Review: Wonder by R. J. Palacio

5 stars.

Wonder
Link to Goodreads

Now that the movie’s out, I think pretty much everyone knows what this book is. The movie was a faithful adaptation, but I still think you should read the book whether or not you’ve seen the movie. I was surprised over and over how the author could have gone over the line into cheese so easily, but she never did. It’s wonderful and moving and just right.

Review: Summerlost by Ally Condie

4 stars.

Summerlost

This is a contemporary middle grade story about a family dealing with grief staying at a summer house. The MC makes friends with a boy working at the Shakespeare festival. They unravel a mystery together and find some surprises along the way. It’s cute and wholesome and was perfect to read in the car while on vacation this summer. Nothing earth-shattering, but easy to read and easy to like. 

Review: The Thing about Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin

The Thing About Jellyfish: 5 stars.

The Thing About Jellyfish

A contemporary middle grade story about a girl whose friend died while swimming in the ocean. The MC stops talking entirely after that and becomes obsessive about the idea that a deadly Australian jellyfish must have killed her friend, preferring that to her mom’s answer that “these things just happen sometimes.” The main character is nuanced, and as the story unfolds, you get to see more and more of her very strange mind and the secrets she’s keeping with her silence. I will warn you, this book is WEIRD, but for me, it was weird in all the best ways.

Review: Firefight by Brandon Sanderson

 

3 stars.

Firefight

I really liked the first book in this series (Steelheart), about a world where some people suddenly start manifesting superpowers but then became evil–so everyone with superpowers is a villain. There were problems with it, but it was a lot of fun to read. And I apparently read the sequel but completely forgot it. I started reading it again and was like, “Wait, some of this feels familiar.” I flipped through and remembered reading it. But now, as I’m writing the review, I don’t really remember what it was about. It was fun but ultimately fluff.

Review: Bluescreen by Dan Wells

2 stars.

I got this for Christmas last year, and because I’ve liked or loved everything else I’ve read by Dan Wells, I was excited for it. But I could barely get through it. If it hadn’t been by Dan, I would have given up early on. I thought it would get better, and it did. A little. And then it got worse. So many things about it seemed cool (lots of diversity! near future with really cool tech!), but I never connected with the teen main character or even any of the side characters. Everybody seemed self-centered, too cool for school (literally . . . the MC regularly skips school), and cold. And the plot wasn’t functional enough to keep my interest despite that.

This said, my 12 year old liked it.