Tag Archives: travel

Isla and the Happily Ever After, Review

28 Jun

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

Plot: In the conclusion to this loose trilogy (different characters, but characters from the previous books make cameos), Isla is studying abroad in France and finally is making some headway on friendship with her longtime crush Josh. It even almost seems like he likes her back, but for some reason he seems aloof with her best friend Kurt.

After a few misunderstandings, Josh and Isla are finally dating. A few bad decisions lead to complications in their relationship. Can it survive family pressure, as well as distance and Isla’s own insecurities?

Would you recommend this book? Yes, however there are a few mature themes. The one thing I did not like is how Isla sabotaged her own happiness for reasons that she tried to justify but did not really make much sense to me. I know that there are always bumps in the road, but it just made Isla seem immature while stating that she wanted to be mature about everything with her relationship.

3 stars


Copper Sun, Review

17 Aug

Copper Sun by Sharon M Draper

Plot: This is the story of Amari, a young African girl captured and sold by slave traders, is kept as a “gift” to the plantation owner’s son, and eventually escapes to her freedom. The story opens in Amari’s tribal village, and I had a very difficult time knowing in what time period the story was set, as the village seemed timeless. I had a difficult time trying to understand what it must have been like for Amari to watch her family be slaughtered, and then to be captured and sent away to a new world on a ship. One scene from the book that made an impression on me was when Amari was forced out of the holding cell at Cape Castle and ends up in the bright daylight on the shore. In the middle of a horrible ordeal, Amari still is overcome by the vast beauty of the ocean, saying “…nothing could have prepared her for water so blue, so beautiful, so never ending” (Draper, 2006). Once I read this, I knew Amari would be a survivor, because she was able to find beauty in the world, despite her circumstances. This was reinforced at the end of the novel when Amari has hope for her (and her baby’s) future, despite the circumstances that brought them there. One other factor that had an impact on me was the importance of a name. Amari must reluctantly respond to the name given to her by her owner; however, as soon as she is free, she reverts back to her given name. In addition, I did learn something new when reading this book: I was not aware of the sanctuary provided by Fort Mose for people of all colors and backgrounds. It took me longer than expected to get into this book; however, when I did, I was really taken in by the story. It’s obvious that Draper wants readers to be aware of the cruel treatment of the slaves and the hardships that had to be endured. However, Draper also touches on the role of women during the time period as well, and provides a broad look at their roles through the characters of Polly (the indentured servant) and Mrs. Derby (the plantation owner’s wife). This book provides an interesting look at pre-Revolutionary War slavery from a slightly different perspective, which is refreshing, honest, and effective.

Would you recommend this book? Yes

4 stars


To Be Perfectly Honest, Review

27 Apr

To Be Perfectly Honest by Sonya Sones

Plot: Colette is the fifteen-year-old daughter of a major movie star, and is also a habitual liar. She blames this practice on her feelings of inadequacy that she has because of her mother’s extreme popularity. In her opinion, Colette’s mundane teenage life pales in comparison to her mother’s, so Colette invents an altered reality. Colette’s mother is filming a movie in northern California, and Colette and her younger brother Will will be living in a hotel on location. Although Colette is not happy with the summer arrangements at first, she changes her attitude when she meets Connor, a suave, older local boy. A relationship begins, and for the first time, Colette begins to be perfectly honest (at least to herself) about her feelings. There are several surprising plot twists throughout the book, which makes it fun to read. Colette is a likeable protagonist, despite her habit of lying.. Also important to note is that this book is written in verse, which is a bold choice for a contemporary work of realistic fiction. My two major criticisms for the book include the choice to phonetically write out Will’s lisp (which was nothing but distracting to me as a reader), and the absolute character shift in Connor at the end of the book.

Would you recommend this book? Yes.

3 stars


Jason’s Gold, Review

5 May

Jason’s Gold by Will Hobbs

Plot: Jason was the main character in this story, a boy who only had his two brothers as family members. He was away on a trip when his brothers left for the Alaska gold rush. In this story, Jason ventures through Alaska to find his brothers, meeting new friends along the way.

Would you recommend this book? Yes. I like that this book included many details about Jason’s adventure including both the good and the bad times.

5 stars




13 Little Blue Envelopes, Review

2 Jul

13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson

Plot: When Ginny receives thirteen little blue envelopes and instructions to buy a plane ticket to London, she knows something exciting is going to happen. What Ginny doesn’t know is that she will have the adventure of her life and it will change her in more ways than one. Life and love are waiting for her across the Atlantic, and the thirteen little blue envelopes are the key to finding them.

I loved the premise of this one.  Ginny’s aunt has sent her a package with 13 numbered letters that she is supposed to complete in order, only opening the next one when she has completed the previous one.  Her first instruction is to go to a Chinese restaurant below where her aunt used to live to pick up a package then go to the airport with only a backpack as luggage and no kind of technology to fly to London.  Ginny has to navigate foreign countries, foreign languages, and different cultures to complete each task.  Sometimes she meets people who are supposed to help her and sometimes she doesn’t, but she grows and also comes to terms with some things about her aunt that she has not wanted to face.  Unfortunately the last letter is lost to her, which I was really disappointed about until I saw that there is another book that will answer what questions are left.

Would you recommend this book? Yes.

4 stars


The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, Book Trailer

11 Nov

Ship Breaker, Book Trailer

23 Sep

This is the Michael L. Printz 2011 award winner; this award is given to a book that exemplifies literary excellence in the YA genre.

To Timbuktu, book trailer

18 Feb

Who remembers Jon Scieszka and The Stinky Cheese Man from childhood? Well check out this travelogue from his daughter, Casey and her friend Steven as they spent two years post-college traveling and living around the world! It’s part travel diary (from Casey) with illustrations (from Steven) to liven things up!

Bloomability, Book Review

25 Jan

Bloomability by Sharon Creech

Plot: Domenica Doone is “kidnapped” by her aunt and uncle to Switzerland from the states to go to school at an international school there. There, she makes new friends and learns how to face her fears.

Would you recommend this book? Yes! I loved the book!

5 stars

— Katherine