Book Reviews: Vampire Brat & Ghostsitters (Araminta Spookie #4 & #5)

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Author: Angie Sage
Pages: 208 & 214
Published: September 1, 2007 & September 1, 2008
Genre: Children’s, Fantasy, Humor, Paranormal
Rating: 5/5 & 4/5

Vampire Brat In book 4 of the Araminta Spookie series, Uncle Drac’s mother shows up with two of her great-cousins, Max and Mahtilda. Max is going to stay with Araminta for a while which would normally be great since Wanda and Max are already getting along, the only problem is that Araminta is convinced Max is a dangerous Vampire. On top of now having a vampire living in her home, Araminta has encountered a werewolf in the home and no one believes her! She must come up with a plan to capture both the vampire and the werewolf before anyone gets hurt.

Ghostsitters In the final book of the Araminta Spookie series, Araminta and Wanda are going to be left home alone while all the adults go on a tour of a bat cave. Originally, Uncle Drac’s creepy mother was supposed to come babysit but she no longer can make it. So Mahtilda decides to do it instead, but she doesn’t come alone. Along with her she brought two ghosts, Ned and Jed, that follow her everywhere. Her parents are ghost removers and they removed Ned and Jed (two poltergeists) from a home after Mahtilda explained to them that haunting that house would be boring. Now Ned and Jed go everywhere with her and she can’t get rid of them. Ned and Jed begin harassing Sir Horace to the point that he informs everyone that is will no longer be staying at Spookie House. Araminta and Wanda have to do whatever it takes to get Sir Horace to stay in Spookie House before it is too late! On top of everything else, Araminta’s birthday is coming up and no one seems to care (except Uncle Drac of course)!

This series was super fun and I read all the books fairly quickly. I definitely enjoyed Angie Sage’s writing and will be reading more of her stuff soon! I enjoyed Vampire Brat a little more than Ghostsitters so I gave that one a 5/5.

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Graphic Novel Review: Interview with the Vampire: Claudia’s Story

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Author: Ashley Marie Witter (Adaptor/Illustrator), Anne Rice
Pages: 256
Published: November 20, 2012
Genre: Horror, Fantasy, Sequential Art, Paranormal
Rating: 5/5

I absolutely loved this graphic novel. After reading Interview with the Vampire a few months ago, this was the perfect refresher on the story while including some brilliantly drawn illustrations. I felt that the graphic novel was way creepier than the actual story.

From Goodreads: “A richly-illustrated adaptation of Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire, told through the eyes of the vampire Claudia, who was just a little girl when she was turned by the vampire Lestat. Though she spends many years of happiness with her two vampire fathers, she gradually grows discontent with their insistence upon treating her like a little girl, even though she has lived as long as any mortal man…and her lust to kill is certainly no less than theirs…”

5/5

Book Reviews: The Sword in the Grotto & Frognapped (Araminta Spookie #2 & #3)

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Author: Angie Sage
Pages: 160 & 208
Published: August 1, 2006 & June 1, 2007
Genre: Children’s, Fantasy, Humor, Paranormal
Rating: 4/5

The Sword in the Grotto   This was book two in the Araminta Spookie series and continued the story of Araminta and her new housemate, Wanda Wizzard. Wanda and Araminta are exploring the hidden tunnels in Spookie House when they stumble upon a small grotto containing a super old sword. Since Sir Horace is about to turn 500, Araminta and Wanda decide that the sword would be the perfect gift for him! The only problem is that Araminta and Wanda somehow are locked inside the grotto and the tide is rising. Edmund, Sir Horace’s faithful page comes to their rescue and escorts them out of the grotto while also telling the story of how he and Sir Horace were killed.

Frognapped In book three of the Araminta Spookie series, Araminta is accused of misplacing Barry Wizzard’s (Wanda’s father) circus frogs. He has five frogs that can perform a bunch of tricks and now they have gone missing. Araminta is immediately blamed for anything that goes wrong in Spookie House, so instead of fighting against Barry she decides to set off to find the frogs and bring them back. Little did she know that that would require her to break into Morris FitzMaurice’s property to do so. Araminta and Wanda must do anything possible, including staging a fake fish show in order to rescue Barry’s prized frogs.

I really enjoyed both of these books and overall loved the Araminta Spookie series! 4/5 for both.

Book Review: The DUFF

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Author: Kody Keplinger
Pages: 280
Published: September 7, 2010 (First Published January 1, 2010)
Genre: YA, Romance, Contemporary
Rating: 4/5

I really enjoyed this story. The characters were given more in depth storylines than I expected.

Bianca Piper is known as the DUFF in her group of friends, at least, to Wesley Rush she is. Wesley Rush is the stereotypical player. Always going from girl to girl not really caring who he hurts on the way. That is, until he meets Bianca. After throwing a drink in his face while at a local hang-out for highschool kids, Wesley just can’t seem to stay away. Bianca and Wesley are then forced to work together on an English project that requires them to spend time at each other’s homes after school. Bianca never expected Wesley to come into her life this way and Wesley never expected to find a reason to stop jumping from girl to girl.

This book is being made into a movie soon I believe and I will most likely go see it. I’d heard a lot about this book but had never read it, so once I had the chance to I couldn’t put it down. This was a very quick but super enjoyable read that I really liked.

Book Review: Lola and the Boy Next Door (Anna and the French Kiss #2)

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Author: Stephanie Perkins
Pages: 338
Published: September 29, 2011
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance
Rating: 4/5

Lola and the Boy Next Door is book two in the Anna and the French Kiss collection of books. I’m not sure if this is a series or a trilogy, but book three, Isla and the Happily Ever After comes out in August of this year! I’m so excited for its release!

Lola is a 16 year old girl that designs costumes. She is dating a 22 year old guy named Max, that is in a band. Max and Lola’s relationship is anything but simple, especially since Lola’s parents, Nathan and Andy, do not approve of Max and Lola dating. Having one overprotective father is bad enough, but two is almost unbearable.

Lola works with Anna (from Anna and the French Kiss) at the movie theater and has to watch how happy Anna and her boyfriend, St. Clair are together. Something about their relationship makes Lola uncomfortable, but she can’t place what it is. That is, until one day when she gets new neighbors. Calliope and Cricket Bell are twins that used to be friends with Lola until they had to move due to Calliope’s training as a figure skater. Lola and Cricket had become very close and everyone was sure they would end up together. Lola even found the perfect present for Cricket’s birthday, but never got the chance to give it to him since she wasn’t invited to his birthday party. Cricket told her the next morning that they were moving and that was the last she heard from him.

Until now. With her relationship with Max on the rocks and Cricket’s sudden reappearance, Lola’s unique life has become even more out of whack. Lola has to decide between Cricket and Max in order to find true happiness, while also dealing with being a teenage girl that gets made fun at school, two overbearing fathers, and a biological mother that comes and goes from her life whenever she feels like it.

I really enjoyed this story and gave it a 4/5. I enjoyed Anna and the French Kiss more, but Lola and the Boy Next Door was an equally endearing love story.

Book Review: Anna and the French Kiss

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Author: Stephanie Perkins
Pages: 372
Published: August 4, 2011 (First Published January 1, 2010)
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance
Rating: 5/5

I absolutely loved this book!

Anna is about to be a senior in high school in Atlanta, that is, until her parents tell her that she will be spending her final year at a prestigious school in Paris. Feeling overwhelmed with isolation once her parents leave her dorm for the first time, Anna breaks down. Her new dorm-neighbor, Mer, approaches her and immediately the two become friends.

She is introduced to the rest of the gang, including St. Clair. St. Clair has a girlfriend named Ellie that no one likes anymore. She has graduated and is now going to a photography school which means she no longer makes any effort to be friends with anyone. This works to Anna’s advantage since she has an almost debilitating crush on St. Clair.

Anna and the French Kiss is an absolutely endearing story about finding new love and fighting against everything you’ve found comforting in life to be with that person. I read this book way too fast and I didn’t want it to end. I’ve already started Lola and the Boy Next Door and I have a feeling I’ll be reading everything by Stephanie Perkins that I can get my hands on.

Book Review: Carnelian (Chalcedony Chronicles #1)

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Author: B. Kristin McMichael
Pages: 200
Published: February 1, 2014 (First Published January 9, 2014)
Genre: YA, Science Fiction (Time Travel), Fantasy, Romance
Rating: 4/5

Mari is about to go away to college. After spending basically her entire life working with her grandfather to appraise antiques, Mari purposefully chose a college over 600 miles away. During her first day on campus, Mari finds a giant tree that she can sit under to read. While reading she notices that a guy sits next to her against the tree, but is too engrossed in her book to pay much attention to him, that is, until he falls asleep literally in her lap. Mari lets him sleep for a little bit before quickly sneaking away to go back to her dorm. On the way to her dorm she runs into another student, literally, and he helps her from falling.

Mari’s first introduction to the three brothers Seth, Ty, and Dee may not have been the most graceful, but she never expected them to become such a huge part of her life. After quickly befriending Ty, Mari can’t seem to get away from Seth. He is known around campus as a player and Mari has had enough experience with players to last a lifetime. Yet there’s something different about Seth.

Mari, Seth, Ty, and Dee begin an adventure that includes time travel and ancient wars in book one of the Chalcedony Chronicles.

I really enjoyed this book and cannot wait to read the next one. I haven’t read many time travel books, but I felt this one did a good job of being enjoyable while also kind of believable. I gave this book a 4/5.

Book Review: My Haunted House (Araminta Spookie #1)

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Author: Angie Sage & Jimmy Pickering (Illustrator)
Pages: 160
Published: August 1, 2006 (First published October 6, 1994)
Genre: Children’s, Paranormal, Fantasy, Humor, Adventure
Rating: 4/5

Araminta Spookie live with her Aunt Tabby and Uncle Drac. Uncle Drac likes to sleep during the day in a sleeping bag that hangs from the ceiling along with his bats. Aunt Tabby can’t stop cleaning their giant house and is getting fed up with it. After cleaning for the last time, Aunt Tabby decides that she is going to sell their home so they can live somewhere newer that will be easier to take care of.

Araminta is determined to not let this happen. Araminta has a lot of adventures left to begin and refuses to allow their house to be sold without any input from her or Uncle Drac. She develops a plan called the Awful Ambush that she will use against anyone that is interested in buying their home in order to scare them away. While preparing for her Awful Ambush, Araminta discovers a little boy ghost named Edmund. Edmund used to work for Sir Horace, a suit of armor that Araminta always thought was a rust bucket and not a real person. Sir Horace, Edmund, and Araminta must work together to keep their home from being sold!

This was a quick and fun read. A great beginning to a kids series that I will definitely be continuing to read. I have the next three books in the series and will be reading and reviewing them soon!

Book Review: Doppelganger

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Author: Milda Harris
Pages: 206
Published: November 11, 2012 (First published July 29, 2012)
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Rating: 4/5

A super quick read that I really enjoyed!

Citrus was over an hour late to school. She somehow overslept even though she’s never been late for anything. Worried about being late to her World History exam, she rode her bike the few miles to school and ran to the office to get a late pass, but the secretary seemed confused when checking the attendance sheet.

In too much of a hurry to pay attention to anything but getting to her test, Citrus ignored the secretary’s confusion and ran to class. But what she saw when she got there was nothing she was expecting. She was already in the classroom taking her test.

How could she have been late to school…but also be taking a test at the same time? Confronted in the hallway by a boy she’s had a crush on forever, Citrus realized that something strange is happening. Now she knows that she isn’t the only one with a double somehow.

Citrus must uncover the secrets behind the Doppelganger’s taking over the school and try to save herself and her friends at the same time.

This was book one and I really enjoyed it. I’m very excited to read the next one!

Book Reviews: Slither Sisters & Teacher’s Pest

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Author: Charles Gilman
Pages: 174 & 170
Published: January 15, 2013 & May 7, 2013
Genre: Children’s (Middle Grade), Fantasy, Paranormal, Horror
Rating: 5/5 & 4/5

Slither Sisters is book two in the Tales from Lovecraft Middle School series. I gave this book a 5/5 and I really enjoyed it. In the first book, Professor Gargoyle, Robert is transferred to the Lovecraft Middle School. He soon discovers that the school is filled with ghosts and other supernatural beings that have been trying to take over the school. A set of twins at his school goes missing for a few days, only to return later with no knowledge of where they were. All seems to be back to normal, but Robert knows that there is more to the girls than meets the eye. The girls are actually now being used as hosts to beasts that are working for the “master.”

Book two continues the tale of Robert as he tries to take down the twins before they can kidnap more children and teachers.

I really enjoyed this book. I thought it was a great addition to the series and further delved into Robert’s character.

Teacher’s Pest is book three in the Tales from Lovecraft Middle School series. I gave this book a 4/5 and I did enjoy it. I have to admit that I didn’t enjoy this book as much as the first two, but that is probably due to the amount of bugs that were in it. Obviously with a title like “Teacher’s Pest” there were bound to be some bugs, but I felt itchy the entire time I was reading it and I’m not a fan of bugs.

Book three picks up where book two left off. Robert was given the opportunity to become student council president, but he decided to withdrawal his name from the ballot leaving only his classmate, Howard Mergler, to take the position. Howard was in an accident and now has to walk with braces on his legs. At least, that’s what everyone thinks. But Robert knows the truth, Howard has been kidnapped and his body is being used by an evil bug beast that is bringing thousands of bugs into the school to help control the students.

Robert and his best friends Glenn and Karina must fight against Howard to destroy all the bugs and prevent more kidnappings!

This series is really fun and I will definitely be reading the next book, Substitute Creature, as soon as I can find it. I highly recommend it!