Tag: 4.5 stars

Wanted! Criminals of the Animal Kingdom

Wanted! Criminals of the Animal Kingdom
Author: Heather Tekavec

Illustrator: Susan Batori
To Be Published:
USA: March 3, 2020

UK: March 5, 2020
32 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Jessica’s Rating: 4.5 stars
Date Read: March 1, 2020

Book Description:

Think animals are all well-behaved? Think again. These thirteen play dirty. But they’re about to get caught!

A fish who deceives her prey with a light dangling in front of her mouth? A bird who leaves her eggs in another bird’s nest to be raised? A monkey who shouts ‘Danger’ to scare away the others from the fruit? Meet some of the animal kingdom’s most wanted criminals! Slippery Slick, Queenie the Meanie, Lil’ Cupid — they’re all here in this hilarious book of animal case files that include rap sheets, mug shots, reports of criminal activity and more. All thirteen animals stand accused of playing dirty, but now that Detective X is hot on their trail, their criminal days may soon be behind them!

Author Heather Tekavec offers an original approach to investigating animal behavior, with a fun storyline built on hardcore facts. Paired with Susan Batori’s cheeky illustrations, this is a laugh-out-loud read that explores fascinating animal science. Each animal ‘criminal’ gets a spread that’s filled with facts about the animal’s characteristics, including distinguishing features, diet, life span, habitat and more, as well as a description of the animal’s ‘bad’ behavior and the reason behind it. This book offers direct STEAM links to life science curriculum, particularly lessons on the characteristics of living things. The underlying premise of the book also offers the opportunity for discussions on what it means to play fair in the world.

Jessica’s Review:

This is a highly entertaining picture book that the kids will love (and mom and dad too!) If your child loves animals they will love this book and even learn something about the different animals featured.

The illustrations really enhance the facts and fun to the book, going with the theme of these ‘bad animals’ including the last one who is the ‘Most Wanted’ and also has the worst crime….

The only critique I can give is that I would have loved a photo of the actual animal to go along with the illustrations so children can see what these creatures actually look like.

This one was a pleasure to read and review and many thanks to the publisher Kids Can Press for granting me an e-arc.

Pre-order Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Screams You Hear by James Morris

Screams You Hear
Author:  James Morris
Published: January 8, 2018
275 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: December 2-9, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 4.5 stars

Book Description:

Murder and madness infect a small town.

For sixteen-year-old Ruthie Stroud, life on tiny Hemlock Island in the Pacific Northwest is an endless sea of boring green, in a place where everybody knows everybody’s business and nothing ever happens. Then her world is ripped apart when her parents’ divorce and a new man enters her mother’s life. But worse is yet to come.

When she drifts ashore on the mainland, hideously burned, Ruthie has a harrowing tale to tell. It begins with the murder of a family. It ends with her being the sole survivor of a cataclysm that sweeps her little island. As a detective attempts to unravel Ruthie’s story of murder and madness, only one horrifying conclusion can be drawn: whatever was isolated on remote Hemlock Island may now have come to the mainland. Is Ruthie safe? Is anyone?

Jessica’s Review:

There is nothing to really say about Screams You Hear other than I was astonished by it!

Ruthie is our narrator and tells us her tale of living through pure terror on the island she lives on.  The story takes place in the present but starts at just four days previously, and the chapters go back and forth until everything combines together in a horrific way.

Ruthie’s story is one of unimaginable terror. This is a story about extreme violence against teens.This novel will not be for everyone, but if it is for you, then you will not want to put it down!  Screams goes full throttle all the way up to that ending. 

The only negative I can say about Screams is that I figured out the ending, so it lost some of its shock value for me.  I was still left open mouthed at the ending, but not quite like most others who have read it. 

Another thing to say: Once you finish it you will want to go back and read it again! 

This is a novel to read in one sitting if possible to get its full effect: I wish I had been able to read it that way!

I cannot praise Screams enough and will definitely read more by James Morris.  If you enjoy thrillers/horror then run and go get this one now!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

 

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Blog Tour: Only the Lonely

Today I help end the blog tour for Only the Lonely by Joanne Nicholson where I will be sharing my review! I enjoyed this one and will be looking at what else she has written!

Book Description:

After Tiffany is orphaned on the night of her 18th birthday, she discovers, as the sole heir to her parents’ estate, she has inherited a frozen embryo from when her parents did IVF to have her. Feeling lost, alone and longing for a sense of family, Tiffany can’t bring herself to destroy or donate the embryo. Instead, she decides to be impregnated with her biological twin.

A legal battle ensues over whether the embryo is a person or property and the ethics of whether it is acceptable to give birth to your own sibling.

Set in Australia, this contemporary fiction novel is full of emotion, dilemmas and unexpected friendships, as Tiffany forges a new life without her parents.

Author: Joanne Nicholson
Published: June 12, 2019
191 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: June 30-July 7, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 4.5 stars

Jessica’s Review:

I read the book description for Only the Lonely, and jumped at the chance to be on the blog tour as it was just so unique!  There are so many consequences (both positive and negative) to the many decisions to the various characters that occur throughout the course of the novel.

Tiffany loses both of her parents on the night of her eighteenth birthday. Losing parents at a young age is tough (I lost my father at nineteen) and worse yet is that she is an only child, and she basically has no one. As she works to come to terms with the cause of her parents’ death and works to move on, facing a legal battle, she discovers that that there is a frozen embryo frozen from when her parents did IVF to have her.   In essence, this embryo could have been her twin. She decides she wants to be impregnated with the embryo, and thus begins a second legal battle for Tiffany to deal with.

I don’t know if embryos are actually kept long term in fertility clinics, but if they did I could see this situation possibly happen as the first generation of IVF babies are now becoming adults.

The chapters are short and Only the Lonely is a quick read that will have you thinking about everything that happens throughout the novel.  I connected with Tiffany and was rooting for her to win her case.  She faces a roller coaster of emotions throughout the novel and we see her grow over the course of the story.  I would not have been able to make the decision she did at nineteen years old and face everything that she did.  The novel also shows the side of the fertility clinic, the court case and the media spectacle that erupts due to the uniqueness of the situation.

I never lost interest in Only the Lonely as I wanted to know what was going to happen and how the judge’s decision would affect Tiffany for the rest of her life no matter what the decision was. Unfortunately, I could not give the novel five stars due to a direction the novel goes with a friendship that Tiffany develops.  I could see everything but that friendship happening in reality.

This novel is recommended and after reading about the other novels Nicholson has written, I will be reading more by her.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

About the Author:

Joanne Nicholson is an Australian author who enjoys boating, exercising, reading, writing, music and spending quality time with family and friends.

Joanne’s career began in advertising and marketing. After a hiatus to raise her four children, she owned an indoor play centre, worked in property management and bookkeeping. Joanne gave these up to focus on her passion for writing.

She has published the contemporary women’s fiction novels: ‘Intuition’, ‘In Another Life’ and ‘Positive’, as well as a YA novel ‘Music Score’ and several short stories. Her latest novel is ‘Only the Lonely’.

Contact Joanne:
Website
Twitter @jolnicholson
Instagram @joannenicholsonauthor

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