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!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Book Addicts Haul

For Review

Thanks Random House and Scholastic
Thanks Scholastic
Thanks Scholastic (And Jake says woo hoo!!!)
Thanks Rita

Book Pimp care package

Love you Jenn - look at the fab stuff she sent me from OLA

Thanks HCCFrenzy

From - Thanks Amanda for G.C.
From Chapters Shawnessy - awesome workout tapes - really seeing a difference in my body

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Obvious Game by Rita Arens

The Obvious Game
by Rita Arens
Inkspell Publishing
ISBN: 978-0-9851483-7-9
Suggested Ages: 13+
Buy from Indigo

Description: "Your shirt is yellow." "Your eyes are blue." "You have to stop running away from your problems."  "You're too skinny."

Fifteen-year-old Diana Keller accidentally begins teaching The Obvious Game to new kid Jesse on his sixteenth birthday. As she buries her shock about her mother's fresh cancer diagnosis in cookbooks, peach schnapps and Buns of Steel workouts, Diana both seduces athlete Jesse and shoves him away under the guise of her carefully constructed sentences. As their relationship deepens, Diana avoids Jesse's past with her own secrets -- which she'll protect at any cost. Will Diana and Jesse's love survive his wrestling obsession and the Keller family's chaos, or will all their important details stay buried beneath a game?

The Good Stuff
  • This one was a real challenge for me to read as it is way too close and personal.  It's funny how I can speak so openly about wanting to kill myself while suffering with post partum depression but the thought about even discussing this makes me break out in sweats.    This girl was almost me and it hurt to read about those same emotions I had and all the stupid shit I used to do to my body.  I was very lucky that it never got this far, but I won't lie, it was very close.  Even to this day, I am a healthy slimish girl, but will always see my self as the fat girl I used to be
  • Heartfelt, honest and realistic
  • Nice uses of humour at just the right moments
  • nice mentions of faith without being too preachy
  • Realistic scenes of teenage life 
  • For anyone who has ever suffered from this type of disorder you will understand how true to life this tale is (For example I also cut up all the pictures of me when I was overweight)
  • hopeful message
  • Parents are realistic and damaged but never hurtful or stupid like in many YA novels
  • This isn't your preachy issue book like some of the stuff I read back in high school but a raw and honest account of all the emotions and actions of someone who is suffering. No tied up neatly after school special type of story
The Not So Good Stuff
  • There are some spots were it jumps around and is disjointed. Hard to explain this late at night but there were a couple of spots were I had to go back a couple of pages to reread and make sure I hadn't missed something (but take this with a grain of salt -- I am a speed reader and this happens quite frequently to me)
  • Man if Amanda was my friend I would slap that self involved narcissistic girl right across the face
  • Very raw at times that I felt myself tearing up and wanting to hug the old teenage me

Favorite Quotes/Passages

"Plus, people don't really notice when you're doing half the time anyway.  They're too busy worrying about themselves."

"The first cut felt smooth, the blades slicing through gleaming photo paper, just the right amount of resistance.  I took quite a bit off my butt and thighs, slightly less around my calves.  My breathing slowed as I worked, as though my transformation were already happening."

"Everyone trusted me. Good old dependable Diana. Which was why most people didn't notice at first that I was in trouble."

Who Should/Shouldn't Read
  •  All mothers of girls so maybe you can truly understand some of the signs 
  • Any tween or teen
  • Those who have suffered or suffering from an eating disorder - a good reminder that you are not alone and it will get better
  • A must have for every junior high, high school and public library

4.5 Dewey's

I received this from Rita Arens in exchange for an honest review

Nigellissima by Nigella Lawson

by Nigella Lawson
ISBN: 9780307362711
Random House of Canada
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced 
Buy from Indigo

Description: Nigellissima takes inspiration from Italian cooking to bring the spirit of Italy into the kitchen and onto the plate, pronto. At the heart of Italian cookery lies a celebration of food that is fresh, tasty and unpretentious; Nigella Lawson reflects this in recipes that are simple and speedy, elevating everyday eating into no-fuss feasts.

Italian food has colonised the world. Nigellissima shows us how and why in over 100 delicious dishes - from telephone-cord pasta with Sicilian pesto to the crustless Meatzza, from Sardinian couscous to Venetian stew, from penne to papardelle, from ragù to risotto, from Italian apple pie and no-churn ices to panna cotta and sambuca kisses - in a round-Italy quickstep that culminates in a festive chapter of party food, with an Italian-inspired Christmas feast as its mouthwatering centerpiece. From the traditional to the unfamiliar, here are recipes to excite the taste buds and the imagination, without stressing the cook.

Nigella's gastronomic heart is in Italy, and in this new book she conjures up, with passionate relish, the warmth, simplicity and directness of Italian cooking, with an Anglo-twist. Illustrated with gorgeous photographs to instruct and delight Nigellissima is accompanied by a major new BBC TV series.

The Good Stuff
  • Truly stunning photography
  • Love the use of many natural ingredients
  • Plenty of unusual combinations that really work 
  • Simple uncomplicated meals
  • The introduction is fabulous and interesting - one of the more in-depth introductions I have ever seen in a cookbook
  • The Shrimp Pasta Rosa is now a main staple in our weekly dinners. Its easy and quick to make and the kids love it. We also substitute chicken for the shrimp frequently as seafood is seriously pricey in Calgary (and don't get me started on how expensive dairy products are in this province - Mascarpone is $12 a container - thank god this recipe only calls for a bit of it)
  • A fabulous cookbook as every recipe has a remarkable introduction - definitely one of a kind
  • From this day on I will only make her fries - her cooking method (up front stolen from another chef) is the perfect method for french fries. Never greasy!!!!!
  • I love her because she is down to earth & loves food - and because she refuses to be Photoshopped!!!!!  (Hubby thinks she is hot too)
  • You have to make the mascarpone/ricotta crepes - trust me - I ate 4 at one sitting - num num num num

The Not So Good Stuff
  • Not really a not so good entry - more an fyi - read the introduction before making any of the recipes, it makes a huge difference when prepping and preparing the recipes 
  • Not a lot of kid friendly type recipes - my kids had fun looking at the pictures and mentioning unflattering comments about what the finished product looked like (for example one picture reminded them of vomit & I won't tell you what they said about one of the recipes that involved squid ink pasta)
  • This is not one for the beginner cook. Way too many ingredients and steps that will frustrate the novice
  • She actually suggested using store bought crepes -- gasp -- much cheaper to make your own (Yes Jeff made them for me - you know I suck at making them)

Favorite Recipes
  • Chocolate Olive Oil Cake
  • Mascarpone & Ricotta Crepes with Rum Steeped Strawberries (to die for I swear - btw recipe calls for store bought crepes - we made our own and much better, cheaper & healthier)
  • Shrimp Pasta Rosa (we eat this weekly - sometimes with chicken)
  • Italian Tempura Shrimp - Now I suggest u spice up your tempura batter & forget the deep frying of the sage & lemon (icky)
  • Italian Breakfast Banana Bread - very moist & although I balked at adding espresso - it actually gives it an interesting edge (ok & I added chocolate chips - hey I have too - banana bread is wrong without it)
Who Should/Shouldn't Use
  • Obviously fans of Nigella will enjoy
  • This book is not for cooks like me -- I am much too lazy for the work involved
  • Would recommend this book for more experienced cooks who like to experiment and have access to hard to find ingredients
4 Dewey's (Quality is a 5 - but I base my review on MY enjoyment of them)

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

Italian Breakfast Banana Bread (w/ Mascarpone Cheese)
Mascarpone/Ricotta Crepes w/ Rum Steeped Strawberries)
Tuscan Fries
Italian Tempura Shrimp
Chocolate Olive Oil Cake

Monday, February 25, 2013

Tokyo Heist by Diana Renn : Mini Review

Tokyo Heist
by Diana Renn
Viking Juvenile (Penguin)
ISBN: 9780670013326
Suggested Ages: 11+ (minor violence no naughty stuff)
Buy from Indigo

Description: When sixteen-year-old Violet agrees to spend the summer with her father, an up-and-coming artist in Seattle, she has no idea what she's walking into. Her father's newest clients, the Yamada family, are the victims of a high-profile art robbery: van Gogh sketches have been stolen from their home, and, until they can produce the corresponding painting, everyone's lives are in danger--including Violet's and her father's.

Violet's search for the missing van Gogh takes her from the Seattle Art Museum, to the yakuza-infested streets of Tokyo, to a secluded inn in Kyoto. As the mystery thickens, Violet's not sure whom she can trust. But she knows one thing: she has to solve the mystery--before it's too late.

Mini Review: A delightfully fun mystery read that is perfect for the YA lover who either is sick or or dislikes any paranormal/dystopian type of read.  Violet is is a charming heroine that many young girls will feel a connection to.  This is also a book that the manga lover will thoroughly enjoy as the Japanese animation is an integral to the plot of the story.   I did find the constant manga  mentions and Japanese expressions a little irritating at times but than again I am not the intended audience for this, so feel free to ignore my comment on that. I also really disliked Violet's father (although there was some wonderful realistic character development with him) and just wanted to smack him on many occasion.  Was impressed with the thorough amount of research the author did in relation to all facets of the art world and Japanese culture.  I wish the store I worked at had some copies of this book as many of our young customers are sick of the dystopian & paranormal stories and want something just like this.

4 Dewey's

Jenn lent this to me as part of a read a long that she takes part in with Michele and Chandra - Thanks ladies this was a refreshing change from what I have been reading

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Sever by Lauren DeStefano

Sever (The Chemical Garden #3)
by Lauren DeStefano
Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9781442409095
Buy from Indigo
Suggested Ages: 14+

Description: With the clock ticking until the virus takes its toll, Rhine is desperate for answers. After enduring Vaughn’s worst, Rhine finds an unlikely ally in his brother, an eccentric inventor named Reed. She takes refuge in his dilapidated house, though the people she left behind refuse to stay in the past. While Gabriel haunts Rhine’s memories, Cecily is determined to be at Rhine’s side, even if Linden’s feelings are still caught between them.

Meanwhile, Rowan’s growing involvement in an underground resistance compels Rhine to reach him before he does something that cannot be undone. But what she discovers along the way has alarming implications for her future—and about the past her parents never had the chance to explain.

In this breathtaking conclusion to Lauren DeStefano’s Chemical Garden trilogy, everything Rhine knows to be true will be irrevocably shattered.

The Good Stuff
  • Fabulous character development.  Really liked that no one is truly evil or truly good - gives the story a more realistic feel
  • Satisfying ending for the trilogy. Leaves opportunities for further books in this richly created world, yet if this is it, still works perfectly
  • Destefano does a fabulous job of mood and setting. She makes you feel that this world is real
  • Unpredictable and exciting
  • Heartbreaking at times -- you will cry, trust me
  • Love many of the secondary characters and was glad that DeStefano flushed out their back stories

The Not so Good Stuff
  • The cover is blah
  • Some of the explanations for the world they live in were just so silly and I am sorry really couldn't happen
  • Gabriel is dull and Rhine and his relationship feels more brother/sister than boyfriend/girlfriend
Favorite Quotes/Passages

"When I lost Rose, I kept going, I still do, but I'll never be what I was when she was alive. I'll always feel like something's -- not right, without her."

"I brought him into this world thinking he'd have a shot at surviving, and I am not going to just sit here and wait to die if there's still a chance."

"I think he's beginning to understand, and understanding is a horrible thing."

Who Should/Shouldn't Read
  • Definitely you shouldn't read this unless you have read the rest of the series
  • But if you like dystopian or Atwood's Handmaids Tale, this is something you might want to pick up the first two books

4.5 Dewey's

Jenn picked this up for me from the OLA Super-conference and I totally love her for it

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Merivel by Rose Tremain

by Rose Tremain
W.W. Norton & Co.
ISBN: 978-0-393-07957-9
Buy from Indigo

Description: Get ready to laugh, prepare to weep -- Robert Merivel is back in Rose Tremain's magical sequel to "Restoration."
Robert Merivel, courtier to Charles II is no longer a young man -- but off he goes to France in search of the Sun King and to Switzerland in pursuit of a handsome woman. Versailles -- all glitter in front and squalor behind -- is a fiasco: Merivel is forced to share an attic (and a chamber pot) with a Dutch clock-maker while attempting to sustain himself on peas and jam and water from the fountains. Switzerland, by contrast, is perhaps a little too comfortable. But the lady, a clever botanist, leads Merivel deliciously on -- until her jealous husband bursts in with dueling pistols.
As he narrates the picaresque journey, Merivel gets into all sorts of scrapes; he is torn between enjoying himself and making something of his life, through medicine and the study of science. He tries to be diligent, but constantly backslides into laughter and laziness. A big-hearted rogue who loves his daughter, his country house and the English King... Merivel is Everyman -- and he speaks directly to us down the centuries.

The Good Stuff
  • Intrigued me enough to want to go out and get a copy of Restoration (Prequel to this story)
  • Although extremely slow at times it still kept me interested enough to keep reading & again regretting that I probably should have read Restoration first
  • Merivel is a likeable and easy to understand character and one that we can all see a bit of ourselves in
  • Drily witty - this author has a delightfully British sense of humour that I truly appreciated
  • Eloquent writing style
  • Historically accurate
The Not So Good Stuff
  • Extremely slow and depressing at times
  • I know I have mentioned this a thousand times during this review, I really think not reading the first book did a disservice to my enjoyment of this book
Favorite Quotes/Passages

"For the reason that you would not know of my falling, for I am a servant, Sir Robert, and have practiced the Art of Invisibility for these twenty years, so that the sight of me, whether upright or lying down, be never troubling to you."

"and this I find I do dislike among the very pious, that they must always assume a man's soul requires their Intervention, without first politely inquiring whether that soul wishes it or not."

"Of course. You held Wonder in your hands and than you lost it."

Who Should/Shouldn't Read
  • Although you can read this without reading Restoration first, I think it would be something enjoyed more if you did
  • Not your beach read sort of book, this is one to take slowly and just enjoy
  • Think this would appeal to a more mature reader 
  • Definitely for those who enjoy historical fiction

3 Dewey's

I received this from W.W. Norton in exchange for an honest review

Slim for Life by Jillian Michaels

Slim for Life
by Jillian Michaels
Harmony Books (Random House)
ISBN: 978-0-385-34922-2
Buy from Indigo

DescriptionStop battling your weight and slim down for life with this no-nonsense, insider’s plan from America’s health, wellness, and weight-loss guru: Jillian Michaels. She has helped millions lose weight and feel great, and now she can help you, too.

Bestselling author and Biggest Loser trainer Jillian Michaels swore she’d never write another diet book. But she realized that with all of the conflicting, overly complicated information being thrown at you each day, what you need is a clear, simple plan that cuts through all the confusion to deliver amazing results, fast. This book distills all she’s learned about diet, fitness, and a healthy lifestyle to provide anyone seeking to be slim, strong, and healthy with an easier path to achieving dramatic body transformation.

You’ll learn to:
* Utilize Jillian’s insider secrets for optimizing your fat-burning potential
* Dispel myths and avoid diet trends that will damage your metabolism and make it harder for you to lose weight
* Banish self-sabotage, build support, and cultivate lasting motivation
* Navigate and circumvent every possible pitfall presented by any situation or circumstance you could come up against—from weight-loss plateaus to travel, budget, and time constraints
* Eat, move, and live in manageable, and even enjoyable, ways that facilitate a slim, sexy physique
* Supplement strategically, manage stress, and even purchase the proper home and beauty products—all to help ignite your metabolism
No nonsense, no gimmicks, just actionable advice that gets incredible results fast!

The Good Stuff
  • OMG, I totally have a girl crush on her.  She's my kind of women.  A practical, no BS kinda women
  • Self deprecating and funny
  • Doesn't bore you with the science behind everything, but does give you a little background so you understand
  • Very little self promotion and if you have read any of these types of books before you will know that is pretty rare
  • Fabulous index (yes I think we all know by now, that this is important to me) and plenty of references to back up her information
  • The fast fact asides are interesting and useful
  • This is a must have for everyone - she is all about moderation (btw Jillian sweetie I have kids can we agree that it is okay to have 4-5 glasses of wine a week instead of two -- I know I know but hell if you meet my kids you will understand)
  • Everything is practical and affordable
  • She goes into living a more healthy lifestyle as well - not just being slim.  Recommends some healthy home and beauty changes you can make to live a healthier and longer life
  • The first lifestyle book that I didn't want to put down
  • She's a firm believer in everything in moderation - and I truly believe that is the key to being happy
  • Yes totally agree with her about reading nutrition labels properly.  You won't believe some of the shit companies try to get away with. We noticed some of the Blue Label products were labeled fat-free but the amount of sodium was off the charts\
  • Great practical recipes for ways of spicing up meals without adding calories and salt (sorry my DH had a heart attack and we are extremely vigilant about added salt in products and recipes)
The Not So Good Stuff
  • Ok loved her so much I went out and purchased a couple of her workout tapes and OWWW! In all seriousness she gets results - I can even see the beginning of muscles already and I am more a go for a long walk and consider that exercise kinda girl
  • Would have liked a few less mentions of slim and more uses of word healthy but hey lets face the facts most of us women want to be told we look slim
  • I now feel slightly bad that I have never watched The Biggest Loser (sorry kids I am not much of a reality TV kinda gal)

Favorite Quotes

"If it didn't come from the ground or the ocean or have a mother - don't eat it. Think about it. Twinkies and Cheestos - what the hell are these? There's no Twinkie tree, and I'm pretty positive that nothing ever gave birth to a Cheeto."

"Kids are kids; we are the adults. It's our job to protect them and make healthy decisions for the whole family."

"The obvious way to lose weight, despite whatever load of crap the diet charlatans tell you, is to eat less and move more.'

Who Should/Shouldn't Read
  • There is something in this for everyone
  • If you want to get healthier and lose weight, get thee to a bookstore and buy immediately (Also recommend Jillian Michaels for Beginners to get the exercise regime started)
4.95 Dewey's

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

Monday, February 4, 2013

S.E.C.R.E.T. by L. Marie Adeline

by L. Marie Adeline
Doubleday Canada (Random House)
ISBN: 978-0-385-67970-1
Buy from Indigo

Description: In S.E.C.R.E.T there are… No Judgments. No limits. No shame.
Cassie Robichaud’s life is filled with regret and loneliness after the sudden death of her husband. She waits tables at the rundown Café Rose in New Orleans, and every night she heads home to her solitary one-bedroom apartment. But when she discovers a notebook left behind by a mysterious woman at the café, Cassie’s world is forever changed. The notebook’s stunningly explicit confessions shock and fascinate Cassie, and eventually lead her to S∙E∙C∙R∙E∙T, an underground society dedicated to helping women realize their wildest, most intimate sexual fantasies. Cassie soon immerses herself in an electrifying journey through a series of ten rapturous fantasies with gorgeous men who awaken and satisfy her like never before. As she is set free from her inhibitions, she discovers a new confidence that transforms her, giving her the courage to live passionately. Equal parts enticing, liberating and emotionally powerful, S∙E∙C∙R∙E∙T is a world where fantasy becomes reality.

The Good Stuff
  • Naughty without anything too kink.  All about desire which makes it just a good steamy, sensual read
  • Empowering, really liked the message about owning and embracing your sexuality
  • Cassie is a likeable character whom many women will relate to & seriously I just wanted to give her a hug at the beginning
  • Telling you now it will be a huge seller
  • Nice twist - thought I knew what was going to happen and was pleasantly surprised
  • Well written and fast paced
  • Great character development for Cassie
  • Nice injection of humour just when it was needed
  • Um if this society really exists - um call me -- I got one involving Nathan Fillion that would really be nice for a good girl like me LOL!
The Not So Good Stuff
  • Some of the naughty bits could have been drawn out more
  • I really don't want this to get put into the genre of Erotica, because it is so much more and the rating could keep people away from reading it
Favorite Quotes/Passages

"After he died , I cried for all the pain he had been in and all the pain he caused, but I didn't miss him."

"Anyone with a set of eyes could have seen that a brown-colored aura had settled over me, like a dusting of defeat. It was time. Time to make a leap."

"Yes, the white rippled snow, which stretched to meet a sky so blue it hurt to look at it was utterly breathtaking. But I also marveled at how my world had changed with a simple "yes".

"He tasted like wine too, and chocolate. Every cell inside me came alive to his taste and touch, smell, and feel."

Who Should/Shouldn't Read
  • Those who thought Fifty Shades of Grey sucked -- this will be more your thing - and trust me there are no mentions of a crack whore mom
  • Just a good story of sexual awakening and taking charge
  • Perfect book for a glass of wine and a bubble bath

4.5 Dewey's

I received this from Random House in exchange for an honest review - Jeff says thanks too LOL!

Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles #2) by Marissa Meyer

Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles #2)
by Marissa Meyer
Feiwal and Friends
ISBN: 978-0-312-64296-9
Suggested Ages: 12+
Publication Date: February 5, 2013
Buy from Indigo

Description: Cinder returns in the second thrilling installment of the New York Times-bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother and the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she has no choice but to trust him, though he clearly has a few dark secrets of his own.

As Scarlet and Wolf work to unravel one mystery, they find another when they cross paths with Cinder. Together, they must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen who will do anything to make Prince Kai her husband, her king, her prisoner.

The Good Stuff
  • Thorne is so awesome, I have a total crush on him (Which makes me feel all sort of cougarish). Reminds me of a cross between Han Solo and Jaime Lannister (well a teenage version of course)
  • Think I like Scarlet even better than Cinder -- she is totally kick ass and less whiny (although nice character development with Cinder in this installment)
  • Story has tons of fun humour which really added to the story
  • Nice chemistry between Scarlet and Wolf
  • Fast paced
  • Love the banter between Thorne and Cinder -- please oh please let her fall for him instead of Kai (who really came across as whiny in this book)
  • Introduces new characters, but still keeps the story of Cinder herself fresh
  • Loved the Iko bits - nice fun stuff
The Not so Good Stuff
  • Not as obvious in this installment but still not a lot of surprises, pretty easy to figure out the "surprise" moments -- than again I am 42
  • Crap how long to I have to wait for the next installment - read Cinder followed immediately by Scarlett -- and now I have to wait how long -- man sometimes these trilogies piss me off LOL - yeah I know whine whine, you get books before other people whine whine
Favorite Quotes/Passages

"He was still dazed, and though she hated to admit it, he was actually rather attractive. If a girl happened to like that square-jaw, bright-blue-eyes, devilish-dimples kinnd of thing.  Although he was in desperate need of a haircut and a good shave."

"A relieved grin filled up Thorne's face. "We're having another moment, aren't we?"
"If by a moment, you mean me not wanting to strangle you for the first time since we met, then I guess we are." Cinder slumped back on the floor. "Although maybe I'm just too exhausted to want to strangle anybody."

"I suspect you would shoot me all over again if you thought it would help your grandmother."
"She blinked up at him, almost surprised to discover how close they were standing. "I would," she said. "But that doesn't mean I wouldn't be sorry about it aftarward."

Who Should/Shouldn't Read
  • you could read this without reading Cinder and not be entirely confused
  • Obviously if you enjoyed Cinder you will love this -- maybe even more
4.25 Dewey's

I borrowed this from fellow book nerd Chandra now passing on to Jen

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Professor GargoyleThe Slither Sisters & by Charles Gilman

Professor Gargoyle (Tales from Lovecraft Middle School #1)
By Charles Gilman
Quirk Books
ISBN: 978-1-59474
Buy from Indigo

Description: Every volume in the Lovecraft Middle School series is fully illustrated and features an original lenticular portrait on the cover. Display them on bookshelves—and then watch the cover characters morph into monsters as you pass by!

In Professor Gargoyle, we’re introduced to 11-year-old Robert Arthur and the strange world of Lovecraft Middle School. It’s a brand-new state-of-the-art facility—so why do so many creepy things keep happening? Why is the science teacher acting so strangely? And where are all the rats coming from?

As Robert explores with his new friends Glenn and Carina, he discovers that the school may be a portal to another world.

The Slither Sisters (Tales from Lovecraft Middle School #2)
by Charles Gilman
Quirk Books
ISBN: 978-1-59474-593-5
Buy from Indigo

Description: This second novel in the Tales from Lovecraft Middle School series begins right where Professor Gargoyle ended.  Seventh-grader Robert Arthur has discovered that two of his classmates are actually sinister snake-women in disguise. Even worse, his new middle school is full of “gates” to a terrifying alternate dimension – a haunted mansion full of strange spirits and monstrous beasts.  For Robert to protect his teachers and classmates, he'll need to return to this haunted dimension with his best friends Glenn and Karina.   Can they uncover the secrets of Lovecraft Middle School before it's too late?

The Slither Sisters features more bizarre beasts, more strange mysteries, and more adventure.  It's perfect for readers ages 10 and up. Best of all, the cover features a state-of-the-art “morphing” photo portrait – so you can personally witness the sisters transforming into their slithering alter egos.  You won't believe your eyes!

The Good Stuff
  • Fast paced  - storyline would keep even the most reluctant reader engaged and not wanting to put book down
  • Twisted and funny (Alot of Whedon type humour)
  • Kids act like kids their age should (well except for the paranormal stuff)
  • Many of the adult characters are realistic and not idiots (yes I know its a pet peeve)
  • Really how many of us at one time didn't think their teachers were evil (I'm still pretty sure Mr Turcok was)
  • Robert is a likeable character and many will understand his predicament - lots of changes when you go to a new school and don't know anyone.  Also growing up is hard
  • I'm sorry even if this series sucked I would pick them up for the cover alone -- my preschooler plays with them for hours
  • In Slither Sisters (mentioned a little in Professor Gargoyle) there is a fantastic Librarian character. Ok they made her old and a tad frumpy, but she still is an awesome character
  • Great morals/messages worked into the story without making it obvious - love an author who can do that effectively
  • The library is awesome, I totally want to work there
  • Will definitely be picking up the next book in the series & will be saving them for Jesse to read when he gets older  (and hopefully Jake will eventually read them oo)

The Not So Good Stuff
  • The cover might freak out the less adventuresome reader (aka my son - won't even pick it up & he would love the story)
  • Do you have any idea how many post it notes I used while reviewing and how hard it was to just pick only 6 quotes (since I am reviewing both at once)
Favorite Quotes/Passages

"He knew the only thing more embarrassing than sitting alone at his new middle school would be sitting with his mommy" from Professor Gargoyle

"These can be filled with downloaded books and checked out from the library - as long as you are very careful with them of course. Personally I'm a little old fashioned. I still prefer the feel of a real book with real pages.  The best feeling in the world if you ask me. But we have to embrace the future don't we children?" Professor Gargoyle

"No one chooses to go to the principal's office," Glenn continued. "You avoid this place. You don't volunteer to come here and hang out." The Slither Sisters

"But I can't win," Robert insisted. "I'm not a leader."
Ms Lavinia shrugged. "Well, I'm afraid you need to become one."  The Slither Sisters

"If my brother learns I'm helping you, he'll rip my head off," she said. "And that's not what your language arts teachers call hyperbole.

Who Should/Shouldn't Read
  • Perfect for the reluctant reader
  • This is one that would even appeal to the stronger middle school reader as it is just such a fun and wicked read
  • Adults will even get a kick out of the series (I sure did -- but lets face it I'm not really an adult - even-though I am 42)
4.75 Dewey's

I received The Slither Sisters from Random House in exchange for an honest review & I purchased Professor Gargoyle because no matter what I always have to read a series in order (but you don't have to read them in order)