Book Reviews: Masterminds Trilogy

Masterminds by Gordon Korman

Masterminds (Masterminds, #1)
by Gordon Korman
3 out of 5 stars

The town of Serenity is not as serene as it seems. Eli and his friends begin to discover that their seemingly perfect town is hiding dark secrets.

I really liked the mystery in this book, and the gradual unravelling of the secrets that the townspeople are hiding. The adventure aspects of the story are exciting and kept my attention, but sometimes felt far-fetched and unrealistic. I was rolling my eyes a couple of times.

The characters are smart and emotional, and they all have such unique personalities. I really enjoyed getting to know each of them, and seeing how their flaws and strengths push the story forward. They each react in different ways when they discover what is really going on in the town, and I can’t wait to see what further character development they might have in the rest of the series.

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Book Review: A Love for the Strangers

A Love for the Strangers by Rachael Kathleen Hartman

A Love for the Strangers: What the Bible Says About Loving Immigrants
by Rachael Kathleen Hartman (Author)
4 out of 5 stars
The Bible talks about “strangers” and “aliens” hundreds of times, calling Christians “strangers” in the world because our true home is in Heaven. The Israelites were commanded to welcome “strangers” into their community. God tells us more than once to love our neighbor (no matter where they come from) and to be compassionate toward those in need.

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Book Review: Alexandra and the Awful, Awkward, No Fun, Truly Bad Dates

Alexandra and the Awful, Awkward, No Fun, Truly Bad Dates by Rebekah Manley

Alexandra and the Awful, Awkward, No Fun, Truly Bad Dates: A Picture Book Parody for Adults by Rebekah Manley ( Author), Catarina Oliveira (Illustrations)
5 out of 5 stars

Alexandra decides to try a 30 Dates in 30 Days challenge, and she swipes right for some dates that turn out to be decidedly awful, awkward, and no fun. These truly bad dates are immature, selfish, and downright gross. They leave her with the check, mansplain and lecture her, stay on their phones the whole time, or just don’t show up at all. At the end of her 30 dates, Alexandra decides to invest in herself and live her best life alone… with a few good friends.

I loved this funny picture book for adults! The writing is hilarious with clever hashtags scattered throughout. For anyone who has horror stories of terrible dates, this book will ring true and help you to laugh off those bad times with the same carefree and courageous attitude Alexandra shows.

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Graphic Novel Review: The Inkberg Enigma

The Inkberg Enigma by Jonathan King

The Inkberg Enigma
by Jonathan King
4 out of 5 stars

This graphic novel centers on a bookish young man, Miro, who lives in a fishing village where his father works in a history museum. There are strange occurrences around the town, and the fishermen have secrets to hide. Miro’s new friend, Zia, takes a photograph of a fisherman who has been attacked at sea, the local fishermen warn Miro and Zia to stay away and keep quiet about what they saw. But of course, they begin to investigate the weird phenomena around town.

I loved this book! The characters, the interesting plot, and the world-building are all excellent.

I liked that Miro is a bookworm, and spends his life diving into books but never having any real adventures. Each of the characters has their own vivid personality and backstory.

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Book Review: Quest for the Great Diamond

Hidden Gems: Quest for the Great Diamond

By H. K. Boughazian

3 out of 5 stars

Gem’s parents are made of beautiful and colorful minerals, but Gem’s skin is plain gray rock. She is teased for her gray skin and leaves mineral school to go to the rock school where she tries to fit in. But when her rock friends find out that her parents are minerals, Gem loses her only friend. She sets out on a quest to find the Great Diamond, and ask him why she was born as a rock. She is joined by other misfits searching for answers, and they travel through exciting adventures across the country, until they discover the truth about rocks and minerals.

I loved the premise of this story! The world building is phenomenal, and so detailed with plants, people, and animals all made from different stone and crystals and minerals.

The characters are cute and I liked their friendships. The plot has good pacing and a simple storyline that is just right for a children’s book.

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Non Fiction Book Review: Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

The Autobiography and Other Writings by Benjamin Franklin
The Autobiography and Other Writings
by Benjamin Franklin

3 out of 5 stars

This is an interesting look at Benjamin Franklin’s life. The first part is his autobiography, which he never finished. It tells mostly of his early life and his beginnings in the printing business. Then there are collections of his letters, scientific writings, and political writing. These are divided by topic, with short explanations from the editor giving general information surrounding those letters or publications. It shows his work as a scientist and inventor, his gradual assent into public life as a statesman and politician, and his personal life as a husband and father and his personal relationships.

I found it very interesting and readable, and I loved seeing how meticulous and sensible Franklin was in ordering and organizing his life. He had some excellent ideas and some crazy ideas. He was a person always searching and wondering and puzzling through the mysteries of life. He must have had a terrific amount of energy, since he often writes about diligence and industry. He was a rare personality.

I enjoyed this close look into American history!