Tag Archives: 5 Stars

Ban This Book by Alan Gratz

Ban This Book by Alan Gratz

Ban This Book is an excellent way to help middle grade kids understand why so many right now are trying to get books some deem inappropriate removed from schools and why that’s a bad thing. The point that it’s okay for parents to say you, their child, cannot read a book, but it’s not okay for someone to say no one’s child can read it is very clearly made. It also teaches kids to speak up to people who can change something if it doesn’t seem right. The kids in the book are all likable and even the “villain” (the woman leading the charge of banning books from the school library) is portrayed as a very good, nice person. I very highly recommend this book to kids who may be confused by why their favorite books are being questioned or removed and also to parents. It’s a great book for spawning a discussion with your late elementary/early middle school age children about book banning.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 84
Pages Read in 2022: 29,840
Graphic Novels: 2

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Filed under Middle Grades, Reason: Grim Readers

The Cousins by Karen M. McManus

The Cousins by Karen M. McManus

As is typical with books by Karen McManus, The Cousins was filled with twists and turns and so many things I did not expect. My daughter read the book just before I did and she happened to be sitting next to me when I got to one of the big shockers and my mouth dropped open and my eyes got huge and she knew exactly what I had just read. All three points of view it alternates between have their own voice and are easily identifiable as Milly, Aubrey, or Jonah. Every question (except maybe one) was somehow answered satisfactorily by the end. This is a truly excellent book. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys young adult mysteries, especially if you like to be surprised.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 81
Pages Read in 2022: 29,204
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Mystery, Realistic Fiction, Reason: Buddy Read, Reason: I Like the Author, Reason: Recommended by a Friend, Young Adult

The Final Gambit by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

The Final Gambit by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

I preordered The Final Gambit ten months before it was published. It was worth every month of that wait! The book is full of surprise twists and puzzles to solve. The light romance is nice, too. By the end of this book all the questions have been answered and the ends are tied up, for now at least. I was very sad that my time with Avery and the Hawthorne brothers had come to an end, but it was a very satisfying end so that made it okay. I very highly recommend this book to everyone, but you have to read the first two Inheritance Games books first.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 80
Pages Read in 2022: 28,874
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Mystery, Realistic Fiction, Reason: Grim Readers, Reason: I Like the Series, Young Adult

A Limited Run by Karen McQuestion

A Limited Run by Karen McQuestion

I enjoyed A Limited Run so much. Lately there have been so many reunion shows and look back podcasts for old shows. This book takes that idea and goes even further by having the original cast, twenty years older, live in character (including now-adults pretending to be teens) in a recreation of their show’s setting for ten days. They are given limited directions each day, but have no idea what their castmates have been told to do. The characters are well developed and I found that I really cared what happened to them and even felt outrage at the unfairness and gaslighting one went through. I suspected some things before they were revealed, but totally missed others. One character had me totally puzzled by her actions and wanting to know what her motivation was and where her knowledge came from is largely what made the book hard to put down. I very highly recommend this book to people who enjoy those reunions shows and podcasts. It’s a very fun read!

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 78
Pages Read in 2022: 28,229
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Contemporary Fiction, Reason: Asked by the Author, Reason: I Like the Author

The Opposite of Butterfly Hunting by Evanna Lynch

The Opposite of Butterfly Hunting by Evanna Lynch

Before Evanna Lynch became Luna Lovegood, she battled anorexia. This book is mostly about that battle. It’s also about Harry Potter and her life since then, but it always comes back to anorexia. It’s a thing she battles all the time on her path to accepting her body. The writing is engaging and puts you right into what was happening and how she was feeling. This is an extremely honest memoir. I’ve read many that paint themselves in the most positive light possible. Evanna doesn’t even try to do that (and, ultimately, I think she doesn’t give herself enough credit, but such is the way when you are your own worst bully). I quite enjoyed it and recommend it to adults who are Harry Potter fans and maybe those who have battled anorexia themselves with a huge trigger warning to be sure they have completely prepared themselves before reading it.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 74
Pages Read in 2022: 26,880
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Memoir, Reason: We Be Book'N

Regretting You by Colleen Hoover

Regretting You by Colleen Hoover

Regretting You is an emotional roller coaster that sucks you in and squeezes your heart as the characters deal with grief and betrayal. It is predictable in all the perfectly predictable ways with the ending you hope for the whole time. It reads fast and is hard to put down. It alternates between the points of view of the mom and the teenage daughter which results in very effectively reminding people that communicating with those you love is the most important thing. I highly recommend it to adults who enjoy romances and having their hearts put into a blender.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 72
Pages Read in 2022: 26,084
Graphic Novels: 1

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

Lottie’s Courage: A Contraband Slave’s Story by Phyllis Hall Haislip

Lottie’s Courage: A Contraband Slave’s Story by Phyllis Hall Haislip

During the Civil War, if slaves made it to Fortress Monroe, they were declared contraband of war and so were considered free and protected by the Union soldiers. Lottie’s Courage is a gentle story showing what life was like in Grand Contraband Camp through the eyes of a young girl. It’s a quick read, and is historical fiction done right. I very highly recommend it to children and adults who enjoy historical fiction.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 71
Pages Read in 2022: 25,719
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Historical Fiction, Middle Grades, Reason: We Be Book'N

From a Distant Star by Karen McQuestion

From a Distant Star by Karen McQuestion

From a Distant Star is an incredibly sweet book. I was sucked totally into the story and completely invested in what happened to the characters. I couldn’t put it down telling myself “just one more chapter” repeatedly. The ending is absolutely perfect. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys light scifi.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 70
Pages Read in 2022: 25,511
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Reason: I Like the Author, Reason: LitHub Bingo, Reason: We Be Book'N, Science Fiction, Young Adult

Things We Do in the Dark by Jennifer Hillier

Things We Do in the Dark by Jennifer Hillier

After a certain point I could not put Things We Do in the Dark down! It totally sucked me in. Rarely have I cared so much about what happens to characters that I hope things for them after the end of the book as if they were actual people. I was a bit confused when I got to part two and suddenly it was talking about totally different people, but of course all the storylines eventually converged and it all made sense. There were a couple things I expected and a couple things that were a complete surprise. I gasped right out loud a time or two while reading when things happened. The way the author wrote the feelings of the young teen in foster care toward her mother was super authentic. The ending was absolutely perfect. I highly recommend this book to adults who enjoy thrillers.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 68
Pages Read in 2022: 24,871
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Reason: Book of the Month, Reason: We Be Book'N, Thriller

Set Fire to the Gods by Sara Raasch and Kristen Simmons

Set Fire to the Gods by Sara Raasch and Kristen Simmons

Set Fire to the Gods is a pretty exciting book. The way gladiators from ancient Rome and element bending were blended was quite interesting. The characters were well-written and made you care about them and what happened to them. I recommend this book to teens and up, particularly those who like gladiators or Avatar: The Last Airbender.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 67
Pages Read in 2022: 24,529
Graphic Novels: 1

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