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review 2018-09-20 05:22
The Lemonade Crime (audiobook) by Jacqueline Davies, narrated by Stina Nielson
The Lemonade Crime: Lemonade Series, Book 2 (MP3 Book) - Jacqueline Davies,Suzy Jackson

Evan and his little sister Jessie are both in the fourth grade, not because they're twins, but rather because Jessie skipped a grade. Jessie is particularly good at math, very focused, feels strongly that things should be fair, and believes that rules are meant to be followed.

When one of their classmates, Scott, announces that he now owns a fancy new Xbox 2020, Evan sees red. He knows exactly where Scott got the money for it - Scott stole that money, over two hundred dollars, from Evan's shorts when they were swimming at a friend's house. Evan doesn't have any proof that Scott did it, but it's the only explanation. Then Jessie comes up with a plan: she's going to bring the truth to light in a court of law created by her and her classmates.

I checked this out from my library's Overdrive without realizing that the library owned the first book in audio as well, or I'd have started with the first book instead. It looks like I'll be listening to this series out of order.

And I do plan on listening to the first book. I enjoyed this second book in the series more than I expected to, considering that Middle Grade fiction usually reads too young for me (yes, I know that's the point - I'm not the intended audience for these books and I realize that). Jessie and Evan were great characters, both flawed in their own ways but still good kids.

Jessie didn't quite feel like she fit in. I sympathized with her trouble figuring out where to hang out during recess (or was it lunch? I can't remember). The way she really got into her courtroom plan reminded me a bit of myself. I could imagine her tossing and turning in bed, unable to stop thinking about all the things she still needed to do before the trial. She'd taken on the responsibility of both setting up as realistic a trial as possible and acting as Evan's lawyer.

Evan was really into basketball and had a bit of a crush on one of his classmates, Megan, who was also his sister's friend. I hated the way Evan acted in one particular scene, but the good thing was that he hated how he'd acted too, once it was all over, and took the time to try to do something about it.

This ended in a way that was more peaceful and friendly than I expected, and I liked the layers it added to the characters.

The peeks at Scott's home life hinted at his motives, even if Evan couldn't see them, and I'm looking forward to finding out character information I missed by skipping the first book.

(spoiler show)


One nice detail: each chapter began with a definition of a term or phrase relating to courtroom proceedings (for example, "perjury"). Usually it was something illustrated by a character's words or actions in that particular chapter.

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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review 2018-08-18 16:38
The examination of others that leads to the self
Invisible Man - Ralph Ellison

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison is another title from the list of 100 books compiled for the Great American Read. (Have you voted today?) I feel somewhat chagrined that I had never heard of this classic until I checked out this list. The reader follows a nameless narrator who tells the story of his days in college while living in the South to his move to New York City. As this is set in 1930-40 the racial/social divide is still quite stark even in the North and the author doesn't pull any punches in that regard (i.e. expect violence). The beginning starts out with our narrator underground and in hiding although we have no idea why. In explanation, he weaves a story full of brutality, bigotry, backstabbing, and political machinations. He leaves college and goes to NYC where he is recruited into the Brotherhood which purports to strive for equality among all men regardless of race. Events unfold quickly and he fully believes and embraces the cause. The fomenting of racial riots are underway in Harlem (his district) and at this pivotal moment he is pulled out of his district and sent on another assignment downtown. The reader is kept on their toes and always wondering (as the narrator is) just which side is the "right" side and what is truly motivating the men he has come to trust in this (to him) foreign city. What is the "true" self and how does one embrace it? Invisible Man chews this question over while telling a story of one man coming to terms with the racism (both overt and covert) of society which is told so convincingly that you'll forget it's a work of fiction at times. This is a dense book and took me far longer to read than I expected. Several interesting points were made and quite a few powerful passages but overall it doesn't rate higher than a 6/10 for me.

 

A compelling and thought provoking point:

"For history records the patterns of men's lives, they say: Who slept with whom and with what results; who fought and who won and who lived to lie about it afterwards. ...only those events that the recorder regards as important that are put down, these lies his keepers keep their power by." - pg 439

 

There are quite a few covers but I like this one best.[Source: National Book Foundation]

 

 

What's Up Next: Comics Squad: Recess! by Jennifer L. Holm, Jarrett J. Krosoczka, Dan Santat, & Raina Telgemeier

 

What I'm Currently Reading: ???

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2018-08-13 20:26
4 Out Of 5 "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" STARS
Alex, Approximately - Jenn Bennett

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~BOOK BLURB~

Alex, Approximately

Jenn Bennett

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The one guy Bailey Rydell can’t stand is actually the boy of her dreams—she just doesn’t know it yet.

 

Classic movie fan Bailey “Mink” Rydell has spent months crushing on a witty film geek she only knows online as Alex. Two coasts separate the teens until Bailey moves in with her dad, who lives in the same California surfing town as her online crush.

 

Faced with doubts (what if he’s a creep in real life—or worse?), Bailey doesn’t tell Alex she’s moved to his hometown. Or that she’s landed a job at the local tourist-trap museum. Or that she’s being heckled daily by the irritatingly hot museum security guard, Porter Roth—a.k.a. her new archnemesis. But life is a whole lot messier than the movies, especially when Bailey discovers that tricky fine line between hate, love, and whatever it is she’s starting to feel for Porter.

 

And as the summer months go by, Bailey must choose whether to cling to a dreamy online fantasy in Alex or take a risk on an imperfect reality with Porter. The choice is both simpler and more complicated than she realizes because Porter Roth is hiding a secret of his own: Porter is Alex…Approximately.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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I was worried, despite the multitude of glowing reviews that I would find this annoying and juvenile, but it was actually quite good.   It might have felt like it was even going in that direction, early on.  But it soon became a story of substance.  After reading the blurb above, it comes off as being a story about IM's between two people, but that’s really only a small portion of the story.  Overall, the story has a lot more to offer than that and it was a really sweet and worthwhile listening experience.

 

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~MY RATING~

4STARS - GRADE=B+

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 4.2/5

Main Characters~ 4/5

Secondary Characters~ 4/5

The Feels~ 3.8/5

Pacing~ 4/5

Addictiveness~ 4/5

Theme or Tone~ 4/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 4/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4.5/5

Originality~ 4/5

Ending~ 3.8/5

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Book Cover~ It's Okay…but it doesn't represent the story.

Narration~ Amy Melissa Bentley

Setting~ Coronado Cove, California

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

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url 2018-07-19 18:53
The Fault in Our Stars vs. Turtles All the Way Down | Book Battles

 

Welcome to Book Battles, a feature here at Crazy for YA where I put two books in the battle ring and have them fight it out to see which one is better. See all of my previous bloody, literary battles.


Today's fight is a vicious fight, two masterpieces from the same creator, a cult classic vs. the new book on the scene, The Fault in Our Stars vs. Turtles All the Way Down by John Green.

 

 

In addition to both being written by the same author, TFIOS and TATWD are extremely similar. They both deal with tragedy, death, and philosophical teenagers. Both novels have a female main character who has to deal with these unfavorable circumstances aided by a love interest. Parents play a large role in both stories, unlike his other novels.


Today, I am going to investigate which of John Green's stories is superior.

 

 

Click the link to see which book won and the reasons for my judgement!

 

Plus I would love to hear what you think about both of these books! Which one do you think is better?

Source: 4evercrazyforya.blogspot.com/2018/07/the-fault-in-our-stars-vs-turtles-all.html
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review 2018-07-15 15:29
4 Out Of 5 "a movie and a book" STARS
Winter's Bone: A Novel (Audio) - Daniel Woodrell,Emma Galvin

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~BOOK BLURB~

Winter's Bone

Danial Woodrell

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The sheriff's deputy at the front door brings hard news to Ree Dolly. Her father has skipped bail on charges that he ran a crystal meth lab, and the Dollys will lose their house if he doesn't show up for his next court date.

 

Ree's father has disappeared before. The Dolly clan has worked the shadowy side of the law for generations, and arrests (and attempts to avoid them) are part of life in Rathlin Valley. But the house is all they have, and Ree's father would never forfeit it to the bond company unless something awful happened. With two young brothers depending on her and a mother who's entered a kind of second childhood, Ree knows she has to bring her father back, dead or alive, or else see her family turned out into the unforgiving cold.

 

Sixteen-year-old Ree, who has grown up in the harsh poverty of the Ozarks, learns quickly that asking questions of the rough Dolly clan can be a fatal mistake. She perseveres past obstacles of every kind and finally confronts the top figures in the family's hierarchy.

 

Along the way to a shocking revelation, Ree discovers unexpected depths in herself and in a family network that protects its own at any cost.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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Initially, the spare writing, left me constantly trying to fill in the blanks.  I was hoping that watching the movie would fill some of those in…and it did a few, actually.  I mostly just picked out the differences between the movie and the book, though.    There were quite a few, including the most obvious one; Ree's siblings.  The movie has a boy and a girl, where the book has two boys. 

 

Despite that, I would say that this story made an impression on me.  With the harsh living conditions and indelible characters, and the hopelessness of Ree's situation, I really felt for her.  Ree is poignantly portrayed by Jennifer Lawrence, and actually, the entire cast is spot on.  I think the book is better for the obvious and usual reasons but I also think watching the movie rounded out my experience of the Winter's Bone altogether.

 

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~MY RATING~

4STARS - GRADE=B+

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 3.8/5

Main Character~ 5/5

Secondary Characters~ 4/5

The Feels~ 4/5

Pacing~ 4/5

Addictiveness~ 4/5

Theme or Tone~ 3.8/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 3/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4/5

Originality~ 4/5

Ending~ 4/5

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Book Cover~ Movie Cover…

Narration~ ☆4☆ for Emma Galvin, her voice was perfect for this.

Setting~ Rathlin Valley, The Ozarks

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

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