Book Review: Bunny’s Book Club

Title: Bunny's Book Club, Author: Annie Silvestro

“Bunny loved books.” Bunny loves to hide in the bushes and listen to the nice lady with the red glasses read to the children on the front steps of the library. He can close his eyes and imagine that he is scaling treacherous mountains, captaining a pirate ship, or ruling an exotic country on the other side of the world. Bunny learns that through the world of books, you can live a thousand lives.

When Fall comes, story time moves inside. Bunny peers through windows to glean a story or two, but he desperately misses those wonderful books. One night he can’t sleep, and he creeps to the library hoping to find a way in. Unfortunately, every window and door is locked tight.

But Bunny is a resourceful critter, and he finds the book drop. With a hop and a squish, Bunny squeezes through, and he’s inside his beloved library at last. There are hundreds of books, and Bunny races from one section of the library to the next. He grabs as many as he can carry and drags them through the forest to his cozy burrow. Soon Bunny is bringing his friends along, including Mole, Bear, Frog and Squirrel. They all love the library, and sneak books out to read at home.

One evening the librarian shows up. “Follow me,” she says sternly. Heads low, the animals follow her for a punishment. But the nice librarian surprises them, and gives them each their own library cards. From now on, Bunny and his friends can borrow books (and bring them back!) whenever they want. The story ends with Bunny selecting a book for his very own book club. Now the forest friends can sit and read together in Bunny’s snuggly burrow.

These forest critters are ready to read, and adore exploring the world of books just like children. What an excellent message about reading and friendship, as well as returning the books you borrowed on time. Annie Silvestro’s debut picture book is adorably sweet and perfectly paced. There’s a bit of adventure – will Bunny get in trouble? But overall the story is low-stress and comforting for reading just before bed. Silvestro has an ear for lyrical prose, pulling young readers in to a fantastical world of literate and very sneaky animals.

Tatjana Mai-Wyss’ water color illustrations are as warm and inviting as the story. Each page is full of detail that children will love to point out. The animals are artfully rendered with a loving hand. Bunny’s enormous doe eyes and stylishly long ears make him an instant favorite.

The human characters are perfectly diverse. The librarian is African American, and the children are a mix of races and genders. Silvestro and Mai-Wyss pay careful attention to representation, and pull it off well.

The pages are classically matte, and the cover features a bold matte and spot-gloss finish that really pops on the shelf. My favorite detail was the retro touch of an old-fashioned library book-pocket on the inside cover.

 

Book Review: WE FOUND A HAT

We Found a Hat

In this hilarious third installment of Jon Klassen’s award-winning trilogy, a hat could potentially tear two turtle friends apart.

Jon Klassen is the author and illustrator behind the very popular I WANT MY HAT BACK and THIS IS NOT MY HAT. WE FOUND A HAT continues the journey of cute animals finding or stealing hats. In this book two little turtles, clearly best friends who do everything from sleep to watch sunsets together, find a hat. It is beautiful. It looks great on both of them. It fits well. But, alas, there is but one…

Read more at TCBR!

Book Review: HEIR OF FIRE

 

Title: Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass Series #3), Author: Sarah J. Maas

In Sarah J. Maas’ epic third installment of the THRONE OF GLASS series, readers are treated to agonizing stakes, blossoming friendships and more of the of the thrilling action her readers have come to expect.

Celaena has been sent to Wendlyn to assassinate the royal family on the King of Adarlan’s orders. But Celaena is now two people: the King’s indentured assassin, and the missing Queen of Terrasen. It’s an internal struggle, and Celaena wallows in pity and liquor. Queen Maeve, her Fae aunt, sends Fae Prince Rowan to fetch her. The shadowy Queen offers her a bargain – learn to harness her latent magic with Rowan, and she will give Celaena the key to defeat the evil King of Adarlan. Celaena begrudgingly agrees, and begins her grueling, sometimes torturous training to seize her power and become who she was always meant to be: Aelin, Queen of Terrasen. But can Celaena embrace who she really is to fight the demons the King of Adarlan is breeding?

This twisted, remarkable story is told through multiple perspectives, including the new intriguing storyline of Manon Blackbeak and the Ironteeth Witches. The witch plotline is fascinating and a wonderfully unique take on the witch canon. It adds a fantastic new level of depth to the THRONE OF GLASS series, and readers will enjoy sinking their teeth into Manon’s alluring and terrifying life.

This installment is a bit less steamy than previous books, but the romantic tension off page between Celaena and Chaol still burns bright. Readers will be too busy learning about Celaena’s fiery magic to miss the romance.

As always, Maas delivers epic fantasy at a break-neck pace, deftly weaving multiple storylines into one gorgeous and lushly imagined saga. Possibly the best book so far in the series, fans will adore HEIR OF FIRE.

 

PRINCE OF THIEVES by Chuck Hogan

Title: Prince of Thieves, Author: Chuck Hogan

In the heart of Boston, in the neighborhood of Charlestown, live the best bank robbers in the world. It’s an art passed down from one generation to the next — and Doug is one of the best. So when he and his three friends and fellow robbers hold up a local bank, Doug doesn’t plan on becoming intrigued with the beautiful bank manager, Claire.

He can’t keep away, and after the robbery starts to follow her, befriend her. Fall in love with her. But with a cunning investigator tracing Doug’s tracks back to his tiny, dark apartment, Doug starts to realize that this game of cops and robbers won’t last forever.

This book is AMAZING. It’s been out a while, and they made a movie about it called THE TOWN starring Ben Affleck.

ben affleck

Well…yeah. Anyway, the movie is amazing, too.

Pullups

I’m sorry, what were we talking about?

Dangit, who keeps inserting those pics? ANYWAY, Prince of Thieves is full of so much Boston (specifically Charlestown) voice that is lifts you away and plops you down in an old Irish bar, holding a pint. It’s a bank robber story, sure, but it’s more than that. It’s a love story between the bad-guy bank robber wanting to be better, and the somewhat naive girl from the other side of the tracks. Who doesn’t love star-crossed romance? The tension is high, the alternating points of view keep you guessing and flipping the pages. It has an unexpected ending that is on point and not schmalzy at all. Thank goodness. If you like romance, if you like heists, if you like atmospheric gritty novels…Chuck Hogan’s got you covered.

Highly recommended.

Book Review: THE BEST MAN

The Best Man

Archer Magill looks up to three people in his young life: His dad, his grandfather, and his super cool Uncle Paul. Uncle Paul has a fancy job and has an in with the Cubs. He always seems to know exactly how to get the bullies to stand down, and how to drive a perfectly sporty car and bring pizza over on Friday nights.

When Mr. Mcleod, the school’s first male teacher…READ MORE HERE.

Book Review: THRONE OF GLASS

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass Series #1)

Okay, I’m completely late to the party on this one. THRONE OF GLASS is an epically HUGE series. You’ve probably read it. So I won’t add to the already bloated canon of fangirl reviews.

Well, maybe just a bit.

Celaena Sardothien is a beautiful, hugely talented assassin. She’s been locked up in a hard labor camp for crimes against the crown. So when Prince Dorian shows up with an offer, really any offer, Celaena takes it without looking back. She’s to compete to be the King’s champion. But what treacherous deceit does the foul King have in store for her? And can she survive the mythical monster that is roaming the halls of the castle, gutting competitors before they finish their tasks?

Maas is a very talented writer (obviously). It’s a long book, which I love, but you are completely engrossed from page one. I love the mystical bits, I love the mystery, I love finding out what deep dark secrets made Celaena the dark assassin she is. Plus the obvious love triangle is a fun diversion, too, though not really why I bought in to the series.

If you love fantasy, sorcery, chosen one myths or good old-fashioned love triangles, this is the book for you. I mean, there are maps for goodness’ sake. MAPS.

I got you there, didn’t I?

Go buy it now! There are umpteen more books, and from what I hear they only get better. Whee!

Book Review: HEARTFIRE

Heartfire: A Winterkill Novel

HEARTFIRE is Kate Boorman’s fabulous finish to the WINTERKILL series. Emmeline has left Kane behind in the safety of a small village with his little brothers. She travels on to tribal land with Matisa and the group, hoping to find a way to keep the Dominion out of the valley and Leon’s terrible men out of her mind and heart. But the Dominion is circling close to the cure for the Bleed, and what little leverage Emmeline and Matisa have left is slipping. And when people start getting sick from the water – even with the cure for the Bleed – it seems that Emmeline is out of time. In this exciting conclusion to the WINTERKILL series, we find out if Emmeline’s dreams will finally come true – even her nightmares.

I absolutely loved this series! It was an exciting find as I just passed it in the library, grabbed the first book, and off I went. It’s set in a alternate type history, part colonial, part pioneer days. There are interesting mixes of cultures here with Native people, the new settlers, Emmeline’s settlement…there’s a lot going on and it’s beautifully blended together. Boorman is a talented author who takes you from page one and drags you through an exciting epic across mountains and forests, through heated first kisses and winning plot twists. Start this series today; you won’t be disappointed!

Highly recommended. Get it now!

Book Review: BEWARE THAT GIRL

Beware That Girl

Kate is a scholarship kid all the way – she has a sordid past she won’t talk about, brains that compete with the best Ivy-Leaguer, and the street-smarts to do whatever it takes to claw her way to the top. So when she meets Olivia at her new private school, Kate decides that Olivia is her new mark. Only, Olivia is a bit strange. She has a mysterious past year where she was missing from school. Her mega-rich dad is never around, and her emotions seem flat. Kate befriends Olivia out of self-preservation (after all, sleeping in a penthouse with your new bestie is far better than an old cot in a basement), but eventually starts to care for her. Worry about her. And when hot Mr. Redkin starts to snoop too close to Olivia, all of Kate’s warning bells go off.

In this twisty and exciting thriller, Kate races to uncover Olivia’s past and Mr. Redkin’s intentions, only to discover that this might be the only situation she won’t be able to manipulate her way out of. Lies, money and jealousy flare up for an exciting game of cat and mouse in this YA novel.

This books was brilliantly paced. Teresa Toten is a masterful storyteller. She blends a distinctive Gossip Girl/Pretty Little Liar vibe with Girl on the Train twists. I finished the book in just a few sittings, which is always a good sign. Though I wanted even more from the ending, or heaven help me, a second book, I was completely thrilled with this book. Kate is pitch perfect, as is Olivia (though my knowledge of trust funds or prep schools is rather limited!). I found myself shifting from one character’s side to the other. Throw in the glitzy world of the mega rich, and you’ve got quite the page turner. Who doesn’t love a scandalous dirtbag and dirty secrets?

Highly recommended!

WINTERKILL, by Kate Boorman

Title: Winterkill, Author: Kate A. Boorman

Emmeline is wayward – at least, that’s what everyone in her settlement thinks. Someday she’ll slip down a slope and fall headfirst into something dark and sinful, like her grandmother. That’s why she and her whole family have a stain. Add in an injured foot, and Emmeline isn’t the most popular resident of her settlement. The woods surrounding the settlers are strange and dark, but they call to her. Her dreams turn feverish, beckoning her to come closer, to discover the secrets the council wants to hide. But having a stain on her already marks her as one to watch, and she can’t be too careful. She doesn’t want to end up at the crossroads like her grandmother, hung in a cage to die in the elements.

So when Emmeline discovers a secret in the forest, she must decide who to trust. Kane, the handsome boy from the other side of the colony? Her lifelong friend, who has his own secrets to hide? And when one of the leaders of her colony asks for her hand in marriage, she must decide: truth, or the chance at clearing her and her family’s stain forever.

WINTERKILL is fantastic. I ripped through this book in two sessions, devouring the pages. I was spooked, I was intrigued, I was hooked from page one. Emmeline is perfectly sixteen. She’s courageous and curious and she’s looking for love in all the presumably wrong places. The setting is new and powerfully stark, and the voice of the protagonist is pitch perfect. Emmeline draws you in to her world and never lets you go. I ordered the second book as soon as I was finished. You will too!