Tag Archives: Medium rating

Book Review: An Abundance Of Katherines

NAME: An Abundance Of Katherines

AUTHOR(S): John Green


When it comes to relationships, Colin Singleton’s type is girls named Katherine. And when it comes to girls named Katherine, Colin is always getting dumped. Nineteen times, to be exact. On a road trip miles from home, this anagram-happy, washed-up child prodigy has ten thousand dollars in his pocket, a bloodthirsty feral hog on his trail, and an over-weight, Judge Judy-loving best friend riding shotgun, but no Katherines. Colin is on a mission to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which he hopes will predict the future of any relationship and average Dumpees everywhere, and may finally win him the girl.


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Book Review: Blackout

Name: Blackout

Author(s): Robison Wells

Series Standing: Book one (Blackout series)

What It’s About: Terrorist attacks are occurring somewhat randomly all over the country, but tucked away in Utah, Jack and Aubrey thought they were safe. They’re not. When the military interrupts the school dance, rounding up the kids to take them to a military base, Audrey thinks they’re looking for her. After all, she has been developing certain… abilities. Invisibility to be exact. As it is, she’s just ONE of the teens they’re looking for. The teenage terrorists everybody’s worried about have been given special powers, and those powers morphed into a virus susceptible only to teens. The government starts gathering teens from around the country, testing them for the virus. Those infected face inhumane conditions or a chance to fight alongside the military. Jack and Aubrey must put aside what tore their friendship apart and work together to discover what’s truly going on.. or they’ll fall apart.

My Review: This book is going to be a little hard to explain… not that I can’t explain the PLOT, It’s just that while I really enjoyed this book, I took a step back and saw holes in it. Interspersed throughout the book are little emails or blog posts or something. I had NO idea what they meant or were doing there until the end. Now I get (sorta) what they mean, but I still don’t understand what they were doing in there. I don’t even think it’s that much of a spoiler so I’ll tell you what they are. (If you hate people telling you anything remotely spoiler-ish about books though, don’t read the following sentences in bold.) Those blog posts are the terrorists’ code for when, where, and what to attack. But the author never gives us the code to decipher them. And you aren’t told it’s a code until the very end, so every time one pops up, your like, “WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH ANYTHING?! I’m going back to the story.” Annoying, right? And they’re spread out rather thin, so they come out of nowhere. *Sigh…*  I wish that the book would have touched more upon what gave the terrorists superpowers, or why they’re attacking the U.S. (and later Canada.) Do they just want to watch the world burn? Also, I noticed one thing that might be considered a discrepancy. I hate to pick things apart, but hear me out, because it’s important. Right in the beginning when Audrey’s invisibility is described, we’re told that it’s like her brain simply tricks others into thinking she’s not there. She can, and I quote, “yell, or slap, or punch, and no one would detect it. They’d feel the punch – like Nate had – but they wouldn’t recognize it for what it was. They’d think they’d slipped, or that they got a sudden muscle spasm, or that a wind (or drunkenness) had knocked them over. But they’d never see her, or hear her.” Key phrase: never hear her. But later on in the book, when I was so caught up I nearly forgot that, it became an integral part of the story that Jack and Aubrey are teamed up by the military because Jack can use his super-hearing to track and keep tabs on her. Wait, what? Yeah. Not to mention that this book ended in a cliffhanger (whoops, mentioned it.) But I did enjoy this story very much. One of the interesting things about it is that some of the chapters POV was split not only between Audrey and Jack, but two of the terrorists as well. The author did this well, and it provided much needed perspective. I sped through this book, and would read it again.


Re-Readability: Medium. I’ll pick it up again in due time and read it just as quickly as before.


“Laura sat in the third row of folding chairs – close enough to look engaged but not so close as to be particularly noticeable. She planned everything as she did now, trying to anticipate the officers’ interpretations of her actions.”

“Pain burst through Aubrey’s head and rippled down her body. It was as though she was being beaten with a baseball bat, but couldn’t tell where she was getting hit.”

“She balled her small hand into a fist and punched the cement floor. With no more apparent effort than if she were squashing a bug, the cement splintered and cracked.”

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Book Review: SYLO

Name: SYLO Author(s): D.J. MacHale Series Standing: Book one (The SYLO Chronicles) What It’s About: Tucker Pierce was perfectly happy to live a peaceful, uneventful life on Pemberwick Island. That was before people started dying out of the blue, before the military invaded and put them in quarantine. They call themselves SYLO, and are a branch of the U.S. Navy. They tell the people stuck on the island that there is a deadly virus circulating Pemberwick. But as the quarantine goes on, the islanders (including Tucker) star to feel that they’re not getting the full story. Tucker especially, since he was there when the high school running back dropped dead at the top of his game, he was there when a mysterious aircraft exploded right before the quarantine, and he felt the power a mysterious substance called Ruby gave him (which was being pushed by a secretive man named Feit). This knowledge makes him dangerous in the eyes of SYLO’s leader, Captain Granger, and he will not rest till Tucker and his friends are captured. My Review: This book was okay, in my opinion. It had the potential to be a fast paced thriller, but that only happened towards the end. Maybe that’s because I felt Tucker was stayed inactive for too long. I mean, the military puts you in a quarantine, saying there’s a lethal virus, and you go Okay, whatever even when you’ve only heard of two cases? You see said military chasing people down the street and tranquilizing them, and you still try to persuade yourself that everything’s good? It made me want to shake him and say, get up and DO something! I got really excited when he did. In the end, there was “revelation” after “revelation”. I use quotation marks because the book seemed to keep throwing new information and theories at the main characters, casting doubt on previous assumptions. It would have been okay if this was spread throughout the book, but this was at end. All at the end. Before I list the good aspects of this book, I have to mention the cheesy ending. So there’s this big revelation, it is hinted that danger is coming, and then says To Be Continued I’m serious. TO BE CONTINUED?! What kind of ending/cliffhanger is that? Lame. But despite my mini-rant (thank you for suffering through that), I did enjoy this book. I liked Tori and Quinn, which is also kind of sad because I liked them more than Tucker. Though Tucker was hard to relate to, I sympathized after several  events in the book (no spoilers!).


Re-Readability: Medium. I might pick it up again sometime.


“The four of us stood stood staring at the TV. I couldn’t even begin to process the information we had just been given, and I’d bet there were a whole lot of people staring at a whole lot of televisions feeling the exact same way.”

“I didn’t quit the team, and not because Quinn had shamed me out of it. The idea of facing the coach to tell him I was quitting was actually more daunting than getting pounded in practice. Maybe Quinn was right. I was even afraid of failing… at failing.”

“Any thought of surrender being a good idea was shattered when the pursuing gunboat opened fire on us. The clatter of a machine gun was unmistakable, even above our roaring engines.”

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Book Review: Across The Great Barrier

Name: Across The Great Barrier

Author(s): Patricia C. Wrede

Series Standing: Book two (Frontier Magic series)

*This review may contain spoilers if you haven’t read the previous book*

What It’s About: If she wanted to, Eff could be a powerful magician. But she doesn’t. She only just stopped believing that she (as a thirteenth child) is unlucky, and magic isn’t really what she wants to do for a living. Instead she takes a job at the Menagerie, helping to take care of the animals, and keep paperwork in check. After a bit, she is offered a position as assistant on a expedition out west, past the Great Barrier, to catalogue plant growth and animals after the infestation of grubs that threatened the settlements not so long ago. During this endeavor, they run across peculiar stone animals, that seem to have been instantly petrified. And with rumors of the creature that petrified them circling, and an accident which might threaten Lan’s life, she really has her hands full.

My Review: This book was okay for me, not bad, but not great. Just good. Like the last book in this series, it doesn’t have much real action till the end. You kind of want more from a book that mixes the wild west with magic. Also, I felt that sometimes I would have understood more if there was a map in the front of the book, or if they explained more about what the Secession War they mentioned was about. In the book Eff keeps having strange dreams. It is later determined what caused them, but it never said why, and they didn’t seem important to the story. To sum it all up, this was a fair book with a few flaws.

Re-Readability: Medium. This might sit in my bookcase a while before I pick it up again.


“You can’t force folks to have good sense, even if they’re family. Maybe especially then.”

“He ran on like that for a while; I just sat and watched. It was plain as day he didn’t expect me to disapprove more than a token, for form’s sake. He ran down a whole long list of answers to objections I hadn’t made and worries I hadn’t mentioned. It was some time before he noticed I wasn’t saying anything at all.”

“Weeding is a good job to do when you need to think about things, and I needed to think even more than I’d let on to Lan.”

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Book Review: Enthusiasm

Name: Enthusiasm

Author(s): Polly Shulman

What It’s About: Julie is best friends with an Enthusiast, namely Ashleigh Rossi. They’ve been best buds forever, but Ashleigh has the tendency to hop from craze to craze which often leads to embarrassing situations. From candy making to military strategy, she always manages to drag Julie in. Now Ashleigh has discovered Jane Austen, particularly  Pride and Prejudice. She convinces Julie to come with her when crashing a dance at Forefield, an all-boys prep school, in hopes of finding her own Mr. Darcy. There they meet two boys of interest, Ned and Grandison. Unbeknownst to Ashleigh, Grandison is Julie’s secret crush. However, Ashleigh falls for him herself, and becomes convinced that Ned and Julie like each other. Not wanting to get in the way of her friend’s crush, Julie suppresses her true feelings, instead supporting Ashleigh in her endeavors to find out if Grandison likes her back. All while trying to cope with her divorced dad’s wife, Amy (A.K.A. the Irresistible  Accountant.) Soon Julie and Ashleigh answer an announcement asking for girls to audition at Forefield for a play. Both get the part, and will now be working right alongside Ned and Grandison. Still trying to forget her feelings toward Grandison, and convince Ashleigh that she isn’t in love with Ned, things are further complicated when a classmate starts showing interest in Julie, and a secret admirer starts leaving poems on the tree between Ashleigh and Julie’s houses.  This book is a question of loyalty or love.

My Review: Unfortunately, this book fell flat from my expectations, reminding me that a book should be judged by it’s writing, and not the one who writes it. Don’t get me wrong, this is a good book! It’s just that there were three problems with it for me. Problem one, the “teen lingo.” This book used words that sounded somewhat cheesy to me, like somebody trying to be hip, and failing (apparently crisp means cool, and ig means ick!) Problem two, the amount of longing for Grandison. Now, I may not have fallen in love myself yet, but it seemed a bit far fetched how much Julie longed for Grandison after a few encounters in which she never even said a word to the guy. Problem three, self-esteem. I know that it is noble to spare your own love life for your friend’s, and keeping the peace with your stepfamily is vital, but for a good portion of the book there was a voice in my head saying “Can’t she stand up for herself at all?” In my opinion this is an okay book that takes a bit of time getting used to.

Re-Readability: Medium. I’ll read this again sometime, but there are better things in my bookcase.


“Ladies’ rooms, it turns out, don’t flourish in boys’ schools. Each likely-looking door seemed to taunt me. I discovered a coat closet, a broom closet, a conservatory dripping with greenery, and wood-paneled, book-lined chambers of various shapes and sizes – but no restroom.”

“By then her ability to ignore giggles and stares had become less an asset than a liability. Oh, we still had plenty of friends – girls like Emily Mehan and the Gerard twins – but if Ash pulled any more stunts like that time freshman year when she borrowed Michelle Jeffrie’s handbag for a juggling trick and spilled the contents, including a selection of feminine hygene products, I feared for our social standing among the girls. And as for the guys – well, that was to painful to bear thinking about.”

“If I had a dollar for every sharp remark I keep to myself, I would be able to fund the Stepfamily Peace Prize, my dream version of the Nobel, to be awarded annually to the person who shows the greatest familial restraint.”

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