Book Review: Hunters of the Lost City

Hunters of the Lost City by Kali Wallace

Hunters of the Lost City
by Kali Wallace (Goodreads Author)

4 out of 5 stars

Octavia has lived all her life within the walls of her city, the last refuge for humanity in a world that has been destroyed by war and plague. The only living things outside the walls were monsters. There was no human life left anywhere except in Octavia’s city…. or so she believed. Octavia meets a mysterious girl who claims to be from another city. Together they could destroy everything the town believes and bring healing to a society drowning in lies.

I loved this book so much! The adventure, the magic, the world building, the character growth; this book has it all! I got emotionally attached to the characters very quickly, and it was so wonderful to see how Octavia grows and heals and changes as the story progresses. There are so many big revelations and plot twists as Octavia learns just how deep the lies really go. Every time she discovers something new in her world, the reader discovers it along with her.

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Book Review: The Patron Thief of Bread

The Patron Thief of Bread by Lindsay Eagar

The Patron Thief of Bread
by Lindsay Eagar (Goodreads Author)

3 out of 5 stars

Duck has always lived on the streets with a gang of urchins who call themselves the Crowns. They pick pockets and steal food to stay alive. Their leader, Gnat, comes up with the idea for one of them to masquerade as a baker’s apprentice to steal from the bakery, and Duck is chosen for the job. Duck uses forged apprenticeship papers to begin working at the bakery, and then passes stolen bread and coins to the rest of the street urchins. But the longer Duck works at the bakery, the more she begins to settle into her new life. The baker lady is kind to her, and they become a weird sort of family. Duck’s loyalties are divided. Will she choose the baker who loves her like a mother would, or her ragtag family of pickpockets?

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Book Review: The Captain’s Daughters

The Captain's Daughters by Doreen D. Berger

The Captain’s Daughters
by Doreen D. Berger (Goodreads Author)
3 out of 5 stars

Diane and Robin are kidnapped by an alien race to be sold as slaves on a far-away planet. Their father, a starship captain, is searching the galaxy for them, but he will have to travel farther than anyone thought possible in order to rescue his daughters. However, Diane and Robin are not sitting around waiting to be rescued. They take matters into their own hands, and try a daring escape.

I enjoyed this book! The plot is a fun adventure and has some interesting twists. There were a couple of times when lucky coincidences in the plot made it a little unbelievable. I feel like the plot could have been a bit tighter in a few places. But those were few and far between, so I still liked the story a lot!

The writing is really good! I immediately connected with the story and with the characters. The pacing is excellent, and the scenes have a lot of suspense. I laughed several times at some of the funny dialogue! Those girls are so sassy!

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Book Review: How Do You Live?

How Do You Live? by Genzaburo Yoshino

How Do You Live?
by Genzaburo YoshinoBruno Navasky (Translator)
4 out of 5 stars

Copper reflects on the meaning of life as he faces challenges at his school. He befriends a poor classmate who is being teased and bullied, but that puts him in crosshairs as well. Somehow he must find the courage to stand with his friends, and find out what kind of person he really wants to be. Copper’s uncle and mother give him good advice, but ultimately it is up to Copper to make his own decisions.

This book is told in two parts; the first is Copper’s experiences at school and the second is his uncle’s notes to him about philosophy and the underlying meaning behind everyday things. These two perspectives overlap in alternate chapters. First we read about something that happened to Copper and then his uncle writes to Copper about it, expounding on different moral and social ideas of why that particular experience was important and how it can help to shape Copper into a good person.

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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: Masterminds

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: 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: 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

Non-Fiction Review: Treasury of Bible Stories

Treasury of Bible Stories by Donna Jo Napoli
Treasury of Bible Stories
by Donna Jo Napoli (Author), Christina Balit (Illustrator)

3 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


These are retellings of Biblical stories from Genesis to Daniel as interpreted by the author, and reimagined with embellishments and dialogue. Starting with Creation, this book includes 28 Old Testament stories, ending with Daniel in the Lion’s Den. Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Samson, Elijah, Job, Jonah, David, Solomon, Esther, and Ruth are all included with their struggles and failures, and the power of God in their lives.

The writing can be flowery at times, and the author takes a few little liberties with the history. However, there are also some really wonderful cultural and historical additions that enhance the stories as the reader learns about ancient cultures. I wouldn’t trust this as a source of my religious belief, but it is an enjoyable imagining of what Biblical times could have been like. Continue reading