Tags Archive

 

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)
Amie’s TwitterJay’s Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & NobleThe Book Depository | Indigo

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.

Read more »





June 11, 2019 • Cee • Reviews

Welcome to Morningtown by Blake Liliane Hellman & Steven Henry • June 4, 2019 • Bloomsbury Children’s Books
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & NobleThe Book Depository | Indigo | Library

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
Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & NobleThe Book Depository | Indigo | Library

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.

Read more »





October 13, 2018 • Cee • Reviews

A Room Away From the Wolves by Nova Ren Suma • September 4, 2018 • Algonquin Young Readers
Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & NobleThe Book Depository | Indigo | Library

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.

Read more »





August 14, 2018 • Cee • Reviews

Henry and the Yeti by Russell Ayto • August 14, 2018 • Bloomsbury
Website | TwitterGoodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository | Indigo | Library

Henry loves yetis.

Yes, yetis.

The problem is nobody knows if yetis actually exist. Henry, however, is sure they do, and he sets off on an expedition to find one. He has packed everything he needs, including a camera to take photos for evidence. But can he find a yeti? And will anyone believe him when he returns home?

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: “If life is a book, then Smoot the Shadow had been reading the same yawn-colored page for seven and a half years.”

When you love yetis so much, but people don’t believe they’re real, of course you’re gonna set out to prove that yetis exist. That’s exactly what Henry does.

Everybody that Henry encounters—his dad, the principal, his schoolmates—don’t believe that yetis are real. For Henry, he’s not deterred by their disbelief and their teasing; Yetis do exist, and it’s a matter of proving it to everybody else. He’ll travel through rivers, forests, and mountains to find this mythological yeti.

The story is a delightful tale that is witty enough for young kids to understand. The art is top-notch with Henry with his red and white Peruvian Hat, black turtleneck, and red framed glasses, and the simple-yet detailed scenery. It’s cute and funny. The illustration helps progress the story forward beautifully—when Henry travels through, Ayto does a fantastic job of using one page to portray three different places. You really feel like you’re moving along with Henry.

Henry and the Yeti is a heartwarming tale about a boy who doesn’t let others discourage what he believes in. Be like Henry and search for your own yeti.

Have you read any of Russell Ayto’s work? Do you believe yetis exist?




July 7, 2018 • Cee • Reviews

Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universe by Preston Norton • June 5, 2018 • Disney-Hyperion
Twitter | FacebookGoodreads | Amazon | Barnes & NobleThe Book Depository | Indigo | Library

Cliff Hubbard is a huge loser. Literally. His nickname at Happy Valley High School is Neanderthal because he’s so enormous-6’6″ and 250 pounds to be exact. He has nobody at school, and life in his trailer-park home has gone from bad to worse ever since his older brother’s suicide.

There’s no one Cliff hates more than the nauseatingly cool quarterback, Aaron Zimmerman. Then Aaron returns to school after a near-death experience with a bizarre claim: while he was unconscious he saw God, who gave him a list of things to do to make Happy Valley High suck less. And God said there’s only one person who can help: Neanderthal.

To his own surprise, Cliff says he’s in. As he and Aaron make their way through the List, which involves a vindictive English teacher, a mysterious computer hacker, a decidedly unchristian cult of Jesus Teens, the local drug dealers, and the meanest bully at HVHS, Cliff feels like he’s part of something for the first time since losing his brother. But fixing a broken school isn’t as simple as it seems, and just when Cliff thinks they’ve completed the List, he realizes their mission hits closer to home than he ever imagined.

myreview

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

First sentence: “There are three rules to high school irrevocably inscribed within the interstellar fabric of the universe.”

So, the neanderthal and the football star—two unlikely students—have a mission.

It begins with a list—a list from God delivered by the formerly comatosed football star and all-around popular guy Aaron Zimmerman—that said to recruit Cliff Hubbard, the Neanderthal outcast, on a divine mission to save Happy Valley High School from sucking. And boy, does it really suck at this high school.

This is far from a religious book, but when you have a near-death experience, you’re gonna see God. When you get a list from God, you do it, but these boys learn that these things they are supposed to do will change their whole purpose and understanding of who they are and the world around them.

Read more »