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Book Review: Santa's Countdown to Christmas, 24 Days of Stories by Kim Thompson, Illustrated by Elodie Duhameau

Santa's Countdown to Christmas by Kim Thompson, Illustrated by Elodie Duhameau was published on October 2, 2017 and is a book format of an advent calendar.  Told from the perspective of Santa Claus, the storyline chronicles what Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, the elves, and the reindeer do in preparation of Christmas on each day of December leading up to Christmas Day. I'd like to thank NetGalley and Crackboom! Books for giving me a copy of Santa's Countdown to Christmas in exchange for my honest review.  I was thrilled to be approved to read this book because I love Christmas and am a kid at heart. This picture book was well written and engaging.  The illustrations were phenomenal as well.  I even enjoyed reading it as an adult.  I wish I had kids of my own so I could buy it for them, but I guess I'll have to settle for buying it for family members and friends who have kids that believe in Santa Claus.  I'd recommend this book for babies through eight years old.  Reading

Book Review: April Fools by Richie Tankersly Cusick

April Fools by Richie Tankersly Cusick tells a story about three friends - Belinda, Hildy, and Frank - who attend an out of town party that none of them were supposed to be at. On their way home, they are involved in a horrific car accident. They leave the scene and vow never to speak of it again, but then, Belinda starts receiving disturbing pranks, and she is on a mission to find out who is the culprit.

This is another book I decided to read on my way rediscovery of my childhood. April Fools is one of the first books I read by Richie Tankersly Cusick and was one of the reasons she was my go to author for young adult horror novels. In rereading this novel as an adult, it has stood the test of time and should be a must read for any kid who loves books in the horror genre. The only references that they may not completely get is the mention of a tape deck in the car and a facsimile, or fax for short. And, although this book falls into the horror genre, it does have some romance elements to it. Don't worry though; it's all very chaste.

I know my middle school self didn't guess who was behind all the pranks and remember being blown away by the ending. Even though I remembered most of the storyline before I reread the novel as an adult, it still gave me the creepy crawlies, which goes to tell you how talented Richie Tankersly Cusick is as an author. I loved the fact that there were twists and turns throughout the book to keep the reader guessing.

The character development is what is to be expected for young adult books of the time better. Some of roles are more developed than others, but it doesn't take away from the story. I definitely could relate to some of the characters and became attached to some of them. Others, I couldn't stand.

I gave April Fools by Richie Tankersly Cusick five out five stars and definitely recommend it to all horror fans and is the perfect read for April Fool's Day. If you enjoyed this book, I'd recommend Temptation (Secret Diaries, #1) by Janice Harrell.

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