Reviews written by CJ Redwine, Site and Staff Manager

406 results - showing 31 - 45
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Ordering
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...

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...

March 08, 2014
Overall rating 
 
3.3
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
Young Adult Fiction
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,...

March 08, 2014
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Young Adult Fiction
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...

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...

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...

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...

February 18, 2014
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Young Adult Fiction
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...

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...

February 16, 2014 (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...

February 16, 2014
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)  
 
5.0
Learning Value 
 
5.0
Kids Nonfiction
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...

February 16, 2014
Overall rating 
 
3.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
Young Adult Fiction
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...

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...

February 15, 2014
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0
Kids Fiction
Ghoulish Fun

What I Loved: A school populated by ghouls, vampires, ghosts, and other monstrous creatures where every class period is an adventure in how to stay alive? Sounds fun! And that's exactly what this book is: fun. The teachers are each a different monster and are larger-than-life caricatures...

February 15, 2014
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Young Adult Fiction
Surreal and Compelling

What I Loved: CRUEL BEAUTY, a re-imagined Beauty and the Beast with a foundation in Greek mythology and ancient folk fairy tales, is a complex, surreal story that may take readers some time to digest. The world of Arcadia appears to be tied to the old Grecian-Roman...

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