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review 2018-03-18 14:27
#18 - The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski
The Winner's Crime - Marie Rutkoski

I wanted to continue on with this series because I had enjoyed the first book and I thought it was quite a different YA experience. This one was not really my favorite though. Kestrel was really annoying sometimes; I was rolling my eyes at her stupid decisions. I was not captivated by the book and felt myself distracted a lot while reading.

 

However, the ending was really interesting and I was quite surprised by how fast it happened. I knew it was going to be bad because Kestrel was really careless and she put herself in really risky situations. Still, it was not expecting that and it was good.

 

I will read the last book in the trilogy because I really want to know what is going to happen. But I found this book a bit too slow and too long, some parts of it did not interest me at all and I was distracted a lot.

 

If you enjoyed the first book I still recommend you to read it because it was a nice continuation to the series, but it could have been a bit shorter in my opinion.

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review 2018-02-15 17:33
The Lottery Winner
The Lottery Winner: Alvirah And Willy Stories - Mary Higgins Clark

This is a series of short stories about a working class couple that won the New York State Lottery and became millionaires. They are a cute couple and definitely good for a few laughs. Alvirah is pretty sharp and is good at solving mysteries. 

This book was okay but nothing exciting.

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review 2018-01-21 03:14
Book Review: The Winner's Curse
The Winner's Curse - Marie Rutkoski

Book: The Winner's Curse

 

Author: Marie Rutkoski

 

Genre: Teen/Romance/Adventure

 

Summary: Seventeen-year-old Kestrel is an aristocratic citizen of Valoria, a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers. Here, a girl like Kestrel has two choices: to join the military or to get married. Despite her skills in military strategy, Kestrel's real passion is music. Which is why she feels compelled to buy Arin, a slave sold as a singer, at auction. It's not long before he begins to change the way she sees everything . . . but he himself is not what he seems. Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for him is much higher than she ever could have imagined. The first novel in a brilliant new series,
The Winner's Curse tells of the star-crossed romance of Kestrel and Arin. It is a story of masters and slaves, spies, rebellion, ballroom dances, wicked rumors, dirty secrets, and games where everything is at stake. The gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart. -Farrar Straus Giroux, 2014.

 

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review 2017-12-19 02:39
A cute little book with some important hurricane safety lessons for kids
Elephant Wind (Mom's Choice Award Winner) - Heather L Beal

So the day care is having a field trip to a science fair and the local tornado siren goes off, the teacher rushes the kids to the shelter and then starts answering questions for the frightened kids. She calms them, tells them what's going on and how they (and their parents) can stay safe in the middle of a tornado. It's a great way to respond to a time like this and a great way to lure in the readers so they will absorb the same lessons.

 

Now, I'm not convinced that you're going to get kids living in an area that has the tornado shelters and sirens, etc. that are that old and not have some clue about what's going on (sure, maybe a couple of people who've just moved into the area, but not that many) -- but this book isn't trying to go for accuracy, it's trying to teach something. Like, say, about tornado shelters and sirens to kids so they know what they are before being taken to a shelter by their day care teacher. Basically, sure, it's a plot problem, but this book doesn't care about things like that.

 

Storywise, it's just different enough from Tummy Rumble Quake (well, this was actually published first, I guess, but I read them in this order. Still, technically, Tummy Rumble Quake is just different enough from this), which is a pretty tricky thing to pull off, but will keep some kids from tuning out -- it's not just a case of "here we go again." The ways to stay safe are clear, and will help minimize the fearfulness of the situation.

Again, on behalf of parents with little musical ability, some tips on how to sing this mnemonic song (a tune suggestion, perhaps), would be very helpful and welcome. The inclusion of the song is a great idea.

 

Sager's art did the job -- good use of colors and details, without overwhelming the reader and distracting them from the text. The tornado-elephant mashup pictures were an inspired choice -- one suggested by the text, no doubt, but the execution was spot-on.

A wonderful idea and I'm pretty sure a great help for those in areas where this is a lesson to be taught. I'd encourage parents and others to grab this one, too.

 

Disclaimer: I received this book from the author in exchange for this post and my honest opinion.

Source: irresponsiblereader.com/2017/12/18/elephant-wind-by-heather-l-beal-jubayda-sager
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review 2017-12-19 02:32
A cute little book w/some important earthquake safety lessons for kids
Tummy Rumble Quake (Mom's Choice Award Winner) - Heather L Beal

So the class (or whatever you call them) at this day care center is prepping for something called the Great ShakeOut (apparently a real thing -- I'm glad to hear that it exists), which is an Earthquake Preparedness activity. As part of that, they learn a bit about what causes earthquakes, what to do during one to say safe, and get some questions answered about the safety of others.

 

So you get a little bit of a narrative -- just enough to give the kids something to hang on to -- and you run it through some basic lessons that are given in a way to help the reader (or person being read to) remember and learn from them. I don't know if seismologists would use the comparison to a rumbling tummy, but how many of them write children's books? It's a comparison that'll stick.

 

My main -- really, only -- gripe with this is the song. There's no way to know how to sing this -- I'm sure it's best set to a familiar tune, but I have no idea what would work. I'd want to sing this to any kids I read this to/with -- and I have so little musical ability that there's no way I could even begin to guess what it should sound like. It's a great idea, and just the kind of thing that'd help cement the lessons in the mind of the target audience. But without a tune, it's just a little rhyme that isn't nearly as effective.

 

Sager's art does the job -- the colors are great and eye-catching. It's clearly drawn on a computer, but retains a hand-drawn feel. I can't say I was dazzled by it, but I can also say that I've seen worse. I can't imagine many children in the target audience wouldn't find the illustrations suitable and effective (but probably not in those words).

 

This book is such a great idea -- really. I like the concept, I think the execution is good, too. This is the kind of thing that'll implant itself in little brains and stay there for years. Parents, teachers, librarians, grandparents, and so on would really do well to pick this up and put it in front of young eyes.

 

Disclaimer: I received this book from the author in exchange for this post and my honest opinion.

Source: irresponsiblereader.com/2017/12/18/tummy-rumble-quake-by-heather-l-beal-jubayda-sager
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