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review 2018-03-22 16:02
Shock Waves by Carolyn Keene
Shock Waves - Carolyn Keene,Franklin W. Dixon

Series: #3 in the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys Super Mysteries

Rating: 3 stars

Nancy Drew and her boyfriend, Ned, are among the guests invited to flourish Padre Island, on the Gulf Coast. Everyone's geared up for spring break, including Frank and Joe Hardy. The brother detectives happen to be staying at the home of wealthy friend Buck Calhoun. While scuba diving, Buck makes a play for Nancy, which Ned intercepts. But, the game begins when Buck finds a sunken wreck, and a dead body. Meanwhile, Padre Island's social set is raided buy a squad of resort sharks. The sophisticated crime group has ripped off a fortune in loot. But, they've never left a clue until they snatch a pair of melted keys belonging to Joe Hardy. The worthless keys have deep personal value for the youth sleuth. And, he vows to track them down no matter what the risk...in Shock Waves. This novel has twists and turns like a switch-back road that keeps one guessing. (from Goodreads)

First off, there were way too many characters. Bess and George could have easily stayed home and Claire and Kristin were absolutely pointless.

This wasn't a great Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys. The others I've read have been much more intense and interesting. There were some weak spots and as I said earlier, it felt crowded. I personally could've done without Ned being there because I ship Frank and Nancy... #oops

The ending wasn't surprising. I didn't guess right, but it was more like "oh, okay" then "OH MY GOSH I NEVER SAW THAT COMING" if you know what I mean. I don't know, at the beginning it's set up like a murder mystery but throughout the book they're focusing on lost pirate treasure and thefts.

Plus there were a couple of mistakes from the cover to the book, like how on the cover Nancy is showing Frank what she found when in the book it's Joe who found it. And in the summary, Buck's last name is different then what it is in the book. All in all, not impressed and a bit disappointed.

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review 2018-03-18 01:57
Let My People Go
Imagine... The Ten Plagues - Matt Koceich

In this second book about time travel and Biblical stories, Matt Koceich again intertwines the two to create an incredible adventure. “Imagine: The Ten Plagues” takes the reader back to Ancient Egypt during the time of Moses and the exodus of the Israelites, seen through the eyes of a young girl. Eleven-year-old Kai Wells is facing a bully in her Florida neighborhood when suddenly she finds herself transported thousands of years back in time. She befriends a resident and becomes involved in helping a child stay safe from the Pharaoh and his servants while witnessing the plagues visited upon the hardhearted Egyptians.

“The Ten Plagues” was, in my opinion, a quicker and even more exciting read than its predecessor, “The Great Flood.” Koceich neatly creates characters to whom young readers can relate, while dealing with issues germane to what kids are facing today. This narrative focuses on bullying and standing up for what is right despite intense pressure, and yet it does not become preachy or superior. This is a great way for kids to learn a moral lesson in a fun and interesting way and to also introduce or reinforce major Biblical stories.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.

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review 2018-03-14 18:42
Mandie and the Shipboard Mystery by Lois Gladys Leppard
Mandie and the Shipboard Mystery - Lois Gladys Leppard

Mandie has just celebrated her thirteenth birthday and been surprised to discover that she has permission to go with her grandmother to Europe. It's just too exciting to be true!

Grandmother Taft, Celia, and Mandie are given a big send-off as they board the Queen Victoria bound for Europe. Traveling on the ship with them is Senator Morton. His attentions keep Mrs. Taft distracted to the point where she slightly neglects Celia and Mandie a situation guaranteed to mean trouble.

The girls meet some unusual people on board, and even find someone in their room when they return to it one night. Candy and fruit disappear from their cabin, and someone's valise turns up under their settee. Then comes the real surprise!

Uncle Ned won't be able to rescue them this time! (from Goodreads)

This was actually a good Mandie book. Mandie herself was pretty decent and didn't act like a spoiled brat. We were introduced to Jonathan in this book, a character whose name has been featured in future Mandie titles. Also Celia (my favourite character next to Uncle Ned and Sallie) is going to be featured in the next, like, ten books, so that's great. 

I'm also intrigued about the fact that the next few books take place in Europe, starting with England, the only European country I've been in (unless you count two hours in Scotland). 

As for the Mandie book, this follows Mandie and Celia as they travel across the ocean towards England. The entire book minus the first chapter or so is set on the actual ship, and I always find ship books fascinating (especially if characters don't suffer from seasickness). They encounter a mysterious old woman and a stowaway. They also have a shocking revelation about class, which I enjoyed because it feels like all the main white characters are rich, except maybe Joe, which bothers me because it implies that us poor white people can't have adventures either.

All in all, this was a solid Mandie book, and I can't wait to see what adventures await them in Europe!

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review 2018-03-04 13:25
{ARC} Book Review: Shadow Weaver by MarcyKate Connolly

This is my second Marcy Kate Conolly book and I enjoyed this more than the other one.  The story is what the premise promised. We have Emmeline who is gifted with shadow weaving.  She excels at it. She loves it. She acknowledges it. Only that her parents and the people surrounding her have grown wary about her power as the years went by. Then the day came when her parents couldn’t take it any longer and desired to send her away to get cured. So Emmeline ran and took refuge in the woods wherein she met a lovely family whose only son is gifted with magic as well. And so, her adventure begins.


I think the beauty of Shadow Weaving lies on the characterization of our main protagonist, Emmeline.  . She’s clueless, lacks the basic sense of right and wrong, suffers from “I am the victim” syndrome, and thinks that the world revolves around her and her sufferings. What’s surprising is that Emmeline is not aware that she’s any of these things.  She really thinks that her life is woefully  pitiful without realizing that it was she who had alienated everyone around her, including her parents.  Though her parents are not exactly good, they, at least, in their own ways, tried to provide good guiding hands for Emmeline.  But they’re not just equipped (in skills or in experience) on how to handle such a child like Emmeline so they actually failed despite their efforts to give her a normal life. For Emmeline’s part, she’s really self-centered refusing to even take the time to reflect about why her parents act like that or why the servants shy away from her. Instead, she lets herself be easily led by her shadow, which is, by the way sentient and has no qualms of inflicting harm to people.  But Emmeline thinks that her shadow is beyond reproach.


But other than Emmeline’s characterization, Shadow Weaver has nothing more to offer to the table. The lore of the Cerelia Comet and its blessings felt very shallow, I could not bring myself to be interested in it.  The main conflict (good vs. evil) was too simplistic and easily resolved that it didn’t make an impact. And most importantly, I was only invested in Emmeline but couldn’t empathize with any of the other characters including Lucas and Dar.


I was really glad that Shadow Weaver was a very short book, thus, my patience didn’t run thin.  Overall, this is not an inherently bad book but it sure would benefit from a little tweaking here and there.

Source: waywardkitsune.com/2018/03/arc-book-review-shadow-weaver-marcykate-connolly
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review 2018-03-03 21:32
A Wrinkle in Time (A Wrinkle in Time Quintet #1)
A Wrinkle in Time - Madeleine L'Engle

This is very Young Wizards-lite. It's a fun story and certainly very imaginative, but I couldn't help but wonder how much more awesome it'd be in the hands of Diane Duane. It's not very fair of me, I know. These books are aimed at grade schoolers, while Young Wizards books are young adult and delve deeper into their themes. A Wrinkle in Time is a very quick read, jumping from action to action with very little explanation of how or why anything works the way it does. The plot is very straightforward and other than first few chapters that set up the characters and the world, there's very little deviation from the plot once the kids are whisked away on their adventure. At one point, I started to wonder if this was going to end up being a cliffhanger, though that didn't feel right. It might have been 30 years since I read this in grade school, but I think I would have remembered feeling cheated it this didn't have a proper ending. Unfortunately, that means the resolution is extremely quick and rather simplified.

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