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Jasper John Dooley: Lost and Found by Caroline Adderson

I received this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

My girls and I read a lot of books, but I was not familiar with Jasper John Dooley before I read Lost and Found. Jasper John was so delightful that I immediately checked two of his other adventures out from the library. Jasper John Dooley is a series written by Caroline Adderson.

Jasper John Dooley is an adorable little boy whose manages to turn everyday occasions into fun adventures. In Lost and Found, he discovers a Marcel Mouse figurine in a box of old toys at his grandmother’s house. Marcel Mouse was Jasper’s father’s favorite television show, and Jasper knows that Marcel Mouse is very special. He wears Marcel on a string around his neck, but it is not very easy to keep track of the little mouse! Jasper and his friend Ori also find a “game that bleeps” in the lost and found box at school, and they take turns borrowing it. Jasper learns some important lessons over the course of the book, and relies on help from his friends and family. Continue reading

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A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn

I received this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

My town library has a section of books for sale for $1 apiece. On a recent trip, I saw four- that’s right- FOUR Deanna Raybourn books on the shelf. Her Lady Julia mysteries had been on my radar, so I was very excited to find four them in like-new condition. I have a rather large to-read pile, and before I had a chance to read them, I received an opportunity to read an advanced copy of Raybourn’s newest book, A Curious Beginning.

I was ridiculously excited about this, and I absolutely devoured the book. A Curious Beginning introduces us to Veronica Speedwell. As the story begins, Veronica is burying her last remaining guardian. This sets off a chain of events including but not limited to: a ransacked cottage, an attempted abduction, a rescue by an German baron who claimed to know her mother, and her introduction a gentleman named Stoker. When the baron is found murdered, Veronica and Stoker must flee before they are implicated for the crime. Continue reading

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Eden’s Wish by M. Tara Crowl

I received this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Eden’s Wish is a middle grade novel written by M. Tara Crowl. As the story begins, we are introduced to Eden, a young genie. Eden has just been summoned to grant three wishes to the hapless man who found her lamp. Eden’s mischievous streak comes out immediately when she takes the wisher’s request a little too literally.

Eden feels a little antagonistic about being a genie because she knows her tenure will last until she has granted wishes to a thousand people. Eden wants nothing more than to live on Earth amongst people, and when she sees an opportunity to do so, she seizes it- against the wishes of her handlers. Continue reading

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Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon

The medical name for “bubble boy disease” is SCID- Severe combined immunodeficiency, which became more widely known after a (fictional) character with SCID appeared in a 1992 episode of Seinfeld. Or, if you are even older than that, you might remember John Travolta’s 1976 role in The Boy in the Bubble. I’m not quite sure if either of those pop culture references are in the lexicon of today’s modern youth- the target audience for Nicola Yoon’s Everything Everything. Perhaps this book is their first exposure to the rare medical condition.

Everything Everything is the story of a girl named Maddy. She lives with her mother in an average looking house on an average block, but there is nothing normal about Maddy’s life. Maddy is severely allergic to everything, and her house is eqipped with special sensors and air filters to protect her from airborne pathogens and other things that could trigger a fatal reaction. Aside from her mother, Maddy’s only companion is her beloved nurse Carla, who has been caring for Maddy for many years. Maddy is homeschooled, and receives only occasional face-to-face visits with her tutors; most of her schooling takes place via Skype. Continue reading

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Mechanica by Betsy Cornwell

I received this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

It cannot be denied that Cinderella has been very popular lately. There was a live action film released this past spring, and I have also recently read A Curse of Ash and Iron, which is also a steampunk retelling of Cinderella. That said, I was very excited to see Mechanica’s interpretation of the classic fairy tale.

Mechanica is a young adult novel written by Betsy Cornwell. This is the story of a young woman named Nicolette who lives with her stepmother and stepsisters. She is not treated as an equal, and is forced to work as a servant in her childhood home. When she discovers the inventor’s workshop that belonged to her mother, Nicolette sees a new world full of possibilities. Continue reading

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The Secret History

I first read The Secret History twelve years ago when one of my very best friends from college sent me the book for my birthday. Since then, it has become one of the books I read over and over again. Recently, Audible had a sale featuring ten editors who picked ten books apiece. The Secret History was one of those books, and I was very excited about the opportunity to experience one of my favorite books in a new medium.

The Secret History is Donna Tartt’s first book. One could argue that it is a mystery, but what makes things interesting is that it is not really a whodunit. We know who killed Bunny- narrator Richard and his friends are responsible- but the mystery lies in why they felt that they had no choice but to kill Bunny. Continue reading

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Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll

I first heard about Luckiest Girl Alive a couple of months ago, and I requested it from the library network. Luckiest Girl Alive, the debut effort of Jessica Knoll, seems to be one of the most popular books of the summer because I waited for over a month for my copy to arrive.

As the story begins, we are introduced to Ani FaNelli, who writes sex articles for a fictional version of Cosmopolitan. She’s engaged to the handsome son of an American blueblood family, and everything should be perfect, but it’s not. Ani has a dark side to her personality that lurks so close to the surface; the possibility of her revealing her inner monologue seems like it could happen at any point. Continue reading