Category Archives: Reason: Literati

Cut Off by Adrianne Finlay

Cut Off by Adrianne Finlay

The beginning of Cut Off seemed pretty straightforward. A survival reality show with a bunch of kids competing for the top prize. And then it all went insane and went every which way. It was sort of sci-fi and sort of horror (though not terribly scary horror). There are parallel dimensions and creating a timeline out of your mind and being able to choose the one where you end up. My 13 and 15 year old sons (who both liked the book more than I did) thought it explained the multiverse much better than anything else they have encountered. The best chapter in the entire book jumps between snapshots of what’s happening in various parallel universes as they are trying to find the right one. I recommend this book to teens and up, particularly those who like sci-fi and especially parallel dimensions.

3 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 48
Pages Read in 2022: 17,554
Graphic Novels: 1

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

A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

While overall enjoyable, sometimes A Study in Charlotte seemed to try too hard to copy the original Holmes and Watson. It often dragged. Solving who did it was very interesting and I had actually eliminated that person as a suspect a while before it became clear that was likely who it was. I liked that the epilogue was written from Charlotte’s point of view. I recommend it to teens and up who like the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.

3 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 46
Pages Read in 2022: 16,806
Graphic Novels: 1

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

Five Total Strangers by Natalie D. Richards

Five Total Strangers by Natalie D. Richards

I spent pretty much all of Five Total Strangers totally stressed. It’s clear something is not right in that car and someone might be actively trying to prevent them from getting home. Everyone is suspicious in some way. And the letters scattered throughout the book are so incredibly creepy (as is the man in the yellow cap). They are such an example of someone getting in their head that a simple interaction meant something more and different than it actually did, leading to stalking and finally an “if I can’t have you nobody will” mentality. And as the reader you know that person has been in the car the whole time. I was pretty sure who wrote those letters relatively early on, but I second guessed my theory so many times. The way the author wrote the tension, increasing it as the group got more tired and suspicious of each other was incredibly well done. I very highly recommend this book to teens and up.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 45
Pages Read in 2022: 16,485
Graphic Novels: 1

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

Let Me Hear a Rhyme by Tiffany D. Jackson

Let Me Hear a Rhyme by Tiffany D. Jackson

The first about 50 pages of Let Me Hear a Rhyme were very slow, introducing characters and explaining background. Once it got past that point, it picked up quite a bit. The chapters are told from three alternating viewpoints plus some inserted chapters that explain some things that happened before. Two of the main characters are hiding things, including from the reader, that are necessary to understand completely what happened to their friend and brother. There is quite a bit of slang, some defined at the end, some not, and also some language some may find offensive. The book has a really nice rhythm. I recommend it to teens and up, especially those who enjoy hip hop and rap.

4 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 44
Pages Read in 2022: 16,184
Graphic Novels: 1

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

One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus

One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus

Right from the first page One of Us is Lying sucked me in. I think I ended up suspecting every single character, including the police and the science teacher, at some point. I did guess correctly who the culprit was at one point and occasionally circled back to that theory, but then when you think it was everyone at some point of course you’ll be right at least once. I was so absorbed in the story that I had a doctor’s appointment and was reading it in the waiting room and was at a tense point near where everything was revealed when I was called back and for the first time in my life my blood pressure was high (the doctor took it again a few minutes later and it was back to normal). The narrator rotates between the four main characters and I never knew if they were being honest or not or whether I could trust them. The character development, particularly of Addy, was extremely well written. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys young adults books.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 43
Pages Read in 2022: 15,804
Graphic Novels: 1

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

In a Dark Land by Christina Soontornvat

In a Dark Land by Christina Soontornvat

In a Dark Land is the second Changelings book, picking up several months after the first one ends. It’s a fun, action-packed adventure. You get to see more very imaginative places and creatures of Fairy and get to know some of the other Changelings as well. Izzy’s very interesting origin story is also revealed. I very much enjoyed this book. I highly recommend it to people of all ages. It would make an excellent family read aloud!

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 34
Pages Read in 2022: 12,166
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Fantasy, Middle Grades, Reason: Literati, Reason: We Be Book'N

Long Way Down (Graphic Novel) by Jason Reynolds and Illustrated by Danica Novgorodoff

Long Way Down (Graphic Novel) by Jason Reynolds and illustrated by Danica Novgorodoff

Long Way Down is one of those books that just sticks with you. The very end, the bottom of the very last page, was just a gut punch. After I finished reading it I just sat and thought about the meaning of the whole thing. The illustrations are really well done. I recommend this book to everyone, teens and up.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 18
Pages Read in 2022: 6475
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Graphic Novel, Reason: Literati, Reason: We Be Book'N

The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

The Inheritance Games is one amazing book. I had so many questions as I was reading that I could barely put it down wanting to figure things out and the chapters being so short made it way too easy to read “just one more chapter.” There were so many twists and turns and intersecting storylines that I was honestly surprised when they were all (for the most part) completely wrapped up by the end. As I watched the number of pages I had left to read get lower and lower I really had my doubts that the puzzles would be figured out before the end. One thing I was very hopeful for, but doubted would turn out to be true, ended up exactly how I hoped so that was pretty awesome. I felt like The Inheritance Games was a more grown up version of one of my favorite childhood books, The Westing Game. I was absolutely delighted to discover there is a second book in the series and, of course, I immediately bought it. I recommend this book to teens and adults who enjoy a good puzzle and a mystery and thriller all rolled into one.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2021: 60
Pages Read in 2021: 18,649

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

I Have a Bad Feeling About This by Jeff Strand

I Have a Bad Feeling About This by Jeff Strand

Silly. Hilarious. Random. Enjoyable. Witty. Sarcastic. Quirky. Entertaining. Lighthearted. Comical. All words that describe I Have a Bad Feeling About This. I literally laughed out loud several times reading it. The premise is great, four kind of wimpy boys (plus one a little less wimpy) spending two weeks at survival camp complete with a Hunger Games-style finale. Add in some gangsters trying to collect a debt and a movie based on camp events and you’ve got an excellent book sure to entertain you for a few hours. Two of my teenage sons decided they just had to read it after I found it so funny. I highly recommend it to teens and adults who enjoy a good pun.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2021: 59
Pages Read in 2021: 18,273

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