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July 26, 2017 • Cee • Reviews

Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero • July 11, 2017 • Doubleday Books
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SUMMER 1977. The Blyton Summer Detective Club (of Blyton Hills, a small mining town in Oregon’s Zoinx River Valley) solved their final mystery and unmasked the elusive Sleepy Lake monster—another low-life fortune hunter trying to get his dirty hands on the legendary riches hidden in Deboën Mansion. And he would have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for those meddling kids.

1990. The former detectives have grown up and apart, each haunted by disturbing memories of their final night in the old haunted house. There are too many strange, half-remembered encounters and events that cannot be dismissed or explained away by a guy in a mask. And Andy, the once intrepid tomboy now wanted in two states, is tired of running from her demons. She needs answers. To find them she will need Kerri, the one-time kid genius and budding biologist, now drinking her ghosts away in New York with Tim, an excitable Weimaraner descended from the original canine member of the club. They will also have to get Nate, the horror nerd currently residing in an asylum in Arkham, Massachusetts. Luckily Nate has not lost contact with Peter, the handsome jock turned movie star who was once their team leader . . . which is remarkable, considering Peter has been dead for years.

The time has come to get the team back together, face their fears, and find out what actually happened all those years ago at Sleepy Lake. It’s their only chance to end the nightmares and, perhaps, save the world. finally able to embrace the complicated, chaotic true story of her life, and take center stage.

myreview

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

First sentence: “She flung the door open to clamorous nonreaction, silhouetted down to a bulky jacket and a baseball cap, the blue wind blowing away the title card.”

Scooby Dooby Doo, where are you? We need some help from you now!

Any smart person will say, “stay far away!” from Blyton Hills. But not these kids—excuse me—adults. They’re detectives, through and through. They haven’t had their fill of sleuthing, especially since their last case—the Sleepy Lake case—continues to haunt them into adulthood. Time to bring the band together for old time’s sake. What could go wrong?

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July 12, 2017 • Cee • Reviews

Aftercare Instructions by Bonnie Pipkin • June 27, 2017 • Flatiron Books (Macmillan)
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“Troubled.” That’s seventeen-year-old Genesis according to her small New Jersey town. She finds refuge and stability in her relationship with her boyfriend, Peter—until he abandons her at a Planned Parenthood clinic during their appointment to terminate an unwanted pregnancy. The betrayal causes Gen to question everything.

As Gen pushes herself forward to find her new identity without Peter, she must also confront her most painful memories. Through the lens of an ongoing four act play within the novel, the fantasy of their undying love unravels line by line, scene by scene. Digging deeper into her past while exploring the underground theater world of New York City, she rediscovers a long-forgotten dream. But it’s when Gen lets go of her history, the one she thinks she knows, that she’s finally able to embrace the complicated, chaotic true story of her life, and take center stage.

myreview

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

First sentence: “A Few Thing They Tell You: No food or drink for six hours prior to appointment time.”

When the boy you love abandons you at Planned Parenthood, what do you do? This is exactly what happens to Genesis after she terminates an unwanted pregnancy. She doesn’t understand why her boyfriend, Peter, abandoned her, so she’s left questioning everything that has lead her to that moment—him, her family, her friends, her forgotten Theater dreams.

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July 6, 2017 • Cee • Reviews

Katana at Super Hero High by Lisa Yee • July 4, 2017 • Random House Books for Young Readers
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Get your cape on with the DC Super Hero Girls™— the unprecedented new Super Hero universe especially for girls! Readers of all ages can fly high with the all-new adventures of Wonder Woman™, Supergirl™, Batgirl™, and some of the world’s most iconic female super heroes as high schoolers!

Sword-wielding Katana isn’t like most high school students–but with classmates like Wonder Woman, Batgirl, and Supergirl, Super Hero High isn’t like most high schools!

In addition to training to be a super hero, Katana also follows the noble warrior traditions of the Samurai. Now an unknown source has given her the responsibility of guarding a hundred ancient Samurai swords–but why her, and for what purpose? With the help of Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Ms. Martian, and some of her other super friends, she intends to find out. But she just made captain of the fencing team, she has a huge school project due, and a villain with ties to her family’s past seems to be amassing an army. Maintaining her inner peace isn’t going to be easy . . .

. . . but Katana has the steel to save the day!

Welcome to the fourth Super Hero High blog tour!! That’s right! Random House has published Katana’s story in the series, and it is amazing and adorable.

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: “‘C’mon Supers, let’s get this party started,’ Harley Quinn cheered.”

“These Samurai Swords
Entrusted to Katana
The story unfolds.”

Katana’s story unfolds with a message from conch shell. Right at the start, Katana goes missing, after she was supposed to bring back a celebration cake for Batgirl, and the Supers go on a search to find their friend. Katana is found in the hidden underground tunnels at Super Hero High with Samurai sword surrounding her like a protection seal. Since that moment, she tries to figure out what she’s meant to do with these swords, how she’s meant to protect her friends and family, and what happened to her grandmother who went missing years ago.

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June 9, 2017 • Cee • Reviews

Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley • June 6, 2017 • Knopf Books for Young Readers (Random House)
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Years ago, Rachel had a crush on Henry Jones. The day before she moved away, she tucked a love letter into his favorite book in his family’s bookshop. She waited. But Henry never came.

Now Rachel has returned to the city—and to the bookshop—to work alongside the boy she’d rather not see, if at all possible, for the rest of her life. But Rachel needs the distraction. Her brother drowned months ago, and she can’t feel anything anymore.

As Henry and Rachel work side by side—surrounded by books, watching love stories unfold, exchanging letters between the pages—they find hope in each other. Because life may be uncontrollable, even unbearable sometimes. But it’s possible that words, and love, and second chances are enough.

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 open my eyes at midnight to the sound of the ocean and my brother’s breathing. “

How do you not fall in love with a book that’s a love letter to, well, books? For a book reader, it’s hard.

What you get in Words in Deep Blue are: an ode to books, characters who are constantly surrounded by books and see love bloom in front of their eyes, a love of Prufrock, letters being exchanged between pages, a childhood friends becoming more, a loss that upends an entire world, and Australian lit that will make you yearn for more.

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May 26, 2017 • Cee • Comics

The Sand Warrior (5 Worlds #1) by Mark Siegel, Alexis Siegel, Zanthe Bouma, Matt Rockefeller, & Boya Sun • May 2, 2017 • Random House Books for Young Readers
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The Five Worlds are on the brink of extinction unless five ancient and mysterious beacons are lit. When war erupts, three unlikely heroes will discover there’s more to themselves—and more to their worlds—than meets the eye. . . .

• The clumsiest student at the Sand Dancer Academy, Oona Lee is a fighter with a destiny bigger than she could ever imagine.
• A boy from the poorest slums, An Tzu has a surprising gift and a knack for getting out of sticky situations.
• Star athlete Jax Amboy is beloved by an entire galaxy, but what good is that when he has no real friends?

When these three kids are forced to team up on an epic quest, it will take not one, not two, but 5 WORLDS to contain all the magic and adventure!

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.

When the Five Worlds are on the brink of extinction, what are three young kids—a clumsy sand dancer, a kid from the poorest slums, and an all-star athlete—gonna do? Well, just about anything to save their beloved homes.

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May 24, 2017 • Cee • Reviews

The Fashion Committee by Susan Juby • May 23, 2017 • Viking Books for Young Readers (Penguin)
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Charlie Dean is a style-obsessed girl who eats, sleeps, and breathes fashion. John Thomas-Smith is a boy who forges metal sculptures in his garage and couldn’t care less about clothes. Both are gunning for a scholarship to the private art high school that could make all their dreams come true. Whoever wins the fashion competition will win the scholarship–and only one can win.

Told in the alternating voices of Charlie’s and John’s journals, this hilarious and poignant YA novel perfectly captures what it’s like to have an artistic drive so fierce that nothing–not your dad’s girlfriend’s drug-addicted ex-boyfriend, a soul-crushing job at Salad Stop, or being charged with a teensy bit of kidnapping–can stand in your way.

With black and white art custom-created by fashion and beauty illustrator Soleil Ignacio, the book is a collector’s item, perfect for anyone with a passion for fashion.

myreview

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

First sentence: “I know I probably don’t have to hand this diary in, but if anyone asks for it, I would like it to be wonderfully comprehensive.”

Meet two polar opposites:

  • Charlie Dean: Lives and breathes fashion, frequently incorporates French words into her vocabulary (which she learned from Google Translate), is a loner because of the way she dresses, has an addict of a father who’s trying to stay sober.
  • John-Thomas Smith: Loves to work with metal, doesn’t care about clothing and looks down at this art form, has two friends—Barbra and Booker—who don’t seem to want to grow up.

What do these two have in common? A desire to, one day, attend Green Pastures Academy of Art and Applied Design, a prestigious art school that will set them up for life. These two will compete in a fashion competition to win the coveted scholarship, and learn about what they’re capable of doing if they set their minds to it. 

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