Category: Mini Review

Are You Sleeping…by Kathleen Barber

Are You Sleeping…by Kathleen Barber

  Josie Buhrman is leading a normal life in New York City when she overhears someone discussing a true crime podcast. The catch is that this crime podcast exclusively discusses the murder of Josie’s father, Chuck Buhrman. Chuck’s murder tore Josie’s family apart. The rift has caused Josie to stop speaking to her twin sister, Lanie.   The character of Josie was pretty one-dimensional and with the exception of the lies she tells her boyfriend she really didn’t do much interesting. On the other hand the charter of Lanie seems bipolar and mean. She was normal one minute and totally off the wall the next. The whole thing with her pretending to be Josie was just weird and came out of nowhere.   The interesting concept of this book is that Josie’s twin sister, Lanie, saw the murder and sent […]

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The Roanoke Girls…by Amy Engel

The Roanoke Girls…by Amy Engel

Lane Roanoke returns to her ancestral home after her mother’s untimely death. Lane learns that everything and everyone within its walls are not as they seem.   Since ‘ The Roanoke Girls’ is such a polarizing book, I am going to keep this review fairly short. This book is engrossing and interesting. It has a mystery/thriller element that pushes the story forward. The dual timelines  added a bit of foreboding.  The characters are incredibly complex and human, both likable and unlikable at the same time. However, (and this is a big however) the storyline is gritty, raw, and graphic. It’s dark and disturbing.  It’s about incest in its extreme. It’s about sexual abuse and victim blaming. It’s about women blaming each other and themselves for abuse at the hands of a man. It’s about things in our society that do happen […]

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Mistletoe & Magic: A YA Books Central Holiday Anthology…by Melissa A. Craven , C.J. Redwine et al.

Mistletoe & Magic: A YA Books Central Holiday Anthology…by Melissa A. Craven , C.J. Redwine et al.

Cute Christmas anthology of various genres from my fellow YA Book Central reviewers. I discovered some great new authors and got into the holiday spirit. A few of my favorites were: ‘After Checkmate’ by Amalie Jahn, ‘Young Saint Nick’ by Angela Blount, and ‘Choices’ by Patrick Hodges    

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The Mental Floss History of the World: An Irreverent Romp Through Civilization’s Best Bits…by Steve Wiegand, Erik Sass

The Mental Floss History of the World: An Irreverent Romp Through Civilization’s Best Bits…by Steve Wiegand, Erik Sass

This book is a humorous and abridged history of the world. I listened to this as an audiobook. The funny narration is a great way to get a quick rundown of important events in history. The narrator is quirky and does the tongue-in-cheek comments wonderfully.   As with any history compilation, what is included and what is omitted is subjective and this book left lots of important events out. I would have liked more coverage of important recent events such as the Civil War, the World Wars, the Internet Age, etc. These were very glossed over in the book. As with anything done by Mental Floss this is just a fun, quick, look at history and not really an academic read.

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Evidence of the Affair…by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Evidence of the Affair…by Taylor Jenkins Reid

‘Evidence of the Affair’ is a short story by Taylor Jenkins Reid. It is an Amazon exclusive ebook (If you have Amazon Prime you can check out select books for free including this one). It revolves around David and Carrie and is in an epistolary (letter writing) format. When Carrie finds evidence that her husband is having an affair, she writes to the woman her husband is having the affair with’s husband, David. Carrie and David begin corresponding by mail, sharing their betrayal.   This story begs a few questions. Why are more books not set in the 1970’s? Why don’t I read more short stories? Where has Taylor Jenkins Reid been all my life? I adored ‘The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo’ by Taylor Jenkins Reid. When one of my favorite book tubers talked about ‘ Evidence of the […]

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Tantalizing Maria…by Helen Hardt

Tantalizing Maria…by Helen Hardt

Maria married her lover’s brother after her lover is sent away to prison. Years later Maria’s husband has died and her lover, Jefferson Bay, is released from prison after he is found innocent.   ‘Tantalizing Maria’ is #7 in the ‘Temptation Saga’. The series is based around different members of an extended family. I have not read any of the other books in the series but this novel can be read as a stand alone. I had never heard of this series (romance isn’t really my thing) but I received this book in a subscription box and it had good ratings so I thought I would give it a shot.   Honestly, I don’t really have a lot to say about this book, so I’m going to make this a mini review.  The POV alternates between Maria and Jefferson’s past […]

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Snobbity Snowman…by Maria Bardyukova, illustrations by Quiet Riley Jr.

Snobbity Snowman…by Maria Bardyukova, illustrations by Quiet Riley Jr.

    ‘Snobbity Snowman’ is a picture book about an unconventional and uppity snowman. In the end Snobbity learns an important moral lesson about what it means to sacrifice for others.  My son and I decided to read this together. We loved the cute and quirky  illustrations and we loved Snobbity as a character. The vocabulary is a little advanced so I would take this into account when reading to really young children. Altogether, ‘Snobbity Snowman’ is cute, fun, and educational and we loved it. A perfect read for the holiday season.

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Confessions of a High School Disaster…by Emma Chastain

Confessions of a High School Disaster…by Emma Chastain

Confessions of a High School Disaster is the first installment of the Chloe Snow series. I read the second installment first and enjoyed it so much that I decided to go back and read ‘Confessions of a High School Disaster’. In this book Chloe is just about to start high school. Her immaturity definitely shows through in this book. This makes sense as she is just at the beginning of both high school and her parents divorce. The combination of these two things definitely would push Chloe to concentrate on more important things than basic teenage stuff ( i.e. being a kissing virgin). I think divorce is an important topic for YA to tackle as its something many teens must work through and I think COAHSD did it well. One of the most eye-opening aspects for me was Chloe was […]

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Classes are Canceled…by Jack Chabert and Matt Loveridge

Classes are Canceled…by Jack Chabert and Matt Loveridge

Sam, Antonio, and Lucy are hall monitors at Eerie Elementary. Eerie Elementary is haunted by its evil founder, Orson Eerie. When the mysterious happenings at the school get a little too dangerous, the powers that be decide to tear the school down. Sam, Antonio, and Lucy, must do everything they can to save their school and to foil the ghost of Orson Eerie. ‘Classes are Canceled, is part of the cute ‘Eerie Elementary’ chapter book series. It has a paranormal twist that sets it apart from many other books of this reading level.  The story also has a great message of empowerment with Sam, Antonio, and Lucy taking the fate of their school into their own hands. ‘Classes are Canceled’  has a few cute twist and turns along the way. The paranormal story-line was a little over the top for me […]

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