Kevin's Points of Interest
The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle Book 1) by Maggie Stiefvater
I'm constantly amazed by the new, exciting, imaginative things writers are bringing to their pages these days. Reading as much as I do makes me think someday, things will all slowly become the same. But in books like The Raven Boys, I see they never will. As unique as snowflakes, each of our imaginations are wholly and completely different and I'm pleased th...
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The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
This is an award-winning book that's hugely popular, written extremely well, and it tells a heartfelt and inspiring story. Basically, there is nothing to lose with this one, and plenty to gain. The style of the book is unique too since it reads sort of like a collection of journal entries rather than a series of short chapters. And when I say short, I mean s...
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Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman
I think it may be quicker for me to review a sequel. I'll still write too much, as I always do, but I'll think of what I want to say faster than usual. So really, this is all going to be basically the same. Except I'll assume you've read Seraphina, which I really liked, and that you are already familiar with Ms. Hartman's writing, which I also really dig. So...
Here's my write-up on Seraphina
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Casino Royale by Ian Fleming
I decided I was reading too many fantasy/dragon/magic books and was in a bit of a rut. Luckily, I had just the guy loaded up on my Kindle app to get me out of that realm and into a place much more real...and dangerous. His name...Bond, James Bond! Casino Royale is the first ever Bond novel, published in 1953. Honestly, it was not at all what I expected. The...
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The Glass Magician by Charlie N Holmberg
I read The Glass Magician not necessarily because I really wanted to, but only because I had previously read The Paper Magician and I was really pulling for the series to get better. Unfortunately, for me, it didn't. I still really liked the magic system where the characters bond to one man-made material and then work their spells over just that one thing. ...
My thoughts on The Paper Magician
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The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner
Is it possible for a book to have too much realism? To try too hard to emulate real life? In The Thief, Miss Turner went to great lengths to paint a completely detailed picture of all the minutia in her plot. Unfortunately, this extreme focus on the small things often bogged it all down to a nearly unbearable point and I thought it tried too hard to be overl...
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The Paper Magician by Charlie N Holmberg
No matter what, books are always interesting. Could be interesting because they are bad, or because they are great. Or because they are strange, or wonderful, or powerful, or wholly unique. Perhaps because they are unexpected and challenging to finish. However they do it, books will always peck at our minds in one way or another. The Paper Magician affected...
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The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Here's the best thing I can say about this fabulous book - I read The Night Circus on the kindle app on my iPad, mostly on the treadmill at the gym and several times I caught myself smiling while reading. Just lost in the story, smiling...while exercising! That doesn't happen very many times, but it happened often with this one. I believe this is because T...
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The Magician’s Elephant by Kate DiCamillo
The Magician's Elephant starts off nicely with momentum and intrigue, slows down a bit in the mostly melancholy middle, then has a fantastic happy ending. No worries though, since Miss DiCamillo's excellent writing skillfully carries the reader through it all. It's a fairly short read, a beautifully designed book and overall, a novel I definitely recommend...
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The Luck Uglies by Paul Durham
The Luck Uglies is excellent from cover to cover. First off, I dig books like this one that include a map of the imaginary world where the story takes place. This is such a nice extra touch that truly shows the writer's thoughtful creativity and that he wants to fully immerse us in the setting of his novel. And yes, I referred back to the map while readin...
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Nightbird by Alice Hoffman
Nightbird is a solid choice for middle grade readers, full of mystery, a bit of danger, a dash of adventure and most of all, a fun, interesting main character. Because of a deep secret and a witch’s curse that's haunted her family for years, young Twig begins her story feeling very lonely and isolated in her hometown of Sidwell, MA. But in one summer, wh...
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Seeker by Arwen Elys Dayton
I have to admit right here at the top that finishing reading this book, and then deciding what to write about it, was - unfortunately - quite a struggle for me.Seeker has many intriguing elements and it seemed like a story I would normally eat right up, but I never could connect with the characters or the plot. When I did finally finish it, I decided it wou...
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Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
Rich, beautiful writing in a uniquely created world full of compelling characters. This is how I think of Seraphina. It's not an action-packed book, but the people in the story and the writer's unique voice make it great. Don't worry though, there are some truly exciting parts in this novel, just not that many. One of the best is a pretty sweet mid-air fi...
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Stardust by Neil Gaiman
Stardust was a wonderfully enjoyable book. I absolutely basked in its greatness. It certainly doesn't hurt that I'm a fan of Mr. Gaiman, because of his reputation, the articles I've read about him, and because of the two excellent books of his I've read. (I previously read, loved and reviewed American Gods.) So yes, I dug this book partly because I like hi...
My write-up on American Gods also by Neil Gaiman
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Paper Towns by John Green
I caught this book on a Kindle sale and since I’ve dug the other two of his I’ve read - “The Fault in our Stars” and “Looking for Alaska” - I figured this one would be good too. However, for me....it was just so-so. There were parts that sprung up where I really liked it and I thought it was going to take off, but then it didn’t. And, strang...
My write-up on "Looking for Alaska"
My write-up on "The Fault in our Stars"
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The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1) by Rick Riordan
I knew I was going to come around to this one eventually, the first of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. For starters, I can’t help but compare Percy to Harry. It's basically impossible not to because they are undeniably similar. Both star young men with somewhat troubled upbringings who realize they have special powers so they trot off to a ...
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The Giver by Lois Lowry
The Giver is short, thoughtful, well-written and intriguing. And it’s certainly worth a read for all those reasons. It probably falls in the sci-fi category yet it’s definitely more a study of the social effects of a closely controlled future society, not the technological advancements. The story centers on Jonah, an 11 yr old boy who lives with his f...
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Hollow City and Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children - by Ransom Riggs
Hollow City is the excellent sequel to Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, which is also a wonderful book. The fascinatingly unique factor with these books is that the author spent a lot of time shuffling through yard sales, antique shops and curiosity stores to collect old, unusual and often times outright creepy photographs of people. Riggs th...
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“Looking for Alaska” - by John Green
Picture a soon-to-be great rock band who are just getting ready to bust out, but are still rough and raw and practicing in a garage somewhere. You want to be in on the band then because you’ll get their more unrefined sound before they become too hugely popular. Because you know that when they do break it big, they’ll still be great, but they will also...
Here's my write-up on "The Fault in Our Stars", if you're interested!
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The Magician King & The Magician’s Land - by Lev Grossman
The Magician’s series - three fabulous books that I WILL read again someday. That is probably about the highest praise I can give to a set of books. I was constantly knocked out by Mr. Grossman’s brilliant writing and his remarkable creativity. Everything he dreamed up and included in these books was great - Brakebills, the hidden school for magicians...
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Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate Dicamillo
I have to say it, right here, sentence one of paragraph one, I did not LOVE-LOVE this book. And I’m fairly shocked by that, to be quite honest. My daughter and I thought The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane (also by Miss DiCamillo) was spectacular. If you haven’t read that one yet, get on it - immediately! (I don’t have a KJD review to point you...
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Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
If you played coin-op/early generation video games and/or dabbled in D&D games as a kid (I did both) - or at least have an appreciation for these nostalgic items (I do) - you'll undoubtedly LOVE this book. Maybe you dig 80s movies like "Wargames" or you have always bopped along to the music of that era (me like both). If so, this book is for you. Do you like...
To learn just how 80s obsessed Cline is, check out his website!
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Endgame by James Frey
According to writers, movie producers and pop culture in general, the future is a pretty bleak place. We are going to exhaust our energy sources and natural resources and then fall prey to the whims of the few super-wealthy. Or be decimated by robots. Or ravaged by zombies. Or forced to compete in insane ways just to survive. In Endgame, civilization’s d...
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I Am Currently Working On a Novel by Rolli
The dedication/acknowledgement to this intensely diverse collection of stories reads “for the few magicians”. First off, for the most part, these can’t be called “stories”, if you think of them in the traditional ways you’d normally define a story. Perhaps they are “creatively diverse thoughts put into words”. Or “abstract ideas gathered...
read more about it on Amazon
visit Rolli's cool website
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Eleanor and Park - by Rainbow Rowell
I read this as an eBook because I know it’s popular and because I snagged it at a relatively good sale price of $4.99. I did very much enjoy “The Fault in Our Stars” and these two books are often times mentioned as being in the same mold, so that added to my interest as well. “E & P” takes place in ‘86 and is about a couple of 16ish year olds ...
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