Welcome to Book Lovers Paradise

Welcome to my attempt at blogging. I am a true to heart bibliophile. Here I will discuss and review books as I read them. You are welcome to do the same. The only rules are no profanity, no politics, no religion, and have fun!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Cheesie Mack is back!

Cheesie Mack is Cool in a Duel
by Steve Cotler
Random House Books For Young Readers
available June 26,2012
received from NetGalley for review

Cheesie and his sidekick Georgie are back!  This time they are in summer camp in Maine, the best camp in the world!  The boys are supposed to have the best summer of their young lives.  They are scheduled to be the oldest kids in the Little Guy cabin at camp.  Well, guess what?  It doesn't happen that way.  Through chance they end up the youngest kids in the Big Guy camp.  Imagine being the only 11 year olds among a bunch of 13 year old boys...Yea, not too much fun.  Between the teasing and bullying, it's not turning out to be such a great summer for Cheesie and Georgie.  Cheesie decides to challenge Kevin, one of the big kids, to a 'cool duel'.  Now, incidentally, Kevin is the boyfriend of Cheesie's older tweenage sister June, also known as Goon. 

Cheesie must rely on his wits to win the 'cool duel' contest.

Steve Cotler has done it again!  (This is Cheesie's second great adventure).  The book is written in the form of a diary from the viewpoint of Cheesie himself.  Mr. Cotler has the unique ability to teach young readers to learn.  He uses real and made up words with kid friendly definitions, as well as tidbits about history and other interesting facts. 

I loved Cheesie's interactions with his older sister Goon.  I enjoyed reading about the 'points battle' between the two.  This book is full of laughter and learning.  Don't forget to visit Cheesie online at CheesieMack.com

Target audience is tween boys.  If you liked the "Wimpy Kids" books, you should like Cheesie Mack.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

received from the author for review
This book can be found on Amazon.com

Product Description

Lola Moori is hiding a secret she doesn't know she's keeping.

She begins to remember someone. Someone important. His name is Gabe…and whatever they shared, she could feel that it was epic.

Yet it seems Gabe wanted her to forget him. Forever.

The curse that repressed Lola’s memories for the span of several lifetimes is coming undone. But unfortunately, she discovers that some secrets are better left buried. 


Gypsies, not vampires, are the paranormal characters in this original novel.  Gypsies are reincarnated and have the ability to remember all their past lives.  Sound good? 

Lola and Gabe are two gypsies bound together through time and lives.  Here's the catch.  Lola cannot remember her past lives.  A curse has been placed upon her by a powerful gypsy to make her forget her past.  

This book is written in sections.  The first section deals with Lola escaping her father and their 'unconventional' lifestyle.  She runs to her Grandmother's house, only to find that also staying with her grandmother are two cousins, Dakota and Annika.   She meets Gabe, a neighbor, who incidentally had saved her from a raging storm on the night of her arrival.  She feels an instant attraction to Gabe, who responds by treating her with insolence and anger.  Gabe is engaged to Lola's cousin Annika.  
Section two begins with Lola's memories unravelling.  She and Gabe were very close in previous incarnations of their lives.  Section two explains how they met and how they parted.
Section three brings the entire story together.  I won't reveal anything that happens.  I will say all three sections are brought together nicely. 

 Ms Malory is an amazing storyteller.  She has found a way to create a new an exciting YA novel.  Something original and new.  



Monday, October 10, 2011

Tris and Izzie by Mette Ivie Harrison
from NetGalley
Publisher: Egmont USA
release date October 11, 2011

To begin, my review is written from the perspective of an adult reading a YA (or rather early tween)book. I am not the target audience for this story.  Please take that into account if you read this review.

(story summary)
Izzie loves Mark, and why shouldn’t she? As the captain of the basketball team, he is kind and loving and he’s everything she’s ever wanted in a boyfriend. Her BFF loves . . . somebody, but she won’t say who. So when a hot new guy, Tristan, shows up at school, who better for Izzie to fix up her friend with? And what better way to do it than with a love philtre?

But even the best of magic has a way of going awry—and Izzie finds she’s accidentally fallen in love with Tristan herself. And that’s a problem. First of all, there’s Mark. Second, Tristan comes with baggage—like the supernatural creatures that keep attacking whenever he’s with Izzie, and the fact that he comes from the place where Izzie’s father was killed.

My review: received from NetGalley

I've read both positive and negative reviews of this book. I love the tale of Tristan and Isolde and decided to read this book with an open mind. I'm sorry to say this book did not live up to my expectations. I did not even finish the novel. Perhaps it's not fair to write a review when I didn't even finish the book, however, the most positive thing I can say...I LOVE the cover of this book. I'm not even certain what it is about this book that so distressed me. The writing was poor. I thought the characters were too childish, immature and shallow. I would advise others to reach their own conclusions, however, this is one time I wish I had listened to the reviews of so many others.

My recommendation: Go to the library if you want this one, don't buy it.
2 stars for the attempt and because the story would probably have appealed to me much more if I happened to be a much younger person.

50 Underwear Questions
Tanya Lloyd Kyi

received from NetGalley for review
publisher Annick Press
published July 2011

50 Underwear Questions by Tanya Lloyd Kyl

Bet you never thought much about underwear, Well...think about it!

What a fun book!  Imagine an entire book about underwear.  Yes, underwear.  I can't say I've ever really thought much about underwear.  I see now that was a mistake. Even the cavemen thought about underwear, if only to protect their more sensitive parts.  I was amazed to learn about all the different styles of underwear throughout the ages.  The illustrations in this book were spectacular.  I laughed out loud while reading and looking at the pictures.  I particularly  enjoyed the small little tidbits listed in the box on the side of each page.  I recommend this book to anyone with an interest in the history of clothing, and anyone who just wants a good laugh!

Another masterpiece by Robert Massie

RELEASE DATE: 11/8/2011
Another Masterpiece by Massie!

Massie's much anticipated biography of the only female Russian ruler accorded the title "the Great" is as compelling as his previous biographies.

This biography of Sophia Augusta, later known as Catherine, is a deeply researched and masterfully told story.

The book begins with an explaination of Sophia's early childhood. She was not a much loved child, being born a female and not the son her mother wanted. "Johanna could not find or express any maternal feeling. She did not nurse or caress her little daughter. She spent no time watching over her cradle or holding her; instead, abruptly, she handed the child over to servants and wet nurses."*** Her somewhat selfish, ego-centric mother, Johanna, often referred to her daughter as 'ugly', and unworthy. Johanna was more interested in her own social standing, rather than that of her children. She came to realize that only through her daughter could she advance her own status. The young Sophia was introduced to young Peter II, heir to the throne of Russia, by his aunt, the current Empress Elizabeth (daughter of Peter the Great). Peter was the son of Charles Frederick, Duke of Holstein. Peter's mother was the Empresses older sister Anne. Anne died shortly after Peter's birth. He was raised by an abusive tutor and this affected his adult life. He had little interest in anything Russian, preferring to be recognized as a Prussian.

Sophia was baptised into the Russian Orthodox church as Ekaterina (Catherine). Shortly after her baptism she becomes betrothed to Peter.

Massie very cleverly intersperses quotes from the memoirs of Catherine herself. She explains that her marriage was not consummated for 9 years. She unapolagetically acknowledges her lovers. The paternity of her male heir, Paul, is in question. At the time of his birth, Catherine's current lover was Sergie Saltykov. Massie himself questions the paternity of the child but does write "Paul looked more like Peter than Sergie". Interesting to think that Peter may have been the end of the Romanov bloodline.

Catherine becomes Empress after Peter's death. I received the impression that Catherine had no other choice but to dispense with Peter. She considered herself to be wholeheartedly Russian at this point in her life. Peter was an incompetent fool. In order to save Russia from his hands, his death was necessary. Catherine had to assume control to preserve the state.

The remainder of the book deals with Catherine's role as Empress. Her relationship with Gregory Potemkin is given a great deal of weight. He became her very special friend, confidant and lover. He may or may not have secretly become her husband.

It is here that we see more of Catherine as a woman, not just a leader. She is truly a strong, courageous asset to Russia. Without her intervention, her skill and her intelligence, one can only imagine what would have happened had Russia been ruled by Peter and another woman as Empress.

The Hermitage Museum is given more than a brief mention. Catherine became one of Europe's greatest art collectors. The Hermitage is today one of the most important museums in the world.

As I mentioned, the memoirs of Catherine throughout the book are a welcome addition.
Massie has expertly created another masterpiece.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves Russian history or has previously read and enjoyed another work by Robert Massie.

I received this ARC edition from LibraryThing's Early Reviewers. I hope the finished edition contains pictures.
***all quotes are from an uncorrected proof. They will be checked for accuracy against the finished book.***