A Duke in the Night by Kelly Bowen

51xihuecmal

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.

Advertisements

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

51mr3vjuail-_sy346_

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

51zmfkjyaal

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

51zktkzn82bl-_sy437_bo1204203200_

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

51s3q4fwdpl-_sx328_bo1204203200_

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

51ntiinzffl-_sx324_bo1204203200_

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

The Best Mistake Mystery by Sylvia McNicoll

61vmu4x2b2hl

 

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. Read more

Sherlock Sam and the Sinister Letters in Bras Basah by A.J. Low

51lpilngswl

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

Sherlock Sam and the Sinister Letters in Bras Basah is the third book in A.J. Low’s Sherlock Sam series. Sherlock Sam is a young boy who lives in Singapore and solves mysteries with his friends and robot sidekick. In this book, Sam and his friends participate in an exchange program and spend a week attending an international school. This coincides with Sam being tasked with finding out who is sending threatening letters to an author via his son who attends the international school.  Of course, the island is in the middle of a chain mail letter game, so it seems almost impossible to figure out who is sending the threatening letters! Read more

Ramona and Her Mother by Beverly Cleary

51zbdqmlvol

I’m so happy that my girls enjoy reading as much as I do. We try to read together every night, and we also listen to a lot of audiobooks in the car. We’ve read several of Beverly Cleary’s Ramona books, so when the girls asked if we could listen to a story, I put on Ramona and Her Mother.

Ramona and Her Mother is the fifth book in the Ramona series, and it takes place immediately after the events of Ramona and Her Father. Some of the other books in the series jump forward to the next school year, but Ramona and Her Father ends with a Christmas pageant and Ramona and Her Mother begins with a New Year’s Day brunch.

In this book, Ramona struggles to find her place within her family. She has some moments of introspection when little Willa Jean acts like a pest, and Ramona is indignant when people compare Willa Jean to her. Ramona has always appreciated being the baby of the family, but now feels left out when she sees her sister Beezus helping their mother with chores. Read more

Big Nate: What’s a Little Noogie Between Friends? by Lincoln Peirce

51se0cn2c4l

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

My oldest daughter is almost ten years old, and she loves Big Nate comics. Needless to say, she was very excited about being able to read What’s a Little Noogie Between Friends?

Nate is a fairly typical middle school boy. He goes to school, plays sports, and spends time with his friends. He has a reputation as a slacker, and this forms the basis for most of the jokes in the book. Peirce does not present an idealized version of school life; Nate makes mistakes and is sometimes the punchline rather than the one doling out the jokes. Nate is a very real character, and that’s what makes him so fun to read about.       Read more