Review: Slayer

Slayer by Kiersten White

slayerSeries: Slayer
Genres: Young-Adult, Fantasy
Maturity Level: 3
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Rating: ⋆⋆⋆⋆


Nina and her twin sister, Artemis, are far from normal. It’s hard to be when you grow up at the Watcher’s Academy, which is a bit different from your average boarding school. Here teens are trained as guides for Slayers—girls gifted with supernatural strength to fight the forces of darkness. But while Nina’s mother is a prominent member of the Watcher’s Council, Nina has never embraced the violent Watcher lifestyle. Instead she follows her instincts to heal, carving out a place for herself as the school medic.

Until the day Nina’s life changes forever.

Thanks to Buffy, the famous (and infamous) Slayer that Nina’s father died protecting, Nina is not only the newest Chosen One—she’s the last Slayer, ever. Period.

As Nina hones her skills with her Watcher-in-training, Leo, there’s plenty to keep her occupied: a monster fighting ring, a demon who eats happiness, a shadowy figure that keeps popping up in Nina’s dreams…

But it’s not until bodies start turning up that Nina’s new powers will truly be tested—because someone she loves might be next.


Slayer ended up being pretty much exactly what I was expecting. It was fun and exciting, nostalgic without relying on it, and had just the right amount of teen angst. Continue reading

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Review: My Sister, the Serial Killer

My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

38819868Genres: Thriller, Fiction
Maturity Level: 4
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Rating: ⋆⋆⋆⋆


Korede is bitter. How could she not be? Her sister, Ayoola, is many things: the favorite child, the beautiful one, possibly sociopathic. And now Ayoola’s third boyfriend in a row is dead. Korede’s practicality is the sisters’ saving grace. She knows the best solutions for cleaning blood, the trunk of her car is big enough for a body, and she keeps Ayoola from posting pictures of her dinner to Instagram when she should be mourning her “missing” boyfriend. Not that she gets any credit.

A kind, handsome doctor at the hospital where Korede works, is the bright spot in her life. She dreams of the day when he will realize they’re perfect for each other. But one day Ayoola shows up to the hospital uninvited and he takes notice. When he asks Korede for Ayoola’s phone number, she must reckon with what her sister has become and what she will do about it.


My Sister, the Serial Killer is billed as a “dark comedy,” and it certainly delivers. Honestly it was sometimes difficult to tell where the humor ended and the genuine began, which I loved. Continue reading

Review: The Baby Plan

The Baby Plan by Kate Rorick

35068764Genre: Chick Lit, Fiction
Maturity Level: 5-
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Rating: ⋆⋆⋆⋆


Meet the mothers…

Nathalie Kneller: Nathalie’s plan: to announce her pregnancy now that she’s finally made it past twelve weeks! But just as she’s about to deliver (so to speak) the big news to her family, her scene-stealing sister barfs all over the Thanksgiving centerpiece. Yup, Lyndi’s pregnant too, swiping the spotlight once more…

Lyndi Kneller: Lyndi’s plan: finally get her life together! She’s got a new apartment, new promotion, new boyfriend. What she didn’t count on—a new baby! She can barely afford her rent, much less a state-of-the-art stroller…

Sophia Nunez: Sophia’s plan: Once she gets her daughter Maisey off to college, she’ll finally be able to enjoy life as make-up artist to one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, and girlfriend to one of rock’s hottest musicians. But after 18 years she discovers the stork is once again on its way…

Now these women are about to jump headlong into the world of modern day pregnancy. It’s a world of over the top gender reveal parties (with tacky cakes and fireworks); where every morsel you eat is scrutinized and discussed; where baby names are crowd-sourced and sonograms are Facebook-shared. And where nothing goes as planned…


This is EXACTLY what I was looking for in a Chick Lit about three pregnant women! It was funny, touching, light, and just a little over the top. I laughed, I cried (it’s probably just the postpartum hormones…), I couldn’t put it down. Continue reading

Review: Bunnicula

Bunnicula by James Howe and Deborah Howe

515MBTEMKYLSeries: Bunnicula
Genres: Middle-Grade, Magical Realism, Books about Pets
Maturity Level: 1
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Rating: ⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆


BEWARE THE HARE!
Is he or isn’t he a vampire?

Before it’s too late, Harold the dog and Chester the cat must find out the truth about the newest pet in the Monroe household — a suspicious-looking bunny with unusual habits… and fangs!


It’s been 20 years since I first read this book, and it is still a 5-star read every time. This book has everything: an intriguing mystery, a great sense of humor, vocabulary building, family goals, and yes, a vampire bunny.

Continue reading

Review: The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson

y648Series: The Herdmans
Genre: Middle Grade, Fiction
Maturity Level: 2
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Rating: ⋆⋆⋆⋆


Ralph, Imogene, Leroy, Claude, Ollie, and Gladys Herdman are an awful bunch. They set fire to Fred Shoemaker’s toolshed, blackmailed Wanda Pierce to get her charm bracelet, and smacked Alice Wendelken across the head. And that’s just the start! When the Herdmans show up at church for the free snacks and suddenly take over the Christmas pageant, the other kids are shocked. It’s obvious that they’re up to no good. But Christmas magic is all around and the Herdmans, who have never heard the Christmas story before, start to reimagine it in their own way.

This year’s pageant is definitely like no other, but maybe that’s exactly what makes it so special.


This book didn’t age quite as well as some of my other childhood favorites. It has the 70s written all over it, prejudice abounding. Reading it out loud to my class, I had to censor quite a bit. I skipped an entire two pages of Imogene Herdman making fun of fat kids because I didn’t want to make my overweight students uncomfortable. Also a lot of the language and stuff doesn’t resonate with kids anymore. They were completely unoffended by the Herdmans stealing pennies out of the birthday jar, because what the heck are you going to buy with a penny anymore? Continue reading

Review: Rosewater

Rosewater by Tade Thompson

38362809Series: The Wormwood Trilogy
Genre: Science Fiction
Maturity Level: 5
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Rating: ⋆⋆⋆⋆


Rosewater is a town on the edge. A community formed around the edges of a mysterious alien biodome, its residents comprise the hopeful, the hungry and the helpless—people eager for a glimpse inside the dome or a taste of its rumored healing powers.

Kaaro is a government agent with a criminal past. He has seen inside the biodome, and doesn’t care to again—but when something begins killing off others like himself, Kaaro must defy his masters to search for an answer, facing his dark history and coming to a realization about a horrifying future.


I feel like I need to lead with this book is NOT for everyone. It’s bizarre, kind of grotesque, and pretty gritty. It was sort of like a Sci-Fi American Gods, actually. However, I don’t typically enjoy gritty books and I really had a great time reading Rosewater! Continue reading

Review: The Energy Bus

The Energy Bus by Jon Gordon

81107Genre: Self-Help
Maturity Level: 1
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Rating: ⋆⋆⋆


The Energy Bus, an international best seller by Jon Gordon, takes readers on an enlightening and inspiring ride that reveals 10 secrets for approaching life and work with the kind of positive, forward thinking that leads to true accomplishment – at work and at home. Jon infuses this engaging story with keen insights as he provides a powerful roadmap to overcome adversity and bring out the best in yourself and your team. When you get on The Energy Bus you’ll enjoy the ride of your life!


I loved that The Energy Bus is written as a narrative! Having this self-help book set to a story made it so much more accessible and engaging for me. Usually this kind of book is so dry, and I just get bored. But by adding a narrative Gordon got me asking “What is going to happen next?”

BUT. Continue reading