Monthly Archives: February 2014

An Above Average Iron Man Book…


I’ve got a toddler who’s obsessed with Iron Man, and so we’ve been buying these ~$5 Iron Man books for a while now. The short version? It’s better than average and a good “deal” considering it’s two books in one and has two pages of Iron Man stickers your kid can go bonkers about.

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Posted in Children's/Young Adult

The Ugly Duckling… What Age Group Could This Possibly be Appropriate for???


From the title and the cover illustration you might think that this is a story you could read to your little children, say toddler through early elementary school… it’s not.

(massive spoilers ahead)

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Posted in Children's/Young Adult

The One and Only Ivan (Katherine Applegate)

4 out of 5 stars

Cut to the Chase:

Creative, artistically drawn story that is also deeply flawed. The hook is amazing: first-person narrator is a silverback who’s the main attraction at the top of a mall)… but the pacing of the book is definitely a bit off. The beginning (though interesting) is far too drawn out, not sure what the middle really is, and the end feels both too rushed and also somehow, not necessarily drawn out enough. The characters are interesting and the story is definitely a moving one. Parts of the writing are wonderful… but again, the story as a whole is weighted down by its flaws, keeping it from being a truly 5-star read.

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Posted in Uncategorized

Because Dragons Love Milk

Marie Chow, author of Unwell, has just published her first children’s book. It’s a different spin on the classic bedtime story, and was written explicitly to try to add to the collection of books that feature Asian protagonists (without that being the only point of the book).

It isn’t something we can explicitly review or endorse without bias, but if you’re interested, please check it out!

Posted in Children's/Young Adult

A Guilty, Low-Calorie Recipe Book that Makes me Crave Fast Food — aka My Review of The Guilt Free 3

1 out of 5 Stars

Short and Sweet:
This was a nice teaser, and it’s nice that it’s free. It also has fine pictures, a great concept, and a nice explanation as to why 300 calorie dishes are good ideas.

BUT, and this is a big but, despite the fact that the pictures try to make the dishes sound appealing, the ingredients alone make me not at all interested in trying the dishes (which is terrible, I know, but I can’t see myself getting this book or others when just looking at the ingredients makes me go, ew…)

To me, the combination of Skinny Cow cheese, turkey burger, and ketchup just doesn’t sound at all appealing. It feels like I’d rather have a smaller portion of the full-fat version than an only-slightly-bigger version of a too-”healthed”-up version.

I know this means that I’m reviewing the book without trying the recipes, but I just can’t bring myself to try them :(

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Posted in Nonfiction

Why All Courtney Milan is Good Courtney Milan (aka my review of the Countess Conspiracy)

4 out of 5 stars

 Cut to the Chase:

Truthfully, this is not her best novel. It’s somewhere between average to above average if I were to place it on my all-time-Courtney-Milan-fan-girl-list. But here’s the thing: a slightly above-average Courtney Milan novel is still, in my mind, far better than most of the other historical romance out there, and thus a must buy. This one is a particular must if you’re at all geeky, have ever had any anxiety or I’m-not-worthy issues (despite being intelligent) and if you’re at all interested in the idea of women in science, especially within the context of their past situations. The female protagonist is interesting (though at times a bit cliched) and the male is a Milan-typical-super-male which means that even his faults are pretty cool. There are times where the romance gets a bit subsumed by everything else happening (and the romantic climax is definitely separate to and distinct from the normal one here), but otherwise, it’s very solid, engrossing read.

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Posted in Romance