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Review! It’s Raining Cupcakes

Author: Lisa Schroeder

208 Pages

Published by: Aladdin on January 1, 2010

Summary:

Twelve year old Isabel is dying to get out of Willow, Oregon (population 39, 257) and experience something other than her small town. It seems that everyone gets to travel except Isabel–even her best friend, Sophie. When Isabel’s mother decides to open up a cupcake shop across town, Isabel is once again stuck in Willow for the summer as she tries to help her mom get the shop up and running. But when Isabel learns of a baking contest where the finalists get an all-expense paid trip to New York City, she realizes this is her chance to finally get out of Willow. Except there are two major roadblocks to this plan: Sophie, who also is entering the contest and is always the best at everything, and her own mom, who wants her to enter the contest on her terms.Can Isabel manage to finally do something for herself, without losing her best friend and further straining her already tenuous relationship with her mother? In this sweet coming-of-age story from popular teen author Lisa Schroeder, Isabel discovers that it’s not about where you go in life as much as it is about enjoying the view wherever you are.

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Review! Archie Greene and the Magician’s Secret

coverAuthor: D.D. Everest

320 Pages

Published by: HarperCollins on April 21, 2014 (first printing)

On his twelfth birthday, Archie Greene receives a mysterious package from a man he has never met, a package containing an ancient book in a language he doesn’t recognize. The gift leads him to a family he didn’t know he had and a world he never knew existed.

Soon Archie becomes a bookbinding apprentice to the Flame Keepers, a secret group devoted to finding and preserving magical books at the Museum of Magical Miscellany. With the help of his cousins, Bramble and Thistle, Archie tries to unravel the mystery behind his book, but he begins to realize that his gift is something more powerful than he could have imagined. And the only thing more perilous than its contents is being its owner.

T03-catching-flamehe book waited 400 years for Archie Greene. Now Archie must discover why.

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Review! Class Dismissed

class dismissed coverAuthor: Allan Woodrow

272 pages

Published by Scholastic Press on 27 October 2015

Summary (from goodreads.com):

Class 507 is the worst class Ms. Bryce has ever taught. And she would know — she’s been teaching forever. They are so terrible that when a science experiment goes disastrously wrong (again), Ms. Bryce has had it and quits in the middle of the lesson. But through a mix-up, the school office never finds out.
Which means … Class 507 is teacher-free!
The class figures if they don’t tell anyone, it’ll be one big holiday. Kyle and his friends can play games all day. Samantha decides she’ll read magazines and give everyone (much needed) fashion advice. Adam can doodle everywhere without getting in trouble. Eric will be able to write stories with no one bothering him. And Maggie … well, as the smartest kid in the class she has an ambitious plan for this epic opportunity.
But can Class 507 keep the principal, the rest of the students, and their parents from finding out … or will the greatest school year ever turn into the worst disaster in school history?

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Summer 2018

It’s probably been really obvious, but I haven’t been reading much lately. Of course, there are still some books that interest me, but I just can’t seem to find any motivation to actually sit down, pick them up, and read them. Whenever I visit a book sale I still find something to buy, but my TBR pile just keeps growing! So this summer I decided to try to work my way through the shelves full of books I have at home that I haven’t read. I’ve found 20 books that’s I’ve decided I’m going to finish this summer. Aside from my 20 books, I found some books that I’m interested in reading, but I know that I won’t be finishing those for quite some time. Those are the types of books that I really need to be in the mood for, for example: A Song for Fire and Ice (Game of Thrones #1), The Lost Gate – Shadow of the Hegemon, etc.

As I continue to clean out my room/house I’m sure that I’m going to find many more books that I forgot I even owned. Hopefully this will get me out of my reading funk (which has been going on for over a year now). I have to face the possibility that maybe I’m just not an avid reader anymore. Maybe this funk is actually my normal and my reading boom was an anomaly. I guess only time will tell.

Anyway, for each of the books I read this summer on my list I’m determined to actually post a review for them (even if it’s just a short here’s what I thought). So the 20 books are:

  1. The Wurst is Yet to Come
  2. Engaging Father Christmas
  3. Pippi Longstocking
  4. Children of the Lamp: The Blue Djinn of Babylon
  5. The Genius Files: Never Say Genius
  6. Wilma Tenderfoot: The Case of the Frozen Hearts
  7. It’s Raining Cupcakes
  8. Murder on the Links
  9. Class Dismissed
  10. The Sinclair Mysteries: The Painted Dragon
  11. Draw Blood
  12. Blood Dawn
  13. Airman
  14. The Book Scavenger: The Alcatraz Escape
  15. BOB
  16. Fairy Tale Reform School: Charmed
  17. Fairy Tale Reform School: Tricked
  18. Fairy Tale Reform School: Switched
  19. Descendants: Rise of the Isle of the Lost
  20. Archie Greene and the Magician’s Secret

Summer 2017

I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted. Honestly, I have a whole pile of half-finished articles sitting on my hard drive, but for some reason I’m having a hard time finishing anything. Motivation is hard to come by.

I figured I’d take a chapter out of someone else’s book and just write some short thoughts on various things I’ve been thinking of.
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Amelia O’Donohue is so not a Virgin

1001004010961551Author: Helen FitzGerald

Published by: Sourcebooks Fire on November 1, 2010

Summary (from amazon.com):

Amelia O’Donohue was stunning. We all knew we were in the presence of tremendous beauty, humbled by her eyes and by her expensive designer clothes. We all deferred to her, waiting for her to initiate conversation, and hanging on every word she said.

So when Amelia asked for my help, What was I to do? Did I have a choice? It’s not like I could tell everyone that she sneaks off in the middle of the night in her pink silk nightie to sleep with her boyfriend. Right?

But this one favor leads to a secret so big it just might change everything-for Amelia and for me…

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Review! A Wonderlandiful World

Book_-_A_Wonderlandiful_World_coverAuthor: Shannon Hale

336 Pages–Ages 9 to 12 (and up!)

Published by: Little Brown Books for Young Readers on August 26, 2014

Summary (amazon.com):

At Ever After High, everyone is expected to sign the Storybook of Legends, pledging to follow in their fairytale parent’s footsteps. But when Raven Queen came along, things became fairy, fairy confusing. Now no one’s destiny is certain, not even for the most royal of them all, Apple White.

When a mysterious being from Wonderland begins to infect Ever After High with a strange magic, everything goes topsy-turvy. The students transform into animals and objects, palace mice talk, and the beautiful green grounds on campus fade to black-and-white. Lizzie Hearts, Wonderland’s future queen, Cedar Wood, daughter of Pinocchio, and Madeline Hatter, heir to the Mad Hatter’s Hat and Tea Shoppe, seem to be the only ones who haven’t completely lost their heads. It’s up to them to save their best friends forever after from a curse that threatens to give their school-and their lives-a very unhappy ending.

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Review! Spy School Series

Spy School 1 CoverAuthor: Stuart Gibbs

Ages 8 and up

Published by: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Summary for the first Spy School (from goodreads.com):

Can a normal, average kid become a superstar secret agent? Maybe not, but it’ll be fun to watch him try!

Ben Ripley may only be in middle school, but he’s already pegged his dream job: C.I.A. or bust. Unfortunately for him, his personality doesn’t exactly scream “secret agent.” In fact, Ben is so awkward, he can barely get to school and back without a mishap. Because of his innate math skills, Ben isn’t surprised when he is recruited for a magnet school with a focus on science—but he’s entirely shocked to discover that the school is actually a front for a junior C.I.A. academy. Could the C.I.A. really want him?

Actually, no. There’s been a case of mistaken identity—but that doesn’t stop Ben from trying to morph into a supercool undercover agent, the kind that always gets the girl. And through a series of hilarious misadventures, Ben realizes he might actually be a halfway decent spy…if he can survive all the attempts being made on his life!

Spy School Series

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Review! Love Maybe?

CoverAuthor: Heather Hepler

272 Pages–Ages 12 and up

Published by: Scholastic Inc. on January 5, 2012

Summary (from goodreads.com):

Just because Piper’s birthday is on Valentine’s Day does not mean she’s a romantic. In fact, after watching her father and then her stepfather leave, she’s pretty sure she doesn’t believe in love at all. Then her friends concoct a plan to find them all Valentine’s dates, and somehow Piper finds herself with the most popular guy in school. But true love never follows a plan, and a string of heartfelt gifts from a secret admirer has Piper wondering if she might be with the wrong guy.

In this heartwarming romance, true love is more than a maybe – and it might be closer than you think.

author

The author, Heather Hepler.

Pre-Thoughts:

As you can no doubt tell from the time of this posting and the cover of the books, I chose this for Valentine’s Day. I love middle school romances, mostly because they don’t feel as heavy as adult romances. Or maybe it’s because I love seeing people in that awkward puppy love stage. Whatever the reason, Valentine themed books are my favorite genre to read about (with the possible exception of Scary Godmother).

What I expect from this book is a fluffy romance that will keep me smiling at it’s adorableness. I bet the main character, Piper, will start out by dating the most popular guy in school then realize that her best guy friend is actually the one for her. That’s usually how these types of books go and you would think I would be tired of it, but not quite yet. Sometimes a good formulaic plot is just what I need (assuming the book follows this format). Nonetheless, I’m looking forward to reading this book!

valentines-day-chocolate-600x363

Yum! Yum! Yum!

Post-Thoughts:

The main character rubbed me the wrong way. I think it was when she said that she didn’t like chocolate. I mean come on. I LOVE chocolate and I can never really relate to someone who doesn’t. Although in high school I did have a friend who was allergic to chocolate and therefore couldn’t eat it and I liked her just fine. I mean she doesn’t like chocolate!! That’s hard to forgive.

Piper’s personality was fun. She is a little too cynical (the books favorite word to describe her) for my taste, but I thought she was much better than some of the romance heroes I read in other middle grade books. She had enough sense not to get herself into unnecessary trouble (thank goodness). Sometime I just can’t stand when heroines do stupid things which I, as a human being with common sense, know will get them into hot water later.

heather_hepler_contestswagBen Donovan was absolutely flat. He was nothing but a stepping stone in Piper’s conquest of love and by the end of it all I felt sort of bad for him. I still am totally unclear why he was interested in Piper in the first place. Piper describes him basically as the reincarnation of Adonis, but describes herself and her group as average people. Then there was the love potion. When I read that I figured this book was going to pull a fast one and turn into a paranormal romance. Thankfully, it does not. Actually the love potion was never properly explained. It sort of just shows up in the beginning, fizzles out in the middle, then there is one line at the end where the girls ponder whether it worked or not. It was sort of a weird plot point that didn’t really amount to much.

Another positive point is that the novel was completely clean. No bad words, no intense romantic escapades, no inappropriate scenes. Of course, it may have been a little too clean for my taste. Piper finds her romantic soul mate in like the last 10 pages (I bet you all can guess who it is) and they don’t kiss or hug or even hold hands! It was just a tad disappointing.

An alternate cover.

An alternate cover.

As with almost all romance middle grade novels, everything just magically falls into place at the end. Everybody gets there perfect romantic matchups (even some of the characters that I didn’t think would) and everything is hunky dory. A little unnatural in the real world, but to be expected in fiction.

I chose this book because I thought it was a Valentine’s Day book (courtesy of the Valentine candy hearts on the front) and Valentine’s Day really did play a big role, but I didn’t really get that Valentine’s Day charm from it, if you know what I mean. It was a really quick read and while I was reading it I thought it was enjoyable, but it didn’t really leave my of an impression on me and I likely will never pick it up again. Nonetheless, if you like a clean romance (extremely clean) that’s a quick read then I would recommend giving this book a try.

 

Review! Monster High

BookcoverAuthor: Lisi Harrison

272 Pages–Ages 12-15 years

Published by: Poppy on September 1, 2010

Summary (from amazon.com):

From Lisi Harrison, the New York Times bestselling author of The Clique and Alphas, comes a new series with a fresh twist on high school, romance, and the “horrors” of trying to fit in.

The monster community has kept a low profile at the local high school, but when two new girls enroll, the town will never be the same. Created just fifteen days ago, Frankie Stein is psyched to trade her father’s formaldehyde-smelling basement lab for parties and prom.

But with a student body totally freaked out by rumors of monsters stalking the halls, Frankie learns that high school can be rough for a chic freak like her. She thinks she finds a friend in fellow new student Melody Carver-but can a “normie” be trusted with her big secret?

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