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review 2019-02-25 20:21
Aria, Volume 1 - Kozue Amano

I don't read a lot of manga. I've read Death Note and a couple of others but not enough to really know something about the genre, but since I like to read comics/graphic novels every now and then I wanted to try Aria, in which the main character travels to Mars, now called Aqua to become an Undine who rows the gondolas through Neo Venice.

I was not completely prepared for the weirdness of the CEO being a cat, but said, the rest was pretty normal. I think this would classify as 'casual', which is how Netflix has started describing series that are nice to watch but where there is not a lot happening. She is training to be an Undine, and that's what happens. There is never really any kind of problem and she just seems to be having a good time. One thing I liked was the lights festival with lights that glow for a month and afterwards everyone collects at the sea to bid them farewell.

However, it seemed rather unnecessary to put the story in space, as everything seemed about the same, except for the cat. Also why did Mars have to be called Aqua and Earth Manhome? I quite liked the art though and it was a nice and quick read.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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review 2019-02-01 16:15
Sophie’s Masterpiece by Eileen Spinelli
Sophie's Masterpiece: A Spider's Tale - Eileen Spinelli,Jane Dyer

Spinelli’s Sophie’s Masterpiece is a work of compassion, though it might spark a bit of hesitation from only the cover, given that the protagonist (Sophie) is a spider. This book is great for character education as well as setting the tone of a safe space in the classroom, as it promotes kindness, acceptance, and not to judge a book by its cover. The guided reading level, according to Scholastic, is “L” and is best for grades from Kindergarten to 2nd.

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review 2018-04-30 17:24
The Masterpiece
The Masterpiece - Fiona Davis

It's 1928 and twenty-five-year-old Clara Darden is teaching at the Grand Central School of Art. But it's not without its challenges as most people don't want to be taught by a woman. But Clara is fierce and determined and she isn't afraid to work hard for what she wants. Unfortunately Clara and her friends have no idea of what's to come with the Great Depression. Having no job, no money and no food won't be the worst things for Clara.

Now, in 1974, Grand Central terminal is run down. It's dirty and dangerous, and it's at the center of a lawsuit - is the once-grand building a landmark to be preserved or is it to be demolished? Virginia Clay is a recently divorced mother whose last resort is to take a job in the information booth in order to support herself and her daughter Ruby. Taking a wrong turn, Virginia stumbles upon an old abandoned art school within the terminal. She finds a watercolour hidden under the dust which sets her on a quest to find the artist of the unsigned masterpiece. This not only draws her into the mystery of Clara Darden, who disappeared into thin air in 1931, but it also draws her into the fight to save Grand Central.

Fiona Davis has the amazing ability to transport the reader back in time as well as bring New York City landmarks to life. If you've enjoyed her other books then this one will be no different. If you've never read any of her books - what are you waiting for?! I could feel Clara's frustration at being treated differently because she's a woman. I could feel the desperation and worry as the Great Depression settled in. I loved Clara's story and I did eventually grow to love Levon Zakarian. There's something about that era, being taken back and seeing the beauty of the Grand Central terminal. But Virginia's story was good as well. I liked that she and her daughter were close and could get strength and support from one another and I liked seeing Virginia grow into someone who can be comfortable in her own skin. And that cover - gorgeous!

Thank you to Netgalley and Dutton for an ARC.

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review 2018-03-08 00:53
The Masterpiece by Francine Rivers
The Masterpiece - Francine Rivers

This was a beautiful story about mercy and forgiveness, love and redemption, and God's saving grace. I love everything Francine Rivers writes, and this one did not disappoint.


Highly recommended for Christian fiction fans

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review 2017-05-09 16:32
William & the Missing Masterpiece - Helen Hancocks
William & the Missing Masterpiece - Helen Hancocks,Helen Hancocks

William bears a startling resemblance to our own reading buddy, Calder Alexander Eno, who is a very big cat. He'd be even taller than William , I think, were he to start walking about on his hind legs. William is trying to solve a mystery about an art heist during the Cheese festival. Calder is mysterious and is named after an artist. All of the humans and some of the cats in our house are crazy about cheese.

There was no way we weren't going to love this book.

Library copy

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