While some of the books I review on my site are furnished by the publishers, authors, or publicists for the purpose of review all of my reviews are truthful, honest, and my sincere opinion.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Review Crazy Dangerous by Andrew Klavan

Thanks to Litfuse Publicity Group for letting me be a part of this blog tour. You can see the entire blog tour schedule here.

About the Book

"You probably want to hear about Jennifer and the demons and how I played chicken with a freight train and—oh yeah—the weird murder and how I found out about it—you're definitely going to want to hear about that. But first, I have to tell you about the stupidest thing I ever did . . ."

Sam Hopkins is bored with his status as a preacher's kid. So when a group of guys notorious for being in trouble offers him friendship, he accepts. Before long, he has several new skills—including hot-wiring cars.

At school, there's an eccentric loner named Jennifer. When Sam defends her from being bullied, she begins to seek him out as her only friend. Her ramblings often seem illogical . . . but then start to contain grains of truth. One leads Sam to discover that one of his new friends has been killed. And then she tells him, "I'm looking for the devil." Sam doesn't know what that means, but he knows it's a matter of life and death that he figure it out.

Everyone else thinks Jennifer is suffering from schizophrenia. But Sam is starting to wonder if there could be something prophetic in her words. Discovering the truth is going to be both crazy and dangerous

For more information about Crazy Dangerous you can visit Andrew Klavan's website.

You can purchase a copy of Crazy Dangerous from my Amazon Store.

My Review

I LOVED this book. I couldn't wait to see what was going to happen next and yet the closer I got to the end the less I wanted it to end.

Sam is just a normal kid. Not really outstanding at anything. He's a preacher's son and stays out of trouble. But then he starts hanging with the wrong crowd and starts to get into trouble. I didn't feel bad for Sam, as I think what he was going through was fairly normal - the feelings of wanting to fit in and being awed by a lifestyle that he wasn't used to. I think he knew what he was doing was wrong and yet he did it anyway. But he absolutely got more than he bargained for. And once he befriends Jennifer he appeared to be way in over his head. Even though Jennifer is portrayed as being "crazy" I kind of liked her. She had mental problems, but what was going on to her was as real as it could be. It was Jennifer I felt sorry for. She just kept getting blown off because she was a bit weird and the way she was interpreting what was going on to her seemed too odd to be true so no one believed her.

I loved the story. I was drawn into the story immediately. Jennifer's abnormal way of describing what was going on was a neat idea. Jennifer was telling us what was going to happen, but it took a bit to "unscramble" what she was saying. Plus the story just goes, there's a few slow parts but for the most part this one keeps moving right to the end. It wasn't the kind of fast paced story that drains you, but it does move pretty quickly.

I would say that even though this is a YA book that it would be enjoyable for anyone to read. The writing was good and I didn't feel like it was being dumbed-down to meet the younger audience. It was just a good story.

Review: Unlocking the Poet's Realm by Matt Wiebusch

I have to thank the author Matt Wiebush and Reader Spoils for letting me review this book.

About the book

Life in the seventh grade isn't easy for Minnie, and then one day, she discovers a magic box that transports her to another land in the future. The animals that have dominion over this land have brought her here for one very specific reason: to save their world from an evil presence.

For more information about Unlocking the Poet's Realm please visit Matt Wiebush's website.

You can purchase a copy of Unlocking the Poet's Realm on my Amazon store.

My Review

The message in this book was awesome. I think that most kids (and adults) today could benefit from reading Minnie's inspiring journey through Buval. The book deals with self-esteem, self-worth, pride, and even bullying. It's very relevant to what most kids are dealing with on a regular basis.

I LOVED Minnie. She started out unsure of herself and afraid to stand up for herself. She is living in a home without love. Her parents seem to be in a loveless relationship, which has lead to Minnie feeling unloved. Minnie's only positive outlet seems to be her neighbor Issac. Although there are some "shady" dealings with the disappearance of Issac's wife and her parents discourage her from spending time with him. Minnie is bullied at school - which ultimately leads to her journey to Buval. Through her journey she finds herself and realizes that her perception of herself is wrong and that she is a worthy person and has gifts that she can share with others if she just believes in herself.

Buval is an enchanting place. The animals in Buval are very similar to animals that we are familiar with, but there are slight differences. The descriptions of these animals was great. I really liked that they were animals that we would be familiar with but yet were still different enough to make the story exciting. Not that the story needed the added excitement, but it did add to it. The story itself was very exciting. As Minnie is sent on a quest through Buval she finds herself in many predicaments. Each one a unique situation that requires Minnie to believe in herself and her abilities to get through. The journey centers on a poem that acts as a riddle to help Minnie continue on her journey. I liked the poem idea, it was different and it was fun to try and work the riddles out as the story progressed. My only criticism is that the book took me a while to read. I'm hard headed and won't put a book down until I finish it, but for someone with a little less patience it might be a bit overwhelming. But the end of the journey and the end of the story are well worth the wait.

While I enjoyed the book as an adult I think that for a pre-teen/teen dealing with self-esteem issues it would be very beneficial for them to read. The theme of self-worth is strewn throughout the book and I think is presented in a way that can help a child see themselves and their own self-worth through Minnie's story.