Kevin's Points of Interest
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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The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
If you go to Amazon search and type “The Al...” you’ll get this book as your first auto-complete option. And you’ll see that it has 4500+ reviews and you’ll know immediately that it’s immensely popular worldwide. Right now it’s only $2.75 on Kindle and at that price, you should absolutely give it a read. My copy is paperback and I’m pretty...
$2.75 on the Kindle - definitely worth it!
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The Magicians by Lev Grossman
I loved this book. But I cannot recommend it to anybody. Because I don’t know how to judge the type of person who would like this book and I assume I’d be judged harshly if someone read it....and hated it. Unlikely as it seems, this is a Harry Potter-esque story for grown-ups. With sex, drugs, drinking, cursing and violence. It also has a cleverly cr...
Click here to read all the more reviews you want to on Amazon
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The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
I loved this book! Oscar Wilde's flowing, eloquent, highly-civilized writing style and his exquisite word choices kept me mesmerized. I particularly enjoyed the fascinating views on life that were doled out by Lord Henry Wotton, who is Dorian Gray's best friend, main influence and probably, Gray's worst source of corruption. I didn't necessarily always agre...
My goodness, here it is on Amazon, FOR FREE! GET IT NOW!!
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The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare
Bacon is yummy....but alas....it's too fattening. And the "Kevin's Book Bacon" format STILL left me writing reviews that were too long. So now I'll try an entirely new method: Just writing what I think! I've said this before - my reviews are really just for me to track what I've read and help me recall what I thought about it. Hopefully my kids wil enjoy...
Find the book on Amazon here (See - it doesn't even come out until September! I'm so cool...)
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“Boy” and “Going Solo” by Roald Dahl
Here's a bit of Kevin's Book Bacon in the pan....with a couple of Roald Dahl books sizzling hot! Flavor: "Boy" and "Going Solo" tell the story of Mr. Dahl’s life before he became one of the best children’s book writers ever in the history of the known universe. He is very clear that these are not moment by moment, tedious “autobiographies”; they ar...
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Spirit Animals Book 1 - WILD BORN
Time for some Kevin's Book Bacon on the first book in the Spirit Animals series. Flavor: When the inhabitants of a fantasy world called Erdas reach age eleven, they sip from a powerful nectar in hopes of summoning a spirit animal. This animal will be their companion and protector for life. The bond between human and spirit animal is unique and magical, un...
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The Peculiar by Stefan Bachmann
Time for more of Kevin's Book Bacon! The writer of "The Peculiar", Mr. Stefan Bachmann, was just 16 when he began this book and it was published when he was only 19! A mighty fine accomplishment for a teenager. Flavor: The story takes place in a “steampunkish” version of Victorian London where faeries and humans live - somewhat - at peace. The unl...
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The One Safe Place by Tania Unsworth
It's Kevin's Book Bacon time! And this is my first ever advanced reader copy (ARC) review! Saw this book in an email, signed up to receive an advance copy, got it, read it, dug it, reviewed it: Flavor: It’s the future and the world is hot and dry with very little rain. Cities are overcrowded and kids run rampant in the streets, stealing to survive. ...
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