Book Review: Court of Fives by Kate Elliott

Court of FivesJessamy was born into a life where class decided her value. When she finally breaks tradition and trains in secret for the Fives; a deadly competition that tests her both physically and mentally, she knows she must keep her identity hidden. But things are never that easy. Situations with her father’s political ambitions complicate her options, and a forbidden friendship with Kalliarkos changes things in new and unexpected ways. 

Could not put this book down. In fact, I haven’t started the next one because I’m worried it will be the same way. I loved Jessamy’s character and some of the tough choices she had to make. I’m really interested in the the path this story will travel. A few of my teens have loved this, but some had trouble getting started at first. Once they give it a few pages, most have been hooked. This is on the 2017 Texas Lone Star Reading List and the Tayshas Reading List as well.
Quotes

You know that time you had a lot of great quotes, but you couldn’t find them anywhere???? Boo. Sorry people. I’ll make up for it when I read the next one.
Recommended Grades: 8-12

Genre: Action Adventure

Overall Opinion: Highly Recommend

Source: Book

Book Review:You are Free: Be Who You Already Are by Rebekah Lyons

You are FreeThis book was part practical application and part memoir. It was an interesting look at the ways we let the pressure, opinions of others, and self doubt bog us down in our spiritual walk. The author was honest and generous, sharing personal stories that will speak to many readers. 

I attended the concert/conference called Broken and Free that Mrs. Lyons spoke at, which is why I decided to read this book. Let me just say, it was amazing to see a room full of women singing with hearts lifted up to God. It was inspiring and encouraging. This book has gotten a lot of mixed reviews, but for me, this book was good with moments of great. I think that is because no person’s life experiences are going to connect perfectly with all parts of another person’s life. The parts that spoke profoundly to me, might not impact you at all (and vice versa). That is the great part of a book like this, take the jewels meant for you and apply them.
Quotes

A conversation with God about Him being enough:

     You matter to me; is that not enough?

     Silence.

     “For some reason I’m not doing this for an audience of one.” I admitted.

     So I‘m not enough?

     “Yeah; you are kind of not enough. Why is this the case?”

Later she adds:

I realized no amount of public affection would heal my wounds. No number of roads traveled, cities frequented, books sold, positive reviews, or even souls healed would restore me. In those quiet moments, as I dialogued with God, he whispered his truth:

Public affection cannot heal private rejection.
Recommended Grades: High school-Adult

Genre: Nonfiction

Overall Opinion: Above Average

Source: Book

Book Review: Nightfall by Jake Halpern

NightfallBook Review:Nightfall by Jake Halpern

Summary

As Marin and her family prepare to leave her homeland, the world around her is changing as it goes from day to night; an event that only happens every 28 years. The closer they get to night, the more strange things they begin to encounter. When a friend goes missing, Marin and her brother race against time to find Line before the boats leave. Will they make it in time? I could tell you, but then you would miss a great book!

Review
I started reading this book because a teacher recommended it to me. The audio was very well done on this. My only frustration is that the second book wasn’t out yet. LOL. One of the things I liked best in this book was the imagery.You could really visualize the story. 

Quotes

At some point when things go wrong, you have to fix them yourself. 

Recommended Grades: 7-12

Genre: Mystery

Overall Opinion: Recommend 

Source: Audio

Book Blog: Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

Saint AnythingThat moment when the list of book reviews you need to do is over one page…and you realize that you haven’t blogged since October…and you can’t decide where to start…yeah. Sooo….without further ado:

Book Review: Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

When Sydney’s brother is arrested, she is left to deal with the aftermath. She is conflicted because she feels a sense of duty to both the victim and her brother. Normally hiding in the shadows, Sydney struggles to find her place in the family now that the roles are starting to change. When she meets new friends, they help her face the future by first better understanding herself. 

Quotes
It wasn’t that I’d broken down, but that I hadn’t been alone when I did so. You only really fall apart in front of the people you know can piece you back together.

I was used to being invisible. People rarely saw me, and if they did, they never looked close. I wasn’t shiny and charming like my brother, stunning and graceful like my mother, or smart and dynamic like my friends. That’s the thing, though. You alway think you want to be noticed. Until you are.

Recommended Grades: 8-12

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Overall Opinion: Recommended

Source: Audiobook

Book Review: The Geeks Guide to Unrequited Love by Sarvenaz Tash

geeksBook Review: The Geeks Guide to Unrequited Love by Sarvenaz Tash

Graham has been in love with Roxy most of his life. The trouble is that she doesn’t know. This year, he plans on telling her at Comic Con, after he arranges the perfect day. Will things go as planned? Of course not, or no one would want to read the book! HA HA.

First, can we just take a moment to love on this cover. You have to admit this is stunning! I think my students who love all things geek will really like this book. It was cute and true to comic con/sci-fi fans. You can tell that some research was done! The plot was quick and will have appeal for reluctant readers. For me, I loved the love affair with writing more than the love affairs in the book!

Quote about writing

“I know what is has to feel is epic. But also sweet. Like the romantic subplot of a superhero movie. Like that rainy, upside-down kiss in Spider-Man. But knowing what something is supposed to convey and actually getting it to do that is hard. Ask any writer.”

Recommended Grades: 12
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Overall Opinion:   Average
Source: Book

Book Review: The Book of Ivy by Amy Engel

ivyBook Review: The Book of Ivy by Amy Engel

Ivy is set to enter into an arranged marriage, but her ultimate goal is to kill her new husband so her father can overthrow the government. The problem? Her new husband is actually a great guy. It’s dystopian, so of course the main character has to question everything and start creating a plan of her own. HA! BUT Ivy is more broken than she realized, and keeps getting in her own way.

I read this book and the second book back to back on audio (minus the few days I had to wait for the someone to finish reading the second one. I really enjoyed this series. I thought there was an honesty about love in this book, and although similar to some other dystopian works, it kept me reading because it was more a study of human nature than anything. The second book is just as good as the first.

Quotes: (listened on audio, so punctuation might be wrong). The second one made me stop and actually rewind. Such powerful words!

“Love isn’t something you can legislate. Love is more than charts and graphs and matching interests. Love is messy and complicated, and it is a mistake to deny its random magic.”

“He didn’t save me though; he allowed me the freedom to save myself, which is the very best kind of rescue.”

Recommended Grades:8-12
Genre: Dystopian
Overall Opinion: Average only because I’ve read so much dystopian, but probably would have rated above average if I’d read a few years ago. I’m curious to read her other book now to see how it compares. I really do enjoy her writing.
Source: audiobook

Book Review: Stars Above by Marissa Meyer

starsBook Review: Stars Above by Marissa Meyer

This short story collection features the much anticipated back story of some of your favorite characters in the Lunar Chronicles, as well as a few lesser known ones. I mean really…who doesn’t want to be a part of the wedding? And the proposal??

This is a nice addition to any collection that has the Lunar Chronicles. I love the voice in this series, and readers will like the deeper look into some of these plots. The collection flew off the shelf in my library as soon as I added it on display. The audio for this is also very well done. I love that it’s been the same person through the whole series.

Quotes: None because they weren’t the same taken out of context…and didn’t make sense without too much information.

Recommended Grades: 7-12
Genre: Science Fiction
Overall Opinion:   Recommend
Source: Audio

P.S. Sorry for the missing posts this month. Back to school craziness…blah…blah…mostly just lazy about blogging!