. Read all of the Lord of the Rings (I've seen all, but the Hobbit, of these movies.  I'll read most of The Fellowship of the Rings.)

5. Review most of the books I read on this blog.

6. Read all of the books that I own and have not read (I only have 14, but still!).

7. Only buy books that I have read, or know I will love.

8.  .... and books in series that I love.

9. Read a lot of the Redwall books (There are a lot of them.  I don't want to force myself to read every one.).

10. Listen to five audio books.

11. Get a book related t-shirt.

12. Meet an author (I've never met an author).  (I always have opportunties that I miss out on, and it's getting to be an issue.  So, I have to make this a resolution!  So, now I HAVE to do it.) (I just remembered I have met an author, but I've never read his book... so, does this count?  I think not!)

Firestorm! Review

Firestorm! by Joan Hiatt Harlow is a story about Poppy, a little orphan girl who is a pick pocket.  And the story of Justin, who is the son of the owner of a jewelry store.  They both live in Chicago in 1871.

Lots of crazy stuff happens, because Poppy runs away from the woman who has been "caring" for her.  The woman actually teaches her daughters, and other girls like Poppy how to steal, in exchange, she gives them a roof over their heads.  She beats them if they don't steal enough to her liking.

Poppy meets Justin, and he tells her about jewels that grow in rocks.  He also tells her how goats are very good pets, and they don't smell, like she thinks they do.  He invites her to come back and meet his pet goat, Ticktock.

She goes back to meet the pet goat, and see the goat house.  Poppy also meets Justin's sister, who is marrying the town's Methodist Minister.  His sister is nice to Poppy.  She cleans her up, brushes her hair, and gives Poppy an old dress of hers.

That night, Poppy runs away, and stays in the goat's house.  Then the woman finds her and tells her to steal the key to the jewelry store, so they can rob the store.  If Poppy doesn't steal the key, she threatens to kill the goat!

Justin makes a mistake at the jewelry store, and Poppy gets blamed, even though she had nothing to do with it.  Things just get crazier from here.  The Great Chicago Fire happens, and every one's lives will change.

I read this in the bathtub, and damaged the book.  I was very mad, because this is now one of my favorite books.  I highly recommend this book for all ages.