Lost in the Sun (MMGM)

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Hi, there! Good news: I'm finally being able to catch up on my reading! Yay! If you're wondering, I'm currently doing a Keeper series marathon, which is basically when I read and re-read and re-re-read the Keeper series while I wait for my copy of Neverseen to arrive. Can't wait! ANYWAY, this week, I'll be reviewing "Lost in the Sun" by Lisa Graff. (By the way, I won this one from the wonderful Rosi Hollinbeck, so thanks Rosi!) 

Here's the cover! 





Here's some info...

Age Range: 10 and up 
Page count : 304 pages

Publisher: Philomel Books (May 26, 2015)

Summary: 

"Everyone says that middle school is awful, but Trent knows nothing could be worse than the year he had in fifth grade, when a freak accident on Cedar Lake left one kid dead, and Trent with a brain full of terrible thoughts he can't get rid of. Trent’s pretty positive the entire disaster was his fault, so for him middle school feels like a fresh start, a chance to prove to everyone that he's not the horrible screw-up they seem to think he is. 

If only Trent could make that fresh start happen.


It isn’t until Trent gets caught up in the whirlwind that is Fallon Little—the girl with the mysterious scar across her face—that things begin to change. Because fresh starts aren’t always easy. Even in baseball, when a fly ball gets lost in the sun, you have to remember to shift your position to find it."


My opinion: 

Gosh, I *LOVED* this book. I loved the idea, the plot, the characters, the family, the friendship. Everything about it stood out to me and I've never read a book quite like this one. The enjoyed it very much and it's nice to see some sibling rivalry in here, though it's not the focus of the book. The focus of the book is mainly on the blossoming friendship of Trent and Fallon Little. It's a very intriguing book and I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone. I think it will appeal most to kids with divorced parents or friend problems since the story is mostly about these two topics. 

Here are 3 quick reasons why you should read and love "Lost in the Sun"...


  • The characters. I really like the characters in this book because of the way they're portrayed. Fallon is known as the girl with the scar, but she's also confident and brave. Trent is a fan of baseball and he's extremely troublesome. See, they're not perfect, and that makes the story feel more realistic, even if it is fiction. (In a way they both have scars, Fallon literally and Trent more figuratively, he's scarred from killing someone (accidentally, he didn't do it on purpose!))
  • The plot. It's not one of your friendship stories, but it DOES portray friendship as a fragile thing. Something that you spend time building on can collapse just because you spread fear or because your friends' parents think that you're a bad example. In this book we learn that friendship requires setting an example, proving that you can be trusted, and being open to others. 
  • The metaphorical title. I love this reason! The "Lost in the Sun" is saying that when the ball (baseball is what we're talking about here) soars through the sky, and is flying right where the sun is, you have to shift your position to see it. That's what it literally means. Figuratively, it means that when you're at a point in life that gives you trouble, maybe it's you that has to move to find a way around it. (**ALSO: I'm sorry in advance if my writing has a ton of errors. I can't seem to type today...ughhhh) 

I'm giving this book a...




🎉🎉🎉 Yup, that's right! 5 staaarrrrsss!!! I loved this one, so there was no reason for me to give it anything less than 5 stars! 

That wraps up this MMGM! I hope you guys will get the chance to read this one, because it's a must and thank you so much for joining me today! Have a nice week! 

Bye! 

💗,










Links: 

If you'd like to learn more about Lisa Graff or get more info on "Lost in the Sun", click HERE

If you'd like to go back to Shannon Messenger's website or check out more MMGM's click HERE


The Glass Gauntlet (MMGM)

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Hi, everyone!  As promised, this week, I'm reviewing book 2 of "The Blood Guard", which is THE GLASS GAUNTLET! I'm super duper excited about sharing this one with y'all, so let's get started! 

The cover: 




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Information: 

Age Range: 10 - 14 years
Series: The Blood Guard Series (Book 2)
Page Count: 261 pages
Publisher: Two Lions (August 18, 2015)
How I Got The Book: I won a totally awesome hardcover from Greg! 

Summary: 

"Ronan Truelove barely survived his first encounter with his father and the Bend Sinister. Now, he’s determined to become one of the Blood Guard, a sword-wielding secret society sworn to protect thirty-six pure souls crucial to the world’s survival.

Eager to prove he’s got what it takes, Ronan is sent on his first mission with his friends Greta and Sammy to visit a weird-sounding school and take a series of tests called the Glass Gauntlet. Paper and pencils and nerdy scholarship—where’s the life-or-death challenge in that?

But the Glass Gauntlet is actually something much more dangerous: head-to-head competitions against ruthless opponents. Nothing and no one are what they seem. Who can he trust, and who will kill him? Ronan has to figure it out fast because his enemies are multiplying, and soon he will have to pass the ultimate test: facing his father again and standing up to those who threaten not only him and his friends but also the world."

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My Opinion: 

This book is definitely on the dark and scary side, but the story focuses more on Ronan and his adventures with his friends. I especially like how Carter Roy didn't spend a lot of time re introducing the story to the people who might've skipped the first book. It got right to the point and the action started very early in the book. It kept me on my toes and I was always rushing to see what would happen on the next page. Oh boy, there are a bunch of plot twists, especially with some of the characters and they really catch you by surprise. You never see it coming! 

Here are the 5 quick reasons why you should read and love "The Glass Gauntlet": 

  • The action. From heartwarming moments, to scary moments, to moments that can change the story entire, there is almost always action packed in every page. 
  • The friendship. I absolutely love the friendship that plays in between Ronan, Greta, and Sammy. It's very realistic and they've learned to trust one another. 
  • The humor. One of the most enjoyable things about this book is the fact that it is very funny. You see something crazy and/or crazy happening, but there's always something to lighten up the scariness of the situation. 
  • The plot twists. There a a ton of these in here, but the one MAJOR one caught me by surprise. ;-p I won't spoil it for you though! (Dun, dun, dun!)
  • The unrepeated-ness. It's quite difficult to write a second book to a series especially when you don't know what to add, what to save for book 3 (YES THERE WILL BE A BOOK THREE, I WAS SO HAPPY WHEN I FOUND OUT!), etc. Carter Roy did a great job, though. You don't have to read through flashbacks for too long before the action. This book was great in general! 
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My Rating...




4.5 stars!!!! ONLY BECAUSE the ending was a cliffhanger, and made me want to time travel to the future to see what happens next, but I suppose that was the goal of book 2 (to make you want to read book 3). ;-p

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About Carter Roy...(via his website) 

Carter Roy has painted houses and worked on construction sites; waited tables and driven delivery trucks; been a stage hand for rock bands and a videographer on a cruise ship; worked as a line cook in a kitchen, a projectionist in a movie theater, and a rhetoric teacher at a university. He has been a reference librarian and a bookseller, edited hundreds of books for major publishers, and written award-winning short-stories for adult readers that appeared in a half-dozen journals and anthologies.

But this is the first time he has written a novel.

He lives in New York City.

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That wraps up this weeks MMGM! Thank you so much for joining me today and I hope you have a great week! Bye! 


❤️,
Links: 

If you would like to learn more about Carter Roy, click HERE

If you would like to go back to Shannon Messenger's website or check out more MMGM's click HERE

The Blood Guard (MMGM)

Sunday, January 17, 2016

***NOTE***: Hi! I just wanted to let y'all know that there seems to be a slight error with my MMGM link. This is my review from last week. If you'd like to check out my review for THIS week, click HERE. Thanks so much!

Hi, everyone! This week I have a book that I won from the wonderful Greg Pattridge! (Click on his name to read his awesome reviews!) I actually received this book from him a while back but never got the chance to read it until now. So yay for that! I'm also very hyped because I have a copy of book 2: "The Glass Gauntlet"!!! Annnnddd without further ado, here's the cover! 





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Here's some info...

Age Range: 10 - 14 years (Bit of violence, sword fighting, guns) (You can probably tell by the cover though...)
Series: The Blood Guard Series (Book 1)
Page Count: 279 pages
Publisher: Two Lions (March 4, 2014)

"When thirteen-year-old Ronan Truelove’s seemingly ordinary mom snatches him from school, then sets off on a high speed car chase, Ronan is shocked. His quiet, nerdy dad has been kidnapped? And the kidnappers are after him, too? 
His mom, he quickly learns, is anything but ordinary. In fact, she’s a member of an ancient order of knights, the Blood Guard, a sword-wielding secret society sworn to protect the Pure—thirty-six noble souls whose safety is crucial if the world as we know it is to survive. 
Now all those after-school activities—gymnastics, judo, survival training—she made him take, make sense. For suddenly Ronan is swept up in a sometimes funny, sometimes scary, but always thrilling adventure—dashing from one danger to the next, using his wits to escape the Bend Sinister, a posse of evil doers with strange powers. Falling in with two unlikely companions, Greta, a scrappy, strong-willed girl he’s never much liked and Jack, a devil-may-care teenage pickpocket, Ronan is left with only his wits and his mom’s last words of advice: Trust no one. 
That’s a lot for an ordinary kid to deal with. But then again, maybe Ronan’s not ordinary at all."

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Here are my thoughts...

Before reading- Me: Wow this book looks, um, violent...and scary. Do I really wanna read this? Head: YES!!! Me: Are ya sure? *shudders* Head: Yup. 

While reading- THIS BOOK IS AWESOME OHMIGOD I'M SO HAPPY I READ IT! 

After reading- Now where's my copy of book 2? 

Opinions- WOW. JUST WOW. This book is literally packed with action and car chases and running away from bad guys and all of that fun stuff. If you like something that keeps your heart beating like crazy, this is something for you. I really liked the characters and the plot, and some of the twists had me going back to the page before and re-reading it. It was definitely an interesting one. This is obviously a fiction book (You know how much I love my fiction), but oh jeez, the characters were so real! In the beginning they questioned each other (disbelief, etc.), but throughout the book you can see how the events really brought them together and turned them into friends that trusted and depended on one another. 

The entire story itself is really interesting and it really hooks the reader and has them thinking, "Okay, so what happens next? Will they die? Or will they survive? WHAT IS HAPPENING?" 

As you can see, I loved it! (!!!!!!!!!)

Even though I've already given my opinion(s), here are...

5 Reasons why you should read and love "The Blood Guard"

  • It's very well written. The language is very age-appropriate, even with the slight violence and very easy to understand. The plot is very interesting and there are many twists that you will never see coming. 
  • The characters are believable. They have realistic traits and seem like normal people, even they are super special. The character development is clear and you can see how each character matures deeper and deeper into the book. 
  • Lots of action and adventure. Like I said earlier, if you're looking for something packed with action and adventure, this is the book for you. There are car chases, narrow escapes, and creepy buildings. Everything in here is exciting! 
  • The humor. Okay, so this book is scary. But Carter Roy still finds a way to add in humor in the best times. There are jokes here and there that will make you laugh out loud, but won't make the book less enjoyable (You know, with all of the seriousness)
  • Filled with cool things that don't exist in real life. Carter Roy was very innovative in his book. There are so many interesting things and people that he invented that obviously show that it is fiction, but add a twist to the story. It makes the book fun to read!
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My rating...


I gave this book a 5 STARS!!! I loved the action and adventure and characters and the humor and the cool things and everything!!! 

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Thank you so much for joining me for MMGM and I hope you have a nice week! I'll be doing a review of The Blood Guard book 2: The Glass Gauntlet NEXT week, so yay for that! Bye for now! 

♡,
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Links: 

If you'd like to see more of "The Blood Guard" or learn about Carter Roy, click HERE

If you'd like to go back to Shannon Messenger's website or check out some more MMGM's click HERE


Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library (MMGM)

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Hi, everyone! I'm back this week with a review of "Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library" by Chris Grabenstein. The cover detail is really stunning. Take a peek of it yourself: 




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Here's some info...


Age Range: 8 - 12 years
Page count: 336 pages
Publisher: Yearling; Reprint edition (June 24, 2014)

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Here's the summary...

"Charlie and the Chocolate Factory meets A Night in the Museum in this action-packed New York Times Bestseller from Chris Grabenstein, coauthor of I Funny, Treasure Hunters and other bestselling series with James Patterson!

Kyle Keeley is the class clown and a huge fan of all games—board games, word games, and particularly video games. His hero, Luigi Lemoncello, the most notorious and creative gamemaker in the world, just so happens to be the genius behind the construction of the new town library. Lucky Kyle wins a coveted spot as one of twelve kids invited for an overnight sleepover in the library, hosted by Mr. Lemoncello and riddled with lots and lots of games. But when morning comes, the doors stay locked. Kyle and the other kids must solve every clue and figure out every secret puzzle to find the hidden escape route!"

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My thoughts:

Wow...just wow. I'm so impressed with Chris Grabenstein's writing. The way he puts together the story is amazing. I was hooked from the first page! The humor is expertly shown, and it's obvious that Mr. Grabenstein has a good sense of humor. I loved the clues that were thrown at us, even at the beginning of the book (I was even frantically trying to solve the problem too) and how they led up to the solution. The plot twists were extremely scary (Ohmigosh, don't even get me started...) but I was more than satisfied with the ending. (In fact, when I finished the book, I just went back to the first page and reread it!)

I think my favorite part of this book was its message. There's a powerful message in this book, even if it doesn't seem to be there, because you know, this book IS about a game and stuff. I'm not going to tell you what it is...because then I'd be revealing the solution! (And this is a #spoilerfree zone) :-)


Pros: 
Extremely funny (!!!) 
Very well thought out
Not too long, not too short
Great message
Lots of clues and plot twists to keep you guessing
Satisfying ending
Good character development 

Cons: 
Nothing, from what I've seen! 
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My rating...




Yes, you're seeing that right! I'm giving this book 5 STARS!!! (Because it was fabulous and amazing and awesome and...) 

I highly recommend this book for anyone, doesn't matter how old you are or what you usually read, this is a MUST. Like you MUST read this book. MUST!!!

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Thank you so much for joining for on this rather short MMGM! Hopefully I'll be able to read and review for next week! Bye for now! :-)

~Cindy 
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Links: 

To learn about Chris Grabenstein or get more info about "Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library", click HERE

To go to Shannon Messenger's website or head back to check out more MMGM's click HERE.  


Counting By 7s (MMGM)

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Happy New Year, everyone! It's 2016! Before I introduce the book and get started with the review, I would just like to let you guys know that I DID MY FIRST YA REVIEW LAST WEEK!!! And it just so happens to be a review of "The Fault In Our Stars" by John Green and you know how awesome that book is, so click HERE to check that out! I also did a special feature movie review on "Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip", which is a fantastic movie, so you can click HERE for my review. So now that we've gotten that out of the way...This week for MMGM, I'll be doing a review on "Counting By 7s" by Holly Goldberg Sloan! 

Here's the cover:







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Here's some info about the book:

Age Range: 10 and up 
Paperback: 378 pages
Publisher: Puffin Books; Reprint edition (September 16, 2014)

"In the tradition of Out of My Mind, Wonder, and Mockingbird, this is an intensely moving middle grade novel about being an outsider, coping with loss, and discovering the true meaning of family.

Willow Chance is a twelve-year-old genius, obsessed with nature and diagnosing medical conditions, who finds it comforting to count by 7s. It has never been easy for her to connect with anyone other than her adoptive parents, but that hasn’t kept her from leading a quietly happy life . . . until now.

Suddenly Willow’s world is tragically changed when her parents both die in a car crash, leaving her alone in a baffling world. The triumph of this book is that it is not a tragedy. This extraordinarily odd, but extraordinarily endearing, girl manages to push through her grief. Her journey to find a fascinatingly diverse and fully believable surrogate family is a joy and a revelation to read." (from Amazon) 

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Here are my thoughts:

The feelings you get through the book and themes: This book is seriously sad! It's definitely a tearjerker. But it shows the hardship of losing ones' parents and that finding where you belong is definitely easier said than done, which are two very important themes. 

Pros and cons: What I liked about this book was the way the characters were portrayed. Okay, so it was definitely a tragic story. But the way the main character, Willow reacts to it is really realistic. As a child, and maybe even when you're older, you depend on your parents, and hen they're no longer with you, you feel like you have no meaning in this world or that you are completely lost and stranded without them. You are a completely dependent on your parents and when you lose them, not to mention both, it's a bit of a shock to you. I feel that the only problems were time switches, as it goes from present to past and back to present without any warning. You get used to it, and eventually go from being confused with the book to actually really enjoying it, but I still wish the author gave us notice so that we wouldn't get confused. Still an interesting book though! 

So basically: This book is all about loss, finding where you belong and making friends along the way. (Honestly the ending really surprised me!) This book may sound like the typical tearjerker, but trust me, it's way different! 

But then: The beginning was a bit boring compared to the rest of the book (in my opinion). It was more of an introduction, but it should've gone by quicker. Also, the main conflict wasn't really clear to me, since there are a lot of problems along the way. But as I look back, I understand a bit more of what the author was trying to get across. Don't get me wrong, the beginning has a TON of action going on it already, it just needs to be more vivid and enjoyable and less boring. 

Final Verdict: Yes, I recommend this book. It's enjoyable for anyone coping with sadness or even if you're looking for something more dramatic than your typical read. I don't recommend it if you're looking for a book packed with action and fighting and things like that. So it all goes down to what you're looking for. 

Rating: It wasn't crazy good (like other books I've been reading, but hey, John Green is a whole new level), but then again it wasn't awful, so...

3 stars! 


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Here are what other people thought of "Counting By 7s":


* “Willow's story is one of renewal, and her journey of rebuilding the ties that unite people as a family will stay in readers' hearts long after the last page.”—School Library Journal starred review

* “A graceful, meaningful tale featuring a cast of charming, well-rounded characters who learn sweet—but never cloying—lessons about resourcefulness, community, and true resilience in the face of loss.”—Booklist starred review

* “What sets this novel apart from the average orphan-finds-a-home book is its lack of sentimentality, its truly multicultural cast (Willow describes herself as a “person of color”; Mai and Quang-ha are of mixed Vietnamese, African American, and Mexican ancestry), and its tone. . . . Poignant.”—The Horn Book starred review

"In achingly beautiful prose, Holly Goldberg Sloan has written a delightful tale of transformation that’s a celebration of life in all its wondrous, hilarious and confounding glory. Counting by 7s is a triumph."—Maria Semple, author of Where’d You Go, Bernadette

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 I hope you all had a great New Years! I still can't believe it's 2016! Thank you so much for joining me for MMGM and I wish you all a great week! :-)

~Cindy 

Links: 

To learn more about Holy Goldberg Sloan, click HERE.

To go back to Shannon Messenger's website or check out more MMGM's click HERE





Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Road Chip

Friday, January 1, 2016

Hi, everyone! Today is an extra special feature (AKA movie review) on the new movie "Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip". I watched the movie yesterday (Yes, we went to the cinema and everything. The nachos there are great so you should still go to the cinema, movie or no.) If you haven't seen it yet, check out my YA review on "The Fault in Our Stars by John Green! Click HERE to get there. Alright, on to the review! 
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The poster and info...

(There were quite a few of them to choose from, but I chose my favorite...)




Director: Walt Becker
Starring: Jason Lee, Tony Hale
Supporting actors: Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Josh Green, Justin Long, Matthew Gray Gubler, Jesse McCartney
Studio: Fox

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Synopsis and movie trailer...

"Music manager Dave is not only enjoying a burgeoning career, but a blossoming romance with Samantha, a beautiful doctor who works in the emergency room. Through a series of misunderstandings, the chipmunks start to believe that a marriage proposal is on the horizon. Dreading the thought of an antagonistic stepbrother, Alvin, Theodore and Simon embark on a cross-country odyssey to prevent their best pal from ruining their lives."





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What I think...

I loved it! The film itself was an hour and 26 minutes which I think was perfect, because it wasn't too long and wasn't too short, while still being able to get a point across. I also liked that it was very funny and got quite a few laughs from the people in the theater. The characters were very lovable and of course, troublesome, but that was what added effect to the movie. The movie did a great job portraying the power o family and friendship and I think everyone agreed that it was worth the time and money. I'm a bit surprised by how many bad reviews that this movie got, because it was a great one! 

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Rating...

4.5 stars!!!


The only reason why the movie didn't get a 5 stars from me was it's...gross-ment? We could've gone without seeing the *sigh* pooping, peeing, or farting from the chipmunks and others. It made me grimace a few times, but without those parts, the movie was overall great! I loved the ending too! 

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Thanks so much for reading my review! Let me know what you think of it in the comment section down below! Don't forget to follow my blog over there on the sidebar and I hope you have a great week! Bye! 

~Cindy










 
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