Sync 2014 Preview – Free audiobooks this summer!

Jan 27, 2014 by

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Did you see the preview of titles for Sync 2014 are out? The full list will be here in February. They are ALL FREE, people. Go to the Audiobook SYNC website for more information. If you don’t want to keep checking back in at their website , you can also sign up for Text  or Email Alerts,  or follow them on Facebook.

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The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes II by Arthur Conan Doyle (Naxos AudioBooks)

All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill (Tantor Audio)

The Case of The Cryptic Crinoline by Nancy Springer (Recorded Books)

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein (Bolinda Audio)

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge (Harper Audio)

Divided We Fall by Trent Reedy (Scholastic Audio)

Eye to Eye by Catherine Jinks (Bolinda Audio)

Firstborn by Lorie Ann Grover (Oasis Audio)

Headstrong by Patrick Link (L.A. Theatre Works)

The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom, John Sherrill, Elizabeth Sherrill (christianaudio)

I’d Tell You that I Love You, but then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter (Brilliance Audio)

Living a Life that Matters by Ben Lesser (Remembrance Publications)

A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare (L.A. Theatre Works)

Oedipus The King by Sophocles (Naxos AudioBooks)

Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry, Ridley Pearson (Brilliance Audio)

The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane (Recorded Books)

The Shawl by Cynthia Ozick (HighBridge Audio)

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson (Tantor Audio)

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells (Listening Library)

Torn from Troy by Patrick Bowman (Post Hypnotic Press)

WARP: The Reluctant Assassin  by Eoin Colfer (Listening Library)

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FREE Audiobooks June 21-27: Irises and Sense & Sensibility

Jun 22, 2012 by

SYNC Titles Summer 2012

The free audiobooks for the week of June 21 – June 27, 2012:

Irises By Francisco X. Stork, Read by Carrington MacDuffie, Published by Listening Library

Two sisters discover what’s truly worth living for in the new novel by the author of MARCELO IN THE REAL WORLD.

TWO SISTERS: Kate is bound for Stanford and an M.D. — if her family will let her go. Mary wants only to stay home and paint. When their loving but repressive father dies, they must figure out how to support themselves and their mother, who is in a permanent vegetative state, and how to get along in all their uneasy sisterhood.

THREE YOUNG MEN: Then three men sway their lives: Kate’s boyfriend Simon offers to marry her, providing much-needed stability. Mary is drawn to Marcos, though she fears his violent past. And Andy tempts Kate with more than romance, recognizing her ambition because it matches his own.

ONE AGONIZING CHOICE: Kate and Mary each find new possibilities and darknesses in their sudden freedom. But it’s Mama’s life that might divide them for good — the question of *if* she lives, and what’s worth living for.


See, Random House Audio and Listening Library got it right! They have clips of audiobooks that you can listen to on their site. Not only that, you can share and embed the clips! Nice!I wish other publishers did the same. :) Carrington MacDuffie (reader) has narrated a ton of books! Seriously, there are nine pages worth of books in her bio. Sadly, I haven’t listened to any of them – but did read some of them! As for the author, Fransicso X. Stork, I have listened to Marcelo in the Real World. That one was read by Licoln Hoppe and I LOVE his voice. I didn’t at first, but when I was thinking about it days later, I knew I was hooked.

Sense and Sensibility By Jane Austen, Read by Wanda McCaddon, Published by Tantor Media

Jane Austen’s first published novel, Sense and Sensibility is a wonderfully entertaining tale of flirtation and folly that revolves around two starkly different sisters, Elinor and Marianne Dashwood. While Elinor is thoughtful, considerate, and calm, her younger sister is emotional and wildly romantic. Both are looking for a husband, but neither Elinor’s reason nor Marianne’s passion can lead them to perfect happiness—as Marianne falls for an unscrupulous rascal and Elinor becomes attached to a man who’s already engaged.

Startling secrets, unexpected twists, and heartless betrayals interrupt the marriage games that follow. Filled with satiric wit and subtle characterizations, Sense and Sensibility teaches that true love requires a balance of reason and emotion.

Review Excerpts

“McCaddon’s characterizations are as lively as they are exact…her reading beautifully captures Austen’s vivid creations.” —AudioFile Earphones Award Winner

Tantor does have an audio clip available on their site, so you can check it out there (it’s good!). I was unable to embed it without downloading more plugins, so sorry about not having it available here. Actually, I did get one way to work but it kept automatically starting and I *hate* when that happens! I tried a few other sites but couldn’t figure out how to embed them, and after a while it became quite frustrating. So I give up.

Enjoy the books this week! I’ll be back next week with week 3′s list!

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FREE Audiobooks June 14-20: The Eleventh Plague & The Grapes of Wrath

Jun 14, 2012 by

SYNC Titles Summer 2012

The free audiobooks for the week of June 14 – June 20, 2012:

The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch, Read by Dan Bittner (He narrated Where She Went by Gayle Foreman and Forever by Maggie Stiefvater, and many more!) (Scholastic Audiobooks)

In an America devastated by war and plague, the only way to survive is to keep moving.
In the aftermath of a war, America’s landscape has been ravaged and two-thirds of the population left dead from a vicious strain of influenza. Fifteen-year-old Stephen Quinn and his family were among the few that survived and became salvagers, roaming the country in search of material to trade for food and other items essential for survival. But when Stephen’s grandfather dies and his father falls into a coma after an accident, Stephen finds his way to Settler’s Landing, a community that seems too good to be true, where there are real houses, barbecues, a school, and even baseball games. Then Stephen meets strong, defiant, mischievous Jenny, who refuses to accept things as they are.

I am bummed because I was unable to find an audiobook clip on the publishers site. I was hoping to get a clip and embed it so that you could at least hear what the book sounded like. Since I can’t find one, I have linked to Audible, as they have a clip on their site. If you like the book DON’T get it them! Remember, it’s free at the Audiobook Sync site!!   I am totally thankful that Scholastic is participating in the most awesome giveaway this side of 2012!  I just wish audiobooks got more respect! (that’s a GENERAL comment, towards everyone – because I think audiobooks are amazing! I just might be addicted to them.Embarassed)

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, Frank Galati [Adapt.], Read by Shirley Knight, Jeffrey Donovan (YES! Michael Weston from Burn Notice! See him in that picture over there on the left?), and a Full Cast (L.A. Theatre Works)

The novel focuses on the Joads, a poor family of sharecroppers driven from their Oklahoma home by drought, economic hardship, and changes in financial and agricultural industries. Due to their nearly hopeless situation, and in part because they were trapped in the Dust Bowl, the Joads set out for California. Along with thousands of other “Okies”, they sought jobs, land, dignity and a future. When preparing to write the novel, Steinbeck wrote: “I want to put a tag of shame on the greedy bastards who are responsible for this [the Great Depression and its effects].” The book won Steinbeck a large following among the working class, perhaps due to the book’s sympathy to the workers’ movement and its accessible prose style.

I was able to find a pretty cool clip on Youtube for the audiobook for The Grapes of Wrath! Isn’t that neat? I wish more audiobooks made clips available. This is a good way to get summer reading done if it’s required for school. I really enjoy full cast audiobooks, even though I know there are some people that don’t. Let me know what you think of how L.A. Theatre Works does with The Grapes of Wrath. It was performed in front of a live audience (because dead ones would totally suck! Sorry, couldn’t resist a lame joke). I haven’t listened yet since I’m waiting for my new Sansa (mp3 player) since my old one met with a slow, horrible, and untimely death. It will be missed sorely. I have not yet decided what to do with the body. (If you’re curious, it went for a swim. It played for about 5 more minutes, went wonky, turned off and never came back on.)

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Audiosync: Free YA Audiobooks (good ones) All Summer!

Jun 14, 2012 by

Well, it’s that time of the year again! Every year (since I don’t know when) Audiobook Sync is giving away two audiobooks every week during the summer. FREE. As in, they are yours – not rentals. As per usual, they have some really awesome titles! If you don’t like audiobooks after this summer, then I am sorry to say that there is NO hope for you! Cry You will get one bestseller and one classic title. They are usually related. If you’re still in school and need to get some summer reading done, what better way to do it? Make sure you download them (fully) the week they are available. After that week you won’t be able to download them any more.

Yes, as you can see this started earlier today and I am just now posting this. I actually meant to post this at the beginning of the week, but somehow it ended up being a very busy week at my house! By the way, I now clearly see why people would pay someone to move and set up a swing set. It makes perfect sense!

Enjoy your free audiobooks! Oh, you have to have Overdrive (free) software to download them. Let me know if you have any questions. This will be my third year using Audiobook Sync and I wish I had known about them sooner! (I used some colors in this post to make it visually appealing but I can’t figure out why they aren’t showing up!)

SYNC Titles Summer 2012

June 14 – June 20, 2012

The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch, Read by Dan Bittner (Scholastic Audiobooks)
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, Frank Galati [Adapt.], Read by Shirley Knight, Jeffrey Donovan, and a Full Cast (L.A. Theatre Works)

June 21 – June 27, 2012
Irises
by Francisco X. Stork, Read by Carrington MacDuffie (Listening Library)

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen, Read by Wanda McCaddon (Tantor Media)

June 28 – July 4, 2012
The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud, Read by Simon Jones
(Listening Library)
Tales from the Arabian Nights by Andrew Lang, Read by Toby Stephens
(Naxos AudioBooks)

July 5 – July 11, 2012
Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake, Read by August Ross (AudioGO)
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins, Read by Ian Holm (AudioGO)

July 12 – July 18, 2012
Guys Read: Funny Business by Jon Scieszka [Ed.] et al., Read by Michael Boatman, Kate DiCamillo, John Keating, Jon Scieszka, Bronson Pinchot (Harper Audio)
The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County and Other Stories by Mark Twain, Read by Norman Dietz (Recorded Books)

July 19 – July 25, 2012
Cleopatra’s Moon by Vicky Alvear Shecter, Read by Kirsten Potter (Oasis Audio)
Antony and Cleopatra by William Shakespeare, Read by a Full Cast (AudioGO)

July 26 – August 1, 2012
Pinned by Alfred C. Martino, Read by Mark Shanahan (Listen & Live Audio)
TBA (Brilliance Audio)

August 2 – August 8, 2012
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor, Read by Khristine Hvam (Hachette Audio)
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, Read by Simon Prebble (Blackstone Audio)

August 9 – August 15, 2012
Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy, Read by Rupert Degas (Harper Audio)
Dead Men Kill by L. Ron Hubbard, Read by Jennifer Aspen and a Full Cast
(Galaxy Press)

August 16 – August 22, 2012
The Whale Rider by Witi Ihimaera, Read by Jay Laga’aia (Bolinda Audio)
The Call of the Wild by Jack London, Read by William Roberts (Naxos AudioBooks)

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MERGE Blog Tour: Guest Post by MCM! (You can win!)

May 30, 2012 by

Hello out there! Today I’m super excited to be a part of the MERGE Blog Tour! See my sidebar over there? I even added a banner (and if you’ve been here before you know that I almost never update my sidebar!). MERGE is a 13 part paranormal thriller series put out by the folks over at 1889 labs. And by ’13 part’, I mean 13 stories – not 13 different books, and they are all stand alone!

Set in a world still reeling from the discovery of transhumans, MERGE charts the loves, the betrayals, and the struggle for survival as transhumans are rounded up and sent to live in ghettos. Tensions are high, riots are brewing. The human race is about to come undone.

The stories written by 4 different authors, AM Harte (you might remember A.M. Harte from my review of Hungry for You), Kit Iwasaki, MCM, and Yvonne Reid. The blog tour will last 4 weeks. Every week, four stories will be published.

For my part of the tour I’ll be featuring a guest post by MCM, whose short story, Everything Must Go (Teaser: The first sentence is a doozie! (I’ve always wanted to say that!)), is being released this week as part of the series.


How To Accidentally Create A Series
by MCM

I’ll tell you a secret: I wanted to write a silly scene about a bureaucrat in a vat of ooze, and it somehow turned into a four-author series with intricate plotting.

What went wrong? Atmosphere, that’s what.

This was my thought process: Bureaucrat, vat of ooze, silly. Easy enough, but why would a bureaucrat be in a vat of ooze in the first place? Backstory is required, or at least set-up! There’s got to be more to the story… a novel, perhaps!

And that’s when the smarter half of my brain smacked the other half in the proverbial face, because as everyone knows, one does not write novels about bureaucrats or ooze, because novels are not meant to be boring. Unless you’re trying to win an award.

“Fine, then,” I said to myself, “I will make it a short story. Everyone loves short stories.”

But try as I might, I was unable to think of a good wrapper for the notion of a bureaucrat in ooze. At least not one that fit into a small package. The mechanics of ooze generally lend themselves to epic storytelling, and while one can sometimes squeeze epic-ness into 3,000 words, it’s usually not the best idea. And so I did what all good writers do in time of need… I wrote to Kit Iwasaki to see if I could trick her into giving me the answer.

I gave Kit the scoop on my story: “All I can tell you is that it’s about a bureaucrat, and he’s in a vat of ooze. I’m sure you can fill in the blanks, right? ;)”

Her answer was not what I was expecting. Instead of telling me how to fix my story, she came up with this idea about a society in the throes of genetic transformation, about the ways the transformation changes the way we interact with each other, the way we govern ourselves, the way—

“Yes, yes, yes,” said I. “But about the ooze…”

But sadly Kit, who was working towards a deadline six months passed, was too far gone to be reached again. She was excited to be collaborating, and couldn’t wait to explore the world further. Evidently, I needed to fix this new problem before my ooze went dry.

My next thought was to contact Yvonne Reid, who is writing a cool new series called Ascension for us this summer. I briefly outlined my bit to her, along with the important fragments of Kit’s blah-blah-blah scenario, and ended with: “… but I’m really concerned
about the way Kit is treating the bridge between this genetic transformation and the vat of ooze…”

Yvonne sprang into action, crafting a though-provoking outline about a bounty hunter charged with tracking down the genetic aberrations — transhumans — and bringing them to a government-sanctioned ghetto. Things are complicated by the appearance of—

“Back up, we’re focusing on the bureaucrats,” I said, but she wasn’t listening anymore. In her mind, this was now an epic novel with three authors, all intertwined and quite frankly, involving far less ooze than I was hoping for. Something had to be done.

I wrote an email to AM Harte, the Editor-in-Chief of 1889 Labs, and I did what any self-respecting publisher would do…

“Kit and Yvonne have this crazy idea to write a novel with a bunch of authors about transhumans and how genetic changes impact society and crap like that. I need your help.”

“I see the problem,” she said.

“I know, right?”

“It should be a series, not a novel.”

“Hold on…”

And before I knew it, we had this big project planned, tying together all this stuff, with absolutely no regard for bureaucrats or ooze or vats or anything. I was depressed beyond words, even if the component parts of the series are actually kinda cool.

In the end, I wrote my story, “Everything Must Go”, about a bureaucrat sent in to stop people with silly ideas from ruining a perfectly good time. And the ooze, it flows.

Mission accomplished.

AUTHOR BIO

MCM is the creator of the animated series RollBots. He also writes books, such as The
Vector, The Pig and the Box, and Typhoon. When not doing such things, he is coding sites
like this one. He is also insane. For more information, visit http://1889.ca/mcm.


 

(1) One lucky reader will win an iPad.
(2) Second place will win e-copies of all 13 stories, plus a $10 iTunes or Amazon voucher.
(3) Third place will receive a $10 iTunes/Amazon voucher, plus e-copies of one of the 4 authors’ MERGE stories (their choice).

Here’s how you can win:

- any comments (on any blog tour post) will counts as an entry to the grand prize (including an iPad!)
- tweets with #merge1889 count as entries too
- Facebook Merge mentions tagging 1889 Labs fb page count
- and subscribing to our newsletter on http://1889.ca/merge is worth FIVE entries

Winners will be announced at the end of the tour (straight after June 18).

PS. Didn’t you just love my gratuitous overuse of parenthesis. Yes, I talk like that in real life!

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Purex – Let’s Be Honest (and giveaway)

May 6, 2012 by

Hi all! This isn’t really book related, but as a Purex Insider and a mom, I thought some of my readers might be interested in their current campaign!

Purex recently launched their Let’s Be Honest campaign with Second City Comedian Molly Erdman. They’ve put up a bunch of funny (and short) videos showing honest moments that reflect the ironic truths of everyday Life, Laundry, and Whatever.” Haha. I like them because they’re funny, but I am seriously jealous of her washing machine! They’ll be adding new videos every few days on through July (plus the usual social network stuff that I stink at).

The best part of all is that every day (through July 24th) one person will win a year’s supply of Purex detergent. I could totally use that!

As a bonus, I’m giving away One Coupon for free Purex detergent! All you have to do is comment on this post. US only (sorry international folks!) Be sure to check out the videos and let me know what you think!

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Shower of Books Hop – Grave Mercy & Lost Girls

Apr 19, 2012 by

Welcome to the Showers of Books Giveaway Hop hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer & One a Day YA. I know I haven’t been around much, but I have a very good reason! I have been sewing.. well mostly trying to. I discovered some pretty awesome and cute kids clothes to sew – so that’s what I have been doing. I’m telling you, fabrics and designs have come so far since I was a kid. So far (out of my finished and unfinished projects), my kids each love one item that I have made for them. One pair of shorts for my son, and one hideous (not exaggerating here!) dress for my daughter. At least shes happy! The upside to all this is that I am burning through audiobooks like crazy.

Sorry, I didn’t mean to ramble about my hobbies. On to the GIVEAWAY! I am giving away an ARC copy of Grave Mercy and an ARC copy of Lost Girls.

Two books and two winners! Girl power! Sorry, this time around it’s US only. Giveaway officially starts on the 20th and ends on the 25th at midnight (EST). Make sure you check out the rest of the hop. There are seriously over 175 blogs in this hop. Do you know how many books that would be if you won EVERY SINGLE ONE!!?? Seriously, that’s like, a lot!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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It’s Here, It’s Out Today: Wonder by RJ Palacio!

Feb 14, 2012 by

It’s here, it’s here! Wonder by RJ Palacio is out today! I can’t say enough good things about this book. I loved it. I enjoyed reading it. I received my preordered copies yesterday, but the book is officially out today. If you haven’t had the chance to read it, you should. Even if you don’t love it, you will like it. If you haven’t yet read my review (that actually got quoted on the official book page by the way – don’t know what they were thinking, but I must say thank you!!), then please check it out! Wonder is clean, so it’s good for all ages. Smile

 I sorta have this problem where when I really like something, I have a hard time putting my thoughts together. That’s why you hear me saying the same gushing praises over and over again. Sorry about that!


 

Hardcover, 320 pages
Published February 14th 2012 by Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers

 

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Follow Friday #1

Feb 10, 2012 by

Feature & Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee & Alison Can Read. Make sure you check out their site, as well as the featured blogger (you get to meet someone new!)Laughing

Thanks for stopping by my blog! I really appreciate it. You can follow me any way you prefer.

Q: What would your prefer: reading your favorite book over and over again until you got sick of it OR reading 100s of mediocre books? And why?

This might surprise you, but I would definitely prefer to have 100′s of mediocre books! Think about it. After a while I would remember every single line of my favorite book. Then, it would no longer be fun. With my mediocre books, I would have a lot of things to complain about, things to laugh at, characters to mentally choke. I’d take what little good I can find in them, then combine them all to make a huge, mega awesome book! Id compile a list called, “The Best of the Mediocre…”. See? It’ll all work out.

Seriously, I don’t like to reread books. I don’t want to ruin a book like I did to some former favorite songs (listening to them over and over again.) Also, I like to read something new. I do want to reread books most of the time, but then I think, “Hey, that could be another new book you’re reading – and that potential new book might even be your new favorite!”. I know, it sounds silly, but I can’t help it!

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Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie by David Lubar – Audiobook

Feb 9, 2012 by

Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie

The Synopsis:

Starting high school is never easy. Seniors take your lunch money. Girls you’ve known forever are suddenly beautiful and unattainable. And you can never get enough sleep. Could there be a worse time for Scott’s mother to announce she’s pregnant? Scott decides high school would be a lot less overwhelming if it came with a survival manual, so he begins to write down tips for his new sibling. Meanwhile, he’s trying his best to capture the attention of Julia, the freshman goddess. In the process, Scott manages to become involved in nearly everything the school has to offer. So while he tries to find his place in the confusing world of high school, win Julia’s heart, and keep his sanity, Scott will be recording all the details for his sibling’s- and your- enjoyment.


 

My Review:

I was surprised that I liked Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie so much. It was fun and enjoyable. I think when I listened to this, it was the first time I had listened to Full Cast Audio. It is an experience that should not be missed!

Scott is a good kid who tries to do what’s right. You don’t find too many books with kids like that. Well, at least books where the kid is still flawed and likable. That’s one of the reasons why I liked it so much. He wasn’t perfect but he was still a pretty good kid.

And I love his Tom Swifties. He could have did so many more and I wouldn’t have gotten tired of them! Every time one of Scott’s attempts to be around Abby failed, I cringed! Poor little dude! I guess it wasn’t so bad though. Seems like he got more involved than what he would have done on his own. It worked out for the good!

I thought it was pretty neat to see how his friendships changed and progressed. Wesley was fun. I don’t know why, but I liked him. Now that I think about, all the characters were well written. They all seemed very believable. You find that even when you think someone has a perfect life, they don’t.

I enjoyed the main narrator (Ryan MacConnell and Joshua Bostick). I thought he did an excellent job at bringing out Scott’s personality. I was never bored with the story, and I genuinely liked hearing what Scott had to say! Some of my favorite parts were the notes that he left for a character who (whom?) is not in the book. I liked the narrator for Mouth (Seth Jackson – he was also Razo in the audiobook version of Enna Burning). I thought he did a great job and making him come off as annoying.

Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie is a very good audiobook. I’d recommend it to adults and kids/teens, especially boys! It’s an excellent audiobook to give to someone who is just started out. Or, to give to someone who enjoys laughing. I don’t know where you’re going to find someone like that though.

P.S. Check out his initial reaction to picking up his date and what he did to make his date comfortable! Priceless!


 

Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie by David Lubar, 288 pages,  July 21st 2005 by Puffin

Audiobook Info: Narrated by Full Cast Audio, 6 hours and 55 minutes, Unabridged, Feb 2006 by Full Cast Audio

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Win Wonder or Insurgent (Preorder)!

Feb 6, 2012 by

Welcome to the Follower Love Giveaway Hop.  The hop is hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and is co-hosted by author Rachael Renee Anderson.

For this giveaway I am giving away your choice of two books! One of them I read as an ARC, and LOVED! The other one I have not had the chance to read yet, but I suspect it will be pretty popular! If you win, you get to pick. 

I read Wonder by RJ Palacio a few months ago and I LOVED it. See it over there in my sidebar? Yep, I can’t wait. It’s middle grade, not YA, but I don’t care. It quickly made it to my list of favorites (Bonus: It’s not a series!!). You can read my review of it here. Wonder doesn’t come out until February 14, but you’ll be in the clear since the contest ends on the 14th.

Wonder synopsis: I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.

August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school—until now. He’s about to start 5th grade at Beecher Prep, and if you’ve ever been the new kid then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie’s just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, despite appearances?

-or-

Insurgent by Veronica Roth does not come out until May 2012. I DO NOT have a copy. If you win this book, you will win a preorder of it. You should get the book the day it is released. If you are familiar with me on Goodreads (add me as friend!), you know that I read the first book and pretty much didn’t like it. I DID enjoy reading it, and writing the review – which I think is pretty funny. In fact, it’s my most popular review on Goodreads. Don’t know how that happened! You can check it out here. This is book two in a series.

Insurgent synopsis: One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris’s initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.


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May B. by Caroline Starr Rose

Feb 6, 2012 by


Synopsis:

May B. by Caroline Starr Rose

I’ve known it since last night:
It’s been too long to expect them to return.
Something’s happened.

May is helping out on a neighbor’s Kansas prairie homestead—just until Christmas, says Pa. She wants to contribute, but it’s hard to be separated from her family by 15 long, unfamiliar miles. Then the unthinkable happens: May is abandoned. Trapped in a tiny snow-covered sod house, isolated from family and neighbors, May must prepare for the oncoming winter. While fighting to survive, May’s memories of her struggles with reading at school come back to haunt her. But she’s determined to find her way home again. Caroline Starr Rose’s fast-paced novel, written in beautiful and riveting verse, gives readers a strong new heroine to love.


My Review:

What an interesting story! I have to say that I was  not a fan of reading in verse. I freely admit that I usually do not get it. Is there a special way I should be reading them? I was a little ways from the beginning when I decided to put it aside for another book. After I was done with the other book, I came back to this one and I am sooo glad I did! I even feel bad that I put it hold for even a little bit. I couldn’t even remember why I had a problem with reading in verse in the first place. Really, it’s a great way to introduce people to this style of writing – mainly because May is awesome!

I loved May. She was likable and faced her problems head on. She struggles with a learning disability, (though it isn’t crucial to the story) but even so she still continues to try to read. I wanted to hug her and tell her I believed in her!

I did think she was a little mature for a twelve year old. I had to keep reminding myself that she wasn’t at least 15. I get that it’s historical and not of this day and age, so 12 is very likely pretty accurate for her age and behavior.

It was easy to imagine the dwelling surrounded by nothing but fields of the nothing and bleakness. You get a real sense of just how alone May is. Her “relationship” with her host family was well put together and very believable.

It’s a short read so I’d recommend it to historical fiction fans, as well as those looking to get their feet wet in the genre. Or, even those looking for a young and brave girl character. It’s also good for the younger kids.

May B. is an excellent choice for showing kids a main character who keeps trying no matter that all the cards are stacked against her. Girl power! (The book doesn’t have anything to do with girl power, I just like to randomly throw that out at times.)

P.S. I LOVE the cover! It reminds me of Laurie Halse Andersons’ covers.


May B. by Caroline Starr Rose

Ages 9 and up, 240 pages, Schwartz & Wade (January 10, 2012), 978-1582463933

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A Little Wanting Song by Cath Crowley

Feb 3, 2012 by

A Little Wanting Song by Cath Crowley

A summer of friendship, romance, and songs in major chords. . .

CHARLIE DUSKIN loves music, and she knows she’s good at it. But she only sings when she’s alone, on the moonlit porch or in the back room at Old Gus’s Secondhand Record and CD Store. Charlie’s mom and grandmother have both died, and this summer she’s visiting her grandpa in the country, surrounded by ghosts and grieving family, and serving burgers to the local kids at the milk bar. She’s got her iPod, her guitar, and all her recording equipment, but she wants more: A friend. A dad who notices her. The chance to show Dave Robbie that she’s not entirely unspectacular.

ROSE BUTLER lives next door to Charlie’s grandfather and spends her days watching cars pass on the freeway and hanging out with her troublemaker boyfriend. She loves Luke but can’t wait to leave their small country town. And she’s figured out a way: she’s won a scholarship to a science school in the city, and now she has to convince her parents to let her go. This is where Charlie comes in. Charlie, who lives in the city, and whom Rose has ignored for years. Charlie, who just might be Rose’s ticket out.

Told in alternating voices and filled with music, friendship, and romance, Charlie and Rose’s “little wanting song” is about the kind of longing that begins as a heavy ache but ultimately makes us feel hopeful and wonderfully alive.

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My Review:

So I’ve come to a decision, if anyone cares to hear it. Growing up in Australia can be so very hard – and that scares me. I think about how some kids grow up with tough lives and then I read a book with an Aussie character that’s struggling and man, it’s enough to make you cry for the rest of your life. Unless someone can prove otherwise, I think being a teen in Australia can be pretty pretty depressing. Beautiful and strong, yet depressing. Please tell me it’s not so! Makes me just want to hug one of them and tell them it gets so much better.

About the book, this was one of the few books where I liked all the characters. Charlie did come off as a little strange, what with her staring and not talking. Whenever she spoke up, it kind of reminded me of an alien learning our ways. Maybe because she put too much thought into it?? I’m sure it was the staring that threw me off. I don’t know if I would have been as inviting either. Maybe… oh I don’t know! I still liked her though. And it was nice to see her grow and become more sure of herself. Her shyness did remind me of myself at times. I did like when she stood up for herself.

Rose was so realistic as well. Her anger, her reasons, just all so believable. She pretty much hates being stuck in her town and the fact that she’ll likely stay in that town. That’s understandable. Especially when you feel like you don’t have anyone there that wants to see you succeed. She definitely came off as someone you’d rather has a friend, than an enemy.

I liked Dave and Luke. Dave was a sweetie pie and a good friend to have. I thought they all made good friends, even if some of them weren’t always the best influence. Terrible influence!

I did get annoyed at the one kid, the horrible influence, who convinced Charlie to do something for him. I returned the book, so I can’t remember his name. He is the one who hung out with Luke the one time. I was mad at him and I was mad at Charlie because peer pressure is lame. What’s the point of bowing to peer pressure when people are going to judge you any way?

I wanted to hug her dad… :(

My only beef is that I am what some people may call tone deaf. How they come up with that, I have no idea. Whenever there is poetry or songs in a book, I never get it. Ever. Unless it rhymes. Does that even have anything to do with being tone deaf? Because that’s what I’m claiming. Wait, maybe I’m not tone deaf but I can truthfully say I have no rhythm. That’s it! And for some reason I kept reading her “eff” song to the beat of the Red Cross CPR chest compression count. Is anyone familiar with that video?

I liked the end and would’ve liked a little more to it. I was invested in their story, I wanted to know what else would happen! I gave it four stars out of five, and found a new author to stalk.

——–
A Little Wanting Song by Cath Crowley

Hardcover, 228 pages, Published June 8th 2010 by Knopf Books for Young Readers

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Street Magic by Tamora Pierce

Feb 2, 2012 by

Street Magic (Circle Opens #2) by Tamora Pierce

Synopsis:

Briar Moss been training four years as a plant mage, but he hasn’t put his past behind him. He meets a street girl, Evvy, using powerful magic to polish stones for a merchant, and resolves to find her a teacher. But Briar understands the city’s gangs as well as he understands Evvy. When gang warfare breaks out, he discovers that the fiercest gang is seeking a stone mage to lead them to hidden gems. Only Briar and his magic can offer Evvy protection. Swept up in a bloody conflict, Briar must decide if he’s ready to make the final step away from his former life as a “street rat”.

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My Review:

Wow! I don’t think I can fully express just how much I love Bruce Coville and the entire Full Cast Audio team. Those people know their stuff, and they know just how to make an audiobook a great listening experience! I found myself, days later, randomly yelling out, “Pahan Briar!” The way the narrator said just really stands out.  I loved the audio version of this book. I don’t know if I would have liked it as much if I had read it, but listening was very enjoyable!

Normally I wouldn’t be interested in any book about gangs, but this one was different and I liked it. Don’t get me wrong, there were gangs, so there was violence (some was pretty bad). I was surprised that it was so graphic especially since the book involved the younger teens. But they were in gangs and that’s how they lived. Keep in mind that wasn’t violent just because the author could write it, but to show what the kids in gangs went through.

I loved how Briar seemed to grow up in this book. This is my first Tamora book, I didn’t read the first book in this series, but I didn’t feel like I was lost at all. You could just see that he had matured. He recognized the necessity of gangs, but also knew the harm in them. I loved how Briar took Evvy under his wing, even though he wasn’t happy about it in the beginning. Evvy was a little sweetheart. I’m glad that Briar found her and became her teacher. I think her character could have easily been written as annoying, but she was far from it. She was actually pretty smart. Evvy and Briar have very good chemistry. Their friendship was very believable. Note to self: Do not make Briar mad!

The lady gang leader was very creepy. I thought the person that did her voice did a great job. Just the right amount of menace and sweetness to make you fear her. I know she scared me!

Overall I was very impressed. Because of the graphic violence in some parts, tweens might want to go over it with their parents (ha, not the other way around?!). The audiobook was especially good. The Full Cast team made all of the characters interesting and believable. This is the kind of audiobook you would give to people who are reluctant to try them. I’d definitely recommend it.

Street Magic is book 2 of a 4 book (completed) series.

———————————————–

Street Magic (Circle Opens #2) by Tamora Pierce
Book Length: 264 pages
Release Date: April 1st 2002 by Scholastic Paperbacks(first published 2001)
ISBN: 0590396439 (ISBN13: 9780590396431)

Audio CD’s: 8 discs
Audio Length: 7 hours and 14 min.
Release Date: 7/5/2006
Narrator: Bruce Coville and the Full Cast Family
ISBN: 1933322470 (ISBN13: 9781933322476)

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Well Hello There!

Feb 1, 2012 by

Hi! Hey there! How are you? How’ve you been? Oh, you look SO nice today! Have you done something with your hair? It just looks so full and shiny today. I swear there is not a flyaway to be found! And your outfit just suits you so well! I don’t know how you do it, but you always just do! Go you!

Whew, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, I’ve decided to tell you what’s been going on around here at Attack of the Book! If you’re one of those folks that enjoy reading the long story, here ya go: Well, it started back in the end of 2011. I had just blah blah blah blah blah blah. And then blah blah blah etc. Blah blah busy, blah blah so swamped. Blah blah blah blah blah blah holidays! Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah crazy weather… You get the point, don’t you?

If you’re one of those folks that prefer to get the short answer, here ya go: I was lazy! I don’t think you could possibly understand how easy it is to NOT post anything! It is incredibly easy. It’s sooo easy to just NOT write a review for a book once you’ve finished it. Seriously, I still have about 30-40 reviews to clean up or finish. I don’t know if I’ll ever get around to it. It was insanely easy to do it that way.

Because I have problems of the mental sort, I have to decide not to take the easy way, and not to be so lazy. I shall post on this site, starting today! I think I’m doing pretty well so far. Let’s see how February goes, why don’t we? My plans are to clean up the site, join a few challenges, update my pages, you know, the usual stuff. Wish me luck that I can be consistent. I think challenges will help that, don’t you?

Tomorrow I will begin posting reviews again. It’ll be like I never even stopped blogging. You’ll see…!

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Ashfall by Mike Mullin

Nov 11, 2011 by

AshfallUnder the bubbling hot springs and geysers of Yellowstone National Park is a supervolcano. Most people don’t know it’s there. The caldera is so large that it can only be seen from a plane or satellite. It just could be overdue for an eruption, which would change the landscape and climate of our planet.

Ashfall is the story of Alex, a teenage boy left alone for the weekend while his parents visit relatives. When the Yellowstone supervolcano erupts unexpectedly, Alex is determined to reach his parents. He must travel over a hundred miles in a landscape transformed by a foot of ash and the destruction of every modern convenience that he has ever known, and through a new world in which disaster has brought out both the best and worst in people desperate for food, water, and warmth. With a combination of nonstop action, a little romance, and very real science, this is a story that is difficult to stop reading and even more difficult to forget.

***********************************************************************

I loved how Ashfall by Mike Mullin started off. I loved all the action scenes in the beginning. Especially when he was comparing his reaction to the reaction of a hero in a movie after they get hurt (they jump up unscathed, he curls in a ball shaking with terror). It was a wee bit creepy and scary to tell the truth.

It was scary imagining the ongoing lightening and thunder. I mean, thunder gives me the creeps when it lasts a second too long, I can’t imagine it going on for hours or more.

I liked how we get to see Alex mature throughout the novel. I’m not pointing any fingers but a lot of times in these dystopian type books, the author writes the lead as annoying, cold, incredibly lucky, annoying, incredibly lucky, or (you guessed it!) annoying. Alex didn’t get things handed to him. He tried and worked hard to get the little bit that he had. He doesn’t escape injury free. I liked how Alex thought things out and even helped other people (which is pretty huge, given the circumstances). I’m so used to seeing the lead character go “every man for himself” that you forget that they do things like that. I’ll have to remember to get my son enrolled in some type of hand to hand combat class, it appears to come in handy.

I even liked Darla, even though she was pretty surly at first. It was understandable. I thought she and Alex were good for each other. Even with all the bleakness, it was sweet. And it added some brightness to all the dreariness.

I can’t say that I love the cover. It’s okay, but it could have been better, bleaker. I also didn’t like Target. But then again, crooks that talk like imbeciles always annoy me. And referring to yourself in the first person is ALWAYS lame. And it makes you look stupid. Very stupid.

I felt the settings and everything were really well described. I could accurately “see” the ash covering everything and making it dirty. I could “see” the farmhouses and the empty roads. The authors notes at the end of the book was a nice and thoughtful touch. It helped clarify a few things about super volcanoes that I was too lazy to look up while reading the book.

Danggit! I didn’t know this was a series! Was that information always on Goodreads and I just failed to see it? I liked the open endedness of the first book. I thought it was one of those stories where you draw your own conclusions about what happened next. You know, after? I suppose I could read the next one as I really do want to know what happens!

I’d recommend this to anyone who enjoys dystopian books. Or, for those looking for books that will will appeal to guys. At some points I thought the story dragged on too much, but not enough to drop a star or anything.

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Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25 by Richard Paul Evans

Nov 10, 2011 by

Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25My name is Michael Vey, and the story I’m about to tell you is strange. Very strange. It’s my story.
To everyone at Meridian High School, Michael Vey is an ordinary fourteen-year-old. In fact, the only thing that seems to set him apart is the fact that he has Tourette’s syndrome. But Michael is anything but ordinary. Michael has special powers. Electric powers.

Michael thinks he’s unique until he discovers that a cheerleader named Taylor also has special powers. With the help of Michael’s friend, Ostin, the three of them set out to discover how Michael and Taylor ended up this way, but their investigation brings them to the attention of a powerful group who wants to control the electric children – and through them the world. Michael will have to rely on his wits, powers, and friends if he’s to survive.

**********************************************************************

I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed Michael Vey by Paul Richard Evans more than I thought I would. In the beginning I was a little bored and ended up setting it aside for about a month. I almost never pick up after that, but I’m glad I did.

In the beginning I was getting a strong “Percy Jackson” vibe. It started out campy, like Percy Jackson is. It didn’t help that he was a teen, with a single mom (just like Percy!). But that’s pretty much it. Because where Percy gets into battles that are not so extreme, poor Michael has to deal with a truly bad guy. I mean, the guy is pure evil.

I like how it’s different. Not only is the lead character a guy (I’m rooting for books with leading males), he also has Tourette’s. I even got to learn a little about Tourette’s. Like how stress triggers some of the tics. If I learned nothing else from reading the book, I can brag about knowing that.

I thought the crush that he had on Taylor was adorable. Like when she tells him that he could call himself “Eel Man”. He doesn’t really like the name, but loved that she referred to him as a man, haha. I thought Taylor was nice though she mostly annoyed me. I liked that she was nice to Vey.

I laughed way more than I thought I would. Once, a girl comes next to Ostin and asks if the seat was taken, he tells her no, she says good and drags it off to her table. Burn! I felt bad for him when everyone kept calling him the wrong name. Personally I thought it was rude! I do like how Ostin was useful in the book, and not just some mere friend.

Nichelle was a psycho and ridiculously rude! She was a prime example of someone who abused power, with no respect for people. I did not like her. I didn’t like how the bad kids were brainwashed and bought to complete dastardly deeds. Some people might not agree, but the third part of the book, when he in the compound, was the best part of the book for me. Nothing campy about it at all. The bad guys really showed how bad they could be. In fact, it might be a bit too much for sensitive readers.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if you’re a bad guy and you decide to monologue then you deserve to get what’s coming to you. It’s one of the dumbest things you can do, yet the bad guy always finds time to tell stories. Who cares? Do your thing and move on to the next conquest! Once you say more than two sentences you’ve pretty much sealed your fate. Unless a bad guy can give be substantial proof that monologuing is a benefit to your master plan, then just shut up. Really, shut up dude. Talk about it later, I’m sure it can wait!

In the end, I liked how the friendships worked out. Overall I am glad I read it and can’t wait for the next book in the series. Great for young adults on up I’d say.

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Updated: Spooktacular Giveaway Hop – Int GC

Oct 24, 2011 by

*Ghost sounds* OooOOOOooooo…. I’m giving away a $10 Amazon gift card $16 Amazon gift card! In my past contests every winner has picked an Amazon gift card. If you win and don’t want Amazon, that’s ok – we can get any GC that can be emailed or shipped – or a book from the Book Depository. Either way I hope you win! Really, I do. I’m not sure why I chose that amount, by the way.

I’m using Rafflecopter. You just need to click on the green “I did this button” and enter your name and email. That’s it! You don’t have to enter, but let’s just say I’ll be your very best friend in the whole wide world if you do it, OK? Best friends 4eva!

I’m not saying you have to prove your friendship, but just in case you wanted to follow me, I am on GFC (check out the sidebar), Twitter (sometimes funny sometimes lame), and Facebook (please and thank you)!

There are over 400 blogs participating in this hop! Check them out here. Surely you are the winner of at least one! Contest goes Oct 24th – 31st!

_____________________________

****Hey. You’re still here? Well, if you like giveaways like this and want to have one of your very own, be sure to sign up for the Gift Card Hop!! It’ll be sooo much fun! Promise. Pinky swear! The Gift Card Hop isn’t until December 9, but sign ups are open NOW!!!****

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Sign Ups Now Open: Gift Card Hop!

Oct 21, 2011 by

The Gift Card Giveaway Hop will run from Dec. 9th to 13th.  

Thanks to Inspired Kathy of I Am A Reader, Not A Writer for graciously allowing me to co-host this with her!

The Gift Card Giveaway Hop is just in time to help with with last minute holiday shopping!! 

What is a giveaway hop? Simple – Each participating blog hosts a giveaway and then we link up together allowing our followers & blog readers to hop easily from one giveaway to another.
For blog readers this means lots of chances to win. For blogs hosting a giveaway it means lots of new visitors.
It’s a win-win!

Each participating blog will host their own giveaway. There is no requirement on the minimum or maximum value of your giveaway. It’s up to you to decide.

Your giveaway must be for a gift card, it does NOT need to be book related.  The only exception is that you can give away a book shipped from the book depository (they don’t have gift cards).  

Amazon.com, Wal-Mart, Costco, Barnes & Noble, McDonalds, Starbucks — almost anything goes in this Gift Cards Only Giveaway Hop. (please ensure it is “family friendly”)

Please specify in your post whether you will be emailing them an e-giftcard or mailing one to them through the postal service.

All participating blogs will be linked up through a Giveaway linky. Please keep the process to enter your giveaway as simple as possible.
This hop has a limit of 6 entries per person.  1 mandatory entry and up to 5 optional entries.

As you prepare your giveaway post please remember the following:

1. The Gift Card Giveaway Hop Images needs to be part of your post.
2. Include the linky list with all the participating blogs at the end of your post OR link to this giveaway hop page or the post on Attack of the Book.
3. Keep It Simple!! Keep the way to enter your giveaway as simple as possible. 1 Mandatory entry and no more than 5 optional extra entries.  All entries must be able to be done on one visit to your blog – Entries such as tweet once a day are NOT allowed (tweeting once is fine).
4. This must be a giveaway specifically for this hop and must run only the 5 days this hop is scheduled.
6. Keep your giveaway easy to find for the 5 days this hop is open. If you post often and your post does not stay near the top of your main blog page then please post a link to your giveaway at the top of your blog or sidebar.  If we can’t easily find your giveaway you will be deleted from the linky.

Please mark your calendars. A reminder email will be sent out a few days before the hops starts.

Questions can be emailed to: toobusyreading at gmail dot com

To Sign Up To Host A Giveaway:
Add your blog to the linky!  Be sure to include your shipping info in parenthesis after your blog name. If your gift card will be emailed then it can likely be open Internationally. If you are mailing it through a postal service then specify where you are willing to mail to.

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Wonder by R.J. Palacio

Sep 21, 2011 by


August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school—until now. He’s about to start 5th grade at Beecher Prep, and if you’ve ever been the new kid then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie’s just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, despite appearances?

R. J. Palacio has written a spare, warm, uplifting story that will have readers laughing one minute and wiping away tears the next. With wonderfully realistic family interactions (flawed, but loving), lively school scenes, and short chapters, Wonder is accessible to readers of all levels.

______________________________________________

Can I just say right now that I loved Wonder by R.J. Palacio? I want EVERYONE to read it. (That’s right, I shouted!) In fact, if it were out right now I’d be buying copies to give to other people to read. I loved it, it was so sweet and real. It’s sad, funny, inspiring, infuriating, eye opening and awesome. I’d like to think that it wouldn’t have been me that would have reacted to seeing Auggie for the first time, but I know I’d be lying.

When Auggie first talks to us, he doesn’t even describe himself. He says, “I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.” Now, doesn’t that just make you think and makes your heart cry out for him? I know I was thinking it’s not that bad but even with the descriptions it’s hard to imagine.

My sister had a cleft lip and palate, so I have an idea of what the stares and whispers are like. She had many surgeries including the hip bone one. It’s better and still noticeable, but I can’t begin to imagine what Auggie went through. I guess it’s like he said, he’s used to it.

At times I was thinking that they were a little too well versed for them to be fifth graders, but then I realized I was wrong. Mainly, because I don’t actually hang out with fifth graders so how would I know how they spoke? And also, even if they did speak like adults, they still behaved like kids. (I thought about all the times they retold a story and they definitely were kids: “He was like, “what”and you were like, “yep” and I was like, “nooooo” haha.)

Yeah, they behaved like kids, and sometimes kids could be so cruel. The whole ‘no touch’ thing just made me so sad. The lab scene incident almost had me in tears, and that almost never happens in a book (OK, I did get extremely choked up at the end of the Book Thief). Oh, and don’t even get me started on the overheard conversation. That just about tore my heart out. No one wants to here stuff like that.

That Julian, I was so mad at him. But he was so realistic as well. It wasn’t always the kids, sometimes the adults could be so infuriating as well. And the sad part is, it could very well happen in real life (which totally sucks).

I can’t imagine what it would be like for the parents. I do know that the parents in this book were awesome. I loved their humor and attention to their kids. I think Via made it much easier for them, but they handled it well.

Normally I would not have liked a book that jumped through so many perspectives, but it really worked here, it did. Takes the guesswork out of trying to figure out why someone did something. Like when Via is explaining how her mother reacted to the death of someone, I could just see her mother on the floor, sobbing. And I liked when Summer didn’t give in to peer pressure at the party. <–highlight to view

So do I recommend Wonder? Yes, very much!! I know this review stinks (and I’m sorry about that), but it’s hard for me to express just how much I loved this book. Earlier I said that kids can be cruel, well they can also change and be inspiring. It’s another reason why I loved this book. And it’s clean enough for all ages as well. It’s an eye opener for any age. Makes you think twice about how you treat people.

Oh, and I LOVE the cover. Don’t you? It’s perfect. Though they should have just printed it with awards on it, because it deserves to win.

Publication Date:02/14/2012
Pages:320
Trim Size:5-1/2 x 8-1/4
ISBN:9780375869020
List Price:$15.99
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