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Search tags: kat-ross
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review 2018-09-09 18:42
There's a Giraffe in My Soup - Ross Burach,Ross Burach

What would happen if a zoo and a restaurant got their deliveries mixed up?

 

A giraffe in your soup. An alligator in your entree. An elephant on your table. Hilarity ensues at a restaurant where every dish seems to have a visitor along for the ride. Students will be giggling as they read through all the animal puns and illustrations. 

 

A great creative writing activity for students as they try to think about how they would react to a giraffe in their soup.

 

Lexile: AD380L

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review 2018-08-24 14:06
Review: The Queen's Rising
The Queen's Rising - Rebecca Ross

I received a copy from Netgalley.

 

After seeing a few not so great reviews popping up for this title I did have some misgivings about it when I stated it, however, it exceeded my every expectation and I was surprised at how much I wound up loving this book.

 

It’s a very slow burn fantasy, not a lot of action but a lot of political manoeuvring and some epic world building. Also beautifully written, almost lyrical in a way. The plot initially wasn’t anything I haven’t seen before. Basic outline -  girl born out of wedlock, no one knows what to do with her, she’s smuggled into a special teaching house, discovers she has secret magic, gets involved with difficult tutor.  In a world that’s usually run by queens a usurper king has stolen the throne, there’s a lost female heir who is the rightful queen and there is a plot to overthrow the evil tyrant king and bring the rightful queen back to the throne. Girl finds herself a key part in this plot.

 

Admittedly, I had some eye rolls at the start of this book thinking I was fairly certain of where this book was going. While the writing was gorgeous, the plot was painfully slow. I liked most of the characters and the impending romance was kind of obvious as to where it was going as well. Quite pleased to see this wasn’t anything like I thought it was going to be.

 

The heroine Brienna is raised by her grandfather. Girls are taken to special schools to learn to be “Masters of Passion” – art, music, dramatics, wit or knowledge. Each pupil is assigned a talent and are given years and years of training to become a master. Starting at 10, Brienna is considerably behind the other girls, and the house is full. But she comes in and can’t find a passion to suit her. She fails miserably. Brienna was okay, if a bit wooden.

 

Finally she comes to decide knowledge the one thing she’s actually good at, she’s got to be better than everyone if she’s to become a master by graduation time. One thing I really loved about this book was the positive female friendships. The other girls who are students are not rivals, they are close friends and almost like sisters. While there’s a little bit of ill contention with one or two with Brienna stepping on a few toes, there’s no outright dislike or rivalry.

 

Brienna discovers a hidden talent of magic where she can see into the past. It happens randomly, no one knows why or where. Brienna’s planned path doesn’t really happen and she finds herself embroiled in a mysterious family with a plan to rebel against the tyrannical king. There’s a lot of journeying and the plot takes a turn from the somewhat mystical side of things to political undertakings.

 

There’s very little action until almost right at the end. And actually very little romance. There are quite a few secrets and plot twists revealed that kicked raised the stakes as far as the plot was concerned. There was a good feeling of family coming together and even if it’s not your biological family – it’s the people around you who become part of you and your own chosen family.

 

My only misgivings were the characters were a little flat, I can’t say I was particularly mad about anyone. Other than Brienna I can barely remember anyone’s name. I do remember how much I enjoyed the novel. For a fantasy it wrapped up really well too. Though there are apparently two more books to come. It will be interesting to see where this one is going. I loved this so much I bought a finished paperback.

 

Thank you to Netgalley and HarperCollins UK Children’s Books for approving my request to view the title.

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review 2018-08-13 19:45
Terrible, Thank Goodness it Was Only 99 Cents
A Country Affair - Alice Ross Colver

Bah.,


If you want to read a book about terrible people and the decisions they make, this is for you. I loathe romance books that have adultery as the main theme. We have a married couple (each contemplating adultery) a woman who has had an affair (and gotten pregnant due to the affair) two teens, one who is horrified that her mother is not special/awesome enough and that's pretty much the whole story.

 

Ross jumps around to Julia (married woman), Miranda (had the affair) and Faye (Julia's daughter) and also Julia's husband Paul. We get their four points of view throughout the story and honestly I didn't root for anyone. The majority of this book was people excusing or being excused for terrible crap they did. The fact that Julia and Paul's son had an eating disorder (at least it seemed to me) was glossed over. I hated that Julia and Paul never had  real conversation, instead they both are looking to other people to paper over the cracks in their marriage. I loathed Paul more since he was contemplating an affair with his assistant. Apparently sexual harassment isn't a thing in the UK?


The writing wasn't great. Maybe if Ross had stuck to Julia and Miranda and left out the other POVs. The flow was too choppy too. At one point I was confused on the timeline and realized I didn't care and continued on with it.


The ending was definitely some pie in the sky stuff, not realistic at all. 

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review 2018-06-18 22:08
Part of Summer Reading Goals
The Great New Orleans Kidnapping Case: Race, Law, and Justice in the Reconstruction Era - Michael A. Ross

Ross looks at a once famous case that has been largely forgotten by people today. A kidnapping of a young child who is later found with a black Creole. In discussing the case, Ross shows how Reconstruction, racism, and changing times influenced the case and its outcome. A very interesting and engrossing read. 

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review 2018-06-04 21:57
The Good Life Elsewhere by Vladimir Lorchenkov
The Good Life Elsewhere - Ross Ufberg,Vladimir Lorchenkov

An absurdist, darkly humorous story about impoverished villagers trying to escape Moldova to go work in Italy. This isn’t as tightly-plotted as your typical novel, but it’s a short and quick read following the misadventures of several unfortunate Moldovans in the late 2000s. Many of the situations are over-the-top, satirizing the situations of would-be migrants and the intensity of their desire to go to Italy. The humor is really dark though, much of it involving death. I imagine this book would be funnier and more meaningful to Moldovans, but as a foreigner I did feel able to appreciate it, and it is an easy read.

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