Archive for April, 2017|Monthly archive page

Well, That Was Awkward

In Uncategorized on April 23, 2017 at 3:21 pm
by Rachel Vail
Realistic Fiction/Contemporary/©2017/Recommended for Middle Grade

Book Info (Courtesy of Goodreads)

Gracie has never felt like this before. One day, she suddenly can’t breathe, can’t walk, can’t anything and the reason is standing right there in front of her, all tall and weirdly good-looking: A.J.
It turns out A.J. likes not Gracie but Gracie’s beautiful best friend, Sienna. Obviously Gracie is happy for Sienna. Super happy! She helps Sienna compose the best texts, responding to A.J. s surprisingly funny and appealing texts, just as if she were Sienna. Because Gracie is fine. Always! She’s had lots of practice being the sidekick, second-best.
It s all good. Well, almost all. She’s trying.

My Thoughts:

Interesting take on the retelling of Cyrano de Bergerac for the middle school set. Gracie as narrator of her story was highly entertaining, and many of the other characters were equally unique and memorable. I think the use of text messaging in the story will also appeal to the intended audience. In addition to an engaging plot, there are important life lessons about family, friendship, bullying, love, and loss. All in all, a good addition to the middle school library.


The Storyspinner (The Keeper Chronicles, Book 1)

In YA Book Reviews on April 20, 2017 at 7:00 pm


 by Becky Wallace

Fantasy (Young Adult)/©2015/Recommended for Ages 13+

Book Info (Courtesy of Goodreads)

Drama and danger abound in this fantasy realm where dukes play a game for the throne, magical warriors race to find the missing heir, and romance blossoms where it is least expected.

In a world where dukes plot their way to the throne, a Performer’s life can get tricky. And in Johanna Von Arlo’s case, it can be fatal. Expelled from her troupe after her father’s death, Johanna is forced to work for the handsome Lord Rafael DeSilva. Too bad they don’t get along. But while Johanna’s father’s death was deemed an accident, the Keepers aren’t so sure.

The Keepers, a race of people with magical abilities, are on a quest to find the princess—the same princess who is supposed to be dead and whose throne the dukes are fighting over. But they aren’t the only ones looking for her. And in the wake of their search, murdered girls keep turning up—girls who look exactly like the princess, and exactly like Johanna.

With dukes, Keepers, and a killer all after the princess, Johanna finds herself caught up in political machinations for the throne, threats on her life, and an unexpected romance that could change everything.

What I Thought:

It was one of those books that I could not put down. It had an engaging plot, memorable characters, and a fascinating fantasy world. The author had an interesting way of building suspense. Each chapter was fairly short (usually no more than 3-5 pages), each of which focused on what was going on with a certain character and most ending with a bit of a cliff hanger. Joanna was the main character, but there were a host of other major and lesser characters, some better developed than others, but all quite interesting and all playing significant parts. I am looking forward to Book 2 and hoping that it is just as good!

If you enjoyed this, you would also appreciate:

The Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

The Winner’s Curse  by Marie Rutkoski

Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles) by Mary E. Pearson