Animals by Emma Jane Unsworth: a review and some realizations

Here’s the thing about Animals, which I liked far more than you might assume and exactly as much as I expected: it showed me what my life might be like right now, if I’d made different (worse?) decisions just out of University. Had I not moved back to America and started a job I enjoyedContinue reading “Animals by Emma Jane Unsworth: a review and some realizations”

Book Review: Treasure Island!!! by Sara Levine

Star Ratings: Characters: **** (4 stars) Character Development: **** (4 stars) Plot: **** (4 stars) Writing: ***** (5 stars) Overall: **** (4 stars) Age range recommendation: 15 and up. (Book is aimed at grown-ups, with lots of swearing and some sex.) There’s a reason for the three exclamation points, and the reason is this: TREASUREContinue reading “Book Review: Treasure Island!!! by Sara Levine”

Book Review: Cartwheeling In Thunderstorms by Katherine Rundell

This new children’s novel by Katherine Rundell (author of my much-beloved Rooftoppers) came out in August.  I read an advance reader’s copy, so some details may have changed before publication.  The UK title of this book is The Girl Savage. Star Ratings: Characters: **** (4 stars) Character Development: *** (3 stars) Plot: *** (3 stars)Continue reading “Book Review: Cartwheeling In Thunderstorms by Katherine Rundell”

Book Review: What Is Left The Daughter by Howard Norman

Another realistic, grown-up book set on the Atlantic coast? I guess it was that kind of week.  What Is Left The Daughter is the final book I read while on vacation.  It was a lovely, bittersweet conclusion to several days of reading and writing by the crashing waves. Star Ratings: Characters: ***** (4 stars) Character Development:Continue reading “Book Review: What Is Left The Daughter by Howard Norman”

Book Review: The Lobster Kings by Alexi Zentner

Star Ratings: Characters: *****  (5 stars) Character Development: ***** (5 stars) Plot: **** (4 stars) Writing: ***** (5 stars) Overall: ***** (5 stars) Age range recommendation: 16+ (language, violence including sexual violence) I’m mostly on vacation right now, but I couldn’t wait to review this book. (I say “mostly” because I drove back from AcadiaContinue reading “Book Review: The Lobster Kings by Alexi Zentner”

Book Review: Conversion by Katherine Howe

Star Ratings for Conversion: Characters: **** (4 stars) Character Development: **** (4 stars) Plot: **** (4 stars) Writing: ***** (5 stars) Overall: **** (4 stars) Age range recommendation: 12 and up This YA novel by Catherine Howe (author of The Physick Book Of Deliverance Dane) is about quite a few subjects I like. Catholic school! TeenageContinue reading “Book Review: Conversion by Katherine Howe”

Summer Camp Rec: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (moving up from Diary of a Wimpy Kid)

Last post, I recommended Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern to anyone who loved The Fault In Our Stars and wanted a similar book to read this summer. But how about something for younger readers who are into faster, sillier books? There’s frequently a disconnect between the kids themselves and the Parents On A Deadline (gottaContinue reading “Summer Camp Rec: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (moving up from Diary of a Wimpy Kid)”

Book Review: The Great Greene Heist by Varian Johnson

A great ensemble cast and a middle-school heist. I really wish Varian Johnson had written The Great Greene Heist while I was in middle-school, because it turns that joyless institution into the setting for some thrilling escapades. Star Ratings: Characters: ***** (5 stars) Character Development: **** (4 stars) Plot: **** (4 stars) Writing: **** (4Continue reading “Book Review: The Great Greene Heist by Varian Johnson”

Book Review: Bird by Crystal Chan

I had absolutely no idea what to expect with Bird when I sat down to read it over the weekend.  It could have been a ghost story.  It could have been a heart-wrenching tale of family tragedy.  It could have been silly, or mystical, or preachy, or boring.  I chose to just dive right in andContinue reading “Book Review: Bird by Crystal Chan”

Short Review: The Isle of Youth by Laura Van Den Berg

This is just a tiny review excerpted from my blog post Birthday, Books, Bedtime over at The Bookshelf Pirate.  I read The Isle of Youth because it got some good press and I like having new short stories to recommend at the bookshop.  Now that it’s the holiday shopping frenzy, I find that collections andContinue reading “Short Review: The Isle of Youth by Laura Van Den Berg”