Category: Reviews

Jan 18
Bite-Sized Reviews of Dragon Pearl and The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary

Bite-Sized Reviews of Dragon Pearl and The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary

Reviews 1

I’ve got two reviews for you today, both MG: one is sci-fi, and the other is a contemporary in verse. I hope these bite-sized reviews will be enough to feed your fiction addiction! This book was a fun adventure based on Korean mythology and set in space. Right there, I’m pretty much sold. When Min hears that her brother is being accused of being a traitor and defecting from the Space Force, she doesn’t believe it for a minute. She knows her brother would never do such a thing. So she sets off to try to prove the government wrong. The only problem is, she first reveals herself as a (much mistrusted) fox shapeshifter and assaults an official. Oops! So, she goes on the run in disguise. I enjoyed the shapeshifting aspect of the story and the fact that Min takes on a few different personas throughout the book (and even… Read more »


Dec 14
Navigating the Stars by Maria V. Snyder: Review & Giveaway

Navigating the Stars by Maria V. Snyder: Review & Giveaway

Giveaways (Ended), Reviews 18 ★★★★½

KINDLE VERSION Navigating the Stars is about Terra Cotta Warriors in space. Sound weird? It is a little, but it’s also really enjoyable. What Fed My Addiction: Sci-fi that’s in-depth without being confusing. There’s a decent amount of science in this fiction, but I never felt overwhelmed or bombarded with facts. There are some basic things about the world that you have to understand—for instance, the fact that space travel essentially causes time travel and the fact that they’re universe is run by something called Q-Net, which Lyra hacks into in a very specific way called worming—but I don’t feel like you have to understand the details of how it all works in order to enjoy and appreciate the way it works. I never felt lost. The mystery of the Warriors. Usually the mystery aspect of a book like this is my least favorite part, but in this case, I was intrigued and wanted… Read more »


Dec 06
Bite-Sized Reviews of After the Fire, Watersnakes, Into the Bright Unknown and House Arrest

Bite-Sized Reviews of After the Fire, Watersnakes, Into the Bright Unknown and House Arrest

Reviews 14 ★★★★

I’ve got four reviews for you today: a YA contemp, a YA historical fantasy, a graphic novel, and a MG contemp in verse. I hope these bite-sized reviews will be enough to feed your fiction addiction! If, like me, you’re fascinated by stories about cults, this book will be just what you’ve been searching for. It explores what happens to people after they leave a cult environment—in this case, unwillingly. I love that the book looks at all sides of the life that Moonbeam (the MC) led while she was a member. There were horrors, but she has fond memories of some aspects of her early life too. And I loved seeing the world from her perspective and understanding why she thought some of the things that happened to her were normal or acceptable (when they definitely weren’t). As the story progresses, she has to come to terms with how her belief systems… Read more »


Nov 26
Explorer Academy: The Nebula Secret by Trudy Trueit – Review & Giveaway

Explorer Academy: The Nebula Secret by Trudy Trueit – Review & Giveaway

Giveaways (Ended), Reviews 10 ★★★★

This is a fun and adventurous first book in a younger middle grade series. Filled with high-tech gadgets and virtual reality(ish) simulations of distant lands, it’s sure to capture readers’ imaginations. At the end of the book, there’s even some real-world discussion of innovations that could lead to the many different types of tech in the book—I loved that real-world tie-in. Cruz’s virtual “journeys” to different lands were interesting—I especially loved the trip to the butterfly conservation area in Mexico—and they always had a bit of excitement thrown in as well. Kids will appreciate the diverse cast (especially the Scottish character, whose distinct phrases are really fun), and the fact that they can learn some interesting facts throughout the book without feeling like they’re learning. I’m guessing this book would have been a big hit with my kids a few years ago. Be forewarned that this is very much a setup to… Read more »


Nov 20
Bite-Sized Reviews of The Lying Woods, What If It’s Us, Between Shades of Gray and The Hotel Between

Bite-Sized Reviews of The Lying Woods, What If It’s Us, Between Shades of Gray and The Hotel Between

Reviews 34 ★★★★★

I’ve got four reviews for you today, a YA mystery, a YA contemporary, a YA historical fiction and a MG fantasy. I hope these bite-sized reviews will be enough to feed your fiction addiction! I always think I don’t really like mysteries, but then I read a book like this and it blows me away and I just want MORE! I have no idea how to review this book without giving things away, so I’m actually not going to say much at all except that I read this in one day (practically in one sitting), and I LOVED every minute of the reading experience. Okay, at the very beginning, I wasn’t so sure I was going to like Owen (the MC) and his friends, and there were a few moments when I thought certain characters were being ridiculously judgy toward the Owen (and his responses weren’t always great). But the story was engrossing,… Read more »


Nov 19
The Camelot Code: The Once and Future Geek by Mari Mancusi – Review & Giveaway

The Camelot Code: The Once and Future Geek by Mari Mancusi – Review & Giveaway

Giveaways (Ended), Reviews 6 ★★★★

This series is a fun middle grade romp through Camelot! What Fed My Addiction: King Arthur! I love all things Camelot, so the concept of this book had me hooked right from the start. Kids can get a little lesson on these epic characters in a fun format! (This makes me want to reread A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.) The story gives us a lot of the original Arthurian legends and then puts them in a spin cycle. Video games. Sophie and Stu love RPG-style video games, and I could see how this one would be lots of fun. They also sounded like realistic kids—I’ve had some of these same arguments with my teenagers over the value of video games vs. “real life” and their arguments mirror Sophie and Stu’s pretty nicely. (I was glad that there was a balance between the idea that video games can be a worthwhile… Read more »


Nov 16
Amber & Dusk by Lyra Selene: Review & Giveaway

Amber & Dusk by Lyra Selene: Review & Giveaway

Giveaways (Ended), Reviews 6 ★★★★

There was a lot to love about this unique fantasy. I found myself engrossed in its world of perpetual daylight! What Fed My Addiction: Lyrical writing. This is a lush fantasy, filled with lavish sights and spectacular magic, and Selene’s writing style works perfectly for this genre. (In her Goodreads review of her own book, she says she writes what she loves to read: “Prose that tastes like sugared secrets.” That should give you a good idea of what to expect.) I love this type of writing. The worldbuilding. Selene did a fantastic job with the worldbuilding in this book. We are introduced to a unique new world with a lot of complex elements, but it never feels too overwhelming. I felt like I could picture most of the world in beautiful detail, and I loved the magical system. The book features a unique mythology that Selene created just for this world… Read more »


Nov 10
Bite-Sized Reviews of Umbertouched, Meet the Sky, Furyborn, and Reclaiming Shilo Snow

Bite-Sized Reviews of Umbertouched, Meet the Sky, Furyborn, and Reclaiming Shilo Snow

Reviews 10 ★★★★

I’ve got four YA reviews for you today, two fantasy, one sci-fi and a contemporary. I hope these bite-sized reviews will be enough to feed your fiction addiction! This book is the high-stakes conclusion to the Rosemarked non-magical fantasy duology. This second book in the duology felt very different from the first, mostly because it focuses on the aftermath of the choices that Zivah and Dineas made in book one and on the battles that ensue. My favorite part of this book was seeing Dineas deal with the repercussions of his dual life—he’s now an outsider to both his own people and the Amparans. He sees the Amparans as the enemy, but he also knows some of them as friends and he understands them in ways he hadn’t before. His own people look at him with distrust and sometimes outright hostility. His struggle to come to terms with these things… Read more »


Nov 05
Twilight of the Elves (& The Adventurers Guild) by Zack Loran Clark & Nick Eliopulos: Review & Giveaway

Twilight of the Elves (& The Adventurers Guild) by Zack Loran Clark & Nick Eliopulos: Review & Giveaway

Giveaways (Ended), Reviews 13 ★★★★

This series gives us a fun spin on a fantasy world inhabited by elves, dwarves and humans (not to mention some twisted otherworldly monsters). Zed is half elf and has spent his life trying to prove he’s worthy of attention. He’s always dreamed of becoming a mage and finally gaining status and respect, and he almost gets his dream … until things go wrong. Brock is Zed’s best friend, and he plans to follow in his parents’ footsteps and become a merchant, even if he does like to play the game of life by his own rules most of the time. He has no idea that intrigue awaits him and that his father and the head of the merchants have other ideas for him. When Zed and Brock both find themselves thrown into the Adventurers Guild, they discover that their world is a lot more dangerous and complicated than they ever imagined. They… Read more »


Oct 30
The Adventurer’s Guide to Successful Escapes by Wade Albert White: A Dual Review with Danielle Hammelef

The Adventurer’s Guide to Successful Escapes by Wade Albert White: A Dual Review with Danielle Hammelef

Dual Reviews, Reviews 10 ★★★★★

(No actual dueling—or even arm-twisting—was involved. Don’t worry, this is a dual review, not a duel review. Sorry if you’re disappointed.) Danielle Hammelef was the latest winner of my Monthly Wrap-Up Round-Up “Make Me Read It” giveaway, and she chose to make me read The Adventurer’s Guide to Successful Escapes by Wade Albert White. I’ll confess that I hadn’t given this book much thought it awhile, but it turned out to be a fantastic selection! I read the book and then sent it along to Danielle, and we did a dual review together. Read on to see what we thought of the book… Oh, my goodness, this book is delightful, and we both loved it! I am so thankful that Danielle made me read it. What Fed Our Addiction: NICOLE SAYS: The humor! This book is delightfully witty—I can’t remember the last time I laughed so much when reading. And it’s the kind of humor… Read more »