MADreads

A review of Assassination! : The Brick Chronicle Presents Attempts on the Lives of Twelve US Presidents by Brendan Powell Smith

What do presidential assassinations and LEGOs have in common? Well, this book. On first glance, it might seem a morbidly cruel trick on a lately exploding population of juvenile enthusiasts of all-things-LEGO. It is NOT for kids. Even though it’s packed with full-color, impressively detailed and original LEGO tableaus, it is really NOT for kids. As the title indicates, this book is “the brick chronicle of attempts on the lives of twelve US presidents”. What inspired Smith to combine these two ...read more

Reviewed by Carra on
July 17, 2014 | 0 comments
A review of Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

"That doesn't sound like a school triva night," said Mrs. Patty Ponder to Marie Antoinette [her cat]. "That sounds like a riot." So opens Liane Moriarty's new novel, Big Little Lies. The melee is happening at the Pirriwee Public School in a suburban Australian town, and before the night is over the police will be called to investigate.  Flash back six months to orientation day for the new kindergartners and their moms. Madeline is a confident woman celebrating (mostly) ...read more

Reviewed by Jane J - Central on
July 16, 2014 | 2 comments
A review of Only in Spain: A Foot-Stomping, Firecracker of a Memoir about Food, Flamenco, and Falling in Love by Nellie Bennett

I was quite enthusiastic at the prospect of picking up Nellie Bennett’s memoir of her experiences learning flamenco in Spain. The prospect of escaping a dead-end job and jetting off to Seville on a whim like Bennett did has its romantic appeal, but I was hoping for an honest account of what it’s like, as a foreigner, to learn the demanding art of flamenco in its birthplace. Unfortunately, Only in Spain: A Foot-Stomping, Firecracker of a Memoir about Food, Flamenco and Falling in Love ...read more

Reviewed by Katie H. on
July 15, 2014 | 0 comments
A review of The Lucy Variations by Sara Zarr

I'll admit that Sara Zarr has disappointed me in the past-- I didn't really get why Story of a Girl was so beloved (or why it was a National Book Award finalist), why Sweethearts was a novel and not a short ...read more

Reviewed by Erinn - Alicia Ashman on
July 14, 2014 | 0 comments
A review of Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

Check out one of our 2014 Teen's Choice books! Evie works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency. Her best friend is a mermaid, she’s falling for a shape-shifter, and she’s the only one who can see through glamours of the many paranormals on the earth. But now Evie’s dreams are filled with haunting voices and mysterious prophecies, and the paranormals are dying. White adds more than a dash of humor in this novel, where Evie is the only one who can protect the paranormals from ...read more

Reviewed by Karen on
July 11, 2014 | 0 comments
A review of 21 Essential American Short Stories edited by Leslie Pockell

When the Walter Mitty movie came out I decided I needed to brush up and re-read the original (what I remembered as a book, but what is actually a very short story). Searching in the library catalog brought me to this book: 21 American Short Stories, edited by Leslie M. Pockell. I was going to flip straight to Walter Mitty, but found myself nostalgic for high school and college lit courses as I paged through, and wound up reading all twenty-one stories. I have to say it was ...read more

Reviewed by Carra on
July 10, 2014 | 0 comments
A review of The Galapagos: A Natural History by Henry Nicholls

If a list were compiled of the few places on Earth as epicenters of scientific revolution, the Galapagos Archipelago would be at or near the top. The chain of about thirteen islands of varying size, nearly a thousand kilometers off the west coast of South America, has had an impact on modern science belying its small area. The Galapagos are, of course, most famous for Charles Darwin’s 1835 visit and subsequent role in forming his theory of evolution.  But Henry Nicholls, a British-based ...read more

Reviewed by Katie H. on
July 9, 2014 | 0 comments
A review of I Don't Know What You Know Me From: Confessions of a Co-Star by Judy Greer

Judy Greer is an actress who's been in such a large number of television shows and movies that she is now best known for being so familiar that no one quite remembers how they actually know her. People stop her on the street asking if they have mutual friends or if she was in their sorority and the answer is always no. When she is recognized as being an actress, people ask her what they know her from. She can't easily tell people what they know her from because she's been in over 40 movies and ...read more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
July 8, 2014 | 0 comments
A review of The Blossoming Universe of Violet Diamond by Brenda Woods

Eleven year old Violet Diamond has a pretty good life. A loving mother, a close relationship with her older sister, and fun grandparents. While she recognizes her good fortune, she also often feels out of place. Violet is bi-racial, and the rest of her family is white. Her sister’s father was white and her father was black. She is used to people staring at her and asking if she’s adopted, but that doesn’t mean she likes it. Violet’s father died before she was born and, due to a falling out ...read more

Reviewed by Jill O on
July 4, 2014 | 0 comments
A review of The Actress by Amy Sohn

Maddy Freed is attending the Mile's End film festival to promote her first indie film. She hopes that her boyfriend, the director, can get a distribution deal for their film. What she doesn't expect is to come to the attention of talent manager Bridget Ostrow and her client, the mega-star Steven Weller. She's soon caught up in a whirlwind that doesn't show any signs of stopping. And she can't imagine the impact the two Hollywood powerbrokers will have on the course of her life.Maddy falls hard ...read more

Reviewed by Jane J - Central on
July 2, 2014 | 0 comments
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