Review: I’m Not Your Sweet Babboo!

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Title: I’m Not Your Sweet Babboo!
Author: Charles M. Schulz
Genre: Comic
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
Source: NetGalley
Release Date: March 13, 2018
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Pick up a glass of milk, curl up with your security blanket, and enjoy the timeless brilliance of Peanuts in this new collection of comic strips!

Everyone’s favorite classic characters are back: Peppermint Patty enrolls in a private school to end her academic troubles—only to discover she’s just graduated from obedience school. Linus finds himself entangled in a love triangle (and stuck on top of a snow-covered roof). And Charlie Brown runs away from the law and becomes a vagrant baseball coach.

The Peanuts crew is lovable, popular, and charming, but please whatever you do, don’t call Linus “My Sweet Babboo!”

Review:

This is the first collection of Peanuts comics that I’ve read. I have seen some of the comics over the years, and I always watched the holiday specials when I was a kid.

These are cute little comics. Many of them are related, with storylines that take up multiple pages. These stories are still relatable years after they were first written.

Snoopy is one of my favourite characters! I love his commentary. I also love the dynamic between Peppermint Patty and Marcie. I kept laughing when Marcie called her “sir.”

This is a great collection for fans of Peanuts!

Review: The Queen’s Rising

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Title: The Queen’s Rising
Author: Rebecca Ross
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Purchased
Release Date: February 6, 2018
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

When her seventeenth summer solstice arrives, Brienna desires only two things: to master her passion and to be chosen by a patron.

Growing up in the southern Kingdom of Valenia at the renowned Magnalia House should have prepared her for such a life. While some are born with an innate talent for one of the five passions—art, music, dramatics, wit, and knowledge—Brienna struggled to find hers until she belatedly chose to study knowledge. However, despite all her preparations, Brienna’s greatest fear comes true—the solstice does not go according to plan and she is left without a patron.

Months later, her life takes an unexpected turn when a disgraced lord offers her patronage. Suspicious of his intent, and with no other choices, she accepts. But there is much more to his story, and Brienna soon discovers that he has sought her out for his own vengeful gain. For there is a dangerous plot being planned to overthrow the king of Maevana—the archrival kingdom of Valenia—and restore the rightful queen, and her magic, to the northern throne. And others are involved—some closer to Brienna than she realizes.

With war brewing between the two lands, Brienna must choose whose side she will remain loyal to—passion or blood. Because a queen is destined to rise and lead the battle to reclaim the crown. The ultimate decision Brienna must determine is: Who will be that queen?

Review:

I got this book in two subscription boxes for February: Uppercase Box and Litjoy Crate. I was a little disappointed that I got the same book, but I was also excited to read it because it must be good if it was in two boxes.

I loved this book! It is a different take on the YA fantasy story. Rather than the main character having to find love throughout the story, she becomes involved in a plot to raise the rightful queen to the throne. There was some romance, but it wasn’t the most important part of the story.

Breanna was a very strong character. She took chances to save the ones who she cared about. She had many conflicting choices to make, but she made intelligent decisions based on her instincts and intelligence.

I loved the twists at the end of the story! I felt like I was holding my breath through the last third of the story. There was loads of tension. Though the story was slightly predictable, I loved all of it! The only thing I’m wondering about is what will happen in the next book in the trilogy, but I can’t wait to read it!

Review: Literary Starbucks: Freshly-Brewed, No-Whip, Half-Caf Bookish Humor

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Title: Literary Starbucks: Freshly-Brewed, No-Whip, Half-Caf Bookish Humor
Author: Jill Poskanzer, Wilson Josephson, Nora Katz
Genre: Humour
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Source: Purchased
Release Date: May 17, 2016
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

From the creators of the eponymous viral Tumblr comes a single day with your favorite authors in one Twilight-Zone-esque Starbucks…

Ever wonder which intricate, elaborately-named drinks might be consumed if your favorite authors and characters wandered into a Starbucks? How many pumpkin lattes J.K. Rowling would drink? Or if Cormac McCarthy needed caffeine, which latte would be laconic enough? Look no further; LITERARY STARBUCKS explores such pressing matters with humor and erudition. Set over the course of a single day, and replete with puns and satirized literary styles, the three authors go darker, stronger, and more global than the blog in book format, including illustrations by acclaimed New Yorker cover artist and cartoonist Harry Bliss.

Review:

When I heard about this book, I had to get it. I love Starbucks and I love books, so this is the best of both worlds.

In this book, many beloved authors and literary characters go into Starbucks and order coffee. Each order matches either their life, story, or writing style. These were so clever and accurate! Here are some of my favourites:

  • Mary Ann Evans goes up to the counter and gives her name as George Eliot.”
  • Jack London goes up to the counter with twelve sled dogs in tow.”
  • Atticus Finch goes up to the counter and orders the one drink on the menu that no one else was brave enough to get.”

One negative thing about this book was that there were a lot of authors or characters that I had never heard of, or I didn’t know enough about them to understand the jokes. But the ones that I did understand made me laugh out loud.

This is a great book for book lovers!

Review: Harry Moon: First Light

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Title: Harry Moon: First Light
Author: Mark Andrew Poe
Genre: Middle Grade
Publisher: Rabbit Publishers
Source: NetGalley
Release Date: March 6, 2018
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

When Declan goes on vacation, Harry Moon takes over Declan’s paper route. For the first time, Harry is on his bicycle in Sleepy Hollow in early morning. Before the sun actually rises, Harry learns of a world he never knew existed. This is the special time known as “first light.” It is the light that peeks out from the sun before the sun truly rises. There, Harry finds the secret land where his magic teacher, Samson, is doing his most important and surprising work against the nefarious We Drive By Night Company.

Review:

I’ve read many Harry Moon stories in the past couple of months, but I think this one is my favourite.

This story had a very creepy theme. Strange creatures, who are controlled by the mayor, ran the newspaper office in their town. They looked like something out of Doctor Who! It was creepy, but I liked the mystery of the creatures.

As in the other Harry Moon stories, there are teaching moments throughout the adventure. Harry learned discipline by taking over his friend’s paper route. And he ended up seeing what a beautiful town he lives in when first light happens in the morning.

This was a great middle grade story.

Review: Find You In The Dark

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Title: Find You In The Dark
Author: Nathan Ripley
Genre: Fiction, Thriller
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Canada
Source: NetGalley
Release Date: March 6, 2018
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

In this chilling debut thriller, in the vein of Dexter and The Talented Mr. Ripley, a family man obsessed with digging up the undiscovered remains of serial killer victims catches the attention of a murderer prowling the streets of Seattle.

Martin Reese is obsessed with murder.

For years, he has been illegally buying police files on serial killers and studying them in depth, using them as guides to find missing bodies. He doesn’t take any souvenirs, just photos that he stores in an old laptop, and then he turns in the results to the police anonymously. Martin sees his work as a public service, a righting of wrongs that cops have continuously failed to do.

Detective Sandra Whittal sees it differently. On a meteoric rise in police ranks due to her case-closing efficiency, Whittal is suspicious of the mysterious caller—the Finder, she names him—leading the police to the bodies. Even if the Finder isn’t the one leaving bodies behind, who’s to say that he won’t start soon?

On his latest dig, Martin searches for the first kill of Jason Shurn, the early 1990s murderer who may have been responsible for the disappearance of his sister-in-law, whom he never met. But when he arrives at the site, he finds a freshly killed body—a young and recently disappeared Seattle woman—lying among remains that were left there decades ago. Someone else knew where Jason Shurn buried his victims . . . and that someone isn’t happy that Martin has been going around digging up his work.

When a crooked cop with a tenuous tie to Martin vanishes, Whittal begins to zero in on the Finder. Hunted by a real killer and by Whittal, Martin realizes that in order to escape the killer’s trap, he may have to go deeper into the world of murder than he ever thought.

Review:

This book is a great twist on a thriller. Instead of following the life of a serial killer, it follows the life of a man who digs up the victims of serial killers. He then tells the police where to find them, but this eventually leads him into trouble. This unique plot made the story unpredictable.

There were multiple narratives in the story. One was from Martin’s perspective, where he talked about finding the bodies. There was another narrative that followed the detectives who were investigating the man who dug up the graves as well as the original murders. And another narrative was about the man who pulled the strings behind the killers.

The pacing of this book was great. There were major plot points that happened in each chapter that made me want to keep reading. It was hard to put this book down.

I really enjoyed this book. If you’re looking for a unique thriller, this is the one for you.

Review: Dark Tales: The Hound of the Baskervilles: A Graphic Novel

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Title: Dark Tales: The Hound of the Baskervilles: A Graphic Novel
Author: Arthur Conan Doyle, Dave Shephard
Genre: Graphic Novel
Publisher: Printers Row Publishing Group
Source: NetGalley
Release Date: March 6, 2018
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

This classic “whodunit” story with the famous Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson is now told in graphic novel format. More than 100 pages of illustrated action and adventure! Sir Charles Baskerville, master of the Baskerville estate, is found dead at the gates with a look of horror on his face. Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson are called in to investigate the possibility of foul play. After several false leads, they solve the mystery and reveal the truth.

Review:

 

I love Sherlock Holmes. So I was so excited to see this graphic novel on NetGalley.

I enjoyed reading this story. I felt a little confused when I read the original story years ago. The story jumps around a lot, and some of the names are similar. This graphic novel made it much easier to understand, but it still has the tension of a Holmes mystery.

The art in this graphic novel was awesome! I loved the different colours the artist used. When the story told something that happened in the past, it was coloured in sepia tones. When the characters were in the dark, it was in dark blues. And when they were in the light, the colours were natural. This was a great way to depict different time periods and settings without having to describe them in words.

This is a great graphic novel that I would recommend for Holmes fans and people who want an introduction to the famous detective.

Review: The Wicked Deep

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Title: The Wicked Deep
Author: Shea Ernshaw
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Canada
Source: NetGalley
Release Date: March 6, 2018
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Welcome to the cursed town of Sparrow…

Where, two centuries ago, three sisters were sentenced to death for witchery. Stones were tied to their ankles and they were drowned in the deep waters surrounding the town.

Now, for a brief time each summer, the sisters return, stealing the bodies of three weak-hearted girls so that they may seek their revenge, luring boys into the harbor and pulling them under.

Like many locals, seventeen-year-old Penny Talbot has accepted the fate of the town. But this year, on the eve of the sisters’ return, a boy named Bo Carter arrives; unaware of the danger he has just stumbled into.

Mistrust and lies spread quickly through the salty, rain-soaked streets. The townspeople turn against one another. Penny and Bo suspect each other of hiding secrets. And death comes swiftly to those who cannot resist the call of the sisters.

But only Penny sees what others cannot. And she will be forced to choose: save Bo, or save herself.

Review:

This is a great, original story.

I liked the way that the myth of the Swan sisters was incorporated into the story. Parts of their story was told between the chapters of Penny’s narrative. It was an interesting myth that came to life each year in their small town.

The story had good pacing. It moved along very quickly. There was a lot that happened in a short amount of time, which kept the story moving.

I couldn’t predict who the Swan sisters would turn out to be, which made it more exciting. I was looking for a logical explanation for the whole event, but I couldn’t find one. Bo was also a curious character, since he came out of nowhere and blended in on Penny’s island so well. I was surprised at the ending, but I liked it!

This story is a great blend of fantasy and real life. It’s a thrilling seaside adventure for YA lovers!