Title: The Case of the Missing Donut, Author: Alison McGhee

The Case of the Missing Donut is written by Alison McGhee and illustrated by Isabel Roxas.

This delightful children’s book is so much fun to read to your kiddo. My daughter absolutely loved this book from the library. So, for her birthday, we bought her her own copy. The illustrations are delightful, and the story is written like a real western. The Sheriff, a little boy, is on a mission to bring home a dozen donuts. His trusty deputy (this schnauzer) is there to help him along the way. But what happens when one donut goes missing?

A real treat for little ones, 3-5 years old. Highly recommended!

Book Review: FLAME

Title: Flame (Sky Chasers Series #3), Author: Amy Kathleen Ryan

FLAME is the third and last book in the SKY CHASERS series by Amy Kathleen Ryan.

Here’s what the series starts off about:

The inhabitants of the Empyrean spaceship have one main goal in life – reach and terraform New Earth, and procreate. Waverly is the oldest girl born on the Empyrean, and she’s all but made up her mind to marry Kieran, the future captain of the ship. But when their sister ship, the New Horizon, attacks without warning, she is kidnapped along with all of the other girls. Infertility plagued the New Horizon for its entire mission thus far, and Pastor and leader Anne Mathers plans on rectifying that situation by violently ‘rescuing’ these girls and putting them on her ‘safer’ ship. Kieran is left to battle over control of the ship with brooding Seth, who also harbors a deep love for Waverly. Will Waverly and the other girls find a way to escape and get home? Who will take over the Empyrean – Kieran or Seth?

In FLAME, we see the exciting and unexpected conclusion of the series. I LOVED it. I feel like I’ve been reading a lot of flat or disappointing series endings lately. Thank goodness Ms. Ryan really stepped it up. This is a phenomenal space-opera series with big thematic and moral questions.

I highly recommend this series! Read my reviews for book one and two as well :)




I was lucky enough to win a copy of ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL by Jesse Andrews from WE SO NERDY on Twitter. Thanks so much, guys! I loved it.

Highschool sucks, and Greg Gaines knows it. Up until this year, he’s treaded just on the outside of social circles, not really making friends and not really pissing anyone off, either. He had one kind of friend, Earl, a foul-mouthed black kid from a bad suburb down the way, and his own kooky parents to irritate him.

Everything changes when his mom, again, it seems just to irritate him, forces him to talk to a girl he knew from Hebrew school because she has cancer. Specifically, Leukemia. As he rebuilds a tentative friendship with her (though he wouldn’t call them ‘friends’) he learns just how horrible of a person he might be. She’s dying of cancer, and he and her aren’t falling in love, aren’t particularly connecting, and he really only comes to visit because otherwise he feels guilty.

So when Earl comes around and offers to show her he and Greg’s super secret homemade movies, he’s more than a little pissed. But the movies delight her and she becomes their only fan.

Can Greg become a better person as he watches a tentative friend die? Will he and Earl realize their dream of making films? Or will everything just blow up in their face?

Review: I loved this book. Hands down, this is the  best book about cancer you will ever read. Greg is outright hysterical in his worldview and his own sheepish assessment of himself and how he lacks as a human being. It’s like SUPERBAD meets THE FAULT IN OUR STARS, as I told my husband. I won’t give away what happens, but I will say that Greg is an unflinching, honest creature that we all can relate to. No one ever feels good enough, and I imagine if a friend has cancer, you never feel like you are doing or saying the right thing.

Now, I’m not normally a fan of contemporary, and especially of schmalzy “sick” fiction, but goodness. This book was amazing, funny, poignant without trying too hard…it’s amazing.

You should read it. Please, go read it now. You will thank me.

Book Review: The Dark Days Club

Title: The Dark Days Club, Author: Alison Goodman

Lady Helen Wrexall is at the edge of her new life: She’s about to be formally presented to the Queen of England. After this, she’ll be ready to find a husband and marry, beginning a new life where people might forget that her mother was a traitor to the crown.

But when she meets mysterious Lord Carlston, she’s intrigued. Especially since he’s back in town after a scandalous past – and right at the same time her maid goes missing. But Lord Carlston isn’t anything like what people say. He’s charming, he’s kind, and he’s powerful. Helen begins to dig deep into the bowels of Regency London with her maid, searching for the missing girl. Her guardians, an aristocratic aunt and uncle, want her to settle down and stop seeing the infamous Lord Carlston. It’s the only way she’ll meet a suitable match. But she can’t stay away. Especially when he reveals Helen’s secret powers, and her mother’s truly heroic past. London comes alive with dark demons, powerful secret government societies, and those who fight for the world’s safety. Helen will have to make a choice: live a quiet, peaceful life with a husband and relative safety of a rich English lady, or fight the demons of the world as her mother did.

What did I think?

I absolutely LOVED this book. I’m a sucker for Regency books, and Alison Goodman is a master storyteller. Her words were beautiful, her settings perfectly realistic, and her facts spot on. You can tell she really did her research. I felt like I was there! I never wanted to leave. Plus, you get the added bonus of dark magical underworld, and it’s a match made in heaven! I can’t wait to read the rest of the series. And honestly, I’m going to go back and read Ms. Goodman’s back list. This book is that good!

Book Review: These Vicious Masks

Title: These Vicious Masks, Author: Tarun Shanker

Evelyn is tired of Victorian society and all of the strict standards she must adhere to. Her sister, Rose, has a passion for nursing, and Evelyn loves to help her. Together they both help those in need around them, and embarrass their class-conscious parents. So when Rose disappears, only Evelyn seems worried. Shocked at her parent’s lack of concern, she embarks on a mission to find her missing sister in the dirty streets of London. Aided by the help of a longtime friend, Mr. Kent, she hopes to find who kidnapped her sister. When she meets again with the mysterious and seemingly dark gentlemen named Mr. Braddock, she finally hits on a clue. Her sister had special powers, and someone wants to use her for research. Rose is not the only one – London is full of secret heroes with various abilities. Can Evelyn find her sister before she’s killed? Is the darkly handsome Mr. Braddock as  bad as he seems, and is she really falling in love with him?

What did I think?

This was a fun romp into a mysterious version of Victorian London. Yes there are petticoats and manners and lots of Lords and Ladies, but there are also superpowers! I knew I had to pick it up immediately. If anything, I thought it ended too quickly. Luckily there will be more books in the series so that we can get right back into that world again. Evelyn is a feisty herione who won’t wait around for a savior, and she’s very good at falling for the wrong guy. I really enjoyed learning about the underground society of Victorian super heroes with her.

Book Review: The Wrath and the Dawn

Title: The Wrath and the Dawn, Author: Renée Ahdieh

If you’ve ever heard the tale of A THOUSAND AND ONE NIGHTS, then you’ll be familiar with the premise of Renee Ahdieh’s beautiful new book.

Every day at dawn, the young Caliph of Khorasan, Khalid, has his new bride murdered. The last bride was Shahrzad’s best friend. So when she volunteers to be Khalid’s new bride, everyone is surprised. But when she survives the dawn, everyone is even more suspicious. How did she manage to survive, when no one else has? Khalid may not realize why mysterious and beautiful Shahrzad volunteered, but he does know one thing: she captivates him like no creature to have walked this Earth before.

As Shahrzad spins her web of intrigue, arranging to exact her revenge on Khalid, she finds that she is falling in love with the monster himself. Can she unearth the secret reason all of his brides have to die? Can she discover why this sweet, sensitive Caliph is a known murderer?

Shahrzad will have to question everything she’s been told about the wretched King, his motivations, and the magical secrets of the Kingdom.

What did I think?

This is one of the most expertly, beautifully written books I’ve read in a long time. Ahdieh is a talented writer who weaves lyrical, almost poetic prose with a smart and tense storyline. This is mainly a romantic intrigue type of book, so if you are a fan of romance this will be right up your alley. It does have the added benefit of magic, intrigue and betrayal, so that’s always nice 😉

The setting is almost a character itself. The lush Arabic setting jumps off the page. It is riveting, fascinating, and makes you want to hop on the next boat to a Kingdom surrounded by desert.

With air conditioning, of course. 😉 Let’s not get crazy.

I’m excited to read the sequel to this one! You won’t be disappointed. Go buy it today!

Book Review: NEED


Think you’re anonymous on the internet?

Are you sure?

Kaylee has a problem. Her brother is sick, and desperately needs an organ transplant to save his life. Her Dad mysteriously ran out on the family just when times got tough – and he could be the match her brother needs.

So when a new social networking site called NEED promises to give her what she wants in exchange for a favor, she agrees. As do all of the other teens at her highschool. After all, teens always think that they need something. But when strange and dangerous accidents start happening, Kaylee begins to put it all together. NEED is behind the accidents, and eventually, the deaths at her school. Can she stop whoever is behind it all before more kids are killed? And will she get the donor for her brother before it’s all too late?

I’m such a fan of Joelle Charbonneau and her TESTING trilogy.  If you haven’t read them, you really, really should. I highly recommend them! NEED is an exciting thriller that follows several highschool kids as they follow the orders of a seemingly omnipotent social networking site that will give them everything they want. It’s really interesting how it spirals out of control so fast. Kids who started out wanting concert tickets end up doing horrible things. No one takes blame though as they are all anonymously fulfilling requests, and then finding out later what horrible deed they helped accomplish. Then, when it is revealed, the site coerces them to keep going so that they are not outed. It’s pretty brilliant. What’s scary is that I can absolutely believe people will let their actions get out of control when they feel that they are not personally responsible for them. I won’t get into it, but I think this really COULD happen, and that’s why it’s so chilling. An excellent, fast-paced read. Charbonneau is a talented writer and you won’t regret getting your copy of this one.

Also, it’s kind of nice to read a standalone novel. In this day of trilogies, NEED is a great palate cleanser between other series. Like, you know, THE TESTING. Seriously. Go read them all, and pick up NEED too.

Book Review: I’m a Dirty Dinosaur

I'm a Dirty Dinosaur

This musical, rhythmic dinosaur book is a delight for small children getting ready for bath time.

Meet this cute little dinosaur in his dirty swamp. The unique and engaging illustrations are literally painted with mud. The multi-colored sketched dinosaur romps through the mess with abandon, detailing all of his dirty parts. Start with his snout, his face and his “tum.” Then move on to feet and tail, slithering and sliding and stamping in the mud wherever he goes. Readers can singsong the words into a rhythmic melody, making “I’m a dirty dinosaur with a dirty snout,” a fun interactive dancing experience for your toddler. Kids will love to “Sniff sniff, snuff snuff, sniff and snuff about,” in time to the story.

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Book Review: SoulPrint



SOULPRINT is a fantastic modern thriller by Megan Miranda. Miranda has previously published three novels, including FRACTURE, HYSTERIA and VENGEANCE.

Alina Chase has been kept a prisoner on an island since she was a small child, and she’s told that this is for her own protection. After all, in a previous life her soul belonged to June Calahan, the infamous teen who ruined hundreds of lives through blackmail and subterfuge. Calahan was a mastermind behind the hack into the soul database, a place where record is kept of souls as they hop one generation to the next. That means that all of a soul’s misdeeds don’t die with them—they live on forever. Calahan allegedly blackmailed people with the terrible truth of their past lives.

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Amanda Verner has seen the Devil, and she knows he lives inside her. At least, she’s thought so since that horrible last winter when her Mama was sick and they all survived for months in a snowy prison on the mountain. When her Mama delivers a deaf and blind baby, their family is pushed to the brink – as is Amanda’s troubled mind. She’s been secretly meeting with a sweet boy who distracts her from the sadness of home, and accidentally becomes pregnant. When she tells him, it turns out he isn’t so sweet.

So when her family decides to move off the mountain and into the prairie, she hopes it’s a chance for a fresh start. But she’s heard the ghost stories of blood and mutilation down there, and she’s nervous she might revisit her time with the devil. As her family begins to settle in to a new life, Amanda is tortured by some unseen being creeping around her and the new cabin. Is it the Devil again, come to take her soul? Demons of the old ghost stories? Or her own horrible decisions come back to haunt her?

Review: This book is absolutely terrifying! If you love scary ghost stories, this is for you. I have NEVER been scared while reading a book…until now. Author Cat Winters likens the book to Stephen King writing Little House on the Prairie, and she’s absolutely right. Lukavics is an enormously talented writer who is a master of pace and tension. We are so drawn in to poor Amanda Verner’s world, and so sympathetic to her plight. i wanted to run out to the prairie and warn her family, “hey! Get the heck out of that cabin! IT’S HAUNTED! HAUNTED, I TELL YOU!”

This book has some pretty adult themes, so it’s a better fit for older or more mature teens and adults. Pitch-perfect scariness aside, this book is expertly written. Not a line is wasted, and you’ll be so drawn in to this horrible wagon-wreck you won’t be able to look away until the bloody conclusion. No happy endings here. At least, not for most of them :-)

Absolutely, highly recommended for those with strong constitutions!

Go forth and read, and be terrified. You’re welcome.