Saturday, February 13, 2016

Mini Book Reviews Week 4

I know, I know...I have been seriously slacking with the book reviews. Itʻs been like 2 weeks since Iʻve done one. But, to be kinda fair, I havenʻt been doing a good job with the whole reading thing in general. Darn you reading slump and people coming to visit! Ah well...hereʻs to hoping that next week will be better...enjoy these for now!

P.S. Did yʻall see my new rating scale?! Iʻm kinda excited about it...itʻs on the side bar :D
P.P.S. Iʻm trying this new thing where the synopsis of the book is in italics. Iʻm hoping it makes it a little easier to differentiate between my review and the synopsis. Let me know if that works for you guys, please!

Title: The Emperor of Any Place
Author: Tim Wynne-Jones
Publication: October 2015, Candlewick Press
Links: Amazon - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Rating: 3.5/5 Lollies
Review: When Evanʻs father passes away suddenly, Evan discovers the last book that he had been reading--a journal written by a Japanese soldier during World War II. A rich story of two young men develops as Evan reads the journal and learns of his own connection to the writer. Essentially a book within a book, this is an interesting tale of war, family, survival, and love mixed with a dose of Japanese myth and lore. The FIRST thing that you need to know about this book is that itʻs a mix of historical, contemporary, and paranormal fiction. Itʻs a strange mix, but it works somehow, but I donʻt think that I would have liked the book as much if I had gone into it not knowing that thatʻs what itʻs about so...yeah. I enjoyed the format of this book and how it went back and forth between Evanʻs POV and Isamuʻs journal. This book reminded me a lot of Lost but with Japanese lore mixed it. It was definitely an interesting read! Check out my full review here.

Title: Nanny Returns
Author: Emma McLaughlin, Nicola Kraus
Publication: 2009, Atria Books
Links: Amazon - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Rating: 2.5/5 Lollies
Review: This story takes place about 10 years after the events in The Nanny Diaries. In that time Nanny has married Ryan (aka Harvard Hottie) and theyʻve spent most of their time abroad where Ryan does humanitarian work. Now that theyʻre back home in the City, itʻs time to settle down--theyʻve bought a fixer-upper, Nanny has started an HR consulting business, and Ryan wants to start a family. Nan is not so sure about the whole family thing. When Grayer X shows up on Nanʻs doorstep shortly after her arrival home, Nanny is sucked back into the Xes world, which only makes her further question whether or not she wants to be a mom. This book was okay. The one thing that I really love about Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus is that their writing is excellent. Their books are so easy to read and easy to get through, definitely a must if you just want a quick read. I am still not a fan of Nanʻs character. I was expecting to see some sort of character growth because of the time gap between books, but I felt like it was the same old Nan. Sigh...will she ever grow up and become an actual adult who makes actual adult decisions? The world may never know. Check out my full review here.

Title: Immaculate
Author: Katelyn Detweiler
Publication: 2015, Viking Books for Young Readers
Links: Amazon - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Rating: 4/5 Lollies
Review: Mina Dietrich is an average 17 year old who is trying to get through her senior year of high school with her friends and her boyfriend by her side. That is until she meets Iris, a seemingly crazy old woman who tells her weird things, and she ends up pregnant...and a Virgin. Soon, she loses one of her best friends who thinks that sheʻs a liar, her boyfriend who is positive that Mina cheated on him, and even her dad is convinced that sheʻs throwing her entire life away. Add to that the fact that the general public (and media) have caught wind of this shenanigan and Mina finds her life completely turned upside down. I liked this book a lot. The premise was interesting enough to suck me in and the writing was excellent enough to keep me interested. This was a great and quick read that kept me wanting to know more. I donʻt think there was a dull moment at all in this book! I loved that this book wasnʻt religious, even though there were religious parallels (obviously the story of the Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ). It did talk about faith but without getting too involved with religion. All the characters, I found, were likable but I enjoyed Minaʻs parents (especially her mom) the most. Check out my full review here.

Title: Nil Unlocked
Author: Lynne Matson
Publication: 2015, Henry Holt and Co.
Links: Amazon - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Rating: 4/5 Lollies
Review: Things have changed on the island of Nil, Rives-the Cityʻs new leader-can feel it, but heʻs not sure if the change is a good or bad thing. What he does know is that heʻs going to figure out the islandʻs secrets before his 365 days are up-or heʻll die trying.  When Nil newcomer, Skye, drops in knowing a lot more about the island than your average Rookie, Rives realizes that she may be the key to unlocking Nilʻs secrets. The second book in the Nil trilogy by Lynne Matson DID NOT DISAPPOINT! Seriously, there was no sophomore slump here. This book was great. I read Nil last year and couldnʻt remember a lot of the plot points, but was reminded of quite a bit in just the first few chapters here. I thought that the plot was so interesting. This story focused on Nil itself and I loved how a lot of Nil mysteries were rooted in Pacific Island culture and lore. I really loved how the teenagers were beginning to feel connected to the spirit of Nil...the islander in me smiled, haha. I also really liked the characters--especially Skye and Rives! It was so interesting reading the story from both of their POVs, it made the story feel more complete somehow. I NEED THE THIRD BOOK NOW. That is all. Check out my full review here.


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