Bring the Jubilee by Ward Moore

(Warning: Spoilers ahead. As a rule, I do not include spoilers in my book reviews but it is unavoidable this time since what I will spoil is what made the book so bad.) I did not like Bring the Jubilee much at all. The writing is tedious and pretty much dreadful. It is incredibly boring for the most part. There are a couple decent chapters. But the whole premise is what makes it especially terrible. It’s an alternate history book where the South won the Civil War. As a result, for some reason the North is in terrible shape and super backwards as far as technology goes. But, somehow, the narrator ends up in a place where someone invents a time machine and he goes back to the Battle of Gettysburg. He accidentally sets in motion a chain of events that results in a man dying and the South losing Gettysburg (the battle occurring as it actually did, and, so, the North won the war as it actually did). Because the person who died was the ancestor of the person who invented the time machine, she was never born and so could not build the time machine. Meaning the narrator could not go back in time and change history using that time machine, but he still did, somehow. It was so ridiculous that I put the book down before reading the last chapter – when I only had 1% left in the book – and waited until the next day to finish it. It is really just an terribly written, dumb book that requires you to suspend disbelief way more often than is acceptable. I do not recommend it at all.

1 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2020: 30
Pages Read in 2020: 7049
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

Leave a comment

Filed under Historical Fiction, Reason: LitHub Bingo

Wayside School is Falling Down by Louis Sachar

The second book is the Wayside School series, Wayside School Is Falling Down is full of puns, wit, and just plain silly fun. My boys and I laughed a lot as we read it. I highly recommend it to kids of all ages. It makes an excellent family read aloud.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2020: 29
Pages Read in 2020: 6856
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

Leave a comment

Filed under Children, Reason: Bedtime Story for the Boys

The Button War by Avi

In Poland, four friends find the Great War right at their doorstep and embark on a war of their own, trying to find (steal) the best button from the military men’s uniforms. It’s quite depressing and filled with horror and death, as one would expect in the middle of a war, but it is told from the viewpoint of a twelve-year-old so it’s tone is kind of innocent. The writing is excellent for the most part. The only thing I really didn’t like was most of the time the dialogue attributions were so-and-so said, followed by what they said. That is quite awkward to read out loud (it probably wouldn’t have seemed so stilted if I head read it silently to myself). I recommend it to older elementary kids on up to adults.

4 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2020: 28
Pages Read in 2020: 6693
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

Leave a comment

Filed under Historical Fiction, Middle Grades, Reason: Bedtime Story for the Boys

A Modern Family by Helga Flatland

A Modern Family is an incredibly well-written book. Even though the characters were all neurotic and Liv was downright unlikable, I found myself caring about them and wanting to pick up my Kindle to read whenever I could to find out what happened to them. The translator did an amazing job. The English flows very well (not the case with some other translated books I’ve read). The end was a bit shocking and left me both wanting more and slightly depressed that it was over. I think that indicates it’s a good book. I recommend it to adults who like literary fiction, particularly those interested in reading books that have been translated and are set in countries other than the US (this one was originally written in Norwegian and is set in Norway).

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2020: 27
Pages Read in 2020: 6453
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

Leave a comment

Filed under Realistic Fiction, Reason: LitHub Bingo

Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar

I read Sideways Stories from Wayside School to my 11- and 13-year-old sons and all three of us found it absolutely hysterical. My boys told other people some of the stories (each chapter is a little story) and couldn’t stop laughing as they did. Some of the stories are downright bizarre, but all of them are quite funny and clever. I highly recommend this book to anyone with a sense of humor. It makes a very excellent family read-aloud!

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2020: 26
Pages Read in 2020: 6177
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

Leave a comment

Filed under Children, Reason: Bedtime Story for the Boys

Second Chances by Valerie Tripp

Second Chances is the second American Girl book about Josefina. This one covers several months following the first book. The end is predictable, but exactly how you want it be. American Girl books are historical fiction for kids done right. I highly recommend this book to tweens. It makes a great family readaloud!

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2020: 25
Pages Read in 2020: 6014
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

Leave a comment

Filed under Children, Historical Fiction, Reason: Bedtime Story for the Boys, Reason: Vine Review

Raven Huntress by Andrea Pearson and Nolan James

The fourth book in the Midnight Chronicles series, Raven Huntress picks up where Twilight Rogue left off. So much happens in this book! There’s a fun section for readers of the Kilenya and Mosaic Chronicles with some old friends from some of those books. There’s some great verbal sparring between Coolidge and Abel. There’s some amusing bits scattered throughout giving some much needed lightness to an otherwise rather heavy book. And, of course, there’s more of Abel’s story and his thoughts and feelings. It’s very well-written. I honestly could barely put it down (I was not very happy when I absolutely had to put my kids to bed with only 3% of the story left!). I very highly recommend Raven Huntress to anyone who enjoys urban fantasy (most definitely read the first three books in this series first… reading the author’s other series is not necessary, but will certainly add to the enjoyment of this one).

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2020: 24
Pages Read in 2020: 5895
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

Leave a comment

Filed under Fantasy, Reason: Asked by the Author, Reason: I Like the Author, Reason: I Like the Series