Catherine’s War – book review

Catherine’s War by Julia Billet illustrated by Claire Fauvel translated by Ivanka Hahnenberger Graphic Novel Historical Fiction WWII/Holocaust (for grades 5+, teens, and adults) In 1942, teenager Rachel Cohen finds herself at the Children’s Home boarding school in Sevres France, after her parents send her there for her safety. World War II is being fought throughout France and the Germans are invading. As a Jewish person, Rachel is in an even more dangerous position and … Read more

Possums Are NOT Cute! – book review

Possums Are NOT Cute! And Other Myths About Nature’s Most Misunderstood Critter by Ally Burguieres Nonfiction (for 5th grade – adult) * * * * Stars (Great!) Ally Burguieres got involved with wildlife rehabilitation (specifically helping opossums survive illness, injury, and loss) and never looked back! She discovered that many of the ideas people held about opossums were misconceptions – they were not ugly, dirty, or aggressive. In fact, they were adorable, clean, shy, and … Read more

Virgin Suicides – Read It and Rate It

The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides Realistic Fiction (for older teens + adults) Review #1 “The Virgin Suicides” is about 5 teenage girls (the Lisbon sisters) who live in a strict household. A group of anonymous boys watch the girls as they commit suicide one by one. Over the course of a year, the boys slowly fall in love with the idea of the Lisbon girls. They watch from afar to find out why they … Read more

Malice – book review

Malice Malice duology #1 by Heather Walter Fairytale retelling Fantasy LGBTQ+ Romance for adults/older teens * * * * Stars (Great!) Alyce, known as “Malice” the Dark Grace, is part Vila, and one of her ancestors is responsible for having cursed the princesses of the Queendom of Briar with death if they do not receive true love’s kiss by their 21st birthdays. Although she is extremely powerful and patrons regularly seek out her dark magic, … Read more

Full Out – Read It and Rate It

Full Out by Monica Aldama Nonfiction Review #1 * * * * Stars (Great!) This book gives the background of Monica Aldama’s life leading up to her career coaching the Navarro College cheerleading team and its popularity after the Netflix original, “Cheer,” was released. She includes tips and tricks she picked up on throughout life that influenced her decisions and leadership. I really enjoyed how she explained the things she learned and experienced, and connected … Read more

Girl with All the Gifts – book review

The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey Science Fiction Suspense Thriller Older teen/adult * * * * Stars (Great!) Melanie attends classes with a number of other little kids, but she’s special. They all are in some respects, but Melanie’s intelligence, determination, and self-control set her apart. As the story unfolds, told from different characters’ perspectives, readers discover that the children are different in other ways, too, ways that require them to be … Read more

Farm – book review

The Farm by Joanne Ramos Realistic Fiction adults * * * Stars (Pretty good) Follows the stories/viewpoints of several women involved in Golden Oaks aka “The Farm,” where female surrogates carry the fetuses of well-paying customers to term – receiving bonuses for good behavior and successful births. Jane’s older cousin convinces her to interview for The Farm after she loses her position as a baby nurse, and feels she has no other viable options. When … Read more

Vanishing Half – Read It and Rate It

The Vanishing Half by Britt Bennett Historical Fiction Realistic Fiction Adult Review #1 * * Stars (Just ok) A small town in Louisiana is focused on becoming light-skinned. Two girls escape from this town. However, after many years one girl ventures. This book was slow and there was no true climax. It feels as if you’re reading all exposition instead of actual story. Plus, the author doesn’t dig deep enough for the issues she tries … Read more

Last Graduate – book review

The Last Graduate Scholomance #2 by Naomi Novik Fantasy Suspense Thriller Adult/teen * * * * Stars (Great!) In this sequel to “A Deadly Education,” El comes into her true power as the school throws more and more magical monsters and impossible tasks her way. She begins to suspect that it is training her up for a specific purpose, which, fortunately or unfortunately aligns with her own goals – to get EVERYONE out. Safely. All … Read more

Himawari House – book review

Himawari House by Harmony Becker Graphic Novel Realistic Fiction Adult/older teen * * * * * Stars (Amazing!) Three young Asian women become housemates in Japan, while they work, take Japanese classes, and plan for the future. Nao is Japanese American, Hyejung is from Korea, and Tina is from Singapore. They grow closer as they get to know each other – sharing food, feelings, and friendship as they try to figure out where they fit … Read more