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The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

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I have been looking forward to The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue for several months. I had it preordered on Amazon, and I was very excited to finally read it. I read the whole book yesterday, alternating between the Kindle version and the Audible version- thank you, Whispersync for allowing me to “read” and fold laundry at the same time.

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is a YA novel written by Mackenzi Lee. Its protagonist is Henry Montague, a young 18th century aristocrat who is generally perceived to be a rake and a wastrel. As the story begins, Monty is about to embark on his Grand Tour, accompanied by his best friend Percy and his annoying younger sister Felicity. Monty is looking forward to a year of debauchery, but his hopes are dashed when he finds out that this is strictly an educational experience. Monty’s father also issues a clear warning that Monty will be cut off if he doesn’t stop cavorting with other boys. The biggest problem with this sword of Damocles is that Monty is desperately and unequivocally in love with Percy.   Continue reading

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Unicorn Crossing (Phoebe and Her Unicorn) by Dana Simpson

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

Unicorn Crossing is the fifth book in the Phoebe and her Unicorn Adventure series by Dana Simpson. My three girls- especially my oldest- are big fans of this comic, so I was very excited about the opportunity to share this with them.

Phoebe is a fairly average girl, with one notable exception: her pet unicorn Marigold. Phoebe and Marigold navigate a fairly typical American childhood with a good sense of humor. This dynamic duo experiences seasons, holidays, school, friendship, and more. A fairly small ensemble rounds out the cast: Phoebe’s parents, her friend Max, and her frenemy Dakota. There are plenty of pop culture references, with a notable geeky slant. Continue reading

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Perennials by Mandy Berman

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

Perennials is author Mandy Berman’s debut novel. I was looking forward to reading this book because I spent seven summers at sleepaway camp as both a camper and a counselor, so I could relate to the subject matter and wanted to see how this (albeit fictional) account compared to my own experiences.

Rachel lives in an apartment in the city with her single mother and Fiona lives in a big house in Westchester with her family. But when they meet at summer camp as girls, they find that they have a lot in common.   Continue reading

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The Lost History of Stars by Dave Boling

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

The Lost History of Stars is a novel by Dave Boling. I was looking forward to reading this book because it is set in South Africa, just like one of my all-time favorites- The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay. Almost immediately, I realized there was a connection between the books: in The Power of One, the English protagonist is severely bullied by Boer boys at his boarding school as punishment for the abuse their grandparents suffered in concentration camps at the hands of the English. The Lost History of Stars is an account of life in those camps as seen by a teenage girl.

Lettie is sent to a concentration camp along with her brother and mother after their farm is burned to the ground by the English. Her father, older brother, grandfather, and uncles are all conducting guerilla operations against the English. Conditions in the camp are bleak, and disease is rampant. Lettie is rather stoic about her experience, and tries to find pleasure in small moments. One of her most treasured possessions is her English dictionary, which she reads for comfort and to pass the time. Continue reading

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The Best Mistake Mystery by Sylvia McNicoll

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

The Best Mistake Mystery is a middle grade novel written by Sylvia McNicoll. Stephen Nobel doesn’t really fit in with the other kids at school, especially after his best friend moved away last year. Stephen tends to hyperfocus on his mistakes, but he takes pleasure in helping his father with the family dog walking business. Continue reading

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Love and First Sight by Josh Sundquist

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

I have not had the time to read very many YA novels lately, so I was very excited about the opportunity to read Love and First Sight by Josh Sundquist. I am not familiar with Sundquist’s work on YouTube, but YA is one of my favorite genres, and the description piqued my interest.

Will Porter is a visually impaired teenager who is fulfilling his desire to attend a regular high school instead of the school for the blind that he has attended up until now. After some awkward encounters, Will makes some new friends, including a girl named Cecily who is in several of his classes. Continue reading

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I Want That Love by Tatsuya Miyanishi

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

My girls and I have been enjoying the Tyrannosaurus books. This is a series of picture book written and illustrated by Tatsuya Miyanishi. The books are very popular in Japan, and are now being published here in the United States. They have been releasing a new Tyrannosaurus book every six months or so.

I Want That Love is the third Tyrannosaurus book that they have published. In this story, a mean Tyrannosaurus goes about terrorizing people simply because no one can stop him. He receives his comeuppance when he is an old dinosaur, and is attacked by a masiakasaurus. After that, the Tyrannosaurus is still not ready to mend his wicked ways, but then he is helped by a group of baby triceratops. Only then, does he truly learn that kindness is more important than strength and power. Continue reading