Sunday, June 30, 2013

Review: The Center of Everything by Linda Urban

Published by: HMH Books for Young Readers
Release Date: March 5, 2013
Number of Pages: 194
How I Got This Book: e-ARC from Netgalley
My Rating: 3/5

Goodreads Summary:

"For Ruby Pepperdine, the “center of everything” is on the rooftop of Pepperdine Motors in her donut-obsessed town of Bunning, New Hampshire, stargazing from the circle of her grandmother Gigi’s hug.  That’s how everything is supposed to be—until Ruby messes up and things spin out of control. But she has one last hope. It all depends on what happens on Bunning Day, when the entire town will hear Ruby read her winning essay. And it depends on her twelfth birthday wish—unless she messes that up too. Can Ruby’s wish set everything straight in her topsy-turvy world?"

My Review: 

Ruby and her grandma, Gigi, are very close. Gigi teaches her all kinds of things, especially about the constellations. So, she is devastated when Gigi passes away. Ruby keeps going over her last minutes with Gigi and feels like she talked more than she listened to her. She wishes more than anything that she can go back in time and change things. 

Her secret wish leads to misunderstandings with her best friend, Lucy, and her newly found friend Nero. Again, she wishes she can go back in time and change things so that things would be like they used to be. Maybe wishes DO come true, but not in the way that you might expect.

This was a cute "coming-of-age" type story for middle grade readers.The protagonist, Ruby, is very likeable and the town of Bunning seems charming, if not quirky. I can honestly say I did not care for the character of Lucy, Ruby's best friend. I found that she was extremely self-absorbed and I thought that in light of the fact that Ruby's beloved grandmother passed away, she was not a very good friend to her. But, then, this is somewhat normal for this age group, I suppose! 

Overall, this was a quick, sweet read that young kids can relate to, and I enjoyed it.


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Review: The S-Word by Chelsea Pitcher

Published by: Gallery Books
Release Date: May 7, 2013
Number of Pages: 304
How I Got This Book: e-ARC from Netgalley
My rating: 4/5

Goodreads Summary:

"First it was SLUT scribbled all over Lizzie Hart’s locker.

But one week after Lizzie kills herself, SUICIDE SLUT replaces it—in Lizzie's looping scrawl.

Lizzie’s reputation is destroyed when she's caught in bed with her best friend’s boyfriend on prom night. With the whole school turned against her, and Angie not speaking to her, Lizzie takes her own life. But someone isn’t letting her go quietly. As graffiti and photocopies of Lizzie’s diary plaster the school, Angie begins a relentless investigation into who, exactly, made Lizzie feel she didn’t deserve to keep living. And while she claims she simply wants to punish Lizzie’s tormentors, Angie's own anguish over abandoning her best friend will drive her deep into the dark, twisted side of Verity High—and she might not be able to pull herself back out.

Debut author Chelsea Pitcher daringly depicts the harsh reality of modern high schools, where one bad decision can ruin a reputation, and one cruel word can ruin a life. Angie’s quest for the truth behind Lizzie’s suicide is addictive and thrilling, and her razor-sharp wit and fierce sleuthing skills makes her impossible not to root for—even when it becomes clear that both avenging Lizzie and avoiding self-destruction might not be possible."

My review: 

I had a hard time getting into this book at first. The story is mostly told in first person by Angie, but there are diary entries from Lizzie's viewpoint as well. I read this as an ARC on my kindle, so the different view points were not separated very well - I assume this issue is corrected in the print copies.  Once I figured this out, I was quickly pulled into the mystery of who drove Lizzie to kill herself. 

There are so many twists and turns and shocking details in this is very hard to write a review without giving anything away...and I don't want to give a SINGLE detail away, because I want others to experience this book as I did. Once I got about 50 pages in, I read it all in one sitting! I went through many different emotions as I read this book, and my feelings for each character changed throughout the story. With Angie, at first I felt bad for her because, well, she caught her boyfriend in bed with her best friend - on PROM NIGHT. How can you not feel bad for her? Then, as her anger grows and grows, she kind of turns crazy, and I didn't really like her so much anymore. But by the end of the book, I love her again, and feel bad for her.   

For real, I wish I could say more...but you are just going to have to read it for yourself! If you are looking for a contemporary read, this is it. If you are looking for a mystery, you got it. If you are looking for an emotionally charged story - look no further. This book has a little bit of everything!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Review: Oh Brother! A Nico and Tugger Tale by Kimberly Sentek

Published by: Trafford Publishing
Release Date: October 9, 2012
Number of Pages: 20
How I Got This Book: sent by author for review
My Rating: 3/5

Goodreads Summary:

"Two stories in one - double the reading fun! Meet Nico and Tugger, two dogs that became brothers. Their story is an endearing and fun look at sibling rivalry. - from two points of view."

My review: 

Thank you to Kimberly Sentek for sending me a signed copy of her book for review!

This is a great book to read to young children, especially if they are about to become a big brother or sister. It is about a dog, Nico, who has been the only pet for a long time, when his owners bring home a new puppy, Tugger. Nico is jealous of Tugger and acts out to try to get his owner's attention. He is resentful of the love that is being lavished on the new puppy. But after awhile he realizes that having a little puppy brother is actually kind of fun!

I rated this a 3 out of 5 because, honestly, the rhyming left something to be desired. I would have enjoyed it more if it was not written in rhyme.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Stocking the Shelves June 2013

Today I took Stephen to Books a Million because they were handing out free Superman comic books with every purchase. So, I HAD to find something to purchase, y'know...I was excited to find these two books on clearance as they've been on my TBR list for a while.:

1. Hold Still by Nina LaCour (only $3.97!!)
2. Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian (only 4.97)

These are the books I got from the library this week:

1. Won Ton: a Cat Tale Told in Haiku by Lee Wardlaw (already read)
2. Amelia Rules! The Whole World is Crazy! by Jimmy Gownley (already read)
3. Marty McGuire by Kate Messner (already read)
4. EllRay Jakes is not a Chicken! by Sally Warner (already read)
5. My Life Undecided by Jessica Brody
6. Dancing Home by Alma Flor Ada
7. Close to Famous by Joan Bauer
8. See You At Harry's by Jo Knowles
9. The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour

Next are the books I received in the mail for review.

1. Fear No Numbers by Jose Moretto (signed by author)
2. The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress by Ariel Lawhon
3. The Artist's Way for Parents by Julia Cameron
4. The Gift of Adversity by Norman E. Rosenthal
5. The Life List by Lori Nelson Spielman (signed by author with signed postcard bookmark!)

And the following are all books I have received through Netgalley:

Never Fade (The Darkest Minds, #2)Will in Scarlet

Jack Strong Takes a StandSometimes Never, Sometimes AlwaysPirouette

Well, that was my haul from this week...what did you all get?