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!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Supernaturally by Kiersten White

Supernaturally(Paranormalcy #2)
by Kiersten White
ISBN: 978-0-06-198586-7
Release Date: July 26, 2011
Suggested Age: 12+ (nothing offensive)
Buy from Indigo

 Description:A lot has changed in the six months since Evie escaped from the International Paranormal Containment Agency with her shape-shifter boyfriend, Lend. She finally has the blissfully normal life shes always dreamed of, including:

1) A real live high school
2) A perfectly ordinary after-school job
3) Her very own locker (and by the way, rusted metal is every bit as awesome as she imagined)

But Evies not-so-normal past keeps creeping up on her...and things get pretty complicated when you factor in:
1) A centuries-old, seriously decaying vampire stalker
2) A crazy faerie ex-boyfriend who is the perpetual bearer of really bad news
3) A major battle brewing between the faerie courts where the prize in question happens to be...Evie herself.

So much for normal.

The Good Stuff
  • Just go pre-order to book guys, don't even bother reading any further -- it rocks! Ok, I promise to finish reviewing properly
  • Just as incredible as the 1st book, which is very unusual for the middle book in a trilogy
  • love the cheeky sass of Evie
  • Give it my highest compliment that it is as good as anything Whedon has written 
  • Lots of twists and turns
  • Incredible dialogue that will make you laugh your ass off
  • Fabulous secondary characters including the introduction of the mysterious and fun Jack 
  • again just want to mention the dialogue is frickin hilarious - do not read it out in public if you are uncomfortable at being stared at when you snort out loud
  • Love the scenes between Evie and Arianna
  • Opening paragraph grabs your attention and sucks you right into the story
  • Some sadness but done so beautifully
The Not so Good Stuff
  • the book ended and I have an ARC so the book hasn't even been released -- how frickin long am I going to have to wait till the final book -- I am so not a patient women
  • Do you have any idea how hard it was to only pick 3 favorite passages from this
Favorite Quotes/Passages

"Working at the International Paranormal Containment Agency might have been close to indentured servitude, and sure, I had some nasty run-ins with vampires and hags and creeptastic faeries, but that was nothing compared to the danger I faced now.  Girls' gym."

"The answer was far too many, but figuring it out was more interesting than, say, paying attention to my English teacher's lecture on gender roles in Dracula - and don't even get me started on that Book. An accurate researcher Bram Stoker was not."

"It was bad enough that half of the local vamps tried to use their mind control powers to convince me I didn't want a tip.
I always want a tip, you undead creeps."

What I Learned
  • That I love Kiersten White and am willing to foster out my children to her  - ok who's kidding who, the little heathens have driven me totally  insane this week and would foster out to anyone
  • Evie is one of my favorite characters
Who should/shouldn't read
  • Everybody should read -- well except for those boring people without a sense of humour. Although I would recommend reading Paranormalcy first, not that you REALLY need to, you will just want to have more.
5 Dewey's

I received this from HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review & all I have to say is I LOVE YOU GUYS!  tons of good cookies for you next year at OLA

Saturday, July 23, 2011

In My Mailbox

For Review
From Simon and Schuster

From Random House and Simon and Schuster
Signed copies for Jenn, Melanie, Tanya, My son Jake, Me and Colleen (not shown in mail right  now)

My Signed Copies of Forever and Blood Magic (Also got copy signed for Colleen also in mail)
Jake came to signing with me & I got him the above (he picked)
Borrowed from Sheridan College for my BBC Challenge

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Bossypants by Tina Fey: Mini Book Review


by Tina Fey
Little, Brown and Company
Kobo ISBN: 9780316175869
Buy from Indigo & Kobo

Description: Before Liz Lemon, before "Weekend Update," before "Sarah Palin," Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that she was being chased through a local airport by her middle-school gym teacher. She also had a dream that one day she would be a comedian on TV.
She has seen both these dreams come true.
At last, Tina Fey's story can be told. From her youthful days as a vicious nerd to her tour of duty on Saturday Night Live; from her passionately halfhearted pursuit of physical beauty to her life as a mother eating things off the floor; from her one-sided college romance to her nearly fatal honeymoon from the beginning of this paragraph to this final sentence.
Tina Fey reveals all, and proves what we've all suspected: you're no one until someone calls you bossy.

(Includes Special, Never-Before-Solicited Opinions on Breastfeeding, Princesses, Photoshop, the Electoral Process, and Italian Rum Cake!)

 Dear Tina

Thank you so much for helping me through a painfully long wait for the Go Bus (Have had Melanoma so standing in the hot sun for over an hour is the definition of hell) After laughing my ass off for over an hour I barely even noticed the bus was late. While reading I was impressed with how you seem to be just a down to earth, intelligent, honest and  extremely funny women. (either that or you are just extremely talented at faking it) Your chapter on breastfeeding was beautifully written and really hit the nail on the head and expressed how I felt. I totally snorted out loud when you mentioned the "tit nazis" as I also had similar experiences with those horrendous women, who I had nicknamed "breast nazi's." (Hmm, I think I came up with it first, can I sue you or something -- I really could use some new floors) You also wonderfully expressed my feelings about the battle between working moms and stay at home moms with your quote "I think we should be kind to one another about it, I think we should agree to blame the children."  Honestly, it isn't our place to judge, lets just support each other and work together to raise the next generation.  A happy mother is a good mother in my opinion, and I believe your child will not end up like so many children of celebrities because you love what you do and because of your values and beliefs. 

Now down to the real reason I have now become your fan -- you don't drive. Now I have a retaliation for every time someone mentions my lack of a drivers license.  Now I can just say -- hey Tina Fey doesn't drive and look how cool she is.

I have to be honest I have never seen an episode of 30 Rock but you can bet your ass after reading your "memoir" that I will be picking up a full set of the DVD's this weekend.

Thanks from your newest fan

PS to be honest I have never seen you on Saturday Night Live either -- but I did enjoy Date Night 

4.5 Dewey's (Took off a half a dewey because I totally wanted the book to be longer, since I was enjoying it so much)

You, The Owner's Manual for Teens: A Guide to a Healthy Body and Happy Life by Michael F. Roizen, MD and Mehmet C. Oz, MD

You,  The Owner's Manual for Teens: A Guide to a Healthy Body and Happy Life  
by Michael F. Roizen, MD, Mehmet C. Oz, MD and Ellen Rome, MD
Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 978-0-7432-9258-0
Buy from Indigo

Description: A few years ago, we wrote YOU: The Owners Manual, which taught people about the inner workings of their bodiesand how to keep them running strong. But you know what? Theres a big difference between an adults body and your body, between adults health mysteries and your health mysteries, between their questions and your questions. So, teens, this book is for YOU. Well talk to you about the biological changes that are happening in your brain and your body. Well show you how to get more energy, improve your grades, protect your skin, salvage more sleep, get fit, eat well, maximize your relationships, make decisions about sex, and so much more. In fact, in these pages, we answer hundreds of your most pressing health-related questions. And you know what else? We are going to treat you like adults in one very important way: Were not going to preach. Were going to give you straight-up information that you can use to make smart choices about how to live the good lifeand enjoy every second of it. Starting right now.

The Good Stuff
  •  Medical information is simply explained 
  • Non Judgmental or condescending in any way
  • Artwork will appeal to teens
  • honest and straight to the point - no beating around the bush
  • Answers and information about all those things you never want to be caught dead asking (trust me I could have used some of this info when I was a teen cuz I sure as hell wasn't going to ask my Mom or Dad and they were totally cool)
  • Practical advice
  • Question and answer sections in each chapter are well done
  • Talks about both physical and mental issues again with no judgements 
  • the section on pee and poop is hilarious and extremely well done 
  • The you tools are practical and useful, especially the exercises and recipe sections
The Not so Good Stuff
  • Some of the jokes/humour are seriously hokey and will make teens totally roll their eyes or sigh in disgust
  • Was a wee bit put off on teens behalf by the list of things that they thought were of most importance to the teen. It was very stereotypical and somewhat selfish. There are plenty of teens that are interested in changing the world and making it a better place and it is just as important to them as staying zit free and having cool clothes - it actually almost made me put the book down
 Favorite Quotes/Passages

"If you smell funkier that a Black Eyed Peas track, there's probably a good explanation."

"Laser bubble tattoo paints, which can be totally busted and removed with one laser treatment, are just coming out on the market, so ask for them if you're not sure that you'll want to live with that Glee tattoo forever,"

"There's no doubt that today's teens face tough choices and find themselves in tough situations, many of which, unfortunately, come with a fair amount of risk-real risk. But we also believe that a "don't do this" and "don't do that" approach is about as effective as a cell phone with no service."

Who should/shouldn't read
  •  A must have for middle school and high school libraries
  • A must have for every house with kids who are or are going to be teens in the very near future
  • good for both boys and girls
4 Dewey's

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

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot: Mini Book Review

The Princess Diaries
by Meg Cabot
ISBN: 978-0-06-147993-9
Suggested Ages: (And for Mom's who never grew up)
Buy From Indigo

Mini Review: One of the most delightful tween/YA books I have ever read.  Mia is so adorable and real you just can't help but fall in love with her.  I absolutely love the way Cabot writes her dialogue and it often reminds me of something that would come out of Whedon. (a true compliment). Mia is a true delight and she made me snort out loud with her outrageous comments and her truly kooky family.  Cabot truly has a gift for writing loveable quirky characters. Loved all the Star Trek references which appealed to my inner nerd.  If I was doing my usual full review I would have a hell of a time choosing only 3 of my favorite passages, as there were so many. Nice morals of being true to yourself, the importance of compassion and integrity without being all preachy and in your face - love you Cabot!  This one is perfect for tweens, teens and adults who remember the awkwardness of being a teen.  Just do yourself a favor and pick this one up.

"When I walked in, he folded the paper all carefully, put it down, and gave me this long, intent look, like Captain Picard right before he starts going on to Riker about the Prime Directive."
 Pg 63

5 Dewey's

I bought this at the Meg Cabot signing at Chapters Queensway because Terri suggested I buy it -- Thanks Terri!

Sex on the Moon by Ben Mezrich: Book Review

Sex on the Moon: The Amazing Story behind the Most Audacious Heist in History
by Ben Mezrich
Doubleday (Random House Canada)
ISBN: 978-0-385-53392-8
Buy From Indigo

Description: W Thad Roberts, a fellow in a prestigious NASA program had an ideaa romantic, albeit crazy, idea. He wanted to give his girlfriend the moon. Literally.

Thad convinced his girlfriend and another female accomplice, both NASA interns, to break into an impregnable laboratory at NASAs headquarterspast security checkpoints, an electronically locked door with cipher security codes, and camera-lined hallwaysand help him steal the most precious objects in the world: the moon rocks.

But what does one do with an item so valuable that its illegal even to own? And was Thad Robertsundeniably gifted, picked for one of the most competitive scientific posts imaginable, a possible astronautreally what he seemed?

Mezrich has pored over thousands of pages of court records, FBI transcripts, and NASA documents and has interviewed most of the participants in the crime to reconstruct this Oceans Elevenstyle heist, a madcap story of genius, love, and duplicity that reads like a Hollywood thrill ride.

The Good Stuff
  • Fascinating true tale that reads like fiction, this most likely will end up becoming a movie
  • Intriguing real life characters. and even though you totally wanted to smack Thad upside the head for being such a moron, you can understand from his brutal Mormon upbringing how he turned out the way he did and see some of the motives for the crime
  • Find out some fascinating information about NASA
  • For the most part the plot is pretty fast paced, some slow parts 
  • Enjoyed the scenes with Axel, they brought a nice simple light hearted touch to the story

The Not so Good Stuff
  • I really don't think Thad's motive was as pure as book hints at, really don't think it was love for the girl that motivated him to do it
  • Story jumps around a little too much, especially at the beginning, you really have to pay attention
  • Main character is pretty unlikeable and quite frankly a bumbling self absorbed idiot
  • A little leery on the "re-created dialogue and spiced up narrative" description, but hey it probably sounded better than the true story which makes is more readable
  • Story doesn't live up to its description of "the most audacious heist"
Favorite Quotes/Passages

"...hell, everyone was a little bit high on something, everyone had his poison.  Like Thad, or Orb, or whatever the hell Gordon was supposed to be calling him.  Thad was just as high as he was, even if the kid hadn't touched pot or booze in his life. He was high on that chick, and he was high on the idea of the money they were going to make - hell, he was high on the information Gordon had already given him,"

"... that's when the mystery set in. Like clockwork, a steaming hot towel would appear out of the wall in front of him. Both Thad and his friend had spent hours searching for the sensors that told the computer it was time for the towel-to no avail.
"I think it's something they brought back from space," Thad responded as the streams of water pummeling his body finally softened, indicating the end of the cycle."Definitely alien technology."

Who should/shouldn't read
  • Those who enjoyed Mezrich's previous works
  • Interesting for those who are fascinated by all things space and NASA related

3.25 Dewey's

I received this from Random House in Exchange for an Honest Review

Friday, July 15, 2011

Winner of Personalized Signed Copy of Forever by Maggie Stiefvater

MY fabulous Dewey Defender Natasha got to pick a name for the winner of this contest

The winner is Colleen McKie

Congrats Colleen - will mail you out the copy on Monday

Maggie Stiefvater Coming to ONTARIO!

 Maggie Stiefvater ONTARIO events

New York Times bestselling YA literature sensation Maggie Stiefvater is coming to Ontario this weekend, as part of her North American book signing tour!

Maggie is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Shiver and Linger, and will be celebrating the release of, Forever, the final installment in this acclaimed series.

Driving a 73 Camaro, she will make the following stops:

Saturday, July 16th, 12:00pm
Chapters Oshawa CENTRE
Oshawa, on
For more information call: (905) 438-8593

Saturday, July 16th, 6:00pm
Indigo Yorkdale
Toronto, ON
For more information call: (416) 781-6660
I'll be at this one with cookies

Sunday, July 17th, 2:00pm
Chapters south London
For more information call: (519) 685-1008

There will be trivia, giveaways, DJs and more!

See more information about her tour Maggie's Blog  and Chapters/Indigo

Follow these fantastic peeps on Twitter for further updates:

@ScholasticCDA and @indigogreenroom

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Forever (Mercy Falls Trilogy #3) by Maggie Stiefvater SIGNED BOOK CONTEST

Forever (The Wolves of Mercy Falls Trilogy #3) 
by Maggie Stiefvater
ISBN: 978-0-545-25908-8
Suggested Ages: 13+
Release Date: July 12, 2011
Buy from Indigo

Description: The thrilling conclusion to #1 bestselling Shiver trilogy from Maggie Stievater. In Maggie Stiefvater's SHIVER, Grace and Sam found each other. In LINGER, they fought to be together. Now, in FOREVER, the stakes are even higher than before. Wolves are being hunted. Lives are being threatened. And love is harder and harder to hold on to as death comes closing in.

The Good Stuff
  • Eloquently written, the authors prose is almost poetic but in a good way (poetry isn't my thing, but beautifully written words are)
  • Isabel develops beautifully, a very truly real and honest girl
  • Cole is less of a douche bag and he also develops nicely -- Maggie really knows how to develop the growth of her characters so that it feels very real and not forced
  • Author understands wolves and writes about them so that we learn and appreciate the magnificent creatures that they are
  • Describes the landscape and emotions so wonderfully you really feel the cold and the loneliness of Minnesota and the isolation and struggles of the characters
  • Some nice dry humour
  • Love the cover and the matching colour of the font -- I know its a geeky thing, but it looks nice on my book shelf
  • Hopeful Ending - good ending for a trilogy
The Not so Good Stuff
  • A little dark and depressing at times
  • A little repetitive at times - probably to get the attention of those who haven't read the 1st or 2nd book
  • Adults are mostly scumbags -- I know I always mention this when reviewing YA but I am 41 and a good Mommy who cares about her children and doesn't fuck their psyche's up too much
Favorite Quotes/Passages

"At my feet was a torn black trash bag, its contents littering the ground.  It looked suspiciously like it may have been my breakfast. I didn't want to think about that too hard."

"Yeah, your superhero shit." Cole said. "Sam Roth, werewolf by night, book retail specialist by day. Don't you need a cape for that?"

"Are there any other missing persons living under your roof? Elvis?Jimmy Hoffa? Amelia Earhart? I'd just like to have full disclosure now, before we go any further."

Who should/shouldn't read
  • Strictly for those who have read the first two books in the trilogy
4.5 Dewey's

Prize: PERSONALIZED signed copy of Forever
US & CANADA (Or International if you want to pay for shipping)
ENDS: July 14th

Fill out Form

I received this from Scholastic in exchange for an honest review

Monday, July 11, 2011

In My Mailbox

For Review
From Simon and Schuster

From Spina Bifida Association of Ontario
From Garnier (on FB) and Kashi

From IndigoTeenBlog on Twitter
Used my Huggies points

From Chapters Woodbridge
Bought for my Kobo

From 3 Separate Indigo's downtown (Open was recommended by Indigogreenroom )

Friday, July 8, 2011

Chef Jeff Review: Canadian Living Make It Tonight PLUS CONTEST!

Canadian Living Make it Tonight
by the Canadian Living Test Kitchen
Transcontinental Books (Random House Canada)

ISBN: 978-0-9813938-6-5
Buy From Indigo

Description: Canadian Living: Make It Tonight has been a trusted resource for home cooks since it was first published in 2007. Now it's time for a new look and some fresh inspiration. The 2nd edition features a selection of the outstanding recipes from the first edition, plus all new photos and 30% new recipes that are as easy to cook as they are tasty.

When you're in a rush to put dinner on the table, you don't have to sacrifice flavour, quality or nutritional value by turning to takeout or a frozen entrГ©e. Whether you're cooking a simple weeknight meal or a more-relaxed entertaining menu, Canadian Living Make It Tonight has what you need to put dinner on the table with a minimum of fuss. Chapters are organized around a specific real-life need, such as speed (dinners in 15 to 20 minutes, under 30 minutes), cooking method (slow cooker, barbecue, toaster oven, freeze ahead) or situation (for company, from the pantry, five or so ingredients).

Each page is packed with delicious recipes, helpful hints and time-saving tips. Sidebars cover a range of subjects, from kitchen equipment to techniques to solutions on using up leftovers. Theres something for every cook, from beginners who need a helping hand, to seasoned cooks who just want a little inspiration.

13 recipe chapters, organized around specific cooking needs, situations, cooking methods, etc.
50 colour photographs
Helpful sidebars and tips sprinkled throughout
Simple substitutions and variations to make cooking flexible

Changing the format a little for Jeff's Reviews as he writes his notes in sentences instead of points like I do. This way you get a better idea of his opinion

Jeff's Review: Canadian Living does it again. As I read their book from cover to cover, all I can think about is - ooh I'd like to make that, and that -- and well you get the idea.  We tested three different recipes from the book. Jen made a slow cooker Beef and Mushroom Stew and I made the  Spaghetti Carbonara and the Chocolate Peanut Butter Pudding Cake.  The Spaghetti Carbonarra was a household fave.  Our oldest son hates sauces so this was the perfect recipe for him -- as well it was so easy to make, I whipped it together in next to no time before his baseball game. It's the perfect healthy recipe to whip up before the kids go out to their various sporting events.  We made the Chocolate Peanut Butter Pudding Cake after our Toddler went to bed and our oldest son and I whipped it together while Jen sat on  her lazy butt and read -- she said she had to finish the book so she could review it the next day -- but I don't really believe her.  The recipe only took 10 minutes to put together and only 30 minutes later this delicious dessert was in a bowl with vanilla ice cream melted on top and the three of us took turns gobbling it off.  Yes it was 11:00 at night and we were feeding our 9 yr old chocolate -- but it is summer holidays so it was totally ok.  Note to self don't do it again as it took him forever to go to bed and we only got one episode of Burn Notice watched.  Jen decided to make the Crockpot Mushroom and Beef Stew since our crock pot gets very little use since most of the recipes for it involve tomato based recipes which are too acidic for Jen and our oldest boy hates tomatoes.  This recipe has too of our oldest sons favorite things Beef and Mushrooms -- seriously the boy would live on it if he could.  It was easy to make and turned out delicious. Our oldest boy even asked for seconds. Think we will be making some of this ahead of time to keep in the freezer.  There are tons of helpful hints highlighted in yellow throughout the book which is a nice added bonus.  There is plenty of variety in terms of types of meals and cultures.  Everything from snacks to full menu and even party ideas.

The Not so Good Stuff
  • Could use more pictures.  As we like to compare our finished product with that of the recipe book. Plus hey if it looks good in the recipe book it makes you want to make it
Favorite Recipes
  • Slow Cooker Beef and Mushroom Stew Pg 116
  • Chocolate Peanut Butter Pudding Cake Pg 218
  • Spaghetti Carbonara Pg 26
Who should/shouldn't read
  • Perfect for busy families
  • Great for both beginning and experienced cooks
  • Even recipes my wife can make (Jen's note: Hmm thinking some exlax in his next meal)
  • The perfect cook book for  day to day cooking
5 Dewey's

We received this in exchange for an honest review -- and trust me Jeff's honest -- painfully at times.  He once told me the pants I had on looked like something his dead grandma wouldn't even wear

Contest Time

Random House has generously donated TWO copies of the Cookbook for a contest

Rules: Canada Only (Sorry my US Peeps -- Publisher Rules)
Ends: July 16th
In Comments  Just put the name of your favorite quick go to meal - Just the name you don't have to put the actual recipe in unless you really want to (Please put email so I can contact you if you win). You don't have to be a follower, but would love it if you were since Publishers like it when you got tons of followers : )

Pictures From Jake

Chef Jeff and Ingredients for Chocolate and Peanut Butter Pudding Cake
Just Before it went in oven

Mere seconds before we scooped it up and put ice cream (Sorry to impatient to eat it we forgot to take picture)

Jake the helper
Oreo seconds before he was busted for jumping on counter - don't worry cake was already in oven

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

All About ADHD by Linda J. Pfiffner Ph.D: Book Review

All About ADHD: The Complete Practical Guide for Classroom Teachers
by Linda J. Pfiffner, Ph.D
ISBN: 978-0545-10920-8
Buy from Indigo

Description: Research-based, classroom-tested strategies for working with students with ADHD. Linda Pfiffner has revised and updated her best-selling guide to teaching students with ADHD in the mainstream classroom. She shares research-based, classroom-tested strategies for creating an ADHD-friendly classroom, establishing effective routines, designing lessons that maximize attention, promoting peer acceptance and support, teaching social skills and organizational skills, implementing rules, creating individualized behavior programs, working with parents, and documenting progress. This rich resource will support you as you support your students with ADHD, so that all students in your classroom can experience success. For use with Grades K - 8.

The Good Stuff
  • This was a tough read at times as a parent of a child with ADHD. Many of the symptoms of ADHD describe my son perfectly and I feel like if I had read some of this sooner I (Not to mention his school and teachers) could have helped him better. Now I feel like a totally bad parent
  • Blatantly states that ADHD is not caused by bad parenting --take that all you judgmental people I have had to deal with all this time -- be grateful I haven't smacked you all upside the head
  • Simply written and not over technical
  • Very practical ideas and strategies for helping ADHD students and their parents
  • Encourages working together with the student and the parents
  • Some fabulous tips for energizing and revitalizing for the teachers who have the added stress of having students with ADHD in their classroom (I do feel for you guys you know)
  • A variety of ideas and help in choosing which strategies work best for the teacher you are and what strategies would work best for each type of ADHD student
  • Easy to understand overview of ADHD and some background info on what researchers have discovered so far -- Bad parenting does not cause ADHD (hmm think someone has a complex here)
The Not so Good Stuff
  • All American information, so Canadian educators/parents will have to do further research 
  • Some of the tips/tricks/ideas would be very difficult to teachers already over worked
Favorite Quotes/Passages/Chapter

"Remember ADHD is not caused by poor parenting"

Chapter 1 is extremely enlightening

Who should/shouldn't read
  • Required reading for every teacher, ESPECIALLY for those who have my child as their student
  • Some interesting and practical information for parents as well
  • Jake's Grade 5 teacher is getting a gift of this book on the first day of school -- hopefully this year we will get a good one 
  • Also giving this to his Gym teacher -- won't go into reasons here -- but the dude is in serious need of some educating on this subject
4.5 Dewey's

I received this from Scholastic in exchange for an honest review -- hey peeps you got any Scholastic books like this one for parents?

Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens: Mini Book Review

Oliver Twist 
by Charles Dickens
Kobo edition
Buy from Indigo

Description: One of Dickenss most popular novels, Oliver Twist is the story of a young orphan who dares to say, "Please, sir, I want some more." After escaping from the dark and dismal workhouse where he was born, Oliver finds himself on the mean streets of Victorian-era London and is unwittingly recruited into a scabrous gang of scheming urchins. In this band of petty thieves Oliver encounters the extraordinary and vibrant characters who have captured readers imaginations for more than 150 years: the loathsome Fagin, the beautiful and tragic Nancy, the crafty Artful Dodger, and perhaps one of the greatest villains of all timethe terrifying Bill Sikes.

Rife with Dickenss disturbing descriptions of street life, the novel is buoyed by the purity of the orphan Oliver. Though he is treated with cruelty and surrounded by coarseness for most of his life, his pious innocence leads him at last to salvationand the shocking discovery of his true identity.

Review: One of the first plays I ever saw was Oliver Twist and it has always been one of my favorites.  I have always put off reading the actual novel because I was worried that it would colour my enjoyment of the play.   I also have always had difficulty reading classic novels due to the overly formal and flowery writing since I am a speed reader. That being said Oliver is actually quite readable in spite of the writing style. The biting social commentary is brilliantly done and Dickens had a true gift for telling a story.   I however have to be honest my enjoyment of the novel was marred by the blatant anti-semitism in it, which obviously had been toned down in the play. Also was a little dismayed on how much bleaker and darker the novel is compared to the play -- but hey I am a lighter hopeful girl, so take that with a grain of salt.  I actually would have liked to read it in its original serial format, which would have made some of the filler chapters a little more interesting.

Rating: 3.75  Dewey's 

I read this as part of my BBC Top 100 Book Challenge and it came installed on my Kobo which is seriously cool

Monday, July 4, 2011

Mom and Me Mondays Part 2: Equinus the Spirit Horse: Amulet of Avantia (Beast Quest)

Equinus the Spirit Horse: Amulet of Avantia #20 (Beast Quest)
by Adam Blade
Illustrated by Ezra Tucker
ISBN: 978-0-545-27211-7
Suggested Age: 7 - 12

Buy from Indigo

Description: Equinus the Spirit Horse crashes through the forests of the Forbidden Land, stealing the life force of other creatures. Tom must dodge the Ghost Beast''s flying hooves and take the fragment of Amulet the Equinus guards-or Tom''s father will remain a ghost forever!

Jake's Review: This book is sic (note for fellow old folks -- that is the equivalent of cool, awesome, groovy, etc.)  I love these books because there are cool monsters, beasts and  bad dudes.  I love the character of Silver because he is a wolf and wolves are cool.  There was lots of exciting parts and it was never dull like some of the books mom brings me home to review (mom's note: that would be anything Titanic I try to get him to read).  I can't wait to read the rest of the series, especially the missing two that mom swears she is going to get for me on Thursday when she goes downtown.  This is another book that even my best friend Brian would read and he hates to read.

Jake's Rating: 10/10

Mom's Review: Any book that has my kid read non stop is good with me.  He opened it up before bed and never put it down.  He didn't even beg me to play with his Ipod like he normally does every night now.  We had missed the two previous books in the series and he said it was still easy to figure out what was going on.  I got the general gist of things even-though I haven't read any of them in a while. I can see why the middle school boy would enjoy. There is tons of action, scary looking beasts, they get to save adults and be on their own, what middle school boy wouldn't dig that. That being said I was mildly entertained by the book as well and didn't want to smack my head on the wall like I do when reading some middle school fiction.  Good moral lesson about bravery too but shhh don't tell kids that, than they won't read it.

Mom's Rating:  8/10

We received this from Scholastic in exchange for an honest review & damn you Scholastic now I gotta spend some of my Indigo money on Jake LOL!

Mom and Me Mondays: Uh-oh I'm Sorry by Jill Ackerman and Michelle Berg

Little Scholastic: Uh-Oh! I'm Sorry
by Jill Ackerman
Illustrated by Michelle Berg
ISBN: 978-0-545-30745-1
Ages: Baby - 2
Release Date: July 1, 2011
Buy from Indigo

Description: From time to time, accidents happen and Little Scholastic: Uh-Oh, I''m Sorry introduces young readers to a set of important words to use when they do. With engaging, oversized lift-the-flaps on every spread, children will learn the true meaning of "uh-oh" and "I''m sorry" while also recognizing that simple mistakes can always be fixed.

Jake's Review: Cute baby book for midgets like Jesse. He really could use this since he never says I'm sorry or cares about other peoples stuff.  I think babies would like the pictures because they are simple and there are not too many words.  I think its a well made book too and even Jesse would have a hard time ripping it apart.
Jake's Rating: 10/10 (For babies - not based on how I liked it)  

Mom's Review: Nice older brother eh?  Cute and colourful board book on manners for babies and toddlers.  I liked how tough the book was, as Jacob mentioned above, my little toddler trashes books and even-though he did try, he could not rip this one!  This would be a good purchase for a public library as many of their lift the flap books are easily trashed. Nice and simple vocabulary and bright pictures will engage even the older toddlers. Would be a good one for teaching simple reading to a younger child. Liked that the story even mentioned that adults also make mistakes and we have to say sorry too.  Nice humour at the end of the story for the parent reading.
Mom's Rating: 10/10 (must mention again how strong the book was)

We received this from Scholastic in exchange for an honest review -- and as you can see you are guaranteed honesty from Jake