May 24, 2016

Picture Book Review: Izzy the Very Bad Burglar by Amy Proud

Title: Izzy the Very Bad Burglar
Author: Amy Proud

Izzy comes from a family of excellent burglars. But every time Izzy takes something that doesn’t belong to her, she gets a bad feeling in her stomach that won’t go away. She tries to tell her parents about the bad feeling, but whenever she mentions it, they tell her she needs to be a good burglar.

Izzy finds ways to make the funny feeling in her stomach subside. She and her friend, Frog, start by tidying up as they burgle. They make the beds, dust, wash the dishes, and do the laundry. When the people come home, some of their things will be gone . . . but at least they won’t have any chores to do.

But that isn’t quite enough. So Izzy also starts baking her special double chocolate brownies with gooey caramel chunks. When the people realize they’ve been burgled, at least they will have a nice, tidy house with no chores to do and something sweet to eat.

But that isn’t quite enough either. Will Izzy ever find a way to get rid of this funny feeling she gets every time she has to steal? Will she find a way to be a good burglar and a good person, too? Readers will fall in love with this little troublemaker with a very big heart.

What a cute book! At first I was thinking how will this book make a positive out of doing something wrong and can it really show kids a good message.  And it does both really well! I just love that she combats the funny (icky) feeling in her stomach when she steals by doing nice things for the family.  I always try to teach my kids that when make a poor choice you need to find a way to make it better for the person you hurt.  But it's cute how far she ends up taking this! And I really loved how the families were starting to set things up so she'd steal from their house so they could get all the cleaning and baking! Very fun twist! The ending was perfect because it allowed Izzy to do what she needed and feel good about it. Loved that.

The illustrations were adorable.  Lots for kids to look at and notice.  I loved the details and the colors used.  They really brought the story to life and gave it a fun whimsy that added to Izzy's growing need to do more and more nice things for people.  

In the end - a cute book that shows the joy doing something nice for someone can bring.

May 18, 2016

WoW: Escape From Asylum!!!

This post is inspired by a meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine.

I see this post as a way to share what I'm waiting on but also a way to highlight a book I think looks good! So yes it's WoW but it's also HoW (Highlighting on Wednesday)

Today I'm Waiting On:

Escape From Asylum by Madeleine Roux
Release Date: June 14th

Ok so I read this whole series.  The last one didn't excite me BUT this is a prequel and it seems to take the series back to what interested me in the first place!!!

In this terrifying prequel novel to the New York Times bestselling Asylum series, a teen is wrongfully committed to the Brookline psychiatric hospital and must find a way out—before he becomes the next victim of the evil warden’s experiments. With the page-turning suspense and unsettling found photographs from real asylums that led Publishers Weekly to call Asylum “a strong YA debut,” Escape from Asylum is perfect for fans of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.

The nightmare is just beginning.

Ricky Desmond has been through this all before. If he could just get through to his mother, he could convince her that he doesn’t belong at Brookline. From the man who thinks he can fly to the woman who killed her husband, the other patients are nothing like him; all he did was lose his temper just a little bit, just the once. But when Ricky is selected by the sinister Warden Crawford for a very special program—a program that the warden claims will not cure him but perfect him—Ricky realizes that he may not be able to wait for his mom a second longer. With the help of a sympathetic nurse and a fellow patient, Ricky needs to escape now.

Set long before Dan, Abby, and Jordan ever walked the hallways of the Brookline asylum—back when it was still a functioning psych ward and not a dorm—Escape from Asylum is a mind-bending and scary installment in the Asylum series that can stand on its own for new readers or provide missing puzzle pieces for series fans.

May 17, 2016

Confusion. Sweetness. Magic. A Review of Bone Gap by Laura Ruby

Title: Bone Gap
Author: Laura Ruby

Everyone knows Bone Gap is full of gaps—gaps to trip you up, gaps to slide through so you can disappear forever. So when young, beautiful Roza went missing, the people of Bone Gap weren’t surprised. After all, it wasn’t the first time that someone had slipped away and left Finn and Sean O’Sullivan on their own. Just a few years before, their mother had high-tailed it to Oregon for a brand new guy, a brand new life. That’s just how things go, the people said. Who are you going to blame?

Finn knows that’s not what happened with Roza. He knows she was kidnapped, ripped from the cornfields by a dangerous man whose face he cannot remember. But the searches turned up nothing, and no one believes him anymore. Not even Sean, who has more reason to find Roza than anyone, and every reason to blame Finn for letting her go.

As we follow the stories of Finn, Roza, and the people of Bone Gap—their melancholy pasts, their terrifying presents, their uncertain futures—acclaimed author Laura Ruby weaves a heartbreaking tale of love and loss, magic and mystery, regret and forgiveness—a story about how the face the world sees is never the sum of who we are.

When I first started this book I was very interested in the story right away.  I wanted to know about Finn and why he behaved the way he did.  I wanted to know who Roza was and what happened to her.  It had my attention.  But then I got confused because things got a little odd.  What I didn't know what that Bone Gap is magical realism.  It put magical/mystical events into a otherwise very realistic story.  And it threw me for a loop.  Ok ok, if I had read the summary better or paid more attention to reviews I might not have been as caught off guard! But I was.  Once I realized that I could let go of trying to fit everything into a realistic world and my confusion went down.  I will admit it never fully went away, but it didn't interfere with my enjoyment any more! 

Now with that out of the way - I did like Bone Gap.  What I liked were the characters.  I loved Finn.  He was so real because he hurt so much because of Roza.  You could just feel it in him.  I wanted him to find peace and answers.  It was hard to watch him struggle so much.  By the end I felt I understood him so much more, and he understood himself! 

I also really loved the character of Petey (Priscilla).  She was probably my favorite character.  I liked how she was strong, but yet you could see that she struggled with accepting herself at times - or more I think accepting what others (Finn) thought of her.  I wanted to hug her at times, but I also knew she was the kind of girl that would've hated that! 

Because I liked these two characters so much I liked the book.  I'm a very character driven reader, and for this book containing the magic it does - I needed to care about the characters or I would've stopped reading it.  Thankfully I didn't because I got to witness Finn and how incredibly sweet he is to Petey.  Or how Roza , even in difficulty, remain sweet and kind.  I got to feel the closeness of Bone Gap and share in its magic.  

In the end: Read it.  Just be more prepared for the magic than I was! 

May 12, 2016

Oh No She Didn't! Review of Girl Last Seen by

Title: Girl Last Seen
Author: Heather Anastasiu and Anne Greenwood Brown

Kadence Mulligan's star was rising. She and her best friend, Lauren DeSanto, watched their songs go viral on YouTube, then she launched a solo career when a nasty throat infection paralyzed Lauren's vocal chords. Everyone knows Lauren and Kadence had a major falling-out over Kady's boyfriend. But Lauren knows how deceptive Kadence could be sometimes. And nobody believes Lauren when she claims she had nothing to do with the disappearance. Or the blood evidence As the town and local media condemns Lauren, she realizes the only way to clear her name is to discover the truth herself. Lauren slowly unravels the twisted life of Kadence Mulligan and sees that there was more to her than she ever knew. But will she realize she's unknowingly playing a part in an elaborate game to cover up a crime before it's too late?"

I love books what keep me guessing as a mystery is being solved.  And I love when I never know who I can fully trust.  Girl Last Seen gave me both of those!  In the search for what happened to Kadence leads are created, destroyed, and news once found.  Each time I thought - I got it! I know what's going to happen.  And each time I was wrong! And trust me this went on right up until the very end of the story! Ok, so I had a tish figured out here and there, but I never fully trusted that I did.

I do have to tell you - I really really really did not like Kadence! She was (in my mind) not a nice person.  You find out so much about her as Lauren digs to find out what happened.  People from both girls' past share their experiences and often times I was left thinking "Wow!".  Now of course as Lauren digs, you begin to question what you know - or thought you knew.  Are you right?  Can you trust this person or that?   That's the type of book that I love because I want to keep reading to see if I'm right - to see what turn it will take next! And with that Girl Last Seen did not disappoint.

I don't want to say much more in fear of giving anything away! So in the end - if you like a good mystery check this one out.  It may keep you guessing as much as it did me! 

Copy Obtained: From publisher for honest review.