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Arlen Kimmelman's Blog (36)

Book Review: To Sleep in a Sea of Stars





To Sleep in a Sea of Stars

by Christopher Paolini

Pub Date: 15 Sep 2020 

Read courtesy of http://www.Netgalley.com

Although I usually don't enjoy fantasy, Paolini makes it accessible to me. He doesn't confuse me with featureless, flat characters with too many weird, similar names - that alone is a win for me. I really enjoyed To Sleep in a Sea of Stars since it falls in that nebulous alley between fantasy and…
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Added by Arlen Kimmelman on September 13, 2020 at 7:31pm — No Comments

Audiobook Review: Untold Mayhem

Untold Mayhem (audiobook version)

by Mark Tullius 
Pub Date: 27 May 2020
I LoveLOVED this shory story collection by Mark Tullius. I listened to it as a recorded book, and the narrators were all appropriate for the stories they read. Very talented group! It's is difficult to end a short story, and the author didn't miss a beat; every story was solid. I'm not sure how appropriate it all is for my 9th and 10 graders, but the 11th and 12th graders…
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Added by Arlen Kimmelman on September 13, 2020 at 6:49pm — No Comments

Book Review: Influence

Influence

by Sara Shepard; Lilia Buckingham

Pub Date: 05 Jan 2021



Glad I stuck with it! Went from an almost DNF to 3 stars to 4 ⭐⭐⭐⭐. Might have been my disinterest, disdain, or dread of the effect social media has on this generation of teens that initially had me turned off, but as the plot developed, there was a real story behind all of the 'influencing' going on. [Get your cringe ready for an "in my day" story... when I was a teen, we were only worried if our business… Continue

Added by Arlen Kimmelman on July 29, 2020 at 8:40am — No Comments

Book Review: Influence

Influence by Sara Shepard; Lilia Buckingham Pub Date: 05 Jan 2021 Read courtesy of http://netgalley.com

Glad I stuck with it! Went from an almost DNF to 3 stars to 4 ⭐⭐⭐⭐. Might have been my disinterest, disdain, or dread of the effect social media has on this generation of teens that initially had me turned off, but as the plot developed, there was a real story behind all of the 'influencing' going on. [Get your cringe ready for an "in my day"…

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Added by Arlen Kimmelman on July 29, 2020 at 8:30am — No Comments

Book review: Aftershocks

Aftershocks

by Marisa Reichardt

Pub Date: 29 Sep 2020

read courtesy of http://netgalley.com

⭐⭐⭐⭐Very enjoyable.

At first I wondered how the author was going to have a whole book told by someone caught in the rubble of an earthquake, but I was pleasantly surprised by the use of flashbacks and storytelling by the trapped characters. Then the narration changed as the story changed (I don't want to tell how, since that would be a…

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Added by Arlen Kimmelman on July 22, 2020 at 11:30am — No Comments

Book Review: Like Spilled Water

Book Review: Like Spilled Water

by Jennie Liu

Pub Date 01 Sep 2020

Read courtesy of http://netgalley.com

This is a novel of regret, so it's a review filled with regrets.

I feel regret for the unlucky readers who found this book too long or too slow. It's not an action novel; it's an emotional one. It's reflective of the societal norms to not reveal one's troubles encapsulated into a story. I am grateful to have been able to…

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Added by Arlen Kimmelman on July 20, 2020 at 1:00pm — No Comments

Book Review: How to Pack for the End of the World

How to Pack for the End of the World by Michelle Falkoff Pub Date: 10 Nov 2020 read courtesy of http://netgalley.com Put five different competitive high schoolers together to see who can survive hypothetical apocalyptic disasters, and you get five unique interesting challenges. Falkoff crafted an entertaining story that expertly incorporated five different characterizations into the survival scenarios. I found some fairly profound truths in this story that…

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Added by Arlen Kimmelman on July 13, 2020 at 9:28pm — No Comments

Book Review: Girl on the Run

Girl on the Run
by Abigail Johnson
Pub Date: 06 Oct 2020 
Read courtesy of netgalley.com
LOVED IT! Is there such a thing as a 6 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐review? 
Fast paced and tight, I read this book in an afternoon. I was engaged by the characters and the plot. I enjoyed being able to anticipate where things were going or where they had come from. I sometimes get frustrated…
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Added by Arlen Kimmelman on June 28, 2020 at 7:54pm — No Comments

Book Review: Time Travel for Love and Profit

Time Travel for Love and Profit
by Sarah Lariviere
Pub Date: 13 Oct 2020  
Read courtesy of netgalley.com
I love Sarah Lariviere's writing style. So much so, that I'd label this novel "humor" before I'd call it "fantasy." It's definitely scifi, though, and I appreciate that the author didn't mess with my mind too much…
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Added by Arlen Kimmelman on June 27, 2020 at 3:29pm — No Comments

Book Review: Nowhere on Earth by Nick Lake

Book Review: Nowhere on Earth by Nick Lake

Pub Date: 26 May 2020 

Read courtesy of http://netgalley.com

One word: derivative.

First, though, this book didn't know what it wanted to be. It felt easy to read, but right off the bat (chapter 1, paragraph 1) the author threw in "big words," which could easily turn off the reluctant reader who might have otherwise found this a highly accessible…

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Added by Arlen Kimmelman on March 22, 2020 at 2:36pm — No Comments

Book Review: What I Want You to See

What I Want You to See

by Catherine Linka

Pub Date: 04 Feb 2020

read courtesy of Netgalley.com 

As a YA School Librarian, I try to read books from the perspective of my students. Although I've given this story a 5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ for its story, I can only see it being a 3…

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Added by Arlen Kimmelman on January 20, 2020 at 3:34pm — No Comments

Book Review: Oasis by Katya de Becerra

Book Review:

Oasis by Katya de Becerra

Pub Date: 07 Jan 2020

Read courtesy of Netgalley.com

I so wanted to like this as much as I started out liking it. It really pulled me in quickly. I can see how it was initially described as Lost mixed with Twilight Zone, but I guess I was hoping for more Twilight Zone mixed with Lost. I personally enjoy more scifi than fantasy, and Oasis was definitely more fantasy than…

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Added by Arlen Kimmelman on December 4, 2019 at 7:00pm — No Comments

Book Review: Crying Laughing

Book Review

Crying Laughing by Lance Rubin

Publishing date: November 19, 2019

Read courtesy of netgalley.com

5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

If we couldn't get more of Denton Little, at least we have Winnie Friedman. Cleverly written story about comedy without being forced and corny -- quite an achievement. Makes me want to start an improv club for my students!

Even though I know a bat mitzvah is for girls and a bar mitzvah is for boys, and the reader is…

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Added by Arlen Kimmelman on September 8, 2019 at 11:12am — No Comments

Book Review: The Twilight Man

Book Review

The Twilight Man

a graphic novel by Koren Shadmi

Publish date: 08 Oct 2019

Read courtesy of Netgalley.com

I don't care whether you're a fan of "The Twilight Zone" or not. This graphic novel biography about Rod Serling is excellent. It's strength is that it showed the evolution of the man and his storytelling. The drawings were clear and not confusing while maintaining drama and emotion. It was a quick read for 169 pages. And the ending…

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Added by Arlen Kimmelman on June 12, 2019 at 1:17pm — No Comments

Book Review: The Liars of Mariposa Island

Book Review

The Liars of Mariposa Island

by Jennifer Mathieu

Publication Date 17 Sep 2019

Read courtesy of NetGalley.com

I have to be honest; I forgot what the title of this book was while I was reading it. Now that I see it has the word "Liars" in it, the book makes more sense. It's about liars. I like the book a 1/2 star better than I did before remembering the title.

The story is about a dysfunctional family fooling itself…

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Added by Arlen Kimmelman on June 11, 2019 at 7:02pm — No Comments

Book Review: The Stone Rainbow

The Stone Rainbow

by Liane Shaw

Pub Date: 17 Sep 2019  

Read courtesy of NetGalley.com



My first note to myself early in the book was, "As a straight person, I've been curious about this. Maybe I'll find out," in reaction to Jack wondering how to find out if someone he might be interested in is gay or not.   It ends up that I don't explicitly "find out," due mainly to the fact that there's nothing to "find out."…

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Added by Arlen Kimmelman on May 30, 2019 at 8:03pm — No Comments

Book Review: Flutter

Flutter

by Gina Linko

Pub Date: 23 Oct 2012  

read courtesy of Netgalley.com



Note: I, too, received this as a galley copy to review many years ago, but I just got around to posting about it.



This was a quick read, well, a compelling read, because I was pulled along by the plot, the mystery of Emery's illness, and the connections all of the…
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Added by Arlen Kimmelman on May 25, 2019 at 8:08am — No Comments

Book Review: Hope is Our Only Wing

Hope Is Our Only Wing

by Rutendo Tavengerwei

Pub Date: 10 Sep 2019

read courtesy of Netgalley.com



Note: Let your readers know that there is a glossary at the back of the book. Because I read this as a digital galley, I didn't find the glossary until after I finished reading, and it would have been helpful to have been aware of it earlier.



I agree with prior reviews that this is a middle…

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Added by Arlen Kimmelman on May 25, 2019 at 7:32am — No Comments

Book Review: Dreamland (YA edition)

Book Review: Dreamland (YA edition)

by Sam Quinones

Publication Date: July 16, 2019  

read courtesy of netgalley.com



You know how there are One School, One Book or One City, One Book campaigns? Well, Dreamland (YA edition) by Sam Quinones should be a candidate for One Country, One Book. It's that good and that meaningful. I'm going to try to find a…
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Added by Arlen Kimmelman on April 27, 2019 at 5:08pm — No Comments

Book review: Mera: Tidebreaker by Danielle Paige; illustrated by Stephen Byrne

Pub Date: 02 Apr 2019

Read courtesy of netgalley.com

Mera: Tidebreaker is an origin story of Mera and Aquaman. It says so on the back cover. Otherwise, I never would have known these characters already existed. I'm not a comic book hero follower, so this was a total introduction to these characters for me.

As a graphic novel, it fell a little flat. As others have opined, the romance developed too quickly in story form; although, I could see the foreshadowing of Mera being…

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Added by Arlen Kimmelman on January 20, 2019 at 4:53pm — No Comments

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