Tag Archive | Book reviews

Book Review : The Flood by Steven Scaffardi!

Hello!

Today I am reviewing a lad-lit comedy by Steven Scaffardi. First let me introduce the author to you:

Steven

Stand-up comedian Steven Scaffardi published his debut novel The Drought in September 2011 to fantastic praise. The Drought is Scaffardi’s foray into the world of lad-lit. Born in south London in 1978, Scaffardi is a former sports journalist who started performing stand-up comedy in January 2011. In his short spell on the stand-up circuit he finished runner-up in the Golden Jester comedy competition. 

Book Summary

The Flood

One bet, four girls, eight weeks, multiple dates. What could possibly go wrong? 

Following his traumatic eight month dry spell, Dan Hilles is back in the driving seat and ready to put his dating disasters behind him.But if only it were that simple.

After a drunken afternoon in the pub, fuelled by the confidence of alcohol, Dan makes a bet with his three best pals that will complicate his love-life more than ever when he brazenly declares that he could juggle multiple women all at the same time. With just eight weeks to prove his point, Dan is about to find out how hard it is to date a flood of women without them all finding out about each other, especially when they come in the shape of an ex-girlfriend, a stalker, the office ice queen and the one that got away.

My Review

Dan Hilles is a desperate man. Desperate because he needs to prove to his 3 best friends that he is a babe magnet while just months ago he had suffered an eight month long sexual ‘drought’. To prove that he is not a guy to be labelled as a nice guy, he simply makes a bet to juggle four girls on multiple dates in a matter of some weeks, thus bringing on ‘The Flood’!.

The consequences are hilarious and even strenuous when he comes to realize how difficult it is juggling multiple girls and having to look over his shoulder all the time. His best buddies, Rob, Ollie and Jack, manage to land him in the most outrageous situations, some which make you laugh out loud and others that make you shake your head wondering if anything as weird as this could ever happen.

The story is obviously written from a man’s perspective however there were certain inputs about what a woman might have thought in certain situations and I couldn’t agree more to it. The author has a good understanding of how a female mind works too!. Just like his last book, Steven plays with words in a nice way, my favorite one being ‘crotch-roads’ instead of crossroads. I can’t discuss the context though since I will have to go very much in detail for that.

There are some good twists throughout the story since each of the four girls (and a fifth one who isn’t part of this bet), have very interesting characters. How Dan barely manages to escape in situations where these girls just happen to come together unintentionally, is funny. The book cover illustration is very nice. More than anything else, what happens in this book are disasters whether it be related to sex or dating. The sex (limited as it is) isn’t portrayed to come across as erotic.

Once again, getting to know how a man’s mind works, is a bit shocking!. Is sleeping with a girl (or as many of them, for that matter!), the only thing that rules their minds?. Even though that’s a sinister thought, this is definitely a lad lit book that both men and women would equally enjoy reading. This book ends with a suggestion that another fun and happening book is in the works :). Good luck to the author to come up with yet another hilarious read.

The first book in this Sex, Love & Dating Disasters series is The Drought, which I have reviewed here. It so happens that The Drought is also the very first book I ever reviewed on my blog, three years ago. The second book, initially planned to be titled as The One That Got Away, was later renamed as The Flood, which is more apt I feel.

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars, which by Goodreads standards mean that ‘I really liked it’!

Links to the book

Amazon (for $0.94) ~ Goodreads

Source : I received an ebook copy of this from the author for review purposes. All opinions are 100% honest and my own.

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Book Review : Gorgon by Geoffrey Saign!

Hello,

Today I am reviewing a Middle Grade / Tween adventure book titled Gorgon by Geoffrey Saign. This is the second book in WhipEye Chronicles. More about the author:

Geoffrey

Geoffrey Saign can often be found looking for interesting critters, and magic, while swimming, snorkeling, sailing, or hiking in the woods. His passion for nature and wildlife led to his nationally endorsed book, Green Essentials: What You Need to Know About the Environment, as well as his books African Cats and Great Apes. He has a background in biology, assisted in field research with hummingbirds and humpback whales, and sailed as far away as Australia. With more than twenty years of experience working in special education, he has taught adults and children everything from sailing to novel writing. He won the Shabo Award in 2010. He lives in St. Paul, Minnesota. 

Book Summary

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Samantha and Jake have two days to save their poisoned parents, and only Gorgon—the cruel and scheming leader of Amazon Lessers—can help them. But Gorgon is planning to destroy KiraKu, and he pits Sam against Jake. Worse, Sam feels controlled by the supernatural staff, WhipEye, and Jake gains a dangerous weapon. Can their friendship survive its greatest test? Can Sam and Jake stop a war and save their parents? Mysterious creatures, dragons, and Gorgon force them into a life or death adventure that some will not survive… 

…a story about love, nature, wildlife, intuition, and trusting yourself…

My Review

The book cover is nice. It shows the villain, Gorgon and some of the dangerous dragons he has as his followers. Gorgon’s figure is quite awe inspiring especially since he has writhing tentacles on his head!.

The story begins where it left off in the first book but it’s 14 months later. It’s quite evident that Samantha and Jake, the main protagonists of this story, aren’t getting along well. The story takes a complete twist right away when a Komodo dragon, gives them a visit demanding the WhipEye from Sam, who is the guardian of it. WhipEye is the magical staff that’s very powerful and helps Sam and Jake do things such as transport themselves to other places, call for help from the Great ones of the magical world, Kiraku and much more. However, Sam doesn’t give away the staff, showing how much of a stronghold the staff has over her. This results in the Komodo poisoning Sam’s father and Jake’s mother. If they don’t get a cure for this poison in 2 days, they will die!. The ensuing plot is everything that happens in these 2 days.

This time around, there are many more characters, introduced by the author. They are quite interesting, some of them mutants and some exaggerated in size when compared to how they should be in real life. Personally Gorgon is an awesome villain. He is that guy who smiles while talking but stabs from the back when he gets a chance, which makes him all the more dangerous. He takes advantage of the rift between Sam and Jake and pits them against each other in a battle.

It’s a race against time. More about Lessers (who have left Kiraku long time ago), Great Ones and Originals are revealed this time around. Their history and the anger they have in them is all expressed well. Some characters have double characters whereby they seem friendly but have hidden agendas. All in all, it’s interesting to know the powers of each character. They can transform into humans and do much more at their own will. One of the best parts I like is the training of Sam & Jake by two dragons who can convert themselves into ninja warriors. The learning is set at the right pace and is very exciting to read. Charlie, the thousand year old parrot, introduced in the first book is still the wise cracking parrot he was before. Some of his talks are inappropriate for the situation, while at other times they are pretty funny 🙂

I like the author, Geoffrey Saign’s, imagination in creating such characters and furthering the plot after the first book. This book definitely will capture the interest of the audience that it’s meant for, that is anyone above age 10. One thing I have to say is that this is not a stand alone book. You definitely need to read book one, WhipEye, to understand everything in this book. The ending of this book leaves you wanting to know more. The next book, Drasine, is coming up in 2016!.

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars which by Goodreads standards mean I ‘really liked it’!

Links to the book

Goodreads ~ Amazon

Source: I was provided a complimentary ebook copy for review purpose. All opinions are 100% my own.

Please note that WhipEye has won three prestigious awards. They are WINNER of International Book Awards (2015), WINNER of Outstanding Children’s Fiction (2015 & Top Choice LitPick.com (2014). I am super glad to let you know that as part of my birthday giveaways, I am giving away an ebook copy of WhipEye. If interested, enter here!.

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Book Review : Simple Genius by David Baldacci!

Hey guys!

Today’s review is of Simple Genius, a suspense thriller written by one of my all time favorite authors, David Baldacci. More about the author :

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David Baldacci published his first novel, Absolute Power, in 1996. A major motion picture adaptation followed, with Clint Eastwood as its director and star. In total, David has published 28 novels, all of which have been national and international bestsellers; several have been adapted for film and television. His novels have been translated into more than 45 languages and sold in more than 80 countries; over 110 million copies are in print worldwide. David has also published four novels for children. David and his family live in Virginia. 

Book Summary

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So are most things in life worth dying for.” He glanced across the river. “Something bad is going on over there. And I need to find out what it is. And I need to stop it.” 

Sean King and Michelle Maxwell are both haunted by their last case. Reluctantly undergoing therapy, Michelle unearths disturbing secrets in the hospital…

Sean accepts a much-needed job. A physicist has died in mysterious circumstances near Babbage Town, a secret research centre full of eccentric scientists and cryptographers. Meanwhile, the dead man’s young daughter, piano-playing prodigy Viggie, has secrets of her own. But what is the significance of the phrase “codes and blood”?

Directly across the York River from Babbage Town lies the sinister CIA training ground, Camp Peary, where the physicist’s body was found. With both the FBI and CIA breathing down Sean’s neck, can he discover the truth – and in time to save Michelle from herself?

My Review

I am trying to read every David Baldacci book that’s a King and Maxwell thriller, because Sean King & Michelle Maxwell make one hell of a great detective pair. They make amazing partners who have each others backs at all times. Simple Genius is very interesting because Michelle is shown to be undergoing therapy in this book. If you have read previous King and Maxwell thrillers, you can’t help but wonder what has gotten her in this situation.

Sean, meanwhile, has landed a very intriguing case at Babbage Town which is a fictitious town inspired by real locations. The author creates a believable town that has a lot of danger and mystery surrounding it. Sean is in a pretty dangerous situation himself since he came to investigate a murder but soon finds himself a target and there is another death too.

Key characters in this book are Viggie, the daughter of the dead man whose murder Sean is investigating and Ian Whitfield, who is the head of Camp Peary, the sinister CIA training ground where the dead body was found. Viggie is in a world of her own and doesn’t speak normally to everyone. One moment she is lucid, next she is just gone, lost in her world. She is a piano playing prodigy and the notes in the songs she plays are sometimes codes with which she communicates. She even mentions “Codes and blood” couple of times and in the end the meaning of that is revealed in a clever way. Ian is so mysterious, I was really interested in the character. He is awe inspiring and formidable.

In this book, you get to know Michelle’s past. Some of her habits and even her current situation that lands her in therapy is all linked to something in her past. It’s quite shocking and an interesting side story. David Baldacci fans would yet again love this King and Maxwell partnership.

I give this book 4 out of 5, which according to Goodreads standards mean that I ‘really liked it’.

Source : I bought this book from Jashanmal Bookstore and it cost AED 30. This paperback book has 577 pages.

Book Review : The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith!

Hey guys!

I am super excited to review mystery thriller titled The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith. If you are not aware of it, Robert Galbraith is J.K.Rowling’s pseudonym. It’s her first crime novel!

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Book Summary

Cuckoos calling

A brilliant debut mystery in a classic vein: Detective Cormoran Strike investigates a supermodel’s suicide. After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Strike is down to one client, and creditors are calling. He has also just broken up with his longtime girlfriend and is living in his office.

Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: His sister, the legendary supermodel Lula Landry, known to her friends as the Cuckoo, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man.

You may think you know detectives, but you’ve never met one quite like Strike. You may think you know about the wealthy and famous, but you’ve never seen them under an investigation like this.

My Review

The book cover is absolutely beautiful!. The color combination along with the retreating figure of the protagonist, Cormoran Strike is stunning. Even before reading the summary, the book cover attracted me to it. Then once I read the summary, I knew I had to have this book..

Cormoran Strike, first of all is a ‘striking’ name. I have never heard a name like that before. He is not your typical protagonist either. Usually it’s cliché that authors create characters who are very attractive and charming. However, Cormoran is very different. He has a lot of flaws and surprisingly that’s exactly what made me like him!. He is a war veteran and has lost a leg. He walks with a limp and now being a private investigator, he is literally running out of money since he has no clients at all. Then, comes along John Bristow, requesting an investigation into the death of his famous sister, supermodel Lula Landry.

The case is such that it’s almost impossible to prove who did the crime. It is three months after the death that the brother finally decided to have someone look into it. The crime scene was no longer fresh with clues. But Cormoran has exceptional ways of looking at situations. He is so amazing. I just love him so much!. Robin Ellacott is in need of a job and it so happens that she is temporarily placed in Cormoran’s office to assist him, by an agency called Temporary Solutions. She has so much initiative and is very smart. Even though Cormoran doesn’t have the money to pay her, and Robin had initially come to the office for a period of a week, she stays on, because she loves investigating and helping Cormoran. There is a beautiful chemistry between the two but never a sexual tension, and I loved that.

Cormoran finally solves the case after a lot of investigating and much help from Robin. You will never, not even in our wildest dreams, guess who the murderer was. His methods will surely capture your attention and make you reluctant to leave the book without having finished it in one sitting, if possible!!. The book has 449 pages. I own a paperback version. This is one crime novel that you MUST not miss!. J.K Rowling yet again proves that she is an exceptional writer. I respect her even more now. The second book with Cormoran Strike in it, is ‘The Silkworm’. I plan to hopefully read it soon.

I give this book 5 out of 5 which by Goodreads standards mean that ‘it was amazing’.

I am exhilarated to also tell you guys that Cormoran Strike’s novels will be adapted for a major new television series for BBC one!. I can’t wait to see who plays the characters of Cormoran Strike and Robin..

Links to the book

Goodreads  ~ Amazon

Source : I bought The Cuckoo’s Calling from Jashanmal Bookstore. Price: AED 78. Click here to see my book haul.

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Naz ♥

Book Review : A Pair of Docks by Jennifer Ellis!

Hi there!

Today I am reviewing a Sci-fi adventure thriller book for Middle Grade/Young Adults, titled A Pair of Docks by Jennifer Ellis. More about the author:

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Jennifer Ellis lives in the mountains of British Columbia, Canada with her husband, two sons and geriatric cat. She can generally be found writing, running, spending too much time on skis, and working as an environmental researcher. She writes science fiction, fantasy, and post-apocalyptic fiction for kids and adults. You can subscribe to her blog for the latest book news and industry insights at www.jenniferellis.ca.

Book Summary

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Fourteen-year-old Abbey Sinclair likes to spend her afternoons in the physics lab learning about momentum and gravitational pull. But her practical scientific mind is put to the test when her older brother, Simon, discovers a mysterious path of stones that allows them, along with Abbey’s twin, Caleb, to travel back and forth between their world and what appears to be…the future. Unfortunately, they’re not the only ones who know about the stones, and they soon realize their lives are in danger from a man known only as Mantis.

Abbey, Caleb, and Simon must follow a twisting trail of clues that will lead them from their autistic neighbor, Mark, to a strange professor who claims to know the rules of the stones, and to multiple futures—some of whose inhabitants don’t want to stay put. It will take all of Abbey’s analytical skills to unravel the secrets of the stones, uncover the threads that tie the futures together, thwart Mantis’s plan, and, most importantly, keep her family alive—now and in the future. A Pair of Docks explores Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, the meaning of time, the potential for parallel universes, and the boundary between science and witchcraft. It is the first novel in the Derivatives of Displacement series.

My Review

The book’s cover is very attractive. It captures the nature’s beauty and at the same time seems mysterious. The different shades of green is just so gorgeous. The creeper like font used for the title follows the same natural theme as the rest of the cover. This is such a well designed cover. It’s one of my favorites of all time.

The story’s main protagonists are three siblings namely Abbey, Caleb and Simon. In the first chapter itself, the mystery begins. It pulls you in right away. There is a set of stones that the siblings come to know about, that acts as a portal between Earth and another world. First they have no idea whether it’s Earth itself or some other place that they are traveling to. Also, it seemed like they were seeing the future too!. This is a world within a world kind of feel like the movie Inception!. It is so interesting yet the author doesn’t confuse the reader.

One character in the story is Mark, the siblings’ autistic neighbor. He seems to know a lot more than he is letting on. You will never guess what a key character he is. He seems enraged/violent at times but though everyone thinks he has these episodes due to him being autistic, everything happens for a reason. He is the most interesting character in this book. There is so much suspense surrounding him. Mantis, another important character, is a formidable man. I love the twists and turns in this book. All characters have a good individual story about them and are well developed.

The suspense element is present throughout the book. The author has written an excellent and well thought about story. A Pair of Docks is a compelling read and one of the best books I have read of late. This is the first book in The Derivatives of Displacement series. The next book in this series is coming soon and I just cannot wait to see how this story develops more. Also, the Acknowledgement section, is written hilariously and is one of the best I have ever read. This is one book that you definitely need to read.

I give this book 5 out of 5 which by Goodreads standards mean ‘it was amazing’!

Links to the book

Amazon ~ Goodreads

Source: I was provided a complimentary ebook copy for review purpose. All opinions are 100% my own.

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Naz ♥

Book Review : A Different Kind of Safari by Helen C. Hipp!

Hey guys!

Today I am reviewing Children’s picture book titled, A Different Kind of Safari by Helen C. Hipp!. More about the author:

Helen

Helen Hipp’s experience raising a special needs child led her to an M.A. in clinical psychology and certification as a life coach. She began her career as a psychotherapist to help people find answers for their life problems. Her work eventually evolved into a coaching practice, WithinU Life Coaching, focusing on individuals with special needs and their families. Helen uses her 13+ years of counseling experience and 20+ years’ experience as a successful advocate for individuals with special needs by helping them reveal their innate ability to solve difficult situations. Her debut book ” A Different Kind of Safari” puts into words the essence of Helen’s teachings addressing the many questions life asks by offering up lighthearted, ever-changing perspectives that transform personal challenges into opportunities.

For more information, visit the books official website and to see a picture of the real Rosie the real life pink hippo that inspired this story, go to www.adifferentkindofsafari.com.

Book Summary

A-Different-Kind-of-Safari-by-Helen-Hipp

What do you need to feel happy about being different? Based loosely on real life experiences, this heartwarming and powerful book illustrates how self-awareness, and courage help a young boy named Raymond learn the difference between seeing things as they appear to be and seeing things as they are. Feeling “different and lonely” Raymond befriends a hippo while on Safari in Africa. Unlike other grey hippos, this hippo is pink. Ray is soon carried into a world beyond labels and challenging assumptions. You will never guess what happens next!

My Review

The book cover is interesting. The story begins with Ray sitting under a tree in Africa, while on a safari with his family, looking over at the animals. He then spots a Pink hippo who stands away from other hippos that are grey. Ray instantly relates to the loneliness in the Hippo and to his surprise the hippo, named Rosie, starts talking to him!

Safari1

Ray asks him how he deals with the fact that he is different from the other hippos. Surprisingly, Rosie is comfortable being different and she tells him how she finally came to terms with that fact. Along the way, comes along a crocodile, who is named TLC which stands for Tender Loving Crocodile!. He is old and wise and he tells a story which makes Ray understand that even if you are different from others, you can accept it, move on and be fearless. This changes his point of view of life itself and he feels immensely happy.

Safari2

This story has a powerful message that youngsters could find inspiring!. It helps you embrace your true self. At the end of the story, I felt emotional for some reason.. The story gives you hope. Kudos to the author who was able to convey such a strong message through a short story that is only about 30 pages!. I love the illustrations in it. They are simple sketches and it’s simplicity is alluring.

I give this book 5 out of 5 which by Goodreads standards mean ‘it was amazing’!

Links to the book

Amazon ~ Goodreads

Source: I was provided a complimentary ebook copy for review purpose. All opinions are 100% my own.

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Naz ♥

Book review : Isabella Babysits Baxter by Melissa Perry Moraja!

Hello!

Today I am reviewing Children’s picture book, Isabel babysits Baxter written by Melissa Perry Moraja. Let’s get to know the author a bit more:

Melissa

Melissa Perry Moraja, Award-Winning Author and Founder of Melissa Productions, Inc., is an entrepreneurial mom, a multifaceted business woman, a creative producer, and an author and illustrator of numerous modern-fantasy children’s books and self-help books. And that’s just the beginning!

Melissa also has published articles, appeared on television, been interviewed on radio, has spoken in front of hundreds of people, and held workshops at local schools, discussing creative learning, publishing and parenting. Her desire to make a difference in her four young children’s lives inspired her to leave her six-salary career at IBM in 2007 to become a full-time mom, children’s author, speaker, and consultant. Melissa spends her personal time coaching soccer and softball, painting, and coming up with fun art projects for her kids.

Book Summary

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Six year old Isabella usually is the one who has a babysitter. But when her enormous puppy named Baxter creates a mess and prevents her mom from working, Isabella’s mom asks her to babysit him. And Isabella knows exactly what to do! Or does she? First, Isabella gets Baxter dressed…TWICE! Next they have a snack, but not without a CRASH and a BANG. And that’s just the beginning. Join Isabella in her very first picture book filled with lots of humor and adventure as she tries to keep Baxter from making a bigger mess.

My review

This book is just so adorable. It has really nice illustrations. Isabella is excited at given the chance to babysit her puppy, Baxter, who is extremely playful. Then they go ahead and do fun activities together. Baxter is so naughty and there are some hilarious situations. Here is a sneak peek :

Isabel1

Isabel2

It’s really cute and a great read. Young readers would find the illustrations really attractive & interesting.

I give this book 4 out of 5 which by Goodreads means I ‘really liked it’!

Links to the book

Goodreads ~ Amazon

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Naz ♥

Source: I was provided a complimentary ebook copy for review purpose. All opinions are 100% my own.

Book Review : WhipEye by Geoffrey Saign!

Hello,

Today I am reviewing a Middle Grade/ Tween adventure book titled WhipEye by Geoffrey Saign. More about the author:

Geoffrey

Geoffrey Saign can often be found looking for interesting critters, and magic, while swimming, snorkeling, sailing, or hiking in the woods. His passion for nature and wildlife led to his nationally endorsed book, Green Essentials: What You Need to Know About the Environment, as well as his books African Cats and Great Apes. He has a background in biology, assisted in field research with hummingbirds and humpback whales, and sailed as far away as Australia. With more than twenty years of experience working in special education, he has taught adults and children everything from sailing to novel writing. He won the Shabo Award in 2010. He lives in St. Paul, Minnesota. 

Book Summary

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Can a girl grieving her mother, a boy missing his father, and a thousand-year-old wise-cracking parrot save two worlds?

Samantha and her neighbor, Jake, have no idea that Samantha’s best friend, a parrot named Charlie, is a thousand years old. Charlie is also at the center of a secret battle between magical creatures and an ancient, evil man. When Charlie asks Samantha and Jake to protect him, they are chased by monsters from both sides. To save Charlie, and two worlds, Samantha and Jake have twenty-four hours to figure out how to use the supernatural staff, WhipEye, and find the courage to confront what they fear most.

My Review

The book’s cover is very attractive!. Even before reading the summary, I wanted to read this book. The magical staff called the WhipEye has many animals carved on to it and I quite liked that idea. It’s visualized beautifully on the cover.

Samantha a.k.a Sam, the protagonist of this story, is sad over her mother’s death and finds solace in the company of a talking parrot, Charlie, in a pet store. However, one day when the parrot asks her to help break him out of the store and thus from the holds of the evil pet store owner, Magnar, Sam’s life takes a different turn. She has no idea what’s in store for her!. Jake, her neighbour, noses his way into Sam’s home and she has no choice but to let him in on this secret too. Thus Jake becomes an important part of her journey, in rescuing the parrot from Magnar.

At first, I didn’t like Jake’s character. He seemed like a nuisance, getting on Sam’s (and mine!) nerves, talking nonstop. Also, even when he knew there was danger involved in helping Charlie, he seemed completely into saving him. I could understand why Sam wanted to help, since she been friends with Charlie for over an year, but not why Jake was taking the risk for helping either Sam or Charlie. He was pumped and so invested in this escape plan. I found that part unbelievable. However, later on when risks become too much, Jake becomes impatient and even irked that he came along. I am glad the author wrote such a scene. It made the situation believable.

The fantasy world they both travel to is beautifully described. The danger that Magnar and his shadow monsters pose for these two kids is beyond wild. There is danger lurking in every page of this book. It’s interesting. However, towards the middle of the book, the constant run from the monsters became a bit repetitive. It’s like getting exhausted reading about the constant chase. So, sometimes when I put down the book, I found that I wasn’t rushing back to it!. However, in the last quarter, the author amped up the game and threw in a lot of unexpected twists that had me on edge till the very last page.

This is surely a great start since WhipEye is book 1 of WhipEye Chronicles. I don’t quite like books that end in a cliffhanger, that makes me wait until the next book comes out. This book isn’t so. The author has ended the book in a positive note, with just enough of a situation that promises an interesting sequel!. The second book is titled Gorgon and it will be out in Spring 2015!

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars which by Goodreads standards mean I ‘really liked it’!

Links to the book

Goodreads ~ Amazon

Source: I was provided a complimentary ebook copy for review purpose. All opinions are 100% my own.

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Naz ♥

Book Review : Fearless Joe Dearborne by Lisa Whitney Mitchell!

Hello!

Today I am reviewing Middle Grade/Tween book titled Fearless Joe Dearborne by Lisa Whitney Mitchell. More about the author:

Lisa Whitney Mitchell lives in Florida with her husband, two sons, and their dog. When she’s not writing, she practices law. Fearless Joe Dearborne is her first novel.

Book Summary

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Some might say he’s courageous, while others would say he’s daring, maybe even a little crazy. But when Joe Dearborne risked his life and ran into a burning building to save a puppy, the local newspaper referred to him as “fearless”—and that’s a pretty big title for a sixth-grader to live up to.

Plus, Joe already has plenty else to worry about. After other daring feats in the past, Joe promised his father he wouldn’t do anything dangerous again, and, alas, he’s just broken that promise.

But whatever trouble he expects to get into with his father, and despite the dangers he’s triumphed over in the past, nothing could prepare Joe for what he’s about to encounter when a cold, bitterness creeps into his home.

A mysterious and peculiar woman named Mrs. Chill has just been hired to care for Joe while his father is away on business. In no time, however, Joe discovers that she’s up to more than cooking and cleaning, and she has plans to destroy his family. Joe’s effort to save them results in perilous, sometimes humorous, encounters, and leads him on a journey through the threatening wilderness where he faces his greatest challenge yet.

My Review

The book cover is really nice, particularly the big, bold font used for the title. It carries the feeling of ‘fearlessness’ in it. I kind of relate it to some game I used to play when I was younger – Indiana Jones!. The devilish character in the background shown on the cover, is a coyote and I love how artistically it’s shown. The protagonist is a sixth grader, Joe Dearborne. He doesn’t have the feeling of fear in him!. That makes him do things like saving a puppy by rushing into a burning house and more. Thus he earns the name Fearless Joe Dearborne!

However, a casual comment from a fan of his, makes him doubt himself and he does something reckless just to know if he could experience fear. Unfortunately, he does and something within him changes overnight. Joe is so modest and humble. He doesn’t lap up the attention everyone gives him, instead he likes to keep to himself. He looks up to Trent Rapids, a survival expert who has traveled the world and wrote a series about his experiences. Joe happens to be in a situation whereby he takes inspiration from what he read and applies it to his situation, thus saving the day!.

There are some hilarious events in this book that are equally given importance as are the dangerous ones. The author has really thought out and written an excellent story, managing the level of danger perfectly. I didn’t expect that level of danger, but it indeed is so thrilling and exciting. I couldn’t put this book down and soon, I was flying through the pages, wanting to know more. The author has successfully woven an exciting story!

There are many important characters in the story but the most important one is Mrs. Chill, who as her name suggests, is a cold woman, with a heart of stone. She is a conniving lady, with ulterior motives, who happens to be appointed as Joe’s housekeeper. Joe soon understands that this lady is upto no good. If he doesn’t do something, there will be several deaths. Was he successful and did he emerge a hero?. You got to read the books to know more!. This book is meant for kids of age 8 and up. Joe can easily inspire young readers, make them more brave and perceptive. What an excellent read!. I cannot believe this is this author’s very first novel!

I give this book 5 out of 5, which by Goodreads standards mean that ‘it was amazing’!

Links to the book

Goodreads ~ Amazon

Source : I was provided a complimentary ebook copy for review purpose. All opinions are 100% my own.

Book Review : Frizzy The S.A.D Elf by Dorothea Jenson!

Hi!

Today I am reviewing a Children’s picture book, titled Frizzy the S.A.D Elf by Dorothea Jenson. Let’s get to know the author a bit more.

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Dorothea Jensen has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Carleton College, and a Master of Arts degree in Secondary Education from the University of New Mexico. She is the author of The Riddle of Penncroft Farm, an award-winning novel for young readers about the American Revolution. Named an International Reading Association’s Teachers’ Choice Selection soon after publication, it is read in schools throughout the United States. More recently, Riddle earned a first prize in the historical fiction category of the 2014 Purple Dragonfly Award, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt published an e-book edition in 2014, twenty-five years after its original release.Deedy recently completed A Buss From Lafayette, another historical novel for middle graders. She is now working on a new story, set in seventeenth century Massachusetts, called A Scalp on the Moon. The fifth Izzy Elf story, featuring Bizzy, is also in the works. For more information about Dorothea and her books, please visit http://izzyelves.com/ or  http://www.dorotheajensen.com/

Book Summary

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Santa’s Izzy Elves stories are not your usual picture books – older kids who enjoy playing with words and rhythmical verse will love them, too. One reason for this is that although their stories are told in verse echoing the famous 19th century poem: A VISIT FROM SAINT NICHOLAS, Santa’s Izzy Elves are definitely 21st century, with electronics galore!FRIZZY, THE S.A.D. ELF is the fourth of these poetic tales.

In this story, Frizzy, one of Santa’s Izzy Elves, styles the hair of Christmas dollies, but misses them dreadfully when Santa takes them away on Christmas Eve. (She suffers from S.A.D.: Seasonal Affection Distress.) Frizzy decides she needs to change her job so she doesn’t get so attached to the toys she works on. She starts making something completely different but soon finds that her plan isn’t going to work out exactly as she intended!

My Review

The book cover shows Frizzy the elf, sitting with some pictures of her dolls in her hand and her head hung low characteristic of being sad!. It looks apt as the title itself calls Frizzy, a sad elf.

We are introduced to Frizzy in the book, being upset that the dolls that she creates each year are taken away by Santa Claus (or S.C, as he is fondly called by all) to distribute to kids on Christmas. The problem was she was getting way too attached to her creations. She was suffering from S.A.D, which stands for Seasonal Affection Distress!. Finally she decides to try decorating things she thought she wouldn’t get attached to. But she has this need to ‘prettify’ everything and that makes her all the more sad.

What I loved the most about this book is that the entire thing is written in rhymes!. Sometimes you read rhymes and end up thinking how familiar it sounds and how cliche certain rhyming word combinations are. However, in this book, the author keeps it real fresh and it’s a delight reading it. Also, the elves are so high tech!. They upload photos of the toys they make and children have the option to add it to their wishlist. What a novel idea!.

Frizzy’s friends are all nice and supportive. S.C is so laid back and understanding. He solves Frizzy’s S.A.D syndrome and makes her happy. This is a very cute book that will capture the attention of little readers and make them fall in love with the rhymes. Every now and then there are some very beautiful illustrations by talented Shayne Hood, in the book.

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I give this adorable book 5 out of 5 which by Goodreads standards mean ‘it was amazing!’.

Links to the book

Goodreads ~ Amazon

Source : I was provided a complimentary ebook copy for review purpose. All opinions are 100% my own.

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