28 July 2016

On the Edge of Gone; Corinne Duyvis

On the Edge of GoneOn the Edge of Gone by Corinne Duyvis
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

On the edge of a DNF, more like. The inclusive nature of the characters (multi-ethnic, autistic, etc.) was well done, as was the portrayal of an autistic lead. But the plot wasn't anything new, despite every now and then appearing to be prepared to head into new territory.

ARC provided by publisher.

Resist by Ilima Todd

Resist (Remake, #2)Resist by Ilima Todd
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Got 25% in and realized that the world wasn't new and there was nothing really tying me to the characters. Perhaps if I'd read the first book it might have been different, but I hadn't. DNF.

Red Bones; Ann Cleeves

Red Bones (Shetland Island, #3)Red Bones by Ann Cleeves
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I couldn't believe I'd missed this one when I did my binge read of the Shetland books. I think there isn't much more to say, except I can't wait to read the next book in the second series.

Where Girls Come First; Ilana DeBare

Where Girls Come FirstWhere Girls Come First by Ilana DeBare
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As a proud alumna of an all-girl's school and as a former employee of another, my interest in the topic is long-standing. For the most part, this is a good overview of the history and development of all-girl's schools and the wide range in styles and missions. Where this fails is that there are several areas left uncovered and schools unmentioned. Example? Georgetown Visitation, the oldest school (albeit not as academic in its earliest centuries as it is now), or the Sacred Heart network, which marched to such a unified drummer that a student (Cokie Roberts) could leave a school in Maryland on Friday and pick up without a pause at the New Orleans school on Monday. Still, until someone updates this, it's a great entry in to this world.

Sophie Quire and the Last Storyguard; Jonathan Auxier

Sophie Quire and the Last Storyguard (Peter Nimble, #2)Sophie Quire and the Last Storyguard by Jonathan Auxier
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Loved the concept, but at times the pacing felt off: there's world building going on and then ACTION intrudes. Still, most readers will enjoy this book - prior knowledge of the Peter Nimble character not necessary.

ARC provided by publisher.

The Best Worst Thing; Kathleen Lane

The Best Worst ThingThe Best Worst Thing by Kathleen Lane
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I know that this is supposed to be a wonderful exploration of someone with OCD and other issues but for me, it just was confusing. DNF.

ARC provided by publisher.

Camp Rolling Hills; Stacy Davidowitz

Camp Rolling Hills (Camp Rolling Hills #1)Camp Rolling Hills by Stacy Davidowitz
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The riffing on the various "hills" was fun. TBH, though, this didn't remind me much of the overnight camp I attended - no color war, for example. And reading between the lines, I'm guessing the author went to Jewish camps and the one I attended was nominally kosher, with Shabbat and Havdalah services. That was missing, possibly to make the story more relatable for non-Jewish campers but (and I'm willing to admit, this might have just been me) it occasionally felt that there could have been more and whatever that was didn't quite make it in.

ARC provided by publisher.

Seven Ways We Lie; Riley Redigate

Seven Ways We LieSeven Ways We Lie by Riley Redgate
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Disappointing. The ways we lie weren't as fully explored or exploited as they could have been. And really: seven narrators??? A more unified narration and less muddled concept and this would have been far better.

ARC provided by publisher.

The Wild Robot; Peter Brown

The Wild RobotThe Wild Robot by Peter Brown
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Words can't express my love for any book that references Karel Capek! Roz' growing awareness and personality was so wonderful and felt plausible (as plausible as any robot learning animal language can be). And that ending? Sigh. If only this had had the final artwork, I'm sure it would have been a five star!

ARC provided by publisher.

The Seventh Wish; Kate Messner

The Seventh WishThe Seventh Wish by Kate Messner
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Loved the Irish Dance parts and the friendships. Not so in love with the predictable "younger sister gets ignored" plot, however.

ARC provided by publisher.

Falling Over Sideways; Jordan Sonnenblick

Falling Over SidewaysFalling Over Sideways by Jordan Sonnenblick
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I always want to love the Sonnenblick books more than I end up loving them - why is that? Claire's life isn't going well, but it's all in predictable, middle-school ways (boys, friends, family). Of course it's all tied up with a nice bow at the end, which is possibly why I wasn't overly excited. But, as always, the target readers won't notice so...

ARC provided by publisher.

All in Pieces; Suzanne Young

All in PiecesAll in Pieces by Suzanne Young
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Problematic: the anger issues, the way the school operates, the "mom left so life has completely ended" vibe. Sigh.

ARC provided by publisher.

Unfolding; Jonathan Friesen

UnfoldingUnfolding by Jonathan Friesen
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

25% of the way in, didn't care enough to unfold the rest. Why? Pacing (too slow), too many teasers as to what was going on with the town and Stormi (but paced so slowly), and did I mention slow? So many promising notes, but terribly drawn out. DNF.

ARC provided by publisher.

Ghosts; Raina Telgemeier

GhostsGhosts by Raina Telgemeier
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So much to love here, but one problem (YMMV): the cystic fibrosis part needed to be explained at the end. Unless they know someone who has it, knowledge of treatments and prognosis won't be understood by the target audience, so a page or two of information at the end feels necessary.

ARC provided by publisher.

The Replacement Crush; Lisa Brown Roberts

The Replacement CrushThe Replacement Crush by Lisa Brown Roberts
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

No surprises in this contemporary romance, but who needs them? Overall, a very satisfying beach read.

ARC provided by publisher.

View all my reviews

02 July 2016

Finding Perfect; Elly Swartz

Finding PerfectFinding Perfect by Elly Swartz
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Rounding down from 4.5.

The portrayal of OCD and stress were spot on: how Molly's life is seemingly out of control, and perfection is the only way to gain some sense of "normal". It's easy to see kids in a similar situation having a similar reaction/solution. What felt a little off was the ending, that the resolution felt pat in some ways. Still, that may not matter to the target audience and this exploration of how things can spiral out of control is well worth the read.

ARC provided by publisher.

The Replacement Crush; Lisa Brown Roberts

The Replacement CrushThe Replacement Crush by Lisa Brown Roberts
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

No surprises in this contemporary romance, but who needs them? Overall, a very satisfying beach read.

ARC provided by publisher.

Unfolding; Jonathan Friesen

UnfoldingUnfolding by Jonathan Friesen
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

25% of the way in, didn't care enough to unfold the rest. Why? Pacing (too slow), too many teasers as to what was going on with the town and Stormi (but paced so slowly), and did I mention slow? So many promising notes, but terribly drawn out. DNF.

ARC provided by publisher.

Ghosts; Raina Telgemeier

GhostsGhosts by Raina Telgemeier
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So much to love here, but one problem (YMMV): the cystic fibrosis part needed to be explained at the end. Unless they know someone who has it, knowledge of treatments and prognosis won't be understood by the target audience, so a page or two of information at the end feels necessary.

ARC provided by publisher.