Thursday, September 27, 2018

Nick and Tesla's Super-Cyborg Gadget Glove by Bob Pflugfelder and Steve Hockensmith


Synopsis:
Einstein is running amok! Darwin is losing his head! The science museum in Half Moon Bay is in big trouble because its robotic replicas of history’s greatest scientists keep going kablooey! As 11-year-old amateur inventors Nick and Tesla Holt try to uncover the cause, they’ll need to keep adding all-new gadgets to their latest creation, a customized super-cyborg glove. Follow the action, and then follow the illustrated instructions to build your own gadget glove with four incredible functions: LED signal light, emergency alarm, sound recorder, and UV secret-message revealer!
(Synopsis from Goodreads).

My Thoughts:
I have been recently trying to finish some series that I have started. I have a bad habit of starting series, and then never following through with the sequels. Recently, I've been reading the Nick and Tesla series. Even though it's middle grade fiction, I've been greatly enjoying it. I just finished the fourth book in the series, Nick and Tesla's Super-Cyborg Gadget Glove, and loved it.

Nick and Tesla's Super-Cyborg Gadget Glove had everything I wanted in the last couple of books in the series. There was a lot of mystery. There was also some cheesiness, but it wasn't over the top like the last two books had been. The reader got to see more of Uncle Newt and Dr. Sakurai together, which I really loved. I hope that's a trend that continues in the rest of the books in the series. I just love them together. I also enjoyed that Uncle Newt took more responsibility with the kids. Instead of just ignoring them, or misunderstanding their problems like he usually does, he aactually helped them solve the problem. I thin he's turning into a great guardian.

One of the things that I really loved about Nick and Tesla's Super-Cyborg Gadget Glove is that the authors did the experiments/projects a little different this time around. Instead of having multiple small projects, they had one big one with the glove and just kept making improvements to it throughout the story. I thought that was unique and different, and really enjoyed it. By the end, the glove turned out to be really awesome. I thought about making one myself for my niece, and still might do it.

I think Nick and Tesla's Super-Cyborg Gadget Glove was my favorite book in the series so far. If not, it's tied with the first book for my favorite. I loved that this book brought back all of the joy I felt when reading the first book in the series. It was wonderful to see all of the character growth and development. Every character in this series has really matured in some way. I can't wait to read the next book in the series and find out what happens after what was revealed at the ending of this one.  


I give Nick and Tesla's Super-Cyborg Gadget Glove: 4/5.

Want to know more about the authors?
Bob Pflugfelder
Website: https://sciencebob.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sciencebob
Twitter: https://twitter.com/sciencebob?lang=en
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sciencebob/
Pintrest: https://www.pinterest.com/source/sciencebob.com/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sciencebob
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/ScienceBob

Steve Hockensmith
Website: http://www.stevehockensmith.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/steve.hockensmith.7
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MrHockensmith
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/146628.Steve_Hockensmith

I received this book from the publisher, Quirk Books, in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

In Bed with the Beast by Tara Sivec


Synopsis:
tale as old as time: she needs a place to stay, he's a grump with a secret and an extra room...can love find a way?

Meet the Naughty Princess Club, a series from USA Today bestselling author Tara Sivec that brings readers to Fairytale Lane and the hilarity—and romance—that three women fall into once they decide to strut their stuff and bring on their own happily ever after.

Living in her overprotective dad’s basement, shy Belle lives her life through books. Being a part of the Naughty Princess Club is the first adventure she’s ever had, plus she desperately needs the money to save one of her favorite places - the local library.

But when her new friends and new business gets her kicked out of her dad’s house, Belle is rescued by the surly Vincent “Beast” Adams who invites her to be his house guest until she gets back on her feet. Despite his attitude problem and long list of rules, Belle finds herself warming to the muscled man with a penchant for growling and starts seeing a gentle side to him that wasn’t there before.

Yet there’s a room that Beast keeps locked and Belle keeps getting hints that Beast is hiding something…can a nerdy librarian tame the beast or will their romance be over before it has a chance to blossom?

(Synopsis from Goodreads).

My Thoughts:
Over the years, Tara Sivec has become one of my favorite authors. I just love her books. They're so witty and hilarious. Lately I realized that I've fallen behind on reading her new releases from this year, and wanted to catch up. I loved the first book in her Naughty Princess Club series, so I wanted to pick up the second one, In Bed with the Beast. I just finished it last night, and while I didn't love it as much as the first book, I did really enjoy it.

I was very excited to read a book from Belle's perspective. I figured she would be the woman that I would relate the most to out of the three friends in the series, and I was right. She only feels comfortable at first around her books, and two close friends. Even then, I think she feels more comfortable around the books than the friends. She's nerdy, shy, and incredibly socially awakward. All of the those are traits that I've had all of my life. It made her incredibly easy to relate to, and made me want to root for her to get her happily ever after even more than I already was.

I will admit even though I loved Belle, I didn't connect with In Bed with the Beast as much as I did with the first book in the series. I think it was because the middle of the book got kind of boring for me. I found myself losing interest at times waiting for something to happen between Belle and Beast, or waiting for her to gain her self confidence. It was a struggle to push through because I kept putting it down, and picking up something more interesting. However, when I was able to push through that part, the rest of the book definitely made it worth it. There was a certain scene involving Belle's dad towards the end of the book. I don't think I've ever laughed that hard in my life.

Even though In Bed with the Beast wasn't my favorite book in the series, I did still find it enjoyable. I loved Belle. She might be one of my favorite characters that Tara Sivec has written, and I've read most of her books so that's a long list to choose from. I'm very excited to read the next book in the series, which is from Ariel's perspective. I can't wait for more of her foul-mouthed, dark sense of humor. I think her point of view will be the funniest yet.  


I give In Bed with the Beast: 3.5/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website: http://tarasivec.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TaraSivec.authorpage
Twitter: https://twitter.com/tarasivec
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authortarasivec/
Pintrest: https://www.pinterest.com/tarasivec/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6422281.Tara_Sivec

I received this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for my review.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Nick and Tesla's Secret Agent Gadget Battle by Bob Pflugfelder and Steve Hockensmith


Synopsis:
In this third installment of the series, 11-year-old whiz-kids Nick and Tesla discover that someone in the quiet town of Half Moon Bay has placed their beloved Uncle Newt under electronic surveillance—but who is spying on him, and why? To expose the secret agent, Nick and Tesla build all kinds of outrageous contraptions. Throughout the book, the narrative is interrupted by blueprints and instructions so that budding young inventors can follow along. Science and electronics have never been so much fun!
(Synopsis from Goodreads).

My Thoughts:
Recently, I've been trying to read all of the print books that I own. I live in a small two bedroom apartment, and they're slowly starting to take over my apartment. I own the whole Nick and Tesla series in print, so I've been trying to make my way through that so I can give the books to kids that I know will enjoy them, and do the experiments/projects in them. I recently finished the third book in the series, Nick and Tesla's Secret Agent Gadget Battle. I thought it was just an okay read.

In this third installment of the series, the tone really changed. It felt completely different than the previous two books. With all of the new characters that were added and the mystery surrounding them, it almost felt like it was A Series of Unfortunate Events knockoff. The tone was a lot darker than the two previous books. The new characters even had similar personalities to Count Olaf's troop, especially the cleaners. I was also sad that Dr. Sakurai didn't make much of an appearance. I was really looking forward to seeing her relationship with Uncle Newt progress.

Despite being frustrated with those things, I did find some parts of Nick and Tesla's Secret Agent Gadget Battle enjoyable. As always, I thought the projects that they made were really creative, and unique. I love the element it added to the book. The projects aren't the typical science fair projects. It takes some creativity to be able to think of them in the first place. I love it when the authors do that. Also, I didn't correctly guess who the spy was, which makes things interesting. Up until it was revealed, I was almost positive I knew who the spy was. It shocked me when I was wrong.

Even though I had mixed feelings about Nick and Tesla's Secret Agent Gadget Battle, I am excited to continue the series. I think it will be interesting to read the next book and see if the spy somehow gets revenge on Nick, Tesla, and Uncle Newt for everything that happened in this book. I also think it will be interesting to see how the plot changes with a somewhat important character removed. I plan on starting the next book very soon. 


I give Nick and Tesla's Secret Agent Gadget Battle: 3/5.

Want to know more about the authors?
Bob Pflugfelder
Website: https://sciencebob.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sciencebob
Twitter: https://twitter.com/sciencebob?lang=en
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sciencebob/
Pintrest: https://www.pinterest.com/source/sciencebob.com/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sciencebob
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/ScienceBob

Steve Hockensmith
Website: http://www.stevehockensmith.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/steve.hockensmith.7
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MrHockensmith
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/146628.Steve_Hockensmith

I received this book from the publisher, Quirk Books, in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

In a Handful of Dust by Mindy McGinnis


Synopsis:
A dangerous disease strikes the community where teenage Lucy lives. When her adoptive mother, Lynn, takes Lucy away from their home and friends in order to protect her, Lucy struggles to figure out what home means. During their journey west to find a new life, the two face nature's challenges, including hunger, mountains, and deserts.
(Synopsis from Goodreads).

My Thoughts:
Last year I read Not a Drop to Drink. I really enjoyed it. I've been meaning to pick up the sequel, In a Handful of Dust but just haven't had time. Recently, I finally got a chance to pick it up. Even though it wasn't what I expected, it was an okay book.

Unfortunately, In a Handful of Dust wasn't what I expected. I expected it to be a direct sequel to the first book, but it was more of a companion novel. Part of that is my fault because I might have known that had I read the synopsis. However, I like going into my books without knowing anything about them. This time, that dampened my enjoyment of the book though. I really wanted to know what happened directly after the ending of the first book in detail. Instead, it's briefly mentioned then glossed over.

The one thing I really did like about the book was seeing Lucy grown up. It was interesting to see how her relationship with Lynn had grown over the years. I also enjoyed seeing Lynn take that responsibility, and becoming a mom like figure to Lucy at such a young age. When the reader catches up with them during In A Handful of Dust, they've really grown into their own. They know who they are, and what they want out of life. It was interesting to see that compared to where Not a Drop to Drink left off.

Despite being disappointed by my expectations, I did enjoy reading In a Handful of Dust. I really like Mindy McGinnis's writing style, especially the way she writes strong female characters. I am excited to read more of her books, and see if I like them as much as I liked this duology. 


I give In a Handful of Dust: 3.5/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website:  http://mindymcginnis.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MindyMcGinnisAuthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MindyMcGinnis
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bigblackcat97/
Pintrest: https://www.pinterest.com/MindyMcGinnisMe/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5351825.Mindy_McGinnis

I received this book from the publisher, via Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Losing Hope by Colleen Hoover


Synopsis:
In Hopeless, Sky left no secret unearthed, no feeling unshared, and no memory forgotten, but Holder’s past remained a mystery.

Still haunted by the little girl he let walk away, Holder has spent his entire life searching for her in an attempt to finally rid himself of the crushing guilt he has felt for years. But he could not have anticipated that the moment they reconnect, even greater remorse would overwhelm him…

Sometimes in life, if we wish to move forward, we must first dig deep into our past and make amends. In Losing Hope, bestselling author Colleen Hoover reveals what was going on inside Holder’s head during all those hopeless moments—and whether he can gain the peace he desperately needs.

(Synopsis from Goodreads).

My Thoughts:
Typically, I don't like books that re-tell a story that's already been told from another character's point of view. Ninety percent of the time it adds nothing to the story, and is boring to read about. That's why I was hesitant to read Losing Hope. I figured it was just going to be Hopeless from Holder's point of view. I want to read all of Colleen Hoover's books, so I recently decided to try it. I'm so glad I did. I was definitely wrong. It was so much more than just a retelling.

Losing Hope brought a fresh perspective to the events that happened in Hopeless. When reading from Holder's point of view, it was almost like reading another story entirely. There was a big bombshell that was dropped in Losing Hope that the reader didn't learn about in Hopeless at all. It was heartwrenching, and really added something to the story. It brought back all of the heartbreaking feelings that I remember feeling from Hopeless, if not more. Watching Holder come to the realizations that he did was devastating.

Colleen Hoover once again wrote a beautiful yet heartbreaking love story. I loved seeing the interactions between Skye and Holder from Holder's point of view. It made me fall in love with the characters all over again. I'm glad I decided to finally read Losing Hope. I have a feeling it's one of those stories that will stay with me for a long time. 


I give Losing Hope: 5/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website:  https://www.colleenhoover.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorColleenHoover/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/colleenhoover
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/colleenhoover/
Snapchat: https://www.snapchat.com/add/colleenhoover
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5430144.Colleen_Hoover

I received this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Nick and Tesla's Robot Army Rampage by Bob Pflugfelder and Steve Hockensmith


Synopsis:
Nick and Tesla return in an all-new, robot-filled adventure!

When a rash of robberies hits the town of Half Moon Bay, 11-year-old sleuths Nick and Tesla are determined to catch the criminals—but to do so, they'll have to build a host of new gadgets and gizmos!

In this robot-themed follow-up to Nick and Tesla's High-Voltage Danger Lab, the brother-and-sister duo build four different droids out of ordinary household objects—and illustrated instructions are included throughout the story, so you can build them, too! Make bristlebots that buzz, hoverbots that float above the ground, battlebots that duke it out, and more!

Can Nick and Tesla catch the criminal mastermind—and foil his army of rampaging robots—before it's too late?

(Synopsis from Goodreads).

My Thoughts:
Lately I've been going through this reading phase where all I want to read is middle grade. Recently, I read Nick and Tesla's High-Voltage Danger Lab. I loved it so much that I started the second book, Nick and Tesla's Robot Army Rampage immediately. While I didn't love it as much as the first book, I still thought it was an enjoyable sequel.

I'm not entirely sure why I didn't enjoy Nick and Tesla's Robot Army Rampage as much as the first book in the series. There was just something magical missing from it. I think part of it is because I was hoping the sequel would focus more on the big reveal that happened at the end of the first book, and that didn't happen. I found that kind of disappointing. It was slightly mentioned at times, but wasn't a huge plot point.

Despite that, I really did enjoy the book. In fact, I read all of it in about two hours because I couldn't put it down. I especially enjoyed the new character, Dr. Sakurai. I enjoyed seeing how having her around changed Uncle Newt. Speaking of Uncle Newt, he went through so much character growth in this book. Even though he's still his zany, wacky self, he really went through a growth period, and matured a lot. I loved seeing that. For once, I didn't guess the culprit at the end, which I also enjoyed. It was a fantastic reveal that I never saw coming.

Even though I prefer the first book in the series, I really did enjoy Nick and Tesla's Robot Army Rampage. I thought it was a good sequel. I plan on starting the next book in the series as soon as I finish typing this review. I can't wait to see what happens after the bombshell that was dropped at the end of the book with the answering machine message.


I give Nick and Tesla's Robot Army Rampage: 3.5/5.

Want to know more about the authors?
Bob Pflugfelder
Website:  https://sciencebob.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sciencebob
Twitter: https://twitter.com/sciencebob?lang=en
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sciencebob/
Pintrest: https://www.pinterest.com/source/sciencebob.com/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sciencebob
YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/user/ScienceBob

Steve Hockensmith
Website: http://www.stevehockensmith.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/steve.hockensmith.7
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MrHockensmith
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/146628.Steve_Hockensmith

I received this book from the publisher, Quirk Books, in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Time Traveller by Joanne Harris


Synopsis:
Struggling to get back to UNIT HQ, his body being destroyed by radiation, the Third Doctor arrives in the most perfect English village, where everyone is happy. But is he really on Earth, or somewhere far more strange? As his body weakens, the Doctor and the Queen of the village begin to unravel the truth.

Time Trips – groundbreaking Doctor Who adventures by some of the most respected writers in the Universe. Short stories that are bigger on the inside…

(Synopsis from Goodreads).

My Thoughts:
For those that have been following my reviews for quite some time, you know that I'm a huge Whovian. I love anything and everything to do with Doctor Who. That includes all of the books that have been written. I especially love the short stories. Recently, I found one that I haven't read, The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Time Traveller. I thoroughly enjoyed the short story.

Joanne Harris must be a big Whovian too because I found myself immersed in the story from beginning to end. She got all of the small details that connect the Doctor Who universe right, such as the subtle nods to Sarah Jane, and other things that happened (trying to be vague because I don't want to spoil it for anyone). While reading the book, I was almost picturing like an episode in my head, which I loved. I know the book was about the Third Doctor, but even though I've watched some of his episodes, I'm not as familiar with him as I am with some of the more recent doctors. I kept picturing Eleven in my head for some reason instead of Three, which isn't a bad thing.

I loved The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Time Traveller. It brought together everything I loved about Doctor Who. In fact, by this point, I've read most of the Time Trips short stories. I think this might just be one of my favorites. I really hope that Joanne Harris writes more Doctor Who fiction in the future. I will gladly read anything else Doctor Who related that she publishes. 


I give The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Time Traveller: 4/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website:  http://www.joanne-harris.co.uk/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/joannechocolat
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/joannechocolat/?hl=en
Tumblr: http://joannechocolat.tumblr.com/
Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9432.Joanne_Harris

I received this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.