Review of Doll Bones

Zach, Poppy and Alice have been friends for ever. They love playing with their action figure toys, imagining a magical world of adventure and heroism. But disaster strikes when, without warning, Zach’s father throws out all his toys, declaring he’s too old for them. Zach is furious, confused and embarrassed, deciding that the only way to cope is to stop playing . . . and stop being friends with Poppy and Alice. But one night the girls pay Zach a visit, and tell him about a series of mysterious occurrences. Poppy swears that she is now being haunted by a china doll – who claims that it is made from the ground-up bones of a murdered girl. They must return the doll to where the girl lived, and bury it. Otherwise the three children will be cursed for eternity . . .

 I love the dark and mysterious stories and movies, like the stuff that comes out of Tim Burton’s mind. The cover of Doll Bones totally intrigued me and I was so glad I listened to it. The audiobook was read by Nick Podehl and was 5 hours, 13 minutes long.

  • The story was so full of imagination! It was like larping with action figures, the kids were old enough to know they were playing but still had huge imaginations and really took on their character’s roles.
  • I love that they would pass around notes and continue with the story even when they weren’t together. Sometimes it seems like imagination is gone with technology.
  • The characters were each unique and well done. I really enjoyed every one of them and felt their pain and happiness.
  • The quest was awesome, it was realistic yet imaginative. I would love to go on a quest in the “real world.”
  • I didn’t really have any other than I wanted more. It was sad when the story ended!

Review of Prisoner of Night and Fog

In 1930s Munich, danger lurks behind dark corners, and secrets are buried deep within the city. But Gretchen Müller, who grew up in the National Socialist Party under the wing of her "uncle" Dolf, has been shielded from that side of society ever since her father traded his life for Dolf's, and Gretchen is his favorite, his pet.
Uncle Dolf is none other than Adolf Hitler.
And Gretchen follows his every command.
Until she meets a fearless and handsome young Jewish reporter named Daniel Cohen. Gretchen should despise Daniel, yet she can't stop herself from listening to his story: that her father, the adored Nazi martyr, was actually murdered by an unknown comrade. She also can't help the fierce attraction brewing between them, despite everything she's been taught to believe about Jews.
As Gretchen investigates the very people she's always considered friends, she must decide where her loyalties lie. Will she choose the safety of her former life as a Nazi darling, or will she dare to dig up the truth—even if it could get her and Daniel killed?
From debut author Anne Blankman comes this harrowing and evocative story about an ordinary girl faced with the extraordinary decision to give up everything she's ever believed . . . and to trust her own heart instead.
I have always been very interested in Hitler and the story surrounding how he was able to convince so many people that the Jews were the enemy. The history is such a stain on humanity and I have always wondered how people would so easily dismiss the value of each other because of what I person says. I realize in this time period moral was at an all-time low, people were starving and struggling to get by, it just seems so awful that people turned and put their hope in Hitler. I started gravitating toward books on Nazi Germany since I first read The Book Thief.

Gretchen was an awesome main character. She grew up hearing that her father was a hero who jumped in front of Hitler and took a bullet for him. She had such a close relationship with Hitler that she called him Uncle Dolf. But as she starts to realize the truth about who Hitler really is and what he is trying to accomplish, doubt seeps in and she realizes that Uncle Dolf may not be the man she thought he is.
David is a Jewish reporter that finds out that Gretchen’s family may not have died the way she was told. He joins forces with Gretchen, although she struggles with the fact that he is a Jew and she is going against the National Socialist party. David helps Gretchen realize that Hitler is trying to exterminate the Jews instead of just make them leave Germany.
The author used real, historical characters and time periods in the book. It was so interested to see how she weaved true life into her fictional story. She stated that she started to wonder what it would be like to be a young girl in Nazi after hearing about Geli, Hitler’s half niece. Geli’s history wove so seamlessly into the story that it really sounds like Gretchen could have been a real person.

I truly loved the book and thought the writing was excellent, the only downfall is that the book ends in a bit of a cliffhanger. I always hate having to wait for more until the next book comes out – but Anne Blankman did her job, I cannot wait to read the next book in the series.

Review of The Treatment

Can Sloane and James survive the lies and secrets surrounding them, or will The Program claim them in the end? Find out in this sequel to The Program, which Publishers Weekly called “chilling and suspenseful.”

How do you stop an epidemic?

Sloane and James are on the run after barely surviving the suicide epidemic and The Program. But they’re not out of danger. Huge pieces of their memories are still missing, and although Sloane and James have found their way back to each other, The Program isn’t ready to let them go.

Escaping with a group of troubled rebels, Sloane and James will have to figure out who they can trust, and how to take down The Program. But for as far as they’ve come, there’s still a lot Sloane and James can’t remember. The key to unlocking their past lies with the Treatment—a pill that can bring back forgotten memories, but at a high cost. And there’s only one dose.

Ultimately when the stakes are at their highest, can Sloane and James survive the many lies and secrets surrounding them, or will The Program claim them in the end?
I am not sure why I picked up The Treatment, but The Program really didn’t entice me, but I was glad that I enjoyed The Treatment a lot more than I thought I would. It was kinda fun reading a duo series where most are at least three or more books.

  • Sloane and James were nowhere near as annoying as they were in the first book. They seemed so corny in The Program, but I felt like their relationship was a lot more realistic in The Treatment.
  • I always have liked the “on the run” feel in dystopian literature. I love the way it moves along and the fear it creates. The thought of barely being able to sleep for the fear of being found gives a little thrill.
  • Dallas and Cas were interesting new additions to the story. I loved the way Dallas entwined with Sloane and Micheal’s storyline.
  • I feel like the writing “matured” in this book, that the experience of writing The Program really helped Suzanne Young drive into The Treatment head-first and create a more in-depth story with better prose.
  • The “love triangle” situation that bothered me a lot more in The Program really wrapped up well in The Treatment.
  • As much as the writing in The Treatment grew on me, it still felt a little lacking in the emotional connection. I wanted more and I felt the writing held the story just on the surface.
  • I was really surprised by the lack of parental communication in the book. I do not think that realistically Sloane’s parents would sit back and do nothing as their daughter was on the run. I know I look to far into things, but sometimes I feel like family plays such a minor role in young adult novels and I think it is an area that really needs more growth.

Waiting on Wednesday - The Truth About Alice

Everyone knows Alice slept with two guys at one party. When Healy High star quarterback, Brandon Fitzsimmons, dies in a car crash, it was because he was sexting with Alice. Ask anybody.  Rumor has it Alice Franklin is a slut. It's written all over the "slut stall" in the girls' bathroom: "Alice had sex in exchange for math test answers" and "Alice got an abortion last semester." After Brandon dies, the rumors start to spiral out of control. In this remarkable debut novel, four Healy High students tell all they "know" about Alice--and in doing so reveal their own secrets and motivations, painting a raw look at the realities of teen life. But in this novel from Jennifer Mathieu, exactly what is the truth about Alice? In the end there's only one person to ask: Alice herself.

 This one just sounds like so many feels! I have read amazing reviews and I am super excited to get my hands on this book! It is expected out soon, June 3rd!

Remnant of the Damned Blog Tour

Witness the Birth of Fear.

There has always been something wrong with the sinister and secluded town of Lakefield View. For one, people get murdered on the streets and nobody does anything about it. Even if they hear their screams curse the night skies, the number of saints has diminished. But it isn't the sick and twisted residents of Lakefield View that are the ones who you should avoid... it's the killers, the psychopaths, the witches and the monsters you should watch out for.

Five unsuspecting workers of a picturesque café get the shock of their lives when a family member is killed before their eyes. A chain of events ensue and they are all catapulted down a spiralling road of mystery and magic, each struggling to overcome constant obstacles that threaten their lives and the safety of their families. As the mystery progresses and the secrets get darker, the friends find it harder and harder to keep their heads above water.

The only thing worse than being alone in the dark, is finding out you're not!

The dark creepy synopsis of Remnants of the Damned had me intrigued so I had to pick up this book for the book tour. I am always looking for that book that will creep you out so much you can barely sleep. Although this book didn’t hit the creepiness level I was hoping, it did keep me wondering what was going to happen next.
  • The format of the book was intriguing. The main characters each told their side of the story, all on one day. They all work at a café in a creepy town with a traumatic history.
  • There was this family that wove into the story that was probably my favorite part of the story, sadly they didn’t really get a starting role until the end, but man I could have read a whole story about that family alone. They ate humans, lived without electricity and bathed in the same bathwater for year, crazy town!
  • The women detective that wove her way into the story was really interesting too, I imagined her as a creepy version of Nanny McPhee.
  • The writing really was lacking, it is the first novel by Gavin and you can tell. A for effort, C for actual composition. I am sure his writing will really grow as he grows as a writer, so keep your eye on him.
  • The world-building was really lacking for me as well, this also can be from inexperience. I really wanted more of the creepy details and a lot of the time the scenes barely skimmed the surface. I hope as this series grows, the fine details will come to life.

Gavin Hetherington currently resides in the town of Gateshead in the United Kingdom. A literature fanatic of fantasy, Gavin began writing stories when he was young, mainly about witches and the supernatural.

Top Ten Favorite Historical Fiction

This week Top Ten Tuesday was a freebie, so I decided to share some of my favorite historical fiction books! I would love to read more historical fiction, so please share your favorites too!

The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo (1920s)
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein (1940s)
The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova (1930s / 1950s / 1970s)

Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys (1950s)
Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman (1930s)
Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay (1940s / 2000s)
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne (1850s)

The Book Thief by Marcus (1930s)
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Nifenegger (1963 and on)
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (1960s)

Review of Dairy Queen

When you don’t talk, there’s a lot of stuff that ends up not getting said.
Harsh words indeed, from Brian Nelson of all people. But, D. J. can’t help admitting, maybe he’s right.

When you don’t talk, there’s a lot of stuff that ends up not getting said.
Stuff like why her best friend, Amber, isn’t so friendly anymore. Or why her little brother, Curtis, never opens his mouth. Why her mom has two jobs and a big secret. Why her college-football-star brothers won’t even call home. Why her dad would go ballistic if she tried out for the high school football team herself. And why Brian is so, so out of her league.

When you don’t talk, there’s a lot of stuff that ends up not getting said.
Welcome to the summer that fifteen-year-old D. J. Schwenk of Red Bend, Wisconsin, learns to talk, and ends up having an awful lot of stuff to say.

 Dairy Queen kept popping up on my list of audiobooks from the library, so I finally decided to go on Goodreads and see what it was all about. I was really surprised when it ended up having a lot of favorable review. The cover does nothing for this book, seriously! I understand the direction they took, but I was not screaming to read it because the cover was so amazing. The audiobook was read by Natalie Moore and was 6 hours, 7 minutes long.

  • The story was original, I had no idea what I was going to get into with the book, but it was a fun, easy ride that kept me listening.
  • The reader gave the story the Midwest accent. There was quite a few times I was smiling because it did sound like Minnesota / Wisconsin speak. There is definitely a distinct dialect in our area and this book added that right in.
  • The whole analogy with the cows, just going through the motions and doing what we are told was really interesting. I definitely feel like every day I am “herded” to work, to the grocery store, home, ect, and then go back to do it all over again. The theme of the book was really to stand out and I liked that.
  • By the time the story came to a close, I really liked the ending and the way the story wrapped up.

  •  It was another one of those good book, but not one that leaves you with a million feelings, stuck in your head for weeks. So really, there are no gripes. It was a good, fun book. It was perfect for my little road trip!