Review: A Calf Named Brian Higgins

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Title: A Calf Named Brian Higgins
Author: Kristen Ball
Genre: Middle Grade
Publisher: One Elm Books
Source: Thomas Allen & Sons (book distributor)
Release Date: July 1, 2018
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Thirteen-year-old Hannah Higgins is convinced her summer is ruined when she is forced to travel to Africa and work in a remote village with her mom and uncle. Never having been to a developing country, she finds the food gross and the community filthy. She has to live without electricity or running water. Then she is told she must attend school.
Just when she thinks nothing could make this trip any worse, she learns people there are dying of hunger and preventable disease. Hannah becomes frustrated and wants to help, but when poverty threatens the lives of people she loves, all she wants to do is go home. This story is an adventure of discovery.

Review:

This is an amazing book about an American girl who travels to Kenya. Hannah Higgins knew that Kenya would be a lot different from her hometown of New York, but she didn’t realize how much it would affect her. The people in the small town where her uncle works die from preventable diseases and hunger.

After a tragedy in her family, Hannah wants to leave, but then she feels guilty about not helping the people who live there. She often feels guilty about what she takes for granted at her home, like being able to go into her medicine cabinet for anything, when the people in Sauri, Kenya have to wait for their medical attention.

Hannah had to get used to living without technology. A boy in the town created a cellphone out of wood, so he would have something to play with. She thinks of an app she could create while she’s walking through a corn maze. Hannah learned a lot from the people in Kenya, including how to be compassionate.

Some parts of this story could have been more exciting. Some conversations were summarized, when they could have been written out in dialogue. This happened more at the beginning of the book. I could tell that it was based on real events because it was written like that. The writing improved as it progressed.

This was a great book! It shows the impacts one person can make on the poverty in Africa.

Have you read A Calf Named Brian Higgins? What did you think of it?

 

TBR Thursday – August 16

TBR Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly Faye Reads, where you post a title from your shelf or e-reader and find out what others think about it.

My pick this week is Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi.

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

Have you read this book? What did you think of it?

Review: The Adventures of Superhero Girl

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Title: The Adventures of Superhero Girl
Author: Faith Erin Hicks
Genre: Graphic Novel
Publisher: Dark Horse Books
Source: Library
Release Date: February 26, 2013
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

What if you can leap tall buildings and defeat alien monsters with your bare hands, but you buy your capes at secondhand stores, and have a weakness for kittens, and a snarky comment from Skeptical Guy can ruin a whole afternoon? Cartoonist Faith Erin Hicks brings her skills in character design and sharp, charming humor to the trials and tribulations of a young, superhero battling monsters both supernatural and mundane in an all-too-ordinary world.

Review:

Superhero Girl is just an ordinary girl who works as a superhero. She has a brother with lots of superpowers, but she can only leap over tall buildings. She must keep her secret identity separate, but she forgets to take off her mask sometimes.

I loved how Superhero Girl is really just a regular person. She doesn’t have a tragic past, which caused her to become a superhero. She has to deal with ordinary life, but she also fights lots of ninjas.

I also loved the Canadian references. There were jokes about Tim Horton’s. She encounters a hilarious “League of Villainous Canadian Stereotypes.” It wasn’t a huge part of the story, but it was nice to see so much of Canada included in the story.

One thing I would have liked was for the comics to be separated into chapters. Some of the comics had scenes that continued for many pages, but some were just one page long. These comics were originally published online and they would have been separated then, so I wish they were also divided up in this book.

What to read next:

  • Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong by Faith Erin Hicks

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  • Goldie Vance Vol. 1 by Hope Larson

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Have you read The Adventures of Superhero Girl? What did you think of it?

‘Waiting on’ Wednesday – August 15

 

This is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. In this post we highlight a book that’s highly anticipated.

The book that I’m waiting on this Wednesday is The Devil’s Thief (The Last Magician #2) by Lisa Maxwell.

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Goodreads Synopsis:

In this spellbinding sequel to the New York Times bestselling The Last Magician, Esta and Harte set off on a cross-country chase through time to steal back the elemental stones they need to save the future of magic.

Hunt the Stones.
Beware the Thief.
Avenge the Past.

Esta’s parents were murdered. Her life was stolen. And everything she knew about magic was a lie. She thought the Book of Mysteries held the key to freeing the Mageus from the Order’s grasp, but the danger within its pages was greater than she ever imagined.

Now the Book’s furious power lives inside Harte. If he can’t control it, it will rip apart the world to get its revenge, and it will use Esta to do it.

To bind the power, Esta and Harte must track down four elemental stones scattered across the continent. But the world outside the city is like nothing they expected. There are Mageus beyond the Brink not willing to live in the shadows—and the Order isn’t alone in its mission to crush them.

In St. Louis, the extravagant World’s Fair hides the first stone, but an old enemy is out for revenge and a new enemy is emerging. And back in New York, Viola and Jianyu must defeat a traitor in a city on the verge of chaos.

As past and future collide, time is running out to rewrite history—even for a time-traveling thief.

What books are you waiting on this week?

Review: The Raging Ones

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Title: The Raging Ones
Author: Krista & Becca Ritchie
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Release Date: August 14, 2018
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

From New York Times bestselling authors Krista and Becca Ritchie, comes The Raging Ones, an edge of your seat sci-fi romance with twists and turns that you will never see coming!

In a freezing world, where everyone knows the day they will die, three teens break all odds.

Franny Bluecastle, a tough city teen, dreams of dying in opulence, to see wealth she’s never known. Like the entire world, she believes it’s impossible to dodge a deathday.

Until the day she does.

Court Icecastle knows wealth. He also knows pain. Spending five years in Vorkter Prison, a fortress of ice and suffering, he dreams of life beyond the people that haunt him and the world that imprisoned him.

Mykal Kickfall fights for those he loves. The rugged Hinterlander shares a frustrating yet unbreakable connection with Court—which only grows more lawless and chaotic as their senses and emotions connect with Franny.

With the threat of people learning they’ve dodged their deathdays, they must flee their planet to survive. But to do so, all three will have to hide their shared bond as they vie for a highly sought after spot in the newest mission to space. Against thousands of people far smarter, who’ll live longer, and never fear death the way that they do.

Review:

I absolutely loved this book!

I was on the edge of my seat through the whole book. The premise was crazy: everyone on the planet knows the day they will die. Everyone is ranked in society based on how long they will live. Those who live longer are given more opportunities because they will have more time to make use of their lives.

The three main characters survive past their death day, and they are emotionally linked. They can feel each other’s pain and happiness. Once Court and Mykal meet Franny, they include her in their journey to join a space mission, so they can escape the world that they don’t belong in. The question is, will they all make it onto the mission?

I had so many questions through the book. When I was getting close to the end, I was disappointed because I was still wondering about many things. However, all of my questions were answered in the last couple of pages! It was an amazing ending, and I wish I didn’t have to wait so long for the sequel! I have no idea what is going to happen next!

What to read next:

  • Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

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  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

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Have you read The Raging Ones? What did you think of it?

 

Top Ten Tuesday – Favourite Book Blogs

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and it is now hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is Favourite Book Blogs. Here’s my list:

1. A Book. A Thought.

2. Mel to the any

3. Saturday Nite Reader

4. Bookidote

5. Flavia the Bibliophile

6. Clues and Reviews

7. Emma’s Chapter

8. Stephanie’s Book Reviews

9. Bethan May Books

10. Omg.kacie.reads

Review: Archie’s Weird Mysteries

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Title: Archie’s Weird Mysteries
Author: Paul Castiglia, Fernando Ruiz
Genre: Graphic Novel
Publisher: Archie Comics
Source: Library
Release Date: August 9, 2011
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Everyone is used to hearing Archie tell wild stories and tall tales, especially in his “Weird Mysteries” newspaper column, but when vampires, werewolves, aliens and Bigfoot start popping up, it’s up to Archie, Betty, Veronica, Reggie and Jughead to get to the bottom of it!

There’s always something strange going on in a little town called Riverdale… jump into the mystery!

Review:

When I was a kid, I loved watching the TV show Archie’s Weird Mysteries. In it, Archie and the gang came up against strange things in Riverdale, including werewolves and vampires.

I was surprised when I saw this graphic novel, because I hadn’t thought about the show in years and I had never seen a comic version of it before. It was actually a TV series before it was a comic book. Since the show was so popular, they decided to make comics based on the episodes.

The stories in this graphic novel were great. One of them was a crossover between Archie and Scooby-Doo, where Archie and his friends were dressed as Scooby and the gang and they drove the Mystery Machine. Another one was confusing because it literally summarized an episode, but then it started a new story.

This is a great graphic novel for Archie fans!

What to read next:

  • Jughead, Vol. 1 by Chip Zdarsky and Erica Henderson

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  • Afterlife with Archie, Vol. 1: Escape from Riverdale by Robert Aguirre-Sacasa and Francesco Francavilla

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Have you read Archie’s Weird Mysteries? What did you think of it?