Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday 8.31.2016

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme created by Breaking the Spine to share what books you are waiting to be released on Wednesday’s.

This Wednesday, I think you need to know about It Started with Goodbye by Christina June.  This masterpiece will be published on May 9, 2017.

NetGalley Description
Sixteen-year-old Tatum Elsea is bracing for the worst summer of her life. After being falsely accused of a crime, she’s stuck under stepmother-imposed house arrest and her BFF’s gone ghost. Tatum fills her newfound free time with community service by day and working at her covert graphic design business at night, which includes trading emails with a cute cello-playing client. If Tatum is reading his emails right, her virtual Prince Charming is funny, smart, and talented—and he seems to think the same about her. Too bad he’s spending his summer across the ocean in Ireland…not that Tatum would be allowed to go on a date anyway.
But over the course of the summer, Tatum will learn that sometimes going after what you want means breaking all the rules. And when Tatum discovers she’s not the only one in the house keeping secrets, she finds she has the chance to make amends with her family and friends. Equipped with a new perspective, and assisted by her feisty step-abuela-slash-fairy-godmother, Tatum is ready to start fresh and maybe even get her happy ending along the way. A modern play on the Cinderella story arc, Christina June’s IT STARTED WITH GOODBYE will appeal to fans of Sarah Dessen, Stephanie Perkins, and Jennifer E. Smith.

Why I'm Looking Forward to It
Well, this time there are a few reasons.  I try very very hard to act like I don't like romance novels.  I will tell you up and down and left and right that it's too ishy and cheesy.  Well, I lie.  I can seriously feel the heat of the hems of my pants starting on fire right now.  I love that warm ooey gooey feeling when you can feel the romance building between two characters (although erotic novels are a bit much).  The romance in this novel sounds wonderful.  I am very interested in the international relationship and am having a difficult time predicting how this novel will be a modern re-telling of Cinderella.  I mean, what will they use for the shoe?!  MUST KNOW!

I will not lie to you about this, however: I am all about family.  The idea of a family being as separated as the family described here being able to make amends and help each other is something to look forward to.

What do you think of this novel?  Do you think it will be interesting or too ishy squishy?  What novels are you looking forward to this week? Leave your answers as a comment below.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Library Book Sale!

I swear, library book sales are one of the best things in life.  Right up there with coffee, Dropkick Murphys, and chocolate.  Therefore, when a book sale came on August 26, I had no choice but to crack open a piggy bank!  And I am so glad I did!

Look at them!  See the beauty!  I'm so excited!

Now, what do we have here?

  •  Confessions of a Pagan Nun by Kate Horsley
    • This novel tells the tale of Gwynneve who record her memories of her druid teachers and independent mother.  As the monastery is torn apart by accusations, her words become the force that can save her.
    • I haven't read anything by Horsley before but I am pumped to begin this journey!  I love Ireland and am always excited to read novels that are set there.  Additionally, I am excited to see this side of the religious change when we so often see the other.
  • The Kite Runner by Khaled Hossein
    • This is the story of Amir, a boy who once left Afghanistan and is now returning to discover the fate of a childhood friend and his family.
    • Based on all of the reviews that I have read so far, this is going to be an amazing read.  However, I get the feeling that I am going to need a lot of tissues.  It just looks like the kind of book that is going to take all of my emotions into one big ball, stuff them into a sack and pummel them into the ground until I no longer exist.  Can't wait to find out!  (I love emotional reads.)
  • What the Dickens by Gregory Maguire
    • Here there be skibbereen.  No, seriously!  This is the story of Dinah, Gage, and some terrifying tooth fairies.
    • Ahh Gregory Maguire, you brought us Wicked and Son of a Witch. Now, we have What the Dickens.   Honestly, if his writing style in this book is anything like it was in the aforementioned novels, this book is going to be stuck in my hands with imaginary superglue.
  • Maplecroft by Cherie Priest
    • After their parents' deaths, Lizzie Borden and her sister have used their inheritance to move to the Maplecroft mansion by the sea.  In this town, evil flows from the sea.  Lizzie and her ax, however, are ready for it.
    • OK, how does anyone NOT get supremely jazzed up about a twist on a story that everyone thinks they know?  How can we resist wanting to know what happens differently?  What happens next?  
  • Mira, Mirror by Mette Ivie Harrison
    • After being changed into a mirror by a beloved friend, Mira and a peasant girl are on their way to find a new kind of magic that gives life.  Their pasts, however, are not to be forgotten.
    • I'll be honest about this one.  I didn't pick it up for me.  I picked it up for my classroom and then decided that I have a quest to finish this book.  I mean, seriously, how can you not feel the adrenaline coursing through your veins as you read that synopsis (as paraphrased as it is)?  Besides, someone has to make sure that it's quality reading for the kids!  Books aren't going to read themselves!
  • The Grand Tour by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer
    • Sadly, The Grand Tour is the second book in its series.  This means that it will be stuck on my waiting shelf until I get the first book.  Until then, look to the bullet below for a synopsis of this book from GoodReads!
    • Kate and Cecy and their new husbands, Thomas and James, are off on a leisurely tour of the Continent. But once they arrive in France, strange things start to happen. Cecy receives a mysterious package, Thomas's valet is assaulted, and Kate loses a glove. Soon it becomes clear that the newlyweds have stumbled upon a magical plot to take over Europe, and they must embark on a daring chase to thwart the evil conspiracy. There's likely more trouble ahead--for when you mix Kate and Cecy and magic, who knows what's going to happen next!
  • The Mark  by Jen Nadol
    • Cassandra Renfield has the ability to see a mark on a person on the day that they are doomed to die.  Because of her vague understanding of her gift, there is plenty for her to find out.  Then, there is the most important question of all: If you know today is someone's last, should you tell them?
    • My Kleenex warning is exploding on this one.  I see a lot of sad ugly crying in my future.  I mean, how can I not cry when I can tell from the synopsis that I am going to get attached to a character only to fear their death the entire time!  I'm so excited, but sooooo very beyond not ready for he wave of tears that I am going to land myself in.   
  • What I Think I Did by Larry Woiwode
    • This memoir is the first planned in an autobiographical trilogy.  Woiwode tells the story of living in North Dakota and the beginning of his writing career and friendship with the young Robert DeNiro. Woiwode is currently the Poet Laureate of North Dakota.
    • I bought this book mainly because of the author.  He was one of my favorite college professors!  I can't wait to find out more about who he was before the University of Jamestown. 
  • Searoad: Chronicles of Klatsand by Ursula K. LeGuin
    • GoodReads Review: In one of her most deeply felt works of fiction, Le Guin explores the dreams and sorrows of the inhabitants of Klatsand, Oregon, a beach town where ordinary people bring their dreams and sorrows for a weekend or the rest of their lives, and sometimes learn to read what the sea writes on the sand. Searoad is the story of a particular place that could be any place, and of a people so distinctly drawn they could be any of us.
    • I truly treasure any books that I can put myself into.  I want to be a character, feeling the same sensory provocations as all of the other characters in the novel do.  I want to be there.  I want to hear the same sounds and taste the same sorrows.  I know that Le Guin is an author who can make this happen.  Therefore, I'm excited for the uncharted sea of this book.
  • Pinkerton's Sister by Peter Rushforth
    • GoodReads Review: Trapped in a suffocating life of convention and party chatter, Alice Pinkerton has turned to the liberating worlds she finds in literature. Like a character from one of her favorite novels, Alice holds a biting, eccentric, but expansive view of life; she wears only white, has a stutter, and knows her peers call her a madwoman in the attic. Various period cures-hydrotherapy, hypnotherapy, electrotherapy, a sanitarium-fail to turn this thirty-two-year-old, highly imaginative, caustically funny woman into one of the silly damsels of 1903's New York Society. Hauntingly, beneath all this lies a dark family secret.
    • Now, here is a character that I can stand in the shoes of.  I am so excited for so many literary references in one place.  I must discover that family secret!

Well, what have you hauled in recently?  Have you read any of these? What book should I start with?  What reviews would you like to see? Leave a comment in the box below!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Thoughts on Thursday

Hey there!

Uffda!  What a week!  What a very long week!  I'm pooped.  And it's only Thursday.

OK, because there have been so many views in the last few hours, I want to make a few things known.

1.) One of my best friends is getting married this weekend and I will be very far away from my computer and therefore unable to post.  Never fear, I will have books near! Psht!  Like I'd go anywhere without them.

2.) School activities start on Monday.  YIKES!  SO SOON???? Actually I'm pumped.  Year two of being an English teacher is going to rock!  I teach the best kids ever!  But, I'm just letting you now know that I will probably post less during the school year.  I will pop in as often as I can, but I will have a lot more on my plate from September to May.

3.) I'm now available on Bloglovin'!  If you look to your left, you will see a widget that encourages you to add me on Bloglovin'.  Please do!  This is a fantastic app that allows you to bring all of your blogs together into one central hub and will notify you when each of your favorite bloggers posts.  It helps us, as bloggers, see what interests our readers the most.  I am hoping to use it to find out what genres people go googoo over as they find their way to this little blog.

Now that I've said my bit, I have a few questions for you.  What books would you like to see me review?  What books are you eagerly awaiting? Who are your favorite authors? Leave your answers as a comment below!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme created by Breaking the Spine to share what books you are waiting to be released on Wednesday’s.

This Wednesday, I think you need to know about the new Neil Gaiman book that is coming out on September 8.  

Description from
A thrillingly reimagined fairy tale from the truly magical combination of author Neil Gaiman and illustrator Chris Riddell -- weaving together a sort-of Snow White and an almost Sleeping Beauty with a thread of dark magic, which will hold readers spellbound from start to finish.

On the eve of her wedding, a young queen sets out to rescue a princess from an enchantment. She casts aside her fine wedding clothes, takes her chain mail and her sword and follows her brave dwarf retainers into the tunnels under the mountain towards the sleeping kingdom. This queen will decide her own future -- and the princess who needs rescuing is not quite what she seems. Twisting together the familiar and the new, this perfectly delicious, captivating and darkly funny tale shows its creators at the peak of their talents.

Lavishly produced, packed with glorious Chris Riddell illustrations enhanced with metallic ink, this is a spectacular and magical gift.

Why I'm Super Excited for it
Because this blog is so new, many of you don't know that I adore Neil Gaiman.  If I had all of the money in the world, I would buy his books and then see what money was leftover, if any. I am yet to read a book of his that I haven't liked, and can't wait to see this new masterpiece.

I am also excited because I love strong female characters and the description above shows that The Sleeper and the Spindle will have a queen who takes charge of her destiny.  Not only do we have a strong female, but one who strays from her stereotypical role as queen.  

I cannot wait for this book to be on my shelf!

In Perpetuity

Title: In Perpetuity
Author: Tim Lebbon
Publisher: Endeavor Press
Publication Date: August 5, 2016
Genre: Horror, SciFi, Fantasy
Pages: 84
Source: ARC from NetGalley
Rating: 4/5 stars "Really Liked It"

Description from NetGalley
It all started when four-year-old Sam suddenly went missing. Desperate to find his son, Sam’s father is given a bizarre task by a mysterious Keeper who has taken his child away. The Keeper orders him to: “Find me proof of love.” With no other options, he must except the seemingly impossible quest if he ever wants to see his son again. But he soon discovers a hidden world of invisible people also searching for strange miracles for this monstrous Keeper… and some of them are mad. So mad that they will kill to find what they seek. 

What I Liked
I absolutely loved that this story is told from the father's point of view.  Although his name is never given, I cared deeply about what happened.  I HAD TO KNOW IF HE WOULD EVER GET SAMMY BACK! Lebbon truly plays with your feelings as you hear the haunting calls of his stolen son as he grows up.  
Lebbon's talent for writing characters that are truly cared about is only strengthened when we are given another character to worry about.  Will Elizabeth get her daughter back? Will everything be OK?  
Some horror stories are so gory that I can feel the vomit coming up the back of my throat.  Lebbon was able to present a terrifying and bone chilling tale without using over the top gore.  Instead, he successfully relies on psychological terrors.  Honestly, I think that this book would be less terrifying if he include more gore.  The sheer thought of what would be waiting around the next corner and what the Green Man would do next were enough for me.  Lebbon's writing style forces the audience to care more for a father's fear of losing his son than for the threat of pain.

Finally, the ending was so powerful and so poignant that although it seems to come out of left field, it is more terrifying and more painful than any predicted ending could have been.  If you like endings that blow your mind and stuff all of your feelings in a sack and punch them around, this is the tale for you.

What I Didn't Like
The ONLY thing that I didn't like about this whole novel was that the antagonists (both the Green Man and the Keeper) were incredibly underdeveloped.  I believe that Lebbon did this in an attempt to shroud them with mystery, but I think that the story could have been scarier had we known why these two characters did what they were doing. Was the Keeper looking for these things out of his own
perversion or because something had been taken from him?  What was the Green Man looking for.  I'm honestly pissed that I'll never know.

Final Thoughts
I will most definitely be looking for more Tim Lebbon books in the future.  This book was the first of his that I've read and it will not be the last one. I think that we can look forward to great things from this man.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Night Draws In

Good evening!

As some of you may know, I am a member of NetGalley, which allows individuals to review recently or soon to be published books.  Today, I would like to talk to you about Night Draws In by C.H.
Alexander which I received for review purposes only from NetGalley.

Night Draws In tells the story of Angela, Barnum, and Bailey as they go against an evil force in an effort to save the world.  Their journey takes them through dreams and to and from and Faerie Realm.
Alexander has a talent for creating strange characters and bringing misfits together.  I loved that she was able to show a romance between a skeptical "disfigured" individual (as she describes her in the novel) and a transgender self-sustaining individual.

Unfortunately, I was rather disappointed by Alexander's inability to provide a complete plot for her audience.  Her gift for creating characters does not hide the many ways that her story line lets down her readers. Perhaps the best example of this is that the main characters do not even know what they are up against or are sure that they are up against something until over 70% of the way through the novel.   This forces the audience to try to connect all of the dots quite quickly as the story comes to a close.

Additionally, there are many places in the novel that state that the evil fought in this novel are only the harbingers of a darker evil, that evil is never named.  There is no major battle between the evil in this novel, which will let down lovers of the fantasy genre. We expect good to triumph over evil!  We do not want to feel cheated!

I truly hate leaving such negative reviews for books as authors truly dedicate hard work and long hours to these works of art.  However, I refuse to give you anything less than my honest opinion. Sad face.

I am looking forward to reading the sequel to this novel when it is released in the future.  I hope that The Dark Quarter fills in many of the gaping holes left in Night Draws In.

Night Draws In is available for purchase on Amazon .

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Paper Towns

Hey there!

When my student put Paper Towns by John Green on the list of novels that she expected me to read this summer, I was pretty excited to see that something on my TBR list was on her list for me.  Talk about hitting two birds with one stone!  Well, both birds are dead now, and it's time to do some

In Paper Towns, John Green tells the story of Quentin "Q" Jacobsen and his comrades as they seek out their classmate, Margo, after she runs away.  Always an enigma, Margo seems to have left a variety of clues in her wake.  Q takes it upon himself to find her, believing that there is a possibility that she has left Orlando to commit suicide. This book is filled with comedy, romance, and challenges to a young man's judgment and value system.

I loved it!  I did not want to put this book down once I started it!  Green has a wonderful ability to not only tell a story, but to pull his audience into it as though they are truly present for the events. While many authors are able to do so, Green's provocative use of imagery brings this to the next level.

Additionally, Green has a remarkable talent for entering the brains of the teenagers in his story and in his audience.  He expertly uses this gift to provide several hilarious moments of laughter at pee and the unpredictable nature of life.

Unfortunately, Green doesn't seem to truly grasp what is taught in public schools today.  Many of Q's classes are way beyond what several states and the Common Core requires, demonstrating a lack in research.  However, I teach in Minnesota.  Maybe the Floridian standards require their students to speak Latin?

I would not be willing to supply a copy for my classroom library.  While it provides a plot that teenagers will love, I cannot endorse the many descriptions of alcohol and drunkenness in this book.  At one point, Q and his friends are driving around with 212 beers in the back of a minivan.  They had this same amount of beer in the same minivan in their school's parking lot.  While I understand that some students choose to take part in underage drinking, I do not need to supply them with any examples or ideas.  Though I would not buy a copy for my classroom, I would not confiscate any copies that my students bring in.  After all, why stop them from reading a good book?

Much like The Fault in Our Stars, Green provides a heart-wrenching and emotional tale in Paper Towns.  I look forward to reading more from him in the future.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

What's Next?

Hey everyone!

I just wanted to take a minute and thank you all!  I was really nervous starting this blog, but I have had almost 200 views this first month and have my first follower!  Woot!  Go us!  We're making this into something amazing.

I just wanted to let you know that I would love to read some comments.  I haven't seen any yet, but I can be hopeful.

As you may have realized, I am a teacher.  Currently, I am getting really pumped up for the new school year!  We start back to school workshops on August 30, and the kids start on September 6.  So, I wanted to make a few things crystal clear.

  1. I will still be blogging as often as I can.  This will be a little more difficult with class planning and homework grading and all of the other things that come with my amazing career.
  2. It is my goal to blog at least once a week.  Even if I can't add a review that week, I do plan to pop by and just update you on the crazy things that happen in my classroom.  This blog isn't meant to be a teacher's blog and I have no intention of turning it into that.  However, it gives you a chance to see the kind of teacher/person that I am. 
Right now, I do have some ARC's to read through, but my HUGE goal is to read all of the books that I own and give you some insight on them.  Many of them are quite old, but it still gives you a chance to hear about a book you haven't read or to reminisce about past reading adventures.

Let me know if there is anything that you would like to suggest that I read.  What have you liked about other blogs that you think would be awesome if I added here?  

It was wonderful chatting with all of you!  I'll see you next time!

Friday, August 19, 2016

The Eye of Minds

Hey there!

Before we get to the review, I just wanted to apologize for not writing in such a long time.  First, I had company.  Then, I got sick.  It did not make reading or reviewing very easy!  But, I'm back now, and I am still striving for two reviews a week (minimally).

The Eye of Minds tells the story of Michael, Sarah, and Bryson as they hack their way through a virtual reality system in order to catch an evil hacker, Kaine.  These teenagers are forced to think creatively as they put their hacking and coding skills to the test.

This book will appeal to fans of Sword Art Online.

James Dashner's The Eye of Minds is a very complicated book that left me with a variety of emotions.
 I'm not really sure how I'm supposed to feel right now, nor am I certain of how I do feel.  There were some really amazing things, some things that needed work, and one really bad thing.  I guess we'll work in reverse today.

The Ugly
Despite an amazingly complex plot, Dashner fails to include enough character interaction in order to keep the ball rolling.  As a result, the story fails to ebb and flow.  In other words, this book is filled with quite a bit of action with slow parts in-between.  I fail to understand why Dashner chose not to fill these empty spaces.  He could have used them to further develop Michael's character by leaving hints that allow the audience to make educated guesses about the ending.  Instead, this lack of hints makes the ending less believable.

The Bad
Dashner fills the VirtNet with a variety of novel-specific vocabulary. Many of these words, such as "Tangent" help to send the story on its way.  Unfortunately, Dashner does a poor job of helping his audience rehearse these terms.  This left me going back through the pages to try to remember what some of these words meant.  Had the words been better rehearsed, they would have added a great deal of energy and suspense to the tale.  However, having to look back for them took away a lot of the meaning and made the overall reading experience more confusing than it needed to be.

Additionally, I believe that Dashner could have added more fluidity to The Path.  Perhaps the different trials that the children face could have been from other games in the VirtNet? Maybe they could have held special meaning for each individual or played to master gamer's strengths that the kids would have recognized.  I believe that the trials were enough of a challenge for the three characters, but would have liked to see a bit more importance placed upon each of the new "arenas."

The Good
Dashner has an amazing and creative mind.  This story was definitely intriguing from the first word!  I didn't simply want to know what was going to happen.  I NEEDED to know.  I needed to know so badly that I would hide myself in a different room than my boyfriend so that my reading could not possibly be interrupted.  Kudos to Dashner for knowing how to suck his audience in.

Although the vocabulary made it frustrating to try to remember what each new word meant, I believe that Dashner made it work.  After all, I could have chosen to simply continue reading without comprehension (like many teenagers do), but I wanted to know what it meant.  I needed to know what was happening at each moment!  This novel would not have been complete without these vocabulary words.

Finally, Dashner has a gift for playing with his audience's feelings.  Right when we start to feel safe again, he pulls the ground out from underneath us.  He does an especially good job of this at the end as we find out the truth behind Michael and his mission.

For my Classroom
I would definitely like to add a copy of this book to my classroom library!  I believe that both male and female students would enjoy it.  I have many students who are also SAO fans who would love to see something similar to a favorite show.  Maybe this could be the gate to lifelong reading that they need to have opened for them?  I can also think of a variety of creative writing prompts to go along with this novel.  Therefore, my students would be able to enjoy a novel, use their creative thinking skills, and even do some creative writing.  As a literature teacher, it doesn't get much better than that!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Beginning of Everything

Hey there!

I am very excited to tell you about The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider.  This was the second book on the summer reading list that I received from a student and I loved it!

The Beginning of Everything tells the story of Ezra Faulkner, a high school senior who is required to re-learn the ropes of his high school after a life changing car accident.  He goes from being at the top of the popularity chain to the very bottom. It is there that he finds himself and learns the difference between living and existing.

This book was amazing!  This book was amazing!  This book was amazing!  Do you get the idea that I really enjoyed it?

First, let's just mention the variety of literary references this book makes.  What a wonderful way to interest YA readers in classics such as The Great Gatsby and to encourage reading Harry Potter and other well-known YA books.  I am so excited to see a book that encourages young readers and sends them on their way to books that they may enjoy.

Next, I want to praise Schneider for her fantastic use of a wide variety of literary devices.  She created Ezra, a character who uses wonderful allusions, puns, and imagery to describe the world around him.  Thanks to Schneider's use of language, there is never a dull moment in this book.  Even during the seemingly dull moments, the way she personifies Cooper really continues the energy of the story.  My favorite part,however, was her ability to bring out the important details that just seem superfluous.  For example, how many freaking times is she going to mention the black SUV?  Obviously she wants that to stick in our heads for some reason.  And when we finally find out that reason, we feel the entire world drop out from beneath us.  It feels so very much like the first huge drop of a roller coaster in Disneyland.

Third, Schneider expertly delivers an important theme to a young audience.  She is encouraging her readers to take a look at why they live the way that they do.  Are they living to make someone else happy or to be who they really are.  I think this is an amazing thing for YA readers to think about as they enter their college career/the workforce.  Are they doing something because it makes them happy or for the benefit of someone else?  I'm 24 years old, and sometimes I still don't know which of these I'm actually doing.  Although, being a teacher was definitely for me :)

When I began this book, I was reading it for my student's happiness.  Finishing it made my soul fly.  This is one of few books that I suggest MUST be read during one's lifetime.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

I'd Tell You I Love You but Then I'd Have to Kill You

Good Afternoon!

About a month ago, one of my students presented me with a summer reading list that she expected me to complete before the school year.  Although this list is only six books long, I have one month before school starts again and should probably get a move on.

The first book on her list was Ally Carter's I'd Tell You I Love You but Then I'd Have to Kill You.  It is about a girl named Cammie who attends a spy school.  When she meets, and falls for, a non-spy guy, she works hard to treat her relationship with him as a covert operation. That is, until the two halves of her life connect.  Because my opinion of this book for myself and for my classroom are quite different, I will explain both.

For Me

 I definitely enjoyed the plot and thought that it was very creative.  I especially liked the way that Cammie's character developed as she learned and reacted to her experiences.  This was a very realistic approach to making her a more universal character.  Additionally, several of the teacher's names were terrific!  I love the idea of having a Dr. Fibs at a spy school!

However, there were three major issues that made it impossible for me to enjoy reading this novel.  First, there was no way to predict what was going to happen next.  Most of the time, it felt like Carter was more interested in surprising her audience than she was in dropping clues to allow her readers to do their own spy work.  For example, there is no mention of the McHenry family until Macey has already been introduced and accepted to the school.  Rather than showing any dissonance between wanting to accept her for her name and not wanting her there due to her arrogance, she is accepted and then the reason is explained.  Rather than seeming like a good choice for the school, it feels like Carter needed a reason to include a character and made up that reason in a hurry.  Second, the writing style is choppy in several places.  It bounced from flashback or internal monologue to current happenings without any real segues. This made it difficult to tell if Cammie was telling us about the past or present.  This was especially distracting because I was forced to re-read sections in order to grasp the full meaning.  Third, I feel like Josh was definitely an underdeveloped character.  At the end of the book, he seems unfazed when he finds out that his girlfriend is a spy.  Many of the young men that I know would consider that the bee's knees and would think that she was ultimately hotter because of her abilities.  Josh, however, thinks that it is OK for her to be a spy, but is upset that he was lied to.  While no one enjoys deceit, it is almost as though he is thinking "Hey! I understand that you're a spy, but how dare you lie to me!"  How can he respect her career while still being unable to believe that she did her job?

For My Classroom

I will definitely be suggesting this to some of my students.  Although I was not a huge fan, I can think of several middle school girls who will love it. The romance between Josh and Cammie was definitely directed to a middle school audience.  It was also perfectly done.

This is definitely more aimed toward a middle school female audience and I believe that it will do well with this audience.