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review 2019-02-10 16:20
Atlantis Awakening - Alyssa Day

Book two brings us a witch, Erin, and the King's Vengeance, Ven, (who by the way hates witches- surprise, surprise). The moment Ven meets her, and then rescues her from some evil witches, the action and passion are a go and the story is fast paced and fun. The two main characters work well together and Ven is intense when it comes to her and his reaction to her.  The plot has some surprises and Quinn and Alaric have a moment (YAY). Daniel plays a pivotal role again in book two (can’t wait to reread his book), and Riley is pregnant and there are complications, so the story is full of twists, turns, passion, and true love comes to life.  I loved rereading this book as part of the ARC team. Alyssa Day’s rereleasing of this favorite series is great and returning to the world of Atlantis is a joy.

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review 2019-02-03 19:31
Atlantis Rising - Alyssa Day

I first read this in 2012, and when I found out Alyssa Day was rereleasing the series and asked for readers, I jumped on board and dived right back into a series I loved the first go around.  I am looking forward to rereading all of them. Book one starts with Conlan, the future king of Atlantis, who returns after seven years of being a prisoner to the goddess of death.  Everyone thinks he is "damaged goods", even himself, but he puts on a brave face and heads out to get back the trident that was stolen from his homeland by his own warriors.  The moment he sets foot onto the beach he is bombarded with the emotions of one woman, Riley, and it is a strong attraction at first sight.  Their adventure against the vampires, the coup being orchestrated by a group of Atlantan warriors, and the fact that he has a promised fiancé he is required to marry back home, doesn’t stop him and Riley from falling for each other and falling hard. I enjoyed the story, again, loved the characters and the conflict, and am ready to dive into book 2 right now. 

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2019-02-03 06:29
Inside A House That Is Haunted
Scholastic Reader Level 2: Inside a House That is Haunted - Alyssa Satin Capucilli

This would be a great book to read to your elementary school class during Halloween! You can find several read along online that sing along to the book. It is a rhyming story that builds with each line, getting funnier and funnier each time. As you read the book, you are meet with rhymes that describe a chain reaction. Someone knocks on a haunted door and eventually it scares the haunting ghosts! I can't wait to read this book during a prediction lesson!


How would I use this book in my classroom:


I would love to use this book during a lesson taught on or around Halloween since it is a kid friendly book that I believe wouldn't be scary to any students since it is so silly.


Scholastic Reading Level: 2

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review 2019-01-24 09:03
A heart-wrenching read about one girl’s experience inside an institution as mental illness takes over; Sheinmel brings attention to the stigma around the issue in this important book
A Danger to Herself and Others - Alyssa B. Sheinmel

Hannah Gold has been ‘wrongly institutionalized’, for something that was obviously an accident; her best friend Agnes took a horrific fall (pushed?), ending up in the ICU, her life forever changed. But Hannah’s life is forever changed too, she has been sent away to languish in an institution, missing valuable time before school starts, being evaluated at a judge’s order by a doctor, and with nothing but time to figure out how to get herself out of there.

Hannah has been deemed ‘a danger to herself and others’.


The novel starts with Hannah just arriving at ‘the institute’ and the book follows her entire experience there, told in first-person and very much as though it’s comes from deep within Hannah’s complex, non-stop brain. All her anxieties and questions spill out constantly, her thinking is erratic, and she darts back and forth from the present and past as she tries to make sense of what is happening. She is highly intelligent so she knows that if she make friends and gets certain people on her side, maybe she can gain privileges and shorten her stay. Her roommate Lucy understands her, and it seems Dr. Lightfoot is going along with her plan.

This starts out feeling like a thriller, but we gradually are caught up in Hannah’s convoluted thought-processes, and it’s a novel about what it looks like when a young girl’s mental illness takes over and how her unraveling takes hold, even when she thinks she is in control. 


This book is one of the most artfully brilliant books written with regards to what mental illness can look like, and I really felt gripped by every page because of it. Author Alyssa Sheinmel has done more than write a YA novel, she has written an experience on paper. People fear mental illness, and right they should. It’s scary. 

I read this book and at times I felt like I was losing grasp of things just like Hannah was. And I have also been in that place myself before. Not to the same extent but I’ve been through my own personal trials that have led me to therapy, to panic attacks, to struggle with depression, anxiety, self-harm and twice (many years ago now) having a stay at the hospital (at my choice) after traumatic events. It’s frightening to feel like your mind is not your own, and to feel like you need help. In Hannah’s case, she doesn’t even realize it. And then she becomes A Danger to Herself and Others.


Mental illness has SUCH a stigma to it and it needs to change so that people will reach out to get HELP, offer help, and make help more available. People need to be able to talk about it and not turn away. Sufferers shouldn’t be getting more ill or even dying because they can’t or won’t get help. HELP shouldn’t be a dirty word. Mental health treatment is also woefully expensive in this country and often not covered by insurance.

Sheinmel is right to not even put a specific name on the illness that Hannah suffers from because at the end of the day, does it really matter? If she had done that with this story, her character, with all her flaws as well as her wonderful attributes, would have been reduced to her diagnosis. Which is what we tend to do once we know what people are suffering from. We tend to forget that they are people (like Hannah), not statistics or names of illnesses. 


This is a thought-provoking, heart-wrenching read, and it will surprise you as much as it will keep you guessing. It left me with tears in my eyes and I hope that this will encourage more understanding and compassion for those affected by mental illness. 


*I gratefully received this ARC as part of Miss Print’s ARC Adoption Program. Thank you!


 A Danger to Herself and Others will be published on 2.5.19 by Sourcebooks.




**If you or a loved one needs help for mental illness, or you just want more information about mental health, contact NAMI, the National Alliance for Mental Illness.



Source: www.goodreads.com/book/show/39986808-a-danger-to-herself-and-others
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review 2019-01-14 12:51
A Duke by Default - Alyssa Cole

Portia Hobbs from the previous story (and this works alone, there are some references to the previous book but it's not necessary to have read it to get this) gets an apprenticeship with a swordmaker in Edinburgh, Scotland. There she starts to try to help him turn things around and it's all complicated by their feelings for each other.

And then she finds out that he's the heir to a dukedom.

Complicated things make things complicated and make relationships difficult.

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