Book Review: Matched

Matched by Ally Condie

Matched (Matched, #1)
by Ally Condie (Goodreads Author)
3 out of 5 stars

Cassia follows the rules. She is excited for the benevolent government officials to choose her Match for her, the man she will one day marry. She is matched with her childhood friend, but briefly sees another boy in her match information. She is told that it was only a mistake, but she’s curious about the other match, and begins to bend the rules and then break them.

I really loved the dystopian setup in this book! The seemingly benevolent government who watches your every move, and makes all your life decisions for you based on data and predictions and genetic compatibility. It was such a cool and interesting setting!

I really loved Cassia’s character development. I loved her internal struggle, and how she begins to question her world. She is torn between two boys, two lives, and two selves. Does she choose to play it safe and have a good life with her match? Or does she choose to rebel and live free, but risk losing everything? I was fascinated by the intricate details of her emotions and thoughts.

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Book Review: The Boatman’s Daughter

The Illustrated Boatman's Daughter by Tom Durwood

The Illustrated Boatman’s Daughter
by Tom Durwood (Goodreads Author)
2 out of 5 stars
In 1860s Egypt, Salima helps her father with his ferryboat business, but she longs for more education and wants to travel and see the world. Hoping to make some money to pay for school, she applies for a clerk position with a company overseeing the construction of the Suez Canal. She becomes entangled with the corruption and danger surrounding the various European and Egyptian powers struggling for control of the new canal.

The writing style is really excellent, and made me care deeply about the characters. However, it could use a copy editor for little things like punctuation.

The plot was exciting, and the adventure was interesting. However, there were times when I couldn’t understand why the plot took the direction it did in some scenes. It wasn’t clear why the characters chose to do what they did, or how they got to a certain point, or how they gained particular knowledge. It was just some little things that didn’t quite add up, but it didn’t ruin my enjoyment of the overall story.

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Non Fiction Review: The Mindfulness Journal for Teens

The Mindfulness Journal for Teens by Jennie Marie Battistin, MA,...
The Mindfulness Journal for Teens: Prompts and Practices to Help You Stay Cool, Calm, and Present
by Jennie Marie Battistin, MA, LMFT

5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


This beautiful guided journal prompts the reader/writer to answer questions, contemplate quotes about peace and mindfulness, practice meditations, focus on the breath, embrace personal affirmations, and write down their thoughts.

The best thing about this book is the beautiful design and calming colors on each page. It makes me want to open the book and notice every little leaf and fruit design around the edges while I do the meditations.

The prompts begin with a simple noticing of your emotions, your body, and surroundings, and then move into more deep contemplations and journal instructions about your insecurities, your strengths and fears. Continue reading

Book Review: Cybele’s Secret

Cybele's Secret by Juliet Marillier
Cybele’s Secret (Wildwood, #2) 
by Juliet Marillier

5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


Paula travels with her merchant father to Istanbul, hoping to acquire a religious artifact of rare and precious value. There is fierce competition for the artifact, and unscrupulous merchants will use violence to get their hands on it. Paula’s father hires a bodyguard, Stoyan, to keep his daughter safe on the dangerous streets. Paula befriends a wayward pirate captain, Duarte, hoping to get information from him about the artifact. The powers from the Other Kingdom send Paula on a quest, to retrieve the artifact, to unravel the riddles surrounding its history, and to learn from her perilous voyage the meaning of love and friendship.

My heart is too full! I can barely think, my mind is still reeling with all the complex details of the story. I have cried and laughed and clutched the book with white knuckles. What a journey! My heart just went on a rollercoaster ride, and I am still gasping for breath. Continue reading

Book Review: Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold by Iain Reading
Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold (Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency, #1) 
by Iain Reading (Goodreads Author)

4 out of 5 stars

Kitty is a 19-year-old pilot on a summer mission to observe humpback whales in Juneau, Alaska, when she stumbles across the path of some gold thieves and is forced on a trek through the Alaskan wild as their captive.

Move over, Nancy Drew! I have a new favorite teen detective! This book ended up being so much more amazing than I ever expected, with an adventurous plot full of twists and turns, compelling and complex characters, and clever dialogue. Continue reading

Book Review: The Wizard’s Dilemma

The Wizard's Dilemma
The Wizard’s Dilemma by Diane Duane

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Yet another book in this series that broke my heart! Such beautiful writing!

Nita gets the terrible news that her mother is dying of cancer. In between hospital visits, Nita searches for a dangerous and elusive wizardry that will cure her mother, but the price may be more than she can pay. She and her wizarding work partner, Kit, have suffered a misunderstanding that keeps them apart. Determined to find a cure on her own, Nita falls prey to the evil Lone One, not realizing that Kit might have stumbled on the answer to all their problems, if only they can reconcile in time!

As in all the other books, I adore the camaraderie and complete trust between Kit and Nita. Their friendship is so special, and seeing it fall apart in this book was heartbreaking. But even through their argument, I loved seeing these characters grow and change, and their friendship ultimately grows and changes along with them. All friendships have some rocky spots, a few bumps in the road, and I was so happy to see how both these characters overcome the obstacles in their way, and it makes them better people, and makes their friendship stronger! Continue reading