Author: Mindy McGinnis
Published: September 20, 2016
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
Alex Craft knows how to kill someone. And she doesn’t feel bad about it.
Three years ago, when her older sister, Anna, was murdered and the killer walked free, Alex uncaged the language she knows best—the language of violence. While her own crime goes unpunished, Alex knows she can’t be trusted among other people. Not with Jack, the star athlete who wants to really know her but still feels guilty over the role he played the night Anna’s body was discovered. And not with Peekay, the preacher’s kid with a defiant streak who befriends Alex while they volunteer at an animal shelter. Not anyone.
As their senior year unfolds, Alex’s darker nature breaks out, setting these three teens on a collision course that will change their lives forever.
Mindy McGinnis has such a grasp of the darker side of humanity and l love it so so much! I have been dying to read this book for the longest time and I finally got it for Christmas. I picked it up, and was soon engrossed. I love the differing POVs, the look into the lives of teens surrounding a tragedy, and watching them live their normal lives in a small town. And considering how much I hate teens, I really liked Alex and Peekay and Jack. Alex is very mature for her age and I found her self-awareness to be interesting. I related with Peekay and her position as “goodie two shoes” and trying to overcome her father’s religious position in the community. And Jack is just a cutie and I love him. And thankfully, the parents in this story weren’t idiots!!! Peekay’s parents are so awesome and understanding and realistic! They’re certainly better than any pastors I know! There is a little teenage drama, but it really only adds to the story, so I was ok with it! I would definitely save this for more mature teens due to language and adult themes. Overall, a fascinating read and a perfect example of Mindy McGinnis!
Author: Dave Barry
Narrator: Todd Haberkorn
Published: May 5, 2015
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Listened To: December 20-21, 2018
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars
In this hilarious novel, written in the voice of eighth-grader Wyatt Palmer, Dave Barry takes us on a class trip to Washington, DC. Wyatt, his best friend, Matt, and a few kids from Culver Middle School find themselves in a heap of trouble-not just with their teachers, who have long lost patience with them-but from several mysterious men they first meet on their flight to the nation’s capital. In a fast-paced adventure with the monuments as a backdrop, the kids try to stay out of danger and out of the doghouse while trying to save the president from attack-or maybe not.
The Worst Class Trip Ever was 100% an unexpected and pleasant surprise for me. I chose this one due to its short length (my longer commute and there were just two days until the long four day Christmas weekend) and it really delivered! This one would be a fun read for both adults and the kids!
The Worst Class Trip Ever is about an eighth grade class trip to Washington DC. Our narrator is Wyatt and he tells us all about the adventure he and a few others from his class go on. The kids convince themselves that there are some terrorists that are going to attack the White House. You don’t know what’s going to happen next in this fun read that takes you all over DC.
I was really drawn into the story and had no clue how it was going to end. You think the adventure can’t get any crazier than it already has then Barry has something else happen! This is a great short read and I highly recommend the audio version. The narrator Todd Haberkorn performed very well.
I really liked that the narrator was a boy. It seems like there are not many books written for boys or feature boys, but there is no way a girl could have been the narrator: boys just seem to get themselves into trouble easier.
There was only one negative for me and it is not the book: I hate that we live in a world where children’s books have the subject of terrorists and bombings in them. But this is the world we live in and terrorists and TSA rules is our life now.
I would say this book would be fine for middle schoolers.
The Worst Class Trip Ever is very highly recommended![Top]
Title: Life After Death: An American Family Book Two
Author: Jackson Baer
Narrator: Dan Carroll
Published: November 5, 2018
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: December 15-19, 2018
Jessica’s Rating: 3 stars
The Childs family faced the unthinkable… now they have a second chance.
The Childs family has endured a terrible tragedy, but the FBI’s shocking discovery has turned their lives upside down.
His kids have all moved on from the death of their mother, as has Isaac from the loss of his wife, but now that the FBI has finally solved the case, the Childs family must face the loss of Ramie all over again.
Each has their own relationships and their own lives, but all are upended due to unforeseen circumstances. As they maneuver these new lives, they must deal with love, heartache, and jealousy as a family, and the choices they face will not be easy.
Their decisions bring out the best in some… and the worst in others.
Life After Death is the second and final book in An American Family series that follows the Childs family. I reviewed An American Family here. Life After Death picks up shortly after An American Family ends. I would recommend having both books to read sequentially, as An American Family ends a bit abruptly and I was ready for more story with the Childs’ family.
Life After Death deals with Isaac again and also more with his kids Olivia and Carter. As mentioned previously, all of these characters have many flaws and they have to deal with the aftermath of a terrible situation. If they had been perfect before, they would have been far from it after the fact!
This is a series where you cannot say much in the review without giving spoilers away, but it is just an average read for me. Yes, every family has some kind of tragedy, but for the Childs family the tragedies kept coming and became more extreme: This makes it less believable and also predictable as it became a “yep, this is going to happen next” kind of read for me.
Though predictable, I did enjoy the read. The psychology of the family experiences and how they coped kept me intrigued.
The narrator, Dan Carroll’s voice sounded similar to John Goodman to me.
Many thanks to the author Jackson Baer who sent an audible copy in exchange for a review.[Top]