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Reviews that Made Me Want the Book: October 23

Welcome to the latest edition of my Reviews that Made Me Want to Read the Book feature. This installment is high on direct recommendations from people.

Project 17 Kelsey from Reading Keeps You Sane recently reviewed Project 17 by Laurie Faria Stolarz. She says, after describing the suspenseful story about teens visiting an abandoned asylum, "This is one of the most gratifying endings I have read in a long time. For those of you you are still unsure, think Blair Witch Project meets Breakfast Club.This book is amazing, so amazing I read until I finished it in 2 in a half hours." It sounds delightfully creepy and fun.

Dream FactoryAnother recommendation from Kelsey that caught my eye was for Dream Factory, by Brad Barkley and Heather Hepler. It's a romance about two teens who fall in love while working at Disney World, told in alternating chapters by the two authors. Kelsey says "Their combination of writing offers a striking and endearing romance story that is charismatic and unforgettable. This is a book you shouldn't miss out on." Plus the setting sounds fun!

Black JackSimon Brooks emailed me to recommend Black Jack by Leon Garfield. When I checked out the book on Amazon, I found a glowing review by Betsy Bird/ Fuse #8, and that was enough to time me over the edge. Betsy also mentioned the book here.

Mo4everBarbara Shoupis one of several new reviewers at The Well-Read Child (Jill T's blog). Barbara's first review was of M+O 4EVR by Tonya Hegamin. She said: "The truth is, there aren’t enough good books about friendship, and M+O 4EVR’s insightful look at how childhood friendships evolve as young people enter their teen years was more than enough for me." And that, coming from the author of Everything You Want, which I loved, is good enough for me.

Speaking of my review of Everything You Want, in the comments of that post both Alkelda the Gleeful and Wendy B recommended Daddy-Long-Legs by Jean Webster. Wendy said "It's probably the most fluid and accessible novel I've read from that time period (it was published in 1912), and it's about a young woman who was plucked from an orphanage and sent to Vassar. It's laugh-out-loud funny." 

EnolaDarla D at Books and Other Thoughts just reviewed the fourth book in the Enola Holmes series, by Nancy Springer. This made me realize that I haven't gotten past book 2 yet. So The Case of the Bizarre Bouquets and The Case of the Peculiar Pink Fan are now on my list. Like Darla, "I'm eagerly awaiting the next installment in this captivating mystery series."

April Henry also recommended a book to me: a dystopian title for adults called This Perfect Day by Ira Levin. I don't know much about it, but it's on my list.

Heartshot Lesa's Book Critiques is a new blog that I discovered through the recent Book Blogger Appreciation Week. It's focused on adult mysteries. Lesa recently reviewed the first book in Steve F. Havill's Posadas County Mysteries, Heartshot. Lesa said: "After reading two books in this series, I have to say it's refreshing to read a police procedural in which the department works together, and respects each other... This is a satisfying series for those of us who love interesting, well-developed characters, a large number of books in which to read about those characters, and fascinating plots." So I'm adding it to my list.

And that's it for today. I don't know if I'll be blogging this weekend, but I'll be back with you early in the week.

© 2009 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved.


Reviews that Made Me Want the Book: A Baker's Dozen

Welcome to the latest edition of my Reviews that Made Me Want to Read the Book feature.

Dragonfly Pool Jennifer Schultz reviewed Eva Ibbotson's The Dragonfly Pool at The Kiddosphere. She said: "Having brilliantly evoked turn of the century Vienna in The Star of Kazan and early 1900s Brazil in Journey to the River Sea, Ibbotson creates a rich atmosphere of humor, adventure, and tension in her World War II era novel, The Dragonfly Pool." I loved The Star of Kazan, so that description works for me. But honestly, the combination of author name, book title, and cover are pretty much sufficient anyway in this case.

Jenny Green's Killer Junior YearCarlie Webber at Librarilly Blonde got my attention with the very first sentence of her review of Jenny Green's Killer Junior Year, by Amy Belasen and Jacob Osborn. She said: "Ah, there's nothing I like better than a nice book about a nice Jewish girl from a nice town who grows into a nice serial killer." Honestly, what fan of YA novels and mysteries could resist that? There's also this: "Jenny's voice is delightfully sociopathic, sort of a combination of blasé and outright, total panic at what she's done." And I am hooked.

Bringing the Boy HomeI may not be the target audience for Guys Lit Wire (that would be teen boys), but I was still completely sucked in by Shelf Elf's recent review of Bringing the Boy Home, by N. A. Nelson. This is another book with a fabulous cover, and this conclusion sealed it for me: "This is a book for anyone who is after a classic adventure tale, and who enjoys survival stories with extreme settings. Bringing the Boy Home won the 2005 Ursula Nordstrom Fiction Contest, introducing us to a writer to watch."

RoarCindy Mitchell at Kiss the Book reviewed Emma Clayton's Roar, concluding: "Another type of post-apocalyptic book has entered the SciFi fold. I don't want to give anything away, but I truly enjoyed watching the different levels of the story unfold - for once I didn't read ahead and was pleasantly surprised by The Secret. I think that fans of MacHale's Bobby Pendragon or Nimmo's Charlie Bone will enjoy these also". I will admit that this one sounds like it might be a bit too much like The Hunger Games. But I'm keeping it on my radar anyway. It won't be out until April of 2009.

Counting on GraceNan from Letters from a Hill Farm specifically recommended to me her review of Counting on Grace by Elizabeth Winthrop. She concludes "Counting on Grace is the very best kind of book: first - a well-written, excellent story about interesting characters, whom the reader comes to know and care for, and second - a book that engages the heart and mind in a subject that leads the reader to search out more and more information about the topic."

Geek MagnetOn a lighter note, we have Geek Magnet, by Kieran Scott. The cover of this didn't grab me, but I'm a big fan of the movie (and the soundtrack) Grease. So when Little Willow explained that "Most of the story revolves around a musical production of Grease", she got my attention. She added: "Kieran Scott has written a surprisingly poignant story with a healthy mix of drama and fun. She handles serious issues with tact and feeling while giving the story enough humor and sentiment to keep her main character positive." And it sounds worth a look.

The Dust of 100 DogsNext up, two from Presenting Lenore. The first is not really a review, but rather a synopsis of a book that Lenore is eager to see, due out in February. The book is The Dust of 100 Dogs, by A. S. King. From the summary: "In the late 17th century, famed pirate Emer Morrisey was on the cusp of sailing into early retirement with unfathomable wealth and her one true love when she was fatally cursed with the dust of 100 dogs. Three hundred years later, after 100 lives as a dog, she finally reincarnates into a human body again—with all her memories intact."

The Foorest of Hands and TeethAnother book that Lenore is looking forward to, and that I'm interested in now, too, is The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan. Lenore says: "I love the cover. Plus it's is a post-apocalyptic love story set in the wake of a zombie-creating global virus. And really, aren't those the best kind of love stories?" Due out in March.

Marcelo in the Real WorldKidliterate reviewed an upcoming title by Francisco X. Stork. The truth is that I was prepared to be interested in this book anyway, because I quite liked Stork's previous novel, Behind the Eyes. But the fact that this one is about a boy with autism also intrigues me. Kidliterate says: "This book is going to garner a lot of comparison with THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME simply because the main characters in both books fall somewhere along the autism spectrum. True, the voice is a little similar, but I don’t think the books are very much alike at all. The major difference is that I feel like MARCELO reads much older than NIGHT-TIME."

I, QAmanda from A Patchwork of Books reviewed I, Q, the first book in a new series by Roland Smith. Amanda says of the author "I am completely enthralled with his ability to combine true, human emotion and intense thrills and action. From page to page the reader isn't quite sure who the bad guys are or if everyone is a bad guy! The writing is fantastic, perfect for teens and middle graders, and the characters really display true emotion. If this were to actually happen to a couple of kids, I can see them reacting in exactly the way Q and Angela do." I like a good tech-y thriller from time to time, and I think this one might fit the bill.

Freezing PointJen's Book Thoughts is a blog that I discovered through Book Blogger Appreciation Week, a blog that I already love that's focused on adult mysteries. Jen reviewed an adult title that might temporarily ease my unquenchable need for post-apocalyptic titles: Freezing Point by Karen Dionne. She begins: "When the world is running low on safe, drinkable water, big business starts scurrying to find ways to tap the iceberg's resources. And where can they find the ultimate in iceberg resources but Antarctica?" And that's all I need.

Judgment CallsAnother recommendation from Jen that caught my eye was for the Samantha Kincaid series by Alafair Burke, starting with Judgment Calls. Reviewing the second book in the series, Jen said: "Alafair Burke is truly a master of female protagonists. I love how spunky Samantha Kincaid is. There are a lot of Sam's characteristics that I can identify with, but I am in awe of her gumption... I've mentioned before that a big part of my attraction to Burke's characters is how REAL they are."

Brigadoom!Another adult mystery review that caught my eye was by AllisonMarieCat at On My Bookshelf. The book is Brigadoom! by Susan Goodwill, and AllisonMarieCat says: "This book was hilarious, and a good mystery to boot. Just ignore the Evanovich echoes... There are echoes of Plum, to be sure, but the story is original, and the characters well-developed... I had fun reading this, and I recommend it to anyone fond of a humor/mystery combo." I don't read the mystery/humor combo all the time, but I do like the Stephanie Plum books, and I'm prepared to give this one a look. 


Reviews that Made Me Want the Book: September 16

Welcome to the latest edition of my reviews that made me want to read the book feature.

Running with the DemonThis one isn't a review exactly, but my brother Dana recommended a title for me, and I want to add it to my list: Running With the Demon, by Terry Brooks. I did like this from the editorial review at Amazon: "The book's matter-of-fact take on the uncanny is a bit like The X-Files."

And Only to DeceiveSarah Weinman (whose crime fiction blog I read) recently had a column on historical mysteries in the Barnes and Noble Review. She inspired me to want to read Tasha Alexander's Lady Emily Ashton novels, starting with And Only to Deceive. Sarah said: "Tasha Alexander's Victorian England has a different feel altogether, perhaps because the sparkle and wit seem to owe more to Regency romance queen Georgette Heyer than to mystery's classic writers." And that was good enough for me.

Maybelle Goes to TeaHannah Trierweiler had a post at Kid Lit Kit in which she says: "I adore the early reader series by Katie Speck, illustrated by Paul Ratz de Taygos, and starring Maybelle the cockroach. The first book was Maybelle in the Soup; the most recent is Maybelle Goes to Tea." Since I'll be on the easy reader committee for the Cybils, I'm scooping up as many promising titles in this area as I can, and I've added this one to my list.

Phineas L. MacGuire . . . Blasts Off!And for another new series aimed at younger elementary school kids, I'm interested in the Phineas L. MacGuire series by Francis O'Roark Dowell, as introduced by Bill at Literate Lives. Bill reviewed the third book, Phineas L. MacGuire ... Blasts Off!, concluding "I'm very excited to have a series for the younger readers that features a boy, and I'm even more excited that it's written by a quality author like Francis O'Roark Dowell. ... and if you are looking for a "boy"series, pick up Phineas L. MacGuire, you won't be disappointed there either." Of course, the fact that he compared it to Clementine helped, too.

AirheadSara from Sara's Hold Shelf recently reviewed (on September 9th, I wasn't able to direct link to the review for some reason) a title that was already vaguely on my radar: Meg Cabot's Airhead. Mostly Sara reminded me that I like Meg Cabot's books, when she said: "Like all of Cabot's novels, Airhead is funny and fluffy, but it is also somehow a bit darker. The situation that Em finds herself in is a bit more complicated than, say, finding out that you're the heir to the throne of a small European principality. The stakes in this case are just a little bit higher, and readers may find themselves thinking about profound questions about the meaning of life (and then, a few pages later, laughing out loud..."

The Darcys & the BingleysBecky reviewed Marsha Altman's The Darcys & the Bingleys at Becky's Book Reviews. Becky said of this Pride and Prejudice sequel "the book is good and well worth reading. The book is true to the original as far as characters and social conventions." And I'm intrigued enough to want to give it a look. It sounds a bit like another P&P follow-on series that I like, Carrie Bebris' Mr. & Mrs. Darcy Mysteries, starting with Pride and Prescience.

And that's all for this week! So many great books, so little time...


Reviews that Made Me Want the Book: September 5

Welcome to the latest edition of my recurring "reviews that made me want to read the book" feature. There have been tons of great books coming out recently, and I have quite a few titles to highlight this week. And for those who might be wondering, I do often use these posts to decide what to read next. I just ordered several titles from prior posts from Amazon, and I'm currently reading The Crossroads, by Chris Grabenstein, which was recommended by Jill from The Well-Read Child.

Stacey Jay's upcoming title You Are So Undead to Me is so far from release that there isn't even a cover image yet. Kidliterate intrigued me with this review, explaining that it's about a girl who is a "Zombie Settler", someone "who listens to their problem, helps to solve it and then sends them back for eternal rest." She concluded: "This has a bit of a Buffy feel to it, so if you like your YA fic to feel like a cross between Stephenie Meyer and Joss Whedon, I’d recommend this to you." I'll bet Liz B. will be interested, too.

The Red Blazer GirlsAnother Kidliterate review also caught my eye, of The Red Blazer Girls by Michael D. Beil, which won't be out until next April. All I really needed was the first couple of sentences: "This is very much like Trixie Belden meets THE WESTING GAME. I should also tell you up front that this book is full of math and I HATE math and I enjoyed this book tremendously. I even read the math parts."

You Know Where to Find Me I wasn't sure about reading You Know Where to Find Me. The editorial description on Amazon says: "Rachel Cohn's emotionally powerful new novel views serious issues such as depression, suicide, prescription-drug abuse, and alternative family configurations through the lens of family love and survival." Sounded a bit bleak. But Jackie Parker from Interactivereader talked me into it, saying "there's an ever-present dark, witty humor in the voice of Miles", and "The book should be read by: Those who like Rachel Cohn or Ellen Hopkins, My Big Fat Manifesto, Stay With Me, and 13 Reasons Why." Good enough for me, Jac.

Abigail IrisSherry from Semicolon interested me in Abigail Iris: The One and Only, by Lisa Glatt and Suzanne Greenberg. In her review, Sherry started with "Move over, Clementine! Make room, Ramona! Judy Moody, Clarice Bean and Lucy Rose, you have a friend: Abigail Iris, The One and Only!" She also calls Abigail Iris "a delight". Sounds like a must-read to me.

Elvis and OliveAnother person whose recommendations I trust is Esme Raji Codell. In her recent review of Stephanie Watson's Elvis and Olive, she said: "Cross Pippi Longstocking with The Great Gilly Hopkins and you've got Annie, code name "Elvis," who strongarms the otherwise cautious Natalie, code name "Olive," into a summer of spying on the neighbors... In an overflow of girl-on-the-cover fiction, this stand-out is one that shouldn't be kept secret for very long, and this new author is definitely one to watch, with or without binoculars."

GracelingI've seen positive mentions of Kristin Cashore's Graceling in several places. The post that inspired me to add it to my list was a brief mention by Sarah Rettger at Archimedes Forgets. She said "I can't improve on Leila's excellent review. Except to say this: The current issue of Publishers Weekly quotes the book's publicist, who describes it as "fantasy for people who don't like fantasy," and that's so true. No dragons, fairies, or vampires to be found." The "fantasy for people who don't like fantasy" thing, combined with the generally positive response by people I trust, is good enough for me. I don't even have to know what it's about.

I So Don't Do MysteriesShelfElf reviewed a book recently that sounds irresistible: I So Don't Do Mysteries by Barrie Summy. She says: "Straight off, let me say that I hope that Barrie gives us more than two mysteries starring Sherry (Sherlock) Holmes Baldwin. This book was SO much fun. Right at this second, I can think of at least ten grade 6 girls who would gobble it up in a single sitting and then come running back wanting to know how long till the next one. There’s a meaty mystery plot with a crazy supernatural twist, a little romance, a lot of laughs and great writing." It is due out in December.

Baron von BaddieThis is one of those rare instances when the cover is what pulls me in. 100 Scope Notes reviewed Baron von Baddie and the Ice Ray Incident, by George McClements. He called it: "A wonderfully illustrated story that will be hard for kids to resist. Baron von Baddie is an evil genius with evil plans to spare. Unfortunately, whenever he attempts to unleash one of his plots on the world, Captain Kapow is there to ruin it, putting the Baron behind bars. But for an evil genius, escape is inevitable." Which sounds fun, but the cover plays a part for me, too.

NationI've never read any of Terry Pratchett's books, although I've heard generally good things. Bookchic's review of Pratchett's latest title, Nation, at Guys' Lit Wire caught my interest. In this case, it was the plot summary that reeled me in: "The sea has taken everything. Mau is the only one left after a giant wave sweeps his island village away. But when much is taken, something is returned, and somewhere in the jungle Daphne—a girl from the other side of the globe—is the sole survivor of a ship destroyed by the same wave. Together the two confront the aftermath of catastrophe."

Most of these books aren't even available yet, but this will be a list for me to come back to in six months, when I'm in need of suggestions. My thanks to all of these talented reviewers, who have made the books come to life.


Reviews That Made Me Want the Book: August 19

Welcome to the latest installment of my reviews that made me want to read the book feature, in which I highlight that well-written reviews that draw my attention towards intriguing books.

The Other SisterTadMack reviewed The Other Sister, by S. T. Underdahl, at Readers' Rants. The book is about a girl who, as a teenager, learns that she has an older sister who was put up for adoption when their parents were very young. TadMack says: "S.T. Underdahl records the realistic and turbulent changes of a family stretching to include one more. It's her own story, in more ways than one." Something about the premise, and the fact that TadMack liked it, caught my eye.

M is for MischiefI'm intrigued by the picture book M is for Mischief, written by Linda Ashman and illustrated by Nancy Carpenter. Nancy Arruda reviewed it Bees Knees Reads, calling it: "a hilarious read-aloud written in rhyme with a ton of alliteration and word play." She concludes "I like to keep this book handy when I need a pick-me-up good belly laugh. This one is really worth giving to your friend with a Nagging Nora, a Zany Zelda, a Mischievous Martin or .. " Not that any of the children I know are mischievous, of course, but I think it would be a good one to have around.

Totally Made-up Civil War DiaryThe BooksForKidsBlog's recent review of The Totally Made-up Civil War Diary of Amanda MacLeish by Claudia Mills also caught my eye. It's a dual storyline about a modern-day girl named Amanda whose family is breaking up and a Civil War era farm girl named Polly. GTC says "Claudia Mills carries off a real tour-de-force. Skillfully balancing the dual story lines of Amanda and Polly within the framework of a fifth grade class working toward a performance at the end of its Civil War unit, Claudia Mills reveals Amanda's growing understanding of the meaning of her family's split as much through her journal writing in Polly's voice as through her own experiences."

Kidliterate reviewed an upcoming title (no cover illustration is available yet): Calvin Coconut: Trouble Magnet by Graham Salisbury. "Scott O’Dell award-winning author Graham Salisbury turns his hand to elementary level humor and absolutely succeeds. This is the first book in a series about a 4th grader named Calvin who lives in Hawaii with his mother and younger sister (his father, an island one hit wonder, now lives in Vegas where he makes his living as a lounge singer)." It sounds fun to me!

Dog GoneKaren from Literate Lives reviewed Dog Gone by Cynthia Chapman Willis. She got my attention when she said: "I realized the book it most reminds me of is Me and the Pumpkin Queen, another book I love. Both of these books deal with a mom who dies, and how the child (in both of these cases, a daughter) learns to grieve and deal with the loss". I loved Me and the Pumpkin Queen, too, and I'm prepared to give this one a look.

Sherlock FilesAlso at Literate Lives, Bill reviewed the first book in Tracy Barrett's new Sherlock Files series: The 100 Year-Old Secret. Here it's mostly the premise that gets me: "The story is based on two main characters, Xena and Xander Holmes, a sister and brother who are distant grandchildren of the famous detective." But Bill plans to add it to his library, and I think that it sounds like a solid mystery.

RumorsI've seen references to the Luxe series before, but Jennifer Schultz from the Kiddosphere is the first person to inspire me to want to read these books (The Luxe and Rumors by Anna Godbersen). She says "So....I'm a little crazy about The Luxe series. Picture The Gossip Girls set in late 1890s Manhattan, and you have a pretty good idea of what it's all about." Now, I enjoy the Gossip Girl TV show, and I also tend to like turn of the century society novels. Which makes me suspect that I might like these, at least in certain moods. I think this enough that I'll be interested to give the first book a look when it comes out in paperback next month.

The Postcard Colleen Mondor's latest YA column is now available at Chasing Ray (after originally appearing at Bookslut). She features several interesting titles, but the one that particularly caught my attention was The Postcard, by Tony Abbott. I've seen this book around, but Colleen's conclusion made the difference for me: "The Postcard is a book I have not heard nearly enough about. It is a classic mystery but has a decidedly modern style. I also give Abbott a lot of credit for getting Florida so right; I know my Sunshine State and clearly so does this author."

Small-minded GiantsThe Book Witch got me interested in Oisin McGann's Small-minded Giants by comparing it to Julie Bertagna's Exodus (reviewed here). The book is about a futuristic city called Ash Harbor. The Book Witch says: "This is a well written thriller, combined with a good look at what may be in store for the world if we don’t do something soon. Living in Ash Harbour is not something to aspire to, except that the alternative - of being left on the outside - isn’t very attractive either." But she really had me at "(Ash Harbor is) slightly reminiscent of Julie Bertagna’s Glasgow, except this is in the South Pacific, and it’s very, very cold." Sadly, this book isn't published in the US, but it looks like there are some used copies available.

And that's it for books for this edition. I am also intrigued by an ergonomic backup that Cheryl Rainfield recommended recently. I have no need of another backpack right now, especially after buying the KidLit Conference messenger bag last week, but I'm saving the link.


Reviews that Made Me Want the Book: July 22

Welcome to the latest edition of my Review that Made Me Want to Read the Book feature, in which I highlight the blog reviews that catch my eye. This week I have seven new titles on my list, though I'm on the fence about the last one (it looks quite disturbing).

GoneI read the following description of Michael Grant's Gone at Anokaberry, and it piqued my interest (of course): "In a small town on the coast of California, everyone over the age of fourteen suddenly disappears, setting up a battle between the remaining town residents and the students from a local private school, as well as those who have "The Power" and are able to perform supernatural feats and those who do not." There are several positive mini-reviews in the comments, too.

The Brothers TorresPatti at Oops ... Wrong Cookie reviewed The Brothers Torres by Coert Voorhees. She said: "Your male readers, Hispanic, African American, Caucasian, etc. - they are all going to be able to relate to this book. Voorhees has captured something essential about what it is like for males to grow up in America today... The cover will draw the boys in like flies and the story will keep them hooked." And although I don't fall into the target demographic, this struck me as a book that I'd like to be able to recommend.

The Mysterious Case of the Allbright AcademyThe Mysterious Case of the Allbright Academy, by Diane Stanley, was recommended to Karen at Literate Lives by one of her students. She said "For one thing, I love the mystery genre, and this definitely falls into that category. I also love books where kids band together to stop something bad from continuing to happen, or happening at all. Again, this book does that! Finally, I like endings that resolve themselves happily, but realistically." That all sounded good to me!

My So-Called FamilyLittle Willow recently reviewed My So-Called Family by Courtney Sheinmel, due out in October. It's about a girl who was fathered by an anonymous donor. The girl uses an online match system to identify her half-siblings. Little Willow concludes: "My So-Called Family by Courtney Sheinmel gets my recommendation - and my appreciation. This is a great story about family values and valuing your family. This notable debut has earned a spot on my Best Books of 2008 list."

The Black CanaryThe Black Canary by Jane Louise Curry is the latest Timeslip Tuesday entry at Charlotte's Library. Here's the gist from Charlotte: "Woken the first night there by the sound of water running, James follows the sound down to the basement, where he discovers a shimmering lens of light--a portal back in time, to England in 1600. His journeys into the past become gradually longer, until after one trip he discovers, to his horror, that he has returned to the past of the present he left--his family hasn't gotten to London yet. So he passes through the portal again, hoping things will come out better, but this time, he can't find his way back. He is lost in Elizabethan England, where is he is pressed into the service of the Queen as one of her entertainers, the Children of the Chapel Royal." Sounds intriguing.

Silent in the GraveLeila from Bookshelves of Doom interested me in Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn when she said even though she gets a bit sick from reading in the car, she started and finished this book while on a trip. The book is a historical mystery with a main character who Leila compares to Amelia Peabody, and says has an enjoyable voice. And it sounded fun!

Living Dead GirlBecky from Becky's Book Reviews recently reviewed Elizabeth Scott's upcoming novel Living Dead Girl. I'm not sure if I really want to read this one - it looks very dark (about a 10-year-old girl who is kidnapped and kept prisoner, having unspeakable things done to her, for five years). But Becky said: "If I had just a handful of words to describe Living Dead Girl, they'd be: powerful, haunting, and unputdownable." Hmmm ... I'll have to think about this one.


Reviews that Made Me Want the Book: Bastille Day Edition

Welcome to the latest installment in my Reviews that Made Me Want to Read the Book feature. I have a short post this week - just three entries (which is great, because I have hundreds of other books clamoring for my attention).

Jack Bolt and the Highwaymen's HideoutGail Gauthier said in my recent interview with her (about early chapter books) "I recently read Jack Bolt and the Highwaymen's Hideout by Richard Hamilton. It's a time travel adventure with a well developed storyline, humor, and a number of illustrations." And based on that, I put it on my list.

The Alchemyst (Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel)The other day I received a copy of The Magician (the second book in the Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series by Michael Scott). I thought that it looked interesting, but put it aside because I don't like to read series books out of order. But then I read Tricia's post about the series at The Miss Rumphius Effect, and moved both books up on my list. She said (of the first book): "I love books rooted in myth, legend, and the events of history. This book has it all, and then some. I finished The Alchemyst on Friday and then ran out and bought the sequel".

Daylight RunnerDoret, TheHappyNappyBookseller, intrigued me with her recent review of Oisin McGann's Daylight Runner. She said: "Thanks to an extreme Ice Age the old world has ended. Ash Harbor is born. It's formed inside a hollowed out mountain and located in what was South Pacific. The element is too harsh to survive outside of Ash Harbor. 16 yr old Solomon (Sol) father Gregor is missing." She also warns that the dialog is "cheesey", but I think it would work for certain action-flick moods.

Happy reading!


Reviews that Made Me Want the Book: July 6

It's kind of crazy for me to be highlighting reviews that made me want the book when I just came back from ALA with a stunning number of books. And yet, these reviews deserve my attention, and deserve for me to add the books to my list. (And actually, I already have copies of three of these titles, so I'm only adding two new titles to my TBR list).

The Eyes of a KingJill T. got my attention at The Well-Read Child by titling her review "The next JK Rowling?". She says: "Nineteen year old Catherine Banner’s debut novel, The Eyes of a King, the first in a trilogy was just released. I ... stayed up way too late last night finishing the book. And all I have to say is “WOW WOW WOW.” I don’t remember feeling this excited about a book and such anticipation for the next in the series since, well, Harry Potter." OK, Jill, good enough for me. And actually, I have a copy on my shelf - so it's just a matter of moving it up in the queue.

The CrossroadsJill also reviewed The Crossroads by Chris Grabenstein. I've read and enjoyed a couple of Grabenstein's adult mysteries, and had already suspected that his writing would transfer well to writing for kids. Jill confirmed this, saying: "A great new summer read that boys and girls alike will enjoy. Chris Grabenstein's first children's novel, The Crossroads will keep you on the edge of your seat the entire time you're reading the book." This one is in my pile, too (it seems that Jill and I received the same box from Random House).

The Knife of Never Letting GoHere is as far as I read into Monica Edinger's review at Educating Alice of this title: "After reading that review of Patrick Ness’s The Knife of Never Letting Go I requested an ARC from the publisher. I casually started reading it and then was unable to stop till I was done. Boy oh boy; it is one hell of a read. The Knife of Never Letting Go is a dystopic novel involving settlers who created a New World because they wanted a simpler life (a la those Mayflower passengers of our yore)." And that, from Monica, is enough for me. Plus I was able to score an ARC of this title at ALA.

ObernewtynThis one has no full review, but Emmaco from There's Always Time for a Book recommended a series as part of my The Adoration of Jenna Fox give-away that caught my attention. She said: "I can offer some Aussie futuristic/apocalyptic SF type books: Isobelle Carmody's Obernewtyn series that are set in a post-nuclear disaster world and feature characters with a host of psychic powers (I loved these as a child but warn readers that although I'm hitting my late 20s the series hasn't been finished yet! But there are firm plans for them to be wrapped up soon I believe)." Sounds fun to me!

The Door to TimeAnd speaking of fun, Darla D. from Books & other thoughts reviewed The Door to Time (the first book in the Ulysses Moore series), by Pierdomenico Baccalario. It was really Darla's whole description of the book that caught my attention, but I was sure after reading her conclusion: "This first installment in the series sets the stage nicely, raising all kinds of intriguing questions, full of danger and excitement, and ends with a scene that is sure to have readers clamoring for the next book in the series. I enjoyed listening to the audio version of this very much - it was a gripping, well-told story with evocative music at key moments. I'm looking forward to the next book in this series."

And that's all for now - but I'm sure I'll add some more books to my wish list once other people start reviewing their ALA conference finds. Happy reading!


Reviews that Made Me Want the Book: Friday the 13th Edition

Welcome to the latest installment of my Review that Made Me Want to Read the Book feature. In a nod to Friday the 13th, I have quite a few spooky books on the list this week.

Children's and YA Titles

The Dream of the Stone

Court from Once Upon a Bookshelf intrigued me with the first sentence of her review of The Dream of the Stone by Christina Askounis, an older title, but one that I haven't seen before. Court said: "Let me start with saying that anyone who is a fan of Madeline L’Engle’s Time Quartet ought to read this book." She added, later in the review: "This was quite the engaging book. The characters were all fabulously developed, the plot was exciting, and it took me to places my imagination reveled in. I love good stories where the characters travel to new worlds, when the author can pull off creating a believable world that is so different than ours."

Gollywhopper GamesClearly I am drawn in by reviews that compare new titles to old favorites. So when Sherry started a review of The Gollywhopper Games at Semicolon with: "I thought while reading it that this book was reminiscent of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl or last year’s Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Stewart", she got my attention. She further revealed that author Jody Feldman was inspired to write the book by a 10-year-old boy's quest for something like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. And that was enough for me - I didn't even read the rest of the description in detail.

Double or DieI've enjoyed the audio editions of the first two of Charlie Higson's Young James Bond series (Silverfin and Blood Fever). Therefore, I was pleased to learn from Camille at BookMoot that the third book in the series, Double or Die, is now available. Here's what Camille says about the audio versions of the first two books: "I was thrilled and happy to discover that SilverFin and Blood Fever were compelling and "didn't want to stop" listens for me. Nathaniel Parker (clicked on his website and shouted, "Oh, him! Inspector Lynley!) is an outstanding voice actor who shades each character with a distinct tone and cadence." Like Camille, I liked the second book better than the first, which makes me hopeful for the third.

Sheila Ruth wrote a review at Wands and Worlds during the 48-Hour Book Challenge that hooked me from the first paragraph. She said: "The year is 2047, and Zeyya lives in a tiny, roach-infested apartment with her parents. It's a horrible way to live, and not as nice as their previous home, but it's safer: Quarantine hasn't hit this area yet. Throughout the Greater East Coast Metropolis, people are taken away by the police, leaving only yellow Quarantine tape to indicate that they ever existed. Zeyya has never known anyone to return from Quarantine." The book is In the Company of Whispers, by Sallie Lowenstein. Sheila knows my taste pretty well, and she thinks that I'll like it, which is good enough for me.It won't be out until September.

Araminta Spookie 1: My Haunted HouseI'm always on the lookout for engaging books for early readers. So this review of Araminta Spookie 1: My Haunted House at Krystel's Book Blog caught my eye. She said: "A fun fun fun start to the series! Araminta Spookie (isn't that a fantastic name?) lives in a haunted house, where she has a different bedroom for every day of the week, her uncle has a large tower to keep his many bats, and they both agree that their home is perfect." I'm also a fan of author Angie Sage's Magyk series, which made me even more likely to add this to my list.

Don’t Know Where, Don’t Know WhenCharlotte has started a new series at Charlotte's Library called Timeslip Tuesday. She explains: "A timeslip story is simply one in which characters pass from one time to another, either forward or backward, generally without a mechanical device such as a time machine." I do have a weakness for time travel books (although I tend to favor mechanical devices), so this is a feature I'll be sure to follow. Charlotte's first featured title is Don’t Know Where, Don’t Know When, by Annette Laing. She says that it "throws three kids back in time from present day Snipesville, Georgia, into World War II England. Hannah, her brother Alex, and their friend Brandon are now war evacuees from London, struggling to figure out what is happening and why they have traveled through time. Then Brandon slips through time again to the England of World War I…and the mystery deepens."

TraitorThere's no review for this last one, but Doret, TheHappyNappyBookseller, commented on my recent review of Steel Trapp to recommend Andy McNab and Robert Rigby's Traitor and sequels. I've read and enjoyed a couple of McNab's adult titles, but hadn't realized that he wrote young adult spy thrillers, too. My knowledge of his adult titles, and Doret's recommendation, are good enough for me to want to check this one out.

Adult Titles

Storm FrontLeila wrote about the Harry Dresden books at Guys Lit Wire, starting with Storm Front: The Dresden Files, by Jim Butcher. "Harry Dresden has the voice of a hard-boiled detective AND he's a magic-user. His allies include Bob, a lecherous spirit housed in a human skull; Karrin Murphy, a super-tough homicide detective; Michael, a Knight of the Cross; a vampire named Thomas; and Ebenezar McCoy, a wizard who lives in Hogs Hollow, Missouri ... The books are smart, hilarious, action-packed and very hard to put down."


Reviews that Made Me Want the Book: Mega-Edition

Welcome to the latest edition of my reviews that made me want to read the book feature. I'm using this series of posts to keep track of books that catch my eye, and also to highlight the fabulous reviewers who pique my interest by getting to the heart of a book. In response to a suggestion from Aerin, I've made an extra effort to include a few adult titles in the mix (though it should be noted that I don't read very many adult-fiction focused blogs, so this is by no means a comprehensive list). In any event, this has ended up quite the mammoth addition to my wish list. Now if I only had time to read half of these titles...

Children's and YA Titles

Suddenly Supernatural: School SpiritSuddenly Supernatural: School Spirit, by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel is actually on my shelf already (I requested it from the Little, Brown catalog). But Betsy Bird moved it up on my list by saying: "to my amazement this book sucks me in instantly. With a rare combination of readability and genuine middle school trials and tribulations, author Elizabeth Cody Kimmel gives a well-placed kick to a genre that deserves a little rejiggering here and a little remastering there. A book I can honestly recommend to any kid looking for some great ghostly fare." How can I resist that? I've added it to my candidate list for the 48 Hour Book Challenge this weekend.

The Year We Disappeared: A Father-Daughter Memoir by Cylin and John Busby caught my eye when I saw it in the publisher's catalog (Bloomsbury). It's a memoir about a family that has to go into hiding after the father is the victim of a crime, and survives. I have already requested a copy. But Sarah from The Reading Zone made me want to read it even more when she said: "Yesterday I sat down to read it and finished in one sitting. This is a thrilling YA memoir with huge adult crossover appeal. In this day and age of TV crime dramas, this true life tale of a family nearly destroyed by a brutal shooting will not go unnoticed!"

SightLongstockings Daphne Grab and Coe Booth recently interviewed Adrienne Maria Vrettos about her new novel Sight. The Longstockings said: "If you’ve ever wished to be psychic, SIGHT will make you think twice! This book is sooo good. It’s beautifully written with great characters and an exciting ending. And it’s a story that will definitely stay with you for a long time." I read the description in the first paragraph and thought "hmm, kind of has a Lois Duncan feel". I loved Duncan's books as a young adult. So when I saw later in the interview that Vrettos was partially inspired to write this book by her love of one of Lois Duncan's titles, well, that was good enough for me. (Incidentally, this is the kind of tidbit that makes me happy to have started this reviews that made me want the book feature in the first place.)

Attack of the Growling EyeballsI'm always on the lookout for engaging books for early elementary school readers (in fact, I'll soon be participating in a blog tour on this topic hosted by Gail Gauthier). Bill from Literate Lives recently reviewed the first book in a new series written by Lin Oliver and illustrated by Stephen Gilpin, the Who Shrunk Daniel Funk Series. Daniel Funk is a boy who is able to shrink and re-grow, and has various adventures. Bill said: "Lin Oliver has created the perfect no brainer, can't put it down, laugh out loud read for third grade and up. I can't wait for the next installment...Escape of the Mini Mummy. Another great title." Sounds worth checking out to me.

Death by BikiniMs. Yingling is one of my most trusted sources of book suggestions. She said of Linda Gerber's Death by Bikini, a murder mystery: "Joan Lowery Nixon has always been my go-to author when it comes to mysteries that girls especially like, but this series will certainly circulate even better." I'm a mystery fan in general, and there's a bit of a shortage of detective stories aimed at teen readers, so this one goes on my list. Plus, it's a great cover!

Into the DarkSpeaking of mysteries, I very much enjoyed Peter Abrahams' first Echo Falls mystery, Down the Rabbit Hole. I didn't think that the second book, Behind the Curtain, was quite as strong, though I did like it. Now Doret, the HappyNappyBookseller, has convinced me to give the third book, Into the Dark, a look. Doret said: "What makes this book good is how Ingrid figures out the why. What makes this book great is the ending. There is nothing better then someone trying to cover up a murder with a murder. I loved the last few chapters, the action was fast, intense, scary, page turning good." My concern with the second book was that I felt like Abrahams had toned down the action, so I find this reassuring.

Ghost Letters Another books with mysterious happenings that caught my recently was Ghost Letters, by Stephen Alter, as reviewed by Lisa Chellman at Under the Covers. Lisa recommends it for fans of Blue Balliett's books. She calls it "a fun ride. Alter works many mail-related tropes—dogs who chase mailmen, carrier pigeons, secret wartime codes—into the plot (though a chain letter disappointingly went nowhere). There’s also a recurring poetry motif that, while not essential to the plot, does not feel out of place either."

Brooklyn BridgeI have a weaknesses for stories set in turn of the (20th) century New York. I also have a healthy respect for the opinions of Betsy Bird (aka A Fuse #8 Production), as evidenced by my having included another one of her recommendations above. So when Betsy reviewed Brooklyn Bridge, by Karen Hesse, a novel about the family that invented the stuffed teddy bear, I was intrigued. Betsy said: "This is perhaps one of Hesse’s most accomplished novels. It’s historical fiction that uses the past as a point of reference rather than as the point of the novel. Hesse is weaving together so many seemingly disparate elements and living breathing characters that the end result feels more like a film, a theatrical production, or a scene on a city street than a book for kids." However, it won't be available until September.

The Red NecklaceAnd, for another book with an intriguing historical setting, Tasha Saecker from Kids Lit reviewed Sally Gardner's second novel (after I, Coriander), The Red Necklace. Tasha said: "This book had me immediately upon reading the first page. The writing was flowery but intense, filled with images but equally gripping and fast paced. It was the tone of the French Revolution itself... This is a glory of a book. Highly recommended and one of the best of the year." Since I liked Gardner's first book, and since Tasha gave it such a strong endorsement, I'm ready to check it out.

The ExplosionistThen, in describing more of an alternative historical novel, Colleen Mondor piqued my interest in The Explosionist, by Jenny Davidson. Colleen said: "Davidson’s novel is by far one of the smartest YA titles I have read in quite some time and I would love to see it in on high school reading lists. I guarantee it would spark the sort of discussion that is rarely found when talking about Shakespeare (as impressive as the Bard can be). This is a book that demands deep thinking of its readers but promises suspense, intrigue and surprises at every turn." 

Adult Titles (most with crossover appeal)

Crazy SchoolCornelia Read's books have been on my radar since her first Madeline Dare mystery, A Field of Darkness, came out. Reading Rants! Out of the Ordinary Teen Booklists drew the second book in the series, The Crazy School, to my attention, saying: "This bitterly funny mystery by Edgar Award-nominated author Cornelia Read has a great cast of teen characters, but the best voice is that of jaded, wickedly witty slacker sleuth Madeline Dare herself. This is one seriously dark comedic nailbiter." Of course, I'll have to read A Field of Darkness first, because I am compulsive about reading series books in order.

A Kiss Before the Apocalypse Little Willow is a big fan of Thomas E. Sniegoski (and an especially big fan of his sometime co-author, Christopher Golden). She's been talking up both Sniegoski and Golden's books for quite some time, and they are on my radar. But her overview of Sniegoski's new urban fantasy A Kiss Before the Apocalypse made it onto the list of serious contenders. "Boston P.I. Remy Chandler has many talents. He can will himself invisible, he can speak and understand any foreign language (including the language of animals), and if he listens carefully, he can hear thoughts. Unusual, to say the least - for an ordinary man. But Remy is no ordinary man - he's an angel. Generations ago, he chose to renounce heaven and live on Earth. He's found a place among us ordinary humans; friendship, a job he's good at - and love. Now he is being drawn into a case with strong ties to his angelic past."

In the WoodsKelly Herold and I are kindred spirit readers, especially when it comes to adult titles. So when she recently wrote at Big A little a about Tana French's Edgar award winning (for best first novel by an American author) novel In the Woods, I paid attention. Kelly said: "Dark fairy tale themes and the unreliability of childhood memories haunt Ryan (the narrator, a detective) and In the Woods, making this a mystery teens will love. The detectives are young and live young lives--solving cases together while eating and drinking well into the night. Ryan's partner, Maddox, is a kickass heroine--smart, hardworking, and tough." Clearly, this is a title that I need to read. And in fact, I have already downloaded it from Audible, and started listening to it this morning.

The FireSometimes the mere knowledge that a book exists is enough of a reason to want it - you don't even need to know the title, or hear even a hint as to what it's about. And so it is with me in regards to Katherine Neville's sequel to The Eight and a new standalone title by Carol O'Connell. Trisha from The YA YA YAs included both titles in a recent post about 2008 titles that she's looking forward to reading. Here's what she said: "The Fire by Katherine Neville!!!!! - it’s been, what, over ten years since her last book was published? Plus, it’s the sequel to The Eight!!!! Finally!!" Tricia also was excited about: "Bone by Bone by Carol O’Connell!!!!! - it’s not a Mallory book, which disappointed me for a couple of seconds, because Find Me was excellent (and, wow, all that info about Mallory’s parents!). Then I remembered that the only other standalone O’Connell has written is the awesome Judas Child, which I absolutely love." I'm not quite so prone to exclamation points, but I agree 100% with Trisha about both The Eight and all of Carol O'Connell's books (especially Judas Child, the ending of which still haunts me).


Reviews that Made Me Want the Book: May 21

Welcome to the latest installment of my "reviews that made me want to read the book" feature. My idea with these posts is to keep track of the books that catch my eye, while also giving props to the talented reviewers who draw my attention through their words.

Secret Society GirlLeila's reviews at Bookshelves of Doom often catch my eye. So when she said: "This book almost got me hit by a car", I paid attention. In her review of Diana Peterfreund's Secret Society Girl: An Ivy League Novel. Leila said "It isn't deep or particularly literary (you may have guessed that from the cover), but it's compulsively readable and completely entertaining. The characters are likable* and bright and I've already ordered the second book in the series." Good enough for me!

Circle of TruthLaura Salas drew me in with her brief review of Circle of Truth by Pat Schmatz. Although the book has fantasy elements, such as a magically appearing stairway, what Laura liked about it was the analysis of relationships in a blended family. She said: "This is not an action-packed book, but the tension increased notch by notch, tightening its grip on me. I couldn't wait to finish and see what happened. The ending was satisfying. I won't say anymore since I don't want to ruin it for anyone."

Portia's Ultra Mysterious Double LifeCindy Mitchell at Kiss the Book also intrigued me with a relatively short review, this one of Portia's Ultra Mysterious Double Life by Anna Hays. It sounds a bit like the Gilda Joyce books. A student reviewer said: "it had a great story of how a twelve year-old girl tries to deal with another earthquake catastrophe and having no father. I really liked this book and would gladly add it to my own collection."

The Sky InsideThis book was a personal recommendation to me by Becky Laney: Clare B. Dunkle's The Sky Inside. Becky also reviewed the book at Becky's Book Reviews, calling it a science fiction dystopian thriller with a premise that "screamed out "read me, read me, read me NOW!"" She also says "t would have been really easy--almost expected--for the characters to take a back seat to the premise, but that isn't the case in The Sky Inside. Yes, the premise had me at hello. But I really and truly came to believe in Martin."

Jumpy Jack & GoogilyEsme Raji Codell recently shared a "healthy dose of the funniest new picture books (she) could find" at Planet Esme. The one that I simply must have is Jumpy Jack & Googily by Meg Rosoff and Sophie Blackall. Honestly, aren't the title and the cover enough? OK, here's part of Esme's description: "Googily, with sharp teeth but a disarming smile and eyes that are, indeed, googly, very endearingly checks wading pools, closets, under tables and beds for any culprits, and children will enjoy the inside joke of a monster inserting himself into every place that Jumpy Jacks fears one might be."

Blue Like FridayAnother brief review by Stacy Church in Book Bits, the Westwood (MA) Public Library blog, pulls me in from the first lines of the review. Stacy says: "This may be my favorite children's book I've read all year. It's funny, really funny, and sad (my favorite combination), and the characters are great. On top of that, there's a mystery that the kids solve themselves. What could be better." What, indeed, Stacy? The book is Blue Like Friday by Siobhan Parkinson. Special bonus: I get a kick out of sitting in California getting book recommendations from the Westwood Library, hometown library of my lovely nieces.

Black SheepCourt from Once Upon a Bookshelf recently shared the news that Sourcebooks will be re-releasing a selection of Georgette Heyer's regency novels shortly. Her review of an advance copy of Black Sheep made me want the book now, but it won't be available until June 1st. In truth, for me, knowing that the book is going to be available, and is one that I haven't read, is good enough for me to decide to buy it. But Court's comments also helped: "The characters were wonderful, and the dialogue was witty and amusing. It was predictable, but that is what you would expect from this type of book. Of course the girl’s going to get the guy, everyone’s problems are going to work out wonderfully and all will live happily ever after. As my first foray into Heyer’s Regency romances, it was certainly successful. I finished the book feeling the complete satisfaction that only a good read can leave you with. I can see why Jane Austen fans really enjoy her books, and I will definitely be reading more of Heyer’s works." Yay! Another convert to one of my favorite authors.

The Diamond of DarkholdThis one is an announcement, not a review, but it's all I need. Monica Edinger reports at Educating Alice that Jeanne Duprau has a new (fourth) Ember book coming out: The Diamond of Darkhold. Monica says: "According to the flap copy, in Sparks Lina and Doon find a beat-up book missing most of its pages, but in it is mention of a device that may still be in Ember. So they go back to find it." Good enough for me! Cool cover, too.

Model SpyJennie from Biblio File intrigued me with her review of Model Spy (The Specialists), by Shannon Greenland. The premise is that a 16-year-old girl is tricked into becoming a spy. Jennie said: "This book was super-fun and exciting. I loved it. I'm sure all the techno babble was completely made up, but I don't care. I like the socially awkward smart, yet hot girl. The plot kept moving and I couldn't put it down. I can't wait for the rest of the books in the series."

And that's all for now. I don't have time to actually read any of these books any time soon, but the combination of review, author, and premise made me want to read them all. Thanks, Kidlitosphere friends!


Reviews that Made Me Want the Book: May 7

Welcome to the latest installment of my Reviews that Made Me Want to Read the Book feature, highlighting intriguing books and the reviewers who made them that way. I just did one of these posts a couple of days ago, and it seems soon to do another. All I can say is that the book blogging community has been very active this week, and five more books have made their way onto my radar screen.

The Crystal SkullThis one looks fun: The Crystal Skull, by Manda Scott. Court at Once Upon a Bookshelf called it "a cross between an Indiana Jones movie and your typical hero’s journey novel." She also said: "I don’t usually go for apocalyptic fiction, but in this case the description that it was a “blend of history, myth, and science” sparked some interest." Well, that sparks some interest for me, too. This is an adult title, currently available in the US in hardcover.

The Missing: FoundI learned from The Reading Zone that Margaret Peterson Haddix has started a new series: The Missing. Sarah says: "This series promises to be just as good, if not better, than Shadow Children. The Missing: (Found) is a pageturner with twists and turns you will never see coming... Margaret Peterson Haddix is sure to draw in many more reluctant readers with this speculative fiction series." She describes the plot, too, and it sounds fascinating.

Streams of BabelI read about Carol Plum-Ucci's novel Streams of Babel in Notes from the Horn Book. They called it "a breakneck tale of a bioterrorist attack on a small town’s water supply told through the eyes of the affected young adults. Plum-Ucci includes some timely issues with the action, but it’s the vivid characters and expertly controlled tension that will keep readers’ eyes glued to the page." Sounds compelling to me!

A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week EverAnne Boles Levy reviewed A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever by Marla Frazee at Book Buds. I was already favorably disposed to the book because Marla Frazee illustrates the wonderful Clementine books. But then Anne said "Frazee's narration and pictures don't line up exactly, to hilarious effect", and gave examples. I can totally picture it, and I want to read it.

Bronte's Book ClubAnd finally, although she only gave it 3.5 stars, I was pulled in by Becky's review of Bronte's Book Club, by Kristiana Gregory, at Becky's Book Reviews. It's about a girl who moves to a new town, and starts a book club as a way to make friends. Becky says: "Books. Friendship. Summer adventures. And snacks. This is perfect light reading for young readers." I think it will be perfect light reading for me, too.

But enough blogging about books that I want to read - I'm going to go read one of the many books already sitting on my shelves.