Reviews written by Melissa A. Craven, Indie Manager

41 results - showing 1 - 15  
1 2 3  
 
Young Adult Fiction
Melissa A. Craven, Indie ManagerMelissa A. Craven, Indie Manager   December 29, 2016
Overall rating 
 
3.7
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0

A tale of true friendship and courage

I have mixed reactions to this book. On the whole, I truly enjoyed Ani’s story. The characters really made this standalone fantasy worth reading. The dynamic between Ani and her best friend Weevil tells a story of what friendship is all about, and Ani’s humorous replies and quick wit made...

Young Adult Fiction
Melissa A. Craven, Indie ManagerMelissa A. Craven, Indie Manager   December 28, 2016
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0

A truly unique retelling of a classic tale

I knew at the first glance of the Art Deco title font that I would love this book. The Deco/film-nior vibe of this retelling perfectly captures the mood and nostalgia of the roaring twenties in pre-Depression New York. The story is easy to follow with emphasis placed on the...

Young Adult Indie
Melissa A. Craven, Indie ManagerMelissa A. Craven, Indie Manager   December 28, 2016
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Plot/Story 
 
5.0
Illustrations (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Characters (if applicable) 
 
5.0
Editing/Design Quality 
 
5.0

Easily the best surprise read of 2016

Book two of the Sphinx series continues with Demigods and Monsters. I was so excited to follow on with Hope’s journey––and I was so ready for more Athan. But I wasn’t anticipating Xan. I was disappointed with Athan’s absence, and I didn’t like Xan at all … at...

Young Adult Fiction
Melissa A. Craven, Indie ManagerMelissa A. Craven, Indie Manager   December 28, 2016
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0

A heart-wrenching look at Afghan culture through the eyes of a child

In present-day Afghanistan, after a season of misfortune, Obayda and her family must move to a small town to live under the care of her uncle and his family. In a bid for good luck, her mother decides her daughter Obayda will become her son, Obayd—a bacha posh. In the...

Young Adult Fiction
Melissa A. Craven, Indie ManagerMelissa A. Craven, Indie Manager   November 30, 2016
Overall rating 
 
3.3
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0

A fresh and unique approach to the werewolf genre

Nessa Kurland struggles with her day-to-day, typical teen life. She worries about how she will pay for college and if the boy she likes will ever like her back. And then, she’s bitten by a strange wolf and her struggles reach an all time high when she begins to transform...

Melissa A. Craven, Indie ManagerMelissa A. Craven, Indie Manager   November 11, 2016
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Plot/Story 
 
5.0
Illustrations (if applicable) 
 
5.0
Characters (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Editing/Design Quality 
 
4.0

Every girl deserves a book like this

Total package girl was exactly what my fourteen-year-old self needed (way back when). Written for pre-teens and teens, this book teaches some very important lessons that every girl needs to learn about knowing and understanding her unique self. This book focuses on helping young girls realize how amazing they are...

Young Adult Indie
Melissa A. Craven, Indie ManagerMelissa A. Craven, Indie Manager   November 11, 2016
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Plot/Story 
 
4.0
Illustrations (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Characters (if applicable) 
 
5.0
Editing/Design Quality 
 
5.0

Perfect for Percy Jackson fans who are all grown up now

The gorgeous cover caught my eye months ago and I’ve been anxious to read Curse of the Sphinx ever since. (And I was delighted to see the interior of the book is just as beautiful.) I wasn’t sure what to expect from this author, but I adore Greek mythology and...

Melissa A. Craven, Indie ManagerMelissa A. Craven, Indie Manager   October 29, 2016
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
3.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0

An imaginative take on Leonardo Da Vinci’s inventions

The first thing I noticed was the clever use of family names in the portraits of Cleonardo’s home. Neandernardo, Sapphonardo, Magellanardo and of course, Leonardo, Cleo’s grandfather. Such a cute little detail in these beautiful illustrations inspired by the sketches and inventions of Leonardo Da Vinci. This is...

Kids Nonfiction
Melissa A. Craven, Indie ManagerMelissa A. Craven, Indie Manager   October 29, 2016
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Writing Style 
 
N/A
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)  
 
5.0
Learning Value 
 
4.0

Eight is great

Awesome 8 was entertaining and education but not in an obvious way. If you have a reluctant reader, this book is perfect for a curious mind with a short attention span. From geological phenomenon to the world’s most perilous roller coasters, each list of eight captures a quick look at...

Kids Nonfiction
Melissa A. Craven, Indie ManagerMelissa A. Craven, Indie Manager   October 29, 2016
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
N/A
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)  
 
5.0
Learning Value 
 
5.0

Perfect gift for the budding painter

As an artist myself, I was thrilled to find such a wonderful book geared toward young girls. This is not a frilly little book meant to entertain for a few hours and then discarded when the fun is over. Watercolor Crush actually teaches real artistic techniques that will help a...

Melissa A. Craven, Indie ManagerMelissa A. Craven, Indie Manager   October 29, 2016
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
4.0

Lovely fall inspired coloring book, just in time for Thanksgiving

This beautiful book immediately put me in the mood to color over the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday—perfect for a family activity. I particularly enjoyed the quotes from the likes of William Shakespeare, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, L. M. Montgomery and Henry David Thoreau. The fall motifs fluctuate from intricate...

Melissa A. Craven, Indie ManagerMelissa A. Craven, Indie Manager   October 29, 2016
(Updated: October 29, 2016)
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0

Spine-chillingly creepy and a perfect clean read for young readers of horror

I must say this is one of the most beautifully designed books I’ve seen in a long time. The illustrations are #creepy! But in all the right ways. The interactive Shadow House, choose your own destiny, app is an exciting companion that really expands the reading experience, provides even more...

Melissa A. Craven, Indie ManagerMelissa A. Craven, Indie Manager   October 29, 2016
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)  
 
5.0
Learning Value 
 
5.0

Fascinating, entertaining AND educational (and not just for kids either)

This was my first time reviewing for National Geographic for Kids and I have to say, I’m truly a fan. This was such a vividly illustrated and interesting book! I read it from cover to cover in one sitting and I learned so much about the ocean that I never...

Young Adult Indie
Melissa A. Craven, Indie ManagerMelissa A. Craven, Indie Manager   October 03, 2016
(Updated: October 03, 2016)
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Plot/Story 
 
5.0
Illustrations (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Characters (if applicable) 
 
4.0
Editing/Design Quality 
 
5.0

Funny, addicting and entertaining

If you’re looking for a fun, quick, guilty pleasure read, look no further than the Hive Trilogy. Charlie is full of delightful snark and a drive to overcome the odds stacked against her in a world where she is the only female of her kind. The concept of the Ash...

Young Adult Fiction
Melissa A. Craven, Indie ManagerMelissa A. Craven, Indie Manager   September 27, 2016
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0

Avenging the Owl is a delightful story with an even more beautiful lesson for young readers.

Avenging the Owl is a delightful story with an even more beautiful lesson for young readers. My first thought after reading a few chapters was, “this is a wonderfully weird book.” The characters as well as the setting captured my interest right away, but I still wasn’t certain...

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