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Showing posts from January, 2019

Book Review: Kristy's Great Idea (The Baby-Sitters Club, #1) by Ann M. Martin

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Kristy Thomas is a seventh grade student at Stoneybrook Middle School. She babysits in the afternoons after school and on the weekends. After Kristy witnesses her mother make several phone calls to find a babysitter for David Michael, she comes up with a great idea. What if parents could call one phone number and reach several babysitters at once? Excited by her plan, she recruits her friends Mary Anne Spier and Claudia Kishi and newcomer Stacey McGill to help her start The Baby-Sitters Club. Follow their adventures as they get prank phone calls, parents who lie, and more.

What can I say about Kristy's Great Idea (The Baby-sitters Club, #1) by Ann M. Martin? When I discovered this series as a child shortly after discovering the Sweet Valley Twins series, I was intrigued by the basis of the story and was excited to read the first book. I enjoyed it so much that I desperately wanted to start my own babysitting club but that wasn't in the cards for me.

As an adult, I was feeling…

Book Review: Teacher's Pet (Sweet Valley Twins, #2) Created by Francine Pascal

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Identical twins Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield are auditioning for the lead role / solo in their dance recital. Elizabeth doesn't want to compete against her twin. Jessica knows she is the best dancer. The only problem is their ballet teacher never notices her because Elizabeth is teacher's pet. Who will land the lead role?
Teacher's Pet (Sweet Valley Twins, #2) is told mainly from the view point of Jessica Wakefield, and we get to see her personality more in depth than we did in the first book of the series, Best Friends. Jessica's prominent personality trait is that she is selfish and that is carried throughout the entire series. With that being said, I totally empathized with her in the scenario of the book. Spoiler Alert:  Elizabeth lands the lead role in the dance recital even though she doesn't dance nearly as well as Jessica does. With that being said, Jessica was a prima donna in their first ballet class, and Madame Andre holds that against her.
Who hasn…

Book Review: Best Friends (Sweet Valley Twins, #1) Created by Francine Pascal

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Identical twins Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield are twelve years old and do everything together from sharing a bedroom to dressing alike and even doing the same things after school. When they start Sweet Valley Middle School, Elizabeth and Jessica realize that their lives are changing. Elizabeth wants to work on the sixth grade newspaper aptly named The Sixers, and Jessica is eager to join the Unicorn Club, a snobby club of the most popular girls. Will they continue to do everything together or begin to explore their individuality?
In elementary school, I so desperately wanted to win the Book It Program sponsored by Pizza Hut, but I found chapter books so boring. Every book my teacher recommended was so tedious that I found myself struggling to finish. I never made it to the minimum amount of books required to win a personal pizza from Pizza Hut through their reading program because books just weren't holding my interest. 
Around age 10, my mom and I stopped at a garage sale on t…

Book Review: Devices and Desires by P.D. James

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A serial killer is preying on young women in Norfolk. Moments before dying, a woman  appears on the roadway with a small dog. When all is said and done, the victims are found with their own hair stuffed in their mouths. The killings have becoming more frequent since the first death fifteen months ago. The serial killer has been dubbed The Whistler. Police Commander Adam Dalgliesh arrives in Norfolk on holiday to stay in a converted windmill that was left to him by his late aunt. Dalgliesh only becomes involved in the case when he discovers a strangled body that turns out to be the acting administrator of an atomic power station.
Devices and Desires by P.D. James is not a book I would've probably picked up to read on my own. However, I enrolled in a 20th Century World Literature class at my university, and we had 8 books that were required reading for the eight week course. Devices and Desires was one of those on the list, and I was excited to read it because I heard good things ab…

Book Review: Allegiant (Divergent #3) by Veronica Roth

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After video footage reveals that there is life outside the city limits, the social system is in chaos with the factions disintegrating. Tris, Tobias, and their friends are on a mission to find out what life is like outside of their city. Soon, they find themselves at a government agency where they find out that their lives have been a lie as the government has been experimenting with everyone living within Chicago.
Picking up almost immediately where Insurgent left off, I was happy that all the books in the series were already published when I began so I didn't have long to find out what happened in the concluding book of the Divergent Trilogy. Unfortunately for me, as I was reading Allegiant, a big plot point was revealed to me, and it made me unhappy for a couple of reasons. Why would someone ruin the ending of a book for another person when they know you're still reading it? Hearing this information almost made me not want to finish the book. However, I wanted to read it f…

Book Review: Insurgent (Divergent #2) by Veronica Roth

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Choices have consequences . . . the factions are in unrest and with war looming, Tris, Four, and several others are seeking shelter with the Amity faction. When Erudite and Dauntless factions arrive looking for refugees, traitors in their eyes, they know they must move on and join forces with the factionless  only to find out some surprising news.
Insurgent by Veronica Roth took me only six days to read, and where I loved the sequel, I didn't enjoy it as much as I enjoyed its predecessor, Divergent. It doesn't really surprise me that I felt this way because it seems to be a pattern with me and sequels . . . I was let down by New Moon by Stephenie Meyer and Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins. 
The reason that I didn't enjoy Insurgent as much was that there were a few places that were a bit slow. Another reason, and I can't believe I'm going to say this, is that as much as I love romance to contribute to a story, I don't want it to take away from the story, and I f…

Book Review: Divergent (Divergent #1) by Veronica Roth

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Chicago, Illinois, is a city that has become its own dystopian world which has divided society into five different factions based on a particular virtue: Honesty (Candor), Selfless (Abnegation), Bravery (Dauntless), Peaceful (Amity), and Intelligence (Erudite). Each year, those factions come together for a ceremony where all the sixteen year olds must choose which faction they want to live in for the rest of their lives. To help them make this decision, they all take a test prior to the ceremony that tells them which virtue is their best one, but despite what the results show, the choice is still theirs to make. Beatrice Prior learns a deadly secret about herself during testing and surprises everyone with her faction choice. During the initiation, she renames herself Tris and struggles along, not really knowing who her true friends are. Does she keep her secret and survive the initiation?
A few years ago, it seemed like all anyone (kids and adults alike) could talk about were a few yo…

Book Review: The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger

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As a recent college graduate, Andrea "Andy" Sachs moves to New York City with her friend Lily and is trying to find a job in publishing. After sending out her resume all over the city, she finally lands a position that "a million girls would die for" as a junior personal assistant to Miranda Priestly, editor in chief of the fashion magazine Runway. As Andy becomes entrenched at Runway, her personal life and relationships suffer.
When the movie The Devil Wears Prada came out in movie theaters, I knew I had to watch the movie, and I wasn't disappointed. I loved it so much that I wanted more and turned to the internet to see if there was a sequel planned. There have been rumors that their would be a sequel, but it seems as though the original cast has no desire to film it as they believe nothing could top the original film. However, much to my surprise, I found out that the movie was based on an actual book, so of course, I bought the book.
Reading the book de…

Book Review: Room by Emma Donoghue

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Room written by Emma Donoghue and published in 2010 is a novel about a woman and her five year old son being held captive in a small room. This room, which turns out to be an outbuilding in a backyard, contains a bed, wardrobe, bathroom, small kitchen, and a television. Jack, the son, has spent his entire life in this room and knows nothing else. Everything he sees on television is not the real world. Ma tries to keep Jack mentally and physically healthy as best she can by creating exercises for him to do in their small space. She also limits his television time and makes sure he has good hygiene. The only interaction that Ma and Jack have with the outside world is with Old Nick, who brings them food and other necessities. When he visits, Jack has to hide in the wardrobe.
This was a book club choice in the first book club I ever joined, and it was among one of the first books I read after joining. Back then, I didn't have a lot of money to spare to spend on a hardback version of a…

Book Review: The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

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Barcelona, Spain:  In the summer of 1945, an antiquarian book dealer takes his son, Daniel, to theCemetery of Forgotten Books, a library that houses books that are long forgotten. When you visit this library for the first time, you must choose a book and make sure that it lives on, that it is never forgotten. Daniel chooses The Shadow of the Wind by Julian Carax. He becomes obsessed with the book and author, so much so, he spends his life trying to track down the author and find out what happened to him.
When I picked up the New York Times Bestseller, The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón, I was intrigued by the premise of the book and had to read it. However, I was a bit uneasy about reading a book that had been translated . . . would it translate well? Those worries were soon squashed as I became absorbed in the book. There really aren't any words that can aptly describe how much I enjoyed The Shadow of the Wind, and it stayed with me long after I closed the book. With …