Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Heart of the Storm by Michael Buckley

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“There’s something out in that water. Be ready to take the people you love and leave when it comes onshore.”

For three months, Lyric Walker has been trapped in the hunting grounds, the Alpha city at the bottom of the ocean. But Lyric Walker, Brooklyn girl, is not going down without a fight. She makes an unlikely alliance with her jailor, a Rusalka named Husk. Husk reveals the truth about what actually resides in the Great Abyss. The Great Abyss is not some Alpha god but belongs to an unknown clan of monsters, ones who think in a hive mentality and believe anyone who cannot hear their voice is broken and must be destroyed. And Lyric has just woken them.

After a death-defying escape, Lyric makes her journey back to the mainland to prepare humanity for another monster invasion. Once reunited with her parents, Bex, and hot-nerd-with-potential Riley, Lyric has to break the terrible truth.

Lyric was just a girl when the Alpha arrived in her hometown. She was a soldier in the second attack that saved her world. What will she have to become now, and who will she have to leave behind?

My Thoughts

When I read Undertow I was thrilled!  A new, exciting book!  I knew I HAD to get the next in the series, Raging Sea.  Then, when I read Raging Sea I loved it even more than Undertow!  So good!  So, it was natural to long to pick up the next in the series, Heart of the Storm.  So... I did...

This book is my least favorite in the series.  I honestly didn't like it very much at all.  Now, I have read books that were a lot worse, but this one was not very good.

I flew through the first two books yet this one seemed to take a lot longer to read.  I think it is because I just couldn't get that into it!  There were things about it that just seemed so frustrating and rushed!  I hate that I didn't like this book.  I really enjoyed the last two so I had such high hopes for this one!

I will still read other Michael Buckley books.  I loved Raging Sea so much that I am still open to reading more of his books.  I just didn't really enjoy this one.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Raging Sea by Michael Buckley

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In the first book of Michael Buckley’s Undertow trilogy, the Alpha arrived and the world was never the same. At the start of the second book, most of south Brooklyn is in ruins and the nation is terrified. Nearly everyone that Lyric Walker loves is either missing or presumed dead, including the mesmerizing prince Fathom. It’s up to Lyric to unite the Alpha before the second wave of a cataclysmic invasion wipes out mankind for good. The Undertow trilogy is an unforgettable reading experience that author E. Lockhart calls, "Allegorical and romantic, the book nevertheless reads like an action movie with especially awesome CGI."

My Thoughts

Once again, I am blown away!  I am loving this series!

Michael Buckley is quite the writer!  His ability to describe thigs and even feelings is absolutely amazing to me.  For example, the way he describes the town that smells like pecans.  "The smell is everywhere.  I could twirl it around on my finger and plop it in my mouth."  Such a perfect way to get the point across!

His choice of words is like poetry.  Chapter 11 starts with, "I come back into this world swinging.  I am gnashing teeth and claws on throats.  My body's lust for damage burns like a dangerous fever."  Seriously!  Poetry!

And, some of the lines that the characters say!  So hilarious!  At one place Lyric mentions the tension because Arcade and Bex aren't really speaking to her.  Arcade says " I never speak to you, Lyric Walker, because the things you say make me angry and tempt me to kill you."  I seriously laughed out loud on that one!

I want to just meet and be friends with Michael Buckley.  He has to be such a witty person!

There are so many more things that I underlined in my book but I don't want to spoil it for anyone!  

Monday, November 11, 2019

The Top Secret Diary of Davina Dupree (Aged 10) by S K Sheridan


Davina Dupree's just arrived in a luxury boarding school against her wishes, but that's the least of her problems. Could it be that the two art teachers there are hiding a shady secret? And why won't the school bullies Clarice and Cleo leave her alone?  Davina turns detective. This is the first in a series of novels aimed at children between 8 and 12 years old with an engaging cast of characters. The book is written in a diary format and lets the reader's imagination run wild as Davina and her friends explore the school and the staff at their school.

My Thoughts

This is a pretty cute book.  When my daughter was younger this was the style book she loved to read.  Diary or journal type books are quick and fun to read so I can definitely see how children would enjoy this book.

The storyline was cute but the writing did need a little work but, remember, this review is coming from an adult and that is not the audience for this book.  I'm sure children wouldn't have any issues with how it is written.

*Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Queen of the Flowers by Delia Cerpa


The memories of a young Puerto Rican girl come to life in this charming memoir by Delia Cerpa that chronicles her growing up on an island paradise. Queen of the Flowers invites readers into another world in another time in a very special place - Puerto Rico. It is a place of lush tropical beauty, close-knit families, and old-fashioned values of a bygone era. Cerpa's master storytelling explores the life of young Garín and her nine brothers and sisters, and most importantly Mamá, a young widow who takes on the role as head of the family with skill and strength. Queen of the Flowers is about family, love, loss, and island culture. It deftly delves into questions of coping with death, family roles and responsibilities, childhood rites of passage, and finely described emotional experiences that shape this girl's mind and life. Queen of the Flowers is a thoughtful, richly described coming-of-age story -- one that is sure to touch hearts and minds.

My Thoughts

Ok.  My honest opinion.  This is a bit tough.

I really hate posting reviews that aren't positive.  I dread it every time I have to type one up.  But, here I am again, posting a not-so-wonderful review.

Here's the thing, as a book written for adults to read, this book is written as if a child wrote it instead of a grown, educated adult.  Not enjoyable for me.  On the flip side, if it has been written for a child to read it has hard subjects that I wouldn't necessarily recommend that a child read.

I feel especially bad for writing a review that it truly about someone's life.  It isn't that I didn't like hearing about her life and the way she grew up and things like that, it's just that the WAY it was written bothered me.

Unfortunately, I will have to give this book 2.5 stars.  Like I said, the stars do not reflect the story of her life, it reflects the writing.

*Note: I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Daughter of Magic and Wizard Girl by Karen Eisenbrey

Summary For Daughter of Magic

Luskell has been dreaming about dead people.

Her parents may be two most powerful wizards in the country, but Luskell doesn't have any magic of her own, so she's stuck spending a summer with her grandmother in the small town of Deep River where her father is the hometown hero. Then the dead start to visit her dreams with mysterious messages. In a secret pact with her friends Jagryn and Laki, Luskell begins to teach herself magic and discovers an apparently bottomless well of untapped power. But before she has control over this ability, her dead grandfather appears with a dire warning. With no way to send word to her parents, Luskell and her friends mount a daring rescue. Can they get to the capital in time to save the country ... and her parents' lives?

Summary For Wizard Girl

Girls can’t become wizards, but Luskell aims to do it anyway. She leaves the city on her quest ... with a murderer close behind. Now she must repair damaged friendships and trust an unexpected ally if she's going to stop the killer before he strikes again.
While an epidemic rages and a strangler stalks the streets of the city, Luskell trains and works as a healer, but she aspires to greater power. Though everyone knows girls can’t become wizards, she persuades Wizard Bardin to make her his apprentice. Luskell leaves the city on a quest for new magic and to explore mysteries that have more to do with love and desire. But the strangler follows her. She must gain the trust of old friends and an unexpected ally if she's going to stop the murderer before he strikes again.

My Thoughts

First of all, I kind of accidentally spoiled myself a little for the first book, Daughter of Magic, because I somehow thought that Wizard Girl was the first book so I read about 7 or 8 chapters before I realized that I must have been missing something.  I looked it up and, sure enough, I was reading book 2!  So I put it down and picked up Daughter of Magic.

Like I said, I did accidentally spoil myself with some of it but they were both still really good books!  I had actually forgotten that they had been sent to me to read and review until I decided to rearrange my bookshelves and came across them.  I so glad I did!

Luskell is a great character!  I pictured so much of these books and can definitely imagine them being made into movies.  I've been trying to decide who I think would make a good Luskell but I'm still undecided.

If you haven't read this series yet, you need to pick them up!

*Note: I received copies of these books in exchange for an honest review.

Undertow by Michael Buckley



Sixteen-year-old Lyric Walker’s life is forever changed when she witnesses the arrival of 30,000 Alpha, a five-nation race of ocean-dwelling warriors, on her beach in Coney Island. The world’s initial wonder and awe over the Alpha quickly turns ugly and paranoid and violent, and Lyric’s small town transforms into a military zone with humans on one side and Alpha on the other. When Lyric is recruited to help the crown prince, a boy named Fathom, assimilate, she begins to fall for him. But their love is a dangerous one, and there are forces on both sides working to keep them apart. Only, what if the Alpha are not actually the enemy? What if they are in fact humanity’s only hope of survival? Because the real enemy is coming. And it’s more terrifying than anything the world has ever seen.

Action, suspense, and romance whirlpool dangerously in this cinematic saga, a blend of District 9 and The Outsiders.

My Thoughts

This is another book that I really wasnt expecting.  Honestly, when I picked this book up at the used book store and read the summary, I think I was imagining a dystopian type book.  I was NOT expecting a scifi/fantasy type book!

With that being said, I actually really enjoyed it!  It was weird and unexpected but it kept me wanting to steal moments all throughout the day to read.  I didn't want to sleep because I wanted to read to see what was going to happen next!

I don't want to spoil anything so I won't say too much, but.... Shadow... I was certainly not expecting that!!!!

Now, I do have to add that the ending was way too open!  It felt like that was the middle of a book!  I guess that's so that the reader will want to pick up the next book asap!  Well, it worked!  Because I just ordered the next two today!  I now have to know what is going to happen next!!!!

Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon

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My disease is as rare as it is famous. It’s a form of Severe Combined Immunodeficiency, but basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in fifteen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives. New next door neighbors. I look out the window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black t-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly. I want to learn everything about him, and I do. I learn that he is funny and fierce. I learn that his eyes are Atlantic Ocean-blue and that his vice is stealing silverware. I learn that when I talk to him, my whole world opens up, and I feel myself starting to change—starting to want things. To want out of my bubble. To want everything, everything the world has to offer.

Maybe we can't predict the future, but we can predict some things.  For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Ollie.  It's almost certainly going to be a disaster.

My Thoughts

I honestly don't know how I avoided any spoilers of this book!  It's not new.  I've had it on my shelf for such a long time!  But, somehow, I just kept passing it over.  Well, I finally read it!

A few weeks ago, I decided to rearrange my bookshelves to put all of the books I haven't read all together.  I put all of the book titles in a big jar and on weekends I pull a book title from my tbr jar.  Well, I recently pulled out Everything Everything.  I wasn't exactly excited to read it because I figured it would end sad or something and I really wasn't in the mood to be sad.  But, I was determined to follow by tbr jar rules!

So, I picked the book up and started reading it.... and once again I ask, HOW DID I NOT KNOW?!  How did I not hear about the twist?

Anyways, I liked this book a lot more than I thought I would.  I'm not really sure why I didn't think I would enjoy it,but I'm so glad I did!