A blog for reviewing YA, children's, classics and whatever I feel like.
Also for discussing developments in the the book world, specifically in the St. Paul, Minnesota.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Book Review: Pointe

Author: Brandy Colbert
Reviewer: Book Girl

Theo is a girl whose life is solely focused on ballet.  She is trying to put her past behind her, a past that includes getting treatment for her anorexia and the kidnapping of her friend Donovan, which occurred four years ago.  Then Theo receives news that she though was no longer possible.  Donovan has returned.  But he is no longer speaking.

Theo tries to move on with her life.  She finds a guy that seems sweet and interested in her, even if he does already have a girlfriend.  She throws herself into preparations for a summer intensive ballet program.  And then she finds out something that completely changes everything.  She knows Donovan's kidnapper.

This book is one of the best I've read all year.  Theo's struggles are many, but are very real to her and to the reader.  She is a strong female character, especially as regards to her love interest, Hosea.  I would love to go into more detail about the book. but don't want to give away anything major, so I'll stop here.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Book Review: Chomp

Author: Carl Hiassen
Reviewer: Sam

Chomp is a book about a kid named Wahoo whose dad owns a ton of animals.  They are hired by a TV show called Expedition Survival  which involves a person who goes out into the wilderness with only a straw and a Swiss army knife to survive a few days.  Wahoo and his father know that Derek Badger, the guy who goes out to survive, is a fake.  Wahoo meets this girl at Wal-Mart, who lives there with her dad, and finds out that her dad has been mistreating her, so when Derek badger and the crew of Expedition Survival invite Wahoo and his dad to go with them to the Everglades, Wahoo invites the girl, Tuna, to go with them.  When her father comes looking for her and Derek Badger disappears, chaos comes and it's here to stay.  It's up to Wahoo and Tuna to find Derek Badger without getting killed by Tuna's psycho Dad. 

                I love this book because although there are many characters to keep track of and  a lot of things that might be the main plot, you still remember everything. I like how this could be a love story between Wahoo and Tuna, but that isn't what the author is focusing on. I would recommend this to anyone who especially cares about endangered animals, or just wants a good laugh about the mistakes Derek Badger will make.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Daybreak Press: A New Bookstore in St. Paul

A new bookstore is opening up in St. Paul, whose full name is Daybreak Press Global Bookshop and Gathering Space.  This is a new style of bookstore, that focuses on equality and women's issues.  Another rather unique thing about the store is that it organizes its books by continent, including a section for books about Antarctica.  This bookstore is located near Macalester College, and fits perfectly with the kind of students Macalester attracts.  Hopefully its unique aspects will keep it afloat, because the area is certainly not lacking for bookstores, with Garrison Keillor's Common Good Books just a few blocks away.  I am looking forward to going to see this new bookstore.  You can read more about it here.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

The Future Library

I recently discovered a project known as the Future Library, and decided to share my thoughts.  The idea of the project is that every year an author is chosen by a committee.  This author produces a work that will be released to the public in 100 years.  You can read more about this project here.

My first reaction to this project was disappointment, since in all likelihood I will not live to see the works that the authors who participate in this project produce.  But after giving it a little thought, I decided that if someone told me a new Louisa May Alcott book was about to come out I would be thrilled.  So overall, I think this project is a neat idea.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Agent Colt Shore Domino 29

Author: Axel Avian
Reviewer: Book Girl

Colton Shore is not just your average kid.  He attends FALCON, a school run by an international organization of the same name that rains kids to be spies.  Colt constantly lives in the shadow of his older brother Dix , an amazing, heroic agent who died when he was twenty-two, before Colt was born.  That changes when Colt finds out that the people he thinks are his parents are, in fact, his grandparents, and Dix is his father.  After finding out his true identity, Colt is sent on a simple mission to protect two young pop stars during their tour in Afghanistan.  This quickly turns into an unprecedented round-the-world search for the victims of a human trafficking group.

I enjoyed this book.  Rather than your average secret agent book, in which the hero spies on a villain with plans for world domination, this book deals with a very real problem.  One slightly confusing part of the book is that it never explicitly states when Colt travels from one place to another.  Overall, this is a very good secret agent story that I would definitely recommend to fans of that genre.

Thursday, March 27, 2014


Authors: Claudia Gabel and Cheryl Klam
Reviewer: Book Girl

Elusion takes place in a futuristic world, where a new technology, by the name of Elusion, is sweeping the nation.  The technology allows users to visit a paradise of their choice to escape the dreariness of daily life.  The story centers around Regan, whose father designed Elusion, with help from her good friend Patrick.  Regan begins to question Elusion after meeting Josh, whose sister has disappeared, along with a group that hacked Elusion so that they could remain inside the paradise all of the time.

This book has some obvious flaws.  The relationship between Regan and Josh felt unnatural and forced.  In fact, all of the characters felt distant and unrelatable. One thing that I really enjoyed about this book was Regan's relationship to Elusion.  In an ordinary book, the protagonist would probably be a person who rebelled against the technology that clearly was destroying society.  However, Regan was very protective of it, and gradually became skeptical of the technology.  The ending was a major disappointment.  Not all of the lose ends were tried up, which was clearly making room for the sequel.

Overall, this book is rather fluffy, but has a somewhat unique protagonist.  I would not recommend it, except for a special case.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Lock and Key

Author: Sarah Dessen
Reviewer: Book Girl

I heard you were saucy at my gates; and allowed your approach rather to wonder at you than to hear you.
-Olivia in Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare

This quote described my approach to Sarah Dessen: rather mocking of an author who wrote, in my opinion, strictly fluffy girl romance books.  Well, after reading Lock and Key, I have somewhat changed my tune.  The romance in this book was rather fluffy, but the writing quite excellent.  Ruby, the narrator has a matter-of-fact tone of narration and a rather pessimistic view on life.  That starts to change when (surprise, surprise) she meets the boy next door.  The book had elements of fluffy romance, but also had some big reveals that I didn't know were coming but were still believable.

Ruby has lived an interesting life.  While living with her mother, she has constantly changed schools and apartments using fake names without ever knowing the reason why.  That changes when Ruby's mom leaves her a few months before she turns eighteen.  After living on her own for awhile, she is found out, and sent to live with her older sister, Cora, and Cora's husband Jamie.  Cora left for college ten years earlier, and Ruby feels she was abandoned with a nutso for a mom.  After a failed attempt at running away, Ruby resigns herself to living there -- at least until she is eighteen.  Ruby adjusts to some changes, like living in a rich neighborhood, attending a rich school and actually celebrating holidays.  Ruby knows that something is up with the boy next door, and tries to find out what it is.