Note about my Reviews

Dear Authors: The reviews in this blog are only personal opinions. I have absolutely no background in literature, writing or reviewing. I am a Librarian (actually a Library Technician for those who care OR know the difference) with a love for a good story. The opinions in the reviews are ONLY my OPINIONS. I am not commenting on the writers ability since well -- I am not a writer and never will be. If you are the author of any of the books reviewed here, my opinion is just that and not a judgment against you!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Triangles by Ellen Hopkins

by Ellen Hopkins
Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 978-1-4516-2633-9
Buy From Indigo

Description: In this emotionally powerful novel, three women face the age-old midlife question: If I’m halfway to death, is this all I’ve got to show for it? Holly, filled with regret for being a stay-at-home mom, sheds sixty pounds and loses herself in the world of extramarital sex. Andrea, a single mom and avowed celibate, watches her friend Holly’s meltdown with a mixture of concern and contempt. Holly is throwing away what Andrea has spent her whole life searching for—a committed relationship with a decent guy. So what if Andrea picks up Holly’s castaway husband? Then there’s Marissa. She has more than her fair share of challenges—a gay teenage son, a terminally ill daughter, and a husband who buries himself in his work rather than face the facts. As one woman’s marriage unravels, another one’s rekindles. As one woman’s family comes apart at the seams, another’s is reconfigured into something bigger and better. In this story of connections and disconnections, one woman’s up is another one’s down, and all three of them will learn the meaning of friendship, betrayal, and forgiveness before it is through.

The Good Stuff
  • No holds barred, dark, truthful, raw and honest
  • Writing style is unique
  • Some nice dark honest humour thrown in 
  • A lot of truths about parenting, being a women and marriage
  • All of the children characters are interesting,would have liked more about them - I love Shane
  • Heartbreakingly beautiful at times
  • Even-though it isn't my usual fiction and a little too sad and uncomfortable,  I just couldn't put it down. Hopkins grabs you with her understanding of relationships and makes all of the characters oh so very real
  • Fantastic character development
  • Poetically written (mostly in a good way -- we all know that poetry isn't my thing)
  • Very emotional (I'm talking rip your heart out stuff) - you will need Kleenex near the end
  • Fascinating to read all of the various observations about the same events from each of the friends
The Not So Good Stuff (MAJOR SPOILER AT END)
  • Its a real downer at times and extremely uncomfortable to read - this is not a feel good book
  • Sick terminally ill children make me cry and feel sick, I have a hard time with this
  • Does not put a hopeful spin on marriage and way too many uncomfortable truths about marriage and friendship - I need something a little more hopeful (This has nothing to do with the exceptional talents of the author)
  • SPOILER - The little girl dies and it is very raw and honest
Favorite Quotes/Passages

"Shane was born perfectly fine, despite the same genetic pairing. One in four. That's what their odds were. God gave Shelby SMA. Shane just got "gay".

"She's penned her fair share of the spicy stuff. My expression must say more than I want it to because everyone laughs and Betty says, What? I may be old, but my memory is still good. And my husband isn't quite dead yet."

"Oh, and I got a makeover -new cosmetics to enhance my natural "beauty." What a joke. But hey, the just-barely-out-of-high-school department store "expert" managed to sell this "in need of advice" middle-aged  hag three hundred plus dollars' worth of lotions and creams, which do make my skin feel plumped and moisturized."

Who Should/Shouldn't Read
  • Good for adult reluctant reader
  • Perfect book for a book club discussion
  • Not for those who like something light and fluffy - that being said I am definitely reading something light and fluffy next cuz this was INTENSE
3.75 Dewey's (Based on my enjoyment not on talents of writer)

I received this from Simon and Schuster on behalf of the Bookalicious Twitter Book Club

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Awakening by Kelley Armstrong: Mini Book Review

The Awakening (Darkest Powers #2)
by Kelley Armstrong
Doubleday Canada (Random House)
ISBN: 978-0-385-66759-3
Suggested Ages: 12+ (Mild Violence)
Buy From Indigo

Description: If you had met me a few weeks ago, you probably would have described me as an average teenage girl—someone normal. Now my life has changed forever and I'm as far away from normal as it gets. A living science experiment—not only can I see ghosts, but I was genetically altered by a sinister organization called the Edison Group. What does that mean? For starters, I'm a teenage necromancer whose powers are out of control; I raise the dead without even trying. Trust me, that is not a power you want to have. Ever.
Now I'm running for my life with three of my supernatural friends—a charming sorcerer, a cynical werewolf, and a disgruntled witch—and we have to find someone who can help us before the Edison Group finds us first. Or die trying

Mini Book Review: Once again Kelley has me hooked from the very first page to the very last sentence and leaves me excited about reading the next book in the series.  Non stop action, intriguing and well developed characters & some dark humour this time which was a nice added bonus.  Some questions answered but even more left to figure out. Kelley is truly a natural born storyteller. Liked the addition of a couple of adult characters that were not total douche-bags.   A pretty good transitional second book, often the 2nd book is a bit dull, but not this one.  Will be cracking open the next book as soon as I get home tonight -- didn't bring it with me to work today because I knew I would be too tempted to read it instead of getting work done.  Nice to see the development of the secondary characters with some back story.  Also found myself liking Chloe more and love the dialogue between her and Tori.

4.5 Dewey's

I borrowed this from Helen

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong: Mini Book Review

The Summoning (Darkest Powers #1)
by Kelley Armstrong
Doubleday Canada (Random House)
ISBN: 978-0-385-66534-6
Suggested Ages: 12+ (Mild violence and sexuality)
Buy From Indigo

Description: After years of frequent moves following her mother’s death, Chloe Saunders’ life is finally settling down. She is attending art school, pursuing her dreams of becoming a director, making friends, meeting boys. Her biggest concern is that she’s not developing as fast as her friends are. But when puberty does hit, it brings more than hormone surges. Chloe starts seeing ghosts–everywhere, demanding her attention. After she suffers a breakdown, her devoted aunt Lauren gets her into a highly recommended group home.

At first, Lyle House seems a pretty okay place, except for Chloe’s small problem of fearing she might be facing a lifetime of mental illness. But as she gradually gets to know the other kids at the home–charming Simon and his ominous, unsmiling brother Derek, obnoxious Tori, and Rae, who has a “thing” for fire–Chloe begins to realize that there is something that binds them all together, and it isn’t your usual “problem kid” behaviour. And together they discover that Lyle House is not your usual group home either…

Mini Book Review: Every-time I open up one of Kelley's books I stand in awe of her brilliant storytelling ability. She is truly gifted, once you start reading, you do not want to put down.  Even if you don't like the characters (One of her short stories, I hated the heroine, but the story was so good had to finish) you will still be enthralled by her tale.  This story is no exception!  Chloe irritated me at times, but as the story progressed I found myself feeling for her.  Obviously Kelley is gifted at character development as well.  The story is extremely fast paced and intriguing. I was hooked from the first paragraph and the cliffhanger ending left me wanting more -- thank goodness Helen lent me next book in series because I cracked it open right away. I like her secondary characters and look forward to the deepening of their back stories in future books.  Great beginning to the series and I look forward to reading the next one (Ok I am already 3/4 through the Awakening and I don't want to put it down either)  Highly recommend especially if you have never read Kelley before.  My only complaint (and we have all heard it before for ALL of my YA book review) is 99% of the adults are incompetent jerks!

4.5 Dewey's

I bought this at Forster's Book Garden in Bolton at Kelley Armstrong signing

Mom and Me Mondays: Picture Book Edition

I am seriously behind in my Picture Book Challenge, so Jake and I decided to do some quick reviews or some of her favorites.

The Butter Battle Book
by Dr Seuss
Random House
ISBN: 0-394-86580-4
Buy From Indigo

Description: The Butter Battle Book tells the story of a land where two hostile cultures, the Yooks and the Zooks, live on opposite sides of a long curving wall, fairly similar to the Berlin Wall. The Yooks wear blue clothes; the Zooks wear orange. The main dispute between the two cultures is that the Yooks, who live on one side of the wall, eat their bread with the butter-side up, while the Zooks, who live on the other side, eat their bread with the butter-side down. The conflict between the two sides leads to an arms race, each competing to make bigger and better weapons to outdo the other, which results in the threat of mutual assured destruction. (Loved this simple description from Wikipedia)

Mom's Review: Absolutely brilliant book about diversity, acceptance and the stupidity of war that is just as relevant today as when it was written in 1984 (although obviously written years earlier). Done with Seuss' usual delightful artwork and wonderful rhyme, it is one of those stories that will stand the tests of time.  This is one of my favorite books of all time ever since it was introduced to me by my professor for the Children's Literature course I took in college. I am still amazed that this book has been challenged or banned from various libraries since it was originally published.  I think they miss the whole point of what Seuss was trying to get across -- but than again anyone who bans book aren't exactly working with a full deck. (Jake: Doesn't that mean you are prejudiced against book burners Mom: Smart ass!)
Mom's Rating: 10/10

Jake's Review:
Jake: So mom these people are fighting over the way they butter their bread, isn't that kind of stupid.
Mom: You remember how we talked about Russia and the Cold War
Jake: Ohhh, I get it he's talking about the Russians and the Americans and he is teaching me a moral lesson that fighting over being different is kinda dumb -- mom Seuss is kinda like you eh?
Mom: Dude that is the nicest thing you have ever said - come give me a hug
Jake: Dad, mom's getting all girly again - make her stop
Mom: Now I am going to teach you another term - misogynistic pig

Jake: The book is pretty good with fun pictures and I like the way he rhymes everything.  I can see why mom likes it, Dr Seuss is one cool dude. It is kinda depressing and I didn't like that at the end you don't know find out if they did blow each other up.
Jake's Rating: 9/10 

Harold and the Purple Crayon
by Crockett Johnson
Scholastic Edition
ISBN: 0-439-13253-3
Buy From Indigo

Description: One night, after thinking it over for some time, Harold decided to go for a walk in the moonlight." So begins this gentle story that shows just how far your imagination can take you. Armed only with an over-sized purple crayon, young Harold draws himself a landscape full of beauty and excitement. But this is no hare-brained, impulsive flight of fantasy. Cherubic, round-headed Harold conducts his adventure with the utmost prudence, letting his imagination run free, but keeping his wits about him all the while. He takes the necessary purple-crayon precautions: drawing landmarks to ensure he won't get lost; sketching a boat when he finds himself in deep water; and creating a purple pie picnic when he feels the first pangs of hunger

Mom's Rating: Loved this one as a kid, and after reading it again, I still adore it.  It's just a lovely little story about the simple joy of your imagination and where it can take you.  This is one that I recommend all parents to get a copy of and read it over and over to their kids.
Mom's Rating: 10/10

Jake's Review:  Mom used to read this to me when I was little and it was cute. It's a little boring for me now and the pictures are way too simple, but I think the little midget will like it (Mom's note: that would be his little brother Jesse)
Jake's Rating: 8/10

Curious George Visits the Library
by Margret & H.A. Rey's
Scholastic Edition
ISBN: 978-0-439-63436-9
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Description: George is lucky to arrive at the library just in time for story hour. But it’s not easy for a little monkey to sit still too long. From selecting books to getting his very own library card, George’s day at the library makes reading fun.

Mom's Review: Obviously you know why I picked this one out for Jake when he was little. I read it to him at least once a week and he enjoyed it -- as well as the rest of the Curious George stories.  It seemed to work as he really enjoyed going to the library -- so far hasn't worked for Jesse, he still doesn't like the library. It's a cute little story, but a wee bit dated. As well the patrons of the library and the library staff are a little too stereotypical for this modern library worker. One of the patrons even shushes George -- I know, it made me mad too LOL!  The library workers are nice though, so the Rey's are forgiven.  This story has the usual storyline of George getting into mischief, learning a lesson and cleaning up after his mistakes.  It teaches kids a good moral lesson without being too preachy and George is so adorable to read about. Parents, teachers, Librarians and kids will all enjoy.

Mom's Rating: 9/10

Jake's Review: Mom says I loved it as a kid, but I think she must have been exaggerating. It is a funny story and I love how much trouble George gets into.  He's not a bad monkey,  he just is very curious and doesn't like to stay still (Mom's note: hmm reminds me of my boys).  The pictures are kinda old fashioned and I think it is definitely written for younger kids, but I still did like it -- though not as much as mom. She is a nerdy librarian after all
Jake's Rating: 7/10

The Backyardigans: Race to the Tower of Power
Adapted by Catherine Lukas
Illustrated by Dave Aikins
Simon Spotlight/Nick Jr
ISBN: 978-1-4169-0799-2
Buy From Indigo

Description: Super-villains Pablo and Tyrone plan to use their powers to take over the world! To do that, they have to capture the Key to the World in Tower of Power. Will the superheroes -- Uniqua and Austin -- be able to stop them?

Mom's Review: Cute retelling of the Race to the Tower of Power episode of the Backyardigans.   All the major parts of the episode are included and the writing level is perfect for the beginning reader. This is also a good one for encouraging a reluctant reader (hint hint Jesse) to read.  My little book hater actually let me read this to him as he is a huge fan of the show.  Parents will enjoy reading this one to their kids too and these stories are perfecting for keeping in the car for long drives -- this particular copy has been camping at least 3 times. The whole family enjoy reading and watching The Backyardigans. Always fun stories that showcase the importance of play, using your imagination and always being there for your friends.
Mom's Rating: 9/10

Jake's Review: Loved this when mom and dad first got it for me and still do.  The characters are funny and the story is exciting.  I can even read this to the little midget and not be bored.  I wish they would make longer books about the Backyardigans for me, cuz they are so much fun,
Jake's Rating: 9/10

Russel the Sheep
by Rob Scotton
ISBN: 978-0-545-07273-1 (Scholastic Edition_
Buy From Indigo

Description: What happens when a sheep can t sleep? That s the question in Rob Scotton's adorably winsome first picture book about a woolly insomniac named Russell, who tries everything to fall asleep. Captured in Scotton's humorous, playful illustrations, Russell finds that counting his feet and the stars doesn't work...until he thinks of a plan that does the trick. If you re looking for a bedtime book with sweet-nature d laughs and a memorable character, this is a surefire treat

Mom's Review: The artwork is worth the price of the book alone, I dare you not to fall in love with his adorable face. The prose is simple, sweet and the storyline perfect for the young and old alike, as we have all suffered the difficulty of not being able to get to sleep.  Russell has a charming personality and kids will enjoy his silly antics & maybe at the same time learn some ways of helping them get to sleep -- if they can stop giggling that is. This one is a must for all parents and absolutely perfect for story-time at school or the library.  A classic I tell you.

Mom's Rating: 10/10

Jake's Review:  Russell is hilarious and I understand what it feels like to not be able to get to sleep.  The pictures are cute and it is a very easy read. I think Jesse would like the pictures, if he can sit still long enough to look at them - I think that midget has ants in his pants.   Maybe I will get him some more Russell books, mom says there are a few others.

Jake's Rating: 9/10

These books are all from our personal library

Friday, November 25, 2011

Stasiland: Stories From Behind the Berlin Wall by Anna Funder

Stasiland: Stories From Behind the Berlin Wall
by Anna Funder
ISBN: 978-0-06-207732-5
Buy From Indigo

Description: In 1989, the Berlin Wall fell; shortly afterwards the two Germanies reunited, and East Germany ceased to exist. In a country where the headquarters of the secret police can become a museum literally overnight and one in 50 East Germans were informing on their fellow citizens, there are thousands of captivating stories. Anna Funder tells extraordinary tales from the underbelly of the former East Germany. She meets Miriam, who as a 16-year-old might have started World War III; she visits the man who painted the line which became the Berlin Wall; and she gets drunk with the legendary "Mik Jegger" of the east, once declared by the authorities to his face to "no longer to exist." Each enthralling story depicts what it's like to live in Berlin as the city knits itself back together or fails to. This is a history full of emotion, attitude, and complexity.

The Good Stuff
  • Fascinating and brutally honest
  • Learned so much interesting historical information that I am sad to say I never knew
  • Funder's style of writing is very unique and personal
  • Disturbing that these events happened and the people of East Germany had to live under these conditions
  • Many sides of the stories are told, which make it a book you want to discuss
  • Very raw and vivid - no sanitizing of stories to make them more palatable - real and honest
  • Author has obvious respect and compassion for her interview subjects
  • Author extremely observant about minute details that can often tell a story (eg mannerisms,
    tone of voice)
  • Some wonderful stories of resistance, sacrifice and bravery by ordinary people
The Not So Good Stuff
  • Quite depressing at times, I felt myself never wanting to visit Germany at all
  • So heartbreakingly sad and horrific that I had to keep putting it down
  • Some further readings would be nice
Favorite Quotes/Passages

"I can only describe it as horror-romance. It's a dumb feeling, but I don't want to shake it. The romance comes from the dream of a better world that the German Communists wanted to build  out of the ashes of their Nazi past; from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs. The horror comes from what they did in its name."

"We laugh at the improbability of it, of someone barely more than a child poking about in Beatrix Potter's garden by the wall, watching out for Mr McGregor and his blunderbuss, and lookng for a step-ladder to scale one of the most fortified borders on earth. We both like the girl shew was, and I like the women she has become."

"The hairs on my forearms stand up. I have stopped looking at Julia now because in this dimness she ceased addressing her words to me some time ago. I am humbled for reasons I cannot at this moment unravel. I am outraged for her, and vaguely guilty about my relative luck in life."

Who Should/Shouldn't Read
  • For those with an interest in German History
  • Anyone could benefit from a read of this - history comes alive and you see the personal toil of a Orwellian Government
4 Dewey's

I received this from HarperCollins in Exchange for an Honest Review

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Nadia G's Bitchin' Kitchen: Cookin For Trouble by Nadia G. - Chef Jeff Review

Nadia G's Bitchin' Kitchen : Cookin For Trouble 
by Nadia G.

Ballantine Books
ISBN: 9780345531827
Buy From Indigo


Culinary It-girl Nadia G is just as skilled strutting in stilettos as she is wielding a meat cleaver. Now this Julia Child of the Net generation and host of the wildly popular Bitchin’ Kitchen TV show on the Cooking Channel brings her savvy chef know-how and rock star ’tude to glam up your dining experience. Trained at the culinary institute of Hard Wooden Spoon Whacks, Nadia says that her passion for food started in her Italian family’s kitchen, where meals became moments. In Cookin’ for Trouble, she shares recipes and cooking tips for beginner and seasoned home cooks to liven any occasion.

Back-of-the-Fridge Bachelor Brunches: Sometimes what lurks in the back of our fridge isn’t that inspiring, unless it’s been there long enough to strike up a conversation. No groceries, no problem! With just a few leftovers, whip up a scrumptious Sartu di Patate, or a Pasta Frittata that tastes like you’d planned it for days.

(Dysfunctional) Family Pizza Night: Bring your family and thighs closer together with the Giosia familia recipe for Rustica Pan Pizza, Puttanesca Panzerotti, and Traditional Italian Frittelle smothered in a creamy chocolate-nougat fondue.

Makeover Meals: We all get stuck in a rut sometimes, whether it’s the same boring dish, hairstyle, or boyfriend. It’s time for an upgrade! Turn ordinary dishes on their head with inspired crispy Tuna Sliders, smoky Chicken Risotto, and juicy Meatloaf Kebabs.

• Plus Nadia’s creative menus for Hi-Speed Suppers, Girl’s Night In, Veg-Head Specials, Student Shkoff-fest, and a special chapter devoted to everyone’s favorite food group: Bacon!

I know—we had you at “Bacon.” But there’s more! Loaded with gorgeous photos, more than fifty original recipes, sanity-saving “Nadvice,” a Bitchin’ Party Guide, and a hunky team of food correspondents—Panos, the Spice Agent, and Hans—Cookin’ for Trouble will take your meals from square to sassy faster than you can say “Tsaketa.”*  and for newbies, there’s an Italian Slang Dictionary!

The  Good Stuff
  • Absolutely hilarious to read - even if you never make any of the recipes, its a fun read
  • Visually beautiful
  • We caught an episode of the Bitchen Kitchen because of this cookbook and now have pvr'd episodes - so much fun to watch
  • Recipes are very creative
  • Never laughed this much while reading a cookbook
  • She's kinda hot (Shh don't tell the wife)
  • Great recipes for parties, this is not an everyday kind of cookbook
  • This is definitely a weekend warriors cookbook with loads of truly different, interesting and delicious meals
  • Incredible variety of meals
  • Good selection of recipes including ones for special diets such as Vegan, gluten free and even some truly appetizing light meals
  • The index is good and the added bits about Balsamic Vinegar, Olive Oil and Slang Dictionary are a brilliant addition
The Not So Good Stuff
  • A lot of ingredients and a lot of steps - not for the basic cook who is impatient
  • Not a lot of quick, simple meals - you need a well stocked pantry and time to cook (Jeff: This is not the cookbook for my wife -- Jen: Dude who made the recipe for this review - that's right ME -  you were too hung over from your work thing at the Air Canada Centre)
  • Intro by Guy Fieri is way too about him (self promotion overload) and not enough about Nadia G - turned me off picking up one of his cookbooks
Favorite Recipes
  • Spicy Shrimp Po Boy
  • Fritelle
  • No Bake Cream Cheese Peanut Butter Pie
  • Vegan Dark Chocolate and Caramelized Banana Pie

Who Should/Shouldn't Read
  • Not for the simple or inexperienced cook (though the recipes are easy enough to do, you need the patience and passion to do it)
  • Fabulous for the cook who likes to have fun and experiment with new things
  • Definitely for those who have a quirky sense of humour -

4 Dewey's

We Received this From Random House in Exchange for an Honest Review

Pictures from Recipes

Ingredients for Gorgonzola Risotto w/ Portobello Mushrooms
Finished Recipe (I know it doesn't look as nice, but it still tasted good)

11/22/63 by Stephen King

by Stephen King
Scribner (Simon and Schuster)
ISBN: 978-1-4516-6080-7
Buy From Indigo

Description: On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas, President Kennedy died, and the world changed. If you had the chance to change history, would you?  Would the consequences be worth it?

Jake Epping is a thirty-five-year-old high school English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine, who makes extra money teaching adults in the GED program. He receives an essay from one of the students—a gruesome, harrowing first person story about the night 50 years ago when Harry Dunning’s father came home and killed his mother, his sister, and his brother with a hammer. Harry escaped with a smashed leg, as evidenced by his crooked walk.

Not much later, Jake’s friend Al, who runs the local diner, divulges a secret: his storeroom is a portal to 1958. He enlists Jake on an insane—and insanely possible—mission to try to prevent the Kennedy assassination. So begins Jake’s new life as George Amberson and his new world of Elvis and JFK, of big American cars and sock hops, of a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald and a beautiful high school librarian named Sadie Dunhill, who becomes the love of Jake’s life—a life that transgresses all the normal rules of time

The Good Stuff
  •  Honest to god this is a truly spectacular book and I will not hesitate to say it is one of his best - Up there with The Stand and Rita Hayworth & the Shawshank Redemption (Two of my favorite stories of all time)
  • I wish I was more eloquent to express my love for this novel (You are now forgiven for Pet Semetary Mr King)
  • This is one that even if you hate King, you will enjoy
  • Heartbreaking, beautiful and honest - Jake is an exceptional character that I would be honored to have as a friend. The sacrifice this man makes is truly heartbreaking, I cried my eyes out
  • Two  secondary characters that are Librarians and they are feisty, strong and decent -- I want to hug you for this (Loved the part on Catcher in the Rye)
  • Exceptional character development and an engrossing mesmerizing plot
  • Even-though the story could have benefited from some stronger editing, Kings trademark and self described "Diarhea of the word processor"  wasn't as frustrating to get through as in many of his works (hope that makes sense, couldn't figure out how to explain this) His attention to detail and describing the smaller moments of life, actually really works with this story
  • Lovely moral lesson (Just because you can change the past, doesn't mean you should) The Past does not want to change and everything happens for a reason 
  • Sadie and Mimi rock -- ok, they are both Librarians - what do you expect
  • As a King fan I geeked out to all the references from previous books (tons of references to Derry)
  • Lovely nostalgic feeling at the same time reminding us that the 50/60's were far from perfect, especially if you were a women or black
  • Go Buy the book - you will thank me - When King is at his best, he is a brilliant storyteller - and he is at his best here
  • No really icky graphic descriptions (Which is one thing I never liked about King, I don't like the ick)
  • The last quarter of the book is non stop action with an exceptional ending -- which is not something King normally does not do well (Don't get me started on The Tommyknockers)
  • Lots of quirky secondary characters
  • Thoroughly researched
  • No evil pets or babies (Yup stopped reading King for 15 yrs because of Pet Semetary)
  • The part about Maine becoming part of Canada made me giggle
The Not So Good Stuff
  • Stephen, you know I love and respect you (Remember I drove through Bangor, Maine just to take a pic of your house & go to Baka bookstore and not bother you at all) but editing would take this book from Fantastic to utterly brilliant 
  • Book was so heavy my little girly wrists hurt while reading (Damn, this would have been a good one for the Kobo)
Favorite Quotes/Passages

"If I ever gave you the idea that 1958's all Andy-n-Opie, remember the path, okay? The one lined with poison ivy. And the board over the stream."

"She was one of those faculty members the kids remember long after graduation, and sometimes come back to visit when they are no longer kids. The kind who sometimes shows up in a troubled student's life at a critical moment and makes a critical difference."

"Life is too sweet to give up without a fight, don't you think?"

Who Should/Shouldn't Read
  • Fans of King will love, love, love
  • Even if you are not a King fan, you WILL enjoy this book
  • Although I'm pretty sure most school boards will balk at this, I think this would be an excellent novel to discuss as part of an English course
  • Hopefully my nephew will like it, since I bought a copy not knowing that I was getting a copy to review (If he doesn't like it I'm making him give it back to me and will give it as a prize next year)

4.5 Dewey's

I received this from Simon and Schuster in exchange for an  honest review (Cannot thank you enough for this one, I squeed when I got it in the mail)

Firelight by Sophie Jordan: Mini Book Review

by Sophie Jordan
ISBN: 978-0-06-193508-4
Suggested Ages: 13 + nothing too sexual  or violent
Buy From Indigo

Description:  A hidden truth. Mortal enemies.  Doomed love. 

Marked as special at an early age, Jacinda knows her every move is watched. But she longs for freedom to make her own choices. When she breaks the most sacred tenet among her kind, she nearly pays with her life. Until a beautiful stranger saves her. A stranger who was sent to hunt those like her. For Jacinda is a draki—a descendant of dragons whose greatest defense is her secret ability to shift into human form.

Forced to flee into the mortal world with her family, Jacinda struggles to adapt to her new surroundings. The only bright light is Will. Gorgeous, elusive Will who stirs her inner draki to life. Although she is irresistibly drawn to him, Jacinda knows Will's dark secret: He and his family are hunters. She should avoid him at all costs. But her inner draki is slowly slipping away—if it dies she will be left as a human forever. She'll do anything to prevent that. Even if it means getting closer to her most dangerous enemy.

Mythical powers and breathtaking romance ignite in this story of a girl who defies all expectations and whose love crosses an ancient divide.

Mini Book Review:  Really love the premise on this one, but was a wee bit disappointed in the execution of the story. The writing is good and the storyline is interesting and fast paced, its just the story is definitely more suitable for a teen audience.  There is way too much angst for my enjoyment and I wanted to slap the heroine for being so wishy washy and self involved.  If you are a teen or enjoy this sort of angsty stuff than this is a fabulous story for you.  No offense to the author on my lower rating (but hey 3 still signifies a good book by me) nothing to do with her talents, the rating is just based on my enjoyment of the story.  Of course I am still going to read the rest of the books in the series because it interested me enough to want to know what happens and hopefully the character will become more likeable.

3 Dewey's

My kids babysitter lent it to me

Friday, November 18, 2011

Little Old Lady Recipes by Meg Favreau

Little Old Lady Recipes: Comfort Food and Kitchen Table Wisdom
by Meg Favreau
Photographs by Michael Reali
Quirk Books (Random House)
ISBN: 978-1-59474-518-8
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Description: Little Old Lady Recipes honors the extraordinary women who create potluck dinners, church socials, and the best desserts you’ve ever tasted. Every page features their simple, no-frills recipes for pot roast, meat loaf, dumplings, corn bread, fried chicken, bundt cake, and other old-time favorites—along with gorgeous photography of the chefs and generous portions of kitchen table wisdom. (“Butter comes from a cow. Tell me where the heck margarine comes from, and then maybe I’ll eat it!”) So ditch the food processor, stop wasting money on overpriced organic frozen dinners, and start enjoying the classic dishes that our aunties and grandmothers have made for generations!

The Good Stuff
  • Delightful to read through, wise and oh so funny
  • Good variety of recipes
  • Easy to make recipes with ingredients you usually always have
  • Pictures are a nice and quirky added touch
  • Great comfort food recipes - simple and filling
  • Tons of quick to make recipes - perfect for last minute dinners
  • Recipes don't use expensive hard to find ingredients
  • Good basic recipes for Sugar Cookies, Pie-crust and Icing - these are basics that everyone should know how to make (or have a husband who makes the pie-crust because stunning Librarian wife sucks at it)
The Not So Good Stuff
  • Recipes don't give enough directions and often have missing steps (Maybe a companion book on basic cooking techniques would be good)
  • Lot of recipes using lard which in my opinion does nothing for most recipes
Favorite Recipes

Prune Bread - Seriously it tastes good and simple to make (Trust me add a few choc chips & your kids will mow it down)
Chili Con Carne - Easy to make, healthy and hearty
Bread Pudding - my favorite Dessert

Great little tips and words of wisdom like the following throughout the book

“Always wear clean underwear in case you are in a car accident.” – Mary,housewife, 72
“ Smile pretty in case an available man is looking.” –Frieda,secretary,87

“There isn’t much a good cake won’t fix.” – Carmeline, librarian, 85

Who Should/Shouldn't Read
  • Fun for everyone except the most jaded chef
  • Perfect present for a first time homeowner
3.5 Dewey's

I received this from Random House in Exchange for an Honest Review

Recipe Pictures

Cornbread - Looks pretty tasted blah!!
Surprisingly Yummy Prune Bread (totally added choc chips so kids would try it)
Chili Con Carne (Simple and tastes delish)

Agatha Christie: An Autobiography by Agatha Christie and Contest

Agatha Christie: An Autobiography
by Agatha Christie
Harper Collins
ISBN: 978-0-06-207359-4
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Description: Agatha Christie's 'most absorbing mystery' -- her own autobiography, with new exclusive CD containing newly discovered priceless recordings from more than 40 years ago of Agatha dictating excerpts about her life as a writer. Over the three decades since her death on 12 January 1976, many of Agatha Christie's readers and reviewers have maintained that her most compelling book is probably still her least well-known. Her candid Autobiography, written mainly in the 1960s, modestly ignores the fact that Agatha had become the best-selling novelist in history and concentrates on her fascinating private life. From early childhood at the end of the 19th century, through two marriages and two World Wars, and her experiences both as a writer and on archaeological expeditions with her second husband, Max Mallowan, Agatha shares the details of her varied and sometimes complex life with real passion and openness. Then, in 2008, Agatha Christie's grandson made a remarkable discovery. While clearing out her old house in preparation for its opening to the public, Greenway in Devon, a box of old tape reels was found to contain the recordings of Agatha dictating her Autobiography for her typist. These remarkable recordings are not only an amazingly rare example of Agatha's voice, but they also partly explain the engaging nature of her Autobiography - for they reveal the normally reclusive Agatha telling her own story in a lively, spontaneous and often conspiratorial way, whose passion in talking about her life is captured in the printed Autobiography. Now this new edition comes complete with a CD of highlights from these priceless tapes, giving Agatha Christie's millions of fans the opportunity to hear the Queen of Crime's story in her own words, and rediscover her remarkable full story in this special edition of her book, which is newly introduced by Mathew Prichard, the grandson who discovered the tapes.

The Good Stuff
  • Delightful charming read
  • Fascinating stories of Agatha's life
  • Learned so much about life during the war in England
  • Interesting historical information
  • Enjoyed the chapter where Agatha talks about the production of going swimming as a girl and a women in Victorian England
  • Very wise and accurate observations of life
  • Was actually quite surprised how intriguing of a read it was, had a hard time putting it down on a couple of occasions
  • Absolutley flabergasted that she really never had an inkling that she wanted to be an author until quite far along in her life
  • Extremely funny at times
  • Very respectful of her ex husband which is extremely classy
  • Will be buying a finished copy with the bonus CD (hoping there are pictures in the finished copy as well)
  • Honestly this was just like sitting down and having her tell you the story of her life - just felt very personal and honest.  I have never read an Agatha Christie book before, and now think I will be picking up a couple of them as I was so impressed by her autobiography
  • Was intrigued by all the travelling she did and especially of the times she spent with her husband on Archeaology digs -- truly fascinating
  • She just has such a postive hopeful attitude towards life in all its ups and downs, it was just so inspiring to read
The Not So Good Stuff
  • Almost too squeaky clean at times and obviously leaves out some interesting passages of her life. That being said I wouldn't want to air my dirty laundry either, but for the reader they might be disappointed by this
  • Drags a wee bit
Favorite Quotes/Passages

"I loved 'Problems'. Thought merely sums in diguise, they had an intriguing flavour. 'John has five apples, George has six; if John gave away two of George's apples, how many will George have at the end of the day?' and so on. Nowadays, thinking of that problem, I feel an urge to reply; "Depends on how fond of apples George is."
"One cannot, ever, go back to the place which exists in momory. You would not see it with the same eyes-even supposing that it should improbably have remained much the same. What you have had you have had. 'The happy highways where I went, And shall not come again...' Never go back to a place where you have been happy. Until you do it remains alive for you. If you go back it will be destroyed."

"Lake Louise was for a long time my answer when I was asked which was the most beautiful place I had ever seen: - a great, long blue lake, low mountains on either side, all of a most glorious shape, closing in with snow mountains at the end of it."

" We are all the same people as we were at three, six, ten or twenty years old. More noticebly so, perhaps, at six or seven, because we were not pretending so much then, whereas at twenty we put on a show of being someone else, of being in the mode of the moment.  If there is an intellectual fashion, you become an intellectual; if girls are fluffy and frivolous, you are fluffy and frivolous. As life goes on, however, it becomes tiring to keep up the character you invented for yourself, and so you relapse into individuality and become more like yourself everyday."

Who Should/Shouldn't Read
  • Obviously fans of Agatha Christie will enjoy
  • Perfect for those who know nothing about her and want to learn something
  • Quite frankly  most readers will get something from this
  • Those with an interest in Victorian England will find tons of interesting tidbits
4.25 Dewey's

I received this from HarperCollins in exchange for an Honest Review

CONTESTCanada Only
1 Agatha Christie Mousepad
Just make some kinda comment below and a way of contacting you if you win
Ends November 25th
Mousepad and Bookmarks

The Vampire and the Virgin by Kerrelyn Sparks: Mini Book Review

The Vampire and the Virgin (Love at Stake #8)
by Kerrelyn Sparks
Avon (HarperCollins)
ISBN: 978-0-06-166786-2
Buy From Indigo

Description: Olivia's packing list:

1. Sunscreen
2. Bathing suit
3. Flip-flops
FBI psychologist Olivia Sotiris was looking for a cool ocean breeze, sand between her toes, and a break from her crazy, chaotic, and sometimes all-too-dangerous life. But when she escaped to the small Greek island of Patmos, all she got were meddling grandmothers trying to marry her off. Can't they see that none of the men around interests her—except Robby MacKay?
Robby's packing list:

1. Synthetic blood
2. More synthetic blood
3. Jogging clothes
(even vamps have to stay in shape!)
 Robby needs to cool off, too, since all he can think about is revenge on the Malcontent bloodsuckers who once held him captive—but then he meets Olivia, the beauty with wild curls and a tempting smile. When a deadly criminal from a case back home tracks her down, Robby will have to save her life—along with giving her a first time she'll never forget . . .
Mini Book Review: Won't lie to you, wasn't expecting much from the title, but Natasha convinced me that I would enjoy it.  She was right, it was a perfect light and funny read with plenty of action to keep the story moving.  I understand that it is part of a series but the story is told in such a way, that you really don't need to read the rest of the series to figure out what is going on. Robbie and Olivia are both charming, likeable leads and the secondary characters get you intrigued enough to want to know more about them, in other words just enough to go out and get the other books in the series (Yup, I will be doing that).  I like Kerrelyn's writing style and the dialogue is just plain hilarious at times.  This would be perfect for a day at the beach or to escape on a cold winters night.

3.75 Dewey's

I borrowed this from Natasha - after I totally gave it to her for Christmas last year

Monday, November 14, 2011

We Bought a Zoo by Benjamin Mee

We Bought a Zoo
by Benjamin Mee
Anchor Canada (Random House)
ISBN: 978-0-385-66622-0
Buy From Indigo 
Dartmoor Zoo:

Description: The house hunt of author Benjamin Mee and his wife, Katherine, ended with an unusual, even bizarre solution: The pair decided to move into a ramshackle zoo in the English countryside. Mee had a degree in psychology and specializes in animal behavior, but not even he could have imagined the complexities of holding sway over more than 200 exotic animals. Almost immediately, the project of reopening the zoo as a family business ran into financial -- and four-footed -- obstacles. Then a major tragedy broke: Katherine's brain tumor recurred and she died at the age of 40. Through it all, the family persevered, and in July 2007, the zoo reopened under Mee management. A bittersweet story about creatures sharing one another's company

The Good Stuff
  • Heartwarming and hilarious and honest
  • I am in total awe of this man and his family and what they accomplished against all odds, truly inspiring
  • It's about family and zoo animals -- what's not to like
  • There are Otters - OK only 1 paragraph (Pg 74), but anyone who mentions otters is cool with me
  • Talks about Gay Animals -- yup its true (take that homophobes)
  • Liked authors writing style
  • Interesting to hear about the inner workings and challenges of running a zoo
  • Author is just extremely likable and you really feel his love for his wife
  • Learned so much
  • Now REALLY want to see the movie
The Not So Good Stuff
  •  Have a sudden urge to go see this zoo -- people I do not have the time and money to do this (hell at least I have a Zoo membership)
  • It made me cry (not a bad thing, but I sick, crying makes my body feel even crappier)
Favorite Quotes/Passages

"I was the mad Englishman they were the slightly bemused French country folk - tolerant, kind, courteous, and yet, inevitably, hugely judgmental."

"I am reasonably convinced he had high-functioning Asperger's syndrome. For the first, and last, time in our conversation, he looked me in the eye and smiled, as if to say, "So you like Tumors too?" and excitedly introduced me to his team." (While his wife was being taken in for surgery)

"The vet arrived with the necessary sedatives, on on the third attempt Sovereign was successfully darted, although unfortunately, it appeared, in the tip of his sheath, and he jumped around angrily until he began to slow down, scowling and prowling, glaring at us through the wire. You got the impression he was memorizing faces, so that if he got out again he'd know whom to punish for this indignity."

"... I had always wanted to dedicate to free-ranging monkeys, and to my father, Ben Harry Mee, who had provided the funds for the park --albeit unwittingly and posthumously, and absolutely certainly (had he been alive) unwillingly."

Who Should/Shouldn't Read
  • Anyone and everyone

5 Dewey's

I received this From Random House in Exchange for an Honest Review -- thanks guys I was home sick and you made me cry with this one

Saturday, November 12, 2011

iBoy by Kevin Brooks

by Kevin Brooks
Scholastic Inc.
ISBN: 978-0-545-31768-9
Suggested Ages: 14+ (due to mature language, violence & I would suggest more mature 14+)
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Description: Before the attack, sixteen-year-old Tom Harvey was just an ordinary boy. But now fragments of a shattered iPhone are embedded in his brain and it's having an extraordinary effect...Because now Tom has powers - the ability to know and see more than he could ever imagine. And with incredible power comes knowledge - and a choice. Seek revenge on the violent gangs that rule his estate and assaulted his friend Lucy, or keep quiet? Tom has control when everything else is out of control. But it's a dangerous price to pay. And the consequences are terrifying

The Good Stuff
  • Unique and unusual idea for a storyline
  • Darkly humorous at times, which helps tone down the darkness of the story
  • Gram is one cool bad-ass -- my kind of Grandmother
  • Fast paced
  • Could lead to some fascinating class discussions about moral choices
  • Love the relationship between Tom and his Grandma - real honest love and respect
  • Tom's a believable and likable protagonist and you can really feel the struggles he deals with
  • Very raw, bleak, honest and dark (not a bad thing, just giving you the mood)
  • Did I mention how much I loved the Gram
  • Emotional wild ride
The  Not So Good Stuff
  • There is something missing and I just can't put my finger on it, maybe storyline and characters could be fleshed out more -- but than again I was sick when reading, so could just be me
Favorite Quotes/Passages

"Have you got a mobile phone?"
I tapped the side of my head.
He grinned.
"Yeah," I told him. "I've got a mobile phone."

"I couldn't help smiling to myself as I crossed over to the lift with Gram.
"What?" Gram asked me. "What's so funny?"
"Nothing ..." I looked at her, grinning. "It's just  .... well, iBoy ... I mean, that's actually pretty good, isn't it?"

Gram shrugged. "It's better than fuckhead."

"Maybe it was the brain surgery," I said, smiling at her. "Maybe it's turned me into a budding genius."
A faint smile flickered on her face,"It'd take more than major brain surgery to turn you into a genius."
I pulled an idiot face.
She laughed.

Who Should/Shouldn't Read
  • Suitable for male and female readers
  • I would strongly advise a more mature reader for this one due to violence and mentions of rape (not gratuitous or overly descriptive though)
  • Would be good for a reluctant reader
4.25 Dewey's

I received this from Scholastic in Exchange for an Honest Review

Friday, November 11, 2011

Double Dexter by Jeff Lindsay

Double Dexter 
by Jeff Lindsay
DoubleDay (Random House)
ISBN: 978-0-385-53237-2
Buy From Indigo

Description: A witness. Such a simple concept - and yet for Dexter Morgan, a perfectly well-disguised serial killer, the possibility of a witness is terrifying. As an upstanding blood-spatter analyst for the Miami Police, Dexter has always managed to keep the darker side of his life out of the spotlight. An expert at finding truly bad people - murderers who've long escaped justice - and giving them his own special attention. But now someone has seen him in the act. Dexter is being followed, manipulated and mimicked, leading him to realize that no one likes to have a double - especially when his double's goal is to kill him.

The Good Stuff
  • Carianne would be so disappointed in me -- but I love these books and the tv show too. I sorry Care, but they are sooo well written and frickin hilarious and really bring up some interesting conversations
  • Twisted with plenty of dry dark humor, you will not be able to help yourself, you will laugh
  • Good storyline with plenty of action and lots of twists and turns
  • Dexter's inner monologues are brilliantly funny
  • I have a feeling I missed reading the previous book as there are some plot points that made me feel like I was missing something - when did Deb have a kid? (Didn't affect my enjoyment of the story though so you could start reading the series here and still enjoy)
  • Good development of secondary characters (love that certain characters that are dead on the show still live on in the book)
  • A clown gets murdered -- come on who REALLY likes clowns (And no I don't really take pleasure in  ANYONE getting murdered its fiction people)
  • Loved Dexter's comments about his infant daughter and each and every parent will totally get it
  • Makes you really think -- yup you are cheering for a serial killer to get away with it
  • The scenes with Dexter at Boy Scout Camp will have you totally laughing your ass off
The Not So Good Stuff
  • One of the story lines was tidied up too quickly and neatly
  • I am slightly disturbed by the characters of Astor and Cody in the books (Can totally understand why these characters were altered for the tv show)
  • I love the books but have to be honest I feel more a connection to the Dexter on the show because of his spark of humanity
Favorite Quotes/Passages

"That's it," she said. " You looked inside, threw up and called it in?"
"I came, I saw, I blew chunks," Vince Masuoka muttered beside me, but happily for his health Deborah didn't hear him."

"They were staring at the body and, to their credit, one or two of them actually tried very hard to look horrified as they craned their necks to see. Of course, most of the others made up for it by leaning forward over the tape to get a better picture with their cell phones. Soon the pictures of Officer Gunther's smooshed corpse would be all over the web, and the whole world would join together and pretend to be appalled and dismayed in perfect harmony. Isn't technology wonderful?"

 "This was obviously a subject close to Frank's heart, and I wondered if I had misjudged him. Anyone with such a passion for lethal vegetation couldn't be all bad."

Who Should/Shouldn't Read
  • Definitely  not for the sensitive or for Carianne 
  • Anyone who enjoys something just a little bit dark
4.5 Dewey's

I received this from Random House in exchange for an honest review

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (And Other Concerns)
by Mindy Kaling
Crown Archetype (Random House)
ISBN: 978-0-307-88626-2
Buy From Indigo

Description: Mindy Kaling has lived many lives: the obedient child of immigrant professionals, a timid chubster afraid of her own bike, a Ben Affleck–impersonating Off-Broadway performer and playwright, and, finally, a comedy writer and actress prone to starting fights with her friends and coworkers with the sentence “Can I just say one last thing about this, and then I swear I’ll shut up about it?”

Perhaps you want to know what Mindy thinks makes a great best friend (someone who will fill your prescription in the middle of the night), or what makes a great guy (one who is aware of all elderly people in any room at any time and acts accordingly), or what is the perfect amount of fame (so famous you can never get convicted of murder in a court of law), or how to maintain a trim figure (you will not find that information in these pages). If so, you’ve come to the right book, mostly!

In Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, Mindy invites readers on a tour of her life and her unscientific observations on romance, friendship, and Hollywood, with several conveniently placed stopping points for you to run errands and make phone calls. Mindy Kaling really is just a Girl Next Door—not so much literally anywhere in the continental United States, but definitely if you live in India or Sri Lanka.

The Good Stuff
  • Won't lie. I have never seen an episode of the office (which is strange cuz I totally have a crush on Steve Carell -- don't judge) but am going to be buying the first season of it this weekend solely based on this read
  • She made me LMAO on so many occasions it was hell to pick only 3 quotes for my favorite quotes section
  • Self deprecating, quirky, sweet and honest -  Call me Mindy we would totally have fun hanging out!
  • Is obviously thankful for the chances she has been given, her friends and her family -- this is very refreshing
  • Loves her  parents -- see people parents are not always douche-bags (Yes Jake and Jesse remember that!)
  • Her zest for life is so nice to read about and very motivational
  • She's honest about her mistakes and her "faults" 
  • Doesn't get all nasty gossipy about people. Extremely classy
  • Love the bits on the fights between her and her co-workers. Hilarious!  The part about Carell was cute
  • The Chapter on "Best Friends Rights and Responsibilities"  is funny and so very true
The Not So Good Stuff
  • I wanted more -- just not long enough for me 
  • Made me snort with laughter while on bus and people stared at me like I was some kind of  freak

Favorite Quotes/Passages

"And if you're older than twenty-eight, than just kissing someone doesn't count for crap and is not even worth mentioning. Unless you're Mormon, in which case you're going to hell."

"If I had to testify under oath, I would admit, no,  I don't believe Mac Teegarden is psychic.  I've just been made too aware of people like Car Sagan and basic science and stuff. I am certain, though, that Mac Teegarden provided and enormous amount of comfort to people who unexpectedly lost loved ones. I don't know if it was psychic, but it was cathartic, and therapeutic, and it helped people."

"My mom's a doctor, but because she came from India and then Africa, where childhood obesity was not a problem, she put no premium on having skinny kids. In fact she and my dad didn't mind having a chubby daughter.  Part of me wonders if it even made them feel a little prosperous, like Have you seen our overweight Indian child? Do you know how statistically rare this is? It will then not come as a surprise to you that I've never been thin in my life - except the day I was born, when I was six pounds."

Who Should/Shouldn't Read
  • This is perfect for anyone who just needs a smile and a laugh
  • Fans of The Office and obviously of Mindy Kaling will enjoy
  • Not for those with no sense of humour -- and seriously if you are one of those why the hell are you reading my blog
5 Dewey's

I received this from Random House in exchange for an honest review -- thanks guys for now making me want to watch ANOTHER TV show LOL!

    Wednesday, November 9, 2011

    The Death Cure by James Dashner

    The Death Cure (Maze Runner #3)
    by James Dashner
    Delacorte Press (Random House)
    ISBN: 978-0-385-73777-4
    Suggested Ages: 13+ (Due to violence)
    Buy from Indigo

    Description: Thomas knows that Wicked can't be trusted, but they say the time for lies is over, that they've collected all they can from the Trials and now must rely on the Gladers, with full memories restored, to help them with their ultimate mission. It's up to the Gladers to complete the blueprint for the cure to the Flare with a final voluntary test. What Wicked doesn't know is that something's happened that no Trial or Variable could have foreseen. Thomas has remembered far more than they think. And he knows that he can't believe a word of what Wicked says. The time for lies is over. But the truth is more dangerous than Thomas could ever imagine. Will anyone survive the Death Cure?

    The Good Stuff
    • Exciting, non stop wild ride of a book
    • Thomas is a likable protagonist, a tad too -- what's that word you cool kids use -- EMO for my taste, but still likable
    • Fabulous secondary characters 
    • Totally cried my eyes out during one scene -- will not spoil don't worry -- but bring some tissue
    • Story totally kept you guessing at all times, never knew what was going to happen next
    • Love the dark humour
    • Hopeful ending - does leave it open ended, so he could go back and continue with the story
    • Hated having to put the book down, but I have responsibilities that have to come first, but it was a struggle to put down
    • Discovered I really enjoy YA from a male point of view (tends to be less angsty which is hard to read when you are my age - oh gee which boy should I choose - ick ick ick)
    The Not So Good Stuff
    • a tad disappointed by the ending, but that is a just a personal note, shouldn't affect your reading of it
    • some holes in the story and some things that don't make complete sense, but not overly bad, just could be me being picky
    Favorite Quotes/Passages

    "She was .... a mom. You know, she loved me, cared about me, worried about me."

    "I don't blame you for anything," Thomas said. "You saw what I'd done for WICKED when you went through the Changing. I wouldn't have trusted me, either. And I know you didn't want to kill Chuck. Just don't plan on hugs every time I see you."
    "The feeling's mutual."

    "Good that. And the cure for the Flare's gonna fly out of your butt any second."
    "Who knows, maybe it will. Might smell funny though."

    "All right, then," the man said. "Follow me. And remember, if any of your body parts become detached due to an unfortunate encounter with a Crank, I highly advise you to leave said body part behind and run like hell. Unless it's a leg, of course."

    Who Should/Shouldn't Read
    • Obviously for fans of the rest of the trilogy, wouldn't recommend reading unless you have read first two books
    • Will appeal to both male and female readers
    4.5 Dewey's

    I received this from Random House in exchange for an honest review -- thanks guys this was a fabulous ride - will be keeping this series for Jake to enjoy in a couple of years