Tag Archives: Book Review

Ship Out of Luck Book Review

Not only did I finally finish a book, but I’m actually getting to the book review in a somewhat timely manner! This review is about the young adult book, Ship Out of Luck by Neal Shusterman.

Ship out of Luck book review


In honor of Old Man Crawley’s eightieth birthday, the Bonano family has been invited to celebrate with a weeklong cruise to the Caribbean aboard the world’s largest, grandest ship. But whether on land or at sea, Antsy can’t manage to stay out of trouble: He quickly finds himself the accomplice of stowaway and thief Tilde, whose self-made mission it is to smuggle onto the ship and across the U.S. border illegal immigrants from her native Mexico. When Antsy steps in to take the fall for Tilde, he becomes the focus of a major international incident and the poster child for questionable decisions. {Amazon}

 I liked the plot of Ship Out of Luck, and the many twists in the story line. The characters are interesting, but I felt that Antsy’s behavior was inconsistent. I had a hard time keeping up with the swing between his immaturity to his surprisingly vast knowledge of trivia and ‘mature’ view on life. He sounded like a teenager through the eyes of a middle aged man. I know I’m overly sensitive of what I want my kiddos reading, but there were some descriptions and social commentary that I’m not comfortable offering up to my children.

Besides the interesting story, Antsy had some witty lines. When Antsy was talking to Howie, his accident pr

one friend, he said, “You’ll just have to cross that bridge when you fall from it.”  My other favorite line is when Antsy’s sister Christina came back from her snorkeling trip, “I found Nemo,” she told him. “Like fourteen thousand times.”

I would like to thank Media Masters for providing me a copy of Ship Out of Luck.

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New Lands Book Review

Since my book review of Deadweather and Sunrise, I’ve read the second installment of the Chronicles of Egg, New  Lands. Author Geoff Rodkey continues his adventure with pirates, slavers and some pretty scary natives.

New Lands Book Review

After a narrow escape from Deadweather Island, Egg and his slightly deranged partner Guts head for the remote New Lands. They’re in search of the lost Okalu tribe, who hold the key to the mysterious treasure map that Egg can’t decipher. But the ruthless Roger Pembroke is hard on Egg’s trail, and the New Lands are full of new enemies—against which our heroes’ only weapons are their brains, their courage…and the two dozen swear words Guts just memorized in the local tongue.

They’re going to need help. But who can they trust? Is Kira, the beautiful and heavily armed Okalu refugee, their ally…or their enemy? Is Pembroke’s daughter Millicent on Egg’s side…or her father’s? Why on earth is the notorious pirate Burn Healy being so nice to them? And the biggest question of all: what shocking secret is Egg about to discover in the shadow of an ancient Okalu temple? {Amazon}

With the last book, one of my kiddos got to it before me; this time two of them did. I had to work twice as hard to make sure they weren’t book spoilers! Now there are three of us anxious for the release of the third and final book in the series next year.

As Egg continues to face odd situations and challenges, he gets more confident and mature, as does Guts. Despite the strain of new friends and their unique talents, their friendship grows stronger. Millicent is as overbearing as ever, she also struggles with the realization that her father, Roger Pembroke, isn’t the hero she thinks he is.

New Lands was released about a month ago and is available in stores near you. I would like to thank Media Masters Publicity for sending me the ARC of this exciting book. Now, how do I get my hands on the next one?

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Gathering Blue Book Review

Not only am I behind of my reading this year, I’m even more behind on my book reviews. I’ll try not to drown you with them all at once. (Although, I would be happy to get enough writing done to actually be able to do that!) Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry is actually the second book in the Giver series. I read The Giver and about five other books toward the end of the year that I didn’t write a book review, but I’ll start with the new year to catch up. I need to do something to make my feel like better.

Book review

This series is the dystopian series that seemed to start the current trend. The first book was released in 1993, while Gathering Blue was released in 2000.

Six years after The Giver, Lois Lowry ushered readers back into that mysterious but plausible futuristic world to tell the story of Kira, orphaned, physically flawed, and left with uncertain prospects. Like The Giver, Gathering Blue challenges readers to imagine what our world could become and how people could evolve. {Amazon}

For the first 50 pages, I kept waiting to for the characters from The Giver to show up. (They never did.) Instead we get to know Kira and her interesting community. It’s interesting how the town in The Giver and the one in Gathering Blue chose such different solutions to a major world catastrophe. The Giver’s community was very organized and sterile, where in Gathering Blue they were much more primitive and raw.

Kira doesn’t fit in because of her handicap and her kind heart. It’s a great lesson on the powerful influence one person can have on those around them.

If you’ve read this book, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Until then, I can’t wait to share my book review for the next book in the series, The Messenger.

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Deadweather and Sunrise Book Review

I was excited to read Deadweather and Sunrise from the Chronicles of Egg series by Geoff Rodkey. I’m even more excited to share my book review of Mr. Rodkey’s debut novel, a middle grade adventure that will keep boys, girls and their moms riveted.

It’s tough to be thirteen, especially when somebody’s trying to kill you.Deadweather and Sunrise Book Review

Not that Egg’s life was ever easy, growing up on sweaty, pirate-infested Deadweather Island with no company except an incompetent tutor and a pair of unusually violent siblings who hate his guts.

But when Egg’s father hustles their family off on a mysterious errand to fabulously wealthy Sunrise Island, then disappears with the siblings in a freak accident, Egg finds himself a long-term guest at the mansion of the glamorous Pembroke family and their beautiful, sharp-tongued daughter Millicent. Finally, life seems perfect.

Until someone tries to throw him off a cliff.

Suddenly, Egg’s running for his life in a bewildering world of cutthroat pirates, villainous businessmen, and strange Native legends. The only people who can help him sort out the mystery of why he’s been marked for death are Millicent and a one-handed, possibly deranged cabin boy. {Amazon}

 As excited as I was to read this high water adventure, one of my kiddos snagged it and read it first. The nerve of her! Taking advantage of my cooking and cleaning duties to steal my book. Needless to say we both enjoyed the book.

I love the main character Egg as he figures out life as it shifts unexpectedly from mundane to harrowing. He picks up an unpredictable one-handed friend, Guts along the way. I even like Milicent, even if she can be a little overbearing with her extreme confidence and leadership abilities.

Egg’s voice is lively and engaging as he tries to determine who he can trust in a land (and sea) crawling with pirates. The pace is great right up to the last few pages, with plenty of questions to be answered in the next book of the series – New Lands. It’s easy to see why it was voted Amazon Best Middle Grade Book of the Month in June 2012. I agree with Rick Riordan when he says its “Lemony Snicket meets Pirates of the Caribbean, with a sprinkling of Tom Sawyer for good measure.”

The paperback edition was recently released and the sequel is coming in May. I’m looking forward to reading and reviewing that one too! A big thanks to Media Masters Publicity for providing a copy of the book for my family to fight over.

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