Note about my Reviews

Dear Authors: The reviews in this blog are only personal opinions. I have absolutely no background in literature, writing or reviewing. I am a Librarian (actually a Library Technician for those who care OR know the difference) with a love for a good story. The opinions in the reviews are ONLY my OPINIONS. I am not commenting on the writers ability since well -- I am not a writer and never will be. If you are the author of any of the books reviewed here, my opinion is just that and not a judgment against you!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry: Mini Book Review

Gathering Blue
by Lois Lowry
Random House
ISBN: 978-0-440-22949-0
Suggested Age: 12 + (nothing objectionable)
Buy from Indigo


Description: In her strongest work to date, Lois Lowry once again creates a mysterious but plausible future world. It is a society ruled by savagery and deceit that shuns and discards the weak. Left orphaned and physically flawed, young Kira faces a frightening, uncertain future. Blessed with an almost magical talent that keeps her alive, she struggles with ever broadening responsibilities in her quest for truth, discovering things that will change her life forever.

Mini Book Review: As with the The Giver, the story is so simple yet so complex. The type of story that stays with you, makes you think and promotes discussion.  I wish my father was still alive so we could discuss as this is the type of story he would have loved.  Kira is a likeable character and her story fascinating, but I can't lie, I fell in love with  the delightful Matty more (and yes imagine my surprise when I realized Messenger was about him).  The story is fast paced and the prose is tight, a sign of a truly brilliant writer. Some lovely light moments which help with some of the darker moments. This series is perfect for fans of dystopian literature and for those who enjoyed The Giver (you don't have to read it first)  My only real complaints deal with wanting more background and answers, and after reading the brilliant The Giver, it pales a little in comparison. 

4.25 Dewey's

I purchased this from Chapters Shawnessy and didn't have to review

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Book Addicts Haul

For Review

Thanks Simon and Schuster and Random House

Thanks Lindsey
Thanks TLC book tours and Scholastic
Thanks Sourcebooks


Won
Thanks DK Canada

Purchased

From Chapters Shawnessy
Dog with No Names Signed & all money goes to charity (one being ARF where we got our new dog) both books purchased at Chapters Shawnessy
Misc.

We were getting rid of all the ARC's in our back room at work & I grabbed these two

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Runaway King by Jennifer A. Nielsen

The Runaway King (Ascendance Trilogy /2)
by Jennifer A. Nielsen
Scholastic
ISBN: 978-0-545-28415-8
Suggested Ages: 10+
Buy from Indigo

Description: A kingdom teetering on the brink of destruction. A king gone missing. Who will survive? Find out in the highly anticipated sequel to Jennifer A. Nielsen's blockbuster THE FALSE PRINCE!

Just weeks after Jaron has taken the throne, an assassination attempt forces him into a deadly situation. Rumors of a coming war are winding their way between the castle walls, and Jaron feels the pressure quietly mounting within Carthya. Soon, it becomes clear that deserting the kingdom may be his only hope of saving it. But the further Jaron is forced to run from his identity, the more he wonders if it is possible to go too far. Will he ever be able to return home again? Or will he have to sacrifice his own life in order to save his kingdom?



The Good Stuff
  • For the second story in a trilogy this is bloody marvelous. The 2nd book in a trilogy is often filler but this is fabulous. It is fast paced, funny and I couldn`t put it down. Trust me I might have suggested to my 4 yr old that he could play video games for 30 minutes if mommy could just read another chapter or two
  • If you don`t love SageJaron you are a heartless bastard with no sense of humour and we have nothing in common
  • Fabulous and realistic character development
  • Plenty of action and plot twists that hook you in and don`t let you go
  • Lots of battles and excitement to keep even the most reluctant reader enthralled
  • It has been a long while since I first read The False Prince but Nielsen gives you just enough to jog your memory without boring the poop out of those who just finished it
  • Fabulous dry wit

The Not So Good Stuff
  • Some repetition and filler but for a 2nd book in a trilogy its brilliant
  • Jaron makes some stupid decisions and I want to make to smack him across the head at times - but hey I am a mom and I want to do the same to my 11 yr old at times
  • Darn I am impatient - how long do I have to wait till the final book in the trilogy
 Favorite Quotes Passages

``My father wasn`t an openly affectionate man. I knew he loved me. but he was never one to speak the words, and if I`d ever tried a gesture like this, he would`ve become as stiff as a board, uncertain of what to do.

``Although as I thought about it, it was usually only after I began speaking that most people felt like murdering me.``

``I mumbled my wish for the devils to use their mischief against Devlin, rather than me. It was a fair request. The devils had spent a lot of time on me lately.``

Who Should Shouldnt Read
  • I highly recommend reading the first book in the series so you won`t feel like you are missing anything
  • If you like adventure, sword fights and truly unique and unusual characters, this is the book for you
  • Will appeal big time for boys, but at the same time it is one that many a girl (or 42 yr old mom) will be thrilled with
  • A good one for both the young and the young at heart

4.75 Dewey`s

I received this from Scholastic in exchange for an  honest review

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne: Mini Book Review

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
by John Boyne
Random House
ISBN: 978-0-385-75153-7
Suggested Ages: 11+ due to sensitive issues
Buy from Indigo

DescriptionWhen Bruno returns home from school one day, he discovers that his belongings are being packed in crates. His father has received a promotion and the family must move from their home to a new house far far away, where there is no one to play with and nothing to do. A tall fence running alongside stretches as far as the eye can see and cuts him off from the strange people he can see in the distance.

But Bruno longs to be an explorer and decides that there must be more to this desolate new place than meets the eye. While exploring his new environment, he meets another boy whose life and circumstances are very different to his own, and their meeting results in a friendship that has devastating consequences.


Mini Book Review: I truly struggle writing reviews about books that are sheer perfection like this one. I am afraid I don`t have the appropriate words to convey that this book I believe is one that every person should read.   Every time I mentioned to people that I was going to read this they gave me the warning that it doesn`t end well but that I had to read it.  They were right - it doesn`t end well but don`t let that stop you.  Such a wonderful story with beautiful moments of humour intertwined with brutal violence written in such a sensitive way.  I read a chapter of this to my son every night before bedtime and it led to some hard conversations but ones that I felt were important. Bruno, although extremely naive, is a beautiful, honest and realistic character.  The relationship and conversations between Bruno and Shmuel are heartbreaking yet honest. Also Boyne should be commended for writing such a poignant story that will rip your heart in two but at the same time give you hope. I recommend this as a book a parent, teacher, or librarian should read aloud to a child and discuss. (BTW - before the last two chapters of the book have a stiff drink so you don`t bawl your eyes out while reading to your child -- trust me!) This was a wonderful bonding experience for me and Jake -- but shhh don`t tell Jake that.


5 Dewey`s 

I purchased this to read to my 11 yr old after a disturbing incident at his old school Ontario.  Short explanation - son told me a `joke`` he heard at school about the Holocaust.  Friends suggested this would be a perfect and age appropriate story to read to him and discuss

Mom and Me Mondays: Tom Gates: Excellent Excuses and other good stuff by L. Pichon

Tom Gates: Excellent Excuses and Other Good Stuff
by L. Pichon
Scholastic
ISBN: 978-1-4431-2439-3
Suggested Ages: 9-12
Buy from Indigo

Description: No school for two whole weeks leaves Tom with heaps of time for the important things in life. Yeah! He can forget all about lessons and the irritating Marcus Meldrew, and save his energy for good stuff! Stuff like: inventing new ways to annoy his sister Delia. (So many). Band practice for the Dogzombies rock stars in the making! Watching TV and eating caramel wafers; eating caramel wafers and watching TV. Excellent! But clouds are gathering on the horizon in the form of Toms weirdo big sister Delia. And when trouble collides with his brilliant plans, hell need all his excellent excuses... Crammed with scribbles, doodles, stories and sniggers, this hysterical journal brings you more manic mayhem from the crazy world of Tom Gates. HA HA HA!


Jake's Review: The first thing I liked is that Tom is sort of like me. He has an annoying teacher, a worst enemy (who is dumb), a best friend and sort of a band. All of the people in his life are just like mine.  Delia (who is annoying like my little brother) a Mom (who is too affectionate and kissed me in front of my friends)  Even though I think British kids will like it a little bit better, as some of the language is odd British words, Canadian kids will still enjoy.  This book would be better for boys than for girls and especially boys my age (11).  It's a really funny book that is fast and easy to read as well.   I also think it would be good for boys who don't like to read as there are lots of pictures.

Jake's Rating: 9/10

Mom's Review:  Tom Gates books are absolutely delightful and perfect for the reluctant reader. The relationships between Tom and his friends and family are authentic and fun.  Tom is just one of those kids you cannot help but love (and in my case totally understand -- cough cough Jake cough cough) My only real complaint is that I think the glossary should be at the beginning for those not used to British Terminology.  Jake didn't really have much of a problem as he has heard much of the terminology from his British grandparents,  but it may affect kids enjoyment. Kids who are fans of Wimpy Kid, Dumb Diary and Big Nate books will flock to this title.

Mom's Rating: 9/10 

I received this from Scholastic in exchange for an honest review

Friday, March 15, 2013

TLC Book Tour: Square Peg by L.Todd Rose w/ Katherine Ellison

Square Peg
by L. Todd Rose w/ Katherine Ellison
Hyperion (HarperCollins)
ISBN: 978-1-4013-2427-8
Buy from Indigo
March 5, 2013

Description: In the seventh grade, L. Todd Rose was suspended -- not for the first time -- for throwing six stink bombs at the blackboard, where his art teacher stood with his back to the class. At 18 years old, he was a high school dropout, stocking shelves at a department story for $4.25 an hour. Sixteen years later, Rose was a faculty member at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.


In SQUARE PEG, Rose takes us on an uncommon, personal journey that illuminates what it means to be a child who learns differently, or a parent or teacher a child who learns differently. He has concentrated scientific research into explanations and tips that will be meaningful for the many parents and educators with children and students who can sometimes be difficult to care for or teach.
At the conclusion of each chapter, Rose has distilled the big ideas and action items from that chapter, making SQUARE PEG a functional guide, in addition to a compelling narrative.


The Good Stuff
  •  Easy to read, which surprised me considering it is written by a Harvard graduate and faculty member
  • Everything just makes total sense and makes you really think
  • Selp deprecating and actually quite funny for such a serious topic - would love to sit down and chat with him about how specifically I can help Jake better
  • Part fascinating memoir, part parenting book so it makes it more personal
  • The information contained would be extremely beneficial to educators worldwide but it would mean a lot of changes to an institution that has a hard time with change
  • Inspirational
  • Honestly it also was just comforting that someone who had so many troubles (like my Jake) succeeded and is also working on making things less frustrating for kids like him

The Not So Good Stuff
  • The part about the experiments on dogs upset me
Favorite Quotes/Passages

"It wouldn't have surprised anyone who knew me back then if I'd landed in jail by my twenties. It did surprise just about everyone that I wound up on the faculty of Harvard University."

"My own early experiences, combined with what I've learned from this line of research, have convinced me that many a child's choice of "bad' behaviour over surrendering to powerlessness might well be a healthy survival tactic-and that if we as adults can understand it as such, we can judge less and help a lot more."

 "I still take Ritalin today, despite some mixed feelings about it. Like most people, I want to believe that I'm in control of situations, and don't like the idea of sharing that control with a pill."

Who Should/Shouldn't Read
  • Perfect for anyone whose child has ADHD - trust me I learned tons from this and now plan on passing out copies to my kids school
  • Educators - pick this up asap!
  • And well to any of the people who have made negative comments to me about Jake or who have judged my parenting skills based on some of his behaviours  - I think maybe you should take a peak at this (yes yes, I know I have issues but trust me so would you in the same situation)
  • Really any parent/education could learn from this - whether they have or deal with a child with adhd or not. Each child is different
4 Dewey's

I received this from TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review



About the authors
L. Todd Rose is a faculty member at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he teaches a course on educational neuroscience. He is also cochair of the Connecting the Mind, Brain, and Education institute at Harvard.
Katherine Ellison is a Pulitzer Prizewinning former foreign correspondent and author of five books, including Buzz: A Year of Paying Attention, a memoir of a year after both she and her son were diagnosed with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder.



TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS for Square Peg:

Monday, March 4th:  Life Unfocused
Tuesday, March 5th:  Two Bears Farm and the Three Cubs
Wednesday, March 6th:  She Treads Softly
Thursday, March 7th:  Overstuffed
Friday, March 8th:  Book Club Classics!
Monday, March 11th:  Family Volley
Tuesday, March 12th:  Attention Deficit Whatever
Wednesday, March 13th:  Misbehavin Librarian
Thursday, March 14th:  Positive Thinking and ADHD
Friday, March 15th:  Smart Kids with LD
Monday, March 18th:  Earnest Parenting
Tuesday, March 19th:  Pragmatic Mom
Wednesday, March 20th:  Book Snob
Thursday, March 21st:  Luxury Reading
Friday, March 22nd:  Susan Heim on Parenting guest post
Monday, March 25th:  Theres a Book
Wednesday, March 27th:  Stiletto Storytime


Lisa Munley  - TLC Book Tours

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Monday, March 11, 2013

Mom and Me Mondays: ChickenHare by Chris Grine

ChickenHare
by Chris Grine
Graphix (Scholastic)
ISBN: 978-0-545-48508-1
Suggested Ages: 9-12
Buy from Indigo

Description: Chickenhare: half chicken, half rabbit, 100% hero! What's a chickenhare? A cross between a chicken and a rabbit, of course. And that makes Chickenhare the rarest animal around! So when he and his turtle friend Abe are captured and sold to the evil taxidermist Klaus, they've got to find a way to escape before Klaus turns them into stuffed animals. With the help of two other strange creatures, Banjo and Meg, they might even get away. But with Klaus and his thugs hot on their trail, the adventure is only just beginning for this unlikely quartet of friends.


Jake's Review: This was an awesome book with lots of easy to read words.  The illustrations are fantastic and it was really funny. This would be a really good book for both kids who don't like to read and for people who do.  Both boys and girls of my age (11) would like it too. There are a lot of weird and funny animals and ugly bad guys..  Lots of good battles and ghost sheep. My favorite characters are meat and patty.  I cannot wait to read more of this series & can you make it snappy mom wants me to read this other book and I really don't want to

Jake's Rating: 10/10

Mom's Review:  This will be a huge hit with fans of the series Bone as it has the similar type of humour.  The illustrations are unusual and creative and the characters are likeable.  The storyline is fast paced and will keep even the most reluctant reader entranced.  Nice message of friendship and teamwork, done in a non obvious way.  Cannot wait to show this to the middle school customers at the Chapters I work at who are looking for a new graphic novel. Well done Mr Grine for coming up with something unique!


Mom's Rating: 7/10

We received this from Scholastic in exchange for an honest review


Beta by Rachel Cohn: MIni Review

Beta
by Rachel Cohn
Hyperion
ISBN: 978-1-4231-5719-9
Suggested Ages: 14+ (Sexuality and minor violence)
Buy from Indigo

Description: Elysia is created in a laboratory, born as a sixteen-year-old girl, an empty vessel with no life experience to draw from. She is a Beta, an experimental model of a teenage clone. She was replicated from another teenage girl, who had to die in order for Elysia to exist.
Elysia's purpose is to serve the inhabitants of Demesne, an island paradise for the wealthiest people on earth. Everything about Demesne is bioengineered for perfection. Even the air induces a strange, euphoric high, which only the island's workers--soulless clones like Elysia--are immune to.
At first, Elysia's life is idyllic and pampered. But she soon sees that Demesne's human residents, who should want for nothing, yearn. But for what, exactly? She also comes to realize that beneath the island's flawless exterior, there is an under-current of discontent among Demesne's worker clones. She knows she is soulless and cannot feel and should not care--so why are overpowering sensations cloud-ing Elysia's mind?
If anyone discovers that Elysia isn't the unfeeling clone she must pretend to be, she will suffer a fate too terrible to imagine. When her one chance at happi-ness is ripped away with breathtaking cruelty, emotions she's always had but never understood are unleashed. As rage, terror, and desire threaten to overwhelm her, Elysia must find the will to survive.


Mini Book Review:  I was intrigued by this book and loved most of it. However the last 1/4 of the book felt rushed, and just made no sense.  I don't want to spoil anything but a surprise plot twist just didn't work for me as it was out of character. It reminded me at times of Blade Runner in its treatments of the Clones and their rights (Also mentioned as replicants - hence the connection) which I found truly fascinating.  To me it was a fabulous premise that was poorly executed at times. I really wanted to love this more as the premise is one that truly intrigues me, but I just felt at times that the author had a fabulous idea and was pressured by the publisher to execute it. That being said it was good enough for me to pick up the next copy in the series.  Working at a bookstore with a minor knowledge in publishing I understand the plethora of trilogies but I truly am getting sick of them -- give me more standalone novels.

3.25 Dewey's

I picked up a copy of this at BEA and did not have to publish a review

Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Giver by Lois Lowry: Mini Review and Contest

The Giver
by Lois Lowry
Random House
ISBN: 978-0-440-23768-6
Suggested Ages: 12+
Buy from Indigo

Description: Jonas's world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear or pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the Community. When Jonas turns twelve, he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now, it is time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back.

 Mini Book Review: I am at a  loss for words to express the brilliance of this work of literary art. Such a simple yet complex story that you could spend hours discussing.  The story has stayed with me all day and I cannot wait to talk with my book pals about it. Also have a feeling Chapters Shawnessy will have a spike in sales on this one as I will be expressing to customers my mad love for this.  Reminded me a little of Brave New World and Logans Run with the same vibe of a supposed Utopian society that seems idealistic with no prejudice or violence yet a world so horrifying to me as there is no passion, love or freedom of choice (And don't get me started about a world where people have limited access to books). Jonas is such a unique and richly developed character that you come to love and feel for.  The world Lowry has created is fascinating and you can see how it could develop. Perfection in 179 pages.  My 11 yr old and I are just finishing up The Boy with the Striped Pajama's and this will be our next read out loud book. I cannot wait to hear what he thinks.  Oh yeah now have the song Freewill by Rush stuck in my head -- read the book you will understand.  Ok peeps if you haven't read this book yet, get thee to a book store immediately and pick up a copy (or a Library if funds or shelf space is an issue) I know this review is kinda rambling but I don't want to give away anything, I truly want you to experience this book as I did.  FYI I am kicking myself right now that I met Lois at BEA last year and knew nothing of this spectacular book.  Lois I want to go back in time and thank you for writing this lovely book.  Guess I will be picking up my copy of Son tomorrow -- sorry kids mommy might be busy tomorrow.

5+ Dewey's 

I purchased this from Chapters Shawnessy and did not have to review it, I just loved it so much I had to tell you all about it

Contest

Prize: Paperback copy of The Giver
Worldwide
Ends: March 26th
All you have to do is make a comment -- try to be a little creative - I am a mom and I need something more than thanks for hosting and your name

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Demonologist by Andrew Pyper

The Demonologist
by Andrew Pyper
Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 978-1-4516-9752-0
Buy from Indigo
Published March 5, 2013

Description: Fans of The Historian wont be able to put down this spellbinding literary horror story in which a Columbia professor must use his knowledge of demonic mythology to rescue his daughter from the Underworld.Professor David Ullmans expertise in the literature of the demonicnotably Miltons Paradise Losthas won him wide acclaim. But David is not a believer.

One afternoon he receives a visitor at his campus office, a strikingly thin woman who offers him an invitation: travel to Venice, Italy, witness a phenomenon, and offer his professional opinion, in return for an extravagant sum of money. Needing a fresh start, David accepts and heads to Italy with his beloved twelve-year-old daughter Tess.

What happens in Venice will send David on an unimaginable journey from skeptic to true believer, as he opens himself up to the possibility that demons really do exist. In a terrifying quest guided by symbols and riddles from the pages of Paradise Lost, David attempts to rescue his daughter from the Unnameda demonic entity that has chosen him as its messenger



The Good Stuff
  • Pyper has a true gift in writing the quietly creepy.  Once I start reading one of his novels I am hooked, scared out of my pants of course, but I cannot put it down.  Will read everything and anything he writes
  • David and his daughter are realistic yet utterly fascinating characters
  • Story slowly builds yet constantly holds your interest
  • I am not scared to read Paradise Lost anymore (yes I have low self esteem when it comes to great literary works, feel I am not intelligent enough to read and understand them)
  • Haunting and moody
  • Good portrayal of depression and how it effects the family
  • Liked the slowly unraveling of what happened in the past
  • The relationship between Elaine and David was a nice addition - would have liked more in that area
  • The connection between Tessa and her Dad is heartbreaking yet beautiful
  • Good uses of dark humour

The Not So Good Stuff
  • As I am not the most intelligent of readers, I still am not exactly sure what happened at the end.  Probably should have spent more time paying attention in class instead of reading those romance novels
  • Wife was more of a caricature than an actual character
  • Cough cough for the love of God Pyper you are Canadian - lets spell colour correctly ; )
Favorite Quotes/Passages

"The rows of faces. Younger and younger each term. Of course, this is only me getting older among the freshman who come and go, an illusion, like looking out the rear window of a car and seeing the landscape run away from you instead of you running from it."

"A seventeenth-century epic poem that retells biblical events but with a crafty slant, a perspective that arguably lends sympathy to Satan, the leader of the rebel angels who became fed up with a grumpy, authoritarian God and broke out on his own in a career of making trouble in the lives of humans."

"Demons afflict the weak"
"Or the ones who ask for help without caring who's ready to give it."

Who Should/Shouldn't Read
  • Fans of Pyper's previous works will enjoy
  • This is definitely for those who enjoy a good psychological paranormal thriller
 4 Dewey's

I received this from Simon and Schuster in exchange for an honest review


Sunday, March 3, 2013

Magisterium by Jeff Hirsch

Magisterium
by Jeff Hirsch
Scholastic Press
ISBN: 9780545290180
Suggested Ages: 12+
Buy from Indigo 

Description: On one side of the Rift is a technological paradise without famine or want. On the other side is a mystery.

Sixteen-year-old Glenn Morgan has lived next to the Rift her entire life and has no idea of what might be on the other side of it. Glenn's only friend, Kevin, insists the fence holds back a world of monsters and witchcraft, but magic isn't for Glenn. She has enough problems with reality: Glenn's mother disappeared when she was six, and soon after, she lost her scientist father to his all-consuming work on the mysterious Project. Glenn buries herself in her studies and dreams about the day she can escape. But when her father's work leads to his arrest, he gives Glenn a simple metal bracelet that will send Glenn and Kevin on the run---with only one place to go.

 
Mini Book Review: A truly unique and unusual story that is perfect for the reluctant reader.  This was an extremely fast paced story with plenty of twists and turns that I didn't see coming.  I won't lie I was a little confused  at times about what the heck was going on but than again I was reading it while taking care of the kids while hubby was away - mind wasn't completely there. The cover is fabulous and I had to pick it up after promising no more books while at BEA. Glenn is an intriguing and likeable character and I enjoyed the scenes between her and Kevin.  I also really enjoyed the scene with Opal which gave the story a little more heart. I think the story would have been far superior if some of what I read in the scenes with Opal could have been developed further. Hirsch is fabulous at world building and prose but I just found the story lacking in something. It was still a nice escape from reality but not something I truly loved.  I know this review is kinda rambling but hey its been a long weekend sorry


3.75 Dewey's

I picked up a copy of this at BEA last year and just now finally getting to it

Days That End In Y by Vikki VanSickle

Days That End in Y
by Vikki VanSickle
Scholastic Canada Ltd.
ISBN: 978-1-4431-2432-4
Suggested Ages: 10+
Buy from Indigo

Description: Clarissa tries to find her happily-ever-after in this clever, heartfelt follow-up to Love Is a Four-Letter Word!

One summer. That's all the time it takes to set your world spinning or so Clarissa learns. Feeling abandoned by Mattie (camp), Benji (drama school), and even Michael (babysitting), Clarissa feels even more alone when her mother tells her she's marrying Doug. This announcement gets Clarissa thinking about her father, and her search for answers leads to her stumbling upon information about the secret teenage life of her mother, and more importantly, about Bill, her absentee father.

Will Clarissa be able to move beyond the past and take part in Annie's vision of the future? Happily ever after has never seemed so impossible


The Good Stuff
  • Confession time: I have both of the other books in the series and I have never read them.  I was just too nervous. I know Vikki and I was worried that if they sucked  I wouldn't be able to look her in the eye.  However, Scholastic sent me the latest in the series and I had to review it.  Thanks Scholastics -- I loved, loved, loved the book & know I got two more books to review
  • Clarissa is delightfully raw, honest, strong, imperfect and just so very real
  • Reminds me of Judy Blume - and yes that is a good thing because Blume is kick ass
  • Wryly funny
  • Canadian!  Laughed because my husband went to John A. MacDonald & I made out with a guy named Bill Davies once
  • Really understands what its like to be young girl growing up
  • Supporting characters are just as well developed as Clarissa
  • Love the friendships
  • The relationship between Clarissa and her mom is marvelous
  • Enjoyed the fact that nothing was tied up sweetly or unrealistically

The Not So Good Stuff
  • I now have guilt issues about not reading the other 2 books
Favorite Quotes/Passages

"I don't see what's so great about it," I mutter. "It's like school except you have to sleep over. Outside.'
Mattie gasps. "Camp is not like school," she says. "There aren't any assignments or essays or teachers."
"But don't you have counselors that teach you stuff." (This conversation goes on from here and its hilarious - worth the price of the book alone)

"Smiles at the expense of Denise are rare. Mom is Denise's number one defender and rarely acknowledges her crazy factor, which is significant."

"(Does baby like his tummy tickled? Who's a silly boy?). No wonder it takes kids  so long to learn to talk. No one ever asks them anything interesting."

Who Should/Shouldn't Read
  • Perfect for girls of any age. Both those in this age category and for anyone my age who can still remember what it was like to be that age
5 Dewey's

I received this from Scholastic in exchange for an honest review