The Twisted Window

Title: The Twisted Window

Author: Lois Duncan

Language: English

Released: 1987

Published By: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group

Pages: 187

Chapters: 19

Goodreads Summary:

High school junior Tracy Lloyd is unsure about the new guy in school. Brad Johnson is attractive, smart, and polite, but Tracy can’t help but feel he watches her too closely. Then one day Brad confides in Tracy a horrible secret: His little sister Mindy has been kidnapped by his stepfather, and he needs Tracy’s help to get her back. But even as Tracy commits to a plan to help her vulnerable new friend, details emerge that suggest nothing is what it seems.

My Overall Review:

This book was pretty good, and it was definitly a thriller.

This was the first book I read of Ms. Duncan, and I didn’t expect it to be so predictable. Maybe I just set my expectations too high, but it was still pretty suspenseful. In the end of Chapter 12, everything started to fit in and I somewhat had a guess that Mindy was dead.

I actually didn’t realize the book was so old, until I researched online. So if you’re worried about the book being “too old” to understand, don’t fret. It doesn’t really affect the story itself.

I couldn’t stop myself from turning each page, even when it was past midnight, and I was yawning every 10 seconds. You have to keep going, as Lois kept the story very fast paced. She made the story like a mind game, and twisted my thinking each time the viewpoint was changed. I admire her writing skill and will probably continue reading her other books.

The ending definitely threw me off. I felt so angry, and I had so many questions left. I wish that the ending would have gone the way I would like it. Even an epilogue would have had me satisfied but oh well.

The story was good, the characters were just a little under developed, the plot was definitely original (not to mention creepy), and overall I would suggest this book to anyone. The ending just really left me hanging, but it was still very well written and hats off to Lois Duncan for creating a very suspenseful story.

★★★★

 

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The Fill-In Boyfriend

The Fill-In Boyfriend

Title: The Fill-In Boyfriend

Author: Kasie West

Language: English

Pages: 343

Published By: HarperTeen

Published: May 5 2015

Age Group: 11-16

Synopsis:

When Gia Montgomery’s boyfriend, Bradley, dumps her in the parking lot of her high school prom, she has to think fast. After all, she’d been telling her friends about him for months now. This was supposed to be the night she proved he existed. So when she sees a cute guy waiting to pick up his sister, she enlists his help. The task is simple: be her fill-in boyfriend—two hours, zero commitment, a few white lies. After that, she can win back the real Bradley.

The problem is that days after prom, it’s not the real Bradley she’s thinking about, but the stand-in. The one whose name she doesn’t even know. But tracking him down doesn’t mean they’re done faking a relationship. Gia owes him a favor and his sister intends to see that he collects: his ex-girlfriend’s graduation party—three hours, zero commitment, a few white lies.

Just when Gia begins to wonder if she could turn her fake boyfriend into a real one, Bradley comes waltzing back into her life, exposing her lie, and threatening to destroy her friendships and her new-found relationship.

My Overall Review:

So starting the book, the break-up didn’t really make sense. I would hope for some more drama, and possibly more realistic? I don’t know.

Gia’s character sometimes disappointed me. She could act pretty shallow at times. I completely understand wanting to stay in the picture, and having a friend who’s out to get you, but I wish she had trusted Clarie more. She was flawed, but I liked that too. She was realistic.

Gia’s parents made me want to pull my hair out, strand by strand. They were almost too fake to believe until the very end when Gia tried to improve her relationship with her mother. They had almost no personality previous to that.

I loved F.I.B! (I’ll keep his name a secret for those who haven’t read the book yet) He wasn’t perfect, but he would be the type of guy I would want and he respected Gia. F.I.B was pretty realistic too, especially when he had problems choosing between Spencer and Gia. He had trust issues like any other real human. I loved him!

I had different feelings toward Bec in the beginning but, I kinda grew on her. She was very sweet on the inside, and I loved how Gia’s relationship with her improved throughout the book. Bec was really honest, and that’s what made her so funny.

“Sit. Start your rant whenever you’re ready. I will be here to egg you on.”

Jules ticked me off so much like

If we were checking, I would think that Jules was definitely the villan/bad guy in the story. Jules was your stereotypical.. you know what. I don’t think I’ve ever hated another character so much than Jules. Yes, she was having problems with her mother but there is a limit to feeling sorry for someone.

The ending wasn’t ideal. In fact, as I got closer to finishing the book, I figured that not all the friends would make up and Jules would apologize. It wasn’t a bad ending, things just didn’t go as I had hoped.

★★★★

Good Quotes:

  • [Fill-In Bradley] pointed at the olives I had picked off my pizza. “What’s going on there?”
    “I’m not an olive fan.”
    “There were other options without olives.”
    “I like the flavor the olives leave on the pizza. I just don’t like the texture of the olive itself.”
  • “I could try to guess your preferences.”
    “My preferences in a kiss?”
    I nodded, our faces still very close together.
    “My preference is simple-you.”

  • “Chin up. There are other fish in the sea. It’s a big ocean. Sometimes we need to catch and release a few before we find the keeper.”
  • “You know what we’ve succeeded in doing with this game?”
    “What’s that?”
    “Increasing the anticipation.”
    He laughed. “I know, right? Can I just be fill-in Bradley forever?
  • Bec spun in a circle once, her arms outstretched, then she grabbed me by the shoulders and shook me. “You are awesome. Revenge is awesome.”
    Olivia cleared her throat.
    “Because I have a very, very immature brain,” Bec added.

The Runaway Dolls | Book 3 in Doll People

Title: The Runaway Dolls

Author: Ann M. Martin + Laura Godwin

Genre: Fantasy, Fiction, Family

Publication: Hyperion Books

Publication Date: October 7 2008

Pages: 352

Synoposis:

Best friends Annabelle Doll and Tiffany Funcraft have stumbled upon an unexpected visitor, a new doll name Tilly May. She’s arrived in a mysterious package…but she looks so familiar. Could she be Annabelle’s long-lost baby sister? It’ll take a runaway adventure to find out for sure. Are the dolls ready for a life on the road?

My Overall Review:

Lately I seem to have been choosing lots of books out of series. First Death By Latte, then The Princess Plot, and now this. I didn’t realize until we got to the part of Mean Mimi, that for sure there were some previous books before this.

I think this book was absolutely lovely.

I felt a bit sad, when I read about all the dolls, just waiting for someone to take them home. Especially poor Angelica, who had a worn mouth. I was thankful when the authors added in Charlie, who took the worn out dolls to the Doll Hospital.

I also have to admit that Mean Mimi freaked me out. It reminded me of the Goosebumps series, and the actual T.V show that gave me nightmares as a little child. I was thankful when Annabelle was awoken from her hallucination. I sure hope when I read the second book in the series (The Meanest Doll In The World) I will be able to keep myself together.

The illustrations by Brian Selznick brought the book to life. I throughly enjoyed the black and white drawings that laced the pages.

I love how the authors brought each and every character to life. From Tilly’s silly (but reasonable) questions, the younger boys’ attitudes, Tiffany’s friendship, and Annabelle’s worries, everything was so realistic!

It was a good book, and I would recommend to anyone looking for a good, and mystery-filled read.

✮✮✮✮

 

 

The Princess Plot

Title: The Princess Plot

Author: Kirsten Boie

Published: Chicken House

Publication Date: May 1st 2009

Genre: Fiction, Princesses/Princes, Politics

Page #’s: 378

Age Group: 9-15

Synopsis: 

Jenna has just won the starring role in a film about a princess–sweet! In the wink of an eye, she’s whisked off to a remote, romantic kingdom for the “shoot.” But something’s amiss: First, she finds out she bears an uncanny resemblance to the real princess, who has run away following the death of her father, the king. Then she learns that the conniving regent plans to use her to take control of the country, now being fought over by rebels. As the plot twists and turns, Jenna discovers just what she’s made of–and just why she resembles the missing princess so much!

My Overall Review: 

The story started like a classic pre-teen tale, with the girls going out for frappes and coffees, but holy heck, it definitely didn’t continue like that.

The emotions were very realistic. I could relate to Jenna’s frustration of having an overprotective parent, and her feeling the need to know her family’s history. I also felt very mad at Jenna at some parts. For example, I felt like all readers can relate when I say that it was obvious from the beginning that there was something suspicious about the texts. I think it was pretty dumb of Jenna not to think much of it.

(SPOILER ALERT IN THIS PARAGRAPH) My heart also went out to her, when her father was revealed. I didn’t want Norlin to remain the bad guy, as he showed his affection for Jenna. I have to admit, I got teary eyed when Norlin stopped the dogs from being released.

I’m new to Kirsten’s writing, and I fell in love with the book as I read more and more. It reminded me of Cloaked, a fairy tale type of story in the present. The story was very detailed, but Kirsten didn’t stretch it on and on forever. Definitely not boring. Kirsten set a calm and mysterious tone to the story, that kept me wanting to read more, even at half past midnight. I don’t think anyone would be able to put the book down whilst reading halfway.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. While it started like a book for young girls, the plot became deeper with twists at every turn. There were deadly adventures, scenes of political problems, and family mysteries. The different characters and points of view are what pulled me in most. There weren’t really villains or heroes in the story. On one page you rooted for some characters, on the next your total opinion changed.

I loved it, and would definitely read it again.

✮✮✮✮✮

Death by Latte

DEATH BY LATTE IS THE SECOND BOOK IN THE SERIES: DEATH BY MYSTERIES

Death by Latte (Death By Mysteries, #2)

Title: Death by Latte

Author: Linder Gerber

Genre: Mystery

Page #’s: 202

Publication: Puffin Books

Date Published: September 18th 2008

Age Group: 10-15

Synoposis: 

It was only a few weeks ago that Aphra Connolly’s life changed completely. She had been living a quiet existence on her father’s secluded island resort, until Seth Mulo turned up and stole her heart . . . and provided information that led her to find her mom in Seattle. But the reunion isn’t quite what she expected. Aphra’s mom, Natalie, doesn’t seem happy to see Aphra, and Natalie’s partner, Joe, insists that Aphra go home. Even worse, Seth shows up, only to ask her to return the ring he gave her the previous summer. At least Natalie’s hunky neighbor is sympathetic. But when Joe is found dead at a nearby coffee shop, Aphra discovers her whole trip to Seattle has been based on a lie. And now someone just might be trying to kill her. . . .

My Overall Review: 

Death by Latte is the second book in the series, and I felt like maybe if I read the first edition, the plot would have made more sense to me.

It was a fast-moving novel for me, once Joe was killed, time didn’t stop for Aphra and her mother. It kept me on the edge of my seat, and till the end of the book, I was definitley hooked.

I don’t think I’ll read this again, it wasn’t a book I absolutely fell in love with. It had action, and I’m sure many people will like it because of that. It also has a relatable rocky mother-daughter relatationship going on. Lots of adventure and cliffhangers at the end of chapters.

You know those books that have the main question? One problem starts the story and then the rest is followed by the sassy, independent girl or strong, attractive young man who save the day? This is not that type of book. One problem after another. One mystery after another. One lie after another. And Aphra Connolly must figure it all out with her mother.

Even though, it won’t be a favorite, it was good for wasting time in class and all.

★★★

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear George Clooney,

Title: Dear George Clooney, Please Marry My Mom

Genre: Realistic Fiction, Family + Relationships

Author: Susin Nielsen

Publisher: Tundra Books

Publishing Date: 2010

Language: English

Age Group: 9-13

Synoposis:

Violet’s TV-director dad has traded a job in Vancouver for one in Los Angeles, their run-down house for a sleek ranch-style home complete with a pool, and, worst of all, Violet’s mother for a trophy wife, a blonde actress named Jennica. Violet’s younger sister reacts by bed-wetting, and her mother ping-pongs from one loser to another, searching for love. As for Violet, she gets angry in ways that are by turns infuriating, shocking, and hilarious.

When her mother takes up with the unfortunately named Dudley Wiener, Violet and her friend Phoebe decide that they need to take control. If Violet’s mom can’t pick a decent man herself, they will help her snag George Clooney.

My Overall Review:

12 year old Violet is upset at her divorced father, and dislikes his new wife, Jennica. She’s not very happy with her step-toddler sisters, and yearns for her mother to give up on the boys.

Violet is a funny girl, with her way of words and smart alec take on the world. I love how she matured through the book and how she made better relationships with everyone around her.

Violet’s mom (Ingrid), is no way near perfect, but I much prefer her than Violet’s dad. Ingrid did lots of things that I would never agree with, but in the end I felt like she cared about the kids way more than Violet’s dad. Later in the story, when some vulgar pictures of her were displayed on Facebook, my heart broke. I felt like Violet when my face started leaking because of Thing One and Thing Two.

Nielsen is a talented author, and just by reading the opening title, I was hooked!

“FOR THE RECORD: I did not mean to send my two half sisters to the emergency room.”

Much of the plots revolves around Violet. She goes great lengths to “protect” her mother from her line of loser boyfriends.

Now this book isn’t really about the crazed star, George Clooney. This book is about a family that I’ve absolutely fallen in love with. It’s equally hilarious as heartbreaking. It was a fun light read, and I reccomend it to anyone looking for a laugh!

★★★★★

 

Cloaked

cloaked

Title: Cloaked

Author: Alex Flinn

Publisher: HarperCollins

Publishing Date: 2011

Page #: 341

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Synopsis: (not owned by me)

I’m not your average hero. I actually wasn’t your average anything. Just a poor guy working an after-school job at a South Beach shoe repair shop to help his mom make ends meet. But a little magic changed it all.

It all started with the curse. And the frognapping. And one hot-looking princess, who asked me to lead a rescue mission.

There wasn’t a fairy godmother or any of that. And even though I fell in love along the way, what happened to me is unlike any fairy tale I’ve ever heard. Before I knew it, I was spying with a flock of enchanted swans, talking (yes, talking!) to a fox named Todd, and nearly trampled by giants in the Keys.

Don’t believe me? I didn’t believe it either. But you’ll see. Because I knew it all was true, the second I got CLOAKED

My Overall Review:

I got this book in my book club and I honestly wouldn’t have chosen it unless my teacher read the blurb inside the book (which is above).

Cloaked is amazing!

I’ve never heard of Alex Flinn before this book and I loved this book.

Judging the title I thought it was about kidnapping. No joke.

This book was creative, adventures, magical, and romantic all in one. It’s also a mash up of a few fairy tales:

  • The Elves and the Shoemaker
  • The Frog Princes
  • The Six Swans
  • The Golden Bird
  • The Valiant Tailor
  • The Salad
  • The Fisherman and His Wife

The prince was incredibly annoying. I mean the names he gave Meg? Honestly? “My tiny newt” and “dainty komodo dragon”? Please. I was really hoping that Meg wasn’t serious about him ahaha…

About Meg, I loved how she made Johnny so jealous to the point he just had to declare his love. She’s witty. smart, cute and funny.

Johnny is forced to consider the differences between fantasy and reality. To talking animals and enchanted animals, but in the realm of romance and love. Even if readers don’t recognize all of the fairy tales Flinn riffs on here, they’ll still enjoy Cloaked, just like I did.

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My Rating: ★★ ★★☆ 4/5 stars

Worth Re-Reading: Definitely!