Kids’ Book Review – Sleeping Cinderella and Other Princess Mix-ups

Sleeping Cinderella and Other Princess Mix-ups
by Stephanie Clarkson & Brigette Barrager

Sleeping Cinderella and Other Princess Mix-ups

My mom won a copy of this book from a Goodreads giveaway, and had my 11 year old review it for her. Her review is pasted below – I would note that this book seems to be intended for a younger audience, but it is written in cursive, so any second or third graders who haven’t learned cursive yet might need someone to read it to them. That’s half the fun of kids books anyway though, right?

Cloie’s Rating – ***** (5 of 5 stars)

I really liked this book because it really changes my favorite fairy tale princess. It showed how the princesses really didn’t like their house and life so they switched with another princess. In the end the princesses learn to compromise with what they didn’t like so they could live a happy life. It changes the ending of the fairy tales and shows how they change their fate.

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Lessons learned from The Girl on the Train

The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins

The Girl on the Train

My Rating: ***** (5 of 5 stars)

Rachel Watson rides the train into London each day to get to work. Her train happens to stop across from one particular house almost every day, and Rachel has created imaginary identities, Jason and Jess, for the man and woman she sees frequently in their back garden. When Rachel hears the news about a missing woman named Megan, she soon realizes that Megan is her “Jess”, and she becomes obsessed with finding out what happened to her.

The story is told from three separate perspectives – Rachel, her ex-husband’s new wife Anna, and the missing woman, Megan. Each woman knows only a part of the story, and we are left to piece it together as we go. This book kept me on the edge of my seat from the first page right up to the very end. It’s full of terrible people, pitiful people, and broken people. Both Rachel and Megan had me wanting to alternately shake them, and then give them hugs to comfort them. I felt emotionally exhausted after finishing the book, but I didn’t walk away empty-handed. There are several life lessons to be taken away at the end.

1. Men are not to be trusted.
2. People are not always what they seem.
3. If he does it with you, he will do it to you.
4. Women are not to be trusted.
5. Alcohol can be your best friend and your worst enemy. Both at the same time.
6. Therapy can help.
7. Your memories are not to be trusted.
8. Life is pain.
9. People lie. (A lot.)
10. If you do everything right, nothing can go wrong. (Wait, I think that was supposed to say everything…)

Although I really enjoyed this book, I think it’s time to read something a little more light-hearted! 🙂 Review of “Oh Say Can You Fudge” will be coming soon.

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Chimera by Vaun Murphrey

by Vaun Murphrey

Chimera (The Weaver #1)

Rating ***(3 of 5 stars)

Book 1 of the Weaver Series

***NOTE – I received a free review copy of this book from NetGalley***

The is the story of Cassandra Rainbow, who has been held in captivity since her parents were killed in front of her when she was 5 years old. Now, eight years later, she is rescued by her Uncle Gerome, an uncle she didn’t know about. She goes to live with Gerome and his wife Maggie in a compound with other Weavers, like them. Having been in captivity since she was a child, it takes her some time to adjust to her new found freedom, and to understand who, and what, she is. Even though she is only thirteen, she decides that she will try to stop a civil war and kill the man who held her captive and murdered her parents. That would be enough for any teenage girl to deal with, but Cassandra also has to get used to the idea of a twin sister she never knew she had. An invisible twin, who lives in the web and talks to Cassandra inside of her head. When her uncle brings home a friend from another planet, things really start to get interesting….

A unique premise, and a good start to a new young adult series.

Warning to younger readers – there are a few brief scenes describing inappropriate and unwelcome touching near the beginning that might be disturbing.

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The Case of the Killer Divorce

The Case of the Killer Divorce (Jamie Quinn Mystery Book 2) by Barbara Venkataraman

The Case of the Killer Divorce (A Jamie Quinn Mystery, #2)

My rating: **** (4 of 5 stars)

**I was generously provided with a free copy of this book by the author**

This was another quick, fun read in the Jamie Quinn series. Working on a divorce case lands Jamie in the middle of another murder investigation. Jamie’s friends Grace and Duke the PI are back in this installment to lend her a hand. I really enjoyed the secondary story-line in this one just as much as (if not more than) the mystery itself. It was nice to learn more about Jamie’s past right along with her. I’d recommend this series to anyone who enjoys cozy mysteries. Buy from Amazon

Better Homes and Hauntings

My drive to work is nearly an hour each way, and I like to listen to audiobooks during my commute. I just finished this one on my way home last night. If anyone else has read this book, I’d love to hear what you thought of it. Let me know in the comments!

Better Homes and Hauntings
by Molly Harper

Better Homes and Hauntings

My Rating: *** (3 of 5 stars)

This was a quick, fun read. Deacon Whitney, heir to what remains of the Whitney fortune, assembles a group of people to help him revamp his family’s ancestral home, located on its own island off the New England coast. His family has been plagued by bad luck and financial misfortune through the years, but Deacon is a successful software engineer and has the funds available to redo the old family home. Joined by a cousin who wants to find out who really killed their great-great grandmother years ago and hopes to break the family curse, an old friend, a landscaper, and an organizational expert, Deacon and his new found friends encounter ghostly presences and jealous ex-business partners. There are some spooky moments, some humor, and plenty of romance along the way.

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The Medici Boy

The Medici Boy
by John L’Heureux

The Medici Boy

My rating: *** (3 of 5 stars)

**NOTE: I was generously provided with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review**

After reading the title, The Medici Boy, I expected this to mainly be a novel about the Medicis. While they do play a part, the story focuses on Donatello and his infatuation with the young model/prostitute Agnolo (the titular “Medici Boy”), who poses for his bronze “David and Goliath”. The whole thing is told to us in the form of a final written memoir by Luca Mattei, one of Donatello’s assistants, as he nears the end of his days imprisoned for a murder that he committed out of love for his friend Donatello.

I have mixed feelings about this book. I had a hard time relating to most of the characters in this story, and the lack of action caused the book to feel somewhat slow at times, but it is very well written. The descriptions of Florence and her history, and the detailed references to Donatello’s artistic processes were interesting and seem to have been very well researched.

Students of art history and those who have an interest in the Renaissance or Italian history in general should really enjoy this book.

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