Jenny's Book Bag A Book Review Blog

Review: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie My rating: 4 of 5 stars The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian is a funny and moving novel that you can read in one day. Sherman Alexie did a fantastic job narrating the audiobook. I completely understand why over 147,000 readers rated this at an average of 4.11 stars on Goodreads. Here’s the summary: ”Bestselling author Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school...

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Review: Legend

Legend by Marie Lu My rating: 3 of 5 stars My review of Legend by Marie Lu is not going to be a popular one. This is another hyped up, bestseller that received rave reviews, but I thought it fell flat. I realize that my opinion is in the minority, but sometimes the reason for a novel’s popularity just isn’t obvious to me. Don’t get me wrong, it’s entertaining, but it wasn’t anything special. I just don’t think the writing, storytelling, or character development is anything exceptional. It’s average. I was expecting a sensational, young adult fantasy novel that set...

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Review: The Stereotypical Freaks

The Stereotypical Freaks by Howard Shapiro My rating: 5 of 5 stars The Stereotypical Freaks by Howard Shapiro is the first graphic novel that has ever made me cry. It was a mixture of tears of joy and tears of sorrow, but I loved it. I’m so thrilled that this is going to be a trilogy! I will definitely read the other two graphic novels. High school seniors, Tom, Dan, Mark, and Jacoby are the smart kid, the geek, the star athlete, and the quiet weirdo. They form a band called “The Stereotypical Freaks” because that’s how they feel about...

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Review: Untouchable

Untouchable by Sibel Hodge My rating: 4 of 5 stars Untouchable by Sibel Hodge is the best psychological thriller that I’ve read this year. Psychological thrillers are one of my favorite genres, so I’m always super excited when I find a new author who knows how to write a page-turner like this one. The synopsis describes this novel as “chillingly dark”, which I think is the perfect description. Maya and her boyfriend Jamie are about to celebrate their second year anniversary. Jamie is several hours late returning home for their anniversary celebration. The police arrive at their home and deliver...

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Review: The Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko

The Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko by Scott Stambach My rating: 4 of 5 stars The Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko is a funny, poignant, and heartbreaking debut novel. Scott Stambach is an intelligent writer who understands people, life and literature. This is an unforgettable story filled with unforgettable characters. This book is compared to The Fault in Our Stars and One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest. I think that if those two books had a baby, it would be The Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko. Seventeen year old Ivan Isaenko has lived in Mazyr Hospital for Gravely Ill Children...

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Review: You Will Know Me

You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott My rating: 4 of 5 stars I’d never heard of Megan Abbott until I started seeing reviews of You Will Know Me popping up everywhere. Wow, I’ve been missing out! I can see why people love her novels so much and become devoted readers. This was quite entertaining right from the start. The audiobook is wonderfully narrated by Lauren Fortgang. I’ve always loved gymnastics, especially on an Olympic level. As a kid, I wanted to learn gymnastics, but I never had the opportunity. This novel puts you front and center into the life...

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Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Parts One and Two

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Parts One and Two by J.K. Rowling My rating: 4 of 5 stars Thank Dumbledore, we have another Harry Potter book to read! OK, technically this is a play, but that’s fine. It’s much better than no Harry Potter book at all. At least we get to read about our favorite characters in our favorite world. I can’t give a Harry Potter book less than four stars even if I have some complaints. I have mixed feelings about Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. When I only had about fifty-four pages left, I...

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Review: The Smaller Evil

The Smaller Evil by Stephanie Kuehn My rating: 3 of 5 stars I enjoyed Stephanie Kuehn’s Delicate Monsters so much that I couldn’t wait to read her latest book The Smaller Evil. However, I was a little concerned when I read some early reviews from several people who said they didn’t understand the ending. After reading it, I’m not sure what the ending means either. Arman is a seventeen-year-old who has anxiety issues and hates himself, so he goes to this weeklong retreat in Big Sur with two of his friends, Dale and Kira. Beau is the leader and Arman...

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Review: Faithful

Faithful by Alice Hoffman My rating: 5 of 5 stars Alice Hoffman’s Faithful is the perfect novel for me and I love everything about it. It’s a short novel with a big heart. Shelby Richmond and Helene Boyd are in a car accident when they’re in their teens. Shelby survives, but Helene’s life is ruined. Shelby thinks it’s all her fault and she can’t seem to move on with her life. This novel resonated with me on so many levels. The story and characters felt so real that it felt like someone was replaying a memory. It’s a beautiful story...

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Review: Pasadena

Pasadena by Sherri L. Smith My rating: 3 of 5 stars Pasadena by Sherri L. Smith is an entertaining young adult novel that’s a compilation of a mystery- thriller and teenage drama. I had some issues with this novel, but let me start out by saying that I did enjoy reading it. I did. It’s a quick read with interesting characters, but there’s a lot of room for improvement. Jude’s best friend Maggie’s body is found dead in a swimming pool. Everyone has a different opinion about the cause of death — accident, suicide, or murder. With Joey’s help, Jude...

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Review: The Woman in Cabin 10

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware My rating: 4 of 5 stars The Woman in Cabin 10 is a captivating psychological thriller that’s reminiscent of Hitchcock’s The Lady Vanishes, but set on a luxury cruise ship traveling the North Sea. This is such a compulsive, suspenseful read that you’ll want to set everything else aside until you’ve reached the end of the book. Ruth Ware is a skilled writer who knows how to grab your attention from the very beginning. Lo Blacklock is a journalist for a travel magazine who’s sent on the luxury cruise ship “Aurora”. In...

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Review: Schism

Schism by Britt Holewinski My rating: 4 of 5 stars Britt Holewinski’s Schism is a highly entertaining dystopian novel that reads like a futuristic Lord of the Flies. I’m pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed Schism. This captivating storytelling grabs the reader from the beginning and doesn’t let go until the very last word. I had tons of fun reading this. Here’s a basic summary, but I don’t want to give anything away. The government created a virus that is accidentally released before they complete their testing and as a result, billions of people die. The only survivors are...

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