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Monday, August 31, 2015

Review: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban was a good book. In it, Harry Potter is thirteen. He has Sirius Black trying to find and kill him. Will he survive?
First off, sorry that this review will be so short. I was dragging out this book in order to have time to blog about it, and kept putting it off. Before starting , I never knew how hard it was to review books. Now, enough of my complaining. This book is very good. I liked the twisted ending, and the complicated plot. I will hopefully post more for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire!

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Sunday, August 30, 2015

Review: Since You've Been Gone

Since You've Been Gone Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My third and final Morgan Matson book, and it was as good as the rest. Morgan Matson is a wonderful writer, and I can't wait for her next book to come out in Summer 2016. Since You've Been Gone is about a girl named Emily. For years she has had a best friend named Sloane. The summer before their senior year of high school, Sloane disappears from Emily's town. The only thing she leaves for Emily as a clue is a list of 13 things for Emily to do that summer. Some of the things had meaning, like riding a horse, and others were useless, like hugging a Jamie. While Emily tries to complete the list, she learns about herself. Will Emily finish the list, and will she find Sloane? Read this heartfelt novel for yourself to find out.
I liked the character development. Emily started out as a shy girl, but ends up more brave. She learns she doesn't have to be Sloane's shadow. Everyone is their own person, and we each have our own personality. There is a side character named Frank. He is originally characterized as a smart teacher's pet sort of boy, but also evolves. Emily and Frank become good friends and learn they have a lot in common. They also have a complicated romance. It wasn't exactly a love at first site thing, but a realistic and roller coaster romance. The setting is wonderful. Both of Emily's parents are play writers. That represents a parent who doesn't have a lot of time for their kid. I liked how the characters seemed set from the beginning. They all had good strong backgrounds. There is so much you can learn from this book. Nobody is exactly who you think they are. Similarly, things can be different than they seem. One of the better parts was that I think I caught a reference to Second Chance Summer Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson. Overall, this is a great book with a awesome meaning. I give it 5 stars.

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Friday, August 28, 2015

Feature and Follow

Hey all! 
Welcome to a new FF! 
Gain new followers and make new friends with the Book Blogger Feature & Follow! If this is your first time here, welcome! You are about to make some new friends and gain new followers -- but you have to know -- the point of this hop is to follow other bloggers also. I follow you, you follow me. Everyone wins!

The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkees view and Alison of Alison Can Read! Make sure to check their pages!!

You can follow this blog as well.  If you follow it and comment below I will follow your blog back! 

Question: Share a random quote from the book you are reading in the comments! 

“Real friends are the ones you can count on no matter what.
The ones who go into the forest to find you and bring you home.
And real friends never have to tell you that they’re your friends.”
------ Morgan Matson, Since You've Been Gone

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Second Chance Summer

   Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson is a masterpiece.  As many of you know, I loved "Amy & Roger's Epic Detour".  It is hard to say, but I think this book was even better.  The plot was perfect, and there were many times where this book ALMOST had me in tears.  Morgan Matson is definitely my favorite author now.
   Taylor Edwards is the middle child, and the only "ordinary" one.  Her older brother Warren is a nerd who loves to read and state facts, and her younger sister Gelsey is a ballerina.  Once Taylor's family finds out that her dad has a type of untreatable cancer, they go to live in their old lake house for one more summer as a family.  Follow Taylor as she learns about friendship, and most importantly, love.
   I really loved this book.  The character development is amazing, and the characters are realistic.  I felt like I was Taylor.  As for romance, it was the best romance I have read in a while.  The characters start out hating each other, but then the relationship blossoms.  I liked how Warren's romance went, and how Taylor helped him with it.  Taylor's job is also awesome, and I wanted a job like that.  I did think that it was a bit odd that she took all that time "off''.  Yet my favorite part of the story was something different.  I really liked the dad.  He was the one who had cancer, and was definitely not perfect.  Taylor had a real relationship with him.  When he started to fail, it was a realistic and scary way to portray it.  This is a touching book that tells you to appreciate every day.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Front and Center

   Front and Center by Catherine Gilbert Murdock is the third and final book in the Dairy Queen trilogy.   D.J. Schwenk is a junior in high school who really likes to play basketball.   As basketball season season starts, she learns many things about herself.  She learns about which boy she likes, and how much it takes to get into college.
   I really enjoyed this book.  The setting is cool for me, taking place in Wisconsin where I have noticed not many books do.  They also place it on a farm, which is creative.  It is also neat because I liked reading about her story of trying to get into college.  It taught me the constant pressure of getting into college.  D.J. learns how to be a bit louder, and to talk a bit more.  I enjoyed when she did that, making herself a new character.  It is like a new version of herself.  The college descriptions were pretty cool, and just like I've learned colleges can look like.  The romance was awesome, and I liked the way the two boys were different,  Beaner is a carefree peppy boy who wants there romance to be completely public.  He is also kind of funny.  On the other hand, Brian is a jock.  He wants their romance to be private, and is a bit more passionate.  I could relate to D.J. and her struggles, and her voice is projected so funnily.  Catherine Gilbert Murdock made D.J. sound so realistic, and her thought train in the book fits a teen perfectly.  Like me, I'm sure almost anyone will find themselves laughing along with some of the things D.J. says and thinks.  In a way, this book is kind of like "The Spring Of Candy Apples".  It wraps the series up perfectly and leaves you satisfied.     

Friday, August 21, 2015

The Spring Of Candy Apples

   The Spring Of Candy Apples is by far the best book in the Sweet Seasons series.  It is the last book in this 4 book series by Debbie Viguie.  This book focuses around Candace Thompson, a senior high school girl who works at an amusement park The Zone.  Now, "Candy" is working the candy counter.  She struggles trying to decide which college to go to and who is really her boyfriend.  She also tries to mix a talent show in with that.  She is a very busy girl with a lot of problems, such as being the lead in her schools play. 
   This book wraps up this series and is my favorite.  Candace is a very busy girl.  In this book, she learns to give her enemies a chance and that friends can over pressure you sometimes.  It teaches real life lessons about being Christian and romance.  Candy is in a talent show group.  That group is cool because there talents is stacking cups.  That has become viral lately, hasn't it.  As a senior, college is also a big decision.  She doesn't know whether she wants to stay in California or go to Florida.  I had two favorite lessons that I learned in this book.  The first one is that people aren't always what they seem.  Many of Candace's friends are hiding secrets, some good and some bad.  The other lesson is that life is a stage.  You have to take the part that you are asked to play and make it your own.  God is the ultimate theater critic.  I especially liked this second lesson because it summed up the book perfectly.  It also fit into my life.  This lesson happened when Candy's theater teacher was giving them a speech before the night of the play.  If you were wondering, Candy played the lead.  I liked the whole theme of this book, but sometimes the characters were too perfect.  Overall, this is a great read and made for a perfect ending to the series.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Winter Of Candy Canes

   Debbie Viguie wrote another good book with The Winter Of Candy Canes.  Candace (Candy) Thompson signed up for another job at The Zone.  This time she will be passing out candy canes as an elf to the kids who visit Santa.  At the same time, she is kind of forced to lead a bible study in her church.  She is also trying to figure out what to get her family and friends for Christmas.  Will this elf figure out the good things to do in time.
   I find these books wonderful.  Candace is such of a realistic character.  She is a great role model for any Christian girl  She is very determined; when she gets hurt she tries it again afterword.  Candy also has a normal school life.  She worries about her classes and has friend trouble as well.  This book is so far the most Christian one in the series, and shows Christian girls a good role model.  I also liked the twisted romance in this book.  Candace is dating Kurt, a high school dropout who she doesn't know if she really has feelings for.  She learns that you shouldn't date a guy just so you can have a girlfriend.  One thing I dislike about this book is Candace's age.  As a senior in high school, this book should be older young adult fiction.  Yet this is based more for younger teens, and I don't know what to think about that.  I like how very character has flaws, yet there good side can show through.  This book also is a little too perfect, which irks me in a way.  I also like Candy's parental support.  Her parents are like dream parents, who would always be there for you.  I also like he way they show that money isn't everything.  Candace's best friend, Tamera, is rich but can also be a brat with her money.  On the other hand, she also uses it for good.  Another one of Candy's friends is named Sue.  After her parents died in a car crash, Sue is stuck taking care of her two younger siblings by herself.  She also has the lowly job of being a janitor at The Zone, but always makes the best of things and spends all of her spare time taking care of her siblings.
   I would recommend this to  anyone looking for a easy, Christian read.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

United We Spy

   United We Spy by Ally Carter is the 6th and final book in the Gallagher Girls series.  It focuses of a girl named Cameron (Cammie) Morgan.  Since her mom owns it, she lives in Gallagher Academy with her friends.  Gallagher Academy is really a school for spies.  In this book, it is Cammie's senior year.  She tries to chase down the Circle Of Cavan with her friends, trying to save the world from WW III.  Will everything end happily?
   I have kind of been dragging myself through this series.  The writing style is good; I am just a person who gets easily scared.  These books certainly give me the creeps.  Yet they keep me hooked.  In a strange way, I can relate to Cammie and her friends.  The are facing big problems, yet they are just teens at heart.  Unlike some books, the kids aren't even close to perfect.  They act real and don't act wiser than their years.  The spy part teaches you about technology and that the world isn't perfect.   You also learn about geography when they travel.  I really don't know how to classify this series.  It isn't really realistic fiction, and only a little science fiction.  It is also mystery, suspense, and maybe horror.  All the characters were really thought out, and my favorite part was that, realistically, people are really complex and change.  Despite the Disney label on it, this isn't really for Disney watchers.  I give it 3.5 stars.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Paper Towns Movie

   I know I don't usually review movies, but since I read this book I figured it would be fun.  This movie was really good.  I went to see it in theaters with my family, and was overall impressed.  It was as good as the book, but there were a couple flaws.  The first flaw was the language.  It was fine when I could skip the words when I read, but it is more noticeable in the movie and not really kid friendly.  The sexual content was also a little more than the book, with an added scene.  But the rest was good.  I especially liked the casting choices.  Nat Wolff was a great Q, and it was nice to see his transition from TFOIS (The Fault In Our Stars), to this.  He was Isaac, the blind boy who was Gus' (Ansel Elgort) best friend in the other movie.  That being the case, it was interesting to see the scene where Ansel Elgort and Nat Wolff meet (again) in the gas station.  Any TFOIS fan like me probably thought that was neat.  Cara Delevingne has been criticized for her performance in this movie.  I think the model turned actor did a great job portraying her course, unsure of who she was character.  She was just crude enough and gave a interpretation like I thought Margo was.  This movie takes out many on the search scenes to make it more fast paced.  My favorite thing about the movie was the comedy.  The audience were almost all laughing in some of the comedy scenes (such as the Ben pee incident on the road trip).  I think this movie shows a new look to the book, and it was awesome.  The bit of everything in this book worked well.  I would give it 4.5 stars!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Fall of Candy Corn

The Fall of Candy Corn by Debbie Viguie is a fun read.  It is the second book in the Sweet Seasons series, which revolve around Candace Thompson.  In the first book, "The Summer of Cotton  Candy", Candace (AKA Candy), has to get a summer job.  She decides to work for an amusement park as a cotton candy vendor.  Now in this book, Candy is back for the Halloween event called Scare. It is filled with mazes and scary things.  Since she got trapped in the park last year, there is a new maze for scare about that.  Candace is asked to play the part of Candy, and pretend to get chased around by a psycho killer.  But when Candace gets hurt on the job, she has to sell candy corn instead.  She is also debating where to go for college.  Will she figure out who hurt her and where she wants to go to college in time?
   This was a very fun and light read.  I could relate to Candy with the things she did, such as not liking parties where underage people drink.  She had good intentions but sometimes they got a little out of hand.  Candy's boyfriend, Kurt, is also an issue in her life, because she isn't sure if she likes him as much as he likes her.  It teaches about friendship and being respectful to your bosses and elders.  This is a great book if you are looking for a Christian lit with a high  school girl protagonist.  Debbie Viguie has created a book that will make anyone learn good morals and life lessons in a fun and addicting read.

Friday, August 14, 2015

The Summer Of Skinny Dipping

   The Summer of Skinny Dipping is a good book.  It is by Amanda Howells and is about a girl named Mia Gordon.  She is spending the summer at her aunt and uncle's beach house.  But things have changed since she had last been there.  Her cousins Corrine and Beth are totally different, hanging with popular people.  Her aunt and uncle are hiding many secrets.  Mia's little sister even fits in better than Mia.  The only consolation for her is the next door neighbor Simon.  He is an artist who doesn't agree with his parents.  Simon and Mia hang out in the water and on the beach at night.  But what will happen in the end?
   This book was filled with surprises.  The problems the teens had were typical teen problems.  I liked that Mia didn't like to do drugs.  Yet, she did them occasionally to fit in.  The relationship between Mia and Simon grows slowly, and is kind of confusing.  At first Mia doesn't know if she really likes him.  He is awfully wild, but she learns to appreciate that.  While there relationship grows, there are twists and turn.  I kept guessing whether they were meant for each other.  The end almost had me in tears.  I certainly didn't expect that big of a surprise ending.  If you want a good, romantic beach read, this is for you.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

The Heir


  The Heir by Lynne Stringer is a pretty good book .  It is the first book in the Verindon series.  I was surprised at how interesting alien and other planet science fiction can be.  I'd only read science fiction books with different time periods all on earth before.  This takes place of both earth and another planet.  I give it 3.5 stars.
   Sarah is just an average high school girl living with her divorced dad while going to a private school .  She goes to live with a friend named Dan when tragedy strikes.  But he is acting extremely strange.  Is something up?
I really liked the romance in this story.  Sarah is crushing on Dan, but she doesn't think that he likes her.  Yet the romance is kept down because of the suspense.  It is also written in first person, which really fits this book.  One reason for the rating being a little lower is that it isn't exactly my type of book.  I like science fiction, but not as much as realistic fiction.  The writing style was really good.  There were really vivid descriptions.  It is also filled with all sorts of figurative language.  The characters are kind of confusing.  They had depth though,  and I felt like I knew them.  One of my favorite parts was the way the plot was laid out.  It always keeps you wanting more because it has surprise turns.  The story was a unique one.  I mean, who doesn't like books that keeps you guessing with a bit of everything in it.  It had romance, realistic high school life, tragedy, mystery, and science fiction.  The new planet (Verindon) was completely interesting. I liked the rainbow and color accent.  Overall, this was a neat book.  If you like alien books with a female protagonist, this is the book for you.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Amy & Roger's Epic Detour

I think this is my new favorite book. I give it a perfect 5 stars. This is the first Morgan Matson book I've read, and it really surprised me. First off, my impression looking at it at first. It didn't look wonderful because the title sounded cheesy and the cover made it look like a sappy romance novel. It is not that, by the way. This book has very deep subjects on a lighthearted main topic. Amy has been living alone in California for the past month. She is a high school girl whose mom is in Connecticut and her twin brother away at rehab. When it is time to move to Connecticut, she is sent off with a college boy named Roger. The trip is planned out, but they make detours. With those detours Amy and Roger both learn about themselves.
The characters were wonderful. Amy is a shy girl trying to be invisible. Roger is a cool guy with a good heart. The side characters were also really thought out. Bronwyn, for example, is a college RA who helps Amy to realize that she doesn't have to hide. Walcott and Drew are locals who help Roger and Amy around. Lucien wants the best for them and his mean sister, Hadley. Charley is the one who is always sneaking out. Amy's mom is over controlling and I think caring on the inside. Amy's dad died in a car accident 3 months before.
I loved how different Roger and Amy were. They were like polar opposites, with Roger being laid back and Amy being tense. Roger was cool and Amy wasn't. Yet they ended up getting along perfectly. I also liked how Amy referred to her room at home as Amy!'s room. Since they were trying to sell the old house, her room looked like an ideal girl lived in it. Amy also compares her self to Amy! later in the book.
Overall, the best part of this story, was of course the road trip. I felt like I was Amy while they traveled, just picturing the areas. Now I want to go on a road trip! This book really showed me neat facts and characteristics of each state, as well as giving me some geographical knowledge. It also talked about real places, such as restaurants, hotels, and cities. They also show Amy's road trip scrapbook throughout the book, as well as there receipts and playlists. There is a lot of consumerism in this book, but it adds to the story. I am checking out more road trip books and Morgan Matson books as soon as possible.

Friday, August 7, 2015

The Second Summer Of The Sisterhood

Good Book
"The Second Summer of the Sisterhood" is a good book that is very interesting. It is the second book of the sisterhood of the traveling pasts series. This book, like the first, is about 4 girls: Tibby, Carmen, Bridget, and Lena. They are best friends who share a magical pair of pants. The pants fit all four of them perfectly, even though they are all different sizes. It may not be really realistic, but the story is great with many lessons.
One girl, Tibby, is away at film school. How cool is that because it is like many of us going to camp. But she learns while making films many important lessons. People have secrets, and films don't have to be funny. Carmen is having an argument with her single mom who starts dating. Many people can relate to the struggles with single parents. Bridget decides to run away to her grandma she hasn't saw in years. She disguises herself and works for her grandma while trying to get to know her. Lena is having a hard time with her job and her long lost love, Kostos. If you didn't read the first book, read it before reading this. Many characters from the first book come back. The characters are all different, but can become confusing because they are so many. They also switch perspectives. Since it is written in third person, it isn't that bad. There are some flaws. The romance is overdramatic in my opinion. Each character of the four main people has a overly distinct personality. Despite it's flaws, it has many good lessons and is a fun read for any teenager. I give it 4 stars.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

J.K. Rowling did it again, with another fantastic Harry Potter book. This book was really good and addictive. I give it 4 1/2 stars.
Lets start out by saying, as you might already know I loved the first Harry Potter book. This one started out a lot better than that one. I liked how they incorporated the Dursleys into the start on the book. Harry is just ending his summer vacation, and he is having a better time than he did before he went to Hogwarts. The Dursleys treat him better, but only because they are scared of his magical powers. One night, Harry gets a warning from a elf named Dobby who says that he shouldn't return to Hogwarts. After Harry gets locked in his room, the Weasleys save him. They have many troubles getting ready and going to Hogwarts. Once they get there, they realize that something strange is going on. People keep getting frozen by Dark Magic. Follow Harry through a tough time trying to solve the mystery of the chamber of secrets.
This book had a nice realistic mystery element. I used to love mystery books like Nancy Drew, and this book had the same traits. The clues were presented quietly and turned out fitting together. I like how side characters, like Ginny and Colin Creevey have an important part in the end. The story had the same novelty as the first one, and can teach kids many things, like about anagrams.
I didn't really understand how Mr. Lockhart got the journal in the first place. It was hard to picture the Harry without bones in one arm, so that interested me. Visualizing was really easy, since it was all so descriptive. The conversations were unique and every character has a different voice. Most people call this fantasy, but I say it was a lot of mystery too. There were some "flashbacks" as well.
This book is probably okay for kids ages 10 and up to read alone. As a teenager, the end kind of scared me. The vocab isn't too extensive, and it could get almost anyone to like reading.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

What Happened To Goodbye

   First off, sorry I haven't reviewed any books lately.  I couldn't find time to get on the computer.  However, the other day I finished the book What Happened To Goodbye by Sarah Dessen.  This book was different than the other two Sarah Dessen books I've read.  Just Listen, one of them, was to me a slow read.  The romance was real and the ending was awesome.  The other one, The Moon and More, was just an ordinary romance.  But this one had spark and meaning.
  Mclean is a teenage girl with divorced parents.  She decides to live with her dad, who is a sort of real life restaurant rehab worker.  He goes into a town with a failing restaurant, and fixes them up.  That means they move a lot.  Mclean has been to three different places, and in each one, she has had a new name and a new personality.  However, when she and her dad head to Lakeview, she decides to try to be "herself".  But does she really know who she is anymore?  Mclean gets a new group of friends of all types.  One special friend is this boy Dave, whom she might even have a crush on.  The restaurant is also a big part of her life, with her getting dragged into a community service project there.  On top of all that, her newly famous mom will not leave her alone.  She wants Mclean to live with her constantly.  When Mclean is just starting to get settled in Lakeview, she hears about a surprise move.  What will Mclean do?
   I was surprised how good this book was.  It was paced perfectly and had a great plot.  The romance really added to the story. Sarah Dessen had a great writing style in this book.  The teenagers sound like actual teenagers, unlike some authors who make them look so wise and adultish.  I could also picture it like I was seeing it firsthand.  The morals were amazing too.  They wove into the story and talked about being yourself and friendship.  There were many conflicts, but they were not solved too quickly. Reading this book, I really related to Mclean.  Her story and background were perfect, even someone totally unlike her could find similarities.  I would give this a perfect five stars.