Denton Little’s Deathdate – Lance Rubin

untitled (13)Denton Little’s Deathdate takes place in a world exactly like our own except that everyone knows the day on which they will die. For Denton, that’s in just two days—the day of his senior prom.

Despite his early deathdate, Denton has always wanted to live a normal life, but his final days are filled with dramatic firsts. First hangover. First sex. First love triangle—as the first sex seems to have happened not with his adoring girlfriend, but with his best friend’s hostile sister. (Though he’s not totally sure—see, first hangover.) His anxiety builds when he discovers a strange purple rash making its way up his body. Is this what will kill him? And then a strange man shows up at his funeral, claiming to have known Denton’s long-deceased mother, and warning him to beware of suspicious government characters. . . . Suddenly Denton’s life is filled with mysterious questions and precious little time to find the answers.

Denton Little has a date with death. In fact, thanks to AstroThanatoGenetics, Denton knows the exact date of his death. He doesn’t know how or what time it will happen, but sometime tomorrow Denton will die. And if that wasn’t bad enough he has to attend his own funeral where he will be expected to listen to many people, most of who he doesn’t know or doesn’t care about, blather on about how much they will miss him, how much he means to them, not to mention the stories and anecdotes. On the plus side when its his turn to eulogize himself he can say everything he’s always wanted to say to people with no regrets or repercussions.

But don’t expect this to be a morbid book about a teenager coming to terms with death. If you read the synopsis then you will know to expect all kinds of interesting things to happen… in just a very short time. For a book that takes place in less than 48 hours it’s a non stop ride of drama, emotion and humor. And when some extra strange things start to happen Denton is rushing to solve a mystery and spent his last hours with family. Maybe there is more to this deathdate thing than he has been told, and who can he trust? Could there be a chance to live past his date?

A unique perspective on life and death, just look past the morbidity and find the humor. Its a great book, I promise!

The Genius Files: Mission Unstoppable – Dan Gutman

GeniusFiles_final_lg

Coke and Pepsi McDonald didn’t want to jump off a cliff.

They didn’t want to get hit by poisoned darts from blowguns either. And they certainly don’t want to get locked in their burning school, thrown into a pit at the top of a sand dune, or drowned in a vat of liquified SPAM. But what are you supposed to do when you’re being chased across the country by your insane health teacher and two guys in bowler hats who are trying to kill you? One thing’s for sure, it’ll be a snap for Coke and Pep to write their essays on “How I Spent My Summer Vacation.”

Want to join in the fun? Fire up the old Google Maps and follow the McDonald twins as they get chased from the Pez museum to the largest ball of twine in the world.

Watch out for the Frisbee grenades!

Sometimes being really smart isn’t necessarily a good thing, especially if you have been secretly recruited by a top secret agency that wants to use the smartest kids to solve the nation’s problems. Doesn’t sound too bad does it? Um, hello? Did you not just read the synopsis above? Coke and Pep have been instructed to keep all of this a secret from their parents. Their parents have decided to take an RV trip across the country and maybe stop at some really “Amazing But True” attractions. Want to know another amazing but true fact about all these attractions? They are all real! Seriously! Don’t believe me? Go look it up!  Between coded ciphers and people following them with the intent to kill them the twins have a lot to keep them busy.  This book has it all! So much action, adventure, and plenty of humor to keep a reader glued to the pages. And the fact that you can follow their journey using Google Maps gives a great perspective on the unusual journey they are taking. So, if you’re up for a spy-like adventure look no further. And make sure to have the next book handy to keep the adventure going. I, for one, loved this book!

Great book for grades 3 and up

Grimmtastic Girls: Red Riding Hood Gets Lost – Joan Holub & Suzanne Williams

Grimmtastic #2Red Riding Hood is thrilled to try out for the school play. Acting is her dream, and she’s great at it–too bad she has stage fright! After a grimmiserable audition, Red decides to focus on helping her friends Cinda, Snow, and Rapunzel save Grimm Academy from the E.V.I.L. Society. But when Red gets lost in Neverwood forest and runs into Wolfgang, who might be part of E.V.I.L., she needs her magic basket and a grimmazingly dramatic performance to figure out what’s going on!

The Grimmtastic Girls are back! After a grimmiserable audition for the school play Red decides that maybe she will have to give up her dream of acting. And when a magical basket seems to take a liking to Red she decides to use it to continue with helping her friends Cinda, Snow, and Rapunzel figure out who is behind the E.V.I.L Society. To makes things worse Red is suspecting that the mysterious Wolfgang, who always seems to be showing up places, might be working with or be a part of E.V.I.L. Seems there are a few people who would like to get their hands on Red’s magic basket, and it’s getting harder and harder to know who to trust. So, come join the adventure and see what’s happening this time. Just be on the lookout for E.V.I.L Society members… you never know where they might pop up!

Another fantastic book in this series! I wish these had been around when I was a young reader. Fairytale stories mixing together, wonderful friendships being cultivated and girl power characters. Grimmazing read for Readers Grade 3 to 6. And I can’t wait to read the next one!

Dream Reader

Anyone who says they only have one life must not know how to read a book” – Author Unknown

A few weeks ago I was presented with a challenge, write a blog post for my dream reader. At the time I didn’t really know that was. And honestly, I’m still not exactly sure who that it. But maybe for me and my blog that’s a good thing. The more books I read and write about, the more I realize that my blog isn’t targeted to anyone in particular. Maybe my dream reader is you, or the person sitting next to you, or even the person you said hello to in the hallway last week. See what I’m getting at? For me this isn’t about a dream reader. It’s about reaching out to an audience of readers and non-readers who might be looking for something new. Maybe I’m looking to reach out to people who want to go on an adventure, lose themselves in a magical world, watch characters find themselves amid adversity, or just have a few laughs. I wouldn’t be posting about these books unless I wanted to share my love of books and hopefully help someone find their next read. So, to you I say, come along for the ride and I hope you enjoy some new adventures with me!
love-reading

World Book Night 2014

SKEENA - world book night 3  April 23 is the UNESCO International Day of the Book, as well as Shakespeare’s birthday! It was also chosen in honor of Miguel de Cervantes, who died on April 23, 1616 (the same day as Shakespeare). In the Catalan region of Spain, the day is celebrated by giving a book and a flower to a loved one.  World Book Night was first celebrated in the UK and Ireland in 2011.

World Book Night is an annual celebration dedicated to spreading the love of reading, person to person.  Each year on April 23 –Shakespeare’s birthday– tens of thousands of people in the U.S. go out into their communities and give a total of half a million free World Book Night paperbacks to light and non-readers.

Thanks to Books-A-Million I was able to participate in this event. It was an honor to be asked, and as an avid book lover I jumped at the opportunity to be involved with such a great event. A co-worker and I packed up some great books and headed to a nearby fast food restaurant. In less than 90 minutes we were able to share our own passion of books with 27 people. It was hard not to get so excited! Even the people we talked to got excited about the books, and seeing people walk away with a book and a smile made every minute worthwhile. I had such a good time and so did the people around us, and I am hoping I will have the chance to participate in this wonderful event again next year!

Someone is excited about her book!

Someone is excited about her book!

Me enjoying a few pages.

Me enjoying a few pages.

 

Ever After High: The Unfairest of Them All – Shannon Hale

Ever after high 2It’s the aftermath of Legacy Day, the day when the students at Ever After High are supposed to pledge to follow in their fairytale parents’ footsteps, and everyone is in a huff and a puff! Raven Queen, daughter of the Evil Queen, has refused to sign the Storybook of Legends, rejecting her story–and putting everyone else’s in jeopardy.
The Royal Apple White doesn’t want to think Raven is being a rebellious pain, but Raven’s choice means Apple might never get the poisoned apple, Prince Charming, and a kingdom to rule. Behind Apple stands the Royals, those who want to play by the book and embrace their stories. The Rebels, supporters of Raven, believe in breaking free from destiny and writing their own stories.
But when the chaos and rivalry land wonderlandiful Madeline Hatter in trouble, Raven and Apple must bring the Royals and the Rebels together to shut the book on their feud before it threatens to end all of their Happily Ever Afters once and for all.

Now that everyone and their destinies are in question some characters are not sure what to do next. The turmoil wreaks havoc on both Rebels and Royals, and Apple White seems to be stressing the most. How is she going to get her Happily Ever After now? Most of the Rebels are looking forward to writing their own destiny, seeing as not all of them want the Un-Happily Ever After that would have befallen them. And no matter how Apple tries she can’t get Raven to change her mind, making a larger chasm between the two factions. But can they work together in order to save Madeline Hatter from a very unfortunate punishment?

As a follow-up to the first book its a really good sequel. I liked that characters and their personalities were definitely evolving. The more you read the more you understand how many more characters are affected by the current events. We don’t always take into consideration how all of the stories affect some of the not so famous fairytale characters.  Personally I welcome the idea of these characters getting to possibly rewrite their stories. Two thumbs up to Shannon Hale for showing us all that not following in the footsteps of someone else might turn out to be a better destiny.

Just Jake – Jake Marcionette

untitled (4)Jake and his family have just been relocated from Florida to Maryland and to make matters worse Jake finds out that instead of heading to middle school his sixth grade experience will be in elementary school. So NOT Awesome!! But Jake isn’t just a normal kid, he has a secret superpower… Awesomeness! So, armed with his rules for awesomeness he is setting out to go from the bottom of the social ladder back up to the top. But, thanks to an annoyingly mean older sister, school bullies and adults who just don’t understand it won’t be easy.

Even as an adult I loved this book. The writing is exactly what I would expect from an age appropriate author and I found it to be very relevant to current language trends. This book has some great visuals like stains, random pictures and doodles, and of course Jake’s famous “Kid Cards” but did anyone else notice the flipbook at the bottom of the pages? When I found these I was so amused I couldn’t wait to show it off  immediately and this will be something I show to everyone who comes to look at this book. All of the characters were great and the way Jake describes them in both his cards and general descriptions made for such a fun read. This is a 5 star read and perfect for middle school readers who already like things like Diary of a Wimpy Kid or Big Nate. Just don’t forget to check out the flipbook…. Trust me, it’s awesome!

The Copernicus Legacy: The Forbidden Stone – Tony Abbott

untitledA secret past can destroy the future

It all begins when Wade Kaplan receives a strange, coded email from his uncle Henry, shortly before the old man’s sudden and suspicious death. He sets off for Germany to attend the funeral with his father, Roald, and his three friends Darrell, Lily, and Becca, only to discover that Uncle Henry left them yet another baffling message that they suspect is the key to figuring out how and why he died.

The message leads to a clue, which sends them to a dark and creepy family tomb. The more clues they discover, the farther they travel down a treacherous path toward an ancient, guarded secret. Soon, they are in a breathless race across the globe, running for their lives as a ruthless shadow organization chases them around every corner. Their only hope of saving themselves—and the world that they know—is to find twelve magical relics from a hidden past that will unlock the Copernicus Legacy.

My first impression? It’s Percy Jackson meets James Bond. Seriously! Totally 5 out of 5 stars! It was a great read from the first page to the last. A fast paced mystery filled with tons of history. Even at my age I learned a few things I didn’t know, so young history buffs will absolutely love it.   Wade and his friends aren’t just ordinary kids. Tech-savvy, resourceful, inquisitive, witty, and adventurous. They all bring something great to the adventure. After Wade’s dad is temporarily detained during part of the worldwide whirlwind the kids don’t miss a beat, managing to always stay on step ahead of the villains. Its a fast paced story, and I had to go back and reread pages every once in awhile to make sure I was staying on track. Ok, so some of it may be a little too unbelievable but that’s what makes it even better. What better way to enjoy a book than when you get to ignore some logic and get engrossed with an addictive story that just keeps you on the edge of your seat. This is going to be a 6 book series and I, for one, love series books so I can’t wait to see how this plays out. So, if you know an adventurous reader looking for a good spy-like book tell them to check this out!

The School for Good and Evil – Soman Chainani

SchoolforGood-pb-cFairy tales in a nutshell; you usually have a prince, a princess and an evil witch. The prince uses good to fight the evil witch in order to rescue the beautiful princess and they live happily ever after. Sometimes we have to wonder where did the fairy tale really start? In the book The School for Good and Evil we are taken behind the scenes and get a glimpse of how the fairy tale starts before we read about it in a book.

When the very beautiful Sophie and the unfortunate looking Agatha are kidnapped away from their home of Galvadon to the school where children learn to be part of fairy tales it would only seem natural that Sophie would be placed in the school for good and Agatha would be sent to the school of evil. But in a twist of events they are placed in the opposite schools. Sophie is learning to be a villain despite her desire to be a princess. And Agatha is being forced to learn to be a proper princess among boys who strive to be the next Prince Charming. Turns out that the battle of good versus evil is not as simple as we would think. In a dark story about princesses, witches, and even all the little characters that make a fairy tale famous one may ask themselves; what happens when good becomes evil? What happens when evil becomes good? What happens when the lines between good and evil become blurred?

I gave this book a 4 out 5. This book drew me in with the fantastic artwork and the synopsis had me really hyped. There are a lot of books out there that deal with the fairytale world but this one stood out and I knew it was something I had to read.  It was darker than I had expected for a kids novel and I wasn’t expecting some of the violent outbursts. That being said, I enjoyed the book but it wasn’t something I would recommend for a young reader.  It was a fairly long book and had a tendency to feel like it was taking forever to progress.  I have had the pleasure of recommending this book to customers who took an interest like I did.  Sophie and Agatha’s story definitely had a unique twist and even with a somewhat predictable storyline it made for an enjoyable read, however none of the other characters stood out for me. The fairy tale aspect was really neat as we got to see how a character progresses and learns his or her place in a fairytale. Next time you sit down to read Cinderella or Snow White just remember this… there is always a story behind the fairytale. I will definitely be anxiously awaiting the next installment in order to see what’s next for Sophie and Agatha!

Confectionately Yours: Save the Cupcake! – Lisa Papademetriou

Save the cupcakeHayley’s world is far from perfect: her parents have divorced, her mom has lost her job, and she and her sister Chloe are stuck sharing a bedroom in their grandmother’s apartment. Luckily, Hayley has a knack for baking cupcakes — and cupcakes always make life just a little sweeter! But when she and her best friend Artie start drifting apart, she realizes that it’s going to take more than sugar and spice to make things nice.

If there was ever a book that would make me hungry, this is it! In fact, now I want cupcakes! Hayley’s’ story is a true testimonial to the average young girl her age. Her parents are divorced, her best friend is almost dating the boy Hayley has a crush on, her dad is dating a new woman and even her baby sister seem to be moving on and adapting. Trouble is, Hayley is feeling left behind by her friends. Artie, her best friend, has gotten bit by the acting bug and has started hanging out with a new crowd. Marco, her other best friend seem to be distancing himself to which Hayley has no idea why. The one things that stays constant is Hayley’s love of making cupcakes, which seem to be gaining popularity over at the café her Gran runs. And while cupcakes won’t make her whole world make sense, it certainly makes it tastier. And in case you need more reason to open this book up, its even got recipes for Hayley’s unique cupcakes. It’s a great light read for readers 8 and up. And on that note, I’m off to find myself a cupcake! Yum!