Author: Margaret Peterson Haddix
Genre: Historical Fiction
Page Count: 356
Bella just moved to America from Italy, to send money back to her family. Yetta joined her sister in America from Russia years ago. Jane is the daughter of a wealthy American man. Three very different girls, about to be caught up in problems they never could have imagined.
I really liked the main storyline in this book. There were plenty of things that surprised me, but nothing was so surprising that it seemed like it didn’t fit with the story. I also liked that it alternated between three different points of view. I feel like most books have 1, 2 or 4.
I read this book for history. It is about the Triangle shirtwaist factory fire. I felt that I learned a lot about the fire and women’s suffrage. At the end of the book, the author put a section talking about the actual historical events that took place. After reading that I was amazed at how many of the events in the book actually happened.
My favorite character is Yetta. I like her because she is a big part of the strike that happens before the fire. I also like her determination. I felt like this book did a really good job of making it seem like no one character was the main character, and that all three of them split that role.
Book: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
Author: Alan Bradley
Page Count: 306
Flavia loves chemistry, poisons, chemistry, poisons, and chemistry. But when she finds a dead man the garden in her family manor, she has to prove to the inspector (and the world) that she can solve this case before the police.
I loved the main character, Flavia, because of her obsession with chemistry, and her quirky attitude. I got the impression throughout the book that in her normal life, she just wanted to be left alone by everyone, to sit endlessly in her chemistry lab, only coming out to test her (non-lethal) poisons on her sisters. I got this impression because all of the supporting characters felt like minor characters, and Flavia spent the majority of the book alone investigating the mystery.
Another thing about this book I liked was its unique plot. Though it may sound like your common murder mystery, it is far from it. It has a few strange plot twists and an underlying storyline in the form of a chemistry experiment, which (I think) is much more important than the main plot.
I don’t think that I have anything negative to say about this book. The only thing I might say is that I felt like some characters could have had more backstory than the tiny bit we saw.
If you like mysteries, books, reading, or not reading, you should read this book.
Book: The One and Only Bob
Author: Katherine Applegate
Genre: Realistic Fiction/Animal Fiction
Page Count: 296
After Ivan (a gorilla) and Ruby (a baby elephant) took up residence in a local zoo, Bob decided that it would be okay to live with humans instead of being a street dog like he had been almost his entire life. So, he moved in with Julia and her family. But on a visit to the zoo to see Ivan and Ruby, disaster strikes in the form of a tornado ravaging through town. It separated Bob from Julia, demolishing the zoo, and set animals free, that should have been kept caged
This is the sequel to The One And Only Ivan, which was inspired by the real Ivan the gorilla, but Bob, the main character of this book, was completely fictional in both these books. I did notice that some small parts of this book reflected Ivan’s true story, such as Ivan using walking on burlap bags in the morning to avoid getting wet.
I really enjoyed this book, Bob was my favorite character in The One And Only Ivan, because of his wily nature. I was really excited when I found out there was a whole book from his point of view.
One of the things I liked about this book was that there were many new characters, while not completely blocking out the old characters.. I feel like you don’t really get that a lot with realistic fiction sequels.
If you read The One And Only Ivan and liked it, you should definitely read this.
Book: Chasing Secrets
Author: Gennifer Choldenko
Genre: Historical Fiction
Page Count: 278
Lizzie Kennedy is the daughter of a doctor, and has been learning the trade herself. However, when rumors of the plague strike San Francisco, she doesn’t know what to believe. When their beloved cook, Jing, goes missing, she knows she has to do something, even if she doesn’t know what.
I really liked this book, mostly because of the main character Lizzie. She goes to a ladies school and absolutely hates it, as they have no sciences, math, or (in her opinion) anything interesting whatsoever. The other girls see her as an oddity and Lizzie can’t help but feel that she can’t fit in. So instead she makes company out of books because, as she says, “A book is a friend you can take wherever you go.”
Once again, I read this book for history. As opposed to the last book I read in The Gilded Age, I thought that it showed me a bit of what life could be like for the wealthier people of that time. This was a large contrast to everything else I read.
In this book many people doubt the existence of the plague, which reminds me of what is going on in our world with Covid 19. Everyone is getting fed information from a lot of different sources (some of them contradicting each other) just like in this book.
Overall, I think you should read this book, and you should definitely read it if you like historical fiction or whacky characters.
Book: Animal Farm
Author: George Orwell
Genre: Metaphorical fiction?
Page Count: 144
After the death of the oldest pig on the Manor Farm, the animals are empowered by his last speech. They decided to revolt from human rule in the hopes of ending animal slaughter. However living under animal rule isn’t as easy as they thought it would be.
I read this book for part of book club, and out of all the books that we have read in our book club so far this is the only one that I didn’t like. I really didn’t like this book because the text was so dense it almost read like a history textbook at times. I also thought that it was overflowing with metaphors. I’m honestly not sure how a book about a revolution could be boring, but it was.
There were two things I liked about this book: it was short, and it was well written. It was the fact that it was well written that stopped me from giving it the big red star, instead earning it a one star.
I would not recommend you read this book unless you like an abundance of metaphors and dense reading material.
Book: City of Orphans
Genre: Historical Fiction
Page Count: 355
Maks, a newsie, makes 8 cents a day to contribute to his family. Both his older sisters and his father work to help keep their family afloat. But when his oldest sister, Emma, got arrested for a suspected theft, their boat starts to wobble. Willa has been living on the streets for six months, and when she saves Maks from the local street gang, his family took her in, and Maks dragged her into the mystery of Emma’s supposed theft.
I read this book for The Gilded Age time period of U. S history. I thought this book showed what it was like for an immigrant family to live in New York. Many people were in the same situation as them, and not many people could hire you, since they were all lacking in money. I also learned about how unfair some working conditions were. For example, at a shoe factory, workers were paid by the number of shoes they made. Sometimes, it would close for weeks on end because the workers were making more shoes than the factory could sell.
My favorite character was Willa, because of her fierce attitude. I liked how each person seemed to have a unique dialect and accent, because most of them were from different places. I also enjoyed the element of mystery to this book.
The one thing that was a little confusing was the narrator. It was written in Maks’s dialect, but it was 3rd person so I wasn’t really sure who they were supposed to be.
If you like historical fiction or mysteries I think you should read this book.
Book: Unlocked (book 8.5 in Keeper of the Lost Cities)
Author: Shannon Messenger
Page Count: 640
This book was split into two sections. The first half of the book, which had things like how to pronounce characters’ names, artwork, recipes, etc. I was really excited about one recipe specifically, Lushberry Juice, a drink the characters enjoy multiple times in the books. I hope to be able to make it myself, once the weather is warmer.
The second part was a novella, taking place after Legacy. The POV in this story alternates between Sophie and Keefe. Sophie is the main character in this series, and Keefe is one of the main supporting characters. I liked the alternating point of views because I thought it was interesting to see Sophie from someone else’s perspective. I also liked that we got to see more of Glimmer, Bex, Rex, and Lex, who we had not seen much of earlier in the series. I also want to see Bex, Rex, and Lex in future books because they are very funny characters. However, they are vastly different from Keefe or other comic relief characters because of the elves’ prejudice against multiple births, and they are triplets.
I thought that this novella was better than Legacy (Book 8) on many levels, the most notable being that what happened in it was new, while in Legacy I felt a lot of it was repetitive. If you have read the first eight books, then you should definitely read this one.
Book: Dawnshard (Novella in the Stormlight Archive)
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Page Count: ???
This Novella is meant to be read in-between the 3rd and 4th Stormlight Archive books.
This book is part of Brandon Sandersonâ€™s Cosmere World. If you are going to ever read it, know that you will need to read Warbreaker, the first book of the Stormlight Archive (The Way Of Kings), the second Stormlight Archive book (Words Of Radiance), Edgedancer (another novella) and the third Stormlight Archive book (Oathbringer). You should also probably read both Mistborn Eras 1 and 2, and Elantris.
If you have not read the other Stormlight books, DO NOT READ THE NEXT PARAGRAPH!!
Rysn is heading to an island that existed only in legend. The one that sailors won’t venture near. She’s going because Chiri-Chiri, her pet Larkin, is sick, and she might heal their. But she’s also going for Alethkar, and her own country Thaylenah. And with her, they sent a Radiant. A very . . . peculiar Radiant.
This book was mostly from Rysn and Lopen’s (the peculiar Radiant) point of view. I really liked that because previously we have seen very little of there thoughts. I thought that Edgedancer was superior to this book, but this book was still amazing.
I would recommend The Stormlight Archive (And the Cosmere in general) to you if you liked the Lord of the Rings, other epic fantasy, or anything else Brandon Sanderson wrote.