Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book by Jennifer Donnelly

Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book by Jennifer Donnelly

Lost in a Book is a clever addition to the story of Beauty and the Beast. The timeline is the same and even includes the scene of Belle and the Beast ice skating. Added to it is a bet between Love and Death and an enchanted book Death tries to cheat with. Belle’s pull toward the book as a way to live in a perfect, magical world and escape the dreariness of the Beast’s castle as well as her frustration with the Beast’s interpersonal communication are written very well. I was sad when it ended. I would have liked to get all the way to the point where the Beast turns back into a prince, but I guess it’s okay to end where it did since we all know the (Disney) ending of Beauty and the Beast. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves Belle’s story.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 65
Pages Read in 2022: 23,656
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Fairy Tale, Fantasy, Reason: We Be Book'N, Young Adult

Dry by Neal and Jarrod Shusterman

Dry by Neal and Jarrod Shusterman

Dry is alarmingly realistic. It changed narrator regularly which I thought was very effective in telling the whole story. The authors really did a good job with how people would behave if there was suddenly no water. The government response was likely pretty accurate, too. I enjoyed the book a lot and it really made me consider how important water is to our lives. I recommend this book to teens and up.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 64
Pages Read in 2022: 23,306
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Reason: Literati, Reason: We Be Book'N, Young Adult

I Killed Zoe Spanos by Kit Frick

I Killed Zoe Spanos by Kit Frick

The first about fifty pages of I Killed Zoe Spanos were slow and quite confusing. I was starting to question why I had chosen it (the description sounded great). But then it started getting good. And then it got amazing (and ended up even better than the description made it sound). It was still a little confusing, or rather crazy making. I wanted to believe from the start that Anna had lied in her confession and that she had not killed Zoe, but then she knew things she shouldn’t have known if she was innocent and blackouts weren’t uncommon for her so I kept questioning my own thinking. A lot of it was psychological and so creepy. When I read it at night I couldn’t go to sleep right away after putting it down because it had me creeped out (granted it doesn’t take much to creep me out). I found giving the background of the case mostly through podcast transcripts very enjoyable. There were some things at the end that I really never saw coming. I highly recommend this book to teens and up who enjoy psychological thrillers.

4 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 62
Pages Read in 2022: 22,559
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Reason: Literati, Reason: We Be Book'N, Thriller, Young Adult

Game Changer by Neal Shusterman

Game Changer by Neal Shusterman

The premise of Game Changer is great. The execution leaves a lot to be desired. The author seemed to want to hit every social issue and hit people over the head with it and then pound it in a whole lot to be sure they got the message. The preachiness got really annoying. When he jumped worlds to one where the Brown v Board of Education ruling went the other way, that was an interesting idea to think about. It would have been nice if more of his jumps were like that one. It was weird how some jumps built on each other and some didn’t. A few chapters before the end it seemed promising that it was going to wrap up well, but then the author decided to go big with it and it just was even more absurd than the rest of the book (and when you are talking about a book about a guy jumping around the multiverse that’s saying something). I don’t particularly recommend this book.

2 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 61
Pages Read in 2022: 22,186
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Reason: Bedtime Story for the Boys, Reason: Literati, Young Adult

How to Pack for the End of the World by Michelle Falkoff

How to Pack for the End of the World by Michelle Falkoff

How to Pack for the End of the World reads very quickly. I really enjoyed the creativity of each of the kids’ games they made up. The friendships between them are interesting and complex like any relationship in life. I thought the end was a little awkward and rushed. The author seemed to really want it all tied up in a nice bow with a very happy ending and I’m not sure that really made sense. With so much of it being like real life, I thought the ending wasn’t really believable, at least not without more explanation added. Otherwise, though, I loved it. I recommend it to anyone teens and up.

4 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 60
Pages Read in 2022: 21,800
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Reason: Literati, Reason: We Be Book'N, Young Adult

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan

Will Grayson, Will Grayson is both lighthearted and deep at the same time. Tiny is hilarious and seriously the best. Both Will Graysons go through a lot of soul searching growth and character development. The chapters alternate between the two Will Graysons. One of them is written all in lowercase with no quotation marks, a writing style I really hate. The ending is truly wonderful. I recommend this book to teens and up.

3 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 59
Pages Read in 2022: 21,490
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Reason: LitHub Bingo, Reason: We Be Book'N, Young Adult

Saints, Volume 3

Saints, Volume 3

Picking up where volume 2 left off, Saints Volume 3 covers 1893 to 1955 with several of the chapters focused on the lead up to World War II and during the war. Telling the stories of members bit by bit, more or less chronological order and jumping around the globe, works really well. I found myself becoming very invested in what happened to these people. I recommend this book to anyone interested in the human side of church history.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 58
Pages Read in 2022: 21,168
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Religious

Truth is in the Darkness by Heather Sunseri

The Truth is in the Darkness by Heather Sunseri

I couldn’t put The Truth is in the Darkness down. Unfortunately this led to me staying up way too late to finish it. The ending was totally worth the loss of sleep, though. The story just seriously sucked me in. I really liked finding out more about Coop and Lil since I’d read the first and third of the Paynes Creek Thriller series so I had been introduced to them before (not sure how I missed reading the second book before I read the third but that wasn’t an issue). I highly recommend this book to adults who enjoy romantic thrillers.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 57
Pages Read in 2022: 20,485
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Reason: I Like the Author, Reason: We Be Book'N, Thriller

If the Shoe Fits by Julie Murphy

If the Shoe Fits by Julie Murphy

If the Shoe Fits is cheesy, funny, and predictable in all the best ways. It’s set on a reality dating show set up like the Bachelor. I’ve never watched a single episode of the Bachelor, but I don’t live under a rock so I know pretty much how they go and the author really portrayed it well (including the complete absurdity and unreality of it all). The body positivity and representation is excellent and works naturally into the story. The end was exactly what I wanted it to be. The only problem I had with the book was a few editing issues that annoyed me (such as calling a flight from New York to Los Angeles transatlantic and misspelling brakes as breaks). It’s just such pleasant brain candy. I recommend it to adults who want a little mind vacation.

4 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 56
Pages Read in 2022: 20,190
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Contemporary Fiction, Reason: We Be Book'N, Romance

I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys

I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys

I have loved every book I’ve read by Ruta Sepetys. They are meticulously researched (there were several pages of sources at the end of I Must Betray You) with amazing writing. She managed to capture the paranoia of living in a society where you never knew who might be informing on you. I knew what happened in Romania in December 1989 before I read the book and as the time got closer and closer to the revolution I found myself feeling very nervous about what would happen to the characters because I cared about them very much. While the book has a happy-ish ending, it’s not tied up all nicely in a bow. The bow is kind of lopsided and not totally cute because that’s what life – and the fall of communism – is like. I very highly recommend this book to teens and up who enjoy historical fiction. Romania’s story isn’t one that’s regularly told, but it deserves to be known.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 55
Pages Read in 2022: 19,898
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Historical Fiction, Reason: Book Club, Reason: We Be Book'N, Young Adult