Escape from Mr.Lemoncello’s Library – Chris Grabenstein

16054808Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: June 25th, 2013
Publisher: Random House BFYR
Point of View: 3rd Person & Alternative
Recommended Age: 9+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Adventure, Games

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BLURB:

Kyle Keeley is the class clown, popular with most kids, (if not the teachers), and an ardent fan of all games: board games, word games, and particularly video games. His hero, Luigi Lemoncello, the most notorious and creative gamemaker in the world, just so happens to be the genius behind the building of the new town library.

Lucky Kyle wins a coveted spot to be one of the first 12 kids in the library for an overnight of fun, food, and lots and lots of games. But when morning comes, the doors remain locked. Kyle and the other winners must solve every clue and every secret puzzle to find the hidden escape route. And the stakes are very high. Continue reading

Counting by 7s – Holly Goldberg Sloan

15937108Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: August 29th, 2013
Publisher: Dial Books
Point of View: 1st & 3rd Person
Recommended Age: 10+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Grief

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BLURB:

Willow Chance is a twelve-year-old genius, obsessed with nature and diagnosing medical conditions, who finds it comforting to count by 7s. It has never been easy for her to connect with anyone other than her adoptive parents, but that hasn’t kept her from leading a quietly happy life…until now.

Suddenly Willow’s world is tragically changed when her parents both die in a car crash, leaving her alone in a baffling world. The triumph of this book is that it is not a tragedy. This extraordinarily odd, but extraordinarily endearing, girl manages to push through her grief. Her journey to find a fascinatingly diverse and fully believable surrogate family is a joy and a revelation to read. Continue reading

Roller Girl – Victoria Jamieson

22504701Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: March 10th, 2015
Publisher: Dial Books
Point of View: 1st Person
Recommended Age: 10+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Sports, Graphic Novel, Friendship

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BLURB:

Twelve-year-old Astrid has always done everything with her best friend Nicole. So when Astrid signs up for roller derby camp, she assumes Nicole will too. But Nicole signs up for dance camp with a new friend instead, and so begins the toughest summer of Astrid’s life. There are bumps and bruises as Astrid learns who she is without Nicole…and what it takes to be a strong, tough roller girl. Continue reading

Kulti – Mariana Zapata

24044596Kulti by Mariana Zapata

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Bought
Publication Date: March 20th, 2015
Publisher: Indie
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 16+
Pacing: Slow
Genres & Themes: New Adult, Contemporary, Sports Romance

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BLURB:

When the man you worshipped as a kid becomes your coach, it’s supposed to be the greatest thing in the world. Keywords: supposed to.

It didn’t take a week for twenty-seven-year-old Sal Casillas to wonder what she’d seen in the international soccer icon—why she’d ever had his posters on her wall, or ever envisioned marrying him and having super-playing soccer babies.

Sal had long ago gotten over the worst non-break-up in the history of imaginary relationships with a man that hadn’t known she’d existed. So she isn’t prepared for this version of Reiner Kulti who shows up to her team’s season: a quiet, reclusive, shadow of the explosive, passionate man he’d once been.

Nothing could have prepared her for the man she got to know.

Or the murderous urges he brought out in her. Continue reading

George – Alex Gino

24612624George by Alex Gino

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: August 25th, 2015
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Point of View: 3rd Person
Recommended Age: 9+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Contemporary, LGBT

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BLURB:

BE WHO YOU ARE. When people look at George, they think they see a boy. But she knows she’s not…. Continue reading

Geekerella – Ashley Poston

30724132Geekerella by Ashley Poston

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: April 4th, 2017
Publisher: Quirk Books
Point of View: 1st Person & Alternative
Recommended Age: 11+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fairytale, Contemporary Romance, Cinderella

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BLURB:

Part romance, part love letter to nerd culture, and all totally adorbs, Geekerella is a fairy tale for anyone who believes in the magic of fandom. Geek girl Elle Wittimer lives and breathes Starfield, the classic sci-fi series she grew up watching with her late father. So when she sees a cosplay contest for a new Starfield movie, she has to enter. The prize? An invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball, and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. With savings from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck (and her dad’s old costume), Elle’s determined to win…unless her stepsisters get there first.

Teen actor Darien Freeman used to live for cons—before he was famous. Now they’re nothing but autographs and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Carmindor is all he’s ever wanted, but the Starfield fandom has written him off as just another dumb heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, Darien feels more and more like a fake—until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise. Continue reading

City of Saints & Thieves – Natalie C. Anderson

33956433City of Saints & Thieves by Natalie C. Anderson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: January 24th, 2017
Publisher: Putnam
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 14+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Mystery-Thriller, Vendetta

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BLURB:

In the shadows of Sangui City, there lives a girl who doesn’t exist. After fleeing the Congo as refugees, Tina and her mother arrived in Kenya looking for the chance to build a new life and home. Her mother quickly found work as a maid for a prominent family, headed by Roland Greyhill, one of the city’s most respected business leaders. But Tina soon learns that the Greyhill fortune was made from a life of corruption and crime. So when her mother is found shot to death in Mr. Greyhill’s personal study, she knows exactly who’s behind it.

With revenge always on her mind, Tina spends the next four years surviving on the streets alone, working as a master thief for the Goondas, Sangui City’s local gang. It’s a job for the Goondas that finally brings Tina back to the Greyhill estate, giving her the chance for vengeance she’s been waiting for. But as soon as she steps inside the lavish home, she’s overtaken by the pain of old wounds and the pull of past friendships, setting into motion a dangerous cascade of events that could, at any moment, cost Tina her life. But finally uncovering the incredible truth about who killed her mother—and why—keeps her holding on in this fast-paced nail-biting thriller. Continue reading