Heather's books

Sarah's Key
The Help
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
New Moon
Breaking Dawn
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
The Lightning Thief
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
The Notebook
Eat, Pray, Love
The Time Traveler's Wife
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Heather's favorite books »

Thursday, November 5, 2015

A book for young middle schoolers on transgender identity



By: Alex Gino

Genre: Juvenile Realistic Fiction

Pages: 240

Published: 2015

Read: November

4 out of 5

This book covers an important, but controversial topic. The truth is that books covering touchy subjects, such as homosexuality and transgender, DO need to be written for the young ages.  

I am not one for censoring what kids read, however this one may cover a subject that some kids (grades 3-6) have never heard of or thought was possible - feeling trapped in the wrong gender's body. As a parent, I would allow my 9 year old to read, but would want to be aware he is reading it. This is so we could discuss together and I could answer any questions he may have. Unfortunately, the cover of the book is so dang cute a parent may not even consider that the book would cover a difficult subject.

This book is very well written and age appropriate - Booklist Starred review. I believe its a great one for libraries to own. However I felt the only downfall was that the premise involves a drama production. This was too cliche for me. I prefer when authors avoid stereotypes. 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

A Fiction novel intertwined with nonfiction

Left Neglected

Left Neglected

By: Lisa Genova

Genre: Adult fiction

Pages: 324

Published: 2011

Read: September

3 out of 5

I have mixed feelings about this book. I did not care for the story or the characters. However, I love reading fictional novels that are based on historical events or that encompass other factual information. I enjoy gaining knowledge while reading a fictional story, plus it makes it easier to retain. This book definitely did that for me for a number of reasons. I was unaware that Lisa Genova has a PhD in neuroscience which added a lot of value to what I learned. I have never heard of Left Neglect and didn’t believe it was a real disability until I read the author’s note at the end. Second, I was enthralled by the strategies they used for Charlie’s ADHD. My stepson has ADHD and it helps to know that we are practicing some of the same methods. I love the “marbles in a cup” idea! Lastly, with having very limited use of my entire right side I have some similar feelings that Sarah does. As I pictured her trying to cope with her absent left side, I continually envisioned my right side, as though it was the left. The strange thing was I DID feel it was actually my left. For example, when Sarah would say “Look left, scan left, go left” I saw her doing the motions on the right side. This happened throughout the entire book until the very end when all of a sudden it hit me that I was envisioning it incorrectly. Whether it was caused by the mirror effect or my own disability being on the right side of my body I don’t know, but it was a strange sensation once I realized my mistake. 

Friday, September 11, 2015

Raw and real emotion

Boys Like You by Juliana Stone

Boys Like You

By: Juliana Stone

Genre: YA realistic fiction

Pages: 304

Published: 2014

Read: September

4 out of 5

Broken girl meets broken boy…Can they save each other? Although a little unbelievable that Monroe and Nathan are dealing with such similar issues at exactly the same time they meet; it COULD happen. Some readers may not notice or care about that convenience; and once the rest of us let it go you will feel the raw and real emotions of the teens.  If I had read this book when in high school, I would have absorbed the book with my tears and made it one of my top ten books. With that being said, I do believe the closer in age the reader is to characters the more attached to the book they will be. It is a quick read that is well deserving of the Teens’ Top Ten nomination.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015


Unhinged (Splintered, #2)


By: A.G. Howards

Genre: YA fantasy

Pages: 387

Published: 2014

Read: September

2 out of 5

The first two books in this trilogy were back-to-back nominees for Teens’ Top Ten. Although at the beginning of Unhinged I was more engrossed than Splintered I quickly lost interest. I struggled to finish the book. The quality of writing was still there and the story wasn’t rushed, but I feel this particular adventure isn’t unique or interesting enough to be a nominee. There were no new characters introduced or any twists on Alice in Wonderland. I am not saying it’s a bad book, some may like it, but I definitely read better books that should have been nominated. My biggest issue with this award is that sequels can be nominated therefore, I’m worried that the final book, Ensnared, will make the list next year.  

Monday, August 31, 2015

A Wonderland for boys and girls alike!!

Circus Mirandus by Cassie Beasley

Circus Mirandus

By: Cassie Beasley

Genre: Juvenile fantasy

Pages: 304

Published: 2015

Read: August

4 out of 5

This reminded of a circus version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - what a WONDERLAND for boys and girls alike. As an adult reading the book, it reinforced how important it is to stay in touch with your own imagination and encourage others to do the same. It can be a POWERFUL thing.  Beasley not only draws out your imagination, but creates friends for you in the characters. Enter the circus and meet an elephant who does math or what about an invisible tiger - just let your imagination guide you. Micah along with his dying grandpa believe even if others in their lives feel differently. Do you?

I'm hoping Beasley will take us on another journey to Circus Mirandus again soon.

I hope this makes the Teens' Top Ten

Let's Get Lost

Let’s Get Lost

By: Adi Alsaid

Genre: YA Realistic fiction

Pages: 338

Published: 2014

Read: August

5 out of 5

I hope this book is chosen by the teens as one of the TOP TEN of 2014. I loved it and was able to reminisce about my long ago teen years. At first, I was skeptical because to me it read as short stories; just with one consistent character. However, I was quickly absorbed into the lives of the characters and the story. Leila is driving cross country to see the Northern Lights and tells about the four teens she meets along the way. Each teen has their own unique drama and through their time spent with Leila they are able to learn a little about themselves. I liked that each teen’s issue was not magical solved and wrapped up in a bow, rather Leila and their adventures together helped them start walking down the correct road. I believe teens and adults will enjoy this book because it shows that if you talk to peers it helps; but even more so because the teens’ crazy and wild adventures are carefree and sometimes reckless  the reader can live the adventure with Leila, Hudson, Bree, Elliot, and Sonia even if they would never attempt them themselves.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Alice in Wonderland??

Splintered (Splintered, #1)


By: A. G. Howard

Genre: YA Fantasy

Pages: 371

Published: 2013

Read: August

3 out of 5

This was a Teens’ Top Ten winner in 2014 and the sequel, Unhinged, is a nominee this year. Conclusion: Teens love it and it MUST be great. I felt this book was OK, but nothing outstanding.  It does have an interesting premise, even if not that unique: Alyssa’s, Great Great Great Grandma is Alice from Alice in Wonderland. In order to reverse the family curse placed on the females (all with names starting with ‘A’), Alyssa must go to Wonderland and fixes Alice’s messes. My favorite part of reading this book was the hilarious comparisons to the original story. Some of the characters are Rabid Rabbit, Twid sisters and Humphrey. Can you name the characters?