Great Reads

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

Publish Date: 
Rick Riordan

Goodreads Summary:

Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can’t seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse – Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. When Percy’s mom finds out, she knows it’s time that he knew the truth about where he came from, and that he go to the one place he’ll be safe. She sends Percy to Camp Half Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. Soon a mystery unfolds and together with his friends—one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena – Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods.

My Review:

My students kept telling me to read this! I am in the process of starting to set my students up for reading The Odyssey. I had a ton of students answering questions and comparing lessons to circumstances in The Lightning Thief so I knew that I had to read it. I always am happy to read something that my students recommend and in this instance, it’s been such a help now that I can use it for my students to reference during reading.

I loved this. I am so happy to have finally gotten to it. Percy and the other characters were so likable. This also serves as a great outlet to Greek mythology. I found myself reading and recognizing so many characters and instances in the story and was in awe on how Riordan was able to utilize all of it.

The best part about this is how Riordan was able to modernize Greek mythology. He didn’t stray from the gods’ characteristics in any way but was able to incorporate them into modern times in such an amazing way. The setting was even more surprising as Mount Olympus was found on the top of the Empire State building where Hades was found in good ol’ L.A (can you imagine why?). It serves as a great outlet for kiddos to learn about Greek mythology and making it feel relevant.

I left this book excited to read more of the series and if I didn’t have so many deadlines for other books at the moment, I would have already dove into it! I HIGHLY suggest giving this middle grade novel a chance no matter what age you are! You won’t regret it in any way.

Great Reads

April Wrap-Up

I am still working through my Spring Summer Bingo list. I’m doing really well even though I’ve deviated off of my TBR. Because of this deviation, I AM NOT setting up a TBR list for May. I am going to try and knock out some bingo squares but I am not in any way going to set anything specific because I’ve been changing so much around anyway.

All in all, April was AN AWESOME MONTH! I read more this month than I think I have any other month with a total of 12 books! I finished:

A Painted House – Review will be posted soon.

The Hunting Party – Review found HERE

Daisy Jones & the Six – Review found HERE

Tiny Hot Dogs: A Memoir in Small Bites – Review found HERE

The Lighting Thief – Review will be posted soon.

If Cats Disappeared from the World – Review found HERE

A River in Darkness – Review will be posted soon.

One of us is Lying – Review will be posted soon.

The Woman in the Window – Review will be posted soon.

Flygirl – Review will be posted soon.

Things You Save in a Fire – Review will be posted soon.

Dear Lily – Review will be posted soon.

What did you read this month?

Great Reads

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Publish Date:
Author:  Toni Adeyemi
Started:  12/22/18
Finished: 12/31/18
Pages: 525
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Goodreads Summary:

Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.

Now Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers and her growing feelings for an enemy.

My Review:

I’ve never been a huge fan of fantasy. I am into more realistic books which is why I love historial fiction so much. I am glad that I gave this a shot though. A little background on my fantasy reads: The first one I ever read was The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Let me set the scene for you. I’m in second grade. I have the most engaging and fun teacher in the world! Seriously, this woman has been my inspiration for teaching to this day and I’m not even teaching elementary. I LOVE her and my family and I still talk about her to this day. She even remembers me whenever I’ve bumped into her. Ok, back to the story… she decides to read to us this book every day for a set amount of time (maybe 20 minutes) until she finishes the book. The ENTIRE read, I ignored her. I vividly remember rocking back and forth in my chair, doodling on papers, and actively day dreaming. Of all the books I read during my elementary schooling years, I remember only that book and HATING it. I couldn’t even tell you what other books I was assigned to read from there until sometime in high school. It impacted me that much.

Take two: I’m in college. I’m assigned a sequel to The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe. Did not finish, did not pass the test 🤷🏻‍♀️.

Take three in college: same Adolescent Literature class. I get assigned A Wrinkle in Time. Unpopular opinion here: HATE IT. Did finish, did pass the test, still wondered why this professor was out to get me. Seriously, that class is the only C I ever obtained in my college career, master’s included. Can’t win ‘em all 🤷🏻‍♀️.

I do love the Harry Potter books and enjoyed the Hunger Games trilogy. Another unpopular opinion from me: The Giver is just okay. If you want to categorize these in fantasy, these have been successful. If not, I’ve struck out in fantasy my entire life.

To talk about Children of Blood and Bone, the themes in this book are astonishing. Although on the surface we get a book about reclaiming lost magic that was taken from an overzealous king, underneath that, we get so much more. Themes of injustice and civil rights are clearly there making this a great book to compare and contrast so much of the world’s true history. It’s a great learning tool for any classroom ready to take on this book packed full of themes and different literary device lessons.

I won’t say the book was perfect for me though. I struggled sometimes with the chapters changing too quickly and noticing that some short chapters although in a different character perspective, could have been included and described through a different character’s eyes. The constant switching of the characters sometimes got me confused and I had to refocus. I also found myself skipping through some descriptions during fight scenes as they could get overly descriptive and I felt like I just needed the dialogue and important happenings. I was in love with some parts and was super interested and some parts I found myself less than interested and putting the book down for later. I have to say as well that the ending was too abrupt for me. There was so much leading up in this fairly long book and the ending for me was a little underwhelming. I am interested to read the sequel because of this but often really dislike when books do this. It’s not that I don’t like a sequel but I want to feel like the book is finished for me when it is done.

Overall, this was a wonderful debut for an author. I’m hoping the sequel is just as magical as this one was for her. I can see why so many people enjoy the book and for that I give it a 4/5. Is fantasy my favorite now? No, but this has helped open be a little bit.

Great Reads

The Cheerleaders – ARC REVIEW


Publish Date 
: 7/31/18
Author:  Kara Thomas
Started: 7/11/18
Finished: 7/22/18
Rating : ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Just a heads up, I started this book on my Kindle on the 11th. I left for vacation in the morning on the 13th for a week. During that week, I did not bring my Kindle. This long read time has nothing to do with my interest in the book but my unavailability during the week of the 13th to the 20th. Take my started and finished dates with a grain of salt because I loved this book!

Thank you to Netgalley, author Kara Thomas, and Delacorte Press for sending me an advanced reader’s copy of this book to read and review. All opinions are my own.

Summary from Goodreads:

There are no more cheerleaders in the town of Sunnybrook.

First there was the car accident—two girls gone after hitting a tree on a rainy night. Not long after, the murders happened. Those two girls were killed by the man next door. The police shot him, so no one will ever know why he did it. Monica’s sister was the last cheerleader to die. After her suicide, Sunnybrook High disbanded the cheer squad. No one wanted to be reminded of the girls they lost.

That was five years ago. Now the faculty and students at Sunnybrook High want to remember the lost cheerleaders. But for Monica, it’s not that easy. She just wants to forget. Only, Monica’s world is starting to unravel. There are the letters in her stepdad’s desk, an unearthed, years-old cell phone, a strange new friend at school. . . . Whatever happened five years ago isn’t over. Some people in town know more than they’re saying. And somehow Monica is at the center of it all.

There are no more cheerleaders in Sunnybrook, but that doesn’t mean anyone else is safe.

My Review:

I’ll be honest, my eyes are drawn to covers and their art immediately. A good cover can sell me on a book and this cover did just that. I loved the simplicity yet creepiness to it and immediately was reading the summary to see if it was something that I would want to request to read and it definitlley was!

This book had me captivated from the start. “Connect the dots”. There’s something missing and I definitely had to keep reading to find out what that was. The cheerleader deaths all seemed fishy and connected from the start. Monica’s intuition leads her to explore these deaths and with the help of Ginny, they are quite the detectives which is more to say of her actual police stepfather, Tom. Monica’s family really got under my skin but it only added to the urgency of figuring out the mystery of the cheerleaders’ deaths.

This was a page turner and wasn’t very predictable at least for me. New information and “connecting the dots” wasn’t so easy for me. When I once thought I had made a connection, I was very wrong. The ending was twisted in more than one way and I was very shocked to to the end.

Although this is considered Young Adult (YA), the book was very mature and is recommended this for any age range. I don’t feel like a book should be !usted as YA solely due to the main characters’ ages. The teenage dilemmas that occur in the book are easy to understand through a teenaver’s eyes.

Another reason for my high rating and appreciation to the book is how all information given is important. Everything comes full circle and there is no information given that isn’t important to the story conclusion as there is nothing worse than reading a book and wondering why 50 pages was even relevant.

I highly recommend The Cheerleaders. It’s shocking, twisted, and full of drama the entire read!

Great Reads

From Twinkle with Love -ARC REVIEW


Publish Date : 5/22/18
Author: Sandhya Menon
Started: 4/8/18
Finished: 4/15/18
Rating : ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I received an advanced copy of From Twinkle with Love Houses from Netgalley, Simon Pulse,  and author Sandhya Menon in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own and in no way influenced by those mentioned above.

Summary from Goodreads:

Aspiring filmmaker and wallflower Twinkle Mehra has stories she wants to tell and universes she wants to explore, if only the world would listen. So when fellow film geek Sahil Roy approaches her to direct a movie for the upcoming Summer Festival, Twinkle is all over it. The chance to publicly showcase her voice as a director? Dream come true. The fact that it gets her closer to her longtime crush, Neil Roy—a.k.a. Sahil’s twin brother? Dream come true x 2.

When mystery man “N” begins emailing her, Twinkle is sure it’s Neil, finally ready to begin their happily-ever-after. The only slightly inconvenient problem is that, in the course of movie-making, she’s fallen madly in love with the irresistibly adorkable Sahil.

Twinkle soon realizes that resistance is futile: The romance she’s got is not the one she’s scripted. But will it be enough?

Told through the letters Twinkle writes to her favorite female filmmakers, From Twinkle, with Love navigates big truths about friendship, family, and the unexpected places love can find you. Continue reading “From Twinkle with Love -ARC REVIEW”