Monday, June 26, 2017

All About Middle Grade Review: Two Truths and a Lie: It's Alive

Two Truths and a Lie: It's Alive! by Ammi-Joan Paquette and Laurie Ann Thompson, June 27, 2017. 176 pages. Published by Walden Pond Press. Source: ARC from Publisher
Two Truths and a Lie is the first book in a fascinating new series that presents some of the most crazy-but-true stories about the living world as well as a handful of stories that are too crazy to be true—and asks readers to separate facts from the fakes!

Did you know that there is a fungus that can control the mind of an ant and make it do its bidding? Would you believe there is such a thing as a corpse flower—a ten-foot-tall plant with a blossom that smells like a zombie? How about a species of octopus that doesn’t live in water but rather lurks in trees in the Pacific Northwest?

Every story in this book is strange and astounding. But not all of them are real. Just like the old game in this book’s title, two out of every three stories are completely true and one is an outright lie. Can you guess which? It’s not going to be easy. Some false stories are based on truth, and some of the true stories are just plain unbelievable. And they’re all accompanied by dozens of photos, maps, and illustrations. Amaze yourself and trick your friends as you sort out the fakes from the facts!

Two Truths and a Lie: It's Alive, was quite fascinating definitely a book that readers are going to love. Not only will they learn something, they'll also get to work on their reasoning skills to discover the lie hidden with the two truths, it was also a fun and engaging read.

  • I readily admit that I spent most of this book cackling; do I even know why I found it so funny, not really. It could have been the names of the chapters, or the crazy and odd things that were included in each "Two Truths and a Lie" sections. There were definitely some odd things, like the "Miracle Underground Root" and "Discovering Prehistoric Bambi" just to name a couple, that was both fascinating and something that will intrigue readers of all ages.
  • I loved how the chapters covered a wide variety of things, from crazy, creepy, and cool plants, all the way to Humans-yes, no, maybe. First off, I would like to know how Ammi-Joan Paquette and Laurie Ann Thompson, the authors, came across some of these things. But the fact that some of the subjects were so off-the-wall was what made it fun; along with the art, and activity suggestions.
  • Why will readers love it, because they'll enjoy the challenge of trying to decipher the truths from the lies, and there are some things included in here that are so strange that it'll capture their attention.  
  • I am officially out of words. Two Truths and a Lie: It's Alive, was an excellent start to a new series. I am 100% looking forward to seeing what ground the authors will conquer in their next installment. Can you discern the truths from the lies, without looking at the answers, from the clues within the book? 

Final Verdict: Two Truths and a Lie: It's Alive- A fun and entertaining book that will help kids thinking during their summer break. Fun and challenging!!

Two Truths and a Lie: It's Alive earns

An advanced copy of this book was received for consideration for review. All thoughts are my own.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Spinning Pages (13): Perfect Cover/ Bad Girl

Oftentimes, while I'm reading a song will pop into my head because the book makes me think of it; sometimes the reverse happens and a random song will make me think of a book I have readSpinning Pages is a combination of my love for books and music. More often than not, the inspiration for these posts strikes while I have music thumping in my ears while exercising (kind of like how this feature came to be). 

I had entirely too many songs that could have worked for this book. I seriously considered pairing more than one song up with Perfect Cover, but decided that it would be best to keep it down to one song. It might just be me, yet I think that the characters might, albeit mildly, approve of the song selection- Bad Girl by Ladies' Code.

Bad Girl by Ladies' Code-
I’m a bad girlYes, I’m that kind of girlA person who deceives for loveWho doesn’t knowHow to hurt or cryA bad girlIs what you would call meBad Girl bad girl bad bad girlPlease leave me alone now
“You’re a weak girlYou’re a nice girl in my eyesA pitiful girl”Don’t view me like thatI’m sick of this now

There were about five other songs that I considered using, yet this was the one that stood out the most for Perfect Cover. From being underestimated, by everybody, to their various attempts to use a certain boy to get behind enemy lines, this song just really worked for the book. 

To be quite honest, I selected this song with two characters in mind, Toby and Brooke, as both like to pretend that nothing gets to them. 

I almost did not use this song simply because it still makes me somewhat sad to listen to Ladies' Code after they loss two members a couple years ago. But in the end, the song is just too good and perfect to not use it; that and I've liked it since it first released.

You can listen to all of Ladies' Code's Bad Girl below!!


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

I Want to Read It (58): The Naturals

I Want to Read It, a hybrid between WLW (or WOW) and what's on my to-be-read pile. Well, instead of focusing just on books I would like to acquire, I will be using it to feature books that I just want to read. From the one's I want to buy to the one's sitting on my TBR at home.

The Naturals (The Naturals, 1) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, November 5, 2013. Published by Disney-Hyperion. Source: Wishlist.
Seventeen-year-old Cassie is a natural at reading people. Piecing together the tiniest details, she can tell you who you are and what you want. But it’s not a skill that she’s ever taken seriously. That is, until the FBI come knocking: they’ve begun a classified program that uses exceptional teenagers to crack infamous cold cases, and they need Cassie.

What Cassie doesn’t realize is that there’s more at risk than a few unsolved homicides—especially when she’s sent to live with a group of teens whose gifts are as unusual as her own. Sarcastic, privileged Michael has a knack for reading emotions, which he uses to get inside Cassie’s head—and under her skin. Brooding Dean shares Cassie’s gift for profiling but keeps her at arm’s length.

Soon, it becomes clear that no one in the Naturals program is what they seem. And when a new killer strikes, danger looms closer than Cassie could ever have imagined. Caught in a lethal game of cat and mouse with a killer, the Naturals are going to have to use all of their gifts just to survive.

Having just finished Jennifer Lynn Barnes' The Squad duology, I was curious to see what her newer books looked like. Then I ran across The Naturals and I'm thinking that I need this series in my life!! 
 I really like the premise of this one; it just sounds so exciting. Sure, it's a skosh similar, with teens being drafted by the government for special jobs, to the Squad books, but it sure sounds fascinating. 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Teaser Tuesday: Killer Spirit

Teaser Tuesday is hosted by MizB of Books And A Beat. To participate, simply do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, June 19, 2017

A Vintage Reads YA Review: Killer Spirit

Killer Spirit (The Squad, 2) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, February 12, 2008. 324 pages. Published by Laurel Leaf. Source: Own.
Saying Toby Klein is an unlikely cheerleader is like saying Paris Hilton might be into guys--understatement of the year. But the varsity squad at Bayport High gives new meaning to the phrase All-American, and Toby's double life as a varsity cheerleader and a government operative means balancing protocol, pep rallies, computer hacking, and handsprings.

Now something's about to go down in Bayport, and the Big Guys Upstairs need to know what. The Squad is on the case, but it looks like this mission could put the "l" in lethal. And if the spy business doesn't kill Toby, it's starting to look like Brooke, the team's captain, might. The nominations are in for homecoming court, and rumor has it that Toby is the unlikely front-runner for queen.

Terrorist threat? Bloody mission gone wrong? Demented squad captain?

Bring it on.
First Sentence
Once upon a time, I thought that the cheerleaders at my high school were no more capable of intelligent thought or true athleticism than the average dachshund.

Well, I decided to just go ahead and review Killer Spirit this week instead of pushing it off till, well, who knows when. It would be nice to see the series reprinted with new covers; you know since the Squad was pretty entertaining. Now that I have finished this series, I'm looking forward to reading, one day, some of Jennifer Lynn Barnes' newer books.

  • I actually liked this one more than Perfect Cover. It felt more complete; and that my suspicion of a certain character, who was briefly introduced at the beginning of book one. Can you say exciting!! I love when my theories are proved correct and the way it tied in was, well, to be perfectly honest oh so fitting for the series. I refuse to say more on that plot piece because a) it's very spoiler filled and b) because it is best enjoyed in the moment when the "big" reveal is made. 
  • Well, my feelings about Toby were still the same as they were in the first book, but as much as I disliked her, the story was more interesting than book one. Perhaps my increased enjoyment  of the second volume came down to the fact that not everything went as planned for them; that and the backstory on a couple of the characters. Personally, I liked that they struggled more in this book. Not only with their missions but also with internal rivalry over the homecoming queen. I'll say this, Jennifer Lynn Barnes knows how to write a great snippy scene; those girls went straight for the kill with some of their cutting remarks.
  •  Honestly, the writing was much better in this one and the plot felt more complete. Generally, I just enjoyed the concept of this one more. It gave more depth to the characters, hello backstory, and even the side characters were more interesting. Though I must say that Toby's brother nearly killed me with laughter; frankly, I am very surprised that he survived the series after his actions. Though they did add some comedy.
Final Verdict: Killer Spirit- From a high stake mission that puts not only the Squad's existence but also their lives in jeopardy to high school, queen-bee cattiness, this book will keep you entertained. Even though there was more in-fighting, I still enjoyed reading it because, like sisters, you fight yet still know they'll have your back.

Don't forget, you can see my thoughts on Perfect Cover, the first book in Jennifer Lynn Barnes' The Squad.

Killer Spirit earns

A copy of this book was purchased by me. All thoughts are my own.


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