Monday, June 29, 2015

Troll Hunters by Guillermo del Toro and Daniel Krause

TrollhuntersTrollhunters by Daniel Kraus
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Trollhunters by Guillermo del Toro and Daniel Kraus
Thank you to NetGalley and Disney Book Group and Disney-Hyperion for the ARC, Troll by Guillermo del Toro and Daniel Kraus. What a spellbinding read! Daniel Kraus has done it again, crafting a horror story where the evil doers are so disgusting, you root for Jim Sturges and his best friend, Tubby, to triumph. Jim is a very normal teen with an overprotective dad, who suffered the loss of his brother 45 years ago as they rode bikes under a bridge. When 190 children went missing along with his brother, Jack; Jim’s dad changed. He outfitted their house with special locks and shutters and has had many hard and fast rules pertaining to safety for as long as Jim can remember. As Jim and Tub suffer bullying daily at school, other kids are starting to disappear again. Only now is Jim beginning to believe there really are monsters under his bed and under bridges. When Jim is called upon to save the missing kids, his lady love and his town; will he be able to muster the courage to be a trollhunter by night? Can he be a trollhunter fighting evil beside his 13 year old Uncle Jack and other disgusting monsters? Teens will love this illustrated, scary book and will want to read more, more, more; I hope a series is in the works! Highly recommended for those who love horror, building tension, thrilling plot twists and fierce characters.

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Thursday, June 25, 2015

Strings Attached by Joanne Lippman and Melanie Kupchynsky

Strings Attached: One Tough Teacher and the Gift of Great ExpectationsStrings Attached: One Tough Teacher and the Gift of Great Expectations by Joanne Lipman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Strings Attached is such a great teacher book and so much more. Told in alternating voices by Joanne Lippman (one of Mr. K's violin students) and Melanie Kupchynsky (Mr, K's daughter)the reader learns about their love of music, family, and the inspiration that was their teacher, Mr. K. His methods may have been unconventional but he reached his students so deeply with his love of music that they endured his craziness and bloomed as a result. This is not an easy book to read either; but one that must be read in order to feel and know what Mr. K (and his life in Lithuania during the war) stood for as a coach, father, teacher, and musician. Highly recommended- this book will be discussed in a Twitter Chat #ISTElitchat Tuesday July 21 at 8:30 EST, feel free to join in!

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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Acid by Emma Pass

AcidAcid by Emma Pass
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What an Amazing Audiobook! This was another audiobook in the Hub Challenge 2015 I totally enjoyed. I couldn't stop listening as Jenna Strong is imprisoned by the police (called ACID) for murdering her parents when she was 15 years old. But all is not as it seems; if you love action, suspense, thrillers; you will not soon forget Jenna's world of lies, espionage, brutality---what will she do to remember her life as it was and as it is now? This audiobook has riveting plots, characters (nasty and nice) and a dystopian world you won't forget! Highly recommended.

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Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

Saint AnythingSaint Anything by Sarah Dessen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love Sarah Dessen's books and Saint Anything is deeply moving and probes the depths of family loyalty, love, and friendship. Sydney is a nice, kind girl unlike her older brother Peyton, who has always pushed boundaries, gotten into trouble time and again, until one day he drives under the influence and maimes a teen, sentencing him to life in a wheel chair. As Sydney tries to cope with aching loneliness and her distant parents, she makes some decisions. Will attending a new high school be an answer to a new life? I could not stop turning the pages of this book as Sydney navigates life, questions herself and her parents, and tries to be a good person. I admired her strength, her insecurities, and her loyalty through many trials. This book will take the reader on an unforgettable journey with Sydney not soon forgotten. Highly recommended.

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Completed 2015 Hub Reading Challenge

Which 25 titles did you read or listen to? *I read and listened to 26 titles to complete the 2015 Hub Reading Challenge.  I have linked the titles to my Goodreads reviews (see the blue titles).  What I like about this Challenge is that I had read many more books on this list (over the years and recently) but I was not willing to re-read them – so I branched out and listened to awesome audiobooks and read more graphic novels and even jumped into a photography book! Next to the title I will put the YALSA award. For those looking for some great summer YA reads, try this amazing list!

2015 HUB Reading Challenge


    • Grasshopper Jungle
    • This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki - Printz
    • Forged by Fire
    • Darkness Before Dawn
    • The Battle of Jericho
    • November Blues
    • Tears of a Tiger
    • Copper Sun
    • Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek by Maya Van Wagenen - Nonfiction
    • Laughing at My Nightmare by Shane Burcaw- Nonfiction
    • The Family Romanov by Candace Fleming - Nonfiction
    • Ida M. Tarbell; The Woman Who Challenged Big Business – and Won!  by Emily Arnold McCully - Nonfiction
    • The Port Chicago 50 by Steve Sheinkin - Nonfiction
    • All the Light We Cannot See
    • Bellweather Rhapsody
    • Bingo's Run
    • Confessions
    • Everything I Never Told You
    • Lock In
    • The Martian
    • The Terrorist’s Son: A Story of Choice
    • Those Who Wish Me Dead
    • Wolf in White Van
    • The Crossover by Kwame Alexander– Best Fiction, Quick Picks
    • The Gospel of Winter
    • The Jackaby
    • Noggin by John Corey WhaleyBest Fiction
    • The Story of Owen: Dragonslayer of Trondheim by E. K. JohnstonMorris, Best Fiction
    • Vango
    • We Were Liars
    • The Young Elites
    • My Friend Dahmer
    • Catching Fire
    • Hole in My Life
    • The Fault in Our Stars
    • Freedom’s Children: Young Civil Rights Activists Tell Their Own Stories
    • I Hunt Killers
    • Lockdown
    • The Rithmatist
    • Maus: A Survivor’s Tale
    • Lockwood & Co: The Screaming Staircase
    • Batman Science: The Real-World Science Behind Batman's Gear
    • Find Momo: A Photography Book by Andrew KnappQuick Picks
    • Tomboy: A Graphic Memoir
    • Famous Last Words
    • I Am Pusheen the Cat
    • Through the Woods by Emily Carroll - Quick Picks, Great Graphic Novels
    • Juvie
    • Ms. Marvel: No Normal
    • Gabi, A Girl in Pieces by Isabel QuinteroMorris, Quick Picks
    • The Scar Boys by Len Vlahos - Morris
    • The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton - Morris
    • Beyond Magenta
    • Afterlife with Archie: Escape from Riverdale
    • 47 Ronin
    • Seconds: a Graphic Novel
    • The Shadow Hero by Gene Luen Yang - Great Graphic Novels
    • Trillium
    • The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place
    • Bad Machinery V.3: The Case of the Simple Soul
    • In Real Life by Cory Doctorow & Jen Wang - Great Graphic Novels
    • Girls Like Us
    • Revolution by Deborah Wiles - Amazing Audiobooks


Sunday, June 14, 2015

Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin

Rain ReignRain Reign by Ann M. Martin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The story of Rose Howard, her autism, her father, her dog, her uncle was recommended by Donalyn Miller in a Nerdy Book blog post. Boy am I glad I read this book! Rose is a very special character, girl, classmate. Her homonym LOVE and list made my English major heart happy- but was not necessarily appreciated by her classmates and father. Ann M. Martin has crafted a must read for students - both young and old, parents and teachers. Rose's autism was depicted perfectly by Ann M. Martin; the good and the bad traits. I did not want this book to end; Rose and her dog, Rain will resonate with me for quite some time!.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

The Invention of WingsThe Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is one of the adult books on my Summer TBR and like The Secret Life of Bees, Sue Monk Kidd's exhaustive research on the Grimke sisters, Sarah and Angelina, reveals difficult lives for women who wanted to listen to their "inner voice." Sarah Grimke abhors slavery and wants to be a jurist like her father and brothers. When her mother gives her a slave, Handful, Sarah wants to give Handful her freedom instead. Told in alternating chapters by Sarah and Handful, the reader is plunged into the horrors of slave life as punishments are exacted on slaves for the slightest infractions; there are much worse agonies for stealing, etc. and all the slaves must watch and learn from the whippings and such. Sarah's life is fraught with stammering, and older sister, Mary who is evil just like her mother, and a father Sarah thinks will accept her longings to be a lawyer like her brothers. There was beauty in the slave story quilts Handful and her mother made; but these quilts were a testament to the slaves' suffering and their yearnings to be free and fly away like their ancestors. Teens and adults who like historical fiction will love this story of Sarah's and Handful's lives, friendship, and connection; a must read.

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