MADreads

A review of The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

While gushing about this book to people (and I do gush, you will too), I always end up quoting the blurbs on the back of the book, because they sum things up so perfectly. What could I say that is more convincing than, "..the John Hughes of queer 18th century adventure novels"? Or, "Filled with highwaymen, pirates, and heartpounding exploits of a romantic nature, this is the summer road trip novel you've been waiting for"?  IT'S ALL TRUE. Monty sets out for his grand tour of the ...read more

Reviewed by Beth M on
June 20, 2017 | 0 comments
A review of Roll by Darcy Miller

The summer before his 6th grade year, Ren and his parents move from town to a house out in the country, cutting off Ren's access to his best friend Austin. This is extra stressful because Austin has hit puberty big time, and seems to be speeding away from Ren and their shared interests at a breakneck speed. Ren's new life in the country is a lot of dullness until he sees a flock of brids spinning through the air, and meets their trainer, Sutton, a firey-haired 11-year-old girl who is preparing ...read more

Reviewed by Beth M on
June 5, 2017 | 0 comments
A review of Alex, Approximatley by Jenn Bennett

Cute, cute. This book is a perfect poolside/sandy-beach/lazing-on-your-friend's-back-patio-when-you're-supposed-to-be-mowing-the-lawn read. Is it too early for that? In my case, it was a first-nice-week-of-spring-thrilled-to-have-the-windows-open-what-do-mean-my-dishes-are-piled-up-there-is-a-BREEZE-through-my-CURTAINS-and-these-fictional-teenagers-are-in-LOVE read.  Quick, sweet, and delightfully non-taxing, this YA homage to Norah Ephron's You've Got Mail, tells the story of two ...read more

Reviewed by Beth M on
May 18, 2017 | 0 comments
A review of To Stay Alive: Mary Ann Graves and the Tragic journey of the Donner Party by Skila Brown

You know what is really horrifying? THE DONNER PARTY. Good heavens. History has distilled this story down to one grotesque detail (spoiler alert: cannibalism) (VERY RELUCTANT cannibalism, but still), but what you may have forgotten is the long journey across country on foot that led up to it. Or the harsh conditions on that final stretch. Or the weeks of slow starvation. Or how close to their desination they were when they got so hopelessly snowbound and lost.  To Stay Alive is a ...read more

Reviewed by Beth M on
May 3, 2017 | 0 comments
A review of My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes That Saved My Life by Ruth Reichl

In this cookbook/memoir food writer and critic, and former editor of Gourmet Magazine takes us through the difficult year after her magazine closed, and the recipes that helped ease her back into her first food love: home cooking. This book is perfect for those among us that enjoy reading cookbooks as much as or more than we enjoy cooking. I listened to My Kitchen Year on audio (read by the author, spectacular)-- and it included all the recipes. I never thought I'd be so ...read more

Reviewed by Beth M on
April 24, 2017 | 0 comments
A review of The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

The William C Morris Award is granted every year to a debut book published by a first-time author writing for teens. The finalists are usually announced in December, and the list is consistantly spectacular, and a good place to look for some of the best writing in YA Literature. This year the Morris Award went to Jeff Zentner's smart and complex The Serpent King,  the story of three misfits finishing out their senior year in a small southern town. The group is led by Dill, the son ...read more

Reviewed by Beth M on
January 30, 2017 | 0 comments
Book cover
Newbery Winner and Honors This year's Newbery Medal for most distinguished contribution to American literature for children went to The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Regan Barnhill. A rich fantasy story with deep fairytale vibes, it's the story of a village that leaves one of their children in the woods each year as a sacrifice to a misunderstood witch, the witch that nurtures them and finds them homes, and what happens when one of those ...read more

Reviewed by Beth M on
January 26, 2017 | 0 comments
A review of March: Book Three by John Lewis

The biggest news to come out of yesterday's ALA Youth Media Awards was the record breaking honors received by the third in Rep. John Lewis's graphic novel series about his extraordinary involvement in the civil rights movement. The first two volumes in the series have been met with wide praise and awards of their own, and in addition to a ...read more

Reviewed by Beth M on
January 24, 2017 | 0 comments
A review of I'm Judging You: The Do-Better Manual by Luvvie Ajayi

Pop-culture blogger, intersectional feminist, and super funny Anjayi Luvvie wants us all to do better, and lucky for us she wrote it all down in a handy manual. With chapter titles like "When Baehood Goes Bad", "Your Facebook is My Favorite Soap Opera" and "Zamunda Is Not a Country. Neither is Africa" Luvvie shrewdly (and hilariously) lays out some no-nonsense Miss Manners business for the digital age, always being sure to offer suggestions for acting right after taking down those among us who ...read more

Reviewed by Beth M on
January 19, 2017 | 0 comments
A review of Trouble Makes a Comeback by Stephanie Tromly

This truly funny mystery is a sequel to Trouble is a Friend of Mine, and if you haven't read the first, NOTHING is more important than getting your hands on it right away and reading it cover to cover in one sitting. I'll wait. Ok, you guys, Digby is back! Still troubled, still obsessed with finding his sister's abductor, still hilarious, and still unable to leave Zoe alone, Digby rushes back into town and pulls her ...read more

Reviewed by Beth M on
January 13, 2017 | 0 comments