My Bare Naked Heart by David Avery

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My Bare Naked Heart is a novel written by David Avery. I found it on Kindle Unlimited, and since I’ve been reading a lot of historical m/m lately, it seemed like the sort of book that I would enjoy.

John Branson is starting college at an all-male college in Vermont. He quickly falls in with the other young men in his dormitory, and this causes him to question his sexuality even more than he already has been. However, it is the 1950s, so coming out is absolutely impossible. Read more

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Big Nate: Silent but Deadly by Lincoln Peirce

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Big Nate: Silent but Deadly was written by Lincoln Peirce. I was very excited about the opportunity to read this book because my oldest daughter is a big fan of the Big Nate comic strip and I knew that she would be interested in reading it too.

Nate is an average American boy who goes to elementary school. He has somewhat of a contentious relationship with teachers and administrators, and he has friends and adversaries within the school community. He’s a bright boy, but he doesn’t like to do schoolwork, which is something most children can empathize with. He plays sports, and interacts with his family. Read more

Unicorn of Many Hats by Dana Simpson

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Unicorn of Many Hats is the seventh book in Dana Simpson’s Phoebe and her Unicorn series of comics. I was very excited to read this book and share it with my oldest daughter because she loves this series.

The premise is fairly simple: Phoebe is an elementary school student, and her best friend is a unicorn named Marigold Heavenly Nostrils. Marigold is mostly invisible, but she does have some interactions with the other characters.

Unicorn of Many Hats tends to follow a similar setup to the other books, wherein the good part of a year is covered, without the characters really aging from one book to another. There are story arcs devoted to starting school, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Many of the familiar secondary characters have returned, including frenemy Dakota, Max, Phoebe’s geeky parents, and even the goblins make an appearance. Read more

I’m Not Your Sweet Babboo by Charles Schulz

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I’m Not Your Sweet Babboo is a collection of Peanuts cartoons by the late Charles Schulz. I was very excited about the opportunity to read this book because my oldest daughter is a big fan of Peanuts. Needless to say, she was very excited when I told her that I had a Peanuts book for her to read!

Fans of Peanuts will know that “sweet babboo” was a term of endearment that Sally Brown used with her beloved Linus. Interestingly enough, while there was a storyline involving Sally and Linus going to a farm on a school, most of the collection focuses on other storylines. We are treated to Snoopy’s feud with the cat next door, Peppermint Patty’s school troubles, Charlie Brown running away, and Snoopy playing tennis with Molly Volley.

These storylines are unrelated, but the compilers of this collection did a good job with the segues, so nothing seems out-of-place with the transitions. There’s a nice flow. Read more

A Duke in the Night by Kelly Bowen

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A Duke in the Night was written by Kelly Bowen. This is the first book in her new Regency-era The Devils of Dover series. I was very excited about the opportunity to read this book because I’ve heard a lot of buzz about Bowen in my book group.

Clara first encountered August during an incident in which he was dared to ask her to dance at a ball. Ten years later, they meet again when August’s sister enrolls at Clara’s school for young ladies.

August arrives at the school with a flimsy excuse as to why he needs to be there. Clara has moved on with her life, and she is very happy with the way her life has tuned out, but his return stirs up old memories, and she doesn’t know if she can trust him. She is skeptical about his reasons for remaining at the school, as well as his attempts to spend time with her.

August does have an ulterior motive, but as he spends time there, not only does he begin to see Clara in a new light, but he also sees that his sister is no longer a little girl who needs to be protected. There were some allusions to his backstory; I don’t want to give too much away, so I’ll just say that he didn’t inherit his title in the conventional way. I found myself wanting to know more about his earlier years; they certainly shaped his current personality, but I want to know everything!

The story is bolstered by some really great secondary characters. I especially enjoyed the two elderly sisters who share the manor house with the school. I hope that I am just as spry when I am that age! I should also add that the villain of the piece was fairly easy to spot, but he had some really great mustache-twirling moments!

I would absolutely recommend A Duke in the Night. Clara and August have such good chemistry. They are also both fascinating in their own rights- their personalities are both very different than the usual archetypes found in the genre. Some might find the conventions to be too modern for the era, but I loved Clara’s commitment to instilling a sense of independence and self-affirmation in her students. And August’s reaction to these unconventional ways was just as fun! I am looking forward to catching up on Bowen’s earlier books, as well as looking forward to the next book in the series!

 

 

 

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

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

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Turtles All the Way Down is a young adult novel written by John Green. I haven’t had very many YA titles in my reading queue lately, but I’ve enjoyed Green’s books in the past, and so I took the opportunity to check this one out of the library.

Aza seems like a fairly typical teenage girl, but she struggles with anxiety, which is exacerbated by thoughts of germs and becoming sick (specifically with c diff). Her routine is thrown into disarray when Russell Pickett, a local billionaire disappears and a $100k reward is offered for any information that leads to his whereabouts.

Aza, goaded by her best friend, reluctantly takes up the search. She happens to know Pickett’s son Davis because they attended a grief camp together, and her sleuthing leads to a reconnection with her old friend. Everything seems to be going well for Aza, but her negative thoughts become more persistent, and she can’t stop thinking about getting sick, and starts exploring extreme measures in her quest to avoid illness. Read more

One of Us Is Lying by Karen M McManus

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One of Us Is Lying is a young adult novel written by Karen M. McManus. I found it on the new release shelf at my town library.

Five teens walk into detention: Bronwyn is an academic overachiever, Addy is a pretty girl, Nate is a drug dealer, Cooper is a baseball star, and Simon is brooding and aloof. They are all there because they were caught with cell phones during class. There’s just one problem- the phones aren’t actually theirs and none of them have any idea what the phones are doing in their bags. They are a rather eclectic group, and don’t necessarily run in the same social circles. Being in detention for a something they didn’t actually do is the least of their concerns because by the end of detention, one of the five is dead. Read more

Here Comes Teacher Cat by Deborah Underwood

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I preordered this book back in March, so it was very exciting when the Amazon delivery van pulled up in front of my house. My three girls wanted to read this book immediately, and I was happy to oblige.

Here Comes Teacher Cat is the fifth picture book in the Cat series. These delightful books were written by Deborah Underwood and illustrated by Claudia Rueda. If you aren’t familiar with Cat, you should know that the books follow a similar format. The narrator addresses Cat directly, and Cat responds by holding up signs that express his feelings. Cat is a bit of a curmudgeon and he can be selfish at times, but he has a good heart.

As the title suggests, Cat spends this book working as a substitute teacher for a class of little kittens. At first, he seems intimidated by the job, but he quickly realizes how much fun he can have and the students seem to appreciate his “improvements” to music, building blocks, and art. But can they clean up their mess before Ms. Melba returns? Read more

The Force Oversleeps (Star Wars: Jedi Academy) by Jarrett J. Krosoczka

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I purchased The Force Oversleeps for the girls because they have enjoyed the previous books in this series. This is the fifth book in Jarrett J. Krosoczka’s Jedi Academy series.

This book is about a boy named Victor who is starting his second year at Jedi Academy. He’s hoping to get the lead role in the school play, but it doesn’t work out. That’s not even the worst thing though- everyone thinks that Victor’s big sister is going to the dark side! Read more

Gormless Gods and Hapless Heroes: Tim Baker and the Ancient Curse by Stella Tarakson

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

Gormless Gods and Hapless Heroes: Tim Baker and the Ancient Curse is a middle grade novel written by Stella Tarakson and illustrated by Nick Roberts.

Tim Baker is a fairly typical elementary school boy, but some of the kids at school tease him by calling him Cinderella because he has to clean his house after school to help his widowed mother. One day, while cleaning up, Tim knocks over an ancient vase- releasing Hercules into the living room. Yes, that Hercules! Read more