Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Diper Overlode – book review

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Diper Overlode Diary of a Wimpy Kid #17 By Jeff Kinney Humorous Illustrated Fiction Realistic Fiction * * * * Stars (Great!) Greg Heffley narrates the saga of his older brother’s trials and tribulations as he and his band Loded Diper attempt to rocket themselves into stardom. Trying to follow in the footsteps of their idols, Metallichihuahua, they’re supposed to perform in a battle of the bands competition, but before … Read more

Venom Dark and Sweet – book review

A Venom Dark and Sweet sequel to A Magic Steeped in Poison Judy I. Lin Fantasy * * * Stars (Pretty good) In the previous installment, the Emperor had just passed and his daughter was poised to take the throne and select a new shennong-shi (brewer of teas infused with magic). Ning was in the running for that position. Then everything fell apart when the Emperor’s brother (the General) staged a coup to retake the … Read more

One True Way – book review

One True Way Shannon Hitchcock Historical Fiction (1977) LGBTQ Realistic Fiction * * * * Stars (Great!) When Allie Drake and her mom move from New Jersey to North Carolina, Allie makes a friend – Sam – at her new middle school almost immediately. Sam introduces her to all the other kids, facilitates her getting onto the newspaper staff (Allie Drake, Staff Reporter!), and promises to teach her how to ride her horse. They quickly … Read more

Other Family Doctor – book review

The Other Family Doctor: A Veterinarian Explores What Animals Can Teach Us About Love, Life, and Mortality by Karen Fine, DVM Biography Nonfiction * * * * Stars (Great!) Karen Fine’s grandfather was her inspiration for becoming a veterinarian. His patients were human, but Karen admired the commitment and care he offered them (he practiced in South Africa and made house calls). She writes about her experiences in vet school, which is arguably at least … Read more

Earth Unaware – book review

Earth Unaware The First Formic War bk#1 by Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston Science Fiction * * * (Pretty good) Free miners are the first to encounter the Formics as the aliens head toward Earth with unknown intent. This follows the stories of a couple of the miner families and a corporate entity who must put aside their differences to warn the Earth of the aliens’ impending arrival. The encounters they have indicate that … Read more

Fairy Tale – book review

Fairy Tale by Stephen King Adventure Fantasy * * * * Stars (Great!) Charlie Reade made a bargain with the universe to pay it back if his father stopped drinking and he finds an opportunity to make good on his word when he rescues his cantankerous neighbor after a fall. Mr. Bowditch is old and grumpy and cherishes his independence, but he reluctantly accepts Charlie’s assistance when that seems to be the only way he … Read more

City of Nightmares – book review

City of Nightmares By Rebecca Schaeffer Horror * * * * Stars (Great!) When 19-year-old Ness’ sister transformed into a giant spider and laid waste to their home – killing their father and then rampaging on through their neighborhood – Ness was traumatized and developed a very reasonable fear of spiders. Orphaned and in need of help, she sought out the Friends of the Restful Soul – an agency (cult) that took her in and … Read more

Squished – book review

Squished by Megan Wagner Lloyd & Michelle Mee Nutter Graphic Novel Realistic Fiction * * * * Stars (Great!) Avery Lee is one of seven kids in her family and she’s kind of tired of having to share space with her younger siblings. She comes up with a plan to have her own room, but when she shares it with her folks, she learns they have already decided to give that honor to her older … Read more

Anne of Greenville – book review

Anne of Greenville by Mariko Tamaki Realistic Fiction (modern retelling of Anne of Green Gables) * * * Stars (Pretty good) Anne and her two moms (Lucy & Millie) move to small town Greenville when Lucy gets what she hopes will be her dream job at the local high school (assistant principal). Unfortunately, a lot of the people in Greenville are small-minded and they object to newcomers of any stripe. Some are particularly vehement and … Read more

My Summer of Love and Misfortune – book review

My Summer of Love and Misfortune by Lindsay Wong Realistic Fiction * * Stars (Just Ok) Iris Wang is a spoiled, frivolous party girl who creates all kinds of problems for herself with the poor choices she makes. Her emergency credit card is maxed out, her best friend and her boyfriend have been not-so-secretly dating/hooking up behind her back, she’s failing her classes, and she’s been rejected by all of the colleges she’s applied to. … Read more