Category Archives: Books
Liza Petrov’s entire life has been about skating and winning her sport’s top prize – Olympic gold. She’s stayed sheltered inside her bubble, not daring to stray from her destined path.
Until she meets Braden Patrick.
He makes her heart flutter with possibility, and for the first time she gets a taste of a normal teenage life. She longs to have both the boy and the gold, but stepping outside her bubble comes with a price. As Liza begins to question both her future and her past, can she stay focused on the present and realize her ultimate dream?
If you want to read a book with a figure skating theme where the author actually KNOWS all about the sport, then give Gold Rush a go. This book is about a skater in her late teens going for gold at the 2014 Winter Olympics, and Jennifer Comeaux knows pretty much everything about the sport, making it all seem so authentic.
Even though the characters are university-aged, this is a tame little contemporary romance with a very sweet hero, and reads a little more like young adult fiction.
The author has other ice skating books available, and I will definitely be checking them out.
I recently read the first chapter of Seraphina as a sample from the publisher. It is a complex introductory chapter with lots of world-building and sophisticated language. I’d recommend it for people at the older end of the targeted age range.
Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons in the kingdom of Goredd. Folding themselves into human shape, dragons attend court as ambassadors, and lend their rational, mathematical minds to universities as scholars and teachers. As the treaty’s anniversary draws near, however, tensions are high.
Seraphina Dombegh has reason to fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered—in suspiciously draconian fashion. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the captain of the Queen’s Guard, the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs. While they begin to uncover hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect her own secret, the secret behind her musical gift, one so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life.
Children’s readers don’t have much text, and – unfortunately – my review copy was in black and white, so you can’t appreciate the pictures.
However, I think the author did a pretty good job of capturing the highlights of an enormous city with more attractions than almost anywhere in the world, all within a few words. It must have been hard to narrow it down.
HOWEVER – it is inexcusable to change the spelling of London place names. I don’t care if – for example – Americans spell “Theatre” differently. If it’s a proper noun, you do not get to change it.
Additionally: it’s Tower Bridge, and is never referred to as “The Tower Bridge”. On the other hand, at least the bridge’s name was the correct one; most people mix up London and Tower Bridges!
Well-simplified language, with plenty of information in a small word count, but with some errors that could have been easily fixed.
Review copy provided by NetGalley.
Romeo and Juliet needs no introduction. Younger readers with be suitably introduced to one the greatest love stories ever to be written. Romeo and Juliet is the tragic love story of the “star-crossed lovers,” Romeo and Juliet. Set in the city of Verona, Italy, the play revolves around the feud between two affluent families, the Montagues and the Capulets. Despite the enmity, Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet fall passionately in love and wed in secret. However, the enmity between both disapproving families overpowers and leads everything to go terribly wrong.
I was interested to see how someone could possibly tackle Romeo and Juliet to make it into something palatable for readers even younger than Juliet herself.
This highly condensed version of Shakespeare’s dramatic play focuses mostly on the title characters and devotes more time to the developing relationship than the death-fest that comes afterwards. There are some illustrations throughout.
In order to simplify things, some characters are changed a little. Paris is no longer some titled guy looking for a well-bred baby-maker, but is now a man who comes to the Capulet ball already knowing Juliet and in love with her. The nurse becomes some random servant in the background of the story.
I think the violent aspects of the story were explained as briefly and best as they could be for the target readers.
Still, it’s an extraordinary choice of story for a middle grade book!
Review copy provided by NetGalley.
It’s going into summer here, but this Snowflake Bookmark would be nice for Christmas!
Twelve-year-old BFF’s Ginnie and Tillie, want to be sisters. Tillie’s divorced mom plus Ginnie’s widowed dad could equal a lifetime of round-the-clock girl talk and slumber parties. Too bad Dad vowed to never marry again. Ginnie and Tillie form a secret club. They come up with the perfect mission to change his mind: ‘Operation Secret Sisters’. Before long, Tillie seems happier about gaining a dad than a sister. Ginnie suspects that Tillie has turned ‘Operation Secret Sisters’ into a scam called ‘Operation Steal My Dad.’ Things get more complicated when Ginnie stumbles across her real mom’s hidden journals. Ginnie can finally get to know the mother she doesn’t remember and Dad doesn’t talk about. When Dad discovers she has the journals, he takes them away. Ginnie needs to figure out what the big mystery is before her relationship with her father and her best friend are ruined forever.
This was a lovely little book for preteens. It is exactly the kind of thing I would have loved to read at that age.
With a plot that encompasses all the things girls stereotypically like, from best friends to horses to a crazy scheme to make parents fall in love, I was reminded of the movies of the 80s and 90s, with the universally popular themes for younger readers.
The author’s writing style was light-hearted and fun, and though I’m far from the target audience for such a story, it made for an entertaining quick read.
Review copy from NetGalley.