Member Book Review: Full Ride

by Margaret Peterson Haddix

reviewed by Karina

fullrideFrom the moment this book starts it firmly attaches to your heart. It pulls at your heart strings every step of the way, through every wittingly titled chapter, through every dramatic sentence, through every span of drama. Full ride is truly a novel worth throwing away two or so hours of your life on. This story starts out in Virginia with our main character Becca. She and her mother have been in hiding for years and they want to escape the pain. The pain of what? Of her father’s many crimes putting them all in danger of Excellerand, a highly powerful corporation like Google. Becca never gets to see or hear from her father unless their malicious, power hungry lawyer gets involved. Becca and her mother flee to Deskins, Ohio where they can start anew, but even by moving Becca can’t achieve the one goal she has. All she wants is to go to college, but with her predicament she can’t…until she finds a scholarship.It’s a full ride scholarship and all of Becca’s friends want it too. It’s called the Whitney Court scholarship…


Holiday Favorites

by Mae

The holidays are upon us; and that means everyone is getting into the spirit with their favorite holiday traditions.  One of my personal favorite things to kick off winter cheer is to use my “Peppermint Bark Lip Shine” from Philosophy.  It smells like deep peppermint with a touch of dark chocolate.

Swiss Miss Marshmallow Lover’s hot chocolate also gets me into the ho-ho-holidays.  It comes with so many marshmallows, one pouch can’t keep all the gooey goodness contained.  The mix comes in one packet, and marshmallows in another.  This is truly a delicious winter time drink.

My final holiday favorite is “Holidays on Ice” by David Sedaris.  It’s a book containing a collection of six Christmas themed short stories.  The story that had me laughing was”Christmas Means Giving. “  It’s about an extremely wealthy family who are the envy of the whole neighborhood until the Cottinghams roll into town.  The Cottinghams quickly try to one up their outrageously rich neighbors.  First it starts with little things like pre-Columbian sofa bed collections and 10,000 flip flops.  Eventually the two families get into a big fight about whose family Christmas card is the most meaningful.  Then, as you can guess, it becomes a race to see who can create a holiday card leaving their rich neighbors Oooooing and Awwwing at their family’s generosity.  I was giggling through the whole story, so over all Christmas Means Giving could not have been a more perfect ending to this short story collection.

I wish you and your friends and family a happy, healthy and safe holiday as well as a new year full of exciting opportunities and love.

Member Book Review: Bonechiller


by Graham McNamee

                                                                             Review by Mae

    Bonechiller is a must read for anyone who enjoys suspense, mystery and sci-fi all mixed together with a dash of romance.  It kept me on my toes from start to finish, always wanting; which is not necessarily a good thing.  Graham McNamee writes brilliantly making all the characters seem so raw and real.  However, he seems to have forgotten part of the story line in the middle and the end.

Danny has been hiding; hiding from the truth and harsh reality about what happened in Toronto.  Eventually, he ends up in Harvest Cove, a town seemingly at the end of the world in Canada’s empty wilds.  The cold, harsh winter soon sets in, and Danny and his friends start to experience some crazy things.  Will Danny be able to stop the madness while battling an internal conflict, and keep a special someone by his side straight to the end?

Graham McNamee has won many awards and much praise for his works.  Bonechiller was no different.  Although his main point of the book was to be full of suspense; which it was; McNamee seemed to forget about the internal conflict going on with Danny towards the end.  It  almost seemed as if McNamee wanted the reader to forget things going on in Danny’s mind so he didn’t have to bother to write some sort of resolution to it.  In addition, toward the middle Danny’s love interest was put on hold to make way for the main conflict; which drove me crazy.  I wish McNamee could have kept up the same amount of suspense for Danny’s emotional conflict and leading lady as the main conflict.

Overall, Bonechiller was suspenseful, but could have been thought out a little better.  I give this a 3 out of 5 stars.

Member Book Review: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

by John Boyne   

review by Corinne  

If someone said “best friend” to you, would someone immediately come to mind?  This book tells the story of two boys with different lives-one a son of a highly decorated Nazi commander and the other a Jewish prisoner in a concentration camp.  Set in 1940’s Germany, this is a heartfelt story of friendship, courage, discrimination and sadness.  This is a story that shows even the most different of people can be the best of friends.  Read the adventures of Bruno and Shmuel, and you won’t regret it.  That is why I would recommend The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne.


Member Book Review: My Almost Epic Summer

By Adele Griffin

Review by Karina

This book is about a girl named Irene. She has dreams of opening her own beauty salon one day but for right now she is stuck working at her mom’s salon, that is, until she is suddenly fired. From there Irene takes a job babysitting for her mom’s friend Judith, which proves to be quite difficult. Summers should be great, but this one is not turning out that way. Then Irene meets a girl named Starla. They become friends and Irene even features her in her book of hairstyles. Starla unintentionally introduces Irene to her ex-boyfriend Drew; Irene and Drew hit it off and they have their own little romance.

This book was pretty good. It is a great book to take with you on summer vacation at the beach, though I wish the story was a little longer. This is obviously a girl’s book. It will appeal to the reader who likes a bit of romance but doesn’t like to be overwhelmed by it. There are also a few plot twists here and there to keep it interesting. I recommend that you make a bit of time to read it this summer.

Member Book Review: A Monster Calls

By Patrick Ness

Review by Mae

“A Monster Calls” is a beautifully touching novel. It is by far my favorite book.

Conor begins to be visited by a monster after his mother’s cancer treatments become difficult. The monster visits at 12:07 after he has the nightmare. It tells him stories deeply rooted (no pun intended) in metaphor. They don’t make sense at first, but one thing is for sure, the monster wants the truth. The truth about the nightmare; the truth about his mother. Conor finds this confusing and doesn’t want to tell the truth, even if it kills him. It is just too painful for Conor to say.

I like “A Monster Calls” because it is a beautifully written novel. The pictures added lots of emotion to the already heart wrenching story line. I felt for him. I empathized with him. I saw him.

I recommend “A Monster Calls” to anyone who can read English. It is almost too good for words. I just loved this book.