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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Review {The Fourteenth Goldfish}

Synopsis & cover photo: {courtesy of amazon.com}:
Galileo. Newton. Salk. Oppenheimer.
Science can change the world . . . but can it go too far?

Eleven-year-old Ellie has never liked change. She misses fifth grade. She misses her old best friend. She even misses her dearly departed goldfish. Then one day a strange boy shows up. He’s bossy. He’s cranky. And weirdly enough . . . he looks a lot like Ellie’s grandfather, a scientist who’s always been slightly obsessed with immortality. Could this pimply boy really be Grandpa Melvin? Has he finally found the secret to eternal youth?

With a lighthearted touch and plenty of humor, Jennifer Holm celebrates the wonder of science and explores fascinating questions about life and death, family and friendship, immortality . . . and possibility.

{I received a digital copy of this book VIA Netgalley in return for an honest review}
I LOVED this book.
I had a feeling before I even started that it was going to be about more than goldfish…and it definitely was.
Ellie’s world turns upside down when her grandfather comes to stay with them. Except, unlike most grandparents, her grandfather {Melvin}…isn’t just some old man who wear slippers around the house and does crossword puzzles—he’s a scientist. Who has discovered a cure for aging.
And turns himself into an adolescent boy.
And the story unfolds from this beginning.
I enjoyed this book for a few reasons: It reminded me a little bit of Back To The Future. With a little more Doc Brown.
I also loved the message that this story had. It was sweet, pretty profound, and I definitely had tears in my eyes when I finished it.
It took me all of about 2.5 summer hours to read {my summer hours are definitely much easier to “read straight through” in}.
I also liked that some of this book was given away piece by piece. I definitely am going to look into it and see what guided reading level it is to possibly use it with one of my groups this school year: I really enjoyed the message within the pages. I also liked that Holm took the time to place resources in the back of the book to further look into some of the scientific matters {an excellent resource for educators looking to squeeze potential out of this fantastic book!}
{Where can I buy this?}:
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Fourteenth-Goldfish-Jennifer-L-Holm/dp/0375870644/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1414367664&sr=1-1&keywords=the+fourteenth+goldfish
B & N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-fourteenth-goldfish-jennifer-holm/1117541921?ean=9780375870644
{What would I rate it?}: 4.9/5. I really, REALLY liked it.
{Who would I recommend this book to?}:

Anyone with an interest in science, pre-teen girls AND boys, basically…pretty much any kiddo out there!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Depth of Field {Review}

{Synopsis: courtesy of amazon.com}:
Two weeks in New York City should be the time of Pippa’s life: she’s attending the prestigious Tisch Photography Camp, her boyfriend, Dylan McCutter (two months and counting!) is coming with her, and their parents are 500 miles away. Talk about lights, camera, (swoony, unchaperoned) action! But what should be 14 unforgettable days of bliss turns into chaos when her one and only nemesis, Ben Baxter, proves to be surprisingly more complex than she could’ve ever imagined, and her Tisch mentor, a renowned photographer, seems to have a lot more to do with her parents’ past than anyone wants her to know. Is Pippa out of her depth?

Picking up where she left off in The Rule of Thirds, Pippa Greene returns in Depth of Field, in a story full of the same heart, comedic touches, and romance that made readers fall in love with Chantel Guertin’s charming YA series.
Any story about photography will absolutely get my attention.
My full attention.
Knowing this ahead of time, I knew I had to request this story from netgalley, and I did a happy dance when I was finally chosen as the recipient of an ARC. I also DID NOT read book 1. I’m now going to go back and read book 1, to see what I missed… but it didn’t “take away” from reading this novel.
Pippa is a sweet girl, who lost her father who just happened to be a local photographer. You get the feeling that Pippa “does photography” for two reasons: she’s predisposed to being artsy, but she also seems to have a knack for it, as well. She enters a competition, and it seems that another local boy has, as well—with HER work. They both have different motives, as to why they want to go to Tisch photography camp, but both reasons are absolutely legitimate, and make you love the characters even more.
This read was incredibly quick—I read it in about 3 hours cover to cover…perfect summer sunshine read. And the twist at the end, is absolutely marvelous, and makes the whole book so much more meaningful as a whole.
I also liked how this book started off as a traditional “sweet love story” where the protagonist had to leave her boyfriend for summer camp, but they would be reunited again soon, and then quickly became a book that was so much more than just the clich├ęd YA drama-fest.
{Where can I buy this?}:
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Depth-Field-Pippa-Greene-Novel/dp/1770411836/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1413937252&sr=8-1&keywords=depth+of+field
B & N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/depth-of-field-chantel-guertin/1117926086?ean=9781770411838
{What would I rate it?}: 4.7/5. I really enjoyed the way this book was written, and I absolutely fell in love with Pippa as a character. However, I felt as though some of the minor characters {especially some of her classmates} were rushed while developing, and I felt like some of them didn’t need to necessarily be in there at all.

{Who would I recommend this book to?}: Anyone who enjoys an in-depth book that deals with so much more than teenage love and YA subjects.