Monthly Archives: September 2016

Michael Vey 6: Fall of Hades by Richard Paul Evans

Former EGG Welch reaches out to the Electroclan offering his help to overthrow Hatch. With Welch’s help, the kids conspire to free the three imprisoned glows. Meanwhile, Taylor is having dreams that seem to predict the future, but are not easily understood until after the fact. In order to finally overthrow Hatch, they must capture the Joule, a mission much more easily said than done.

This sixth Michael Vey book is definitely my favorite. The ending was amazing, awe-inspiring, and painful all at once. I cannot wait until the seventh book comes out next year because that cliffhanger was crazy. The interactions of the teens was excellent and realistic since they all trust each other to varying degrees. There was a lot of exciting action and after a while I just couldn’t put it down. I told myself I’d stop at 90% to make dinner for my kids, but once I got there, I decided they could wait a little longer to eat while I finished the book (they survived and still had dinner before 7). I very highly recommend reading Michael Vey 6: Fall of Hades to everyone of all ages. Read the whole Michael Vey series. You won’t be sorry!

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2016: 89
Pages Read in 2016: 23,352
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

Leave a comment

Filed under Science Fiction

Just Add Magic by Cindy Callaghan

While cleaning out her attic, Kelly and her friends Darbie and Hannah discover a secret recipe book hidden inside an old encyclopedia. The recipes claim to cause side effects in those who eat them (strife, inability to speak, love, etc.). The girls are warned about the Law of Returns and when strange things start happening, they have to work to bring balance to the universe once again.

I read Just Add Magic aloud to my 8 and 10 year old boys. We all enjoyed it very much. The only problem I had with it is the repetition of the word said, usually placed before the words said by the character. This made it awkward to read and got tiresome. Even with that annoyance, I still recommend this book to middle grade kids and parents alike.

4 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2016: 88
Pages Read in 2016: 23,000
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

Leave a comment

Filed under Middle Grades, Realistic Fiction

Tales of the Peculiar by Ransom Riggs

The stories in Tales of the Peculiar are referenced in the Miss Peregrine books since most Peculiars grow up hearing them. The Splendid Cannibals is just odd (though sometimes funny and always interesting). The Fork-Tongued Princess has a good moral about human (or Peculiar) nature. The First Ymbryne tells how loops got started. The Woman Who Befriended Ghosts is a sweet love story. Cocobolo tells Peculiars to embrace their gifts even if they seem like a curse sometimes. The Pigeons of Saint Paul’s was my least favorite of the stories and just kind of tells everyone to get along. The Girl Who Could Tame Nightmares really kept my attention and explained why sometimes you shouldn’t try to save everyone else. The Locust is a nice story of loving family members no matter what. The Boy Who Could Hold Back the Sea warns of the consequences of using Peculiar abilities in front of Normals, but also the joy of finding someone else like you. The Tale of Cuthbert is the story most known by Miss Peregrine fans since it tells of the beginning of Miss Wren’s Menagerie. The stories read fast and give more depth to the Peculiar world. I high recommend it to all Miss Peregrine fans!

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2016: 87
Pages Read in 2016: 22,760
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

Leave a comment

Filed under Fairy Tale, Fantasy

Three Short Stories from Hogwarts Books by JK Rowling

All three of these short books (60-80 pages each) are less stories and more a brain dump from JK Rowling. She’s always said she wrote a lot of backstory for various characters and came up with more information about things than she used in the original seven books. These three little books were her chance to provide readers with some of that information as well as her own thoughts on some of the topics. I very highly recommend them to all Harry Potter fans who just can’t get enough of the wizarding world.

Hogwarts: An Incomplete and Unreliable Guide includes sections on King’s Cross Station, Platform 9 3/4, the Hogwarts Express, the Sorting Hat, hatstalls, Hufflepuff’s common room (the only one Harry did not visit in the books), the Marauder’s Map, the lake, subjects at Hogwarts, time-turners, ghosts (including The Ballad of Nearly Headless Nick), portraits, the Mirror of Erised, pensieves, the Philosopher’s Stone, the Sword of Gryffindor, and the Chamber of Secrets.

Short Stories from Hogwarts of Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies includes sections on Minerva McGonagall, animagi (including instructions on how to become one), Remus Lupin, werewolves, Sybill Trelawney, naming seers, and Silvanus Kettleburn.

Short Stories from Hogwarts of Power, Politics and Pesky Poltergeists includes sections on Dolores Umbridge, the Ministers for Magic, Azkaban, Horace Slughorn, potions (and Polyjuice Potion specifically), cauldrons, Quirinus Quirrel, and Peeves the Poltergeist.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2016: 86
Pages Read in 2016: 22,594
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

Leave a comment

Filed under Fantasy

Praise the Lard by Paisley Ray

It’s Rachael’s last year of college and, of course, craziness follows her once again. Starting with Betts and Maeve burglarizing GG’s house, moving on to the early birth of her father and Trudy’s baby, and then a return to New Orleans with boy issues added in there, too, equals one wild and crazy year.

Praise the Lard, the seventh of the Rachael O’Brien Chronicles, was one of the best in the series. It’s got loads of action interspersed with humor. I enjoyed it very much and recommend reading it (and the rest of the series, too).

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2016: 85
Pages Read in 2016: 22,384
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

Leave a comment

Filed under Realistic Fiction

Heroes, Gods, and Monsters of the Greek Myths by Bernard Evslin

Heroes, Gods and Monsters of the Greek Myths is a collection of retellings of Greek myths and stories with lots of biographies and gods and heroes. It is aimed at middle grade kids so they are short and basic. I highly recommend this book!

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2016: 84
Pages Read in 2016: 22,105
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

Leave a comment

Filed under History, Middle Grades

Can I Kiss Her Yet? by Tony James Slater

Can I Kiss Her Yet?, the fourth book by Tony James Slater, covers a trip to Jordan, the launch of That Bear Ate My Pants!, Gill’s wedding, Tony and Roo’s wedding, a trip around England, and then on to Australia for a boring year. As usual with Tony’s books I often laughed out loud and sometimes went back to read bits to my husband or 16-year-old daughter. This often led to them laughing along with me. My daughter especially enjoyed the heavily redacted first honeymoon chapter. My husband laughed a lot at the discussion of Tony and Roo’s first date being at McDonald’s because our first date was at Burger King which is, of course, a step up from McDonald’s. They’re all getting why I enjoy reading Tony’s books so much. Quite simply, he’s hilarious. The language isn’t too horrible in this one. I debated whether it was bad enough to drop my rating to four stars, but ultimately decided it was not. There are some random typos (most often a repeated word or a word spelled incorrectly making it the correct spelling of a totally different word so spell check wouldn’t catch it). They bothered me a little bit, but I’m weird when it comes to proofreading and notice mistakes like that more than most. I highly recommend this and all of Tony’s books. They don’t need to be read in publication order. I read them third, first, fifth, second, fourth and that worked just fine.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2016: 83
Pages Read in 2016: 21,881
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

1 Comment

Filed under Memoir