Shelia R. (MamaDragon3) - - Reviews

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3 Books in 1: Silly Snacks, Classroom Treats, Cookie Dough Fun (Spiral Bound)
Review Date: 10/25/2010


Love this cookbook. It's really cool for kids' treats. The book has color photos of the foods as well, which is a bonus.


Atlantis Awakening (Warriors of Poseidon, Bk 2)
Atlantis Awakening (Warriors of Poseidon, Bk 2)
Author: Alyssa Day
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 270
Review Date: 10/19/2010
Helpful Score: 1


I thought this book was great. Steamy love scenes, and it's actually well written! I will be looking for more books from Alyssa Day!


Atlantis Rising (Warriors of Poseidon, Bk 1)
Atlantis Rising (Warriors of Poseidon, Bk 1)
Author: Alyssa Day
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 314
Review Date: 11/10/2010
Helpful Score: 1


This was the first book I'd read by Alyssa Day, and I had to go out and get the rest of the series. Good writing, good plot, and great sexy love scenes. I highly recommend this whole series!


Backyard Composting: Your Complete Guide to Recycling Yard Clippings
Backyard Composting: Your Complete Guide to Recycling Yard Clippings
Author: John Roulac
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 2.9/5 Stars.
 19
Review Date: 7/15/2009
Helpful Score: 2


Great basic information about how to begin composting in your back yard. This is definitely for the novice composter, as some of the information seemed very much "common sense". The only real drawback to this book was that it was apparently meant to sell a product for composting, and tells the reader how this product would make things so much easier. I would have rather seen more general information on how to build your own compost bin or compost tumbler, and less solicitous promotion of their own product. Worthwhile for the absolute beginner, though.


Biggie
Biggie
Author: Derek E. Sullivan
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 3/2/2015


I received an ARC copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Biggie is the son of one baseball legend, and the step-son of another. Biggie feels the immense pressure to play sports at a young age, when his step-father enrolls him into t-ball. After a bad experience there, Biggie is convinced that he is not cut out for sports and withdraws into his own skin. He seeks perfection from himself academically rather than physically. He also eats to fill an emotional need, and finds that the bigger he gets, the more invisible he is to others.

After pitching a perfect game in wiffle ball during gym class, Biggie's interest in baseball is reignited. He, along with his younger brother Maddux, chase the elusive goal of throwing a perfect game in high school baseball. In the course of getting ready for his first baseball season, Biggie learns a lot about friendship, girlfriends, new social skills, and getting in shape. He also learns that being a perfectionist does not always have to be an all-or-nothing way of life.

I found myself alternately loving and hating Biggie. His struggles with his weight and reasons for constantly eating were at times very real, and at times seemed like rationalizations. Biggie often was often so absorbed in his fantasy online friends that he found little time to make friends in real life. His fear of getting hurt and fear of failure was evident throughout the book. Biggie learns not only that he can be happy with himself physically, but that a "perfect game" has multiple meanings.

As a librarian, I would recommend this book for high school libraries. There are mild sexual references, and frequent underage drinking.


The Black Dragon (Dragon, Bk 2)
The Black Dragon (Dragon, Bk 2)
Author: Allyson James
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 148
Review Date: 7/15/2009


This was the second book in Allyson James' Dragon series, and while I didn't like it as much as the first one, it was only because Malcolm, the black dragon, was not as likable a character as Caleb was in the first one. I did like that the characters remained the same, and that we visited with previous characters again. The book was definitely well written, and it was also erotic enough to make me look forward to reading the next book in the series.


Black Dragon's Blood
Black Dragon's Blood
Author: Anita Philmar
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 2.4/5 Stars.
 8
Review Date: 1/5/2012


As a lover of anything dragon-related, I have been waiting to get my hands on this book for quite a while. I finally broke down and bought it new, and found it to be a total waste of my money.

The story itself is very weak. The two main characters basically jump each other from the first chapter, and the "story" seems almost an afterthought. There is no background information given on the world and I spent much of the time reading this book trying to figure out whether this alternate reality was past, future, Steampunk, or some amalgamation of all of them. Characters fly in Zepplins, but everything is made of stone and metal. They write on sheets of tin, but they have communicators they can use to send "texts". It took me until the 3rd use of the word "bong" to realize they meant hours--there wasn't even good context clues to figure it out. The male lead is part of a contingent of warriors who fought, killed, ate, and drank the blood of dragons who wanted to live freely; thus the Black Dragon's blood reference in the title. The dragons were eventually eradicated and the warriors took on some small physical changes like heightened senses and a decrease in fertility.

While this was not the WORST book I've ever read, it was definitely in the top 10. I will be taking the second and third of these books off my wish and reminder lists because I don't think I can handle more torture. If you are a fan of sex without substance, you may find this book appealing, but I prefer my books to have an actual plot.


Born in Sin (MacAllisters, Bk 3)
Born in Sin (MacAllisters, Bk 3)
Author: Kinley MacGregor
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 284
Review Date: 11/10/2010
Helpful Score: 2


Writing as Kinley MacGregor, Sherrilyn Kenyon is not as potent as her later works under the more popular pen name. This book was decent, but I didn't like the relationship (or lack of one?) between Sin and his brothers. I would have liked to see more tension there, but the way she wrote it still works. If you like historical romances, this one is worth reading.


Born of Silence (League, Bk 6)
Born of Silence (League, Bk 6)
Author: Sherrilyn Kenyon
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
 29
Review Date: 7/11/2012


Some of the previous League novels have been lacking, in my opinion, and nowhere near as good as Kenyon's Dark-Hunter series. However, this book makes up for the previous lack in a big way.

I am a sucker for a scarred character--physically or emotionally. Darling Cruel has both in abundance, and he is a great character. I'm glad to see someone with such flaws find love and redemption.

Darling's best friend Maris is everything a best friend should be, and I'm glad to see him find happiness in the end as well. I would have loved it if Maris had been given his own book, but so many mainstream authors avoid gay romance--truly a shame.

Overall, a very good book, and one I recommend if you like flawed men!


Born to Be BAD: One BAD Night / BAD to the Bone / 'Captivated' By You (Bureau of American Defense)
Review Date: 8/3/2010


This book contains three short stories from Sherrilyn Kenyon's BAD universe. Each of these stories is good in its own right, but I would recommend reading the first full-length BAD novel first, otherwise you will be a little lost as to what the agency's purposes and origins are. I like Kenyon's work in general, but do not find this series as entertaining, nor as well-developed as her Dark Hunter/Dream Hunter series.


The Burning Bridge (Ranger's Apprentice, Bk 2)
The Burning Bridge (Ranger's Apprentice, Bk 2)
Author: John Flanagan
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 28
Review Date: 11/10/2010
Helpful Score: 1


I am really liking this series--and I'm an adult! I often read my kids' books beforehand, and found that I really liked this one. I liked that the main character, Will, often triumphs through luck in combination with his amazing skill. There is just enough humor to keep kids' interest, and enough action to make them want to keep reading. I highly recommend this series!


Captain Underpants and the Perilous Plot of Professor Poopypants (Captain Underpants, Bk 4)
Review Date: 4/30/2009


Fourth in the series, Dav Pilkey again leads kids on a wonderfully humorous adventure. I highly recommend all of the books in this series, especially for reluctant readers. The "bathroom humor" is exactly what appeals to kids of this age, and since there are lots of illustrations it doesn't really seem like a "chapter book". Even girls like these books, especially if they have brothers who like and use this kind of humor. Quick read, and these books do have AR tests to go along with them if your school does AR.


Captive Dreams
Captive Dreams
Author: Diane Whiteside, Angela Knight
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 66
Review Date: 8/3/2010
Helpful Score: 1


I liked this one very much, although the styles of Angela Knight and Diane Whiteside are very different. Although the two stories are both explicit, the one by Diane Whiteside uses more flowery language than that of Angela Knight, whose writing is much more straight-forward. You can only read Whiteside comparing a woman's feminine parts to flowers before it becomes annoying.

This particular version is from Berkley although the picture shown is the Ellora's Cave version. The book that comes with this ISBN is a trade size paperback with different cover art than shown.


Captive Dreams
Captive Dreams
Author: Diane Whiteside, Angela Knight
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 48
Review Date: 8/3/2010
Helpful Score: 1


I liked this one very much, although the styles of Angela Knight and Diane Whiteside are very different. Although the two stories are both explicit, the one by Diane Whiteside uses more flowery language than that of Angela Knight, whose writing is much more straight-forward. You can only read Whiteside comparing a woman's feminine parts to flowers so long before it becomes annoying.


The Casual Vacancy
The Casual Vacancy
Author: J. K. Rowling
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 2.9/5 Stars.
 171
Review Date: 3/7/2013
Helpful Score: 1


Although the book is very well-written, I cannot say that I loved it. It is a snapshot of small town life, with everyone in it a member of a severely dysfunctional family. The book did not feel as though it had much of a point until the tragedy and triumph at the end of the book. I thought it was OK, but nowhere near as satisfying as Rowling's other works.


The Cat (Sons of Destiny, Bk 5)
The Cat (Sons of Destiny, Bk 5)
Author: Jean Johnson
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 102
Review Date: 11/10/2010


Ok, having this character show up mainly as a house cat was smart in that the female love interest talks to him not knowing that he's the cat. However, while the other brothers in the family have more "manly" abilities, mainly becoming a house cat is not as exciting as becoming a wolf or having a magical voice. The sex scenes are worth reading the whole series, though!


Catch Me (Demon Underground, Bk 6)
Catch Me (Demon Underground, Bk 6)
Author: Parker Blue
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 7/1/2015


I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Catch Me is a very good continuation of a great series. Val adds to her responsibilities as Paladin, and continues to whoop vampire butt in this volume. The reader is introduced to a new character, Ivy, who becomes Val's new roommate and more. Drama continues with Shade, though it's fairly clear Val's affections have moved on to Austin. My only issue with this book is that though she has had a sexual relationship with Shade, Val seems very inexperienced and still somewhat immature in her hesitation, nervousness, and shyness around Austin. Though I don't mind the waiting, I'd like her to own her sexuality more and accept both she and Lola have sensual needs. I'm looking forward to her continued attraction and eventual consummation of her relationship with Austin in future volumes.

Recommended for high school and new adult audiences.


The Cat's Meow (Assassin's Pride, Bk 1)
The Cat's Meow (Assassin's Pride, Bk 1)
Author: Stormy Glenn
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 5
Review Date: 1/10/2012


This book started off slow, but ended well for me.

Noah is OCD to the extreme at the beginning of the book, and I didn't find anything really likeable about him. It was not until he meets Gage and their relationship heats up that Noah relaxes a bit. Noah's other quirks and secrets make the relationship more interesting as well.

Ultimately, I ended up liking the pair's relationship and thought the book was a good one. It's not too deep, and it's a quick read. Well worth the time it took to get past the overly-OCD beginning!


Cold Burn of Magic (Black Blade, Bk 1)
Cold Burn of Magic (Black Blade, Bk 1)
Author: Jennifer Estep
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 23
Review Date: 3/15/2015


I was provided a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

As a huge fan of Jennifer Estep's Elemental Assassin series, I was very excited to hear that she was writing a YA novel. I looked forward to being able to recommend an author whose work my students could enjoy now, and later expand into her adult novels as they mature. Fans of Estep's Elemental Assassin series will find this book a little slower to get into, but stick with it as it does get better!

Lila is seventeen, and makes her way by being a thief. Stealing comes rather easy for her, as she is magically Talented with a trio of talents. She has Sight (allowing her to magically perceive movement and detail), Soul-Sight (the ability to see into people and accurately judge their character), and Transference (the ability to absorb magics used against her). She is also a great fighter, having been trained by her bodyguard mother before her mother was killed by the Draconi Family.

Lila's talents are put to use when she steps in to protect Devon Sinclair, the son of the head of another powerful family. She is coerced into being Devon's bodyguard, and must discover who is trying to kill Devon before time runs out. While doing so, Lila must fight numerous hired killers, her own rage at the Draconi family, and her growing attraction to Devon.

As a middle school librarian, I would recommend this book for grades 7 and up. There is no harsh language, and the main characters have an attraction that goes no further. Violence and some gore would be the only issues of concern with this book, as Lila does kill several people in the course of protecting Devon, and a few people are killed by a monster. Lila is also cut several times in the course of her duties. Lila is a strong, independent female lead protagonist, and one that I will happily introduce to my students.


Confessions of a Slacker Mom
Confessions of a Slacker Mom
Author: Muffy Mead-Ferro
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.2/5 Stars.
 61
Review Date: 7/31/2009
Helpful Score: 3


As a self-confessed slacker mom myself, it was refreshing to see that someone else was parenting their kids with a "less is more" kind of mentality. I have never been overly sentimental or protective as a mom, and am a firm believer in natural consequences. This book reassured me that THAT'S OK and that I'm not damaging my children by my slacker ways. I highly recommend this book, both for the admitted slacker mom and for those who are seriously overprotective and need to relax and let their kids be kids.


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