Adrenaline

Mar 4, 2021

        I didn't read the first book, but Last Pick: Born to Run was gripping and beautiful. It checked all of my boxes: murderous aliens (and more importantly, a not-so-murderous one), people banding together to find hope in the dark times, empathy, and, well, two friends falling in love. I was disappointed that it ended.

Feb 25, 2021

Nightshade is the twelfth installment of the Alex Rider series. When a secret agent is killed by a ruthless 16-year-old assassin in Brazil, teenage MI6 spy Alex Rider is sent to Gibraltar, a maximum-security prison, assuming the identity of his lookalike nemesis, Julius Grief. His mission? To bond with and extract information from the assassin, Freddy. However, things take an unexpected turn, and Alex finds himself infiltrating a mysterious, sinister organization known as Nightshade.


This Alex Rider novel was quite good. It was easy to read, and the pacing was excellent, as expected. In

Feb 22, 2021

The Bird and The Blade is set in the ancient Mongolian empire. Jinghua, our protagonist, is a slave in the Khipkhak Khanate, that is, until the kingdom is taken over by enemy forces and the only people able to escape are the Khan (King), the prince, and Jinghua. Together they journey across the kingdom, fleeing pursuing forces. With no other options, Khalaf plans to marry Turandokht, the cunning and beautiful daughter of the Great Khan. Easier said than done. Around 20 men that had similar intentions are already dead, killed by Turandokht’s riddles. There are three of them in total and each

Feb 20, 2021

Twelve-year-old orphan Max Einstein is a smart girl. She has a brain just as big and creative as the legend Einstein. She loves Einstein and has a passion for him. She is living above a horse’s stall, and learning at a college. One day she is taken to the CMI: Change Makers Institution, and is chosen to become a team leader to save the world. Max and her friends go to a place trying to solve the problems in cities around the world. But, the problem is that Dr. Zimm and his team, Corp, is trying to find Max Einstein, and take her away from the CMI. Do you think that Corp will find Max Einstein

Feb 18, 2021

The second book in Veronica Roth's ​Divergent​ series, ​Insurgent​, is good, but it's underwhelming compared to its predecessor. As a war between the factions surges, Tris must make harsh decisions to save the people around her. This book was a rollercoaster, and while it wasn't boring by any means, it didn't quite capture my attention as ​Divergent ​did. I enjoyed Tris' realness; she is filled with flaws, but she is also brilliant, caring, and brave. Furthermore, I appreciated how realistic Tris and Tobias' relationship was; they had their fair share of ups and downs and share a significant

Feb 15, 2021

Lord of the Flies by William Golding is a novel about a group of boys stranded on an island all by themselves. The novel explores the human mind and how everyone has the capacity to commit atrocities, and all that they need is a push in the right direction.


The story mainly follows Ralph and his friend Piggy, with a bunch of other characters. The boys are stranded on an island after surviving a plane crash, with no adults or signs or civilization. Ralph is designated as the leader of the group, and orders a fire to be continuously burning in order to be rescued. However, this peace doesn’t

Feb 12, 2021

This next installment in The Hunger Games series follows now 17-year-old Katniss Everdeen as she struggles with the aftermath of her victory in the 74th Hunger Games. The foundations of this mighty and cruel country shake as districts prepare to revolt, apparently encouraged by Katniss’s stunt with the berries that led to her victory. A personal visit from President Snow frightens Katniss, and she must decide if she wants to try to stop the uprisings or join them. She must also think of her future and decide who she wants more: Gale or Peeta. However, the Capitol has a horrifying surprise

Jan 20, 2021

I Killed Zoe Spanos is a thrilling book by Kit Frick that leaves you on the edge of your seat with an intricate plot.  In this book, our main character, Anna Cicconi, takes a summer nanny job in a wealthy neighborhood. Little does she know, Anna looks eerily similar to Zoe Spanos, who has disappeared since New Year’s Eve. As she gets sucked into the mystery, Anna is convinced she is somehow related to Zoe Spanos. Three months into the job, Anna turns herself in after Zoe’s body is found. But many people aren’t convinced, and the evidence doesn’t match up with the statement. This book switches

Jan 17, 2021

The book follows the life of 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives in poverty in a dystopian country called Panem, governed by the rich and cruel Capitol. She, along with a boy Peeta whom she kind of knows, is selected to compete in the Hunger Games, a life-or-death battle between twenty-three other teenagers where only one can survive. Katniss must balance surviving the Games and determining the seemingly endless limits of the Capitol’s cruelty, all while maintaining a relationship with Peeta that may or may not even exist.


There are many things I loved about the book. It offers

Jan 4, 2021

William Goldman’s ​The Princess Bride​ is a story of true love, revenge, and adventure. Buttercup, a farm girl forced into royalty by her husband-to-be, Prince Humperdinck, is kidnapped by an evil genius, a giant, and the most talented swordsman in the world. Westley, Buttercup’s thought to be dead true love, must save her from her three kidnappers and her unwanted husband.


In this novel, Goldman perfectly blends fiction and reality until it seems that everything in the story must be true. Goldman’s writing is truly genius; the language he uses is flawless, and his story within a story is

Dec 31, 2020

The Cup and The Prince was a largely enjoyable read that featured charming characters, an amazing world, and a strong plot. The idea of winning a competition under false pretense was really interesting.


The plot immediately separated itself from other titles because of the pretense. Since Zora technically lied to compete for the Blood Cup, she's put into a more precarious position than other characters. She must keep her reasoning a secret from other characters, causing tension. Being tied to all three royal characters was also a good choice because it showed the contrast in each of Zora’s

Blacktop Wasteland book cover

Blacktop Wasteland

By S.A. Cosby
5
Rated by Kristen Re.
Dec 10, 2020

“There was no honor among thieves. Boys in the game only respected you in direct proportion to how much they needed you divided by how much they feared you.”


Blacktop Wasteland is full of action and suspense.  Just when you think it may let up, S.A. Cosby shifts the action into another gear.  It is a nonstop adrenaline rush (You know it’s going to be good when the book starts out with a drag race). 


We ride along with Beauregard “Bug” Montage, who is a complex character with many titles: father, husband, son, car mechanic, and getaway driver. He struggles providing an honest living for

Dec 7, 2020

Fahrenheit 451 is a science fiction novel written by Ray Bradbury in 1953.  The genre of this book is adventure and science fiction.  The novel is set in a futuristic dystopian society that burns  books in order to control dangerous ideas and concepts.  The novel tells the story of Guy Montag.  Guy Montag is a fireman, whose job is not to protect people but to protect them from books by burning them. Montag meets Clarisse, a smart and curious girl.  Clarisse questions everything about life, happiness, and love. Over the next few days, Montag experiences some disturbing events.  His wife

Nov 19, 2020

Do you love action movies? Do the superheroes Captain America, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Dr. Strange, Black Panther, and many more bring joy to you? Do you follow movies created by Marvel Studios and the Avengers’ movies? If yes, Avengers Infinity War is a must-see movie for you! Featuring numerous superheroes from different movies created by Marvel Studios, the Avengers must all work together to stop evil galactic supremacist Thanos from obtaining all 6 Infinity Stones, where all it takes is one snap of the finger to wipe out half of all living beings in the Universe. These 6 Infinity Stones are

Batwoman's face

The Many Arms of Death

By Marguerite Bennett
3
Rated by Anne G
Aug 13, 2020

     Steve Epting's art in comics and graphic novels is fantastic.  Eptig is able to give Batwoman: The Many Arms of Death a classic feel with modern sensibilities, as he has with other superhero comics.  


     We are introduced to Kate (Batwoman) and her lost year where she spent time on an island full of degenerates, with her lover keeping the peace.  Now she returns while tracking down some arms dealers who are selling the biological weapon the monster man serum.  My biggest complaint is that we do not really get enough backstory to care about or know who some of these characters are

Dealing With Dragons

By Wrede, Patricia
5
Rated by Anne G
Feb 21, 2020

"Well I'm not a proper princess then!" Cimorene snapped. "I make cherries jubilee and I volunteer for dragons, and I conjugate Latin verbs-- or at least I would if anyone would let me. So there!”


I have slowly been making my way through a long list of fantasy fiction books I have wanted to read or reread.  Dealing with Dragons is one of those re-read upbeat books; possibly it was “the” book that honestly got me hooked on reading. 


I cannot sing enough praises about this fast-paced book, in particular for its excellently written main character.  This is one of the best “fractured fairy

The Woman in Cabin 10

By Ruth Ware
3
Rated by Megan K.
Dec 31, 2019

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware


Ruth Ware, a well established mystery author, created a captivating novel with The Woman in Cabin 10. I am not overly familiar with Ware’s writing style, as I have only read two (this one included) of her mysteries. The formula of this particular book reminded me of an Agatha Christie novel, as it followed the same “trapped with a group of people, one of whom is a murderer” formula as many of Christie’s own books. Lo Blacklock, a travel writer, is given the chance to report on a luxury cruise with a select few passengers, when she hears a splash in the

Nov 25, 2019

A shooting in Portland mall leads to several teenagers being trapped with only 3 means of potential survival: they may run, hide, or fight back. However, they all are guarding big secrets, and tensions in the group run very high. They all must be willing to put their differences aside and work together against the odds if they want to stay alive. The cover did a very good job of capturing my attention, and reflected the overall fear the characters felt very well. The multiple perspectives in the book are really fascinating, so you can see into the different characters mindsets, which makes you

The Assassins of Tamurin

By S. D. Tower
4
Rated by Anne G
Nov 1, 2019

     The Assassins of Tamurin is on my top ten favorite adult books for young adults list.  I read this Asian-influenced fantasy for the first time nearly 15 years ago, and I have probably read it at least that many times since.  The Canadian author made me fall in love with the characters, even the characters I think I hate.  Everyone in this fantasy fiction is detailed, alive, and real.


          This culturally diverse book has an engaging story line and a lovable strong female lead character.  When I re-read this I thought it was too good to be a first effort; the story flows along

Supergirl: Being Super

By Mariko Tamaki
5
Rated by Anne G
Oct 9, 2019

In Supergirl: Being Super Canadian author Ms. Tamaki sets us in a "Friday Night Lights" community that reminds me an of apotheosis of Americana; a dream vision of flyover country.  Quite simply illustrator Joelle Jones is the worthiest exclusive find that the publisher DC has netted in a while.  Within comic books and graphic novels, her Supergirl is specific.  While Kara is well-built, the sensuality is not over-sold, which is refreshing for superhero comics.  I would have loved the angst-filled tone to drop off even more, as in the chapter "For All Seasons," in which the story is threadbare

May 28, 2019

"Some people always burn." - Ally Condie, The Last Voyage of Poe Blythe


            Poe Blythe is the seventeen-year-old captain of the last mining ship from the Outpost. In this dystopian fiction, she wants far more than the gold they tear from the Serpentine River. She is looking for revenge, and she is going to use her steampunk-ship to do.  Poe has vowed vengeance on the river raiders who robbed her of everything two years ago. This woman of steel navigates the treacherous waters of the Serpentine. As she does so, she realizes there might be a traitor among her crew.


            The

Jan 2, 2019

With an impressive cast,


Jeff Bridges, Jon Hamm, Dakota Johnson, Chris Hemsworth, and serious breakout star of 2018 contender, Cynthia Erivo


Bad Times at the El Royale  is the follow up to Drew Goddard's critically acclaimed directorial debut, The Cabin in the Woods...


   


   The El Royale Hotel was once a hot celebrity getaway, frequented by the likes of Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack.  Its days of glory are over, however, as a series of strangers check in to an otherwise empty hotel.  There's a priest (Bridges), a vacuum salesman (Hamm), a singer (Erivo), and a woman

Safe Houses

By Dan Fesperman
4
Rated by Kari E.
Oct 1, 2018

Helen Abell runs four CIA safe houses for the Berlin Station in 1979. While performing routine microphone inspections she captures two important conversations that will change the course of her life. Helen knows her clearance does not allow her to investigate these agents, however a series of events leads her to uncover sinister cover ups within the CIA. In 2014, Helen and her husband are murdered in their Maryland farmhouse by their son. Anna goes home to bury her parents and discover what lead her brother to this horrific act. She enlists the help of a private investigator new to town, Henry

Aug 17, 2018

Mr. Griffin was a horrible teacher. His students only meant it as a prank. They just wanted to scare him a little bit, make him sorry. They never meant to kill him. But now he’s dead, and even the best laid plans can go wrong sometimes.

It took me a few chapters to really get into the story, but once I did, I was hooked. This is an eye opening story of how peer pressure can escalate out of control. It was just fantastic and incredibly well-written. I have never read such a deep and thoughtful thriller/mystery.

This is a great little suspense book for even the reluctant reader.

Jul 18, 2018

This isn't going to be a review, so much as an essay on my journey into the world of Dungeons & Dragons and general Role Playing Games (RPG) starting in my late 20's, so strap on your sword and buckler and get ready for an adventure!


 


Like a lot of you, I "knew" about D&D through the zeitgeist.  Seen it mocked in movies, sitcoms and sketch comedy. Had friends that played in quasi-secret for fear of shaming in high school and college. Even sold the books when I worked in a bookstore without ever opening one. I "knew" what it was, and my opinion was set. And it should be obvious at this

Jun 29, 2018

When Charlotte was eleven, she was kidnapped from a football game. For the past four years, she has been held in her kidnapper’s attic, and raped every night (just warning you, this book is hard core, don’t let that beautiful fantasy cover fool you), sustained only by dreams of her loving family. But now, she has finally escaped. But losing her has torn her family apart. Her parents are divorced, her dad is obsessed with fame, her mother drinks too much, and her sister is a druggie. Her father wants her to write a book and be the figurehead of a new charity and her mother  wants her to stay

Jun 10, 2018

"You’ll be silent forever, and I’ll be gone in the dark."


Michelle McNamara’s book investigating the Golden State Killer is a truly masterful work. The author explains her obsession with this case and her hopes of discovering the identity of the killer. She presents a staggering amount of research and information in such an engaging and organized way, while her clarity of writing and ever-present empathy enhance the reading experience.


Foolishly, I was not prepared to read about the truly haunting crimes that the Golden State Killer committed in the 1970s and 1980s. The author never