Reviews written by CJ Redwine, Editor

378 results - showing 1 - 15
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Young Adult Fiction
Reviewed by CJ Redwine, Editor     March 18, 2014
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0

True Dystopia

What I Loved: Fans of true dystopians will find elements to enjoy in BREATHE. All of the pieces are there: evil dictator/government, conspiracies to keep the government in power, a class system that keeps the people in their place, a growing resistance movement, secrets to uncover, and the gradual...

Young Adult Fiction
Reviewed by CJ Redwine, Editor     March 13, 2014
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0

Loved It!

From the first chapter, ASK ME pulls the reader in and refuses to let go. The premise is fascinating--an Oracle hiding in a small Florida town who accidentally starts solving a murder mystery and puts herself in the killer's crosshairs? Yes please--and the narrative is compelling. This is the perfect...

Reviewed by CJ Redwine, Editor     March 12, 2014
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A

Excellent

This well-researched novel is fascinating from start to finish. Ms. Hopkinson does an excellent job of bringing the setting of London circa 1854 to vivid life. From mudlarking on the Thames to the bustling community of Broad Street, London's poverty, filth, class system, and colorful cast of characters are brilliantly...

Young Adult Fiction
Reviewed by CJ Redwine, Editor     March 08, 2014
Overall rating 
 
3.7
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0

Action-packed Hijinks

What I Loved: Non-stop action and a conflict that grows page by page make this a fast-paced story readers will have a hard time putting down. The plot is often smart, the heroine is interesting and relatable, and the spy aspects feel authentic. The book is also very clean...

Young Adult Fiction
Reviewed by CJ Redwine, Editor     March 08, 2014
Overall rating 
 
3.3
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0

Arclight

What I Loved: The premise for ARCLIGHT is a combination of dystopian and sci fi with an element of horror. The writing, the setting, and the plot combine to create a tense, atmospheric narrative that constantly makes the reader feel off-balance. Readers never have all the facts, never really...

Young Adult Fiction
Reviewed by CJ Redwine, Editor     March 08, 2014
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0

Fast-paced Fun

What I Loved: The X-Men meets Godfather vibe in this story makes for a fun, fast-paced read. Fiona is an engaging and interesting heroine whose voice immediately draws the reader in. Seth and Miles are also notable characters who will pull readers into the story (for different reasons). The...

Reviewed by CJ Redwine, Editor     February 20, 2014
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0

Gritty & Compelling

What I Loved: Told in the distinct semi-educated vernacular of the hero Todd, THE KNIFE OF NEVER LETTING GO is at once gritty, heartbreaking, compelling, and thought-provoking. At its core, the story is a coming of age tale with some elements of the Chosen One motif. It's also a...

Reviewed by CJ Redwine, Editor     February 18, 2014
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0

A Fun Series

My daughter loves the fairies of Never Land, and this book series is as excellent as the movies. Plenty of adventure, fairy magic, and good, solid lessons disguised within the entertainment make this a series I can fully recommend to young chapter book readers. This is a series that will...

Reviewed by CJ Redwine, Editor     February 18, 2014
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A

Fun!

What I Loved: A compelling heroine, a cast of interesting characters, and a new take on zombie lore make this series an adventure worth reading. Non-stop plot twists and turns and plenty of action keep the pages turning, but the real heart of this book is in the friendships...

Young Adult Fiction
Reviewed by CJ Redwine, Editor     February 18, 2014
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0

Compelling

This story packs a punch. With spare, powerful prose the author portrays a character growing increasingly angry and isolated from the world around him. The imagery is surreal and poignant, and often it's difficult to tell what is real and what isn't. Because the hero often struggles to determine...

Reviewed by CJ Redwine, Editor     February 16, 2014
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0

Fabulous

Starring Jules (In Drama-rama) is another heartwarming and hysterical installment in the Starring Jules series. Whimsical illustrations highlight important moments throughout the book, and readers will be drawn to Jules' determination to be un-boring. With a cast of interesting secondary characters, a strong supportive family, and a heroine who manages...

Reviewed by CJ Redwine, Editor     February 16, 2014
Last updated: February 16, 2014
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
4.0

Grows on You

This book starts out slow and sleepy, like a warm summer day. Readers who enjoy flashy, humorous graphic novels or comic books may have a difficult time staying invested in the story, especially with illustrations that are a bit hazy and soft. But somewhere around the halfway point, the story...

Kids Nonfiction
Reviewed by CJ Redwine, Editor     February 16, 2014
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)  
 
5.0
Learning Value 
 
5.0

Entertaining and Useful

This humorous, conversational narrative is chock full of very useful tips for budding older elementary or middle grade writers. With funny illustrations and a sly wit, the author invites kids to learn how to write well while validating their fears or disinterest in the topic. In many ways, this resource...

Young Adult Fiction
Reviewed by CJ Redwine, Editor     February 16, 2014
Overall rating 
 
3.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0

Unique Premise

What I Loved: A unique premise and a tense, emotionally fraught climax will give readers plenty to think about after finishing BACKWARDS. Readers who enjoy having a mystery worth unraveling will find much to love in this story. Clues are fed to the reader after events have already unfolded,...

Young Adult Fiction
Reviewed by CJ Redwine, Editor     February 15, 2014
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0

Incredible

What I Loved: Lovely prose, stellar world building, a unique premise, and a heroine worth rooting for all come together to make THE 57 LIVES OF ALEX WAYFARE a genuine treat. Accomplished world building is the rock stolid foundation that holds this story together. Time travel, limbo,...

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