Friday, October 26, 2018

Cogheart by Peter Bunzl

Thirteen-year-old Lily Harman always dreamed of adventure. A strong-willed girl, Lily felt trapped in a life of Victorian stuffiness at her prim boarding school. But after her father-a famous inventor-disappears on a routine zeppelin flight, Lily's life gets turned upside down.

Now cared for by her guardian, the heartless Madame Verdigris, Lily is quite certain that she's being watched. Mysterious, silver-eyed men are lurking in the shadows, just waiting for their chance to strike. But what could they possibly want from her?

There are rumors, Lily learns, that her father had invented the most valuable invention ever made-a perpetual motion machine. But if he made such a miraculous discovery, he certainly never told Lily. And all he left behind is a small box-with no key, no hinges.

With the help of a clockmaker's son, Robert, and her mechanimal fox, Malkin, Lily escapes London in search of the one person who might know something about her father's disappearance-and what he left behind.

I love steampunk! Follow Lilly and Robert on a journey to locate Lilly's missing father. The additional cast of characters are creepy hybrid humans, a questionable housekeeper, a band of mechanical house servants and a mechanical fox was hilarious. This book was a fun, suspenseful adventure that kept me on the edge of my seat, made me laugh, and made me cry. Perfect for steampunk fans of all ages.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Pandora Reborn by John Coon

Ron Olson is a reluctant newcomer to Deer Falls. Adjusting to this small Colorado town is tough for Ron, who has been torn away from his father, his friends, and his soccer team.

His situation takes a frightening turn when a mysterious woman in black is released from a chest that imprisoned her. This ancient and powerful evil descends upon Deer Falls and a series of unexplained deaths follow. No one is safe. Anyone in the town could be next.

Ron is soon targeted by the centuries-old malevolent witch as she reigns terror and death upon the town. Can Ron and his new friends find out the truth about the deaths that have plagued the town and stop the witch before more people die?

Review: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
This book was AMAZING! It hooked me in from the start and kept my attention throughout. I read it in one sitting! The cast of characters was perfect for this book. I feel like Dean should have gotten a bigger part though. I am going to put this on my Halloween reads shelf!

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Nobody's Sweetheart Now - Maggie Robinson

A delightful English cozy series begins in August 1924. Lady Adelaide Compton has recently (and satisfactorily) interred her husband, Major Rupert Charles Cressleigh Compton, hero of the Somme, in the family vault in the village churchyard.

Rupert died by smashing his Hispano-Suiza on a Cotswold country road while carrying a French mademoiselle in the passenger seat. With the house now Addie's, needed improvements in hand, and a weekend house party underway, how inconvenient of Rupert to turn up! Not in the flesh, but in - actually, as a - spirit. Rupert has to perform a few good deeds before becoming welcomed to heaven - or, more likely, thinks Addie, to hell.

Before Addie can convince herself she's not completely lost her mind, a murder disrupts her careful seating arrangement. Which of her twelve houseguests is a killer? Her mother, the formidable Dowager Marchioness of Broughton? Her sister Cecilia, the born-again vegetarian? Her childhood friend and potential lover, Lord Lucas Waring? Rupert has a solid alibi as a ghost and an urge to detect.

Enter Inspector Devenand Hunter from the Yard, an Anglo-Indian who is not going to let some barmy society beauty witnessed talking to herself derail his investigation. Something very peculiar is afoot at Compton Court and he's going to get to the bottom of it - or go as mad as its mistress trying.

Review: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I am a huge fan of characters like Phryne Fisher, Agatha Raisin, and anything by Agatha Christy. This book is right up there with these fabulous authors and characters. I loved Addy's character. She was well developed and her look on society norms (women fainting) often made me laugh. Her husband's ghost also provided some laugh out loud moments. This book is going to join all of my other cozy mysteries and get read on a regular basis.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

The Girl's Guide to Conquering Middle School by Erica and Jonathan Catherman


The transition from elementary school to middle school skirts the borders of traumatic for many girls. Their bodies are changing, their moods are shifting, their friendships are tested, and boys can become a big distraction. Girls may begin to struggle with grades, behavior, and relationships with family and friends. How do they know what to do and what not to do in this new environment with new expectations?

Erica and Jonathan Catherman offer girls ages ten to twelve the practical help they need to make the move to middle school as painless as possible. The "do this, not that" format covers a hundred relevant topics and situations middle school girls will face, including the first day, bullies, test taking, cell phone use, homework, gossip, leadership, respect, sports, PDA, and many more.

Review: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Middle school is tough. Not only is a girl's body going through changes, but there is social scenarios, appropriate responses, and behaviors that can either create friends or make enemies. How is a girl fresh out of elementary supposed to cope with this new environment with unspoke rules? The Girls' Guide to Conquering Middle School has the answers. The book has alphabetical listings for everything from the 1st day to Zombies. The topics are covered in ways that are relatable to middle school girls. Each topic also includes a fun fact, a brief true story, quotes or jokes. Each topic includes examples of what to do and what not to do. I would highly recommend this book to every young girl making the monumental transition from elementary to middle school; from the world of a little girl to young lady.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Bah! Humbug! - By Michael Rosen Illustrated by Tony Ross

A timely retelling of A Christmas Carol for the whole family about a smartphone-obsessed dad.

This Christmas, join Michael Rosen and Tony Ross with their unforgettable retelling of Charles Dickens's beloved holiday classic. Harry Gruber plays the role of Scrooge in his school's production of "A Christmas Carol," and he is extra nervous about tonight's performance because his father is in the audience — not away for business, as usual. Will the story's message of Christmas cheer and the redemptive power of love reach his father's distracted Scrooge heart?

Review: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Harry gets to play Scrooge for his school play. His dad, however, grumbled and complained about having to go see it. During the play, Dad gets a phone call and leaves for business matters. As Harry does an outstanding performance, Dad slowly starts to realize what is most important.  This was a super cute retelling of A Christmas Carol. I loved the characters, the humor, and the writing. This book is going to get added to my Christmas reading rotation.  My 10-year-old stole my kindle and finished it before I could and she said to make sure everyone knew how good it was and it deserved 50 stars. I have to agree. The illustrations were cute, and I loved the style.

Twilight Then vs. Now - New Moon Review

“The bond forged between us was not one that could be broken by absence, distance, or time.  And no matter how much more special or beautifu...