Sunday, September 30, 2012

NERDS by Michael Buckley

To read Stephanie's review of this book, then click here: NERDS.

Title: NERDS: National Espionage, Rescue and Defense Society (NERDS #1)
Author: Michael Buckley
Reviewer: Karen
Genre: Junior/Mid-Grade Fiction (depending on the library then possibly YA)
Rating: Fabulous
Alerts/Warnings:  None
Premise: "While running a spy network from their elementary school, five unpopular misfits combine their talents and use cutting-edge gadgetry to fight evil around the world". 
Opinions: This book is creative, imaginative, superlative, etc.  This book is just pure fun.  Weaknesses become strengths.  Popular guys become nerds, and nerds become heroes.  I loved the sense of humor and the hidden growth of characters hidden amongst outrageous creativity.  My favorite character by far is the Hyena - a 12 year old hired assassin with a super power all her own and the ability to use fabulous footwear to get the job done.  I love how Michael Buckley creates a world where you can suspend believe and enjoy the ride.  It even has a semi-hidden message to all bullies in the world....Be nice to NERDS, one day they will rule the world.  Well, there's a lot more to it then that, but you'll just have to read this book to find out.  ;-)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Key Lime Pie by Josi S. Kilpack

To see my reviews of the first three books in the series click here: Lemon Tart, English Trifle, and Devil's Food Cake.
Title: Key Lime Pie (Culinary Mystery #4)
Author: Josi S. Kilpack
Reviewer: Karen
Genre: Adult Mystery
Rating: Adore
Alerts/Warnings: None
Premise: "Part-time detective and full-time food lover Sadie Hoffmiller has traveled to the Florida Keys to help her new friend, Eric, track down the whereabouts of his missing daughter, Megan" (King County Library System).
Opinions: This book continues on with the life of spunky, tenacious, food-addicted Sadie Hoffmiller.  I adore that the book begins with Sadie filling her community service duties as penetence for what happened in the last book.  I also loved the additional tension as Sadie has to determine her feelings for Eric (met in book 3) vs. Pete (met in book 1).  This is a great book for showing Sadie growing by leaps and bounds and she is full of faith in people and in food.  Josi S. Kilpack does a fantastic job carrying on an incredibly fun mystery series with inventive twists and turns that keep me reading.  I've already put book five on hold at my library.  I recommend you do too.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Janitors by Tyler Whitesides

Title: Janitors (Janitors #1)
Author: Tyler Whitesides
Reviewer: Karen
Genre: Middle-Grade Fantasy
Rating: Like
Alerts/Warnings: None
Premise: "A sixth grader stumbles upon a secret that threatens to turn schoolchildren everywhere into mindless automatons" (King County Library System). 
Opinions: This was an interesting book to read.  The plot is inventive.  I mean who else would come up with the idea of school janitors mixed with magic.  I loved Tyler Whitesides ability to take things that we take for granted when going to school and putting unusual twists to them.  I'm intrigued by the main characters - Spencer and Daisy.  Spencer is slightly OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) and often feels the need to clean his room and to wash his hands.  Daisy is highly gullible, especially when she is nervous and is often misled by the school bully because of it.  However, Daisy and Spencer make a great duo for combating the evils that invade their school. This book is definitely written for a younger audience, but would be great for parents reading together with their young kids.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Title: The Hunger Games (Hunger Games #1)
Author: Suzanne Collins
Reviewer: Karen
Genre: YA Fiction/Dystopian
Rating: Adore
Alerts/Warnings: High Violence but with a soft touch (I'll explain below)
Premise "In a future North America, where the rulers of Panem maintain control through an annual televised survival competition pitting young people from each of the twelve districts against one another, sixteen-year-old Katniss's skills are put to the test when she voluntarily takes her younger sister's place" (King County Library System)..
Opinions: I know!!! I am SO behind the times.  I just barely read The Hunger Games.  In my defense, when I first tried to place a hold on this book at the library I was #96 in line.  Now having read it I see why so many be are absolutely nuts about it.  For me...I quite enjoyed it, but I'm not obsessed by it.The reason is that it was more violence than I usually prefer.  However, I do have to give major kudos to Suzanne Collins.  Even though the story requires there to be that violence she actually does quite a tame job with it.  There is no overly extensive description of that violence.

Overall, I quite enjoyed reading this book.  It's smooth reading and the characters are well developed.  The plot is highly intriguing and engaging and the book was hard to put down.  My favorite characters by far are Rue followed by Peeta.  Again, my only issue was a personal preference of less violence.  As such, I recommend this for older teens and adults, unless our Fabulous Reads parents out there read it first to see if their children can handle it.  So if you enjoy dystopian novels than I highly recommend reading this book.  As for me, I am going to borrow book two and three from a friend so I don't have to wait to get it from the library.  Then, once I'm done then I will enjoy the movie.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Clockwork Three by Matthew J. Kirby

Title: The Clockwork Three
Author: Matthew J. Kirby
Reviewer: Karen
Genre: Junior Steampunk Fiction
Rating:  Fabulous!!!
Alerts/Warnings: Some Violence
Premise: "As mysterious circumstances bring Giuseppe, Frederick, and Hannah together, their lives soon interlock like the turning gears in a clock and they realize that each one holds a key to solving the others' mysteries" (King County Library System).
Opinions: The Clockwork Three is a stand alone novel that is incredibly well written to the point that the story and the people came alive to my imagination and I found myself easy immerse inside of it.  Matthew J. Kirby does a wonderful job of interweaving three individual stories so that you can see how each person's actions can affect someone else.  Giuseppe, Frederick, and Hannah are amazing characters. I love Giuseppe's beautiful talent with music.  I admire the courage of Hannah when she does all she can to take care of her family.  And I am impressed by Fredrick's ingenuity and his heart.  The three youth may not always make the best decisions, but they learn to trust and build friendships with each other and grow through extensive difficulties. I highly recommend this book for all ages to read.