Monday, November 26, 2018

"Wonder Woman at Super Hero High"
by Lisa Yee

Wonder Woman has been dreaming about the chance to attend Super Hero High like so many other teenagers who have super powers do. After successfully convincing her mother to let her go, she discovers that being in high school with other super-powered teens isn’t always as easy or as fun as she had always assumed it would be. Her roommate, Harley Quinn has her mind set on creating her own media sensation by posting videos of the other students. While some of those videos do enhance the reputations of those featured, they are more often likely to feature them making mistakes and publicly embarrassing themselves.

It also doesn’t help that someone clearly doesn’t want Wonder Woman to stick around. “Wondy” as she comes to be called by the other students, keeps finding anonymous notes left for her. While not outright threats, they do make it clear that someone wants her out of the school. Between worrying over who it is that dislikes her so much as to try to scare her off and trying to fit in with the other students, Wondy has her work cut out for her.

This was a fun story meant for younger readers as well as those starting to read Young Adult novels. All of the expected DC comics characters, both those who will later become evil-doers as well as those who will one day be known as the greatest of superheroes are represented in this book. I found it to be very entertaining and quite amusing. I might not have been the target audience for this book, but I enjoyed this unique look at the comic book characters that I grew up reading about when I was young. I believe those who have also enjoyed reading those same comics as I did will also enjoy it.

Friday, November 23, 2018

"The Abused Bride
and her Impulsive Rancher"
by Florence Linnington

Ellen had spent years married to Toby. He had seemed absolutely wonderful when they first married, but her life with him steadily became a nightmare. On the night she fled from him, he robbed her family’s bank leaving them with nothing. And since he was the one who had sold her parents the insurance policy on the bank, was it any real surprise to learn that he was in reality a scam artist and a thief? With nothing left but her family, including two younger siblings and both parents who needed assistance, what was Ellen to do?

In order to gain a divorce from her criminal husband, who has fled to parts unknown, Ellen must place an advertisement in the newspaper for 90 days announcing her desire for a divorce and giving Toby the opportunity to refuse it. Given that he is wanted by the law, it is unlikely that he will respond to her advertisement and that after the 90 days have passed her divorce will automatically be granted, but what will Ellen and her family do to survive in the meantime? As a woman her options are limited, and the only solution that seems to hold any promise is to become a mail-order bride.

I really enjoyed reading this book. Ellen comes across as very realistic and you can see the challenges she faces in trying to not only survive and support her family, but in trusting any man or even her own judgement ever again. After all, Toby had seemed the most wonderful of men when they first met and started courting, but her life with him had quickly turned into a nightmare. If she had been so wrong about him, what are the chances that Axel, the man who answered her mail-order bride ad, is truly any different? Can she really trust him? Can she once again learn to trust herself? And when his secrets come out (for everyone including Ellen has secrets) will she be saved or hurt even more than she was with Toby?

I think this is one of the best mail-order bride books that I have read thus far. I loved the story, the characters, and the twists that pop up in this tale. If you enjoy reading mail-order bride stories, I strongly recommend reading this one.

Monday, November 19, 2018

“Making Rumours:
The Inside Story of the Classic
Fleetwood Mac Album”
by Ken Caillat with Steven Stiefel

This was the story of how the hit record “Rumours” came to be as well as the inside scoop on everything that went on during the time that the record was being recorded. As one might expect, given that this took place in the 1970s, there was more than a little sex, drugs, and Rock & Roll taking place in this book. In fact, doing one or another type of drug seemed to be an almost daily habit for the band members as well as those doing the recording for them. But then, this was the 1970s and such things were fairly common, especially in many bands back then.

The book was interesting and I did enjoy learning much that I didn’t know about both the band and the recording process, but at times things seemed to drag on a bit. Much of what happened in this biography felt very repetitive, and I often found myself setting it down to take a break from reading things that were very similar to something I had read not long before. This is not to say that the book was boring, but parts of it just didn’t hold my interest so much as other parts of the band’s story.

If you are a fan of either the album or Fleetwood Mac, I would recommend giving this book a chance. If you are not interested in them or their music, then chances are this book just won’t be your cup of tea.

Monday, November 12, 2018

"Cinders & Fangs:
A Shifter Retelling of Cinderella:
The Joining Book 1" by J. Conrad

When Elin was young, her mother was taken from her by a large beast that walked upright like a man. Elin was protected by a wolf who took both Elin and her injured father into a wolf den and nursed them back to health. However whenever he spoke of the incident, he claimed there was no such beast. He kept saying that Elin’s mother had been taken by highwaymen and was likely dead.

When she was a teenager, Elin’s father married a woman by the name of Gwyneth who had two daughters of her own. It wasn’t long before Elin realized that Gwyneth had an evil visage that her father never saw. At the wedding, Elin met a woman she had never previously seen who claimed to be her grandmother. It was hard to trust a stranger who wouldn’t tell her much, but Eiriana also seemed the only person who understood Elin’s dislike of the woman her father was marrying. There seemed to be much more going on than anyone was telling her. But what were they hiding from her and why?

I thought this was an interesting retelling of the Cinderella story. It contained all of the expected parts of the story but with a few very unique twists. I enjoyed reading it and am looking forward to the sequel. The book could have benefitted from another round of editing before publication as it did have a number of typos. Overall though, I am glad I read it. I think that those who enjoy twists on familiar fairy tales will enjoy reading this book as well.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

"Once Upon a [Stolen] Time"
by Samreen Ahsan

Myra Farrow has always been fascinated by castles and the royalty who lived in them. She has visited every castle she could and always felt as if she had been born in the wrong time. She clearly should have lived in a time when the nobility still built and lived in castles. There was just one castle that she had never been able to gain access to, and she desperately longed to visit there and learn it’s secrets.

Then she met Steve Bernard. Steve owned a 3D gaming and animation company, and after calling in some favors from some rather powerful friends had been given permission to film the game he was creating at Hue Castle; the one castle that Myra so desperately longed to see but had never been allowed inside. And to make things even more tempting, he wanted Myra to play the part of the main character in his film/animation sequences inside the castle. There was just one problem… Hue Castle was supposedly cursed. Nothing would live or grow there, and no pictures ever taken inside of the castle ever seemed to turn out. Things only got stranger for them from there.

I found this to be a really interesting book with a fascinating plot. I loved the twists that take place in the story that manages to pull the reader even further in the longer they read. I do feel that the book could have used another round of editing to catch some of the stray typos I ran across, but the story was well enough written that I didn’t want to put it down. My biggest complaint was that the book ends on a cliffhanger. Now I need to wait for book two so that I can find out what will happen next! (And believe me, I do want to know where the tale is going from here so I will be watching and waiting for the sequel.)

Monday, November 5, 2018

"House of the Scorpion" by Nancy Farmer

Grown in a lab and harvested from the womb of a cow used to house and birth the fetus, Matt was cloned from El Patron. He was kept separate from the rest of the household during his younger years and raised by one of the household servants. All his life he was aware that the woman caring for him was not his mother, but he wasn’t really aware what that meant for him or why he wasn’t kept with any sort of family. He had been alone for a number of years before meeting any other children. And when he did finally meet them, things didn’t go nearly as well as he hoped.

Being a clone of the head of the household, Matt was considered property instead of a person in his own right. By many, he was treated as something less than human, though the only obvious difference between himself and anyone else was a tattoo on the bottom of his foot declaring that he was the property of the estate. Upon that realization, he was often treated by the staff as if he were no more than livestock, unless the man he was cloned from was to be around. At those times he was often treated with the respect that any human being was naturally given.

This was a book that my daughter’s English class was assigned to read and she asked me to read it as well. I found it quite an interesting book that was clearly meant to make the reader think about what makes one human. It was definitely meant to make the reader think about a lot of things they might not have considered before. I’m glad that I took the opportunity to read this book. It was one that really makes the reader think about a lot of things they might not have considered before. I would recommend giving this one a chance.

"The Bullybuster" by Clay Cormany

It began with Trevor Newsome being pushed down a stairwell at school. He was a notorious bully and had been terrorizing others at the s...