Review: Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo

25937866Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date:April 12th, 2016
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Point of View: 3rd Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 8+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Friendship, Contemporary, Family

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BLURB:

Raymie Clarke has come to realize that everything, absolutely everything, depends on her. And she has a plan. If Raymie can win the Little Miss Central Florida Tire competition, then her father, who left town two days ago with a dental hygienist, will see Raymie’s picture in the paper and (maybe) come home. To win, not only does Raymie have to do good deeds and learn how to twirl a baton; she also has to contend with the wispy, frequently fainting Louisiana Elefante, who has a show-business background, and the fiery, stubborn Beverly Tapinski, who’s determined to sabotage the contest. But as the competition approaches, loneliness, loss, and unanswerable questions draw the three girls into an unlikely friendship — and challenge each of them to come to the rescue in unexpected ways. Continue reading

Review: Hour of the Bees by Lindsay Eagar

22453777Hour of the Bees by Lindsay Eagar

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: March 8th, 2016
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 10+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Magical Realism, Contemporary, Family

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BLURB:

Things are only impossible if you stop to think about them. . . .

While her friends are spending their summers having pool parties and sleepovers, twelve-year-old Carolina — Carol — is spending hers in the middle of the New Mexico desert, helping her parents move the grandfather she’s never met into a home for people with dementia. At first, Carol avoids prickly Grandpa Serge. But as the summer wears on and the heat bears down, Carol finds herself drawn to him, fascinated by the crazy stories he tells her about a healing tree, a green-glass lake, and the bees that will bring back the rain and end a hundred years of drought. As the thin line between magic and reality starts to blur, Carol must decide for herself what is possible — and what it means to be true to her roots. Readers who dream that there’s something more out there will be enchanted by this captivating novel of family, renewal, and discovering the wonder of the world. Continue reading

Review: Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

13526165Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group
Publication Date: August 14th, 2012
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Point of View: 1st Person & Alternative
Recommended Age: 14+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Adult, Fiction, Contemporary, (Mild) Mystery, Family

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BLURB:

Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she’s a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she’s a disgrace; to design mavens, she’s a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom.

Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette’s intensifying allergy to Seattle—and people in general—has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands. A trip to the end of the earth is problematic.

To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, secret correspondence—creating a compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter’s role in an absurd world. Continue reading

Review: The Ghost and the Goth by Stacey Kade

7008041The Ghost and the Goth by Stacey Kade

My rating: 1.5 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group
Publication Date: June 29th, 2010
Publisher: Hyperion
Point of View: 1st Person & Alternative
Recommended Age: 11+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Ghosts, Stereotypes (!)

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BLURB:

Alona Dare–Senior in high school, co-captain of the cheerleading squad, Homecoming Queen three years in a row, voted most likely to marry a movie star… and newly dead.

I’m the girl you hated in high school. Is it my fault I was born with it all-good looks, silky blond hair, a hot body, and a keen sense of what everyone else should not be wearing? But my life isn’t perfect, especially since I died. Run over by a bus of band geeks—is there anything more humiliating? As it turns out, yes—watching your boyfriend and friends move on with life, only days after your funeral. And you wouldn’t believe what they’re saying about me now that they think I can’t hear them. To top it off, I’m starting to disappear, flickering in and out of existence. I don’t know where I go when I’m gone, but it’s not good. Where is that freaking white light already? Continue reading

Review: The Angel Experiment (Maximum Ride, #1) by James Patterson

13152The Angel Experiment by James Patterson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group
Publication Date: April 11th, 2005
Publisher: Little, Brown
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 10+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Action

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BLURB:

Six unforgettable kids — with no families, no homes — are running for their lives. Max Ride and her best friends have the ability to fly. And that’s just the beginning of their amazing powers. But they don’t know where they come from, who’s hunting them, why they are different from all other humans… and if they’re meant to save mankind — or destroy it. Continue reading

Review: Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future by A.S. King

17453303Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future by A.S. King

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group
Publication Date: October 14th, 2014
Publisher: Little, Brown BFYR
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Death, Magical Realism, Feminism

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BLURB:

In this masterpiece about freedom, feminism, and destiny, Printz Honor author A.S. King tells the epic story of a girl coping with devastating loss at long last–a girl who has no idea that the future needs her, and that the present needs her even more.

Graduating from high school is a time of limitless possibilities–but not for Glory, who has no plan for what’s next. Her mother committed suicide when Glory was only four years old, and she’s never stopped wondering if she will eventually go the same way…until a transformative night when she begins to experience an astonishing new power to see a person’s infinite past and future. From ancient ancestors to many generations forward, Glory is bombarded with visions–and what she sees ahead of her is terrifying: A tyrannical new leader raises an army. Women’s rights disappear. A violent second civil war breaks out. And young girls vanish daily, sold off or interned in camps. Glory makes it her mission to record everything she sees, hoping her notes will somehow make a difference. She may not see a future for herself, but she’ll do anything to make sure this one doesn’t come to pass. Continue reading

Review: Wildlife by Fiona Wood

20380942Wildlife by Fiona Wood

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group
Publication Date: September 16th, 2014
Publisher: Poppy
Point of View: 1st Person & Alternative
Recommended Age: 14+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Death, Contemporary, Friendship

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BLURB:

During a semester in the wilderness, sixteen-year-old Sib expects the tough outdoor education program and the horrors of dorm life, but friendship drama and love that gets complicated? That will take some navigating.

New girl Lou has zero interest in fitting in, or joining in. Still reeling from a loss that occurred almost a year ago, she just wants to be left alone. But as she witnesses a betrayal unfolding around Sib and her best friend Holly, Lou can’t help but be drawn back into the land of the living.

In this tender, funny story of first love, good friendship, and going a little bit wild, Fiona Wood introduces two unforgettable girls who discover that before you can be true to yourself, you have to figure out exactly who you are. Continue reading