One Minute Book Review: The Haunting of Sunshine Girl by Paige McKenzie

the haunting of sunshine girl

The Summary:

Something is happening in Sunshine’s new house. Something not right. Something paranormal. The worst part is that the weirder things become, the less her mom believes her. Is something haunting her house? And what can Sunshine do about it? Especially if she’s the only one who is aware of it?

What I liked:

Another fast paced book and a quick easy read. I really liked that the author did a decent job of building up tension and some kind of creep factor.

What I didn’t like:

It was a little bit predictable after the first. . . act, I suppose, of the story. However, this didn’t leave me cold, and I’ll probably get the next installment in the series, if it’s easy to get a hold of. I will admit though, that it’s not so memorable that I would probably actively look for it.

Verdict:

I would recommend this book for people who like their books to have some creep factor. At the end of the day, though, it’s a fairly typical YA novel, so for those of you who do not enjoy that, be forwarned.

One Minute Book Review: A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

A Walk in the Woods

The Summary:

Author Bill Bryson, along with his friend Katz, decide to walk the Appalachian Trail, or AT, to get reacquainted with America.

What I liked:

Easily the beginning and end of this book, where Bryson and Katz are walking together were easily the best parts of this book. Katz provided plenty of comic relief to Bryson, who seemed a little too serious at times.

What I didn’t like:

The middle was a little heavy, by which I mean that the subject matter got very serious as Bryson spoke about the state of conservation in this country, and what the government means, exactly, by conservation. BUT it was very educational. So even though I didn’t rip through this portion like I did the rest, and even though I got a little bit bored, I easily learned the most during this portion of the book.

Verdict:

If you like to learn, and if you like memoirs and nonfiction, I would definitely recommend this book. It may not be your thing if you like fast-paced and action packed, though.

One Minute Book Review: The Wicked Will Rise by Danielle Paige

the wicked will rise

The Summary:

Dorothy lives. Amy Gumm has failed. Her mission has become complicated. Because now she must not only kill Dorothy, but she must remove the Tin Woodman’s heart, steal the Scarecrow’s brain, and take the Lion’s courage. All while carting around the poor, loopy princess of Oz, Ozma herself. Because now this mission isn’t just about saving Oz, it’s about saving Kansas too.

What I liked:

The manipulation of the world was pretty good. I liked the Ozma storyline well enough.

What I didn’t like:

This one fell really flat for me. The first one was so good, I really loved it, and then I got to the second one, and I wanted to love it, but it felt like it wandered and meandered through this world, not really accomplishing much. I’m not certain if I will read the third in the series, I know it’s a trilogy, but after this one, I’m rather disenchanted with the series.

Verdict:

I can’t recommend this one. If you’re like me, you’re probably reading it because you read the first, but be warned. You may not enjoy it as much.

One Minute Book Review: Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

dorothy must die

The Summary:

Amy Gumm lives in Kansas and her life is bleak to say the least. Her mother could care less about her comings and going, she’s bullied at school, and she wishes she could go anywhere else. Kind of like another famous Kansas girl. Except going over the rainbow isn’t really a possibility for her. . . or is it?

When a tornado hits town, Amy finds her mobile home sucked up inside it and she travels… somewhere. Could this be Oz? Because it’s not what she expected. And neither is Dorothy. In fact, Dorothy seems decidedly evil.

Amy must make her way in an Oz that seems turned on it’s head, where the good guys are evil, and the bad guys might just be good. She’s been recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked, and charged with a mission. Because Dorothy Must Die.

What I liked:

I liked this book. It was good, it was fast paced, action packed, it started quickly, and moved quickly after that. That’s what I’m looking for when I read a Young Adult novel. I want things to escalate quickly, I want them to move along quickly, and I want to just really enjoy the book.

What I didn’t like:

This novel felt cut off. I understand that this was probably done purposefully, but it felt very much like cutting off this book before it’s natural conclusion. It’s a very fast read, and I know YA writers — and often readers– love a good cliffhanger, but it felt contrived here. I wished that it would have done a little bit of wrapping up, instead of leaving us smack dab in the middle of the narrative.

Verdict:

This book is good enough that I would recommend it to those who enjoy reading YA, or a fast paced read.

Where I’ve Been and the Future of this Blog

I know, I know.

I know what you’re thinking.

Nathalie! Where did you go?

Okay, so here’s the deal. . . Back in September I decided I wanted to start posting videos on YouTube. I felt that I could move over there fairly easily, at the time, since it was a format I was familiar with and it was something I’d done before. And because I was moving over there, I planned on kind of leaving the blog behind.

And then, of course, life intervened! Oh no!

Life got hectic (as it always does at the end of the year), and we also made the big decision to homeschool our children, which also necessitated a lot of discussion etc.

So where I am at this moment is that I will probably continue on with the blog. I’m also trying to make the YouTube thing happen, because again, it was something that I’ve done before that I really loved.

In the meantime, I do feel like leaving the blog is a disservice to those who may not enjoy YouTube videos, and just want to sit down and read a book review before deciding to read it.

So in short, I’m not leaving the blogosphere! I’m just trying to expand into some other venues. . . but I’ve read plenty of books since Orphan Train, and since I’m snowed/iced in, I’m writing a bunch of book reviews today!

I’m sorry I left you all for so long. I’m not going to promise to never do it again, because… Well, I’m a human being, and like most human beings I have to do human being things. But I’m going to really make an effort to be around more than I’m not around.

Now, let’s go read a book!

 

 

One Minute Book Review: Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

one minute book review-orphan train by christina baker kline

The Summary:

Molly Ayer has to complete a community service project, and her boyfriend has secured her a project to help an elderly lady clean out her attic. But what Molly finds while helping Vivian Daly clean out her attic is a lot more than just trinkets and old clothes. She discovers a compelling story about another young woman in the same position as she.

What I liked:

So this tugs at your heartstrings. I mean hugely, but not in such a way that you can never recover. I liked that this wasn’t a “ruin your life, I can never trust another book again” kind of book. It was a good story, with some tough subject matter, but with a good ending, and I like a book with a good ending.

What I didn’t like:

The beginning of this book kind of lagged a bit. Once you really get into it it’s pretty compelling, but until then there’s a definite risk of getting bored. My suggestion is to stick with it, for at least the first 100 pages before you judge it.

Verdict:

I would recommend this book to most of my friends, I think. It was a pretty good book, and I think would appeal to a wide audience.

One Minute Book Review: Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

One Minute Book Review- Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

The Summary:

When Sophie is turned into an old woman by the Witch of the Waste she decides she’s off to fine her fortune. Who knew she could find that inside the terrifying Wizard Howl’s castle.

What I liked:

So I’ve seen the movie but I heard that the book needed to be read if you’d seen the movie, and now I see why. I love Miyazaki, but he left out some important stuff that happens in the book, that really helped the entire story make sense. And he also added some stuff to tell the story he wanted to tell. But this was a solid story, well written, and great for kids. It wrapped up a little fast, but again, we’re dealing with a children’s book, so I thought it was fine.

What I didn’t like:

Sometimes the story seemed to lag. But I attribute that to me rather than the story. It was a children’s story, and I think I was looking for something that may not have been a natural part of a children’s story.

Verdict:

I would recommend this if you’ve seen the movie. And I would definitely recommend this for any child. Adults, just remember this is a children’s story, and I think you will enjoy it a lot more.