Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Kobee Manatee by Robert Scott Thayer

This is a children’s book about a manatee that is traveling back to Florida before winter comes and he gets too cold. Along the way, he makes two new friends and they make the journey together. The illustrations in this book are beautiful. The colors are pleasing to the eye and the rounded edges of everything add to the softness to the story. The author includes facts about manatees throughout the book. I found the facts fascinating and educational but they could be distracting at times. It broke up the story line a little too much and I felt that some of the fun facts could be placed on a different page so that they went with the story line on that page. I believe young children will enjoy the pictures and the story and as they age, they will get more benefit from the fun facts. This is a book that I would recommend to my friends who are teachers, especially science teachers.

*Book provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review; Read January 2014*

Friday, January 17, 2014

The Last Alibi by David Ellis

This is another book in the Jason Kolarich series. This time Jason gets entangled with a new client that is not being 100% honest with his new attorney. Jason is going through some recovery after a knee surgery and is not at his best. His friends are getting concerned about him and they are worried that his new girlfriend is not good for him. Before Jason knows it, his new client has gotten him thrown in the midst of a serious murder investigation and Jason is on trial for the crimes.

I have read previous David Ellis books and I have enjoyed all of them. This one is no different. I love the author’s writing style and character development. Throughout this book I found myself wanting to yell at Jason to get his head in the right place. That shows how invested I was in the character. I did not want to see Jason ruin his life because of a woman, pain meds, and a bad client. I found it fascinating how Ellis wrote about the ethical dilemmas that attorneys can face at times. Jason has an ethical responsibility to represent this new client and yet faces a moral challenge representing this same client.

The first few chapters were hard to get into because the book bounces around from chapter to chapter but once I got further into the book, I could not put it down. I was anxious to see how Jason was going to get himself out of the predicament in which that he found himself. I was amazed by the ending and I’m glad I pushed through those first few chapters.

Overall, this book was well worth the read. It is an interesting perspective of an attorney taking on a new and controversial client and how that attorney will get through the challenges this new client brings to him. Do not give up on the book when you start bouncing around in the first few chapters. You will get the hang of it and it is worth it in the end. This book makes me look forward to another David Ellis book in the future.

*Book provided by LibraryThing Early Reviewers in exchange for a honest review; Read August 2013*

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Unhinged by A.G. Howard

This is the second book in the Splintered series. It is a different twist on Alice in Wonderland. Alyssa Gardner is the new Alice. She has been to Wonderland but is back in the present time. Her experiences in Wonderland never leave her and before she knows it someone from Wonderland, Morpheus, is visiting her in her world. Her mom has recently been released from the asylum and Alyssa knows it will be bad news if her mom sees Morpheus. They don’t have a good history between them and Alyssa worries it could cause problems for her mom. Alyssa also faces her relationship with her boyfriend, high school, her best friend, prom, and graduation. She has to balance everything and try to keep Wonderland from everyone in her life but before she knows it, everything is going to merge and she has to save both worlds.

This is the first A.G. Howard book I have read. I did not read the first book in this series but it did not detract from the enjoyment of this book. The author added enough detail that the read was not lost but not so much detail that it ruined the first book. Yes, I have a general idea of what happens in the first book but I think I will still enjoy it even with a little of the spoilers. This is important to me. I like when an author can keep the reader from getting lost and still give the reader a reason to go back and read the first book. This is a sign of a good author in my opinion.

I enjoyed the character development in this book. Although I had not been introduced to the characters, I felt that there was still character development within this book. I’m sure I would understand the characters better if I read the first book but it did not deter from this one.  I also felt that the author did a wonderful job on many of the descriptions. There were descriptions that intrigued me and described a scene in the perfect words. Some of the descriptions were so accurate that it brought back memories of my high school days. I thought the author was smart to add some bid, uncommon words within the book. This will prompt young adults to look the words up and learn a new word to add to their vocabulary.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. I found the story line entertaining and it kept my attention throughout the book. I think young adults will thoroughly enjoy this series of books. The author was creative throughout the book and did a great job with characters and descriptions. I look forward to reading the first book. I hope the author continues to write more books in this series.

*Book received through NetGalley in return for an honest review; Read December 2013*