Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Book Review: Nightbird, by Alice Hoffman

NightbirdNightbird by Alice Hoffman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Received from Netgalley for honest review.

This book was such a quick, fun read. It had a magical element, and the whole book has a cool, magical vibe. It was absorbing and I breezed through it pretty quickly in my free minutes. It's a short book, but full of wonderful, well-developed characters and a setting that comes alive. I loved Twig, our young heroine, and wanted to go along on her journey of friendship and self-acceptance. Her mother, though a bit of an antagonist, has her reasons and is not painted as the 'bad guy.' You understand her actions and her desire to protect her family. Each character is rounded and not all good or all bad. I really liked that part of the book, as well as the themes of reconciliation, acceptance, friendship, and family. Overall, this is just a great little book about a quirky town and its residents, including a family with secrets. Well worth reading.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

MG Book Review: Because of Mr. Terupt

Because of Mr. TeruptBecause of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3.5 stars

This was a cute book that I got to listen to with my son, but I ended up listening to it by myself because I didn't have anything else in the car. It was a cute middle grade read with some issues discussed, though not too in depth. The kids were all very realistic. I especially liked Peter, the hyper 'troublemaker.' He wasn't a bad kid or damaged, just the class clown. He was pretty perfect. The author never goes into his home life like he does other kids' but it didn't make him any less real. I liked the 'girl wars' as well--so realistic. I see that all the time, with girls just feuding with other girls for no good reason! Anyway, overall this was a cute read for kids. It brings up some issues that would be great discussion points for kids, as well--divorce/adultery, single parents, what it means to be a family, etc. I wish I'd listened to this with my son so we could have talked about those things in relation to the book, since sometimes that makes him see things more objectively than when boring old mom says them!

Recommended for: ages 8+

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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Book Review: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, by Jesse Andrews

Me and Earl and the Dying GirlMe and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was really, really weird.

Good stuff: The main character was likeable in a nerdy way. More loveable, really. Kind of cute and cuddly but dorky, too. He was such a mess, so sloppy and real. Such a normal, kind of pathetic, guy. I really liked him. And Earl, his film-making companion. All the characters were great, really.

And it was sad.

The other stuff: It did get kind of annoying how self-deprecating Greg was. The way he talked to the reader (if you're still reading this...) was annoying.

But overall, this was a pretty great, surprisingly funny and real book.

Recommended for age 16+ due to a LOT of language and extremely crude sexual banter and graphic descriptions.

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