Review/ Altered

Review/ AlteredAltered by Jennifer Rush
Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers on 2013-01-01
Pages: 336
Goodreads
Genres: Action & Adventure, General, Love & Romance, Science & Technology, Young Adult

They were made to forget. But they'll never forgive.Everything about Anna's life is a secret. Her father works for the Branch, at the helm of its latest project: monitoring and administering treatments to the four genetically altered boys in the lab below their farmhouse. There's Nick, solemn and brooding; Cas, light-hearted and playful; Trev, smart and caring; and Sam . . . who's stolen Anna's heart.When the Branch decides it's time to take the boys, Sam stages an escape. Anna's father pushes her to go with them, making Sam promise to keep her away from the Branch, at all costs. On the run, with her father's warning in her head, Anna begins to doubt everything she thought she knew about herself. She soon discovers that she and Sam are connected in more ways than either of them expected. And if they're both going to survive, they must piece together the clues of their past before the Branch catches up to them and steals it all away.

LIbrary Card Month w/The Geeky Blogger
As I was cleaning up my blog over the weekend I noticed several posts that were in draft mode and it was mainly a bunch of ideas that I wanted to work on for posts and several reviews of books. Does anyone else do that?
One of the reviews was for Altered by Jennifer Rush. This was her debut novel and for some reason I never posted the review and it wasn’t a complete review so I went to the library to see if I could borrow the book and re-read it since my copy of the book has been either given away or its packed in a box in the basement. I know I did read it all because I have it documented in my note book and its noted review to come so I am sure real life must have gotten in the way or I just thought I had posted it.
Anyways back to Altered. I really enjoyed it. The next book  in the series is Erased and it will be released in paper back in December 2014 and the third book is Reborn and its coming out in hardcover in January 2015. I am looking forward to reading the rest of the books in the series.
I really enjoyed the book and I think I read it rather quickly this time around. I was sucked in right away and had a hard time to put it down at times which for me makes a book that more enjoyable. I love books like that. There is alot going on and it kept you on your toes throughout the book.
One of the things I loved about this book is that Jennifer told the story beautifully. She created a world that wasn’t far fetched if that makes sense and it made you think that this could literally happen next door to you. She didn’t give alot of nonsense to the story and provided just the right of information when you need it, if that makes sense. For me I love a story that has a little back ground to it because you want to know but when it becomes to much information I find it takes away from the book so Jennifer bravo for doing it right. You have earned a fan from me.

I also loved how at every turn you knew something would happen but not quite sure what it would be. I love the element of surprise and Altered has just that. Alot of questions were answered as the story went along and she did leave you with a cliff hanger that left you wanting to read more. I will have to check to see if book two is available.

If your a young adult who loves action, mystery and suspense then this is the book for you. There isn’t much romance happening and you would think there would be some with some hot guys (Nick, Trev, Cas and Sam) running around with you but there isn’t although at times I thought there might be. I do have to say that I did secretly crush and hoped Anna would fall for Trev. Trev would be my dream guy because not only was he tall, dark and handsome but he was a reader and he loved to read. How can you not fall in love with someone like that?
Growing up Anna always knew her dad was up to something but wasn’t completely sure until she was old enough when her father would allow her to come and help him in his secret lab. I always thought it was a little weird that she didn’t fully know what was going on just feet away from her. I guess maybe she thought that was normal but I know I would have been like wow four hot guys being held in my basement, I need to do something.
It was nice to see Anna grow into her character as the book progressed. She started out as the shy awkward kid and then grew  into a force to be reckoned with.
I can’t wait to read Erased and dig more into the storyline and characters.
What you read this series? What did you think of it?

Review/ Courtney Crumrin The Coven of Mystics

Courtney Crumrin and the Coven of Mystics by Ted Naifeh
Published by Oni Press, Incorporated on 2003
Pages: 32

This is a special edition bound up book of the second set of four comics. The other graphic novels that I will be reviewing are in this same format. What a great way to read a comic isn’t it?

Courtney is trying and learning on how to use her powers for good and not evil or for selfish reasons.  Courtney is still struggling to make friends at school and I hope that she will be able to find that one friend who will change things for her. Right now she is just trying to survive school.

Courtney and her relationship with her Uncle is progressing and he is trying his best to keep her out of trouble but she just doesn’t listen to him. He has taken her under his wing and teaching her things. Even though it seems like she will do anything she wants no matter what the out come could be.

The same characters return with some new additional ones. It was nice to see a little more depth to Courtney and her Uncle.

A  Hobgoblin (Tommy Rawhead) is a man eating goblin is on the loose and every one in is worried. Normally nothing really bothers the Night things except this. They fear him. So in steps the Council of the Coven and they decide that they need to step it up and call in Aloysius to take care of the hobgoblin because a prominent warlock,  his wife and family was murdered.

Will Aloysius be able to stop the hobgoblin before its too late?

The story line this time is just a little bit darker then the previous one but its still done in the same style and illustrations.

I am curious to see what will happen in the next volume.

 

 

Review/ The Boy Project

Review/ The Boy ProjectThe Boy Project by Kami Kinard
Published by Scholastic Inc. on 2012-01-01
Pages: 272
Goodreads
Genres: Friendship, General, Humorous Stories, Social Issues, Young Adult

For anyone who's ever felt that boys were a different species.... Wildly creative seventh grader Kara McAllister just had her best idea yet. She's going to take notes on all of the boys in her grade (and a few elsewhere) in order to answer a seemingly simple question: How can she get a boyfriend? But Kara's project turns out to be a lot more complicated than she imagined. Soon there are secrets, lies, and an embarrassing incident in the boy's bathroom. Plus, Kara has to deal with mean girls, her slightly spacey BFF, and some surprising uses for duct tape. Still, if Kara's research leads her to the right boy, everything may just be worth it. . . . Full of charts and graphs, heart and humor, this hilarious debut will resonate with tweens everywhere.

LIbrary Card Month w/The Geeky Blogger
This has been a book that has been on my wishlist since it first came out so I was happy to see it sitting on the shelf at my library.  The library is a great place to find books that you have sitting on your wishlist to read and I am making more of an effort to use the library for that purpose.
Kara was a character I could totally have related to if I was her age. I remember being in school and feeling like the only girl who didn’t/never have/had a boyfriend. The only difference between the both of us was that Kara decided to take matters into her own hands where I would have been a complete chicken.
Kara decides that in order to get anywhere you need to observe and that she does. She takes notes of the guys in her class, school and around here. Then she also observes the girls and makes notes. I loved the cute little names she would use such as Maybelline and this was in reference to the girls who wore to much make up and the Vines were the girls who were always hanging around the guys. You remember those girls right?
Reading this book I wondered where was this book when I needed it. I think so many younger girls would appreciate this book because Kami doesn’t make it to be this one big happy ever after thing where Kara gets what she wants she shows the reader that we all make mistakes and face embarrassing things but its okay because thats what makes us who we are.
I love books like this because it makes you realize that everyone is human and that we all make mistakes or get into embarrassing situations. I think we learn from those moments in time. I know in school I did a lot of embarrassing things (and at the time I wanted to die and run away) but I think it made me who I am today and the friends I still have in my life due to that says alot and those ones are truly friends. (You know who you are)
I also loved how Kami included notes, charts and graphs to the book because I feel as though it added to the book. It was sort of like reading a diary at times and I honestly like those kind of books.
I should also let you know that book 2 is out and its called The Boy Problem and its Kara’s BFF Tara’s story and its sort of the same idea. I will need to check this one out too.
Have you read this book?

Review/ Courtney Crumrin The Night Things Vol 1

Review/ Courtney Crumrin The Night Things Vol 1Courtney Crumrin And the Night Things by Ted Naifeh
Published by Demco Media on 2005-04-01
Pages: 120
Goodreads
Genres: Comics & Graphic Novels, Contemporary, Fantasy, Fiction, General

Presenting the initial Courtney Crumrin miniseries in a new digest-sized format. Courtney's parents have dragged her out to a high-to-do suburb to live with her creepy Great Uncle Aloysius in his spooky old house. She's not only the new kid in school, but she also discovers strange things lurking under her bed.

One of the best things about going to the library is being able to spend time and just looking around. I tend to do this when Michael is at the library doing an activity. I just walk up and down all the isles to see what is there.

It seems like this summer was the summer of discovering comics (for Michael) and manga’s/graphic novels for me. I spend almost an hour and a half just going through the adult and young adult graphic novels/manga’s. I managed to find some really good ones that I will be reviewing this month.

Every Friday this month I will be reviewing the Courtney Crumrin series.

Flipping through the book I have to say the illustrations are really nice. You can tell this isn’t a cute little book but a bit darker then a kids manga. According the the retail sites they say its good for kids 7 and up but it was labelled in the young adult section at our library. I don’t think I would let Michael read it because it is a bit dark and not really age appropriate in my opinion. Plus there is some language (I am sure he knows the words anyway from school) and some sexual content. Nothing graphic but still he is only 11.

This is a special edition bound up book of the first four comics. The other graphic novels that I will be reviewing are in this same format. What a great way to read a comic isn’t it?

The graphic novels are about a girl named Courtney. She hates people, has no friends, is a loner and is being forced to move and live with her uncle Aloysius because her parents are living beyond their means and want to live the life of their wealthy friends and climb the social ladder and they feel this will do it for them.

Courtney is not impressed and she knows something is up with the house and her uncle when she starts seeing mysterious things out of the corner of her eye. Not quite sure what to make of it she begins to investigate and stumbles into her uncle’s study and discovers a book. This book isn’t like any other book and it explains what goblins are and so much more.

With this knowledge she decides to trap this goblin, Butterworth (who by the way also narrators  the story). Courtney also realizes this book can change her life drastically and could make living there much more enjoyable. She decides to cast a spell that will help her out at school. What Courtney doesn’t realize is that some times something so little can turn into something more. All of a sudden Courtney is Ms. Popular. Courtney doesn’t like this and has no idea what to do because she will be in trouble if her uncle finds out about this.

As the story progresses her parents realize that they will do anything and everything to be on that social path even if it means having Courtney babysit a baby so that the parents can hang out. Sure sounds simple enough right well its not all peachy keen when the baby is swapped for a changeling. The baby was taken to be sold in an auction and now Courtney is a race to safe that baby before its too late. Can she do it?

Finally the last comic in the book was a bit heart breaking. Courtney has gotten sick and she is becoming weaker and weaker. Courtney decides that perhaps if she got out she would get better but quickly realizes that things aren’t what they seem. What will Courtney do when she finds out what has happened since she has been sick?

This made for a fun and quick read. I am curious to see what happens in the next book and the ones after that.

 

Review/ Every You, Every Me

Review/ Every You, Every MeEvery You, Every Me by David Levithan
Published by Alfred A. Knopf on 2011
Pages: 248
Source: Book From Library
Goodreads
Genres: Dating & Sex, Love & Romance, Mysteries & Detective Stories, School & Education, Social Issues, Young Adult

In this high school-set psychological tale, a tormented teen named Evan starts to discover a series of unnerving photographs—some of which feature him. Someone is stalking him . . . messing with him . . . threatening him. Worse, ever since his best friend Ariel has been gone, he's been unable to sleep, spending night after night torturing himself for his role in her absence. And as crazy as it sounds, Evan's starting to believe it's Ariel that's behind all of this, punishing him. But the more Evan starts to unravel the mystery, the more his paranoia and insomnia amplify, and the more he starts to unravel himself. Creatively told with black-and-white photos interspersed between the text so the reader can see the photos that are so unnerving to Evan, Every You, Every Me is a one-of-a-kind departure from a one-of-a-kind author.

LIbrary Card Month w/The Geeky Blogger

As you may or may not know September is National Library Card Signup Month. This fun event is being hosted by Felicia from Geeky Bloggers Book Blog and Jennifer from The Book Nympho . Be sure to stop by their blogs this month to see all their fun and exciting posts.

I mentioned in my post yesterday we are big fans of the library and we all have library cards that we use quite frequently but I have to admit that the cards are used the most June, July and August because that is when the summer reading program begins at our library. Over the course of the three months we borrow alot of books.

Michael picks out things he would like to read and for me I tend to pick out books that are on my wishlist to read or books that I have been meaning to buy and just never did. So this month I am posting reviews of books I have borrowed from the library.

Every You, Every Me was one of those books I had wanted to read when it came out and I admit every time I went to the book store I would pick it up and walk around the store with it and then would put it back. Needless to say it never came home with me.

Image my surprise when I was walking around the library and spotted this book just sitting on top of the trolley, I picked it up and decided okay this time I need to bring it home and read.  I quickly checked it out and decided to sit and read while Michael was doing an activity.

I am not going to get into a big review of this book just because I am sure every one has probably read this already.

I feel bad for saying this but I have never read anything by David Levithan before this and after reading Every You, Every Me that this was probably not the best book to start off with. It was a quick read which was nice   but I didn’t really enjoy the book. I am probably in the minority on this one right?

I liked the concept that Jonathan Farmer had sent photos to David with no idea on how the book would play out and that was a unique concept and David wrote the book based on that. I don’t think this has been done before, correct me if I am wrong please.

I never fully understood the strikethrough that was happening through out the book. At times I found it very confusing and that might have been one of the reasons I didn’t really like the book. Did this bother anyone else?

When I started to read the book I was interested because you had no idea who anyone was right away and then slowly we find out who people are and you begin to wonder what could have happened to Ariel and who was sending those photos. I think I would have liked to have a little idea of what could have happened in the beginning and not the end. I was thinking that she perhaps ran away/ disappeared or she killed herself and its not revealed until the end.

I was wondering who was leaving the photos and why and I guess I was expecting more of a bang at the end over this and it just felt like that never happened.

Will this stop me from picking up another book by David to read? Nope I am still curious about this writing and books and I do believe I might possibly have one of his books in a box that I will have to dig out once I am done renovating the basement to read.

What is the next book I should pick up by David Levithan to read?

 

Review/ Way to Go

Review/ Way to GoWay to Go by Tom Ryan
Published by Orca Book Publishers on 2012-04-01
Pages: 224
Goodreads
Genres: Adolescence, Dating & Sex, Friendship, Homosexuality, Social Issues, Young Adult

Danny thinks he must be the only seventeen-year-old guy in Cape Breton – in Nova Scotia, maybe – who doesn't have his life figured out. His buddy Kierce has a rule for every occasion, and his best friend Jay has bad grades, no plans and no worries. Danny's dad nags him about his post-high-school plans, his friends bug him about girls and a run-in with the cops means he has to get a summer job. Worst of all, he's keeping a secret that could ruin everything.

 

LIbrary Card Month w/The Geeky Blogger

September is National Library Card Sign Up Month.

Every time I have moved to a new city I always made it a point to go and get a library card. Since living in Montreal I have had four library cards at four different libraries but when the island of Montreal merged alot of the local cities didn’t so now you have to pay to be a member of these libraries so now I only go to the two libraries that are in my area because as a resident I don’t have to pay.

I have noticed that over the summer we borrow alot more books then any other time of the year and that is due to the fact that Michael does various library activities and it makes returning books so much easier then other times of the year but thankfully as a parent volunteer at my son’s school I have complete access to that.

So this month I plan on reviewing only library books. I managed to pick up a whole bunch of books that I don’t think I would have picked up otherwise. I was introduced to a whole new bunch of books as well as you will find out this month.

The first book I am reviewing today is Way to Go by Tom Ryan. He is a Canadian author. He was originally  from the East Coast of Canada but he currently lives on the West Coast of Canada.

This is Tom’s first novel. I had no idea about this book until I was looking for Tag Along (that review will be coming up this month as well) which is Tom’s second novel. Seeing it on the shelf I decided to pick it up.

Danny has just finished grade 11 and he has no idea who he is or who he wants to be. He is looking forward to spending the summer with his friends Jay and Kierce. Sounds like a great summer for any teen but what his friends don’t know and its not revealed until almost the end of the book is that Danny is gay and he has been trying so hard to fit in with his friends and not have them thinking he is gay.

I could totally understand that because he lived in a tiny little village in Nova Scotia in the 90s and you just didn’t hear about those things happening in tiny little areas. You knew it happened in bigger cities.

So throughout the book Danny is struggling and trying to keep this secret. He tries to hook up with girls but its just not happening for him. Yes the girls do fall for Danny because he is cute. One night at a party Danny gets drunk and he hopes that this could be it but when he goes into kiss a girl he dumps his beer all over her and she freaks out.

Danny takes off when gay comments are thrown at him he gets stopped by Kierce’s day who is a cop. Danny goes home to tell his mom and figures the only way to keep her son on the straight and narrow is to make him get a summer job and its in this summer job that Danny realizes who he is and what he wants to be.

Thanks to an old of his mom’s who hires him to work at her new restaurant he meets Lisa. He is in awe of her and I think he thinks she could be the one. You can see the flirting going on between them. I think had Kierce not stepped in perhaps something could have happened. Lise is like no other girl he has meet before. She is a bit older, has travelled the world and comes from NYC. She gets Danny to open up and be who he is and its thanks to her that Danny had to courage to be who he is.

I am excited to start Tag Along.

Review/ Wonders of the World

Wonders of the World

wonders of the world

 

Title: Eyewitness Wonders of the World
Author: Dorling Kindersley
Pub Date: June 2014
Pages: 72
Publisher: Dorling Kindersley Ltd

Source: I was provided a copy for my review from DK Canada

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Michael and I love the books put out by DK LTD so when ever we get asked to review any of them we quickly jump on board.

I love how much work goes into the books to make them appealing to kids and adults of all ages. The photographs are real and there is just enough text to keep the kids flipping through the book.

This time around we got an email from DK Canada telling us about the top 12 classic non fiction books plus a bonus book that was going to be released in paperback for the very first time. They were going to get a whole new look with a new cover.

Do you know what the top 12 classic books are?

I honestly had no clue until I checked it out. The top 12 books are: Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, Cat (which I should have known because tons of kids take this out of the school library), Dog (the same as before), Crystal and Gem, Dinosaur, Ocean, World War 1 and World War 2, Rock & Mineral, Titanic, and Hurricane & Tornado.

The bonus book is the one I am actually going to talk about today and its Wonders of the World.

I first have to start off by saying you will always learn something from DK books.

As soon as you open the book you see real pictures of wonders of the world such as Palmato gecko, a geode lined with quartz crystals, Andean flamingos, crown-of-thorn starfish and more.

Flipping through the book you don’t know where to look because the pictures are beautiful and every picture suits the Wonders of the World. With each wonder there is just the right amount of text that would interest a child. Its not heavy in the text which makes the books so nice.

Do you know what some of the Wonders of the World that might be included in the book?

I won’t tell you all of them as there is 30 listed in the book along with a list of 16 record breakers that talk about the tallest mountain, the largest ocean, the highest tide, largest lake and more. There is also two pages of man made wonders and my favorite a glossary section just in case you need to know something.

Here are some of our favorite Wonders of the World: the Neuschwanstein Castle in the foothills of the Alps (it was built in the late 19th century and it looks amazing), Victoria Falls in Africa (anything to do with falls is a favorite of mine and it looks so pretty and breath taking), The Great Barrier Reef is a favorite of Michael’s, and The Eiffel Tower which I am hoping one day to visit.

dkwondersoftheworld1

Wonders of the World Victoria Falls

 

DK summer promo

From now until the end of August you can pick up these great books for 30% off which makes them roughly $8 a book compared to the full price of $10.99. Its a great time to pick up some or all of them. All you have to do is click on the image and it will take you to the DK Canada page.