MADreads

A review of The Monkey goes bananas by C.P. Bloom

This is a fresh look at the conundrum of the monkey on an island who has a yen for the bunch of bananas hanging from a tree on another island, separated by water, and a hungry predator, in this case, a shark.  Bloom and Raymundo have created a story with just a few words, and highly expressive, cartoon-style illustrations.  Monkey tries various methods to reach the bananas, or make the bananas reach him, and is foiled again and again, in progressively more dramatic and hilarious ways ...read more

Reviewed by Karen on
July 31, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of Pennyroyal Academy by M.A. Larson

Okay, I admit it, I picked this one for the cover, but can you blame me?  With the rearing dragon, the perfect castle right out of Disneyland and the witch silhouettes sneaking up the mountains, this book promised some major excitement.  But, wow, did it deliver!  With a few sly nods to traditional princess tales, M.A. Larson's Pennyroyal Academy boldly lays claim to fresh fairytale territory where behavior trumps birth, what you don't know can kill you, and where the strength, ...read more

Reviewed by Abby on
July 31, 2015 | 0 comments
100 Swoonworthy Romances Back in June, NPR asked readers to nominate their favorite romantic novels and the response was so big they had to shut down the poll after more than 18,000 nominations came in. Well the tally is in (and the experts have spoken) and now the only thing left to do is read.  The experts, including local Bobbi Dumas who runs the national ...read more

Reviewed by Jane J on
July 30, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of Regeneration by Pat Barker

When a soldier publically declares that the war in which he is serving is slaughtering thousands without any purpose, should he be called insane? That’s the question posed when Siegfried Sassoon, a noted poet and writer, publishes his “Soldier’s Declaration,” denouncing the very war which he had immediately enlisted for back in 1914. His words ring truthful—the War would eventually claim over 700,000 just among British dead alone—but with more men being sent to the front, how to deal with a ...read more

Reviewed by Katie H. on
July 29, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of The Witch of Painted Sorrows by M.J. Rose

Sometimes you need to wait until the very end to get what you've been longing for. Such is the case with The Witch of Painted Sorrows. I read an early review of this gothic novel and was immediately attracted to the cover and publisher summary, "Possession, power, passion." Sounds great, right? Socialite Sandrine Salome flees New York and her abusive husband and journeys to Belle Époque Paris to stay with her grand ...read more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
July 27, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of The Notorious Pagan Jones by Nina Berry

It’s 1961, and Pagan Jones-- already a Hollywood bombshell at age 16--is sitting in solitary confinement after an attempted escape from the juvenile detention facility she’s found herself in. Heavy guilt over causing the death of her sister and father weighs on her constantly, her career is in shambles, her boyfriend hasn’t spoken to her in months, and she’s in even bigger trouble than she was in when she arrived at the Lighthouse Reformatory for Wayward Girls. Things are looking pretty grim.In ...read more

Reviewed by Beth on
July 24, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of The Anchoress by Robyn Cadwallader

One autumn morning, a seventeen-year-old woman steps from her old life into her freedom—literally. For Sarah, life in thirteenth-century England offers few choices, even for an educated girl from a well-to-do family like her. So when she is faced with the prospect of marrying, Sarah chooses the one path that will give her some control over her fate. But, ironically, she will have to live for the rest of her life in a cell hardly larger than a few paces, and no window to the outside world. She ...read more

Reviewed by Katie H. on
July 23, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran

Known for her feminist, humorous memoirs, Caitlin Moran is back with fiction this time, writing about our heroine Johanna, reminiscing on her adolescent years working as a music reviewer for a London paper. She has a captivating way with words, somehow tapping into teenage angst in a way so real and raw that it is almost painful to read for the adolescent flashbacks it induces. This is a book that doesn’t tell how to raise a girl, but how to build oneself into a girl, navigating societal, ...read more

Reviewed by Carra on
July 22, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of Children of the Revolution by Peter Robinson

Always a pleasure to have a book by Peter Robinson to read and this one was no exception. When a body of an older man is found, possibly thrown from an abandoned railway bridge in an isolated locale, Alan Banks is called with his team to investigate. The man was pretty much a loner, in poor physical condition, and suffering economically. It gets more interesting when a large sum of money is found on the body along with drugs in his home. A drug deal gone wrong? Or something else tied to the man ...read more

Reviewed by Liz - Sequoya on
July 21, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of Better Nate than ever by Tim Federle

Sitting in his first Broadway audition, Nate realizes it’s better to be simple and honest, “SPECIAL SKILLS: I thought a pirouette was a pasty, before this audition, and if that’s any indication of how much I could learn in New York, I hope I have a chance to live here…” Tim Federle’s Nate is a dreamer, a big dreamer on a big adventure in New York City. In Nate we find a character who refuses to settle for being anything less than his fabulous self, even if that self doesn’t fit into his small ...read more

Reviewed by Carissa - Alicia Ashman on
July 17, 2015 | 0 comments