Jenny's Book Bag A Book Review Blog

Book Review: Finders Keepers by Stephen King

Rating: “Shit don’t mean shit.” That’s the most memorable quote in the book which is why so many readers have referenced it. I took me to about mid-point to get into this book, which made it a disappointing start because I loved Mr. Mercedes. The second half of the book was a gripping mystery/thriller, which made up for the slow, boring beginning. John Rothstein is a novelist whom Morris Bellamy loves, but Morris is pissed off that John Rothstein stopped writing and he thinks he’s sold out. So, one day Morris robs John’s house, taking all of the money from...

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Book Review: Girl at War by Sara Novic

Rating: “Luka, I killed a man. Maybe more than one—who knows what happened when I was just shooting out the window. I could have hit someone else.” “You were defending yourself.” “I’m no better than any of them.” “You were a little kid. You didn’t even know what you were doing.” “No, that’s the thing. When I was shooting—when I shot that guy—I liked it. I knew it was bad and I liked it. I wasn’t sorry.” *   *   * This is a beautifully written debut novel. It has flowing prose, rich characters, and a vivid storyline with a point...

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Book Review: Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley

Rating: “For the first time in my entire life, I have power. More than power. I feel like I belong. Like this is my ship. Like this is my country. Like this is my destiny.” I have so much respect for writers like Maria Dahvana Headley who are so immensely creative that they can create an entire world. There’s nothing cookie cutter about this novel and I love that! Aza is a young girl with a lung disease that doctors are unable to diagnose. It’s hard for her to breathe, so every day is a struggle, but her family and...

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Book Review: Never, Never (Book #1) by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher

Rating: This book reeled me in right out of the gate and I read it in one sitting. It’s that good. I love this line: “How odd to be made of flesh, balanced on bone, and filled with a soul you’ve never met.” Can you imagine feeling like a stranger to yourself? Charlie and Silas are two high school teens who can’t remember anything beyond three hours ago. They can’t remember their names, what they look like, where they live, nothing! I love that kind of weirdness and the suspense is amazing. This book is only 150 pages, so it’s...

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Book Review: If I Fall, If I Die by Michael Christie

Rating: I loved the storyline, but not the execution. I love novels whose main characters have a mental illness and the more screwed up they are, the better. I find those storylines fascinating. “If I Fall, If I Die” starts out strong, but halfway through, it got boring so I stopped at page 162. The novel is about an agoraphobic mother, Diane, raising her son, Will, in their home, but one day her son wants to venture outside. He learns that being outside is much safer than his mother lead him to believe and the world didn’t come to an...

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Book Review: Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver

Rating: I listened to the audiobook, which was narrated by a six-member cast. The narrators did a nice job, but there’s only so much they can do to save a story. E. Lockhart was quoted on the cover of the Playaway unit calling it a psychological thriller, one of my favorite genres, so I was excited to read this. By the way, I enjoyed We Were Liars much more and I think Lockhart did a better job with that twist than Oliver did with this one. The summary of Vanishing Girls sounded compelling, but it was actually very boring, in...

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Book Review: In The Woods by Tana French

Rating: In the Woods is about three kids who play in the woods near their homes, but only one is found, Adam Robert Ryan. Twenty years latrr, he’s a detective who’s investigating a murder of a girl in the same woods where his friends disappeared. I never would have guessed that this was a debut novel; she writes like a veteran right out of the gate. She has fully developed characters that will have you knowing all of their little personality quirks. She adds a touch of humor at times, such as this snippet between Rob and his partner Cassie...

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Book Review: Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Rating: I rarely give a book five stars, but Great Expectations deserves it. This book made me a Charles Dickens fan. I read it in high school, but recently reread it as an adult. I’m so glad that I did! After reading Great Expectations, A Christmas Carol and David Copperfield, I want to read all of Dickens’ work. Technically, this isn’t a full review, but I do want to say that if you haven’t read Great Expectations definitely read this one. This book taught me that not all classics are dry and boring. Some are fantastic! Back to Top

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Book Review: Aquarium by David Vann

Rating: This is one of those novels that keeps your attention from start to finish and makes you lose track of time. It has flowing prose, interesting characters and wonderfully messy family drama. Twelve year old Caitlin lives with her mother, Sheri. Caitlin goes to the local aquarium every day after school until her mother picks her up after work. At the aquarium, Caitlin befriends an old man and discovers a family secret that infuriates her mother. Caitlin’s best friend is Shalini and her mother supports the friendship until something happens that shocks Sheri. Sheri tries to teach Caitlin exactly...

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