Book Review: Down the Rabbit Hole

Down the Rabbit Hole by Peter Abrahams
Down the Rabbit Hole (Echo Falls, #1)
by Peter Abrahams

1 out of 5 stars


Ingrid solves a murder mystery while auditioning to be Alice in a theater play of “Alice in Wonderland”.

I did not enjoy this book. There is profanity, under-age drinking, under-age gun usage, and domestic violence. Ugh.

The writing style is full of fragments. I don’t mind a fragmented sentence every once in a while for emphasis or to draw the reader’s attention to something specific. Sometimes there is a pacing that needs a fragment or a run-on sentence to achieve a kind of pattern in the narrative, but this was just excessive. So many fragments that it got really tiresome.

Book Review: Larklight

Larklight by Philip Reeve
Larklight (Larklight, #1)
by Philip Reeve (Author), David Wyatt (Illustrator)

5 out of 5 stars

Arthur and his sister Myrtle live in a space home in an outer orbit of the Moon, and they find it very boring. Nothing ever happens in such a remote area of space, and they long to travel to Earth, or see the colonies on Mars, or visit the exciting moons of Jupiter. One day their home is visited by a mysterious stranger named Mr. Webster, and they are thrown into an adventure that takes them across the solar system with pirates, ancient civilizations, and alien spies.

I loved everything about this book! The plot, the characters, the hilarious writing, the world-building, the mystery, the adventure, and every single dramatic chapter all kept me reading for hours on end. This is one of those books where there isn’t a good place to stop reading. You just have to keep going through the next chapter and the next. Continue reading

Book Review: The Elephant

The Elephant by Peter Carnavas
The Elephant
by Peter Carnavas

5 out of 5 stars

Olive imagines her father’s sadness like a gray elephant that follows him around and weighs him down. She enlists the help of her best friend and her grandfather to figure out how to chase away the depressing elephant and cheer her father up.

I am so impressed with this thoughtful and sweet middle grade novel. The story is really emotional, and the writing gently leads us through the journey that Olive takes to reach out to her father. All the elements in the story dove-tail together so beautifully: a project that Olive is working on for school, an old broken bike, a colorful pigeon, a paper airplane that floats on the breeze, and a jacaranda tree in Olive’s backyard. Olive and her grandfather have a favorite song they love to sing together. Olive’s best friend, Arthur, reads a huge book all about elephants and shares it with Olive. There are a dozen little details like these that make this book truly special and meaningful. Continue reading

Book Review: The Star Dunes

The Star Dunes by Trudi Trueit
The Star Dunes (Explorer Academy #4)
by Trudi Trueit (Goodreads Author)

5 out of 5 stars


Cruz is in Africa searching for the missing clues his mother left behind for him to find after her death. The explorers help a family of mountain gorillas in Uganda, and then follow the clues to a desert region of Africa. The evil Nebula organization is breathing down their necks, and Cruz is devastated when one of his friends is targeted.

I loved this plot! There is plenty of action and suspense. I never knew what was going to happen next! I really loved that Lani is finally part of the team! She is such an interesting character.

The exotic locations are amazing, and I loved learning about different conservation efforts in Uganda and Namibia and all the national parks.

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Book Review: Spark and the League of Ursus

Spark and the League of Ursus by Robert Repino
Spark and the League of Ursus
by Robert Repino

2 out of 5 stars


Spark is a teddy bear, sworn to protect her owner from the monsters that attack in the night. But when a truly powerful monster threatens the children of the house, it will take a special league of bears to fight off the monster.

This book was darker and scarier than I expected. The monster is really freaky, with scales, insect claws, pincers, horns, spider legs, and the head of a human. The monster wears a creepy medallion around its neck with a human head on it that comes to life. Even with all the gross descriptions of this monster, I can’t quite picture it in my head. It’s like half-human, half scorpion. Ugh. Continue reading

Series Review: Sherlock Academy

Sherlock Academy by F.C. ShawWatson's Case by F.C. ShawThe Holmes Brigade by F.C. ShawSherlock Academy by F.C. Shaw

Sherlock Academy
by F.C. Shaw

4 out of 5 stars

Rollie and his best friend, Cecily, have just been accepted into the prestigious Sherlock Academy. They have to solve clues to figure out their class schedule, learn the art of disguise, decode secret messages to find out their assignments, and analyze fingerprints in the class roster. But there is a deeper mystery hidden in the library of Sherlock Academy! Throughout each book, Rollie and his detective friends work to stop the evil mastermind, Herr Zilch, who leads Moriarty’s old underground ring of criminals.

I loved everything about these books! The characters, the plot, the mystery, the action, the school, the writing style… everything is wonderful!
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Book Series Review: Warren the 13th Trilogy

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Warren the 13th Trilogy

by Tania del Rio (Author),  Will Staehle (Illustrations)
5 out of 5 stars

I loved this trilogy! The design is elaborate and the plot is mysterious. I loved the characters and the writing style. I flew right through the pages, and enjoyed the action in every chapter.

Warren is such a likable and interesting character! I really appreciated his curiosity, his resilience, and his love for the hotel. He feels connected to his parents and to his ancestors through their shared history in the hotel, and it gave the story a lot of depth to have that heritage. He finds clues that his father left behind for him, and that gives him the courage to face difficult circumstances.

There are so many great supporting characters, all unique and quirky and memorable.

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Graphic Novel Review: Batman Overdrive

Batman by Shea Fontana
Batman: Overdrive
by Shea Fontana,  Marcelo Di Chiara (Illustrations)

4 out of 5 stars

Young Bruce Wayne is weeks away from getting his driver’s license, and decides to repair his father’s classic car, and maybe give it some upgrades, and maybe start calling it the Batmobile. Bruce is tracking a car theft ring, and hoping they will lead to clues about his parents’ murders. He is isolated and alone, but as he searches junkyards for replacement parts and tracks the car thefts, he befriends two teens that he is certain he can trust… until he can’t.

I loved this graphic novel! Batman has never been my favorite superhero- too dark for me- but I really enjoyed reading about a young Bruce who is just forming his identity as a hero and learning from his early mistakes. Bruce is charming and just so cool. He takes too many risks and has a lot of anger inside though. It was great to see his character growing and developing as he dealt with some of those issues. Continue reading