Monday, April 29, 2013

The Templeton Twins have an Idea: Book One - Ellis Weiner

Summary: Suppose there were 12-year-old twins, a boy and girl named John and Abigail Templeton. Let's say John was pragmatic and played the drums, and Abigail was theoretical and solved cryptic crosswords. Now suppose their father was a brilliant, if sometimes confused, inventor. And suppose that another set of twins—adults—named Dean D. Dean and Dan D. Dean, kidnapped the Templeton twins and their ridiculous dog in order to get their father to turn over one of his genius (sort of) inventions. Yes, I said kidnapped. Wouldn't it be fun to read about that? Oh please. It would so. Luckily for you, this is just the first in a series perfect for boys and girls who are smart, clever, and funny (just like the twins), and enjoy reading adventurous stories (who doesn't?!).
(Summary and cover art from indiebound.org)


My Review: Shortly after the death of their mother, twelve-year-old twins, Abigail and John, find themselves relocating as their inventor father, Professor Elton Templeton, accepts employment at the Tickeridge-Baltock Institute of Technology. Upon arriving on the Tick-Tock Tech campus the twins discover posters of their father gratified with “Thief!!!”. The culprit is easily deciphered as Dean D. Dean confronts Professor Templeton during a lecture to accuse him of stealing his idea for a personal one-man helicopter (the POMH). Professor Templeton refuses to share credit with Dean, causing the desperate man to enlist the help of his own twin, Dan D. Dean, to kidnap the Templeton twins and their high-strung dog. Abigail and John are forced to rely upon fantastical use of their hobbies as well as their “ridiculous” dog to get out of this precarious situation.

A cross between mystery and science fiction this purposeful, progressive plot is engaging and fast-paced. The conflict between the Dean twins and the Templeton twins is allowed to quickly escalate, while obvious foreshadowing allows the reader to puzzle out the resolution. The witty narrator, who never officially defines himself or his relationship to the twins, appears frequently to break up the storyline.  The narrator engages on a personal level with the reader through hyperbole plays with idioms, metaphors, and clich├ęs as well as sarcastic review questions concluding each chapter. Also included is a whimsical meatloaf recipe and instructions on cryptic crossword puzzles.

Full-page detailed illustrations  in mysterious shades of blue and black adorn this book. They are done in a comical format that meshes well with the humorous plotline. Gears and gadgets are used as decoration on the majority of the pages. Additional charts, maps, and diagrams are interspersed throughout and play an integral role within the story. Variations in fonts and page layouts add yet an additional layer of playfulness.

The ending is delightfully predictable and allows the tale to come to a full resolution. Yet the book is so much fun that readers will yearn to know what happens next in the interesting lives of the Templeton twins. This cleaver, engaging tale is perfect for the reluctant reader. Abigail's smart and witty character will charm girls while the use of inventive gadgets and sarcastic humor will especially appeal to boys. With sequential titles in the makings, this one has great appeal for third through fifth grade students.

 My Rating: 4 Stars

 To sum it up: Full of spunk and wit this title will entice even the most reluctant reader.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Team of Rivals - Doris Kearns Goodwin


Summary:  Winner of the Lincoln Prize:  This brilliant multiple biography is centered on Lincoln's mastery of men and how it shaped the most significant presidency in the nation's history.  (Summary and image taken from goodreads.com)

My Review:  Abraham Lincoln and his legacy are known worldwide.  His speeches are memorized and analyzed by students all over the nation.  He is revered in history classes nation wide, and he is swiftly becoming legend.  It can be argued that he is the most influential president of the United States.  I’m a history geek, and I was pretty certain I knew a significant amount about Lincoln and the Civil War, but I was entranced with how much more there was to the story!

Lincoln’s nomination in 1860 was a surprise to the majority of the nation – he was considered a dark horse compared with the other presidential hopefuls.  Goodwin delves into the political machine surrounding the 1860 convention, making footnoted names in a history book come alive as she fleshes out Lincoln’s rivals.  (Warning, this takes a lot of time.  Stick with it.  It’s only 200 pages, and it’ll be worth it!) 

Upon his election, Lincoln’s cabinet choices surprise everyone, as he surrounds himself with the very men who campaigned for the presidential nomination for the new Republican Party.  Goodwin then takes us through Lincoln’s presidency, his interactions with his Cabinet (his Official Family), the justifications for his political movements, and strips some of the legend from the man. 

One thing was made clear – Abraham Lincoln was a political genius, certainly more adept than any of my professors credited him.   This book explored the relationships with his contemporaries, those closest to him, his family, and the reasons for the decisions he made (delaying the Emancipation Proclamation, his decisions to either keep or remove Generals, and [even more interesting for me] the views of his Secretaries and Generals regarding his moves.

There isn’t enough good I can say about this book.  It broke my heart, it made me so grateful for these men’s sacrifices, it wrung me dry, and it made me want to check out biographies on Mary Todd Lincoln, Generals Lee, Grant, Sherman, (and on and on and on …), do you get the picture?  However, this is a purchase book.  There are about two hundred pages of annotations I want to be able to study, and this is not a book for the skimmer.   Checking it out from a library just won’t cut it. You need to devote yourself to it.  But it’s so very worth the effort.

Sum it Up:  Abraham Lincoln’s political rise and presidency, his relationships to his Cabinet, and the motivations for his presidency encapsulated into one volume.  (This book was the basis for the critically-acclaimed Lincoln – which I will be checking out as soon as I can!)

My Rating:  Five Stars

For the Sensitive Reader:  The last two chapters are difficult as it describes Lincoln’s assassination and the attempted assassination of his Secretary of State William Seward.  (Did you know that Lincoln’s assassination was supposed to be one of three?  I didn’t!)  Other than that and the descriptions of some of the Civil War battles, this is clean.

* * * CHALLENGE UPDATE * * *
This was my March non-fiction ... but it took me nearly a month to finish it!  Stay tuned, April's challenge is coming soon!  But I need some suggestions for May - bring them on in the comments!  And, does anyone have any good biographical suggestions for the plethora of other Civil War legends?  I want more!  More, I say!!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A Bad Case of Stripes - David Shannon

Summary:  Camilla Cream loves lima beans, but she never eats them. Why? Because the other kids in her school don''t like them. And Camilla Cream is very, very worried about what other people think of her. In fact, she''s so worried that she''s about to break out in… a bad case of stripes! (Summary from Amazon.com and image from ayearofmanyfirsts.blogspot.com)

My Review:  By now I'm sure some of you are thinking, does Kari read anything other than children's books?!  Well, yes.  I do.  But the week I've been posting all these reviews has been spring break here and I've been on a reading spree with my girls. 

This book was new to me, although the author was not.  We've read and loved the No, David!  books for some time. I was happily surprised, as it is very different from the No, David!  books.  This one is about more than just unconditional love.  This is about loving yourself, accepting yourself, and not allowing what other people think to change who you are. 

There are a couple aspects that are creepy.  Both my girls were a bit freaked out when the case of stripes morphed Camilla's actual body shape--therefore, read to your children at your own caution.  That said, after the first reading, it didn't bother them at all.  I personally think the overall message out weighs the imagery that can be a tad disturbing.  (Sprouting a tail, growing leaves, and being covered with ever-changing shapes and colors would be frightening to most of us.)

For the sensitive reader:  The pictures of Camilla changing shapes and colors is a bit disturbing to young, impressionable, and literal minds.  You know your kid--read if you know it wouldn't bother them, even though it's all make-believe.

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Sum it up:  A story that teaches the importance of not trying to please everyone.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Clockwork Angel - Cassandra Clare

Summary: Magic is dangerous—but love is more dangerous still.

When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London's Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.

Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What’s more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa's power for his own.

Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by—and torn between—two best friends: James, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm's length . . . everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world. . . . and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.
(Summary and cover art from indiebound.org)

My Review: After the death of her aunt Tessa flees New York to live in London with her brother, the only family she has left. Immediately upon arrival in England Tessa is kidnapped by the Dark Sisters who force her to discover her talents as a shape changer. With the aid of the Shadowhunters, whose mission is to protect the world from demons and the like, she escapes the confines of the Dark Sisters only to realize that a world full of supernatural creatures is now her reality. Tessa remains a sought woman and violence erupts as those with evil intentions pursue her. Twist after twist leaves the reader guessing to the very end, at which point the book concludes nicely while still leaving a perfect opening for the squeal.

This title deals with the relevant young adult issues of identity seeking, romance, and family. With the descriptions of early 19th century England and the issues with women’s rights at the time, it does fit in the genre of historical fiction, yet the theme is primarily fantasy as it is centered around supernatural characters such as witches, vampires, and demons. This series was written as a prequel to the popular Mortal Instruments series, but there is no need to read one to understand the other. This book, along with the rest of the series, will appeal to those ages 14 and up.

**The next title in this trilogy is Clockwork Prince and the last book, Clockwork Princess, was just recently released.

My Rating: 4 stars

To sum it up: A fun and entertaining novel with a lot of suspense and just a touch of historical fiction and romance for added flavor. 

If the above review isn't enticing enough, try this great book trailer from Walker Books.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Happy Birthday, Mindy!


HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MINDY!!

We want to wish our lovely blog creator a happy, happy birthday, and wish her all the new books and uninterrupted reading time she could hope for.  

However, I've gotten to know Mindy pretty well, and I know there's one thing she'd want more.  Remember our friend Christian?  I can't think of a better present for Mindy this year than to help his family out.  Please consider helping with his medical costs here.


Friday, April 19, 2013

The Old Woman Who Named Things - Cynthia Rylant

Summary:  How does an old woman who has outlived all her friends keep from being lonely? By naming the things in her life she knows she will never outlive--like her house, Franklin, and her bed, Roxanne. When a shy brown puppy appears at her front gate, the old woman won’t name it, because it might not outlive her. Tender watercolors capture the charm of this heartwarming story of an old woman who doesn’t know she’s lonely until she meets a plucky puppy who needs a name--and someone to love.  (Summary from Amazon.com and image from  http://www.betterworldbooks.com/)

My Review: This is a book I brought home to my girls based on my love of the author, not necessarily knowing much about the book.  While it isn't my favorite of Cynthia Rylant's work (The Relatives Came is my favorite), it is a sweet story.

This poor old woman has outlived everyone she holds dear.  And because of this, she is starting to close herself off from the world to prevent more pain.  While this makes sense logically, emotionally it stunts her growth--I believe we can still grow even in later life--and leaves her with a void she didn't know she had.  That is, until a puppy comes and changes everything.  She tries her best to keep him at a distance, but this little puppy worms his way in and takes a place in her heart to call his own.  It isn't until the puppy doesn't come back that the woman realizes she was foolish to push the puppy away.  It is then that she decides to go find her new friend.  This is where the lesson about love becomes clear.  That's all I'll say, as I'd rather you read it and draw your own conclusion. 

Rating: 4 Stars

Sum it up:  A book that can open up the conversation about how to deal with loss.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Shards & Ashes - edited by Melissa Marr & Kelley Armstrong

Summary: The world is gone, destroyed by human, ecological, or supernatural causes. Survivors dodge chemical warfare and cruel gods; they travel the reaches of space and inhabit underground caverns. Their enemies are disease, corrupt corporations, and one another; their resources are few and their courage is tested.

Powerful original dystopian tales from nine bestselling authors offer bleak insight, prophetic visions, and precious glimmers of light among the shards and ashes of a ruined world.
(summary and cover art from indiebound.org)

My Review: Shards & Ashes contains nine short dystopian stories from some of today's most popular Young Adult authors. Veronica Roth (Divergent), Kami Garcia (Beautiful Creatures), Beth Revis (Across the Universe), Melissa Marr (Wicked Lovely) and others present short stories of 30-40 pages in which a world of destruction is portrayed. Each story is creative and thought-provoking. The characters are discovering their own strengths and struggling against the zealous rules and regulations enforced upon them. Danger awaits around every corner and survival is uncertain. Some of the stories contain love, some contain heartache. All contain unexpected twists sure to keep the pages turning.

All nine of these short stories are enjoyable in their own unique manner. As with all anthologies some of these stories are better developed than others. A few of these stories would have benefited from an additional 50 pages to provide background information or further develop the characters or to conclude in a more satisfying manner. There were three stories that stood out to me above all the rest. I especially enjoyed the multiple twists in Branded by Kelley Armstrong, as Raine, the lead character, devises a plan to find her boyfriend who has been banished from the village. Kami Garcia's protagonist in Burn 3 is utterly unforgettable as she fights to save her sister from certain death. The descriptions in Miasma by Carrie Ryan are heartbreaking, and yet this story concludes the anthology perfectly with just a touch of optimism. Overall this one is definitely worth reading.

My Rating: 4 stars

To sum it up: A perfect fit for all fans of young adult dystopian fiction.

Monday, April 15, 2013

We (HEART) Baby Christian


Hey all.  Mindy here.  Just wanted to stop in and share something that has been on my heart lately.  Surprisingly, it has nothing to do with books.  It has to do with this little boy over here --------->
His name is Christian and he is the newborn son of a friend of mine.

On the outside, Christian Lybbert seems like a normal, healthy baby boy, but inside he is special in many ways. Christian was born on February 28th, 2013.  At his two-week exam, his parents and doctors were shocked to discover that his internal organs were completely rearranged, malformed, or missing.  Diagnosed with an extremely rare medical condition called Heterotaxy Syndrome, which affects less than four children in a million, Christian’s heart is so uniquely malformed that he will need a series of at least three major surgeries before he is five years old to help his heart continue to function.  To make matters worse, Christian was also born without a spleen, leaving him helpless against common bacteria.  He will be on antibiotics for the rest of his life.     

On March 25th, 2013, at less than a month old, Christian had his first heart surgery.  In April, he returned home to recover and wait for his next surgery.  Christian is adorable, vocal, and feisty, but a definite snuggler.  With the proper medical care, he will have a better future, but not one without significant medical expenses and travel costs.  Christian and the rest of the Lybbert Family need your help!  Please consider opening your heart to help mend this little angel's broken one.  His mother, father, two sisters, and one brother would sure appreciate it!

If you have the resources, please donate to this family via this link or the link in the sidebar. 

Thanks so much for taking the time to read about Christian.  He really is special, in more ways than one.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

National Library Week

Banner from ala.org

Need an excuse to visit your local library? April 14th through the 20th is National Library Week. First celebrated in 1958, National Library Week focuses on the value of the libraries, librarians, and library workers to the community. Stop on by your library and let the folks there know what the library means to you!



Friday, April 12, 2013

It's National D.E.A.R. Day!



I love the idea of a day celebrating reading.  National D.E.A.R. Day falls on Beverly Cleary's birthday, partly to honor her, and also because what better day is there to read than the creator of Ramona's birthday?

We're celebrating by hosting a family Read-a-thon, perhaps serving up some of our favorite literary dishes (I might even try my hand at some Pumpkin Pasties!), and enjoying an excuse to do what we want to do most every day - drop everything and READ!


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn

Summary: Marriage can be a real killer.

One of the most critically acclaimed suspense writers of our time, New York Times bestseller Gillian Flynn takes that statement to its darkest place in this unputdownable masterpiece about a marriage gone terribly, terribly wrong. The Chicago Tribune proclaimed that her work “draws you in and keeps you reading with the force of a pure but nasty addiction.” Gone Girl’s toxic mix of sharp-edged wit and deliciously chilling prose creates a nerve-fraying thriller that confounds you at every turn.

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?
With her razor-sharp writing and trademark psychological insight, Gillian Flynn delivers a fast-paced, devilishly dark, and ingeniously plotted thriller that confirms her status as one of the hottest writers around.
Summary from book, cover art from indiebound.org


My Review: The story begins on the day of Nick and Amy's 5th wedding anniversary. Nick is working at the bar he owns with his twin sister when he receives a call informing him that his front door is wide open. He rushes home to find his living room ransacked and his wife missing. A police investigation determines that the crime scene has been fabricated, yet traces of Amy's blood are found in the kitchen. Something awful has clearly happened to Amy. As the mystery unravels details of Nick and Amy's faltering marriage emerge. Nick maintains his innocence but the public has turned against him. The arrival of Amy's parents, who exploited her life from childhood by writing a series of Amazing Amy books, seem to only complicate matters. Mix in the Amazing Amy stalkers and the whodunit becomes even less clear.

As you open this book be prepared to be tricked time and time again. This novel offers one convincing twist after another. The frustration will only encourage more late, late nights of reading as this mystery demands to be solved. And even when solved there are additional twists. I haven't enjoyed a mystery this much for years. I found it all-together captivating. My one complaint is that the author provides information about one character that could have served well in the ending of the book and yet fails to revisit it. Had this clue been brought up again the ending would have turned out much differently, which is the other aspect I disliked. The very end of the book felt like the author had run out of steam. It just didn't feel quite complete, or perhaps just not in the matter that I wanted it to be complete. For fear of giving too much away I will conclude here. I urge all mystery fans to go pick up this title ASAP. Flynn's other books are also quite riveting.

My Rating: 4.5 stars, the end and lack of tying ALL the clues together made this one fall just short of a 5

To Sum it Up: I was completely deceived time and time again, and enjoyed every minute of it!

Sensitive Readers: Swearing, violence, and sexual situations that occur throughout.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Happy Birthday, Kari!


We want to wish our wonderful reviewer Kari a happy birthday!  May your day be filled with as much reading time and as many new books as your heart desires!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Every Cowgirl Needs a Horse - Rebecca Janni

Summary:  In Every Cowgirl Needs a Horse, Nellie Sue does everything with a western flair. Whether it is cleaning up the animal sty (picking up her stuffed animals) or rounding up cattle (getting the neighborhood kids together for her birthday party), she does it like a true cowgirl. All she really needs is a horse. So when Dad announces at her birthday party, “I got a horse right here for you,” Nellie Sue is excited. But when her horse turns out to be her first bicycle, it will take an imagination as big as Texas to help save the day. (Summary and image taken from goodreads.com)

My Review: Nellie Sue needs a horse.  How can you be a good cowgirl without a horse?!  My daughter has been making the same arguments for ages, so when we stumbled upon this book at the library, I had to snap it up for her.

Nellie Sue is absolutely darling.  She thinks and talks just like any respectable eight-year-old cowgirl would, and uses her good heart and imagination to make everyone around her get into the Western spirit.  My daughter (fully in the cowgirl phase, and with an impending move to the Land of Cowboys and Cowgirls) not only identified with Nellie Sue, but took a page out of Nellie Sue's book by naming her bike, and her scooter, and the three pretend horses in our backyard.   I love that this book inspired hours of cowgirl play in my little girl, and made her beg to go ride her "horse" in sub-zero temperatures.  

My Rating:  Five stars, pardner!

For the Sensitive Reader:  Nellie Sue is polite, helpful, and bright -- a perfect addition to any cowkid's bookshelf!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Watersmeet - Ellen Jensen Abbott


Summary: From her birth, Abisina has been an outcast -- for the color of her hair and skin, and for her lack of a father. Only her mother's status as the village healer has kept her safe. But when a powerful, mythic leader arrives in Vranille, Abisina's life is ripped apart. The outcasts are hunted down, and she escapes alone to try to find the father and the home she has never known. In a world of extremes, from the deepest prejudice to the greatest bonds of duty and loyalty, Absina must find her own way and decide where her true hope lies.
Cover art from indiebound.org, summary from book

My Review: Abisina's only hope of survival lies in Watersmeet but getting there will mean overcoming her own deeply engraved prejudices and trusting those whom she once despised.

With her dark hair and green eyes, Abisina has been an outcast since birth. Never allowed to talk or merely make eye contact with the blonde, blue-eyed, fair skinned villagers. Only her mother's role as the village's sole healer has kept Abisina alive for this long, living in Vranille behind tall walls to keep out the beasts - the dwarfs, the centaurs, and more. When the annual Ritual takes place this year not even her mother's status can keep Abisina safe within the village. With her mother's prized necklace Abisina sets off to find her father at Watersmeet. Getting there will require trusting those she previously had no tolerance for -- a grumpy dwarf who will worm his way into Absinia's heart.  Getting there will mean confronting her deepest fears -- will her father accept her, the outcast? Getting there will require Abisina to look deep into herself and discover her own power. In this dark world full of hatred and violence there lies a land full of love and acceptance. Will Abisina find it in time to save both herself and the members of Watersmeet from the darkness closing in?

This book was a bit confusing in the beginning but it didn't take long to unravel the dystopian society in which Absina lives in. Absina's character is one that will resound well with young adults. She is courageous despite being unsure of her own potential. She fights hard to overcome her ingrained prejudices, not an easy battle, and gains much by doing so. This is such a powerful message for today's young adults. The plot moves at a rapid pace yet contains enough detail to allow the reader to become immersed. This title concludes in a manner that feels complete and yet is intriguing enough to have readers seeking out the next book in the trilogy.

The next title is The Centaur's Daughter.
Cover art from indiebound.org


The last book is currently being called The Keeper and will be released fall 2013. Visit the author's blog for up-to-date information on this series.

My Rating: 3 stars, it was good enough that I will put the next one on my to-read list but not so good that it gets a top spot.

To Sum it up: An entertaining story with a powerful message regarding accepting others for who they are on the inside, not on the outside. 

Monday, April 1, 2013

A Shore Thing - Nicole Polizzi

Summary:  It’s a summer to remember . . . at the Jersey Shore.

Giovanna “Gia” Spumanti and her cousin Isabella “Bella” Rizzoli are going to have the sexiest summer ever. While they couldn’t be more different—pint-size Gia is a carefree, outspoken party girl and Bella is a tall, slender athlete who always holds her tongue—for the next month they’re ready to pouf up their hair, put on their stilettos, and soak up all that Seaside Heights, New Jersey, has to offer: hot guidos, cool clubs, fried Oreos, and lots of tequila.

So far, Gia’s summer is on fire. Between nearly burning down their rented bungalow, inventing the popular “tan-tags” at the Tantastic Salon where she works, and rescuing a shark on the beach, she becomes a local celebrity overnight. Luckily, she meets the perfect guy to help her keep the flames under control. Firefighter Frank Rossi is exactly her type: big, tan, and Italian. But is he tough enough to handle Gia when things really heat up?

Bella is more than ready for some fun in the sun. Finally free of her bonehead ex-boyfriend, she left home in Brooklyn with one goal in mind: hooking up with a sexy gorilla for a no-strings-attached summer fling. In no time, she lands a job leading “Beat Up the Beat” dance classes at a local gym, and is scooped up by Beemer-driving, preppy Bender Newberry. Only problem: Bella can’t get her romantic and ripped boss Tony “Trouble” Troublino out of her head. He’s relationship material. Suddenly, Bella’s not sure what she wants.

The cousins soon realize that for every friend they make on the boardwalk, there are also rivals, slummers, and frenemies who will do anything to ruin their summer—and try their relationship. Before July ends, the bonds of family and friendship will be stretched to the breaking point. Will the haters prevail, or will Gia and Bella find love at the Shore?

For everyone who loves MTV’s hit reality show, Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi’s sweet, funny, and sexy novel perfectly captures the heat, the energy, the fun, and the drama of Jersey Shore.  (Summary and cover taken from goodreads.com)

My Review:   Wow.  Okay, I know what you're thinking.  I did, too.  I was skeptical at first.  But wow.  Never have I read something so deep, so intensely beautiful, full of wisdom and wrought with angst that spoke directly to me.  This has caused me to reevaluate my standards in entertainment, and I've come to a HUGE decision for the blog.  (Mindy SAID I could make changes if I want.)



This blog is converting to a reality series review.  



I know!  Reality TV is the wave of the future, it's time we embraced it!!  Want to catch up on your favorite smut?  Here's where you'll find the most up-to-date information!!  We're so excited about these developments ... my DVR is already full!




Sum it Up:  APRIL FOOL'S!!   


Disclaimer:  I've never read "A 'Shore' Thing" nor do I plan to.  I already took one for the team and read Modelland.  Sorry.  Have a wonderful April Fool's Day, everyone, and be kind to one another!

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