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October 21, 2019 • Cee • Reviews

The Goldblum Variations by Helen McClory • October 22, 2019 • Penguin Books
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The essential companion for any fan of Jeff Goldblum, Hollywood’s most beloved and otherworldly icon

You like Jeff Goldblum. We like Jeff Goldblum. Helen McClory really likes Jeff Goldblum.

So lie back, Jurassic Park-style, and prepare to enjoy The Goldblum Variations, a collection of stories, musings, puzzles, and games based on the one and only Jeff Goldblum as he (and alternate versions of himself) travels through the known (and unknown) universe in a mighty celebration of weird and wonderful Goldbluminess.

Maybe he’s cresting the steep bluffs of a mysterious planet on an epic treasure hunt, maybe he’s wearing a nice sweater, maybe he’s reading from this very book. The possibilities are endless. Treat yourself . . . because all that glitters is Goldblum.

myreview

I received this book for free from Penguin Books for review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

First sentence: “The Jeff Goldblum that lathes and sands down a pine table, brushing the grain with the heel of his hand, bends down and takes a spirit level to it, saying gently to the wood, well done, you.”

Jeff Goldblum—beloved actor, meme star, cultural icon—who in the world doesn’t like him?

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August 12, 2019 • Cee • Reviews

Wilder Girls by Rory Power • July 9, 2019 • Delacorte Press
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It’s been eighteen months since the Raxter School for Girls was put under quarantine. Since the Tox hit and pulled Hetty’s life out from under her.

It started slow. First the teachers died one by one. Then it began to infect the students, turning their bodies strange and foreign. Now, cut off from the rest of the world and left to fend for themselves on their island home, the girls don’t dare wander outside the school’s fence, where the Tox has made the woods wild and dangerous. They wait for the cure they were promised as the Tox seeps into everything.

But when Byatt goes missing, Hetty will do anything to find her, even if it means breaking quarantine and braving the horrors that lie beyond the fence. And when she does, Hetty learns that there’s more to their story, to their life at Raxter, than she could have ever thought true.

myreview

First sentence: “Something.”

You do what it takes to survive with the Tox. Every day, life at the Raxter School for Girls is a fight; it’s full of fear and uncertainty about when the next flare-up will be, whether they’re gonna be cured, and who else will go to the infirmary and never come back.

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June 20, 2019 • Cee • Reviews

Aurora Rising (Aurora Cycle #1) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff • May 7, 2019 • Knopf Books for Young Readers (Random House)
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The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the Academy would touch…

A cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasm
A sociopath scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunkmates
A smart-ass techwiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder
An alien warrior with anger management issues
A tomboy pilot who’s totally not into him, in case you were wondering

And Ty’s squad isn’t even his biggest problem—that’d be Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline-cases and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy.

They’re not the heroes we deserve. They’re just the ones we could find. Nobody panic.

myreview

I received this book for free from Random House for review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

First sentence: “I’m gonna miss the Draft.”

Sometimes, it doesn’t pay off to be heroic. Not if your dreams of recruiting the best squad in the universe falls upon you being there for the picking and not out in space following up on a distress call to save someone. That’s what Tyler Jones, star Golden boy of the Aurora Academy, finds out.

But that heroism kickstarts a hell of an adventure—it gets him to Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl whose existence defies time and space, and a ragtag of misfits who are along for this dangerous ride.

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June 11, 2019 • Cee • Reviews

Welcome to Morningtown by Blake Liliane Hellman & Steven Henry • June 4, 2019 • Bloomsbury Children’s Books
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Welcome to Morningtown
In Morningtown, animal families of all shapes and sizes are waking up to a shiny new day. They get up out of fluffy beds, hard beds, and secret beds. They hop, splash, and flutter through their morning routines, getting ready for whatever the day holds.
One thing is certain–every day is a beautiful day in Morningtown!

myreview

I received this book for free from Bloomsbury for review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

First sentence: “In Morningtown, everyone is waking.”

The sun rises, and the residents—animals of all shapes and sizes—of Morningtown wake up to start a beautiful day. Read more »




November 5, 2018 • Cee • Reviews

(Don’t) Call Me Crazy: 33 Voices Start the Conversation about Mental Health edited by Kelly Jensen • October 4, 2018 • Algonquin Young Readers
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Who’s Crazy?

What does it mean to be crazy? Is using the word crazy offensive? What happens when such a label gets attached to your everyday experiences?

In order to understand mental health, we need to talk openly about it. Because there’s no single definition of crazy, there’s no single experience that embodies it, and the word itself means different things—wild? extreme? disturbed? passionate?—to different people.

(Don’t) Call Me Crazy is a conversation starter and guide to better understanding how our mental health affects us every day. Thirty-three writers, athletes, and artists offer essays, lists, comics, and illustrations that explore their personal experiences with mental illness, how we do and do not talk about mental health, help for better understanding how every person’s brain is wired differently, and what, exactly, might make someone crazy.

If you’ve ever struggled with your mental health, or know someone who has, come on in, turn the pages, and let’s get talking.

myreview

I received this book for free from Algonquin Young Readers for review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

First sentence: “We all have thoughts, feelings, and internal struggles.”

I needed a book like (Don’t) Call Me Crazy when I was a teenager.

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October 13, 2018 • Cee • Reviews

A Room Away From the Wolves by Nova Ren Suma • September 4, 2018 • Algonquin Young Readers
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Bina has never forgotten the time she and her mother ran away from home. Her mother promised they would hitchhike to the city to escape Bina’s cruel father and start over. But before they could even leave town, Bina had a new stepfather and two new stepsisters, and a humming sense of betrayal pulling apart the bond with her mother—a bond Bina thought was unbreakable.

Eight years later, after too many lies and with trouble on her heels, Bina finds herself on the side of the road again, the city of her dreams calling for her. She has an old suitcase, a fresh black eye, and a room waiting for her at Catherine House, a young women’s residence in Greenwich Village with a tragic history, a vow of confidentiality, and dark, magical secrets. There, Bina is drawn to her enigmatic downstairs neighbor Monet, a girl who is equal parts intriguing and dangerous. As Bina’s lease begins to run out, and nightmare and memory get tangled, she will be forced to face the terrible truth of why she’s come to Catherine House and what it will cost for her to leave . . .

myreview

I received this book for free from Algonquin Young Readers for review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

First sentence: “When the girl who lived in the room below mine disappeared into the darkness, she gave no warning, she showed no twitch of fear. “

When Bina is forced out of the home because of her new stepfather and two new stepsisters, she turns to the only place that she knows she’ll be safe at—the Catherine House in New York City. This place served as a safe haven for her mother once upon a time ago, so why not of her as well? Bina enters the mysterious Catherine House where she’s met with a tragic history of the founder, girls with secrets hidden in their sleeves, and possibly magic.

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