Monday, July 1, 2019

Echo Park Castaways












Quentin is the newest part of the family in Mrs. K's home,  Vic, Nevaeh, and Mara have been there for awhile.  Nevaeh does most of the care actually - Mrs. K is an older lady who is still grieving her husband and works a lot.  Nevaeh dreams of getting out and eventually becoming a doctor.  Vic imagines that he is a spy who will eventually go to El Salvador to rescue his father.  In reality his father has been deported.  Mara barely speaks and when she does it's in Spanish.  When Quentin arrives with Asperger's Vic sets out to help him reunite with his mom.  But their quest soon involves all of the children and they learn that sometimes family is what you make of it.
Really well done and heartwarming.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Spark















Life is perfect in Alorria.  Guardians and their dragons control the weather - lightning, storms, wind, sunshine.  Now Mina and her new dragon Pixit will join the ranks.  But, Mina's dragon is a lightning dragon and quiet Mina isn't sure she has what it takes to be a lightning guardian.

As training commences Mina's fears are confirmed as she struggles to produce sparks and even falls and crashes on the wrong side of the mountain.  But that accident leads Mina to learn of the consequences of the Alorrians' actions to the people on the other side.  Can Mina and her friends raise awareness and cause change before it's too late?

This took a bit to really get going but once it did I really enjoyed it.   Having a quieter heroine was really nice and it was a good example of activism in action.

Friday, June 28, 2019

Maximillian Fly


















I wasn't really sure I was going to like this when I started - honestly, a humanlike roach??  But as the story unfolded I grew to love Max and his innocence and desire to please and the author did a great job of weaving and revealing the storyline.  I was very pleasantly surprised.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Romanov


















My daughter is a history buff and quite intrigued with the Romanovs - Anastasia in particular so I approached this book with caution.  Funny that the author even mentions the movie in the back - so inaccurate.  I was very pleasantly surprised - yes there are historical liberties, a dose of mysticism, and a kinder ending than reality...

The book starts with the Romanovs already in exile and the first 2/3rds of the book follow historically pretty well with the addition of spell makers like Rasputin and the addition of Dochkin the fictionalized creator of matryoshka dolls and in this story a powerful spell master.

Things take a turn after the execution of the Romanov family when Anastasia is able to unlock a spell and save herself and Alexei.  With the help of a soldier turned friend Anastasia and Alexei are able to thwart the efforts of the pursuing soldier intent on not only finishing them off but destroying the spell makers as well.

There was a lot of action, bit of romance, and decent history.  Hopefully those who read it would be interested in finding out more.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

House Without Walls


















This poetic narrative was based on the lives of some Vietnamese Boat people and their experiences on the boats and in refugee camps.  I appreciate the fact that more of these stories are being told.

I don't know if it's a reflection of my reading pace or state of mind but I got confused several times and lost a character completely.  I have no idea what happened to one of the twins in the story - again might be totally me...

The Girls of Firefly Cabin


















I have read more than it looks I promise but I am way behind in my reading - thank God today was the last day of school.  I have also not blogged about every book...  

Lauren, Isla, Jade, and Archer all come from different backgrounds, have different struggles, different goals for camp, and different lives but they are the girls of firefly cabin who bond and learn more about themselves as the summer progresses.

I will confess, I had a hard time keeping the girls separate in my mind.  At the beginning of each chapter I would have to think of which character was speaking and then remember what their storyline was.  Not sure if that is an issue with multiple perspectives in general or my reading frame of mind recently.  In the end I enjoyed the book.  I guessed at the major reveal at the end but it was a good one.

Monday, June 10, 2019

The Word-Keeper


















Florence is so excited to spend time in Inkwell with her grandfather.  Her parents are math people but Florence loves words.  Once in Inkwell she makes a bookmark which comes to life.  Unfortunately an evil genie takes control of Ben the bookmark during each new cycle of the moon and he turns into an imp.  Once Florence and others in the village discover that the imp is destroying books, words, and language they try to figure out how to stop him.  In doing so Florence learns of an old rivalry and a new destiny.

This was fun - reminiscent of Phantom Tollbooth, Inkspell.