Review: The Nest by Kenneth Oppel

The Nest

Review: The Nest by Kenneth Oppel 

Age Group: 9-12

Score: 4/5

Synopsis: She was very blurry, not at all human looking. There were huge dark eyes, and a kind of man made of light, and when she spoke, I couldn’t see a mouth moving, but I felt her words, like a breeze against my face, and I understood her completely.

“We’ve come because of the baby,” she said. “We’ve come to help.”

In this beautiful, menacing novel, perfect for fans of Neil Gaiman’s Coraline, an anxious boy becomes convinced that angels will save his sick baby brother. But these are creatures of a very different kind, and their plan for the baby has a twist. Layer by layer, he unravels the truth about his new friends as the time remaining to save his brother ticks down.

With evocative and disquieting illustrations by Caldecott Medal– and Governor General’s Award –winning artist Jon Klassen, The Nest is an unforgettable journey into one boy’s deepest insecurities and darkest fears.
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Review: What can I say about this book? It is bizarre, beautiful, well written, scary and well just odd. I loved it. I don’t know how many kids would like this, it is a bit scary for some but if you have a child that doesn’t mind a good scare than it’s for them. Will I look at wasps the same ever again?! Probably not! I think if you have mature kids they will thoroughly enjoy this book and would want to read it over and over again. It’s also a great book to read around Halloween.

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It touches on great things  and there is a really good underlying message through out the book. How do the siblings feel when they have a sick little brother or sister. The parents always spend more time with the sick sibling, going back and forth to the hospital all the time and appointments. It’s stressful on everyone in a family and I think this is something that needed to be written about. The story talks about how he feels about this and the fact that he isn’t getting as much attention as he used to. It also touches on how he feels about his baby brother. How he feels go from one thing to another. It’s an honest and real account of how these feelings are and how you deal with them on your own and as a family.

It’s also interesting to read about a boy who has fears and anxiety and what seems like a little bit of OCD. They are not the normal kid that you would normally read about in the book, the one that is going to be the hero and might be a little bit scared. It’s refreshing to read about a boy that you could actually meet in real life.

Now as for the scary parts, near the end it was more scarier than I would have imagined. Now I don’t know anyone who likes wasps. If you do…what is wrong with you? They suck! But if you do like them and like them still after reading this book…you need to be checked out! I didn’t think I could hate a bug any more..and it’s happened.

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This defiantly makes me want to read more of this authors books.

Review: Dumplin’ By Julie Murphy

Review of Dumplin’ By Julie Murphy 

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Released: 2015

Score: 4.5/5

Synopsis: Self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson (dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom) has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body. With her  best friend, Ellen things have always worked…until Will takes a job at Harpy’s, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isn’t surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But she is surprised when he seems to like her back.Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Clover City beauty pageant—along with several other unlikely candidates—to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any twiggy girl does. Along the way, she’ll shock the hell out of Clover City—and maybe herself most of all.

 

Review: I LOVED this book. I usually am not one to read books about teens that don’t involve magic, or supernatural or fantasy aspects but I read this one because I received it as an Advanced Reading Copy  at the Harper Collins Fall Book Preview.

It is such a great read for any teenager and quite frankly should be mandatory. Shit is a normal girl with a bigger body living in a world where you have to be perfect and a “beauty queen”. She is comfortable in her body to a point. You see her self-confidence and then you see her self-doubt. It’s a great mix and so true to life. Most girls I know have stuff they love and hate about themselves.

Then there is this guy that she falls for. There is sort of talk of sex, more with her friend but not with her. That is also something I really liked about this book. It wasn’t all about sex. It was real and it was there but it wasn’t the be all and end all for these girls. It felt like such a real and innocent love it was sweet and honest. So much more enjoyable than those teen books with lots of very graphic sex scenes.

Then there was the beauty pageant. How do you show the world you are amazing? Join a beauty pageant when you are not exactly what is considered “beauty queen looks”. I rooted for her through out the whole thing. No spoilers here so I won’t let you know what happens but it’s amazing!

This book made me laugh and hope and just fall in love with Dumplin’. It shows that you should love yourself no matter what. Be who you are and be proud. A must read for anyone!

 

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Just like the tag line. GO BIG OR GO HOME! 

 

 

The Do’s and Don’t: When Borrowing Someone’s Book

To some people, books can be passed around and it’s no problem. If they don’t get it back that is also fine.

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I don’t get these people. To me my books are gold. You treat them with respect when borrowing them, and that is if I let you borrow them. I always torn by this. I want people to read and love sharing some of my favourite stories but I also don’t want to part with my precious books.

So this is a constant concern I have but I am opening up and letting more people borrow my books, as long as they are nice to the. I am happy to report so far so good.

 

Here are some do’s and do nots on how to treat a book when you are borrowing it from someone, or even the library.

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Returning on time:

Do- Returning it in a timely manner. As soon as you’re done reading the book, return it. If you are a little slow getting around to reading the book, that’s okay it does happen, just let the owner know.

Don’t- Keep it for months. It is not nice to have someone’s books kicking around for months on end.

 

Reading the Book:

Do- Read the book and enjoy it. If you don’t, don’t trash it when you give it back. You never know how much it may mean to the owner. This is especially true of anything Harry Potter.

Don’t- Give away any parts of the book. What if the owner hasn’t read it yet and has (out of the goodness of their heart) let you read it first. Keep this in mind and no spoilers.

 

Treating the Books:

Do- Take good care of the book by making sure it’s given back in the same state you took it. This includes both inside and out. We all know things happen, I latterly had a dog eat a book once, but be honest.

Don’t- Dog ears are bad, they are book killers. Make sure the book is taken care of. Don’t leave in the car, don’t shove it in a bag. Take care like it’s your own child, somewhere these books are someone’s child. Keep that in mind J

 

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Do- Eat before reading. Or snack lightly when reading. One of the greatest activities in life is eating and reading at the same time. Use a napkin, hold your book far away, or wait until all food is safely put away.

Don’t- Treat your book as a table or a coffee holder. Nothing is worse than seeing coffee rings on the top of the book. It’s sad when paper is all crunchy because something was spilled on it.

 

Giving the Book Back

Do- Always give the book back. One day they will realize that you still have it and you don’t want to be known as the one who took the book and got away.

Don’t- Keep the book forever and ever for it to go in to the lost book abyss. I work in a book store and can’t tell you how many times I have someone come in and tell me they have to replace a book because they lent it out and never got it back. The look of sadness and pain in their eyes are real. Don’t be that reason.

 

 

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I hope these tips help when wanting to borrow someone’s book. Once you’re established as a good book borrower than you will always be trusted with their most precious reads.

 

May a happy borrowed read be in your future 🙂 

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#TBT Book Review 1

Throw Back Thursday 

Book Review: A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron 

 

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Score: 4/5

Published in 2010

Synopsis: This is the amazing story of one dog’s search for his purpose over the course of several lives and in various breeds of dogs.  It is also a dog’s-eye commentary on human relationships and the unbreakable bonds between man and man’s best friend. This moving and beautifully crafted story teaches us that love never dies, that our true friends are always with us.

Review: I loved this book. I read it quite a few years ago and plan to re-read it one day. You get to see the point of view from the dog and the author does this very well. Things we take for granted are explained from a point of view from someone who might not understand why we (humans) are doing something for certain reasons. It also shows the bonds between the humans and animals. There are a few points in this book where it made me tear up (like the part where he is in the forest with the boy) and how he finds his way at the end of the book and where he ends up. I laughed, I cried and I fell in love with dogs. You feel the love the dog has for his owners and you root for him through out the entire story.

This book single-handedly helped me decide to get a dog with my husband. I feel like I also try to understand my wonderful dog more now because of this.

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If you want a good fiction story or a good story about animals this is the one for you.

My Next Read: Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy

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Dumplin’ By Julie Murphy.

This is an I received at the Harper Collins Fall Book Preview last month.

I am so excited to read this. I usually don’t real teen books that don’t have some kind of dystopia, or fantasy aspect to it but this looks so much fun I cant wait to dive in.

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I am already on chapter 11 and am loving it. Dumplin’ is a strong character with great values.

It’s all big hair, Dolly Parton, beauty pageants, friendship, and new love. I can’t wait to see how it ends. Stay tuned for my Review.

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Review: The Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods

Review  unnamed (3): The Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods: Twenty Chilling Tales from the Wilderness

6-8 Age Group  Catagorized 

Score: 1/5

Synopses: Twenty bone-chilling tales about the most dangerous fantastical beasts in American folklore. Meet the Snoligoster, who feeds on the shadows of its victims. The Hodag, like a spiny-backed bull-horned rhinoceros. The Hoop Snake, which can chase prey at speeds of up to 60 miles per hour and then, with one sting of its tail, cause it to turn purple, swell up, and die. Illustrated throughout, including eight drawings printed with glow-in-the-dark ink.

The book was originally published in 1910 by William Thomas Cox and is now inspiringly retold by Hal Johnson, author of Immortal Lycanthropes. The creatures are all scales and claws, razor-sharp teeth and stealth, camouflage and single-minded nastiness. Straight out of the era of Paul Bunyan, they speak to an earlier time in American history, when the woods were indeed dark and deep and filled with mystery.

My Review: I did not like this book at all. I am usually all over the 6-8 books as they are fun, quick reads. This one was not fun at all at. Maybe I am being a little bias because I know what age group this book is suppose to be for. If it was categorized for a older audience would it have changed my opinion? I don’t know.  It’s also not so much tales, as different events associated with the certain creatures mentioned.

I like the idea of it being reworked from a older book. I also love cryptozoology. It’s fun and imaginative and I have read some great things over the years with that concept in mind. The pictures are nice too. They are a little “scary” but they are well done and the glow in the dark is always fun.

My problem is that it was kinda violent and racist. I get it’s a reworking but maybe updated it to the times as well as taken it down a notch for the audience it’s aiming for. There is a lot of death, blood, destruction. The “animals” are vicious, and that’s okay but he doesn’t have to describe all the ways they kill people in each chapter. I love horror movies and books, and gore but for the age group it was too much. Plus the hate for French people? I just don’t get it. Lots of references to French people and how horrible they are (according to the author and/or previous author).

Again, would I feel differently if it was for a older kid…maybe. All I know is that I would never recommend this book to a kid.

 

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