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Showing posts from February, 2019

Book Review: The Initiation (The Secret Circle, #1) by L.J. Smith

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The Initiation (The Secret Circle, #1) by L.J. Smith tells the story of Cassie Blake on vacation in Cape Cod, Massachusetts and becomes friends with Portia Bainbridge. When Cassie's mother receives a phone call that her mother is in poor health, she makes the decision that Cassie and she will move to New Salem, Massachusetts to take care of her mother. Intimidated by a new school, Cassie is in awe of a group of teenagers who rule the school where even the adults are afraid of this group.

The Secret Circle trilogy was my introduction to the author L.J. Smith. I immediately fell in love with The Initiation and couldn't wait to read the other two books in the series. Since it was originally published in 1992, it was turned into a television show, and I was ecstatic about the news. However, when the first trailer came out, I was disappointed because many of the characters were nixed, and they changed some huge parts of the series that vastly changed the story, including adding a ch…

Sunday Reads: Wait Till Helen Comes, A Ghost Story by Mary Downing Hahn

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Wait Till Helen Comes: A Ghost Story by Mary Downing Hahn is about the summer twelve year old Molly, ten year old Michael, and their bratty seven year old stepsister Heather, along with their parents, move into a converted church in the city of Holwell, Maryland. Believing that Holwell is much safer than Baltimore because it is out in the country, Jean and Dave feel it is safe for their kids to play outside and explore their property without constant supervision. But when Heather befriends another little girl named Helen at the cemetery on their property, bad things start to happen.
I first discovered Mary Downing Hahn in the sixth grade when my English class visited the school library to be shown around and to check out a library book. Feeling frustrated that they didn't have any of my go to authors, I began perusing the shelves and came across a book called Time of the Witch by Mary Downing Hahn. Intrigued by the synopsis, I checked the book out from the library, and I was hooke…

Book Review: The Strange Power (Dark Visions, #1) by L.J. Smith

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L.J. Smith churned out yet another winner with The Strange Power (Dark Visions, #1). It was originally published in 1994 by Archway Paperback. Kaitlyn Fairchild is an out cast in her Ohio town because of her drawings that predict the future. That along with her violet rimmed eyes have made the town called her a witch. When she is presented with the opportunity to attend the Zetes Institute with four other psychic teens, Kaitlyn jumps at the chance for a new start.

Let me begin by saying that I absolutely loved this book and engrossed from the very first page, even as an adult. I first read The Strange Power (Dark Visions, #1) as a sophomore in high school. It is slightly different from her other trilogies in that it deals with psychics instead of vampires, witches, and/or werewolves. There is a bit of suspense, thriller, mystery, romance, and fantasy throughout. For a young adult book, the characters are very well developed, and the plot moved along very well. There weren't any sl…

Book Review: On My Own (Changes, #10) by Janet Quin-Harkin

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On My Own (Changes, #10) is part of a teen romance series that is written by various authors, and none of the books in the series have anything to do with one another. This particular book is written by Janet Quin-Harkin, who wrote quite a bit of teen romance books in the 1980's and 1990's. Actually, as a teen, this is the first book I read in the Changes Romance book series, and I absolutely fell in love with the story and read it so much that the front and back cover as well as the spine started to disintegrate. I taped the book up with clear packing tape to keep it from disintegrating further. As an adult, I wonder if the tape has acid in it and will eat away at it.
Rereading On My Own (Changes, #10) as an adult has given me quite a different perspective from the one I had as a teen and even as a young adult. The main character, Jamie Bolding, is dating a guy named Tom Harding, who is a popular baseball player. In the first fifty or so pages, Tom does nothing but pressure J…

Book Review: Sneaking Out (Sweet Valley Twins, #5) Created By Francine Pascal

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Sneaking Out (Sweet Valley Twins, #5), created by Francine Pascal, picks up after the prior book Choosing Sides (Sweet Valley Twins #4). All anyone at Sweet Valley Middle School can talk about is the upcoming Johnny Buck concert. Yet again, Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield's parents believe the twins are too young to go to the concert by themselves. Responsible Elizabeth accepts their decision, but wreck less Jessica will stop at nothing to get her way and attend the concert.
For the most part, I liked this installment of the Sweet Valley Twin series. However, I really disliked how irresponsible Jessica acted all the way around. She takes on a dog sitting job despite being afraid of dogs but pushes the work of on everyone else. On top of that, she sneaks out of the house so she can go to the Johnny Buck concert. It never ceases to amaze me that she never seems to get grounded and that her parents don't see through her antics. I always liked Elizabeth better than Jessica because…

Book Review: Temptation (The Secret Diaries, #1) by Janice Harrell

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Synopsis of Temptation (The Secret Diaries, #1): From the moment Joanna Rigsby moves to Barton City, North Carolina, she fixates on Penn Parrish and his friends. She desperately wants to date Penn and hang out with his group, so when he randomly asks her to The Bakery one day, she jumps at the chance. She slowly becomes part of their group but notices small oddities that makes her feel like she doesn't quite belong.
As a high school student, I absolutely fell in love with The Secret Diaries trilogy by Janice Harrell, and I'm still in love with it as an adult. I reread this book and the rest of the trilogy every few years. In fact, I've lost count of all the times I've actually read the trilogy. Of all of the young adult books I read as a teen, this would make for a great movie in my opinion.

Something I found interesting when I read it as a teen and as an adult is that when Joanna is at a party, she meets a girl who is very into celebrating the solstice and talks abou…

Book Review: Ted Kennedy The Dream That Never Died by Edward Klein

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Growing up, I frequently saw Ted Kennedy on the news, and I knew that a lot of people didn't him, even democrats. I heard people mumble something about Chappaquiddick, but they'd never really expand on it. It wasn't an event that my history or current event classes ever really mentioned either.

For years, I meant to learn more about Ted Kennedy, so when the biography like Ted Kennedy, The Dream That Never Died was published by Crown Publishers in 2009, I bought the book and read it. The author, Edward Klein, made Kennedy's story much more interesting than I thought it would be.
What surprised me most and disliked about Edward Klein's Ted Kennedy:  The Dream That Never Died was the short length . . . only 226 actual pages to tell the story of Kennedy's life. The remaining pages were reference pages and acknowledgements. It seems like a figure from such a famous family deserves a much more in depth look at his life. Another thing I disliked about the book is…

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1) by J.K. Rowling

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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1) by J.K. Rowling was published on June 26, 1997, two days before my birthday. However, with it being a children's book, I didn't hear much buzz about it until it was made into a movie a few years later. As additional books and movies were released, I continued to hear even more chatter from adults about the series and how they loved it. When I finally joined my first two book clubs in 2010, they were absolutely flabbergasted that I hadn't read any of the Harry Potter books. At this point, it was more that I was being stubborn about it and didn't want to jump on the bandwagon. In fact, I jumped on the Twilight bandwagon before reading this series. It wasn't until 2011 before I eventually broke down to read this series, and I read them all one after the other without really reading much else. By the end of the series, I was burnt out on it.
When I first picked up the Harry Potter series, I didn't realize…