Jenny's Book Bag A Book Review Blog

Review: The List

The List by Patricia Forde My rating: 3 of 5 stars “1984 meets The Giver” 3.5 stars I just love dystopian novels and when I read the summary of this, I knew I had to read it. I’m so glad that I did! It’s an entertaining read even if there’s a lot of familiarity to it. Some of the references are obvious, but it’s a refreshing twist on a few well-loved classics. Speech is limited to five hundred words, so dialogue makes everyone sound like non-native English speakers. Words such as “please” and “thank you” aren’t list words. Desecrators are...

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Review: The Notations of Cooper Cameron

The Notations of Cooper Cameron by Jane O’Reilly My rating: 5 of 5 stars 4.5 stars This was a wonderful story with exceptional writing. It’s a story about an eleven-year-old boy with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and the affects it has on his family. Cooper decides he wants to cure himself so that his family will be whole again. I just loved the writing and the story execution. First, I love that his name, Cooper Cameron, is alliterative. This story is written in third person, but at times, the narrative voice sounds how somebody with OCD would think. One of...

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Review: Paper Butterflies

Paper Butterflies by Lisa Heathfield My rating: 4 of 5 stars This book made me feel like I was the one abused instead of June. I read warnings in other reviews that I shouldn’t read this if I’m not in a good emotional place or if I’m sensitive to scenes of abuse. I ignored the warnings, because the story was intriguing. God, they weren’t even exaggerating! It’s rare for a novel to make me feel so emotionally connected that I’m almost convinced that it’s a reality. I was so angry and anxious as I read this that I wasn’t sure...

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Review: Gwendy’s Button Box

Gwendy’s Button Box by Stephen King My rating: 4 of 5 stars Oh, this was so much fun to read! Everything appears normal at first until Gwendy meets the man in the black hat at Castle View. Richard Farris gives Gwendy the button box and explains how it works. After their meeting, Gwendy’s life is never the same. A lot happens in 170 pages. The story begins in August of 1974 when Gwendy is twelve years old and ends in June of 1984. I felt Gwendy’s constant anxiety over the box. She worried about somebody stealing it and misusing it....

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Review: The Unexpected Life of Oliver Cromwell Pitts

The Unexpected Life of Oliver Cromwell Pitts by Avi My rating: 4 of 5 stars This reads like a children’s classic in a Dickensian style minus the verbosity. More on that later. What I love most about this novel are the characters, the story, and the writing style. This story takes place in England, 1724. Oliver, his sister Charity, and his father Gabriel are a poor family surrounded by criminal masterminds. Charity goes to London and Oliver wakes up and realizes that not only is his father missing, but also their house is flooded from a storm. His father left...

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Review: One for Sorrow

One for Sorrow by Mary Downing Hahn My rating: 5 of 5 stars 4.5 stars This was such a page-turner for me that I read it in one day. The story and characters were so captivating that I was hooked on page one. I think this is the first time I’ve ever read an entire book in one day. This is a suspenseful story that’s a mixture of historical fiction and a children’s ghost story. I didn’t want to stop reading this because I HAD to know what happened next. I was so engrossed in this story that I didn’t...

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Review: Letters to a Young Writer: Some Practical and Philosophical Advice

Letters to a Young Writer: Some Practical and Philosophical Advice by Colum McCann My rating: 4 of 5 stars This book is inspiring and liberating. I feel like Colum McCann cut my puppet strings and gave my writing free will. There were many times when a passage jumped out at me as if the author were speaking directly to me. I’m going to try to limit my quotes and not quote half of the book. This one quote made me feel like he was pointing his finger at me. ”A writer is not someone who thinks obsessively about writing, or...

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Review: Daughter of the Pirate King

Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller My rating: 4 of 5 stars 3.5 stars Well, I thought this was a fun, adventure story. Sometimes you just want an easy read that will take you to another place for a while without any complications. If you want to read a summary of this novel, you can read it here. The narrative voice is in first person from Alosa’s perspective and right out of the gate, you clearly see her personality. She’s a badass seventeen-year-old pirate captain who’s fearless and clever. Sharp-tongued. She’s definitely not all talk. When she threatens...

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Review: Ghost Talkers

Ghost Talkers by Mary Robinette Kowal My rating: 4 of 5 stars I first heard about Ghost Talkers from Booklist Online in their feature article The Reading List: Best Adult Genre Fiction. It made their short list in the fantasy genre category. I’d never heard of Mary Robinette Kowal until this article. The synopsis sounded intriguing, so, I jumped onto Goodreads to look at some of the reviews. I was pleasantly surprised to see that not only did Brandon Sanderson and Patrick Rothfuss both read this book, but they both gave it five stars. This is a good kind of...

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Review: The Bone Witch

The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco My rating: 2 of 5 stars I DNF’d this novel at 20%. The Bone Witch was a major disappointment for me. I was so excited to receive a copy of this; the synopsis sounds intriguing and the cover is just beautiful. This didn’t turn out to be the great young adult fantasy novel that I was expecting. I was shocked when I discovered that The Bone Witch is her third published novel in the US. With all of the issues I had with this, I would have guessed that it was a debut novel....

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Review: Caraval

Caraval by Stephanie Garber My rating: 4 of 5 stars Caraval was such a refreshingly fun read! I loved the story, the world, the characters and I even loved hating some of the characters. It looks like Caraval is going to be a two-book series and I’m going to have to wait until 2018 to read the second book. I can’t wait that long! This is the summary taken directly from Goodreads, which you can also read here. Whatever you’ve heard about Caraval, it doesn’t compare to the reality. It’s more than just a game or a performance. It’s the...

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Review: Gilded Cage

Gilded Cage by Vic James My rating: 2 of 5 stars I don’t know where all of these four and five stars came from or what they saw that I didn’t. I’m soooo disappointed in Gilded Cage. I struggled to finish this. I actually skimmed the last 30% of it and I was tempted to skip a big chunk of it to read the ending. I loved the story concept and the title and I couldn’t wait to start reading it, but the writing failed in its delivery at least for me it did. It was just so darn boring....

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